|For Immediate Release
May 6, 2016
WASHINGTON (NRB) — In a time of moral and cultural upheaval, American Christians must be challenged whether they are “ashamed of the Gospel,” Professor Robert P. George told about 90 leaders and friends of National Religious Broadcasters gathered in Washington, D.C., for its third annual First Amendment Lunch, May 5.
“The days of socially acceptable Christianity in the United States and throughout the West are over,” said George, who holds the McCormick Chair of Jurisprudence and is the founding Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
“There are, to use that phrase made famous by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘costs of discipleship,’ and the costs are heavy,” George said, noting that Christians who continue to uphold biblical standards of morality about human life, marriage, and sexuality are being increasingly marginalized in America.
“Believing these things is a crucial part of what it means to be a disciple. … These teachings are not the whole Gospel,” he added, but they are “integral to the Gospel.”
With social pressure to change or downplay the biblical teachings on human life, marriage, and sexuality, George insisted, “There is simply no avoiding the question: Am I unwilling to stand with Christ in proclaiming His truths? It’s that simple.”
To those who argue biblical morality is on the “wrong side of history,” George answered, “The idea of a ‘judgment of history’ is secularism’s vain, meaningless, hopeless, and pathetic attempt to devise a substitute for the final judgment of Almighty God. History is not God. God is God. Thank God. History is not our judge. God is our judge.”
George said one day Christians will be held accountable for what they did or failed to do in the face of such challenges.
“One thing alone will matter: Was I a faithful witness to the Gospel?” George asked. “Did I do everything in my power to place myself on the side of truth?”
The First Amendment Lunch — held on the same day as the National Day of Prayer — was led by NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson and Chairman of the Board Bill Blount. Other leaders who participated were Dr. Tony Evans, Honorary Chairman of the 2016 National Day of Prayer observance, and Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council. Among NRB leaders attending the event included Executive Committee members Rich Bott, Doug Myer, and Dr. Lois Evans, and Board of Directors members Phillip Bowen and Robert McFarland.
“These kinds of events remind us that God wants us to do His work,” Johnson said about the role of NRB and others in Washington, D.C.
“We are increasing our footprint in D.C.,” Johnson said in announcing that the NRB’s headquarters will soon be located on Capitol Hill at 1 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
“We want to be for the First Amendment — freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press — what the National Rifle Association is for the Second Amendment,” added Johnson, expressing his vision for NRB’s public policy mission.
Johnson recognized Dr. James and Shirley Dobson, noting this year’s National Day of Prayer observance was her last as Chairman of the NDP Task Force after serving 25 years. Earlier in the day, Shirley Dobson announced that Anne Graham Lotz would assume the role as Chairman. Lotz is Founder and President of AnGeL Ministries and daughter of world-renown evangelist Billy Graham.
Tony Evans, President of The Urban Alternative and Host of The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans radio program, encouraged participation in The Gathering, a national solemn assembly to unite the Body of Christ across racial, denominational, and generational lines to lift up the name of Jesus and take responsibility for the condition of America. The Gathering will take place in the Dallas metropolitan area on Sept. 21, 2016, and remote sites across the nation via simulcast.
“Many leaders are burdened about the the state of the nation,” Evans said. The Gathering will have three phases to help Christians address that burden: the September meeting, a discipleship emphasis, and bringing churches together to do good work in their communities — “to seek the welfare of their cities,” he said.
In prior years, NRB’s First Amendment Lunch has featured as keynote speakers Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
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