Jerry Falwell Jr, Liberty University, and A Hateful Christianity Off the Rails

Fallwell
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Jesus

On Friday, Jerry Falwell Jr, the President of Liberty University (our nation’s largest and influential such institution), spoke the following words during the school’s convocation, to wild cheers and applause:

If some of those people in that community center had what I have in my back pocket right now …Is it illegal to pull it out? I don’t know…
I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them.

Now, let’s put aside for a moment that Falwell’s remarks are the kind of lazy, incendiary, irresponsible language that perpetuate uninformed stereotypes, incite unnecessary fear, and make violence against Muslims seem noble and justified—hate speech of the most grievous kind.

And let’s not talk about the fact that if he truly wanted to somehow lift up gun ownership as a means of protecting innocent Americans from violence by bad people, he should have name dropped white Christians, as they account for far more religiously motivated mass murders in our country than anyone, and it ain’t even close. (In most cases of bloody domestic terrorism using firearms, Falwell’s kind are the bad guy, not Islamic extremists.)

Yet even if these things were not part of the equation, Falwell’s vile comments, their warm reception in the crowd, and the subsequent social media defense from other believers, illustrate just how far American Christianity has drifted from the namesake of our faith.

There’s a sad, pathetic irony at play when the loudest, most brazen gun advocates, are those whose faith tradition rests solely on the shoulders of a man who allowed himself to be unjustly beaten, tortured, and executed; who never used his power to do anything but heal and feed and bring peace.

If we can no longer see this as a profound disconnect, if we no longer see the massive chasm between the two, we are simply devoted to worshiping a God of our own design, one who caters to our fears and preferences; a militant, white Jesus made in our own angry image—most certainly not the one from the Gospels.

Falwell and so many white Evangelicals like him have existed so long in a cloistered religious bubble, hunkered down in a fear-filled bunker perpetually preaching to their own hateful choir, that they’ve lost any perspective on the Christ they’re supposed to be living for, reflecting, and sharing with the world.

They have gone so fully off the rails as an institution that Jesus no longer seems the primary concern. His actual life, ministry, mission, and manner are inconsequential and frankly bad for business, because they are based on faith that transcends fear, on gentleness in the face of oppression, on benevolence as a response to violence. These are counterintuitive, countercultural virtues born out of a grassroots movement that soundly rejected power and aggression, and they all fly straight into the face of the thing Falwell and those like him have built: a perpetually angry, privileged faith forever in search of more real estate and greater dominance.

As a result, they no longer seem to care whether or not they are emulating or honoring Jesus, just capitalizing on his name recognition. They have veered wildly from the plot and either they can’t or refuse to see it.

Liberty University should be embarrassed of their President’s glorification of violence.
Falwell should be disciplined.
He should apologize to the Muslim community.
He should apologize to the Christian community.
He should repent earnestly.
Liberty University students should fully condemn his statements.
High profile Christians should call him out.
The Evangelical Church in America should hold his rear end to the fire.

But chances are none of these things will happen, because there’s too much money flowing through the system, too many profitable political fornications at risk, too many young ministry minds to be poisoned, and too much fear too be leveraged and manipulated in the pews.

Jesus deserves far better than this. 

He deserves to be accurately represented in the world.
He deserves more than the bastardized version of him that people like Falwell are peddling every day.
He deserves to have his compassionate, loving, open-hearted voice elevated above the vicious spitting bile of angry white men with powerful pulpits.

We deserve better too.

Friends, refuse to be fooled by people like Falwell: this is not Christianity by any meaningful definition.
It is not Good News.

It is not Jesus.
It is not love.

Don’t settle for this hateful faith anymore.

Peacemakers, be heard.

 

393 thoughts on “Jerry Falwell Jr, Liberty University, and A Hateful Christianity Off the Rails

    • If a leader of any community of Christ tells you that guns are needed, you might want to question why you are listening and agreeing.
      Thank you John for having enough strength to confront a fear much greater than death, the irrational preaching of those who claim to be the representatives of Jesus.

      • Apparently you have never been on the receiving end. We are not called to be doormats nor sheep to be slaughtered. Follow your reasoning and you ought not to lock your doors or protect your family. You label this as fear, but the emotion that God gave us is to serve us in the right circumstances. Commonsense that God gave us also says to act in protection of those who would do harm.

    • Awesome John! My opinion is that the world should be moving towards a total ban on the manufacture of guns and weapons of mass destruction/death. If they don’t exist at all then no one can get their hands on them. Until this is achieved then the path that Jesus set forth will never be realized. To all those who will come up with the argument that guns should continue to be produced I ask you this – would you want guns to exist in heaven? If not, then why should they be tolerated on earth?

    • Charlie Riverman Bergeron: For your information … Christ actually said to sell your cloak and buy/pick up a sword! While Christ may not have fought back he didn’t expect his followers to allow themselves to be slaughtered… if you think so you’re sadly mistaken! Educate yourself!

      • Commentators who have actually studied this do not believe Luke 22:36 overturns the many times Jesus urged his followers to turn the other cheek and not resist evil when confronted by violence during his Sermon on the Mount and years of ministry. They show when the passage is taken in context (Luke 22:36-38), Jesus is also aware of fulfilling prophecy and makes a surprising statement that two swords are “enough.”

        He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.
        — Gospel of Luke 22:36-38, NIV

        Ellul, Yoder and Archie Penner claim that two swords could not possibly have been “enough” to defend Jesus from his pending arrest, trial and execution, so their sole purpose must have been Jesus’ wish to fulfill a prophecy (Isaiah 53:9-12). As Ellul explains:

        The further comment of Jesus explains in part the surprising statement, for he says: “It is necessary that the prophecy be fulfilled according to which I would be put in the ranks of criminals” (Luke 22:36-37). The idea of fighting with just two swords is ridiculous. The swords are enough, however, to justify the accusation that Jesus is the head of a band of brigands. We have to note here that Jesus is consciously fulfilling prophecy. If he were not the saying would make no sense.

        This theory is further substantiated by Peter when Peter draws one of the swords a few hours later at Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, slashing the ear of Malchus, one of the priests’ servants, and Jesus rebukes him saying: “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”(Matthew 26:52)

    • The article is not about Jesus, nor about guns, nor about religion, though it seems to put these logs on the fire of emotion. People are dead. People were shot dead by jihad terrorists, as far as the FBI is concerned. What is the relationship between people who shoot others dead and those shot? Were those shot dead, bad people? What is a bad person? What is a good person? I only know what a dead person is and there are 14 of them. At Christmas time and Channukah, and Kwanzaa and more. There is nothing wrong with being ready to answer someone shooting bullets at you with a bullet in return, if you can and if you must. Gun control? Not relevant or effective. Balance of power is. Self protection is.

    • You are dead wrong and you fail to understand what Falwell is saying. Then you immediately attack him with everything you think is wrong with the white church? That’s ignorant and disgusting.

      We can debate whether Christians should use guns whenever, but Falwell isn’t preaching hate. Jerry Falwell Jr. doesn’t even preach. He speaks like 3-4 times a month for maybe 3 minutes.

      He’s referencing THOSE Muslims, as in the Islamic terrorists in California specifically. The TWO. NOT Muslims in general.

      Attack fear mongers, white people, gun-owners, and hate-preachers all you like but LISTEN to what someone actually says before attacking and defaming them with your ignorance.

      • 2 Timothy 2:23 “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” And this IS a stupid argument, as anyone with an ounce of common sense can see. This is equivalent to “race-baiting” only it’s “religion-baiting” and has generated a great deal of attention and discussion which was probably the intent of the author whom I shall avoid like the plague from now on. Protect yourself and your loved ones, patriots.

        • “Protect yourself and your loved ones, patriots.”

          My faith means more to me than the country I happen to have been born in. You must have a pretty weak faith to think a gun can protect you. It can’t.

          “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

          Matthew 10:28

          “The Lord is my strength and my shield. ”

          Psalm 28:7

          I don’t need a gun.

    • Pure idiocy at work from the pulpit. He is a hate monger and has helped create an environment where people feel comfortable overtly demonizing others in public whereas it used to be hidden behind closed doors in whispers. He should be ashamed of himself. He is an embarrassment to the profession.

    • Sadly, I thought you were a voice of reason. Yet you just have another vitriol that leads to more polarized rhetoric. Shame on you. I’m finished with your diatribes.

      • Mr. Pavlovitz is right. Jesus, with all the power of G-d within, never once used it in response. If you believe that Jesus was the Christ, one and indivisible of G-d, then you must accept that truth. Jesus never fought back. He let them curse him, whip him, nail them to their tree, to prove the point. Jesus only ever counseled, healed, fed, and brought peace, which was the whole point. Beat me, whip me, nail me to your tree but I will not yield to violence, I only yield to love and grace and compassion.

      • And you are part of the problem if that is what you have taken from this emotional yet accurate article. Go hug your gun while your society continues to erode – history will show this period as a decline on part with the Roman Empire, and the people speaking out against the kind of hatred eschewed by Falwell are the only ones who will be left to pick up the pieces, or tend to your wounds after the fact. Grow up.

      • If you consider that a diatribe, you are so far gone to the dark side it’s not even remotely worth trying to bring you back. I am not remotely joking. I am an evangelical Christian who passionately supports the 2nd Amendment and I couldn’t agree more with this very intelligent and non-polemic article.

      • Jerry Falwell, Jr. doesn’t leave much room for faith. John said anyone who is full of fear is not of the truth.
        What about Christ’s Commandment, ” love your enemies”? Throw it out the Bible, too?
        Well, at least Jerry and his followers will not have to ask questions of laying their lives down for their friend, Our Saviour and becoming martyrs.
        How about , blessed is the peacemaker.
        The Bible says that false prophets are like ravenous wolves. Jesus give us the Holy Ghost to help us discern what kind of fruits grow on a tree.
        Mr. Falwell’s tree is a tree whose fruits are bad. How can one say he is a Christian, but preach hatred, fear and basically, don’t entrust your life in God’s Hands, just buy guns.
        Wonder why Jesus rebuked Peter who cut the ear off of a temple guard who was there to arrest him and then perform his final miracle restoring the ear of a man who certainly was not his friend before his fake trial and subsequent flogging and execution?
        Wven the very elect will be led astray according to Scripture.
        Wonder how Mr. Falwell have treated the Samaritan, a Jewish enemy, had they been Jewish and saw him lying there wounded, robbed and naked?

      • “white Christians, as they account for far more religiously motivated mass murders in our country than anyone”

        Just had to get race into this? As well as a patently ignorant and false statement. You show more charity to hate filled extremist Muslims than you do toward your own idiotic peers. One more reason, I could never be a Christian. Whether you are a liberal or conservative Christian, you enjoy devouring your own. This post is just dripping with sanctimonious self righteous twaddle.

      • Read through about 5 idiotic posts, skipped to the bottom ’cause you folk aren’t worth much of my time; neither was this page, honestly.

        ***
        “The Colt Peacemaker (Single Action Army) is a single action revolver. It was designed for the US cavalry by Colt and adopted in 1873, and it was perhaps the most prolific pistol in the Wild West.

        It is sometimes referred to as the Colt .45, and should not be confused with .45 ACP ammunition or the M1911 semi-automatic pistol.”
        —Not my words, ripped from the web; no infringement intended.

        Now that I’ve thoroughly torn your “Not a peacemaker” point to shreds by citing something deemed necessary back in 1873, for much the same reason that Falwell has taken the stance he has; let me burst your bubble on something else..

        Christ allowed Himself to be held ransom for the sins of mankind, He did not volunteer His earthly mother and father, or any other relatives for that matter, to take on the commitment with Him. We, as Christians, are to allow ourselves to be put down so that Christ can raise us up; however, never once have I read where Christ even as much as insinuated that one should let those whom are *loved* and/or less capable of defending themselves be put in any harm that can be prevented.

        On a side note, I will honor your wishes if ever given the chance; in the situation that your life is in jeopardy and I have the ability to contest the outcome, I’ll let you fend for yourself.

    • If a leader of any community of Christ tells you that guns are needed, you might want to question why you are listening and agreeing.
      Thank you John for having enough strength to confront a fear much greater than death, the irrational preaching of those who claim to be the representatives of Jesus.

      • Bill Evans your statement is called a “thought-terminating cliche”. It’s also not true. Many states have CCW, and some open carry, yet we’ve had all these tragedies. Where were the good people with guns? I’m sure their stowed pistol they’ve never been trained to use under serious distress would have saved the day from an assault weapon, and even multiple shooters with an elaborate plan. Or maybe none of them were good people either.

      • Bill Evans There have been incidents where a person with a gun has been stopped without anyone ever pulling a gun….there was the escaped convict who took a lady hostage and she talked him into giving up to the cops, there was college office worker who talked a student down from shooting up a school….
        Then you have the rival biker gangs–one started shooting at the other gang–so the other gang shot back–that worked out good since no one knew who the good guys or bad guys were…..

      • You seem to suggest that legally owning and using a gun is sinful. There is nothing inherently immoral, unethical or sinful about doing so. I agree that when the focus of a spiritual leader is preaching fear and the use of a firearm as some kind of divine directive, that one should engage in some serious discernment about following that leader.

        • If you use your gun against another human being, then yes, it is sinful. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves and even to love our enemies. There is no way that shooting someone is consistent with loving someone.
          If Christians were meant to use weapons to defend themselves, there wouldn’t have been persecution of early Christians. Rather, they would have fought back, and what we now remember as the persecution of early Christians would be just one more of many armed insurrections against Rome. But they did not fight back or resist. They spoke their truth in love, and if they were killed while doing so, or because of doing so, then so be it. They knew they were going to a better place. They knew that they were only pilgrims in this world, just passing through. They were not, like some Christians today, trying to create God’s kingdom on earth. They understood that it is not of this world.

      • There is no fear here or irrational preaching. You need to hear what he is saying. It is about confronting EVIL. If you don’t want to stand against evil then I suggest you and John step up to the plate and sacrifice yourselves and your children and grandchildren first. Let’s see if you believe that that is what Christ calls you to. Go ahead put your actions were your mouth is on this. I doubt you would do it. Problem is Christ did not call us to be pacifists. We are to love others, but to stand again evil.

      • Apparently you have never been on the receiving end. We are not called to be doormats nor sheep to be slaughtered. Follow your reasoning and you ought not to lock your doors or protect your family. You label this as fear, but the emotion that God gave us is to serve us in the right circumstances. Commonsense that God gave us also says to act in protection of those who would do harm.

        • Turn the other cheek, Wayne, I believe that’s pretty clear, even if it doesn’t agree with your desired narrative.

        • Matthew 5
          38 You heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
          39 but I’m telling you not to resist the evil person: but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
          40 And if any one wants to take you to court to take your shirt, let him have your coat, too.
          41 And whoever will compel you to go one mile, go with him two.
          42 Give to the one asking you, and don’t turn away from the one wanting to borrow from you.
          43 you heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor, and you shall hate your enemy:
          44 but I’m telling you, love your enemies, and pray for those persecuting you,
          45 so that you might be sons of your Father who is in heaven: because he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
          46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Aren’t the tax collectors also doing the same thing?
          47 And if you only greet your brethren, what great thing are you doing? Aren’t the Gentiles also doing the same?

    • Jesus never fought back. He let them curse him, whip him, nail them to their tree, to prove the point. Jesus only ever counseled, healed, fed, and brought peace, which was the whole point. Beat me, whip me, nail me to your tree but I will not yield to violence, I only yield to love and grace and compassion. I’m not even Christian and I understand this truth.

      • that’s right Eric. and when the soldiers were coming to get Jesus, Peter cut off one of there ears and Jesus said to put it away and said that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. It’s funny because in front of the united nations there is a man with a sword and a scriptue quoted from Isaiah thats says…they will turn there swords into plowing shields and learn war no more… Isaiah 2:4.. if your looking for the truth…find the religion that refrains from going to war….even at the expense of being thrown into prison for years

      • It is true that Jesus did not fight back, but He knew that the Father’s will was for Him to be the Passover Lamb and die for the sins of the world. He also taught us to “turn the other cheek” when we are struck. I do not find, however, that Jesus taught we are not to defend the helpless against terrorists. There are also examples of people of God defending themselves in the Bible.

        In Luke 22:36, Jesus advised His disciples to take swords along with their other provisions. I think the writer of this blog is just as guilty as anyone for making a political issue out of the situation we are in and use it to attack a group he hates. Each person will have to give an account before God for the words that they speak . Jesus taught that by our words we will be condemned and by our words we will be justified.

        • they took swords with them to guard from wild animals…not to use to kill or protect themselves from harm others…that would totally contradict the whole message of Jesus

      • Sorry Eric, but you are confusing Christ’s initial mission which was to die for the sins of all who would believe with His future judgment. Perhaps you missed the passages where Christ Himself will defeat His enemies with great violence (Revelation 19:11-21). Or the passages where He declares that He will judge ALL humanity and then pass sentence on those who have rejected Him (John 5:21-29).

      • I would start by not assuming everyone of a particular religious belief automatically makes them a terrorist…

      • I definitely do not belong to the ‘turn the other cheek’ crowd, however when someone physically tries to kill or harm you for whatever reason, kill or maim them first.

      • Apparently, They think that we are suppose to turn the other cheek, from what I am hearing. Don’t even think about defending yourself. That idea is considered inhuman in this new age of USA. Where anything goes, except for the idea of being a law abiding citizen that wants to protect what our military fights for every day. Then you are literally tied to the cross for standing up for what you believe.

      • Pray for them. And be ready to die if that is your fate.

        “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

        John 12:25

      • Have faith that God will protect you and and pray for those that are about to kill you that God forgives them for what they are about to do. Clearly you have missed the entire point of Christianity. A religion of PACIFISM. .

    • Awesome John! My opinion is that the world should be moving towards a total ban on the manufacture of guns and weapons of mass destruction/death. If they don’t exist at all then no one can get their hands on them. Until this is achieved then the path that Jesus set forth will never be realized. To all those who will come up with the argument that guns should continue to be produced I ask you this – would you want guns to exist in heaven? If not, then why should they be tolerated on earth?

      • That’s what they have in Canada so they use shovels, hammers, cars, kitchen knifes, bats and others so let’s ban everything. Until Jesus rules we will have sin.

      • If you take away guns, people will use bows and arrows. If you take away bows and arrows, they will use spears and knives. If you take away spears and knives, they will use stones (remember Cain and Abel?). The gun is only a modern tool used to manifest the deep issue of sin that has been present since the Garden. Whether or not any of these things will exist in heaven or not is irrelevant because sin will not exist in heaven. Do I believe I have the right to defend my own life if threatened? According to the constitution, yes. However, as a Christian I believe I am challenged to forego that right and “take up my cross” in a literal sense if necessary. Now, a much more difficult question to answer (and a much more relevant and appropriate question) is: As a Christian, should I use a weapon to defend the lives of others? I hope every Christian would agree that we should be willing to lay down our own lives in the face of persecution. However, we also preach a perpetual and biblical message that human life has value. A Christian’s pro-life belief must extend further than the gestation period. We must value all human life. Bonhoeffer clearly understood that there is a cost that comes with following Christ, but he still took an active role in trying to bring Hitler to justice. We can all agree that we must be willing to lay down our lives for the cause of Christ. The real question here is where do we draw the line between loving our enemies and standing up for the lives of others, both believers and non-believers alike? Yes, Jesus taught love, forgiveness, and self-sacrifice, but let us not ignore the lionhearted truth of the gospel. Jesus came from heaven to crush Satan’s head, destroy sin, and save lives! Let’s not act like the gospel is non-confrontational. While we sing “Silent Night” this month, let us recognize that the incarnation of Christ was a strategic, aggressive drop into enemy territory to rescue lives and to claim eternal victory. We must approach this issue with a complete understanding and recognition of what is at stake.

      • John – We don’t have a total ban on firearms in Canada. We just have sensible gun ownership laws. I, myself, have my license to buy and possess legal firearms. I don’t own any, but I’ve taken the course and passed the background check and have my license.
        While there still may be the odd murder committed by people using shovels, hammers, cars, kitchen knives, and bats – there haven’t been the mass murders that can (and seem to happen so often in the US) and do happen with guns.

      • What? So all violence will end when “guns and weapons of mass destruction/death” are removed? This shows that you have no clue about the evil of the human heart.

        Also, what does having guns in heaven (a place of perfection) have to do with having guns on earth (a place of evil)? Typical foolishness.

    • I don’t own a gun…never have, but I know if someone were pointing a gun at my daughter or grandsons, and I did have one, I would use it in a heartbeat. I can’t believe you wouldn’t do the same if it were one of your children.

      • I do own a gun and I would defend my loved ones, and myself. I don’t think I am strong enough to avoid that sin. I would hope to be forgiven. I was raised a fundamentalist Christian–in the old sense: nonviolence, loving your enemies, despising sin, not the sinner, believing in a Christ who only lost his temper once–with the money-changers. I can’t say that I am devout, or whether I still qualify as a christian–certainly not what the evangelical movement has become. Perhaps it takes one to know one, but to Falwell and his colleagues I have to say “You ain’t no Christian, bruv.”

    • Eric Kamm, I highly suggest you educate yourself on what Christ actually said. Though he may have suffered he didn’t intend for his followers to be victims! He said to sell you cloak and buy a sword to defend yourselves with… (slightly paraphrased but 100% accurate).

    • Charlie Riverman Bergeron: For your information … Christ actually said to sell your cloak and buy/pick up a sword! While Christ may not have fought back he didn’t expect his followers to allow themselves to be slaughtered… if you think so you’re sadly mistaken! Educate yourself!

      • Commentators who have actually studied this do not believe Luke 22:36 overturns the many times Jesus urged his followers to turn the other cheek and not resist evil when confronted by violence during his Sermon on the Mount and years of ministry. They show when the passage is taken in context (Luke 22:36-38), Jesus is also aware of fulfilling prophecy and makes a surprising statement that two swords are “enough.”

        He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.
        — Gospel of Luke 22:36-38, NIV

        Ellul, Yoder and Archie Penner claim that two swords could not possibly have been “enough” to defend Jesus from his pending arrest, trial and execution, so their sole purpose must have been Jesus’ wish to fulfill a prophecy (Isaiah 53:9-12). As Ellul explains:

        The further comment of Jesus explains in part the surprising statement, for he says: “It is necessary that the prophecy be fulfilled according to which I would be put in the ranks of criminals” (Luke 22:36-37). The idea of fighting with just two swords is ridiculous. The swords are enough, however, to justify the accusation that Jesus is the head of a band of brigands. We have to note here that Jesus is consciously fulfilling prophecy. If he were not the saying would make no sense.

        This theory is further substantiated by Peter when Peter draws one of the swords a few hours later at Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, slashing the ear of Malchus, one of the priests’ servants, and Jesus rebukes him saying: “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”(Matthew 26:52)

    • “…he should have name dropped white Evangelicals, as they account for far more religiously motivated mass murders in our country than anyone, and it ain’t even close.”

      That is a diabolical lie if I ever read one. I don’t know what “white” has to do with it, but I know that there have been no incidents of religiously motivated mass murders by Evangelicals.

        • McVeigh was a self-described agnostic, and blowing up the Federal building was an ideological political act, not “religiously motivated.”

          Let me guess. You’re going to add “Jonestown” even though the People’sTemple was a crazy cult with no Evangelical theology at all.
          Let me save you the trouble now.

        • One more thing fella’: Evangelicalism is a loosely connected grouping of people within various denominations. Nonetheless, they share a specific and clear agreement on a definable and coherent theology. Obviously, you have no understanding of that and cannot define the word “Evangelical” accurately.

    • Oh please, by all means Mr. Pavlovitz, do tell us about all these Evangelicals and their “religiously motivated mass murders.” I await eagerly such tales, as I know perfectly well that no such incidents have ever taken place.

      • Fr. Robert Hart, you are sadly and shockingly ignorant about the mass attack events done by “christians” in the name of their version of their religion. Here are just a few we have experienced here in the US:

        – Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church shooting, July 27, 2008
        – The Centennial Olympic Park bombing, July 27, 1996
        – Planned Parenthood bombing, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1994
        – Colorado Springs shooting, Nov. 27th, 2015

        Add in the single murders, murder attempts, bombings, incidents of arson and then entire history of the KKK (a fine “christian” organization) and you have quite the nasty history of the violence perpetrated by radical “christianity”.

    • Saying that white evangilicals are responsible for the majority of mass shootings in the us is a demonstrable lie . Double check your facts .

    • Clearing the Temple grounds where merchants were cheating those who were required to purchase tokens from them is not comparable to shooting people for any reason. It was sanctioned by the sons of Cain, who was a murderer and liar from the beginning. Sanctioned not in their house but God’s Temple.
      Surely had anyone been injured when Jesus drove these crooks from the Temple grounds, I think Scripture would have said so.
      Jesus said if a robber forces you to give him your shirt, give him your coat as well. If he compels you to walk a mile with him, walk with him two.
      A Christian, like Christ has to be willing to say, Not my will but Thy Will be done.
      When anyone watches a football game and there is a player who does something in violation of the game rules, we understand. It’s a game, how could we all play the same game and all of us have different rules?
      I often hear someone say, I have a right to defend my family.
      Yes, you do. But the minute you decide you can make decisions in your life in opposition to Scripture, you have turned around and looked back like Lot’s wife did, pining for your life in the world.
      Christians live in the world but are not of the world.
      The fruits of the world are death.
      Anyone who tries to pass on the fruits of the world to their congregation are passing death to their congregation, those sheep who follow their anti-Christ message.
      You see, Christianity has rules, too. And once you accept Christ as Saviour and become an example for God on earth by doing good works, not only for those we love but also those who are our enemies
      You can not straddle the fence between the new creation you have become and the old creation you were that was bound to perish.
      Revelation speaks to those who call on the Lord and ask, Lord do you remember me?
      Unless you do His Commandments, he will spit you out like lukewarm water and tell you , I never knew you.
      Issiah speaks to a time when believers will accept a lie to be the truth.
      We must not allow our action to turn one lamb away from our Lord.

    • The article is not about Jesus, nor about guns, nor about religion, though it seems to put these logs on the fire of emotion. People are dead. People were shot dead by jihad terrorists, as far as the FBI is concerned. What is the relationship between people who shoot others dead and those shot? Were those shot dead, bad people? What is a bad person? What is a good person? I only know what a dead person is and there are 14 of them. At Christmas time and Channukah, and Kwanzaa and more. There is nothing wrong with being ready to answer someone shooting bullets at you with a bullet in return, if you can and if you must. Gun control? Not relevant or effective. Balance of power is. Self protection is.

    • Are you naive or just an idiot? None of your statements are backed by facts. What world are you living in? Your argument is completely irrelevant. Muslim, Christian, white, black, legal citizen, illegal immigrant, whatever form evil takes, we all have a right to defend ourselves. I, for one, have no qualms with shooting evil, right in the face. I just pray that you get with the program before you become a victim of your ignorance. ((drops mic))

      • (pics up mic) I guess I don’t understand how dead people are not facts for backing an opinion. Dead people are facts around the world and throughout history, killed by irrational religious people and irrational political leaders who just want power over all others so they can play god. Guns are not healthy in the hands of people who believe so radically in god that they will kill others who want to live peacefully yet refuse to bow down to their Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Nero, Hitler, Marx, King, or some Angel. This may be why keeping god out of the constitution, and guns in the constitution is a wise thing. Those are real facts…even the ones that don’t bow down to some imaginary or impotent god. In America…god is out of the constitution. Guns are in. Keep it that way. For peace sake.

        A fact about evil for all to note: Evil only exists as an act. Evil acting people can be killed. Evil is just a word for acts performed by people that are not liked for any reason, by any person. It is also unlikely that one could shoot a mad religious zealot or political ideologist who is attacking in the name of god or utopia in the face because it would be hard to get that close. You would need a bit of practice with the hand gun of your choice and take aim from behind a desk, as you may have to crowd a bit there with other of your endangered friends and family while you hope you stop him and her from killing more of you. Aim well. Your life and those you love may depend on it. On the other hand, if they just strap bombs to themselves and blow up the whole building, then that little pea shooter won’t help. Sorry bout that. Keep alive and happy and secure. Best to you.

    • You are dead wrong and you fail to understand what Falwell is saying. Then you immediately attack him with everything you think is wrong with the white church? That’s ignorant and disgusting.

      We can debate whether Christians should use guns whenever, but Falwell isn’t preaching hate. Jerry Falwell Jr. doesn’t even preach. He speaks like 3-4 times a month for maybe 3 minutes.

      He’s referencing THOSE Muslims, as in the Islamic terrorists in California specifically. The TWO. NOT Muslims in general.

      Attack fear mongers, white people, gun-owners, and hate-preachers all you like but LISTEN to what someone actually says before attacking and defaming them with your ignorance.

    • Melissa, you ask “Where were the good people?” They were they.. but they were disarmed by the government. It was a “gun free zone”, belonging to the county government. It’s California, and urban. In those places Concealed Carry permits are basically unobtainable.Of of those killed was an NRA member, a Messianic Jew, who did what he could to save others, but as I said it was a gun free zone, which means the good people are disarmed. The bad people ignore those things.

      • No, but it *is* glorifying violence to say what Falwell said.

        If he had said, “Protect yourselves and others from murderers” rather than calling out an entire religion and its followers, none of use would be talking about any of this.

        And you already know this, or you wouldn’t have dissembled.

      • 2 Timothy 2:23 “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” And this IS a stupid argument, as anyone with an ounce of common sense can see. This is equivalent to “race-baiting” only it’s “religion-baiting” and has generated a great deal of attention and discussion which was probably the intent of the author whom I shall avoid like the plague from now on. Protect yourself and your loved ones, patriots.

        • I was trying to figure you out, but then the very last word you posted explained the whole thing: “patriots.” It is sad that some people put their patriotism above their Christianity, and even sadder, I think, that some think the two are inextricably linked or even synonymous.

          I’m an American… but my citizenship here is temporary. I am a citizen of another Kingdom, and may be called upon at a moment’s notice to leave here and go live in that Kingdom. If my attachment to this place is too strong, then I, like Lot’s wife, may be overly conflicted about leaving. I want no doubt about where my loyalties lie… they lie first and foremost with the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. And that just doesn’t leave room for uber-patriotism and flag-waving.

    • What a ridiculous diatribe from Mr. Pavlovitz. ” he should have name dropped White Christians as they account for far more religiously motivated mass murders in our country than anyone, and Falwells kind are the bad guy, more so than Islamic extremists.” So the shooting in San Bernardino, the shooting in Chattanooga, TN which killed 5 Marines and the shooters name was Mohammed Youssef Abdulazeez, the Fort Hood Shooting in Texas which took the lives of so many by an avowed Muslim, shouting Allahu al Akbar, the shooting in Aurora, Co. by James Holmes which took 12 lives was all in the name of White Christianity???? The folks who have agreed with this garbage by Mr. Pavlovitz had better start with some critical thinking and hope to God that you do not find yourself without a WEAPON to defend yourself when confronted by Islamic Terror, a sick White person etc @ a Christmas party, a Wal-Mart or any other public venue.

      • In the US constitution, religion is thrown out explicitly. No laws for religion.
        Guns are a fundamental protected right.
        Jesus got it wrong…;again. Mohammad doesn’t give a care about the US Constitution and want Sharia law. Christians demand “God’s law” and don’t care about the no religion clause either.
        First, they will take your guns.
        Then they will put themselves in the white house under the guise of some fantasy of moratlity.
        Leave them. Keep guns. vote secular humanist at best, deist next best, christian if you want slavery to a pastor or priest.

    • Believe me He doesn’t express the real thought of God people. It’s shameful what he said. I too believe he should repent and ask forgiveness from all

  1. What happened to “turn the other cheek,” and “whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.” What happened to the movement whose original leaders were, for the most part, executed by government? Those kind of Christians are still around, and I hang out with them, but it’s looking bleak.

  2. What happened to “turn the other cheek,” and “whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.” What happened to the movement whose original leaders were, for the most part, executed by government? Those kind of Christians are still around, and I hang out with them, but it’s looking bleak.

    • The ones who do that- win eventually by martyrdom- which is a much more awesome weapon than most governments realize.

    • There’s a big difference between someone slapping your face (cheek) and and two people with AR-15s killing people. And those 2 people were not part of the government, they are part of the enemy, they are the devils workers and we are told to not be ignorant of their devices. Obvious the writer of this blog is either ignorant or on the enemy’s side. No ,Jesus didn’t fight back, because his whole reason for coming here was to be crucified, obviously he’s not going to fight them. Yes the others were killed too, but by the government, not some crazed Muslim with a pledge to ISIS. The the way these people think, if they were here then, we’d all be speaking German or Japanese. Y’all can play pansies while the Muslims take over and kill all the Christians, or you can hope Jesus comes back before they come to kill you.

      • I don’t know what to say… except keep reading Matthew chapter 5 over again until you finally understand who Jesus was talking to, who He was talking about, and exactly what He expects us to do and not do.
        “…All who take the sword will perish with the sword.” (Mt. 26:52) You may legitimately substitute AR-15 for sword in this passage. Violence begets violence.

      • “The the way these people think, if they were here then, we’d all be speaking German or Japanese. Y’all can play pansies while the Muslims take over and kill all the Christians, or you can hope Jesus comes back before they come to kill you.”

        I think you really do understand “the way these people think” quite clearly – you’re one of them.

        “Playing pansy” = turning the other cheek, by the way.

  3. The Evangelical Church in America should hold his rear end to the fire.

    This isn’t going to happen because they are one and the same, are they not? It’s really quite sad!!

  4. The Evangelical Church in America should hold his rear end to the fire.

    This isn’t going to happen because they are one and the same, are they not? It’s really quite sad!!

      • He may paint with a broad brush, but the question remains, is he at least part right?! If he is, shouldn’t that be given fair hearing? If it should, then what is the proper reply? That some evangelical have strayed and consider wealth to be of greater value, than life, or worse, wealth has more value than the Gospels and what Jesus taught.

    • Vast generalities are over simplistic and not true no matter who they are referring to whether we are talking “all ” Christians or “all Muslims “or “all” blacks or “all” whites .Some in every group will be guilty of despicable behaviors but never “all ” . All white evangelicals are not reflected by these statements . The diverse group I worship with each week are known for their care for the poor , their sacrificial giving to meet the needs of people around the world and a life style that reflects Godly principles on a daily basis .l am privileged to be counted amongst their number .

  5. I was raised Catholic and now am a Buddhist. I left Catholicism because of ONE very bad (and only) priest in our small town who preached hatred until I finally looked at my mother and said, “I am out of here.” She was older and knew that the priest would be ousted eventually; I was young and went looking for a compassionate religion. I’ve always thought of Jesus as a Boddhisattva, a Buddhist, not a Jew or Christian! Anyway, I read you every day. Thank you for restoring my faith that there are more Christians like my family in the world.

  6. I was raised Catholic and now am a Buddhist. I left Catholicism because of ONE very bad (and only) priest in our small town who preached hatred until I finally looked at my mother and said, “I am out of here.” She was older and knew that the priest would be ousted eventually; I was young and went looking for a compassionate religion. I’ve always thought of Jesus as a Boddhisattva, a Buddhist, not a Jew or Christian! Anyway, I read you every day. Thank you for restoring my faith that there are more Christians like my family in the world.

    • It seems to me that a lot of people do turn to Buddhism because they tend to be seen as the most peaceful and loving religion–I mean, the Dalai Lama seems genuinely happy most of the time. I used to be anti-Christian during my young teenage years because I met a lot of nasty Christians and I couldn’t believe people were claiming to have a Holy Spirit in them while being unable to ever contain their rage and hate. When I was older, I met a couple of truly kind Christians and my opinion became less negative and I bought a Bible (I would agree that Jesus does seem very enlightened). So, from what I’ve seen, it seems to me is that if a person wants someone to see their religion as the right one, they should be as loving as possible because people aren’t used to that and when people ask how that person is so loving, they can say, “Jesus Christ” (or whatever the answer may be). Words are just words and can easily be ignored–actions are a living testimony.

      • Are you trying to deny that Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the light , an no one comes to the Father except by me.” ?????

      • You might want to go read the Bible again. Jesus clearly called for repentance on numerous occasions. Luke 13:3 says “…unless you repent, you too will all perish.” I’m not really sure exactly what you’re trying to say.

      • Robert and Brian, no one is denying what the Bible quotes Jesus saying, but since none of us were actually there to hear it for ourselves, it is reasonable for individuals to interpret scripture in their own unique way. To me, following the way, the truth and the light means living and loving like Jesus did. When people emulate his life of compassion, forgiveness and love for all walks of life, in words and action, then we will know the heart of God. That’s when we discover the kingdom within us. But you don’t have to believe everything word for word, or call yourself a Christian, or fall for eternal threats for not deciphering the word just right, that’s crazy. Just memorizing words without a thought for the deeper meaning, makes no sense to me. It’s cultish. Many non”Christians” emulate the life of Christ sincerely without a single thought to reward. No one of us knows the mind of God and his intentions without the filter of our human flaws. That’s just what I think.

      • To Carmenmelton: To me, following the way, the truth and the light means living and loving like Jesus did. When people emulate his life of compassion, forgiveness and love for all walks of life, in words and action, then we will know the heart of God” Thank you for this…I have been trying to reconcile this verse with the belief that many people out there love God with all their hearts and show it in there hearts without being “born again” Christians. Thank you!

      • Lynn, I disagree with you that we do not need to convert and that Christianity is not mutually exclusive.

        Here is why:
        Jesus told us to repent of going our own way and follow Him. He told us to believe in Him. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.” He also, said, “I am the door. Anyone who tries to enter any other way is a thief and a robber.” He spoke of Peter’s conversion. Throughout the new testament, and the old for that matter, there are two groups of people. Those who trust the God of the Bible and those who do not. There is only One who is God. He is both Creator and Redeemer. He made us and when we were lost in sin, He redeemed us with His own blood.

      • Oh but he did friend! Go read the gospels. He compelled them to turn from their ways. He did show that God is love, so much so that He urged them to turn their hearts to the Truth! Exclusive? Jesus said “I AM HE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME.” Give yourself the greatest gift and read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and ask the Lord to reveal himself to you, and if you sincerely mean it, He’ll do it! You’ll see the word in a whole new way because that’s what happens when we read the word, he reveals himself!

    • Jaltman81, There is no American Church, European Church, Evangelical Church, etc. There is one church just as there is One God. The ‘Church’ is the body of Jesus Christ and while we are not taught to kill, Jesus does not tell us that we are forbidden to defend our families, either. We live in a sinful, violent world and we will face evil. The end will come in only a few months if Christians do not pick up a ‘sword’ and defend others. I wonder if that is really what those who are not Christians want. Perhaps that is the question that we should be asking. If that is what they want, we should not stop with taking guns from Christians. America should stop bombing Syria, withdraw all troops, disband all military and stop fighting ISIS or any other group who wants to take over. It isn’t a situational thing. Self defense is either right or it isn’t.

  7. True, Jesus did not open His mouth and like a lamb He was led to the slaughter, and like a sheep He was silent before its shearers but He was the voluntary sacrifice! Surely you don’t expect us to be defenseless!

  8. True, Jesus did not open His mouth and like a lamb He was led to the slaughter, and like a sheep He was silent before its shearers but He was the voluntary sacrifice! Surely you don’t expect us to be defenseless!

    • @msrhuby If the alternative is to betray the teachings of our Savior, then it shouldn’t be a question. As it is, even if you believe in gun ownership, the right way to fight terrorism is not by doing their work for them by destroying your own freedoms and principles. In daily life, anyone who makes an ends justify the means argument the response should be: if you can’t even live by your faith’s teachings, how can you expect that from anyone else.

    • Jesus expected you to be. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” There is only life through Jesus. Jesus expected people to deny themselves and take up the cross, to expect crucifixion.

  9. Wow. I am surprised by the judgements here. I am not a gun owner but was taught by the bible to be prudent. Comparing Falwell to all evangelicals js unfair at best.

    • May it’s not a fair comparison. But how many follow young Falwell? The point is that young Falwell’s preaching, is antithetical to what Jesus taught, how he lived, and how he died.

  10. Hello, John. I am a missionary in Honduras. I follow your posts. I don’t know whether you believe that such ministries still exist today, but it is obvious that you have what might be called the “mantel of a prophet” to this generation, inside and outside the church.

    I follow your posts, and do so much appreciate them. There is so much wrong with the church today. There is, however, so much right with Christians today.

    Lately I get the impression that the burden of “prophet-hood” is weighing heavily on you. I can understand this. I feel along with you the great burden of seeing the great trauma on mankind, and the feeble and unfeeling stance of that which calls itself the Church.

    I want to invite you to come spend some time with me in Honduras. I live in a small village in the mountains above the city of La Ceiba. My purpose in inviting you is to give you a respite from the burden you carry. If you will visit me, I will afford you a time of refreshing spiritually. Here you will spend time at the river. In fact, I will throw you into the river. You will be surrounded by mountains, forest, simple people. You will have time to rest in the Lord.

    With your responsibilities, your congregation, your blog, all that, probably you will not feel you can come away for a while. Still, I offer this to you. I greatly admire you, appreciate you, and know by my own experience that which you feel and express in your posts.

    God bless you, my brother. We’ve not met, but I feel joined with you as two hearts beating as one.

    The other John

  11. Reblogged this on darren's thinking and commented:
    “There’s a sad, pathetic irony at play when the loudest, most brazen gun advocates, are those whose faith tradition rests solely on the shoulders of a man who allowed himself to be unjustly beaten, tortured, and executed; who never used his power to do anything but heal and feed and bring peace.
    If we can no longer see this as a profound disconnect, if we no longer see the massive chasm between the two, we are simply devoted to worshiping a God of our own design, one who caters to our fears and preferences; a militant, white Jesus made in our own angry image—most certainly not the one from the Gospels.”
    – John Pavlovitz

  12. Reblogged this on darren's thinking and commented:
    “There’s a sad, pathetic irony at play when the loudest, most brazen gun advocates, are those whose faith tradition rests solely on the shoulders of a man who allowed himself to be unjustly beaten, tortured, and executed; who never used his power to do anything but heal and feed and bring peace.
    If we can no longer see this as a profound disconnect, if we no longer see the massive chasm between the two, we are simply devoted to worshiping a God of our own design, one who caters to our fears and preferences; a militant, white Jesus made in our own angry image—most certainly not the one from the Gospels.”
    – John Pavlovitz

  13. For me the biggest objection I have to the sort of ideas I see from the Religious Right is that the requirements of God don’t have escape clauses. How we treat others is not a question of their own worth but of demonstrating our love to God by acting in a manner pleasing to him. A situation where we are tempted to lie or engage in other wrong behavior is not a situation where “God will understand” if you just staunchly assert our motives; they are a sign of the failure our own wisdom and understanding.

  14. For me the biggest objection I have to the sort of ideas I see from the Religious Right is that the requirements of God don’t have escape clauses. How we treat others is not a question of their own worth but of demonstrating our love to God by acting in a manner pleasing to him. A situation where we are tempted to lie or engage in other wrong behavior is not a situation where “God will understand” if you just staunchly assert our motives; they are a sign of the failure our own wisdom and understanding.

  15. Finally someone speaking out against the vile preaching that comes out of so many pulpits. It is disconcerting to see preachers speak hatred in the name of religion. Where is the love for all of humanity? That is the reason I left the church so many years ago. I was a devout Christian for many years and as I look back on it, I was filled with a lot of ill will toward other’s who didn’t believe as I was told they should believe, by my pastor.
    God is LOVE! Love conquers all things! LOVE conquers fear. I certainly didn’t find the love in the four walls of the many churches I attended throughout my life. I am so much better off after leaving the church! Now that is sad, but oh so true!
    Thank you John for speaking the truth once again!

  16. Finally someone speaking out against the vile preaching that comes out of so many pulpits. It is disconcerting to see preachers speak hatred in the name of religion. Where is the love for all of humanity? That is the reason I left the church so many years ago. I was a devout Christian for many years and as I look back on it, I was filled with a lot of ill will toward other’s who didn’t believe as I was told they should believe, by my pastor.
    God is LOVE! Love conquers all things! LOVE conquers fear. I certainly didn’t find the love in the four walls of the many churches I attended throughout my life. I am so much better off after leaving the church! Now that is sad, but oh so true!
    Thank you John for speaking the truth once again!

  17. John
    You should consider that offer from the other John. If you cannot then consider this please: God is still talking to you every day. The voices of those whose actions displease you are loud and strident but His voice will win out if you pay attention.
    We can feel you anxiety and we understand. We feel for you, Take that break, one way or the other.
    Theo

  18. Falwell wants to “end Muslims” with his gun? By what stretch of the imagination is “ending” people consistent with loving them? So his message is that we should end people we view as evil. Jesus, on the other hand, said, “I’m telling you not to resist the evil person: but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. And if any one wants to take you to court to take your shirt, let him have your coat, too. And whoever will compel you to go one mile, go with him two.”
    Falwell’s message is to end those he views as his enemies. But Jesus said, “I’m telling you, love your enemies, and pray for those persecuting you, so that you might be children of your Father who is in heaven: because he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Aren’t the tax collectors also doing the same thing? And if you only greet your brethren, what great thing are you doing? Aren’t the world’s people also doing the same?”

    So I think it’s clear that Falwell’s gospel isn’t the Gospel of Jesus. But no great surprise. His father’s gospel message was also not of God. Although his father is mostly remembered for his anti-gay diatribes, he had made a name for himself long before that. From the 50’s into the 60’s, Falwell, Sr., preached that racial integration was against God, as as interracial marriage. He was a staunch segregationist. So naturally, he did not approve of non-whites attending church with whites. Which would have left Jesus at a distinct disadvantage had he visited Falwell’s church, since Jesus wasn’t the blue-eyed European people like to imagine He was. But no problem… the color of Jesus’ skin would have been the least of His problems with Falwell. His unconditional love, tolerance, concern for the poor and disenfranchised… all of these would have put him at odds with old Jerry, so the Jesus of the scripture wouldn’t have been welcome at Thomas Rd. Baptist Church even if He had been white!

    • Patrick in Michigan, you are no different than Falwell my friend! You just lumped every Baptist Christian into one group and spewed hatred.

        • Falwell, on NO issue, is a very wise man, just as his father wasn’t. He uses fear and hatred to garner a support base for himself and to turn people against each other.
          Liberals are mental cases? Shall we review the liberal vs. conservative record?
          Abolition of slavery: liberals supported, conservatives opposed
          Citizenship for former slaves: liberals supported, conservatives opposed
          Women’s suffrage: liberals supported, conservatives opposed
          Integration: liberals supported, conservatives opposed
          Civil Rights Act of 1964: liberals supported, conservatives opposed

          In fact, historically, in the whole history of this nation, it was liberals who stood for liberty and justice for all, while conservatives resisted, sometimes with bloodshed, any attempt to ensure to minorities the equal rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution. That continues to this day. When one is willing to spend so much effort, so much obsession, so much money, and even resort to violence, to keep minorities from achieving legal and social equality, that, to me, seems like mental illness… like anti-social, even sociopathic, behavior.

      • John U, Rev. Carey’s reply to your concerning the record of liberals and conservatives on human rights issues is simply wrong on every point. Abolition of Slavery was Republican led (ever heard of Abe Lincoln?). 14th and 15th Amendments (Republican passed with exactly zero Democrat votes). Civil Rights act of 1875 (Republican led). Civil Rights Act of 1957 – crippled by LBJ, signed by Ike. Civil Rights Act of 1964 – passed with more Republican votes than Democrat votes. Makes on wonder, is this misrepresentation of history due to simple ignorance or an attempt to willfully mislead the unsuspecting.

        • I can’t decide if you are just ignorant of history, or delusional. In the 19th century and up until the mid 1960s at least, Republicans were the liberals party. Democrats were the conservatives. The parties switched ideologies in the 60s. Thus, every single thing I said was true: Liberals stood for the rights of minorities. Conservatives opposed every step toward equality along the way, as they do today.

          • Soooo let me get this straight. You are actually saying that Woodrow Wilson (D) with his expansive Gov’t. was a conservative. Coolidge (R) was actually a liberal. And that FDR (D) was a conservative and the largest social program expansion in US history (the New Deal) was a conservative initiative. Amazing

            • Make it easy on yourself. Don’t try to understand every individual politician and idea. Just grasp the accepted and factual concept that the Republicans who supported the abolition of slavery were liberals, not conservatives. That liberals supported women’s suffrage, and conservatives opposed it. That the Republicans who supported the Civil Rights Act were liberals, which is the catalyst that caused the parties to switch ideologies. Especially southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) fled the Democratic Party because it made a stand for equality, and Republicans who supported it wound up becoming Democrats. Since that time, it has consistently been the Republicans opposing equality and the Democrats supporting it. But it still comes down to the same thing: Conservatives oppose what is good for all people, wanting only what is good for them, whereas liberals want what is good for everyone. Conservatives, who in this nation have historically been white males, support only the interests of white males, and more recently, only the interests of white males with money. Only liberals have every stood for the rights of minorities.
              That remains the fact, no matter how deep you push your head in the sand.

    • Pretty sure Jesus never said “screw you” to anyone, brother.

      But continue to hide behind your “righteous anger” while placing your love of country (a false god) over your love of Christ.

  19. ““Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

  20. I see two sides in this issue, and I see errors in both of them.

    On one side is JF Jr and what seems like the majority of American Protestant Christians. This side has traded the Gospel for politics. They seem to believe that we do battle flesh and blood, and that the hope for all mankind is for America to quit sinning, and to get the “right” person in the presidential office. When those in ministry spend more of their time talking about politics than about the Good News (I see more of this everyday), then things have horribly derailed.

    On the other side are those who seem to think that Jesus is our example, and that peace and salvation come by trying our best to behave like Jesus (WWJD). I feel like this side has also confused being a servant with being a doormat. There is a difference.

    I am a believer in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, …and I like to keep a handgun nearby.
    I am not required to be a doormat or a martyr to receive life eternal and abundant. Jesus is my atoning sacrifice, not the bar of achievement that I must meet. I can be a believer and still defend myself and my loved ones.
    At the same time, I believe that the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with politics. I believe that the focus of western protestant evangelical christianlty is mistakenly off of Jesus, and on politics. Hate speech and fear mongering only do damage and exacerbate the problems.

    • I agree with your statement! There is a time and place for both. If an evil person was breaking into my home to rape and kill my children, it would be evil of me to not to whatever it took to protect them. To simply say “well we just trust God” is a naive and rather apathetic remark. If that’s the case, it should be applied across the board – no immunizations, seat belts, antibiotics, safety checks at airports, regulations for electrical wires in homes… We do those things because we trust God – AND we realize that He gave us brains and common sense in certain situations.

      What Falwell said was wrong and deeply regrettable. Someone with his platform should be FAR more careful about what he says. It only adds to the fear and rhetoric.
      Like you said, the hate speech and fear ongoing only exacerbate and damage.

      In reference to not being a doormat. People seem to forget that the God we serve also opened the ground to swallow evil people whole, crashed the sea onto thousands of Egyptian men, overturned tables in the temple, and that some day our loving God will annihilate evil. This will NOT be a pretty sight! It will be horrifying – but until that time, when evil is destroyed for good, and until every tear is wiped away, we both trust God, and protect good from evil.
      The lines are too often crossed

      People can be naively altruistic, and unhinged in the other way as well.

  21. I see two sides in this issue, and I see errors in both of them.

    On one side is JF Jr and what seems like the majority of American Protestant Christians. This side has traded the Gospel for politics. They seem to believe that we do battle flesh and blood, and that the hope for all mankind is for America to quit sinning, and to get the “right” person in the presidential office. When those in ministry spend more of their time talking about politics than about the Good News (I see more of this everyday), then things have horribly derailed.

    On the other side are those who seem to think that Jesus is our example, and that peace and salvation come by trying our best to behave like Jesus (WWJD). I feel like this side has also confused being a servant with being a doormat. There is a difference.

    I am a believer in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, …and I like to keep a handgun nearby.
    I am not required to be a doormat or a martyr to receive life eternal and abundant. Jesus is my atoning sacrifice, not the bar of achievement that I must meet. I can be a believer and still defend myself and my loved ones.
    At the same time, I believe that the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with politics. I believe that the focus of western protestant evangelical christianlty is mistakenly off of Jesus, and on politics. Hate speech and fear mongering only do damage and exacerbate the problems.

    • I agree with your statement! There is a time and place for both. If an evil person was breaking into my home to rape and kill my children, it would be evil of me to not to whatever it took to protect them. To simply say “well we just trust God” is a naive and rather apathetic remark. If that’s the case, it should be applied across the board – no immunizations, seat belts, antibiotics, safety checks at airports, regulations for electrical wires in homes… We do those things because we trust God – AND we realize that He gave us brains and common sense in certain situations.

      What Falwell said was wrong and deeply regrettable. Someone with his platform should be FAR more careful about what he says. It only adds to the fear and rhetoric.
      Like you said, the hate speech and fear ongoing only exacerbate and damage.

      In reference to not being a doormat. People seem to forget that the God we serve also opened the ground to swallow evil people whole, crashed the sea onto thousands of Egyptian men, overturned tables in the temple, and that some day our loving God will annihilate evil. This will NOT be a pretty sight! It will be horrifying – but until that time, when evil is destroyed for good, and until every tear is wiped away, we both trust God, and protect good from evil.
      The lines are too often crossed

      People can be naively altruistic, and unhinged in the other way as well.

  22. wow, someone has been grinding an axe against Liberty U and the Falwells for some time. Might want to take a breath. And no, no one is going to comply with those idiotic demands.

    Falwell made an awkwardly sounding statement, obviously not what he meant. Duh.

    You come off as an politically opportunistic hack.

        • Nicely edited and taken out of context. Full quote:
          Obama: You’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my “Muslim faith” and you’re absolutely right that that has not …
          Stephanopoulos (interrupting): Your Christian faith.
          Obama: My Christian faith. Well, what I’m saying …
          Stephanopoulos (interrupting): Connections, right.
          Obama (continuing) is that he hasn’t suggested that I’m a Muslim, and I think that his campaign upper echelons have not either. What I think is fair to say is that coming out of the Republican camp, there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I’m not what who I say I am when it comes to my faith, something which I find deeply offensive, and that has been going on for a pretty long time.

          He was not accidentally confessing to being a Muslim, despite some people’s attempts to insist he was.

  23. What?

    I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them.

    What?

    What the #^{& did this idiot just say?

    I’m sorry John, this is not just . . . lazy, incendiary, irresponsible language. That statement is beyond reproach – and for someone who is supposed to be a Christian leader . . . ?

    My heart goes out to all of my Muslim friends.

    I hurt for you.

    For the I don’t know how many-ith time this week, I am utterly speechless.

    How do we heal this?

    • “How do we heal this?”

      You’ve answered your own question, and you’re helping the healing, with this:

      “My heart goes out to all of my Muslim friends.

      I hurt for you.”

      Love wins. It always wins. That is how we heal. With love, and sharing the pain of others. Helping to carry their burdens.

      That is awesome, UUMjeff. <3

  24. Falwell is claiming he was just talking about the two Muslims who supposedly carried how Wed’s attack (and there is even controversy on that). But if you look at the sentence construction of his statement, it is very clear what he was saying. He wasn’t addressing the single incident in San Bernandino. He mixes tenses…the first half of the statement does not correspond to the second half at all. He’s staying that he *always* has thought that more people should carry guns …to end Muslims. Then in the second part of the sentence, he tries to conditionalize it by saying *those Muslims before they walked in*…meaning the SB shooters.

    I don’t know the names for each tense but the first tense “I have always thought”…vs. the second half which indicates a reaction to a specific dated incident (which should have said “we could *have* ended…) do not mesh. In other words, he changed his thought in mid-sentence because he realized that, if carried to conclusion…his first statement would be that he always thought it would be a good idea to carry guns to end Muslims. Period….not just terrorist Islamists…but all Muslims.

    This is what many Christians really think today. I read a book by Tim LaHaye years ago that talked about how the Muslims want to take over and convert or kill everyone, including Christians. He was referring to *all” Muslims….with that kind of indoctrination, no wonder Christians hate Muslims so much.

  25. I think there’s a need to be rational about both sides of the argument. If there is really no place for defending oneself as a Christian, then would you also say that America need not have military forces? As for your pacifism, God in the Old Testament commands a great deal of violence, not just to defend against enemies, but also to acts of aggression such as taking the promised land from its incumbents. Even in the Gospels, Jesus acts violently in the temple, turning over tables – was He just having a bad day? If you insist on this Christian pacifist view, then what would you have the police do when they arrive at a mass shooting? Should they let it continue, or intervene? And then what? Is it “Christian” for the police to shoot to prevent murder, but not for a citizen?
    On one hand, perhaps the “Mutually Assured Destruction” principle should be extended from nuclear weapons to hand held weapons. If all Americans were licensed, trained and armed, perhaps bad guys would think twice before attacking. You couldn’t get safer than that.
    On the other hand, If you could remove the guns from American culture, that might make people safer.
    Meanwhile, with only 2% of terrorist attacks coming from Islamic extremists, you have to assume that Jerry works for the same boss – the daily duty is to build the extremist narrative – that the West wants to destroy its Muslim neighbours.
    In the UK, it’s against the law to incite hatred publicly, if such a law exists in the USA, there’s apparently a good case to silence this “hate preacher”.

  26. I think there’s a need to be rational about both sides of the argument. If there is really no place for defending oneself as a Christian, then would you also say that America need not have military forces? As for your pacifism, God in the Old Testament commands a great deal of violence, not just to defend against enemies, but also to acts of aggression such as taking the promised land from its incumbents. Even in the Gospels, Jesus acts violently in the temple, turning over tables – was He just having a bad day? If you insist on this Christian pacifist view, then what would you have the police do when they arrive at a mass shooting? Should they let it continue, or intervene? And then what? Is it “Christian” for the police to shoot to prevent murder, but not for a citizen?
    On one hand, perhaps the “Mutually Assured Destruction” principle should be extended from nuclear weapons to hand held weapons. If all Americans were licensed, trained and armed, perhaps bad guys would think twice before attacking. You couldn’t get safer than that.
    On the other hand, If you could remove the guns from American culture, that might make people safer.
    Meanwhile, with only 2% of terrorist attacks coming from Islamic extremists, you have to assume that Jerry works for the same boss – the daily duty is to build the extremist narrative – that the West wants to destroy its Muslim neighbours.
    In the UK, it’s against the law to incite hatred publicly, if such a law exists in the USA, there’s apparently a good case to silence this “hate preacher”.

  27. This is the strangest post for two main reasons: Not once does John criticize the cold-blooded murderers who are responsible for the deaths of twelve Americans. Nope. He criticizes those who would wish to protect themselves.

    Then John, and almost every person replying, erroneously says that Christians should just be lambs to the slaughter because that’s what Jesus would do. Anyone who believes that knows only about a teaspoon of scripture and overlooks that Jesus fashioned a whip and drove the merchants out of the temple. He took back what belonged to Him and He fiercely guarded it. And later in Revalations we see that he will come to make war.

    You may or may not like that image of Jesus, but at least it is more accurate than the one people on this blog are trying to peddle as reasons for people to allow themselves to be killed… Again, that is such a ridiculous notion.

    • Completely wrong Michael. We are not Christ. “Vengeance is mine”. No early follower of Christ ever fought back. Do not resist the evil man but turn the other cheek. Love your enemies.

      Perhaps you need to read more of what Jesus actually said?

    • You may wish to go back and re-read what you typed. Jesus drove MERCHANTS out of the temple. Not Muslims. Not non-believers. Not pacifists. MERCHANTS.

      Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but to the best of my knowledge, one cannot grow guns like tomatoes. A few enterprising folks may have the engineering and welding skills to craft their own. But by and large, most folk would get their weapons from – you guessed it – MERCHANTS. I wonder how Jesus would feel about those merchants who manufacture and sell tools of death, which are used to kill in his name by so-called “Christian” extremists, just as often as by Muslim extremists? One in fact, a young man named Dylann Roof, did so while IN Jesus’ “temple.”

      Thou shalt not kill. And while Jesus may have hided a few merchants, he didn’t kill them.

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  29. Since when did making innocent people helpless, make bad people harmless. Virginia ‘ s current governor is a statist – elitist operative.

  30. If the president of a primarily Muslim University recommended that all of its students should carry a weapon in their back pocket, Christians would FLIP OUT! Politicians make a big deal about insisting that Muslims denounce violence in the name of their
    Religion, and then what do we go ahead and preach? America must stop feeding its appetite for guns and violence.

  31. He is entitled to his opinion… just like you are. Why does everyone assume that Jerry Falwell speaks for all Christians. He doesn’t and nor do you. I don’t like what either of you have said, Jerry Falwell incites hatred with his comments and so are you by replying to them.

  32. A university president could choose to tell students to sign up to volunteer their time with those suffering from violence and injustice, or to spend their time in a concealed weapons class. I see which choice this university president made.

    • If you had watched the entire speech, he also offered assistance and paid tuition to the children’s parents who were killed in California.The students at Liberty University ALL have the option to put their name on a list that at any point when there is a local or universal need, they will be sent on the University’s bill to that location. When the flooding destroyed homes in South Carolina earlier this semester, students on that list dropped all that they were doing (were allowed to miss class without penalty) and were sent to help rebuild homes.

      I say this not out of a heart of argument, but so you know that yes there of course are things you disagree with, but one disagreement does not disqualify an immense of good. Please remember this.

  33. Thank you for this article. The Jerry Falwell Jr’s of the world are scary. Unfortunately, there are way too many of his type. They hide behind the Bible, while preaching fear, anger, and violence.

  34. Thank you for this article. The Jerry Falwell Jr’s of the world are scary. Unfortunately, there are way too many of his type. They hide behind the Bible, while preaching fear, anger, and violence.

  35. The Society of Friends has much to say about the biblical issues. Spend some time with the Quakers. [They will likely say something along the lines of: The bible is not the truth. It is as perfect a reflection of the truth as we have, along with other perfect reflections of the Deity (Tao Te Ching, Koran, Vedas, Collected Works of William Shakespeare, Paradise Lost, The Fibonacci Sequence, &c). Just like you are flesh and blood but the reflection you see in the mirror isn’t you, it’s just a reflection.] As for issues surrounding violence, pacifism IS the way to go if we want violence-free lives in the future. Even the Wiccans know that like begets like. All you have to do is read your history. The violent overthrow of the aristocracy in 18th century France led to the Reign of Terror. The American Revolution leads directly to the War of 1812 and the Civil War, which leads directly to an epidemic of lynchings from which we are still reeling over a century later. In Baltimore, LA, Chicago and all points in between, every time the police kill someone, the populace crackles with the anticipation of further violence. Now look at Ghandi: his movement wanted the British out of India. Using nonviolent means, they succeeded. Yes, it took a while, and there was death and martyrdom and injury to the innocent, and this is the price one pays for actual progress. How do you think the American civil rights movement might have turned out had MLK or his cadre shot back? Certainly that issue is not resolved. But if you want peace, call for justice. No weapons.

    • I think there is need for improvement at Liberty. Start with removing all bigots from opening their mouths in public. As a Christian this offends me.

    • First of all people did shoot back in MLKs day. Condi Rice’s father was part of an armed neighbor hood watch group, that detered the Klan from burning any crosses, or worse, in their neighborhood.

      Secondly, there is evil in the world. Not all, or even most, criminals,and certainly the current crop of Suni and Shia terrorists are not mostly motivated by lack of “Justice”. They are motivated by greed, avarice, and religious fervor. What “injustic there is”, comes from within their own society and religion.

      They will not respond to olive branches when they come to cut off your head.

  36. Evangelicals have not committed any murders any more than Islamics have. Radicals have committed murders, on both sides of the spectrum. You hate that he paints Muslims with a broad brush and then continue to do that to Evangelicals, how is that right? Also; Jesus tore up the marketplace, cast demons into swine causing the swine to dive off a cliff, and cursed a fig tree, causing it to die. He as not a man totally opposed to action when needed. His suffering was not because He was powerless or a pacifist, but because He had to experience God’s wrath in order to pay for our sins. It was not any other kind of social statement.

  37. I always love it when i see the disunity of the so called Christian faith.Those who claim they know the truth and have it, yet they can’t be unified to agree on to much at all. Paul talked about having the unity of the faith.. you guys cant decide weather to go to war or not or bear arms or not or speak in toungue’s or not or healing is for today or not or the prosperity message is ok or not…if homosexualty is ok or not and on and on and on…people in the world are looking at the church’s full of so much hypocrisy and have come to the place they dont believe in God anymore…truth is they do the truth alot of justice by showing that there is light amidst all the darkness…This Falwell guy’s father asked for millions of dollars years ago and claimed if he didnt get it he would die…when are people going to start pulling there head out of the sand and realize who the real Jesus is. Because the reality is every single person is going to have to answer that question… we live in the year 2015 and all time surrounds his life and death… Keep up the good work all you so called christian’s and keep arguing amoungst yourselves so that the true light can shine and lead honest hearted and sincere one’s to the truth where there is unity and love and when Jesus looks down and smiles knowing that the humble one’s are doing his father’s will.

  38. I always love it when i see the disunity of the so called Christian faith.Those who claim they know the truth and have it, yet they can’t be unified to agree on to much at all. Paul talked about having the unity of the faith.. you guys cant decide weather to go to war or not or bear arms or not or speak in toungue’s or not or healing is for today or not or the prosperity message is ok or not…if homosexualty is ok or not and on and on and on…people in the world are looking at the church’s full of so much hypocrisy and have come to the place they dont believe in God anymore…truth is they do the truth alot of justice by showing that there is light amidst all the darkness…This Falwell guy’s father asked for millions of dollars years ago and claimed if he didnt get it he would die…when are people going to start pulling there head out of the sand and realize who the real Jesus is. Because the reality is every single person is going to have to answer that question… we live in the year 2015 and all time surrounds his life and death… Keep up the good work all you so called christian’s and keep arguing amoungst yourselves so that the true light can shine and lead honest hearted and sincere one’s to the truth where there is unity and love and when Jesus looks down and smiles knowing that the humble one’s are doing his father’s will.

  39. I guess my issue with you is that you paint with just as broad a brush as Falwell. ALL white evangelical Christians are the same. You are very political – as he is. Jesus didn’t command his followers to go to Rome, tell them their government was corrupt (which it certainly was). He told us to “Love one another”. Not to love only those who carry the same opinions, political leanings, world view as YOU (or I) think are correct. The Destroyer is just doing his favorite strategy, which is to cause further division and dispute within the Church. Whatever happened to “Work out your own Salvation with fear and trembling”. I think your site just works to encourage believers to leave their local church, to abandon assembling themselves together and for all of us to worry about other’s specks in the eye while we ignore the 2×4 in our own. I believe constant self-examination and comparison to the Life of Jesus Christ as revealed through the whole of the Bible is supposed to be the central theme of a believer’s life. That change must start and continue with ME. Christ wants to move us to righteous action, not self-righteous opinions – from Falwell, you. or me. Again – God be merciful to me a sinner!

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  42. I see falwell jr is following in his revolting and anti-human father’s ugly footsteps.

    shame on him. That kind of talk and behavior is about as unchristian as it gets

    • How are you any better by speaking in such a way about another human being? :Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

  43. John, you will never, I repeat NEVER impact the church by the way you address your “fellow Christians” because you do so yourself with such hatred [which is exactly what you say they do]. I am sitting here in disbelief that you can speak with such bitterness and hatred over an individual who made some flippant comments that you do not agree with. In every single word you write bitterness oozes out from the hurt you have felt from the church that abandoned you.

    I respect your opinions, but I cannot condone the way you speak with such hatred and bitterness over the things you do not agree with. There is no grace in your speech. I believe you can do better; can be better, John. and I pray that you do.

  44. Rev Pavlovitz, thank you for your unambiguous statement regarding your judgment of Rev Falwell. You have displayed a highly developed skill. In addition your astuteness in isogetically assigning blame to a generalized demographic (white evangelicals) is stellar. Thank you also for researching the fact that many mass shootings are carried out be white evangelicals. The high degree of your scholarship leaves so little doubt as to the accuracy of your statement that no fact checking will be necessary.

    I would like to ask two questions. Am I my brother’s keeper? (plaigerized from Cain in Genesis) And, who will order the killing of the bad guys at the battle of Armageddon? I hope the relevance of these queries to your graceful presentation does not tax the mind too much.

    Rev Joseph W Carroll

  45. I understand if you make the personal decision not to defend yourself if threatened. That is between you and the LORD. But are you suggesting the biblical or righteous decision is stand by and watch others murdered?

  46. I feel for Muslim people at this point. I get it now. I mean it has to suck having terrorist people doing things in the name of their religion. Things they would never do and things they feel are so contrary to all they believe. Taking a religion they love and jacking it up as something barely recognizable to them. Killing, justifying the killing and making statements of such hate….

    I feel the same about Christianity now. When high profile people like JF jr. (or Franklin Graham) say things like this and claim Christ i just don’t get it. Are we reading the same bible? Mercy, grace, love are all absent in their sentiments. In their place is a militaristic view that has become all to common in the American Christian church. Lots of references to war and battle can be heard in churches everywhere. “The War on Christmas” “The War on Prayer” “The War on the unborn”. It’s the epitome of arrogance to think we could even be needed by God to “fight” in any battle outside of ones fought exclusively on our knees. He doesn’t need us to defend him, he just wants us to obey.

  47. As my child is on his knees with a gun to his head, I gladly smile in love and watch as his captor pulls the trigger with no resistance from myself. Then I proceeded to walk over my dead sons body and hug the man who just killed him. I then turn the other cheek and offered for him to shoot my wife as well because that’s what a good Christian would do. After she lay deceased I sat down and began to pray for an answer to this situation and…(third gunshot).

    Seriously friends. I can guarantee I wouldn’t stand by. My finger would have already pulled the trigger once or twice. I don’t live in the world with fear, I live in the world with solutions. I don’t kill for killing. You love until you can’t.

    I’m sure when Jesus comes back for the final battle he won’t do anything bad to anyone and everyone will be happy together. Casting people into eternal damnation would t be considered turning the other cheek!? How scandalous of Jesus to think of doing that. Shame on him for enacting that violence.

    • No one is asking you to rejoice over the slaughter of your family. But the moment you pulled the trigger in self-defense, you lowered yourself to become what your “enemy” was going to be: a murderer. So he dies a would-be murderer… and you walk away a murderer. There is no way you can justify that before God when His word teaches you to do the opposite of what you did.

      • Right. So if thugs broke into your home, took your daughters and wife and started raping them in front of you before they killed all of you, AND you had the ability to defend yourself, which meant you had to pull a trigger and potentially kill—you wouldn’t defend yourself or your family? Is THAT what you are saying?

      • I’d be interested to hear your answer to Mr. Timmons’ question. Would you protect the lives of the innocent if it required an act of violence, or would you let them die in order to save your soul? As a father, sacrificing the life of my wife or child in order to ensure I can stand justified before the Lord is not something I could live with.

        Along the same line of thinking, do you believe anyone who has ever taken the life of another human is a murderer? If killing in self defense, or the defense of others is murder, killing in war must also be. Earlier you gave liberals credit for, among other things, abolishing slavery. Surely you are aware of the hundred thousand plus southern soldiers who had to die in order to ultimately accomplish that extremely worthy goal. Were all the Union Army soldiers murderers? How about the allied armies that liberated Europe from the Nazis? Murderers all? Or FDR, who sent our troops off to fight? If you follow your assertion that killing in self defense is murder to its’ logical conclusion, then any president who commits troops to battle is no better than Al Calpone ordering the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

        Not meant as an attack on you. I am genuinely interested in your answer.

        • Would you like me to solve all the world’s problems while I am at it? I don’t have all the answers.

          I know scripture teaches us not to kill. It doesn’t, in the New Testament, contain loopholes allowing us to kill under certain circumstances, such as war or when attacked violently. Are we supposed to live Christianity as originally written, or is this some pick and choose affair, where we only obey the commands that suit us.

          Jesus said, “If you love Me, obey My commandments.” He really only gave two, but gave many, many examples of what obeying those two entailed.

          So you want to know what I would do? I don’t know. I pray that I am never put in such a position. I don’t own a weapon, and even if I did, probably would not use it. The Bible teaches us not to fear those who can kill the body but not the soul.

          And what about the soldiers in all the wars? Are they murderers? Yes. Sorry, but there’s no way around that. That’s what murder is: taking the life of another human being. The question is can they justify murder. I cannot. But I don’t have to answer for the actions of any other man or woman. I cannot, for myself, ever justify or rationalize taking the life of another human being, no matter how evil. (If I were to take the life of someone who was attacking me, not only have I ended his mortal life, but I have also robbed him of any chance to ever repent and find salvation in the future. What’s more important: my personal safety or salvation, whether mine or the potential salvation of the very person who would hurt me or my family? What will matter a hundred years from now?)

          Are there ways to fight evil without violence? Of course. How many people during the Civil War and prior to it risked their lives smuggling slaves out of the south to the northern states or to Canada? Many doing so were Quakers, confirmed pacifists. But they made a difference. How many people in Europe risked their lives to save Jews? Individual Germans, Poles, Dutch, French, etc., and the entire nation of Denmark. They made a difference, even though it meant they, and their families, might have been killed. Those are the examples I would follow.

      • I didn’t ask you to solve all the world’s problems. I asked if you would sacrifice an innocent life, that it is within your power to save, so that you can, in your eyes, stand righteous before the Lord. That you would be willing to do so, and call it love, is something I cannot comprehend. Incidentally, you’d also deny anyone you decline to protect the opportunity to “repent and find salvation in the future,” as you put it. I totally understand if you aren’t willing to take a life to protect your own, but being unwilling to protect others, so you can say “I’m good!” is where you lose me.

      • Rev. Carey I am afraid you are sadly mistaken here. As a Christ-follower, I believe we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. If someone were jogging and happened to come upon the scene of a large man attempting to rape a little girl, should the jogger keep on jogging or should they use whatever force necessary to stop the horrific crime. I think that as a Christian I should place myself in the place of the little girl and use whatever force necessary to save her. That is what I would want someone to do for me. It is a far greater good to preserve 30 lives by ending one evil one. I agree with JFJr.’s remarks. To advocate someone to ‘keep on jogging’ as you and John are evidently suggesting is a very anti-Christian position that flies in the face of the golden rule. This is another prime example of how ideas which are based upon faulty exegesis can have dire consequences.

      • Rev. Carey you sir are waayyy off in your biblical understanding. The biblical prohibition is against murder (ratsakh). This word is never used in association with justified killing such as in self-defense, in the administration of justice (capital punishment) or in war. That sir would be the general term ‘to kill’ (harag), which is not used in the Decalogue.

        • As a former Hebrew teacher, I can tell you that there are a few verbs that mean kill, including ratzach רצח and harag הרג, as well as two forms of the verb מות. I can also tell you there is precious little difference between them. Both ratzach and harag can be translated as murder and as kill.
          Example: Prov. 22:13 – tzarach is used to mean kill. The one killing in this case is a lion. Lions don’t murder; they kill for food.
          In Ezek. 21:22 (this is verse 27 in the Hebrew text), ratzach is used in connection with killing in battle.

          • Killing in an act of justice – the Just One does many times and commands earthly authorities to do as well. The Just One does not murder, thus Capital Punishment is not murder.

            Killing in war – the Lord of Hosts kills in warfare many times and commands His people to do the same. The Lord of Hosts does not murder, thus killing the enemy in warfare is not murder.

            Also, concerning the differentiation between ratsach and harag, the NT contributes in the understanding of the distinction. In Mt. 5:21 Jesus is recorded as using phoneuo (murder) in reference to the 7th. In Mt. 10:28 He uses the word apoktinumi which is once again a general word for kill.

            Keep on Jogging my friend.

            • Let’s stick with the Hebrew Old Testament before tackling the Greek NT. (Or should I point out that both Greek verbs are spoken of negatively, and apokteino is most frequently used in the sense of murdering someone?)
              If killing in wartime is not murder, than ratzach doesn’t mean murder… since I already gave you an example of ratzach being used to describe killing in war. And if ratzach ONLY means murder, then every time a lion kills, it is committing murder… because the word ratzach is used for that as well.
              Whom God chooses to kill is irrelevant. The commandments were given BY Him, not TO Him. And while He does command people to kill in battle in the Old Testament, the commands of the New Testament preclude any such actions: It is not possible to love your neighbor and kill him at the same time. It is not possible to follow peace with all men while simultaneously bombing some of them into oblivion. There is absolutely no way around it: Things that were allowed, and even commanded, in the Old Testament are simply not permitted to Christians under the New. We can balk and quote the Old Testament, and try to dissect Hebrew verbs (unsuccessfully in your case), and make excuses. But we cannot escape the fact that Jesus preached extreme pacifism, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount, warned His disciples that many of them would be killed, never once suggesting they defend themselves, and the epistles carry on that message of peace. There’s not a single record of the the early church ever trying to defend itself against evil. Not even when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the inhabitants around the known world. Rather than fight back against the Romans, as many Jewish groups did, the Christians simply went where they were compelled to, bringing the Gospel with them, and when faced with death, they faced it like Stephen did in Acts.
              It’s worth mentioning that I am no stranger to the attempts of some Christians to twist the meanings of Hebrew words either to suit pet doctrines or to condone actions they have chosen to take. This has been going on a long time, and is certainly not confined to ratzach/harag. Entire books of fiction have been published by unlearned Christian authors purporting to “expound” on the meanings of Hebrew words in order to provide support for doctrines. One of the most famous and commonly heard today is the nonsense about the Hebrew word echad. Echad אחד is the Hebrew word for one, and is the word used for one in Deut. 6:4. The myth used by some Christians goes like this: “Echad does not really mean one, but rather a plurality in unity. The actual word for one is yachid יחיד .” By citing this myth, they can escape the absolute monotheism asserted by Deut. 6:4. (Actually, in most English Bibles, that absolute monotheism has already been diluted by lousy translating. Allowing for the name of God to be replaced with the word the LORD, which is actually ancient practice in a sense, the verse should read as follows: Hear O Israel: The LORD is our God; the LORD is one.) But now, if you take a confusing translation like “the LORD our God is one LORD,” and further convolute it by claiming one doesn’t really mean one, the whole meaning of the verse is lost. Fact: Echad, and it’s feminine counterpart achat אחת, means one. That’s ALL it can mean, and does not, in any way, suggest any kind of plurality. Yachid does not mean one. It means single, solitary or even alone. The word implies a lack or a need which could never apply to God.
              Some years back, a book was published filled with examples like this. The title was Hebrew Honey. The author designed a nice cover for the book, with the title in Hebrew superimposed over the English. The fact that the author, in fact, was ignorant of Hebrew, could be seen without ever even opening the book. She could not distinguish between the Hebrew letter ע, which is the first letter of Ivri, meaning Hebrew (as an adjective), and the letter צ. The result is that the Hebrew title of the book was nonsense*. The content of the book was no better, but it was swallowed hook, line and sinker by a great many Christians, and decades later, I still encounter Christians repeating its contents as if they were fact.
              *It is possible to translate the incorrect book title as “my heap of honey,” or as “gather/heap up honey” (as a command given to one female), but obviously, that isn’t the same as Hebrew Honey.

              • On one point I will definitely have to agree with you. It would appear that you are indeed no stranger to the attempts of some Christians to twist the meanings of Hebrew words either to suit pet doctrines…

                • Since I have been working with the Hebrew texts, researching their meanings, for more than 35 years, and since also taught Hebrew for many years, I don’t feel the need to twist anything. I accept it on face value. What are your credentials in regard to Hebrew words?

                  • My credentials? Hebrew Grammar, Syntax and Exegesis 20+ years ago I’m afraid. Less than your credentials to be sure. However my Hebrew Professor, Dr. Richard Patterson, Ph.D in Northwest Semitic languages from UCLA, and contributing author to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary would disagree with your exegetical conclusions as well. And you can name Ph.D’s who agree with you.
                    To say that all killing is murder is akin to saying that all sex is rape. By the way, would you keep on jogging or would you use whatever force necessary to save the little girl from the big man who is in the process of attempting to rape her? Would you do unto her as you would want her to do unto you?

                    • Sounds like a synaptic misfire to me.
                      PhDs? Am I to conclude that the letters PhD after someone’s name automatically make that person correct? Someday, when I have more time, I’ll provide you with a list of total idiots with doctorates, people without a lick of common sense.
                      Actually, it doesn’t matter what your professor would say. I already presented you with the evidence from the Hebrew text that your understanding of the words was incorrect. You not only didn’t refute it, you failed to address the examples at all.
                      “To say that all killing is murder is akin to saying that all sex is rape.” I don’t even want to know how your mind came up with that. THAT’S the synaptic misfire. I’m guessing that your education didn’t include a course in logic.
                      As to your Hebrew classes, I don’t know your former professor, so I can’t speak specifically to what you were taught. My education didn’t come from a Christian college, but from a Jewish source, an Israeli instructor, an individual whose native language from birth was Hebrew. One thing I quickly learned, especially when comparing my teacher’s instruction and the various secular language materials readily available to the various lexicons, etc., produced by Christian sources over the past century or so is that apparently, for generations, Christian schools have been teaching misinformation in regard to Hebrew language (and Greek as well), and the students taught this misinformation go on to teach it to another generation. Strong’s Concordance is a classic example of this. There are two dictionaries in the back of it. Both are nightmares of inaccuracy. Let’s be honest here: There’s not a single person alive who knows how ancient Hebrew and Greek were pronounced. Not one. But Hebrew and Greek are both spoken languages. Even during the many centuries when Hebrew was only used for liturgical purposes, it remained a spoken language, with accepted pronunciations, even if it had different dialects. And Greek has never ceased as a living, spoken language. Given the fact that we cannot hope to reproduce ancient pronunciation, wouldn’t it make sense to use and teach the pronunciations of the languages in use today? But the Greek pronunciation offered in Strong’s, and echoed in numerous Christian lexicons, bears no resemblance to actual Greek. (Word like Beta, Mu, Nu and Upsilon might be fine for naming fraternities, but there is not a Greek person alive who would recognize those words as letters of his/her alphabet. Nor is there any Greek who thinks the sound produced by the second letter of the Greek alphabet is B.) And the pronunciation of Hebrew used in these books bears no resemblance to any of the major dialects of Hebrew. (Sephardic Hebrew, which is what is official in Israel, is usually thought to be the most authentic. Other dialects show distinct influence from other languages: Ashkenazi from German, Teymani from Arabic.) There is no TH sound in Hebrew, nor is there any strong evidence that there ever was. There is also no consonantal W in any dialect of Hebrew other than Teymani, which clearly adopted its W from Arabic. Whoever influenced the Hebrew dictionary Strong used was unaware that when the letter ו (vav, not waw, vau, or any of the other variants common in Christian lexicons) is representing a vowel (o or u), it loses its consonantal value. There is also apparent ignorance that certain letters have counterparts with a different sound. So ב is not always a B. Just as often, it’s a V. So simple Hebrew words like טוב, which is pronounced tov (meaning “good”) winds up rendered as towb in Strong’s.
                      I use certain litmus tests when someone tells me he or she has studied either Hebrew or Greek, particularly if they studied at a Christian school. If they can’t pass those litmus tests, then no alphabet soup of letters after their name means anything.
                      Here are just a few of the questions I might ask: What is the second letter of the Greek alphabet, and what sound does it make? What happens to the Greek vowel Y,υ immediately after Α,α or Ε,ε? In other words, does its sound change, and if so, how?
                      What is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet? What name is given to its other form (that is, what is it called if it lacks a dagesh)? What is the sound of each form? What is the name of the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet? What is its sound? How does that sound change if a dot is placed above the letter? Inside the letter?

                    • Thank you brother. You must be very proud. However, ratsach in the decalogue is still murder. It is not kill (harag). For God to command us not to kill in general and then turn around and command the death penalty and direct His people to slay the enemy is inconceivable. Can you not grasp this? Self-defense, warfare and capital punishment are not murder. The Law makes distinctions between premeditated murder and accidental death as well. It would appear that you are quite adept at analyzing the yods, but have an inability to see the forest. Could be a case of classic plank eye. You may want to get that checked out.
                      I guess it all really comes down to this. You think it would honor God and be Christ-like to keep on jogging and allow the girl to be raped. I think it would honor God and be Christ-like to place myself in the shoes of the little girl and do unto her as I would have her do unto me and use whatever force necessary to stop her assailant. You think it would honor God and be Christ-like to leave your weapon in its holster while the evil man continues to mow down people. I think it would honor God and be Christ-like to destroy the evil one and thus save the people.
                      In closing I would wish you a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the One who came to destroy the evil one that we might be saved.

  48. John,

    I hope you remember who I am. I am a former student of yours from about 3 years ago. I appreciated sitting under your teaching at the time, but man, I have to disagree with you on a lot of things now. I uphold the authority of God’s Word, and I think you miss the boat on a lot of issues (but the comments section of an online forum is not the place to discuss that). In this case, I almost agree with you. I agree with you that Falwell was wrong to say what he did, and you can read my response to it here (https://wordpress.com/post/averycarterblog.wordpress.com/107), but you have no authority to speak to the motives of his heart.

    I know President Falwell. I’m one of his students. Your comments about this university are absolutely wrong. You’re uninformed about Liberty University and you spit just as violent a message at Falwell as he did at the Muslim community. You aren’t enrolled here, so you cannot speak authoritatively about the heart of our students. I am one of those students and I talk with hundreds of others like me (and unlike me) every day. I doubt you’ll agree with everything I said in my post, but I subject myself to criticism by posting it online in the first place, so I am ok with that. I humbly think it would be a good perspective for you to read.

    Grace and Peace,
    Avery

  49. John,

    I hope you remember who I am. I am a former student of yours from about 3 years ago. I appreciated sitting under your teaching at the time, but man, I have to disagree with you on a lot of things now. I uphold the authority of God’s Word, and I think you miss the boat on a lot of issues (but the comments section of an online forum is not the place to discuss that). In this case, I almost agree with you. I agree with you that Falwell was wrong to say what he did, and you can read my response to it here (https://wordpress.com/post/averycarterblog.wordpress.com/107), but you have no authority to speak to the motives of his heart.

    I know President Falwell. I’m one of his students. Your comments about this university are absolutely wrong. You’re uninformed about Liberty University and you spit just as violent a message at Falwell as he did at the Muslim community. You aren’t enrolled here, so you cannot speak authoritatively about the heart of our students. I am one of those students and I talk with hundreds of others like me (and unlike me) every day. I doubt you’ll agree with everything I said in my post, but I subject myself to criticism by posting it online in the first place, so I am ok with that. I humbly think it would be a good perspective for you to read.

    Grace and Peace,
    Avery

    • I love that as I’m reading through the comments that I see you commented as well. Love what you have to say here! So full of truth!

  50. Why do so many people fail to realise that the terrorists do not consider themselves to be bad guys. For the record I disagree and I beleive anyone who indiscriminately murders other people is automatically a bad guy. They think of themselves as good guys with guns. They attack you because you attacked them because they attacked you because you attacked them because…. The perpetrators of these horrific acts have come to belive that everyone of a different faith is evil, lets not fall into that way of thinking ourselves. Defend ourselves against terrorists not muslims.

  51. Why do so many people fail to realise that the terrorists do not consider themselves to be bad guys. For the record I disagree and I beleive anyone who indiscriminately murders other people is automatically a bad guy. They think of themselves as good guys with guns. They attack you because you attacked them because they attacked you because you attacked them because…. The perpetrators of these horrific acts have come to belive that everyone of a different faith is evil, lets not fall into that way of thinking ourselves. Defend ourselves against terrorists not muslims.

  52. OK, I find your response to “AC” to be rather interesting. You often quote “Love your enemy” in the context that even self defense or defense of your family is “murder”. Well to love is not a feeling or to hold good thoughts but to take action. God so loved us he gave us Christ. Christ so loved us that he gave himself up for our salvation. Since we are supposed to love our enemies, evidently beyond the rest of the scripture, when will you take some of the proceeds from your donations and book sales, buy a ticket to Jordan, Cross into Syria and evangelize ISIS? Your opinion or emotion does nothing for a deceived people group thousands of miles away that has named every American an enemy. They have chosen to be your enemy, so please, by all means go and love on them. Take no concern for your safety. Otherwise, this is just another scam religion page to get money.

  53. I told myself today it is enough! I have spent enough time trying to explain my understanding of scripture, my perspective, my sensitivities. The more the comment section grows the more polarized the comments get and the more the misunderstandings abound. There are so many beautiful comments and wonderful people trying to speak but we do not listen when we are so ready to counter every statement with an opposing statement and we cannot listen when there are so many others ready to jump in with their position. And if we are the adversaries to each other then what does that makes us- certainly not welcoming or neighbourly? I find it difficult to listen but today at church I listened to the priest and he set my heart straight.

    when we do not love our enemies as ourselves then we do not love.

    I don’t want to be a contributor to that kind of division any more.

    So ‘IF’ I believe God is trying to reconcile and redeem all mankind to himself I must make peace with my brothers and sisters of the faith even if it means I disagree- I must not condemn them. I don’t have to attend the same church rather I can keep the door open to fellowship. Yes there have been injustices- yes there have been an abuse- yes there has been false doctrine and misuse of scripture on all sides- yes there has been offenses- yes I think some of my fellow christians are terribly wrong- but we cannot judge one another before the appointed time. Anger is a consuming fire. Rather than burn with anger turn it into passion and become consumed by a desire to reconcile yourself with your ‘so-called’ enemy for he is your mirror. It is never too late to turn around because that is what God requires- repentance- a turning to Him. Try the way of peace, meekness, mercy and mourning .

    I need this prayer as much as anyone else

    Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is discord, union;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy.
    Grant that we may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

    A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

  54. What a gaseous, piss-poor theologian you are! “Jesus allowed himself to be beaten…” yes…ONCE. The next time you see Him he will be riding a horse, leading an army, with a sword coming out of his mouth, killing EVERYONE who stands against him. We are biblically commanded to protect our families. Jesus isn’t the pasty-faced sissy boy from your praise and worship songs and he isn’t the Lamb any more. He is the King and he leads an army and he is the Lion of Judah. Lions don’t lay around getting attacked. They kill in response. If not for the internet you’d be just another liberal theology follower, angrily writing a letter to the editor while sipping your chai latte at Starbucks. To quote the late Dale Earnhardt: “You better tie a kerosene rag around your ankles so the ants don’t crawl up and eat your candy ass.”

  55. I BELIEVE JERRY FALWELL JR,
    MADE LIBERTY UNIVERSITY A BIGGER TARGET FOR BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN AT LIBERTY. I HOPE AND PRAY THAT HE ASK GOD FOR FORGIVENESS AND SEE HOW HE CAN FIX THE WORDS THAT HAS COME OUT OF HIS MOUTH.

  56. I BELIEVE JERRY FALWELL JR,
    MADE LIBERTY UNIVERSITY A BIGGER TARGET FOR BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN AT LIBERTY. I HOPE AND PRAY THAT HE ASK GOD FOR FORGIVENESS AND SEE HOW HE CAN FIX THE WORDS THAT HAS COME OUT OF HIS MOUTH.

    • He’s doing that because a lot of old people think email and forum posts are the same as old Western Union telegraph messages, which were printed in ALL CAPS.

      Stop it old people!!! Stop it!!! Where did you ever get a dumb idea like that? Just stop it!!! It is generally considered to be bad manners today.

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  59. You write: “And let’s not talk about the fact that if he truly wanted to somehow lift up gun ownership as a means of protecting innocent Americans from violence by bad people, he should have name dropped white Christians, as they account for far more religiously motivated mass murders in our country than anyone, and it ain’t even close. (In most cases of bloody domestic terrorism using firearms, Falwell’s kind are the bad guy, not Islamic extremists.)”

    Can you please cite the evidence that there are more “religiously motivated mass murders” by “white Christians” than by Islamic extremists in the U.S.? I know that there have been more killings by homegrown domestic terrorists than Islamic extremists in the U.S. since 9/11, but I don’t believe it is the case that there are more such killings which are “religiously motivated mass murders” by “white Christians” who are killing in the name of Christianity, though I am happy to be shown to be incorrect. If you cannot support your claim, then I suggest this statement be revised to be accurate.

    (BTW, I’m neither Christian nor Muslim, and I think the U.S. response to Islamic terrorism has often been counterproductive. More people need to read, e.g., the work of Scott Atran on what drives terrorism.)

  60. I’m not saying I agree with Liberty/Falwell, but before you go writing like you know it all, consider how the families of the SB victims feel. And consider how difficult it is right now for the survivors of SB, after seeing what they saw. We have not walked in their shoes. We should not spout off as if we had.

  61. Please describe exactly WHO the mass-murderers are that are of “Falwell’s type?” I’d really like to understand who and how you are equating them together. Skin color? Religion? Associations (because they may share an NRA membership, for example?) Please define. I think your post needs that kind of clarity.

  62. I agree with all you have said about a certain group of people calling themselves Christians. However, please don’t say that they ARE American Christianity. Those of us who follow Jesus and abhor what these people are saying and doing are also part of American Christianity. Maybe white male evangelical extremist (so-called) Christians would describe this group more clearly. They have the money to broadcast their beliefs to the country.

  63. Thank you for your stand. I used to wonder how in the world the Christian church in Germany could have thrown Jews out of the church and now I am beginning to see how that happened. When a president of a Christian University (which my nephew and niece attend) gives such a speech to vulnerable young people and they applause his words it makes sense they too will take up the cause.
    It would have been so refreshing and God honouring to have heard him expound on what it means to follow Jesus. As Gandi said, “I don’t like you Christians but I love your Jesus”.

    • Did you actually just compare the Jews in Nazi Germany to Islamic Terrorists in the United States? Oh my word. I cannot believe what I just read.

  64. Couple of things: 1] How does Falwell not realize he’s doing ISIS’s work for them? Talk like this simply takes tepid fears and throws gasoline on them. His “convocation” potentially did as much damage as the shooters in San Bernardino did. And 2] What he is helping create here is a vigilante army of people who may, but much more likely do not possess any real competency with firearms, are not particularly safe or accurate when shooting, cannot tell the difference between a radicalized ISIS terrorist and Sikh pediatrician — much less a Syrian one, have no training in dangerous situations, have no control over their own adrenaline, and thus pose a far greater threat to the people they love and their communities than any terrorist does.

  65. Pingback: Do Christians have a right to self-defense or an obligation to defend others? | Jlue's Weblog

  66. Your post has only one problem. You repeated rumor and media interpretation not truth. If Mr. Falwell had said “Muslim” I can see your post has some basis. The problem is, he DIDN’T say “Muslim” he said “terrorist.” Please check facts before you go on tangents of condemnation.

    • Stacie…did YOU watch the video? I just did, for the second time, and he clearly states, “…we could end those MUSLIMS before they even walk in.” The word “terrorist” did not show up in his diatribe.

      • Except when he specifically referenced the ENTIRE STATEMENT in connection with the TERRORIST MURDER BY THOSE MUSLIMS in San Bernardino.
        Next.

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  70. John… I would agree that Falwell was out of line. I would also agree that Jesus would not write a blog post as you have. Grace and truth buddy. Hypocrite.

    • You don’t think Jesus would have written a blog post like John’s? Perhaps you might want to read some of the scathing rebukes He delivered to the religious right of His day. John’s comments were mild in comparison.

            • Where have you been… what do you think started this whole topic? Let’s start with advocating that Christians carry guns, which, regardless of some of the rhetoric posted previously, is completely against what Jesus taught us to do. Then there’s his demonization of Muslims. Despite his later attempts to backpedal and claim he didn’t mean what it sounded like, I’m not buying, and I doubt Jesus would, either.
              The Falwell family itself is no stranger to religious bigotry, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in this guy’s case.

    • So you agree Falwell is wrong, but that we should be silent and allow his “wrongness”? That’s not how this humanity thing works nor how the Church works.

      Paul wrote letters to church communities to give them (and individuals) hard words. We speak to the global church through technology now. Welcome to 2015.

      Silence is participation and I will not be silent in the face of this.

      Peace.

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  72. It’s not conservative or liberal, however their defined,
    It’s not about interpretation, or the judgements of the mind.
    It’s the opposite of politics, of power or prestige,
    It’s about a simple message, and whether we believe.

    It’s still the cross
    It’s the Blood of Calvary.
    that cleanses sin, and sets the captive free.
    It’s still the name, the name of Jesus that has power to save the lost.
    It’s still the cross.

    We can water down theology, and speak a word to suit our needs.
    We can justify sweet subtle lies, that are wrapped in noble deeds.
    We can alter our convictions, to adapt to social whims, but we cannot change the Gospel,
    or the Truth contained within

    It’s still the Cross
    It’s still the blood of Calvary
    that cleanses sin, and sets the captive free.
    It’s still the name, the name of Jesus that has power to save the lost
    It’s still the cross.

    Some may say it’s man’s religion, or ancient history.
    The cross of Jesus still remains the price for sin, that sets us free……

    It’s still the cross…..

    Steve Amerson

  73. I know I will never buy a gun and therefore never draw a gun on someone or shoot them and I don’t intend to change that about myself. Because I see the gun as a powerful instrument of lethal force. Other weapons may provide a more legitimate means of defence in everyday life. Jerry Falwell Jr let down the gauntlet as if to indicate there is an impending battle ahead and Americans are going to have some big shoot out in their workplaces, churches and public places. Yet to arm ourselves seems like a hopeless solution of continuing retribution. It is not the vision of Christ that we should be drawn into such a conflict.

    However, on the flip side, as a critic of Jerry Falwell Jr’s vision for Christians, I have to ask myself how do I speak life into the blackness of unconscionable suffering and death around the world, through terrorism and retribution? What worries me most is whether the words I choose might injure another. Should I then spend my energies railing against Jerry Falwell Jr and those who think the same way. Castigate him and those who support a call to arms?

    I worry that my words are just as potent and lethal as the gun. Words can be poison. When Jesus called the Pharisees vipers he was not kidding. But the thing about the Pharisees is that their words did the damage. And they used their words to entrap, imprison and incite the masses. Much of their dirty work was done without getting their hands dirty. So for those, like Jerry Falwell Jr, who have an audience and a podium from which they speak I think words can do more damage than the gun in your back pocket.

    When words destroy the image of God in all people regardless of ethnicity or nationality, when words incite susceptible hearers to violence, when words isolate someone’s flaws so that we cannot see their mutual humanity, when words unhinge our pandora’s box of pain and hurt… we have the propensity to damage the sanctity of someone’s motives and stir up strife and division which does just as much damage as the gun.

    What should Christians be doing in this time of trial? But, to keep on helping the needy, spreading the good news of Jesus. Telling people that God is good, God is lowly of mind and gentle of spirit, God is merciful He offers us unmerited grace, In Him is life and peace in our hearts through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  74. I know I will never buy a gun and therefore never draw a gun on someone or shoot them and I don’t intend to change that about myself. Because I see the gun as a powerful instrument of lethal force. Other weapons may provide a more legitimate means of defence in everyday life. Jerry Falwell Jr let down the gauntlet as if to indicate there is an impending battle ahead and Americans are going to have some big shoot out in their workplaces, churches and public places. Yet to arm ourselves seems like a hopeless solution of continuing retribution. It is not the vision of Christ that we should be drawn into such a conflict.

    However, on the flip side, as a critic of Jerry Falwell Jr’s vision for Christians, I have to ask myself how do I speak life into the blackness of unconscionable suffering and death around the world, through terrorism and retribution? What worries me most is whether the words I choose might injure another. Should I then spend my energies railing against Jerry Falwell Jr and those who think the same way. Castigate him and those who support a call to arms?

    I worry that my words are just as potent and lethal as the gun. Words can be poison. When Jesus called the Pharisees vipers he was not kidding. But the thing about the Pharisees is that their words did the damage. And they used their words to entrap, imprison and incite the masses. Much of their dirty work was done without getting their hands dirty. So for those, like Jerry Falwell Jr, who have an audience and a podium from which they speak I think words can do more damage than the gun in your back pocket.

    When words destroy the image of God in all people regardless of ethnicity or nationality, when words incite susceptible hearers to violence, when words isolate someone’s flaws so that we cannot see their mutual humanity, when words unhinge our pandora’s box of pain and hurt… we have the propensity to damage the sanctity of someone’s motives and stir up strife and division which does just as much damage as the gun.

    What should Christians be doing in this time of trial? But, to keep on helping the needy, spreading the good news of Jesus. Telling people that God is good, God is lowly of mind and gentle of spirit, God is merciful He offers us unmerited grace, In Him is life and peace in our hearts through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  75. Please allow me to show you an example of what John Pavlovitz is talking about in his main post above. This is what Falwell’s son and all the so-called Christians like him WOULD NOT DARE TO DO. Read this item and see Jesus at work: in one manned named Roddie Edmonds—a true Tennessee Volunteer. All of you who hate john Pavlovitz and his version of Christianity, I dare you to read it. No, I double, double, double dog you to read it:

    http://www.knoxnews.com/opinion/editorials/editorial_11005107

  76. Listen folks. Let me tell you what is really going on with so many people like Falwell’s son—and the real reasons they hate Islam (and not just a few terrorists alone):

    1) Islam is a legalistic religion that is all about laws, rules, and regulations. American Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism are two religions (not faiths) that give lip service to Jesus, but just like Islam, their religion is primarily a legalistic one focused on obedience to laws, rules, and regulations. In the 19th century, Americans who were opposed to the Mormons called the LDS religion “America’s Islam.” They did this because it was in an early time in the history of that church when me had multiple wives like Arab sheiks. When that church policy was later renounced, the term “America’s Islam” was no longer used. However, when you take a really close look at Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism, it becomes apparent that their ideology shares much in common with Islam. Today, considering how they are behaving on our national stage and the utterly legalistic nature of their beliefs, I think it would be more than fair for all Americans to start referring to Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism as AMERICA’S ISLAM.

    2) Unlike many world religions, Islam is focused hugely, hugely, hugely on proselytizing to win converts. It is arguable that the adherents to Islam are more rabid about spreading their faith than the most intense IFB Baptist preacher you have ever known—and international statistics indicate that they do it much more effectively and efficiently than Christians do.. It is the world’s fastest growing religion.

    3) Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals believe, the depths of their spiritual pride, that legalistic religion is RIGHT RELIGION. Therefore, except for a few liberals here and there, most other people in the United States surely must feel the exact same way. Given that both Islam and fundie religion are hugely legalistic and share so much in common, then many Americans might be magnetically drawn to becoming followers of Islam if too many Islamic people are allowed to immigrate or shelter in the United States.

    4) Although Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism view Islam as an aniti-Christ religion, they even more so admire the Islamic ability to spread their religion and view Islam as their coming primary competitor in the American market for legalistic religion—which of course—is the only true kind of religion in their dimwitted noggins. This is why they cannot suffer to admit that they only need to shoot a few radicalized, criminal Muslims. They need to shoot ALL Muslims and put down ALL Muslims because they are viewed as an arch competitor in the American proselytization market—a market competitor they desperately want to keep at bay lest it overcome fundie legalistic religion with a more fragrant and tasty form of Islamic legalistic religion that Americans will flock to join in vast numbers—thus marginalizing and eventually bringing to an end the fundie faith in the United States.

    5) If that is what the fundies are so very scared is going to happen, just on the chance that they might be right, let’s allow about 15 million Islamic refugees into the United States. We got Obama for more than a year longer. We can achieve that!!!

  77. Mr. Pavlovitz, take heed to yourself, lest you be found guilty of the same hatred of which you so pompously accuse Mr. Falwell. Jesus did not condemn lawful self-protection. To do so is to encourage unbridled violence against the innocent. That is not what Jesus came to bring about.

  78. I am not sure it is possible to fight one set of religious ideas about this world with another set of religious ideas on the same, especially when the former authorises and encourages the use of assault weapons and the latter doesn’t.

    It also doesn’t mean that if the latter is armed it will fight the former with success.

    Civil law must prevail over any religious argument. Christianity has got used to this, and Islam needs to get used to being just a set of beliefs that are a legitimate subject for critique. It may take centuries to achieve this, and in the meantime it needs to be restrained, like a madman, by civil laws.

  79. I am a graduate student at Liberty, albeit online so I don’t sit through these convocations. However, once I heard about the comments and watched and listened to myself, I became embarrassed that I was associated with this school. I am in full agreement with the stance this article takes. Thanks for helping me to realize I am not alone in these feelings.

    • Shawn, as a Christ-follower, I believe we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. If someone were jogging and happened to come upon the scene of a large man attempting to rape a little girl, should the jogger keep on jogging or should they use whatever force necessary to stop the horrific crime? I think that as a Christian I should place myself in the place of the little girl and use whatever force necessary to save her. That is what I would want someone to do for me. It is a far greater good to preserve 30 lives by ending one evil one. I agree with JFJr.’s remarks. To advocate someone to ‘keep on jogging’ as John is suggesting is a very un-Christian position that flies in the face of the golden rule. This is another prime example of how ideas which are based upon faulty exegesis can have dire consequences.

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  82. Well said! We often forget that Jesus saved His harshest words for the religious people of His time and it was them who executed Him. I wonder how we can speak out against today’s dangerous brand of conservative Christianity in a graceful and loving way that builds bridges and makes peace rather than stoking flames and driving us all farther apart.

    • You cannot. The fundies burned what little was left that looked like a bridge 100 years ago.. They do not seek reconciliation. They seek dominion and the dictatorial political power necessary to enforce that dominion on 300,000,000 Americans.

    • you are probably getting the feeds because you clicked the “Follow” button while you were on John’s blog. Just go to his blog and click on “Unfollow” and that should do the trick. If that does not work, then you have a more complex problem I do not know how to solve.

  83. As a current residential student at Liberty University and someone who did attend that convocation of where this quote came from, I must say that arguing that the entire University has gone ” off the rails as an institution,” because of one remark seems a little over the top. I will agree that using Muslims as a name for all terrorist extremists was unnecessary, but Jerry Falwell apologized for his wording and expressed clarification on what he meant to say as his overall point. He was simply trying to express his viewpoint on the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms. This being said, I do not condone the way he said what he was trying to address, but completely agree with his viewpoint. Liberty University should not be seen as a school where “Jesus no longer seems the primary concern.” I can argue that this is most certainly is not the case. We are a body of believers who have a genuine love for Jesus Christ and desire to know him better. We are not perfect individuals, we make mistakes but that’s what Jesus died on the cross for. He knew we were going to be full of sin and that’s why he lavished his grace upon us. I hope you reconsider thinking that one man’s actions make up the viewpoint of an entire student body.

    • Sarah. I question any man who comes into a religious gathering and stands on the altar with a handgun in his back pocket. THAT is off the deep end. “Genuine lover for Christ???” I think you need to take a closer look at what your religious ideology is all about and how it plays itself out in American society. You can do so at my blog:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

      • Dover, as a Christ-follower, I believe we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. If someone were jogging and happened to come upon the scene of a large man attempting to rape a little girl, should the jogger keep on jogging or should they use whatever force necessary to stop the horrific crime? I think that as a Christian I should place myself in the place of the little girl and use whatever force necessary to save her. That is what I would want someone to do for me. It is a far greater good to preserve 30 lives by ending one evil one. I agree with JFJr.’s remarks. To advocate someone to ‘keep on jogging’ as John is suggesting is a very un-Christian position that flies in the face of the golden rule. This is another prime example of how ideas which are based upon faulty exegesis can have dire consequences.

        • I would too. What you have to do is understand that John is just thinking out loud. This is the way he searches for truth. He will find his way there. This is all just PERSONAL PROCESS for him because his posting is the way he searches, gathers opinions, and evaluates. Surely you guys all know this by now?

          Pastor with a gun in his back pocket on the altar of Jesus with no overt threat to the church—outrageous, over the top, and unfathomable idiocy. If I were his pork fat dad, I would come back from the grave and kick him in the ass for pulling a stunt like that in a church.

          • It wasn’t in a church Dover. I am surprised you did not know this since you claim to know so much about LU. It was in the Vines Center, LU’s Division I basketball arena. Also, it wasn’t a worship service, it was a college convocation. Also, JFJr. is not a preacher, pastor or ordained minister. He is an attorney who now serves as a College President. Also, by being armed at convo, he and many others are in much better shape to save lives should an evil person begin opening fire on the attendees.

  84. I read the quote attributable to Mr. Falwell. When he referred to “those” Muslims he was specifically referring to Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the individuals which committed the terrorist act in San Bernadino and ending them. I have a feeling that the Falwell quote provided by Mr. Pavlovitz might be taken out of context or be incomplete.

    It’s hard to say without seeing what Falwell said right before and right afterward. I’m a bit confused, did Mr. Falwell make any other inflammatory or inaccurate comments? What I’m seeing is simply is Falwell’s opinion that concealed permits are a good thing. Nothing quoted in the article seems particularly vile or inaccurate. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were (1) Muslims and (2) walked in and killed people. There is no dispute about that. It is quite an overstatement that these comments are somehow a reflection on American Christianity. Did Falwell actually say anything about a “Militant White Jesus” or is this something extrapolated by the author.

    Mr. Pavlovitz calls upon Falwell to repent, apologize, etc. for “glorifaction of violence.” Maybe I’m missing something, because all Mr. Falwell was saying was that it is permissible for Christians to defend themselves. I’m not the biggest fan of Mr. Falwell, but I think it unwise to put words in his mouth.

    In any event, this post wasn’t very effective in making your point. Maybe better facts, better analogies, and definitely more scripture. You don’t back up a lot of what you say with scripture, and I see that as a weakness in your writing. I push the “Error” button on this one.

    • Does anyone find it strange that we should even have to talk about handguns in a church? My God!!! What have we become that makes a discussion like that a necessity in a church!!!

  85. I read the quote attributable to Mr. Falwell. When he referred to “those” Muslims he was specifically referring to Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the individuals which committed the terrorist act in San Bernadino and ending them. I have a feeling that the Falwell quote provided by Mr. Pavlovitz might be taken out of context or be incomplete.

    It’s hard to say without seeing what Falwell said right before and right afterward. I’m a bit confused, did Mr. Falwell make any other inflammatory or inaccurate comments? What I’m seeing is simply is Falwell’s opinion that concealed permits are a good thing. Nothing quoted in the article seems particularly vile or inaccurate. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were (1) Muslims and (2) walked in and killed people. There is no dispute about that. It is quite an overstatement that these comments are somehow a reflection on American Christianity. Did Falwell actually say anything about a “Militant White Jesus” or is this something extrapolated by the author.

    Mr. Pavlovitz calls upon Falwell to repent, apologize, etc. for “glorifaction of violence.” Maybe I’m missing something, because all Mr. Falwell was saying was that it is permissible for Christians to defend themselves. I’m not the biggest fan of Mr. Falwell, but I think it unwise to put words in his mouth.

    In any event, this post wasn’t very effective in making your point. Maybe better facts, better analogies, and definitely more scripture. You don’t back up a lot of what you say with scripture, and I see that as a weakness in your writing. I push the “Error” button on this one.

  86. Been following this story and am shocked at the rush to judgement on a man and an entire school based on a statement taken completely out of context. My guess is that not many of you actually know much about Liberty, Falwell, or what they stand for. Their actions speak louder than words. Their global outreach and aid, which includes Muslim countries, speak volumes. Sad to see believers destroy their own so quickly, and with so little to go on.

  87. Been following this story and am shocked at the rush to judgement on a man and an entire school based on a statement taken completely out of context. My guess is that not many of you actually know much about Liberty, Falwell, or what they stand for. Their actions speak louder than words. Their global outreach and aid, which includes Muslim countries, speak volumes. Sad to see believers destroy their own so quickly, and with so little to go on.

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  89. These posts are an embarrassment to all Christians everywhere. You men and women are spewing hatred back and forth. You all sound so religious. You are judging others which the Bible speaks against. The statement about white Christians being responsible for more killings, tells me that you yourselves no little about Christanity. Just because a person says they are Christian does not make them a Christian. Obama said he was a Christian. Do any of you really believe that? For those who want to lay their lives and their children’s lives at the altar of Islam will probably get the chance. Those who refuse to lay down and instead fight back will get the chance. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour what is it going to matter? The great thing about the body of Christ is that we are all different and do not all think alike on such issues. If God had wanted us to all be alike and think the same then He would only have needed one of us. We are the body of Christ. However, we are all different parts of the body. Not one part is more important than the other. So brothers and sisters, grow up spiritually and quit doing dirty laundry for the lost to see.

    • Yes, I do believe the President is a Christian. If he were a Muslim, and publicly denied it, he would be a disgrace to their faith, and by their beliefs, would undoubtedly be forfeiting his place in the afterlife. It would be no different than a Christian denying being a Christian. If we deny Jesus, He will deny us.

      For me, if someone says “I am a Christian,” I prefer to take them at their word. While I may not in the slightest agree with their doctrine (like “accepting Jesus as Personal Savior,” which I can’t find in the Bible), recognizing the lack of nail prints in my hands, I am not going to judge them and say they are not Christian. Their own works may speak against their Christianity (like promoting fear or hatred of various minorities), but it’s not my place to say they are not Christian or are lost. I’ll leave that to the One who knows the heart.

          • Muslim sympathizer? You know, 60 years ago, people who stood up for the rights of African Americans were called something similar: N***** lovers. The name was just as idiotic as what you called the President. In both cases, what it actually means is that a person doesn’t think their own race or religion is automatically superior or deserving of more rights or respect than another race or religion. And in my book, that’s a good thing. I know what they would have called me 60 years ago had I been alive yet, and if standing up for the right of Muslims to be treated with dignity and respect makes someone a Muslim sympathizer, then you can count me as one, as well.

            • Nice try at trying to define what I meant by the term muslim sympathizer. Should muslims have religious freedom and be treated with dignity and respect? Of course. As should any other image-bearer. By Muslim sympathizer I suppose I would simply call attention to the overt manner in which he has refused to recognize that evil that is inherent in radical (quran consistent) islam. When muslims kill in the name of Mohammed, they are simply following both the example and teachings of their leader. When Christians give of themselves sacrificially for the good of others, they are simply following both the example and teachings of their leader as well.

              • Radical Christianity is just as evil as radical Islam. And we don’t need to go back to the Inquisition or witch burning to see it. We need look only as far as Westboro Baptist or the numerous ministers in this country calling openly for gay people to be executed, or look at the results of Scott Lively’s actions in Africa, which directly led to a huge increase in anti-gay violence and legislation. These people think they are doing God’s work when they incite violence, and those committing the violence believe the same.
                President Obama is smart enough not to condemn an entire faith because of the actions of a small minority of crazed fundamentalists, just as most people are smart enough not to condemn all Christians based on the actions of a few loons.

                • Again, when a muslim follows the Koran and kills infidels – he/she is doing them *Because of the teaching and example of Mohammed.
                  When a ‘Christian’ does such terrible things as you have described – he/she is doing them *In Spite of the teaching and example of Christ.

                  • They believe they are doing so in obedience to the Old Testament. A flawed understanding of scripture, most would agree. And most Muslims would agree that the radicals are incorrectly interpreting the Koran.

                    • Nice try, however, you seem to miss the point. The Leader of Christianity, Jesus Christ, commanded His followers to love their enemies and do good to those who despitefully use them. The leader of Islam, Mohammed, commanded his followers to kill infidels. It’s really that simple, rev.

                • More false statistics, rev? 99.9 percent of all BIBLICAL believers do not call for such things, and you know it. MOST Muslims are fine with sharia, and all that in entails. It’s not that hard to understand.

                  • “MOST Muslims are fine with sharia, and all that in entails.”
                    When did you meet and consult with most Muslims? Or are you making that up? I live in the metro Detroit area. There are more Arabs and Muslims here than anywhere else outside the Middle East. The vast majority would want nothing to do with Sharia law… in fact, it is because of Sharia that most of them came here.
                    Save your lies about Muslims for someone gullible and uneducated enough to believe them. I know better.

            • The US Constitution and in particular the First Amendment arose from a biblical worldview and is decidedly not a secular document. Our founders understood the biblical view of man, that he is a sinner and can not be entrusted with too much power, thus the separation of powers. They further understood that true religion cannot be forced upon anyone and that God has granted to us a free will, thus the anti-establishment clause concerning religion. The primary forces in play in their philosophy and the direction of the fledgling nation were the First Great Awakening as well as the Enlightenment thought of John Locke, who himself was greatly influenced by the English Baptists Smyth and Helwys. Our founders understood that whatever rights and freedoms that we enjoy as humans created in the very image of God were derived not from man (secular thought) but from our Creator. They articulated this foundational truth in their Declaration of Independence with something about being endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights….

        • Because the Word of God is alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. I am not. Nor are you.

          • Like I said, we have His Word, and we judge by His Word. Anyone who doesn’t judge by using His Word is either ignorant of truth, or gutless.

            • Judge yourself by His word. When you reach the point where you are above all sin, then you may begin to judge others. But even should that happen, bear in mind that you see no one’s heart but your own, so any judgment you make will be imperfect for that reason. God alone sees the heart of every man, and He alone remains qualified to judge. He’s not throwing stones at anyone. Neither should we.

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  91. “But chances are none of these things will happen, because there’s too much money flowing through the system.”

    That’s a cute thing to say. I find it funny that the top of your page is asking people to give you money, and buy your stuff. You are making money off of what Falwell said. Every Christian blogger was rushing to say exactly what you said these past few days, because you saw your meal ticket. The more extreme your point can be, the better chance you have of this taking off. The more high profile Christians screw up, the more chances you have to grab their coattails and try to make a name for yourself.

    Falwell is a phony and so are you.

    • Brock. I need you to just plant one little seed. I suggest that you plant a seed of $1,000 with me tonight my friend. I just know that God will grow that seed to $10.000 in your life. It may not be in money, but many blessings shall fall upon you. All it takes is just one little seed. Won’t you please send your seed to me tonight. All it takes is a checkbook, a pen, an envelope, and a postage stamp.

      Something I watched on TV last night—slimy little bastard.

  92. As a Liberty student, I applaud President Falwell for his genuine concern for me and my fellow student body. If we need to defend ourselves than we must be equipped to do so. Luke 22:36 states, “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Proverbs 25:26 also states, “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.” Just by being a Christian I have millions of people that would wish me harm, simply for following Christ and as someone who lives with the constant fear of being attacked, knowing that most of us are fully prepared to defend ourselves is comforting. Most of you would rather just argue and spew hate, it is an easy thing to do. I read these post and it breaks my heart to see so many people rip each other apart. Some of you advocate love and peace, some advocate hate and violence. Regardless of your views and your faith, your life is just as precious to me as my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I would want to be able to defend that life. God Bless all of you.

  93. At the moment Liberty U. has 950 concealed weapons on campus. That’s not “safe” enough? What about the safety of the students who will be accidentally shot when their roommate is cleaning their gun? Increasing safety on campus would be hiring more campus security. Arming all students, teachers and janitors just make it more likely there will be accidental deaths.

    If anything his hateful speech as made us all less safe as it feeds into the terrorist’s playbook. They will be using his speech for recruitment for years.

  94. Looks to me like a simple course in biblical exegesis would be in order for John. As a Christ-follower, I believe we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. If someone were jogging and happened to come upon the scene of a large man attempting to rape a little girl, should the jogger keep on jogging or should they use whatever force necessary to stop the horrific crime? I think that as a Christian I should place myself in the place of the little girl and use whatever force necessary to save her. That is what I would want someone to do for me. It is a far greater good to preserve 30 lives by ending one evil one. I agree with JFJr.’s remarks. To advocate someone to ‘keep on jogging’ as John is doing is a very un-Christian position that flies in the face of the golden rule. This is another prime example of how ideas which are based upon faulty exegesis can have dire consequences.

  95. I just think it is very confusing that this whole article is attacking a fellow Christian. The very first sentence is Jesus’ words saying “blessed are the peacemakers,” right before the author goes into attacking Jerry Falwell Jr. How is attacking a fellow Christian making peace? Christians are so fast to accuse and attack other Christians. Is it because they are embarrassed of their faith? You know, we live in such a safe society where most of us go our entire lives and never get shot at by a terrorist. I would like to know how these same people would respond if guns were outlawed and islamic extremists were going door to door raping and killing. I think then we would probably wish that Jerry Falwell Jr. was there with his gun. I understand Christ did not defend himself on the cross but that is because He is the savior of the world. We are not. It is very hard to love your neighbor and live peacefully when no good person is willing to stand up against evil.

  96. I just think it is very confusing that this whole article is attacking a fellow Christian. The very first sentence is Jesus’ words saying “blessed are the peacemakers,” right before the author goes into attacking Jerry Falwell Jr. How is attacking a fellow Christian making peace? Christians are so fast to accuse and attack other Christians. Is it because they are embarrassed of their faith? You know, we live in such a safe society where most of us go our entire lives and never get shot at by a terrorist. I would like to know how these same people would respond if guns were outlawed and islamic extremists were going door to door raping and killing. I think then we would probably wish that Jerry Falwell Jr. was there with his gun. I understand Christ did not defend himself on the cross but that is because He is the savior of the world. We are not. It is very hard to love your neighbor and live peacefully when no good person is willing to stand up against evil.

      • Jesus was quoting Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God He made man.

        If we take this at face value capital punishment or self defense is forbidden no matter who adjudicates it.

        While I do not practice Messianic Rituals, I have to ask do we do away with all of the Old Testament because of the Cross and Resurrection?

        If so, when Jesus quotes the Old Testament His counsel is also negated by the Cross and Resurrection.

        Also, “they that take” is a Greek Word that appears some 261 times and the most often rendering is “receive”.

        Barnes Commentary says this:
        Thy sword into his place – Into the sheath.
        For all they that take the sword … – This passage is capable of different significations.
        1. They who resist by the sword the civil magistrate shall be punished; and it is dangerous, therefore, to oppose those who come with the authority of the civil ruler.
        2. These men, Jews and Romans, who have taken the sword against the innocent, shall perish by the sword. God will take vengeance on them.
        3. However, the most satisfactory interpretation is that which regards it as a caution to Peter. Peter was rash. Alone he had attacked the whole band. Jesus told him that his unseasonable and imprudent defense might be the occasion of his own destruction. In doing it he would endanger his life, for they who took the sword perished by it. This was probably a proverb, denoting that they who engaged in wars commonly perished there.

        It is interesting that in a cursory search of 4 or 5 of the 22 Commentaries, that none of them seem to support the pacifistic tendencies of the modern church. So much for the power and authority of the church…

        Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

        What scares me more than isis? Pacifist Christians who will neither Pray or Fight for the Freedom God has given us. Much less Vote!

        I also doubt that you read either of my Facebook posts before answering me?

        • The Greek verb in question, λαμβάνω, does not lose its meaning whether we translate it as take or receive or accept. The immediate context was this: Peter tried to defend Jesus and himself and the rest of the disciples against aggressors using a sword. Jesus told him to put his sword away. Not only did Jesus not condone Peter’s violent act against the servant of the High Priest, but He repaired the ear that Peter severed. He put into practice exactly what He had told His disciples to do: “Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who slander you and persecute you.”
          What Jesus said after Peter used His sword (which was a paraphrase of Gen. 9:6, not a quote) is plain, and you’d have to twist or ignore a lot to get it to mean anything other than what it says outright: Those who choose to rely on, to take, accept or receive a sword, putting their faith in it, will perish by the sword. Choose violence, and you will end violently.

          The New Testament does indeed undo many of the teachings of the Old. All you have to do is read the Sermon on the Mount to see how Jesus taught a different way of handling things, a pacifist way. He’d quote the Old Testament, what the old way of handling matters was, and give a new, more peaceful way.

          There are 108 comments on that Facebook article, and I don’t have time to filter through them looking for yours. But any Christian who thinks everyone needs to vote Conservative lest we “lose the country” has confused the United States with the Kingdom of God. We were never called to preserve the country. We’re supposed to be getting people ready for the next world, the Kingdom of Heaven, not trying to convert the US into it. The fact that you quoted Matthew 11:12 and think it applies to this just convinces me you’ve got things mixed up. This isn’t the kingdom of heaven. This place isn’t eternal, and neither is our citizenship here. It’s temporal. We’re only passing through. We were NEVER called to defend this place. No two ways about it: you, and people like you, scare me a hell of a lot more than ISIS. The represent only a temporal danger. You represent a danger than can confuse people so badly that they will completely lose out with God. You stand on an Old Testament theology, preach the exact opposite of what Jesus did, and someone, think it’s Christianity.

          • Well, first I would like to be directed to your posts condemning Westboro Baptist Church for its hateful off the rails speech. Yes, I know this isn’t your thread.

            I am afraid that this attitude, “let the world go to hell we’re only interested in heaven”, pervades the modern American church.

            What a mess we’ll have to clean up in the millennial reign, the whole earth isn’t destroyed in the trib, all people aren’t killed off, otherwise we’d have nothing to rule and reign!

            As I said, nothing scares me more than isis except pacifist christians who will neither pray nor fight for the freedoms God has given them, or vote.

            What a disgrace to our founding Fathers! I guess you condemn all of them , too. Or, forget Patrick Henry’s Give Me Liberty or Give Me death speech.

            Signing off this hopeless discussion…

            • I guess it’s no surprise that a man who doesn’t know the difference between the kingdom of heaven and the United States wouldn’t understand the millennial reign. A mess to clean up? Who do you think is going to be ruling the world during that time? Jesus will be on earth, Satan will be bound. Those two factors alone will be enough to clean up most of the mess. And those survivalists who barricaded themselves in their compounds with their guns and their American flags, should they even survive Armageddon, will not be living that way any longer. Peace is the order of the day during that reign. No violence, no need for guns.

  97. I don’t watch the news very often and this I hadn’t seen either. What you mentioned in your blog is very sad and so true. People have forgotten about the love for God and have lost the commands as given by Jesus. Most have lost their way.
    The dream from Feb 17, 2016:
    I dreamed that I was observing the Earth from a distance as if on the moon. Everything seemed “fine” as usual but also bearing in mind all the pain and suffering amongst people all around the world. Everything carried on as usual. a voice told me “God is watching and is about to take charge. There are no more warnings for He has been merciful for many genrations and people are refusing to change their ways. Watch for this day is coming soon.” When the voice, of whom I could not see, finished saying this, I saw an explosion that seemed to come from an ocean (though I couldn’t tell from which nor could I see the continents due to the amount of “cloud” coverage around the entire world). The hole was the size of a large continent and 1/3 of the Earth was destroyed. The explosion caused buildings and mountains to go out into space. At the same time, just in the moment of the explosion, I told my children and my spouse, to all hold hands tightly and for us to keep our eyes open and to look forward at all of God’s creations and their beauty. The planets and stars were all tumbling toward the Earth. As we moved into space, I saw Saturn and Jupiter and other spheres. We were heading toward a large and colourful cloud formation that had bright lights in the center. As we were ending our passage through much debris, I was told by a firm and gentle voice, that resounded throughout all of the universe, to keep praying…to keep my faith, love for God, and praise on God. I did. Then, still all holding on to each other’s hands, and I holding on to my son’s hand, my body split open in the center from my head to below my navel and I came out of myself. I noticed that we were no longer holding on to each other’s hands; that my spouse and my daughter were together yet close by and I heard my son crying out for me. I told him “I’m right here”. I told my family to stay strong and keep faith and to keep focus on the journey ahead for we were heading “home”. It was beautiful–then, I woke up.
    27″But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
    32″But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? for even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, an you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
    37Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
    39And he spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:27-42
    The Greatest Gift
    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 for now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
    13 An now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
    1 Corinthians 13:1-13

  98. It is clear to me after reading your article that there is no shortage of hate in the so-called “Christian” community. Seriously … you think this article is fostering peace? smh

  99. Spreading the love and mercy of jebus. It’s a wunnerful thang.

    White privilege butthurt over black president. And loss of dominance over the political landscape.

    Eeeviilll.

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