IPFS Greg J Dixon

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More About: Philosophy: Conservatism

Did a Leading Televangelist Betray Everett Sileven and Faith Baptist Church in 1982?

Before we begin today’s article, we want to say that we were not suggesting  that any of the men mentioned in yesterday’s column were connected in any way with the crimes attributed to them by Gene Rightmyer at the International Undercover Officers Association Seminar in 1999. We can also say from first hand knowledge that Pastors W.N. Otwell and Matt Trewhella certainly were not. Things have not changed for the followers of Christ after 2000 years.  Just as our Lord was crucified between two thieves to make him look guilty, the descendents of those who delivered Him up to be crucified are doing the same to His followers today.  Also just as there were those who betrayed the Christ and His followers into the hands of the authorities, there are those that are doing the same at this time.  This is what this article is about.   In fact the Lord Jesus Himself said, They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
In our column in Freedom’s Phoenix on 3/19/09, we discussed the events in 1982 and 1983 that resulted in “America’s First Padlocked Church,” when the Faith Baptist Church in Louisville, Nebraska was padlocked by State officials for not taking State licensure for their Church Education Ministry.  Their pastor, Everett Sileven, spent 297 days, and seven fathers spent a total of 97 days, in the jail at the County Seat at Plattsmouth.  Dr. Jerry Falwell, Pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church of Lynchburg, Virginia and speaker on the Old Time Gospel Hour Television Program, did not come in person when the church was padlocked in 1982.  However, he did come in 1983 for a padlock reenactment of the church for TV to raise funds for the fathers and their families, who had suffered great financial loss, in that the mothers and children had to flee the state for several months to keep their children from being taken by social services.  Some of the fathers and mothers had even lost employment.  According to the attorney who was representing the fathers, $4 million dollars was raised by Falwell’s TV program for the families, but nothing came for many months until a lawsuit was threatened.  Finally each family did receive a check for $1,000 from the Old Time Gospel Hour.
However, for Pastor Sileven, his troubles were just beginning from the visit with the big time televangelist.  While there, Falwell noticed a small stack of Spotlights, a Washington, D.C. publication supporting the Liberty Lobby, which called for restoring the Constitution of the U.S. as the governing document of our nation and exposing many of the internal enemies of America who are trying to subvert our Constitution, Bill of Rights and Christian Republic, such as the Jewish Defense League (JDL), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and B’nai B’rith.
According to Sileven, Dr. Falwell suggested that the pastor might want to take the paper, which he said was anti-Semitic, out of his church foyer, and Pastor Sileven said that he would not.  It wasn’t long until the pastor received a call from a Jewish Rabbi inviting him to lunch, which included an Orthodox Rabbi, two other Rabbis, and some Jewish attorneys representing the groups mentioned above.  The meeting was cordial, but they mentioned that Dr. Falwell had contacted them and suggested that they talk to the Pastor about having the Spotlight in the foyer of his church.  They said that it was anti-Semitic and wanted to know if he knew what is anti-Semitic.  Pastor Sileven said that the paper had some political truths and information that the people needed to hear, and that he wouldn’t remove it.  At that point they said, “We will be involved in trying to end your ministry.”  Pastor Sileven said, “I guess that proves that the Spotlight is right.”

Now why did Dr. Falwell feel compelled to call the Jewish representatives and inform them that Pastor Sileven had the Spotlight in the foyer of his church auditorium?  Pastor Sileven believes that it could be that Falwell had received several millions of dollars from Israel including a large jet airplane, and this was his way of letting them know that he was loyal to them and that he was doing his “duty as a friend of Israel.”  Whatever the reason, apparently these men and organizations were powerful enough to “end the pastor’s ministry.”  The story is too long for this article, but after a long harassment by various agencies of our government, Pastor Sileven’s ministry was ended in Nebraska.
To me, this is one of the saddest articles that I have ever written.  I went to Bible College with Jerry. We were friends for over fifty years until his death.  I was in the hotel room with him and Tim LaHaye when the Moral Majority was founded and he asked me to be the National Secretary.  I loved and admired him as few other men.  But he was a man, and he had feet of clay as we all have.  I have told this story because it needs to be told.  It must be told.  The same ones who destroyed Pastor Sileven’s ministry in Nebraska also destroyed the property and Christian school of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple in Indianapolis.  And now they have upped the ante to presidential candidates like Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr, and even a Republican presidential candidate and United States Congressman, Ron Paul. And eventually, if possible, they will destroy every Christian Fundamentalist, patriot and constitutionalist left in America.  Tomorrow, God willing, we will explain the reason why.
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