Archive for month: May, 2020
World leaders came out with some dire predictions this week related to COVID-19 response, and the American Pastors Network is pointing out the similarities and the differences.
First, the United Nations has predicted that the economic fallout from COVID-19’s spread globally could end up killing more people than the virus itself, according to Fox News, which also reported the UN estimation that the virus would threaten 130 million more people with starvation by the end of the year. The UN report also cited World Vision, which estimates 30 million children are at risk of dying from starvation, while the Los Angeles Times also reported that economists forecast a global recession that will result in up to 420 million people plunging into extreme poverty.
Conversely, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the coronavirus task force, warned of “suffering and death” if the U.S. reopens too soon. Fauci is testifying this week via video before a Senate panel and also told The New York Times in a statement that officials should adhere to federal guidelines for a phased reopening, saying, “If we skip over checkpoints in the guidelines…then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”
“Between the UN, WHO, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts, it sounds like death, economic carnage, famine and starvation are coming regardless,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “The UN says that if economic activity doesn’t soon occur, people will starve and fall into poverty. Dr. Fauci says that if economic activity occurs, people will die, with ‘suffering and misery’ the only result. Two experts, who happen to be very much aligned in many ways, are offering opposing recommendations with the same dire warnings. One must read between the lines. Both are globalists. Both forecast dire results. Both see only bigger government and, even better for them, a unified world government capable of addressing our dire needs. Unfortunately, both ignore the sad history of the world that tells us that the bigger government and the more elevated the ‘elite,’ the greater the death and misery of the people.
“There is one major lesson in this,” Rohrer continued. “Neither the UN nor Dr. Fauci nor the globally minded elite have the ability to offer any good news outside of more government and more regulations. Without a fear of God, a respect for the ability of people to make determinations for themselves and an appreciation for the freedom that comes from self-government under God with a Judeo-Christian-centered Declaration of Independence and Constitution, there is no hope or good news. Neither the globalist expert, the UN elite nor medical experts have established any confidence worthy of anyone who loves freedom and understands what it takes to make strong families, strong economies and strong nations.”
The past few Sundays marked the first times many church congregations gathered together—in person—in weeks.
“Across America, churches have been declared unhealthy and physical worship dangerous,” said Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net). “Pastors who seek to carry out the practice of the New Testament Church and implement their love and concern for the spiritual and physical lives of their people find themselves in a difficult position. Obey God? Submit to the governing authorities? Where does one draw the line? Where does the authority of a governor or local police officer start and stop? Where does the authority and duty under God of the pastor, the employer, the father, the citizen begin and end? How does the increasing arrest and fining of pastors and church members for calling for a physical regathering or even meeting in their cars in a church parking lot increase the need for a biblical and constitutional response? It is indeed past time for choosing. But what is the choice? How do we determine our choice?
“If you feel like we’ve stepped into a twilight zone here in America—and around the world—where reality has become surreal and sci-fi has becomes reality, you’re not alone,” Rohrer continued. “Down is up. Up is down. Justice is subjective. Freedom is negotiable. The Constitution outmoded. Socialism is in vogue. Spending without constraint is novel. And looking to ‘experts’ rather than eternal principles, history and wisdom is the desire of the sheep and the mantra of the elite.”
Rohrer explored these questions with his fellow “Stand in the Gap Today” radio hosts on a recent program titled, “Regathering the Church: Obedience—Not Civil Disobedience.”
“Obedience is not willfulness; civil disobedience can be obedience,” Rohrer said. “What is the roadmap to obedience and blessing? For our nation and as individuals, or individuals within key positions of authority such as pastors and church leadership, we are in a time of choosing—choosing between right and wrong, freedom and bondage, God or Caesar, work or not to work, mask or not to mask, gather to worship or not gather are all choices. We must understand that.”
On the program, Rohrer said that when it comes to these choices, certain key principles must be understood if God is to bless them and view them as obedient.
“In difficult times, as increasingly seen in America, when that decision rubs against the sword of justice given by civil authority as described in Romans 13, a person can be cut, wounded or even killed,” Rohrer said. “Being in submission to authority and being under authority is perhaps the most important duty of each individual. Knowing the lines of authority in all circumstances is essential for God’s blessing. It is operation within these lines of authority and jurisdiction that, if known, produce peace and lead to freedom. Choosing based on emotion, peer pressure or anything other than biblical principles can lead to disobedience, God’s judgment and bondage as did the experience of Adam and Eve and Cain right in the beginning.
“In the context of biblical principles regarding civil obedience or what might be referred to as civil disobedience, the concept of highest authority must always be determined,” he continued. “There is the concept of jurisdiction or area of authority that must be considered. Then there is the choice based not on emotion, willfulness, or some survey or vote. A choice made within the hierarchy of authority as laid out by God, a choice carefully made, wisely made will result in God’s blessing even though it may result in judgment by a civil authority, as in the case of Peter who chose to preach the Gospel—a direct command of God—and ultimately was martyred for his faith.”
Knowing how to navigate these choices, Rohrer added, starts with a carefully and biblically established roadmap.
“Through this plague, certain physical needs have been exposed,” he said. “Making certain policy and personal adjustments are wise. Yet, our greatest need is spiritual and revolves around which god we will trust and conform our lives to. If our sick and divided nation is ever to be restored, our broken and hurting families healed, prosperity renewed, security from our enemies and God’s favor on our land returned, God’s people must choose God and then lead the way.”
Hear the entire “Regathering the Church” program here, and view a recent webinar from the American Pastors Network and Pennsylvania Pastors Network on “Regathering: A Conference Call for Pastors and Churches” here.
To download a PDF file of a manual for Regathering the Church, please click HERE. This manual is provided by the Faith Baptist Church in Altoona, PA, pastored by the Executive Director of the PA Pastors Network, Dr. Gary Dull.
Is America really a Christian nation?
Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network, says that how people answer that question is more often determined by what they would like America to be than what America is.
Rohrer explored this complex topic with well-known social science researcher George Barna on Friday’s episode of APN’s popular, live, daily radio program “Stand in the Gap Today.” On the program, Barna, a monthly guest to the show, discussed new research he has conducted about Americans’ biblical worldview as well as their views on the Bible and Christianity.
“The atheist insists America is not a Christian nation, nor ever was,” Rohrer said. “The patriot and most Christian citizens would resist that statement and insist that indeed America is a Christian nation. Just look at our history, all the engravings of Scripture in our government buildings and the motto ‘In God We Trust’ on our coins. With over 70% of all Americans claiming they are Christians, the argument sounds convincing, and many would say those evidences prove it. But is America truly Christian or Christian in name only? What does the evidence show?
Barna shared on the program the “big picture” about the incidence of biblical worldview in the United States—that just 6% of adults have that perspective. This, he says, stems from some dramatic shifts in the relationship between peoples’ faith and their worldview.
The most incredible changes relate to how Americans view the Bible. These insights come from the first annual nationwide worldview survey conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, titled the “American Worldview Inventory 2020.”
“A biblical worldview, by definition, is based upon belief in and application of the truths, principles and exhortations contained within the Bible,” Barna said. “However, the results of the American Worldview Inventory point out that the changes in perceptions and acceptance of the Bible have facilitated the continuing decrease in the incidence of a biblical worldview in America.”
Barna noted that research suggests that more than eight out of every 10 Americans own at least one Bible. As many as four in 10 adults claim to have read the entire Bible. Two out of every 10 adults say they read the Bible on a daily basis.
“Clearly, the Bible is a book with a broad presence and substantial influence in the U.S.,” Barna said. “As would be expected, the AWVI survey revealed that peoples’ beliefs about the Bible are directly correlated with whether they develop a biblical worldview.”
* 41% believe the Bible is the word of God and contains no factual or historical errors; 14% of those have a biblical worldview. While that percentage is low, it is more than double the national average.
* Among the 13% of adults who believe the Bible is the inspired word of God but contains some factual or historical errors, only 2% possess a biblical worldview.
* 23% possess a positive view of the Bible but do not believe it is the literal or inspired word of God, or that it is completely accurate. (They see it as a “holy book” of religious teachings or as a valuable guidebook for societal development.) Less than 1% of these people develop a biblical worldview.
* 13% are indifferent to or dismissive of the Bible, citing it as merely a descriptive narrative of how its authors viewed the ways and principles of God, or as an unrealistic book of fables and myths. Not quite 1% of the people in this category hold a biblical worldview.
* The remaining 9% of the general public do not know how to describe the nature or value of the Bible. About 1% of that segment has a biblical worldview.
“Describing these data differently, only half of the nation’s adult population (54%) believes that the Bible is the word of God,” Barna said. “Even fewer—just four out of 10 (41%)—believe that the Bible is totally true in all of its empirical and historical statements. Stunningly, when comparing the current data with that from 2000, there has been a 21 percentage point decline in the proportion of adults who believe the Bible is the word of God (from 75% to 54%) and a 17-point drop in the number who believe the Bible is without error (from 58% to 41%).”
Adds Rohrer, “In Luke 18:8-9, Jesus said this, ‘Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous yet treated others with contempt.’ This verse ties in with the warnings Jesus gave to the Disciples in Matthew 24 about the evidences before Christ’s second coming. In Matthew 24:4, Jesus’ first warning and first greatest indication is deception—where people are fooled or deceive themselves. He said, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you, for many will come in my name, professing to be Christians, but are not, and they will deceive many.’ As such, and knowing this warning by Jesus Himself, and based on the findings of George Barna’s latest research, I ask the question: Is America really a Christian nation? Even though the majority of Americans say they’re Christians, does that make us a Christian nation? Or does the evidence suggest that we are deceived and are Christians in name only?”
Barna, currently in a leadership role at the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University (ACU), has filled executive roles in politics, marketing, advertising, media development, research and ministry.
On Tuesday, May 5, Sam Rohrer, President of APN, presented biblical principles for Pastors and Church Leaders when considering the use of funds made available from the government via the CARES Act.
To WATCH the video of the conference call, please click HERE.
To READ the transcript of the video, please click HERE.
To READ the letter originally sent to Pastors, please click HERE.
Get the Stand in the Gap App on your iPhone or Android to tune in to the latest!
The American Pastors Network, its members, staff, associates, and affiliates claim no responsibility for the overall content, products, or representations contained within any outside website links. The inclusion of a link is not necessarily intended as an endorsement of all products or material found on that link.
© 2024 American Pastors Network.
The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation
(a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Community Foundation registered nationwide)