In this letter I’d like to encourage Pastors to consider these words from George Barna, author and researcher formerly with the Barna Research Group who spoke at our recent U-Turn Conference held at Lancaster Bible College on March 19th. He is addressing the audience with a pointed message for pastors and on what needs to happen for there to be changes made in our churches and in our society. He says:
“…What we’ve found is that pastors like to read the newspapers and the Internet, and watch television news programs about the issues. They’re informed. But they’re keeping that information to themselves. What I’d implore all of you to do is not simply be informed for the sake of being informed but take in that information and go back to God’s word and figure out what does God say about these issues. And figure out how you can share that with your people. That’s what they need. They don’t need more happy talk when they come to church. They need stuff that’s going to kick them in the pants and say, “This is what a follower of Christ does.”
Our primary mission at the American Pastors Network is to identify, encourage, equip, and educate pastors to “Stand in the Gap” for truth. Our daily news analysis program called “Stand in the Gap Today” is meant to be a tool for pastors, church leaders, and Christians alike to not only be informed, but also to be equipped to know what the Bible has to say about the events and issues confronting our world today. We exist to help YOU to think from a biblical and constitutional perspective about these things so that you can go back and share with your friends, family, and congregation!
Won’t you make it a priority to tune in each day during the lunch hour, from 12-1pm ET to hear what you need to know about what’s happening in our world today? Visit www.standinthegapradio.com and click on the “Listen LIVE” link which will take you to the home page of our local network station, WFYL 1180.
In the Defense of Truth and Freedom,
P.S. As the 2016 Presidential GOP Candidate field narrows down over the next few months, we’ll be talking about the biblical qualifications for the ideal nominee. In fact, on a recent program, we discussed the FOX News Presidential debate and who we think measures up! To listen to the archived program, click HERE.
Remember, you can listen to ‘Stand in the Gap Today’ on your smartphone or android. Download the free “TuneIn” app from your app store and search for WFYL. The program airs every day on this station from 12-1pm ET. If you want to know the topic for each day, follow us on the APN Facebook page HERE!
From nearly every perspective – political, economic, prophetic, religious, academic, and medical –the world seems to be turning upside down! Consider the following:
- The Iran Bomb deal and the facilitated coalition of Russian, China, India, Iran, etc.
- The cyber wars, currency wars, and physical wars escalating with China, Russia, Iran and North Korea
- The beyond manageable US and World debt
- The religious figure of the Pope announcing world religion and promoting a One World Government
- An isolated Israel and a United States facilitating the promotion of an evil alliance against Israel
- A United States, once the shining City on a Hill, now the bellowing gates of Hell as this nation incites hatred by all other nations as we strong arm them into submission of our evil by trying to force them to adopt laws embracing homosexuality and abortion and corrupted politics.
This is why, as we deal with the issues of the day on our new ‘Stand in the Gap Today’ radio program, we look at the events around us and attempt to bring clarity to them by looking through the lens of Biblical Truth and our Constitution. By God’s grace, He is using APN in our various ministries to bring hope and clarity to a confused world as we encourage Pastors and all Christians to ‘Stand in the Gap for Truth’.
Specifically, I’d invite you to listen to a program that aired on Monday, August 17, featuring Middle East and Israel expert, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, also host of Prophecy Today, who helped us understand the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the developing tensions with Russia and China and Iran. He also shared what’s happening in Israel from a biblical, prophetical perspective. You can listen to this program: HERE.
More recently, Dr. DeYoung joined us for an update on the alignment of nations, the rise of NATO, and the preparations to resume Old Testament sacrifices on the Temple Mount. You can listen to this program HERE.
As we move through exciting yet perilous times, we invite you to stay informed and encouraged by listening to ‘Stand in the Gap Today’ for a biblical perspective on what’s happening here and around the world.
In the Defense of Truth and Freedom,
P.S. Remember, you can tune in LIVE to ‘Stand in the Gap Today’ from 12:00-1:00 pm ET on our new website: www.standinthegapradio.com and also find archives to all of our radio programs there. To listen to ‘Stand in the Gap Today’ on your smartphone or android, download the free “TuneIn” app from your app store and search for WFYL. The program airs every day on this station from 12-1pm ET. If you want to know the topic for each day, follow us on the APN Facebook page HERE!
Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., a 63-year tradition, was a chance for President Obama to unite the nation in faith, especially in the wake of violence and terror around the world.
Instead, says the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net), the event has strayed from the Christian faith it was founded upon and instead now seeks to validate every other religion around the world.
“Sadly, the president’s words last week were not only lacking in biblical truth but they were also outright deceptive,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who is also President of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net). “The National Prayer Breakfast is meant to be a time to come together for fellowship and prayer ‘in the spirit of Jesus’. This president turned it into an event that worships the god of political correctness while attempting to create some feeble moral parity between Christians and radical Islamic terrorists. The president took particular care not to mention Islam or Muhammad in a negative light yet willingly attacked Christ, demonstrating the truth of his words years ago, that ‘should the political winds ever shift in an ugly direction,’ he will ‘stand with Muslims.’ What we saw last week was his making good on that promise and prioritizing Islam over Christianity.”
In his address, the President did condemn those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that “no god condones terror.” However, instead of addressing directly the violence at hand being carried out by radical Islam, he chose to liken today’s violence to that carried out more than 700 years ago by those who claimed Jesus Christ.
“And lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. … So it is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.” He added a call for all people of faiths to show humility about their beliefs and reject the idea that “God speaks only to us and doesn’t speak to others.”
“The president’s remarks were astounding in their fallacy,” Rohrer continued. “While any atrocity committed in the name of Jesus Christ directly contradicts the example Jesus himself set throughout the New Testament, every atrocity committed in the name of Islam directly mirrors the example of Muhammad, who called for and carried out violence such as that which we continue to see today. When our leadership uses today’s radical Islamic violence as an excuse to target Christians, it’s a clear indication that this administration is calling good evil and evil, good, and attacking the very Judeo-Christian foundation on which our nation was built. I am glad that so many people have spoken out against the president’s words, but unless we go to our knees in prayer and open our mouths and preach the Truth and live out the Truth in boldness coupled with love, we will see persecution on a large scale right here. We must study and know the Truth in order to discern the Truth in times of great deception.”
PHILADELPHIA—Soon after the city of Ferguson, Mo., announced that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted on homicide charges for the death of Michael Brown, lawlessness erupted on the streets.
In the hours and days after the announcement, protestors—some of whom turned violent—burned locally owned businesses and police cruisers, despite the pleas of local pastors, the NAACP and Brown’s family to keep the protests peaceful. By Wednesday, about 45 had been arrested and countless buildings burned to the ground.
Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors Network (APN,www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net), says the problem is one of lawlessness masquerading as justice, both in Ferguson and around the country.
“From the very highest levels of government to the streets of Ferguson, we are witnessing the practical repudiation of the rule of law, moral law and constitutional civil law under the false pretense of justice,” Rohrer said. “Our nation, in this ‘Holy Experiment’ of self-government as envisioned by William Penn, was possible, he said, only if the citizens submitted themselves to the 10 Commandments of God. This developing love affair with lawlessness not only threatens our very republic but also will be judged by God Himself. It must be repudiated by all who fear God and love freedom, from the White House to the row house.”
Rohrer adds that any consideration for truth and biblical justice regarding current events—in Ferguson or in the White House and other situations—is conspicuously missing.
“Unless our citizens and leaders direct their energies to the good of others and submit themselves to God’s moral law, lawlessness will continue. If the interest is to preserve our freedom, then duty and responsibility, not license, must be embraced and demonstrated. Where there is no fear of God, there can be no freedom.”
Todd Johnson, a member of the APN leadership council and the pastor of First Immanuel Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, echoed these thoughts.
“When a law is broken, the way to fix it is not to riot or destroy property but to demonstrate peaceably,” Johnson said. “Lawlessness never leads to justice, only to anarchy.”
The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Public Community Foundation registered nationwide).
Pennsylvania Pastors Network is a state chapter affiliate of the American Pastors Network.
To interview Sam Rohrer, President of American Pastors Network andPennsylvania Pastors Network, contact Deborah Hamilton email@example.com, 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096.
The American Pastors Network (APN, www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net) is reminding Christians this Thanksgiving season that, even in the face of trouble and trials, thanking God daily—not only on November 27—brings us peace that passes all understanding.
“We’ll soon celebrate Thanksgiving Day,” said APN President Sam Rohrer in one of APN’s recent “Stand in the Gap” radio features. “But giving thanks to God every day is important if you want God’s peace. In these uncertain days of disease, daily Islamic threats, economic uncertainties, and attacks on God’s institution of marriage and on pastors themselves, peace can be elusive. Yet we’re told in Philippians 4 that we must not be anxious for anything. To worry and fret is to doubt God’s ability to meet our needs and His love for us.
“To try to work it out for ourselves rather than seek God’s help relegates God to the back seat,” Rohrer continued. “We’re told instead to pray and give thanks in everything, and God will give us great peace even in the midst of the biggest storms. Praying and being thankful go hand-in-hand. While giving thanks starts with obedience, it alone yields the kind of peace that only God can give.”
Rohrer added that while giving thanks has great benefits, it is ultimately an act of the will and often requires a determined choice when emotions say that there is little reason for thankfulness. He emphasized that the Christian life has very little to do with emotions but everything to do with making a decision to obey, follow and trust God regardless of where feelings might pull. True thankfulness is not a feeling, but a decision.
The month of October is dedicated as Pastors Appreciation month. I was recently asked if there were any pastors that influenced my ministry over the years and certainly I could name more than a few. Pastors have the unique opportunity to live a rather public life and speak thousands of sermons which profoundly affect those around them.
As we look back over the history of America, we see that there were many pastors who stood in the pulpit and proclaimed the truth of God no matter the cost. In fact, some of those pastors were willing to take off their robe, walk away from their pulpit, put on a uniform and literally go to war to fight for freedom because they believed in truth and wanted to see a nation founded on the principles of the Word of God. Many of those pastors had an influence upon our founding fathers and early leaders in our nation, which led them to establish America on biblical principles.
But personally there are several pastors who come to my mind who had a great influence upon me. One, particularly, did not even live in the United States of America. He ministered over in England, and his name was Charles Haddon Spurgeon, often referred to as the “Prince of Preachers.” I find it very interesting that when you pull his sermons off of the library shelf and begin to read them, he addressed issues back in the 1850s and 60s that are very similar to what we face today in 2014. Early on in my ministry, after reading some of his particular sermons, I was challenged to determine that no matter what the circumstances, it would be important for me to ‘stand in the gap’ and preach truth and righteousness into the church and the culture from the pulpit. One particular sermon he preached still rings in my mind that was entitled, “THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT,” in which he emphasized that Christians are to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Personally, I took from his words that preachers are to be the generals leading the church in the battle of spiritual warfare. He was a tremendous example to follow for those of us who are pastors.
Another pastor who also impressed me was Peter Marshall. At one time, he served as the pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and eventually became the Chaplain of the United States Senate. He was another pastor who was willing to speak to the issues, and bring the matter of truth and righteousness to the forefront. He often had people who served in government visit his congregation, but he never backed down from the strong message of the Word of God. He consistently ‘stood in the gap’, as it were, to proclaim truth to his hearers, many of whom had the opportunity to go to work the next day in the Capitol of the United States of America and make decisions based upon the sermon he gave to them the day before from the pulpit. I’ve always been impressed by the way he used his pulpit to preach to those in government, particularly those in the federal government in Washington, D.C., on the important issues of truth and righteousness.
But in my lifetime, the pastor who made the greatest impact upon me regarding preaching the truth into the culture was Dr. Jerry Falwell. I remember when he started out with his Moral Majority. Although he received a lot of criticism from Christians and non-Christians alike, he was not afraid to ‘stand in the gap’ for truth and righteousness. Because of his strong and fearless stand upon the Word of God, He led a core of pastors and Christians in this nation to commit to truth and righteousness, which I personally believe contributed to the establishment of a better nation in the 1980s and 90s. Then of course, there was Dr. D. James Kennedy, who, along with Dr. Falwell, led Christians and morally minded Americans to ‘stand in the gap’ for truth and to make an impact for biblical principles in the nation. And so there have been numerous pastors through the years whom I have looked up to and still do with great honor and respect, even though they are at home with the Lord. Those I mentioned above were national speakers, with a national voice, and there is no doubt in my mind that they made an impact for truth and righteousness upon our entire country.
Along with those I have mentioned, I must also speak about my own Grandfather, Pastor Michael Theodore Hulihan, who was a pastor for nearly 60 years. “Poppa”, as I called him, served five small churches in the years of his ministry but always preached the Word of God without compromise. As I recall, in four of those five churches he had community leaders in his congregation Sunday after Sunday to hear his sermons (many of which I have in my files today). In addition, he would often be invited to city or township meetings to give his advice on various issues the community was facing at that time. Believe me, he never backed down from the truth of the Word of God, and that made a very great impact upon my life as a youngster growing up in western Pennsylvania. Even to this day as I face the issues of the ministry, I often wonder how Poppa would have responded to contemporary society.
We need more pastors like those I have mentioned in America today. I’m very thankful for individual pastors who are in their local churches, standing for truth and righteousness on the local level like my grandfather. But more and more I pray that God will give us national voices like a Jerry Falwell, like a Peter Marshall, or like a D. James Kennedy, to lead this nation according to the truth of the Word of God that will bring honor and glory to the Lord.
During Pastor Appreciation Month, let’s pray for those who are preaching the truth of the Word of God into society without compromise. In addition, let’s be sure to thank them for their service unto the Lord, the church and their community. But let’s also pray that God will raise up pastors into the pulpits of America who will ‘stand in the gap’ for truth and righteousness in order to lead the way back to the biblical principles upon which this nation was founded.
If you are a pastor, perhaps this would be a good time for you to examine what kind of an influence you are having for truth and righteousness in your community, your state or even the nation. Years ago, an older pastor asked me, “Gary, if you were to leave this town today, would anyone notice?” His point was to get me to think about what kind of an impact I was having in the community outside the four walls of my church. And he was successful. He made me think, and so I acted.
So, what about you, Pastor? What impact are you making upon the society outside the four walls of your church? Do people take notice? That is something to think about today.
Pray for Your Pastor
Let him know your personal concern for his physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being. Even ask your pastor if there are prayer requests he would like you to pray for.
Become a Pastor’s Friend
Be compassionate and supportive of the pastor’s faithful ministry. You could even invite him to a family activity or community event. He’ll appreciate the invitation, even if he is unable to attend.
Write a Letter of Thanks
Handwritten notes of appreciation hold a special place in everyone’s hearts, including a pastor’s heart. These letters can be cherished forever, and serve as words of encouragement for the pastor when needed.
Whenever members of a pastor’s congregation recognize their leader’s ordination or birthday, this acknowledgement shows the pastor how much he is valued amongst his people.
Give Your Pastor Compliments
If the sermon your pastor just gave from the pulpit really inspired you, don’t be afraid to tell him after the service. Pastors like to receive reassurance that they truly are making a positive impact in people’s lives.
Offer to Help
Pastors will always accept help from members of his congregation, if you’re able to assist with various tasks. Just be realistic with your time, whether you can only offer to volunteer once a month or once a week.
What the Bible Has to Say About Honoring Our Pastors (contributed by Dr. Gary Dull)
1) Pray for him daily – 2 Thessalonians 3:1,2
2) Encourage him regularly – Galatians 6:6
3) Honor him biblically – 1 Timothy 5:17,18
4) Approach him respectfully – 1 Timothy 5:19,20
5) Follow him faithfully – Hebrews 13:7
6) Obey him spiritually – Hebrews 13:17
7) Support him financially – 1 Corinthians 9:14
We have a choice. Will we, the Church, choose to stand with Israel?
By: Dan Celia
Israel is the land of those who walked before us, bringing us our Christian heritage and the Judeo-Christian values by which we live each day. It is the land of God’s Chosen People. And, of course, it is the land of our Lord. The Bible tells us that those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed, and those who curse Israel will be cursed (Genesis 12:3).
A friend of mine who is an official in Jerusalem recently sent me an update. She explained they were fighting against an enemy hiding behind and among civilians, putting their own people in danger. She went on to say that while this enemy cares nothing for those civilians, Israel is being blamed for the atrocities that are resulting.
Our increasingly anti-Semitic word continues to make Israel the target of demonstrations and biting criticism while ignoring the brutal murders of Christians and others in the vicinity of Israel (and elsewhere). We continue to see politicians around the world who consistently look for political solutions and negotiate with an enemy who refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. These mediators are trying to reduce this conflict to political issues instead of an unquenchable vendetta of hate perpetrated by the so-called theology of Islamic extremists.
Along with the constant threat of death and devastation in the land, many Israel tours have been canceled and, of course, this is having a dramatic impact on their economy and affecting everyone in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Israel continues to call for prayer and for God’s hand of protection to be upon them.
All these things are extremely disturbing to me as a Christian who loves Israel. We need to be praying continuously. I believe churches need to stand up and to find a renewed and steadfast spirit within them. They need to stand up for Israel, pray for Israel, and find concrete ways to help Israel. I find it most disturbing that so few are doing this. Those who fail to stand with Israel should be praying that God does not cast them away from His presence (Psalm 51:10–11).
Pastors need to speak loudly from the pulpit against the policymakers and media that continue to take the wrong side of the issue or ignore the truth altogether. Pastors and the faithful need to be standing with Israel as never before, and their voices need to be heard.
Unfortunately, the silence is deafening—and it will bring no blessing to the Church in America.
Why are we silent? Could we be afraid of the political ramifications of speaking out? Could pastors and church leaders possibly be afraid that some in the church may be offended and leave to go to a more “easy-going” church? Could it be that tithes and offerings could fall off because of such a vocal stance? Could it be that we would believe for even a moment that he who lives in this world could be stronger and more terrifying than the power of God?
Each day, I hear the Silence of the Church on even more issues. Churches do not want to be politically involved, yet their very silence involves them—in a detrimental way. The Church in America is too concerned about losing the influence of the world to stand firmly as an influence on the world and take their stand on the truths and promises of the Bible. Certainly, there are exceptions out there. Those exceptions need to be even more vocal in encouraging their brethren in the pulpit to stand firmly and speak loudly.
As believers, we are the Church. And we have a choice. We can remain silent and put ourselves in jeopardy of losing everything—everything that counts. Or we can choose to speak out boldly . . . against those who are bombarding Israel with hate . . . against the policy makers and media who present half-truths or no truth at all. To stand steadfastly in every way with Israel. The choice to speak loudly does not come with the possibility of any real losses—at least the kind of losses that matter.
May the grace of God and His mercies and peace be upon the nation of Israel and may God’s people rise up in prayer, faith, conviction, and action for this land. (Psalm 122:6-7 NKJV)
Dan Celia is President/CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc. and host of the national syndicated radio talk program Financial Issues heard daily 9 to 11 ET. To learn more go to www.financialissues.org. Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries is a Partner of the American Pastors Network.
American Pastors Network Says Clergy Must Not Keep Silent on Critical Societal Topics
PHILADELPHIA—New research shows that while 90 percent of pastors believe the Bible has much to say about today’s pressing political and societal issues, less than 10 percent are talking about those issues from the pulpit.
Researcher George Barna spoke recently on American Family Radio’s “Today’s Issues” about his research project over the past two years, in which the Barna Group asked pastors across the country about their beliefs regarding the relevancy of Scripture to societal, moral and political issues, and the content of their sermons in light of their beliefs.
What he found was startling.
“…When we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, ‘Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues,’” Barna told American Family Radio. “Then we ask them: ‘Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?’ and the numbers drop … to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”
Sam Rohrer, President of the American Pastors Network (APN,www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net), says that while it is clear that there is a disconnect between knowing the Truth and preaching it, the real question is why. Avoiding the politically unpopular portions of Scripture is in some respects understandable from a human perspective. From God’s perspective, however, it is sin.
“The reality is that most people, including pastors, wish to be comfortable and to avoid controversy,” Rohrer said. “If the primary goal is to see people leave on Sunday morning feeling good about themselves and feeling comfortable rather than seeing the holiness of God and the ugly reality of sin, then a pastor will answer to God for doing his own will rather than declaring God’s will. The issues of the day that confront our nation must be dealt with from the pulpit if God’s Word is to make a difference in people’s lives and if the culture is to be impacted. This includes the areas of marriage and divorce, life and family, but it also includes the areas of honesty, servant leadership, following the Rule of Law, etc.”
Barna added that many pastors are afraid to get involved in political issues because of the controversy it might create. And, he added, “Controversy keeps people from being in the seats, controversy keeps people from giving money, from attending programs,” Barna said.
He also found that when asked how they measure the success of their churches, most pastors look to five factors: “attendance, giving, number of programs, number of staff and square footage.”
“The fact that so many pastors are more concerned with the size of their buildings and church bank accounts than with the condition of the souls they shepherd is without excuse,” Rohrer continued. “By abdicating their responsibility as Ministers of God to ‘preach the Word’ in favor of square footage, many pastors are, in essence, saying God’s Word is not really authoritative. In reality, a pastor—or an person for that matter—who feels they have the right to pick and choose what portions of Scripture they will believe or teach, rather than preach the ‘whole counsel of God’ have in effect made themselves god. This is why the American Pastors Network is building an infrastructure of pastors across the country who believe in the absolute authority of Scripture and who will boldly proclaim it from the pulpit.”
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