Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fox News LDS Pundit Glenn Beck Delivers Generic Christian Message About Faith During 2010 Commencement Address At Liberty University

Fox News conservative pundit Glenn Beck appeared before 8,650 graduating students at the 2010 Liberty University commencement held on May 15th, 2010, where he avoided the subject of politics and instead delivered a more generic Christian message focusing on the value of faith. Media stories now published by the Lynchburg News & Advance and on the Liberty University website. I also just found a video of the address on TheRightScoop; it's embedded below:

Beck, an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasized the power of faith in righting a country that he said has gone off track. "I look at the things that are facing you today: the worst economy in generations, the euro on the road to collapse, we’re spending ourselves into oblivion...We live in a time where you must have great courage; you must have great faith. We live in a time where it seems truth is on the run.“

Beck also urged graduates to turn to God and live, and not to underestimate the power of the atonement. "As a man who needed the atonement...I read the promise. He will carry your burdens. I made Him a promise. You keep Your word and I will keep mine", Beck said. "He will never break His promise, and now it's all up to me. [The atonement] is the most powerful thing you will ever encounter".

Beck was also quite moved by the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree bestowed upon him by Liberty University. "As a man who was never able to go to college - I'm the first one in my family that went. I went for one semester. I couldn't afford more than that. I am humbly honored".

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. also addressed the group. He noted that many of the visions of his father, Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr., had been met this year, including 50,000 students enrolled on campus and through Liberty University online. He also reiterated the purpose of the school. "The vision for Liberty was not to create just another Bible school, but instead to build for conservative evangelical Christians what Notre Dame is for Catholic young people or what Brigham Young is for Mormon youth", Falwell said. "We are thankful to God that the dream is now being realized". The class of 2010 was the last class originally enrolled while Jerry Falwell Sr. was still alive.

Although there were no reported disturbances during the event, the appearance of Glenn Beck was not without some controversy. As previously documented, some apologetic extremists questioned the decision because they think Mormons aren't Christians. But Jerry Falwell Jr. stuck to his guns. Liberty University traditionally holds both a baccalaureate service and a Commencement ceremony. The baccalaureate ceremony always includes a gospel message brought by someone who is in complete theological alignment with the university. However, commencement has always featured leaders from all walks of life and all faiths who share the university’s social values and traditional family values. In 2010, Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson, who is theologically aligned with Falwell, spoke at the baccalaureate service on Friday May 14th; a separate story on his appearance is available HERE.

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