I have a confession to make.
In my late preteen years, when forced to tag along on my mother's grocery shopping trips, I (an avid reader) used to kill time at the magazine rack. Here's the confession part: On those occasions I used to read Mad Magazine.
In 1982 I distinctly recall picking up an episode of Mad Magazine that contained a satirical "interview" with Jerry Falwell. The interview was not as bad as Hustler's infamous counterpart that portrayed Falwell as confessing to furtive erotic fixations upon his mother. It was nevertheless trash...absolute trash, and I knew as much even as a twelve-year-old. I confess that I laughed anyway, and I continued to read the magazine.
I'm thankful that God has granted me the gift of maturing spiritually somewhat (although not nearly as much as I would like) in the intervening years since I was twelve. No longer am I at all inclined to fill my mind with such garbage. I find it repugnant.
I think I would have found it repugnant in 1982 if somehow, at that tender age, I had possessed the slightest inkling of how difficult it must have been to withstand the continual assault directed toward Jerry Falwell by those who made themselves his foes. Everything that could be attacked about the man was attacked. People questioned his motives, lampooned his convictions, and dedicated their lives to his destruction.
Not that it all was entirely the fault of his accusers. We all have feet of clay, don't we? I can recall several times when Falwell wound up retracting, at least partially, something that he had said. He made several public apologies. He apologized when he called South African Bishop Desmond Tutu a "phony" (see here). He apologized for his remarks immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks (see here). Down through the years he issued many clarifications and many apologies. None of these trivialities blunted the force of his overall message, nor did his supporters, his organization, or his family ever allow these distractions to draw their attention away from the things that mattered in his ministry.
Considering all of this, I find it comical to observe bloggers thinking that, by turning up a little blogging heat upon Dr. Ergun Caner, they are going to be able to unseat him from his position at the helm of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. I'm not going to name the bloggers and I'm not going to link to their posts, because I have no desire to be responsible for driving any traffic in that direction. But it appears to me that, just because Ergun has apologized and clarified a thing or two and because they are so ravenously going after him, they think that school of Jerry Falwell is going to cower under their attacks and boot Ergun out the door. The school that Jerry built? The people who weathered the onslaught of vicious attacks from the entire leftish establishment of media and government for more than 30 years? These people are going to bow to the pressure of bloggers in bathrobes? I'm just not seeing it. They may get a few hits every day, but these bloggers have neither the writing skills that Alfred E Newman had nor the audience that Tinky-Winky had.
So, like a seasoned palm tree in the Florida keys, the school that Jerry built will sway with the howling winds that blow from people who are never going to be a friend to Liberty under any circumstances, and in the end the school's steely backbone will hold intact as it always has, and the truth will continue to sound forth from Lynchburg.