Jerry Falwell and Fundamentalisms I Have Known

by Greg Linscott

This article in today’s Bangor Daily News gives a bit of a local perspective on the influence Jerry Falwell had personally around these parts. It’s of interest to me personally as it speaks of events that would ultimately shape the direction of my life and ministry (as I have previously blogged on here). As the road diverged there in the events of 1985, as the article mentions, my family and I were one of the “many” who left. While it was not always clear where we were headed at the time, I can look back and realize that I would likely not be the man I am today had it not been for the events of 1985 and following. While it has, admittedly, not always been the smoothest of journeys, one thing I did become convinced of way back then is that ministries must be bigger than the men who labor in them. This quote by Pastor Mick really made me think…

“The credit all goes to Jerry,” Mick said. “Without him, it would not be there.”

When this life is over, what will be remembered? Who gives the increase?

Father, guard my heart from the idol of self.

Zeal is that pure and heav’nly flame,
The fire of love supplies;
While that which often bears the name,
Is self in a disguise.

True zeal is merciful and mild,
Can pity and forbear;
The false is headstrong, fierce and wild,
And breathes revenge and war.

While zeal for truth the christian warms,
He knows the worth of peace;
But self contends for names and forms,
Its party to increase.

Zeal has attained its highest aim,
Its end is satisfied;
If sinners love the Savior’s name,
Nor seeks it ought betide.

But self, however well employed,
Has its own ends in view;
And says, as boasting Jehu cried, (2 Ki 10:16)
“Come, see what I can do.”

Self may its poor reward obtain,
And be applauded here;
But zeal the best applause will gain,
When JESUS shall appear.

Dear LORD, the idol self dethrone,
And from our hearts remove;
And let no zeal by us be shown,
But that which springs from love.

-John Newton