With Liberty University suing its past president, Jerry Falwell Jr., for negotiating a generous severance package just before he had to resign because of a sexual scandal, an evangelical pastor says there should be two responses from Christians.
Liberty University wants back the $10 million Falwell took when he resigned in disgrace in August of 2020. The lawsuit says Falwell negotiated a "well-resourced exit strategy" the year before, and the school is accusing its past president of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and statutory conspiracy.
Falwell was seen in a picture with his pants unzipped and his arm around a young lady to whom he was not related. He also hid an affair his wife was having with a pool boy – an affair he may or may not have been involved in himself.
Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist-Dallas says if the allegations are true, then there ought to be two responses from Christians.
"First of all, nobody should rejoice in the downfall of another person. We should be praying for Jerry, his family, [and] for the Liberty University family as a whole," Dr. Jeffress begins. "Secondly, we need to remember that none of us is immune from falling into sin. We can all fall. It usually never happens immediately. It's a slow erosion of our souls over a long period of time that leads to a final collapse."
Jeffress believes high-profile Christians are a special target of Satan.
"In his crosshairs would be every Christian, but certainly those who have a public ministry and are well known by others," he submits. "We're all joined together with other Christians, and when one Christian falls, it really does hurt the entire witness of Christ."
The pastor adds that believers need to inoculate themselves against a fall, and that begins with a continual tending and cultivating of one's relationship with God. But secondly, he says, "We all need accountability."