Gerald Ford’s Christian Testimony

posted at 8:20 pm on December 28, 2006 by see-dubya

I had no idea about the depth of Gerald Ford’s faith.

But World Magazine’s Marvin Olasky dug up a commencement address Ford gave in 1977 at his son’s graduation from seminary. If you are Christian or curious about the importance of religious faith to our leaders, I’d call this a must-read:

If the experience of the presidency itself led me to a greater reliance upon God, a greater appreciation of my religion, so did some of the critical events of those two and a half years in the White House. I remember particularly well when in September of 1974, just a few weeks after I had taken office, Betty had her bout with cancer. It was during that time that we came to a much deeper understanding of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. At a time when human weakness and human frailty was such a real part of our lives, we were able to see clearly for the first time what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote that Christ’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Having been through that experience, we found that we were better able to give comfort and hope to others in their time of pain.

The White House—those years—also taught us a dramatic lesson in the mortality of man. Twice I escaped an assassin’s bullet, and twice I came to understand in vivid terms another message of Paul, that we should trust not in ourselves but in God, who delivered us from death and preserves us still.

Ford was a moderate Republican and and he certainly didn’t wear his religious faith on his sleeve. I’ve been to his church, St. Margaret’s Episcopal in Palm Desert, CA, which is your typically low-impact Episcopalian service that Jeffrey Hart might approve of. But it sounds like he had a little evangelical fire in the belly.

God preserve you, Mr. President.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Amen.

SilverStar830 on December 28, 2006 at 8:20 PM

Praise God!

Drtuddle on December 28, 2006 at 8:31 PM

How lovely. Thanks for sharing!

tikvah on December 28, 2006 at 8:59 PM

Thanks for sharing – may God Bless and watch over him.

Emmett J. on December 28, 2006 at 9:06 PM

Sadly, not all people agree that Ford’s faith was deep, or deep enough. Ford belonged to the Republican Unity Coalition, a gay-straight alliance of Republican leaders, and he supported federal recognition and equality for same-sex couples. For some Christian activists, this was a deal-breaker: “These are liberal Republicans who are not strong advocates of Christian conservatism.”
It’s unfortunate that a man who seemed to garner so many accolades, from conservatives and liberals alike, for being such a strong and necessary leader at so urgent a time in our nation’s history gets thrown under the bus simply because he believed in gay equality:

“I think they (same-sex couples) should be treated equally. Period,” [Ford] said.
In addition, he stated support for a federal law banning workplace discrimination against gays: “That is a step in the right direction. I have a longstanding record in favor of legislation to do away with discrimination.”

torrentprime on December 28, 2006 at 9:30 PM

Unlike you fickle liberals, most conservatives are adult enough to realize that not all in our camp are going to agree on every issue. How long did you have to search to find someone? “throwing” President Ford “under the bus?”

Quit trying to stir up trouble, ignorant troll.

hillbillyjim on December 28, 2006 at 9:42 PM

Good for President Ford. I’m glad to be reading this. May he rest in eternal peace.

thedecider on December 28, 2006 at 9:46 PM

Besides, no one really considers Ford to have been conservative. Moderate Republican woud be mor apropo.

hillbillyjim on December 28, 2006 at 9:46 PM

Jerry, we’ll CU in heaven.

Mojave Mark on December 29, 2006 at 12:24 AM

I’ve been to his church, St. Margaret’s Episcopal in Palm Desert, CA, which is your typically low-impact Episcopalian service…

I don’t mean to quibble, See-Dubya, but, as a cradle Episcopalian/Anglican, I don’t think of our liturgical tradition as “low-impact.” Rather, I think of it as extraordinarily powerful while being reverential and majestic.

Aunt B on December 29, 2006 at 10:47 AM

Aunt B:

If you’re talking about the 1928 BCP, I agree! (or the 1672.)

The new one…myeh.

St. Margaret’s is OK; just didn’t see a lot of there there.

see-dubya on December 29, 2006 at 12:12 PM

hillbilly:
Who is trying to stir up trouble? I thinks its fantastic that Ford was such an advocate of equality, I think it’s great that he found a way to integrate his Christian faith with gay rights, and it’s unfortunate that some people cannot stomach that.
The only people that would have a problem with my post are those that disagree with his positions. I assume you’re not one of them, so what’s the issue?

(Oh, and my favorite: calling me a liberal may make you feel good, or allow you to dispense with certain types of logical analysis, but it doesn’t make it true. Registered GOP and libertarian here. Happy New Year!)

torrentprime on December 29, 2006 at 12:51 PM

I had no idea about the depth of Gerald Ford’s faith.

His faith was GARBAGE.

James 2:20
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

You deem a man to have faith in GOD who believes in killing partially born children? You call a man “Good” who sees that which the Lord has ordained in the womb as refuse? What measuring stick are you using? Gerald Ford was a CREEP (pun intended) who did more for Satan with his political views and acts than he ever did for God. Wake the “F” up!

Luke 6:45
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

See out of the treasure of his heart Gerald Ford defied the Lord and ADVOCATED the slaughter of innocents. Out of the abundance of his heart Gerald Ford declared ABOMINATION, HOMOSEXUAL SODOMY, to be the ‘EQUAL” of the God ordained relationship between MAN and WIFE. May he receive his just reward. For those of you who may be ignorant of precisely “Why” the mainstream media is loving Gerald Ford these days and have listened to some “pundit” state that it’s because of his Iraq War condemnation, THINK AGAIN. It is because the same BEAST was dominant in Ford’s life as that which infects through liberalism. It is ROT, it is RIOT and it is Anarchy of the Spirit, whereby one ascends his own EGO over the expressed WILL OF GOD, all the while pretending to Love God. This my friends is the TRUE Gerald Ford…..

Yet, Ford did not shrink away from controversy. When he felt the time was right for him to speak out, he said things that were worth hearing, even if it displeased his more conservative partisans on such hot-button issues as abortion and civil rights, including gay rights.
He personally opposed abortion on demand, he said, but he also opposed a constitutional amendment to ban all abortions. He preferred to leave the debate to the states. Ronald Reagan, by contrast, defended the amendment, although he hardly raised a finger to push it through Congress.

Ford also opposed bias against homosexuals as recently as a 2001 interview with Detroit News columnist Deb Price. Same-sex couples should receive the same economic benefits as married couples, such as Social Security and tax deductions, the former president said. “I think they ought to be treated equally,” he said. “Period.” And he tried to broker a deal with Congress to rebuke President Clinton and avoid dragging the nation through an impeachment and trial.

He thinks that Sodomites should be treated “EQUALLY”? Hardly a “Christian perspective, unless your Bible confuses the words “THEY SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH” for “Love the sinner but hate the sin” or something.

LEVITICUS 20:13
13. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Gerald Ford was working for Satan to enlarge the field of filth on this earth his entire political career. Just look at those who are now cheering him on. He was consistently and publicly on the OPPOSITE SIDE than that of the faith he supposedly embraced. While others may have been more liberal in their youth and gained knowledge and wisdom with maturity and become more conservative, Ford as recently as 2001 was willing to use his prestige as a former President to advocate for the right of filth.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen two chicks together and while compelling, as sin usually is, there can be no doubt that it’s filthy, as again, sin usually is.

Soothsayer on December 31, 2006 at 6:55 PM

As strongly as ever I disagree with Soothsayer’s venom and bile, which are intensely non-Christian.

But I have a hard time with the concept of harmonizing Christianity with equal rights for homosexuals, or for recognizing homosexual couples as married. It cannot be done. There is not one Bible verse to support it, and several dozen to oppose it.

That said, government’s decisions regarding discrimination are much less black-and-white than religion’s, as ought to be. If I am an employer, I cannot ask a prospective employee if they are married, or if they are living with someone. Since those queries are prohibited, asking about orientation ought to be equally out of bounds.

I think President Ford was wrong to support gay rights. I also konw for a fact that a person can be wrong and still be a Christian, without having to be accused of working for Satan.

Soothsayer, did you lose your virginity on your wedding night? Have you been perfectly faithful to your spouse, in both thought and deed? Every sin of the flesh is as bad as every other sin of the flesh in God’s eyes. Fortunately, we live in a day of Grace, where forgiveness is available, rather than stoning. You love to toss your righteous indignation around, but without charity you’re just a tinkling cymbal.

Freelancer on January 1, 2007 at 5:54 AM

As strongly as ever I disagree with Soothsayer’s venom and bile, which are intensely non-Christian.

Aren’t you just doing the same thing that you think I did? Didn’t you just say the same thing about my views that I said about Ford’s? How is it o.k. for you to do and not for me?

I think President Ford was wrong to support gay rights. I also konw for a fact that a person can be wrong and still be a Christian, without having to be accused of working for Satan.

While you might have a point about a simple congregant or church goer, there are vastly different rules for those who LEAD OTHERS ASTRAY, didn’t you know this? I would agree with you if Ford were the average guy, who just trods along, ignorant of what’s actually IN the Word, so he forms opinions that may be a little contrary. No harm no foul. But FORD WAS AN ADVOCATE FOR SIN, surely you can see that places him in a different category than a trucker who’s simply got the wrong take on some things. There were people who were emboldened to KILL THEIR BABIES, because notables like FORD said it was okay! Why do you think they trip over themselves to stick a microphone in his face? You seem to be one of those Christians that is totally ignorant of the fight you’re in. I suspect this is because you don’t really have the Holy Ghost, you’re probably going to some “progressive” church that leaves the Spirit out, or something. Anyhoo, I will let the Word speak for itself, as to the doctrine of “Greater punishment for those who lead others astray…

Matthew 18: 6,7

6.But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

7. “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!

See the Word is quite clear, regardless of our “feelings” that there is a greater punishment and condemnation on someone WHO LEADS OTHERS ASTRAY, as opposed to those who merely “GO” astray because of the commonality of sin. Most people who are confronted with a moral issue have the good sense to tell you that they are not Preachers. Those who actually answer the moral questions are RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT COMES OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS, since people are being LED by what they say! Especially true in the case of Politicians or did Christ not hold the Pharisees in Judgement? How is Ford different than a Pharisee? They and the Sadducees and the Priests were the politicians of their day and didn’t Christ tell them that they were the spawn of Satan? HINT: JOHN 8:44 ! The problem is that you don’t believe that someone who opposes the will of Christ on a moral issue is an “agent of Satan”. And that’s because you don’t know that according to your Bible, SATAN HAS MINISTERS! And they don’t have to be in a church to preach the devils word either! See, it’s usually someone who has the ear of the public who comes out and tells you that “Something sinful, isn’t sinful”. You can fill in the blanks, but that’s their purpose! I know that your church didn’t teach you that Satan has ministers because then you would have to learn how to spot them and if you did that, you probably wouldn’t stay in a church that BAPTIZES differently than the APOSTLES OF OUR LORD, or a church that declares that you “have the Holy Spirit” without the outward evidence of speaking in tongues like 100% OF THE APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES (Acts 2:4). See, if you understood that the devil has people out there twisting the Word for the express cause of leading people astray, you would then be pressed too find out what the word ACTUALLY said on a subject. Oh yeah, about the devil having ministers?…..

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (King James Version)
13. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. ( the only ones charged with intrepreting Christs Word, not Gerald Ford)

14. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

You just don’t like my “tone” but so what? God has many uses for many “tones”. He sent John SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS, “REPENT, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND”. I bet you wouldn’t have liked that “tone” either, but it was still “OF GOD”. A man who makes himself a teacher of others who tries to subvert the will and good judgement of many, by espousing beliefs that heretofore where UNHEARD OF, is an AGENT OF SATAN my friend whether you know it or not. No society that has EVER EXISTED ON EARTH has beed DEPRAVED ENOUGH to think that to sodomites schtupping each other up their butts, should be “married”. THEY WEREN’T EVEN MARRIEDIN SODOM! When they were surrounding Lots house and demanding his guests present themselves for an anal raping, they weren’t even crazy enough to think they should be MARRIED! And here, a man who publicly claims to follow Jesus Christ and publicly USES this “Faith” to get people to vote for him, and who publicly goes against his faith’s teaching on the moral issues of the day, is a “teacher” de facto my friend. And a false teacher at that.

2 Peter 2:1
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

I have answered your emotion with Scriptures that show you your sentiments were misplaced. Jesus told those who led others into sin that it was better for them IN THE JUDGEMENT, if a millstone were tied around their neck and they were drowned, talk about tone! I wasn’t that harsh was I? Christianity is not the namby pamby ephemeral thing you think it is my friend. APOSTLES armed themselves and new how to use the weapons they carried, you probably would blanch at the thought. And I know the rest of that lesson too, but that isn’t the point. Millstone my friend, that’s the point.

You love to toss your righteous indignation around, but without charity you’re just a tinkling cymbal.

Soothsayer, did you lose your virginity on your wedding night? Have you been perfectly faithful to your spouse, in both thought and deed? Every sin of the flesh is as bad as every other sin of the flesh in God’s eyes.

The question is not did I commit SIN? What person hasn’t? The question should be did I ADVOCATE THE RIGHTS OF FORNICATORS? No I didn’t. The question should be did I ADVOCATE THE RIGHTS OF ADULTERERS? No I did not. If we say we have no sin we lie so how can you ask me if I have sin? Sin is common to man. Advocating sin , is the job of the devil and his ministers as I have now taught you. Reasoning like yours would have you thinking like a liberal that you can’t “judge anything”. But it’s your job to judge the world, my friend, didn’t you know that?

1 Corinthians 2:15
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Of course you didn’t know that because that fake church you go to taught you that you can’t judge anything lest you be judged. But to be “saved” is to be removed from God’s wrath, didn’t you know that either? How else will you judge the world in which you live? How would you filter good messages from bad and why don’t you wonder where the bad messages come from, since it is not from God? You call me righteously indignant for pointing out what the Bible says on a subject and printing it. You call me righteously indignant but it is you who are on the wrong side of Jesus about almost everything! You claim you don’t think Chrisitans should be advocating for homosexuality, or that the two are incompatible. Well if you knew that, you don’t think Gerald Ford knew that the Bible frowns on these things? But IN SPITE OF WHAT HE KNEW THE WORD TO SAY, Gerald Ford put his NAME and his REPUTATION on the other side, I’d say that YOU are not RIGHTEOUSLY IDIGNANT enough! The bible declares that there are opposing forces trying to preach evil and that Satan has “ministers”. You say what a man publicly advocates is immaterial in his “salvation” or profession of faith. The Word disagrees with you. And as for that nonsense about

Every sin of the flesh is as bad as every other sin of the flesh in God’s eyes.

Show me the death penalty for fornication in the Old Testament then please. Lev 20:13 is the death penalty for homosexuality, so wheres’ the “equality”? I am not advocating fornication but what you said is simply, not biblical. Lying over whether you stole a piece of candy is the same as a priest anally raping a child? Of COURSE NOT, I will be charitable and ASSUME you meant to say something else!

Soothsayer on January 1, 2007 at 4:46 PM