For Immediate Release November 7, 2016
Beth Harrison, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102
Will Millions of Christian Voters Stay Home?
American Pastors Network: Nearly 40 Million Christians Did Not Vote in 2012; the Faithful Must Step Up and Step Into the Polls to Make a Difference in This Election
PHILADELPHIA—If there’s anything that voters of all parties can agree on, it’s that this election season has been exhausting. But that’s no excuse for millions of Christian voters to stay home tomorrow, especially as they make up one of the most influential voting blocs for this crucial election.
For months, the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) has been encouraging voters—especially faith-driven voters—to not only vote, but vote with biblical values in mind.
“Voting truly does have a lifetime of accountability,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “The faithful cannot simply choose a name on a whim, listen to the headlines of a very biased media or trust the polls. Rather, voting must be a carefully considered, prayerful and serious decision. Our prayer is that every Christian will base their voting decisions on biblical principles and wisdom, rather than emotion, news reports or even social media.”
In its analysis of the 2016 election, the American Family Association reported, after interviewing various experts, that in 2012 about 90 million born-again Christians were of voting age; 77 million were registered to vote, yet just 51 million voted. Therefore, according to AFA, 39 million eligible Christian voters either did not vote or were not registered to vote in 2012.
Rohrer added that this election is about two distinctive worldviews—two futures—rather than two individuals. One worldview preserves religious liberties, appoints those who will uphold Judeo-Christian values on the Supreme Court and protects life.
“And the other,” Rohrer added, “most certainly will not.”
Rohrer hosts the daily, live, one-hour “Stand in the Gap Today,” the news and commentary radio program from APN that airs on about 425 stations nationwide daily at noon ET. Social science researcher George Barna regularly joins Rohrer and the other two hosts, Gary Dull of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net), and Dave Kistler of the North Carolina Pastors Network (NCPN, www.ncpastors.net).
This election season, Barna’s surveys of SAGE Cons—Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives—through the American Culture & Faith Institute have focused on voting trends, polls and the issues that are important to evangelicals. He recently talked with Rohrer about election trends, especially among evangelicals.
On the show, Rohrer asked Barna why so many Christians fail to see the stark contrasts between the two worldviews of the Trump/Pence and Clinton/Kaine teams.
Barna said that his research has delved into many very specific aspects of the election and Americans’ views of the candidates. He added that many Americans, for whatever reason, do not think in terms of the long-term future; they may not be ideologically driven or worldview kinds of thinkers, he said.
“Most Americans have a worldview by default,” Barna said on the show. “They’ve never taken the time to really study what the different possibilities are and what their implications are and who they want to be and who they believe God wants them to be and how the Bible sits into it. They haven’t done all that, and so we’re driven by emotion, and that’s why we have these kinds of choices being made.”
Added Rohrer, “Institutions of government are broken and falling apart, partially because people don’t actually think through and debate the issues, but instead focus on the individual candidate. And that can be a real failure to the process. One goal of the American Pastors Network and ‘Stand in the Gap Today’ is to encourage people to think biblically and apply truth to the issues of the day. Doing so will bring us all to a logical, solid conclusion in any voting decision.”
Rohrer also asked Barna to speak to listeners about their voting choices tomorrow.
“We may not like any of the options,” Barna said, “but we’re privileged to have the opportunity to vote for somebody. Keep in mind that whoever wins is only going to serve because God’s going to allow them to serve. … This is a critical time for those of us who love Christ. He did not ask us to put our head in the sand and say, ‘This is too confusing’ or ‘It’s too ugly’ (or) ‘I don’t want to be involved.’ His death on the cross was ugly. He needed people to be involved. Everything about our faith is a challenge to the world’s system. Get used to it. We have to stand up for what we believe, and now is a critical time.”
Rohrer has also been sharing his own “Voting Integrity Checklist,” a series of questions he developed for himself to use during nearly 20 years in office as a legislator. It helps not only to ensure votes of integrity, but to also permit voters to have confidence in how candidates may conduct themselves while in office.
APN recently launched the new “We Will Stand” initiative to help mobilize and encourage pastors to preach biblical truth about all issues, as well as unite pastors in their calling to stand boldly for truth. Pastors can sign the “We Will Stand” pledge and commit to preach passionately, pray fervently, encourage their congregations and engage as a minister together with civic leaders. Information about “We Will Stand” is available at www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net.
APN offers pastors numerous online resources that help clergy choose sermon topics and find information for other church ministries. With some free and some paid resources, topics include abortion, apologetics, creation, the cultural crisis, economics, education, the environment, history, homosexuality, Islam and marriage, along with many others.
The American Pastors Network is the largest, national network of pastors who believe in the authority of scripture; who boldly preach the whole counsel of God with a disciplined application of a biblical worldview to public policy; who are building a permanent infrastructure of biblically faithful pastors and lay leaders; and who are mobilizing congregations to participate in the political process on a non-partisan basis. For information on APN, visit www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net, its Facebook page or follow APN’s Twitter feed, @AmericanPastors. Those interested in forming a chapter in their state may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Public Community Foundation registered nationwide). APN’s daily short radio feature, “Stand in the Gap Minute,” airs on approximately 290 stations, “Stand in the Gap Weekend” airs on nearly 180 stations and the live one-hour show, “Stand in the Gap Today,” airs on about 425 stations nationwide.
To interview a representative from the American Pastors Network, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.