Dr. Tim LaHaye
Founder and President
Tim LaHaye Ministries
Tim LaHaye - Employment- Founder and President, Tim LaHaye Ministries; co-founder, Pre-Trib Research Center. Works- Fictional Co-Author, Left Behind series, Babylon Rising series, and The Jesus Chronicles series; non-fictional author, over 60 books on a wide range of subjects including Spirit Controlled Temperament, The Act of Marriage, How to Win Over Depression, and many more; non-fictional co-author, Mind Siege with CNP member David Noebel; editor, The Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, recognized as the most complete prophecy study Bible compiled; author and/or editor, Tim LaHaye Prophecy Library, created in 2001 and features prophecy books and materials. Special Mention- Founder and Past President, Council for National Policy; former pastor, 25 years, one of the nation's outstanding churches in San Diego, California, which grew to three locations, founded two accredited Christian high schools, a school system of ten Christian schools and San Diego Christian College (formerly Christian Heritage College); co-founder, Institute for Creation Research with the late Dr. Henry Morris; nationally recognized author, minister, educator, and speaker on Bible prophecy. Education- D.Min., Western Theological Seminary; Lit.D., Literature, Liberty University. Personal- Father of four; grandfather of nine; great-grandfather of ten; married to Beverly for over 60 years; they live in Alpine, California.
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DR. LAHAYE: Thank you very much.
Tony and Stu, I just can’t thank you enough for participating in this. And all of you. What else can I say but thank you? I am deeply, deeply humbled and to receive the Ronald Reagan award, nothing could please me more than until I get to Heaven and the Lord improves on the introduction.
But I’ve got to tell you something you may not know and that is in 1965, early in the year after the Goldwater campaign, I was a pastor in Southern California in San Diego. I was there for twenty-five years and I was moved in my heart to write to Ronald Reagan after the stem-winding speeches he gave, and many of you are old enough to remember and heard him around the country, and we were introduced to him. He got off his horse in Hollywood and he got on the stage and he began to spell-bind people in talking about the future of America and so on. I had the audacity to write him a two page letter as to why he should run for Governor of the State of California, and after eight years in that capacity that would qualify him to run for President of the United States, and he was so impressed that he did it.
Years passed and Bev was honoring him with something from Concerned Women for America and she invited me to tag along to the Oval Office building. I had an opportunity during the photograph session, just for a moment, and I said, "Mr. President, I had the privilege of writing this letter to you back in 1965 urging you to run." And he thanked me very graciously - one thing about him, he always looked you straight in the eye - and he thanked me very graciously. They got busy doing some other things and one of his aides came to me and said, "Dr. LaHaye, you are one of eleven thousand people who wrote that letter."
But you couldn’t have pleased me more than honoring me with a bust of Ronald Reagan, my very favorite President in over one hundred years - the greatest president in American history, as I have suggested. On our sixtieth anniversary honeymoon trip, Bev and I drove sixty days through the northeast of the United States. We hadn’t been there very much and we went to Mount Rushmore. I looked it all over very carefully and I noticed, with all due respect to the images of the former Presidents there, there is room for one more, and I’d like to suggest Ronald Reagan.
But tonight, since I have the microphone, I’d like to do something special. I was surprised tonight to find so many of my wonderful family came to this occasion. And I would just like to ask them if they would stand and have you meet part of the thirty-five members of the LaHaye family. Thank you for honoring us and coming tonight. It is just a blessing to have you here. And then I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to introduce you to the love of my life, best next to receiving Jesus Christ when I was eight years of age, the best decision I ever made was ask Beverly Ratcliff if she would become my wife. And she said, "Well I’ve got to think about it." And being the patient type guy I am I said five minutes later, "Well have you made up your mind?" Fortunately for me she said yes and we have had a running romance for sixty-three years. Thanks be to God.
They gave me fifteen minutes tonight and as you will learn in a few moments our special guest from Arizona who I regard highly and I’m sure you do to, was unable to attend and so I am taking the liberty of extending my speaking time from fifteen minutes to sixteen. But there are a few things I would like to say. So many people have asked me, "how did you happen to get the burden to start the Council for National Policy?" In the providence of God, it just came to me. It was like I saw what was happening in America, and the moral condition of California was so depraved and getting worse and media and the entertainment industry and the public sector of education - you know the whole drill. And we thought something had to be done, and I decided to start an organization here in California. Some of you may have helped me, or your parents did, and that is the Californians for Biblical Morality. Isn’t that a wonderful title that nobody can remember? I started this organization bringing together some ministers. I realized that we Evangelical Christians, and that was a big broad group, had a concern for the moral decline of America and the rise of depravity. So we pulled together two hundred and forty-one ministers in Los Angeles and I shared the burden to them and we started our organization. A few weeks later I met with Jerry Falwell, and we had been friends for a decade or more by then, and Jerry heard about it and he asked me some questions. About two weeks later he called me and he said, "Tim I’d like for you to serve on the board of the new organization I’m going to start called the moral majority." And recognizing that it not just we Evangelicals that have a yearning for morality but there are many Americans, in fact I’m convinced today the majority of Americans consider themselves moral-minded people - not perfect, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God - but we don’t want to live in Sodom and Gomorrah. A majority want to live in a morally sane society. And so we tried to put this together. He said, "I’m going to start that for the whole United States." And I thought, that is typical of Jerry - I’m thinking of one state and he is thinking of forty-eight more.
In the providence of God again we met certain people and we had a meeting. Can you believe this? In Washington D.C., a group of conservatives were brought together, and there were all of seventeen of us in this room and we discussed some of the things that should be done. And that day we were at a Religious Broadcasters Convention, Howard Phillips was in that meeting and he asked us if he could have lunch with us. And Howard has made such a great contribution to this organization. And he took us to lunch, Bev and myself, and he said something about "if not you who?" I have always deprecated myself. Who am I to start something like the Council for National Policy or a group of evangelicals? My motivation was that I had written several books on human temperament. Some of you may have read them. And I realize that the leadership that was springing up all over the conservative movement was made up largely of clerics. Hard-driving leadership compulsive people that run everything and I could just see them colliding with each other. And I thought, wouldn’t it be neat if we had a group that could get together on a regular basis and become friends.
One of the delights to me of this organization has been to see so many people instead of becoming mortal enemies or certain competitors in a battle, become friends in a battle, and march off from a CNP meeting with ideas and goals and plans to work together, because we are all in a battle for the survival of America.
Howard said, "If not you who?" And that burned in my mind. So I shortly after that was asked to do a TV thing in Dallas on my new book that had just come out on The Battle for the Mind and I feel that the issues and the philosophy today are just an example of the very thing. There is a philosophy that starts without God and ends up persecuting men: it’s called socialism. And there is a philosophy of God that loves God and loves his fellow man and God wants to use him and he fosters freedom. And they are one hundred and eighty degrees in opposition and they collide continually, and thanks be unto God, we raise up a group of people.
In fact, on that particular time I remember saying to the host, Collin Davis in Dallas, I told him what my idea was and he said, "well I know somebody that would be interested" and I said, "who?" and he said, "Bunker Hunt." And I knew he was a mega rich man but I had no way of getting to him and I said, "well how will we get to him?" And he said, "He is one of my dearest friends and he’d arrange it."
To make a long story short we met together, Howard Phillips, and Richard Viguerie, who is here tonight, and myself and three men from Houston. But the one thing I have learned about Alzheimer’s, if you forget something and then you remember it, you don’t have Alzheimer’s. Now if you forget something and you never remember it, you’re in big trouble. Anyway, Bunker Hunt came to our meeting and we were discussing the fact that we need an Executive Director for this organization and he said, "Well I met a guy on the airplane." Bunker Hunt was rich enough that he could have bought the airline. So this guy that Bunker Hunt met was a state representative in Louisiana and a lawyer." Bunker said, "We were crammed in so tight that I couldn’t help but see what he was reading and he is obviously a very conservative guy and very busy and ambitious and hard-driving… I think that maybe he would be a good candidate." And that was the first step for Woody Jenkins, as many of you remember, and he came in as our director and he was a great blessing. But he symbolized what became a series of people and, starting this organization, gave an opportunity for many talented people to come out of the woodwork and offer themselves to God, to America, and to this organization. And I know I am going to skip a lot of people but just remember some of the names of the past presidents.
I think Ed Meese has just given his career and his experience to us and he is still doing it in an incredible way, has raised this organization to a higher level. And Judge Pressler has made an indelible mark on this ministry and Rich DeVos of course, just miraculously preserved by God and medical science, and Don Hodel and Ken Cribb and many, many others. My apologies to those I did not remember, but just chalk it up to my brain. The important thing is this organization is not the result of one man. It is a result of many, many dedicated people who love America and who want to see values return. When we talk about re-taking America, we don’t want to take it, we want America to return to the values of the Founding Fathers.
And so with that brief introduction, I would like to say three quick points. I hope you will remember these. This may be the last chance I’ll have, and as the founder of the organization, I just want to tell you how much I love you and how many friends I have in this room, and I want to thank you all for what you are doing and will be doing for the conservative movement because the people of America need what you are doing. By the way Stu, I’m glad you didn’t go bankrupt with that radio station.
Three things I wanted you to remember quickly.
Don’t give up on your pastor. I was a pastor for thirty-seven years, wonderful time of my life. The church is God’s special institution and many Pastors like myself were raised in the pietistic movement that we preachers, we Christians, never get involved in politics, it is a dirty business; we leave that up to the nice civic-minded people. Well you know what I discovered? Those people that were running the country when we were absenting ourselves from the ballot box, they weren’t so nice and they weren’t so civic. They were not in the best interest of America. They wanted to bring America down. I found that they were anti-Christian and anti-American. They wanted to change this American country, and that is why we are exposed to socialism today, - not the will of the American people, and it is not the main stream philosophy of America - it is just that the Left Wing socialist think they represent the main stream. We represent the main stream, yearning for our people. And it is time that we stand up and help them. And one of the disappointments I have had in getting ministers involved - like Jerry Falwell, myself, and some of the others that helped us start the Moral Majority – and it has finally dawned on me why more of them don’t come. More don’t come because we ministers only work one day a week, everybody knows that. But tomorrow is the day. And so you have to be where you are going to be on Saturday, or cramming for your exams on Sunday on Friday, and so you need to be home instead of being here. And one of the reasons that we don’t have so many ministers in this organization as we expected is because of the timing, but not lack of interest. I’d like to challenge you as a minister myself. Help them.
I have through the years seen people in my congregation who would give me things that would help me. They would give me articles and magazine clippings, cassette recordings, and so on. And may I suggest that you start right now by getting Jonathan Falwell’s stem-winding address to our group here at this conference, and every time you come, go home with something you can give your pastor. As a tithe paying member of their church, they will pay attention to you. So help him along in the educational process and be a friend to him and help him when it comes to election time. I yearn and pray regularly that the day will come when all three hundred thousand evangelical churches in America will remember at least on Sunday before the election to pray for the election. Actually, they should have for several weeks. Voter registration campaigns in church are perfectly legitimate, and then pray on the Sunday before the election that the American people will reflect its spirit on Election Day and do everything you can in your church to get out the vote. Help those who can’t drive to the polls to do so and if they need any help on suggesting how to vote, tell them.
And then I would like to suggest one other thing. Take advantage of what I call "the light bulb theory." I know I have to explain it because you couldn’t figure it out but the light bulb is what has gone on while here this weekend. The light bulb of the spirit of God, on the hearts of many of you has been vocalized and you are going home with light bulbs in your mind and you recognize that God can use you. God has no respect for a person; he is a user of people to advance his program. There is an Old Testament verse in 2 Chronicles, chapter 69 that says "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro and all the earth seeking a man," and it is generic a man or a woman, "whose heart is perfect toward him." That is a heart that is filled with faith. The word perfect means complete. A heart of complete faith in him. And so I would like to suggest that these inclinations you get, these ideas, the light bulb goes on and you think, "hey, we need to do that in our community, we can have a difference in our county, in our city." When you get that idea, think of when I answered Howard Phillips’s question. If not me, then who? And give yourself to God.
The neat thing about God using our lives is all of us, as his children, can pray the prayer that Proverbs tells us, "in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path." And so when the light bulb goes on and you think about this or that or whatever you’ve learned this weekend or will in the future, pray about it. You don’t have to decide to do it right away. God is never in a hurry. Instead say, "Lord, Do you want me to do that? If that is your will, here I am, I am your man, and I’m your girl." The role model for all of us should be Mary - a young girl who was probably sixteen or seventeen years of age when the angel talked to her about being the mother of the Messiah. She prayed that incredible prayer, "behold the handmade of the Lord" and I hope every one of you will do that same thing. Behold the servant of the Lord. Lord whatever you want me to do. And then trust God to give you the faith to go ahead and launch out accomplish His will.
And then last but not least, I have a pet concern. And I think it is the concern of everyone in this room; and that is we are being destroyed in America by the public school systems of our country. And it was Abraham Lincoln who said, essentially, let me educate the children of this generation and they will be the political leaders of the next generation. And folks we have let the enemy come in and take over the greatest school system in the history of the world. At one time, Noah Webster was the school master of America. A dedicated Christian who founded people on the Word of God and principles of God, and I’d like to see you join me in prayer that God would let us wrestle control of the American school system from the secularists, the anti-Christians and anti-Americans that want to bend the minds of our children. At our expense, they want to take the most priceless thing we have -the brains of our children - and let them educate them. They educate the teachers, they provide the text books, and we give them the most precious things we have. That doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m hoping that this conservative movement will be long enough to get a majority who can vote what I consider a new bill of rights - a bill of parental rights where parents can decide where to send their children to school.
I once started the San Diego Christian school system and it grew to be the second largest Christian school system in America and we had ten different schools and various churches and our own three churches and so on. I recognize that it rings a bell, but there are limitations, and in this economic turndown it’s wrong for parents to pay their taxes to miss educate people in the public sector of education and then in order to have an alternative, turn around and pay tuition in a Christian school or a private school or wherever - a charter school. If you want an education for your children, we need to take control and make parents the guarantors of their children’s education. You do not have to be a professional educator to educate your children; you have to be a concerned parent, taxpayer, and servant of God in the scope of American history. The future belongs to us but really it belongs to our children and the biggest legacy that we are misgiving our children of the debt, the huge debt that we have all heard about is not just a financial debt but the debt of not having a thorough going biblically-based education. Not a denominational based education, but a biblically-based education where the children can emphasize reading. I talked to one of the black ministers here at this conference about what he could do in his community. Isn’t it sad that I have to talk to him about teaching your children to read, because if you can read well you can read anything? But it is my understanding, if the figures are true, by the time we multiply and double the cost of education today we have dropped from being first in education and reading to where we are down to twenty-eighth, or even if it is close to that may I suggest more money is not what they need, it is a better ideology, and we have already got it.
So let me sum up by saying don’t limit yourself by unbelief and say, well who am I. I tried that several times, most of the things I have started in my lifetime I’ve thought, "well I’m not qualified to do that." But the best thing you can do is say with God nothing shall be impossible to you. And as God works for you, don’t let man be against it. Go with God. God bless you.
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