If there ever was a Christian radio station you could turn to for solid doctrine-driven teaching, it was WRVL 88.3. There was no catchy jingle needed in order to remember this channel. Instead, there was simply substance … Enough substance to draw me back day after day, ready to soak in much more than the typical fluffy phrases of positive thinking so prevalent on today’s “christian” radio waves. The rigorous programming was rich with meaningful messages for all ages. Unfortunately, as I write this I must speak in the past tense. Without fear of sounding overly dramatic, I honestly state that the last stronghold of good Christian radio has become yet another dilapidated ruin of believer baby food.
Maybe I will give those in leadership at WRVL the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they have evaluated their listenership and determined that the most depth Christians around here can handle is how to make preacher cookies. And maybe to a certain extent they are right. I know at times I have turned away from 88.3 to one of those lesser stations in order to satisfy a less than intellectual want. That being said, I’ve always considered that my own fault. When finally I wake up and come to my senses, it is the gold standard of WRVL that I always returned to like the prodigal son depleted of all spiritual encouragement.
Let there be no mistake, I write this as a lament of a lost mentor. There are certainly other sources, mostly online, were I can be fed with more than marshmallow fluff. But that doesn’t lessen the pain of loss so severely felt. The voices of j Vernon McGee, dr. Dobson, mr. Whittaker, and the testimonies of Unshackled will never again fill my day with excitement for the word of God and encouragement for my life in Him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to hear things like “Don’t be blind, find Jesus,” but I can get that off of any number of church billboards with the same effect.
The changes that have occurred at WRVL remind me more of what happens to Christian ministries in countries where government censorship has become oppressive. It is tragic that a radio ministry would volunteer to make such changes. Unless, perhaps, there is a different sort of pressure involved: the pressure that we have been working to fight against on so many fronts. The world, the devil, the flesh. That machine of conformation, sounding so logical in the ear, systematically breaking down each fundamental belief and conviction until there is very little distinction between sacred and secular.
So where do we go from here? We, quite simply, press on. We build bastions of faith where others have fallen. We write, speak, and listen to meaningful words. We grow up, cooking thick steaks of the word on fiery grills of ministry. We put aside the many bottles of milk thrust in our faces by meaningful doters, taking solid food. Otherwise we will be like those in Hebrews 5:11-13. “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths all over again. You need milk, not solid food. Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.”