Answering Cal Thomas: All of God’s truth for all of life
Published 6:29 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Columnist Cal Thomas calls Coral Ridge Ministries, the broadcast outreach of Dr. D. James Kennedy, “one of the major players” in the “Religious Right.” So, when he heard about our decision to close our Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, he expressed the hope that this signals a return to “preaching the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ, unencumbered by the allures of the political kingdoms of this world…”
That is, in fact, what we intend on doing — and what we have attempted to do since 1974 when Dr. Kennedy first went on the air.
We closed the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ not because we have abandoned America’s moral conflict, but to refocus ourselves on what we do best — producing Christian media content that proclaims truths that transforms lives.
We have an ambitious goal to multiply our audience tenfold over the next five years — from three million to 30 million people. To do that, we need to be focused laser-like on our core competency — using the media to present biblical truth. We will, as Thomas hopes, continue to present the Gospel in years to come. But we’ll also continue to bring a passionate biblical perspective to the moral debate.
It’s likely then, that Thomas — a fellow evangelical whose columns we enjoy — will still fault us for our efforts to halt America’s moral slide. Such efforts, he says, have yielded meager results over the past 30 years. On this we disagree. One example. It took twelve years, but partial-birth abortion is now illegal because Christians and many others who care about unborn children took the time to both pray and petition Congress and the President to end this heinous practice.
William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian and nineteenth century British abolitionist, spent decades as a member of Parliament fighting the slave trade with precious little to show for his efforts. It was 46 years after he launched his campaign that Parliament, finally, put an end to slavery across the British Empire. Wilberforce and other evangelicals prevailed because their cause was just and they refused to be silenced and sent back into their churches.
We strongly agree with Thomas that the gospel alone, as he said, is where “the greatest power lies to transform lives and ultimately nations.” Amen to that. Any hope to bring true, lasting social change to this nation rests, ultimately, on the transformation that comes at the deepest level of our being through the gospel. It was the preaching of George Whitefield that sparked America’s First Great Awakening, which in turn laid the spiritual foundation for American independence.
Dr. Kennedy, who is recuperating from a cardiac arrest suffered in December, has put it this way: “The most political action you can take is to lead someone to Jesus Christ.” In other words, the yeast of Christianity in a man’s soul works it way into every area of his life — including what he does in the voting booth.
Bringing the Gospel to others, not the “crass pursuit of the golden ring of political power” is the central passion of Dr. Kennedy’s life. He has shunned a high lifestyle, political glory, power, and fame and has been singularly focused on preaching and teaching the Word of God in its entirety for almost 50 years.
There is no one on the planet who has trained more people to do personal evangelism than Dr. Kennedy. He is the founder and president of Evangelism Explosion International, which equips people to share the Gospel in every nation of the world. Each Sunday on our television program, The Coral Ridge Hour, Dr. Kennedy invites viewers to receive the gift of eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ. For Dr. Kennedy, evangelism is the “main thing” and it has never ceased being the main thing.
But Dr. Kennedy also recognizes that evangelism is not the only Christian action to which we are called. That is why we as a ministry evangelize and address issues. We do so in faithfulness to the Bible, which speaks to the moral questions under debate in this nation.
Dr. Kennedy – and this ministry – believe that we have a biblical responsibility to bring all of God’s truth to bear on all of life.