American Pastors Network: Pastors Should Impart to Church Members Basic Biblical Teaching That Civil Authority Is Limited

Officials keen to enforce coronavirus-related mandates imposed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf have issued another spate of citations to businesses allegedly in violation, drawing criticism from faith leaders who point out Wolf’s rules were never approved by state lawmakers, which the constitution requires.

When officials flout the limitations of their offices, it’s up to citizens — led by their pastors — to hold them accountable, according to Pastor Sam Rohrer, a nine-term former state representative and the president of the American Pastors Network.

“When Executive Branch officials demand changes in the lives of their citizens which affect their duty to God or violate their constitutional guarantees of freedom, these same officials are guilty of violating their oaths of office and the constitutional Separation of Powers, and usurp the authority of the Legislature.” Rohrer said. “Pastors should guide and lead citizens in identifying these violations of moral and civil authority and seek to hold  these officials accountable to the Constitution and to the Bible, both of which make plain that all authorities are subject to God and are obligated to use their power with fidelity. In the United States, this starts with obeying constitutional limits for each branch of government.

“Many Christians assume that the Bible commands people to yield blindly to authorities or to follow every command of every person in office, but this is not true.” Rohrer continued. “America’s pastors must lead their flocks to properly understand the principles of basic authority, which demand ordered submission insofar as they uphold the Revealed Law of God, which is then reflected — in our nation — in our state and federal Constitutions.

“Christians need to grasp from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans in the New Testament that authorities who rebel against God’s authority undermine the basis of their own authority,” Rohrer concluded.

Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against unlawful actions imposed on them — in disobedience to the highest civil laws of man and highest moral laws of God.

“The law is the law. Just law starts, of necessity, with objective truth — God’s moral Truth, and in our nation the precepts of the State and Federal Constitutions as our highest civil truth,” Rohrer said. “When either body of truth is ignored or redefined, both the moral and civil law are violated. It is then the citizen’s duty led by others in authority — in either civil government or the pulpit — to biblically and constitutionally resist that law or order and to seek a re-calibration to the truth and law. We as pastors, teachers and defenders of the truth, are urging that our legislators and all people begin asking the right first questions: ‘What is the law?’ And ‘What is the authority behind the civil order or directive?’ ” 

To see what Pastors in Pennsylvania are doing to hold their officials accountable, please click HERE.

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Pastors Must Lead in Pandemic Response by Asking Most Basic Questions about Authority and Law, Separation of Powers, Says American Pastors Network

As states experiencing increases in the number of patients testing positive for coronavirus, reprisals of mandates arising out of limited duration and questionable executive branch ‘emergency powers’ threaten to become the new normal. Although pockets of Americans continue to dispute the sweeping regulatory powers that non-legislative bodies are wielding, many are blindly yielding to these unlawful demands. Others are asking if resistance is possible or how it should be done.

Pastor and statesman Sam Rohrer says that’s because they’re asking the wrong question.

“The question each human being should start with precedes questions about the efficacy, consistency with medical science and basic truth regarding face masks, church and business closures or social distancing — although asking substantive questions about these policies will certainly illuminate whether mandating those measures is even justifiable.” Rohrer said.

Rohrer, a 9-term former Pennsylvania state representative and the president of the American Pastors Network, says Christians must find the courage to ask — out loud — the most basic questions about the source of civil authority in our American Constitutional Republic and about the foundational moral authority outlined in the Bible which undergirds the duties, extent and  limitations of all civil  authorities and the basic structure of our civil law.

“Any individual — man, woman or child — who wants to emerge from this pandemic with their health and freedoms intact must start by asking, Who or what is the source of authority behind civil orders or directives coming from civil authorities? Where does authority come from in this matter? What is the actual law? Christians know from the Bible that all authority is not merely ordained, (established, ranked and ordered) by God but subject to God — obligated to obey God, and will give account to God including acting in accordance with Natural Law.”

Consequently, America’s federal and state governments were founded and designed specifically to ensure that elected and appointed officials recognize the existence of Revealed law, and the reality of sinful hearts which lead civil authority to become tyrannical and deceive themselves into believing they are the law.

“Separation of powers is one of the obvious and essential principles in recognizing the Rule of Law and preventing tyranny (exceeding lawful restraints),” Rohrer continued. “According to our Constitution, only lawmakers- the Legislative Branch – possesses the authority to make laws. The executive branch is intentionally restricted and therefore lacks this authority. Judges lack this authority. The power belongs exclusively to the legislative branch in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C.

“So-called ‘laws’ not passed through the constitutionally prescribed legislative system are therefore unlawful and illegitimate , regardless of what the executive or judicial branches say. . Most middle schoolers know this — but do their parents? Do their pastors? Do our government officials?”

Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against unlawful actions imposed on them — in disobedience to the highest civil laws of man and highest moral laws of God.

“The law is the law. Just law starts of necessity with Truth.  When Truth is ignored or redefined and the proper lawmaking process is usurped or violated, it is our duty to morally and constitutionally resist that law or order and to seek a re-calibration to the truth and law,” Rohrer said. “We as pastors, teachers and defenders of the truth, are urging that our legislators and all people begin asking the right first questions: ‘What is the law?’ And ‘What is the authority behind the civil order or directive?’ ”

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American Pastors Network’s Note to Fellow Pastors: Denounce Government Overreach Now To Preserve Freedom Tomorrow

Leading conservative Christian voices are calling on Americans to recognize and resist the overreach of elected officials who oppress God-given and constitutionally protected rights by imposing restrictions on businesses, schools, homes and even churches.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer invited fellow pastor and author Matthew J. Trewhella, author of “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate,” onto the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio show to sound an alarm and to inspire pastors and parishioners to resist tyranny God’s way.

Interviewing Trewhella, Rohrer identified complacent citizens as one of the greatest accomplices of totalitarian dictatorship.

“You know, the greatest ally of tyranny are citizens and pastors and government officials who refuse to confront lawlessness and aggressive immorality in a Biblical and historical way,” Rohrer explained“We’ll either define the problem of tyranny and resist it God’s way and therefore defend freedom, or we’ll embrace tyranny by choosing to work the system to our own selfish advantage.”

Trewhella offered a 1-to-10 scale to gauge how the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the government’s abuse of power and increased the threat to religious liberty.

“[With] 10 being you’re sitting in a gulag or being haunted by the officials for simply trying to live free and faithful and true to Christ, we’re definitely at 8,” Trewhella said. “This is a pernicious evil, this whole COVID thing.”

Rohrer says the preservation of religious liberty hinges on whether America’s pastors will speak up and stand up against authoritarian actions.

“I submit that here in America, if we don’t soon begin stepping up, including our pastors in our pulpits and all in positions of authority, then instead of being the home of the free and the land of the brave, America will become the home of the enslaved and the land of the coward,” Rohrer concluded.

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Dear Pastor, Should Your Church Accept CARES Relief Funding from the Government?

Dear Pastor Friend,

Last Thursday, April 23, 2020, additional SBA “Guidance” was distributed in relation to accepting CARES Act funds from the federal government. Certain warnings then were issued by various law firms to carefully evaluate the requirement to certify the ‘necessity’ of the funds under penalty of fraud. And, if any doubt all funds could be repaid by May 7 with no harm, no foul considerations.. My concern has long existed in regard to whether it is advisable for churches to pursue and accept loan assistance from government. My own fellow deacons and church leadership have grappled long and hard with this decision. But my experience as 18 years in the PA General Assembly and studying history, law and biblical teaching on God’s order of jurisdiction has taught me that entanglement is easy. Getting caught in a trap is easy. Getting out is hard.

I would like to pass along two specific lines of comment on this entire deliberation. First,regarding the need to be cautious in regard to this deliberation, I previously sent cautionary notes to our Deacons and Pastor’s staff on April 3, April 14, and April 21. In each of these
notes, I expressed a range of concerns: there is no such thing as free money; strings are always attached; there are no Biblical precedents for accepting civil authority aid; it challenges a church’s reliance on God; it sets a negative precedent for the future. The list goes on.

Secondly, upon closer examination of the legislation itself, my concern became even stronger. Within the language of the law, definitions are purposefully vague; the use of ‘guidance’ by government bureaucracies is left incredibly open. Clearly invasive ‘strings’ or ‘entanglements’
are rarely included in the actual text of law; otherwise, it would be easily identified and rejected out of hand. “Strings” happen most often through regulations and rulemaking of enforcement entities, in this case the SBA, in conjunction with the Treasury and likely the
IRS. Prompted by atheist organizations who bring lawsuits that end up in liberal courts, these ‘strings’ can become hanging ‘ropes’. The strings of this bill end up as a result of the open ended “Guidance” and to a lesser degree the ‘Sense of the Senate’. The strings, however, can only occur where there is ‘linkage’.

Unfortunately, linkage with government already exists with churches who took 501c3 non-profit status when Congress and the IRS created
this Treasury Department designation. Secondary linkage occurs when government money is pursued and accepted by a church.
According to this CARES Act, a free-standing church (non-501c3) would not be qualified for any of this financial aid. The law states that only non-profits as a 501c3 can apply. The ‘business’ designation is the existing linkage/category that makes a church ‘qualify.’ Ignored by most
attorneys, however, is the fact that churches are tax-exempt because they are churches. The linkage of the 501c3 status is the only ‘legal’ way the IRS can leverage churches and the pulpit.

This linkage is a problem because all business entities—corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, non-profits—are by law “creations of the state.” And what the state creates, the state has a right to regulate. Pursuing and accepting money places every church in a position of not only potentially committing fraud under the regulations, but defacto confirms this linkage before the law as a ‘creation of the state,’ not a distinct, separate body of God-created jurisdiction. I am therefore, firmed in my sense that we should decide as a body of elected leaders to decline any acceptance of funds from the CARES Act. It is our responsibility to understand this issue and refuse entanglement.

Thank you for your consideration of these thoughts. If I had not worked through details like this in my 18 years in office, I would not be laying out this thought process. But I learned much and feel I must pass this along.

May God add His blessing and Guidance to us.
Sam Rohrer
The Hon. Sam Rohrer is an 18-year veteran of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and president of the American Pastors Network. He also co-hosts nationwide radio and television programs, Stand in the Gap Radio and Stand in the Gap TV. Learn more at AmericanPastorsNetwork.net.

Pandemic Places Educational Responsibility on Parents, Allows Pastors to Offer Vital Support

As COVID-19 pushes curriculum content, social issues, and worldviews toward deeper parent scrutiny, the pandemic has opened wide the door for pastors to guide parents through tough decisions about the upcoming school year — and American society is counting on them to do so.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer says that parents — not schools — are ultimately responsible for their child’s education.

“God gave the responsibility to parents for the primary education of their children,” Rohrer said on APN’s “Stand in the Gap Today.” “He told fathers, ‘You pass along what I have done and what I have commanded to your children and pass it along even to your grandchildren,’ so there is a generational responsibility that comes to parents.”

A parent’s responsibility begins with personally knowing the God of the Bible and extends to imparting a “virtuous education”—both of which are vital to America’s experiment in self-government.

“William Penn laid out a frame of government, which actually became a foundational element for all of government broadly, but he made it clear that self-government must function under God, which means our founders had to understand who God is,” Rohrer continued. “Penn also said there had to be a virtuous education of the youth, and that it was the parent’s responsibility. Frankly, the only way you can have a virtuous education is if they’re taught biblical principles.”

As parents attempt to fulfill this responsibility amid pandemic-induced school closures, understanding and evaluating options can be overwhelming. Pastors have the opportunity of a century to guide parents through options such as Christian schools and homeschooling.

E. Ray Moore, co-founder of Frontline Ministries, Inc., and leader of Exodus Mandate, was a guest on the “Stand in the Gap Today” episode. Moore said, “Pastors have a unique opportunity to point families to the Christian school option. The curriculum world for homeschooling and Christian schools is so rich and so manifold that it’s hard for people to make decisions [because] they’ve got so many good choices. But the scripture is clear about pastoral responsibility for the flock, so we see this as falling in that category.”

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American Pastors Network President: SCOTUS Ruling Against Louisiana Abortion Limitation Flouts Sanctity of Life

A divided Supreme Court of the United States struck down a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to secure admitting privileges at local hospitals as a condition of remaining open for business. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices in the 5–4 ruling, citing the court’s 2016 ruling as a precedent.

American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer says the government is obligated by God’s law to protect the rights of the unborn, a responsibility America’s leaders neglect at their peril.

“We are endowed by our Creator God with certain God-given rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No more profound human words were ever spoken,” Rohrer said. “Recognizing God as Creator is where understanding liberty begins and human responsibility extends. Life results when God creates.

“The sacredness and sanctity of all life—born and unborn—exists because God creates,” Rohrer continued. “It’s this life that government is to protect. Government leaders position themselves to receive dire judgment from God, the Judge of mankind, when life is murdered.”

Listen to the Stand in the Gap Minute Series “Spiritual Victory” airing this week!

To listen to the rest of the minute programs, please click HERE.

American Pastors Network President: Anarchy, Toppling of Monuments Supports Growing Fear of Next Civil War

With the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) occupation in Seattle dissolving after gunshots left one dead, protestors in many U.S. cities are emboldened to knock down or deface monuments of national founders or heroes such as Teddy Roosevelt, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Francis Scott Key, and others. Authorities seem paralyzed to protect and preserve public property.

The demonstrations that have led to the militant takeover of blocks of Seattle and the toppling of statues from east to west support the growing suspicion that civil war is imminent, according to American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer.

“It is important to confront what is happening in America’s streets,” Rohrer said. “This is particularly important in light of this month’s Rasmussen poll findings that over 34% of all Americans and 40% of registered Republican voters believe the U.S. will experience a second civil war within the next five years.

“The open anarchy in the streets is one problem,” Rohrer continued. “But the toppling of monuments across the country is another troubling action. With the toppling of monuments of people who fought to end slavery in America, and then the toppling of the statue of Francis Scott Key the writer of the national anthem of the United States—“The Star Spangled Banner”—there is more happening than meets the eye.

“Instead of destroying monuments, Americans and especially Christians should leverage God’s purposes for monuments by reflecting on God’s provision and blessings in this nation and thank Him for how He blesses this nation with greater justice and more freedom when we follow God’s moral law, and how He judges this nation with a great evidence of injustice and less freedom whenever we reject God’s moral law—just as God instructed Joshua and His people after He freed them from 400 years of Egyptian slavery,” Rohrer concluded.

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APN President: Pennsylvania Impeachment Controversy a Civics Lesson in Separation of Powers

As states continue to roll back pandemic-induced restrictions, efforts to impeach Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) regarding his use of power during the crisis have escalated. Rep. Daryl Metcalf (R-Butler County) introduced legislation bearing five articles of impeachment that allege unlawful unilateral action by Wolf.

The controversy is a prime opportunity for all parties and members of government to reacquaint themselves with bedrock constitutional principles, according to American Pastors Network President Sam Rohrer.

“Two building blocks of free society in general and constitutional government in particular are the principle of separation of powers and its sister principle, checks and balances,” Rohrer said. “The division of governing authority among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches is an often touted yet often neglected ingredient in the American experiment of self-governance. Our state’s and our country’s founders knew that both the soul of man and the nature of government crave power. Consequently, they equipped each branch of government to contain the other branches.

“The question of whether Pennsylvania’s executive branch overstepped its lawful bounds during the pandemic will likely generate complex argument and discussion,” Rohrer continued. “The discussion can be a healthy one, if only to remind the citizens and elected officials of Pennsylvania, and of the United States, that freedom requires the limitation of all branches government.”

To listen to a Stand in the Gap Today program featuring Rep. Darryl Metcalfe discussing the impeachment legislation, please click HERE.

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How Fathers Can Help Restore the Family and Unite the Nation

by Sam Rohrer

***This article was originally posted on CNSNews.com HERE.

Where are the fathers? A generation ago, the Supreme Court defied the God of heaven and declared legal the murder of our babies—and our fathers were silent.

When the Ten Commandments were declared to be poison to our children’s minds, our pastors were silent. When the courts and culture continue to attack God’s model for family by redefining marriage and human sexuality, why is there such continuing silence?

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

Father’s Day is a good time to consider God’s expectation for fathers.

As a father of six and grandfather to fourteen, I’ve thought much about my role and the fact that fathers create a child’s first image of God. Men, are we demonstrating that God is faithful, loving, patient, and kind?

Is our discipline consistent and just?

Are our children learning God’s protection and provision of needs?

Does the love we show for our wife model Christ’s love for the Church?

Do we teach the fear of God in our home by living in the fear of God ourselves?

Do we focus on building character in our children to live and think like Christ so His character and nature will be seen through them?

Imagine the impact in our homes and our culture if we did.

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

  1. We must lead our children to faith in the LORD because He is the only God.
  2. We must lead our children to a fervor for the Lord by loving Him with all their heart, soul and mind.
  3. We must lead our children to fear the LORD because that is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.
  4. We must lead our children to a familiarity of the LORD by learning of Him daily and diligently.
  5. And then, when God blesses—and He will—we must lead our children not to forget the LORD and what He has done.

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

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash