Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Jerry Falwell goes to meet the Lord

The passing of a man

It is with some sadness that one learns of the death of Reverend Jerry Falwell, bastion of the religious right, co-founder/chancellor of Liberty University and consummate detractor of liberal America.

The Reverend was found unconscious in his office this morning and could not be revived till declared death in hospital later on.

Whilst the Reverend did much to gather together those of a like mind ranging from Christian fundamentalism to the evangelical strands, he was no doubt a strong polarising influence in America, making pronouncements that really got noticed and in some cases caused great embarrassment to committed Christians in general.

In all, it showed that great "Men of God" were fallible, able to make a ridiculous clot of themselves, hopefully learning a lesson of humility in the process and doing better after.

We be fallible men

Many would write about the great man, but at death there is also a reckoning, a review of the deeds of a man, no evil would be spoken of him, but the truth should find airing for this one occasion.

One issue that faces the world we live in today is Global Warming, there is sufficient scientific study leading to the impression that this phenomenon is fuelled by the activities of man on earth. Now, I am concerned for the way this concept is being hijacked by all sorts of inimical interests, their work is creating a situation where reasonable people are becoming sceptical of the realities we face.

Global Warming debunked

Reverend Falwell was no signatory to the document written by 86 leaders of the religious right who became to avow that man's stewardship of the earth is in need of responsible use of the earth's means and resources. The Reverend simply parlayed this as a liberal conspiracy to subject the world to a globalised kind of government.

It was worrisome to see that no student in a class at Liberty University when asked yesterday on a BBC TV review on the evangelical schism around the issue showed any concern for Global Warming, however remote or as the Reverend said, there was no conclusive scientific evidence about Global Warming.

I wish it were conclusive, but when did any knowledge of our world become conclusive? We have always been in a continual learning process, gaining new insight and knowledge to understand things better, the man could have been a better leader in this regard.

The lost love message

There is no telling the pulpit-bashing and vituperation meted out against the homosexual community, the extent of that absurdity was evident when he said the purple handbag of Tinky Winky in the much calming toddler's television programme TeleTubbies was a depiction of homosexuality.

No stranger to controversy, he later apologised for calling Mohammed a terrorist and his view of September the 11th was that gays, atheists, civil-rights activists and legal abortions in the US had angered God and "helped this happen".

For an evangelist and preacher, one can simply say it was an admission of failure because this same man who made provision for women in crises pregnancies could have extended his brotherly kindness to welcoming the gays, atheists, activists and abortionists into the church to find the embrace of God's love that I would suppose he preached and counselled on.

Shirking the grand responsibility

The irony should not be lost on anyone when II Chronicles 7:14 lays the responsibility of peace in our lands at the behest of those who follow Him rather than those who do not.

II Chronicles 7:14 - if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

However, he did apologise, but let it not be said that the great man failed to get the import of this message, there are many great good works he did for the Christian community and they will be lauded as his life is celebrated.

So, we mourn the passing of a great man of God, imperfect as he was and we all are, he has done his bit, it is now our turn to leave nothing to chance of the things that might be written of us when we are gone.

Rest in peace - Reverend Dr. Jerry Falwell.

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