From the Heart of a Pastor

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Posted 2/17/16 at 12:49 PM | Jonathan Falwell

Upholding Moral Values

Following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, my friend Franklin Graham said that he was “a strong conservative and a staunch defender of the Constitution who upheld moral values.”

I began to think about that statement and I realized anew that there aren’t many people in the public square these days who you can say that about. It is a tragedy of our time that so many people do not see moral values and personal ethics as principal concerns. It should be a primary concern for followers of Christ.

The late theologian and pro-life activist Dr. Francis Schaeffer stated, “The moral absolutes rest upon God’s character. The moral commands He has given to men are an expression of His character. Men, as created in His image, are to live by choice on the basis of what God is. The standards of morality are determined by what conforms to His character, while those things which do not conform are immoral.”

That is why we, the followers of Christ, must remain true to His Word. It must be our focus each day as we lean on the Lord to ensure that we are living rightly. My dad said, “Constant study of the Bible will keep us clean.” We certainly can’t be clean on our own. FULL POST

Posted 7/6/15 at 10:03 AM | Jonathan Falwell

Response to Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage

I made a statement Sunday at Thomas Road Baptist Church regarding the recent Supreme Court 5-4 ruling on Gay Marriage. I encourage you to watch it here:

Posted 7/1/15 at 12:30 PM | Jonathan Falwell

America at its Founding is a Stark Spiritual Contrast to America Today

As we approach July 4, the celebration of our nation’s independence, I want to hearken back to the days of America’s founding to show that we were clearly founded in Biblical Truth and established under godly principles that are being largely ignored and/or revised today. Let’s look at just a few examples.

In a speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs (May 12, 1779), President George Washington said, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.” President Washington also said this: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” Our first President clearly believed that God governed in the affairs of men and that man desperately needed God’s guiding light to preserve the nation.

Listen to the words of Samuel Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence: “I … [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.” And this: “We have this day [4th of July] restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come.” FULL POST

Posted 6/26/15 at 6:30 PM | Jonathan Falwell

Special Statement

It is a sad day in our nation when the Supreme Court believes it has the moral right to redefine marriage. Beyond the clear Biblical mandate that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, this decision flies in the face of all of recorded history.

The Bible clearly commands us to love others regardless of their spiritual or moral condition, but it does not leave room for us to change the definition of sin. For those in the faith community, this decision doesn't change what we do or how we do it. We will continue to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only hope for the world. We will do this in a way that always reflects Christ's love, but we will not compromise our values or beliefs according to the Scriptures.

Posted 5/15/15 at 3:52 PM | Jonathan Falwell

Churches Must be Relevant Within the Culture

My father learned from the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer that pastors and churches must not shy away from the culture. This is largely what prompted Dad to become an outspoken pro-life advocate and an innovator in protecting and advocating for the lives of unborn babies.

Today, our culture is, I think you would agree, out of control and careening fast toward total moral breakdown. The only roadblock, as I see it, is the church of Jesus Christ. When the world preaches sexual immorality, situational ethics and secularism, we must be standing firm on the Solid Rock of the Gospel of Christ.

As you know, Thomas Road Worldwide and our Liberty Church Planting Network are heavily involved in American and international church planting and pastoral training. This is our priority because we believe that planting Gospel-preaching, God-honoring churches that are relevant to their communities is the best way to reach people, to reach cities, to reach cultures, and to reach nations with the message of Jesus.

I will tell you that we do not always see “church” in traditional terms. Yes, our churches have pastors and they meet in regular services where we glorify and worship the Savior. But they are so much more. For example, one of our more recent church plants, Village Church in Staunton, Va., will soon officially launch, while their core group is currently meeting together. They are now planning to get active in the community with a block party for area kids and families. They see this as a great way to meet new people and let them see the love the church has for the folks of Staunton. FULL POST

Posted 4/15/15 at 10:52 AM | Jonathan Falwell

Is Jesus God?

The Barna Group has an interesting poll out in the wake of two recent television miniseries on the life of Jesus. The polling questions asked: (1) Was Jesus a real person and (2) is Jesus God?

The answers provided a bit of good news and a bit of bad news. First, most people firmly believe that Jesus truly existed, with more than 90 percent of respondents answering in the affirmative. However, the second question is where the problem arises. The Barna Group reported, “Most adults — not quite six in 10 — believe Jesus was God (56 percent), while about one-quarter say he was only a religious or spiritual leader like Mohammed or the Buddha (26 percent). The remaining one in six says they aren’t sure whether Jesus was divine (18 percent).”

That 44 percent who are unsure about Jesus, I believe, is our core target group, as representatives of Christ. They are the people who we need to reach with the Gospel, the people we need to be praying for, the people we need to be living rightly for. And certainly there are those in the 56 percent group that believe Jesus is God, but have not followed Him as Savior. And so the poll simply reveals what we pretty much recognize as true: our nation needs Jesus. FULL POST

Posted 4/3/15 at 10:35 AM | Jonathan Falwell

Paving the Way for Jesus

It was the first Palm Sunday. The people brought a colt to Jesus and He rode into Jerusalem while cries of “Hosanna” rang throughout the city (Mark 11). Everyone wanted to be there, to experience seeing Jesus riding into town. Many of them cut down palm branches and spread them across the road, while others placed garments before Him as He rode by. It was like a parade and the people were so excited to see Jesus and proclaim His arrival. In this passage, I’d like to examine three elements that I think should encourage us today in how we seek to proclaim Jesus to others.

As we look at these people in Mark 11, we see them working (cutting down olive branches) and sacrificing (laying their clothes in the road) to pave the way for Jesus. Today, it takes work and sacrifice to proclaim Jesus to a doubting culture. I know many people in our church who are working diligently in their neighborhoods, in their families, in their workplaces to make Jesus known. It takes work. It takes sacrifice.

I recently heard a story of how a lady approached my father many years ago to tell him that her husband would not go to church and that he was a drunkard. So my dad went to visit with him and share the Gospel with this man. And ultimately, my dad said to him, “I want you to come to church this Sunday.” And the man said, “I can’t go to church because I don’t have a suit and tie.” And my dad literally stood up in that man’s house and removed his jacket, removed his tie, removed his shirt, removed his socks and shoes and told the man he didn’t have any excuse not to come to church. And amazingly, that man showed up at church the next Sunday in my dad’s clothes and a pair of blue jeans and followed Jesus Christ as Savior, following Him until the day he died. FULL POST

Posted 3/18/15 at 2:56 PM | Jonathan Falwell

Paying a Price for One’s Faith

“Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you” – I John 3:13 (NKJV).

The world offers no friendship to Christianity or Christians. In recent weeks, we continue to see example after example of this truth as Christians in other parts of the world pay with their very lives for their belief in Jesus Christ. In our own nation, we do not see the same horrific types of persecution, but we do see Christians paying a steep, sometimes devastating price for advancing their faith.

Here are just a couple of recent examples. In what is being described as a “Soviet-style attack” on churches, the city of Lakeworth, Fla., has ordered churches to acquire a business license in order to operate. Liberty Counsel, which is representing one church in the city, says that a city investigator even attended a recent service under-cover with a hidden video camera. And in Lexington, Ky., after Christian businessman Brian Adamson told a homosexual-rights group that he would not print T-shirts for a gay pride event because the T-shirt message “conflicts” with his convictions, he came under fire. Even though he put event organizers in touch with another printer, he has been found guilty of discrimination against homosexuals. FULL POST

Posted 3/3/15 at 3:29 PM | Jonathan Falwell

We Ought to Love One Another

On Sunday, I preached a message on love, based on I John 4:7-21. You know, over the last weeks, we’ve seen what religion looks like when it is based on hatred. We have seen people kidnapped, burned to death, and beheaded. When we read John chapter 2, we see that Christians should look the exact opposite of that.

The world needs love — true, God-inspired love. Love is undeserved, unmerited and can never be earned. So many people believe that they must do something in order for God to love them. But love is a gift from God. It is also a promise that can never be taken away from us. God loves us and, in turn, we must love others with that love that abides in us.

On Sunday, I shared with our congregation ten key essentials for living life with a heart of love. I would like to share them with you today.

1. Always look for the best in other people. It’s easy to do with people you love, but you are probably thinking of someone right now who is really tough to love.

2. Make forgiveness a habit. Don’t make forgiveness an option or a policy that applies just to people you love. Make it a part of who you are even with people who are difficult to forgive.

3. Forgive even when they’re not looking for it. Forgiveness is a true picture of Christ-based love. We forgive because He forgives us so freely. If we are living for Him, we will have hearts that do not hold pointless grudges. FULL POST

Posted 1/5/15 at 1:19 PM | Jonathan Falwell

An Uplifting Story to Launch the New Year

As we step into a new year, I would like to highlight a really encouraging story coming from the Republic of Benin in West Africa, where I want to make known to you a young man whose name is Carin. He is 17 years old and he was raised in a family where his father was a member of a cult that offered animal sacrifices for their sins and practiced many magic rituals.

However, because of one of our church plants in the area, both Carin and his father have become followers of Christ. There’s much more. Carin has become very good friends with the pastor, who started a Bible training center for those wishing to study the Bible and work with new church plants. Carin has been able to study with the pastor and even live in his home for a period of time. The pastor also encouraged Carin to register for Bible classes despite his young age. During the training, Carin said, “I was afraid to go before people to evangelize. But the stories of Timothy, Titus, and Daniel delivered me. When I learned that they were used by God mightily at a young age, my fear vanished. I started to preach and witness everywhere.”

This young man has now planted two churches, one in his school and one in his village and word of his work for Christ is growing. He reports that he recently attended a funeral service where a fetish (Voodoo) priest was conducting the burial ceremony and asking the dead body to punish the person who killed him. Carin says that he took courage and asked the Lord Jesus to help him challenge the people who were there. “I raised my hand that I had something to say,” Carin tells us. “I came to the middle of the crowd and demonstrated through the Word of God that a dead person has no power. He cannot do anything to the living ones and the living ones cannot help him, either. I invited them to accept the only Person who can save them from here and secure their life after death, as well. The Holy Spirit convinced a few and some turned to the Lord that day.” FULL POST