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PA State Leaders Go On ‘Weed Tour’ But How Will Legal Marijuana Impact Residents and Families?

Last month, the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced it wanted to start a “conversation” about legalizing marijuana in the Keystone State through a series of townhall-style meetings.

The Sharon Herald reported that Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, “himself an advocate of legalizing recreational use of the drug,” will hold “listening” sessions in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties in the coming months.

The Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN) and American Pastors Network (APN) are expressing concerns that legalizing marijuana is not the right move for the state, dangerous to residents and families, and certainly not biblical.

“As pastors’ networks, we are extremely concerned about legal marijuana coming to Pennsylvania,” said APN and PPN President Sam Rohrer. “Marijuana can be a ‘gateway drug’ and leads to harder and more dangerous substances. Beyond that, youth in our state are already faced with a variety of temptations that can affect them long into their lives. Why state leadership would push for the legalization of a drug that can harm our residents and our families is not only perplexing but also irresponsible.”

The Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI) is calling the listening sessions a “weed tour” that serves as a public relations ploy aimed at giving the Wolf administration cover to support recreational marijuana and says that the lieutenant governor is trying—poorly—to hide his desire to legalize weed. Also, just as with expanded gambling, some state officials are motivated by money in supporting marijuana legalization, PFI reports. (Read PPN’s insight on a proposed casino in Morgantown HERE.)

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

APN 2018 NEWSLETTER: With God, Mission Possible!

Dear Friend,

Have you heard what pastors and radio listeners are saying about our ministry?

Here’s a quote from a recent letter we received:

“I applaud your leadership of the American Pastors Network. In an age when far too many pastors are becoming ambassadors from the World to the Church, rather than ambassadors from Christ’s Church to the World, a resource such as the APN is critically needed. John Wesley’s wise observation that, ‘In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church’ is often forgotten.’”

Here’s another comment from a thankful pastor in PA:

 “I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and the American Pastors Network for everything you are doing for pastors and our beloved country. The men and women on APN who offer wise words, helpful advice, and – most importantly – much needed encouragement, have been very valuable to my daily calling as a pastor… Please continue to lead this effort as you so effectively do every day. You have made a huge difference not only in my life, but I know in others too! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! God bless you and APN. I will do my best to support you and APN, especially considering what APN has done for me!”

These words of encouragement confirm the vital need for an organization like ours.

It’s been five years since the American Pastors Network was born under God’s grace and

guidance. Much has been accomplished, but there’s still much more to do.

 Over these past five years, God has bestowed His divine blessings on this ministry and our mission to encourage and equip pastors and Believers to “Stand in the Gap for Truth.” None of what’s been done is possible without Him – or without you. God is alive, and He provides direction and wisdom for our friends, donors, TV viewers, radio listeners and all those who commit in obedience to serve Him.

 Looking Back

In 2013, God led us to form a ministry that would serve as a nationwide framework for biblically faithful pastors and their church members to encourage and equip the Remnant with a goal of building a permanent infrastructure of like-minded and committed Christians who:

  • affirm the authority of Scripture
  • take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture
  • encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary cultural issues
  • examine public policy issues from a biblical worldview perspective.

 We’ve stayed true to that mission, and God’s blessings have been miraculous. So much has been done with so little. There have been no single deep pockets, no large benefactor and certainly no government funding. Yet God has done great things in five years.

Can I share just a few of the miracles with you?

 Over the past five years, God has permitted APN to start and expand three distinct national radio programs: Stand in the Gap Today, Stand in the Gap Minute and Stand in the Gap Weekend. Each started on just a few stations and God has grown this distribution to over a thousand radio stations nationwide and reaching millions each week! These very popular and well-received programs analyze headline news and the most important cultural concerns facing our world from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

  • In April, God miraculously opened the door for APN to begin a new weekly television program, which considers transcending cultural issues – those controversial issues which seem to have no solution – and provide solutions from the pages of God’s Word and a Biblical worldview perspective. Stand in the Gap TV first aired on WBPH in Philadelphia, in April 2018, and has expanded to VCY-TV and Upliftv. And praise God, more than 27 million households have access to this program – in fewer than 6 months!
  • APN leaders continue to have editorials and interviews featured in both secular and
    Christian media each week. These leading publications and outlets, consisting of
    radio, television and print media, reach over 25 million people monthly with APN’s
    biblical and constitutional perspectives on key cultural issues.
  • APN is blessed to be working with eight state chapters – Arkansas, Michigan,
    Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia – and
    three others are now preparing to launch!

 Looking Ahead

Over the past five years, God has established a national platform and foundation on which to meet the challenges facing our culture, the church and the nation. Through all the efforts, projects and accomplishments listed above, God has blessed APN with the credibility, and the dedicated people and opportunities to equip pastors to assist families struggling with such issues as deteriorating traditional marriage, pornography, rampant sexual permissiveness, the undermining of a biblical worldview in our public schools, abortion and other evils that seek to destroy the core teachings of our Christian faith. He has opened doors and prepared us “for such a time as this.”

This miraculous platform of state chapters, radio, TV, print and leadership has produced a framework for how we feel God is leading APN for the next five years and beyond. I believe as well that – if the Lord tarries – that He desires an even greater leadership role in expanding our voice for the Truth. I pray that God may use you to be a critical part of the next five years.

Not only do I ask that you as a previous partner and friend and listener pray about what you can do in an increased financial capacity, but if you’ve partnered with us, to start right now. In addition, I would ask you to consider walking with us daily in prayer and monthly in finances and 24 hours a day as “boots on the ground” and Stand in the Gap for Truth where you are.

Regardless of what level of commitment you choose, we – as God’s faithful – must now move ahead with boldness and faith, and not shrink and fade away. While God has done great things, He wants to do more “very good things,” and if He tarries, permit us and those like you to companion with us in these most critical days.

Looking Around

I likely don’t have to point out why this is all so important. After all, you are witness to everything that’s happening in our culture daily in your communities, workplaces, schools, churches and families. It’s no secret that America is in deep trouble morally. Our families are broken, our government system is derailed, our people divided. We are deep in debt; our enemies have surrounded us and have infiltrated our society. America has rejected God in practice and in law and has become arrogant.

Likewise, the American Church is lethargic, silent and mostly adulterous. The next generations are God-rejecting, feelings-oriented and devoid of a relationship with Christ. They are incapable of “keeping the Republic,” as Benjamin Franklin warned. Based on all this, APN and the Stand in the Gap family of programming is specifically designed to “Stand in the Gap for Truth” and to provide the leadership from the pulpit for truth.

We hope you will now join us in this very important mission!

 Looking to You

If God has shown us one thing over the past five years, it’s that He’s not done with us yet.

There is still so much more on the horizon for the American Pastors Network and Stand in the Gap Media. Specifically, we are looking to God for His provision using you and our other friends, partners and listeners to meet these immediate and future needs:

  • CORE MINISTRY NEEDS: To meet the internal growth needs related to radio, TV and direct work with pastors, we need a fresh commitment of $10,000 per month. Your scheduled monthly giving can help with this basic need and ensure our basic operating costs.

 SPECIAL PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES

  •  REACHING THE NEXT GENERATION: To be able to effectively reach 18- to 35-year-olds with the unchanging truth of biblical principles, as addressed on our Stand in the Gap Radio and TV programs, APN is in need of $100,000 to launch a newly focused social media campaign that digitizes our content and delivers it to the next generation.
  • RADIO EXPANSION: To enable more listeners to hear the timeless truths we provide through our daily radio programming, Stand in the Gap Today radio airtime purchases will cost roughly $75,000. No other media outlet is providing a biblical and constitutional perspective to our current issues, and our culture desperately needs these truths.
  • BOOK LAUNCH: APN leadership is planning to publish a new book titled, Grand Design: Recovering God’s Extraordinary Blueprint for Government. Funding of $25,000 is necessary to complete this critical project.

These are the four areas of need and opportunity where we see God leading APN, and we hope you’ll join us.

 Please consider walking with us in the days ahead by providing a generous one-time financial gift today, or even better, by becoming a monthly partner as God guides us to move forward. Please consider including us in your year-end giving as well. Know that we also immensely value your prayers!

We know we’re changing hearts and minds. Will you be a part of the future of the American Pastors Network and Stand in the Gap Media?

“Standing in the Gap for Truth,”

Sam Rohrer

American Pastors Network President

What’s Next for Pastors and the Church?

After the election came somewhat of a stunned silence among those, both for and against Donald Trump, who never thought he would be elected president of the United States. Then, reality set in. Many embarked on a buoyant, hopeful journey for what was ahead for the nation, while others took to the streets in anger and fear.

Regardless of how divided the country may seem, pastors and churches will be a key component to renewal, restoration and revival in America.

“The process for renewal of our nation must be led on our knees in prayer,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, “as we humble ourselves before God and seek His blessing. It also involves a commitment by the pastors in the pulpits of America to once again preach the whole counsel of God and reteach our people that the biblical principles that made America great are the same principles that can restore and heal our nation—one nation under God.”

One fact the country must realize, Rohrer said, is that half of voters did not choose Donald Trump for president, and are now in despair and despondent. The other half, however, feeling forgotten and desperate for change, did cast a vote for Trump, and are feeling hopeful and perhaps relieved. Rohrer commented that this dichotomy marks one of Christians’ greatest chances to tell the life-saving story of Jesus’ love and grace, in this relatively small window God has granted us again; He has given us a stay.

“How we think and act as believers,” Rohrer said, “will be crucial in not only how our nation will ultimately be united, but how the message of Christ will be furthered. The voters today who are in despair were seeking and searching for something, but they did not find it in the outcome of this election. This is an incredible time to share the hope and the truth of the Gospel. And we must remember that when we have a disagreement with someone, we must pray for them. It’s impossible to remain in strife with those for whom we are praying. This is biblical truth. Therefore, true unity is only possible when we come into agreement with God’s commandments and with His plans—both for our lives and for this nation.”

Rohrer hosts the daily, live, one-hour “Stand in the Gap Today,” the news and commentary radio program from APN that airs on about 425 stations nationwide daily at noon ET. Social science researcher George Barna is a regular guest on the show and recently shared election insight from his organization, American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI). (Read more: “God Uses Strong Christian Support to Place Donald Trump in the White House”)

This election season, Barna’s surveys of SAGE Cons—Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives—focused on voting trends, polls and the issues that were important to evangelicals. The latest research shows that the largest segment of support behind Trump was the Christian conservative vote.

While the Institute found that Trump was not the preferred option of SAGE Cons, they were the most reliable base of support he had. In an election night survey of 1,000 SAGE Cons, ACFI found:

  • More than 90% of them turned out to vote.
  • 94% of them cast their ballot for Donald Trump.
  • More than half (52%) didn’t expect him to win.
  • Two-thirds (67%) said they preferred his stand on key issues.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) said they disliked Hillary Clinton.
  • Key issues for these opinions were the candidates’ stands on abortion (53%) and Supreme Court nominations (49%).

On Thursday’s “Stand in the Gap Today” program (listen here), Rohrer and Barna discussed several key questions, including: What role did Christian conservatives play in the outcome of the election? What role did God play? Where do we go from here?

“God has given us a narrow window of opportunity,” Rohrer said. “Now we ask ourselves, what must be done in that window? God has given us grace and mercy, so what can we do with that gift? God answered the pleas and the prayers of His people and provided a reprieve. His continued blessing will be linked directly to our level of obedience. Yes, He has given us a stay, but the length of that stay is dependent on whether God’s people will be obedient or will go back to sleep. We will very easily return to the same comfortable, status quo ways if we fail to lead appropriately. This is about much more than winning an election; it’s a complete lifestyle shift and a change in the hearts of God’s people. And it starts at the pulpits of America’s churches.”

Dr. Ben Carson on Making Choices in this Election

Dr. Ben Carson appeared on Stand in the Gap Today radio program on October 28th to speak to those who feel they can’t vote due to principle.  Listen to this audio clip to hear his message about making choices in this election.

Be an Informed Voter! Get Your Voter Guide HERE!

The American Family Association has published the 2016 Voter Guide on their website HERE.  You’ll get a “sneak peek” at your federal and state ballot and find candidate comparisons all in one place!

Michele Bachmann on Advice to 3rd Party or No Voters

Michele Bachmann, recent guest on Stand in the Gap Today, gives advice in this audio clip to those planning to vote 3rd Party or not vote at all. To listen to the entire program, please click HERE.

Arkansas Pastors Network on Victory TV

FREE RESOURCES to Help You Understand the Transgender Identity Debate

We are in perilous days. It does no good for us to know the truth of the Bible and not preach it and practice it.

This is the reminder that the American Pastors Network wants to emphatically send to pastors and engaged believers, especially as they work to navigate an ever-changing culture, one where once-unheard-of laws and policies about who is allowed behind bathroom and locker room doors are commonplace.

Therefore, in an effort to educate and equip the faith community with the knowledge and tools necessary—especially in regards to complex gender issues—APN has launched an online toolkit that will provide visitors to the website with a white paper, sample letters, and other pieces of information that will arm them with biblical truth.

EXCLUSIVE (FREE) WHITE PAPER DOWNLOAD: Transgender Identity. Not Accepting God’s Design.

Other Downloads

Sermons by Pastors on the Transgender Issue

Voting the Lesser of Two Evils?

Now that the presidential field has considerably narrowed, there’s a pressing question looming for some: “Will I vote the lesser of two evils or not vote at all?”

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer has discussed this very question and others on recent “Stand in the Gap Today” radio programs.

“Are we ever, as Christians, biblically required to vote for what many have called ‘the lesser of two evils’?” Rohrer asks. “We are always faced with the real challenge of voting among two or three ‘imperfect’ people. Jesus is not on the ballot; in Him, we would have a perfect candidate. Everyone on the ballot is imperfect.

“To illustrate,” Rohrer continued, “let’s consider a choice like this—Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin—both haters of Jesus, of Israel, of Christians, and both thinking they are gods themselves. The difference is which one will imprison or kill you first? In that case, yes, we would be constrained to not vote for either because both choices are truly evil—with clear evidence that neither align  with the word of God nor have a fear or respect for God. But when considering candidates today, we must determine if they are  less than perfect—or evil? As voters deliberate over these substantive  questions, what is the pastor’s role—and is there one? Should churches and pastors even delve into issues of government and politics? The answer is unequivocally, ‘yes.’”

Civil government is a creation of God, Rohrer added, and pastors have a responsibility from the pulpit to uphold the godly ideals of what leaders should be and educate their churches about  God’s expectations for leaders.

“When it comes to voting, evil equates to a candidate who is clearly anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Israel, and anti-Bible,” Rohrer said. “For instance, does that candidate reject God-defined moral absolutes such as life, marriage and God-established human sexuality or does that candidate embrace and pursue the killing of the unborn and marriage between any combination of people other than man and woman? Does that candidate support bribery and corruption and the subversion of justice for all? As Christians, we should support and vote for the candidate whose principles most closely align with what we believe, what the word of God teaches and what God’s expectations of a leader are. After all, pastors must preach biblical principles about all aspects of life—at home and in parenting, in the workplace, as we reach out to our neighbors, in how a church should be run, and yes, in the principles we should hold close when we head to the polls.”

Hundreds of Pastors and Church Leaders Gather in Charlotte for American Pastors Network ‘U-Turn’ Event

To read an article on the event by One News Now, please click HERE.

To watch a short video clip of the conference, please click HERE. 

Pastors and church leaders gave rave reviews about something many had never heard before—the role of the nation’s founding pastors, presented at last week’s “U-Turn” event hosted by the American Pastors Network and the North Carolina Pastors Network.

The fascinating ideals motivated pastors to make a real change in the way they preach, lead their churches and engage their congregations, as some pastors wrote in emails after the conference to APN President Sam Rohrer.

Hundreds attended the powerful day-long event, co-led by the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, www.ncpastors.net) and hosted by Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte. There, some of the nation’s leading speakers shared their incredible stories and inspiring words, in an effort to demonstrate to pastors and ministry leaders that a new vision for their churches is a catalyst for critical change in their communities.

The event delved deep into our nation’s history and gave reasons today’s pastors and their churches must be involved; it was more than a rally to pump up the crowd—it was a serious call to action for America to do a “180”—a U-Turn back to what made our country work and what made America great.

“We are immensely encouraged by the amazing experience at ‘U-Turn’ on Thursday,” said Rohrer. “We are grateful, and praise God for blessing the conference, and now will certainly continue to pray, not only for immediate and significant results but also eternal impacts.”

Rohrer added that one pastor in attendance remarked, “Even though I believe that I’ve been involved in cultural issues and have faithfully preached, I know now that I must do much more. There is so much at stake not only [in my] preaching [but] warning and discipling my people.”

Also at “U-Turn,” APN announced the new “We Will Stand—Preach, Pray, Encourage, Engage” initiative, a commitment pastors nationwide can make to “stand in the gap for truth” in their churches and communities. APN will share more about the new initiative in the coming weeks.

“I heard directly and indirectly from those in attendance that they were greatly challenged and blessed by the ‘U-Turn’ conference,” said Dave Kistler, president of NCPN. “The days ahead will certainly tell the tale of what God has done in their hearts, focusing and firing them up for faithful engagement. One pastor stated, ‘I’ve got to change some things at church and get both myself and my people engaged!’ Comments like these are so encouraging, as we now pray for those who attended, that they will take the important principles presented and meet the challenge.”

Although biblical and not political, the “U-Turn” conference for church leaders sought to equip, empower and educate attendees about the essentials to impact culture, especially now, as the culture changes rapidly.

Speakers for “U-Turn: A Roadmap for Renewal—A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership” included:

  • George Barna, social science researcher, executive director of the American Culture and Faith Institute (a division of United in Purpose), president of Metaformation, a faith development organization, and author
    • David Barton, historian and leader of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on America’s moral, religious and constitutional heritage
    • Paul Blair, president of Reclaiming America for Christ and former NFL star
    • Jeremy Dys, senior counsel for First Liberty, formerly the Liberty Institute, where he focuses on religious liberty matters and the First Amendment
    • Gary Frazier, Biblical writer and founder and president of Discovery Missions International
    • Dr. Richard Land, evangelical leader and president of Southern Evangelical Seminary
    • Steve Scheibner, president of Characterhealth Corporation and a pilot who will share his gripping story from 9/11
    • Bryan Smith, senior manager for biblical integration for BJU Press
    • Sammy Tippit of Sammy Tippit Ministries