The following remarks have been prepared by NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright for delivery at the commencement of the Capitol Hill Media Summit on October 1, 2013, in Washington, DC. They will be part of his last public address as President & CEO before he officially steps down on October 4, 2013, from the position he’s held for the past 10 years.
Early in his evangelistic career, the Rev. Dwight L. Moody had a friend and colleague in evangelism named Henry Varley. According to one biographer, the two men were together in Britain in 1872, and Varley said, “Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” A year later, Moody reportedly told his friend, “Those were the words sent to my soul, through you, from the Living God.” Moody determined to be that man, and he spent the rest of his life in selfless ministry. Some even say that he was the greatest evangelist of the 19th Century.
Many committed men and women have taken the challenge of living a life of complete devotion to Christ. I’ve heard that in the early years of Campus Crusade for Christ, our dear friend, the late Dr. Bill Bright, used to repeat Moody’s words often. The rest, you might say, is history.
I think, too, of my dear friend and mentor, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy. Like Moody and Bright and so many others, his heart burned for the unvarnished truth of the Gospel. He, too, was selfless and unassuming. He lived solely to share and explain God’s transforming Word to a dying world.
And I am reminded of these and many other great men and women who have gone before us, and who now rejoice day and night before the Throne of Christ. They have already entered those “gates of splendor” through which we will someday pass. Each of them knew that prayer and fasting are lynchpins to a life fully consecrated to Christ; each of their lives demonstrated the simple truth that there is no room for self in the equation of a godly life that is well lived.
While we are still here, let us contemplate the life that we must live if we are to be that one man or woman who is fully consecrated to God. Should our business practices change? Should our friends change? Should our activities change? Should our family see us differently? Should we behave differently toward our family or friends or business associates? These are obviously serious questions, but as Christian communicators we are charged with a serious task. We are teachers of biblical Truth, and Scripture reminds us that those who teach will be held to a higher standard (James 3:1).
We must ask and answer these questions because even in this great nation, we may not always enjoy the freedom of religious speech that we have today. While NRB and other like-minded organizations will continue to fight for our First Amendment rights of free religious speech and free religious expression, our government stands on an immense precipice of change. Congress continues to pass laws that do not adequately protect and, in some cases, ignore our First Amendment freedoms.
When these laws pass, it takes many years for a court case to wend its way through our legal system. And even when the inevitable case does reach the national stage, our judicial system shows an unfortunate predilection toward deciding cases based on recent precedent or cultural mores rather than relying on a strict construction of the Constitution. There are simply no guarantees.
So we must, in essence, work while there’s still daylight. And for our ministries to be the most effective, we must be wholly consumed by one thought: being that man or woman whose life is completely consecrated to Christ. It’s the way of holiness, and it is a narrow, often lonely road, but it’s the only road that will bring peace, hope and fulfillment to your soul.
Personal note from Dr. Wright: Serving the world's preeminent association of Christian communicators these past 10 years has been a distinct honor for which I am grateful. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your ongoing, faithful support for and commitment to NRB. I have counted every year in the service of NRB as a great blessing. By the grace of God, I hope to keep close connections for many years to come.
Published: September 26, 2013