Churchgoers No Longer Seek Advice from Their Pastors—Where Is the Disconnect?

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer: When Church Attendees Feel Connected to the Pastor, They Are More Likely to Keep Attending and Engage in the Church

PHILADELPHIA—A new AP-NORC poll has discovered a surprising practice among regular churchgoers.

They rarely go to their pastors for advice.

The survey found that a large majority of Americans make important decisions without calling on their religious leaders, with three-quarters saying they rarely or never consult a clergy member or religious leader, while only about a quarter do so at least some of the time.

The American Pastors Network (APN) is looking at this study as perhaps a commentary on the American church.

APNPresident Sam Rohrer, host of the popular daily radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” heard on more than 425 stations nationwide, as well as the daily radio feature, “Stand in the Gap Minute,” says the relationship between pastors and people in the pews has changed over several decades.

“Churches are changing—that fact is undeniable,” Rohrer said. “Even as few as five or 10 years ago, most parishioners wouldn’t have thought twice about going to their pastor for counsel. These conversations in the offices of pastors were commonplace. Now, for a host of reasons, these times to talk about the issues that are on the hearts of church attendees aren’t as frequent—and that is unfortunate. One reason is that if church attendees feel connected to the pastor and leadership, they are more likely to not only keep attending on a regular basis, but also to become engaged in the life of the church. Secondly, in an age when technology drives much of what we do, personal connection is paramount. Face-to-face interaction, especially with our pastors, will keep us grounded in our faith and as a contributing member of the Body of Christ.”

One churchgoer interviewed by AP for coverage on the poll said being a part of a larger church and being relatively new attendees were reasons counsel was not sought from the senior pastor. This same lack of personal connection spills into other areas as well. This same churchgoer said, for example, that rather than calling someone to ask for help on a health insurance question, he spent an hour online searching for answers.

As for church attendance in general, the poll found that about a third of Americans say they attend church or other religious services at least twice a month; roughly a quarter never go. As expected, those who attend more often are more likely to consult with a religious leader.

“We hope and pray that pastors are doing everything they can to communicate that their office doors are open to their church attendees,” Rohrer said. “Even as churches grow and we find ways to get advice and answer questions online, there is no replacement for the interaction that God calls the members of His family to have.”

 

Are God and Allah the Same?

A major religious question, even in evangelical circles, has been: “Do we all worship the same God?—Are God and Allah the same?”

The American Pastors Network, through its popular weekly television program, recently addressed this question, as APN President Sam Rohrer and Dr. Mark Christian, president and founder of Global Faith Institute, delved into the increasing claim that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Mark Christian is a former Muslim from Cairo, Egypt, who served as an Imam from the age of 12. He left Islam at the age of 25 after researching the life of Muhammad and the teachings of the Quran. Christian then became convinced that his Muslim faith was a lie. He wandered spiritually for the next 10 years, ultimately discovering that Jesus Christ was the answer he was seeking.

“The God of the Bible and Allah cannot be the same according to the Bible and the Quran,” Rohrer said. “Jesus is the ‘begotten’ Son of God, while the Quran states that Jesus can NOT be God. The recent claims and comments by some evangelical pastors point to an overall misconception about God and Allah. This increasingly common statement coming from many religious leaders and even some pastors who claim to be evangelicals is that ‘God and Allah are the same,’ that ‘Christians and Muslims worship the same deity’ or ‘Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham.’ But do the three main faith groups really worship the same god? And does it make a difference? The implications and consequences of not properly understanding this claim are enormous, ranging from national security concerns to eternal consequences relating to God, heaven and hell.

“Dr. Mark Christian has firsthand information into why Allah and God are not the same, and he has seen up close the Islamic strategy to make inroads into the Christian community on this matter of ‘same God,’” Rohrer continued. “The most basic reason why the God of the Bible and Allah cannot be the same is because, according to the Bible, Jesus is the Son of God and, according to Islam, Jesus is but a prophet and not God. The effort to blur this line, even among pastors, is not only damaging but Christian leaders who advance this thought, and believers who agree, are committing heresy.”

Watch the full program with Rohrer, “Stand in the Gap Today” co-host Isaac Crockett and Christian here.

How Does God View the Border Debate?

In his speech to declare his re-election bid in 2020, President Donald Trump called the Democrat agenda of open borders “morally reprehensible.”

“It’s the greatest betrayal of the American middle class and, frankly, American life,” Trump said on June 18. “Our country, has a hole, nobody sees anything like it, people are pouring in, but we’ve stopped them, and now, as I said, we have other people helping us, including the country of Mexico.”

Borders and immigration will again be top concerns for the 2020 election, and the American Pastors Network (APN) says Christians must be informed from a biblical and constitutional perspective on these hot-button issues. This is just after the House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion immigration package that will focus on health standards, nutrition, hygiene and translation services.

The measure, reports The Daily Caller, “comes amid apprehension concerning immigrants that has increased every month since January. There have also been over 100,000 encounters with illegal immigrants at the southern border in both March and April, setting the border crisis on track to be the worst it has been in a decade.”

APN frequently explores the topic of immigration on its popular daily, live, one-hour radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” as well as on the daily 60-second radio feature, “Stand in the Gap Minute,” and says answers can be found in the Bible.

“Immigration and border control issues dominate our news and divide our nation, but God is not divided nor is He confused on this or any issue—and we should not be either,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “In fact, there are clear, biblical principles on why no one should be confused about God’s position on immigration and borders.”

In Acts 17:26, for example, Paul says that God established nations and borders. Daniel 2 says God raises up leaders and nations, and He puts them down.

“Without borders there’s no order, no law, no justice,” Rohrer added. “Without borders, God’s promise to bless the nation whose God is the Lord could never occur. God’s plan of redemption revolves around nations. In time, God will judge all nations who reject Him. Is it any wonder that the coming antichrist and globalists demand open borders?”

If borders or walls are immoral—as even some religious leaders contend—then Nehemiah was wrong. And even more so, God Himself is wrong, because heaven has walls and gates, and Jesus says that whoever circumvents one gate and climbs in another way is a thief and robber.

“Borders are essential to nations,” Rohrer said. “In fact, the definition of nation includes a common language, a common view of God and common borders. God’s blessings and judgment are bestowed on individuals and nations. Therefore, borders and border control are essential to protect a nation’s citizens and should rise to the highest of concerns for those in civil authority.”

The government has a unique duty to God and to the citizen—one might even call it a moral duty. Different from the Church’s duty to care for the sick and reach out to those who don’t yet know the God of heaven, government’s duty according to Romans 13 is to enact justice, enforce the law and protect the citizen.

“This is why God provided civil government with the sword of justice,” Rohrer said. “This is, in part, why we are to pray for those in authority—that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives and because they are accountable to God. God’s Word does hold all the answers about borders, immigration and much more, we just need to read God’s instruction for our lives and our nation, take them to heart and follow them.”

What Is Truth—And Does It Exist in Politics?

As the presidential campaign season unfolds ahead of the 2020 election, candidates and citizens alike, says the American Pastors Network, should consider this question: “What is truth?”

APN President Sam Rohrer, host of the popular daily radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” heard on more than 425 stations nationwide, as well as the daily radio feature, “Stand in the Gap Minute,” said some candidates for public office don’t even know the answer to the question, “What is truth?”

For instance, some time ago, Rohrer said, he interviewed a candidate and asked him to define truth. His answer: “I don’t know.”

“So I asked,” Rohrer recalled, “‘How will you make your decisions in office and know you’re right?’ The candidate said, ‘I guess I’ll follow my gut.’ Truth is not open for debate or found in the gut. Rejecting Jesus as truth ensures no moral compass. Rejecting truth results in confusion, moral bankruptcy, bribery and corruption. Rejecting truth guarantees that no person, be they Republican, Democrat or Independent, can lead with integrity, principle and consistency, as each desirable character traits hinges on truth as defined by God’s Word and modeled by Jesus Christ.”

As an example, Rohrer pointed to Isaiah 59:19, which says: “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against them.”

“As political campaigns overwhelm our land, lies and distortions are told, and truth falls in the streets, Isaiah declares that God’s Spirit will raise up a standard against it,” Rohrer said. “This standard, of course, is Jesus Christ—the Way and the Truth. But God often chooses to raise up His prepared Remnant as the salt and light—the truth standard to oppose evil and make clear the truth. Every true Christian is part of God’s empowered standard to stand against the enemies of truth. The real question is: ‘Are we doing our part?”

Additionally, because the culture has become morally sick—having defined good as evil and evil as good—is there a cure?

“When truth is rejected and division results, is there healing?” Rohrer continued. “There can be. To some, the Bible is inspiring—a good book. For others, the Bible is a source of truth. At the American Pastors Network, we lift up the Word of God as the final authority—the only source of truth—never in error and always right. It alone defines good and evil. It alone can point the lost and wandering to eternal life.  It alone, if obeyed, can heal the lonely heart and restore the broken family. Obedience to God’s Word alone can restore our nation and return God’s blessing to us. An absolute cure exists, but only if we embrace the truth.”

Likewise, in Matthew 10:36, Rohrer added, Jesus made a startling statement: “I have not come to send peace but a sword.”

“Why would God contrast peace with a sword?” Rohrer asked. “When pastors rightly preach God’s truth, citizens embrace truth, and those in office properly wield the sword of truth, it will instruct, bring clarity from confusion and heal the division caused by the enemies of truth who pit rich against poor, white against black and so on. You see, the sword of truth divides truth from lies, Christ from Satan and freedom from bondage. Accepting Christ as truth brings God’s peace and joy.  Rejecting Christ brings judgment and separation from God’s peace. Choosing truth or rejecting truth is a choice that brings healing or judgment, life or death.”

Rohrer also pointed to Joshua 24:15, where Joshua challenged the people by saying, ‘if you’ve got a problem serving the God of heaven, then be honest enough to state who you will serve.”

“Serving God requires purposeful choices with a life that proves it!” he said. “While most Americans say they’re Christians, their lives don’t prove it—and our culture unfortunately reflects it with saltless salt, little light and no morally prevailing influence.  It’s our lives, not our words, that matter. The time has come to reject idle speech and hearts that worship other gods. Living holy, having a compelling Christian testimony and embracing truth with no other gods before us is a choice. May we like Joshua declare, ‘but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD’—of Truth!”

Photo by Ronda Darby on Unsplash

Christians Must Engage With Israel at Perhaps Most Vital Time in Nation’s History

American Pastors Network (President Sam Rohrer recently returned from a trip to Israel, where he was part of noteworthy events and met with faith leaders and policy makers during a historic time for the nation.

Specifically, the main political event in Israel currently centers on the fact that on May 29, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition government. Now, parliament is dissolved, and a new election is on the horizon. A meeting Rohrer and other faith leaders attended was significant because it was the first recorded meeting during this 29-day period.

While in Israel, Rohrer said it became evident to him that the important Israeli and U.S. elections this fall are inextricably tied together. In fact, the coming election in Israel will occur on Sept. 17—Constitution Day in the U.S.

“All Christians should pray for peace in Jerusalem,” he said, “as peace in Israel links so very closely with our own upcoming election. God has tied together our U.S. election next November to Israel’s this September. They are linked as two legs in how we stand, and it should be our prayer that the ongoing link of the two will continue.

“Christians should be more engaged, more passionate and more prayerful when it comes to Israel,” he added. “We know God draws people in and calls them to be involved and that the American connection to Israel is blessed by God. Therefore, we should also link these two nations together and their impending elections in prayer. If Christians don’t have a heart for Israel, they should. If they don’t have a heart for our own country, they should.”

While in Israel, Rohrer attended the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast (JPB), a prayer movement initiated and chaired by Knesset Member Robert Ilatov and co-chaired by U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Each year the JPB brings together government leaders and influential Christian leaders from all walks of society for a gathering in Israel’s capital city to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

5 Things Fathers Can Teach Their Children this Father’s Day

by Sam Rohrer

This article was originally published on the Christian Post website HERE.

Where are the fathers? A generation ago, the Supreme Court defied the God of heaven and declared legal the murder of our babies—and our fathers were silent. When the Ten Commandments were declared to be poison to our children’s minds—our pastors were silent. When the courts and culture continue to attack God’s model for family by redefining marriage and human sexuality, why is there such continuing silence?

At the American Pastors Network, we believe that God’s judgment on our nation is in part because fathers and pastors a generation ago refused to oppose evil and actively resist tyranny. The question is, what will our pastors and we as fathers do now? As Mordecai said to Esther of old, if we are silent now, evil will prevail, and freedom will be lost.

Father’s Day’s a good time to consider God’s expectation for fathers. As a father of six and grandfather to 14, I’ve thought much about my role and the fact that fathers create our children’s first image of God. Men, are we demonstrating that God is faithful, loving, patient and kind? Is our discipline consistent and just? Are our children learning God’s protection and provision of needs? Does our love for our wives model Christ’s love for the Church? Do we teach the fear of God in our home by living in the fear of God ourselves? Do we focus on character building in our children to live and think like Christ so His character and nature will be seen through them? Imagine the impact in our homes and our culture if we did.

Fathers hold the key to our families and nation. In Deuteronomy Chapter 6, God told fathers to teach our children five things.

1.     We must lead our children to faith in the LORD, because He is the only God.

2.     We must lead our children to a fervor for the Lord by loving Him with all their heart, soul and mind.

3.     We must lead our children to fear the LORD because that is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.

4.     We must lead our children to a familiarity of the LORD by learning of Him daily and diligently.

5.     And, then when God blesses—as He will—we must lead our children not to forget the LORD and what He’s done.

If we as fathers would teach our children these things, our homes would be healed, families restored and the nation united. The more we men emulate God—the heavenly Father—the better the husband and father we’ll be. As our fatherhood model, God is the Wise Father. He’s the Great Counselor and Comforter—just, kind, merciful and patient. He’s the Instructor, Guide, Protector and Shield.  He firmly disciplines but does so in love. He loves so much, He gave His son—the perfect sacrifice—to save our souls. He’s the humble servant, yet the greatest leader.  He’s the model—in every way—of what an earthly father should be.

Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

Israel Could Be in Store for Historic Changes

Now that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to form a coalition government, a new election is on the horizon.

Fox News and others have reported that Israel’s parliament voted Wednesday to dissolve and call for a new election, which will “force Israel back into campaign mode just weeks after Netanyahu narrowly won a presidential mandate following a bruising contest with an upstart party.”

The American Pastors Network (APN) regularly follows news about Israel on its popular radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” heard on 425 stations around the country.

Nearly once a week, “Stand in the Gap Today” host and APN President Sam Rohrer focuses on issues surrounding Israel by welcoming expert guests on the topic, as well as addressing news coming out of the Middle East from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

Rohrer noted last week on the show that the situation is unprecedented, and major historic changes could be in store for Israel.

“Just a few weeks ago, Benjamin Netanyahu was elected for an historic fifth term, with one requirement—that he could form a ruling coalition with the parliamentary system,” Rohrer said. “Unfortunately, Netanyahu has been unable to form a new coalition. This debate in the Israeli Knesset could force Netanyahu out and spell unpredictable days ahead for Israel. This next election will not occur until Sept. 3, which seems to potentially leave Israel without any leader for months, and in a real sense, at an increasingly potentially treacherous time with Iran.”

Rohrer is currently traveling in Israel and will be meeting with faith leaders, policy makers and others.

Fox also reorted that all previous Israeli parliamentary elections since the country’s founding in 1948 led to the formation of a government. Netanyahu was “visibly angry” after the decision, stating, “These are unnecessary and wasteful elections that no one needs and no one wants. … The people (already) had their say.”

Rohrer, his co-hosts and guest Jimmy DeYoung of Prophecy Today recently discussed the breaking news from Israel on “Stand in the Gap Today.” Listen to the full program, “Israel Update,” or clips from specific Q&A topics below:

Photo by Blake Campbell on Unsplash

New Study Shows the Bible Is Being Pushed Out of American Lives

If it feels as though the Bible is being pushed out of the American culture, a new Barna study confirms it.

For its 2019 State of the Bible study, Barna discovered that about half of Americans aren’t engaged with the Bible at all.

In a country built on Judeo-Christian principles and God-given rights, says the American Pastors Network , this is a disturbing trend.

For the most recent survey, Barna and the American Bible Society asked American adults 14 questions about their interactions with and perspectives about the Bible, then defined five segments of Bible engagement measuring concepts such as frequency, centrality and impact.

Nearly half—48%—are classified as “Bible Disengaged,” meaning they interact with the Bible infrequently, if at all, and the Bible has minimal impact on their lives.

“As if this trend wasn’t already evident, this study backs up the fact that not only is the Bible and its universal wisdom being eroded from American families, American government and the American society as a whole, it is the trailing evidence of God being tossed aside in our culture,” said APN president and national host Sam Rohrer. “There was a time in our history when God and His Word—the Bible—was integral to every part of our civilization. We would hardly consider making a decision without it. It was referenced in the home. It was taught in our schools. It was incorporated into our laws and integrated into our courts of justice. It was quoted by politicians, judges, educators and even entertainers. It permeated the great literature of Western Civilization. But with the multitude of attacks on the integrity, inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible over the past century, respect for and interest in the Bible has waned. We no longer have time for the Word of God in our lives. What’s even more dangerous is that when we have no time for the Bible, it means we think we have no time nor need for God!

“What’s being overlooked, however, is the fact that the Bible is crucial to the survival of our nation,” Rohrer added. “Without it, we are lost, our nation declining, freedom fleeting, security gone and God’s blessing removed. As Deuteronomy 4:7-8 says, ‘For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?’ This means that the Bible is the most important book on the planet, in a class by itself, surpassing all others, because the Bible is the Word of God. And for those who choose to push it out of their lives, ruin awaits.”

For the Bible engagement study, Barna also shared these findings:

  • The number of “Bible-centered” adults, the top tier in the survey for Bible engagement, has decreased from 9 percent to 5 percent in the past year.
  • More than one-third of adults (35%) reports never using the Bible in 2019, a 10 percentage point increase since 2011.
  • Roughly two in five U.S. adults (42%) say the Bible has not had such an impact in their lives, while six in 10 adults (59%) believe the Bible has transformed their lives.
  • A separate study from LifeWay Research, as reported in The Christian Post, also found that more than half of Protestant churchgoers (55%) have not shared the Gospel in the past six months.

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American Pastors Network: Nearly Half Would Vote for a Socialist President, But Socialism Is Anti-God and Violates Biblical and Constitutional Truth

The May 25 cover of World Magazine asks a pointed question—“When will we ever learn?”—followed by a bold declaration—“Socialism typically brings dictatorship and death.”

The American Pastors Network  has delved into the topic of socialism many times on its popular daily radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” as well as on “Stand in the Gap TV.”

“What about socialism should be objectionable to the Christian community?” co-host, APN President, Sam Rohrer, asks. “If we go to the heart of socialism—not from the standpoint of an historical idea that we’ve fought wars against, though that should not be lost on Americans—it is more than just another economic system and another way to provide government services. By its nature, socialism arises from an atheistic worldview and is directly opposed to everything that is biblical, of God or of truth.

“Socialism is anti-God,” Rohrer emphasized, “and that’s very easy to prove by the words of those who are proponents of it and what they’ve said about socialism. Those who support socialism directly oppose the Constitution. Anyone in office who promotes socialism, by their very words, violates their oath of office and subverts our representative republic. Socialism represents a frontal attack on biblical truth, the Bible, and on civil truth, the Constitution.”

Alarmingly, socialism’s acceptance isn’t just within those identified as the ‘Left,’ but has tentacles even within the professing church as well, Rohrer said.

“One very shocking and disturbing fact is indicated by multiple studies conducted in the past two years,” he said. “These surveys indicate that between 44 and 58 percent of millennials say they favor socialism as an alternative form of governance to what we have in the United States and, specifically, that they prefer socialism to capitalism.”

This prompts these fundamental questions, Rohrer said.

* How did we get to the place in the United States today where our younger Americans are seemingly embracing what we and our fathers and grandfathers fought and died to oppose?

* How could the godless, atheistic ideology that involved America in two world wars become embedded into American culture?

* How could the nation where ‘in God we Trust’ appears on our coins and in our media and culture become ‘in Government we trust’?

* How has God become so dethroned and rejected? How could the institutions of learning, the media, the government and the church become so silent and even enablers of the very values that were once clearly opposed by our nation and opposite to a Judeo-Christian worldview?

* How could such erosion have occurred so quickly and so dramatically affected our next generation?”

Another study recently found that nearly half of Americans would vote for a socialist president. The characteristic of “socialist” is the last on the list in the Gallup poll for 2019, but 47% is still a significant number. The number was unchanged from 2015 to today, Gallup found.

The question, Rohrer continued, should no longer be “Do we have a generation and nation who considers socialism with its root in atheism acceptable?” but rather, “How did atheism and the promoters of socialism and cultural Marxism actually penetrate the institutions of America and our Judeo-Christian worldview sufficiently to move our nation to this perilous point?”

For the issue exploring socialism, World’s cover story, “The view from ‘Doralzuela”—a Miami suburb in Doral, Florida, now known as Doralzuela because so many refugees from the world’s latest socialist experiment now huddle there—reports how refugees at the ground level describe socialism’s latest failure and also asks, “Will young Americans listen?”

Fox News also recently reported that socialism is “to blame for economic downfall of oil-rich countries,” according to one energy expert. “The oil-rich countries backed by socialist governments have overseen a long economic meltdown due in part to the lack of private sector investments,” according to Fox.

But even with this current, mainstream media coverage, the rise of socialism has been coming for a long time.

“The apparent meteoric rise in the acceptance of socialism in America may seem baffling, but in reality, where we are is the result of where we’ve been heading for a long time,” Rohrer said. “Thinkers like Karl Marx wanted to dethrone God in America, and Friedrich Nietzsche declared that God had been killed in the minds of his culture. To go from then until now requires an enormously powerful deception.

“Over time, it was a purposeful and repeated deception of the American people through the four Marxist steps to successful brainwashing—1) demoralization; 2) destabilization; 3) chaos; and 4) new norm/new order,” Rohrer added. “In each of these steps, a person, a group of people or an entire nation is moved in their thinking and beliefs away from absolute truth, God, a biblical worldview, traditional family and God’s view of human sexuality to, ultimately, a position of chaos with an ultimate craving to cry out to government for help in bringing societal order and thus inviting in atheistic socialism. Does this sound familiar in politics, public education or even some churches? It all starts with a Godless worldview, discarding truth and sowing seeds of doubt.”

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Americans and Pastors Have Differing Views on Direction of Religious Liberty

NEWS RELEASE:

Over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence told Liberty University graduates who were celebrating Commencement that they should prepare to be “shunned” for being a Christian, especially as it becomes “acceptable and even fashionable to ridicule and discriminate against people of faith” in the United States.

Americans seem to be on track with the vice president, says the American Pastors Network According to a new Barna study, more agree that religious freedom is declining. Pastors, however, don’t seem to be as concerned.

“Just by reading the news and seeing case after case of bakers, florists and photographers head to court, Americans realize that our religious liberties are under attack,” said APN President and national radio and television host Sam Rohrer. “With fewer living by a Biblical worldview and fewer identifying as Christian, and with more calling themselves ‘nones’ and more of our politicians heading further left, how can this not be the case? Christians are—and should be—concerned that standing up for their beliefs will become increasingly more difficult. They will likely turn to their pastors and church leaders for guidance, but if ministers don’t see the risk of a loss of religious freedom, there will be a dangerous and demoralizing disconnect.”

Barna conducted the “Faith Leadership in a Divided Culture” study over four years and found that, in 2012, one-third of Americans (33%) said religious freedom was worse than the 10 years before. By 2015, that number had increased to 41% who stated religious liberty had declined, and in 2017, the number ticked up again, to 43%. In all, Barna says, “the general belief that religious freedom in the U.S. is on the decline increased by 10 percentage points over the course of five years.”

Perplexingly, though, Barna found that Protestant pastors’ concern about restrictions to religious freedom is actually decreasing, dropping from 55% in the 2014 survey of all Christian and non-Christian clergy who said they were “very concerned that religious freedom will become more restricted in the next five years.” This percentage fell to below half (49%) in the 2015-16 study and to one-third (34%) in 2017.

Rohrer said the fact that parishioner and pastor views don’t match on this issue is concerning.

“Among the most precious constitutional guarantees is the God-given right to freedom of religion, which is under attack in our nation as we speak and must be defended, lest we awake to the stark reality that while we slept, the enemy crept in unaware,” Rohrer added. “Like the proverbial frog in the water who refuses to jump out as the water temperature increases because the change happens gradually, so are freedoms lost in nations and are being lost in our nation right now. Across the broad spectrum of freedoms we’ve come to take for granted, there are increasing attacks. At first, they are only nibbles, the temperature only slightly increased. Then the nibbles become bites. The temperature goes up. At some point the water begins to boil and it’s too late to move. Then that fragile freedom is gone, never to return to that generation. History is replete with examples of such collapse, moving from freedom to bondage.”

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash