Dec 17, 2017

Keeping Churches Safe at Christmas

By The American Pastors Network

Washington, D.C. - December 17, 2017 - (The Ponder News) -- Much like the stable and the manger kept the Christ child protected, and as the shepherds guarded their flocks in the fields by night, churches must now keep their congregations safe.

Many churches are considering safety measures they previously hadn’t thought about after a deadly shooting at a small Texas church last month rocked both that community and the nation. Suddenly, pastors and church leaders are thinking about safety—no matter the size of the church.

The American Pastors Network, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, has been focusing on church security by guiding pastors in the wake of the Texas tragedy.

In 2015, LifeWay Research conducted a study to learn more about church attendance patterns during Christmastime, reported Christianity Today. Historically, Christmastime attracts more visitors than perhaps any other time of the year. In fact, for the survey, LifeWay found that six out of 10 Americans typically attend church at Christmastime. Among those who don’t attend at Christmas, a majority (57 percent) say they would likely attend if someone they knew invited them.

With these trends in mind, church leaders know they will welcome many visitors through the doors this month. And with church security front and center, some churches need a starting place to keep everyone inside the church safe.

“Over the past several weeks, leaders of the American Pastors Network have had many conversations with pastors who want to make safety a priority in their churches, but don’t know where to start,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “We live in a time where we now must acknowledge the harsh reality that the church sanctuary does not shield us from the evils of this world. Especially knowing that more people will visit American churches this month perhaps than any other time of year, the American Pastors Network wants to help church leaders as they make plans that will keep churchgoers safe—and so that many visitors will feel welcomed and want to return in the new year.”

After having internal meetings and conference calls on the matter, and while addressing the topic on “Stand in the Gap Today,” the daily radio ministry of APN, leaders developed recommendations for churches to consider when it comes to the important matter of church security.

1. Understand the biblical and moral responsibility of safety. It is the duty of pastors and church leadership to do all they can to protect the lives of those in the congregation.

2. Develop and train a security team.Dedicate certain individuals, whether staff or volunteers, to undertake the important issue of security. Train these personnel how to identify potential threats and how to de-escalate potential threat situations. During services or functions, outfit the team in plain clothes.

3. Perform a risk assessment.Where is the church vulnerable in its facility and grounds? Consider a community threat assessment as well.

4. Implement security protocols.Consider these suggestions: 1) Lock doors after services begin; 2) Post security team members at entrances; 3) Conduct a regular, annual re-assessment of the security plan.

5. Install security cameras.Consider video surveillance to document and record potential threats or incidents.
Establish a medical response team.Mobilize medical personnel already within the congregation who can take action if injuries ever occur.

6. Evaluate the legal parameters for security measures.Research insurance requirements and conduct a liability assessment. Identify state civil laws regarding security measures, which can vary from state to state.

7. Create an evacuation plan. Be sure the security team knows how to best evacuate churchgoers of all ages and mobility ranges, and

8. consider creating another key team to assist. Practice the plan through drills.

9. Involve local law enforcement in the security plan.Tell local police departments and other emergency responders about the security plan, perhaps through an evening meeting. They may be able to offer additional suggestions or protocols.

10. Communicate the new or existing security measures with the congregation.Members will appreciate knowing the church has a plan to keep them safe.

See more at the God Inspires Web Site

Dec 11, 2017

Back to Basics: What to Learn from America’s Rash of Sex Scandals

By Cornwall Alliance

Washington, D.C. - December 11, 2017 - (The Ponder News) -- Anyone who’s paid even the slightest attention to national news lately knows that the careers of the rich, the famous, the powerful—politicians, entertainers, newscasters, and more—are crashing and burning amid revelations of sexual harassment and rape.

“Shocking as it is, this should be no surprise,” says Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, former seminary ethics professor and now Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

“Unlike America’s founders, recent generations of Americans have turned their backs on God and His laws. Rampant sexual infidelity of any sort is just one of many ways, and it reveals even deeper rot: ‘covetousness, which is idolatry’ (Colossians 3:5), because it grows out of discontent with one’s circumstances and, most important, with the God who providentially planned them.”

Long concerned about the decline of morality in America and the social harm it has done, Dr. Beisner, working with Cornwall Alliance’s parent organization The James Partnership and 1Voice Films, has produced a series of video lectures on the Ten Commandments, one of the foundation stones of Western civilization, of American law and culture, and of Jewish and Christian faith.

Theologian Dr. Wayne Grudem calls the lectures “fascinating, challenging, life-changing, reverent, and God-centered.” Rev. Jim Garlow says “people who listen to Dr. Beisner’s brilliant messages … will learn to see the law as a wonderful blessing and, even more important, to know and love Christ better.”

The lectures are designed for presentation in either 23 or 13 sessions, suitable for either a quarter or a semester in Christian schools, home schools, Sunday schools, and other settings. An online study guide will assist viewers to dive deeper into the Ten Commandments.

Dr. Michael Milton, President of the D. James Kennedy Institute and professor of missions and evangelism at Erskine Theological Seminary, says, “We need a right teaching on the Law now more than ever. … Dr. Cal Beisner’s teaching strikes a Biblical, Christ-centered, and historically orthodox balance in presenting God’s Law. Christian families and churches will be blessed by the teaching.”

Jeffery Ventrella, Senior Vice President for the Alliance Defending Freedom and a featured speaker for a History Channel documentary on the Ten Commandments, calls the lectures “crucial” and “succinct, yet not simplistic; solid, yet not sectarian; timely, yet not trendy; detailed, yet still doxological … [an] excellent, and edifying, project.”

“I am pleased to recommend this new lecture series by Cal Beisner as a resource for churches, schools, and small groups,” says Dr. Daniel R. Heimbach, Senior Professor of Christian Ethics, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. “I can think of nothing more relevant or more important than understanding what our Creator reveals about moral reality. … Nothing in life is … more important—both now and forever. … Beisner has done an excellent job explaining each of the Ten Commandments and does it in a way regular people can easily understand and apply.”

The series is available on 6 DVDs or streaming online by clicking HERE


By Christian and Missionary Alliance

Washington, D.C. - December 9, 2017 - (God Inspires News) -- Alliance family members are reported to be safe as recent wildfires have erupted in the Los Angeles area. As we pray for those who are affected by these blazes, please remember our Alliance people who lost their homes to the Santa Rosa fire in October.

Ray Van Gilst, Central Pacific District superintendent, writes the following:

This month I have been reflecting back on how we respond in the midst of chaos.

On Sunday, October 22, we were at The Bridge Church in Santa Rosa where the message to a standing-room-only crowd was “Hope Out of Chaos.” I have rarely heard a more poignant and timely message. The focus was on the fact that even though 2 of their pastors and 40 of their families lost their homes—and they lost one of their venues with a bunch of equipment—God is still on the throne!

They embraced the fact that they are in this together with their community, and in the midst of the pain, God really is in control. He really is their strength. And not only does He redeem us—He redeems our circumstances! There is no question in their minds that God is bringing hope out of the chaos of this tragedy. There is no doubt in their hearts that God is bringing redemption to the city of Santa Rosa out of their shared suffering. It was incredibly humbling to worship with people who were in the midst of such trial yet focused not on their own needs but only on the needs of their community. They started by housing and serving evacuees and continued by looking for ways to unite the churches through a service with Francis Chan at the fairgrounds this past Sunday night. They are doing everything in their power (God’s power) to meet the needs of those around them.

In the newsletter of the Alliance Redwoods, who also served well by housing firefighters and evacuees, was this verse from Isaiah 25:4 (ESV):

“For you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy person in his distress, a refuge from the rain, a shade from the heat.”

May we all be [a stronghold] as we minister to a broken world, pointing them to the One who has the answers, because He IS the answer!

Nov 28, 2017

Has Political Correctness Silenced Us?

by The Pastor's Network

The Greek poet Euripides was known to say that “Silence is true wisdom’s best reply.”

But when it comes to discussing political views in this sometimes-tempestuous society, many are taking the stance that silence—especially in difficult conversations about politics, religion and other controversial topics—is preferred and safer.

As evidence, the American Pastors Network, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, is pointing to a new Cato Institute study that found 71 percent of Americans say political correctness has silenced some of the discussions society must have, and 58 percent have political views they are afraid to share.

APN President Sam Rohrer says these findings are telling in regards to how Americans interact with each other, the cultural climate and the role of the church in these important conversations.

“The most pressing topics in our society are not being discussed because a culture has been created that silences our voices,” Rohrer said. “This can be due to a variety of reasons, including fear, isolation or ridicule. These are the topics, however, Americans should be discussing, and especially Christians as they hopefully bring the truth of God’s Word to our everyday conversations. Furthermore, how does this translate to the Church? We pray pastors are not silencing themselves as well, but we know that many choose not to address from the pulpit the crucial matters in our culture for whatever reason.

“One of the missional goals of the American Pastors Network is to encourage biblically faithful clergy to take seriously Jesus’ command to be the ‘salt and light’ to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues, examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in the political process on a non-partisan basis,” Rohrer added. “We certainly can’t act as salt and light by hiding the light of God’s truth under a bushel, which is exactly what we resort to when we keep silent in an increasingly PC culture.”

The Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey, which polled 2,300 U.S. adults, also found that political party somewhat dictated how people felt about silencing their conversations. For example, a slim majority (53 percent) of Democrats do not feel the need to self-censor. Conversely, strong majorities of Republicans (73 percent) and independents (58 percent) say they keep some political beliefs to themselves.

Cato also reported, “A solid majority (59 percent) of Americans think people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions in public, even those deeply offensive to others. On the other hand, 40 percent think government should prevent hate speech.”

Despite this, the survey also found Americans willing to censor, regulate, or punish a wide variety of speech and expression they personally find offensive:

  • 51 percent of staunch liberals say it’s “morally acceptable” to punch Nazis.
  • 53 percent of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
  • 51 percent of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns.
  • 65 percent of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
  • 58 percent of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
  • 47 percent of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
  • 59 percent of liberals say it’s hate speech to say transgender people have a mental disorder; only 17 percent of conservatives agree.
  • 39 percent of conservatives believe it’s hate speech to say the police are racist; only 17 percent of liberals agree.
  • 80 percent of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say illegal immigrants should be deported; only 36 percent of conservatives agree.
  • 87 percent of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say women shouldn’t fight in military combat roles, while 47 percent of conservatives agree.
  • 90 percent of liberals say it’s hateful or offensive to say homosexuality is a sin, while 47 percent of conservatives agree.

    “These findings, especially the chasms between liberals and conservatives when it comes to moral and biblical issues such as a homosexuality, immigration, religion and gender, are especially important for church leaders,” Rohrer added. “While every pastor must first and foremost preach the whole counsel of God and reveal the Bible’s truth without waver, it is helpful to know where the people in the pews stand and the conversations they are having—or not having—regarding these important matters.”

  • Oct 28, 2017

    Local Foundation: 'Stand Up to Anti-Prayer Demands'

    Source: Foundation for Moral Law

    Washington, D.C. - October 28, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- The Foundation for Moral Law, a Montgomery-based legal foundation established to defend religious liberty under the United States Constitution, urged Alabama school districts to resist the demands of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and others who are trying to drive prayer out of school athletic events.

    On October 23, 2017, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Trussville City Schools demanding that they stop allowing student-led prayers at athletic events.

    But in an October 27 letter to the Trussville City Schools, the Foundation for Moral Law says the FFRF has misinterpreted the First Amendment and the case law on this issue, and observes that while the FFRF sends out hundreds of letters demanding that various religious practices cease, they often fail to follow through with legal action if local officials refuse to cave in to their demands.

    Foundation for Moral Law President Kayla Moore stated, "Officials should realize that these threatening letters say only what the FFRF wishes the Constitution said, not what it actually says. The Foundation for Moral Law is willing to talk with school officials and school attorneys directly, analyze their policies, and determine what if anything needs to be done to ensure compliance with the Constitution. Please feel free to contact us if we can be of help. That's what we were formed to do."

    Sep 22, 2017

    EVENT: Christianity & National Security: Exploring Government’s Divine Vocation

    Source: Institute on Religion and Democracy

    There is so much confusion across the spectrum among Christians about how to address their faith on global statecraft and the deployment of power. Some on the left demand absolute pacifism. Some on the right sanction automatic military force. Too many Christians, particularly Protestants and Evangelicals, forget there’s a centuries-long tradition of Christian thought on Just War and other aspects of state force that should counsel how we address these issues without giving specific dogmatic answers. We hope this conference will be the first of many to gather Christians and others for robust conversation about how to think as people of faith who aspire to an approximate justice and security for our nation and the world.”
    -IRD President and Providence Editor Mark Tooley

    Who: Providence: A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy

    What: Leading scholars and practitioners of political theology and national security examining essential historic Christian teaching about God’s purpose for government, starting with its vocation for security and public order.

    Where: Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center
    3800 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, DC 20057

    When: September 29-30, 2017, 9 a.m. (EST)

    The Institute on Religion & Democracy’s quarterly publication Providence: A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy will host a groundbreaking two-day conference at the Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center in Washington, D.C. on Christians and National Security.

    Conference speakers will address issues such as Just War teaching, nuclear weapons, Reinhold Niebuhr, Christian Realism, nationalism, international human rights, American Exceptionalism, torture, and terrorism. This event is open to all, but is especially aimed at Christian young people who are graduate students or early career. Cost is $149, including two lunches and two breakfasts, or $75 for one day. Scholarships are available to students and clergy.

    Speakers include: Walter Russell Mead (Bard College & The American Interest), Joseph E. Capizzi (Catholic University of America), Thomas Farr (Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service), Joseph Hartman (Georgetown University), Emilie Kao (The Heritage Foundation), Matt Kroenig (Georgetown University), Marc LiVecche (Providence & Institute on Religion and Democracy), Joseph Loconte (The King’s College & Providence), Timothy Mallard (U.S. Army), Jennifer Marshall (The Heritage Foundation), Paul Marshall (Baylor University & Hudson Institute), Robert Nicholson (Philos Project & Providence), Eric Patterson (Regent University), Keith Pavlischek (Providence), Daniel Strand (Arizona State University & Providence).

    Make sure to purchase tickets ASAP for this for groundbreaking two-day event at:

    For hotel rooms, contact Joseph Rossell at 202-682-4131 or

    Satan Clubs Dying and Good News Clubs Growing

    Source: Child Evangelism Fellowship

    Tacoma, WA - September 22, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- Atheists disguised as members of the Satanic Temple ended their short-lived after-school program at Point Defiance Elementary School in Tacoma. After their publicity stunt, their first meeting took place December 2016, with only one child joining the monthly club.

    The intention of this group was to target schools that host Good News Clubs, scare the faculty and especially the community so that they would be denied permission to hold their Satan Club and with that the Good News Club would be pushed out as well.

    In 2001 the US Supreme Court ruled overwhelmingly that Good News Clubs can take place on elementary public school campuses after the last bell rings and have equal treatment. Every child that attends a Good News Club has a parental permission slip.

    Moises Esteves, Vice President of Child Evangelism Fellowship said, “The Satanic Temple erected a 10-foot, 300-pound red pentagram in Boca Raton, Florida accompanied by the words: ‘May the children hail Satan.’ This is the reason the Tacoma club ended. Parents know that children today are confronted with many difficult issues such as violence, drugs, bullying and gangs. The last thing parents want for their children is for them to attend a Satan Club.”

    As the Satan Clubs are closing down, about 4,500 Good News Clubs are starting up this new school year all over the USA. Over 180,000 children will be enrolled in a high energy club that includes Bible stories, songs, games, etc. Children will receive moral and character development as well as learn respect for authority, based on biblical principles.

    Esteves stated, “Principals love Good News Clubs, because it makes their job easier. As the children learn about God and the importance of loving and respecting others, their behavior improves. Better behavior means better education.” One principal said, “Since the Good News Club has been a part of our school, the office referrals have decreased.”

    Worldwide Child Evangelism Fellowship teaches over 6.4 million children on a weekly basis in 74,324 Good News Clubs.

    Sep 21, 2017

    Football Coach Seeks En Banc Rehearing Following Extreme, Far-Reaching Opinion by Three-Judge Appeals Panel

    Source: First Liberty Institute

    Seattle, WA - September 21, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- Attorneys for First Liberty Institute today filed a petition on behalf of their client, football coach Joe Kennedy, requesting an en banc rehearing of Coach Kennedy's case by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. If granted, eleven active Ninth Circuit judges—including the chief judge—would hear Coach Kennedy's case and issue a decision.

    "An en banc rehearing by the Ninth Circuit is necessary, given the extreme, far-reaching opinion issued by the three-judge panel," Mike Berry, Deputy General Counsel for First Liberty. "If the current decision stands, a teacher could be fired for wearing a yarmulke to school. A coach could be fired for bowing his head in prayer when a player is hurt."

    In August, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held that a school district in Washington state could ban Coach Kennedy from silently praying alone for 15 to 30 seconds following a football game.

    "Banning coaches from praying just because they can be seen is wrong and contradicts the Constitution," said Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of First Liberty. "We hope the Ninth Circuit will recognize the significance of this case. The future of private prayer hangs in the balance."

    Coach Kennedy's case has received national attention and support from political and religious leaders, including President Trump and Franklin Graham.

    To learn more about the case, visit

    First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

    Sep 8, 2017

    PRRI Releases Largest Survey of American Religious and Denominational Identity Ever Conducted

    Source: Public Religion Research Institute

    Washington, D.C. - September 8, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- With aging white Christian groups now accounting for fewer than half of the public and non-Christian groups constituting the country's youngest religious communities, the future of American religion will likely look strikingly different than its past. A massive new survey out today from PRRI reveals seismic shifts in the religious landscape over the last few decades, including the sharp growth of the religiously unaffiliated—a category that includes atheists, agnostics, and those who do not identify with any particular religion—along with racial and ethnic changes that are transforming nearly all major Christian denominations.

    These are among the major findings from "America's Changing Religious Identity," a report released today by PRRI. The report is based on findings from PRRI's 2016 American Values Atlas, the single largest survey of American religious and denominational identity ever conducted, based on interviews with more than 101,000 Americans from all 50 states conducted across 2016. The report includes detailed information about religious affiliation, denominational ties, political affiliation, and other demographic characteristics.

    "This report provides solid evidence of a new, second wave of white Christian decline that is occurring among white evangelical Protestants just over the last decade in the U.S.," says Robert P. Jones, PRRI CEO and author of The End of White Christian America. "Prior to 2008, white evangelical Protestants seemed to be exempt from the waves of demographic change and disaffiliation that were eroding the membership bases of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics. We now see that these waves simply crested later for white evangelical Protestants."

    Today, only 43% of Americans identify as white Christian, and only 30% as white Protestant. In 1976, roughly eight in ten (81%) Americans identified as white and Christian, and a majority (55%) were white Protestants.

    Fewer than one in five (17%) Americans now identify as white evangelical Protestant, but they accounted for nearly one-quarter (23%) of the public just a decade ago in 2006. Over the same period, white Catholics dropped five percentage points from 16% to 11%, and white mainline Protestants have shed an equal number, decreasing from 18% to 13%.

    More evidence that America's future is less white and less Christian: Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and the religiously unaffiliated are all far younger than white Christian groups. At least one-third of Muslims (42%), Hindus (36%), Buddhists (35%) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (34%) are under the age of 30. Slightly more than one in ten white Catholics (11%), white evangelical Protestants (11%), and white mainline Protestants (14%) are under 30.

    The report also explores the shifting cultural center of the Catholic Church, the nation's most and least religiously diverse states, and the religious profiles of America's racial and ethnic groups.

    View the topline, methodology, and additional analysis by clicking here...

    Sep 3, 2017

    A Christian Response to the Memorial Debate

    Source: American Pastors Network

    Washington, D.C. - September 3, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- The Charlottesville, Virginia, area is still working to heal after a racially charged and violent protest where one woman was killed more than a week ago. That eruption caused other cities to consider removing statues, monuments and other pieces of history that may cause conflict.

    The American Pastors Network has been paying close attention to these unsettling events around the nation, and praying about how APN state chapters can provide a positive presence.

    APN President Sam Rohrer says that leaders for the newly organized Virginia Pastors Network (VAPN, have worked to serve as intermediaries during this tumultuous time. Likewise, leaders for the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, have also been impacted, after Duke University recently removed a vandalized statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from the front of Duke’s chapel in Durham, N.C.

    “Pastors and churches simply must serve as peaceful and grounded voices of reason in these turbulent times,” Rohrer said. “Both Christians and those who may be far from God will look to the church for its response about ways we can come together to begin the healing process in our fractured communities. It is a critical time for churches to come together and for pastors to stand for truth.”

    Rohrer added that every memorial holds a powerful teaching moment for children and young Americans. When they ask, “what is this?” and “why is this here?” it is an opportunity to recognize how the sinfulness of mankind always produces a tension between human beings.

    “It is the ideal time to teach how—through Jesus Christ the Redeemer of mankind—all people, regardless of color, nationality or station in life, can realize their intrinsic value before God,” Rohrer said. “Isn’t this the ideal time to demonstrate that no one race, color or people group have any singular claim to truth? Isn’t this the very time to teach that unity is achieved at the foot of the cross when we agree with God about Jesus Christ and that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

    “So what should we be asking?” he continued. “Why do we have memorials? Why must we oppose their removal? Mustn’t we take a deep breath—everyone—and ask for God’s guidance at this time? What does God say about memorials? What must we as Christian citizens do if this mindless dash to destruction is to be stopped? As we look back, what perhaps have we as Christians done to prepare our culture for such a dangerous time? Memorials, when erected by the support of the people or culture at any given point in time and out of respect for those people in that time, should remain. To attack a legitimately erected memorial is to attack our fathers and grandfathers and to say that we know better today than anyone before us thought was worthy.”

    Facing conflict in its state, leaders for the Virginia Pastors Network are aware of the great duty to help unite Virginia’s people—both inside and outside the church—in times of unrest and uncertainty.

    “It is important for Christians to be leaders, not only in helping stabilize unrest in society, but in shaping society as a whole—to reflect godliness as a culture,” said VAPN President Steven Harrelson. “Our nation today is very reactive and volatile. Christian leaders have the responsibility to speak truth boldly and in love. I am convinced that the one thing that will unite men and women of every color is Jesus Christ—the One who loves and died for all mankind without prejudice. Bible-believing Christians have been divided on matters of color for long enough, and it is time to stand and show the world what Jesus meant when He said, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’”

    As other cities and states consider the removal of what may be viewed as controversial or offensive, NCPN President Dave Kistler, also a co-host on APN’s “Stand in the Gap Today” radio ministry, said that while healing and reconciliation are needed, scrubbing history is not the answer.

    “What is so disturbing about the Duke decision, as well as all other removal decisions across the nation, is that it is all being done based on flawed thinking,” Kistler said on a recent “Stand in the Gap Today” radio broadcast. “First, it is being done based on political correctness. In an effort to be more socially accepted, we are throwing away the very history of our nation. Additionally, the attempt to connect the multiplicity of confederate statues across the land to their erector’s racist motivations is a brazen stretch. Acknowledgment of one’s history is not equal to approval of the same. What will be offered next on the altar of political correctness?”

    Sep 2, 2017

    NRB President, Members Sign Historic ‘Nashville Statement’ on Sexuality

    Source: National Religious Broadcasters

    Note: Shonda Ponder, Chief Coordinator of God Inspires Ministry has also signed this.

    Nashville, TN - September 1, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, joined more than 100 evangelical leaders – including at least 15 NRB members – as original signatories to The Nashville Statement expressing evangelical convictions about human sexuality released today.

    The statement, with 14 affirmations and denials, addresses issues of human sexuality “in the hope of serving Christ’s church,” as the preamble states.

    The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood led the effort to draft the statement by convening an August 25 meeting in Nashville of evangelical leaders and scholars, including Johnson, held in conjunction with the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s annual conference.

    “In order to be truly for the world, when the world is going in the wrong way, you must be against the world,” said Johnson. “Athanasius knew this when he positioned himself contra mundi. For the good of our world, we must position ourselves, with The Nashville Statement, against the sexual heresy that is the spirit of our age.”

    The Nashville Statement, CBMW has noted, comes 30 years after the organization released its founding document – the Danvers Statement.

    CBMW President Denny Burk said, “The spirit of our age does not delight in God’s good design of male and female. Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity. The aim of The Nashville Statement is to shine a light into the darkness – to declare the goodness of God’s design in our sexuality and in creating us as male and female.”

    Johnson said the Nashville Statement affirms what NRB asserts about sexuality in its own Statement of Faith.

    “I am honored to be an original signatory of this statement and gladly did so because it reflects well the convictions on sexuality of National Religious Broadcasters expressed in our own Statement of Faith. In light of that, I encourage all NRB member organizations and leaders to join me in signing the Nashville Statement.”

    NRB members also among the original signatories include: Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor of Parkside Church and Bible Teacher on Truth for Life; Michael L. Brown, Founder & President of the FIRE School of Ministry; Dr. James Dobson, Founder and President of Family Talk; Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas, and President of the National Day of Prayer; Jack Graham, Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and Speaker for PowerPoint Ministries; Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary; John MacArthur, Pastor-Teacher of Grace Community Church and President of Grace to You; James MacDonald, Founding and Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel; Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council; Thom S. Rainer, President & CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources; Dennis Rainey, President, CEO, and Co-founder of FamilyLife; R.C. Sproul, Founder & Chairman of Ligonier Ministries; Don Sweeting, President of Colorado Christian University; and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, CEO of Revive Our Hearts.

    The entire text and list of signatories of the Nashville Statement is available online:

    Aug 8, 2017


    Gatjeak Gew was 7 years old when the Sudanese Civil War struck South Sudan and his family decided to flee the country. For months, he, his mom, and three siblings stayed in a refugee camp in Kenya with other South Sudanese families who also fled the turmoil. They waited there to receive their immigrant visas.

    One night as the family sat quietly in their camp, a local rebel group attacked the refugees. Confused, shocked, and terribly afraid, the family ran for their lives. Gatjeak remembers seeing people die. Trying to escape the savage, murderous rebels, the family ran until they reached a nearby United Nations aid station about a half mile away.

    Culture Shock

    After months of waiting, the family finally received their immigrant visas. They settled in the Midwest, a common area for many South Sudanese refugees. From age 7 to 14, Gatjeak lived in Omaha, Nebraska. When he turned 15, his family moved to Minnesota.

    The Midwest soon became home for Gatjeak. His family found decent-paying jobs and lived close to many other Sudanese families. They were grateful and happy, but that did not mean living in the United States was always easy. Gatjeak struggled with significant inconsistencies between American culture and his native culture, called Nuer.

    “There were certainly difficulties growing up,” Gatjeak says. “Reconciling the disparities between American culture and Nuer culture was difficult for me. I was suddenly immersed in a new world and still hadn’t fully understood the place I came from.”

    Despite the differences, Gatjeak found comfort in his forever home with Christ. “I knew my place in God’s Kingdom despite not always feeling I knew where I belonged in this world,” he says.


    Aug 3, 2017

    The heresy of worshiptainment

    The great heresy of the church today is that we think we’re in the entertainment business. A.W. Tozer believed this to be true back in the 1950s and 60s. Church members “want to be entertained while they are edified.” He said that in 1962. Tozer grieved, even then, that it was “scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction was God.”*

    More recently, David Platt has asked: “What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word still be enough for his people to come together?” (Radical)

    Would it be enough?


    Jul 26, 2017

    How Can Christians Be Salt and Light When They Don’t Believe The Basics of the Bible?

    by The American Pastors Network

    What does it mean to be “born again”? Do Christians truly understand this concept?

    According to research from the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI), many Americans call themselves “born again,” but fewer than 30 percent provided answers that would support that claim. And if so many think they are born again, why aren’t these Christians impacting the culture, asks the American Pastors Network.

    “If a majority of Americans think they are born-again Christians, one has to wonder where the cultural disconnect is, as the moral fiber of our nation continues to erode,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who is host of the APN radio ministry, “Stand in the Gap Today.”

    This summer, “Stand in the Gap Today” hosts have discussed these findings on two separate programs with George Barna, renowned social science researcher and head of ACFI.

    In pondering life after death, the ACFI research found that just 30 percent of those surveyed say they are born again with the reasoning that “after I die I know I will go to Heaven because I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my savior.” Another quarter say they don’t know what will happen when they die.

    “Some shocking findings of this survey indicate that many—75 percent—believe that mankind is not made up of sinners and that man is basically good,” Rohrer said. “Just barely more than half believe that Jesus lived a sinless life, and 42 percent believe that Satan is not real, but more a symbol of evil. Based on these findings, how healthy can we say the American church really is? How can salt be salt and light be light when we don’t believe those things?”

    (To listen to the “Stand in the Gap Today” programs on this topic here and here.)

    “According to these numbers and what we know from history, in real life, many, if not most of those who say they’re Christians are really not Christ-followers,” Rohrer said on the program. “We’ve also heard, for example, that up to 80 percent of Congress is Christian, but I look at that number with some skepticism. Just like there are Republicans In Name Only—RINO—there are also many Christians ‘in name only.’”

    Rohrer also pointed to Matthew 7:22-23, where Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (KJV).

    “There is perhaps no more clear example than these words of Christ Himself to perhaps describe these survey findings, which are evidence of what some Christians believe about themselves and what is actually real and true.”

    Jul 22, 2017

    4 Things You Should Know About Religious Expression in the Workplace

    Many people believe religion and politics should be avoided as discussion topics in the workplace. While that may be fair etiquette advice, the law protects religious expression by employees even inside the workplace.

    First Liberty Institute successfully represented clients who experienced reprisal for expressing their beliefs at work. For example:

  • In 2016, employees at NASA’s Johnson Space Center were prohibited from mentioning “Jesus” in e-newsletter announcements for their religious club. After First Liberty intervened, the group’s right to religious expression was reaffirmed.
  • In 2017, First Liberty reached an amicable settlement on behalf of health educator Alexia Palma, who was fired when her employer revoked a religious accommodation and demanded she teach a class that violated her deeply-held religious beliefs.
    And these don’t include the many victories concerning workplace religious expression within the work environment of the U.S. military. Religious expression on the job has fared well in these cases, too.

  • Why are these victories occurring? The simple answer is that the law, including federal law, is on the side of religious liberty in the workplace, and courts generally recognize that fact.


    Jul 21, 2017

    Hope for today, How to overcome loneliness

    By Clint Decker For the Reflector-Chronicle

    According to experts in the field of human behavior, loneliness is at epidemic levels. Millions are walking through this dark valley and every day the numbers are growing.

    It may seem odd as to how people could feel so lonely in our modern times. With all the technology available it may seem like an impossibility. But it is true. Social media, television, movies on demand and having an ability to instantly connect with anyone anywhere does not remove the struggle.

    I grew up as a Pastor’s kid and moved often. My personal fight with loneliness came in my sophomore year of high school. We moved again and I felt like I could not fit in to the new school in a new town. I responded by withdrawing to my room. My grades plummeted and my parents became deeply concerned.


    God has a purpose for everyone

    By Rev. Howard Avery, Ninth Street Baptist Church

    These are stressful times- economically, politically and perhaps for you, personally. As a pastor, people often ask me, "Why, Why is this _ (fill in the blank) happening to me?" This question is one we all ask during times of stress and/or experiences of deep pain. Behind the question is a sense that life or even that God has somehow singled us out for the painful situation we are facing. The question is normal and natural and one which everyone asks.


    Jul 18, 2017

    Reunion and Healing

    How ice cream and a stranger’s T-shirt led to a 48-year reunion and saying thank you
    The Daily Nonpariel (Council Bluffs)
    July 16, 2017

    Case in point: A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone I hadn’t spoken with in 48 years. And it happened because Linda and I decided to go out for ice cream one evening, and I saw a T-shirt on a woman I didn’t know.

    Why God hasn’t healed you (yet)
    Dallas County News
    July 17, 2017

    When I got sick, everyone told me I needed to have more faith. But my faith in God wasn’t the problem.

    Jul 10, 2017

    Pensacola fights to preserve historic cross

    Washington, D.C. - July 10, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- The Mayor and City of Pensacola, Florida, today will ask a federal court to protect a cross memorial that has stood in a city park for over 75 years. Last week in Kondrat’yev v. City of Pensacola the court ordered the cross to be removed by July 19 because it is a religious symbol. The case presents important questions of the relationship between church and state, and the city has retained Becket, a nationally recognized non-profit religious liberty law firm, to handle the appeal for the city free of charge.

    A wooden cross was first placed in Pensacola’s Bayview Park in 1941 by the local chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees)—a private, civic, nonprofit organization—as the United States prepared to enter World War II. The original wooden cross was replaced with the current cross by the Jaycees in 1969. For decades, the Jaycees and other groups have hosted community events at the memorial, including Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day remembrances. Today it continues to serve as a gathering place for both religious and nonreligious groups within the Pensacola community as a significant symbol of the city’s history.

    “The Bayview cross has played an important role in the history of Pensacola for over 75 years,” said Ashton Hayward, mayor of Pensacola. “We have a rich and diverse history that is worth celebrating. The Constitution doesn’t require us to erase our history just because part of that history is religious.”

    Bayview Park consists of 28 acres overlooking the scenic Bayou Texar. In addition to a cross in the northeast corner of the park, there is a senior center, amphitheater, two dog parks, tennis courts, a bocce ball court, playground, multiple boat ramps and docks, and a memorial to a local citizen who died in a waterskiing accident.

    In May of 2016, four plaintiffs sued the city saying that the cross was offensive. Two of the plaintiffs live in Canada. One has used the cross himself for his own self-described “satanic purposes.” The fourth plaintiff lives outside Pensacola over seven miles from the cross but still says that seeing the cross would be offensive. Although a federal court recognized that the cross “is part of the rich history of Pensacola,” and that the cross “might well pass constitutional muster,” it ruled that the cross has a “religious purpose” and must be removed.

    “The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the government can recognize the religious aspects of our history and culture without violating the Constitution,” said Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel at Becket, which is defending the City of Pensacola. “We expect the city will win this case.”

    Becket, which is representing the city free of charge, also successfully defended a statue of Jesus in Montana memorializing soldiers who died during World War II. Today the city is filing a motion asking the court to allow the cross to remain in place while the city appeals. The city is represented in the trial court by J. Nixon Daniel, III, and Terrie L. Didier of Beggs & Lane. A ruling on the motion is expected before July 19.

    Jul 9, 2017

    'God's Not Dead' producers to contribute to Ten Commandments rebuilding

    Arkansas Times
    July 5, 2017

    In the aftermath of the event, Bob Katz and Troy Duhon from the God’s Not Dead movie series contacted Governor Hutchinson to offer a donation that will assist in the re-building of the monument.

    Kelli Crain from PureFlix Entertainment along with Bob Katz and Troy Duhon from the GND Media Group will present the American History and Heritage Foundation with a $25,000 donation during a press conference on Thursday, July 6th, 2017 at 11:30 am in the Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda. This donation will go towards the re-building of the Arkansas Ten Commandments monument that was destroyed last week. PureFlix Entertainment is the production company for God’s Not Dead. Katz and Duhon are the executive producers for the God’s Not Dead series. God’s Not Dead 2 was filmed in Little Rock in 2015, which was the same year the Arkansas State Legislature passed the Act which approved the donation
    and installation of the Ten Commandments monument on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.

    Senator Jason Rapert, President of the American History and Heritage Foundation, will be accepting the donation on behalf of the Foundation. “We are very grateful to Bob and Troy for reaching out to Governor Hutchinson last week with their offer of a donation in the wake of the destruction of the first monument,” said Rapert, “I also want to thank Governor Hutchinson for his support and I want to thank his staff for their assistance in putting us in touch with PureFlix and the GND Media Group.”


    Jul 8, 2017

    Delegation of Faith Leaders and Human Rights Activists Applaud New York City Hospital for Offering to Provide Charlie Gard Medical Care

    LONDON - July 8, 2017 (God Inspires News) -- New York Presbyterian Hospital / Columbia University Medical announced they would accept Charlie in a public statement on Thursday.

    A delegation of Americans including Bobby Schindler, President of Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network; attorney Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of Americans United for Life; and Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, arrived in London on Friday morning at the invitation of Charlie's parents, Connie and Chris.

    The delegation calls for officials in Great Britain to honor the wishes of Charlie's parents and allow him to travel and receive the medical help he needs.

    The delegation will be working with and alongside the family to facilitate their desire to obtain medical care for Charlie and oversee a campaign to ensure the family is not removed from the critical decisions being made concerning Charlie's future and well-being.

    Family Research Council's Arina Grossu, Director of the Center for Human Dignity, joined several pro-life leaders in calling on the United Kingdom's government to intervene and allow the parents of baby Charlie Gard to take him abroad to seek potential life-saving treatment for Charlie who has mitochondrial depletion syndrome. The U.K. government and the hospital are refusing to allow Charlie's parents to take him to the United States to seek further treatment despite pleas from Pope Francis and President Donald Trump on Charlie's behalf.

    Grossu commented, in part:

    "We urge the British government, the courts, and the hospital to release Charlie. You are holding him hostage. This is a case about parental rights coming into conflict with socialized medicine. Who should decide what's in the best interest of Charlie? His parents. Not the courts. Not the hospital. Not the government.

    "It is Chris and Connie, his parents, who have the right to seek treatment for their son...Please don't deprive Charlie of a chance at therapy.

    "We must protect the rights of parents to make decisions for their children's health-- decisions that are based with best interests in mind. We must protect Charlie, the most vulnerable person among us.

    "And to the U.K. and Great Osmond Street Hospital, please free Charlie so that he can have a fighting chance at life. The world is watching and waiting for you to do the right thing and release Charlie to his parents," Grossu concluded.

    May 15, 2017

    'We love you, but God loves you more'


    She's a teacher, a mother figure and a friend to many, but her classroom can't be found in a school. Her students are a bit nontraditional and her only textbook is the Bible. Two days a week, Gregory, now 83 years young, makes her way to the Daviess County Security Center to help spread God's word to those seeking a new direction in life. This week, more than a dozen of the inmates whose lives she's touched gathered to share some of their fondest memories of the women they've grown to love.


    Isaiah 1:17 Project fundraisers Saturday

    Source: Princeton Daily Clarion
    Fort Branch, Indiana

    A local pageant is spreading awareness and raising funds for Isaiah 1:17 Project, a local organization that gives “blessing bags” to children entering foster care.

    On Saturday, May 20, the Beauty for Ashes beauty pageant will start at 10 a.m. for ages 0-6 and at 1 p.m. for ages 7-18 at the Vincennes University Gibson County Center Auditorium in Fort Branch.

    The organization also hosts a benefit extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the same day at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt featuring live music, art, food, games and other activities.

    Pageant Director Amanda Parker the VU-Fort Branch event features 30 contestants. In addition to the pageant, the participants accepted a "sock challenge," where they bring as many socks as they can to fill bags for foster children. Whoever brings the most socks wins a surprise prize package.

    Parker said she thinks the pageant is a good way to promote the Isaiah 1:17. Contestants who place in the pageant will serve as ambassadors of the project, being at different events and helping to fill bags.

    “This is not something where the girls get a sash and crown and you don’t see them until next year,” she said. “You will see them at different events.”

    Parker said the goal of the project is to help children when they’re first brought to foster care with “blessing bags” that include toiletries, pajamas, books, socks, water and other items, depending on the age of the child. She said everything in the bag will be new.

    She said they want to start in Gibson County and then branch out. “The long term goal is to be as nationwide as possible,” Parker said.

    She said she got involved with the organization from one of her friends serving on the board. “I jumped on board and from there, it was the one way I can give back.”

    For more information or to donate to the project, visit the Facebook page: The Isaiah 1:17 Project.

    Apr 4, 2017

    Utah rescuers 'accidentally' find family that was stranded for 2 days

    ABC News
    April 4, 2017

    "We sat on a sandbar and basically said 'God, can you give us a hand here? We're out of options,'" he said, adding that within "two minutes" the DPS helicopter came.

    Mar 16, 2017

    Should Conservative American Christians Be Alarmists?

    The Christian Post
    March 16, 2017

    "Alarmist" has become the newest label given to conservative Christians who raise concerns about the current trajectory of the culture in general or churches in particular. Like other labels — fundamentalist, theocrat, reconstructionist — the word itself is now used as a slur, and once deployed, the user feels no need to justify the accuracy of their claim.

    Do conservative American Christians have legitimate reasons to be alarmed?

    The meteorologists warning of winter storm Stella this week were alarmist also. Was that a bad thing?


    Join Opinion Outpost and Earn while giving your opinion

    In marijuana-ripe region, church defends the faith

    Baptist Press
    March 16, 2017

    REDWAY, Calif. (BP) -- "At one time there were three very healthy churches in Redway and now we are the last church standing."

    Dave Seaford, pastor of First Baptist Church in the northern California town of 1,200, ventured to one of the nation's most fertile regions for growing marijuana, legally and illegally, in 2014.

    The small congregation -- some aging, others part-time workers -- felt a burden for Redway's secularity and "sacrificed to bring us here," said Seaford, former pastor of a North Carolina church founded by Norm Geisler, one of the leading experts in the field of apologetics. Seaford, likewise, is a seasoned defender of the Christian faith, with a reach of more than 2,500 Facebook friends.
    First Baptist, organized in 1952, was without a fulltime pastor for three years. Knowing they needed a strong counterpoint to the free-thinking mindset of most people in the area, they approached Seaford.


    Mar 14, 2017


    Christian and Missionary Alliance
    March 14, 2017

    One of the blessings from serving in Thailand almost 25 years is getting to experience “more of the story”—how God works in marvelous ways in the lives of His people.

    We first met Noi at the second church we helped plant in 2003. She was 18 years old and had already been in Bangkok for six years. She worked 10–16 hours a day in a sweat shop making silver jewelry.


    Mar 12, 2017

    Three Questions to Ask Before Watching a Movie
    February 15, 2014

    It’s never been easier to watch movies, and lots of them.

    Netflix, which leads the race as the top online streaming service, provides more than 10,000 movie options for its 40 million subscribers — and it’s flanked by formidable competitors like Hulu Plus, Redbox, and Amazon Prime. Considering the sheer crowd on this track, and each one’s continued efforts to specialize its features, the movie industry doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

    Add to this online surge the weekly box office numbers, and one thing is clear: a lot of us are watching a lot of movies.

    And let’s face it, they’re not all good movies. In fact, many of them are bad. And I mean bad in every sense — poor storylines, debaucherous scenes, shaky acting — there are plenty of ways it could go wrong. Which means, there are plenty of ways to ruin your evening by watching a movie. Therefore, we should think carefully before devoting hours of our lives to the screen, whether at home or in a theater. So, in hopes of more thoughtful entertainment, here are three questions a Christian might ask before watching a movie.


    Movie Review: The Shack
    March 12, 2017

    After 10 years, the best-selling novel by William Paul Young has become a major motion picture release. The Shack was a novel that stirred much controversy within evangelical circles when it was first published, and that has not changed with the movie. Major evangelical leaders have flown new flags of warning against the dangers in the film, but others have taken up the flag and championed the movie, buying blocks of tickets and encouraging their followers to see the movie. Outreach, an evangelical, nondenominational magazine that often features articles by many of the leading mega-church pastors, has published a sermon guide and other materials intended to help churches teach from the movie’s themes and engage their communities, hoping to bring people closer to God.


    Mar 10, 2017

    Gaston church rebuilds after being wrecked by truck
    March 9, 2017

    Siding is still being installed on the outside of the church, but the congregation is getting ready to worship this Sunday at the Living Hope Christian Church.

    The sign outside the church reads "Church is a gift from God some assembly required"; while this might otherwise mean it takes a congregation to worship, this saying takes on a different meaning for a church that has literally had to reassemble the pieces after a semi pulling a flatbed trailer on Interstate 69 crashed through the building in December, severely damaging the structure.

    The damage has been repaired and a few updates made to the spaces that were destroyed. That means it is time for the church congregation homecoming.

    Claudette Shields, a member since the church's founding 12 years ago, said it was like coming home.

    God Inspires would like to ask all of our readers and members to keep this church in your prayers. It is obvious that God has something special in mind here and we are believing His Glory will be manifest by the love and service that these church members are experiencing. Praise God there are churches like this one who know how to pick up the pieces and keep going...

    Taylor lecture addresses religious freedom

    March 10, 2017

    The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson tackled pressing arguments about religious liberty and LGBT discrimination in the United States at Taylor University Thursday night.

    Mar 6, 2017

    Mennonite Youth Choir Festival is next weekend

    The Elkhart Truth
    March 5, 2017
    “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,” Ephesians 5:9. This Bible scripture verse is basis and mission of the 26th Mennonite Youth Choir Festival set for March 11 -12 at Goshen College and featuring 125 young singers from throughout the Midwest who will perform sacred choral music.

    Church Announcements for Connersville, Indiana

    Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1501 Indiana Ave., will again be distributing free food Monday from 5-6:30 p.m.

    The Fayette County Ministerial Association’s annual Good Friday service will be April 14 at noon at Crosspointe Biker Church, 1130 E. Baseline Road.

    BetterDayz Thru Jesus Christ continues to meet in Connersville at Faith Christian School, 2635 Iowa Ave., on Mondays at 5 p.m. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

    Celebrate Recovery meets Fridays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 309 West 24th St.

    An anxiety support group meets Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Community Gospel Church, 250 Erie Ave. Dress is casual and all denominations are welcome.

    Brianna’s Hope Cambridge City Chapter addiction support group meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at The River Assembly of God Church, 601 South 5th St. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

    Jan 27, 2017

    The Richest President in U.S. History - What is God's Perspective?

    By Crown Financial CEO Chuck Bentley

    It's no secret that President Donald Trump is the richest president our country has ever seen. His cabinet is also made up of extremely wealthy individuals, making it the wealthiest group ever assembled. Controversial politics and policy aside, is the mere scope of this wealth unsettling for our country?

    Does accumulating monetary wealth qualify an individual for high-level government positions in the greatest country in the world? More importantly - what does God have to say about it all?

    While he may be the richest, Donald Trump is not the only man of extreme wealth to serve as POTUS. Rich Republicans and Democrats alike have held the same office - John F. Kennedy, George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George W. Bush to name a few.

    But Americans may share the concern that perhaps this Cabinet's wealth is driving an already-out-of-touch Capitol Hill even further away from the struggling, stressed out majority of our population.

    On the other hand, wealth can be an indication of wise financial management and leadership. One could argue that having a Cabinet with a wealth of knowledge managing money will bode well for a country trillions of dollars in the red.

    So what does the Bible say? Are rich people like President Trump and his Cabinet a problem?

    The issue of how much or how little an elected official has is not the right question; how they manage what they have is the real issue of concern to God.

    Because when it comes to stewardship, it really wouldn't matter if we were talking about the poorest farmer on the other side of the world or President Trump because being wise in God's eyes has nothing to do with the amount of money someone has.

    Stewardship is about managing your resources - money, time, talents, words, and relationships - in a way that pleases God, not man. The issue is not being rich, but the heart attitude towards money that concerns the Lord.

    President Trump has more money than most people would know what to do with. But any of us could have a perfect credit score, be completely debt free, have millions stocked away, and still not even come close to the biblical mark of stewardship.

    If he, or you, or me, is focused solely on material gain and self-benefit through money, we will never understand what God's plan for our resources was in the first place. God uses both rich and poor for His work on earth. First Samuel 2:7 says, "The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He exalts." The issue is to be faithful to the purposes of God in all circumstances.

    President's Trump money makes him no more or no less holy. And regardless of his wealth or political standing, he is our President and we have a biblical obligation to pray for and give him the respect he is due.

    Rich or poor, we all have the same responsibility: To keep our priorities straight; To commit our work to the Lord; To avoid wasting our lives on things that won't last into eternity; To avoid coveting what our neighbor has; To replace greed with generosity; To be good and faithful stewards.

    As Americans, we can begin to look inward, instead of outward, and ask the hard question of "what am I doing with my resources?" The answer may not be easy or pretty but understanding your responsibility as God's steward will transform your life and the lives of those around you. Crown has a new online personal finance study that walks you through questions like these.

    All of us experience financial stress, whether it's struggling to make ends meet, planning for the future, or managing a surplus; and we all need sound financial wisdom. By pairing biblical principles and practical financial steps together, the MoneyLife Personal Finance study takes you on a journey to what a true steward looks like, rooted in truth and hope.

    I hope in this New Year that all of us, not just the President and his team, will commit ourselves to using our resources for God's glory, cautioning all who are obsessed with earthly resources to remember that the goal is the pursuit of God, not money.

    Crown Financial Ministries is the largest non-profit Christian financial ministry in the world, founded by Larry Burkett in 1976. CEO Chuck Bentley is a well-known author, speaker, and daily radio program host. Crown exists to help people discover and live by God's design for their work, finances, and life.