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.
- Action Steps for Pastors
- Legislator Sample Letter
- Bulletin Insert
- Sample Letter to an Editor
- Sample Letter to a School Board Member
Sermons by Pastors on the Transgender Issue
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.”
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
In this unique election year, political analysts, the media and even voters are looking to the past to see if history will repeat itself. While some things never change, this presidential election is certainly proving to color “outside of the lines.”
At the upcoming “U-Turn” conference for pastors, ministry leaders and engaged believers, headline speakers social science researcher George Barna and WallBuilders leader and historian David Barton will address the pressing topics on the minds of many as they head to the polls.
Biblical, not political, the daylong event, “U-Turn: A Roadmap for Renewal—A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership,” offered by the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) and the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, www.ncpastors.net), will equip, empower and educate attendees about the essentials to impact culture, especially now, when the church and Christian voters have the potential to make a real difference.
“We are honored to again welcome George Barna and David Barton to the ‘U-Turn’ stage,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “These two powerful speakers are an inspiration to pastors and church leaders, and their motivating words will be deeply embedded on the hearts of all who attend ‘U-Turn’ in North Carolina on April 14. Pastors, church leaders and engaged believers are ready to take their ministries to the next level, and ‘U-Turn’ will be a catalyst for that change.”
Set for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 14 at Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES) at 3000 Tilley Morris Road in Matthews, N.C., “U-Turn” will feature Barna speaking on “The Necessity of Engagement: A Statistical Perspective” and Barton addressing the topic of “When Pastors Stand for Truth: A Historical Perspective.”
George Barna has filled executive roles in politics, marketing, advertising, media development, research and ministry. He founded the Barna Research Group in 1984 (now The Barna Group) and helped it become a leading marketing research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture before selling it in 2009.
Barna currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Culture and Faith Institute (a division of United in Purpose), and is President of Metaformation, a faith development organization. He has written more than 50 books and his work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the media. Barna also serves as a speaker at ministry conferences around the world, on the faculty at several universities and seminaries, and as a pastor who helped start several churches.
David Barton heads 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. He is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects drawn largely from his massive library-museum of tens of thousands of original writings, documents and artifacts from early America. He also addresses well over 400 groups each year. Barton’s exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues.
Additional “U-Turn” speakers in North Carolina will include:
- Former NFL star and pastor Paul Blair, president of Reclaiming America for Christ
- Gary Frazier, biblical writer and founder and president of Discovery Missions International
- Jeff Mateer of the First Liberty (formerly the Liberty Institute), who has argued significant religious liberties and marriage cases
- Pastor, pilot and author Steve Scheibner, who tells his gripping story from 9/11
- Bryan Smith, senior manager for biblical integration for BJU Press
- Sammy Tippit of Sammy Tippit Ministries
Said a pastor who attended the Pennsylvania “U-Turn” event, “I was really blessed by the U-Turn Conference. … This was truly life-changing and transformational. I don’t remember the last time I have been so inspired to want to make a difference in the kingdom of God after attending a conference with such great impact. I was thoroughly energized to know what, how and why we should take back our country for Jesus Christ.”
The “U-Turn” early bird rate of $29 for adults ends March 24. The student rate (with an ID shown at the door) is $21, and the group rate (with five or more individuals) is $25. To register online, click here, or for more details, click here.
With the all-important Iowa caucus now in the rear-view mirror, presidential hopefuls are keeping up their efforts to court Christian evangelical voters, as the tone continues to be set for the 2016 race.
Through its daily one-hour “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, the American Pastors Network (APN,www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) has been following election news closely, and discussing candidates and their stances on the issues important to Christians.
For example, in a report last week, CNN segmented American Christians to help better understand how they are making up their minds for the presidential primaries. “It’s an axiom in American politics, duly repeated every four years,” CNN reported. “Evangelicals are the country’s biggest and most powerful religious voting bloc, especially during the GOP primaries.”
Outlining splits in both the candidates whom evangelicals favor and the principles that will drive their votes, CNN categorized these voters into seven groups: 1) the old guard; 2) institutional evangelicals; 3) entrepreneurial evangelicals; 4) “arm’s length” evangelicals; 5) millennial evangelicals; 6) liberal evangelicals; and 7) and cultural evangelicals.
However, says APN President Sam Rohrer, there is one classification notably absent.
“The one missing but most needed category is that of ‘biblical evangelicals,’” Rohrer said. “This classification of evangelicals bases decisions on the word of God and the Bible’s teachings—and there is no foundation more solid. This eighth category of the ‘biblical evangelical’ should also be reflected by a public narrative, focusing on matters of candidate requirements such as fear of God, the opposition of bribery and corruption, a knowledge of the biblical definition of justice, a commitment to the Rule of Law as defined and embodied in God’s Moral law and our Constitution, and the demonstration of character and integrity. These qualities all stand apart from any determinations of a candidate’s chance to win the election based on pragmatic decisions.
“APN’s pastoral and biblical emphasis hones in on these beliefs and this emphasis,” Rohrer added. “Furthermore, pastors can help guide their congregations by first and foremost encouraging them to vote. Election analysts say that if more evangelical voters visited the polls and voted with their values in 2008 and 2012, the outcome may have been vastly different for our country. We must ensure that in this election, the Christian voice is heard loud and clear.”
Added Gary Dull, APN board member and executive director and vice president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net), “The division among evangelicals is caused, in part, by a lack of solid voices to represent and lead them. Unity is crucial at this time—and going forward. But the goal is not unity alone. Unity must always be connected to and the result of biblical obedience. For the sake of pastors and the people in the pews, we must help them effectively, wisely and biblically sort through the confusion in order to elect the best leader for our nation, not just the one we think is most ‘electable’ but yet may not contain the solid leadership America desperately needs.”
Rohrer and Dull went on to say that pastors can do several things to help motivate and empower their congregations to speak their minds and stand up for biblical values at the polls:
- Communicate the importance of the faith-driven vote in this election.
- Educate parishioners about the position of the candidates on critical issues through an in-depth Voter Guide, such as the one from AFA Action, a division of the American Family Association.
- Pray about which candidate to choose in the upcoming election.
Evangelist Dave Kistler, President of the NC Pastors Network, comments on the decision by a Grand Jury to let Planned Parenthood off the hook, and indict the couple responsible for exposing them. To listen to the entire program, please click HERE.
Dr. Gary Dull, Executive Director of the PA Pastors Network, and Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors Network discuss the recent endorsements of Presidential Candidate Donald Trump on Stand in the Gap Today, a radio ministry of the American Pastors Network. To listen to the entire program, please click HERE.
For nearly 43 years since Roe v. Wade—and for decades before that landmark case—abortion has been an ugly subject that many tried to hide under cover. But abortion must be one of the topics brought to light by pastors—especially this month.
“This fact is, we can no longer ignore abortion in our churches,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Many may be struggling with the scars of abortion in their own lives, and looking to the church for help, healing and restoration. Additionally, we must equip our people to stand up for the sanctity of life in their own communities, states and across the nation. In 2015, we were all awakened to the gruesome business of abortion, with the exposure of the barbaric practices of Planned Parenthood, who has now filed a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress, which spearheaded the revealing videos. Now that the seedy underbelly of the abortion industry has been uncovered, we can no longer turn a blind eye to this black mark on American history.”
In the days leading up to the Jan. 22 anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America, Rohrer will discuss how churches can address abortion and bring the dark issue into the light during the daily, one-hour “Stand in the Gap Today”, which currently airs on 20 stations in America and addresses the cultural and moral issues of our time from a constitutional and biblical perspective.
In breaking news Thursday, The Washington Times reported that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich “has teamed up with Christian organizations and pastors in an effort to influence the House of Representatives to overturn President Obama’s veto of legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood.” The veto override vote, for which two-thirds is needed for passage, is Jan. 26.
Gingrich is co-hosting a conference call at 2:15 p.m. EST today, Jan. 15, specifically with pastors, in support of the effort to marshal the votes needed, according to The Washington Times, with the following letter:
I am writing to invite you to join a pastor conference call with Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, and me this Friday, January 15th, at 2:15 p.m. Eastern Time.
We want to discuss the urgent matter of protecting unborn life by ending the federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
On Friday’s pastor conference call, we’d like to discuss with you how we can put pressure on every single elected official to vote with us.
So please join us for this pastor’s conference call this Friday, January 15, to hear how you can be a part of this effort.
Again, the call is scheduled for this Friday, January 15, at 2:15 p.m. EST/1:15 p.m. CST/12:15 p.m. MST/11:15 a.m. PST, on our national Tele-Townhall Conference Call Number.
The dial in number is 877-229-8493, PIN 114559.
Rohrer also encouraged pastors to find pro-life events in their communities so that members of their congregations could perhaps participate.
One of the largest events is the annual March for Life, where tens of thousands of concerned pro-life Americans travel to Washington, D.C., to stand for the unborn. For more on the March, along with related events, visitwww.marchforlife.org/mfl-2016. A pro-life calendar of events is also available at www.calendarforlife.org, where visitors can enter their zip code to find events in their area.
Added Gary Dull, APN board member and executive director and vice president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net), “January is a wonderful time for pastors to unite and mobilize their congregations to stand for life together in their communities. We encourage all pastors and church leaders to also consider hosting an event or special prayer service in their own church as well.”
Biblical marriage certainly took a hit this year, as on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in every state in the nation. Now, six months later, pastors and churches are still struggling with how to deal with this sensitive and sometimes-controversial issue within their congregations.
To close out a historic year in many arenas, the American Pastors Network and the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net) are encouraging pastors across the country to take on the tough topics like marriage and not shy away from the controversy they may cause.
“Marriage and homosexuality are two of the most important issues in the church today,” said APN and PPN President Sam Rohrer, “and there is perhaps no area of ministry more crucial. In particular, pastors must not avoid preaching biblical truth about marriage—about how God designed this holy union between one many and one woman. Anything outside of that scope falls short of God’s law and His plan, even if the law of the land says otherwise.
“One of the goals of the American Pastors Network is to continually encourage pastors to be effective ‘salt and light’ in this dark world and preach the ‘whole counsel of God,’” Rohrer continued. “There is no greater calling for these ‘Ministers of God’ and no greater responsibility to God’s people. Especially in these sometimes-discouraging times, the church must be a light, and pastors must be committed to bringing these issues to the pulpit—and to their congregations.”
Rohrer says he sees six reasons pastors may shy away from addressing these hot-button issues:
- Fear of controversy or pushback from those in the pews if biblical principles are applied to the issues of the day.
- Negative theological training regarding talking about impacting the culture or discussion of anything regarding civil government or politics.
- Unjustified fear of losing their 501(c)(3) status.
- Being unaware of the historical role of pastors in the history of America.
- Believing that the primary purpose for preaching is limited to “preaching the Gospel” rather than training and “making disciples.”
- Having more of a fear of man rather than a fear of God.
Added Gary Dull, APN board member and executive director and vice president of PPN, “There is perhaps no issue that touches more churchgoers than that of marriage. Despite what the law now says, our pastors must continue to speak the truth about God’s design for all relationships. To hide this truth from our congregations is not helping them to live biblically, but rather, shortchanges them of what God intended for all of our lives.”
Research has shown that pastors are purposefully skirting some controversial topics when preparing their messages for the pulpit, but Rohrer and Dull say the task must be tackled, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.
Last summer, George Barna, founder of the Barna Group, shared research that found that while about 90 percent of theologically conservative pastors believe the Bible speaks to societal issues, fewer than 10 percent of these pastors are teaching people what the Bible says on these topics.
The research, conducted through the American Culture and Faith Institute, asked pastors across the country about their beliefs regarding the relevancy of scripture to societal, moral and political issues, and the content of their sermons in light of their beliefs. Barna stated that many pastors are afraid to get involved in political issues because of the controversy it might create. And, he added, “Controversy keeps people from being in the seats, controversy keeps people from giving money, from attending programs.”
To find out what the Bible has to say on these tough issues, tune into our daily broadcast called “Stand in the Gap Today”. You can download archived programs, or listen live here: www.standinthegapradio.com
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