“AFA aims to evangelize the lost and disciple the believer.” Sound a little bit like a preacher? I guess it should. After all, Bro. Don Wildmon, our founder, was first a preacher of the gospel. Today the statement is, in fact, the first core value of AFA. It states a goal clearly based on the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20,
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you (NASB).
“We have about eight ordained pastors on our staff,” observed AFA President Tim Wildmon, son of AFA’s founder. “Some are bi-vocational, and the ones who aren’t, often have opportunities to preach in area churches.” From AFA’s beginning, Don Wildmon perceived his call was to give Christians the information and encouragement to live out the gospel in daily life and initiate discipleship to equip Christians to participate not only in the body of Christ but also in the whole of culture.
The late Chuck Colson (1931-2012), founder of Prison Fellowship, was also an articulate observer of society. And I believe he had perfect, godly insight on the proper relationship between Christendom and secular culture.
In his daily BreakPoint radio commentary on November 30, 2011, the forceful, faithful Colson recalled once speaking to a conference of pastors about this relationship. Some were confused or skeptical. He explained the two-part scriptural admonition as having “dual commissions.”
“Of course we’re called to fulfill the Great Commission,” he declared to the hesitant and timid pulpiteers. “We’re also called to fulfill the cultural commission!”
He cited Paul’s teaching as another expression of that duality:
For by [Christ] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself (Colossians 1:16-20, NASB, emphases added).
“We must not stand by while our culture is hijacked by alien philosophies hostile to the created order,” Colson said.
“Look at the issues before us: so-called gay ‘marriage,’ which is an oxymoron and will undermine the family; then there’s the creation of life in man’s image, that is, cloning; abortion; and terrorism driven by religious extremists.”
I have to confess I was stunned as I read Colson’s targets – gay marriage, man creating man in his own image, abortion, terrorism. Don Wildmon sounds a lot like Chuck Colson, but with a serious touch of southern drawl!
Reading that manuscript of Colson’s insights reminded me how grateful I am to be part of a team that works to reestablish the principles of Scripture in a culture that has lost its moral moorings.
Reflecting on AFA’s core value of evangelism and discipleship causes me to think of countless examples of how as a nation, we have lost our way. Consider a couple of examples.
Remember the 2014 conflict in Texas when Houston Mayor Annise Parker ordered five pastors to submit manuscripts of recent sermons? Time magazine reported that the “openly gay” mayor was trying to learn what the pastors had said about a new city ordinance favoring LGBTQ rights. Seven years ago, the power-grab to squash churches was a rare and startling example of government overreach into an area to which it has no constitutional admittance.
More recently, California Gov. Gavin Newsome mounted a COVID-era campaign crippling churches in every far-left way imaginable. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned some of Newsome’s oppressive attempts to throttle Christian freedom in the state.
“But we know these kinds of attacks will continue as our culture turns to a more radical anti-moral climate,” Tim Wildmon added. “That’s why we’re determined to help preserve the constitutional rights of our pastors to preach and to partner with others to spread the gospel globally.”
AFA has long-standing partnerships with other ministries such as the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Shoebox campaign that works through indigenous churches to take the gospel to children around the world. To evangelize. To disciple.
Another annual project with Truth for Youth draws the spotlight each August when thousands of AFA/AFR supporters give to purchase Bibles that will be given free to U.S. high school students. All of AFA’s media outreaches cover these and other projects that further the spread of the Word of God. To evangelize. To disciple.
A visit to resources.afa.net reveals many media projects produced by American Family Studios to inform and challenge believers. For example, In His Image is an award-winning documentary that contrasts LGBTQ claims with biblical truths. To evangelize. To disciple.
Focused on more traditional Bible teaching styles are American Family Radio’s Exploring the Word weekday broadcasts plus scores of CDs and DVDs that help Christians grow in their faith. To evangelize. To disciple.
Products on Christian parenting, witnessing to Muslims, U.S. history, and many apologetics items add to the evidence that AFA “aims to evangelize the lost and disciple the believer.”