The nation's largest association of Christian media professionals is sending a strong message to Washington, making clear their intention to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of what government restrictions there may be in the future.
"The day has come when we need to say, 'We will preach the gospel of Jesus Christ whether some government makes it illegal to do so or not,'" affirmed Dr. Frank Wright, president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, during a press conference this past weekend.
Since Saturday, thousands of NRB members have been gathering in Nashville for the association's annual convention – the world's largest gathering of Christian broadcasters. The event draws participants ranging from A-list Hollywood producers and award-winning talk show hosts to overseas broadcasters and small-town pastors for four days of networking, fellowship, training, and product scouting.
Though every year religious broadcasters have been faced by looming threats including the Fairness Doctrine, hate crimes laws, and the Employment Non Discrimination Act, this year the "dark clouds on distant horizons" feel like they are much closer for many with Democrats dominating the government's legislative and executive branches and as some experts predict the appointment of two or three new Supreme Court justices over the next few years that may shift the judicial branch toward the left.
"[W]ith the change in the political landscape, and the domination of the Congress of the United States and now with the change in the White House, the domination of the administration and the administration agencies, we are facing a new day," said Wright on Saturday, according to Christian Web News.
"And we're facing a day that is going to be challenging for us to continue to maintain the ability of Christian broadcasters to freely proclaim the Gospel," he added.
With threats now looming more closely, Wright announced the NRB's unanimous decision to adopt a Declaration of Unity in the Gospel in order to re-affirm what the NRB is and what it stands for.
He read the entire declaration to the convention later that night, stating "We declare our deeply held belief that religious liberty is the cornerstone of any truly free society and commit ourselves to work within the bounds of our nation's laws to defend and preserve it."
But, as the declaration concluded, "We fully accept our charge to faithfully obey the command of Christ to preach the gospel even if human governments and institutions attempt to oppose, constrain, or prohibit it."
Following the reading of the declaration, Wright called on all those present to affirm their agreement with the declaration by standing – which all convention attendees did as they broke out in unanimous applause.
Established in 1944, the National Religious Broadcasters is an association of over 1,400 organizations dedicated to spreading the Gospel through electronic media.
Its annual convention, which was held Feb. 7-10 in Nashville this year, is touted as a "must attend" on the broadcast industry's calendar and is the largest internationally recognized event of its kind.