Is Self-Defense Biblical? – The Recent Shooting That Was Stopped At the Texas Church: A trained good guy stopped the carnage 1.9 sec after the first shot was fired. On today’s program, we have state legislator Dan Flynn join us to talk about what happened in the Texas Church shooting. Later on in the program, we will be joined by Lucas Mather to talk about what’s the biblical and constitutional and jurisdictional idea of being able to defend yourself. Stay tuned to find out more!

Air Date: 01/27/2020

Guest: Rep. Dan Flynn & Lucas Mather

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:

Today’s topic is definitely one of the hot ones out there. It deals with self-defence, gun control, all of those things. We have the shooting in Texas just a few weeks back at that church where a trained good guy, not just a good guy with a gun, but a trained good guy with a gun stopped the carnage six seconds after the first shot was fired and actually is 1.9 seconds after the first shot was fired. Six seconds into the melee.

State Representative Dan Flynn Joins Us Today

Anyway, we’re going to have State Representative, Dan Flynn, share with us a little bit about the law that allowed for that. And then later in the program, talk about the biblical perspective of this and then the constitutional and just jurisdictional idea of you being able to defend yourself and your family. Lucas Mather with us on that particular topic today.

My name is Rick Green. I’m American’s constitution coach and a former Texas legislator. David Barton is America’s premier historian and our founder of WallBuilders, Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders.

Here with us right now is Dan Flynn, State Representative from Texas who passed a law that would allow for us and churches or at least clear up that the law did allow you to carry in churches. He passed it on the house side. Senator Donna Campbell on the Senate side. We’ve got Dan with us today. We’ll have Senator Campbell with us tomorrow. State Representative Dan Flynn. Thanks for joining us.

Dan:

Well, I’ve got it, it seemed like a whole world is running against me right now. So we’re doing a lot of campaigning, but I’m always available for Rick Green, I can see that.

Why Did You Decide To Take This On?

Rick:

Well, thank you man. And thanks for doing this bill. I mean this was vital for literally saving lives. Why did you decide to take this on and as Senator Campbell carried it over in that, on the Senate side, you were the chief sponsor on the house side and so you led the fight on this. Why?

Dan:

Well, you know what, Rick, I’m kind of like a lot of other people. I just thought it was just assumed that you could do what you wanted to. And then I was talking to my friends at the National Rifle Association, Texas State Rifle, and they said, no, we really need to clear it up. And so I said, well, good, we’ll do that. And then all of a sudden it seemed like every pastor in East Texas started calling me saying how important it was to them because they want to have protection in their church services.

And so we just took it on and it’s been something that we said, you know what, let’s clear it up. And we were able to do it. There are a few bumps in the house that we had to overcome, but, I was pleased with the final count. And then, Senator Campbell, she helped me over at the Senate. And it’s just amazing because that young man who stood up in six seconds who took that man out, he saved a mass shooting in Texas.

Let The Bad Guys Go

Rick:

And it’s also a great deterrent just to stop, you know, in the past, it’s almost like advertising to say, well, a church or a school is sitting ducks and now what you’ve done…

Dan:

Let the bad guys go.

Rick:

Yeah. Exactly. But now you’ve said to the bad guy, Hey, no, you better watch out in Texas churches, we have the right to carry and we’re going to do that and we’re going to get trained to be able to do it effectively. So clearing this up and making it known. I got to ask you what you thought when a Senator Biden and some of the others said we were crazy in Texas for passing this law.

Dan:

Well, you know what, as long as it’s Joe Biden that is telling me I’m crazy, I think I’m on the right track.

Rick:

That’s exactly right.

They Are Hard

Dan:

They’re hard, I’ll tell you. It’s just amazing to me how uninformed they can be. Rick. It’s the same thing on the border. I spend a lot of time on the border and they tell me there’s no crisis. Let me do what, I wear body armour on the border.

Rick:

Yeah. You’ve been there. You know what we’re dealing with and man, that’s the common sense, hopefully we’ll keep it here in Texas and export it around the country. Let’s make America like Texas but Dan Flynn, representative from Texas, I know you’ve got things to do with that lovely wife Susan. You all get after it. Thanks for taking a few minutes and letting us have you on the program today.

Dan:

Anytime Rick, and please tell Tim and my friend David hello.

Rick:

Definitely will. That’s represented Dan Flynn’s. Stay with us folks. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

The Avalon Project

Tim:

Hey guys, this is Tim Barton with wall builders and I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our founding fathers, about the original intent of our nation, the constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talking and wish there was a place that I could go and I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the founding fathers firsthand, see the things they did and I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing.

If you get online, you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents.

You can go to the Avalon project. It’s a founder’s constitution at Google books or even look on the archives or you can just go to WallBuilders website. We have a section for our library and under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself.

Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. Wallbuilders.com is a great place to go to.

Lucas Mather Joins Us Now

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders live. I’m so excited today to have Lucas Mather. Oh, by the way, thank you to Representative Dan Flynn for being with us in the first segment and a great reminder of how important it is to get that legislation cleared up and make sure that people know they can defend themselves.

They can actually exercise their second amendment rights and protect themselves and their families which leads me to our next guest, which I’m so excited to have on great speaker of Patriot Academy last summer, professor, had multiple universities including Pepperdine and Loyola. Let’s see, Lucas, did I even get close to saying right and for all the tongue-tied. Lucas Mather.

Lucas:

Thanks for having me on Rick.

Rick:

Yeah, man. Thrilled to have you brother. And now, are you still teaching at both Pepperdine and Loyola.

Lucas:

Well, you know what, the semester hasn’t even started. So right now I’m doing security at church for a church in Orange County and I’ll teach wherever they hire me, I will be honest with you. So, you know, I’m all over the place, all over LA. I’ve taught 185 classes over 15 years at 11 campuses here in Southern California.

Rick:

Wow.

Lucas:

And just trying to keep these people sane, you know what I mean.

Rick:

And you teach a philosophy, you teach legal classes, you teach all kinds of things.

Lucas:

Sure! Yeah. Logic, ethics, constitutional law, a little bit of religion here mostly that was at Pepperdine, but yeah, whole gamut.

People Defending Themselves And Their Families

Rick:

And then speaking of religion, and just kind of from a theological, let’s just kick off our conversation today, which folks at home, I have no idea where our conversation is going to go today. Lucas and I are just going to have some fun. So here we go.

Let’s start with this idea of people defending themselves and their families or in this case the topic that started our program at the top of the program, in their churches, so being able to take life in order to preserve life and protect other lives and doing that in self-defence, what’s says Lucas Mather about the theology of that? Is that biblical?

Cain And Abel

Lucas:

Absolutely! I start with Cain and Abel, the first murder. And I think, you know, counterfactually, what if Abel had seen Cain coming? I mean, just hypothetically, would he had been able to fight back? Well, if he would have, let’s say he did. Would anybody have blamed him? Would God have blamed him? I don’t think that you can get that from the text because right after Cain kills him, you have Abel’s blood crying out from the ground, right?

That visual, that imagery is you know, that life is precious and we’re all created in the image of God. We are the bearers of rights. And the first among those is the right to life. And then I think of David and Goliath, I mean, think about the bully of Goliath and how David just came and just took him out.

Now that’s in battle, but you have the whole stretch of his Israelite history, people serving in the military, defending their communities.

What Would The Difference On A Battlefield And Your Front Door?

Rick:

Well, and again, I would ask you Lucas, what would be the difference so in battle, on a battlefield like that and a battle that takes place right outside your home or at your front door, in this case, in the church, David was defending the lives of those Israelites that would have been killed if Goliath and the others had just run over him, right?

Lucas:

Absolutely. They’re met with a deadly threat and they’re meeting the threat. And you know, I think when you come to the New Testament, there’s some people that say that the Old Testament was all about justice and there’s a different side of God or sometimes they even talk as if it’s totally different God. And then the New Testament is about love and it’s not so much about justice. And you have some, you know, different phraseology in Matthew.

Then you have some of the other gospels, like for example, the Sermon on the Mount. But like think of Jesus’ arrest. I always go to Jesus’ arrest. What always strikes me in those narratives, all four gospels say that the people with Jesus were carrying swords. And the funny thing about that is they just say it as if this was no big deal to point out, like everybody would have known that he drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the people trying to arrest Jesus. And that’s the thing that strikes me is that the whole time, you know, they’re carrying swords and you never see Jesus say, Hey, what are you doing carrying a sword?

Hey, you know, there’s never a section about it.

Sell Your Cloak And Get A Sword

Rick:

In fact, it does the opposite, right? He says, “Sell your cloak and get a sword”.

Lucas:

Yeah, that’s right. In Matthew, he says, “Don’t you think that I could ask my father to bring 12 legions of angels down?” I mean, clearly he has the right of self-defence. He clearly has that. But in Jesus’ case, because of his specific ministry, He’s giving that up. Right?

Rick:

And a lot of people will say that He is, I don’t know that you call it a rebuke. I guess you could have of Peter for what he did is because he should never use self-defense. And I think that’s such a stretch because he’s basically saying,

Hey, this is not the time. He sees that, if you’re thinking that’s how we’re going to win this spiritual battle, then you’re going to die by the sword because that’s not how we’re fighting this particular battle. Like you said, it’s a unique situation.

Lucas:

Yes. And Matthew, so what people have done throughout church history is people have wrestled with these passages, because the early church thought that Jesus was coming back pretty soon, I think. And then, you know, fast forward, here we are 2000 years later that obviously didn’t happen yet.

Christians Have Been Dealing With Anabaptist

So what happened was, we had the civilization to deal with, we had civilization to build. And I mean, that’s enough time for civilizations to come and go and you have to live in this world. So Christians have been dealing with Anabaptist, for example, developed a theology that rejected self-defence and rejected taking their cue from Matthew. Do not resist the evildoer, you know, turn the other cheek, stuff like that. But, you know, I don’t side with that because I think Jesus did resist the evildoer. He cast out demons.

He did oppose evil. He healed people who were injured. He raised the dead.

, that would seem to imply that it’s okay to try to keep people from being dead in the first place. So it’s okay for people to keep people from being injured in the first place and resisting that evil.

So what do you do with that?

He says, everybody who draws the sword dies by the sword. Well, clearly that’s not true, I mean, Jesus would know that not everybody who’s ever drawn the sword actually died that way. So I think he means something a little different and that discussion is an interesting one to get into.

Paul Using The Law To Stop The Beating That He Was Receiving

Rick:

And as you were speaking of the resisting evil piece, I couldn’t help but think even in that same vein, thinking of Paul using the law to stop the beating that he was receiving. I mean, it’s sort of the same thing, right? I mean, you’re not just being a doormat and saying, do anything to me that you want. He’s using his rights and, you know, call up on the law that would defend him in that moment.

Lucas:

Yeah. And I think that’s a good point. I was reading Matthew 18 recently because Lincoln quotes that in his second inaugural, and Matthew 18 is that famous line where it says that, “If you cause these little ones to stumble, it’s better than a millstone was hung around your neck and you were drown and the depths” and you know, basically the death penalty for harming children.

And I just thought, well, obviously he takes the innocent life seriously. He’s taking this seriously. It’s a life and death thing in fact. And you know, I think that you have to eventually get into some philosophical thinking about it. And I feel like it’s just obvious that the right of self-defence is moral.

Now it might not be what the Lord calls you to do in a specific ministry situation. But, I think in general, you know, just like John Locke says ion Tyranny in his book on government, right? He’s got the section on tyranny. And in that section, he says, “The highway man on the road, if you meet him a highway man and he’s going to take your life, you do have a right to oppose him and kill him”.

The Background For The Second Amendment

And that’s on public property. And so that’s the background for the founders and the second amendment that are concerned about tyranny. And it’s not just about resisting government, it’s about resisting criminals. It’s about your right to resist them and meet force with force. And that doesn’t mean you go out looking for a fight. Exactly the opposite. I think you can incorporate the New Testament meekness and the standards of love. You’re doing it out of love. You’re protecting the innocent out of love.

We Are Taking Precautions

Rick:

That’s such a good point Lucas and sometimes lost on this argument is people think that if you’re defending the right to defend and you’re making these arguments for people being able to save life and sometimes having to take life to do that, that they just want to do that, that they’re looking to take somebody’s life when in reality it’s more of a Proverbs 22 situation where you’re saying, “Hey, the prudent see danger and they take refuge. The simple keep going and pay the penalty”. You know, new living says “The simpleton goes blindly and suffers the consequences”, or the prudent sees, you know, foresees danger and takes precautions. That’s literally what we’re doing here is taking precautions.

Lucas: That’s right.

Rick:

One of the things I thought of as you were saying, there are certain situations where God may call on you not to defend in that situation. And I remember MLK did that, he made the decision not to carry his gun because he knew if he got into a confrontation and he defended himself, that it would ruin the movement.

And so he was willing to die and not use his right of self-defence, which he eloquently articulated while he had that right, but that he was giving that up for the movement itself. Unique situations, yes. There’s a time to not use it. That’s the exception to the rule though.

The rule as you pointed out from John Locke is that if you meet someone that wants to take your life or rob you, you have a natural right to defend yourself at that moment. And actually, Lucas, before we jump into the topic, where can people find you at? Is Facebook the best place to keep up with you? You have great posts by the way, and great information. Is that where you want to send people today?

Lucas:

Sure. Yeah. I’m on Facebook. Lucas J. Mather. That’s where I’m most active. I’m also on Twitter, although I don’t do a whole lot on Twitter. I’m at Republican prof.

How Do You Live This Out In Terms Of This Natural Right Of Self-Defence?

Rick:

Alright. Check them out there folks. We’ll have links to both of those today at wallBuilderslive.com. You were about to respond to this idea of in modern America, how do you live this out in terms of this natural right of self-defence?

Lucas:

Yeah, that’s right. You were mentioning about before the break about Martin Luther King Jr, it made me recall a book that I looked at called, “This nonviolent stuff will get you killed”. I think that’s the name of the book.

Rick:

That’s a great title.

Negroes With Guns

Lucas:

Yeah, I think it’s a scholarly book. I think it’s an academic press. And it was about the people who carried guns that protected Martin Luther King Jr. Now he himself, you know, didn’t want to carry a gun, but there were all these people around him that were carrying and that in fact were protecting him.

And of course, they weren’t able to protect him at the end, but for many years and not just him, but other people as well. And then there was another book called, “Negroes with guns” I think it was called. And that was an interesting book because he was a guy that actually went to Cuba, I think.

He was a little bit, I think he was kind of a communist actually, but he believed in the right of self-defence too. And so he was involved with this. So broad spectrum of people that really saw the necessity of self-defence during that movement.

Rick:

Yeah. Civil rights activists. Robert Williams.

Lucas:

That’s right. That’s him.

Rick:

Yes. So what about this? If you know today, we’re seeing these mass shootings happen. I mean, you can’t even go to Walmart without worrying about if that’s going to happen anymore. Music festivals, churches, schools. I mean, you’re sitting duck anywhere where they tell you, you can’t, nobody’s going to have a weapon. So the crazy guy knows that’s the place to go. So if you’re going to move about in this nation and have the freedom to go place to place and not be subject to one of these nutcases, what’s the proper action as a citizen?

There Are Two Types Of Self-Defence

Lucas:

Well, I always say there are two types of self-defence, unfortunately. The first type is against the criminal or what I mean by that is the immoral person and I have to say immoral person instead of criminal because so many people become criminals accidentally because of the gun laws, the way the gun laws are written, they make innocent people criminals.

And so that’s why I say immoral person because I mean someone who really is a criminal morally and so there’s a self-defence against that. That’s the first guy.

And then there’s also self-defence against the government. The government, what I mean by that is the one that would regard you as a criminal simply for exercising your right of self-defence and that’s a deep threat to your family and your bank account and your livelihood and if you get caught in the web of some of these unjust, immoral laws that wrongly regard you as a criminal simply because you’re ready to defend innocent life.

It Would Naturally Force The Government To Not Infringe Upon Your Rights

Rick:

And that, you know, the second that you just described, the founders quoted over and over again, that that’s why you would have a more free government is if every citizen was ready and able to defend themselves because it would naturally force the government to not infringe upon your rights. That’s the reason for the second amendment. It’s not, you know, people often think it’s for hunting. No, it’s actually to make sure the government stays in its proper place.

Lucas:

That’s right.

Rick:

So let’s go to that first one you mentioned, being able to defend in the moment. You gave a great talk at Patriot Academy last summer where you hit on a lot of different topics, but one of them was this issue. And I would love it if you could just share the story as you shared it about how the student came up to you, you know, you get a lot of them like that in California that said, what are we going to do about gun violence?

Veterans Day Is A Celebration Of Gun Violence

Lucas:

Oh yeah. Well, I have so many stories, but I’ll tell you this story. I’m not sure if it’s the same story or not. When I’m in the classroom, I like to use the phrases that they’re used to, in different ways. Some people use the word gun violence all the time. And I just say, “Hey, gun violence saves lives if you think about it”. And I usually wait until like Veterans Day or something and Veterans Day is a celebration of gun violence. That’s what it is.

And I’m a veteran and you know, so every time, I can’t think of a time that one of these so-called active shooter situations was not ended with a gun. I can’t think of, you know, there might be where the guy was run over or something, I don’t know.

But it seems like that’s the Terminus of these horrible situations that people find themselves. And so, okay. I’m at Cal State Fullerton, and I think it was, that’s a big state school here in Orange County and I was teaching constitutional law and we had just finished the First Amendment.

We were doing civil liberties and the Parkland thing happened as the Florida thing happened and all these Florida kids were getting their million Twitter followers and that was all in the news and we were just finished the First Amendment, we were now in the Second Amendment and I’m the one teaching the class.

This is who these kids got to teach the class. And I thought, Oh gosh, I cannot, I just have to definitely give this my best here. So I started with the poll. I said, how many of you think that more gun control laws are the answer? About 80% of them said, definitely. 20% were sceptical.

And after we read the text carefully, we looked at the text of the Second Amendment. We looked at the major decisions, Heller vs DC and McDonald versus Chicago. The recent decisions that applied the Second Amendment against the city of Chicago and against the federal jurisdiction there in DC. And these were bad laws. A guy, he was a cop, he couldn’t even have a gun in his house. That was Dick Heller.

Otis McDonald and The NRA

Rick:

And he was a police officer, he’s a cop and he can’t have a gun. That’s unbelievable.

Lucas:

He’s a cop. That’s how crazy these people are. And then in Chicago, Otis McDonald, I said, Google image, Otis McDonald, he’s black. And the cops were saying to this black guy, you have to wait for the police. It’s going to take 20 minutes to get there he said, they said, I don’t care. It takes 20 minutes. You have to wait for the police. You’re good enough as dead. You know, you can’t do that. So he sued and by the way, the NRA paid for that. And the court of appeals has the NRA as the plaintiff and they lost at the court of appeals.

They went to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court, the name of it was now McDonald versus Chicago and he won. He won, they reversed that and by the way, the NRA got attorney’s fees. So all these people in Chicago were actually with their tax money now paying these organizations that they hated.

Rick:

I love it. And huge case by the way. And that’s also the concurring opinion in that by Thomas is where he took me to school on the 14th amendment really changed a lot of my thinking on that and made me dig a little deeper. But that’s a side trail. You and I’ll have that conversation another day. But anyway, back to McDonald and then you, all this was happening.

Lucas:

We were doing this in class and you know, I’m just doing it as faithfully as I can. I’m not, you know, it’s not that I have an axe to grind on this exactly. I mean this is the topic that we’re talking about and after about whatever, how long we spend on that, I think it was a week and a half or so. I did the poll again. It was exactly the opposite. It was 20, 80 now on gun control.

20,80 on Gun Control

Rick: Wow! Total change.

Lucas: So, these people and this is in California. And I say this is during Parkland too. This is right after Parkland. And so I told my students, I said, there are no metal detectors here. There’s no security. We don’t have Disneyland security here. You know, with some guy with a Walkie-Talkie or something, we have nobody. Anybody could just walk on this campus.

And it is a felony in California for a concealed carry permit holder who has been vetted, you know, highly vetted in California, a background check, everything, fingerprints, everything. And it’s a felony to carry a firearm for self-defence on a campus. It can be a model citizen one foot away. And then as soon as you can put your big toe, now you’re a felon. You’re now the opposite of a model citizen just because you are armed and ready to oppose the violent person wanting to take innocent life.

And I told them this and they were looking at me like they’d never heard this before. I said you live here all your life. How could you not know this? You know and look, this is not partisan. I’m just saying this is the facts on the ground. This is where you live. And, you know, so they changed their mind and we moved on to the third amendment. There wasn’t much to say about it.

Rick:

It was done. That was it.

Lucas:

You know, we can talk about whether the governor has the right to put troops in your bedroom now, okay?

Rick:

That’s a phenomenal change though. I mean, literally flipped from 80:20 for more gun control to 20:80.

Reasoning Does Work With Them

Lucas:

So many people are cynical. So many people tell me, you’ll never change anybody’s mind. Don’t even bother. When they talk about discussing and reasoning with people, and I get that. I understand because so many people are so dug in and it’s so polarized. But I’ve seen it myself. I’ve seen it in these kids. They’re hungry to know. And if you have any integrity and they can sense that you have integrity and you’re not just, you know, just to have an agenda that your agenda is truth. They really do listen. And they do change their minds. I’ve seen it firsthand, so it does work. Reasoning does work with them.

Rick:

You’re phenomenally good at it, God’s gifted you in that, and it’s part of why we enjoyed you so much at Patriot Academy last year and hope to get you back this year. I wish we had more time.

Lucas Mather, always great man. Let’s get you on more often. Thanks for being with us today Lucas.

Lucas:

Thank you.

Rick:

That was Lucas Mather. We’re going to tackle this topic a few more times this week, so be sure and listen later in the week as well. Check us out at Wallbuilderslive.com. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.