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, www.papastors.net), 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, media@hamiltonstrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 610.584.1096, x102.

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

Pennsylvania is Near the Top of the List for Sanctuary Cities & Counties

The state of Pennsylvania has one of the highest number of sanctuary cities and counties in the country—fourth on the list, in fact—behind only Oregon, California and Washington, according to a list from the Center for Immigration Studies.

APN President, Sam Rohrer, frequently discusses issues of immigration and refugees on the popular daily radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today.”

A “sanctuary” city that protects illegal immigrants who may be committing crimes does not equate to the church “sanctuary,” where those who take refuge can find peace.

Rohrer says immigration and the policies surrounding sanctuary cities, including the possibility that these cities could be cut off from federal funding, should be issues that are important to pastors and churches.

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.”

Will Pastors Act on Pulpit Freedom Based on New Legislation?

Republican lawmakers who have vowed to fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment haven’t done so yet, but legislators are now trying to add a provision that would deny money to the Internal Revenue Service to enforce the 63-year-old law, according to the Associated Press.

The House Appropriations subcommittee passed the bill late last month.

The American Pastors Network has commented frequently on the Johnson Amendment and will be closely watching the progression of the new bill.

“Pastors’ voices had been largely silent on the most important cultural, societal and political issues of our time,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, “because of a fear of repercussions stemming from the Johnson Amendment. This bill to protect the tax exempt status of churches may help return decades of freedom to churches and enable pastors to freely speak truth about social issues from the pulpit, but pastors must make the commitment to take on the most pressing societal matters. A government law will not remedy all the issues in today’s church, nor will another law completely solve why pastors have not been preaching the whole counsel of God.

“The path to pulpit freedom may have begun to be paved, but it’s up to pastors and churches to preach boldly,” Rohrer continued. “For some, the Johnson Amendment has been a convenient excuse to shy away from tough issues. The challenge before the pulpit has always been fear, and that’s the challenge of any leader. The Johnson Amendment has been the fear factor for some, but if it is indeed limited in its scope, the real test will be if pastors will take up the biblical charge to speak on the issues important to those in the pews.”

The Associated Press also reported that Republicans say the law is enforced unevenly, leaving religious leaders uncertain about what they are allowed to say and do. Opposition to repealing the Johnson Amendment exists as well. This spring, 4,500 nonprofit groups signed onto a letter to congressional leaders asking them to preserve the law.

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the law in 1954 when he was a Democratic senator from Texas as an avenue to prohibit tax-exempt charitable organizations, such as churches, from participating in political campaigns or in supporting or opposing candidates. If the IRS determines that a group has violated the law, it can revoke its tax-exempt status, the AP also reported.

 

Travel Ban Renews Biblical and Constitutional Conversations About Immigration

After a back-and-forth battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban went into effect Thursday evening.

The executive order requires that those traveling from six foreign countries—Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan—must have a credible claim of a “bona fide relationship” with either an entity, such as a school or workplace, or a person who is living in the U.S., CNN reported.

The American Pastors Network frequently discusses immigration issues, as well as news of the day from a biblical and constitutional perspective, on its daily, popular “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program. APN President Sam Rohrer has also written and spoken extensively on this topic and says that many Christians are torn between keeping the country safe and being “Good Samaritans” who welcome others.

“One question that every American must ask is if our country’s current immigration policies are in agreement with or in opposition to the historical ideology set in motion by our founding fathers,” Rohrer said. “While the founders did set about to fashion ideals that would be freeing to many people groups from various backgrounds and faiths, they also strived to keep the nation safe from those who were not in line with those ideals. The truth is that many ideologies today are in direct opposition to all that America stands for, and such ideologies are one of the greatest threats to our freedom. Taking a step back, pushing pause and properly vetting those who wish to come into the United States is wise and in line with protecting the nation and all who live here.”

Rohrer added that many, including some Christians, are in denial that Islam, for example, is a threat to the U.S. Earlier this year, Rohrer spoke to The Christian Post about the belief by some that Islam is not a violent religion.

“The view for a long time has been that jihadists, wherever they are, are not at all reflective of Islam, and these are only a small number who don’t speak for Islam,” Rohrer told The Christian Post. “The unfortunate thing about that is that those involved in jihad are the only ones who are really practicing what the Quran says. It’s violent all the way around, the total opposite of Christianity, the opposite of what the Bible speaks about. Yet, because there are many who either don’t want to know or don’t do their own homework, (they come to believe that) ‘everybody is equal,’ when the reality is these various systems of belief are totally different.”

CNN also reported that those who can’t establish the “bona fide relationship” in the U.S., and live in one of the six listed countries, will be banned from traveling to the U.S. for 90 days. Refugees from any country will be banned for 120 days, according to the reinstated travel ban.

New Survey Finds Americans Value Personal Freedom and Reputation Over Conscience

A new study from LifeWay Research has discovered that many Americans worry more about their reputation than their conscience, and that personal freedom is a value that trumps others.

The study found that shame has become particularly powerful in American society—a culture dominated by the internet age and social media—with a significant number of respondents stating they are more concerned with avoiding shame than fretting about guilt and fear. LifeWay also found that Americans still prize independence, with 40 percent naming personal freedom as the top desire from a list of options.

As the nation reflects on freedom during Independence Day, Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net), says the survey findings are indicative of a me-centered culture, where Americans confuse personal freedom, constitutional freedom and freedom in Christ.

“The concept of freedom is one the American Pastors Network explores frequently with churches, pastors and Christians,” Rohrer said. “As terrorism permeates society, freedom is under attack, especially from those who wish to eradicate anything to do with Christianity. Likewise, laws in our own country compromise religious freedom, and Americans are becoming more focused on their wants, needs, entitlements and how they think they deserve to live their own life, sometimes with no regard for others around them. Freedom is important and an American necessity, but we must view freedom as God-given rather than a humanistic or government trait that is taken for granted.

“Personal freedom and civic freedom can only exist in a culture where sufficient people have experienced freedom from sin through Jesus Christ and, as our founders did, established a basis in law that reflected that spiritual freedom in civil freedom” Rohrer continued. “Where there is a rejection of the concept of freedom in Jesus Christ there will only be totalitarian government.”

According to the survey, the more Americans attend religious services, the less they value personal freedom. Among those who attend services less than once a month, 44 percent value personal freedom most. That drops to 36 percent for those who attend more than once a month. And Americans without evangelical beliefs (42 percent) are also more likely to value personal freedom than those with evangelical beliefs (32 percent).

LifeWay also reports that people’s perceptions about guilt, shame and fear have shaped how churches have presented faith to the public. The survey was born when LifeWay researchers wondered if guilt is still a major issue for Americans and if guilt, shame and fear affects how Christians talk about their beliefs.

Of the three feelings—guilt, shame and fear—38 percent of the 1,000 respondents said they avoid shame the most, followed by 31 percent stating guilt and 30 percent reporting fear. Interestingly, “nones,” those who claim no religious identity, avoid guilt (35 percent) more than those who are religious (30 percent), while those who are religious avoid shame (39 percent) more than “nones” (33 percent).

Sam Rohrer Weighs in on ‘Mass Assassination Attempt’

As the nation is still reeling from a frightening shooting in Alexandria, Va., where lawmakers and their aides were targeted on a baseball field, the American Pastors Network explored the news on the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio program, which is heard on 425 stations around the country.

APN President Sam Rohrer and his co-hosts discussed the shooting, the shooter’s connection to the Bernie Sanders camp, as well as Sanders’ recent attack on the Christian beliefs of a presidential nominee.

One question on the show addressed the following pressing question: Why did the shooting happen?

“Tragedies like these”, Rohrer said, “often involve a rejection of God and moral law, as well as a rejection of a society that has pushed aside God and absolute truth.

The world can choose two options:

1) More freedom in Christ, in the acceptance of Jesus and an embracing of God’s moral law that respects life and honors the King, as well as self-governance according to the Ten Commandments

2) More draconian government that leads to totalitarianism, restricted freedom and further rejection of God and moral truth.

Under attack in America is Christianity, human rights and truth, evidenced by the fact that a citizen attacked authority and that some lawmakers and celebrities are attacking God and citizen.”

To listen to the Stand in the Gap Today program on this topic, please click HERE.

New Gallup Poll Shows Churchgoers Value Relevant, Scriptural Sermons, Notes American Pastors Network

What appeals most to churchgoers in 2017? A booming bass in the music? Colorful lights? Trendy references to pop culture?

Actually, it’s none of the above. A new Gallup poll recently found that sermon content is a major factor for today’s worshippers. The survey measured seven different reasons why those who attend a place of worship at least monthly do so, and about 75 percent responded that “sermons or talks that either teach about scripture or help people connect religion to their own lives as major factors spurring their attendance.”

The American Pastors Network says the poll is telling, as some churches try to entice particularly millennials with style over substance.

“It’s encouraging, especially to those of us who are pastors, that the people in the pews still long for sermons that are based in scripture and help them apply their faith to daily life,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Oftentimes, pastors and churches get caught up in marketing to the masses, when really getting back to the basics is what churchgoers want. It is our duty to first preach the whole counsel of God, one of APN’s founding principles, and this poll shows that people want that biblical counsel, first and foremost.”

Over the past several months, APN has continued with the strong initiative to connect older biblically faithful pastors with millennial-aged biblically faithful pastors, realizing that each has something to offer the other.

“APN hopes to accomplish this new goal, which has received overwhelming support from pastors of all of ages, through mentoring, conferences, events and resources,” Rohrer added. “While the idea is still in its early stages, there is much passion and momentum behind it, and we feel God’s hand is upon this undertaking as well.”

The Gallup poll found that important factors to respondents include: sermons or talks that teach more about scripture (76%), sermons or lectures that help connect religion to everyday life (75%), spiritual programs geared toward children and teenagers (64%), community outreach and volunteer opportunities (59%), and dynamic religious leaders who are interesting and inspiring (54%). Two reasons garnered less than 50 percent from those surveyed: social activities that help get to know people in the community (49%) and a good choir, praise band, cantors or other spiritual music (38%).

American Pastors Network Bridges the (Age) Gap

Paul and Timothy were perhaps the ultimate example of a biblical mentor partnership. In 2 Timothy 1:6-7, Paul tells the next generation of pastors through Timothy: “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (KJV).”

To model Paul and Timothy’s relationship, the American Pastors Network is embarking on a new initiative to connect older biblically faithful pastors with millennial-aged biblically faithful pastors.

“A partnership and mentoring relationship like this is in every way scriptural,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Paul and Timothy were the biblical model and carried out the biblical command to pass along the wisdom of the fathers to the sons and grandsons. And there is a cultural urgency. The great majority of millennials (ages 18 to 35) and Generation X(approximate ages 40 to 50) do not hold a biblical worldview, even less than the older generation. They are not contending for the faith, but rather, walking into and embracing apostasy.

“We have felt called that our charge is to connect past and future generations of pastors,” Rohrer continued. “God cannot bless a church that is divided. The cause of Christ cannot advance with a church that is divided; the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot go forth and power if the church is not walking in obedience and being led in obedience by the shepherds in the pulpit—shepherds of all ages.”

To that end, Rohrer added, APN, consistent with its mission and purpose, will seek to serve as the umbrella and vehicle to unite the biblically faithful and to establish the framework for the communication of biblical truth, while demonstrating the model of how this generational divide can and should be biblically bridged.

Within the initiative to connect pastors from different generations through mentoring, events, conference, seminars and resources, APN will also seek to magnify the voice of millennial biblically faithful pastors, not only for their own benefit but to counter the voices of their unfaithful millennial counterparts.

“We pray that through the mission that God has laid upon our hearts APN would be the vehicle to model biblical succession planning and the biblical ‘passing of the baton,” Rohrer said.