Over the last few years we have seen the passing of a few warriors for the faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While I personally could not condone some of the associations with whom Dr. Falwell “yoked himself” over the last several years, I must be honest to say that I will greatly miss his influence in our country as a leader for right.
Dr. Falwell was a frequent speaker at the church where I grew up in San Jose, California. On more than one occasion he was a guest in our home. As a young boy, I recall having meals with him and some of his associates from Lynchburg.
Dr. Falwell personally led Dr. Toby Weaver, now the Dean of Students here at West Coast Baptist College, to the Lord. Additionally, Dr. Falwell spoke at the commencement exercises when my wife, Terrie, graduated from Bible college.
Every young preacher could be encouraged by Dr. Falwell’s book, Strength for My Journey. It simply shares a pattern of how the Thomas Road Baptist Church was founded through door-knocking. It reminds us that God always blesses soulwinning in the local church.
I vividly recall hearing Dr. Falwell, Dr. G.B. Vick, Dr. Jack Hyles, Dr. John R. Rice, Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm, and others preach when I was a young man. This was certainly a golden era amongst fundamentalists. Now that most of the men from that era are with the Lord in Heaven, every honest independent Baptist must think back and be thankful for the good contributions they made. Some of these men disappointed us with decisions they made or with associations they felt led to make. We have the right to disagree with those decisions and associations. But we also have a biblical mandate to give thanks for the good they accomplished while they were here on this earth.
I believe America is a better place for my children because of the strong stand Dr. Falwell took time and time again on moral issues. Few people have been brave enough to go to the White House, the steps of the Capitol, and hosts of other venues, and literally put their lives on the line to stand up for what is right.
While recent graduates of Liberty University predominantly embrace the seeker-sensitive and emerging church movements, I also am thankful for the men who went to Liberty in the 70s, many of whom are now my friends and who take a strong stand for the Lord Jesus Christ in the cities where they serve.
This would be a great time to stop and pray for revival in America. Pray for those who stand and preach and do their best to help in every way possible.