Human Trafficking Disguised as Immigration at the Border

While the mainstream media has reported what they believe to be a tragedy—the brief separation of immigrant children and parents illegally in the U.S.—that’s not the real story. The real story is what is happening to thousands of children, whether born here, naturalized or undocumented, who wind up in a form of slavery that should provoke moral outrage from all.

The United States is now a destination country and global slavery auction for thousands of men, women and children trafficked from all areas of the world, usually for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Lured from their homes with false promises of well-paying jobs, they are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude, farm or factory labor, or other types of forced labor.

How Does ICE Define Trafficking Versus Smuggling?

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),”Human trafficking and human smuggling are distinct criminal activities, and the terms are not interchangeable.

Human trafficking centers on exploitation and is generally defined as:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • Recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Human smuggling centers on transportation and is generally defined as:

  • Importation of people into the United States involving deliberate evasion of immigration laws. This offense includes bringing illegal aliens into the country, as well as the unlawful transportation and harboring of aliens already in the United States.”

Slaves Here in America?

Human trafficking as well as human smuggling of children is taking place at our nation’s borders, and much of the time, for one reason: sexual slavery. The average age of entry into America’s sex trade is 12 to 14 years old. Forced into a life they never chose, and manipulated, abused and tortured, children are sold on the streets, on the internet and at truck stops every night. They didn’t make bad choices; they are victims of child sex trafficking. They come from our neighborhoods, schools, churches and homes. Our national consciousness is starting to realize the evil of sex trafficking and becoming morally outraged by this depraved industry that is motivated by sexual pleasure or greed. Slavery is illegal in our day. However, in this realm, it still exists.

Human objectification is also presented in a daily barrage of sexual images fed to us through almost every medium.Our sociocultural context sexually objectifies these individuals and equates human worth with bodily appearance and sexuality, and minimizes the harm done to them through exploitation conducted for personal gratification. Objectification theory provides an important framework for understanding, researching, and intervening to improve the lives of women, children, and especially teens.

It is the duty of pastors to include biblically based education for their members and the public so they can address these issues, raise awareness and engage the complex factors that contribute to this atrocity. So, how does the Christian worldview apply to sex trafficking? How should we think about these issues in a distinctly biblical manner? Here are a few brief points for consideration:

  1. Sex trafficking is an offense to the sanctity of human life. All human beings are made in the image of God and are equally valuable. All people are viewed the same by God. It is an offense against God to force another human into slavery.
  2. Sex trafficking illustrates the sexual perversity of our fallen world.It illustrates how powerful sex is. Something created by God for good has been twisted into something deeply wicked. God gives this gift to married couples for His glory.
  3. Sex trafficking is a picture of human bondage.Whether it’s materialism, ambition, greed, pride, bitterness or sexual sin, they are slave masters who couldn’t care less about their victims.
  4. Sex trafficking reveals our need for repentance.As horrific evils, lust, selfishness and a desire to use others shows our guilt before a holy God. Because Jesus Christ came into this world as a slave and paid the sin debt we all carry, there is now forgiveness, hope and liberation from sin and adoption by a loving Father.

Christians should labor for the cause of justice. In whatever ways we can, we should support causes that are working to uncover and prosecute those who are driving the industry of sex slavery.

How can people who have stood by silently during the slaughter of more than 60 million pre-born children through abortion in America since Roe v. Wade compare a short time of child separation during an immigration process as something equivalent? As Shakespeare wisely wrote, “The lady doth protest too much.”

This article was originally published on The Christian Post.

The Rise of Islam in America— Answering the Unasked Questions

Many Christians may not realize that Islam affects them personally, as well as their communities, their churches and the nation.

The American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) is aiming to share more information about the rise of Islam in America, answering the questions that many may be fearful or too intimidated to ask.

Several weeks ago, APN debuted its new weekly television program, “Stand in the Gap,” which considers transcending cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective each Sunday afternoon.

On yesterday’s program, which will be rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26, Rohrer and co-host Isaac Crockett welcomed Dr. Mark Christian, a former Egyptian Imam with family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. On a series of three programs, the second and third airing July 29 and Aug. 5, respectively, Christian and Rohrer will discuss how Islam has infiltrated the American culture, what the implications are, and what pastors and churches must know to respond appropriately.

“Islam has already shown its intention to destroy America by any means necessary,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “But are we aware of all the ways this insidious invasion is already taking place? We hope this new effort from APN and ‘Stand in the Gap’ TV will help Christians learn behind-the-scenes details from those who know: Christians who are devoted American patriots, but who were once Muslims, and are sometimes very close to the decision makers and influencers behind the global caliphate strategies.”

Dr. Mark Christian is now the founder and president of the Global Faith Institute. He is a former Muslim from Cairo who served as an Imam from the age of 13. Christian left Islam at the age of 25 after researching the life of Muhammad and the teachings of the Quran and became convinced that his Muslim faith was a lie. He wandered spiritually for the next 10 years, ultimately discovering that Jesus Christ was the answer he was seeking.

“Islam has targeted America and is spreading through deception as to what it believes, its goals and its strategies,” Rohrer said. “We are honored to welcome Dr. Mark Christian to help establish the historical and the political foundations of Islam, the goals of Islam, the definition of Sharia, the distinctions between Islam and ‘radical Islam,’ whether Islam is compatible with the U.S. Constitution and much more. An expert on Islam, Dr. Christian provides his testimony as well as his insight on how Islam is spreading, details about the Muslim Brotherhood, who the average Muslim person is and what they believe and why America has been targeted.”

View more about each of the three programs:

* The Rise of Islam in America—Part I: “Answering the Unasked Questions”—establishing the foundation clarifying points about Islam. View the full program.

* The Rise of Islam in America—Part II: “The Crumbling American Church”—identifying the Islamic strategy to infiltrate and silence the American church. View the promo.

* The Rise of Islam in America—Part III: “The Complicit American Culture”—identifying the Islamic strategy to infiltrate and silence the American culture. View the promo.

“This is perhaps the issue of greatest threat to America and our freedom as we know it,” Rohrer added. “Yet it is an issue very few talk about for fear they be identified and labeled as ‘haters.’ But to every American citizen, and particularly to every American Christian, Islam will not, through ignorance or false hope, simply go away. In fact, this is the one driving issue that if not properly understood—and very soon—will destroy America and snuff out the light of truth and freedom in our shining city on the hill and usher in incredible persecution.”

Photo by Senor Sosa on Unsplash

Churchgoers Stay for the Theology, Not the Music or the Pastor

The results of a new survey from Lifeway Research may come as a surprise to pastors and worship leaders.

The study found that most churchgoers will put up with a change in music style or a different preacher, but they will choose to leave a church if the foundational beliefs are tampered with.

These findings can serve as a wake-up call, says the American Pastors Network to pastors who may be trying to reach people through music, programs, or style rather than the substance of the Gospel.

“It is crucial that American churches return to the core of the Gospel—the true focus of who and what the church should be,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Today’s pastors can get caught up in the style of music, programs offered, the environment, and even how leaders dress. While these things may deserve some attention, they should not be the focus. The foundation of the church must be its theological position and how strongly it is rooted in the Word of God. Rightfully so, the people in the pews realize this.”

According to the survey, most churchgoers are committed to staying at their current church for the long haul, but more than half of respondents (54 percent) said they would strongly consider leaving if the church’s core beliefs or doctrine changed.

Perhaps the reasoning for staying at a current church is that, for the most part, churchgoers say they agree with their church’s teaching. About half (52 percent) say their beliefs are completely aligned with those of the church; 42 percent say their beliefs are mostly aligned.

“We see many churches today wrestling with what should be foundational beliefs for any church, such as God’s definition of marriage, his design for sexuality and gender, and many other cultural and societal issues,” Rohrer added. “While churches must maintain biblical positions on these matters and address them from the pulpit, it is a grave mistake for them to change their foundational beliefs in order to welcome more people, appease more members, or otherwise engage the culture.”

Of the 1,000-plus surveyed, 35 percent have been at their church between 10 and 24 years, and 27 percent have been there for 25 years or more—meaning that most church members have been at their church longer than the pastor. Just under 40 percent have been at their current church for nine years or fewer. Overall, 15 percent of churchgoers say they have thought about going to another church in the past six months. Eighty-five percent say they have not.

Besides a change in church doctrine, churchgoers say several other reasons might cause them to switch:

  • 48 percent would change churches if they moved to a new home
  • 19 percent if the preaching style changed
  • 12 percent if the pastor left
  • 10 percent if a family member wanted a new church
  • 9 percent would leave over politics
  • 6 percent would leave if they didn’t feel needed
  • 5 percent if the music style changed
  • 4 percent if they had a conflict
  • 3 percent if a friend stopped attending

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

Are You “Christian” or “A Christian”?

Perhaps more than ever before, “church” is making headlines, whether it is about denominational division, pastor scandal or how religion plays into politics. But regardless, says the American Pastors Network, the core focus of the American church has strayed.

“Why are we talking about denominations?” asks APN President Sam Rohrer. “How does it affect both believers and nonbelievers? What responsibility do denominational leaders have? For one, there is a branding problem within denominations—older churchgoers want it, while the younger do not. But the question remains: Is Christianity any longer a brand? Church is now a social gathering of like-minded people. Can any of these people identify—or do they want to identify—with the things that are genuinely Christian, or with what the Bible says about the most pressing issues of our day? The answer is no.”

It is crucial, Rohrer added, that American churches return to the core of the Gospel. The foundations of denominations are being lost because of salacious headlines, which take away from the true focus of who and what the church should be.

“Christianity is becoming a way of worship that allows us to lead a moral life and be a good person, but we are pushing out the power of God and His Word,” Rohrer said. “Research shows that true Bible-believing Christians are becoming less and less. ‘Christian’ can mean: ‘I believe the Bible but never open it, I believe in the flag, I believe in the Constitution.’ But being a true Christ-follower is much different. It’s ‘being a Christian’ versus ‘being Christian.’”

APN recently debuted its new television program, “Stand in the Gap,” which considers transcending cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective. “Stand in the Gap” TV also seeks to bring clarity to cultural confusion and makes sense of the nonsense around us, focusing on the root problems of our nation and applies biblical principles so God’s people can know the truth.

“Stand in the Gap” TV airs weekly on WBPH-TV60, a station in the Philadelphia market that reaches a potential of 7 million viewers by cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, off-air antenna, and online. Programs air at 3pm ET Sundays and will be rebroadcast Tuesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 7:30pm Check the WBPH listings for more information on how to watch. here or view a promo for the show Learn more about the program.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Are Today’s Churches “Of the Culture” or “In the Culture”?

Much has been made recently about America’s mainline church denominations—the changes, division and uncertainty within.

But the American Pastors Network’s says the focus should be on something else—getting back on the basics of Christianity.

“Christians must unite around the core of the gospel, not divide because of man-made denominations,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Above all, the focus must be on how to communicate the Gospel. Churches can change their music, change the way the pastor dresses, or change the public statements, but many of today’s churches are walking away from the authority of Scripture and the necessity of protecting the authority of God’s Word. That never grows old, and no one can change that without directly attacking the Word of God. Bit by bit, we are collectively retreating from a hard, fast, and firm commitment to Scripture, and searching for ways to make it more palatable to the next generation—whatever that might look like.”

Another damaging matter, Rohrer added, is churches desiring to or giving into the allure of being of the culture rather than in the culture, ultimately straying from the Gospel to meet cultural needs.

“Many churches are trying to change to become like the culture, but the long-term effects of leaving the Gospel will be damaging beyond belief,” he said. “Many elements have pervaded our country’s denominations, such as transgenderism, same-sex marriage, sexual assault, and social justice, just to name a few. The Left loves to see the divide of some of the largest of these denominations, which are doing much self-promotion, inviting media to be part of the ‘experience’ and by moving away from traditional church business and opening the doors of today’s critiques of Christianity, either through the mainstream media or social media. And all the discord is playing out in public, which is not helping the spread of the Gospel one bit.”

APN recently debuted its new television program, “Stand in the Gap,” which considers transcending cultural issues, seemingly difficult to navigate, from a biblical worldview perspective. “Stand in the Gap” TV also seeks to bring clarity to cultural confusion and makes sense of the nonsense around us, focusing on the root problems of our nation and applies biblical principles so God’s people can know the truth.

“Stand in the Gap” TV airs weekly on WBPH-TV60, a station in the Philadelphia market that reaches a potential of 7 million viewers by cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, off-air antenna, and online. Programs air at 3pm ET Sundays and will be rebroadcast Tuesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 7:30pm Check the WBPH listings for more information on how to watch. here or view a promo for the show Learn more about the program.

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

Sharing Faith Increasingly “Optional” for Christians

What is “optional” for Christians? Church attendance, going to Bible studies, tithing, giving to charity? As it turns out, many Christians say it’s becoming increasingly “optional” to share their faith in Christ with others.

This is the finding of a new survey from social science researcher George Barna, who is a friend of the American Pastors Network, and frequent guest on its popular daily radio program “Stand in the Gap Today.”

“Our world has changed,” said APN President and “Stand in the Gap” radio and TV host Sam Rohrer. “Decades ago, sitting with our friends, family members, neighbors, and fellow believers, often talking about our faith in God, was commonplace. Today, with how technology has drastically changed the way we interact, those conversations don’t happen nearly as much. How does this impact our faith—and the potential saving faith for others? Our good friend George Barna explores this question and gives insight on Christians feels about sharing our belief in and reliance upon Jesus.”

In 1993, Barna partnered with Lutheran Hour Ministries to research reasons why people did and did not engage in intentional outreach. Much has changed since that initial study, so 25 years later researchers asked follow-up questions to see if talk of faith has become labored in a culture that is more digital, secular, and contested than ever. The results are contained in Barna’s new report Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age.

“When was the last time you had a conversation about God?” Barna wrote to introduce the follow-up study. “For most people, the unfortunate and surprising answer to that question is not very often. Spiritual conversations are exceedingly rare for most Americans, and even for Christians, who are at best reluctant to have them.”

Barna’s research found that a growing number of Christians don’t see sharing the Good News as a personal responsibility. Just 10 percent of Christians in 1993 agreed with the statement “converting people to Christianity is the job of the local church”—as opposed to the job of an individual. Today, nearly three in 10 Christians (29 percent) say evangelism is the local church’s responsibility—a threefold increase. This jump could be the result of many factors, Barna reported, including poor ecclesiology (believing “the local church” is somehow separate from the people who are a part of it) or personal and cultural barriers to sharing faith.

An even more dramatic divergence occurred on this statement: “Every Christian has a responsibility to share their faith.” In 1993, nine out of 10 Christians (89 percent) agreed, but today, just two-thirds say the same (64 percent)—a 25-point drop.

Barna will be the featured guest again on “Stand in the Gap Today” on June 7, when he will discuss the newest research.

APN’s Voting Checklist Helps Equip Christians Before Heading to Polls

As 20 States Hold Primaries Over Next Six Weeks, APN President Sam Rohrer Offers Five Questions to Guide Voters at the Ballot Box

Millions of registered voters will head to the polls over the next six weeks, with 25 states planning primaries from May 15 to June 26.

Among them is Pennsylvania, the headquarters of the American Pastors Network. APN President Sam Rohrer has been involved in politics in the Keystone State for more than 20 years and has used his own “Voting Integrity Checklist” for decades as a legislator. Now he is offering some of the same ideals from the list to voters around the country in advance of these important upcoming primaries.

“Voting truly does have a lifetime of accountability,” Rohrer said. “The faithful cannot simply choose a name on a whim, listen to the headlines of a very biased media, or go along with what the polls are dictating. Rather, voting must be a carefully considered, prayerful, and serious decision. Our prayer is that every Christian will base their voting decisions on biblical principles and wisdom, rather than emotion, news reports, or even social media.”

Decades ago, Rohrer created his “Voting Integrity Checklist,” a series of questions he developed for himself to use during his nearly 20 years in office as a legislator. It helped him ensure votes of integrity, but also to permit his fellow legislators and candidates to have a measuring stick on how to conduct themselves while in office. Ultimately, a number of Rohrer’s fellow lawmakers adopted his simple checklist.

This list, says Rohrer, is easily adaptable for voters as they head to the polls, whether in primaries or general elections:

  1. Is the issue I am voting for biblically moral? Does this candidate live by a set of biblical morals?
  2. Is this issue I am voting for constitutional? Is this candidate committed to upholding constitutional principles?
  3. Will voting for this issue preserve individual freedom and responsibility (versus strengthening government control) and does it preserve and strengthen the traditional family? Is this candidate also committed to these freedoms and ideals?
  4. Is this issue in the best interest of the general public (versus only special interests)? Does this candidate also advocate on behalf of constituents rather than special interest groups?
  5. Will the measure be governed in an efficient, effective and financially sound way? Is this candidate also committed to efficiency and sound fiscal spending?

APN is also partnering with iVoter Guide, a comprehensive, data-driven voter guide that is “grounded in God” and “rooted in research.” The guide provides voters with side-by-side comparisons of candidates for the primary elections, allowing them to identify who most closely shares their values and who has the record to back up campaign promises.

APN Conference Call for Pastors Highlights APN Benefits on June 5

We hope you’ll join us for a valuable Pastors Conference Call on June 5 to learn more about the new APN Benefits program!

The guest speaker will be Peter Persuitti, Managing Director of Arthur J. Gallagher Co., a non-profit risk management, insurance, and consulting agency. This organization is partnering with APN to present benefits to pastors and churches.

Who: American Pastors Network
What: Conference Call: “7 Reasons Why APN Benefits Membership Assists Pastors and Churches”
Where: Call in to (515) 739-1030, access code: 466203852 #
When: 9:00-10:30am EST Tuesday, June 5
How: Register for the call. There will be a time for Q&A at the end of the call. Learn more about APN Benefits, such as Compliance and Crisis Management Resources, Church Governance and Human Resources Services, Accident Insurance and Ministry Protection, Travel, Health, Life and Long-Term Insurance Coverage, and much more. To find out more, visit the APN Benefits Membership website.

Photo by Rayi Christian Wicaksono on Unsplash

What Is God’s Plan for Israel on Its 70th Anniversary?

American Pastors Network Explores News Surrounding Israel, Iran, and More on “Stand in the Gap Today” Radio Program

It’s been a busy few days for headlines surrounding Israel—from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exposing Iran’s lies to the U.S. withdrawal of the Iran nuclear deal to the impending 70th anniversary of Israel becoming a nation on May 14, 1948.

The American Pastors Network has been following all this news on its popular radio program, “Stand in the Gap Today,” heard on 425 stations around the country.

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

“Last week, Benjamin Netanyahu called a news-shattering news conference about the lies of Iran regarding its nuclear program and figuratively shook the ground underneath the Iran nuclear deal that was deceptively negotiated between the leaders of Iran and former President Barack Obama,” Rohrer said. “But before this exposé, Israel literally shook the ground in Syria as it inflicted a wound not only against Syrian forces, but as an attack against Iran and its ambitions to destroy Israel and the United States. Although they may think it’s thousands of miles and several time zones away, Christians are directly impacted by news like this, and must be up to speed on all that is happening daily in the Middle East and how it relates back to God’s Word.

“Now more than ever, the faithful must be tuned in to God’s plans for this world, our country and the nation of Israel, which on Monday, will look back on the 70 years since becoming a nation,” he added. “Where has Israel been, where is it headed, and what is God’s plan for this nation? These are questions important to American Christians everywhere.”

“Stand in the Gap Today” will address Israel and Iran again today on the program. The show can be heard live online from noon to 1pm EST at American Pastors Network.com, or find a station.

Listen to clips from a recent “Stand in the Gap Today” program on these topics

Christian Persecution: A Reality Too Close to Ignore

PHILADELPHIA—The subject of Christian persecution has taken on a renewed focus for the American Pastors Network  in 2018, as APN leaders regularly address this global problem through its radio ministry “Stand in the Gap Today.”

APN President and “Stand in the Gap Today” host Sam Rohrer has written a new commentary for The Christian Post titled, “Christian Persecution: A Reality Too Close to Ignore.”

“Violent persecution of Christians around the world has risen to all-time highs,” Rohrer writes. “Murders, beheadings, rapes, imprisonments and evil of all types are increasingly befalling Christians. This ugly reality demands a response. While Christian persecution is nothing new, today it comes in various forms and for various reasons.

“How shall American Christians respond when their spiritual brethren are suffering persecution?” he continues. “The choices are only two: ignore it or responsibly respond to it. Ignoring anti-Christian violence is convenient and painless, but it is also anti-biblical. Turning from it may temporarily relieve our uneasiness and numb our sense of moral obligation, but we only fool ourselves. Willful ignorance of evil is fatal because it provides an illusory sense of peace. Ignoring evil cannot stop it, especially when it is aggressively on the march like it is today.”

It’s time for Christians, churches and pastors to wake up, Rohrer added. While persecution of Christians spreads like a virulent global cancer, fellow believers must ask: How far has it metastasized? Where is it happening, and what drives it?

According to trustworthy organizations like Open Doors USA and The Voice of the Martyrs, there is more persecution of Christians today than at any other time in history. On average, 255 Christians are murdered, 104 are abducted, 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage, 66 churches are attacked, and 160 Christians are detained or imprisoned each month without trial because of their faith. These numbers represent only what is known. And according to the U. S. State Department, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or their neighbors because of their personal faith in Jesus Christ.