Francis Schaeffer’s wife Edith passes away on Easter weekend 2013 Part 1 (includes pro-life editorial cartoon)

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story Pt.1 – Today’s Christian Videos

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story – Part 3 of 3

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE

Published on Oct 6, 2012 by

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Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the 1930′s above. I was sad to read about Edith passing away on Easter weekend in 2013. I wanted to pass along this fine article below.

A Tribute to the Life of Edith Schaeffer, 1914-2013

Thousands were led to belief in the importance of prayer by her weekly prayer times with students

Written by Marvin Padgett | Monday, April 1, 2013

As a personal note, no one, aside from my parents, more deeply affected the way I see God, his universe, his people and all people than did the Schaeffers. Their deep and sincere belief that Jesus Christ was Lord of all—all, all—carried me along throughout all my life. It was a deep and gracious thing that the Lord did to all me and mine to know these two great saints personally.
Edith Schaeffer passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior, whom she had served well and tirelessly for many years, on March 30th. Born Edith Rachel Merritt Seville on November 3, 1914, the fourth child of George and Jessie Seville, while her parents were serving in China with the China Inland Mission, her life began and ended as a missionary. She attended Beaver College in Glenside PA. After meeting in a church youth group, the Schaeffers married in 1935. Mrs. Schaeffer has four children, Priscilla, Susan, Deborah, and Frank; fifteen grandchildren, thirty-four great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

She was possessed of a love of and zest for life. As a child she saw her father accommodate himself to the local Chinese culture rather than expecting it to accommodate itself to Western ways. This marked her life as the Schaeffers later defended and demonstrated their belief in the dignity of the lives of all human beings. Both firmly believed that all human beings were created in the image of God and were more like God than any other creature or thing in the entire universe.

Mealtimes were not cafeteria style, but served on finely set tables with folded napkins. There is a direct line from this treatment of people to the later controversies over human lives being taken in the horror of abortion. All death was seen as a horror, but hardly ever more so than in abortion.

She gave her life in service to God and all those created in his image. Schedules were never as important as the needs of the people in front of her. Planes missed, dignitaries kept waiting, and artificial imperatives all quailed before the dignity of the person with her at the moment.

Thousands were led to belief in the importance of prayer by her weekly prayer times with students. Prayer, public or private, convenient or inconvenient, came first. She truly believed that she was communicating with her Lord and God. Dr. and Mrs. Schaeffer were “constant in prayer” beyond anyone the writer has known.

Mealtimes were long and full of discussion. While the students were served elegantly, they were expected after the meals to clean up the mess that was made in the work of those who had prepared these feasts. We live after the Fall and before the coming of the Lord. In this time, work has to be done. She saw all godly work was as dignified and necessary. People were always to be treated well.

The ministry of L’Abri, cofounded by the Schaeffers, was the result of conflicts with a mission agency. This led the Schaeffers to begin L’Abri, a residential Christian community, that began in 1955 in a remote Swiss village and became one of the most important Christian works of our time. Beginning without a commitment to an American style growth mentality, the Schaeffers employed prayer for their needs in order to demonstrate to a watching world that the God they served was able to supply all their needs.

Honest answers to honest questions became a by-word at L’Abri. Men and women, young and old, flocked to an obscure Swiss village to find answers to their questions. A hard fought determination to the very concept of Truth and that the Bible was “breathed out by God,” led the Schaeffers to be dogged in their beliefs, and to demonstrate by word and deed that the God of the Bible “is there and is not silent.” All this work was permeated by loving patience for the difficult ones in their midst that they might be won.

Edith Schaeffer wrote nineteen books, many bestsellers, including L’Abri, and her Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion winners, Affliction (This was used by the writer as an important tool in graduate school.) and The Tapestry: the Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer.

As a personal note, no one, aside from my parents, more deeply affected the way I see God, his universe, his people and all people than did the Schaeffers. Their deep and sincere belief that Jesus Christ was Lord of all—all, all—carried me along throughout all my life. It was a deep and gracious thing that the Lord did to all me and mine to know
these two great saints personally. SDG!

Marvin Padgett is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. He is currently the Acting Executive Director of Great Commission Publications.

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L’Abri was a community where Francis and Edith Schaeffer got to meet vistors like Michele Bachmann and Timothy Leary and talk to them about the issues of the day. Here is a portion from the PBS website dedicated to the program FRONTLINE:

In his lengthy profile of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann in this week’s New Yorker, Ryan Lizza examines how her religious beliefs have shaped her political philosophy. A key figure is Francis Schaeffer, whom Bachmann described as “a tremendous philosopher” and “very inspirational.”

Who is this influential man, not widely known outside of the conservative evangelical community?

FRONTLINE profiled Schaeffer in episode six of God in America, our co-production with American Experience. The above clip explores his role as a catalyst who inspired evangelicals’ re-entry into American politics in 1970s, including that:

  • He was “an embodiment of the counterculture”: With his long hair, goatee, knickers and knee socks, Schaeffer cut a striking figure. L’Abri (“the shelter”), the spiritual community he founded in the Swiss Alps, attracted “lots of long-haired hippies, coming through with backpacks,” his son Frank, who remembers Timothy Leary coming to L’Abri on a pilgrimage, told us.

 

  • His documentary films inspired thousands of evangelicals — including Bachmann — to enter the political arena: His first series, How Should We Then Live (watch here) targeted what Schaeffer saw as the culture’s great evil — secular humanism. “Humanism is man putting himself at the center of all things, rather than the creator God,” Schaeffer explains in the film. He goes on to argue that surrendering to humanism would lead to the moral decay of society.

 

  • He persuaded Jerry Falwell that evangelicals needed to take up the cause of abortion: Falwell and other evangelicals initially viewed Roe v. Wade as “a Catholic issue.” Even Schaeffer himself initially didn’t see abortion as a political cause. He was persuaded to the cause by his son Frank (who, after impregnating his girlfriend at age 17, became a passionate abortion foe) and his good friend Dr. C. Everett Koop. Schaeffer’s second film series Whatever Happened to the Human Race (watch here) is a powerful indictment of abortion, euthanasia and indifference to life: “If in these last decades of the 20th century, the Christian community does not make a determined stand on the issue of each individual to have a right to live and a right to be treated as made in the image of God, rather than a machine, I believe we have failed in the greatest moral challenge of this century. The choice is yours to make.”

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(Francis did a great job in his film series “How Should we then live?” in looking at how humanism has affected art and culture in the Western World in the last 2000 years. My favorite episodes include his study of the Renaissance, the Revolutionary age, the age of Nonreason, and the age of Fragmentation.)

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the USA and this editorial cartoon touches on this issue.

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