PHILADELPHIA—The crisis in Ukraine turned even more deadly last week with the downing of a passenger jetliner and killing of the nearly 300 on board. Initial reports point to the plane’s being shot by a surface-to-air missile coming from Ukraine territory held by pro-Russian separatists.
As the turmoil in Ukraine intensifies, the American Pastors Network (APN, www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net) recently returned from an International Leadership Summit in that country, where they taught Ukrainian pastoral and elected leaders the principles that made America a great nation. At the summit were approximately 15 key government officials from the Executive and Legislative branches, including top advisors to the office of Speaker and President as well as heads of government agencies and departments.
Also present were key pastors representing over 10,000 churches in Ukraine – some of whom are the lead officials of the largest denominations in the country.
“The American Pastors Network was invited to Ukraine because leaders in that nation understand that America became a great nation because America was built on a Biblical foundation, and they want that foundation for their own nation,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “At the summit, APN and its speakers presented the Biblical principles of authority, government, law, jurisdiction, ethics, integrity, and what it means to have a righteous government. These principles refer heavily to the American experience, to the view of our founders, and to the principles that drove the writing of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.”
Rohrer added that the Ukrainian leaders who spoke at the summit confirmed their desire to establish a righteous government free of corruption and bribery and one that would recognize and protect the basic and inalienable rights granted by God.
“The leaders we spoke with made it clear that they want what made America great, not what is currently motivating and directing our nation, which is anything but a firm adherence to Biblical or constitutional principles in government or in life,” he said.
APN was invited to the summit by Presiding Bishop Valery Reshetinsky, who also serves as the Chairman of the Ukrainian Interchurch Council that represents 20 different evangelical denominations. Among the summit organizers were Ukrainian elected officials and government staff members, some of whom are directly involved in the writing of new laws, some of whom are involved in the enforcement of the laws and some of whom are in key advisory positions.
Pastor Dale Armstrong of Church of the Word in Lancaster, Pa, orchestrated APN’s on-the-ground involvement in the summit, and he emphasized the significance of the summit happening at this particular time.
“Every day in the news, we are seeing, hearing and reading reports of crisis in Ukraine,” Armstrong said. “Yet, in the middle of that crisis there are men and women who understand that the only way to establish a truly free and prosperous nation is not simply through building a nation based on military victory but through building a nation based on the foundation of God’s Word and His eternal truth. It was sobering to see that even as many in America reject this truth, many in Ukraine are sacrificing in pursuit of it.”
APN speakers discussed the Biblical and constitutional principles needed to establish sound public policies, and various Q&A sessions allowed for discussion on implementing those principles.
“The people of Ukraine have demonstrated that they long for freedom, and they recognize that freedom is not the default condition in life,” Rohrer added. “America became a free and great nation not by accident but because we acknowledged God, recognized our dependence on Him, sought His guidance and built our government on Biblical principles. The people of Ukraine want this Biblically based freedom, and APN is honored to help them understand what’s required to achieve it. Our desire now is to see our own American politicians and pastors encouraged to fight to keep the freedoms we have here, rather than allowing them to be dismantled by government officials who have rejected the principles of freedom that made America the beacon of hope for all the world.”