God’s Prophetic Voices: Don Wildmon

Learn how to fight in the culture war with guest Tim Wildmon on television’s “Christ in Prophecy”!

Air Date: July 18, 2021

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Transcript

Tim Moore: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Fifty years ago, America was headed in a very dangerous direction. Pornography was becoming widespread, and the sexual revolution was changing the morality of the nation. Most Christians in the United States were slow to recognize the threat, and even slower to raise an alarm or challenge the trend. But in 1976 the pastor of a small church in Mississippi decided to follow in the footsteps of Ezekiel and speak out. Stay tuned as we seek insight from one of God’s prophetic voices to America!

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Interview with Tim Wildmon at American Family Associations Headquarters

Tim Moore: Well, based only on my introduction many of you will recognize today’s prophetic voice is that of Don Wildmon. In 1976 he decided to watch television with his family one evening. And turning on what was then one of the three channels, he was appalled at what was being sent out as programming to America’s families. Well, the next year Don launched the National Federation for Decency. As he later explained, “I had a vision. God had a plan.” He certainly did because this meek and mild mannered man was soon challenging American corporations and holding them at bay. Yes, God empowered this mouse to roar. Sadly, Don cannot be with us today due to his health, but his zeal was passed on to his son, Tim, who is able to join us on this episode of Christ in Prophecy.

So, Tim, thank you very much for welcoming me to Tupelo, Mississippi.

Tim Wildmon: Thank you, Tim. And I appreciate those kind words about my dad, Don Wildmon, he would be here if he could. But I’m glad to sit in for him. And you nailed our beginning there, very, very well.

Tim Moore: Well, he certainly did become a roaring voice of decency and of Christian values.

Tim Wildmon: God spoke to my dad and said, “You need to do something. You need to lead an effort. You need to organize Christians.” I don’t know exactly how God said that, or what He said specifically, but God told my dad, leave the pastorate, because he was a very successful pastor, and you know, start this new effort which would galvanize Christians from around the country.

Tim Moore: And so, early on, one of the things that Don was known for was leading boycotts against famous national corporations. He led one against Sears because they were a major endorser of terrible programming through their advertising. And against the Southland Corporation which was the parent company of 7-Eleven. So, tell us about those days.

Tim Wildmon: Well, Dad’s a bulldog and you know he doesn’t, he wanted to do something that would make a tangible difference. And not just, and you had to give people things they can do, and so to make a difference. As you said earlier, back then you had three major television networks, and that’s all America watched.

Tim Moore: Yeah, can you remember when that was all we had on TV?

Tim Wildmon: Yeah, I know, and maybe PBS.

Tim Moore: And maybe PBS, yes. What a difference.

Tim Wildmon: So, the prime time programming on network television, ABC, NBC, and CBS, they really shaped American culture to a large extent.

Tim Moore: Yes, they did.

Tim Wildmon: And so, you know you didn’t have 100 choices like you do today. So, my dad saw all the trends that were taking place in major network television; more sex, more violence, more profanity, and how that was having a coarsening effect on our culture. And so, he decided, hey, who is paying for this? Well, these major corporations. They are going to be more likely to listen to us, then are the network because they are the ones airing the content. So, he began to approach some of these major corporate sponsors. And also, with regard to the pornography problem at the time, which was basically 7-Eleven was the largest distributor of pornographic magazines, this is prior to the internet.

Tim Moore: And what’s ironic their motto was “Thank Heaven for 7-Eleven.” Yeah, and you think, what kind of motto is that when you are promoting filth?

Tim Wildmon: I know. But my dad was able to organize 10,000 people out in front of Southland Corporation in Dallas, in the 80’s, and was able to get 7-Eleven to pull the sale of the pornographic magazines.

Tim Moore: Well, we have a picture of Dr. Reagan, and his wife, and some staff members at that boycott, holding signs. So, his relationship with Don goes all the way back to that protest there in Dallas, and he was very glad to have been a part of standing up for decency.

Tim Wildmon: We won a lot of victories during those years. You know, I say we, the American Family Association, previously named the National Federation for Decency. And it wasn’t just us, and it wasn’t just my dad, it was a lot of other Christian leaders that helped organize and get the information out to the country. And so, we were very successful during those years in making a difference.

Tim Moore: Well, what was the impetus to change from the National Federation for Decency to the American Family Association? And how did that expand the mission of the ministry here?

Tim Wildmon: Well, we started out because of pro-decency. And the Bible talks about how we as Christians should stand for morality, and biblical values. But then the issues began to broaden, it wasn’t just the content of television, or pornography, our issues began to broaden to even more cultural issues, moral issues, that involve politics sometimes. So, Dad decided a broader name would be more appropriate for our ministry.

Tim Moore: You know I’m just fascinated by the fact that your dad was given a platform, let alone a megaphone, and you said he was a bulldog. I referred to him as a mouse, only because from the perception of the world who is this man from Mississippi, a pastor of a small church there, now impacting the nation. But in the eyes of God, he was a lion, he is a bulldog, and he had incredible impact. But he began to prophetically warn about the rising threat of Humanism, as a matter of fact, and in its corrosive impact on Judeo Christian values. Here is what he wrote in 2013, I find this fascinating, he said, “For more than a generation now our society has been sowing seeds which are today bringing forth their fruit, Atheism, and Agnosticism, with their stepchildren of Humanism, Hedonism, and Materialism, may not be the official religions of our country, but they had become the accepted practical religion by many in key positions of influence.” Wow. If that is a not a prophetic statement, I don’t what is. So, just consider how much further we have fallen in the past 38-years. Where are we today compared to where we were then?

Tim Wildmon: Well, unfortunately we are further down the road to what I call self-destruction, of our republic, that God gave us with our founders over 200 years ago. That is tragic to say, but I mean look at what is happening in our country, it’s undeniable. Now, whether God sends another big revival to change our land in a grand way, or not, I don’t know. But I do know it’s the call of Christians to be salt and light in a dark and even dying culture. But the Secular Humanism, you mentioned that I remember my dad, he would often reprint the Humanist Manifesto, because what has happened in our country was planned.

Tim Moore: Oh, definitely.

Tim Wildmon: It was planned demonically.

Tim Moore: Yes, sir.

Tim Wildmon: As the Scripture says, for those who understand the Bible. Or satanically. And then there is the plan by man to replace God, and that is what Secular Humanism does, and it replaced the Judeo Christian worldview of man with a Secular Humanistic one, which basically says man is God. And there is a world of difference there on the impact of culture.

Tim Moore: There certainly is. And we’ve seen that manifested in so many ways to where the rising number of so called nones in our society, not N-U-N but N-O-N-E-S, people who have no affiliation, no grounding or foundation and any kind of religious or Judeo Christian faith. And what that means is they are just drifting along, and they have become their own gods. And many who are even the quasi-religious realm are promoting you can be your own god. Boy, that sounds like a lie straight out of Genesis chapter 3 with Satan trying to tell Eve.

Tim Wildmon: Well, David Reagan has taught on this too.

Tim Moore: Certainly.

Tim Wildmon: A lot over the years. So, that’s what happened. That is what is happening. Of course, the Bible tells us this will be as we see it developing. So, but at the same time for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, and our posterity even beyond that we as American Christians don’t want to see our republic crumble.

Tim Moore: No.

Tim Wildmon: And fall away. It may yet, but we need to fight for it, because we are the last great hope for mankind in terms of around the world, I’m talking about the United States in terms of religious freedom, and charity, and individual rights, and all the things that come with it.

Tim Moore: Some people say, “I just don’t know how I can impact the entire world, or even the whole country, or even my whole state, or community.” Special Forces when they are trained are taught to at least impact the three feet in your immediate vicinity. You can impact your immediate world. So, whether that is your family. Whether that is your friends. People at your church. You can have impact. But there are certain individuals who are called to have a much broader impact. That was your father back in the 70’s. That’s been all the folks here at the AFA team who are impacting, again, the entire culture, and millions of lives. One of the things I find fascinating as well, is that the instrument of influence your father battled against was primarily in the early day’s television. And although the culture war is waging on many other fronts today, he said, this, “The greatest threat to the existence of our society is mind pollution, and that the greatest source of that pollution was the television.” Would you agree with that statement today?

Tim Wildmon: Well, yes, I would, but there are variances today to when he wrote that initially, the internet.

Tim Moore: The internet, social media. So, yes, but.

Tim Wildmon: Yes, but still television plays a huge role, as I said earlier in our interview it is shaping the culture. There was a fella by the name of Norman Lear who back in the 70’s he was the father of the sitcom, “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude” and others. And he basically said that he was using his program, a comedy now, comedies to inject social messages, very liberal social messages.

Tim Moore: Oh, yeah.

Tim Wildmon: And so, that shaped the thinking of the American people, those kinds of programs, and they were almost all very liberal. So that shaped the thinking of the American people broadly across the country and was able to change culture. So, there is no question about it that television back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s was the dominate change factor in American culture, and then came along the internet.

Tim Moore: I agree. And even the internet a lot of times is streaming content that originally is sourced from television. They are trying to promote ideology by even the way that they present characters.

Tim Wildmon: Under the guise of entertainment. Under the guise of entertainment.

Tim Moore: Yeah.

Tim Wildmon: And it is very subtle, it is one thing to come on and preach and say something, a lot of people will just tune you out. But if you wrap it in comedy or you wrap it in drama, you wrap it in entertainment, Hollywood, New York, the dominant thinking is a Secular Humanist worldview, unfortunately. There are some Christians trying to make a difference in those venues, but it is very difficult.

Tim Moore: Well, what is even sadder is many Christian parents, we talked about impacting our families, they would not let someone in the door who was going to be a threat to their child’s teaching or training, and yet they’ll let them turn on the television, and through that subtle means they’re bringing in filth to pollute their own children’s minds.

Tim Wildmon: Well, you’ve got to ask yourself, where does this ultimately lead for Christians in American if we are continually mocked, and ridiculed, and dehumanized, and cancelled. And so, we have to fight back, but if you continually put a certain segment of people in that negative light, then the laws turn against them, the government turns against them. And as I said, I used the term dehumanized that’s what happened around the world when we see people who have been persecuted. You segment them off over here and you tell the rest of the world these people are crazy, or they are a threat to society.

Tim Moore: They become cancelled if not in terms of their lives, and then in terms of their voice and their impact. Well, you joined AFA, even technically before it was AFA in–

Tim Wildmon: I didn’t have a choice.

Tim Moore: Well, I think you had a call.

Tim Wildmon: Well, I did, and I didn’t.

Tim Moore: Yeah, you did, and you didn’t. But in 1986 in the last 35 years, just what have you witnessed in our culture, and our society?

Tim Wildmon: Well, I’ve mentioned some of the negative things, the trends that have taken place. We all see them all around us. But the good thing too is, we’ve seen millions of Christians rise up, and get involved in politics, and government. Yourself, a prime example of that, working in the Kentucky State Legislature. And so, a lot of Christians have been awakened to the need to get involved to make a difference. Serve on a school boards, city councils, state legislatures, run for governor, run for federal office, senate, or house. You know you can’t complain if you are not willing to get involved.

Tim Moore: Amen. That is exactly true.

Tim Wildmon: I mean how many times have you talked to people, and they will complain about something, and you’ll say, “Who did you vote for?” “I didn’t vote.”

Tim Moore: That’s very true.

Tim Wildmon: Well, there you go. There are a lot of Christians that are sitting on the sideline. But again, the encouraging news, there are a lot of Christians who have gotten involved. But the battle has intensified, you know you mentioned this, the battle has intensified, so the other side, that is the Secular Humanists, the so called Progressives, they are getting very bold today in their attacks on Christians.

Tim Moore: They certainly are.

Tim Wildmon: And so, we have to fight back, and continue to fight back.

Tim Moore: Well, as I shared with your staff this morning, I think we are called to be modern day Ezekiels, we have to be hardheaded, harder headed then those who would resist the message because we are called to share truth. Now, we have to do so in love, but we have to be willing to be bold and share it. But what are some of the ways that AFA reaches out today? We are familiar with the AFA Journal, the magazine, but what else does AFA do to reach and impact?

Tim Wildmon: Well, we have 181 radio stations that we own and operate since 1991 we have grown that radio network, so we reach millions of people everyday with our radio network. We have about a half a million people who get our AFA Action Alert emails.

Tim Moore: Yes, I do.

Tim Wildmon: You get them. Our magazine goes to about 150,000 people who pay to get it. So, those are three ways that we get our message out and communicate to our supporters and call them to action.

Tim Moore: Well, I want to return for just a moment to the man who started all this, that being your father. And he exhibited a prophet’s foresight in recognizing the moral bankruptcy really of our nation, and what it was headed toward, which is even worse today than it was back in the 1970’s, and he had a prophets single minded determination to follow God’s calling. So, tell us a little more about your dad and his heart for this ministry.

Tim Wildmon: Well, Dad was, as I said, he was trained in the Methodist tradition, and served churches here in north Mississippi; 8 years in Tupelo at one church, and then moved to Southaven, in 1976, I would have been 13-years-old, and that is when God called him. And Dad is not one to say that every day. We know some brothers and sisters, you know God speaks to them every day about what they are supposed to have for breakfast, and everything.

Tim Moore: The call of God is a special thing.

Tim Wildmon: Yes, but this was a moment where God called. When you are telling the guy to leave your profession as pastor, and start something brand new, and you’ve got four children, and you have no income. And Dad can tell stories about in those early days even how a couple of different times he basically told God, “I don’t have the money to print the newsletter you want me to print.” And his office was in our home, the offset machine, the telephone, the typewriter in one our bedrooms, that was the office of the National Federation for Decency in 1977, ’78. And the President of it was Don Wildmon, and the secretary was Don Wildmon, and the janitor was Don Wildmon, and the printer was Don Wildmon.

Tim Moore: A jack of all trades, huh?

Tim Wildmon: Absolutely. You know somebody has to be called by God if that is the dedication they are going to give to something. But I remember him telling this story a couple of times where he needed a specific amount of money to pay the bills, and one time the money came in an unsolicited check in our mail at our house, to the exact amount of money. And another time a fella called him from Michigan, who he did not know, who had read about our work in the newspaper there, calls this little preacher in Mississippi, the gentleman is in Michigan he’s a millionaire and he said, “I’m sending you a check for x number of dollars,” and it was the exact amount that my dad needed to cover his bills. So, he can tell you stories like that, that only confirmed God’s call on his life. And you know he began to, Dad was very good at, you mentioned Dad is in Dr. Reagan’s book, Dad was very good, I’d say, he was a visionary, but he also was, somebody said my Dad had more horse sense then anybody they’d ever known. In other words, he was a can do person.

Tim Moore: Sure.

Tim Wildmon: A lot of people are visionaries; a lot of people are worker bees.

Tim Moore: And can’t put that vision into practice.

Tim Wildmon: Right. Right. But he could do both. He could do both, God blessed him with those abilities, and those talents. And he was really dedicated to the Lord. I mean he read his Bible every day. Prayed every day. Faithful churchman, even when he wasn’t the pastor. So, and then lead by example.

Tim Moore: Well, the thing about it is, even with the financial miracles that occurred back in the day, and the same thing happened with our ministry with Dr. Reagan, he can tell you stories. But to this day our budget may be bigger, but there are moments when we are at a critical need, and that exact amount, that exact blessing comes right at the moment we need it. Which is proof that God still works through other people to bless our ministry, which allows us to touch so many. I’ll observe this, Don, early on focused on the filth coming out of Hollywood, which they produce many of our television programs as well. And other morally bankrupt propagators of American culture. He said this, “We can have a society that recognizes God and His moral standards, or we can have a society that recognizes the make it up as you go moral standards of Hollywood. We cannot, however, have both as equals.” I would say today, although Hollywood likes to virtue signal its leftist ideology, if anything it has become even more morally bankrupt.

Tim Wildmon: Yeah. You know the Scripture teaches absolute moral values. Right? The Ten Commandments. Sermon on the Mount. These are not negotiables.

Tim Moore: No, they are not.

Tim Wildmon: With God, and that is for us individually and really is for the broader society, and that is what our country was founded on if you look back, no question about it. In 1892, I guess it was, the Supreme Court then said that we are a Christian nation.

Tim Moore: Yes, they did.

Tim Wildmon: If you look around we are Christian nation. That doesn’t mean every individual is a believer, but it means our country honors Christianity.

Tim Moore: Well, your dad actually expressed great disappointment in the silence that was emanating from America’s pulpits, whether regarding the lack of morality in our culture, or the unconscionable destruction of innocent lives. He actually called out the fact that there were 300,000 pulpits which were silent. Have you discerned an improvement in recent years?

Tim Wildmon: Well, I think that yes, I think that God is calling out, separating the two camps; the people who are going to follow Him and call their people to action if you will in the culture, and those who just want to have the ostrich of Christianity, you know leave their head in the sand and pretend things are not as serious as they are. And I try to–again in our country, the main problem that I think Christians need to understand who say, “I don’t want to be engaged in politics, that’s not my calling, or that’s not spiritual.” Have you heard that before? That’s the Devil’s territory.

Tim Moore: Yeah, I certainly have.

Tim Wildmon: And Lord knows that is the Devil’s territory, in many ways, I’m talking about the political in government. However, if we abandon that, totally and completely where does that leave you?

Tim Moore: Exactly.

Tim Wildmon: Are we better off?

Tim Moore: No, Christ will be Lord over every sphere of human endeavor, not just the Church or religious sphere, but everything, the family, the government, all when He reigns here on earth, and we are to try to be salt and light. Well, folks, if Don, and now Tim Wildmon, and the American Family Association have touched the conscious of a nation, that was a phrase used by Dr. Dennis Kinlaw of Asbury College when he presented your dad with an honorary doctorate. What biblical responsibility do we have as a nation for ignoring godly voices who are warning us?

Tim Wildmon: Yeah, well, your colleague, Dr. Reagan, he’s been a leader in this effort. And I can mention Dr. Dobson, Dr. Kennedy, Marlon Maddoux, I can mention so many others, Dr. Adrian Rodgers, down through the years these have been giants. Larry Burkett, who was a friend of ours. Dr. Bill Bright.

Tim Moore: Many, many.

Tim Wildmon: Phyllis Schlafly. Tim and Beverly LaHaye. These are just some of the names of people, that have, and my dad would be in that category, we were called up in the 60’s and 70’s to lead Christians in an effort to organize. We have to be organized, but there is power in numbers in America, and we have to join together to fight back.

Tim Moore: Well, I have another question. I late 2020 AFA’s American Families studios produced a video called, “In His Image.” And it was a tremendous film designed to address our cultural confusion over gender; in other words, so many people are promoting transgenderism as the new great thing. I would highly recommend that film to our viewers. But my question for you is: What was the impetus behind this project?

Tim Wildmon: “In His Image,” well we saw what was going on in our culture. I mean Caitlyn Jenner, everybody knows him as Bruce Jenner who won the Olympics, I think the decathlon in 1976, was on the box of Wheaties.

Tim Moore: Yes, sir.

Tim Wildmon: The cover of Wheaties. So, we saw that. That was kind of what was celebrated, ESPN called him the bravest, most courageous athlete, three years ago. So, that just to show you how celebrated this idea of gender confusion, what we call gender confusion, gender dysphoria, is in our society today it’s kind of like the last frontier for the people who are promoting sexual immorality in our country. And so, we decided, hey, how do we give an answer to this? So, we made a film called, “In His Image.” Which has gone viral basically now.

Tim Moore: Yes, it has.

Tim Wildmon: People are watching it around the world. It’s about 90 minutes or so. And it gives the testimony of a few people who were in that lifestyle, they were in the lifestyle, either they were a man who though they were a woman, or a woman who thought they were a man, and it shares their stories. And then it shares about how Jesus Christ saved them and brought them out of those lifestyles.

Tim Moore: And how can our viewers connect with this ministry?

Tim Wildmon: Well, they can go to afa.net, afa.net, and if you’ll go there you can see how to get our action alert emails, we send those out once or twice a week. Our American Family Radio Network is available online at afr.net, afr.net, if you don’t get one of our terrestrial radio stations. And my dad if he could be with us here today, he is still alive, but he is unable for health reasons to be with us, he would say, “You get up each day and you do what God has called you to do today. And then tomorrow you do the same thing. And then the day after that you do the same thing.” So, our job is to be faithful. We’ll leave the success or the failure to the Lord. So, I wish you guys so much success in the future, and hope you continue to reach thousands and thousands of people.

Closing

Tim Moore: I really enjoyed spending time with Tim Wildmon and the dedicated American Family Association team in Tupelo, Mississippi. Building on Don Wildmon’s godly legacy, they continue to stand up for American families and impact American culture. Thankfully, Tim Wildmon is following in his father’s footsteps to serve as a prophetic voice in his own right.

I’d strongly encourage you to watch and share the tremendous AFA film, “In His Image.” It offers timely biblical truth in the face of our society’s willful embrace of sexual and gender confusion. This powerful video will give you tools to speak truth and love into the lives of those being deceived by our culture. If you’d like to get a copy, please call the number on your screen, or visit our online store. We’ll be glad to send it to you for a donation of only $10.

Until we bring you another Prophetic Voice to America next week, this is Tim Moore for Lamb & Lion Ministries. We pray that our Christ in Prophecy program leaves you longing for, and loving Jesus soon return. Until next time, Godspeed!!

End of Program