HICKORY, NC | At a recent event at P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, CNN host Wolf Blitzer hosted a conversation on “LGBT Equality” and the “changing attitude” of the church toward homosexuality.
Present at the event, to monitor the conversation, were approximately 35 western North Carolina pastors representing the newly formed North Carolina Pastors Network, an organization whose stated purpose is “to develop a dynamic network of biblically faithful pastors who are committed to the absolute authority of the scriptures, the bold proclamation of truth, and a well-disciplined application of the biblical world view to public policy, as well as the establishment of a solid infrastructure of Biblically committed lay leaders.”
At the conclusion of the Lenoir-Rhyne event, NCPN conducted a press conference to refute the misconceptions and falsehoods that had been communicated by Blitzer and two area pastors who served as panelists. The North Carolina Pastors Network was born out of a strong desire on the part of a group of key Morganton area pastors to speak God’s truth into the culture, specifically as it relates to the issue of marriage.
During last year’s Marriage Amendment process, this loosely-structured group met regularly to pray, plan, and strategically prepare their congregations for the Amendment One vote. After the successful passing of Amendment One, this pastoral group continued to meet for prayer and thoughtful discussion regarding the possibility of formal organization in association with a national entity of like-minded pastors. It was at that point that an introduction was made with the American Pastors Network, an organization based in Pennsylvania. After several months of intense discussion and earnest prayer, the decision was made to formally organize under the title of the North Carolina Pastors Network, a chapter of the American Pastors Network.
At a recent meeting, NCPN elected Dr. Ken Carrico (Morganton-area psychologist) as its executive director, and myself (an international evangelist from Connelly Springs) as its president. It is the firm belief of all NCPN members that the church ought to be the conscience of the community and that pastors have a divine calling, and obligation, to boldly declare what God has to say about the key issues of our day. In a recent press release addressing this point, I made the following statement.
“The church in America has lost its vision of what it means to be truly culturally relevant. Instead of impacting culture, we have become impacted by culture, and it shows in the weakening of our convictions and the loss of our clarity on the moral and economic issues confronting us today. One reason Christians have lost their sense of moral imperative and civic responsibility is that we no longer have a clear vision of what it means to love our neighbor.
We have internalized our rights as Americans to the point that we no longer understand that we have a duty and a responsibility to fight not primarily for our own rights, but for the rights of our neighbors; of the elderly, the disabled, the unborn, the widowed and orphaned, and the oppressed – not to mention the future of our children and grandchildren.”
George Washington, often referred to as the “Father of our Country,” said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is more than dangerous to indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”
Perhaps America’s biggest challenge today lies in the fact that so few American evangelical pastors are willing to speak with boldness, conviction, and clarity on the issues of the day. Yet, it has historically been the preachers and pastors of America who’ve been the tool most significantly used to preserve the sacred liberties of free speech and freedom of religion.
The North Carolina Pastors Network plans to take bold steps in the public square to defend and protect marriage as between one man and one woman and will step forward to defend against other efforts that threaten the family and the religious liberty of North Carolinians and all Americans.
WATCH: WCNC’s Coverage of the NCPN response here.