Wednesday, August 29, 2007


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

I wrote this today and sent it out on the newswires. I thought you might like to read it.


By Rev. Rob Schenck
President, Faith and Action
Washington, DC

The spectacle of a Washington figure caught in a sex scandal is always painful. Of course, before saying any more about Senator Larry Craig’s crisis, it goes without saying that in America, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The problem here is the Senator’s admission of guilt that remained in place for six weeks. After all, he is a lawmaker—a legislator of the highest order, a U.S. Senator. One would think a professional like Senator Craig would understand the ramifications of pleading guilty in such a case. To reverse his admission now reminds me more of King Saul who was not sorry for what he did, but rather that he got caught doing it.

The saddest part of this story is that it’s public at all. My pastor’s heart wants this to be a quiet matter between the Senator, his wife and family, the reporting officer and, most importantly, the Lord. But once you choose public a life as a U.S. Senator, you are vulnerable to virtually everything going public. It’s a risk you accept when you declare your candidacy, let alone win the office.

So, here it is; another public scandal. Though he hasn’t asked for it, my advice to Senator Craig would be to go back to square one. As I taught my kids, it’s never too late to correct a mistake. First, he must repent of any hidden sin in his life; second, confess it to his wife and family; third, beg their forgiveness and pardon; and fourth, commit to both long term pastoral and psychological counseling. After these steps (which don’t take very long) the Senator should make this public statement:

“I am deeply humiliated and ashamed. I hope you will understand this has been a painful and complicated struggle in my life. I have sought forgiveness from God and my family. Now I ask for forgiveness and understanding from the people of Idaho, from the people of this great country and from my fellow members of the United States Senate. Please pray for me and my family during this very difficult time for us. In order to give proper attention to those I love and to my own healing, I hereby resign my seat in the United States Senate. Thank you.”

This could be a great lesson to all people in how to handle our many failings, public and private. If this is what it appears to be, I ask Senator Craig to help us all by doing the right thing: Fess up to God and man, step aside and seek help.

Rev. Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK) is an ordained Evangelical minister and a missionary to elected and appointed officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Mr. Schenck is chairman of the Committee on Church and Society for the Evangelical Church Alliance and serves on the boards of numerous religious organizations and institutions.

Monday, August 27, 2007


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

All the talk here on the Hill is about the upcoming Iraq report to Congress by General David Petraeus. Although it’s yet to be made public, our inside contacts tell us the U.S. commander will likely address a rare joint session of Congress on or around September 11. Our friend and colleague, Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, had presciently secured a permit for a prayer vigil at the U.S. Capitol on the evening of September 10. I’m not sure it makes Pat a prophet, but the timing could prove divinely strategic! I’ll be with Pat that night to lead in prayer and read scripture. Our focus will be the small number of Christians who remain in Iraq.

When Pat was in Baghdad just a couple of weeks ago, he met with leaders of the Christian community there. He asked them what will happen if American troops pull out of Iraq. They answered without hesitation, “We will be exterminated.”

Extermination is a powerful word in my lexicon. As you may know, I was born into a Jewish home. My father raised my brother and me and our two sisters with a thorough education in the Holocaust. “Extermination” was a key word in everything we learned about that terrible time in human history. As a child I was told some distant family members were “exterminated” by the Nazis. I was shown photos of emaciated bodies stacked like cord wood in mass graves; and skulls emerging from the ovens in the “extermination camps.”

God forbid we should ignore the specter of another atrocity. Following Viet Nam, millions of innocents were “exterminated” in the Killing Fields. (If you haven’t seen the film Killing Fields, you need to. While you’re steeling yourself, why not see Hotel Rwanda, too?) Hollywood and liberals are all abuzz about Muslims in Darfur (and rightfully so), but they apparently care nothing about Christians in Iraq!

Rev. Mahoney said after talking to these precious believers—a community that goes back nearly 2000 years in Christian history—he had no doubt a horrendous slaughter will occur should America pull out of Iraq prematurely.

No matter where they stand on the war, Congressional leaders need to know if they force the President’s hand for their own political advantage, the streets of Baghdad will be littered with the decapitated bodies of our fellow Christians.

For this reason we’ve launched a petition drive aimed at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The petition demands they consider the safety and security of Iraqi Christians as they contemplate their political strategies.

Please take time to sign the petition and pass it along to everyone you know who will care about the Christians of Iraq—your family, friends, fellow church members.


Sorry to start your week off with such dire news, but I can’t sugarcoat it. We’re talking about thousands of innocent men, women and children who are sitting ducks. Without the protection of American troops now and a well-trained, seasoned Iraqi military in the future, these poor souls will be the first to die.


Please act now.

Be back later . . .

Sunday, August 19, 2007


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

This is a blog posting on how I spent my summer vacation. That’s right, vacation! Cheryl and I actually managed to break loose and take a literal sabbatical—seven whole days of rest. I even surprised myself when I kept my mobile phone off for the entire time and checked my E-mail only once! This is groundbreaking for me—the hypocritical Sabbath breaker himself! I wrote about the importance of God’s Seventh-Day rest—oddly, seven years ago—in my then newly released book on the Ten Commandments, Ten Words That Will Change A Nation. The second edition of the book will soon be released (watch for news at our website: )—and it’s taken me all this time to begin living out that fourth chapter, aptly titled Holy R&R!

OK, enough confession, and on to what Cheryl I did after we stowed away to Nassau in The Bahamas. Cashing in on all my travel points we booked into the British Colonial Hilton with its very nice and private beach and downtown location. You can walk out the front door into a mid-day traffic jam as bad as anything in Metro Washington, DC, or out the back door onto some of the whitest sand and bluest water you’ll ever see. The Bahamas are as friendly, but not nearly as clean, as I imagined them to be. One thing that clearly stood out was the absence of the acute anxiety Americans exhibit over the so-called “separation of church and state.” There aren’t many religiophobes in The Islands, mahn! Everything is “Gaud bless you,” “Have a blessed day,” “Praise Gaud,” and “Tanks Gaud!” Such unapologetic public acknowledgments of God were refreshing.

We punctuated our days of sunning, swimming, touring and boating with two important worship experiences: Sunday morning at the Zion Baptist Church in the pink building on Shirley Street and a Wednesday noon mass at the historic Anglican Cathedral. Zion Baptist is the largest church on New Providence Island. The congregation has a rich history of ministry to the black population, beginning as a mission in 1837 to newly freed slaves. From where Cheryl and I sat in the nineteenth-century sanctuary, we were the only white faces in the crowd. It’s a healthy exercise to turn that feeling around once in a while.

We actually happened upon the Wednesday mass, originally intending to simply tour Christ Church Cathedral, established in 1670. The present building on George Street dates to 1841. It’s every bit the classic stone Gothic Revival structure I saw so much of in England while on preaching tours years ago. Sculpted memorial plaques also decorated the sanctuary, as they do in the Motherland. When I asked the church secretary if there would be a service of Holy Communion we could attend, she said pleasantly but laconically, “It’s at 12:30 if we can get a priest; in the chapel.” I thanked her and Cheryl and I sauntered into the quaint chapel. There were only two others in the pews and we waited about 15 minutes until the priest entered, ringing a chime made of nine bells. (By then one more soul had joined us.) The priest was the Very Reverend Patrick L. Adderly and he led a very warm, Evangelical-friendly service, including some old-time favorite Gospel tunes like “Love Lifted Me” and charismatic choruses popular in the 1970’s like “Spirit of the Living God.” The miniscule fellowship, congenial hospitality, inspiring homily and my opportunity to recite the litany of prayers made for a delightfully surprising afternoon.

We returned late Friday just ahead of Hurricane Dean that was never expected to hit our island. As of this writing the storm is quite a bit south of the Bahamas, heading for Jamaica. May the Lord spare those in its path.

Now I turn my attention back home to the work of Faith and Action and to the team that kept everything moving while I was gone. We’ve got a great group of gifted people here with unique talents, God-given abilities and a real commitment to this mission. I’m grateful to the Lord for each one. They--and you--are the reason I could relax as I did.

Foremost on the agenda is our upcoming 25th Anniversary Gala at the Renaissance Hotel, November 17. Hard to believe we got underway a quarter-century ago. We moved to Capitol Hill in 1994 and launched our present work with a rally in the Renaissance’s ballroom. A lot has happened during all these years, and it’s in answer to your prayers and as a result of your generosity and encouragement. Be sure to be here to celebrate with us all that God has done and will do! Get your tickets now online—and, please, consider being a sponsor of this memorable event!

And watch the postings at this blog—there’ll soon be more surprises to write about . . .

Grateful to be back in the saddle,

Rev. Rob Schenck