LEBANON – On October 15-16, hundreds of believers will gather here in Lebanon for the Unshakable Truth Worldview Conference. The conference, hosted by Heritage Baptist Church, will feature Christian leaders and scholars from across the country who will speak about major cultural issues of the day, according to organizers. Speakers include, among others, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Former Ethics & Religious Liberty President Richard Land, and Answers in Genesis Spokesman Terry Mortenson. The Pathway was able to sit down with Pastor Kevin Smith and ask him questions about the upcoming event:
Q: Tell us a little bit about the worldview conference. What is it all about?
A: “This is a conference that focuses on the importance of having a biblical worldview. The Bible speaks to every area of life, all the way from personal living to employment, families, churches, and our society at large. We are trying to see the world as God would have us see it, through the lens of the Bible, and teach others to do the same. That’s what the conference is all about.”
Q: What vision led you to put together this conference?
A: “Our people are hearing so many different messages, and so often we are not considering the clear message of God’s word. So we thought, why can’t we put something together that speaks biblically to the issues of our day? Hopefully and prayerfully the conference will encourage attendees to have a renewed confidence in the word of God and how it speaks to important cultural and moral issues.”
Q: Obviously this is an election season and many people are thinking through how their Christian faith should influence their vote. How will this conference deal with political issues, particularly the hot-button issues—and their implications for Christians?
A: “Before things are political issues they are biblical issues. This is not a political conference or rally, although we believe a biblical worldview will inevitably influence a person’s politics. We aren’t here to support a political party or candidate, but to show how the Bible sheds light on all of the issues of life. We want to put on a conference that is done well, and by that I mean that we aren’t going to be ugly or attacking, but we are going to be truthful. We have a message we can stand on with great faith and courage, yet very lovingly.”
Q: Who are the speakers and what will be their topics?
A: “It has been a God thing to allow us to bring in such a high-caliber lineup of speakers. Dr. Terry Mortenson of Answers in Genesis will address issues of creation and evolution. John Ashcroft will be speaking about the importance of Christian political involvement, and his son Jay will speak about Christians and public service. Dr. Rodney Reeves is the dean of the Bible college at SBU, and he will be speaking about the Bible’s relevance to the modern world. Dr. Alan Branch is Professor of Christian Ethics at Midwestern Seminary, and he will be addressing various ethical issues such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. Dr. Emir Caner is the President of Truett-McConnell College, and will be speaking about Christian engagement with Islam. Finally, Dr. Richard Land will be speaking about religious liberty and its importance to churches and Christian individuals. The willingness of these speakers to come has been both affirming and confirming. It speaks volumes about these guys.”
Q: Who is your target audience? Is the conference intended for anyone in particular?
A: “First and foremost, the target audience is the people in the church pew. Many have been told what they should believe, but they haven’t been discipled in a way to think carefully or to defend their faith. From there, I have a hope and a desire that those who are skeptics—those on the fence—would come and ask themselves what they truly believe. For pastors and leaders, I would hope that it would be an equipping time to learn from some of the best leaders and teachers of our day.
“I also believe this conference will have something to teach every generation. For instance, the younger generation, when they hear the term religious liberty, may not understand why that is so important. Or for adults, maybe they have some idea of why these issues matter, but maybe they need to hear about Christian engagement with Islam. All Christians might feel like “Why does my voice matter?” or “It doesn’t really affect me.” We believe the conference will speak to everyone.”
Q: How were you able to put together a conference like this?
A: “This conference isn’t about our church; we were just blessed with the privilege to birth it. We have seen God work from the beginning, and the process has been a great opportunity for like-minded believers to come together. Hillcrest Baptist Church and Pastor David Brown have helped throughout, and we have invited churches throughout our association to take part in the conference. We are partnering with Bott Radio Network to advertise and promote the conference. Our desire is for the message to reach across our state and region of the country.”
Q: Where can someone buy tickets if they are interested in attending?
“People can visit our website at hbclebanon.com or call the church at 417-532-7518. We wanted to make the conference cost effective for people, whether for a bi-vocational pastor or a homeschool group or whatever it might be, not making the price an issue. The church isn’t making any money on this. In fact, we are hoping to break even!”