The Price of Silence

Under cover of darkness and nothing more than the result of succumbing to political correctness, the President of famed Duke University in Durham removed a statue of General Robert E. Lee from the front of its chapel.

In all honesty, and much to the chagrin of my many friends in the state of NC, I have been a sizable Duke basketball fan for years. After having read an outstanding piece by Coach “K” a number of years ago (an article in which he boldly stated, “I am not a basketball coach. I am a developer of young men. When I find a better avenue than basketball for accomplishing that task, that’s what I’ll do.”), I became an even more faithful fan.  However, after Friday’s statue removal travesty, I am questioning my loyalty.

What is so disturbing about the Duke decision, as well as all other removal decisions across the nation, is that it is all being done based on flawed thinking. First, it is being done based on political correctness. Honestly, the longer I breathe air, the more perturbed I become toward this heinous motivation. In an effort to be “kinder,” “gentler,” and more socially acceptable, we are throwing away the very history of our nation. Acknowledgment of one’s history is not equal to approval of the same. For heaven’s sake, where is this all going to stop? What’s next that will be offered on the altar of political correctness?

Second, most of the reasons being offered for removing General Lee from our national memory are based on incorrect history or outright lies. Ronald Reagan stated it best. “It’s not that my friends on the other side of the aisle are ignorant. It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Well, there is a boatload of “history” being purported that SIMPLY ISN’T SO! To call General Lee a racist is incorrect, insulting, and just plain stupid! He was nothing of the sort. Additionally, the attempt to connect the multiplicity of Confederate statues across the land to their erector’s racist motivations is, well, a brazen stretch to say the least. In fact, it’s almost unforgivable in its stupidity. Yet, this is what is being peddled on unsuspecting and ignorant minds.

Lastly, and most troubling, is the fact that ALL of this is being promoted by individuals/groups with very nefarious designs on America and her future. From George Soros, and his stated hatred for America, to progressive organizations bent on eliminating America’s connection to God, sinister elements abound who will stop at nothing less than destroying America and her Judeo-Christian heritage.

I don’t know about you, but I agree with Todd Starnes (FOX News contributor and friend of our ministries) when he says, “Enough is enough.” It’s time we stand up and say, “You will not malign, demonize, and threaten good people–present and past. Whether it’s the reverse racist Southern Poverty Law Center, or a very misguided state Senator (who ought to be in jail for threatening the President), we will not remain silent while good men are destroyed.

There’s no way to say it other than this. The things that have been stated about General Robert E. Lee (and others of the Confederate generals) are nothing less than the most egregious form of character assassination. The difficulty is this. Lee, Jackson, Stewart, and their companions are not here to defend themselves. So, we, who know the truth, must do so!

Most of all, we must not sit idly by while our history is taken from us by deceptive, diabolical, demonic individuals who hide behind racist accusations, using that to cover their true intent. So, now is the time to arm ourselves with the truth, stand up, and speak with clarity. Acknowledging our history is NOT a direct or tacit endorsement of it’s negative aspects. Respect for imperfect, but great and godly, men is NOT wrong. Recognition of self-less sacrifice in behalf of a cause is not evil. What IS wrong is to allow our nation to be stolen from us by those who care nothing for it, or the one’s they claim they wish to protect.

One final thought is in order. Is the current generation so morally and mentally weak that they cannot deal with the presence of a differing opinion? Are they so fragile that any and all references to that which is, or may border on being, negative must be removed? If so, then God help us if/when they face REAL hardship. If one cannot take an exam because they’re so emotional destabilized over an election result that they are unable to do so, then “Katy bar the door” as a real crisis emerges.

As parents, pastors, politicians, and common people, we MUST again return to that which made us great, saw us through the deepest divide in our nation’s history (the Civil War), and has been the cause of unprecedented blessing as a people–the Bible. Only in its pages can we find the requisite wisdom and moral fortitude for an uncertain future. Only in its pages can we find the One who is the Source of all the above. His matchless name is Jesus Christ–the One Who birthed and has blessed America!

“America, America, God shed His grace on thee
And crowned thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.”

Dave Kistler
President, HOPE Ministries International/HOPE To The Hill
President, North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN)
Co-host, Stand In The Gap Radio

American Pastors Network: Election in Kenya Impacted by Local Pastors, Biblical Voting

APN Volunteers and Partner Pastors Instrumental in Mobilizing Christians to Vote for New President Uhuru Kenyatta; Although Hand of God on Election, Christians and Pastors in Kenya Need Prayer

Last week’s election in Kenya proved to be a statement on the power that Christian voters can have on the outcome of the direction of their nation.

Uhuru Kenyatta was elected the President of Kenya after garnering more than 8.1 million votes (approximately 54 percent). After Kenyatta, who campaigned on Christian beliefs, beat his opponent, former Kenya Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, violence and protests broke out in Kenya, with Odinga’s supporters claiming the results were “hacked,” according to several news reports.

The American Pastors Network  has been watching the Kenya election closely because many voting issues greatly impact pastors, churches and Christians in the African nation.

APN President Sam Rohrer said the American Pastors Network provided encouragement to members of the Kenyan Pastors Network leading up to the election, praying for them and helping them to mobilize Christian voters.

“Leading up to this election and still today,” Rohrer said, “the freedom of Kenyans, Kenyan pastors and the ability to freely preach the Gospel is currently under threat. Had Uhuru Kenyatta not been elected, Islamic, pro-abortion, pro-LGBT and anti-Christian policies would have advanced. Our Kenyan brothers and sisters, and especially our fellow pastors, asked for fervent prayers before and during the election—that the right man would be elected, that the opposition would concede and that violence would not erupt as in other elections. We continue to pray for these matters, as the coming days and weeks will be crucial for Kenya to be able to move forward under a man of God and other leaders who desire to model the country after the founding documents of the United States of America.”

Rohrer added that a U.S.-based APN volunteer who was on the ground in Kenya helped to create and execute several initiatives to encourage values-based voting last week. Kenyatta, feeling the effects of these efforts, led a public prayer before the election, thanking Christians and pastors for their commitment and stating that he would give God the glory if victorious, according to reports from the APN volunteer.

“Pastors there are praying in faith that God will raise them up as a nation to be the leader to all of Africa, that the relationship with the U.S. can be strengthened and that God would enable APN to assist in the final establishment of a Kenyan Pastors Network in order to train leaders and teach pastors the biblical principles needed in both church and government,” Rohrer added. “The involvement of APN in Kenya is similar to work we’ve been blessed and honored to do in Ukraine, where pastors and government leaders are yearning to bring biblical and American constitutional principles to the country.”

Rohrer also noted that this election marked the first time in Kenyan history that Christians encouraged other Christians to vote. In fact, the Christian impact was so strong in the days before the election that a well-known liberal leftist poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign of the opposition to counter the efforts of local pastors and Christians.

Gary Dull, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN,, has traveled to Kenya and said the election there has serious ramifications, both in Africa and worldwide.

“There has been a movement among government officials in Kenya to vet pastors concerning their ability to lead churches and preach to their congregations,” Dull said. “In fact, a bill has been authored in this regard. Many pastors in Kenya believe this proposed law is an effort to reduce the preaching of the Gospel in that nation, which may result in a larger influence of Islam throughout the country. It is crucial that believers in America pray for our fellow believers in Kenya during this time when the freedom of religion is being threatened in that great African nation.”

Dull added that prayers are also crucial for the ongoing post-election unrest in Kenya and for the safety of Christian missionaries there.

Open Doors USA estimates that about 82 percent of Kenyans are Christian, but that Islamic oppression remains very high. Kenya is No. 18 on the World Watch List, a tool to track and measure persecution around the world.

Charlottesville Incident Demands Answers to Crucial Questions about Unity in America

“The deplorable circumstances in Charlottesville should indeed get the attention of all Americans. Yet, in the midst of this event, for which both sides share blame, these questions must not be overlooked: What has happened in America to produce such increasing hostilities and anger among our people? And can unity be achieved just by our leaders demanding it?

In reality, we didn’t get to this place by accident nor overnight. The rejection of moral truth, healing and transformative power of redemption and forgiveness available only through Jesus Christ is where it started. The coarsening of society is assured where life in the womb is cavalierly discarded, where God’s plan for the family and human sexuality is jettisoned, where a ‘selfless others focus’ is replaced with a ‘selfish only focus,’ and where duty is replaced with ‘rights.’ Such it is today.

Is unity again achievable? The answer is yes. But, for some, even this statement may be dividing—yet it is nonetheless the truth. Unity is not the goal but a by-product. Unity never demands full agreement in all things by all people. Yet what unity does demand is an agreement on a common body of truth. In the United States, that common body of truth was found in the Judeo-Christian scriptures, where there is God who created life and then ‘endowed certain unalienable rights’ to the people, who ‘under God’ agree with God that He is perfect; that mankind is sinful and not naturally good.

But that redemption and healing through faith in Jesus Christ alone can transform the mind and the heart, and heal families, communities and the nation. No one race, no one color, no one nationality has a claim to this truth. Yet, true equality, true justice and true unity can, in fact, result when people from all walks of life agree with God on these truths.

Any nation or people who believes these things can experience peace, security and unity. Our nation once did—not ever perfect, of course—but overwhelmingly embraced this view, and God blessed it as no nation ever before it. We will now, in this time of increasing need, either look to God and agree with Him and do what He says and regain the freedom we so love, or we will look to ourselves, to government or to some man or woman and descend into the abyss of slavery and totalitarianism. There is no other choice.”

-Sam Rohrer, President

American Pastors Network

To interview Sam Rohrer, contact Beth Harrison at 610.584.1096, x104,, or Deborah Hamilton, 610.584.1096, x102.

To read an article from Lifezette containing more information and quotes from this statement, please click HERE.

How Can Christians Be Salt and Light When They Don’t Believe The Basics of the Bible?

What does it mean to be “born again”? Do Christians truly understand this concept?

According to research from the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI), many Americans call themselves “born again,” but fewer than 30 percent provided answers that would support that claim. And if so many think they are born again, why aren’t these Christians impacting the culture, asks the American Pastors Network.

“If a majority of Americans think they are born-again Christians, one has to wonder where the cultural disconnect is, as the moral fiber of our nation continues to erode,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who is host of the APN radio ministry, “Stand in the Gap Today.”

This summer, “Stand in the Gap Today” hosts have discussed these findings on two separate programs with George Barna, renowned social science researcher and head of ACFI.

In pondering life after death, the ACFI research found that just 30 percent of those surveyed say they are born again with the reasoning that “after I die I know I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.” Another quarter say they don’t know what will happen when they die.

“Some shocking findings of this survey indicate that many—75 percent—believe that mankind is not made up of sinners and that man is basically good,” Rohrer said. “Just barely more than half believe that Jesus lived a sinless life, and 42 percent believe that Satan is not real, but more a symbol of evil. Based on these findings, how healthy can we say the American church really is? How can salt be salt and light be light when we don’t believe those things?”

(To listen to the “Stand in the Gap Today” programs on this topic here and here.)

“According to these numbers and what we know from history, in real life, many, if not most of those who say they’re Christians are really not Christ-followers,” Rohrer said on the program. “We’ve also heard, for example, that up to 80 percent of Congress is Christian, but I look at that number with some skepticism. Just like there are Republicans In Name Only—RINO—there are also many Christians ‘in name only.’”

Rohrer also pointed to Matthew 7:22-23, where Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (KJV).

“There is perhaps no more clear example than these words of Christ Himself to perhaps describe these survey findings, which are evidence of what some Christians believe about themselves and what is actually real and true.”

Tennessee Pastors Network Calls Out National Association of Free Will Baptists on Dirty Investments

The state of Tennessee this year declared pornography a health crisis, and now, the president of theTennessee Pastors Network (TNPN,, Dale Walker, wants the National Association of Free Will Baptists (NAFWB) to do the same.

With the National Association of Free Will Baptists’ 81st National Convention happening through July 19 in Louisville, Ky., Walker is asking three key questions in a letter to leadership:

  1. Will the National Association of Free Will Baptists deem and declare pornography as a spiritual crisis?
  2. Will the National Association of Free Will Baptists remove any company that profits from pornography in any manner from the Free Will Baptist Pension Plan and Free Will Baptist Foundation holdings?
  3. Will the Free Baptist Pension Plan and Free Will Baptist Foundation make public all holdings in mutual funds and investments on a regular basis to the general public for viewing?

Walker wrote in his letter to the NAFWB, “Pornography is devastating to families and our culture and extremely harmful to souls.  I remind you that on page 100 of your Digest of Reports 2013, it states that the Free Will Baptist Plan will be invested in Christian-based socially screened funds that do not invest in companies that are publicly recognized as providing products and services in liquor, tobacco, gambling, pornography, abortion or Disney [emphasis added]. Based on the holdings provided to me by one of your participants, I do not believe that Free Will Baptist is following this commitment or your church covenant, and certainly not the Bible.  

“As Christians who are to care about the souls of others,” Walker continued, “we should desire to distance ourselves from pornography in our lives and investments. I commend our state leaders for recognizing this pornography crisis, and I pray that Free Will Baptist will deem pornography a spiritual crisis and take a zero-tolerance stance and remove all companies that profit from pornography in any manner in investment holdings immediately. Christians should weep over this pornography crisis—not profit from it!”

As an example, Walker points out that the Free Will Baptist Pension Plan shamefully owns stock in Comcast, which sells movies with degrading titles.

“Free Will Baptist has failed society and its pastors by placing them in holdings that are hurting souls, hurting women and families, and hurting the world,” Walker added. “Jesus shed his blood for these dear souls and died on the cross for them that they might have eternal life and be delivered from a life of sin. Free Will Baptist are owners in these companies! This is not biblical stewardship or biblically responsible investing. To revitalize your churches, Free Will Baptist should consider truly following your church covenant and follow the promise that your funds will be invested in Christian-based, socially screened investments.”

Walker encouraged those concerned with Free Will Baptist investments to visit the website for more information.

Also calling out the National Association of Free Will Baptists for its investment practices are the National Decency Coalition, Girls Against Porn & Human Trafficking and Men Against Porn.

Travel Ban Renews Biblical and Constitutional Conversations About Immigration

On July 10th, APN President, Sam Rohrer, interviewed with Mark Elfstrand on his radio program “Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand” (WYLL).  The topic of conversation was whether or not President Trump’s travel ban is biblical. Please listen below to find out more:

To hear of Mark Elfstrand’s programs, please click HERE.

Ministry Priorities!

An interesting conversation this evening prompted me to recollect on the early days of my ministry. In the very beginning, I served at youth director for a large and growing ministry in Florida. Like every youth minister, I had to settle on a set of principles/priorities that would drive and dictate the ministry I desired to have with some incredible young people. What I’ve discovered it that that set of principles is applicable to ALL ministry, not merely a ministry to youth.

The first and most important principle for effective ministry is one’s PHILOSOPHY. A ministry philosophy is that which will determine all else that follows. That philosophy should be biblical, practical, measurable, and implementable. It should produce young people, or adults, that are mature in their faith, passionate in their pursuit of God, focused in their evangelistic efforts, and a duplication of themselves in others.

Second in importance is PEOPLE. Whether you call them your staff, ministry team, employees, something else, people are a ministry’s greatest resource. People are the ones who innovate. People are the ones who implement. People are the ones who impact others. People are the ones who dream God sized dreams. Apart from great people, NO ministry will ultimately succeed. A ministry’s people should be well cared for–whether in compensation or consideration. They should NEVER be pushed beyond their ability to legitimately perform their task. Nor, should they be placed in a position for which they are not gifted or equipped. They should be self-starters and self-motivated. I’ve often said, “Make me pull you back, rather than push you forward.” I’d far rather have an aggressive team member that needs to be a bit reined in, rather than one that must be constantly prompted and pushed to produce. It’s the vast difference between a STEWARD’S mindset and that of a SERVANT. A servant mindset needs constant instruction and supervision. A steward mindset needs neither. (NOTE: I am speaking of one’s mindset, not one’s heart. A steward head with a servant’s heart is the perfect combination.)

Thirdly in importance is PROGRAM. Again, whether a youth ministry or an entire church ministry, pursuit of the latest, greatest program is often the focus of the ministry leader. Good programs are needed and necessary. But, a good program is always subservient to philosophy and people. Without a defined, biblical philosophy and outstanding people, the latest program is useless.

Finally, and least important, a ministry should focus on FACILITIES. Great buildings can enhance effective ministry. But, they are NEVER a replacement for a clarion philosophy and qualified people. Myriad are the times, over the last 33 years, that I’ve seen a minimal facility, but great leadership based on a thoroughly biblical philosophy. At the end of that equation is a great church. Conversely, I’ve also seen
ministries with phenomenal facilities, but no clearly communicated missional philosophy and/or ill-equipped people. At the end of that equation is a poor church. The bottom line is this. God blesses people who live lives in accordance with His truth. Obedience to a biblical philosophy can never be/must never be subservient to, or replaced by, a new building or the latest dynamic program. Buildings and programs are great, but only in their appropriate place.

May God grant His church a crystal clear understanding of what He wants done, and how He desires it to be accomplished. We call that PHILOSOPHY. May God grant His church the most dedicated and talented PEOPLE–individuals who are unequivocally committed to the glory of God and declaration of His gospel in the most powerful and professional way possible. May God grant His church the ability to choose biblical PROGRAMS that actually accomplish His mission. And, may God cause His church to be incredibly wise in the building and use of FACILITIES–buildings that are wisely built, efficiently used, and ALWAYS dictated by a “ministry mentality” not a “museum mentality.”

God’s church is not a museum, but is rather a spiritual hospital for the nurturing, equipping, strengthening, and sending forth of a people prepared for His glory and gospel.

Dave Kistler
President, HOPE Ministries International/HOPE To The Hill
President, North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN)
Co-host, Stand In The Gap Radio

20th Century’s Most Explosive Trial still Reverberating: TN Pastors Network Speaks Out on Clarence Darrow Statue

Written by: Larry Tomczak

Note: This article was originally posted on the World Net Daily website HERE.

Ninety-two years ago an historic trial erupted on the national scene. The repercussions of the case reverberate throughout America to this very day, affecting every generation.

The “Scopes Monkey Trial,” was one of the most sensational cases in America’s history. It was called “The Trial for America’s Soul” and is commemorated yearly with a re-enactment at the National Historic Landmark courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee.

Nearly a century ago, a substitute teacher was accused of violating Tennessee law by instructing students on evolution in a public school. A presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan, led the prosecution while attorney Clarence Darrow defended John Scopes.

During the eight-day trial, Bryan tried to “protect the Word of God against the greatest atheist or agnostic in the United States!” Darrow lampooned his opponent’s “fool’s religion.”

Without high-tech advances, here’s the scenario:

  • Unprecedented press coverage with 200 reporters, including two from England, plus front-page New York Times coverage
  • 200 telegraphers plus cameramen sending out film via planes
  • The trial was broadcast on live radio
  • Trained chimpanzees performed on the courthouse lawn!
  • Time and Life magazines disparaged “fundamentalists” while syndicated columnist H.L. Mencken, gave trial reports mocking townsfolk as “morons” and “yokels.”

The circus-like atmosphere of the trial ended with Mr. Scopes found guilty and fined about $1,400 (today’s money). Bryan died in his sleep five days afterward. The verdict was later overturned on a technicality and later a biased and dishonest play and film, “Inherit the Wind,” caused millions to ridicule religious opposition to evolution.

The fundamental issue is the same today: Regarding the origin of our universe and mankind, will we honor a secular/evolutionary worldview or a spiritual/creationist worldview? And can instructors present both views, or must those adhering to the trustworthiness of Scripture be forced to remain silent in the face of one-sided propaganda?

Center stage once again

The Wall Street Journal featured a story on May 8 concerning a sculptor working with the American Humanist Association to place a 7-foot-tall statue of Clarence Darrow outside the Courthouse next to that of William Bryan’s. AHA’s mission is to “bring about a progressive society where being good without a god is an accepted and respected way to live life.”

July 1, on these grounds, we participated in a patriotic rally. It wasn’t primarily about freedom of speech or religion. Rather it focused on the ongoing attempt by secularists in America to blur or remove symbols reminding us of our Judeo/Christian heritage.

I was the main speaker alongside of Dale Walker, president of the Tennessee Pastors Network, Sen. Mae Beavers, Tennessee gubernatorial candidate, and numerous Christian leaders. Our presence gave expression to our passion to preserve America’s heritage and proclaim that our Founding Fathers were not atheists and evolutionists.

A recent Gallup Poll on this issue reveals: 42 percent believe God created humans in their present form and evolution is wrong; 31 percent state God directed the process of evolution; and, only 19 percent feel God was not involved, so they accept evolution.

The dogmatic theory taught in schools and perpetuated by Hollywood that human beings accidentally evolved over billions of years by “natural selection” is mind-boggling. It’s akin to postulating that the images on Mount Rushmore formed spontaneously. Without any Creator to whom we’re accountable, Darwinian evolution teaches we’ve descended from ape-like creatures through mutation and time.

In his 160-year-old “Origin of the Species,” Darwin stated, “Let us assume …” or “We may well suppose …” over 800 times! We’re supposed to acquiesce so our youth base their lives on assumptions rather than the authoritative Word of God, which emphatically says, “Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Intellectual elites see biblical teaching on creation as an offense to intelligence. They declare it unscientific and dismiss the biblical account of man’s origin. Atheist Richard Dawkins said, “If you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane.”

Jesus declared, “Have you not read that He who made [CREATED] them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew19:4) – so does Dawkins’ description apply to Him? Are Psalm 19 and Romans 1:19-33, which affirm God as Creator, simply fairy tales?

Because of the stigma and national embarrassment of the Scopes trial (along with the defeat of unbiblical Prohibition), multitudes of Christians were disheartened. From the 1920s to ’70s many retreated from engagement in the public square. Failing to recognize what Augustine called our dual responsibilities in the “City of God and the City of Man,” many said, “Just preach the gospel,” “Stay out of politics,” “Let things collapse so Jesus will come back!”

Jesus directs us to preach the Gospel, but it’s the Gospel of His kingdom advancing His reign over every sphere of life. We have the Great Commission but also the Cultural Commission whereby, as “salt” and “light,” we “expose unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11).

We’re called to be Christian advocates for righteousness. The Abolition Movement that eradicated slavery and the Civil Rights Movement that combated injustice through nonviolence are just two examples of Christian activism that changed America.

Christians are not to be silent bystanders in the face of this tsunami of secular humanism. We’re called to be peaceful, prayerful and passionate ambassadors for our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Our society has experienced unbelievable devastation, having drifted from our biblical foundation of God as Creator and Scripture as our authoritative guide. I call your attention to the Bullseye Challenge that exposes this tragic development, while helping us in just 30 days educate our families and churches in an unshakable biblical worldview!

We must be equipped and engaged in this ongoing battle dealing with Origins 101. One man, Charles Darwin, propagated a theory that adversely impacted the world. Will you join with Christians like those who gathered in Dayton, Tennessee, to promote truth and persuade others, like our Founding Fathers did, to honor our Creator as our Declaration of Independence affirms?


WallBuilders: The Christian Patriot-A Sermon from 1840

The Christian Patriot 
Delivered at the
South Congregational Church,
Boston, July 5, 1840

Note: This sermon was originally posted on the WallBuilders website.

By M. I. Motte

Psalm 144:15
Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord

One of the most common of mistaken and false forms, into which religion is apt to run, is an isolated piety, and abstract and independent devotion; religion separated from the business of life, instead of being woven up, conscientiously, with all its concerns. For convenience’ sake, we have a particular day, and place, and order of men, and class of exercises, especially devoted to the consideration of the great topic; but it is that its influence may be made to run through all days and places, all intercourse, every subject and employment. Yet the church has every been prone, even more than it conscious of, to sever itself from the world, instead of leavening it to its own spirit; and the same man, in his church relations, is a Christian, or would grieve not to be considered and to consider himself so, who, in some of his worldly interests and pursuits, is absolutely an atheist, living without God in his thoughts.

On no subject us thus more obvious, than on the one, from which it is most unfortunate in our country religion should be driven off, seeing it is that which agitates more people here than any other, viz. the whole business of politics. Religion and politics are spoken of as opposite poles, the positive and the negative as the acknowledgment of God is concerned. We hear it said, politics are of no particular religion; and it is too often true, in a more absolute sense than is intended. It would seem, at first, as if both subject were so important, so exciting, that the human hear is hardly large enough for both. (3) When we speak of a man as a politician preeminently, one enthusiastically absorbed in the affairs of the nation, or more probably of a party, we do not expect to find him in a church. And when a zealot for churches is invited to the polls, he seems to answer to the purpose, when he replies, “My Master’s kingdom is not of this world.” If he is a clergyman, the professional response expected from him is, “I have nothing to do with politics;” and only those object to this, who suppose, if he voted at all, he would vote with them; to all others he seems to have made the natural and legitimate reply. Both of these men are wrong, but they both point the direction in which public prejudice blows.

Our festivals, again, are either political or religious; not both together. There would seem to be something incompatible and profane, or absurd, in making them both. Such an anniversary as yesterday is not strikingly a religious day; as tomorrow’s published list of its outrages and truculent mishaps in all our cities will attest. Early in the morning, trains may be seen leaving the city by every outlet, anxious to escape the celebration of the National Independence. And, when the day of the month falls upon the first day of the week, its celebration is postponed till Monday; as if confessedly impossible to bring its spirit to into harmony with the Christian Sabbath.

All this shows, not the politics and religion are necessarily inconsistent, – for the former, I suppose, is a duty as really as the latter, and all duties should be performed in the fear of God, – but it shows, that the spirit of politics which prevails is not the right one. The good of our country should be provided for, as in the sight of God, and in sacred love to our fellow-men; and then it is a holy service, and need not be dissevered from the solemnest ministrations of devotions. It is one of the modes of worship with which the Universal Father is well pleased; one of the forms of his appointed ceremonial of religion pure and undefiled, which consists in going about doing good for his sake. But, if it is only a selfish, headlong, intemperate scramble for preeminence, if it is mercenary, not moral, in its spirit, a question of interest, not of right, the Sabbath is too good a day for it, and so is every other day.

Interest is to be regarded as well as right; but do not all political parties appeal too exclusively to the former? A reverence for right is not held high enough, as the guiding polar star for the opinions of the people. The people think, morality is a matter of home and neighborly intercourse, not involved in the vote they cast, and the opinions they express, on the acts of government, encouraging or condemning. How seldom is the guilt of upholding iniquitous public measures reflected on, as good men reflect on private violations of the ten Commandments. They may do infinitely more mischief than an individual’s misdemeanor, and yet many deem it a little thing. Men seem to think they may hold what opinions, and belong to what parties they please, without regard to their truth or effects, except as affecting themselves; as if politics were a lawless region, always out of Christendom, and from which even conscious was excluded by general consent. Look through the community and the world, and see how, on almost every question, you may draw a line between parties, accurately coinciding with the line between their interests. You need not ask, on which side a man’s convictions lie, if you only know on which side his wishes lie. The coincidence is certainly remarkable; and melancholy it is to reflect on the wide heartlessness it indicates. Here we see men fair-minded in every other concern, men of severe religious sanctity, of nice honor, of scrupulous integrity in their personal transactions, where the welfare of a few immediate connections or acquaintances is at stake; but, when millions lose though the prevalence of an opinion, the first and only thought that seems to occur to them is, How will it affect us, and I our lowest interests? And, if it promise to be lucrative, forthwith they adopt that opinion, and if their soul’s salvation hung upon it.

They adopt that opinion, I said; But can it be possible, that men always do really believe as if for their interests? Can they be conscientious, in such innumerable cases, arriving, through the careful and dispassionate examination, at precisely the result that happens to favor the views and wishes? I allow a great deal for the blinding power of self-interest; but this uniform concurrence of hope and belief is astonishing still. These same people will reason as clearly as daylight on any argument which comes within the tenth of an inch of their own concerns without touching it; but, the moment it touches, their light is darkened, their logical acumen is blunted, their perceptions evince a certain unfortunate obliquity, which is sure to twist their notions in one invariable direction. Can this be right? Can it be honest? We know, or we might know, if we chose, that truth and justice cannot always, and on every accidental question and measure, be in our favor. We are bound, at any rate, not to take it for granted. Let us inquire. Let us make up our minds to lose so many dollars, relinquish a few prejudices, and partialities, and expectations, rather than lose probity, the approbation that speaks within, all generosity of soul, and the smiles of God. Let us not be satisfied to be guilty, because the guilt is shared with a multitude. Away with injustice and ungenerosity, though only in thought, however popular, however fashionable. So shall we do our part to bring into currency a more elevated and uncompromising tone of political honor and conscience; and the whole regions of politics be no longer but as the Barbary States of moral geography, outlawed lands and piratical seas, from which are excluded all faith and virtue, all laws of God and man.

Politics should be but one form of that charity which is the end of the divine law. One more of benevolence, one of the ministrations of philanthropy; and “Holiness to the Lord” be inscribed over the portals of its halls of state and the chambers of its social festivals, as over the church door. Especially with us should this be aimed at on triple grounds. For, if political parties with us cannot be Christian parties, then are we a godless nation; there can be few Christians throughout the length and breadth of the land; since he, who is no politician under our institutions, is a solitary rarity.

Then, if they believe their own declamations, puffing up so unweariedly the national vanity, we are the most favored people on which the sun shines, at least, as regards all that God has done for us; and the Giver of all good should, least of all, be ungratefully overlooked by us. All the flights of rhetoric, that yesterday glittered over this continent, all the floods of panegyric that were sounded forth upon ourselves and our institutions and advantages, should they not all reecho, at least in and undertone whisper in reason’s ear, as if saying, To whom much is given, of them much will be required?

And, then, to make all that is given to us safe for us, and to expect a blessing continuance, we must remember God, and insist on a religious morality as the very first manifestation of a true patriotism. Ay, patriotism, that most abused words. Alas! That it is every vaunted and bravadoed by the scoffer and the profligate, not knowing, that blessed is that people, and that alone, whose God is the Lord. Without him they may speak great swelling words of vanity; but bombastic professions and oratorical displays are not the disinterested self-denial and sober toils of a virtuous citizen, who fears God and honors government, and serves and saves the state without boasting. He alone is a patriot. By such alone the country stands.

The Ruler of nations hath uttered the decree. From beginning of time his world has illustrating it. As surely as he is just and the King of nations as of individuals; as surely as there is truth taught by experience, and the unvarying certainty of the same effects from the same causes, according to the natural constitution he has impressed on his universe, the past, in all quarters of the globe, bids us look well to it. You may be the traitor within the garrison, though treason to the country be furthest from your thoughts. You may invoke ruin upon it when you are shouting, louder than any, the glory of its institutions. You may be the deadly enemy, though you shed your blood for it. Look into the nature of things. When hath a righteous nation perished? Where is there one doing justice and judgment, and it is not well with it? Public virtue is the strongest spirit of national vitality; and private virtue is the life-blood, coursing through every artery and vein, large and small, of the public institutions.

On the other hand, is it not undeniable from reason, scripture, and experience, that predominance of selfish principles and corrupt morals is the unfailing cause of calamities, perplexities, and ruin in a country? Reason tells us, that the character of the Judge of all the earth is the pledged to have it so. Vice, in the individual, may not always meet its retribution, nor virtue its reward, in this world, because there is to be another, of more perfect retribution for individuals. But nations exist here alone. Unlike the soul, they are annihilated at their temporal dissolution. Therefore, if their fortunes and fate be subject of the Divine Providence, to their present existence, which is the only one, must be applied the principle of its moral rule.

The scriptures confirm this rule, and do not restrict it to the theocracy of Israel. They say; “O Israel, thou hast fallen by thine iniquity; your iniquities have turned away good things and withheld them from you.” But it is not of Israel alone, (of whom it might be said, God was, in a peculiar way, a Governor by temporal sanctions,) that he announces this principle of legislation. His declarations are general. “At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build up and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good wherewith I said I would benefit them. In the hand of the Lord, there is a cup, and the wine is red. It is full mixed, and he poureth out of the same. As for the dregs thereof, all the ungodly of the earth shall drink them.”

And the experience of mankind puts the impressive truth beyond dispute. What is history but, on this account, like the Prophet’s, a scroll written, within and without, with lamentation, and mourning, and woe. Pity weeps as she unrolls its venerable annals. Its oldest records present the Cities of the Plain set forth for an example of the national ruin, that full surely awaits national unrighteousness. “Ten righteous men could not be found in them,” and they perished. Even to an earlier page the genius of history points, and sighs over the ravages of the flood. “All flesh had corrupted their ways before the Flood.” And we stand aghast at the sweeping catastrophe. Turn over a few pages onward, and direct your attention to the chosen people. See them, at one time, visited with pestilence, famine, conflagration, tempest; at another, falling under the sword, or languishing in captivity, feeling before the scourge of war, or terrified with awful phenomena of nature, and all these proclaimed the retributory angels of the Lord, the ministers of his justice for their sins. The wisdom of their wise men was taken away, and the understanding of their prudent men hid; and it was moral debasement that did it. Their cities, the places of their fathers’ sepulchers, were laid waste, and the gates thereof consumed with fire; and, in all the seasons of their affliction, mark the moral shade running though the history in proportioned intenseness; mark idolatry and its bitter fruit, general profligacy, tempting them to forget their God.

Read of a later day, travel among the scenes of profane chronicles, if you would see, that national vice is national suicide. Stand upon the moldering ruins of a thousand cities, once great and fair, and seek, – you will seek in vain, – for trace or even site of many others; and ask where are they, and why have they vanished from the earth? Roam through the desolated territories of empires, once splendid and mighty, and, as you brood over the gloomy vestiges of their decay, cannot find an inhabitant for many a mile, where throngs were loud and busy once, ask yourself, if integrity, industry, humanity, temperance, piety, and purity were rife there, when the besom of destruction came to sweep a tomb under those wide-spread ruins.

Thus history or travel will conduct you over the globe, and everywhere teach the same salutary lesson. They will point to empire after empire, and dynasty after dynasty, shriveling and shrinking with the imbecility of moral corruption; and it is not more sure, that the palaces of their pride, and the monuments of their perverted might, are crumbling into dust, than that other empires and other dynasties, now treading in their steps, will follow them to decay and desolation. O that our beloved land may be wise from the lesson! And the lesson is more pertinent under our republican polity, than under any other. If righteousness exalteth a nation, and sin is a reproach and ruin to any people, most speedily of all must it prove so to a people without the restraints of a strong government. Liberty and licentiousness roll trippingly off the tongue together; they flow, unseparated, from the lips of many, with easy alliteration and commonplace proverbialness, as if they were almost the same thing, or one inevitably followed the other. But, if it does, it is as commonplace a maxim of history, that it will follow it speedily to ruin. Liberty licentiousness, – it is the tritest of proverbs, – cannot coexist lastingly. The free people is the last that can afford to be vicious. The slave may throw off the restraints of virtue, and yet be kept in order by the restraints of despotism. But, when a freeman does not govern himself, he is ungoverned, so to speak, and careering to perdition; like the uncurbed wild ass of the desert, rushing to the precipice he tosses his head too high to see.

Therefore, every immoral republican is a traitor and conspirator against his government, as much as if, being the subject of a king, he pointed a dagger against his life. He is spreading stratagems and snares for the feet of his sovereign; for public virtue is his sovereign. He is seeking to blind, and deafen, and lame, and cripple, and make wholly inefficient, and worse than inefficient, he is seeking to corrupt, into tyrannical wantonness and cruelty, the most beneficent monarch that ever sat upon a throne.

So that you see, my brethren, in addition to every other motive for being good Christians, patriotism should be one. After we have turned away from the voice of God; after we have steeled our hearts to the claims of him who died upon Calvary, the just for the unjust, the he might bring us to God; after we have besotted our minds to act the fool’s part of blindness to our own interest; there is yet one appeal which may not be lost upon our generosity, one consideration that should be sufficient; public spirit, the love of our country. Its welfare is resting on our individual virtue. For as drops of water make up the ocean, and grains of sand constitute vast continents, so the personal character of the humblest individual among us adds something, for weal or for woe, to that national character, by which the land of our love, the government which has cherished us, will stand or fall. Our native soil, the scene of our happy childhood, the land of our fathers, the land where we have enjoyed so much, where we expect so much, and from which the world expects so much, shall it realize these expectations? Shall it become, as has been so fondly anticipated, the glory of the nations, has the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth, showing what man can do with unshackled energies and faculties ripely developed in the wholesome air of liberty? Or shall it be one more byword and mockery of the aspirations and pretensions of freedom.

Think of this, when tempted to any wicked or base act. Above all, think of it when tempted to into any of the peculiar and besetting snares, and betraying exaggerations and caricatures of liberty; to vicious license, to lawlessness and recklessness of restraint, to inebriate zeal, party prejudice, bigoted factiousness, mob-rioting, passionate reviling of the powers that be, or the powers that are to be, and all bitter or mercenary partisanship. Remember, when tempted to any of these, you are tempted then to disappoint so many noble souls, the lovers of their kind, in every quarter of the globe, the enthusiasts for the advancement of the human race to a pitch of excellence and enjoyment yet unrealized, but the guaranty for which they look for in the great experience of self-government now trying on these shores.

The old world may be said to be leaning, with feverish anxiety, over the ocean to catch every symptom of the success or failure of his experiment. Have pity on the last hopes on man. Let is not be said again, as it was by the dying Brutus, after he had sacrificed all to realize a patriot’s dream; “O virtue, I have worshipped thee as a reality, and found thee but a shadow.” Let it not be said, again, as it was by the noble-hearted Madame Roland, as, on her way to the guillotine to lose her head for continuing a virtuous enthusiast for freedom amidst the herd of vicious, she passed under the statue of Liberty; “O Liberty, how they have played thee! What crimes have been committed in the name!” Ay, how it has been played in the world, historionized, juggled! What crimes have been committed, what crimes have not been committed, in its sacred name? It is assuredly the cloak of boundless evil, when not guarded with most scrupulous probity; for the best things, corrupted, always become the worst. The precious diamond may be blackened into a worthless coal. The sweet name of liberty has become a sound of ill omen and nauseous associations to many of the readers of history, from want of virtue in its votaries. Patriotism has been characterized as the last resource of a villain. Revolutions, said Napoleon, are not made with rosewater; but it were well if blood, and seas of it, were the dearest price paid. Moral corruption is what renders revolutions worse than vain.

Our fathers have made one more trial, knowing that past failures were from want of Christian principle, and that they had settled these shores expressly in obedience to Christian principle, and therefore they might hope. In faith and prayer they struggled; for they felt, that with God all things are possible in the cause of righteousness, and they hoped their children would feel this too. From the first, they set out with the idea of making this community that happy people, whose God is the Lord, – a Christian nation, – what the world had never yet seen, but what all its experience concurred in testifying it must seem or it would never see the amount of prosperity man is capable of attaining on earth. A Christian people! Not merely a sober, industrious people, without religion, if such could be expected, but distinctively a Christian people. Bright and glorious idea, far-seeing wisdom, true friends, and see its kingdoms prospering at this time just in proportion as they come near realizing this idea, other elements of their greatness being the same. Begin from the effete East, and come to the infant West. The nominally Christian are more thriving than the Pagan Mahometan; the Protestant than the Catholic; the praying and Bible-reading, than the ceremonial and formalist; and, so long hypocrisy could be kept out, that people would prosper most, who should require, as the settlers of these New England colonies did, that none but members of the church should be rulers in the state. Such a regulation is a bait for hypocrites, a trap for the consciences of the ambitious, and, therefore, it is not to be enforced after the primitive virtues of the settlement have been corrupted. But, is there were not fear of hypocrisy, verily and indeed happy would be that people, with whom God was effectively their Lord through the strict observances of such a rule. Then might we see such a phenomenon as a Christian people.

As it is, let us, – and it seems more incumbent on us than on any nation that lives in the sun’s more expressive, than as a mere geographical term. When we are called a Christian nation, let us allow more the meant, than that we are not savages or barbarians, or only semi-civilized, as all those nations are in which Christianity is unknown. Christian should be more than European or American, as distinguished from Asiatic or African. It should be more than latitude and longitude; more than eastern or western, northern or southern; more than tropics and zones, equator and ecliptic, arctic or antarctic.

And how can we make a Christian nation? To become so, must be an individual, not a collective act. Legislation cannot do it, if legislation would. Resolves of majorities, in caucus or in Congress, in towns or by states, or even unanimous votes, is not the way to affect it. The simple and sole process is for each person privately to resolve, for his single part, no influence in legislative deliberations, no political name or fame whatever, – nay, the shrinking woman and child, whose deliberations look not beyond the homestead, or who can legislate only over their own hearts, – these can add a stone, as truly as the mightiest statesman or the loudest demagogue, to build up the national temple to the Lord. Public opinion is the life-breath of our own government, and therefore to Christianize that, we have but to Christianize ourselves. O what it is ye may achieve! No such power as this is possessed by the subjects of any government but yours. They cannot regenerate their sovereign. They cannot even pray for his conversion with hope, the assurance, of the prayer being granted if sincere, which may warm your breasts.

And is there a consideration of earth or heaven, that is not present and potent to move us to this prayer? Pour it out to God, if righteousness would have but the promise of the life that now is. If a majority of the citizens were sincere followers of Jesus Christ, is it not evident, the councils of this nation would be wiser and mightier, its progress more glorious, its dominion even more potent than any the world has ever seen? The day when it shall be resolved, that the same evangelical principles shall govern states that govern churches and gospel professors in their private relations, would be the true jubilee of freedom. That will be the mind’s and the soul’s declaration of independence. That will be breaking every yoke at length from body, and heart, and spirit. Thenceforth slavery, in any form, would be but a tradition and a name; whereas now it is the commonest of conditions, and to the mass liberty is but a name; for he that serveth any sin is the slave of sin. That day will come, when the people choose.

Choose it, resolve it, O my brethren, as the first of civil duties. Whatever your party predilections, sacrifice them all for the party of righteous men. Support no administration, and oppose none, but one the ground of moral principle. Go with them as far as Jesus Christ would go, and no further. Read the constitution by the light of the Gospel. The Savior be your paramount leader.

And now I see his communion table before me this day, and I fear all that has been said will seem out of keeping with its solemn associations; so desecrating, as I began with intimating, seems any allusion to the politician’s trade. But let me hope I have not spoken all in vain. Follow it in the spirit in which you come here to the house of the Lord himself. You are performing a solemn act of worship then, if you feel it aright. You should enter upon office, you should deposit your vote for office, with a religious sense of accountableness, like that which makes you so serious when you handle the emblems of the Savior’s body and blood.

Approach his table because you would be good citizens, among the other reasons of the act; because you love, and you serve and save, your country; because you would have it long free; because you would be truly free yourselves. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. If his Son shall make your free, ye shall be free indeed. Where he is not the deliverer, men may clamor, and boast, and carouse, and with bacchanalian revelry call themselves free but they are the bondmen of corruption, the thralls of Satan. O be ye, unlike them, the freedmen of the Lord, whose service is perfect freedom.

Lifezette: We’ve Got to Return to Biblical Foundations in This Country

There’s a life-and-death cultural conflict going on in our society that must be repaired through God

by Sam Rohrer

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV). 

As I drove up to the stoplight, the Christian radio program I was listening to started to mix with large amounts of “digital hash” interference. It reminded me that two different technologies were converging at the intersection: The AC electrical signal (lights) and the digital computer signal (controls) were in conflict until one was made to serve the other.

The life-and-death cultural conflict going on in American society and around the world is sort of like that.

At any time, we have five generations present in our country. Each of those generations has a different worldview, which may be distinct from generation to generation. The generations that exist right now are: the G.I. Generation (1905-1924); the WWII Generation and the Silent Generation who didn’t go to war (1925-1944); the baby boomers (1945-1964); Generation X (1965-1977); Generation Y (1977-1994); and Generation Z, also called the millennial generation (1995-2012).

The past three generations will be considered as we look ahead.

What we are experiencing in our country right now is the result of philosophical changes and changes in beliefs about God, which started in Europe in the 1800s. With the passing of each generation, our country’s foundational biblical beliefs are eroding.

Though our founders established a Christian nation, regardless of presidential pronouncements, the understanding of who God is and how we should relate to Him as the source of all truth and the provider of principles for a good government is disappearing.

Another problem facing our society is the change in the meaning of words, as children have been educated in progressive schools and media exposure up to eight hours per day.

For example:

This material is adapted from “The Last Christian Generation” by Josh McDowell and David H. Bellis (© 2006, Green Key Books, Holiday, Florida).

The principles of Christ’s Lordship in the founding of America. Historian George Bancroft once stated that while we consider Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison the founders of America and the Puritans as America’s grandfathers, it was Theodore Beza who was most instrumental in influencing the Puritans to engage the culture in order to build a social construct that glorified God. They believed the construct of civil government could never be neutral, especially when it comes to theological and religious ideas.

Everyone holds to some belief system. People will think, act and live according to their own particular religious presuppositions. They will either be mindful of the Supreme God, or be depraved and rebellious before Him.

 For the Puritans, the social order had to be based either in God and His just laws, or man — who without regeneration was trapped in a fallen state and entirely unpredictable. They understood that every soul functions according to a religious Lordship operating principle. Either man is god — or God is God.

Autonomous man desires to be like God and to be as god. His battle cry is, “I will not have any man or God rule over me, I will be my own god” — an anarchist position. If the societal order was to be properly maintained, the sphere of civil government must function according to a set standard of principles, which when applied, launches the actual execution of policy.

Ideas have consequences and are based upon a network of religious presuppositions commonly called worldviews.

This network of ideas is ultimately concerned with principles of right and wrong, good and evil, God and man — and it directly guides the political theory of government, which when applied, formulates political policy. Political policy, because it is directly based upon a certain political theory — which itself is directly based upon philosophical presuppositions that make up a particular worldview — is fundamentally religious in nature.

So then, all political policy is, at its root, religious.

Simply put: Law and public policy are born out of religion. They are either Christocentric or anthropocentric — Christ-centered or man-centered. They cannot be both. Let’s recap:

  • All belief systems are either based in man or in God.
  • All beliefs systems find their originating seed in either reason or revelation.
  • Belief systems are either humanistic or theistic.
  • Political policy, along with every other public policy, is organically religious.

When political theory becomes policy, the policy is enforced by the power of the government, either for good or evil, depending upon its notion of good and evil. Therefore, political policies are made efficacious by the threat of physical force.

This is what the Puritans knew, and it’s why they sought to enforce a structure of godly government and laws, which would ensure liberty under God and against the tyranny of man. Unfortunately for us, those of previous and current generations have drifted from a godly position.

“Any conception of the role of civil government that claims to be distinctively Christian must be explicitly justified by the teaching of God’s revealed Word. Anything else reflects what the unbelieving world in rebellions against God may imagine on its own. If we are to be Christian disciples, even in the political realm, it is prerequisite that we abide in His liberating Word.” So said Dr. Greg Bahnsen, as quoted in “God and Politics” by Gary Scott Smith (P&R Publishers, 1989).

This is why the only hope for our country is for our people to return to God in repentance, reestablish the authority of the Bible as the foundation of law — and recognize that He is the Sovereign Lord, the undisputed Creator, Lawgiver, Judge and Owner of all that exists.
Note: This article was originally published on Lifezette HERE.