A Courageous Church – Foundations Of Freedom With Glenn Beck: What did our Founders believe about charity and personal responsibility? Learn how we can apply the Word of God to all areas of life and how that can affect the culture around us.
Air Date: 11/12/2019
Guest: Glenn Beck
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: 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
Rick: Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live. We’re talking about some of today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. David Barton is our founder. He’s America’s historian. He’s the founder and president of WallBuilders and also a bestselling author and one of Time magazine’s top 25 most influential American Evangelicals. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas state rep and an author and a speaker, and our third host Tim Barton, national speaker, and pastor, but today we’re doing something a little bit different.
We’re sharing our television program with you; Foundations of Freedom. And the episode we started with yesterday, which is available right now on our website at wallbuilderslive.com, we’re going to pick up, you get the conclusion of that episode. It was called Real Religion and the special guest was Glenn Beck. So we’ll be picking up with Glenn Beck and David Barton right now. We’ll get the conclusion of yesterday’s program and then we’re going to dive right into the next episode, which is called a Courageous Church. And that will be David Barton, and myself Rick Green, you’re listening to Foundations of Freedom here on WallBuilders Live.
Where do we go from David? What do we do? Because we have right now, people all over the world are boycotting now for and picketing for minimum wage. They’re calling Christians uncharitable, they’re calling America uncharitable and, and in some cases, we are, because we’re wasteful.
Rick: And also, I think because we have a warped sense of what charity really is.
David: We do.
Where Do We Go?
Rick: So where do we go?
David: Part of it is we’ve got to rethink “personally” because we keep shoving the responsibility to the government or somebody else to take care of, and we cannot do that. Jefferson felt like you want to do some charity for the poor. He said, I saw this really old woman, and she was really poor and asking for a small amount of money and the person with them said, don’t do that, she’ll use it for drink. If you give her that, she’s going to use it for drink.
He said, so I’ll listen to you and I didn’t give it, but I felt guilty about it. I went to her afterward and said if I gave you that money, what are we going to do with it? She said, well, I’m trying to put my child in school. I need money to put my child. He said, I gave her the money because it wasn’t for drink, and so he saw that. Another time he was in his carriage and he saw a military veteran walking down the road with all of his possessions on his back. And when he started to stop and pick the guy up in his carriage and take him to where he wanted to go, the friend with him, he said there are veterans everywhere you do this, you’ll always be picking people up. You’ll never get away from this.
And he said, so I went on and my conscience struck me and I turned the carriage around, went back to look for him. He said, and I couldn’t find him. He turned off on the by-way and he said, to this day, my conscience, and we’ve got to take responsibility.
To Be Generous or Not to Be?
Glenn: I was walking down the street one day in New York, I just moved to New York and there are scammers everywhere in New York. And there was this woman who was sitting right next to Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue. I’m walking down the street going to work and here she is, and she was in a bad way. She was down on the ground and she was just all curled up. I stopped and I got down on my hands and knees and I talked to her and I said, how can I help you? How can I help you?
I said, can I get you to a hospital? Okay, can I help you in any way? And my friends were standing back going, Glenn, come on Glenn, come on. And I found them so callous and cold-hearted, quite honestly. I put money in the cup, and she was just kind of unresponsive. I walked away and they said to me, what happens if she was scamming you? And I said, what happens if she wasn’t?
David: That’s right, that’s exactly right.
Glenn: As it turns out, four weeks later, she was on the front page of the New York Post. She was making a mint because she was scamming.
Glenn: I feel fine.
David: That’s right.
Glenn: I feel fine.
David: Your heart was there.
Glenn: If you start closing your eyes and your heart, you have to just be at win with the spirit and sometimes you’re going to lose, but sometimes the spirit will say give, but it’s not about that, it’s [inaudible 03:59].
David: It’s about that.
Glenn: It’s your heart.
David: I want to read this passage because this is what people have to do. This is God’s command, he said, you will always have the poor with you, that’s what he told them. He said, but when you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God gave you. Don’t look the other way, pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse, no. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs, give freely and spontaneously, don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God’s blessing and everything you do, all your works and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you, always be generous.
Open person, hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, you’re poor and hurting neighbors, that’s Deuteronomy 15 and that’s out of the message Bible. The first thing we got to do is quit turning our eyes away. If somebody over here, I’m looking the other way so I don’t make eye contact, no, get the heart. And by the way, don’t look the other way and say, government, come help. And that’s probably the second–
Glenn: The problem with the world is the man’s heart is waxing cold.
Don’t Get Cold-Hearted
David: It is waxing cold and it’s because we’re not looking at the needy, He says, don’t turn your eyes away from them. Don’t get cold-hearted. You look at them and if you do, even if she scams you, that’s her problem with God. You did the right thing, your heart. And the second thing I think we’ve got to do is exactly what the Bible says. And that’s, we designate a certain part of our income for the needy. If they start becoming our responsibility rather than somebody else’s, that again is our heart. That’s our faith being lived out.
Glenn: I remember when I first heard that 10% as tithe, and I couldn’t understand how that is going to make me happy. And so I tried it, you know, proof me, and so I did. It has changed my life and it’s given me the best since I have to give my agent 10%. And I remember about a year into it, I called him up and I said, I’m very clear what God did for me today, and he gets 10%, what have you done? It will, I promise you if you dedicate 10% plus of your income, it will change your life.
David: That’s one of the foundations of freedom and that’s if we’re going to get back to the country we want; start some stuff like that.
David: Hi, this is David Barton.
America’s Hidden History
Hi, this is David Barton.
And, this is Tim Barton. We want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN, Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night, there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History.
This season is called “America’s Hidden Heroes” because we highlight heroes from American history. For years we’ve been focusing on the forgotten history and heros of the nation.
Now, we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location to the sites and show where the events happened. It’s stories of folks like Bronco Charlie, Stagecoach Mary, Jedediah Smith, Robert Smalls, and many inspiring folks.
This happens every Thursday night. The time is gonna be different based on where you live. Either way, this is something that will encourage and inspire you in learning these great stories from America’s Hidden History.
Early American Pastors
Glenn: The early American pastor had a reputation as a courageous and fearless leader. In that era, silence was not an option and the Bible was boldly proclaimed as a handbook for life, speaking to everything from morals and values to public policy and current events. What can we learn from these brave leaders? In a day when our civil liberties seem to be in jeopardy more than ever before, America needs a courageous church. Join historian David Barton with special guests, Glenn Beck, Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, and more as they explore the America our Founding Fathers envisioned. What if America’s story is bolder, more colorful, and more compelling than you ever imagined? This is Foundations of Freedom.
Foundations of Freedom
David: Welcome to Foundations of Freedom where we’ll look at many important aspects of our common heritage, about which most folks have heard absolutely nothing today. Join me as our co-host, Rick green. He is an attorney, he’s a former legislator, he is an author of numerous books and he also heads Patriot Academy, which is a great program for young people showing them how they can be our future civil leaders. We have the opportunity to co-host a radio program daily, heard nationally, and it’s great to have your Rick.
Rick: It’s good to be on. I’m glad you talked about also just the fact that these are things most people haven’t heard of or don’t think about. I think some of the things you’re covering in this program are really going to illuminate the history of America. It’s going to bring some things to life we’ve–
David: I think it’d be surprised in a lot of ways too, and clearly it’s going to be documented. We have a lot of original documents we’ll share and it’ll be things that’ll surprise folks.
Rick: So let’s get some questions from the audience to get a start.
David: It sounds great
Glenn: With the erosion of our morals and our government and society, it seems to me like the only thing that would save America is a spiritual revival. What are your thoughts on that?
Rick: Well, it sounds like that particular audience members asking for the church to do more there. If we want to have a revival in America, that really does have to begin in the church, doesn’t it?
David: It does, but I don’t think we know what a revival is anymore. And you can look in the Bible and find revivals. There are revivals under [inaudible08:46] and Jehosaphat and Josiah, and America has the great benefit of having had about half a dozen major revivals. The first great awakening, the second great awakening at the third-century revival some even called third-grade awakening. But historians have a tough time distinguishing between the second and third-grade awakenings. But one of the fun things about looking to see what a revival looks like is looking to see what it looked like in all these previous times, and there are very similar patterns.
Great example is what do you preach about in times revival? And I think most Americans, they think, Oh, revival, that’s where you get people brought to Christ. And that’s where you have a lot of salvation, a lot of church growth and– no, not really. As a matter of fact, one of the things we’ve been blessed with is we own about a hundred thousand documents from before 1812, so, thousands of handwritten documents of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, but also church history. And right here we have a pretty good stack of sermons from church history. So let me just pull some of these out.
Rick: And this would have been part of a revival or leading up to a revival?
Typical Revial Sermons
David: This, for example, these are typical sermons out of what’s called the first great awakening. And without that revival, there is no United States of America today. Most historians agree about that, no problem. So let’s look at revival sermons. This is done by the Reverend Dr. Jonathan Mayhew. By the way, John Adams said that Dr. Jonathan Mayhew was one of the guys that were individually responsible for American independence.
Rick: Yeah, we don’t think about pastors as Founding Fathers.
David: That’s right, but John Adams did, and he specifically singled out this man. Well, this is a sermon from 1755 and this sermon from 1755 is a sermon on earthquakes. Now, I don’t in my entire life as a Christian recall having heard a sermon on earthquake.
Rick: I’ve never heard one.
David: But what happened was in New England they had an earthquake and because they believe the Bible applied to every aspect of life, whatever was in the news, they talked about from the pulpit. Now, this is a five-week series on what the Bible says about earthquakes.
Rick: So you had to both have an attitude of being willing to apply the Bible to anything that happens, but also have a pretty good knowledge of the Bible if you’re going to be able to cover that much.
Major Revival Voices
David: Yes, that’s right. So you have that one; this is a sermon by the Reverend Dr. Samuel Davies. He’s one of the major voices revival voices in the central part of the United States and Virginia and Maryland, that area, and this is a sermon on religion and patriotism, the constituents of a good soldier. You have a group of soldiers about to be deployed into the French and Indian War, and he says, guys, before you go, you need to know what the Bible says about the military.
Rick: It seems like that would help to set the attitude for a person in the military.
David: It would.
Rick: If you’re learning a biblical view of what the role of the military is, that’s going to make your real Terri a much better thing than today, we’re trying to get God [inaudible10:56] Bible away from our military academies, the military–
David: To say today we think the Bible saves in the church and if we can have a revival and get people into the church. We didn’t bring people into the church, we went outside.
David: And here’s one from Dr. Jonathan Mayhew. This one is in 1760; it’s on the great fire in Boston.
Rick: Something happens in the culture or in the neighborhood. We’re going to learn what the Bible has to say about it
David: Here is a sermon from 1765 on the stamp act; taxes, ceremonial taxes.
Rick: On war and taxes, so we’re going to actually have a preacher get up and talk about what was in the legislature.
David: That right. And by the way, this man right here, this is Charles Johnson. He’s one of the guys that John Adams also singled out as being really significant guy, that’s a revival sermon. Here’s the sermon on the execution of Henry Blackburn from the murder of George Wilkinson called an execution sermon. So if something is going to civil government, we should see what’s happening over there. What does the Bible say about that? We looked at civil government through a biblical lens. Here’s a sermon, it’s called an Artillery Sermon because once a year the Militia got together and elected their officers. And so they had a preacher come in and say, hey, talk to us about officers and military, et cetera, so Artillery Sermon.
Here’s a sermon on the revolution in France. America was starting to be drawn into the French revolution, and so you’ve got pastors taking in pulpits saying, let’s talk about foreign policy here.
Rick: So they’re preaching on foreign policy, philosophy and all of these things.
David: This particular sermon, and it’s called a century sermon because it’s about 1800. They said, okay, we just finished the century, let’s look back over the history of our country in the last hundred years and see what God’s been up to.
Rick: Actually did the recounting of the former days.
David: That’s the history, that’s right.
Rick: So the [inaudible12:21] of going to revivals, which was usually a one-night thing or a weekend thing. I don’t remember.
First Great Awakening
David: So this is the First Great Awakening. This is George Woodfielder, Samuel Davies, and Charles Chauncy and Jonathan Cooper, and this is Jonathan Edwards and all these sermons, that’s a revival. I didn’t see a single salvation message in there. Let’s not stop here, let’s go to the second great awakening, which is where we got the end of the abolition of slavery. You had so much of the turning of urban areas and got rid of child labor cetera. Here’s a sermon on dueling. So that was a moral issue; it was in the news.
Rick: It was just before or after the famous dual with who was it, Alexander Hamilton and–?
David: This is the same year [inaudible 12:49].
Rick: No kids are there again responding to what’s happening in the–
David: Alexander Hamilton was in a duel with Aaron Burr and that’s not a good deal. And here’s; what does the Bible say about it? Well, that’s what we look at. Here’s a sermon on the opening of a great bridge over the Connecticut River, a sermon on architecture. Here as a sermon; this is a popular topic, a sermon on the infirmities and conference at old age, how to grow. Here’s a sermon on a solar eclipse. What verse did he use?
Rick: I think you got me there.
David: I read this one, out of the little book of Amos. There are several illusions to eclipses, both solar and lunar. Here is a sermon on the fatal effects of ardent spirits, so one on alcohol. Here is a sermon on the delivery of military despotism; this is the war of 1812. So we’re in the middle of a war, we have sermons on that.
Rick: So weren’t these pastors worried about losing their [inaudible13:32].
Rick: When they thought that these are; what people today would call a political issue.
David: This is what they would call [inaudible 13:37].
Rick: Culture and applying the scripture to it.
David: Let me get through them fast. Here’s one on the duties of an American citizen. So what does it mean to be a Christian citizen? Look at one of the effects of Hebrew slavery. We’re talking about moral issues that are in culture. There’s one on immigration. Here’s what the Bible says about immigration. Another has one on the influence of the gospel upon the intellectual powers; you go to college or university, what role does the Bible happen to call university? Here’s a sermon right here on the Mexican war, war with Mexico, now, these are all revival sermon.
Rick: There’s nothing off limits here.
David: No, nothing; I keep going through, you get the idea.
Rick: There is nothing, okay.
David: So we get stacks of this.
Rick: So how does preaching to or speaking to the things that are happening in the culture cause revival? Is it because you’re actually applying?
The Bible Deals With These Issues
David: Well, let me back up and ask a couple of questions. Why did they preach those kinds of sermons? Obvious answers, because the Bible dealt with those kinds of issues because every one of those sermons has Bible verses in it. Can most pastors today pick up the newspaper, look at what’s in the news and say, oh, I know Bible verses that deal with that. Every one of these sermon topics, they dealt with what was in the news, which means the Bible dealt with it because they’ve all got Bible verses with it. The second thing that’s important to know about those revivals is the theology in America was a little different than it is now.
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David: If you look back into early America, the first and second great awakening, most denominations were generally Calvinistic.
The Second Great Awakening
David: I’m not going to talk about whether that’s right or wrong. I’m just telling you historically that’s the way it was, even the Baptist were Calvinistic at that point in time. So basically, hey, God’s going to take care of salvation, we don’t have to worry about that.
Rick: We got to figure out what to do after; we got to apply.
David: That’s right.
Rick: How you disciple.
David: That’s right.
Rick: They were more focused on that.
David: The revivals back then weren’t focused on salvation messages, because God’s going to take care of getting you saved, you need to know how to live as a Christian. And so what they would do is give you all this information and it would change your lifestyle behavior, and people go, I like what he’s got, I want what he’s got. Well, it’s, because he was living a lifestyle.
Rick: So it spread.
David: It spread, that’s what a revival was. People said, I want that too, and it was because there were practical. You got something going on the family, you got something going on at work with the employer; we’re so fixated on getting people converted, we don’t teach them how to live. And nobody likes what they see, you know let me get converted [inaudible 16:34] their fire insurance, but it didn’t change their behavior and that’s a revival.
Rick: So then it doesn’t spread, whereas, with his, a revival is where you see the whole culture begin to change. Because so many people were actually applying scripture to their life, their lives became different, the community became different and the whole nation change.
David: Everybody wanted what they had because it changed the way they–, I mean you’ve got all these moral issues that they’re dealing with and it changed their moral view of stuff. And people said like that and I want that.
Rick: All right, let’s get another question, you ready?
David: You bet.
Glenn: I’ve seen statistics that showed that church attendance has been dropping and I was just wondering why you think that is?
Rick: That’s another good question, it actually kind of follows up to what you were saying. If you’re not applying it, people are looking at you and going, well, I don’t really want what you have. Is that why we’re decreasing in terms of numbers?
David: There are several things going on, let’s kind of talk about statistics for a moment. When you talk about statistics and where the church is, I don’t think most Christians are where the church is. We just did a book with George Barna. He’s the national pollster and so Barna and I did a book together called U-turn, and it looks at a lot of the stats that’s going on with the family, with the church, with the country, et cetera. Pretty amazing stats going on, but let’s talk for a moment. Somewhere between 75 to about 82-83% of the nation claims to be Christian, they profess Christianity, they say, I’ve had an experience with Jesus and I’m a Christian.
Rick: So roughly four out of five.
David: Four out of five.
More Than Salvation Messages
Rick: Okay. And so you ask people, why aren’t you going to church? It’s absolutely irrelevant to anything I do. Now, I’ve to say as a strong Christian who goes to an evangelical church, I agree. You know why? I don’t need 52 salvation messages a year. I’m already a Christian. I don’t need to get saved every Sunday. And what I get is a steady dose of salvation messages at most Christian churches.
Rick: There’s nothing that tells me anything I can do on Monday morning. And part of the problem we have is the great commission. I think everybody knows the great commission, but let me read, it’s Matthew 28:18-20. Then Jesus came to them and said all authority in heaven, earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize in the name of the father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I commanded you. Now we’ve taken the great commission and we’ve turned that into a salvation mandate. It’s a discipleship mandate. He said you teach them everything I’ve taught you. Think about what Jesus thought about in Matthew 19, it’s all about no-fault divorce. If you get over in Matthew 25 it was about taxation, if you get in Matthew 20 it was about employer and employee relationships. If you get in John eight it was about civil court procedures. How come we’re not covering that out of–
David: When was the last time you heard a sermon on employer and employee relations or on taxes?
The Bible Deals With It All
Rick: That’s right, and Jesus did that. And he says, you teach them everything I taught you, no, no, we’re teaching the sinner’s prayer. Sinner’s prayer wasn’t introduced into church life until the 1920s. How do people get saved, before there was a sinner’s prayer in America? This stuff right here. Now here’s the problem we’ve got the 613 civil laws in the Bible. Bible deals with everything from immigration to marriage, from taxes through business that you named, the Bible deals with it. We don’t deal with that in the church, and so we don’t give people something to go live with. So now, when you ask a church and going back to George Barnett and what he does, when you ask a church, how do you measure whether you’re successful or not?
David: It is how many conversions every week.
Rick: There are five answers. The five measurements that churches say, here’s how we know if we’re being successful or not, let’s read the five to you; worship, service, attendance; two the amount of dollars that are donated to the church. Three, the number of programs that are offered by the church; four, the number of staff people hired by the church, and number five, the square footage of facilities we have available.
Rick: Now give me a Bible verse for any of those.
David: And nothing in there about following the commands and applying.
Jesus Preached Truth
Rick: Well, actually, if I were to take that, I could have fun going the other way, because you look in John six Jesus said, disciples, everybody else’s left me, you guys going to leave me too. I keep preaching the truth and nobody can handle it. Wait a minute; I thought we measured success by growing and expanding church numbers. Jesus is saying in Matthew 15 verse 12, the disciples came and said, Jesus, don’t you know that what you’re saying offends the other people? And he essentially said yes, they’re going to have to learn to live with the truth, either they’re going to get it from me or they get it in eternity, better they get it from me now.
We’re not into the truth. We’re into growth and we’re into making people feel good and so we don’t do anything relevant. And here’s a question I ask pastors right now on a very regular basis to say, if you stood up in your church on Sunday morning and announced, we’re closing down the church, we’re moving somewhere else. On Monday morning, would you have civil leaders rushing you and say, no, don’t close, we need you to stay. You add too much value to the community. You do too many things that are good. Most civil leaders would even know [inaudible 20:34].
David: Wouldn’t even know [inaudible 20:34] which means you weren’t really impacting the community
Who Would Miss Your Church?
Rick: There’s one example I want to share of a practical application it’s from a church in Fort Worth, Dallas area. Really good stuff; school superintendent, very large school district, gets a visit from the Texas department of corrections that houses all the prisons and prisoners. And they went to the principal; the superintendent and said, how many kids do you have with a third-grade level, who is reading below grade level? And he told them, he said, why? He said, well if we know how many kids are third-grade level readings below grade level, we know how many prison beds we need to prepare for in the future.
Rick: So he goes to the churches in the community said, guys, we need your help. We need you to adopt some third graders and mentor them. They need to get their reading levels up so we can keep them out of prison 10 years from now. And the churches said, hey, that’s really practical; sure it is. Now, that’s what a church should be doing, its practical stuff, and then if that church is really in the community, civil leaders come, no you can’t leave. What you’re doing for–
David: Because at that point, you’re feeding the sheep.
Rick: You’re the sheep.
A Courageous Church – Foundations Of Freedom With Guest Glenn Beck
David: And you’re meeting the need in the community.
Rick: And see, this is the problem the church has now; it doesn’t know its own history. It doesn’t know the Bible, and it’s erected standards that are nowhere in the Bible, and that’s how we measure success.
Rick: Well, we’re out of time for today, folks. You’re in the middle of an episode of Foundations of Freedom. This particular episode called A Courageous Church, and it’s with David Barton and myself, Rick green. We’re going to pick up the conclusion of that tomorrow. And then we’re also going to dive into another episode from Foundations of Freedom; that one will be with Michelle Bachmann. She’s sharing an episode with us called God and Government, so lots of great information this week for you from Foundations of Freedom. The DVDs are available at wallbuilderslive.com, just click on that link there or you can catch them on television. But we really appreciate you listening today to WallBuilders Live.