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.

Lifting Johnson Amendment Challenges Pastors to Preach All of God’s Word

Christian evangelical voters were key in the election of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The faithful made their choice at the ballot box based largely on the promises Trump and Pence made on the campaign trail and the support they showed to pastors and churches.

On Thursday, one of those promises came to fruition, as Trump signed an executive order that ensured the protection of religious liberties in America and relaxed the rules of the Johnson Amendment, which has for six decades restricted the free speech of pastors and churches.

The American Pastors Network  praised the order and celebrated the freedoms it will return to the pulpit and the pews.

“Pastors’ voices have been 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. President Trump’s action on Thursday returns decades of freedom to churches and enables pastors to freely speak truth about social issues from the pulpit.

“However, the signing of this executive order does not remedy all the issues in today’s church,” Rohrer continued. “This brought back into line what the government’s role should be in the church, but it does not completely solve why pastors have not been preaching the whole counsel of God. The path to freedom may have been paved, but it’s now up to pastors and churches to begin preaching boldly. For some, the Johnson Amendment has been a convenient excuse to shy away from the 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. Pastors now must understand that this fear factor has been temporarily removed.”

Trump said on Thursday during a National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House just before he signed the order that sermons should no longer be censored and pastors should no longer be targeted.

“In America, we do not fear people speaking freely from the pulpit,” Trump said. “We embrace it. America has a rich tradition of social change beginning in our pews and our pulpits. Perhaps there is no greater example than the historic role of the African-American church as the agent for social progress, spurring our nation to greater justice and equality. We must never infringe on the noble tradition of change from the church and progress from the pew. Under my administration, free speech does not end at the steps of a cathedral or a synagogue or any other house of worship. We are giving our churches their voices back; we are giving them back in the highest form. With this executive order, we also make clear that the federal government will never, ever penalize any person for their protected religious beliefs.”

For more than 60 years, the Johnson Amendment, proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by Congress in 1954, had prohibited tax-exempt organizations—including churches and other nonprofits—from lobbying elected officials, campaigning on behalf of a political party and supporting or opposing candidates for office. The Johnson Amendment had instilled fear in pastors, wary of losing their church’s tax-exempt status if they speak truth into cultural, societal or political issues.

“On the campaign trail,” Rohrer added, “Donald Trump and Mike Pence vowed to work on behalf of pastors to restore their pulpit freedoms, especially at a time when Christians need biblical truth and God-centered guidance spoken into their lives regarding the pressing issues of the day.”

APN also noted that research by George Barna of the American Culture & Faith Institute found that three out of four SAGE Cons (Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives) turned to resources such as voter guides, websites and other resources to gain information about their choices for the 2016 election. Overall, 61 percent specifically identified voter guides as a resource they used to help them decide how to vote. Under the current Johnson Amendment, churches may distribute voter guides as long as they are neutral in nature.

This research, Rohrer says, is a telling indicator that Christians are looking for guidance on important issues, and will likely look to the church.

“Pastors are charged by God to always speak biblical truth from the pulpit,” Rohrer said. “From abortion and marriage to tyranny in office, the Bible is very clear on social, cultural and political issues. Efforts by government to intimidate pastors on preaching biblical truth not only violate God’s direct command but are also unconstitutional. Churches, by their very nature, operate under God’s jurisdiction and, as such, have historically been tax-exempt. They predated the IRS and any other man-made provision. When it comes to preaching the truth of God’s Word, the pastor’s obligation is to God, not government. Thursday’s executive order is a step in the right direction to end these violations and restore pastors’ rights and duties.”

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

Johnson Amendment Inclusion in Executive Order Will Open Door for Pastors to Address Most Urgent Cultural Issues

Today’s inclusion of the Johnson Amendment in the executive order signed by President Donald Trump to protect religious freedom will greatly impact pastors, says the American Pastors Network.

“For years, pastors have been forced into thinking they must remain silent on the most important issues of our time,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Today’s action by President Donald Trump returns decades of freedom to churches. Pastors are charged by God to always speak biblical truth from the pulpit. From abortion and marriage to tyranny in office, the Bible is very clear on social, cultural and political issues. Efforts by government to intimidate pastors on preaching biblical truth not only violate God’s direct command but are also unconstitutional. Today, the process has begun to end those violations.”

For more than 60 years, the Johnson Amendment, proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by Congress in 1954, has prohibited tax-exempt organizations—including churches and other nonprofits—from lobbying elected officials, campaigning on behalf of a political party and supporting or opposing candidates for office. The Johnson Amendment has instilled fear in pastors, wary of losing their church’s tax-exempt status if they speak truth into cultural, societal or political issues.

Connecting Older and Younger Pastors to Address the Millennial Faith Crisis

Few would argue that there’s no disconnect between generations when it comes to matters of faith. And this is true of pastors from different generations as well, which is why the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) is embarking on a new initiative to bring together millennial pastors with those who have spent 20 or 30 years, or more, in ministry.

APN President Sam Rohrer recently talked with The Christian Post about the plan to bridge the gap between these pastors, noting that connecting biblically faithful pastors across generations is crucial both for the church and for millennials who are leaving the faith.

“If we believe, which we do, that the Scripture holds the answers to all issues of life, then in fact, the confusion of the day does not need to remain confusion of the day but it can be brought to clarity and purpose when biblical principles are applied to the issues,” Rohrer told The Christian Post.

“The Christian life, biblical truth is real,” he continued. “It changes lives, it affects everything, everything that we do no matter our station in life. So if that’s the case then we believe that God’s model is that the pulpit is the place from which that needs to come.”

So far, the response to the “bridging the gap” project has been overwhelmingly positive.

“There is a desire from many who are younger to learn from those who are older,” Rohrer said, “but there’s no bridge.”

Read the entire Christian Post article here. Read more about the American Pastors Network and its “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry here.

To interview Sam Rohrer from the American Pastors Network, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104,Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.

Bridging the Generational Gap Between Pastors

Distinct generations are attending Christian churches across the nation, and while one commonality—faith in Jesus—brings them together, they may have different reasons for attending church, becoming involved, giving, serving and growing in Christ.

The American Pastors Network knows that the pastors of these churches are also from distinct generations. It’s for this reason that APN is embarking on a new initiative to bring together millennial pastors with those who have spent 20 or 30 years, or more, in ministry.

“Over the past several months, we leaders at the American Pastors Network have had a real heart, longing and passion to connect biblically faithful older pastors with biblically faithful millennial pastors,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “We know that most older pastors do have a concern for their younger counterparts, but don’t necessarily know how to connect with them. And some millennial pastors know there is value in learning from the generations who went before them. Conversely, pastors who have been in the pulpit for decades realize they can also learn from younger pastors as well, such as about how millennials think and act, what they are looking for in a church and how they see themselves fitting into the culture.”

Rohrer added that APN will be looking for ways to “bridge the gap” between these generations so they can “stand in the gap for truth” together, such as mentoring experiences, events with relevant speakers and resources to help pastors share their knowledge with each other.

The APN president also said he has asked millennial pastors about their needs and found that APN’s “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry and the network itself are both helpful resources for both church leaders and congregations, especially as they consider the culture from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

How Can Pastors Reach Millennials?

Like many Christians, leaders from the American Pastors Network are surprised and concerned about recent research showing that the vast majority of millennials do not have a biblical worldview.

In fact, just 4 percent of millennials look at life through a biblical lens, according to the newAmerican Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI) Worldview Measurement Project, which considered how the core beliefs and behaviors of millennials compare to other adults.

This alarming discovery, coupled with the fact that the number of Americans with a biblical worldview in general is severely waning, makes pastors’ jobs even more difficult, says APN. It’s for this reason that the ministry is working toward ways to connect biblically faithful older pastors with biblically faithful millennial pastors.

“Most older faithful pastors have a concern for younger pastors but don’t always have ways to connect with them,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “And younger pastors tend to be divided into two categories: those who don’t necessarily see the value with connecting with other generations, or those young biblically faithful pastors who do long for the opportunity and are honored to be in the presence of those who have sustained, perhaps, a 40-year ministry and have remained true. Many from all age groups who truly want to connect just don’t know how—and that’s where the American Pastors Network comes in.”

Rohrer said he has been in contact with millennial senior pastors, asking them about their needs and how APN and its “Stand in the Gap” radio ministry are helpful to their churches and congregations in looking at the culture from a biblical and constitutional perspective. In the coming months, Rohrer said, APN will consider that feedback to initiate programming so older and younger pastors can walk alongside each other.

“If we can’t connect the biblically faithful pastors in the pulpit,” Rohrer added, “how we can expect them to connect with their own people on the importance of having a biblical worldview and on the most pressing societal issues of the day?”

Social science researcher George Barna, who leads ACFI, is a frequent guest on “Stand in the Gap Today.” On a recent program, Rohrer and Barna talked about the ramifications of a declining number of millennials holding a biblical worldview.

“Most pastors realize our nation is in trouble,” Rohrer said on the program. “Without a doubt, it’s divided. The enemy is within the gate, trying to collapse our current administration and destroy our constitution, but when we learn that less than 4 percent of millennials hold a biblical worldview so necessary to supporting a constitutional republic here in the United States, the concern, in many regards, is even greater. This issue of millennials and millennial values is paramount in the country, and data from the American Culture & Faith Institute helps us focus on exactly where the problems are and where the opportunities are as well.”

Rohrer also noted that the ACFI research found that, besides millennials, the biblical worldview of Americans in general is deteriorating at an alarming rate. And Barna backed up this finding.

“Twenty-four out of 25 millennials don’t have a biblical worldview,” Barna said on the show. “But be that as it may, the point is that across the country, only 10 percent of American adults have a biblical worldview. What difference does that make? In order to get to that number, we asked 40 different questions about people’s beliefs or behaviors and looked at (the answers) in a number of different ways, including generationally.”

Barna and Rohrer observed that the world is becoming increasingly more secular, especially because a worldview is engrained during childhood and adolescence, and fewer younger Americans have the same worldview as their older counterparts, which means millennials—along with Generation Xers, of which 7 percent holds a biblical worldview—are not instilling these values and beliefs in their own children.

Discoveries from the ACFI study also included the following:

  • 72 percent of adults over the age of 30 call themselves Christians, but just 59 percent of millennials do.
  • Of those who say they’re atheist, agnostic or have no religious affiliations or beliefs, 18 percent are 30 or older, and more than 28 percent are millennials
  • One-third of older adults are born again Christians, stating that they will experience eternity in heaven with God after their death because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, but far fewer millennials (20 percent) share that expectation.
  • A minority of adults 30 or older (43 percent) supports same-sex marriage, while nearly two-thirds of those under 30 (65 percent) support it.
  • Conservatives outnumber liberals by a 2:1 margin among adults 30 or older (28 percent vs. 12 percent), yet, the opposite is true among millennials—12 percent are conservative while 26 percent are liberal.
  • Millennials are the generation most likely to prefer socialism over capitalism (44 percent compared to 35 percent among older adults).
  • While just 6 percent of adults 30 or older claim to be in the LGBT community, two-and-a-half times as many millennials (15 percent) adopt that label.

Knowing these facts, Rohrer added, one of APN’s goals is to equip pastors with the tools necessary to preach about issues related to a biblical worldview. A separate study from ACFI found that just 10 percent of pastors are preaching about the most pressing cultural issues of the day.

American Pastors Network on UK Terror Attack: Appeasement in Face of Evil is Always Disastrous

ISIS has claimed responsibility for this week’s deadly attack in London, which the group said was carried out by a “soldier of the Islamic State,” the Associated Press reported yesterday morning.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer released the following statement on the act of terrorism in London that killed at least four, including an American man from Utah, a British police officer and a teacher, after the attacker plowed through 40 pedestrians with a car on Westminster Bridge, then carried out a knife attack outside Parliament, according to The Guardian.

“The terrorist attack in the UK has the world on edge,” Rohrer said. “But will the British government finally wake up and call Islamic terrorism what it is? And will Americans awaken to the threat that exists here? Appeasement to evil is always a disaster. The UK and its leaders since 9/11 have been in an appeasement mode. They must learn from Winston Churchill, who said that individual Muslims ‘may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. … and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.’

“Until we identify Islam as evil and the source of jihadism, Americans and Brits alike will be subjugated and in grave danger,” he concluded.

Rohrer and other APN leaders discuss headlines like these daily on “Stand in the Gap Today,” the radio ministry of APN that airs on 425 stations nationwide. The “Stand in the Gap” lineup of programming allows the faithful to consider news and current events from a biblical and constitutional perspective.

Missouri Pastors Network Joins American Pastors Network; Commits to Stand for Biblical Truth in All Pulpits

The American Pastors Network, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, is welcoming a new state pastors network to its growing organization.

This week, APN is launching the Missouri Pastors Network (MOPN, www.mopastors.net), a uniquely gifted group of pastors in Missouri who are joining together to “Stand in the Gap for Truth.”

“The American Pastors Network has been standing in the gap for truth around America and is growing again through the new Missouri Pastors Network,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who is also president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net). “We know that pastors there will be an invaluable support to one another as they engage their congregations to stand for truth and freedom and effect true change in the culture.”

Leading the Missouri network as its president will be J. Keith Carnahan, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in St. Robert. Joining him as vice president will be Monte Shinkle of Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City, and Steve Proctor of Westwood Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, who will serve as secretary/treasurer.

“I am excited and blessed to work with other believers and pastors in my home state through the Missouri Pastors Network to advance the cause of Christ and preserve religious liberty,” Carnahan said.

Carnahan was born into a Christian family in 1954 and was born again in 1964. Following the example of his parents, he grew up serving in their local church. Surrendering to preach the gospel at the age of 24 brought an abrupt halt to his dreams of buying the family business. Supported by his wife, Cheryn, he spent the next three years preparing for the gospel ministry. In 1981, he moved his wife and three children to southern Illinois to plant Grace Baptist Church and begin a Christian school.

The new ministry soon came into conflict with the state of Illinois, which planned to put church property on the tax rolls. Grace Baptist became the test case in this battle, and a victory was won for all churches in the state. The experience left Carnahan with the firm conviction that Christians must vigorously defend religious liberty.

In 1991, the Carnahan family returned to Missouri to accept the pastorate of Maranatha Baptist Church and school in St. Robert. The church serves the military community of Fort Leonard Wood and has experienced wonderful blessings over the past 26 years.

Carnahan continues to promote religious liberty by serving as the Legislative Director for the Missouri Association of Christian Schools. He also oversees the Committee on Legislative Education and Action for Religious Liberty (C.L.E.A.R.) in the state of Missouri.