As I come home from Dallas, I am refreshed at the Gospel unity shown at the Southern Baptist convention. I was however disappointed by what I heard on a Dallas AFR station. American Family Radio has a combination of broadcast sermons and political commentary shows, with a conservative Christian bent. One of their commentators on Tuesday, hours prior to the election for SBC President between JD Greear and Ken Hemphill, was making an obvious push for listeners to side with Ken Hemphill. The reasons given seemed to be this commentator’s perception that the younger JD Greear was a liberal progressive etc… Greear’s concern for racial diversity and standing up for women who have been abused, apparently put him in the crosshairs of AFR.
I would like to think this was a misguided one-time incident, but my wife had already informed me that a week or so before she had heard an elderly former SBC leader on an AFR show touting the danger of a Reformed pastor like Greear leading the SBC. So while not knowing, this seems to be more of a concerted effort by AFR, than misguided zeal by one commentator. My point is not that a political station like AFR can’t choose sides, but it would seem to me that taking up valuable air time, potentially used for promoting the person and work of Christ, could be better used than tearing down one of the most conservative, Biblically solid pastors around. Greear’s church, The Summit in North Carolina, is one of the most effective in our country in reaching the world for Jesus. Why would he be in the crosshairs of any true follower of Jesus, much less a national Christian radio station?
So while not angry at the political station AFR, I am disappointed that professing Christians would tear down one of Christ’s most effective ambassadors in Greear. I would have felt the same if they had wasted airtime tearing down the conservative, Biblically based Hemphill as well. Even from a practical standpoint, I would think AFR would be hesitant to alienate a huge percentage of their potential listener/donor base by going after a well thought of, Jesus honoring, conservative pastor. Spiritually it goes without saying this was unwise. So I will continue to listen to Adrian Rogers and Alistair Begg’s sermons on AFR and am thankful they are broadcast, but this example of horrible discernment on AFR’s part in their political commentary reminds me to turn my radio off, or to a more Christ-honoring channel when they go political. As I conclude this brief article, I will stop and thank the Lord for the good things AFR has done, and I will pray for them to have God-given wisdom in their future commentary.
Jimmy Meek is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in El Dorado AR. He was also one of the speakers at last year’s SBC Pastors’ Conference, Above Every Name.