Yes, it’s true: we have mentioned Jerry Falwell before. Last week,
in fact. But this time it is his son Jonathan who merits the reference.
Jonathan is carrying on his father’s ministry as Senior Pastor of the
24,000 member Thomas Road Baptist Church. A few days ago he was
asked by a TV interviewer if he would be as controversial as his father
had been. His answer: “If your definition of controversial is that we
are going to continue to speak to the issues of the day, speak out
against abortion, speak out in favor of traditional marriage, speak
out in favor of the family, then I can assure you we will be.”

Then in discussing this matter later, Jonathan went on to add these
comments: “It suddenly dawned on me that, in this modern culture
that largely encourages secularism and hazy diversity, you really
cannot be an effective Christian without being controversial. If we
embrace the Word of God and its standards for Christian conduct, we
are going to unavoidably find ourselves at odds with the mainstream.”

In a few words, Jonathan Falwell stated the Evangelical view
of the role of Christians in today’s world: “… you really cannot be an
effective Christian without being controversial.” The Scriptures are
very clear and explicit on this point. We are given specific directives
in this regard: “…be not conformed to this world …” (Romans 12:2)
And “…come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the
Lord …” (II Corinthians 6:17) In this regard, Christian believers are
to be called by new names: “… ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew
forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His
marvelous light…which are now the people of God…” (I Peter 2:9-10)

The point being made here is, according to the Scriptures, that
as Christian believers we are directed to live our life of faith distinct
from the beliefs and actions of the present world. We are not to
conform our beliefs and practices to the standards of the world
about us. As a result of fulfilling God’s purposes for us, we do
become “controversial” in terms of the beliefs and practices of
the non-Christian members of the world we know. We are called,
in God’s terminology, “a chosen generation … an holy nation.”

We are reminded of the statement by Abraham Lincoln, “Sir, my
concern is not whether God is on our side. My great concern is to
be on God's side.” We can expect always to be in controversy with
the world – but we are never to be in controversy with God. But
that is the choice we face, day by day, in so many situations.

Some of those situations are so very obvious The trend of the
Liberals toward legalizing homosexual – “same-sex” – marriage,
contrary to God’s word, and leading to the destruction of the family,
the basic unit of our society. The killing of innocent, unborn
children through legalized abortion which is moving toward a
total of 50 million killings in this country since the Supreme
Court authorized this practice. The banning of any public display
of the historical foundations of the American nation, like the Ten
Commandments, and the banning of any reference to God or the
Bible in our public schools.

Those are some of the elements of the life style of the world which,
as Christians, we must oppose and toward which we must take a
controversial position. The instigators of positions which we must
oppose are familiar to us – Liberals, atheists, homosexuals, and
organizations like the ACLU which are dedicated to opposing the
Christian faith.

But there is a positive side to our Christian responsibility,
as distinct from the controversial aspect of our efforts with respect
to those who actively oppose our Christian beliefs. It is found in the
clear, positive directive which Jesus gave to us in what is referred to
today as the “Great Commission.” “Go ye therefore into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature … teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
(Mark 16:18; Matthew 28:19)

While we have the clear teaching of Scripture that we should oppose –
be controversial about – the Liberal trends which are contrary to the
Word of God, we also have the equally clear teaching of the Scripture
in the command of Jesus that we should preach the gospel to all the
world, teaching and baptizing those who believe. Thus our Christian
responsibility is two-fold, to be controversial with respect to erroneous
viewpoints, and be positive and aggressive with respect to the gospel.

Thought for the day, and for the nation: "I have lived, Sir,
a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see
of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow
cannot fall to the Ground without His Notice, is it probable that an
Empire can rise without His Aid?" -- Benjamin Franklin, in putting
a Motion for Prayers at the Constitutional Convention, June 1787.

Afterthoughts . . .

An interesting comment: “US Court Orders Release Of Enemy Combatant
From Military Detention and Paris Hilton Ordered Back To Jail. Do I
understand this correctly? Spoiled little rich snob caught speeding without
a drivers license must do hard time, but members of Al Qaeda and enemy
combatants must go free? To put a finer point on it, our courts, our justice
system, has decreed that Paris Hilton is more dangerous to America than
foreign terrorists plotting inside America to attack American interests
through numerous equally devastating tactics.” – J.B. Williams, writing
in NewMedia, 06/15/07

A suggestion for the US Senate as they resume their debate on the
on-again, off-again immigration bill: “Tell our elected leaders that the
American people have spoken: We want our borders sealed. Demand
that Congress table these idiotic amnesty plans once and for all and
immediately pass a bill to double the number of current Border Patrol
agents, arm 10,000 Guardsmen to stand shoulder to shoulder with the
Border Patrol, finish that wall with all deliberate speed, and stiffen fines
for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. And that’s all! No path -
way to citizenship for lawbreakers. NO AMNESTY!” – from It would be so simple if our elected officials
would listen to the voices of the American people.

Not that it makes any difference really, but after all the finger-pointing
and ridiculing of
President Bush’s approval rating of 31% -- a Rasmussen
Report disclosed that in their most recent poll (June 4-7) Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid has an approval rating of 19%. But the Senator should
cheer up; at least he has an approval rating equal to Scooter Libby’s which
is also 19%.

Rosie pops up again -- well, almost – the New York State Assembly is getting
ready to act on a new bill to legalize homosexual marriage, and according to
Richard Gottfried, Chairman of the Health Committee, “It’s very likely we
will pass it this session.” The main sponsor of the bill? Assemblyman
Daniel O’Donnell, Rosie’s brother.

Maybe Islam isn’t as popular as we thought – according to the Washington
Times this week, membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) has declined more than 90% since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

From a membership of 29,000 in 2000 to less than 1,700 in 2006, is not
the mark of success. It is also reported that the income from dues dropped
from $732,000 in 2000 to $58,750 last year -- even after the annual dues
rate was raised from $25 to $35. This is a trend we should encourage to

A comment on Nancy Pelosi’s claim of God’s blessing: Furthering
their attack on bioethics, she and her colleagues passed legislation for
the second time this session that would increase the taxpayer funding of
human embryonic stem cell experimentation. Nancy invoked God's
blessing on the stem cell bill's passage, saying, "Science is a gift of
God to all of us, and science has taken us to a place that
is biblical in its power to cure... And that is embryonic stem cell
research." Tony Perkins of Family Research Council commented:
“Of course, it's complete nonsense to suggest that God wants us to
destroy human embryos, since they are His own creation. This is just
the latest example of the Left's aggressive efforts to lure the unsuspecting
into supporting immoral and unethical policies which are whitewashed with
spiritual words and phrases.” So much for Nancy’s venture into the spiritual

A well-worded opinion from an unexpected source: "Doing the Lord's work
is a thread that runs through our politics since the very beginning. . .it puts
the lie to the notion that separation of church and state in America means
somehow that faith should have no role in public life." - U.S. Senator Barack
Obama. A hint that appeals to religious convictions will play a role in next
year’s election.

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Granted that I am not privy to the inner dealings of the Liberty Church but how on earth (or the kingdom of heaven for this matter) can a church which puts into power the son of her former minister not be labelled as a either a kingdom of man or a pulpit where nepotism is at least apparent or maybe even clearly a character trait. Maybe they should change their name to the "Falwell Memorial Family Fellowship."
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