1-30-18: Rebuilding the Spiritual Infrastructure of our Inner Cities

Isaac Crockett: 

Well thank you so much for tuning into our program today. We are joined by Dr. Gary Dull, the executive director of our Pennsylvania Pastors Network. He’s the senior pastor of the Faith Baptist Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania. We have evangelist Dave Kistler, the president of the North Carolina Pastors Network, and founder and president of Hope to the Hill Ministries. I’m Pastor Isaac Crockett, senior pastor at Hamburg Bible Church in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. We also have a returning special guest with us today, Pastor Matt Recker, senior pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Manhattan.

So, thank you so much for tuning in. We’re looking forward to talking with our special guests today. But tonight I just wanted to bring up, there’s a speech going to be coming up tonight. The President is going to be giving, actually, his first State of the Union address. I would just kind of like to know what you guys, as pastors and evangelists, think about the state of our country under the leadership of President Donald Trump.

So, Gary, this speech usually will focus a good bit on the strengths of our military and our economic position. I know that you have family members and close friends in our military. I thought I would ask you first what you think of the state of our union right now as it goes to our military and the job performance of our president in leading our military, maybe compared to the job performance of our former president, President Barack Obama.

Gary Dull:   

Really? Compared to President Barack Obama? Well, let me put it this way, Isaac. I would say that the state of the union is strong, as I see it. From the economic perspective and from the international perspective. I know that perhaps not everybody would agree with that, that may be listening to us here today. But you asked particularly as it relates to the military. You know, Isaac, under Barack Obama’s administration, our military was weakened. It was cut down, whether you are talking about our ships at sea, our airplanes, whatever the case may be. Things had been reduced, even to the point that some of the ships and some of the airplanes that we have right now can’t even float, can’t even fly, can’t even perform their duties, because they’ve just been allowed to run down. There has been a low morale amongst those who are a part of the military.

You know, I have a son who is a Major in the Army. He’s in Special Ops. He’s a Ranger. He has told me that since Donald Trump is in the White House, that the sense of morale, the sense of strength, the sense of encouragement is coming back into the military, into the Army that he joined back in 2001. I think that what we will see tonight is Donald Trump saying that the military is strong, and it’s getting stronger, and I would agree with that 100%.

Isaac Crockett:  

All right, wow. That’s a good inside look coming from your position there, and with your son. Dave, you travel all over the country, and so you see things that some of us maybe don’t see. The news is saying stock markets are at a record high, unemployment is at almost record lows. Do you see this as you travel around? Then also, when we look at the seemingly good economy, is that a credit to President Trump? Or some in the media are claiming it’s really the lingering effects that President Obama had on the economy. I guess my question for you is do you see things getting better, and do you think that if Hillary Clinton would have been elected that we would have as strong and as robust of an economy?

Dave Kistler:

Isaac, let me say this. I just left Miami, Florida, a few weeks back. I was in a very affluent area of Miami, ministering in a church there and had a chance to interact with a lot of people from that area and that economy, South Florida. It is absolutely incredible what is taking place economically. All of this is based on policy that the president has implemented. It has really nothing to do as far as lingering effects from the prior president. It has everything to do with what this president has done with deregulation. You remember he said for every one new regulation we put in place, we’re going to eliminate at least two. Some people are saying it’s closer to 20 regulations are being eliminated for every new regulation put in place. The market loves that. It is thriving on that.

We’ve had 80 some record highs on the stock market. Now right now, today, stock market’s down about 300 points. That’ll probably be temporary because of sell-off of stock in the healthcare market, or the healthcare sector. But everything that’s going on right now that I’m seeing, whether it’s Florida, whether it’s North Carolina, up into Virginia, D.C. area, it is absolutely amazing what is taking place economically. Remember guys, the effects of the tax bill do not actually go into effect until February. Here we are, guys, on the front end of it; it’s all anticipation of what’s to come. No, Isaac. It’s all the effects of what this president’s doing, and it’s really amazing to watch.

Isaac Crockett: 

Wow. More important than our economic health is the spiritual health of our nation. I want to go to our special guest. We’ll say more about him next segment, but today we have with us a New Yorker. Born and raised in New York City, in the New York City area. A pastor there for over three decades now. Very familiar, I’m sure, with the name and personality of our president, Donald Trump. Pastor Matt Recker, thank you for being on with us today. Let me ask you this quick question, then. I don’t think any of us imagined that Donald Trump would be a president that would appoint so many Christians and conservatives into such high positions, and people who follow the constitution. What is your reaction as a pastor in New York City? You’ve seen Donald Trump pretty much all your life as a celebrity. What is your reaction to seeing how he’s leading our nation? Especially spiritually?

Matt Recker:

Wow. Well, that’s an incredible question to think of President Trump leading our nation spiritually. You know? When we consider his history. As our president now, I see him … As he even spoke last week as a cheerleader for our country, and not an apologizer for our culture. That is so refreshing to me. Overall, I believe that it is shocking, in the best sort of way, to see our president, Trump, now, perhaps arguably, as the most pro-life and pro-Israel president-

Isaac Crockett:

Amen.

Matt Recker:  

Perhaps that we’ve ever even had.

Isaac Crockett:  

Amen.

Matt Recker: 

Now, if you had told me that 20 years ago, I would have thought you were absolutely crazy. I was not a Donald Trump person. I’ve never even saw one of his shows, so I would never have supported Donald Trump. I never saw that fired show that he did. I never saw it. I didn’t really follow him. I just saw that he would make the news, with all of his, you know, often his adulteries, and divorces, and remarriages, and stuff. Who would have thought this? I think it’s shocking, in the best sort of way, that now he has become the first United States president to address an anti-abortion march. Sarah Sanders, the White House secretary, said that the president is committed to protecting the life of the unborn. He’s excited to be part of this historic event. That’s incredible to me. I think it’s shocking how the liberal left is truly afraid of President Trump, and are constantly attacking him. Even yesterday, the New York Times ran two editorials on the threat of Donald Trump to abortion rights. One of them entitled “The White House Puts the Bible Before the Hippocratic Oath”. That’s incredible.

Isaac Crockett: 

Wow.

Matt Recker: 

And incredibly shocking, in a great way.

Isaac Crockett: 

Wow. That is exciting. When we come back, we’ll be speaking more with our special guest, Matt Recker, the author of “Behold the City”. We want to come back and talk about sometimes having to confront our culture with the truth, how we do it, why it’s necessary, by hearing some stories from Matt’s ministry. You really don’t want to miss out on any of this information we have coming right up after this break.

Welcome back to the program. As we do on this program and Stand in the Gap, we talk about issues that we are facing in our country in regards to our culture, and dealing with a culture that, for the most part, does not want the truth of God’s word. It seems to be that this is especially the case in many of our urban centers, our big cities. We’ve discussed, this month in particular, we’ve been looking at the issues of human trafficking, of the persecuted church, and of abortion. Right here on Stand in the Gap today. When it comes to abortion especially, New York City, unfortunately, has one of the highest rates in the world. I want to go back to our special guest now, and ask Pastor Matt Recker from Heritage Baptist Church. He’s a returning guest. I think this is your first time on with us this year, though, Matt. So, thank you so much. I want to welcome you to our program. Thanks for making time to be with us today.

Matt Recker: 

Joy to be with you.

Isaac Crockett:

But, Matt, could you maybe tell me a little information, or tell our listeners, a little bit about some of the high abortion rates that are in the city where you live and where you minister in?

Matt Recker:

Sure, Isaac. Again, thank you for having me. It’s great to be on with you in Stand in the Gap. Congratulations for the success and growth of the outreach of this program; may God continue to bring you His blessing, and continue to influence. Yeah, New York City has the highest abortion rates in the United States. When we talk about abortion, I know we can give a lot of statistics, and they kind of fly right by us. But, I want to give two statistics; hopefully make them a little memorable. The one is 60%. Just remember 60%. That is, 60% of New York City’s birthrate is abortions. That is … So, the numbers are, there were like 70,000 abortions, and 117,000 births. The city’s abortion rate is 60% of it’s birth rate. Which is astronomical. The ratio of that is, like, 600 abortions for every 1,000 live births. Another statistic that I have come across in recent years that is just so astounding about abortion …

This is general, not about New York. Just remember these numbers. 60 million. There have been about 60 million abortions since 1973. In contrast to that, there have been about 1.3 million died in all the wars of American history. Compare those numbers. 58 million to 1.3 and a half million. 58 million abortions. 1.35 million have died in all the wars of American history. The great war in this country has been against babies in the womb. Totally defenseless children. Another thing that’s very tragic about the New York City abortion situation is that more black babies have been aborted in New York City than born in New York City. The real war against black lives is the babies in the womb. In spite of this, sadly, Mayor De Blasio is a proud partner of Planned Parenthood, which is really just an abortion clinic. Abortion is a terrible, terrible tragedy. It should break our hearts as Christians, and I know it breaks the hearts of many. I really see that abortion is nothing more than Old Testament Baal worship, which had child sacrifice. Now modern-day abortion has dressed up Old Testament Baal worship and child sacrifice, and renamed it pro-choice. It’s a terrible, terrible time against God.

Gary Dull:

You know, Matt, it’s a delight to have you with us. Of course, I could remember a number of years ago on live television that I debated the director of Planned Parenthood. I said something like this at one point. That when a lady wants to have an abortion, she doesn’t think of the fact that there is life in that womb before birth. This particular lady came right back at me and said, “Yes, that is correct.” So, my response was, “Well then, every woman that has an abortion is quite selfish. Correct?” Well, she really didn’t know how to answer that question. I remember her face turning red. It’s just a sad thing to consider. You know, a few months ago, back in October of 2017, a well-known pastor in New York City was on a television program called The View. I think most of us are aware of that particular program. He was asked by cohost Joy Behar if he believed abortion was wrong. In his answer, he did not condemn abortion. In fact, his answer sounded like someone who was pro-choice when he said, and I quote, “People have to live their own convictions.” End quote. Now, since then, he has clarified that he does believe that abortion is sinful. Unfortunately, Matt, I’ve heard a lot of pastors take a politically correct attitude towards abortion along the lines of this particular pastor we’re talking about. I think that that’s very sad. But, Matt, do you ever preach against abortion in a city where you know many of the people you’re trying to evangelize are probably pro-choice?

Matt Recker: 

Sure. I mean, we have to preach the Bible. Abortion is murder. I only say that after carefully studying the Bible, and what the Bible says about life in the womb; that life clearly, scripturally, begins at conception. And life clearly grows in the womb. Bible characters were set apart from the womb, like Jeremiah, and Samson, John the Baptist. The baby in the womb is called a child. I did a series on our own radio program, 10 Reasons Why Abortion is Murder. I know that sounds inflammatory, but that is the Bible truth. You know, it’s another exciting thing, really, today. Not only do we clearly have the Bible on our side. That’s why we do need to stand against the sin of abortion. But, science is now clearly more than ever on our side. You know? That’s why the left is really, I think, in a tizzy over this. They’re losing this battle for the first time, really, in a long time. I mentioned recently in our church that abortion is one of the saddest illustrations of what Isaiah 5:20 said; where Isaiah wrote, “Woe to them that call evil good.”

Gary Dull:

Amen.

Matt Recker: 

“And good evil. That put darkness for light, and light for darkness. Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes.” I believe the Bible’s crystal clear on these things, and abortion is a way people are calling light darkness. You mentioned a pastor in New York City. That particular pastor, he’s like Tiny Tim, tiptoeing through the tulips while children die and the family’s being destroyed.

Gary Dull:    

Sad.

Matt Recker: 

His lukewarm, accommodating responses to sin, and his compromises are truly tragic. Yet, his church is growing, and filled with the stars and celebrities and things. That’s the tragedy. It’s really just … I mentioned Baal worship, earlier. That’s kind of like how Baal worship infiltrated the true worship of God, and then compromised the people of God in the land. We have to stand against it, even though it might seem popular.

Gary Dull:  

Amen.

Dave Kistler: 

Matt, you and I go back all the way to our college days. We attended the same Bible college, and it’s great to have you on the program. You have written an outstanding book called “Behold the City”. Matt, I have read a portion of that book just in the last couple of days, and it is a virtual walking museum of exciting stories and illustrations of your life in New York City. There’s one particular account I want to focus on where you chased after a man who said he had a gun. He had grabbed a lady’s purse. You pursued him down one of the streets there, Flatbush Avenue there, in New York City. When the incident was over, you wrote this comment, and you’ve included it in your book. It’s an amazing statement. I want to read it; then I want to ask you a question about it.

You said in, and I quote, “As I considered my sudden display of boldness while running down Flatbush Avenue shouting at the top of my lungs, ‘Stop that thief!’, I was ashamed at my lack of daily boldness concerning the needs of a man’s soul. A lady had had her purse stolen with perhaps a few dollars in it, and I was willing to make a fool out of myself. But what about the millions of souls in New York City held captive by Satan? Am I willing to be a fool for Christ’s sake in order to reach them with the gospel?” Wow, Matt. Powerful statement. What kind of advice would you give to listeners to this program – many of whom are actually preachers – who may be afraid at this point to be a fool for Christ’s sake in order to reach someone with the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Matt Recker: 

Yeah. Well, thank you, Dave. Thank you for your kind words about my book. I do remember that incident. It was a few years ago. I was a little younger. That thief didn’t know I was a cross country runner in high school. I’m not very fast, but I have endurance.

Gary Dull:   

Good for you.

Matt Recker:       

I just kept after him. It was kind of funny, when I look back at it, anyway. Because I was running after him, and I started running after him, and other people started following me. The thief stopped when I got around the corner, too. He stopped. Then I looked behind me. I saw more people running my way. I was like, “Come on, guys. Let’s get this thief.” He did give the purse back, and that was a blessing. But, yeah, I was willing to make a fool out of myself. I ran down the street … Remember, we were getting ready for a church supper. I was basically in a tie and I had my wingtips on. I was running down the street. I didn’t have sneakers.

Gary Dull: 

You should have … That means you flew. Wingtips.

Matt Recker:

Then, it hit me. Am I willing to do that to preach the gospel to others? What I would just simply say is, we need to pray. And ask God for boldness every day. It’s never easy. When we go out and pass out tracks in the subway, week after week … Passing out that first track, and just opening my mouth up, and telling people, “Hey, Jesus loves you.” Then I start passing out tracks. Then I get a burden to tell every person in New York City, “Jesus loves you.”

Dave Kistler: 

Amen. Amen.

Matt Recker:

And offer them a gospel track. You know? That’s what I try to do. I would say, put a track in your pocket as you leave the house. Pray, and ask God to help you give it out. Maybe give it out to your dry cleaner. Maybe give it out to the person checking you out at the supermarket. We need to see souls as God sees them; as lost. As those needing the gruesome, yet the glorious death and resurrection of Christ to forgive them. Only Jesus can. We have to see them as blinded, and deceived by Satan, the god of this world.

Isaac Crockett: 

We’ve been talking with our good friend, Pastor Matt Recker. He’s grown up in the New York City area, and he’s been pastoring and planting churches in New York City for over 30 years. During that time, I’m sure you have seen, Matt, that there are a lot of churches who seem to be moving away from the inner cities, away from the big cities. Oftentimes Christians living in our cities say that there are not enough Bible believing churches there. Matt, you wrote in your book about the difficulties facing somebody who wants to reach our cities for Christ. You said, “Humanly speaking, there are many reasons one would want to avoid the city.” Could you maybe talk about that? Some of the difficulties that there could be in coming to the city, and trying to reach folks in our big cities?

Matt Recker: 

Sure. Thank you, Isaac. Well, I would say, first of all, what’s such a concern to us is raising our children. And where they’re going to go to school, and who their friends are going to be. That’s a challenge in urban ministry; just raising our families. Parking your car. When we first lived in Flatbush, Brooklyn, we had to move our car back and forth across the street with opposite side street parking laws. We couldn’t keep a car seat in our car. Every time we had to go somewhere with the kids, or something, we had to take the car seats in and out. I call them urban inconveniences. There are many things like that. The pace of the city, the traffic in the city. Just to get from one place to another; it sometimes takes two hours to go 15 minutes, you know? It can be frustrating, and irritating. The city is the devil’s playground. It is the devil’s stronghold, and there’s a spiritual battle being fought in the urban ministry. Some of these are the reasons, but the bottom line is, Bible believing Christians, we need to stop running. I almost said to one preacher one day how so many churches, when the neighborhoods change, color and culture, many churches shrink because they don’t adjust to reach the changing culture around them. When their church shrinks, they feel like, “We got to move out of this community now.” Why? There’s more, there’s people there. People for whom Christ died. So many churches have moved when it’s changed color and culture. Bible believing Christians, I think they’ll all be pooled together in Kansas. You know? Because everybody’s moved out of the city.

Dave Kistler:

Matt, I can hear in your voice a passion for New York City, and I love every bit of it. Something you said about how long it takes you just to get around the city. Obviously, because of our ministry up on Capitol Hill, we deal with some of the same things. It’s uniquely different from New York City, but the travel times are frequently the same. My son lives about 32 miles outside the city. When we’re there, we also stay in the same location. It’s about an hour and 20 minute, hour and 30 minute drive in. Because of D.C. traffic, about another hour and 30 minute drive out at the end of the day. But I love every bit of it. I absolutely love it, like you love ministry in New York City. Let me ask you a question. I know you grew up in New York. I know that’s your background. What is it about ministry to New Yorkers that, all these years later, 33 years after you planted your first ministry there, that still ignites a passion in your heart?

Matt Recker: 

Ultimately, Dave, it’s the word of God in my soul. That keeps the passion. That’s really it. It’s a passion for the people that are here in the city. Because God has much people in this city. That’s what keeps me going in the city. I think that, two, why many have avoided urban ministry in a place like New York is because of our definition of success that we have in our mind for what is a successful ministry. It’s difficult to attain in urban ministry. In other words, if I were to say, “Having a successful ministry is buying land, building a building, and growing a church after I have bought land and built it”, then I’m a failure. I’ve failed in urban ministry. Our church is 20 years old, and we’re still being kicked to the sidewalk. And having to find space here or there. As far as the passion, it still comes by the word of God, and by the Holy Spirit. Working through those times of discouragement, and seeming failure, but knowing that this is where God has called me to be.

Gary Dull: 

You know, Matt, I praise the Lord that you are there in Manhattan. I, as Dave said, I’m very familiar with Washington, D.C. I lived there for a number of years, and I pastored a number of years. During the period of time that I pastored there, a lot of churches moved out of inside Washington to the suburbs, to Virginia, to Maryland. Consequently, it created the situation that allowed even greater sinfulness to be brought into the city, because there was less Evangelism going on. It’s really a serious thing to take into consideration. I have heard in some situations, however, that some of those churches that have gone out of the city now are trying to come back into the city with their ministry. But, Matt, you wrote, and I quote your words, “Paul understood that one of the best vehicles of propagation of the gospel was the city.” Now, let’s take a look at the Apostle Paul. How is a big city like Rome that he was involved with in his day or New York City in our day a vehicle for sharing the gospel around the world, Matt?

Matt Recker: 

Yeah. Well, there is that old saying that all roads led to Rome. I believe Paul understood the power of the influence that a city has. Because since all roads lead to Rome, all roads also led from Rome. If the gospel can break into the city, then the gospel can break out of the city. That’s why I wrote that statement that Paul understood that one of the best vehicles to propagate the gospel was the city. Because the city doesn’t stand still. The city is constantly moving. In other words, people are coming into our cities right now from all around the world. Immigrants are coming. As immigrants come, people are being pushed out. We have to try to get the gospel to people, because they’re going to be moving on. They’ll be going somewhere else and then, Lord willing, bring the gospel with them. The idea of the city being a propagator of the gospel … And I really believe that Paul was a jungle rat, but an urban jungle rat. When he was on his missionary journeys, really, the second missionary journey when he got his first call to a specific place, and it was to Macedonia … Which was a general area of northern Greece, but then he went to the cheap cities of Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea. From there on, from that point on until the end of his life, he stayed in the city to Rome. All the way to Rome. I believe that Paul saw that the city was the opportunity to reach the world in one place. If we’re called to carry the gospel to the world, which we are, the world is in the city. That’s Paul’s urban attitude, and that should be the urban attitude we have. Not the fearful, media-created bias attitude that often plagues many of our modern minds.

Isaac Crockett: 

Oh, wow. Thank you. That’s very helpful, Matt. We just have a couple of minutes before the break on this segment. I wonder if you could maybe share with our listeners maybe some Bible passages or some biblical principles that can help us, encourage us, to go out of our way to minister to people even in cases where people look a lot different than us, or come from a different background than us.

Matt Recker: 

Yeah. As I mentioned earlier, really, my passion for the city comes first from the Bible. Then from experience. But, the Bible verses that have been most meaningful to me for urban ministry are Acts 18:10. Paul in Corinth. God telling Paul, “Be not afraid, but speak. Hold not your peace, for I have much people in this city.” That is a powerful verse that I’ve always … I feel like that’s for New York City, and that promises for me in New York City. God has been true to that verse, as well to me. Micah 6:9. Where it says, “The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city. The man of wisdom shall see thy name.” So, I believe God’s voice is crying to the city, and I want to be that voice for him in our city. Then, Jonah 4:10. God says, “Should not I spare Nineveh?” That is, God’s heart and passion is for the cities that his people want to run from. Like, Jonah was running from Nineveh. He wanted God to just destroy it. You know? But he had a burden for the city.

Isaac Crockett:  

Wow, amen. You know, in this show we talk about a biblical worldview, and looking at these issues from the Bible. It’s so clear to see God’s redemptive plan will make a difference in our neighborhoods, wherever we are; but especially when it comes to our big cities; to urban ministry. We need to see God at work, and we need Christians there willing to be the light, willing to confront darkness as children of light. Walking carefully, circumspectly; not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time.

Welcome back, and it’s hard to believe that this is already our last segment. We’ve had our special guest with us, Pastor Matt Recker from New York City. He’s also the author of many different pamphlets, and articles, and has done radio and YouTube things on his own. He’s also written two books. “Behold the City” and “Living on the Edge of Eternity”. Both of which I would highly recommend to our listeners. As we’ve been talking with him about confronting our culture with a biblical worldview, especially looking at inner city ministry, Matt, could you just remind our listeners, just go over some of the quick biblical commands that we’ve been given to evangelize our cities with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Matt Recker:

Yes, Isaac. Can I also just, before I answer that question, I would like to share a blessing and also a prayer request for our ministry here. I mentioned earlier that our church is, we’re coming up on our 22nd year. Through these years, on Sundays, we’ve met in schools of various kinds; public schools, private schools. We’ve been kicked out of various places. We’ve fought with the, you know, there’s a whole big legal battle between the Board of Education and churches meeting in schools. Which we’re able to do, now; right now. But we don’t know for how long. We could be literally kicked out, right, today, from our Sunday morning meeting place; we just never know. Recently, we were also asked by our Midtown office location that they were not going to renew our lease. They said they don’t want to rent to churches. We had to find another office space. We were paying, at the other place, $6,555 a month. I don’t know if that’s a lot of money to you, but $6,555 is a lot for our church. It’s a small place. We couldn’t even have Sunday morning church there. That was just during the week. Anyway, we got kicked out of there. We found another place. It’s a lot smaller. It’s a little less money. Our goal has been to buy our own condominium space. We’re not trying to buy land to build a building; we’re trying to literally buy, like, a commercial condo place within a big building. That’s what we’ve been trying to do. We’d like to raise about 1.5 million dollars. We have about 700,000. Which is a lot of money, still, but not enough to really do what we want to do. The point I want to say, and I want to praise God, and I also want to ask your prayers, and your listeners to pray for God to bless us in this city, is yesterday we got the biggest gift we ever have received. Somebody gave our church $75,000 yesterday. Which was such a sign from the Lord. Our first day in this new, smaller office – which we’re hoping will be temporary, so we can get our new place – and we had our biggest gift ever. That was such a blessing, you know. Wanted to share that.

Dave Kistler:

Matt, let me jump in and ask you a quick question here. I know we’ve got just about two and a half minutes-

Matt Recker:  

Yeah, just a couple of minutes. Yeah.

Dave Kistler:

Yeah, we have just a couple of minutes. Could you very quickly just … I mean, I know there’s a long story to it, but share with us a little bit how you personally came to faith in Jesus Christ.

Matt Recker:

I was a lost drug addict, pot smoking college student at Clemson. Some wonderful people at Clemson started witnessing to me, and they led me to the Lord. That’s the bottom line. They showed me Jesus, and I realized I was a sinner. I was on my way to hell. I needed Jesus Christ to save me. I never understood, Dave, that I was a sinner. I heard that Jesus died for me, but I thought I was a good person. It wasn’t until I realized I wasn’t a good person, I was a sinner. And I was going to die and go to hell. Then I understood why Jesus died for me. Then they told me about this church in Manhattan. I started going to that church in Manhattan and God, from there, as I mentioned earlier, used verses like Acts 18:10, and Micah 6:9, and Jonah 1, verse 2. “Arise, and go to Nineveh, and commissioned passages to reach every creature, and go to all nations.” From there, God just gave me a burden for the city.

Isaac Crockett:

Amen. That burden has now taken you for over 30 years planting churches, pastoring churches, and writing this book, “Behold the City”. Which, again, I would encourage folks who are interested in this … I like some of the things you have in there. Chapters like how an ordinary person can go about doing this. It’s just neat to see how God’s hand of blessing has been upon you. I thank you for being on our show today, and for some of the reminders coming from the Bible of what we need to do; that there are much people in the city, and to be praying for boldness for all of us, that we’d be willing to go out and to find people to witness to, and to share the story of how God has worked in our lives. I’m going to go to Dr. Gary Dull, and ask, Pastor Gary, if you could wrap things up for our program today, and close our time in prayer. We just appreciate so much having this opportunity to speak to you, our listeners, today, and to talk about what God is doing in spite of the evil and the darkness in our culture; that we have been called to be children of light, and to stand up for the great one, the light of the world, Jesus Christ, our loving savior.

Gary Dull:

Matt, I want to thank you very much for being with us today, and giving us the challenge to reach all people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. You know, I often say that every time you hear of a murder, every time you hear of an abortion, every time you hear of crime, that if that person would have been reached for Christ, the chances that that crime would have taken place would be a whole lot less. Thank you, Matt Recker, for your ministry there in Manhattan at the Heritage Baptist Church. Ladies and gentlemen, I would encourage you to be praying for this very valid ministry in the heart of New York City.

1-26-18: 215 Million Reasons to Take Islam Seriously

Sam Rohrer:                

Well have you ever been maligned or made fun of perhaps? Perhaps ridiculed by a classmate or a fellow worker or maybe embarrassed by a teacher because of something that you said or because of something that you believe? Well, if you have, and my guess is most of you listening to me right now have had one or more of those things happen to you in your lifetime. But, if I were to ask you, “Have you ever been beaten, thrown into jail, or publicly humiliated at the hands of government officials because of your faith in Jesus Christ,” likely very few listening to me right now have ever experienced that. If you have, then you may have in fact suffered biblical persecution. Today around the world there’s more persecution of people because of their faith in Jesus Christ than in the entire history of the world, or so that’s what the numbers are saying.

Yet, sadly, very few people know about it. So today on this program, we’re going to focus on Christian persecution. Our general theme is going to be this: slow motion holocaust, Christian persecution around the world. And we’re going to define what it is and what it’s not. We’re going to define and show where it’s happening, who’s primarily doing it, and why. And then we’re going to conclude at the end of the program with what we can do about it.

And with that I want to welcome you to Stand in the Gap Today, I’m Sam Rohrer, host of Stand in the Gap Today and I’m going to be joined today by my co-host, Dr. Gary Dull, Senior Pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Altoona, Pennsylvania, and Gary’s also the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pastor’s Network. Our special and first time guest to Stand in the Gap Today will be Dave Bailey, he’s an educational consultant, he’s an author of two books. One of them is Dare to Speak: Islam vs Free Democracy and Free Enterprise, which was published in 2006, and the most recent one, 2013 book entitled Shock and Alarm: What it was really like at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

So as we move now into this topic today, ladies and gentleman, I’d like to define persecution first of all, in a general sense, okay? Now here’s the definition, and I pulled this from Websters 1829 dictionary, frankly where I like to go for definitions of words. They seem to be more accurate to the original. But the definition here of persecution is this: it’s the infliction of pain, punishment or death upon others, and keyword, unjustly. Particularly for adhering to a religious creed or mode of worship, either by way of penalty or by compelling them to renounce their principles. All right? So infliction of pain, punishment, death, unjustly doing so, generally because of something that they believe.

Now, Gary, you heard the definition I just gave there, it’s in a general sense, but I want to zero in on Christian persecution as we go in the program today. And I’m gonna want you to define what biblical persecution, what it is. But, before you do that, let me just read down through a couple of things of what biblical persecution is not. So, ladies and gentleman, I’m going to give you just a few things here, but this is not Christian persecution.

For instance, a personal controversy with someone. Persecution, true, Christian persecution is not someone just making fun of you. It’s not an economic downturn or being caught out of work like the Great Depression. That was not persecution. Persecution is not necessarily war. The War for Independence, the Civil War, or World Wars I and II, were not primarily persecution even though all of them were marked with extensive death and suffering. Persecution is not something you get for doing wrong, such as being sent to jail for repeatedly refusing to pay your taxes. And persecution is not God’s corrective discipline for personal disobedience or the result of biblical principle of reaping and sowing. In other words, if you just do the wrong things, and make wrong choices all the time, bad things will happen to you, that’s not persecution either.

All right, now. Gary, let me go back to you, with those kind of things out of it, what it’s not, build out if you would just a little bit, what the Bible defines as true biblical, we say, Christian persecution, read it as defined by the Bible. Could you do that please?

Gary Dull:

Well Sam, I’m glad you went down through that list of what it is not because down through the years I’ve heard people say, “I’m being persecuted for Christ,” and they don’t really know what persecution for Christ is all about. That was very excellent that you elaborated upon that. You know the Bible tells us that persecution is something that we can expect in Second Timothy 3 in verse 12 it says, “Yea, and all that live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” And over in First Peter, chapter 2 in verse 21 it tells us that persecution is something that we are called unto. In fact, I would encourage every one of you who are listeners today to read through First Peter, because First Peter has a lot to say about persecution.

But biblical persecution, or persecution for Christ, is action that is designed to intimidate, physically harm, or kill people because of Christ. And the key component there is because of Jesus Christ. In other words, persecution is a result of doing what Christ commands us to do and living as Christ commands us to live. It’s the result of refusing to bow down to the God of government or culture and it’s the result of refusing to renounce the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the name above all names. And I’ve often said to my congregation, Sam, if somebody would walk up to you with a 12-gauge shotgun and say, “Denounce Christ or die,” what would you do? And of course, you know, if you did not denounce Christ and get shot, obviously, that’s persecution.

But this is real. And there are many nations of the world where persecution is going on today. And I would encourage people, before I turn it back to you, if you get the opportunity ladies and gentleman, to get Richard Wurmbrand’s book entitled, Tortured for Christ, do so. It will be a great challenge to you and it will help you to understand what this concept of being persecuted for Jesus Christ is all about. Sam.

Sam Rohrer:

Gary, we have just about half a minute before we go to the break, let me just ask you, do you think that you have ever really experienced biblical Christian persecution?

Gary Dull:

Well, that’s a very good question, Sam. I mean, you know, maybe been mocked, been laughed at, our church has been picketed because there’s certain stands we’ve taken upon the Gospel that maybe in a little sense that’s persecution, but it’s nothing like many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are going through in the world around us today.

Sam Rohrer:  

And Gary, it’s not surprising me that you answered it that way because if you would have asked me the same question, I would have said exactly what you said. But ladies and gentleman, that probably is what, as I said at the start of the program, very few will have actually experienced in this country, true infliction of pain or punishment because of our faith in Jesus Christ. However, that’s not the case for much of the world.

Our general theme for today, is slow motion holocaust, Christian persecution around the world. We just dealt with the issue of what Christian persecution is not and what it is. But next question is, where is this happening? Well the very sad fact is that persecution, and specifically Christian persecution in particular, has risen its ugly head around the world in ways not seen before. Over the centuries since the days of Nero and the Christians in the Colosseum to the days of Stalin and Hitler and the current days of ISIS, Christians have been persecuted and martyred for their faith all around the world.

In this segment I want to identify where persecution is happening today. And to help us walk through this subject will be our special guest, Dave Bailey. He’s an educational consultant and he’s an author. His most recent book was entitled Shock and Alarm: What it was really like at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. And with that today, Bailey, I’d like to welcome you to the program. Thank you for being with us today.

Dave Bailey:

Thank you.

Sam Rohrer:   

So let me go right off here to the first obvious question, Dave, and that is this, how bad is Christian persecution around the world today? And how does the frequency and the extent of Christian persecution today compare to what we know from years past? Can you walk into that with us please?

Dave Bailey:

It is remarkable today. According to Open Doors U.S.A., which is a tremendous resource, I recommend to anyone, they claim that 215,000,000 Christians are living under persecution today. And while the worst of the countries for Christians to live in is North Korea, North Korea is really sort of an isolated case. It’s not like North Korea is trying to spread its ideology around the world or anything like that. After that, the line goes down to Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, let’s see what else we have here, we have Iran, India, Saudi Arabia, Rabia, Maldives, Nigeria, Syria, Uzbekistan, and the key point here is what you’ll see is Islam is the common theme to all of these. With the possible exception of Eritrea, which even though has a large Muslim population, is just in sort of dictatorial chaos. So it’s a little hard to pin it strictly on Islam. But the key point here is that there is a single ideology driving this persecution in every other one of these countries outside of North Korea.

Gary Dull:

You know it’s a delight to have you with us, Dave, and it’s amazing to see how this persecution is going on around the world and many people simply are not aware of it and I appreciate you mentioning some of these nations where persecution among Christians is the greatest but are you familiar with Voice of the Martyrs?

Dave Bailey:

Oh yes. Fantastic organization and it’s founder, Mr. Wurmbrand, tremendous man with a tremendous story and what he endured was just incredible.

Gary Dull:

Absolutely. And as I mentioned in the first segment, his book Tortured for Christ is a great book for people to read. But recently the Voice of the Martyrs put out a map, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it or not, but they highlighted some of the nations of the world that are hostile towards Christianity and other nations of the world where Christianity is restricted. And I am wondering if you would not mind from your understanding of those two terms as it relates to persecution, explain to our audience what it means in talking about persecution, what is a restricted nation and what is a nation where Christianity is hostile? There’s hostility towards it.

Dave Bailey:

Yeah, that’s a very important thing to understand. A hostile nation means that Christians are being persecuted more like on an individual basis, that is either through chaos or just a predominance of hostility towards Christians. Individuals feel like they can feel free to attack Christians with impunity. Whereas with restricted nations, it is policy of the government itself, that is the government itself is restricting Christianity from a legal perspective. Either making it illegal, making it illegal to build churches, having laws that do things like provide a death penalty imprisonment for conversion to Christianity from another religion. And that primarily happens with Islamic nations.

Sam Rohrer: 

Dave, let me pick up on that a little bit more. I’m looking at another map. Gary was talking about he was looking at one map there. I’m looking at another map, Open Doors, which you have already sited, opendoorsusa.org. Ladies and gentleman you can go to that site and you can see what we’re talking about. I encourage you to do that, but on the map I’m looking at there, they’ve actually taken the whole world and laid it out there on a flat map, and they’ve identified the countries of the world in three different colors. One of them in yellow, the way they have it, is it designates high persecution. Tan color is very high persecution and then orange is designating extreme persecution.

And if I count this right, there are ten on that list that they have that are designated as extreme. And I believe that you did identify those countries at least in the list that you just went over. But as I compare this extreme persecution here as they have laid it out, you and I, and we’ve made the theme this program, we used the word holocaust, slow motion holocaust. When you look at that combined with all the things that you know, and we’re talking about now, why do you believe that that designation, slow motion holocaust is an accurate designation? Is that really what we’re witnessing?

Dave Bailey: 

Yes, it is. And it operates in different phases depending on the conditions on the ground, okay? For example, Afghanistan’s listed by Open Doors as the number two worst place for Christian persecution and a few years ago I remember reading an article where Afghanistan was celebrating the demolition of it’s last church. Now, the point there is, that in Afghanistan the persecution has basically come to it’s full conclusion. All the churches have now been wiped out and the Muslims there are very happy about it. They celebrate, okay?

And back in 2006 time-frame I remember there was a story about a man who converted to Christianity and it was discovered by his wife because he was found to have a Bible next to his bed, and for that he was imprisoned and was facing the death penalty and fortunately, I believe Italy intervened and the government of Afghanistan very neatly declared him to be mentally insane and exiled him off to Italy and that’s how his life was preserved. But that’s how complete the persecution is there. And the key point here is it’s not like the Islamist seek dominance and once they have established dominance they’re gonna let people go, take it easy. They are not satisfied until all other religions are completely extinguished, and they see Christianity as actually their number one rival, okay?

So it operates in phases and it does not let up. It just gets worse, okay? And the key thing to understand with that, is there’s Sharia law and if you see these countries sort of operating in similar ways, it’s because they are all following variations of Sharia Law, which may differ from one place to another, but fundamentally with regard to people of other faith like Christians, the treatment is the same and it just tightens the noose as control increases.

Sam Rohrer: 

Okay. Now I’m gonna jump in here again, I got Gary, I know you got a question. Hold it, if you can, just a minute. The next segment we’re gonna go more into the who and the why of what you’re talking about there.

Dave Bailey:  

Right.

Sam Rohrer:

But on that map, it’s interesting. I do not see China, really listed on that map. Yet, at least it’s not one of the extreme ones but I’m also looking at an article here today that just came out today that was passed along to me. The title of it is 215,000,000 Christians persecuted, says mostly by Muslims, but it goes into and it talks about an example here in China, where China just very recently actually went in and burned a building, a church, where 50,000, it was a registered church but they burned it to the ground because it was getting too big.

And then this morning I heard on the news, a different news broadcast, saying that the Chinese government had moved into churches as they had them, known them, or as they were underground, that had identified them, and were ordering people to give back their ties, actually the church to give back the ties of the constituents because it was illegal. Now, China is neither Muslim nor is it North Korea. How do you classify China?

Dave Bailey:

China is moving kind of in the right direction. They at one time were, I would say, every bit as persecutorial towards Christianity as North Korea was. The key difference is they’ve slowly been convinced that maybe Christianity isn’t as much of a threat to their power as they once thought. But the key thing is they are always obsessed with their own power and anything that they see as a threat to their power they will seek to crush. And so this is largely a way of asserting their power over the church and that’s what they want to maintain.

Sam Rohrer: 

But in reality, Dave, and Gary, that is persecution to some extent but slightly different, but still the same. Ladies and gentleman, we’re talking about persecution today. Slow motion holocaust, Christian persecution around the world. It’s bigger than ever. It’s in countries all around the world as we move into this next segment, we’ve defined Christian persecution, what it is and what it’s not, important to start there with the definition. Secondly, we’ve identified in the last segment, where it is happening and it’s happening, really, across the world but if you take a look at a big map, laid out and stretched out where you have the entire world flat before you like you see in some of the maps, the heaviest concentration is in the Middle East and it runs all through the Middle East and over into Pakistan and then over China and North Korea. But the biggest bulk is in North Africa and the Middle East. If you could think about that, that’s where most is happening.

But in this segment we want to talk about who’s doing it? Who is inflicting persecution on Christians and why? Now we talked about it just a little bit in this last segment but we want to bear down with it a bit more here. In the study of Christian persecution there are certain drivers, put it in that perspective. Perhaps the very worst, in my opinion, is government. When government gets involved in working against its citizens, it becomes, in my opinion, and I think as most would analyze persecution, become pretty extreme because government has the power to imprison you, to kill you and to bring a lot of factors to bear that are perhaps worse than other drivers. But, in other cases and places like that, about the only thing that can stop a government, once it’s engaged in persecuting people, about the only thing that can stop that is some other government from the outside coming in and waging war against them to defeat them. Kind of like what happened with Hitler and Stalin in wars past.

But there are other drivers of persecution as well. These are societal factors. They’re religious and non-religious leaders, they can inflict persecution. Extended family, organized crime cartels and a host of others that we would put under the broader category of society. So you have government, then you have society. But, to me, Gary and Dave, as I am thinking about this, to me it seems like the worst all of persecutors are when you combine the sanction of religious authority with the power of government to actually bring all powers to bear and throw you in jail or to kill you. When these come together, it seems that that’s when, for now according to the map at Open Doors U.S.A., when things become extreme, extreme persecution, it seems like they’re committed or they’re combined.

So with that, I want to welcome back into the program Dave Bailey, Dave is an education consultant, author of Shock and Alarm: What it was really like at the U.S. Embassy, he’s a member of Gideons International as well. He does a lot of different things, a lot of writing and so forth, but Dave, I wanna bring you back in right now and just ask you, from your research who are the major drivers of persecution, Christian persecution today around the world. Governments, religious entities, perhaps syndicated crime entities, and you can give me your comment as well at what I just said about the combining of religious and civil authority is perhaps the worst driver, but give me thoughts on this as you analyze the whole world, basically, and what’s happening here in the area of Christian persecution.

Dave Bailey: 

Well thank you. In another era, I would have said communism, okay? Invariably it is a political ideology. It’s just communism has sort of lost its luster and people who hate Christianity or whatever, have kind of moved on to a large degree. The new political ideology that has risen up as the great persecutor of Christianity is Sharia Law, which is associated with Islam. And the reason why I say Sharia Law, is that is not necessarily governmental, it transcends government individual Islamist, okay? Now that isn’t necessarily any old Muslim, I mean what I’ve seen is there are two kinds of Muslims. There are devout Muslims, those are ones who really follow Sharia Law, take it very seriously. And then there’s the Muslims who don’t want to be killed by devout Muslims, so they’re just as much terrorized by the devout Muslims as anybody else is. So it’s an important distinction to keep in mind.

But the key thing is Islam empowers individual Muslims to enforce Sharia Law, personally, whether or not there is a government doing it. And that’s very important to understand. Because, just because you don’t have a government enforcing Sharia, doesn’t mean that you are not going to be affected by Sharia. And that is what I would call the greatest threat that we are facing today and to the extent that Sharia has power, the greater the power the more of the threat there is. If there’s any power at all, it is somewhat of a threat to you. That’s why here even in the United States, we are affected by terrorism.

We talked about, you know, are we being persecuted. Well, I don’t know about you, but our church has started a new policy where we’re locking the doors once the church service starts and we have somebody keeping an eye out for somebody deciding to come out and attack our church. Now we haven’t been affected directly ourselves, but because of terrorism elsewhere, this is what terrorism does. The whole point of terrorism is to make an example, essentially, of someone so everybody else has to watch out, has to tow the line, has to keep quiet and not do anything that will turn the sights onto them. So, we are affected by terrorism. If your church is now keeping guard, shutting the doors, locking the doors, changing their behaviors, you are affected by terrorism.

Gary Dull:  

You know, that’s very interesting, Dave, that you bring that out because I Pastor a church here in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and for several years we’ve had a security team but recently we have just hired a professional security force to guard us while we are in church for a long time we’ve locked our doors when people get in. And it’s unfortunate that you’ve got to do that, but you do have to do that today. But you know, just something that I want to make as an observation and then perhaps you can comment on it. I’m going to be going to India, I’ll be there three weeks from today as a matter of fact. And when I applied for my visa, they wanted me to sign a paper that said I would not preach or do anything religious in the country. Which means that the, you know, I couldn’t, if you want to push it, I couldn’t pray, I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t whatever in the name of the Lord.

And a Mission that I developed a number of years ago, well we have missionaries there in India, and one of the things that I have learned from our missionaries there is that even though Islam is recognized perhaps as the number one persecutors of Christians in many areas, in India, Dave, Hinduism is starting to persecute Christians. And what they are doing there is that they are attempting, that is the Hindu religion, is attempting to get the government to stand with them to persecute Christians so there again, you would see the coming together of a religious entity as well as a governmental entity. Most people don’t think that Hindus persecute. But in some portions of the world, they’re doing that from what I understand. Your thoughts?

Dave Bailey:    

Well, that’s an excellent point and I’m glad you brought it up. There’s a fundamental difference. Now what you’re saying is absolutely true. I’ve been reading about it myself, but there is a fundamental difference. And the fundamental difference is Hinduism is not a proselytizing faith in the way that either Christianity or Islam is. The reason you’re seeing that persecution is motivated by defensive thinking. That is, Hinduism in fact, is on a relative decline whereas other religions are increasing, Hinduism is kind of holding steady or declining, going down. And they’re feeling that. They feel threatened. So it’s a response to feeling threatened. When Christians are proselytizing in India, what that does is they’re actually proselytizing most of the people at the bottom of the caste system, because they have something to offer those people that the Hindu caste system does not offer. And that’s attracting them and that’s upsetting the whole social order over there and that’s what’s driving it, okay? And so it’s not like the persecution of Christians by Hindus is going to start happening here in the United States with Hindus who are coming over from India, it’s localized to that particular area where Hindus are feeling like they have to defend their faith from the infiltration.

Sam Rohrer:  

As we move now into our final segment here, we’ve tried to undertake, really ladies and gentleman, in a very surface way. Because we could spend hours and hours on this matter of Christian persecution. We tried to define what it is and what it’s not, where it’s taking place, and who primarily is the instigator. Now, we’ve mentioned that when it comes to the who, that the worst offender now, is the Islamic ideology and is what our guest Dave Bailey just said in the last segment, that what makes Islamic ideology so critical in this matter is that they as a religion, as the religion component political system, they are bent on dominating the world. So there is a great zealousness behind what they’re doing. And because of Sharia Law concept it empowers the individual to take power or action into their own hands.

Now there are some governments in the Middle East, some of the worst offenders are Pakistan and Somalia and Sudan, these are Muslim nations by and large, but it is the combining with the empowering of the individual, that’s an interesting point we want to bring out here. But the reality of it is that Christian persecution is undeniable. It is on the increase. There are more being persecuted now than, as far as we can let tell by looking back than has ever happened. The drivers of persecution though, regardless of the circumstance will always surface where the citizens or the nation’s leaders deny the God of the Bible. They deny the person of Jesus Christ and they embrace the lie that says that man can become God. At that point then things began to really unwind.

So whether the ideology is Emperor worship with Nero, communism with Stalin, or Nazism with Hitler, or Islam with Muhammad, or Hinduism we’re talking about, any of these, the question is, “What can we do about it as Christian persecution is increasing around the world?” And Gary, I want to go to you first, from your perspective here, you just said you’re going to be going to China, you’ve already suffered a little bit because they basically said, “We won’t let you into our country unless you promise not to speak about Christ,” that’s an amazing thing, Gary. So it’s happening in a lot of ways but persecution, you said earlier, shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who truly live Godly, but build that out just a little bit about the reality of persecution, just so we know, that regardless of where we are, what country we may find ourself in, that point that Christ made, is eternally true.

Gary Dull: 

Well, it is, and of course I’m actually going to India, not China this time.

Sam Rohrer:

Did I, I got that wrong, India, yes sir.

Gary Dull:

But it’s the same neck of the woods, I guess, but yeah, I am doing that. But you know, you talk about Second Timothy 3, in verse 12 that says, that we can expect persecution to a certain degree. But I also think of First Peter and I would encourage every one of you who are listening today to do some studying in First Peter, because it’s dedicated to preparing us, equipping us for suffering. And in First Peter chapter 4 in verse 12, it says, “Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice in as much as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings. That when his glory shall be revealed, yea may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Then he says, “If yea be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are yea.” And then of course it goes on so you see, that goes back to what our definition of persecution is.

Being persecuted for the cause of Christ. Not for something we might do, necessarily, that would be wrong, but being persecuted or reproached because the fact that we are standing for Jesus Christ. So in reality I think that throughout the pages of scripture, Sam, you can see that persecution should not come as a surprise even though it is true that we here in the United States of America, don’t face persecution to any degree compared to many other countries of the world do.

Sam Rohrer: 

And Gary, you did not say it, but I’m gonna just put in, ladies and gentleman, we should therefore pray for those. We may not be able to help directly, but we can pray for those. But we can also, there are entities, Open Doors U.S.A. and others are entities that help them. There are other groups and us bringing these things to attention are a part of what we can do. Dave, let me go to you right now because the fact that persecution clearly something that’s clear, we know that, but as I said earlier, when governments get involved in actually persecuting their people, about the only thing that can stop that are other governments and to a large extent, the U.S. government has probably had as much to do with stopping persecution in countries that have persecuted their people more than anybody perhaps in time.

And just two days ago, Sam Brownback, Governor Sam Brownback was approved, just narrowly, by the U.S. Senate to become the first Ambassador at large for religious liberty. I think this is one of his issues as well, but speak a little bit Dave, as to what governments can do, what our government through policy can do to help limit and stop the degree of Christian persecution we’re seeing around the world.

Dave Bailey: 

I thank you. The first thing I would say is remember we live in a democracy. And so if we expect our government to take the right actions, we ourselves have to be educated. So my recommendation to everyone is take the time to understand Islam. Even if it’s just a little bit, even if it’s in bits and chunks, don’t avoid the subject. I think one of our great problems in this country is people know it’s an unpleasant subject and they just avoid it like the plague. But that self-imposed ignorance basically makes it impossible for our leaders to make the right decisions because we’re either electing the wrong people to lead us or we’re not holding them to our principles. Because we’re not even aware that those principles are under threat.

With that in mind I have a newsletter called Islam Update, and if you contact this station say you’d like to subscribe to it, just do that and word will get back to me and I will provide that with you. And it’s simply current events throughout the world with regard to Islam and you can just see it in yourself from news reports. Not from me, from reports from the news and you can form your own conclusions. The other thing we can do as far as our leaders are concerned is beware of entanglements. We keep trying to turn Islam into something that it isn’t.

And that case that I brought up about Afghanistan in 2006, the most significant thing about that guy who was caught converting to Christianity and was put on trial for his life and was ready to be killed, but through last minute actions he was declared insane and sent off to Italy, the key thing to keep in mind is that all took place under a government that we helped establish. Now how the heck does that happen? The other part of it is the practical extermination of Christianity in the Middle East, largely in Iraq, that didn’t start with ISIS. That started when we came in and took over Iraq and the key point there is trying to set up democratic institutions doesn’t solve the problem if fundamentally you have a people that want to be governed by Sharia Law. You just get a democratic version of Sharia Law, which essentially is what we have in Iran, okay? And so that is so important.

Recorded APN Conference Call with George Barna on Feb. 6, 2018

On February 6, 2018, author, speaker and social science researcher George Barna joined the American Pastors Network for a pastors conference call on the topic of “The State of the Church”. Barna presented research from the American Culture and Faith Institute on the latest findings across the nation on topics of faith,  morality, biblical worldview, politics and more.

1-22-18: Finding God’s Love After Abortion

 

 

 

Sam Rohrer:

Well, today marks the 45th anniversary of perhaps the most dreadful United
States Supreme Court decision in the history of our nation. That decision turned
this nation from a nation of life to a nation of death, and that decision
guaranteed God’s judgment on a nation that was once birthed by God’s divine
providence. It's resulted in 90 times more deaths than all of the soldiers killed in
the battlefield in all of the US wars since 1775. That's right. Let me repeat that,
at over 60 million deaths this court case has sentenced to death 90 times more
people to death than all of the soldiers killed in all US battles since 1775. That
infamous court decision was none other than Roe v Wade which passed January
22nd, 1973, 45 years ago by a vote of seven to two.

Well, this week has also been declared by President Donald Trump to be the
annual sanctity of life week, appropriately so. We're going to focus today's
program on life. Our general theme for today is celebrate life. God does. We're
going to look at why life is sacred from God's perspective, here right off.
Segment two and three we're going to get a personal testimony from a woman
who yielded to the temptation to have an abortion, but then found redemption
and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, as we discuss a few of the personal costs
as well as the cultural costs of rejecting life. Then in the last segment we're
going to look at how we can restore a culture of life in our nation once again.

With that as a roadmap for today's program I want to welcome you to Stand In
The Gap Today, I'm Sam Rohrer host of the program here, and I'm going to be
joined by Pastor Gary Dull, senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Altoona,
Pennsylvania, and also executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network,
as well as evangelist Dave Kistler, president of our North Carolina Pastors
Network, and president of Hope to the Hill in Washington, DC, and then our
very special guest Kim Ketola host of Cradle My Heart Today, that radio program
that she hosts. She's also the author of Amazon's number one bestseller Cradle
My Heart: Finding God's Love After Abortion.

Well, Dave and Gary, it's great to be back together with you two guys after this
weekend here on this national program that God's given us the privilege of
communicating all over America on nearly 450 radio stations on this program
alone, including now in the City of Washington, DC that covers Virginia,
Maryland, Delaware, Southern Pennsylvania. I think because of this topic today
talking about a Supreme Court case, really appropriate that we're there in that
market. Dave, I'd like to get some comment from you here. I think you listened
to some of the comments made at the rally, March for Life rally on Friday of last
week, but just before I ask you for your comments I'd like to play just a very
short clip, an introductory statement actually by Vice President Pence as he
welcomed that large gathering there to Washington, DC. If you could play that,
Russ.

Mike Pence:

More than 240 years ago our founders wrote words that have echoed through
the ages. They declared these truths to be self-evident that we are each of us
endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these

are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 45 years ago the Supreme Court of
the United States turned its back on the inalienable right to life, but in that
moment our movement began, a movement that continues to win hearts and
minds, a movement defined by generosity, compassion and love, and a
movement that one year ago tomorrow inaugurated the most pro life President
in American history, President Donald Trump.

Sam Rohrer:

Well, Dave, those were just a few of the comments from Vice President Pence.
First of all I'd just like to ask you just a general brief comment of what you
thought the Vice President said and then build out at least one element of why
the foundation of our constitutionally protected freedoms and rights here are
so intricately linked to life.

Dave Kistler:

Sam, let me say this, I think it's ironic almost but more than fitting that as Vice
President was speaking you heard a little baby's cry in the background, and that
is an amazing, amazing thing. He is 100% correct. These are the foundational
principles upon which our country was established, the first one being an
inalienable right given to us by almighty God, and that is life. His comments
were incredible, but then the President following up on what the Vice President
had to say, coming out as the first President in the history of the country to ever
as a sitting President to address that group was stellar. Sam, I think what it
signaled was a cataclysmic moral paradigm shift in the United States of America.
It is beyond encouraging.

Sam Rohrer:

Gary, let me go to you because I agree with what Dave just said, and I'm going
to play a clip in the next segment, a short portion of what the President said. I'd
like to take you, have Gary, from God's perspective give us a very short treatise
on why life being so sacred to God, why is that? Why because of that we should
view all life to be so sacred?

Gary Dull:

Well, I would draw your attention Sam to two verses of scripture, one back in
Genesis 2:7 where it says and the Lord God formed man of the dust of the
ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living
soul. Then over in the Book of Acts 17:28 the word of God says: "For in him that
is in God we live and move and have our being, as certain also of your poets
have said, for we are also his offspring." I could comment greatly on both of
those passages of scripture, but the reason why God values life is because he is
the creator of life. He has breathed into the nostrils of Adam life and, of course,
that's been passed down to us. Then as is brought out there in Acts chapter 17,
we are his offspring and so we are made in God's image, therefore we should
respect life as we respect God and what he did in the creating of mankind.

Sam Rohrer:

Gary, you are correct. All of us could spend a long time here, but ladies and
gentlemen what Gary just said, what Dave just said, God is the source of all life.
He created it. He breathed into that first body that he made. He breathed in life.
We're made in God's image. We are therefore special. We are therefore sacred.
When we cast off God in our minds and we cast off his commands, we cast off the sacredness of life. That's what our country has done and much of the world
has done for a long time, but never with good results.

Recognizing the sacredness of life as a gift from God and finding its sole source
in a loving creator God is one of the most profound decisions an individual, a
family, or a nation must take. To choose life results in blessings untold for the
individual and the individual as well. To choose death is a choice that results in
sorrow individually and for a nation God's judgment. Perhaps the most
applicable verse in all of scripture is found in the Book of Deuteronomy in a
section of verses of there, and it's these. I want to put down and list out for you
right now God's warning. This was a warning to the Nation of Israel who God
wanted to bless.

He said in chapter 30, verses 15 and 16 and following, it says this, God says:
"See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the
commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today by loving the
Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by keeping his commandments and
his statutes and his rules then you shall live and multiply and the Lord your God
will bless you and the land that you're entering to take possession of it. If your
heart turns away and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other
Gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you will surely perish." Then in
verse 19 it says: "I call heaven and Earth to witness against you today that I have
set before you life and death, blessing and curse, therefore choose life that you
and your offspring may live."

Now, while this is often applied to the modern pro life movement and it's right
to do so in principle, this promise is a national promise, and so its implications
are enormous when it comes to national blessing or national judgment. It starts
with individuals like you and me here today. It's my honor to welcome now to
Stand In The Gap Today a woman who was all too familiar with the personal
side of this decision to choose. Her name is Kim Ketola. She's the host and
executive producer of her own radio program, Cradle My Heart Today, and
author of a bestselling book about her life on this very subject entitled Cradle
My Heart: Finding God's Love After Abortion. With that I want to welcome to
Stand In The Gap Today Kim Ketola. Kim, thank you for being with us today.

Kim Ketola:

I appreciate it. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Sam Rohrer:

Well, Kim, it's really wonderful and it's an honor for us to have you on the
program today. You've been a real blessing to many, many women and men
across this nation as well. I'm glad that you've really taken the time to share just
a bit of your story with our listeners across the country today. Before I ask you
to share your story, I'd like to play a less than one minute clip, Kim, of President
Trump's address to the March for Life rally in DC on Friday. Just a short clip.
Russ, if you'd play that please.

Donald Trump:

Thousands of families, students and patriots and really just great citizens gather
here in our nation's capital. You come from many backgrounds, many places,

but you all come for one beautiful cause to build a society where life is
celebrated, protected and cherished. The March for Life is a movement born out
of love. You love your families. You love your neighbors. You love our nation and
you love every child born and unborn because you believe that every life is
sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God.

Sam Rohrer:

Well, we've been talking about that. Life, a gift from God. Kim, on this infamous
45th anniversary day of the Supreme Court Roe v Wade declaring that the
taking of life of the unborn was legal and effectively put their fist in the face of
God, our creator. How significant is, first of all, that our President Donald Trump
spoke to the March for Life from your perspective and made those comments
that I just played? Just your comments please before we get into your
testimony.

Kim Ketola:

It's amazing to me that he's the first President to do so. I think other Presidents,
maybe it's a technology thing because they could do it via satellite from the
Rose Garden, but other Presidents have phoned in remarks. This is an event that
for over 45 years has been drawing hundreds of thousands of people to our
nation's capital to make their voices heard on behalf of the youngest members
of the human family here in our nation. I applaud President Trump. I don't think
we have to agree with him about everything to see that this is a very good thing
that he did in aligning himself with the cause of life this month.

Sam Rohrer:

Kim, certainly it is a delight to have you with us, and you've got quite a
testimony and you've written a book on a very important topic that has helped
many women, mothers and fathers and families together no doubt, because it
relates to this terrible crime of abortion. You've entitled your book Cradle My
Heart: Finding God's Love After Abortion, and I think that's very significant,
because there are a lot of people, a lot of ladies who've had abortion and after
those abortions they've just felt terrible. They need to know about the love of
God. Now, I know you've shared your story many, many times and it's difficult
every time you share it, but if you would please I'd like to ask you to share with
us a bit now of your story of your testimony. You evidently found yourself
pregnant and very fearful. Share just a little bit with our audience today what
this was like for you and how you went through it please.

Kim Ketola:

Sure. Well, I was in a relationship and it was a committed relationship, and so
we were sexual active before marriage, which I knew to be wrong but I wasn't
thinking about whether it was right or wrong. Moral considerations were not at
the top of my mind. I guess I considered myself a good enough person, and I
certainly had never heard any teaching about the sanctity of human life when I
found myself pregnant. I thought, "Oh, well we'll get married. I'll tell him and we'll just quietly get married and save our reputations." Instead, he wanted to
save his future by eliminating the child. This was a shock to me and I was
mortified that he would treat me that way. I didn't have any resources to stand
up for myself. I didn't have any principles on which to stand, which I think is the
most important thing for us to really realize when we think about how can
women do this.

We have some sort of an innate sense in our conscience that there's another life
involved, but of course as is still happening the abortion industry sold me the
deception that an early pregnancy does not equal a child. It's just tissue. We
picture that and they're still telling women that. I wasn't ignorant. I was an
educated person. I knew about the birds and the bees, but I somehow believed
that this was not going to be taking a life. God intervened that day at the very
last minute to wake me up to what was happening and to let me know that it
was wrong. Now, I was not a follower of Jesus Christ. I had the remnant of some
childhood teaching, but I believe the Holy Spirit has given a moment of grace
like that, a moment of truth like that to countless others because I've heard
their stories. Many brave women at that point get up. Many women at that
point are held in place by workers in the abortion industry, and I've heard many
of those stories as well.

As for me, I didn't know what to do with that information, and they say it's fight
or flight, but the third option we have when we're panicked is to freeze, and
that's what I did. Although I knew it was wrong, and although it really was not
my choice, it was something others had chosen for me I passively allowed it to
happen. That engendered in me a knowledge that in my heart I had behaved as
a coward. I knew that I was then the last line of defense against the death of an
innocent child, and yet I protected myself instead. It's coming to grips with that
knowledge of your character, coming to grips with God's judgment, as he must
judge that justly, that drove me to finally seek my healing and write about what
that journey was like when I wrote Cradle My Heart.

Dave Kistler:

Kim, let me ask you this, and it is a delight to have you aboard. How quickly after
you succumbed to this abortion did you come to a personal relationship with
Jesus Christ?

Kim Ketola:

It took many, many long years and the abortion absolutely impeded it. My first
question was does God hate me. My next question was am I going to hell. My
next question was what about the baby, have I doomed a baby to hell? I had a
lot of ignorance. I had a lot of misconceptions about God, but the fear drove my
lack of a relationship with God and when that would become intolerable I would
just deny that it was ever a problem at all. I would sink into the cultural
rationalizations: "Well, it was the best that I could do. It's legal. He wasn't there for me." Whatever it is that we tell ourselves. Then when the truth would dawn
once again, there was just an endless cycle of despair and denial, and despair
and denial. That lasted for over 20 years until a woman spoke the truth of God's
word to me from 1 John 1:8-9 and told me that that forgiveness and cleansing
was for me personally.

Praise God, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and I was given the gift of faith and I
believed. It was probably a period of maybe 10 years of attrition feeling worse
because now I knew that Christ had died for my sins, but I had no idea how to
reconcile this particular action. Yes, I think abortion destroys the spiritual lives
of women, I know that firsthand, and I know it from the many stories that I've
heard and told as well.

Sam Rohrer:

Let me go back now into our discussion with Kim. We're looking right now at the
ugly impact side of the equation, that decision made years ago. As God told
Israel in that Deuteronomy passage, blessings both national and personal would
result from choosing to obey God and follow his commands. He said that by so
doing that would result in choosing life, but choosing death and hardship and
judgment both nationally and personally would result also from rejecting God
and his commands which are all about preserving and working with the
sacredness of human life created in his image, and it's the same as choosing
death. The cost is always high of choosing death personally, culturally,
economically.

Now to talk about this further I want to go back to our discussion with Kim Ketola. Kim, I'd like you to pick up just a little bit before we get into looking at
some cultural impacts of abortion on this nation, or frankly any nation. You
were talking about it was 20 years that you dealt with some guilt and all of that
associated with it. Talk to us a little bit about the downside of not choosing life.
What kind of scars, what kind of difficulty are we bearing as individuals involved
or families involved in this type of thing? Just give us some insight if you could
please.

Kim Ketola:

Well, I was extremely angry with the people who failed to support me. I was not
able to forgive when it would have been appropriate to forgive and would have
freed me from that experience. I poured myself into my career with a
vengeance, because after all what had it cost me? Then because I had that
abortion three months in to meeting my goal of starting a radio career in
Minneapolis and Saint Paul. I was on the air continuously there for over 30
years. I was part of the cultural landscape. You just couldn't escape me. I was 23
years old and just starting out in that launch phase. That's when most women
choose abortion, by the way, it's not primarily a poor women's problem. It's not primarily women of color. It's primarily middle class white women in the launch
phase who are choosing abortions to protect their income and to protect their
future, and that's what I was doing. I was a poster child for that.

As I advanced in that career I had no peace, you know unless the Lord builds the
house, those who build it labor in vain. With every bit of success, with every bit
of advancement a guilty conscience would tell me that I didn't deserve it and I
shouldn't enjoy it. I was terrified that people would find out what I had done,
once I did become a Christian in my late 30s. I had children. I married and had
children. That marriage had no chance. Christ was not at the center of it, but I
was not healed. I was working out all my issues, trying to, within this marriage
that was crippled by a lack of faith. Abortion, it definitely impacted my
parenting. I became very overprotective of my firstborn, and it was very difficult
for me to bond with my children when they were young. I didn't trust myself. I
knew I had harmed my first child, my child that's in heaven now, and so all of
these ways are … There are many others.

We have in the research a sixfold increase in suicide and suicidal gestures in
Finland, and that research is pure because they have national health care and because the women there, there's no stigma, and there's no disincentive to
report as we have here in America. Finland has had to address it as a public
health crisis. They haven't been all that successful. There's still, I think, a twofold
increase now after all their interventions. I thank God I didn't go to that level of
despair, but it's absolutely a potential for those who have an abortion
experience, one or more.

Dave Kistler:

Kim, let me ask you this question. I am the son of a father who came out of a
very dysfunctional and broken home. I've heard him describe many, many times
before he went home to be with the Lord about how difficult it was in that
broken home, ordered out of the home when he was a 14 year old, lived with
seven different families from the time he was a teenager until he graduated
from college, and he struggled with a lot of issues as a result of that. He made
this statement that I've never forgotten, he said, "The moment God gave me
victory was when I realized that God loved me as much as he loved anyone else,
and that verse of scripture in the Bible that says when my father and mother
forsake me then the Lord will take me up."

I would love for you to describe if you could the moment you realized there is
forgiveness available in the person of Jesus Christ for this act of abortion I
committed and there is a bright future ahead for me. I'd love for you to describe
a little of that if you could.

Kim Ketola: That's a pleasure and that's a joy. I think what it drives toward is for everybody listening to this to understand that one of our primary purposes here is to be
Christ's dwelling place among men, that the Holy Spirit, our bodies are meant
for that. Women can understand that as vessels of new life, but until we are
indwelled by the Holy Spirit we're likely to do just about anything with our
bodies and with our lives. Yes, grasping God's love was the game changer for
me, and it happened at a retreat. I was watching the passion being played out,
and Christ was being crucified, and they asked us to put ourselves in the drama
and to determine who we were, who best reflected the state of our heart at
that moment.

I saw Pilate who was just being political and trying to extract what he could out
of it for himself and I saw his wife who somehow supernaturally knew the truth
but had nothing to stand on to influence anybody with that truth, and I saw the
weeping women who were with him, suffering with him. I saw those guards
who gambled for his cloak, and I had to admit that, as I've told you, I had been
saved. I had accepted Christ as my savior 10 years earlier, but I had not made
him the goal of my faith. I had not called him Lord. I had not submitted to his
lordship in my life. As I watched him being crucified for me and saw them and
their callousness gambling for his cloak, I saw how I was trying to cloak myself
with salvation at his expense when he had already paid it all for me.

I don't know, somehow his bravery allowed me to step over the line and say, "I
have no excuse. I am guilty of everything including that abortion, and I will take
whatever sentence you deem fit for me. I don't want you to suffer for me in this way anymore." I still can be moved to think about the beauty of his bravery on
our behalf. Praise God, I did, I expected to be condemned, vaporized, I don't
know exactly what. It was just like whatever happens I have to repent. Praise
God, instead of smiting me, he spoke into my spirit and said tell them I love
them. Tell them I love them, that that's what this cross is about. That's why it's my joy to bring up that difficult day and everything that went with it to warn
others but also to shine a light on the goodness of Christ and just how far he
went to bring me back to himself.

Sam Rohrer:

Amen.

Gary Dull:

Kim, in your speaking there I'm reminded of the Book of Lamentations 3 that
tells us that if it would not be for the mercy of the Lord we would be consumed,
and how we can thank God for his mercy. I can imagine there's some lady
listening to us right at this very moment who is feeling very, very lost and lonely
because of an abortion that she has had. Could you just take a few minutes and
share with her what the mercy of God really is like and how it can affect her
right now?

Kim Ketola:

Well, I know that the following day God provided someone who said I had an
abortion and allowed me to confess it out loud to another person. I said, "I did
too." She held me and we wept, and in that moment I felt a supernatural
knowledge that my child was safe in the arms of our savior. This is what really
released me, that I no longer needed to protect and guard that awful day. I no
longer needed to stay attached to the grief over the loss of my child. I want you
to know that as a woman who's had an abortion we can so easily get our
emotional wires crossed. We read that grief as guilt. Sometimes, we're
Christian, we know we're forgiven but we can't let it go. I want to tell you that's probably grief, and it's not God's plan for you to languish in it even one more day.

There are abortion recovery ministries in the pregnancy health community
everywhere that can help you and get you started on a pathway to peace,
pathway to joy and a pathway to freedom to be able to share your experience,
when it's appropriate, with others.

Sam Rohrer:

On this 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade and all that has happened after that our
focus has been on life. Celebrating life, because God did at creation and he does
still to this very day. Our last segment, we want to continue as we complete the
solution segment here the theme restoring a culture of life, God's remedy. Now,
in John 3:16 the verse in the Book of John starts with the words, "Because God
so loved the world that he gave his only son." That was Jesus Christ, who came
and furthered the plan of redemption started at creation by God the father. He,
Jesus Christ, provided the only way to heal the deepest pains, the ugliest scars,
and to reclaim so much of what has been lost.

Now, in this solution segment we want to continue with Kim Ketola about how
she found healing and comfort after submitting to an abortion many, many

years ago. Kim, your book that you wrote it's about your life journey, some of
what you just shared in the last segment. As a mother you were confronted with
a pregnancy that was overwhelming. You opted for an abortion. Yet, in your
grief some time years later you said you found redemption and hope and all
that God gives in response from doing things his way when you trusted Christ as
your savior. Now, I want you to go just a little bit further into this, because you
are speaking for hundreds of thousands of women, and you've shared some
insights into what you went through in your heart and your mind.

Go through just a little bit of that again as we look at God's remedy for healing.
Now, you are looking back and you've been healed. You've given testimony of
that, but there are a lot of women, fathers perhaps, husbands who maybe have
been involved in the whole of this thing as well and they have not yet found that
healing. Go into that just a little bit more if you can in this solution segment.

Kim Ketola:

Sure. Our solution, you know I worked up my material for the book, for Cradle
My Heart, while giving conference workshops while I was traveling with Ruth
Graham. We had about an hour and a half to deal with this topic, if you can
imagine. What can you possibly give someone about something so complex?
The answer is the gospel, and the answer is these healing encounters that Jesus
had with individuals, not parables. No. I'm talking about the portraits in our
family album of the Bible. We started with the lame man at the pool in John's
Gospel when Jesus asked him do you want to get well. The first time you read
that you're like, "What in the world? The guy's been lame on the sidewalk for 38 years. What kind of a question is that?"

I have found after abortion many of us don't want to get well. We cling to it. It
becomes part of our identity. "I will never forgive that. I can never be forgiven."
No, that is not Jesus' purpose and he zeroed in on blame, and he's talking about
how to motivate ourselves to move on from blame. As it says in Philippians,
forgetting the past, press on. Jesus said, "Do you want to get well? Get up. Pick
up your mat and walk. Pick up your baggage and let's get out of here." Then we
have the encounter of, of course, the woman at the well where Jesus said, "I
know every …" Her testimony was he told me everything I ever did, and yet he
came to talk to her and not about her sin but about her thirst and about true
worship. There's a key for you. Get in church and find a way to worship in truth
and be in community and in fellowship with other believers who can lift you up,
and you can confess and be healed as it says in James.

Oh my goodness, the story of the bleeding woman at the hem of his robe, and
again, this stunning question: "Who touched me?" You're Jesus. You know
everything. Why would he ask that? Because he wanted her to be able to stand
up and say, "What I could not do for myself to make myself pure in my impurity,
Jesus has just done for me. He has imputed righteousness to me miraculously."
What I love about her story is she's the only one that Jesus calls his daughter.
After abortion, we have this bodily shame that we know we've been defiled. We
know that our bodies have been misused. The very purpose of our female
anatomy has been disrupted and destroyed, and in many cases we've been maimed. Our fertility has been forever impacted. We can't fix that, but Jesus
comes and makes us clean, and then he calls us his daughters.

Oh my goodness, the things that Jesus did for the individuals who met him and
walked away healed I think are so, so powerful. I wrote this book for those who
can't go to an abortion recovery ministry immediately, or maybe they just don't
want to. It's not meant to be a complete resource, so you've got to be in
fellowship with other people and you've got to feel their arms around you.
You've got to allow them to receive your tears and assure you in person of God's
love for you.

Sam Rohrer:

Well, Kim, I wrote down a couple of things that you were saying there. You said
and identified these points of decision. One, you need to want to be healed. You
need to want healing. You said must be the desire to worship, which means
there's got to be a God focus. There will never be any healing without looking
towards the healer, that's God. Come to Christ, that's what redemption is all
about, and then when we put our faith and trust in him, he cleans all of those
things that have happened in the past, and then you stated finally must stay in
fellowship, because we need each other. I think those are great, great points.
Kim, have you found anyone, have you run into any woman or anyone your
point in life where this simple approach to healing has not yet worked? Will it
work for anyone?

Kim Ketola:

What is the GK Chesterton quote? It's not that people have tried the gospel and
found it wanting, it's that they've never tried it at all. No. I haven't, and in fact I've heard from many, many women that the material that we assembled in this
book has been so helpful, because again, it's the personality, it's the ministry
personality of Jesus Christ brought to life and applied to this issue, to our issue. I
think that's the help that people need. It's not that they don't really want to
believe. It's that they don't understand what it means for me. They don't know how to place themselves in a bigger story. Instead what happens when we don't
know how to do that we become sitting ducks and we become extras in Satan's
evil drama. We don't even know he's directing the action. We don't even know where all of the condemnation and all of the lack of peace and problems are
coming from. This is the beauty of life in Christ.

Sam Rohrer:

Well, Kim, we are just about done. Ladies and gentlemen, you're hearing something
that probably pertains to a lot of you. First of all, I recommend go to Jesus
Christ, clearly, obviously. Go to the word of God. It's the book that tells us all
about it. Kim, you share a personal testimony in your book. Where can people
go perhaps to get a copy of your book? Restate the title of it again and where
they can go to pick up your personal history.

Kim Ketola:

Thank you. I appreciate that. It's Cradle My Heart: Finding God's Love After
Abortion, and it's available wherever you can find books. Our website is
cradlemyheart.org. It's a love offering. All of our net proceeds go to the
pregnancy health community, so we don't have any profit motive in this
whatsoever. We're blessed to be able to do that, and we also are blessed to have some donors. If you can't afford it, we can make books available to you
without expense as well.

Sam Rohrer:

Well, Kim Ketola, thank you so much for being with us today on Stand In The

Gap Today,

1-16-18: Is Trump’s Philosophy of “Putting America First” in conflict with Biblical Truth?

Isaac Crockett:   

All right. Well, thank you so much for tuning into our program today. We are joined, of course, by the honorable Sam Rohrer, who is the president of the American Pastors Network and also evangelist Dave Kistler, who’s the president of the North Carolina chapter of the Pastors Network. He’s the founder and president of Hope to the Hill Ministries. I’m Pastor Isaac Crockett, senior pastor at Hamburg Bible Church in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Well, as we begin our program today, I want to think back to yesterday, where Martin Luther King Jr. Day we started out with some powerful and timely quotes directly from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today, I would like to revisit a topic that we’ve talked about often and that really kind of hinges on that part of equality that we talked about yesterday and that is the topic of immigration in the United States. I want to examine what the Bible teaches us about this topic.

Now, many in our listening audience have heard me before and you know that my family is about as much of the all-American melting pot as one can get. My grandparents immigrated to the United States from different countries. They met here in college. My mother grew up in Europe. I’ve had family members living in five different continents and my wife immigrated to the United States from India. She became a citizen as a child in elementary or middle school. A few weeks ago, my family, we were walking into a restaurant, my wife and my three children, when two women who I don’t know were walking past and one of them started kind of staring at me and staring at my family. Then she turned to me and she said, “Mail order bride, huh?” Evidently, she thought it was strange that I would be with my wife, who is of Indian descent, and our children, who take after my wife, considerably darker than I am.

I thought about that. I thought wow, that was very unusual. It’s not normal. Usually, my family and I, we fit well in our country because we have such a diverse country. Dave, I wanted to just ask you on your thoughts. I know that your wife’s family immigrated to our country and then also know that as an evangelist, you’ve traveled all over the states, but also, all over the world. Just like to get your thoughts on this. Do you think that America is more diverse or less diverse than other countries and do you think that the people in America, that Americans are more accepting or less accepting of foreigners than most countries?

Dave Kistler: 

Well, Sam, or, excuse me, Isaac, that’s a great question. I think it depends on which country you would compare America to. Obviously, we are an incredibly diverse country. We’re probably on par with most of the European countries, certainly with the United Kingdom, but if you were compare us to maybe African countries or other countries, we may be more or less accepting and more or less diverse. I think we’re pretty much on par with the European continent.

Isaac Crockett:

Very interesting. I think sometimes we get kicked around as if we’re not very accepting when in reality, we probably are very much similar to other countries. Well, Sam, our president has made it clear that his goal is to put America first in all of our policies. Now, many people have reacted to that policy of him putting America first, including a lot of Christians and speaking myself as somebody and younger evangelical, I know a lot of my peers have criticized him and have claimed that that is very unloving and some even saying ungodly. Looking at that policy of putting America first, taking our nation’s and making our nation’s efforts important, looking at from a biblical worldview, putting on our biblical lenses, so to speak, is that in line with the Christian philosophy, do you think?

Sam Rohrer:

Well, Isaac, it absolutely is to favor one’s country, to support one’s country. Why do I say that? Well, because the idea that countries are nations factors into it that if we understand God’s view, a biblical worldview, we understand that God forms nations. The Book of Acts it actually talks about God laying out the nations with their borders, geographical borders, from before time, so God established them because God works through nations. He raised it up. That’s why He instituted civil government, which He talks about in Romans 13 and other places and so nations have borders. Nations have personalities. Think of Israel, very distinctive nation. God picked Israel and God said, “I’m going to make of you, Abraham, a great nation and I am going to bless the nations of the world,” so clearly God favors nations. With them comes along the ability and the right to support them and to pray for them. When we pray for those in authority, we are to pray for … We don’t pray necessarily for everybody in positions of authority everywhere in the world. The idea is that we pray for those in authority over us and who we answer to.

 

Isaac, the idea of our nation first is biblical. It fits the biblical precedent and it fits the model as what God established with Israel, so anyway, so I’m just going to stop right there, but no, the president is on solid ground when he talks about we should favor our nation because this is where we are citizens. We’re hopefully citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, but we are citizens of the United States, if we are, and therefore, we have a loyalty to this nation.

Isaac Crockett: 

Thank you, Sam. That helps as a Christian seeking to put God first, being a citizen of Heaven to realize that we can still be patriotic and still be a citizen of Heaven. Along with that, Dave, I wonder as we think through some of the things that are being said about our president because the refugees coming into our country and we’ve discussed this a lot on our program. That’s something that comes up often and again, comparing our country as a country that was founded on Christian principles, unfortunately, we’re getting away from those principles in many ways, but what makes us good is the good things that we were founded upon. Do you think that the average Muslim-majority country is anywhere near as accepting of foreigners and of people from other religions as we are in America and even with the refugee crisis, do we see Muslim countries stepping up to do more for Muslim refugees than what America and European countries are doing?

Dave Kistler:

Well, Isaac, let me answer the second question first. The answer is a definitive no, we do not see the Muslim countries stepping up and accepting refugees. In fact, over the last couple of years, as we’ve seen this influx onto the European continent of Muslim refugees, the Muslim world has not responded. They’re expecting Europe to respond. They’re expecting America by extension to respond, but they are not responding.

Then to answer your first question, are Muslim countries as accepting of foreigners as we are here in America? Again, the answer to that is a very definitive no. I have traveled a good portion of the world. I have been in countries that are either majority Muslim or are approaching, very rapidly going to become majority Muslim and here’s the dirty little secret. It’s the grand hypocrisy. What the Muslim world crusades for in America, what they want to do is have their opportunity to worship in their mosques and live their Sharia law lifestyle. If that were reversed and Christians were to call for the same thing in a majority-Muslim country, they would be denied. They have been denied. They are being denied. There’s a grand hypocrisy here going on, Isaac.

Isaac Crockett:  

Thank you, Dave. That’s good, I think, for all of us to remember this context. I know growing up in a family where my grandfather was in the Dutch Underground, he saw the totalitarian regime of Hitler firsthand. He loved this country. He loved this country before he ever came to it and became a citizen and yet, he loved God. He got saved actually seeing Christians give their lives for the cause in the Dutch Underground and was able to come over to America eventually. He loved what America stands for and he loved being a citizen and so what an important time to remember the context of what God has done in this country and to be able to be proud of that.

Well, welcome back to the program. We are talking about the issues that we are facing in our country, especially with this topic of immigration. I want to start out this segment by playing a clip of then Senator Barack Obama when he was running for president in 2008. In this clip, he’s going to promise comprehensive immigration reform and border security as a top priority in his first year as president. Russ, if you could go ahead and play clip one, please.

Barack Obama: 

The American people need us to put an end to the petty partisanship that passes for politics in Washington. They need us to enact comprehensive immigration reform once and for all. We can’t wait 20 years from now to do it. We can’t wait 10 years from now to do it. We need it done by the end of my first term as president of the United States of America and I will make it a top priority in my first year as president not only because we have an obligation to secure our borders and get control of who comes in and out of our country, not only because we have to crack down on employers who are abusing undocumented immigrants instead of hiring citizens, but because we have to finally bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.

Isaac Crockett:

All right. Sam, I think there’s a lot of things he said in that speech that are very good. In fact, I almost think that if President Trump were to say those same things, the liberals, progressives, the mainstream media would take it apart and claim that it was being racist or something. Unfortunately, I do not think that President Obama tried to make comprehensive immigration reform and border security a top priority during his first year of office. In fact, I believe it wasn’t until 2012 that he actually enacted DACA. Could you maybe tell our listeners why DACA is unconstitutional and explain why President Trump and his Department of Justice said that they really had to reverse it for legal reasons?

Sam Rohrer: 

Isaac, I would like to and if I could, let me interject a thought here because I think you made a good point. You said what Barack Obama said long ago, if President Trump would have said the same things, what would we see? I want to bring something here into application because what Barack Obama said and what Donald Trump said is that they both recognized a problem that faces all Americans, all the citizens know it. The difference is what is the goal of immigration reform? What was Barack Obama meaning by what he said? Well, it’s evidenced by what he did. What he said and what he did was he also, other clips could be played, he made it a point, if you recall, where he said his goal was to fundamentally change America. That was including that it wasn’t run by old white men. He made those statements. He wanted to change the mix and the culture of America.

Well, how do you do that? Well, through immigration. When Barack Obama said he wants to have immigration reform, he used the right words, but his goal was clearly something totally different than a Donald Trump who says immigration reform is needed because everybody knows it, but I want to make America great again. One diminishes the role of America and our culture as we have known it, Barack Obama. Donald Trump said we have to control immigration or we’re going to fundamentally forever change the culture of America so that it’s no longer what it used to be.

Into that context walks the whole DACA thing. Now, that’s when President Obama stepped in, made an executive order to try and make the children of illegal immigrants basically legal. Well, he couldn’t do that because immigration law is passed by Congress, so it was an executive order. President Trump has to deal with it because it’s a matter of being up in statutory law and so when the president just a couple weeks ago said we need to deal with this issue, he made it very clear Congress needed to deal with this issue and to make it a statutory, congressional-acted thing because he said, “I don’t have the power to actually do it.” You have that circumstance. You’ve got the children here. Barack Obama said all the way up to 31 years of age we’re going to let them stay if they want. Well, that was not something that he could do.

I’m answering your question in a different way, that President Trump has got to deal with it because President Obama did by executive order, usurped congressional authority relative to any matter of immigration, which happens to focus on the children who are here by illegal parents, immigrants, but Congress is the one that has to deal with it. That’s what President Trump has been appropriately saying. We got a problem. Everybody knows it, but Congress, you’ve got to deal with it. He’s saying we’ve got to deal with it so that it makes America great, basically, what America used to be and the immigration law reflecting that, counter, though, to what Barack Obama was doing, saying, and enacting.

Isaac Crockett:

With that, Sam, I was very disappointed when Barack Obama did not make comprehensive immigration reform. I know a lot of dreamers and the difficulties that they go through because of what happened and by putting it in this temporary executive order that every two years they have to be declared again, they’re not really citizens. They’re in no-man’s land. They’re kind of in limbo. Dave, kind of along with that, in this speech, President Obama said that we have to secure our borders and get control and he talked about bringing the undocumented immigrants or illegal immigrants out of the shadows. I have heard harrowing stories from some of my friends who have come over to the US illegally. I wouldn’t wish those experiences on anyone. They are not like the Superbowl commercial of a mother and daughter jumping on a pickup truck and coming to the border. A large number of those who cross illegally, they die. Many of the women and children, if not most of them, are violated in the worst imaginable ways. When they get to a place in America, many of them are still at the mercy of those same corrupt human traffickers that brought them here illegally. Dave, can this sort of painful and violent system of illegal immigration, how can anybody consider that humane or helpful to keep that going and why do you think maybe many progressives and liberals are against a crackdown on this illegal activity?

Dave Kistler: 

Well, again, Isaac, the questions you are asking are outstanding and again exposes the grand hypocrisy on the part of so many in Washington, DC who claim that we need to be a nation that just accepts anyone and everyone and they overlook the very scenario you’ve just described. It is horrific and women are treated in the most horrific ways when they attempt to immigrate here and many of those that attempt to come die either before they get here or die after they get here. It is an incredibly tragic scenario.

The question you asked though that demands an answer is why do they not want to crack down on this kind of activity. Why do they want to continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally and these kind of things happen? Well, you’ve got to understand and Sam, I think, alluded to it very well in the last response that he gave you. We’ve got those that want a globalist approach as opposed to a president right now that wants to have a very nationalistic approach. I don’t mean by that white nationalism. I mean a strong love of country and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think we established in the first segment that that’s biblical.

Some on the part of the left, some of the progressives, see this influx of illegal immigrants as a great way to pad their voter base. That’s a very selfish thing, while others have a far more sinister thing in mind. They literally want to see the influx of immigrants coming into this country illegally to reshape the entire United States of America and remake it, as Sam so eloquently said Barack Obama stated very, very clearly. Either way, this has to stop and as Sam said, our president must deal with it.

Isaac Crockett:  

Sam, when it comes to DACA, when it comes to the refugee crisis, many well-meaning Christians and we talked about this just a little bit, but they’ve spoken out against President Trump for his actions. Could you maybe share with our listeners some of the things, some of the Scriptures that these professing Christians are twisting out of context to call for open borders and then could you maybe give us some biblical context for having the borders that you started to allude to in the first segment?

Sam Rohrer:  

Yeah, I can just briefly, Isaac, and that is this. The whole concept of nations is God’s idea. That’s where we got to start, God’s idea. The United Nations concept of today are trying to convince people that borders mean nothing, that we’re global citizens, rather than citizens of a particular nation. God established nations. Acts 17 talks about that, so we have nations. Nations have borders. Nations have a common worship of a common view of God. They have a common language. That’s the definition of a nation. When there is an attack on those things, there is an attack on nationhood, which then moves us right into the global concept which ultimately we know as believers there will one day stand up and there’s going to be an antichrist that’s going to stand up and take a leadership of the nations of the world and they’re going to yield to him their leadership. That right now is not what we want to do. That’s not where we’re going. That’s only where we’re going to end up, but the nationhood concept comes from God Himself, Isaac, and so open borders, any of those kinds of things, common, multiple languages within a country. They all speak against what God has established for nations and it works against God’s plan for the nations.

Isaac Crockett:

Dave, we’ve all heard a lot of emotional, impassioned diatribes against President Trump, saying that he’s even a racist, but when we think especially of these dreamers who were brought over as children, does the fault of that situation lie on the families that brought them over and the countries that were so horrible they felt like they had to escape or does that fault fall on our president and our people?

Dave Kistler:

Isaac, let me say this very, very quickly. Our president is not a racist. If you’ve ever visited any of his properties, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, in New York, and I visited some of them and I will tell you this, he employs all kinds of ethnicities and nationalities. Those people love working there. It’s obvious they are treated well and their response is over the top good toward the president, so he’s not a racist. There is enough blame to go around on a number of levels. Our immigration policy has encouraged people to come here and attempt to come here illegally, so we do bear a little bit of the blame. The countries that are so horrific that people want to escape them, of course, bear some blame, as well.

Isaac Crockett: 

Well, thanks so much for summing that up to me. This is a very important topic. I hope that you’ve enjoyed listening to it. We have a lot more to talk about in this way. I’ve lived in Central America, worked in Mexico. I have a lot of friends who have come over here and so I want to continue talking about this. Well, we’ve been talking about immigration and seeing what’s been happening under the new administration regards to DACA and to refugees. We’ve looked at biblical teachings on nationhood and boundaries and borders, but I want to tie this into what was talked about earlier this week on this program.

It was pointed out that the Muslim population in America is growing significantly. Sam, you referred to that a few moments ago, as well, and under President Obama, a large number of the refugees coming to our country were identifying as Muslim. Now, in November of 2015, towards the end of his time as president, there was an article in the Washington Times and this was the title. The title was, “US Discriminates Against Christian Refugees, Accepts 96% Muslims, 3% Christians.” The author of that article pointed out that of the thousands of Syrian refugees being accepted to our country, only 3% were Christians and 96% were Muslims.

Now, in an interesting turn of events, an article that I read earlier this month in the Washington Examiner has this title, “In Switch, Trump Favors Christian Refugees Six to One Over Muslims.” The author in that article, Paul Bedard, writes, “Since the fiscal year began, 60% of new refugees admitted into the United States have been Christian and just 13% Muslim.” Dave, I want to go to you on this one. What is your reaction to this major shift in refugees under the current administration?

Dave Kistler:  

Well, Isaac, one of the things we need to recognize and need to never forget is that immigration policy reflects priorities. It reflects a nation’s priorities and it certainly is a strong indicator of a president’s priorities and under the Obama administration, the president was merely being in those days consistent with his philosophy. Many of those listening to this program right now will remember the now very famous speech where the president said America is not a Christian nation. In fact, if we were to calculate the number of Muslims in this country, we could be considered one of the world’s leading Muslim countries. He constantly demeaned the Judeo-Christian background of this country. Now you come to 2017 and 2018, we have a different president, Donald Trump, and his immigration policy reflects the priorities that he believes and I’m going to say it this way, the priorities that are consistent with the founding of this country. We are a Judeo-Christian nation. We were founded upon such and so my response to this dramatic shift is that it cannot and will not be anything but good for the United States of America.

Isaac Crockett: 

All right. Sam, Dave has said this is a good shift. It’s showing a priority back to our Judeo-Christian roots. It’s also showing that we believe that Christians who are being persecuted in the Middle East need to be able to find refuge here. What do you attribute this shift in refugees to? Are there policy changes that President Trump has made directly that are relating to this matter? What’s going on that’s making this happen so fast?

Sam Rohrer:

Well, I think what’s happening, Isaac, and Dave pointed well to it, you have to say it’s an understanding of what constitutes a nation. Every nation is comprised of a certain body of law, a certain predominant ideology. Effectively, the definitions of a nation is a common borders, common language, common view of God. That’s the definition of a nation. Well, here in the United States, God is the God of the Bible. The Constitution is the governing body, the highest body of law based on biblical principles.

You go to Saudi Arabia, you go to Syria, you go to Iran, it’s not the Bible and it’s certainly not a common view of God. Allah is not the God of the Bible, so in effect, what you have here is that you have this common view of what constitutes a nation, but it’s based on a God and we are in a constitutional republic, so Barack Obama, when he did what he did, he was consistent with his philosophy. His philosophy is not governed by the Constitution, nor is it governed by our law. What you see Donald Trump doing, when he stands, takes his oath, and puts his hands on the Bible, he’s operating consistently, more consistently with what our Constitution says, what the Bible says, and what our law says and so this is a very, very big contrast that we’re seeing here in this matter and this president, I think, understands his oath, hand on the Bible, not the Koran, and the Constitution based on God’s word, not the Koran or not some Marxist document that a Soviet Union may be following. Those are the distinctions. Comes right down to what you perceive as the basis of law.

Isaac Crockett:

It really goes back to what we were talking about in that first segment is that they can use same terminology about immigration reform, but they have different goals. We’re seeing that President Trump has the goal of seeing our Constitution as the law of the land and the moral authority of the Bible that gave us the Constitution is being used. Well, it really brings up something that came up in our show yesterday that Gary had talked about Voice of the Martyrs and the persecution of Christians.

Dave, you’ve traveled all over the country and you see how we are very comfortable as Christians in our country for the most part. We don’t see a lot of persecution in the way our brothers and sisters overseas have. We’ve had people on our program who have faced persecution, especially in the Middle East, people on our program who have lost families and friends, who’ve been tortured, even killed for Christ. Dave, what would you say to our listeners so that we could encourage them and encourage ourselves to pray more for the persecuted church?

Dave Kistler:

Well, Isaac, I would say this. All it takes is listening to one of the many guests as you’ve referenced that has been on this program citing and I’m thinking of one dear brother who watched his own physical brother beheaded because of his faith in Jesus Christ. Of course, this occurred in a majority-Muslim country. In addition to listening to that, all it takes is traveling outside these United States into some of these countries that are now rapidly falling under the sway of Islamic ideology and Islamic Sharia law and you see something that motivates you like you will never be motivated to pray.

I’m reminded, Isaac, of a trip to the African continent. I remember a young man, young pastor coming up to me. He was so full of the joy of the Lord. He was one of the most wonderful representatives and advertisements for the gospel of Christ I’ve ever met. A gentleman saw me talking to him. He pulled me aside later and he said, “Dave, that young man’s church is surrounded on three sides by Muslim mosques.” Then he said this. He said, “Unless something dramatically changes, that young man will one day die for his faith because he is so vocal, so vibrant about sharing the gospel.” Those kind of things will motivate you to pray for the persecuted church. We don’t see much of that in the United States of America, but unless something changes, unless we get our immigration laws fixed, we’re going to see more of that in the United States, as well as around the world.

Isaac Crockett:

Very powerful. Dave, that reminds me of very close family member of mine. I won’t say who and what country in Africa it was, but he and his wife were discipling a young girl whose family was Muslim. She asked, “What does it mean to take up your cross?” They said, “What would happen if your parents find out that you’re studying the Bible?” She said, “Oh, I understand.” Shortly after that, she came back beaten and bloody and she said, “I have accepted Christ as my savior and I’ve taken up my cross.” We don’t see that in our country so many times. Sam, what can we do as comfortable Christians in America? What can we do to pray for, but not just to pray for, other things that we could do to help our persecuted brothers and sisters of Christ in other parts of the world?

Dave Kistler:

Well, Isaac, it’s a great question. One of the most fundamental things as American Christians we know they just need to understand what the Bible says because most Christians in America who call that name by their own words, Isaac, don’t really have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. To be a cultural Christian, which is just to say I live in a Christian nation and I like the benefits that come from Christian laws is far different than to be a true believer in Jesus Christ, who understands who God is through Jesus Christ and the salvation that He provides and to live accordingly.

What do we do is that American Christians really need to look in the mirror and say, “Do I really know Jesus Christ as my own personal savior or am I trusting in something else?” That’s where it starts. If we don’t understand as a true believer in Jesus Christ in this country, Isaac, we will lose our nation because we will not understand the basis of our laws or who God is through Jesus Christ that makes all this possible. I submit that part of the true reason we’re in trouble in our country because we have too many cultural Christians who enjoy the benefits of what God have done, but they don’t know Jesus Christ personally.

Isaac Crockett: 

Amen. Our currency says in God we trust and a biblical worldview of God’s redemptive plan will make all the difference in the world when it comes to this topic of immigration, of praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Welcome back, folks. We’ve been talking about the diversity that we have in our country and the strengths that we have here in America because of the melting pot effect that we have, but especially because of the foundation that we have in our founding documents on the word of God and from a biblical, Judeo-Christian, Bible-believing worldview.

We’ve also seen that there are many dangers and warnings out there for a convoluted and broken immigration system and so now, as we’ve talked through so much of that, I want us to be able to wrap these things up with some solutions to what’s going on. I want to think about our opportunity to use this country that we live in as Americans to reach souls from all around the world that are here in our own backyard. Before we go into that, Sam, could you maybe once again just briefly delineate the role of government on this issue of immigration and of boundaries and nationhood as opposed to the role of the individual or the role of the church in responding to other individuals who are in our communities that may be from other parts of the world?

Sam Rohrer:  

Absolutely, Isaac. I think that’s a great, great question. When we on this program talk about biblical worldview and I’m going to use that word right now, that means looking at the world from a biblical perspective as God looks at it. We can’t talk about government or church or the individual or differences between nations without saying well, what does God say about them? Well, what we know is that God has these institutions. He has the individual. We all answer to God independently for ourself. He has the family that now is its own structure, fundamental bedrock of all nations. Then you have civil government, which can vary one nation to the other, but that’s what forms the nation. Then you have the church. All of these work together in God’s plan.

Now, the purpose of government is to, Romans 13, enact justice. Now, what that mean? That means praise those who do well and I’m going to put in praise those who do well biblically according to the definition of what God says is good, and punish those who do evil, to enact justice against those who break that law. That’s the purpose of civil government, to put into effect a structure that can allow all people to come and experience freedom. When that happens, then you have a nation to which people want to come. When you have a nation that does not do what God wants, then you have a nation from which people want to flee. The reason that people wanted to come to the United States is because we’ve had a system based on biblical principles, God’s design, and so like a light to the nations, the people have come and want to come for the freedom that is here. If we don’t keep it anchored, Isaac, to biblical principles and the purpose which God made it, we will not only lose our freedom, but the light to the nations will also go out. It’s very, very critical, but it’s anchored on God’s word and God’s design for what a nation is and its relationship to who God is.

Isaac Crockett:

What a wonderful reminder and everything we do is connected to that and even as Christians, we’re told to walk carefully in these evil days as children of light, not as children of darkness, so important. Dave, kind of building on that and we’ve been talking some about this in between the breaks and you’ve shared some things that have been happening in your own ministry, but you’re an evangelist. You get opportunities to evangelize all over the country. How can we use the diversity that we have in this country as individual Christians and churches and how can we take opportunities to evangelize the world by witnessing and evangelizing to our own neighbors?

Dave Kistler:

Well, Isaac, let me back up and just kind of underscore something that Sam so powerfully said in his last response. He’s talking about areas of jurisdictional authority. The government has jurisdictional authority and they are responsible before God, Romans 13, to do certain things. Sam stated it about as clearly as it could be stated. They’re to enact justice. That is the role of government, praise good, punish evil. The church has a different area of jurisdictional authority. That authority and that commission is sometimes called the Great Commission, is to win a world to Jesus Christ. The two are not in conflict with each other. We still have laws that we have to live by. We have a government that must protect its citizenry and allow people into the country only through legal means and those coming to the country that are intent on bettering the country, being a part of the system, not trying to overthrow the system.

All of that being said, with all of the people that are coming into our country, we now have a mission field that has come to us. We don’t even have to leave this country necessarily to find a mission field that is global in nature. They’re here among us and I praise God for this in very recent days. We had the opportunity of seeing two Muslim young men come to know Jesus Christ as savior who have come into the United States of America and, by the way, came in legally and they have had the opportunity now to trust Christ and live now for him in a country that affords them the freedom and the liberty to live for Christ, not one that attempts to squelch that.

Isaac Crockett: 

Well, what a powerful opportunity, what a responsibility that we have with this light that we have been given from God to share that and historically, America has been a great country to send forth missionaries. You know-

1-11-18: God Not Allowed!

Sam Rohrer:  

Well, when I read reports like the one yesterday, it was on the front page of drudge and now it’s across the world on many articles, it said this. It was a wake up call frankly to me, and I think to all Americans. It was a Pew Research survey, just released, the findings on it were in this title.

This was the title that caught my eye. “Islam on track to be second largest religion in the USA.” And then went on by saying, by 2040, 20 years from now, it will surpass the Jewish population, which is now in second position behind those who identify themselves as Christians. That’s here in America.

Ladies and gentlemen, that sobering thought leads me to the very issue of asking the question, what has happened in America? Particularly, when it was established on Biblical principles and so heavily impacted by the Bible that now we see, this ideology, being undermined by such ideologies as Islam, the teachings of the Quran, which command death to Jews, death to Christians, and frankly, death or subjugation to anyone and everyone not a muslim, right here in this country.

Here today, on Stand in the Gap Today, we’re going to focus the program on the Bible in the public square and specifically prayer and the Bible in the public square and in public schools. Our theme is going to be this, is prayer and Bible reading in public schools constitutional? To help us walk through this discussion today is going to be our returning guest, David New, he is a constitutional attorney, he is an accomplished historian and a Biblical Scholar as well and with that, I want to welcome you today to Stand in the Gap Today.

I’m Sam Rohrer, I’m president of the American Pastors Network and host here of Stand in the Gap Today, and I’m going to be joined today by Evangelist Dave Kistler, president of our North Carolina Pastors Network, and Hope for the Hill in Washington DC, and Doctor Gary Dull, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network and senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Men, I’d like to start today’s emphasis on the Bible and it’s importance to the history and the continuance of the United States as we have none. I want to jump right into that. This Pew research I mentioned just a minute or so ago, is startling.

Although, in some respects it’s not new since we’ve been saying for some time that aggressive Islamist activity and goals throughout Europe and the United States in particular, was on track to overtake and subjugate the western world and it’s values. We saw it happening before our eyes, well, now this research really confirms it.

Let me read just one little piece more from this Pew research report just released. It said this, “According to the report, the muslim population is growing at an accelerated rate and it will more than double from an estimated 3.45 million in 2017 to an estimated 8.1 million in 2050.” Now in the meantime, it’s going on saying, “Muslims are expected to surpass Jews as the second largest religious group. The research showed a record number of muslims immigrating to the United States in 2016, a record number, which means,” now get this, “Which means that 3/4 of muslims currently in the United States are immigrants or children of immigrants.”

Now Gary, let me go to you first, this question here if I can. My purpose now and in this program is not really so much to focus on Islam and the Quran or the teachings of Mohammad as found in the Hadith, but as much to indicate that every ideology has some book they hold authoritative. They pull from that their moral justification for how they live. Their legal system or educational system, how they think about life.

For evolutionist and humanist, it may be Darwin’s Origin of the Species. For Nazis, it’s Hitler’s Mind Comp.  For Islam, it’s the Quran and the Hadith, but for Jews, it’s the Old Testament, for Christians, it’s the Old and the New Testament. It’s the Bible.

Start here Gary, give us a simple statement as to why the Bible is so important for our nation or frankly any nation who wants to be blessed of God and have freedom as we’ve come to enjoy in our nation.

Gary Dull:

Well the simplest of all statements Sam would be the fact that the Bible is God’s Word to all of mankind. Whatever nation of the world you’re talking about, it’s God’s Word that reveals God’s way to God’s people. Any particular nation that is going to be blessed by God needs to indeed follow the principles and the policies and the doctrine and the commands of scripture.

The Bible teaches us that the blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and in order to get to know God and have him as our Lord, we need to get to know the Bible. It’s the Bible that directs us to that conclusion that God will be our Lord. The United States of America was founded on biblical truth, that’s what made it great and if we want our nation to be greater again, or any other nation on the face of the earth to be greater, then biblical principles need to be followed according to the truth and the teaching of scripture.

Sam Rohrer: 

Okay Gary, I think you were clear. I think our listeners look and say, “Yeah, if people are listening and are believers they would say, Yeah, rah, rah, rah. Dr. Gary Dull, you are right,” but there are obviously many people in our culture who do not believe at all what you say. Have redefined history, have denied that the Bible had any place.

I want to go to you now, David New. I want to bring you in early at this point. From an historical perspective, you’re a historian, you’re a constitutional attorney, from an historical perspective, if there is one book, or maybe there’s two books, but the most important books that have contributed most to the fabric of the United States are foundation for the legal system, the structure of our government, the framework from the beginning, our Declaration of Independence, our constitution, what would that book or those books be David New?

David New: 

Well in my opinion, they clearly would be the Bible and here’s the reason. The Bible teaches monotheism, the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence are both monotheistic documents. The substrata on what they assumed to be true in each of those documents, is that there’s one God.

One God whom makes one law. When you have a monotheistic system, human rights take on a definite form. When you have a polytheistic system, which as the ancient world had, then you have many gods and then you have many laws and that means human rights vary from one god to the next. Your rights and [inaudible 00:06:56] with the Greek gods would be one thing. If you go to Egypt, your rights could change. They could go up or down in depending on what the Egyptian gods want, but your rights are not absolute. They are local depending on what god you’re dealing with.

The Declaration of Independence when it says we hold these truths to be self-evident, when Jefferson makes that statement, he is looking for truth … We’re out of time.

Sam Rohrer: 

Well, David New, you set it up perfectly, you were calling out the Bible was the primary book, it teaches monotheism, one God from which we recognize the creator from who these truths come, embodied in our declaration and in our constitution.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to further this discussion as we go into the next segment here, because we’re going to talk about how the Bible and how that thought that David New just laid up was actually inculcated into two major institutions, education and that of law and government.

In approximately one generation, our nation here, the United States and our culture at large has not only moved away from the Bible as the sole source of truth, it has moved at a breakneck speed towards counterfeit sources of authority with all of them. All of them, being in competition and in the end, the total opposite of the Bible.

Such is the basis for the continuing and developing division in our nation. We once were ladies and gentlemen, were together on a common view of God, which we talked about just briefly in this last segment with David New and we’re going to pick up on that just now.

Throughout this last generation, the insistent denial of history and the facts of our nation regarding the role of the Bible, has within it the seeds of total destruction for our nation since a denial or reality of the facts of history and documental history will come to bring us to our knees.

Now in this segment, we’re going to look at just two, been very briefly, important segments of society that were once dominated by the Bible, but now become openly hostile to the Bible and the God who wrote it. Those two are education and government. With that I want to officially welcome now into the program David New, he’s a constitutional attorney and recurring guest on this program, historian and biblical scholar.

David, I’m going to want you to be thinking in this segment, in just a little bit I want to come back to you about how the Bible influenced directly civil government and the [inaudible 00:09:27] of law and the judiciary, but I want to go here first if I can, with Gary and Dave, to the matter of education in America.

I just want to pull this as an example. A lot of people aren’t aware of this, but it was in 1636 that the first university was founded in the United States, it happened to be Harvard University and it was founded not to train people to be craftsmen or engineers, both of which were notable then and now and very important, but they prioritized it, because they said we have to have an institution that teaches young men how to preach the Bible, preach the Gospel.

Harvard was a Bible based university to teach men to preach the Bible. Let me read just a short statement as to the purpose of education at Harvard. First placed on its wall, then still hangs there to this day. I would say it’s totally disregarded today, but it’s still there and it’s called the rules and the precepts of 1646 and it says this. This is what the plaque says, the purpose. “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well that the main end of his life and studies,” now get this, “is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life.” And then it writes and cites from the Bible, New Testament, John 17:3, “And therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” Gary, let me go to you right now. In your lifetime, just give a list of a quick look back. How have you seen education move from this foundational purpose and goal and which hinged on the Bible then, to what it is now, being something more hostile certainly, towards the Bible? Just give us something you recall back in history.

Gary Dull:     

Well Sam, as you and Dave often say, you’ve got a preacher here that’s been around for generations teaching and preaching the Bible-

Sam Rohrer:

I know, that’s why we’re asking you to come here.

Gary Dull: 

Yeah, I thought so. I kind of figured that was the reason, but you know, I remember when we had prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. I went to a public school and every day the Word of God was read, and we prayed and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. But in 1962 and ’63, the prayer and Bible reading was taken out of the public school through the efforts of Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

From that time on until where we are today, I’ve seen an increase of an attack against biblical principles and against biblical truth in public education. You know, we see that on the elementary and the secondary level as well as on the college level. You talk about Harvard University or Yale, how they were started to train people for the Gospel. They are very, very far from that today.

Sam, one of the things that concerns me, and I think this is tied into it. We won’t get into it right now, but I can give you illustrations of Bible colleges and seminaries in our generation that have gotten away from the unadulterated teaching of the Word of God, basically based on Genesis 1 through 11 and consequently they have even departed from a solid biblical education that is weakening education across the board. We are living in very serious times.

Sam Rohrer:  

Okay Gary, you made it very clear, within your lifetime, you’ve seen it from Bible reading in the public school to none and even in our seminaries, you’ve laid that out. I want to go to another one now, because our founders back then started with college levels, so they could teach pastors, but the next thing was that they integrated and developed a new curriculum.

That new curriculum that they used all the way from 1600s up until 1890s was called the New England Primer. It was produced in New England, it was used throughout the colonies, it produced some of the most literate and character rich people in the world. They started out by doing this. They called the primers and the A, B, C’s.

They started like this to how to teach children the letters. A as an example, the verse was, “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all. B, Heaven to mind, the Bible mind or thy life to mind is what they say in different versions there. And then C, Christ crucified for sinners died. The A, B, C’s taught all about who God was and it went to the Bible.

Matter of fact, Noah Webster who gave us Webster’s dictionary, he said this, That primer, that methodology of teaching our young people to read, “It taught millions to read and not one to sin.” Interesting. Dave I want to go to you next right now Dave Kistler. It brings up a basic question. It’s the point to which I believe the American public’s been fed a lie, and that is believing that you can have education separate from morality and teaching. Just apply something here Dave if in fact we were still teaching the A, B, C’s according to the Bible, New England Primer, how might America look a little bit different today?

Dave Kistler: 

Well Sam, America would look vastly different and I want to back up what Gary just said. In 1962, ’63, the Bible and prayer was taken out of public schools, but I attended a rural North Carolina school in 1967 as an elementary school student, and we still had Bible reading and prayer in that public school, so we have moved far a field from the foundation of this country, but if this were all reinstituted or if this had continued unabated, we would have a vastly different country than we have right now.

Sam Rohrer:

We would indeed and I think with all that we’re struggling with, with all the attacks in the schools, the divisions and the sexuality, the perversions of this and the drug usage and all that, Webster said, “It taught millions to read the Bible, that lesson, and not one to sin.” Ladies and gentlemen, go to Egypt as what David said, or go to India where they have some … go to an Islamic school and find out how the people live. They live based on what they were taught and what they believed. Here it was the Bible. That’s what caused Webster to say, “It taught millions to read and not one to sin.”

David New, I want to go to you now in these closing minutes. Go now into the realm of government. The judiciary law of congress, all that kind of thing. Lay out some examples there of how the Bible was specifically used to infuse the structure, the foundation, for what we understand freedom to be and that which we have come to enjoy in these United States.

David New: 

Well, number one again, number one on that list is monotheism. That statement where Jefferson says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” He is looking for a source that will make these statements true a thousand years ago and they will be true a thousand years from now. They are eternal truths that never change.

Now for the secularist, they believe that what is true for you, may not be true for me. What is true for me, may not be true for you, but Jefferson wouldn’t have had none of that. He wants an eternal truth and that requires God. The evolutionist has a problem with this statement as well. When did man cease to become a descendant of an ape? Or have a common ancestor of an ape? Well, Jefferson wouldn’t have none of that either. He believes God is the creator and that’s why when he says, “All men are created,” he’s looking for a truth that is universal, absolute, and doesn’t change and the only way you can have that kind of truth, ladies and gentlemen, is a deity, a God who does not change.

Sam Rohrer:

Well, David New, you cited some things from Jefferson and you were talking about things that were principles that were built right into the Declaration of Independence, which really lays the foundation down, but talk to me a little bit more as well. You’ve been to DC, what used to hang, what hangs behind the desk of nearly every court in the country?

David New:

Well, there is the motto … Pardon?

Sam Rohrer:

The Ten Commandments?

David New:

Well, no. What hangs behind every court in the United States and many courts is the motto, In God We Trust, but the other thing to remember also is that when the constitution was written, in it the foundation of the constitution is the Declaration of Independence, and monotheism is the principle behind the constitution, because there’s a phrase on the supreme court that says, “Equal justice under law.”

The concept of equality is a very modern concept. It began with Moses. Before Moses, people were not equal, many gods, many gods favored one group of people over another people, another group. Moses said, that’s nonsense, there’s only one God, and everybody’s equally human in His eyes. The concept of equal justice under the law is a biblical concept.

Sam Rohrer:  

Ladies and gentlemen, you’re hearing just a very, very quick focus on the Bible, in our nation, how it under pinned the very foundations of our educational system from our original colleges, like Harvard, and Yale, to our instructional system of teaching our young people how to read, by teaching them the Bible so that they’d know how to read, but they would also know how to live and not to sin as Noah Webster said. It’s all throughout government as well, the entire concept of justice and the separation of powers all comes right out of the Bible.

Now, that’s changed. Our culture now says it never happened-

We started this program off by talking about how Pew Research just yesterday released facts that says that within 20 years, Islam will be the second largest religion in the United States, surpassing Judaism in the United States. Explosive growth. You say, how could that happen? Well, it can happen in a Christian nation when we no longer consider ourselves to be Christian and when we say and allow people to tell us that the Bible had no influence, had no role, and matter of fact, that some will actually stand up and tell us that it’s not constitutional to read the Bible in the public square or to pray in the public square and particularly, public schools.

Now that being the case, I want to welcome in now directly, David New. We’ve already introduced him, he’s a constitutional attorney, recurring guest on our program, he’s an historian and he’s also a biblical scholar. David, I want to go right here with you because I want you to lay out the facts if you could relative to, is school prayer and Bible reading constitutional as many so called experts will try to tell us that it is not? What are the facts David?

David New:

Well the facts are very simple and the first question we need to ask is this. Were the public schools created to keep religion out of the classroom? Is that why they were created? If you ask somebody that question after 1962, they would say, most likely, absolutely. The public schools were created for the purpose of keeping religion out of the classroom. If you ask that question to somebody before 1962, in some states they would say yes, but in many states they would say no.

The further back you go in time, the more often you will hear people say that religion was to have a role in public education. The modern public school system we have today started in the 1840’s by a man, by the name of Horace Mann. Horace Mann did not want to kick religion out of the public schools. What he wanted was to remove sectarian religion from the public schools, and that is what’s key.

For example, take the attorney general of the United States. In 1873, his name was George H Williams. The justice department had just been created in 1870 under President Grant, he just signed it into law, and this individual George H Williams, by law, is required to report to congress about his duties, and one of his duties involved reporting about the reformed school of the District of Columbia, this is a federal institution, paid 100% by tax dollars and this is what it says in the report that he submitted.

This is what it says in the report that he submitted, this is what it says about religion in the reformed school of the District of Columbia where the First Amendment is very much in play. He said, “Labor is a powerful agency and a reformatory, especially on the farm. Man improves the earth and is improved by the earth.” Then he goes on further and now says something very important. He says, “But after, and before all a religious sentiment, which all pains are taken to infuse in them, that is the students, that is the surest basis of permanent reformation. This school was set up for children who were disobeying the law.” Then it goes on to say, “No sectarianism is taught, no creed rehearsed, reverence for God, love for our Savior, and they believe in a future rewards and punishments are infused into the minds of the boys as religious in sentiments. The Bible is read, pure and simple, and portions of it are committed to memory every week, and repeated at the Sunday school. Clergymen and laymen of every denomination sometimes address the boys on Sundays, but no sectarianism is allowed in such addresses.”

Now here’s the Attorney General of the United States, working for the US Justice Department, reporting to congress what is going on in a tax payer institution. Why are they behaving that way, which is exact opposite of what we do today, the reason is because-

Sam Rohrer:   

David let-

David New:

… because of … go ahead.

Sam Rohrer:                           Well, David let me ask you this, you said that public education in America began in the 1800’s with Horace Mann, but if you go all the way back to the 1600’s with the third permanent English settlement that came to the United States and settled at Massachusetts Bay, 16 years after that settlement, they established a law in 1647 called the old Deluder Satan Act, the opening line of which says this.

“It being the chief project of that old deluder satan to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures,” and then goes on and lays out that when any communities in Massachusetts Bay reached 50 families, they had to hire a teacher to teach the children of those families to read so they could learn to read the Bible and not be deceived by that old deluder satan, so this is part of our history going all the way back, is it not?

David New:   

I was just on my way there. Now, one of the things … The reason why the attorney general is allowing religion in this school, in this reformatory school in the District of Columbia, it’s because of what we might want to call, America’s first school prayer law. It was passed in 1789 by the United States Congress, we call it the Northwest ordinance. Article three in that law says this, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Because of that law, the attorney general 70 years later, is allowing the reading of the Bible in his public institution.

Because of that law that congress passed in 1789, the states of Ohio in 1872, Michigan in 1898, Wisconsin in 1890, and Nebraska in 1903 are all using that law either to permit or allow the Bible in their public schools. That law is America’s first school religious law. There’s absolutely no question what David Kistler just said, religion was in our schools.

One of the judges who voted against school prayer in 1962 was William O Douglas. Justice William O Douglas, and he quoted article three that I just read to you, and this is what he said about it. “Religion was once deemed to be a function of the public school system.” That is solid proof that non-sectarian religion is permitted under the First Amendment in the public schools.

Sam Rohrer:

And David, when you use that word-

David New: 

By the way, this particular law, this particular law ladies and gentlemen, this one article three, you will find it in many state constitutions. For those of you who live in … I’ll tell you, which state it belongs in right now. For those who are in Ohio, you can go to your Bill of Rights, you will see the Northwest ordinance article three, right in there. For those of you in Wisconsin, you can also see it in your law. Let’s see, for those of you in Michigan, you can go to the education article. For those who live in North Carolina, 1971, go to your education article, you can see it there. For those of you, our listeners in Nebraska, go to your Bill of Rights, you’ll see it right in there. This law that congress passed in 1789 effectively put prayer and God in the public schools nationwide. It wasn’t the Christian Church, it was the United States Federal Government that did it.

Gary Dull: 

That’s because of the fact that this nation was founded upon biblical principles, and back in those days, when they used the word religion, they were mainly referring to the Christian faith in their understanding. I’m very thankful David, to say that it’s true that even today, through release time programs and so forth, we can still get the Bible back in the public school, or I should say, before the public school students and I know our church has done that down through the years and others have as well.

But quickly in about a minute that we have left, is it not true that Charles Darwin coming along with his teaching on evolution, really was very much involved in secularizing the public school and getting the Word of God ultimately out of it, would you agree with that?

David New:

You just made a hole in one. The reason why William O Douglas, who knows very well that religion was a function of the public school system and never the less votes against it in 1962. The reason he does that is because he is a secularist in the modern sense of the word, which is based upon the theory of evolution. That changed everything. There is the First Amendment before Darwin, and there’s the First Amendment after Darwin, and they are not the same document.

Sam Rohrer: 

Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve just heard quite a discussion right here. Bottom line, Bible reading, prayer in public schools, is not only constitutional, even though the supreme court made the ruling that they did as what David New was saying. Constitution clearly affirms it, because that was the purpose for public education. Just think ladies and gentlemen, if in fact we were still teaching the Bible, God, rewards and punishments, would not things be different?

Well ladies and gentlemen, as we now move into our final segment, we also or often call it our solution segment. We try to bring the primary elements of the program focus into a position where we can actually take and put some of this into effect. A lot of information that we often hear is either not usable or we don’t know how to respond to it. You may say, why do you even think you’re talking about the Bible today and it’s role in our founding? Well, we’re doing it because history proves that it was there. We’ve heard incidences, we’ve seen, we’ve talked about how education, with elementary, and college was based on the Bible and the teaching of it so that we would have a people who knew right from wrong, knew who God was, could appreciate what became the principles of our Declaration of Independence and our constitution and the whole concepts of self-government hangs on the whole idea of God and a monotheistic Christian world view as we were to call it.

When you think of this as compared to today when someone, a coach kneels on the field to pray after a game and people cry, “Its illegal, it’s unlawful.” When our public schools long ago were told by the courts that you cannot pray publicly, you cannot read the Bible and even as we’ve talked about here. Gary and Dave and I all remember in our lives, I as far back as 1972, recently had teachers in a public school classroom who would read the Bible. This has been pretty recent.

Now we look at Pew Research that tells that Islam is on its way aggressively within 20 years to being the second largest religion in the United States of America, and yet we have people who say, “well, what’s the difference between whether you believe in evolution or believe in God, or believe in Islam?” Well, frankly, the whole concept of freedom revolves around that. David New, let me go back to you right now and ask you to answer this question.

People are hearing and are saying, “Well, fine I may have heard things this morning I never heard before,” or, “I do recall back when, yeah, there were prayer in the school, but of long ago I thought there’s nothing that I can do.” David, the average listener who’s listening right now, what can they do? What should they do in regard to the Bible? The Bible having a place in our society, not just the public school, but in the public square. Give us some thoughts that you would have at this point please.

David New:      

An educated consumer, an educated voter and citizen is an extremely powerful person. Don’t think just because you’re one you have no power. First of all, you’re not one. You are the majority. Remember, what you need to remember is the article three, the Northwest Ordinance was passed and signed by George Washington on August 7, 1789. One month later, September 25th, the congress just finished the Bill of Rights including the First Amendments. If you want to learn more about how monotheism underlies the constitution and the declaration, order my book, The Ten Commandments For Beginners, and I go into it in great detail. For those of you who are talking about the muslim situation.

This is a piece of factoid that a lot of people don’t know about the muslim community. When William O Douglas voted against school prayer, in 1962, to remove it, to ban it from the classroom, one of the reasons he gave in a book that he wrote in 1966 titled, The Bible and the School, just as Douglas said, wasn’t the only reason, but it was one of his reasons, was he did not want muslims to pray in the public schools. This is unbelievable for him to use that as a reason to remove school prayer. It’s absurd.

Sam Rohrer:

Well David, you make a very clear case that it’s going to be an ideology, there is a common unified ideology that governs the country. You can’t have multiple. Forget this pluralism nonsense ladies and gentlemen, that only means you’re moving from one dominant to another dominant. We are in America are moving from one dominant, Judaeo Christian as this Pew Research would indicate we’re moving to another one and that’s Islam and it means bad news for freedom as we know it.

Gary let me go to you, as a pastor, the pulpit has always played a tremendous role. We talked about education, Harvard being formed to teach pastors. What should the pulpit be doing in regard to this in the matter of the Bible and culture?

Gary Dull: 

Well simply, you know, answering that question we go to 2 Timothy 4:2 where it says, “Preach the Word,” and in that passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul is speaking to pastor Timothy and telling him what to do. The pulpit must get back to preach the Word of God, and the pastor in the pulpit, must recognize that he is the spiritual authority, not only in the local church but in the community that’s around him.

I remember hearing certain pastors say that we’re pastoring back in the early ’60s when Madalyn Murray O’hair was trying to get the prayer and Bible reading out of the public schools, they made statements like this, “We didn’t think she was going to get anything accomplished so we didn’t do much about it.” Well, look what happened. In 1962 and ’63, prayer and Bible reading was taken out of the public schools. In 1967, we had the rise of the sexual revolution. In 1972 abortion was legalized. In 1983 in that area, aids due to a lot of homosexual activity came on the scene and of course it’s just gone downhill since. Since prayer and Bible reading was taken out of the public schools, sin has increased in society and a lot of it goes back to the fact that in the early ’60s perhaps preachers were not as straight forward in the preaching in the Word of God as they should be. That ought to be a lesson to us today, Sam. As preachers that’s preached the unadulterated Word of God without compromise and allow it to have its effect on the heart of people.

Sam Rohrer:  

Gary, excellent. David, Dave Kistler, let me go to you right now. We have folks who are listening, most are probably parents or grandparents or somewhere in that category of relations or siblings of some type. What can parents or grandparents be doing right now? [inaudible 00:35:48] should lift up their hands and say, “Well, water over the dam, we’re changed forever.” How should they come at this issue if there’s going to build back in something that’s going to bring our country back to what it was?

Dave Kistler:

Well Sam, for every parent, grandparent, the Word of God has to become central in their life and their children and grandchildren need to see the Bible central in their life. I mean, they need to have a time in the Word of God as a parent, grandparent every day. There needs to be what we used to call family altar, family devotion time where the Scripture’s read, inculcated in the lives of our students.

Then I want to suggest this. Because of what we’ve talked about today, every child in a public school can carry his Bible to school and I would encourage parents and grandparents to encourage their children and grandchildren to carry their bible to school. They have a right to do that and to read the Bible even while they’re at school. During study hall, during down time, they have the right to do that.

My dad challenged my brother and I to do precisely that. We did that with our children who attended even secular non-Christian colleges, community colleges in the early part of their education, to do exactly that. It can work and it can have a dramatic effect.

Sam Rohrer: 

Well ladies and gentlemen, you’ve heard a few just very practical things there. Number one if I could summarize, David New, you said, understand that the Bible did play a great role at one point. It was the document that undergirded what we have. It is our source of information about who God is but interpretation of justice and freedom and self-government, it was here, it did play a role all the way up until the 1960’s all the way through.

Gary, you commented on the role of the pulpit. It used to be that the pulpit was the place that preached the Word of God, it was the great awakening through the primer, the A, B, C’s where kids learned how to read the Bible, understand who God was that helped to come out of that great awakening that changed our country. It’s from the pulpit, always must be there.

Dave Kistler, you just make it very clear, mom and dad, and grandad, you have a continuing role. If you can remember the way things were, you’ve got a responsibility to help bring things back to where they once were and that’s back before God.

How are Christians Being Treated in the Middle East?

Answer:

Shahram Hadian

I don’t think that Christians realize what is happening.Again, the number that we’re looking at is potentially, in the last 12 years, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, 1.1 million Christians martyred worldwide over that period, about 90,000 a year average. According to Open Doors U.S.A., the number of nations, they have a list of nations that persecute and kill Christians. Of the top 15 nations, 14 of them are Islamic. The only one that is not is North Korea. This is reality. This is not some sort of an aberration. It’s not radicalism. This is the reality of an Islamic movement. As Islam grows and is uprising, we are seeing the persecution of Jews and Christians. We are seeing, obviously, ISIS directly call out the people of the cross. They’re going to burn Christians alive. They’re going to kill them.

Two things that I want to point out. If people think this is just a terrorist issue, this is one, ideological, because Islam is taught to be, within their own doctrine, that it is the final religion. Both in the Koran, Surah 9:29 and other verses, it lists the battle that is against the people of the book, that’s Jews and Christians, to either subdue them, or to convert them, or to kill them, fight against them. Also in the Shariah law book, in section W 4.0, it very clearly says Islam is the final religion. Judaism and Christianity are cults, have been made null and void.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because we know the Bible speaks of great persecution and many Christians losing their lives, even being beheaded as martyrs. We are seeing this happen before our eyes. The sad thing is it’s just not being talked about. We have so many organizations wanting to bring in Muslim refugees and open the flood gates. Where is the talk about our brothers and sisters in Christ, and potentially a genocide that we are seeing right now happening throughout the world, to Christians? That’s the message I want to get across. Christians need to wake up in America and realize they are now a target. Not just spiritually, but potentially even physically, as unfortunately we saw in Texas.”

APN State Chapter Leadership Conference Call 8/8/17

This audio file is a recording of the State Chapter Leadership Conference call on 8/8/17.

‘Sneak Peak’ at Israel Tour

Tour Israel with Petra Extension

Joshua Travel, Hon. Sam Rohrer,  and Jimmy DeYoung invite you to join them on Joshua Travel’s tour of the land of Israel and Petra.
Day 1You’ll depart from the US for your flight to Israel arriving at Ben Gurion Airport the next afternoon.

Natural Beauty

Day 2

We will meet you and board our large airconditioned bus to make a heartwarming trip up to Jerusalem. We will visit the shepherds fields, the Biblical location of the birth of Jesus, then we will make our way to the promenade for a magnificient panoramic view of both the Old City of Jerusalem and the new City. We will overnight in the first of the deluxe hotels.

Day 3

Today we will visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, which will make us aware of the persecution that has confronted the Jewish people over the centuries. At the Shrine of the Book, we will have the opportunity to view the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will see the giant Menorah, the symbol of the state of Israel, as well as listen to an explanation of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. A visit to the Second Temple model will give the understanding of Jerusalem at the time of Christ. We will end this day by going to the Western Wall.
Day 4

There will be a special meeting this morning with pastor Meno Kalisher. He is the pastor of the church that Jimmy DeYoung helped to establish in Jerusalem and he will address our group on a believer’s life and evangelism in Israel. We’ll then depart for a trip up the Medditerranean Coast to Caesarea, built by Herod the Great. It is the site where the Gentiles were first converted to Christianity. from Caesarea we travel up to Mt. Carmel, the site of the contest between the prophet of God, Elijah and the prophets of Baal. We’ll visit a replica of the village of Nazareth at the time of Jesus and if time allows we will stop by Cana of Galilee, the site for the first miracle of Jesus. We will overnight on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Day 5

Our Lord spent almost 30 years of His earthly life in the Galilee region and we plan to spend our day in this region tracing His footsteps, beginning at the city of Capernaum, the headquarters for the ministry of Jesus Christ. We’ll visit Caesarea Philippi in the area where the transfiguration took place. Travleing through the Golan heights we’ll understand better the discussion going on between the Syrians and the Israelis. We’ll have lunch on the Sea of Galilee; the menu will include St. Peter’s fish. As we travel across the Sea of Galilee to Beth Saida on the “Jesus Boat” we’ll study together the story of the feeding of the 5,000 and see the Mount of Beatitudes. Our day will end at the museum at Nof Ginnosar where the 2000-year-old Jesus boat is displayed.

Sea of Galilee

Day 6

We start this morning traveling through the Jezreel Valley on our way to Megiddo. With Bible in hand we’ll visualize the Battle of Armageddon. On the way we’ll visit one of the most interesting archaeological digs in Israel, beth She’an. Further down the Jordan Valley we come to Gilgal, the site where Joshua and the children of Israel first camped as they entered into the Promised Land.

Day 7

As we make our way through the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea, we’ll stop at Qumran, the location of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We will take a quick hike up to the waterfalls of En Gedi, where David hid from King Saul. A highlight of our trip will include a visit to Masada. The history of this magnificient fortress is moving. Make sure you bring your bathing suit because just before returning to Jerusalem we’ll take an opportunity to try and swim in the Dead Sea.

Dead Sea

Day 8

Early this morning we’ll start on the Mount of Olives and make our way down to the Temple Mount walking the same route that Jesus would have taken on His Triumphal Entry. I will give you a 3rd Temple Seminar at the Temple Mount area, the site of the First and Second Temples. We’ll visit a special section of the Western Wall, the location where Jewish men are studying in preparation to be Priests in the next Temple and the Temple Institute where they are preparing for the 3rd Temple. In the afternoon we will go to the Garden of Gethsemane, then stop at Pilate’s Judgment Hall, wlak the Via Delarosa and end our journey at the Garden Tomb.

Days 9 & 10

Today we can sleep late and then get up to a day of light touring. In the evening we’ll meet for a Farewell Banquet that should be a gourmet’s delight and rehearse the highlights of our trip. After the banquet we make our way to Ben Gurion Airport to board the plane for your return flight to the US.

Day 10

Early this morning, we will leave Jerusalem and travel to the Valley of Elah. It was here that God used young David to sly the mighty Goliath and Israel defeated the philistine Army. Afterwards, we will proceed through the fascinating Negev Desert to the southern resort town of Eilat. Here is where we will stay for the next three nights. On our way into the desert proper, we will come to Kibbutz Sde Boker, which is the home of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. We will also pass through the storied Wilderness of Zin! Then we will find ourselves at the city of Avdat. This is an ancient Nabatean city which supported a population of 100,000 people in the fifth century AD. Archaeologists are trying to reconstruct the ancient systems of irrigation, because today’s engineers do not know how to replicate the results. We will stop in the town of Mitzpe Ramon where there is a magnificient view of the Great Crater. Then we will travel on to Eilat and our hotel for the night.

Day 11

Today we will enjoy a full day tour to the exciting Rose Red City of Petra in Jordan. Petra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We cross the border at Eilat and drive up to Petra where we will spend the whole day, exploring this magnificient biblical site, a city carved out of a desert mountain range. Petra not only has a stunning physical beauty, unique and ancient architecture, and an amazing past – but it has a stunning prophetic future as well. At the end of this magnificient day, we return to Eilat.

Petra

Day 12

We will be privileged to visit the world-famous Underwater Observatory. We will also take a one-of-a-kind cruise on the Red Sea in our private schooner, where we will have the opportunity to enjoy some swimming, snorkeling, and lunch! The remainder of the day is at leisure in what has been voted the top winter resort for Europe and Israel, the city of Eilat.

Day 13

This morning we will be able to sleep in and relax in Eilat. After which we leave for Tel Aviv, where we will enjoy a delicious farewell dinner, and then our evening flight home.

Day 14

Early this morning we will arrive back in the US.

*This itinerary is subject to change and taken from this website: www.joshuatravel.com

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