Monday, July 30, 2007


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

Pardon the minor vulgarity in the title of this post, but one of my closest friends and mission partners, Rev. Pat Mahoney, and two other guys I hang out with a lot (and share many deeply meaningful ministry experiences with), Troy Newman and Gary Cass, along with others, will return this week from leading an historic prayer mission to Iraq. This just may be the gutsiest missionary undertaking by anyone I know personally. My wife Cheryl would probably tell you that my sortie into Lebanon at the height of its civil war 25 years ago runs a close second, but I’m not sure. There is surely no more dangerous place on earth than Baghdad, and that’s exactly where Pat and his team of five went.

I supported Pat in his efforts, but from a safe distance of 6211 miles—staying right here in relatively secure Washington, DC! My job was to enlist prayer and badly needed financial support. You’ve probably read a couple of E-mails from me on this. Some people have asked what this or any such international activity has to do with Faith and Action. I answer this in part during my video interview with Pat. (You can view it at our website, But to say more, America has no bigger spiritual, moral or security problem than radical, politicized and anti-western Islamists. Being here in Washington has allowed Pat and me and many others to engage diplomats from Islamic countries—and even to befriend some, leading to opportunities like this one to counteract this dangerous poison by demonstrating Christian love, truth and concern.

Working in Washington also leads inevitably to opportunities to work with issues related to religious liberty around the world. As believers, we should all pray for and help fellow Christians who suffer in restrictive Islamic lands. Simply being Americans gives Rev. Mahoney and me, and any of us, a critical advantage in advocating for persecuted believers around the world. I do this formally through my board membership at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. It was through the Institute that I first went to Morocco and later to Sudan and Darfur.

Justifying this for me is almost a no-brainer. First, I have always felt called to a wider burden then simply the borders of our own country. I spent 15 years as a missionary evangelist, preaching the Gospel and directing various ministries of mercy in 40 countries. I founded Operation Serve International (OSI), a Christian humanitarian relief group that shares “the love of Christ in word and deed.” We started by reaching out to the real felt needs of the children, women and men living in the vast municipal garbage dumps around Mexico City, later branching out to similar populations in Cairo, Egypt. When I relinquished leadership of OSI back in the mid 90’s, my successor, the Reverend Dr. Sameh Sadik and his wife, Connie, took the ministry to new heights and new places. (Learn more about OSI at

There’s another deeply personal aspect to all this: My daughter, Anna, is now living in Moroccan Sahara, directing a computer literacy school for native Sahrawi women. It doesn’t get any more personal than that!

I say all this to say it is impossible to isolate ourselves as Christians or as Americans. The Gospel mandate itself is to preach to all nations. (In the original Greek, read that, “all ethnic groups.”) “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.” We don’t need to go further than this, but we can. The eyes of the world look to America for everything from religion, to morality to blue jeans. We cannot ignore that fact. God has uniquely blessed America with world leadership. American Christians are uniquely positioned because of that platform.

Good for Pat Mahoney and company to have known and acted on this. Good for them for obeying what I believe was the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go to Iraq to witness Christian love and truth to the leadership of that beleaguered and war-torn country. Good for them for presenting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki with the Ten Commandments plaque donated by Faith and Action. As Rev. Mahoney told the Prime Minister during the ceremony, “The eternal truths contained in the Commandments are shared by our two cultures. They bring us together rather than drive us apart.” Good for Pat for encouraging suffering Christians in that country by meeting with them, praying for them and asking how all of us rich and comfortable Christians in the West can help them. And good for Pat and his team for taking the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ to such a bad news place. If the Gospel works in Baghdad, it will work everywhere!

Please take time to join me in thanking God for the safe return of Pat and his team. And please take time to make a contribution at our website to offset their considerable travel expenses. One thing we’ve learned from all this: It ain’t cheap to go to the most dangerous place on earth—it could’ve cost a lot more than money. Thank God it didn’t—this time!

- Rob Schenck

Monday, July 23, 2007


Today I head to Branson, Missouri, for a board meeting of the Evangelical Church Alliance followed by the annual convention. The ECA is America’s oldest association of Evangelical churches, clergy, missionaries and chaplains. Among other notable accomplishments, the ECA now has the largest number of active duty Evangelical armed services chaplains. I am honored to not only sit on the ECA board of directors, but also to serve as chairman of its Committee on Church and Society. Our guest of honor this year is none other than “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore, who is well-known to our Faith and Action family. The Judge speaks Wednesday evening; I’ll address the convention Thursday morning and return to Washington Friday.

While in Branson, I’ll visit the construction site of a new Christian theater being built by another pair of Faith and Action friends, Glenn and Shirley Eshelman, who founded the enormous Sight and Sound Auditorium in nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Back in 1984, when Glenn was putting together sound tracks with a series of photographic slide projectors, he generously contributed his skills by creating our first multi-media presentation. No one then could have predicted the Eshelmans would eventually oversee the most sophisticated, fully dressed state-of-art “Christian theater” in the world! Today, over 800,000 people a year enjoy one of their many Bible-centered productions involving live actors, real animals, bedazzling technology, original music scores and rich scenery. The new Branson facility will open in spring of 2008 with Noah, a spectacular telling of the great flood epic.

Speaking of spectacular, that will describe the sight of a Christian ministry delegation going to Baghdad this week to hold a series of prayer meetings in that war-torn nation. Our own Rev. Pat Mahoney will lead this historic mission. He will carry with him a Faith and Action plaque of the Ten Commandments (like the ones we give to U.S. government officials) to present to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Rev. Mahoney has worked on this project for nearly three years. This breakthrough is perfectly timed. (As if we doubt God’s sovereignty!) Pat will return from Baghdad just in time for the much anticipated Iraq report to the President and Congress by the top U.S commander there, Army General David Petraeus. We will anchor the prayer delegation from headquarters here in Washington and join Rev. Mahoney in a prayer vigil at the U.S. Capitol on the eve of the General’s testimony.

Just as an aside, when Rev. Mahoney and I first met with Iraqi diplomatic officials in 2004, we presented them with an antique Civil War era Bible from our own library here at our ministry center. The Iraqis were absolutely delighted and held up the Bible, kissing it and thanking us profusely. It remains prominently displayed in the Embassy.

And, speaking of Iraq, I’d love to know your opinions, concerns, insights and any other thoughts you may have about the war. Would you write me this week? The Bible says there is safety in the multitude of counselors, and you are one of my best advisers. Please share with me what you sense about all this. Thanks!

Well, it’s summer, so I’m trying to keep these postings brief so you can enjoy yourself! Be back later . . .

Your missionary Washington, DC,

Rev. Rob Schenck

Friday, July 13, 2007


What a week it’s been! I returned on Monday from a wonderful weekend preaching at the dynamic Calvary Chapel South Orlando with Pastor Charles Nestor III. I haven’t sat still since! (In fact, Calvary Chapel was sandwiched between Olympia, Washington--the pulpit of the equally dynamic Evergreen Christian Community with Pastor Dale Oquist--my personal visits with major supporters in Northern California, and presiding at the wedding of a friend’s daughter back in DC! As you can see, it’s been breathless!)

The best part of this week was the number of visitors to our own ministry center here on the Hill. Our good friend Bill Murray of the Religious Freedom Coalition came by. We talked on video about his new book, The Pledge: One Nation Under God. Bill is the son of the late and infamous founder of American Atheists, Madelyn Murray O’Hare. He’s got quite a moving—and sometimes disturbing—story on how he went from her prop to get prayer kicked out of schools in 1963, to the Christian leader he is today. (To get a feel of his ordeal, read his statement after his mother’s 1999 murder by her group’s treasurer: Today, Bill is one of the leading figures not only in promoting religious freedom around the world, but in reforming our own culture. He’s a great ally to Faith and Action.

Another guest this week was Ronnie Wexler, founder and president of the Ten Commandments Commission, which is working with Congress to establish National Ten Commandments Day. I’m delighted to be associated with Ronnie, who, like Bill, is a very interesting person. First, he’s an Orthodox Jew and an Israeli. He has a book due out soon that tells his story of growing up on a socialist kibbutz with a largely non-religious family of Zionist pioneers. Astoundingly, his first contact with Evangelical Christians came when, as a young soldier fresh from the now famous Six Day War, he was sent on a diplomatic mission to the U.S. He ended up assigned to Buffalo, New York, where he met Pastor Tommy Reid, the same man who years later would become a mentor to my brother and me. I talked with Ronnie on video about his view of the Ten Commandments from an Orthodox Jewish perspective. You can view it at our website under “FAA Video.” (You can also see him read the Commandments in his native Hebrew from a traditional Torah scroll we keep in our ministry center library. Check it out—it’s very inspiring:

Finally, it was former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt who rounded out the week’s gathering. “Chaps,” as he was affectionately called by the sailors he pastored so well, was dismissed by the Navy for daring to publicly pray in Jesus’ name! By the time the Congress took up the matter and changed the law to allow such prayers, it was too late for Chaps. But he continues the good fight of faith and is currently on a nation-wide speaking tour. We talked about that and more on video. You can get in on the conversation by viewing it at our website. Chaplain Klingenschmitt is another dear friend and ally.

Oh, just an important aside: Yesterday (as I’m sure you saw, read or heard by now), a Hindu Priest opened the U.S. Senate in prayer at the invitation of Majority Leader Harry Reid of Utah. Two Christians were arrested for countering with their own prayers. Read my comments in our article at

Today I’m doing the finishing touches on my soon to be re-released and updated book on the Ten Commandments, Ten Words That Will Change a Nation. (Watch for it to be out in the early fall.) Tonight, I will co-host a fundraiser for presidential hopeful and true Christian hero on the Hill, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. As I finish writing this to you, I’ll quickly pack because I leave early tomorrow morning for Wichita, Kansas. Once there, I’ll meet up with Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition who is helping coordinate the Wichita Awakening, a biblical solemn assembly to cry out for repentance and national revival. My role is to lead a candlelight prayer vigil outside the most notorious late-term abortion business in the country. Read about it at our website,

Well, now you’re up to date. There’s so much going on these days, I’ll have to write more often. Blessings to you and yours!

Rob Schenck, Faith and Action (

Saturday, July 07, 2007


The New York Times recently published an article about Hillary Clinton’s faith. It was an usual piece for the Times. In summary—it was puff piece. It was meant to convince readers that Hillary is not only not anti-faith, she’s actually pro-faith—and therefore an acceptable pick for believers. (Read that, Evangelicals and Roman Catholics.)

Someone asked me after reading the Times piece if I think Hillary has genuine faith. My answered was a surprise: Yes, I do believe Hillary has genuine faith. The question better is, in what? Does she believe in God? I’d say, yes. But what does that really mean?

One can believe in God in many ways. The Bible even says the Devil believes in God. So, to use a hackneyed phrase, it depends on what the meaning of the word “believe” is.

The way I read Hillary Clinton’s “faith” story is really the way I read sort of the average American’s faith story. Hillary “believes” the way she wants to believe. In other words, she decides on what terms she will take God.

The Bible, on the other hand, makes clear it is God who sets the terms of belief in Him. We must conform to His requirements, not the other way around. When we decide how we will believe in God and what we will believe about him, we end up conforming God to our image, rather than the other way around. This is, in fact, idolatry.

So, the short answer to the question about Hillary’s faith is yes, I believe she truly believes. But the longer answer is, I believe she believes in a God made in her own image. In Hillary’s mind, God’s agenda fits hers like a glove. She doesn’t need to change anything about herself because she has told God what He will require of her and what He won’t.

Hillary has a genuine faith—but it’s in the idol she created in Her image for her use.