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.