April 2017 – In 1976, the Wildmon family sat down to watch some television. In telling this story, my dad said, “One network had pretty explicit sex, immoral sex. We changed the channel, and we had some pretty hard profanity on, so we changed the channel again. I’d seen deterioration in television programming in the last several years.”
My dad, Don Wildmon, decided to try to do something about it – and the organization that is now known as American Family Association was born. This summer will be our 40th anniversary. Dad had a vision that God birthed in his heart, and over these four decades, AFA has been on the frontlines of the battle for Christian values.
AFA has been a trusted organization that so many in the Christian community depend on to lead the fight for righteousness, life, and religious freedom. We take that responsibility very seriously.
There’s something else we’ve tried to do. We don’t only “curse the darkness,” we try to light a candle. That’s why one of AFA’s divisions, American Family Studios, exists today.
I want to tell you about two exciting projects that you will soon be hearing a lot about.
▶ The God Who Speaks
This powerful feature-length documentary explores the evidence of the Bible’s inspiration and authority through some of the most highly respected voices within evangelicalism. Answering common objections and observing the effects of denying biblical authority, The God Who Speaks is intended to reveal the trustworthiness of the Bible’s claims while calling viewers to a response worthy of our gracious God.
The God Who Speaks will be a tool we can use for decades to come. Even inside the church, so many Christians are biblically illiterate and have no clue as to how they should defend their faith in today’s culture – which is often hostile to Christianity.
The film will premiere at the National Conference on Christian Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, October 13-14, 2017. (www.SES.edu/(800)77-TRUTH)
▶ Ryan Defrates: Secret Agent
What Christian hasn’t lamented the destructive role played by the entertainment industry in reshaping American values? Even children’s entertainment is sometimes a bad influence.
That’s why American Family Studios, in association with Cat in the Mill Productions, is making available Ryan Defrates: Secret Agent. It’s a half-hour animated action/adventure series about a young spy who is still learning about life – and growing up while he carries out his secret agent duties. (See story here.)
You see, Ryan is sometimes arrogant, headstrong, and rash. He also prefers to do things his own way – and work alone. That is, until the day his boss gives him an unexpected partner – his mother! Deb Defrates isn’t exactly spy material – she knows more about cutting coupons than cutting down on crime. However, her wisdom and kindness always seem to save the day. As you might expect, this surprise partnership makes for plenty of humorous circumstances.
We’re very excited about the Ryan Defrates series. A 13-episode series, each episode features stories illustrating strong moral values and a Christian worldview. Moreover, each story presents parents in their God-given roles as sources of wisdom and love. How’s that for a twist?
The first three episodes will be available May 1 online at the AFA Store (afastore.net).
It might seem strange that AFA is helping to promote a cartoon for kids. But in one of Dad’s many debates with TV executives back in the early days, he said this: “The purpose of television should be to uplift, to inspire, to encourage. To try to build a better society, not to try to tear down the one we have.”
That’s what American Family Studios is attempting to do. Uplift. Inspire. Encourage. Should Jesus tarry, that’s not a bad way to spend the next 40 years.
While we thank God that many wicked ideas were rejected in the presidential election, government is only one area of life in which Christians must be engaged. If we are going to turn our country around, we must also be engaged in the media, in education, in business, and in culture.