I’m not one to clutch pearls over Jerry Falwell Jr having a Trailer Park Boys themed yacht party, however, it is clear that his social media behavior will spell the end of his reign at Liberty University. And so I have to ask, is this a good thing?
Jerry Falwell Jr. is perhaps best known for trying to create a Christian influence in politics. But what cemented his rise to mainstream politics was his endorsement of Donald Trump in the primaries, when most other grassroots Evangelicals supported Ted Cruz. This deviation paid big-time for Jerry Falwell Jr. But don’t be mistaken, Donald Trump helped Falwell more than the other way around. But since 2017, Jerry Falwell Jr. boasted the congruence between theological conservatism (orthodoxy) and political conservatism, yet despite or because of his willingness to endorse Trump so early, it became readily apparent he was not very politically conservative.
In 2019, Jerry Falwell Jr. came over the top rope to defend a GOP congressmen who was censured by his local party for officiating a homosexual wedding. Jerry Falwell Jr. insisted in an open letter that officiating a homoseual wedding ceremony does not disqualify someone from being a social conservative. This would be laughable if he wasn’t the head of a Christian University. But Liberty University’s own Bob Good would end up unseating Denver Riggleman in the GOP Primary.
Then of course there’s also the issue of allowing a faculty member, Karen Swallow Prior to remain employed for 21 years at Liberty University despite consistently undermining biblical sexuality during her tenure there.
Liberty University, from what I can gather, does not have all of the shenanigans going on with SBTS, SEBTS, or SWBTS, however, it’s not unfair to suggest that the university could take a stronger academic stance against the Social Justice Gospel. But for now Jerry Falwell Jr.’s lasting legacy may be the Falkirk Center which is named after he and the massive grifter known as Charlie Kirk who also isn’t that socially conservative. Though Jon Harris said good things about its leaders, so perhaps this competitor to the ERLC may have a positive lasting impact. But for now, I look forward to finding out the long term replacement of Jerry Falwell Jr.