Calvary Chapel Still Under Heavy Fines And More – Pastor Mike McClure – Still under heavy fines, the battle isn’t over yet for California Calvary Chapel. Yet despite the persecution, the Lord is blessing their faithfulness. Pastor Mike McClure joins us to give an important update. You don’t want to miss today’s episode!
Air Date: 02/14/2022
Guest: Pastor Mike McClure
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Welcome to the intersection of faith and culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. Thanks for joining us today. Go to Wallbuilderslive.com to find out more: that’s where you can make your contribution, one-time or monthly, come alongside us, help us get truth out to as many people as possible.
I’m Rick Green, here with David and Tim Barton. Later in the program, Mike McClure will be with us, pastor from California that has been under the gun throughout COVID, government trying to shut him down, he’s opening his church, he’s still serving the community and millions of dollars of fines.
David, you’ve been out there you spoken in his church, you had him on tours at the Capitol, no, this is a great pastor serving the community well. That’s something I guess, it’s not good for government anymore. I don’t know. It’s strange that they would stop someone who’s actually helping the community.
You know, the reason churches got 501(C)(3) tax exemptions was they contributed more to the government and the government gave toward them. In other words, the government lost a certain amount of taxes from them, but they gave more to the government than the government was losing in taxes. And that’s because of all the things they prevented, all the crime that’s prevented, so you need less cops, because if you control the heart, have religion morality, you’re not going to be stealing stuff and killing people, and that kind of stuff. And the same thing, so much benevolence, the church is so good at taking care of people who really need help on the streets or drug problems or whatever else.
And that’s why you gave tax exemptions, because you’re doing so much more. You’re benefiting the government many times more than really what the government is losing. And now it’s like, oh, no, you guys are costing us money. And I don’t even think about that. I think there’s just a hostility toward churches now, where they’re literally coming after them because they don’t like them.
Well, I think it’s really just about who’s not going to be compliant. If you’re not going to play the game the way we tell you to play it, then we’re going to come against you. Because I mean, so much what we’ve seen with these COVID mandates, and these vaccine mandates is really about who will comply, who’s going to be the good little boy and good little girl and do what they’re told.
And when you have someone who is standing on number one, biblical grounds, where you have your Daniel, your Shadrach, your Meshach, Abednego, that were told, hey, you all can’t be religious, you can’t worship the one true God. And they said, yeah, we’re going to do it anyway. You have a biblical ground for this notion of resisting tyrants that are telling you not to do your sincerely held religious beliefs. That’s one thing. But you also have a constitutional ground. So he’s standing up on two very valid legs in what he’s doing. And you really just have people in the government who are saying, well, you’re not doing what we told you and so therefore, we’re going to try to punish and penalize you.
And you know, guys, in California, we’ve already seen the many pastors that have dealt with some of these challenges, that have gone through lawsuits, and by and large, they’ve won these lawsuits, whether it was the state Supreme Courts or appeals court or even decision coming from the US Supreme Court that would seem to give a stay on some of what’s been happening to the churches. It’s crazy that even with the direction we see things trending in the courts, that you still have places who are not going to back down and acquiesce even though they don’t have a good leg to stand on.
Well, that’s what really surprised me with Mike, because I don’t know, we can point to 12, 15, 20 cases where we won it in the courts at every level, state courts and federal courts all the way up through the Supreme Court, and the court saying you can’t shut these churches down, you can’t close them down. And so I thought it was a done deal. And then I find out a few weeks ago that they’re still fining Mike for having services, even though the courts have already… I don’t know of a single court where we lost this issue.
And here you get this Santa Clara County in California still going after him when it really should be a done deal that. And that’s where I got real curious, what is happening? How much did they fining him now? Because I had not heard, I kind of thought everything had gone away because we’d won so many court cases. It’s just not that way.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, David. You know, you’ve had all these rulings out of California, no less, not like you could say, well, they might have done that some other state in some other areas, some of the Court of Appeals or whatever. But rulings out of California where the government was defeated and even legal fees were paid to churches like John MacArthur, so it’s amazing to me that they would still go after him in this way. So we’re going to get him to come on, give us an update. Let’s find out what’s happening out there and how they’re doing as a church and weathering this storm. Mike McClure, our guests when we come back on WallBuilders Live.
Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.
I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. It is great to have Pastor Mike McClure back with us. We were just talking off air, I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we had him on over this insane unconstitutional just craziness going on in California: Newsom continuing to crack down on churches and preventing people from being able to worship.
Mike, God bless you, Pastor, appreciate you. Thank you for taking a strong stand. And thanks for giving us some time. I know you’re running like crazy right now. Appreciate you coming on, man.
Oh, Rick, thanks so much for having me. What a blessing. Love you guys. Appreciate your ministry. So it’s a real honor.
Well, right back at you. And, man, they just keep coming after you. We’re in 2022, I thought by now they would have backed off, you’ve got good Supreme Court decisions that should make it where they would leave you alone at this point. But apparently, that’s not the case. So we wanted to get an update from you, see what’s happening, and how the state of California is treating you and Calvary Chapel there.
You know, we’re in court with them. We’re in state court. We’re in federal court. I think we haven’t really changed as far as the whole process. We’ve done deposition. I’m waiting to hear back our attorneys, Bob Tyler and his team. Advocates for Faith and Freedom done a wonderful job; they’re just godly group of people, and have done just a lot of work a lot of time. And I think the philosophy has been where this our lawyer is out, because the state has endless amount of resources.
So it’s been unfortunate to watch. And I think for the church as much as it’s been difficult, I think that it’s really grown. The church has grown. We’re over 3000 people we’ve had well over 500 people get baptized in the last year and continue to have that happen, people coming to Christ every week. We’ll have anywhere from 10-15 people times 20-30 people get saved, and just give their heart to the Lord and I’ll lead them into sinner’s prayer.
I just see the need right now, as people are looking for truth, they’re looking for guidance just like you. This is what America is. This is what our history has been. And they just don’t know it. They just don’t know it. They don’t know what kind of country we’re in. And so the county, they’re sending OSHA after us now since we won in the courts. Bob Tyler, he wrote…
Hold on one second, Mike, before we go to the legal part, because I want to stress also this massive growth with the churches that are staying open, and not only people that are giving their lives to the Lord, all of the pain and the hurt, and the difficulties that people have gone through throughout this COVID insanity, the church closing would be the worst thing that could happen for them. And so while you can quantify 500 people came to the Lord, it’s impossible to put a number on the comfort, the fellowship, just advice what the church does. And that to over the last almost two years now, I still want to say a year and a half, but we’re looking at nearly two years now because you stayed open and because you still met the needs of the community.
I mean, you can’t put a price tag on it. You can’t even quantify it. But it has to be said. And it’s the reason why the government is so wrong they try to shut you guys down. Sorry, I had to interrupt you there because I just want to emphasize the number of lives that are being touched because you’ve stayed open is incredible.
I agree. I think the church is irreplaceable. I think of it is the fourth branch of government, as the founders really intended. And you probably know a lot more about that than I do. But I just look at it is without the church, we wouldn’t have a country today. Without the church, we definitely won’t have of hospitals. I mean, I’ve heard David Barton is he’s been here so many times here. And just all the institutions of higher learning, is it 98%, I think I heard speech that he gave last time of all these universities that were originally bible school started by the church.
And so you can’t put a number or a figure or really grasp what Christ has done through his church and the purpose of the church to be salt and light. And we see that in America. I was actually just with the president of Brazil son who was at our church on Sunday, and he was so encouraging to the church here because he was sharing what’s going on in Brazil with his father coming in and how he is been bold for Christ and he has been sharing the gospel.
And the things that’s been going on Brazil is a lot like what happened when Trump became president, so that he referred to his father as the trump of the tropic.
This is Bolsonaro…
Yeah, Eduardo Bolsonaro.
Yeah, I’ve seen some of his speeches, man, he’s been fantastic, and also a refuse to basically say we’re going to hand the pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars by mandate and all this stuff. I mean I’ve loved the stuff he’s had to say. Sorry to interrupt you. But wow, so his son was at your church?
Yeah, I hope David doesn’t mind I gave him the cell phone number. I said, you need to call, [crosstalk 10:26] come down and talk to your congress. And he’s going to do it.
Oh, that’d be great. Oh, that’d be fantastic.
Basically, he quoted a lot from Thomas Jefferson, and just love America. And I said, I learned this from David Barton. I have given credit. I said, I’ve gone on tour to the Congress and original Congress, they had a three hour communion meeting. And it’s so important understand the founders of the country in America, as people look at it, and want to identify and emulate the things that America has done. It goes right back to the church. It goes right back to the Scriptures. It goes right back to our foundation is really gone. And he gets that.
If they tried to copy the America without that part, it’s going to fail. And if we try to do America, without the salt, the meat is going to spoil. And that’s what’s happening. The culture is rotting because churches have receded. So because you’ve stayed open and continue to be salt and light, that’s one of those lives have been touched. And that’s why the light is still shining from there. It’s just people can’t miss that part. I mean, they can’t love liberty and expect to have liberty and freedom in this country and shut the churches down and forget the truth. That’s why your fight is so important.
I cannot believe the amount of money that they are trying to come after you guys with. The fines are in the millions now, right?
They find it’s up to 3.9 million. And even the people that were giving us fines, didn’t really understand what they were doing. And they can give anywhere from $500-$5,000 and so they would just give it the max amount every time. And so these were cultivated over the several months. But yeah, they took it back down to 2.8 because they realized they actually hadn’t given us the additional million dollars of fines and paperwork as my understanding. But it’s kind of almost to the point where it’s ridiculous.
And I think of what’s gone on in our culture, like, like we were talking about earlier, the time that this has continued to go on, and I’m starting to see it as there’s a group of people that are getting scared because they have done things that they’re not ethical, not legal, maybe even treasonous, these things that maybe they’re afraid of that’s going to come out, so they’re putting all the chips on the table, if you will, and they’re going to keep going and they’re not going to give up.
And so like our lawyers like to call us the poster child for COVID shutdowns or something because we’re still fined everyone else is settled out of court, John MacArthur, even suddenly, California has settled. All these other churches across the country, there’s no longer fines, and there’s no longer any kind of court situation with these churches. They’ve all settled, except for us. They won’t settle with us. They’ll continue to fight. And I think is our lawyers say that we’re in their backyard, and a lot of the drivers behind what’s going on has been the tech companies.
Yeah. And speaking of backyards, I mean, just for our listeners to be able to envision where you are in California. I mean, you’re just outside of San Francisco. So I mean, you’re in literally like the area where these people love the shutdowns and they love the government control. And I actually call it the San Francisco cabal that’s running Washington DC right now. So I mean, you’re right in their backyard. Do you think that has anything to do with it? Are these particular government officials just, I don’t know if you want to say this on the air, but I mean, are they just anti-religious to the point that they just want to pick on you as a church that’s having an impact? Because it seems like to me they ought to be thankful for the ministry that you are; instead of fining you millions, they ought to be saying thank you for saving us millions of dollars because you touch lives that end up not having to ask for government assistance, and all these other things. But I’m assuming just they’re anti-religious.
We had the mayor one Sunday, David Barton actually was here speaking, and I said to the mayor, Chuck Reed, wonderful guy, Christian, and…
Not a San Francisco, but of San Jose, yeah.
But I just told him, I said you want to stay today because I’m not preaching. You really want to hear what David has to say. And so he did. He stayed. And at the end of David’s message, he’s got a background in history, if I believe, and he said to me, that was the best history lesson I never had. I wish I knew this, it would change so much of what I’ve done in my life. But I think what we’re seeing today is an anti-Christian mentality, our government.
And this is not the majority of the country as you well know. This is just a few elites that are in power and they’ve been planning this maybe for a long time, but they’re in a position now where they know the enemy is the church. You haven’t studied, Eric Metaxas has a book out called Bonhoeffer. It’s a really big book. And I went through, it’s like I’m living that book. It’s like 1933 where in Germany, they’re doing everything they can to close small businesses, especially churches…
You’re spot on, man. I keep calling January 6th there “Rush Duck Fire Moment”. It’s early 1933 1934. I mean, we’re living through it right now.
It is. By the way, the 14th amendment, I think it’s the third paragraph that says if anyone has caused an insurrection, they can’t run for president. So that’s probably what’s going on is this whole interaction has to be something to keep Donald Trump from running again. But they have their strategy. But I just like to tell people, the most important thing we can do is preach the gospel because it changes people’s lives. We’ve had two prosecuting attorneys from the county, I understand, quit.
I tell them I don’t hate you guys. Actually, we love you guys. And we’d love to partner with you. We want a relationship with you. Like the previous mayor, we’ve done a lot for the homeless, we’ve done a lot of things. But they don’t care about the church. They want to take over the church just like they’ve really taken over the medical institutions. And that’s what they’ve done. They’ve scared the doctors into losing their license.
And I just learned this myself, I mean, thinking about Ivermectin, if you prescribe something that’s not popular, even though it’s been approved by the FDA, my understanding is they can prosecute you federally, throw you in a federal prison. So doctors are scared to lose their license and actually go to prison. So we’re seeing a real hostile takeover in what’s happening in our area. I’ve seen it filter out across the country.
And I think it’s going to continue until we wake up and stand up against the things that are wrong. These are tyrannical things. And we even had our city in San Jose, the mayor, he and the council members, in my understanding, they’re looking to update the charter and allow non-citizens to vote. I understand they’re doing that in New York. They’re doing that here. So you look at what’s going on. And people need to understand, all these Afghans that Biden brought back, they’re not American citizens. He left Americans over there. He’s bringing them in our towns, in your towns, and then they’re going to let these towns have non-citizens vote be here for a month or something and they can now help vote. But it’s at the point where, unreal, we’re losing…
Unreal! It’s like why have a country? Why have borders? You just let everybody in the world vote for whatever our policies are going to be here: unreal? Yeah.
It’s happening. I’m witnessing every day, it’s like a shock. I mean, it doesn’t really shock me anymore because I can’t believe they’re doing what they’re doing. But it’s right out of the Marxist playbook. It’s right out of [crosstalk 17:50] But in one sense, I listened to John MacArthur just a week ago, and he was telling everything that I’ve been experience, and he’s been experiencing too. And I’m listening to him, it’s kind of depressing, like there’s not much hope. But I would say there is hope. I would say there absolutely is hope in America.
And here’s what’s going to happen. When everyone realizes as Christians we need to share the gospel like never before, we need to shine the light, and to get the good news out, and there’s hope in just having Eduardo Bolsonaro here just sharing what went on in Brazil and has continued to gone there, it’s amazing. Now, he has all kinds of attacks and people against them. But they’re seeing revivals in the church. They’re seeing the church get involved. They’re seeing people that are just really waking up to what’s happening there.
And I think that needs to happen in America. We’re not really aware that we’re like in a war, it’s like a global war with our own government to a degree. And the best thing we can do is preach the gospel and pray. But we need to also stand up against tyranny. And I’ve done that. I’ve gone to city hall meetings and I’m not political. I’m not running for office. But man, I sure in biblical and these are biblical times that we need to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and part of it is putting them in place and hold them accountable because they’re voting against the Constitution.
We’ve had people in office stated the Constitution doesn’t apply here. So, this is starting on east and west coast and it’s going to be in Texas if we don’t do something soon. So…
Oh, it is. It’s all over. And I want to emphasize something you just said because it almost mirrors what David was saying the other day on one of our Good News Fridays, just the fact that even as all this bad is happening, the good that comes out of it because what the enemy means for evil God turning into good, and all these people are waking up that would not have paid attention before. And I know you’re experiencing out there, your church you got people that probably would have eyes glazed over if you had talked about history and the Constitution and rights and biblical citizenship and all that kind of stuff. And now man, they are paying attention, they’re awake, they’re looking for a way to make a difference. We’re seeing that literally with millions of people around the country.
So I agree with you wholeheartedly with all of this bad, there comes a lot of good. And it’s a wakeup call, frankly, that we probably needed in our nation. Mike, I can’t let you go without asking how we can help and how people that are listening can help. I mean with fines like you’ve got, and even, I mean to have attorneys fight this for two years now, that is a very expensive process. And I know you’ve got some great folks and a great Foundation there. But how can people donate to help with the legal fees, or watch your sermons online or somehow support what you’re doing?
They can just move here. I mean, we have people are moving to Texas all the time. But I think ultimately, we need ministry, and that’s built upon people have that heart for ministry. And I would say to people first pray, absolutely. You can call our city council, San Jose, you can call our Santa Clara County, you can write them letters, email them, things like that would really help. But I would say supporting our lawyers would be great, it’s Advocates for Faith and Freedom. You can just, I don’t say Google anymore, but…
Say DuckDuckGo, Go DuckDuckGo, go it.
DuckDuckGo, there you go. But Bob Tyler, they’re doing a number of things that people aren’t aware of. And Bob is not someone to advertise and to do it on horn, but he’s actually bringing legal action for all of the fraud in the election. And he has found a number of issues that have come out and we have people in our church that are part of that and others in the state. But he’s battling now this election fraud, so he’s doing more than just churches.
But Bob Tyler ,it’s Advocates for Faith and Freedom. It’s a wonderful team. And I would just tell people, if you want to support us, send them money. Send us missionaries and pray for us. We send a lot of people your way to Texas. I mean, we’ve probably had a couple 100 people move there in the last six months and I can’t blame them. But your…
You’re are a bold man. You’re a bold man. You’re the first person in two years that I’ve heard say moved to California. You’re saying send us some people back. I mean, that’s a hard sell to Texans. I’m just going to tell you right now. But I love the fact that you were even bold enough to say it. I got give the website, faith-freedom.com is their website for Advocates for Faith and freedom. So, faith-freedom.com, if you want to donate to help with Mike’s legal defense and any other groups that they fight for as well.
I mean, Bob’s got other, I love these legal organizations out there, they go on the frontlines for our churches, for people of faith and all of these different constitutional challenges. Really, really good stuff. But, Mike, we just love you, brother, God bless you. We’re praying for you. We’re going to get the word out there. And just keep it up. Stand firm, man. Be strong and of a good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. We appreciate you, man.
Hey, thank you so much, love you guys appreciate what you’re doing. And just thank you for the prayers, for the support, for just all that you’re doing, because like you said, for us, we’re being example, but so are you guys, and you’re going to be influencing Brazil hopefully next as well as other countries because of just the things that you’re doing and the things that you share, it’s powerful, and it’s important, especially today now more than ever. So, appreciate you. Love you guys. Thank you.
That was Pastor Mike McClure. We’re back with David and Tim Barton. So guys, I mean, yeah, he’s still in the thick of it. And maybe David is what you said at the begin of the program. It’s hostility. It’s hostility towards those of faith, and like Tim said, those who will not bow, who will not just do exactly what the government wants. And at this point, it seems like just punishment for not playing along a year ago or two years ago.
Well, it’s crazy to the thing that the government saying, hey, because we’re kind and generous, we’ll remove this million dollars from you because we didn’t file the proper paperwork to notify you that you have to pay these fines. So you only have to pay close to $3 million, instead of close to $4 million, and that it’s just so crazy. This world we live in. And I do want to point out and clarify real quick because there might be some listening that heard Mike reference the early prayers in Congress or the three-hour communion service. And so actually, that those were things that did happen.
If you go back to September of 1774, when Congress first met, they did have a prayer meeting, it lasted roughly two hours from what you can pick up from the different writings. But also, if you go to the Capitol building at the old Supreme Court chamber, they did have a communion service in the old Supreme Court chamber. Actually, there was multiple churches used to meet in the Capitol, but an old Supreme Court chamber, there was a three-hour communion service.
And so just in case, there’s any history buff detail, people listening, and they’re like, wait a second, that didn’t seem quite right what he said. He’s combining a lot of things, which in fairness only goes to show the reality of where the nation was founded, that there are so many of those incidents. Now you can start to get confused over time. But this is the reality of where our nation came from. We were built on these principles from the Bible. And so now to have a state or in some of these cases a governor or mayor who would say, yeah, we’re just not a fan of biblical principles of the Bible anymore, and even though we’re letting these people do all these drugs and defecate on the street and even though I mean, all these exceptions being made in California and these crazy places where we’re not going to imprison people who steal anymore, all this nonsense and yet the people we’re going to target and penalize, the people we think are really dangerous need to be stopped are the people who are going to church. Guys, this is just crazy.
And of course, we’re grateful for guys like Mike who’re willing to stand up and fight this fight. But it’s crazy he’s having to fight this fight.
Well, I love the fact that in listening to Mike I was struck not with the topic of conversation, but I was awestruck with his rhetoric because he was saying things like these are tyrannical things are doing, and I’m not used to hearing the word tyrannical come out of many pastors’ mouths, and I got to thinking, tyrannical is saying that certain things are not only right and wrong, but this is egregiously wrong. This is an abuse of power. And the church above all should be able to say this is right, and this is wrong.
And I’m just not hearing that kind of clarity, that kind of moral clarity like I heard when I was growing up. When I was growing up, it was not unusual at all to hear pastors calling out sin because sin simply meant fallen short of what God had for you. And so we didn’t have any trouble saying, hey, this is wrong, or this is sin because it doesn’t meet what God wants for you. And man, those are just words that disappeared. And then to see him talking about the Constitution as well, that’s a real refreshing thing to hear a pastor with that kind of courage and history.
Alright, friends, so if you want to learn how to live out this kind of not just rhetoric, but actually live in a biblical view on all this tyranny, all the proper role of government, all those things, visit wallbuilders.com today, get some good materials that you can study yourself, and share with your friends and family. We’ve got to each take on that responsibility. Check it out today. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.