This article originally appeared on December 16, 2022 at Baptist News Global.
In a world where peer-reviewed evolutionists are taken seriously and LGBTQ people are treated as peers, Bob Jones University and Sermon Audio have come up with a conservative evangelical counter-offensive known as The Vault.
The two organizations have joined forces to build a doomsday vault filled with fundamentalist and conservative evangelical sermons in order to try to survive the apocalypse where future Christians might be required to listen to sermons without the internet due to “cancel culture.”
Sermon Audio founder Steven Lee explained at the 2021 Foundations Conference hosted by Bob Jones University that a day could come when “sound teaching” is wiped from digital access and all the sermons broadcast on Sermon Audio no longer are allowed to stream online.
But there is a way to prepare for such a doomsday, he said, a way inspired by the so-called “Doomsday Vault,” a long-term secure storage facility located above the Arctic Circle between Norway and the North Pole. “Its purpose is to house all of the world’s seeds securely so that in the event of an apocalyptic situation or a global catastrophe, the seeds will be preserved to allow nations to grow various foods again.”
Likewise, evangelical Christians need to store their gospel seed, he said. “We would like to build a Doomsday Vault of our own. Except in this vault, we would be housing the good seed, the good seed of the preached word in the event of a catastrophic breakdown in relations with cloud providers and platforms.”
That vault is located on the second floor of the Mack Library on the Bob Jones University campus in Greenville, S.C. It officially opened during the 2022 Foundations Conference held on campus last week.
The largest digital library for fundamentalist sermons ever
Sermon Audio was launched in January 2000 by Lee, who graduated with a computer science degree from BJU in 1995. It is a website “dedicated to the preservation and propagation of sound biblical preaching all over the world.”
During the past 23 years, Sermon Audio has become home to more than 2 million sermons with more than 430 million downloads, at a rate of around 3 million new downloads per month, easily making it the largest digital library of fundamentalist and conservative evangelical sermons in the world.
From a technological perspective, the platform is impressive. Users can search for sermons based on Bible reference, category, topic, speaker, language or date. And churches are able to livestream their services with Sermon Audio, while embedding them on the website.
While there are many nondenominational, Bible and Presbyterian churches that utilize Sermon Audio, the overwhelming majority of broadcasters that list their denominational affiliation are Baptist churches.
According to Sermon Audio’s Statement of Faith, churches that wish to broadcast their sermons on the site must affirm penal substitutionary atonement, as well as be against “women pastors/preachers/elders, etc.”
Some of the popular men featured at Sermon Audio include Al Mohler, Voddie Baucham, Paul Washer, John MacArthur, Todd Friel and many more extreme fundamentalist Baptists who would consider those men to be too liberal.
Lee believes he is participating in a war. “Make no mistake about it. We are in a war,” he declared. “We must remember that in this world there are two opposing sides: The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. They are in opposition one to another. The world is not neutral. And platforms are not neutral.”
“The world is not neutral. And platforms are not neutral.”
According to Lee, the world might have battle plans for Sermon Audio.