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August 25, 2020

The Fall of Falwell

A report claims Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife engaged in a years-long affair.

Reuters has published an article alleging that a former business partner of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. had a years-long affair with the “evangelical power couple.” Giancarlo Granda, 29, claims to have had an affair with Falwell’s wife Becki that spanned seven years — an affair that Jerry was allegedly fully aware of and participated in by watching his wife engage in sex with Granda.

According to Reuters, Granda provided evidence in the form of emails, text messages, and video chats to back up his claims. Reuters reached out to the Falwells, whose lawyer responded by saying that Jerry “categorically denies everything you indicated you intend to publish about him.” However, the day prior to Reuters’ release of the story, Jerry issued a statement that his wife did indeed have an affair, though he asserted that he was not a party to it. He further claimed Granda had been trying to extort money from the Falwells.

It was then announced that Falwell, who took an indefinite leave of absence earlier this month over a provocative photo of himself with a young woman, was resigning as the president of Liberty. Yet on Monday evening, Falwell disputed the announcement, insisting that he was not leaving his post. Even if Granda’s allegation that Jerry was a party to the affair is false, the Falwells have confessed to enough troubling behavior that the right thing for Jerry to do is resign. A group of more than 50 pastors last week requested that Liberty’s board of trustees “permanently remove” Falwell from leadership, arguing that his behavior has brought shame to the university and was a failure “to uphold a positive witness for the name of Christ.” Indeed.

Arguing for his removal, Colby Garman, pastor of Pillar Church in Dumfries, Virginia, lamented the “sad” news. “Whatever portion of it is true it is a reminder of just how deeply entangling sin can become and our deep need for genuine spiritual renewal from Christ each and every day,” Garman noted. “As I have said before, it will be best for the school to make a permanent leadership change immediately and allow the Falwell family to work out these matters in private.”

For the mainstream media, this is a big story primarily because Falwell was an early and staunch supporter of President Donald Trump. Furthermore, the MSM views Falwell as a representative and influential leader among conservative Christians, which is not unreasonable given his role as president of one of the largest conservative Christian universities in the nation. The dubious attempt to imply guilt by association, however, should not prevent conservative Christians from condemning Falwell’s behavior and calling for him to repent. When it comes to issues of eternity, the political concerns of the moment matter little.

Update: Falwell has now confirmed his resignation, and he’ll get $10.5 million to go away.

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