The battle for Christian radio
Christian broadcasters are calling for the resignation of Wayne Pederson as president of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB)—even though he hasn't officially become president yet. What has the radioheads so upset is an interview Pederson gave to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which was published January 5. When people think of Christian radio, he said,
they think of the political right, and I think that's unfair. We missed our main calling with that. … [What's] disturbing to me is that evangelicals are identified politically more than theologically. We get associated with the far Christian right and marginalized. To me the important thing is to keep the focus on what's important to us spiritually. We're all entitled to our political views and evangelicals tend to gravitate toward more conservative politics, but sometimes in taking our stands we've allowed ourselves to be typecast and the effectiveness spiritually has been diminished. … There's an element in NRB that wants us to be politically oriented—to take stands on public issues, but that's not in our constitution. Our constitution says we're to make the Christian media as effective as it can be. We need to not be pulled into the political arena. We do have a political orientation for [Federal Communications Commission] stuff, but that should not be what we're known for.
For political Christian radio hosts, such talk is blasphemy. "This is a tragic thing for the NRB," Don Wildmon of American Family Radio tells WorldNetDaily. "Mr. Pederson has criticized those he calls the members of the religious right. If one stops to think about it, that includes. … Just about anybody who has worked hard to make the NRB what it is. … I really think ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more