Nashville, TN –– Dr. Jerry A. Johnson wants to make sure the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) remains strong by holding to a right perspective on the Bible, on human life, and on marriage; and remains committed to excellence and an understanding of what it means to be created in the image of God.
Dr. Johnson became NRB President & CEO in 2013, after serving as President of Criswell College in Dallas. While at the college, he hosted the daily drive-time radio program Jerry Johnson Live.
Since Jesus and the Apostle Paul often went to the Book of Genesis in their individual ministries; so should the NRB, Dr. Johnson said, as he delivered his “state of the association” address Thursday during the closing session of the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville.
Dr. Johnson directed the audience to look at Genesis 1:26 in order to focus on factors that would aid the group of Christian media and ministry professionals in moving forward.
Looking at the verse, Dr. Johnson said, “We must return to the Word” to go forward.
He said there are 13 “power verbs” in the text, noting one that is mentioned more than any other: “said.”
“That is one of the unique things about Christianity,” Dr. Johnson said. “God has revealed Himself to us,” he explained.
“We are communicators and our first mission is to advance biblical truth,” Dr. Johnson said, emphasizing the “inspiration, the authority, the infallibility, the inerrancy, and the sufficiency of Holy Scripture.”
Looking again at the verse from Genesis, and in particular the words, “let them rule,” Dr. Johnson said, “To go forward, we must return to excellence.” He said the NRB15 Convention agenda was developed with the goal of helping its members pursue excellence.
NRB’s mission must be to defend free speech, he continued. “Our content is not always popular,” Dr. Johnson said to the audience. “Our content is not always politically correct.
“Yet we dare not be guilty of self-censorship. The Great Commission should be our highest priority,” Dr. Johnson said. “We should speak the truth in love, winsomely, convincingly, and passionately.
“Yet if we don’t get God right, we don’t get anything else right,” he said, explaining the use of Elohim in the verse allows for a Christian understanding and reality of the Trinity, contra Islam.
A study of Genesis 1:26 can point NRB members back to a “vision of what it means to be human beings created in God’s image.”
The verse makes clear man was created “in Our likeness,” he said. “Unlike any other created thing, human beings represent God on this earth.
“We are like God like nothing else on this earth is,” Dr. Johnson continued.
This is the foundation for the doctrine of sanctity of human life, he said.
“If we are going to go forward, we must return to life — the sanctity of innocent human life,” he said, stressing, “This is not a side issue.
“We must stand for life; we must stand for adoption. We must stand for ministry to the homeless; we must stand for helping the poor,” Dr. Johnson explained, saying members of the NRB have the media resources and the technology to stand and speak for those who cannot stand or speak for themselves.
To move forward, the NRB must return to biblical marriage, he said, stressing Genesis 1:27, which says, “He made them male and female.”
“There is this complementarian reality — male and female” in the text, he noted, saying both Jesus and Paul went back to this verse in their statements on marriage.
“Paul’s argument in Romans 1 is not about the law,” he said, adding the apostle contended that same-sex activity is a “rejection of the Creator and His created order for male-female sexual activity.”
“That’s Paul’s argument; that’s our argument,” Dr. Johnson insisted.
“The National Religious Broadcasters dare not pitch their tent toward Sodom or sit at the gate,” he said.
“We must emphasize the cross,” Dr. Johnson said. “The way of the cross leads home,” he continued, referencing the theme of G.K. Chesterton’s classic book, Orthodoxy.
“Yet we can only get back to Eden by Calvary. We can only get back to the Garden by the cross,” he said. “Our message to people must be: look to Jesus; come to Jesus; believe in Jesus.”
Prior to Dr. Johnson’s address, NRB Chairman of the Board Bill Blount honored actor Chuck Norris with the 2015 NRB Chairman’s Award. Blount highlighted Norris’s “many positive accomplishments both here and around the world.”
Blount noted Norris’s “promotion of positive family values” and his great example in his Christian faith, among other attributes, made him a strong candidate for the award.
Blount is President of Blount Communications Group, a network of six radio stations in New England.
Dr. Johnson saluted Norris for his Kickstart Kids Foundation, which uses marital arts to build character in at-risk middle school children.
Norris is the star of the network television series Walker Texas Ranger, which ran for eight and half years and remains a worldwide broadcast phenomenon as an estimated one billion people view it each day, Dr. Johnson continued.
He noted Norris has been the lead in 24 motion pictures and is a New York Times best-selling author and an exclusive columnist on WND.com.
By Dwayne Hastings
Published: March 2, 2015