A Challenge to America’s Pulpits in 2016

Sam Rohrer, APN President, interviews with Jim Schneider, host of CrossTalk on the VCY America Network

(Air Date: Jan. 04, 2016)

Below are some of the highlights of this interview:

 

Introduction:
Jim began by noting that while there are churches that are taking a stand for biblical truth, there are others that are capitulating to popular thought and opinion. Some have compromised on marriage, morality, decency and life. Others are so focused on entertainment that God’s Word is hardly regarded. Some have cut out portions of Scripture because they are in conflict with a world that has turned itself against God. Some pastors are feeling the pressure of church boards and/or congregations to avoid certain issues for the sake of unity.

Jim then introduced Sam Rohrer. Sam is the president of the American Pastors Network and the Pennsylvania Pastors Network. He served 18 years in the Pennsylvania legislature and was a former candidate for governor in Pennsylvania. In his role with the American Pastors Network he encourages pastors to boldly preach biblical truth, especially on issues affecting our current society.

Jim stated the following, ‘…in all we talk about today, the number one issue that pulpits must proclaim across this nation and not compromise on is the life saving message of the gospel—Jesus Christ died for our sins, he was buried he rose again the third day—this is a message that is essential and is the basis for everything else we talk about here on the broadcast today.’

Sam replied by stating that he was glad Jim began where he did because that’s the point where freedom begins. He doesn’t believe it is possible to really understand or appreciate civil freedom until you understand and have tasted spiritual freedom which is being free from our bondage to sin. That must be the primary message of the gospel but unfortunately that’s where Sam feels many pastors stop. After that, pastors need to take people to the point of discipleship and that is something greatly lacking in America today.

For Sam the whole issue comes down to whether or not you recognize that God through Jesus Christ is authoritative and is all truth. This is the difficulty we face as our culture moves away from a Judeo-Christian recognition of who and what truth is into the subjective culture. This means that today, the ‘odd man out’ is the Christian. You can hold a firm view on everything else but not on biblical truth yet it’s biblical truth that God will ultimately measure us by both now and later.

So if you’ve ever wondered what happened to the concept of ‘Thus saith the Lord’, join Jim as he has Sam answer that question in this 2016 challenge to America’s pulpits.

Are pulpits falling short of preaching the whole counsel of God?

Yes, statistics prove it. 90% say they believe the Bible speaks to the issues of life, but only 10% actually preach to those issues.  The pulpits of America have been silent on the very basic issues of life that affect all of us.

You’re challenging pastors to speak out on issues, what are those issues?

  • Less than 30% of pastors, even Evangelicals, believe that the Bible is authoritative.  This is the first issue, they must believe that the Word of God is true and applicable to all aspects of life.
  • The Bible speaks to all issues of life and must be preached from the pulpit. Issues like:
  1. Islam
  2. Religious freedom
  3. Immigrants who don’t want to assimilate
  4. Marriage
  5. Corruption in government
  6. Gun-control

Anything you hear on the radio or TV can be filtered through the lens of Scripture. Truth should be applied and talked about from the pulpit. If pastors don’t speak to the areas that apply beyond the walls of the church, which is where the church member lives, then it is of no value.  Pastors should not just speak to matters of salvation, but should disciple believers so that they are engaging the culture as salt and light. They should preach the whole counsel of God even when it’s controversial.

Why won’t Pastors preach on the issues?

  1. The issues are controversial. Pastors don’t want to lose people from their congregations.
  2. Many have been taught in seminary that they shouldn’t teach or preach about these things because it’s political. But people need to know what the Bible says about what is happening around us-politically as well.
  3. Afraid of losing tax-exempt status. Churches used to be the place that people went to, to find out how to vote.  Pastors were the ones who gave biblical qualifications for the candidates. Churches and Pastors are allowed to say more than they think is allowable by law and need to be informed on this issue.
  4. Fearing man more than God.

But as we are to obey the law of the land, is it right to speak against it?

God’s moral law always transcends any civil law.  That’s what the Bible means when it says we ought to obey God rather than man. When God has made a clear statement of what ought to be, no man can undo it.  One of the marks of a nation under God’s judgment is when they proclaim to be true what is false and vice versa.  We’ve done this on marriage.  God’s law cannot be trumped by civil law.

Do you think it will come to the point where the government will mandate that churches conduct same-sex marriages?

We already know that this is the direction they want to go.  Any nation that redefines what God says, will face judgment.  Yes, the pressure is already being felt by pastors such as in TX where the pastors were required to turn in their sermons for evaluation. It didn’t happen, but if the pulpits don’t speak boldly, so that people understand what is happening, this is where we’re headed.

What if the church board wants the pastor to back down, and not rock the boat?

When pastors begin to speak more boldly from the pulpit, this will happen.  As the shepherd of the flock, he must begin to preach in a way that considers where people are, so that he lays out the word of God and leads his people to the truth.  That is what preaching is-teaching and convincing people to obey and honor the truth.  Will people leave? They may, but others are looking for a pastor who will speak boldly and so the church will fill again.

What do people do when their churches are OK with PP, Same-sex marriage, national health care, etc.?

If they are in a church that has embraced a position that accepts things that are abominable to God, they need to get out.  If a pastor is just timid, the church goer should go to their pastor and ask them to preach on the issues.  Many are doing this today.

2016 is a vital election year, what should people take into account as they consider candidates?

Pastors need to preach on this:

  1. The qualifications of a particular candidate:
    1. Do they fear God?
    2. Hate bribery?
    3. Shun corruption?
    4. Commit to tell the truth?
    5. Do they know Christ as Savior?

Until we begin viewing candidates the way God does, we’ll continue to get the same results.

I feel like when I vote, I’m voting for the lesser of two evils.  OR I don’t agree with either candidate, so I’m going to sit it out.

If two candidates are evil like an Adolf Hitler, or a Joseph Stalin, believers should not vote for them.

But that’s not what we’ve been presented with.  We might have a novice who knows the Lord but doesn’t have much experience, or someone who doesn’t have it all right on all the issues, but has integrity and character, fears God and wants to do what’s right. If we have pro-life candidates, then we must participate in the vote.

Unfortunately, the church hasn’t been encouraging candidates to run for office who know the Lord.  This is a problem and we should be prayerfully assisting those who are worthy of the office, to successfully get in office.

If both candidates embrace homosexuality, Islam, abortion-don’t vote for either one, but that’s not what we usually have.

What is APN doing to help pastors?

APN is establishing State Chapters, networks of “remnant pastors” who will boldly stand for truth in the pulpit and the public square.  We are equipping and training them to lead through various outreaches like conference Calls, events, radio programs and more.

Who/what is the Remnant?

  1. The Remnant believes in the Authority of Scripture and Salvation by Faith in Christ Alone.
  2. The remnant understands the sovereignty of God and that His Plan is all about the Plan of Redemption.
  3. The Remnant knows that God will reward on the basis of faithfulness and so they are concerned about obedience. They know that the results are up to God.
  4. The Remnant will always respond to the Truth.
  5. The Remnant are those who know the Truth, hold the Truth, and are committed to Standing in the Gap for Truth.
  6. The Remnant is not made up of those who say nice things but those who say true things and actually live it.
  7. The Remnant has a message of not only holiness but a conviction that requires change.
  8. The Remnant asks: “What does God say. And, what God says I will do. That is biblical obedience and obedience from the heart.”
  9. The Remnant will respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit on matters of Truth. They will stand for Truth. They will not compromise or fall before those who would pursue or accost them on behalf of their stand for Truth.

Visit the website to learn more about APN: www.americanpastorsnetwork.net

We often hear from listeners who listen to our program, and talk to friends and co-workers about what’s happening on the news, but these friends don’t know about what’s happening and don’t believe what we are saying. How can we encourage people to be educated about the issues?

First, we should speak lovingly to them, regardless of where they are, because Christ saved us-when we were of the same mindset!  Second, we should share truth when we can. We can also point them to others who are telling the truth.  They can tune into radio stations like yours, or programs like ours.  And then we certainly must pray. It is spiritual warfare and we must pray that the Holy Spirit takes the truth we are speaking, and touches the hearts of those who are listening.

Some say we have freedom of “worship” but not freedom of religion.  We should keep our faith within the walls of our churches, don’t bring it out in public.  What can we do to shine as lights in this dark culture?

We are Ambassadors for Christ.  That’s a political term.  An Ambassador represents an authority, a nation.  We represent Jesus Christ and just as an ambassador is a representative ALL of the time, being a Christian is a 24 hour job.  Our light must shine all of the time.  We can’t turn it off and on, and even though we are in an increasingly hostile world, we must continue to more effectively represent Christ. The opportunity is even greater than it was before, the necessity is greater, and we must be His emissaries until He returns.

Callers:

 Robert: A friend of mine has left the church over the issue of gay marriage, and wants to start their own church.  The law condones same-sex marriage and it has caused many people to leave the church in my nation.

The foreign policy of this nation has required other nations to adopt the same attitude towards same-sex marriage in return for our financial, political, or other support.  This stance on same-sex marriage is far reaching, unfortunately.

Mason: My Lutheran Church has a woman pastor.  The acolytes and ushers are all women and the denomination is now open to homosexual pastors. There’s no substance to the messages.  The pastors preach on the same topics, and stories we’ve heard over and over.

Jim: When will men step up and take leadership roles?

Sam: God’s design for the man is clearly established, just as His design for women is clearly established. But if the men don’t fulfill that design, than God might call a woman.  But when churches do what is not biblical, it opens up a door that can’t be shut and anything goes.

Jim: We need spiritual food. The proclamation of God’s word.  II Timothy 3 tells us that perilous times will come and pastors need to preach the word!

Sam: Truth has always been under assault-starting in the Garden of Eden.  Those who know the truth must defend, contend, articulate, and live the faith.  We must not sit back but rather allow the Scriptures to guide us.

Cathy: People say the Bible is not relevant for today. Children only hear Bible stories and they are not taught how to defend their faith when they go to college.  Pastors want non-Christians to come in and then accommodate them with worldly entertainment, etc…what does the Christian do? Instead of the church influencing the culture, the culture is influencing the church.

Sam: I’m afraid she’s correct. The world is 10 steps behind the church. As the church lowers the standard, the world will be even farther away from the truth.  When we lessen the standard of God’s Word, the world will be even further behind.  The church has failed and must come back to the moral standard, God is the judge and we will give an account.  We must ask ourselves, “Am I living a righteous life? What does the mirror say when it reflects how I live?

Victoria: Many pastors are reluctantly caving to the pressure of the congregation, the incorporation of churches (501c3) is also a problem and the church will be tested in this area.  Soon the need will come for pastors to make a decision between God and the government.

There will be many who will stand before Christ to whom he will say “Depart from Me, I never knew you”.  There will be a time that each will give an account for what they have done with Christ.  There are many in the pulpit, pews, and nation who wrongly think they are a Christian because they were born here, but if people heard truth from the pulpit, they would be convicted and be saved. The gospel is the foundation and then discipleship comes next-moving outside the walls of the church to live for Christ in this culture.

What is the most important message you want to leave with listeners:

Know the word of God, stand firmly on it, and obedience is more important than

 

 

2 replies
  1. Tedd Kunkel
    Tedd Kunkel says:

    I am a Jew, but notice a similarity in my faith and the Christian faith. In Reform and Conservative Judaism our numbers are falling. I understand that is a trend in certain Christian communities/denominations too. Orthodox Judaism is growing. I wonder if the need for our faiths to conform to pop culture, even to include homosexuality as acceptable in practice, is what is hurting growth? The more strict religions that demand more are growing. Is it that people really want something more, deeper, a challenge? If you water down your religion to meet pop culture standards than why bother practicing your faith, you can get it from the media. I am considering moving to Orthodox since Reform is more becoming an anything goes faith.

    Reply
  2. Mike Trentham
    Mike Trentham says:

    Conformity in the Church is one of the problems in my opinion. Pastors and preachers need to STAND on the Word of GOD and preach His Word in power and truth. The Church needs to be solid as a rock and Preach Jesus and Him Crucified. Yes, attendance is dropping all over the country, but that is because people are going to do what suites them. They say they don’t have time for God. Well folks, we all had better make time for Him because there could come a day in this nation where God could become something of the past. Hold on to His Word and Stand as Paul said.

    Reply

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