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Why I do the talk shows
Posted By Jerry Falwell On 11/10/1999 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
I recently opened a letter from a lady who said, “Thanks Dr. Falwell for your messages on MSNBC’s Rivera Live. My unchurched husband (he claims to be an agnostic) will not attend church or watch Christian television. But he watches you every week with Geraldo, and on all the other talk shows. He likes your biblical stand on the issues and he is planning a 500-mile trip to Lynchburg so we can visit your church. Dr. Falwell, you could never know what a miracle this is.”
As I read this letter, I thought, “My ‘messages’ on Rivera Live? This reader considers my statements on a secular talk show to be “messages.” I receive a large volume of snail-mail (USPS) and e-mail daily with similar encouraging words. Of course, I get other correspondence from folks who fiercely criticize my appearances on network shows. Therefore, I decided to explain why I feel these appearances are necessary for me to make.
For 25 years, I have been appearing on most of the major news and talk shows. From the now-defunct Phil Donahue show, to the brand new, hard-hitting programs on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNBC, media has been my niche.
It all started, of course, with the Old-Time Gospel Hour, my weekly church broadcast, over 43 years ago. This program is today the longest-running, uninterrupted, live church service on television. I doubt if many secular programs have a longer tenure.
When I first began appearing with Donahue and on other network news shows, some friends asked me if I were not “casting my pearls before swine.” They felt I was “dignifying the undignified” by participating in these venues.
That sent me to my knees. I then recalled, once again, the rationale behind my frequent media appearances. A quarter century ago, God gave me my instructions regarding taking the Christian worldview to the public square. After reading Acts 17 many years ago, a biblical passage which tells of the Apostle Paul’s debates with the many unbelieving philosophers on Mars Hill, I felt strongly led that I was to emulate Paul’s unique “public square” ministry and that my Mars Hill was the national media.
I accepted my calling as a Mars Hill minister to the media. I fully understand that very few indeed have this calling. But I do!
Four Reasons Why I Debate On Mars Hill
The Lord has opened the door for me to provide pastoral counseling and ministry to several of them. These men and women are often under great pressure and have few intimate friends from whom they can get personal spiritual help. This is a very private and sensitive thing with me. I, of course, never discuss privately or publicly the details of this open door of ministry. But, it is important to me.
So, this is why I do the talk shows. I accept Acts 17:16-34 as my personal calling from the Lord to be a “Mars Hill” minister. You may not always agree with me. But I hope you believe that I am doing what I believe God wants me to do.
You can learn of my media appearances in advance by visiting my website at www.falwell.com.
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