This article is the first in a two-part series featuring remarks at the National Religious Broadcasters 2024 Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. To read part two, click here.


This year’s annual NRB Conference included remarks from prominent speakers, focusing particularly on the needs of families in today’s increasingly hostile culture.

The panel, “Restoring Values: Countering Cultural Indoctrination to Protect Faithful Families,” featured several popular speakers including: Lucas Miles, pastor and author; Cheryl Chumley, Washington Times opinion editor and commentator; Walt Heyer, a prominent speaker and founder of Sex Change Regret; Dr. Jeff Meyers, president of Summit Ministries; and Heidi St. John, author and co-founder of Firmly Planted-Family.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Jeff Meyers noted that young adults are especially under assault in today’s culture, saying even though they are just 15% of the population, they are 100% of the future. “Everybody who wants to control the future tries to figure out how to control young people,” Dr. Meyers said.

Gender Ideology

In particular, the panel members addressed the rise gender ideology.

Walt Heyer, a man who formerly identified as “transgender” and has since “detransitioned,” said much of the rise in transgender-identified youth today is due to a “social contagion.” This is the idea that many young people today who identify as transgender do not do so because of genuine gender dysphoria (a psychological discomfort with one’s own sexed body); they do so because transgenderism is popular, often spread among social groups and promoted on social media.

“People begin to believe these ideologies,” Heyer remarked. “It’s had a dynamic change everywhere – in churches, in schools and in business.” He added,

It’s destroying much of the fabric of the young people’s lives. We’re destroying an entire generation of people because people have bought into this idea that they can change their gender.

Of course, no one has ever changed their gender in the history of mankind.

Heidi St. John recounted the story of a 5-year-old boy in an Indianapolis Unified School District kindergarten. His teachers read him and his classmates the book Worm Loves Worm, a book about two androgenous worms who fall in love and must decide who will wear the wedding dress, and who will wear the tux, at their wedding.

The book is “a beautifully illustrated lie,” St. John said. “But a beautiful lie is still a lie.” She added,

These children were told that their gender was malleable. They could change it if they wanted to.

At the end of their kindergarten year, one of his friends decided he must be born in the wrong body. In the 3rd grade, four of his fellow students decided they must be transgender. So, then he came home from school and said, “Mom, I am transgender.”

This happened because the students were talking about it and the teachers were pushing an ideology. This is what we mean when we say, “social contagion.”

It’s why I’ve been saying for 25 years, “Get your kids out of these schools.” They are injuring them body, soul, mind and spirit.

Christian Solutions and Political Engagement

To overcome the many lies told by our modern culture, Cheryl Chumley encouraged parents to read Scripture with their children. “The parents who are most equipped are the ones who read the Bible with their children daily,” Chumley said, adding,

Out of that comes every weapon that you would need to fight off whatever comes. If you’re not doing that, you’re doing a disservice to your children.

Chumley shared she knows this from personal experience. She was raised in an atheist home, so she said she knows the difference it makes for children to be raised in a Christian home (how she’s raising her children), compared to how she grew up.

“It’s a very different lifestyle because it’s a very different mindset,” Chumley said, adding,

The number one thing that parents can do is read the Bible with their children and arm them for battle.

To change the culture, Heidi St. John gave impassioned remarks exhorting Christian to get involved in politics. She first ran for Congress in Washington state in 2022 because she was burdened by what she saw happening in government.

She said Christians must get involved at the local and state level – not just at the national level – because that is where they can make the biggest impact.

Her remarks are worth quoting in length:

We’re here largely because Christians decided to abandon the political sphere.

We decided that’s too dirty, that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. As one of my friends says, “Well the church is dirty too, so what’s your point?”

God calls us out of the four walls of our churches, out into the culture. Christians belong in every sphere of influence. We belong in education. We belong in medicine. We belong in entertainment. Yes, we belong in politics.

We must ask God’s people to run for political offices and represent the true and living God. The only answer to the bold lies we are surrounded with right now in the culture is bold truth.

The time that we can just be quiet and passive and decide that we’re not going to vote or get involved is over. The left in this country is taking a very different approach. They will not stop until they own the schools, the universities, the medical institutions and the government.

God’s people have a role to play. … God’s people are needed more than ever in the political sphere. And I hope more Christian people decide to run for political office.

You can learn more about getting involved in politics and changing the culture here and here.

Part two of this series will focus on the state of faith, fatherhood and masculinity in America.

To speak with a family help specialist or request resources, please call us at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

To help parents navigate their child’s public school, Focus on the Family has created a free resource, Back to School for Parents: A busy parent’s guide to what’s happening in your children’s classrooms and practical steps you can take to protect them. The resource can help you stay informed with happenings in your child’s school.

Heidi St. John recently appeared on the Focus on the Family Broadcast in an episode titled “Fueling Motherhood Through Spiritual Discipline.” She explains how moms can be intentional in their mothering, and you can place your confidence in God.

Related articles and resources:

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

Family Resources

Understanding Homosexuality

Transgender Resources

Back to School for Parents: A busy parent’s guide to what’s happening in your children’s classrooms and practical steps you can take to protect them.

Photo from Getty Images.