Welcome to Focus Today. I’m your host Perry Atkinson and what a delight and an honor always to have back with us our good friend, the honorable Sam Rohrer. He’s the president of the American Pastors Network and the Pennsylvania Pastors Network and he’s also a co-host of APN’s national radio program with the title of Stand in the Gap Today. You can go to americanpastorsnetwork.net. That’s the website. Again, I’m praying that somebody will pick up the mantle in Oregon and create a chapter here in Oregon for the American Pastors Network. Hi, Sam. How are you doing, buddy?
Perry, I’m doing great. It’s great to be with you as always.
Thank you. Hey, you know what, we got a lot of things to get into, but I came across the story today and just want to get your quick comment. New research shows, and this has given all the variety of different face in America, evangelical, Hispanic, Catholic, White Catholic, Black Protestant, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It all boils down to this. The overall trust factor in religious leaders in the United States stands at a whopping 53%. What’s that tell you?
On the positive side, Perry, it’s many times greater than the trust factor of those in Washington.
Really when you think about that, 53%. Only 53% of those surveyed, believed or have trust in their religious leaders. That’s a sorry, sorry statement. You haven’t asked this question, but if you asked why is that, I’m finding and we’re finding that in fact it’s related to some of the same reasons that Washington has such a low number in congress, 9% or 8% whatever it is now. It’s really because the truth is not being fully told.
Now, in some cases, you can flat out lie and therefore erode trust, but many in the pulpit, it’s not that they necessarily are not telling the truth, they may be flat out deceiving and some do when it comes to, for instance, the gospel or faith in Jesus Christ as being the only way to heaven, so they masquerade and they would deceive on that issue but in many cases, Perry, I think it’s because those in the pulpit, too many we know don’t preach all the truth.
It’s more guilt by omission, perhaps rather than commission but those in the pew, we know by other surveys are wishing that their pastors across the spectrum would speak about biblical issues and apply the principles to the issues of the day. 90% of them surveyed want that, but only about 9 or 10% in the pulpit were actually doing it. I believe that trust factor comes down to the point of, if you won’t speak on these issues, then I wonder what else you are not telling me. There’s no substitute for the telling the truth all the time exactly as God has laid it out. After all, that’s how he’s going to measure us.
That’s well said because 53%, when I saw this number and granted I wanted to dig in to it a little bit and unpack it, but even so, it go, “Wow. Had we lost our influence? Have we become the thermometer instead of the thermostat? Are we reacting to the cultures instead of setting the temperature of the … I mean, what’s happened to us?”
I think what you just said, that is exactly correct. There’s an old phrase that says the church follows the world by 10 steps. Often those that have been listening would know what I’m saying. There’s often that phrases there. I really believe in reality the failure of the church to lead, puts the world about 10 steps behind. Why I say that is this. The benchmark or the standard for what ought to be culturally or family-wise or whatever it may be, is the biblical standard. That’s God’s standard.
The church is what should be measuring up to establishing, leading towards setting that biblical standard. That’s the benchmark. When the world is always going to be behind, the world is always going to repudiate and fail or reject God’s standards on whatever issue it may be, but when the world or when the church itself though, fails to uphold to God’s standard and says that 50% compliance of God’s standards is good enough, the world is going to be further behind than that.
When we look at our culture today, I don’t say that the culture is dragging down the church, I’d say in reality, the church is dragging down the culture by failing to uphold the standards across the spectrum of cultural living, personal choice that God would establish. That puts the burden where I think it needs to be, and that’s on the church, and that ultimately comes down to the pulpit.
All right. In this, comes a lot of things that we have here to talk about today and I want to get in to it from sanctuary cities, refugees, what happened in Ohio State, but in that same vein, Sam, how do we show unconditional love, which we’re being forced to do, but it seems like we’re falling short of taking that love far enough to help somebody to really change their life. Does that make sense? What I’m trying to say is that we should love everybody no matter what they do and who they are, and we stop there. We don’t bring them in the confession and conversion.
I would agree with you. I mean, whether you had termed that in the examples out there, for instance, it’s the position perhaps on homosexuality and same sex marriage. Let’s take that one. That’s a cultural issue. It’s very controversial, people know and yet there will be many who will say, “All right, well, then church, if you don’t think that is right, you can’t castigate or denounce the practice of that sin and if you do, you are not demonstrating love.”
The question is how does Christ deal with that? How does the word of God deal with that issue? We look at them by saying that issue, that example, homosexuality, same sex marriage is but one sin of which people could be involved. The point is there’s that particular sin, there are other sins. There are idolatry of any kinds of form. There’s drunken. There’s a whole number of things that can be categories of sins that [inaudible 00:07:15] speaks against.
Now, the good news is Christ himself made clear that those sins are in fact those practices are in fact sins. They are evidences of a depraved life and therefore a need of a Savior, Jesus Christ. If we do not, as Christ did, identify the sin, then you don’t have an opportunity to present the savior. That is what the good news is all about, but ultimately, the good news leading someone from position of sin which we’ve all been in and regardless of what our sin is, Christ died from the cross and his resurrection is sufficient to take care of all of those. That’s why it’s called good news.
Therefore the sharing of that good news means we identify the sin. You cannot condone any type of sin, but we do love that sinner and we often say that, and that is true. The gospel message is that there’s a biblical standard. It is holiness, it is perfection. We can’t reach it on our own, but through Jesus Christ, we can. We he saves a life, he gives the power and the ability to overcome and not be ruled by that sin, whatever it is.
Now, that is the good news. That’s a demonstration of love appropriately established according how God has said but that is what changes hearts and can change a nation. If you don’t do it in its entirety, you present only half a package and at that point, you’re not presenting the fullness of the gospel.
Again, we’ve lost our way here and our influence, and I’m concerned about that. For an example, one of the topics today is Fidel Castro’s death and I am amazed that how many people are giving him the pass. I’m just amazed by this. I’m not sure how to process myself. I mean the guy was a thug, but somehow they’re trying to throw some sugar on this and I don’t know does that make me a bad Christian because I see him as a thug?
No, I don’t think that at all and it is interesting. President Obama’s response to Castro’s death is … We’ll find out. History in time will determine the nature of this individual. The history will determine the time, the character. He determined it. The reality is that if we are not able to identify and categorize and evaluate … Let’s put it this way. Evaluate the fruit. The scriptures talks about being a fruit in a spec. Let’s look at that. This individual had a life of communism, atheism, of destroying freedom. It is clear, it is established. If we as people walk away and say, “It really wasn’t that bad,” or time will determine whether or not he was a thug or an evil dictator.
If we, do not have enough discernment based on the information that is known to make a determination that this was a bad man, an evil man that to all evidences never came to repentance in Jesus Christ, therefore he died in his sins an evil man. If we are not able to make that determination, Perry, then I believe then we lack the discernment to look around as a culture and determine any aspect of sin or evil.
I believe that to some extent, we have lost an ability to that because in a morally relativistic culture, we throw out the norm of absolute truth which does leave people incapable of coming to a conclusion that something is right or wrong, or therefore evil or not, or therefore people who do such things are evil or not. I think that this is a little bit of a response I suppose of a culture that has thrown that absolute truth and therefore we ourselves collectively lose the ability to discern.
In our discerning which would suggest the understanding of right and wrong, evil and good, the fact that we would even bring that on the table, we’re accused of being bigots because we’re not giving people the consideration. Maybe that’s why we only have 53% respect for religious leaders.
Perry, I mean, I think you made a tremendous connection right there because the failure to preach the whole gospel of the whole aspect of scripture from the pulpit which we know many pastors do not do. Part of what they do not do is the applying of biblical principle and truth to the issues of the day like that. When that is not done, then the people in the pew at large are not able often times.
I mean, they can’t blame it on the pastor. Ultimately everybody is responsible for themselves, but as pastors leading in the pulpit, it is a responsibility to take those biblical principles and apply it and say right now, “This is what it means. This is what this command, or this principle, or this precipitant scripture means when applied to the circumstances.” That’s how people learn.
That’s how people develop their level of discernment and understanding. We really do fail from lack of discernment, lack of understanding and that’s why I think in the book of James, we’re told, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” I ask of God every day, Perry. That God gives me wisdom and discernment. That is so critical and that’s what we were talking about right now, but outside God’s word, there is no ability to discern and without the Holy Spirit actually helping us to decipher and understand truth, there is no proper understanding or evaluation but that comes to God’s wording and you’re back to the pulpit for teaching God’s word. Without those things, you end up in confusion which many of the people in our country right now are.
All right. Let me take a quick break here. Sam Rohrer is with us. He is president of the American Pastors Network. His website is americanpastorsnetwork.net. You can check it out and maybe you’d like to be talking to him about heading up a chapter here in the state of Oregon. We’ll take a quick break. We’ll be right back with Sam in just a moment.
I am Polina Leiser, producer of Focus Today. Thank you for watching this video and make sure to check our other videos at thedove.us.
Welcome back to Focus Today and what a delight and an honor to have with us our good friend, the honorable, Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network, APN. He’s also president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network and he’s co-host of APNs national radio program’s Stand in the Gap Today. By the way, his website is americanpastorsnetwork.net. You can go there, check it out and see the resources and the information that he provides.
Sam, we watched yesterday an incredible attack there at Ohio State. Come to find out, this was a refugee, supposedly, came under that disguise. We have sanctuary cities, we have illegal immigrants. This whole issue of the borders and everything as you know it is a huge mushroom mess in our country. Mixed in to that is ISIS.
My concern is this. I am concerned about Christians that are becoming callous to the idea of what a true refugee is all about and I’m not sure how to respond. I think my that heart says we are to help the helpless and I realize we need to vet these people a little bit more carefully. The whole principle of helping somebody that can’t help themselves, maybe falling through the cracks. What do you think?
We could spend some time on this, Perry. The scripture speaks a lot about immigrants. The Lord laid out the principles really of what we would term legitimate immigration. A number of places in the Old Testament. The second Chronicles chapter 6 that leads in the second Chronicles chapter 7:14, Solomon makes several prayers to God in that passage and he looks ahead to the days when the people of Israel would actually violate God’s principles relative to a number of certain things.
Then it would ensue God’s judgment or discipline on the nation. One of those, he deals with this matter of immigration. I think it’s very interesting through that scripture, the church, a nation of people should be concerned about the homeless, the poor, the widow, those that are … The immigrant is often thrown into that. God judged Israel among other reasons for their failure to properly respond to immigrants, but in that passage, there’s too much time to get into it right here right now.
What one thing that God said very clearly was that he said that when immigrants, when the foreigner … the scripture often refers to when the foreigner wants to come to your land, your nation because of the blessings that they believe exist there. Blessings caused of God. That’s what that is talking about.
When they see what God has done, and they are attracted like a moth to a light, to your nation, when these foreigners come because of what God has done, because they want to know more about your God, if they come for that reason, you welcome them and you open your arms. When they come, and this is where Israel failed, you point those individuals to the God of heaven who blessed you as a nation and caused this light to shine for which these people are attracted and come.
Israel failed to do that. When the immigrant, the foreigner came for those reasons, they failed to assimilate them by not pointing them to the God of heaven, they pointed them to other things. Now the comparison is this. In our nation, we’ve been a light on the hill. We’ve been a shining light. We’ve been on attraction for people all over the world. We know that. Primarily, in years gone by, people came here because they wanted the freedom that was here, religious freedom, private property, whatever you may want to say.
They wanted to come here because of what God did and God We Trust is on our coin. They came because of that. To the extent that our nation at that point took in those people who had those interests and then we presented them in the culture to this God, we were blessed, but when the nation changed, and it’s happened a long time, when the nation changed and said, “God is no longer God but government is God.”
Then we began to take immigrants who had no interest in our God or interest in our freedom and in march Islam, the Muslims, in march others who have no idea, no interest, no desire to be a participant in what God has done here. They actually are invited in by those in leadership who for the purpose of developing their dependency on the God of government, not the God of the bible. This is where our problem is. We’ve changed the historic biblical rules.
We no longer evaluate people based on that criteria and we turn them against the God of heaven, Judeo-Christian God of the bible. We turn them independency to the God of government. This is the reason why God must discipline our country, part of the reason we have troubles. Now, we have millions of people here, Perry who are here for the wrong reasons, been invited in by people with wrong motives and now we have a people here large numbers of them who have no respect for our God.
They serve primarily the god of Allah and they embrace Sharia law, not the constitution which then permits them like this terrorist in Ohio State yesterday who did exactly what his law and his Koran teaches him. He killed people yesterday, violates our law, but is in full conformity with Koran and Sharia law. This is the problem and until we understand we have two competing God’s, two competing systems of law, we’re going to find ourselves increasing trouble with this kind of thing here happening in the country.
Sam, that is the most brilliant explanation on that issue I’ve ever heard. You nailed it. It does leave us with two thoughts. Can the country reset itself back on God and I guess we’ll wait and see with the new administration, but in the meantime, then the true sanctuary city would be the churches, wouldn’t it?
By rights, the churches are. I mean, the churches should be, but again we have two issues here. We have the jurisdiction of government which has the responsibility for maintaining our borders, which this administration wants to get rid of and for maintaining the defense of the law abiding citizen. That’s the purpose of government and for [inaudible 00:21:26] out and enacting justice against those who are committed to upending, destroying, corrupting, destroying our form of government and our law, our constitution.
That’s the purpose of government. Now, the church’s purpose, my purpose, if we have a Muslim neighbor next door or anyone living next door who maybe counter to our way, civil government must punish them and discipline them if they break our law. We have a responsibility to reach out and to love them as Christ loved us.
That’s the distinction and we cannot have the church do government’s role. The government cannot do church’s role, otherwise we have the kind of [inaudible 00:22:04] we have right now. Government must do the purposes and the role and the responsibility of civil government which is to enact justice, praise those who do well biblically according to the law, discipline and punish those who do evil according to biblical truth and our constitution which are consistent in those principles.
If government fails to do that, then we have a fundamental problem and under this administration they have absolutely turn that principle upside down. My hope would be that the Trump administration, knowing these distinctives are going to be setting into motion proper justice, proper people who will implement justice according to our constitution and the laws that we have.
That could change dramatically the way these kinds of things are dealt with right now in our country and that’s what you’re seeing taking place and what’s what I’m hoping under the new administration, we will see true biblical justice according to the constitution and now they’re applied and it will help to bring clarity out of things like this yesterday where the press has difficulty even in saying this guy was a Muslim or this guy was even operating and according to his teaching in the Koran, they’re still saying, “We don’t understand the motive.” That’s because they don’t want to understand the motive. True justice under our law can absolutely determine why this happened.
Sam, I just can’t add a thing to that. It’s just brilliant. I would recommend this. We’re going to post our interview on our website later today. I would encourage you to go get it and watch yourself and write a white paper on what you just said today. It is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I mean, that is the issue. Thank you, my friend. If somebody is called to do an American Pastors Network chapter in Oregon, what should they do?
They can contact us via our website, americanpastorsnetwork.net. They can send a note directly to me. They can do that. If they want to do that, send that to me and I will get a hold of them and we would love that tremendously. Oregon, Washington, your states out there, they need a pastors chapter and we would love to be able to assist in that. We need somebody to lead it. Contact us. That’s the best thing to do, Perry.
You’re a blessing my friend or an inspiration. Thanks, Sam. Look forward to many more visits.
Have a great day, buddy. God bless.
You too. God bless you.
We’ll be right back.