Is The Church Full Of Cowards? – With Matt Walsh: Christians are so comfortable and complacent in the culture that we are floating with culture right into relativism and secularism. Why does such a low percentage of Christians actually have a Biblical worldview? Whose fault is it and what is the solution? Tune in today to hear Matt Walsh discuss these important issues and his new book!
Air Date: 04/07/2020
Guest: Matt Walsh
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Jonathan Richie
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Faith and the Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live and we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture. We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian, and the founder of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and we have had an invasion in the studio. Now, later in the program. We’re going to have Matt Walsh with us. Tim Barton is missing and some guy has just shown up in the studio here.
We got to introduce our audience to Jonathan Richie, David, who is this guy, how do you get in here?
I’m trying to figure out what Jonathan is. You know, we’ve had another millennial with him. Don’t know whether he’s a Gen Z or Gen Y. What are you, Jonathan?
That’s a great question that I’ve been asking since apparently, before I was born. Just don’t assume anything.
Well, Jonathan is really is one of our key researchers here at WallBuilders when we do leadership training in the summer with young people from 18 to 25. Jonathan’s a key part that, he’s one of the instructors there with the young people. He is really, really, really good on history, law, government politics and communicating, expressing it…
Welcome Jonathan Richie
Basically, with everything.
Yeah. Just ask yourself, that’s right. Are you good at everything? Yes, I am.
Well, in fact, Tim traveling to Israel and frankly, all over the world. So, Jonathan, we appreciate you stepping in and filling in for Tim.
Yeah, you know, I found some time, spare time in my schedule. So, you know, I figured, I’d you know, give it to some community service.
Hey, you may just take over the seat. We may not let Tim back in, David, what do you think?
Well, we’ll see how this goes.
Yeah, after we lose all of our listeners,
Right. Right. Well, guys, let’s dive right into it. You know, we call this the intersection of faith and the culture. And of course, that begs the question, is the church still influencing the culture? Are we still having an impact?
Look at the Polling
Well, that’s a huge question now. And if you look at polling, the answer would probably be no. Because right now, it looks like the culture is shaping the church more than the church is shaping culture. There is a growing body of Christians that’s getting stronger, but overall the direction of the culture which suggests that the church itself is not exerting much influence. We talked in previous programs, how that right now, polling shows about 72% of the Church says they really don’t agree with the teachings of the Bible.
We don’t like what it says and so, we’ve got our own view. That 28% say they do agree with that. But that the 28%, only about 10% actually takes the Bible and applies it to current issues. So, you’re at about 2.8% of pastors and leaders that actually believe the Bible should be spoken out on the issues of the day and address those issues. So clearly, it’s not shaping up.
I’ve got to say, I had a real epiphany a couple weeks ago, I was in Turkey. It turned out I was with a group and we were kind of following the track of the seven churches in the book of Revelation, where the apostle John wrote to the seven churches in Asia Minor, which is in Turkey and said, here’s the good stuff, here’s the bad stuff, here’s the good, the bad, the ugly.
The Seven Churches
So, as I was going through that, we were standing in the location of each of those seven churches in the book of Revelation and they’re not churches in the sense of physical buildings. The word actually means to the community of Christians at Laodicea, the community of Christians at Ephesus, or Pergamon, all those seven churches. And so, as we went into each, you got to remember that Christianity was a brand new religion back then, you know, the if Roman Empire had been there for centuries already, Christianity just shows up as something new.
And as we stood in these places and we saw these massive, massive temples to Artemis or Apollo or Athena or whoever it was, I mean, massive temples. What struck me was that in more than half of those temples, those temples became Christian churches. And now that there’s a Christianity that transforms your culture.
Within a century, you come in and you have so changed the culture that these massive temples to pagan gods are now the places where Christians are meeting. And I was trying to think, I don’t know many examples of Planned Parenthood having become churches, former Planned Parenthood buildings closing down or you know, taking care of the thing that’s counterculture and contrary to Biblical values. There’s just not many examples where the Christian have taken that and turn it into a place of Christian worship.
And so, I really saw the New Testament Christianity as being transformative. And what we have in America is more of our survival, this kind of Christianity. We just hope we can make it through and we’ll still quiet and keep our heads down and hopefully nobody will shoot at us. But man, what I saw over in Asia Minor was really transformative. So, Matt has this brand new book called a Church of Cowards. Matt Walsh, great author, we’ve had him on from time to time. He’s a national news commentator and has a great column. And just the title was captivating, so we thought that’d be a great thing to discuss given the current climate in America.
Matt Walsh will be with us when we return. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders live.
The Founders’ Bible
The Founding Fathers of America made a habit of reading through the Bible once a year. There’s no better source of wisdom and it is applicable to every issue in our lives. What a great time for us as American citizens to take this time, if you got extra time at home now, if you’re quarantine at home and you’re looking for something to do, what better thing could there be to do than to read through the Bible, maybe for the first time in your life. I tried to make this a habit several years ago and I had a new tool to start doing that with and it was called the Founders’ Bible. It gave me a chance not only to read through the Bible once a year, but also to learn history while I was doing that.
And what I love about the Founders’ Bible is that as I’m reading that scripture, then all of a sudden, there’ll be an article inserted right there by that scripture about what the Founding
Fathers learned from that specific verse or chapter and how they applied it to launch our nation. It’s a really fun way to learn. It’s incredibly empowering and it has answers for today. The Bible is full of all the right answers for today. In fact, it’s the only source that has all the right answers.
So, if you haven’t read through the Founders’ Bible, I challenge you and encourage you, get a copy of the Founders’ Bible today. It’s available at wallbuilders.com. And we even have a digital version, so you can do this on your phone or iPad or computer. Check out the Founders’ Bible today. Make it a part of your regular work throughout the year. But right now is a great opportunity to read through the Founders’ Bible. Check it out today at wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today. Matt Walsh back with us, it’s been way too long, brother. Thanks for coming on.
Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me.
Welcome Matt Walsh
So new book out, by the way, people can read your articles, of course at Daily Wire. If they haven’t figured that out, great stuff. I love reading your material and so I’m very much looking forward to the new book and curious about what motivated you to write it. I think is probably pretty obvious in the title and certainly if anybody read your material, they’re familiar, but it’s called Church of cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians. Now, Matt, you’re also the author of the Unholy Trinity, that was just what, two years ago, three years ago hadn’t been that long?
Yeah, about three years ago. Yeah.
Yeah, about three years ago. Okay. So, this one, though, is basically calling out the church. I mean, the other one was basically saying, here’s the left coming after us and what you’re saying with this book is, well, you know, of course, they’re going to come after us if we’re a weak need and don’t know how to stand up for truth.
Yeah, exactly. I think that’s exactly right. I think most Christians when they look around the culture and they look at, especially at the church and Christianity generally, Christendom in the West, they know that there’s a problem and any statistic that you look at, of course, we always see these census reports and everything about the number of Christians declining as the number of atheists and secular people goes up. But I think the reality is even worse than the numbers show because even among the professed Christians, if you talk to them, how many of them will actually affirm all the basic doctrines of the faith? Well, that number probably is shockingly low.
So, the question is, why is this happening? That’s what I try to address in the book. And I think there are many different elements to it that I go into, but I think, broadly speaking, the problem is that we’re so comfortable and complacent in this culture as Christians. We’re sort of floating on the tide of the culture and going wherever it takes us, taking us right into relativism and then secularism and everything else.
Well you talk about to the spiritual junk food we’re stuffing ourselves with and that’s probably a lot to blame for why we, you know, if you look at this the surveys that Barna does, we have such a low percentage of quote-unquote professing Christians that have an actual biblical worldview that actually follow Christ commands or at least say they believe in and whether they follow them or not.
Is the Church Preaching Needed Truth?
But you know, is it the fault of really the church itself not equipping the people that are coming in every Sunday morning, not actually teaching those hard truths and tough truths, but instead like you said, just pure spiritual feel good junk food?
Yeah, I think it’s a big part of it. When I talk about church of cowards and I make clear in the book that the many of the cowards are the people that are in leadership positions in the churches around the country that become so afraid of engaging the culture and speaking out against a lot of the moral evils that we see and calling their congregations to sacrifice and obedience and you know, moral living. These kinds of phrases are now anathema that they can’t be spoken because you’re afraid you’re going to scare people away. And what’s happened is that we’re more interested in tickling the ears and making people feel comfortable.
And so, it’s not surprising to see what the result is. And it’s also interesting that this is all done by the churches in order to attract people, because you think that if you soft pedal it, that more people will come. But it’s had the exact opposite effect that it’s actually causing people to leave. But I think because people are saying, well, this is all I’m getting from church and this is all Christianity has to offer, what’s the point of it, I can get this anywhere? And I think that is happening.
No different. It’s no different. Why would I give up the fun of sin and these things in the world, you know if this isn’t really that much more of a challenge in life? In fact, you start off the book like page one, with a pretty interesting statement, ‘Christians not worth killing’. So, I mean, you’re basically saying, look, if we’re living that kind of life, the left doesn’t have to come after us, there doesn’t have to be an attack because we’re being ineffectual.
Yeah, yeah, as I mentioned in that first chapter, I still hear from Christians sometimes who’re worried about the violent persecution that you see overseas in the Middle East and Africa and Asia, that they’re worried that it will come here and that will be, you know, Christians will be getting marched off to the concentration camps in the gulags and everything else, stoned to death on the street like they are in some Muslim countries.
Well, my point is, I don’t think it’s going to happen here, because there’s no reason for it to happen here. We are as I say, Christians not worth killing, not persecuting. We’re abandoning our faith on our own and we see that Satan you know, has a carrot or a stick approach. And for us, it’s kind of the carrot, encouraging us along, tempting us along, making things very comfortable for us so that we don’t stop to think about the fate of our eternal souls.
What Does It Cost to be a Christian
Well, you mentioned the Middle East and other places around the world where your Christianity really does cost you. And you’ve drawn this distinction in your articles in the past, I thought was really powerful is, you know, it’s hard for us to even fathom what it really costs to be a Christian. It’s actually really easy to be a Christian here in our world here in America, where in other parts of the world when you make that decision and you truly follow, it can cost you everything. That requires you to dig deeper and really believe what you’re doing.
Yeah, exactly. I think… what’s the worst thing that we face as Christians in this country in the West if we stand up and profess our faith? For most of us, now there are people that have faced worst consequences. You think of like, Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cake shop and some of the Christian business owners that have faced the loss of their business which is certainly serious.
So, I would call that real persecution, not as serious as losing your life, but still serious. For most of us, we don’t even face that much. For most of us, you know, you stand up and you’re Christian and you’re open about it. The worst is somebody will look at you funny and you’ll get mean comments on the internet and maybe someone will throw a frowny face in your direction. But that’s kind of the worst of it. But even that for us, is enough for a lot of us to go hiding under the bed, cowering, because I think we’ve become so [inaudible 12:29].
An Opportunity to Stand Up
And it’s not as if the opportunity is not there. Right? I mean, with so many culture fights going on, the opportunity to stand up and not be a coward certainly is there. There’s not that there’s a lack of persecution, as you said, very different level of persecution than they’re taking your life. But there’s plenty of opportunity to actually be bold as a Christian in America today, isn’t there?
Oh, absolutely. If you look at, you want to talk about groups of people in America that are being persecuted, I would say that Christians broadly speaking really aren’t. But well, here’s a category of people that are persecuted. Children, starting with in the womb that a million of them are killed every single year in the womb. That even when they emerge from a womb as they managed to escape that gauntlet, they come out into a world that is very eager to exploit them, to take away their innocence, scandalize them and abuse them, we see this all around everything, the drag queen story hours and everything else, the sexualization of children.
Now there’s an opportunity there for Christians to stand up and speak out and be forceful about it and be angry and to have hatred even not for people, but for the evil that is happening to our children. Yes, which were absolutely, there’s an opportunity for Christians to speak up, some do, but not nearly enough. You know, 80% of the country is Christian and all 80% of us were speaking up with fury against these evils, none of it will be happening, because it’d be so overwhelming. But you know, we’re just not.
Looking for a Leader
And I think there’s a lot of the church out there that is just looking for the banner to rally around. I mean, I forget when you started your blog, was that like 2012-2013, how long ago was that?
Yeah, you’re right 2013.
So somewhere. I mean, when you started speaking so boldly, I mean, you went from total obscurity, right, to 5 million people following and reading those blogs. And I’m sure you got your own theories about why as an outsider watching it. To me, it was because this was the most bold statements and articles and clearly calling out some of how crazy this leftist agenda in America was on sexual issues and everything else that frankly, most of the church was scared to death to touch the third rail, whether it was the gender issue or whatever.
And when you raise that banner, it seemed like to me millions rallied around, so that I think people want truth and they want to stand up but a lot of times they don’t know where to or they don’t have a leader that’s giving that clarion call. Is that a fair statement and was that your experience?
An Encouraging Aspect
Yeah, I think it’s a fair statement in that that’s an encouraging aspect of it. Well, it’s both encouraging and discouraging. In some way is encouraging, because yeah, when anybody speaks up on these things, certainly been my experience, there is a chorus of people who listen to speak up also in agreement and shout, you know, amen. And so, it’s nice to know, okay, I’m actually not alone. Sometimes even I can feel alone and some of the worst things that I think and believe, but then when I go out and talk about them and I hear from people, I realize okay, no, there’s a lot of us out there.
No, that’s not to downplay. I’m sure you’ve had many death threats and all kinds of, you know, negative response as well. I’m not suggesting that it was all easy for you once you, it’ll be probably very tough because of the stances you were taking?
Yeah, well, certainly. And anyone who’s in the public eye, you’re going to get the hate and everything, so that’s going to happen. But I think the discouraging aspect of it when you hear the silent massive finally speak up, for you think well, why are you silent? Like why is this the first time I’m hearing you?
And I’ll have this experience sometimes where I’ll talk about something and you know, I am getting a big backlash and then I’ll get like private messages and emails from people saying, hey by the way, I really agree with you on this thing. And I think, well great, I’m glad you agree, but you know why are you whispering it to me behind the bushes? Like come out and speak up so that people know, not for my sake, but just so that people know that there’s more force behind this truth that you also agree…
No, that’s right. Man, I couldn’t agree more. I see that all the time where it’s like, you know, when nobody else is around, hey, I actually kind of like what you’re saying over there. But okay, let me ask you this, Matt. When somebody reads the book, what are you hoping happens? What’s kind of your clarion call to them with this particular book, ‘Church of Cowards’?
Do We Actually Believe?
My hope is that people will come away from it, encouraged. That it’s not a feel good book by any stretch of the imagination, as you can tell from the title. But I do want to encourage people, it is, yeah, you might say, confrontational. So, I guess in a way, I’m confronting the reader and myself. So, it’s a difficult book to write in some ways, because I see so much of myself and one of the things I’m talking about and the problems I see in the church.
But what I’d like them to take away from it it’s just, you know, when you put the book down to stop and think, do a personal inventory and think, first of all, as a Christian, you know, I claim to believe many different extraordinary and often startling things about a God who became man and died for our sins, all the different things. You know these are startling claims. And so, do I actually believe that? Do I actually believe that these things are true?
If I do, then, is that reality, does it manifest in my life? You know, the things that I do in the way that I live, does that reflect these beliefs that I hold? Because if we are right as Christians about all these things that we claim, then that should have implications on everything we do, that should lead into every single thing we do. Nothing should be exempt, there shouldn’t be any part of our life that’s put in the box and put in the corner and we say, well, no, it’s not going to touch that, that’s our thing. Faith has nothing to do with it. There can be nothing like that. And so I guess that’s the way to begin with that sort of inventory.
The Great Commission
Sounds to me like it’s really you know, it is the Great Commission, it is the gospel. You’re saying, you know, be a disciple, actually follow his commands. Don’t just walk the island and take on the title and the label, but actually follow those commands where you actually see that result in your life. Last question, Matt. The cover itself, black and white, I mean, were you afraid of scaring people off if they saw you in full color? I mean it’s got your picture, but It’s black and white. What’s the deal, man?
Well, I didn’t realize they’re going to go with a picture of my ugly mug on the cover. So, you know, I hope that doesn’t scare people away, but you know I guess it’s the way they make books these days.
A Wake-Up Call
Yeah, it is what it is. Church of Cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians. Matt Walsh, place you want to send people to get the book, I know it’s everywhere, but where do you prefer to send folks?
I would say, you just can go to Amazon and order it now.
Alright, let’s put Matt up there at the top, Great book, Church of Cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians. You can read Matt on the Daily Wire on a regular basis. Always good to have you, man. Let’s do it again soon.
Absolutely, Rick. Thank you.
Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Hey friends, this is Rick Green from WallBuilders Live and I have had so many requests about what in the world could we be studying at home right now? You know, I got the kids at home, they’re normally in school or if you homeschool, you’re looking for additional material. One-Room Schoolhouse. It is a great new series WallBuilders is putting out or you literally get a tour of the WallBuilders library as Tim Barton and Jonathan Richie bring history to life. There’s a couple of resources on this.
You can go to YouTube and search for WallBuilders and look for One-Room Schoolhouse. You can go to our Facebook page and get it right there on Facebook as we do it live each Monday and sometimes additional days from there. And then you can also just go to wallbuilders.com scroll down to the bottom and we’ll be posting the videos as they come out. This is such a great way to learn and a great way for you to share with others. Gather the family around, watch the One-Room Schoolhouse and learn some great history. It’ll be vitally important to restoring our nation and bringing back these principles that made America great in the first place. Check it out One-Room Schoolhouse at wallbuilders.com.
Can We Turn This Around?
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. Special thanks to Matt Walsh for joining us today. We’re back with Jonathan Richie and David Barton. And guys, so what do you think? Are we actually a church of cowards and can we turn this thing around?
Yeah, I mean, I basically agree with everything that Mr. Walsh was talking about. I mean, just from my perspective, you know, being centuries younger than you guys.
Centuries! Wait a minute. You’re lumping me in with David. Is it like just anybody over the 20s is just old, is that the deal?
A Millenial’s Perspective
Like, I mean, I was under the impression that you all were taught by Peter. So, some [crosstalk 21:22] right?
Right. Yeah. We haven’t passed it on well, have we, David?
Well, I’ve enjoyed this time with you guys.
Yeah. One show with Jonathan, we’re done.
Sorry. I’m just trying to be courageous, you know, I don’t know, you’re a coward. Just trying to apply these life lessons. No, I mean, from my…
Yeah, with love, with love. Whatever… So, from my perspective, I mean, growing up, there are so many young adults things, young adult services, I mean for most big churches, even mid-sized churches, they have a whole another day of the week set aside for kind of young adults, 20 somethings to go to church. And I know a lot of people actually substitute that for like their Sunday morning church times.
Going Against Culture
And, you know, in those especially, the thing that I’ve noticed is that it’s all very kind of the milk of Christianity. You know, it’s all very feeling emotion driven. Right? And there’s, you know, obviously, I’d say there’s a time and a place for us to, you know, really kind of worship in that way. But we have to have the facts, we have to have the meat, we have to have that courageous thing driving us on. Right? What’s the old saying, right? It takes a living fish to swim upstream, right? So, we have to have some sort of life in our Christianity if we’re going to go against the flow, go against culture.
I think of CS Lewis right in the Screwtape letters. He has a great letter, it’s letter 29 that talks about the difference between cowardice and courage and I’d recommend everybody to go read it. But Wash talked about how we’ve kind of become complacent, because we think that we’re safe, right? We think that there’s nothing really to fight against oftentimes in church, right? We’re not being oppressed, like they are in Africa, the churches or in China, right? We’re not being, you know, with guns and bayonets driven underground. So, we don’t think necessarily that there’s something to go against…
A Church NotWorth Killing
Well, that goes to what Walsh was saying about we’d become a church that’s not worth killing.
Why do you need to persecute the American church? They’re doing nothing.
Yeah, we’re doing it in ourselves
We’re threatening no one. And so, we really have become that and, you know, I thought it’s interesting, talking about how the youth services for young adults are kind of replacing even going to church, but they are about feelings. And instead of teaching, you know, as the Bible says, you should be passed drinking milk by now, you ought to be in steaks and hard food, we’re still not dealing with that.
And I was thinking even of the lack of really confrontational, biblical teaching, if you will. Now, I say confrontational sense that we don’t go out of church wanting to confront the culture, we go out of church, not wanting to be seen so that nobody targets us. And we really do have to get that as Matt said, we become more interested in tickling the ears and making people feel comfortable and we’ve got to get away from that. When you’re comfortable, you don’t grow, you don’t change.
You have to be uncomfortable to want something different in life. And we’re not making people uncomfortable. We’re trying to make them comfortable as the frog boiling in the pot just get used to the warm water. It’s alright you don’t need to jump out of the pot and that really does have to change. So, his book, great emphasis, a Church of Cowards. Matt has always spoken with great courage. But this is one worth reading and considering and then looking in the mirror and doing some self-examination and saying, so where do I fall in this church of cowards?
A Church Full of Cowards
Is the church full of cowards? Check out Matt Walsh’s new book. It’s available everywhere. Get it on Amazon and all your online bookstore, probably not walking into any bookstores anywhere in the nation right now, unfortunately, with these overzealous governors having shut down everything rather than targeting specifically where we’re having significant coronavirus problems. But I don’t want to get off on that tangent again. Go watch the videos about quarantines and the Constitution and how we’ve now quarantined the Constitution.
Anyway, check it all out at constitutioncoach.com, it’s also a great place for you to take our Constitution class, Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green, it’s available at wallbuilders.com. If you want to get the DVD set, place that order today. And if you want to host a class, we have a license system set up right now that is entirely free, so you become a Constitution host for free.
Get online today at constitutioncoach.com to do that. And when you do that, you’ll be able to connect with your friends and family on Zoom and bring them in and take the Constitution class with them. It is vital that we know our rights, that we know when they’ve been violated and that we’re the better prepared to defend and assert them. That’s the way John Jay put it. And boy, today, do we need to know our rights, we need to know what the proper role of government is, we need to know where that police power needs to stop and we need to know what our job as citizens is, what are we supposed to do when we see government making that overreach? Check it out at constitutioncoach.com.
Is The Church Full Of Cowards? – With Matt Walsh
And also, I want to challenge and encourage you to go to wallbuilderslive.com and make a contribution. I know it’s tough times, I know a lot of people are facing significant financial hardship. And so, for some of you, it’s just impossible right now to make a contribution. But for many of you, it’s not, this is a time where you can support voices of truth like us here at WallBuilders Live and help us get the education out to folks so that they understand the importance of defending those constitutional principles. A great way to support that effort is to go to wallbuilderslive.com today and make a contribution. We sure appreciate you. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.