Truth And Accuracy – With Bishop Jim Lowe: What changed JFK’s mind about civil rights legislation? What are the steps to a successful protest? How important are truth and accuracy during these times? What is the real problem America is facing? What do true pastors do? Tune in to hear the importance of truth from Bishop Jim Lowe of the Alabama Policy Institute!
Air Date: 04/06/2021
Guest: Bishop Jim Lowe
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live, where we talk about the hot topics of the day, policy, faith, culture, all those different areas. But we always look at them from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective, that is giving people truth and also helping to encourage people to make a difference, to get involved.
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We’re doing that here with David and Tim Barton. David Barton is America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, Tim Barton is a national speaker, and pastor and president of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator.
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Yeah, this is a place that we really enjoy being able to give information and insight to folks. And really, we are able to give stuff that just doesn’t appear in most other places, whether it be historical, or political, because the contacts we have or even inside of the spiritual things with the kind of pastors that we’re able to bring on. So we’re able to do that. But at the same time, it does cost us to be able to present this to folks.
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And just to clarify, I know there are some Christians who say, now, wait a second, you should pray and ask God to provide. We do pray and ask God to provide and we think you might be part of the answer. And that’s why we’re bringing it up, right, that we might find people who want to join in this mission.
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So speaking of truth and accuracy, that’s really what today’s program is all about. Bishop Jim Lowe is going to be with us. What an amazing, incredible story he has and he’s going to be teaching us about how to approach with truth and accuracy. And you guys have actually had the chance to interview him.
Bishop Jim Lowe
Yeah, Jim is an amazing guy. He is a great pastor. He is a guy that in recent years has really come to an epiphany over what a pastor should be. And he is now engaging the area of Birmingham and just literally turning that city.
He’s gotten so many pastors actively engaged there, what they call the Gatekeepers. And now he’s been asked to sit on the board of Alabama Policy Council. And so he has such an impact and such an outreach. But he’s a huge part of our national history as well.
One of the things that we cover in a book that we have called American History in Black & White: Setting the Record Straight is the fact that President John F. Kennedy initially opposed the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 until after there were church bombings in Birmingham. And that so swayed him and so changed him that he said, alright, now we need the Civil Rights Bills, we need Voting Rights Bills, we need equality with racist.
Well, Jim Lowe was in that church bombing in 1963 that changed the attitude of JFK. He actually bears in his body the scars of that bombing, and the bombings that went across Birmingham that period of time. So here’s a guy who’s really had it tough, has gone through a real spiritual revolution with the Lord who’s dealt with him on forgiveness and how to lead.
And he’s a great voice. And so he’s a great one to look at what’s happening to the culture right now, where they’re trying to polarize one side against another. And Jim’s got great perspective on what we should be doing right now.
Alright. Well, Bishop Jim Lowe will be with us when we return, amazing guy. And what he’s going to be sharing, folks, this is what it takes to have a successful protest, it’s the process.
He’s going to be sharing that four step process that MLK, Martin Luther King Jr. used to, frankly, have the most successful protests, certainly in our nation’s history and really change the world with those peaceful protests. So stay with us, Bishop Jim Lowe, our special guest on WallBuilders Live.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks so much for staying with us today. Very excited to have Bishop Jim Lowe with us, Alabama Policy Institute, Bishop, thanks for your time today.
Glad to be with you, Rick.
An Important Article
Great article on “Nonviolent protest is essential to a free society. We must not discourage it”. Your article talks about the right way to do it, and of course, the model, Martin Luther King Jr. changed the world because of that peaceful protest and leading the way in that.
As well as Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, who David and Tim have done a special on him. I had the chance to learn about that with a show we did a while back in Birmingham there. But just appreciate your article, wanted to chat with you a little bit about this.
The timing is very, very important because we need to exercise this First Amendment right of peacefully assembling and protesting petition our government for redress of grievance, but to do it in the right way so that we can change the culture in a positive way. One of the things that’s so much in your article, I wish we had more time because there’s so much in your article I want to cover.
But one of the things that I thought was so important was the idea of just forgiveness, the fact that to have healing, we need forgiveness. Let’s start there. How important is that in order to have cultural healing?
Forgiveness is Vital
Well, unless there is forgiveness, forgiveness comes and there’s two things required. There must be the person that’s asking for forgiveness. If we’re going to bring healing and reconciliation, one must recognize an injustice that has been done, and then ask for forgiveness.
Secondly, forgiveness must be received. In other words, all injustice have been done in this nation all throughout its history. It’s just the history of mankind to be unjust to one another. This is a fact when we get away from the fundamentals of the Word of God.
What has to happen is we talk about reconciliation today. Reconciliation comes with a person recognizing that I have erred. Is that not what we have to do first with Christ? We asked him for forgiveness and he forgives us when we ask. So there are two things that have to happen.
If we’re going to bring our nation together, two things has to happen. One person has to recognize that they’ve done an injustice, and then the second person has to forgive for that injustice, then we can have true reconciliation.
That’s good. Well, until I read your article, I had totally missed that four step process. You know, I had always just thought, and even when we came to Birmingham and went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum and really trace those steps and even getting to see MLK, the jail cell there that they’ve put in the museum where he did the amazing letter from the Birmingham Jail, but I had not thought through that four step process that you point out in the article and it makes so much sense. Would you walk us through that?
Knowing the Facts
Well, you know, that’s Reverend Dr. King, his steps that he had, letter from Birmingham Jail, he said that first of all, you got to make sure you have the facts determined whether an justice exists. In today’s society, people are not interested in the truth, they’re not. I will use that word truth for where he used the word facts to determine if an injustice exists. Today, people are protesting and without all of the facts. They go out on that which is not necessarily truth, and as a result, they are on a moral shaky ground.
The second step that Dr. King brought up at that point was that negotiation, that is when people sit down and then they talk to one another. Today is not possible to sit down and talk to one another. If you and I had a difference, then I have to begin to degrade your character, I have to begin to demean, say demeaning things about you because we disagree, we have no morality that we’re standing on.
So, the third step that he said was self-purification. Self-purification goes back to the words of Christ, where he said, that if any man’s going to follow me, he needs to deny himself. I need to check myself.
So Rick, if we have a disagreement in some sort of, first of all need to ascertain step one, do we have truly a disagreement? Is there a problem that’s going on? Have you done something? We have to look at the facts.
Secondly, negotiation. We need to talk about this. Where are we coming up short? Brother, if something is missing, then self-purification, let me check myself. Am I the one that err?
And then if we cannot come to resolution, there is direct action. Those are the steps that Dr. King used or Reverend King used, which were biblically based. Remember, he was a minister of the gospel, that’s what we have forgotten in this nation.
We have a decay of morality in this nation, which is causing us to fail, is calling us to follow. This nation needs to re-find this foundation of morality.
Brother, I can tell you something right now. We talk about racism in this nation and we say racism is the biggest problem. And also I say, morality is the biggest problem.
The Root Issue
Because racism is an attack against a race, immorality is an attack against the whole human race. And we don’t have anyone crying out against the morality that we have. This, Dr. King and the founders of the civil rights struggle that I grew up in, it was all about nonviolence, doing everything according to the Word of God, because you had morality on your side.
And if you got morality, you got God. If you don’t have morality, you got immorality, and if you got immorality, all that is the Satan is the art of that, there can be no resolution of conflict.
So much wisdom there, you know, just backing up and going through those four. So collection of facts to determine where justice is exist, finding truth, and then negotiation. And what you described is so important that you can’t even have that negotiation if you don’t have the foundation of morality and truth that you’re basing that negotiation upon.
And then self-purification, you got to have a desire for being righteous, and then direct action. But we’re skipping to all of those and going straight to direct action based on emotion almost because we’re skipping over the facts and skipping over finding that truth. That four step process would resolve so much of what we’re dealing with right now.
Why are we not following that wisdom? It works so well 60 years ago to change the world, what happened? Why are we skipping those?
What I believe, brother, is a decay of morality. The church pastors, the pulpit has not stood for morality like it used to in the past. Dr. King taught that even if an injustice is done against you, you do not correct that injustice by doing another injustice toward the one who has committed the injustice. That’s why it was nonviolent. But it had the power of Almighty God working for him.
As a result of the 60s with, well, let me say Reverend King, and Reverend Shuttlesworth, we got the Civil Rights Act penned 1964 and then we had the Voting Rights Bill 1965. What came after the 1960, what brought that on? When they went across the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, those marches did not fight against the police. They presented themselves, their bodies as living sacrifice.
Peaceful Protests Based on the Bible
This was done on the Word of God by ministers of the gospel. Today, protests that we see, you don’t see them starting in churches, they don’t begin with prayer. They begin with anger.
They begin not from a moral footing, but a footing that is immoral. That’s where we have our problems today. We respect no one anymore. I don’t respect you as a human being.
Dr. King said that we must learn to look at people by their character, what’s the integrity of their heart, not with on the surface or what their skin is. And he believed that one day that time would come that we could be there.
It seems like we’re in the opposite right that now it is based on color of skin rather than content of the character. The very dream that he had seems to have been reversed. And we can’t get back to that without the morality piece of it.
So it’s not even in just one community or area of the culture, it’s because we’ve lost truth and morality across the nation and across the culture that this is happening. And so the answer is exactly what you just said, returning to that truth, returning to the foundations of God’s Word.
Exactly. And you see, Dr. King and Reverend King, because I’ve been caught up in the rhetoric of they called him Dr. Martin Luther King, we have pushed away the fact that he was Reverend King before he was a Dr. King. He was brought up on the Word of God. He understood that Reverence Shuttlesworth, it was about the Word of God.
My country, my nation has lost its direction, because the pulpit has remained silent in the midst of all the challenges that are being presented before us. We’ve gone more political than we’ve gone biblical. John Adams, Adams said about our country, he said that our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. We’ve gotten away from morality. We cannot have a nation that’s going to stand if it’s not based upon the principles of the Word of God. And we have shied away from it.
“I Should Have Hated My Country.”
Rick, I don’t want to get too far out there from where you want me to go. But I’m passionate. I love my country. I should have hated it.
I was in 1963 church bombing. I should have anger against white people, because they tried to kill me when I was 11 years old. They killed one of my friends, one of the young girls that I was just getting close to.
There were three other girls that were there that I knew it. They almost destroyed me, my two sisters that were in that church in that basement where that bomb was placed.
But the message on that day was a Lord that forgives. We talked about forgiveness. I had to decide whether I was going to hate white people or I was going to take on the Word of God, which was to learn to forgive.
And it’s in forgiveness, that I found my strength. Is in forgiveness that I know where my peace is. And I’m not angry with anyone.
I’ve learned to recognize that the words of Christ are the words of life. If you want to have life abundantly, you got to learn how to live according to the words of Christ.
I think it’s hard for people to even comprehend how bad it was back then, you know, Birmingham being called Burningham, it was so often and so, so bad. You know, my kids were shocked when we went in and went through the Civil Rights Museum there.
We went over to Atlanta, and we actually got to stand there in the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Alveda King talked about the things that happened to her dad and to her Uncle Martin. And for my kids, they were just shocked and couldn’t comprehend how bad it was.
And yet, as bad as it was then, you responded the way that you did. Who were the pastors that were preaching that that you would hear that truth, and that God could even move in you to give you a heart of forgiveness. How did you hear that message and respond in that way and compare that to what’s happening today where we’re not getting that message, and the response is just in the flesh?
Preachers Teaching Love
Well, you know, normalcy for me, when I was coming up, I was born in Mississippi in 1952. I came growing up hearing the bombings. My family lived just about five blocks away from what they call Dynamite Hill.
And my house would be shaking, it would be nothing for my house to be shaken by bombs that went off. That was normal to me. There was another bombing, it was normal to mean that of the cops had kill somebody else. It was normal. Those are the things that grew up with.
But at the same time, what was also normal was hearing the preachers in the churches that were teaching love, that were teaching forgiveness, that we’re teaching we had a model right, that God would deliver. There was the teaching that we were like the Israelites, the Hebrews, that were in slavery being oppressed, and then at a certain time, our God would deliver us.
And indeed, in the 60s, 62, 63 and all, I remember what happened in Mississippi. I remember all of that was normal. But I had to decide would accept that as my normal, or what I accept the Word of God is my reality? I had to make that decision.
And I think many of the African Americans are that day who were willing to submit to find on a nonviolent commitment card believe in the moral righteous standard that the word of God is what we were standing on, and we would win, and we did win. But when we go to way of law to right what we call another law, then we don’t have God with us.
One of the challenges and I’m saying, I’ll step out here on this, I don’t believe in this no justice, no peace. Because what does that mean?
No justice, no peace. In other words, if there is no justice, then we will commit injustice? We will cause violence. That’s not God’s way.
Find the Truth
But those are those slogans that we’ve embraced that are tearing our nation apart. We’ve got slogans that seem like, but they’re not based upon the Word of God. And when you have those things, then you have people that become lost, and then people are destroyed for the lack of the knowledge of truth.
So powerful, and that is so right. I mean, because especially if you’re skipping that first step of the fact finding, and even in some of these situations where there was injustice, but then you take a situation where you don’t know for sure if there was injustice, and then you create a situation of no peace, I mean, that’s what was avoided with MLK leadership in the 60s.
And you mentioned the card, I mean, that was another thing that blew me away when I saw that, and you had to literally sign and say I’m going to think like Christ, speak like Christ, love like Christ. I mean, that sets your heart right for a protest.
I remember a pastor telling me one time when I was going to do a protest, and he was like, hey, have you prayed, have you made sure your heart is right before you go out there because that’s the only way to keep you from acting out in the flesh?
That is correct. You see, I did remember that the third step, which was self-purification, which means you got to make sure that before you cast that stone, are you guilty of an infraction in another way? Is the word of Christ are what brings us life.
Jesus says that if you hold on to my words, you abide in my words, then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. Even though we were being abused, let me tell you something, Rick, being abused in the 50s and 60s and I knew I grew up in it, I mean, I knew, names had been called me.
My mother had to jerk me once away from the wrong water fountain, I didn’t know that was at a white water fountain and she screamed at me and she came and snatched me up. You can’t drink there. Why mom? Because you need to drink over here where it said colored, nasty looking little fountain in a Sears Roebuck downtown.
Choosing God’s Way
But I learned that you’ve got to know the truth. And when we know the truth that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and when you know that, that’s what our Founding Fathers taught, that’s what the Word of God says, that when you disrespect any other human being, you’re disrespecting God who created that human being.
And I chose not to do that. I chose the way of forgiveness. I chose the way of love.
Because I’ll tell you something, Rick, we’re just in this world for just a few years, but eternity is a long time, I would much rather be right with my God, my Creator than I would be right with being wrong with my brother. I’d rather be right with God. And if my brother is upset because of my standing with my God, that it. That’s just it.
So, powerful man. I’m going to encourage listeners, couple things. Number one, we’re going to have a link to Bishop Lowe’s article at the Alabama Policy Institute.
We’ll have a link to that. I want to reiterate, as we’re closing out here, those four basic steps Reverend King talked about: collection of the facts that determine whether injustice exists, then negotiation, then self-purification, and direct action. And the other thing is we’re going to put a link today at the website for that episode of Chasing American Legends where we visit Atlanta and we visit the Birmingham Museum.
I encourage you to go watch that. And then if you get a chance, go visit.
Bishop, we appreciate you so much. Thanks for spending time with us today. So much biblical wisdom in what you’re saying.
That’s what’s missing across the nation in every area of politics, the whole nine yards, we’re missing that biblical wisdom. That’s what will restore our country. And we appreciate you sharing that with us today.
Thank you very much. And may the Lord bless you, Rick. And may the Lord also bless our country. When we realize the one who built our country, and unless we stay with him, this country shall fall like other civilizations have done before.
America’s Hidden History Season One
Amen. Hey, we’re back with David and Tim Barton. And guys, you guys have actually had the chance to spend time with him and actually filmed a television special with him.
Yeah, in America’s Hidden History Season One, on Black History Month, we actually get to go out and spend some time with Bishop Lowe and he takes us to the place of the bombing where he lost his 11 year old friend. And he tells that story and actually, some of the places we went, he had not been since he was a kid, and you see him reliving that moment and experience.
And so we’re so grateful for his leadership for what he’s doing to make a difference in Alabama. And certainly, it’s an example that we need to understand in culture today as we’re trying to find a resolution, as we’re trying to overcome the divisions, Martin Luther King Jr. said a very good example, where there needs to be forgiveness. As Christians, we should always operate in forgiveness. There needs to be repentance as well.
And so if there are people who have done sinful things, they need to repent. There needs to be forgiveness. The Christian answer is the only solution that will work in these scenarios. And that’s part of the great testimony of Bishop Jim Lowe.
Truth And Accuracy, Steps To Successful Protests – With Bishop Jim Lowe
Alright, we’ll have those links today at wallbuilderslive.com. While you’re there at the website, please consider making that one-time or monthly contribution. Come alongside us and help us to have more guests like this and speak this truth and encourage people to make a difference in the culture. And come alongside us to help us reach more people with this truth and courage.
Yeah, Rick, we really appreciate everybody who already does support us. So if you are already a supporter of WallBuilders Live, we want to thank you for your support. You are part of the reason that we are on the air. So thank you for your help in what we do.
Thanks for listening today, folks. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
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