God’s Hand in Our Nation’s Birth, part 3: Today we head over to the ProFamily Legislators Conference to hear from Tim Barton. He gives an in depth presentation on God’s hand in our nation’s birth. Tim presents several stories from the revolutionary time period, from prayer in the ContinentalCongress to Washington’s crossing of the Delaware. He steps through example after example of God’s providence in the lives of our founding fathers.
Air Date: 3/15/2023
On-air Personalities: Tim Barton and Rick Green
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Welcome to WallBuilders. Thanks for joining us today where we’re taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. We’re in the middle of a… actually not the middle. We’re at the end of a three part series. Tim Barton, speaking at the ProFamily Legislators Conference, we’re going to jump right back in where we left off yesterday. I’m Rick Green, America’s constitution coach, David and Tim Barton, normally, we’re all three here, talking about whatever that hot topic of the day is. But we’re going to hand it off to Tim and let him handle that. We’re going to the ProFamily Legislators Conference and picking up where we left off yesterday. Here’s Tim, speaking on the history of America and telling some of those great stories that made America the greatest nation in the history of the world.
Paul Revere rode to the home of the Reverend Jonas Clark. Why? Well, Jonas Clark actually was a cousin of John Hancock. But they also were known to be friends. Jonas Clark was known to be a mentor of John Hancock and Sam Adams. Well Paul Revere arrives, and he said, hey, man, the British are coming, you guys, y’all need to get out of here. And Hancock and Adams are a little skeptical. Like, I’m not sure we just need to run. That’s not the right tone we want to set. And Jones Clark says no, you need to get away. Well, they ended up being out on a hillside. So they’re separating themselves. But they watched as the battle unfolds. And if you remember, in the American Revolution, when you go through, and you have the first four major battles. Well top right you have the shot around the world and then you have Lexington Green. Top left is Concord Bridge. Bottom left is a… battle on the road back to Boston. Bottom right, is the Battle of Bunker Hill or Breeds Hill. As this unfolds, we can point out all the pastors who were involved along the way, which we know Jonas Clark, there were 73 men at Lexington Green who opposed more than 700 British. All 73 men were from the church of the Reverend Jonas Clark. When you get to Concord Bridge top left the Reverend William Emerson there’s 300 men from his church, they show up to oppose the British. When you go to the road back to Boston, there’s actually reports of I think it’s dozens of pastors. I remember one list being like 19, but I think it’s actually more than two dozen. Nonetheless, there were 4,000 to 5,000 Americans that oppose the British on the road back to Boston, and almost all the Americans were led by their pastors. The Reverend Phillips Payson, the Reverend Benjamin Balch, we can go down this list. It’s a very long list, but it literally was pastors leaving the people to battle. When you go to the bottom right, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle of Breeds Hill, the Reverend Joseph Willard had two entire companies, which is a lot of people in your church. Well, this is actually a pretty normal thought. If you go to the revolution. And especially after all this action’s happening up in the Boston area, Massachusetts, Americans began to respond. And you have people like the Reverend David Avery from Vermont, who led 20 parishioners, the Reverend Stephen Farrar from New Hampshire led 97 parishioners, the Reverend Joseph Willard had his two full companies, John steel from Pennsylvania at 900 parishioners. 900 men and your church? That’s a mega church, today. Right? I mean, that’s huge, back then. Also, the Reverend John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg from Virginia. If you start going through even some of these specific battles. New Jersey, let’s go back there. In New Jersey, one of the leaders in New Jersey was the Reverend James Caldwell. Now he actually was invited to be a Commander of the Military of New Jersey or for the militia. But he said, no, I don’t think it would be right for me as a pastor to be commander of all the militia. However, the deacon from his church became the commander. He said, I’ll just follow him. But every single Sunday, they would have church service. So the deacon from his church, who’s the commander of New Jersey forces, is actually under pastor and pastors working for him. So like he’s incredibly involved in this whole process. But what’s really interesting and part of the story, the British actually put out a assassination order for James Caldwell, because of his influence. And this wasn’t totally unique. The British actually targeted pastors in a lot of battles. And it’s also why when British would march into towns, they would often burn churches to the ground, because they wanted to send a message to pastors, like you have got to shut up or stop. This is not going to be acceptable in this battle in the British colonies anymore. However, James Caldwell one of the favorite stories I have of him is during one of the battles, the Americans running out of ammunition and his men were fighting… and not ammunition, running out of wadding, and as they’re running out of wadding, if you’re familiar with muskets, especially the old, smooth bores, as you’re pouring your powder, and then your ball in, well the wadding is what keeps it all packed down. That way once you’ve cocked it, you pour some powder in the flash pan, your flint hits the metal, catches the powder in flash pan. Everything is compact there at the back. So that spark catches the powder on the inside and fires it out. Well, if it’s not packed down and you’re moving your musket up and down, that ball can roll the end, the powder can go forward. So without wadding you cannot properly fight or fire and they ran out of wadding in the middle of the battle.
Alright sorry to interrupt Tim folks. We got to take a quick break. We’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In 1963, the United States Supreme Court decided that voluntary Bible reading could no longer be part of the school day. Founding Father, Benjamin Rush, known as the father of public schools under the Constitution, pointedly warned that the Bible shouldn’t be read in schools, in reference to all other books. He specifically warned that if America ever cease promoting biblical principles in schools, then we would waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. He was right. We now have 7 million Americans in prison, on probation or on parole, and the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Sadly, this was unnecessary, but is the result of no longer teaching the morals of the Bible in schools. For more information about the founding fathers views on the positive impact of the Bible in schools go to WallBuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders. Thanks for staying with us, today. We’re jumping right back in with Tim. Tim Barton speaking at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. If you joined us in the middle of today’s program, this is a special presentation he did for legislators from across the nation [a] few months back in our ProFamily Legislators Conference, let’s jump right back in with Tim.
They were at the edge of town. James Caldwell said, men follow me. He ran to the local church. He ran inside the church. And you see in his arm he’s actually holding those are a stack full of hymn books. The hymn books were Isaac Watts hymnbooks. And the famous line he had when he held it up. He said, let’s give ’em Watts boys! Put Watts into them! And then he starts handing out Isaac Watts hymn books, they start taking out pages and they continue fighting the battle. Right? Like this, it’s a little different than a lot of pastors like we know and think about today, but it’s just… it’s worth noting, this is the kind of pastors that were in early America, the kinds of things we saw, the Reverend John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg is probably my favorite pastor from early America for lots of reasons. But he was a pastor, and also part of the Virginia assembly. And January of 1776, the Virginia assembly was meeting in Williamsburg. And while they’re meeting in Williamsburg, the British came into Williamsburg, 200 troops. And just like at Lexington Green and Concord, where the British were going to go take all the gunpowder. Right? Take all the munitions. And it’s also a little interesting to me going back in American history, that tyranny we dealt with an America is like tyranny, everywhere else in the world, one of the first moves of tyrants is disarmed the people, right, make sure that they cannot defend themselves and fight and so the king is like, hey, take all the gunpowder take their guns, and then we won’t have issues with them. So in Williamsburg 200 troops came and they begin going door to door and they begin taking gunpowder disarming the people. Also at this point, the British appointed governor had already disbanded the legislature because in 1775, when Patrick Henry gives his famous Give me liberty or give me death speech, and Virginia votes, that they’re going to separate. The governor’s like, alright, you guys are disbanded. And Patrick Henry was like, alright, cool. Hey, guys, let’s come down to this building and keep meeting. So Patrick Henry gets elected as the kind of interim governor at this point. Well, the legislature’s meeting in January 1776. The British come into town, disarming the people. Word gets to the guys in the legislature that what’s happening out right now in the farmhouses, the townrows. So Patrick Henry sends out a call, sends riders. Hey, go get everybody you can gather all the people you can come back, we got to put a stop to this. It was estimated that 5,000 farmers responded to the call. So 5,000 farmers show up and a lot of these people are already disarmed. Right? But you show up with a axe, a hatchet, right, a pitchfork, whatever you got. There’s 200 British and they got all the guns, but they’re single shot muskets. And there’s 5,000 Americans. Well, Patrick Henry gives his speech about how we will not allow this tyranny to stand. He sends them out to go find the British. So these Americans go find the British. They actually find them on the road. They surround them. And one of the American leaders of that little 5,000 militiamen, they said, okay, you basically get two options. You can return all of our stuff and we’ll let you go. Or you can offer to buy all of our stuff at prices we agree to. But there’s no way you’re taking another step with all of our stuff. And the British officers said, we are so sorry. We met no problems, have all your stuff back. And they literally returned all the stuff. Well, the Americans come back and Patrick Henry, at this point says this is an act of war. Right? This is not the way that the British should be treating us and one of the things that was very clear for the Americans is the British were violating the basic British bill of rights for all American colonists. The king had voided that and so Patrick Henry says we’re going to have to go to war. So Patrick Henry told all of the statehouse, he said you need to go back and start raising local militias. Well, John Peter Muhlenberg, he was there when all that happened. And Patrick Henry said, I want you to go back raise a militia. So he goes and he gets on his horse. He rode back to His hometown, which was Woodstock, Virginia, nearly 200 plus miles away, and he made it back in time for Sunday service. When he got back in time for Sunday service, back when then there was elevated pulpits because there was no sound system. So it gets up in his elevated pulpit and he begins talking to his congregation. And he reads from Ecclesiastes chapter three, which starts off, there’s a time and a season and purpose for everything under heaven. He got to verse eight, which says there’s a time for war and there’s a time for peace. It was reported that he then closed his Bible. He told them, this is no longer a time of peace. This is now a time of war. And he explained why, explain what just happened. Explain the call from Patrick Henry. He says, we are now going to war. Let’s close in prayer. And like you can just imagine like everybody in the church is like where, what? And now we’re, okay we’re praying but like what? So we closes them prayer, and then what the common practice was the pastor would dismount pulpit, they would go back in the vestry room and they would disrobe well, he stayed in the pulpit, and he began to disrobe in the pulpit, and as he disrobed, he revealed that he was wearing the uniform of a Continental Army officer. And after he shows his uniform, right, you can imagine as he’s looking at the congregation, he then dismounts and there was a single aisle down the middle of church, he began to walk down the aisle, and he told his church, he says brethren, and we came to this land to practice our freedoms. But if we won’t get involved and fight to defend our freedoms, we will lose everything that we came here to enjoy. He says, I’m going to fight to defend freedom. Who wants to go with me? Well, they had a drummer, they call for enlistment. 300 men signed up and they became the eighth Virginia brigade in this militia. Well, as you go forward, he’s involved in so many different battles. He was there at Valley Forge, which also this is the painting of the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. He is one of the guys in that painting. He’s a Major General at this time, and also the Muhlenberg barracks there at Valley Forge, they have barracks that his men stayed in, trying to navigate that. Well as he gets very involved. he has a brother, who is also a pastor. Now their father was the founder of the Lutheran Church in America, and their father immigrated from Germany. They get here, they start the Lutheran church, and his brother’s a pastor in New York. This is his brother, Frederick Douglass Muhlenberg. So Frederick writes, John Peter and says, okay, you have lost your mind. Because the job of a pastor is to stand in the pulpit. He says, If you want to join the military, stop being a pastor, but don’t think you can serve God in the pulpit and be in the military. Well, actually part of the letter he wrote him, he says, you would have acted for the best if you had kept out of this business from the beginning, I now give you my thoughts in brief, I think you were wrong. Well, John Peter does not agree with this at all. And he writes back and he says brother. He says, You’re telling me I’m wrong for getting involved? He says, but do you think that your freedom will be preserved if it wasn’t for people like me fighting to defend your freedom? The only reason you can even be in your pulpit on Sunday, and teaching, is because of people like me. He says, and let me clear this up. He says, I’m a clergyman, it’s true, but I’m a member of society as well as the poorest laymen and my liberties is as dear to me as any man. Shall I then sit still? Heaven forbid it! I am convinced it is my duty to do so, and duty I owe to God and my country.
Got to take another break folks, stay with us, you are listening to WallBuilders.
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 for 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 into providential view of American and Christian history. This is available WallBuilders.com. That’s www.WallBuilders.com .
Welcome back to WallBuilders. We’re going to jump right back in with Tim Barton speaking at the ProFamily legislators conference.
He’s not saying I’m going to be a pastor or a soldier, like no, you actually can do two things at once. You can love God and love America. That’s allowed. That’s what he’s telling his brother. Well his brother writes him back and says, no, you’re totally wrong. And the only reason you have problems in Virginia is because you have hotheads like Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, he said, in New York, we’re much more level headed. And if you would just be more like us in New York, you wouldn’t have problems. Well, the reality is the British had just not arrived in New York yet. In 1777, the British marched into New York City. At this point, they were already targeting churches. There were 19 churches in New York City, they burned 10 of them to the ground. They went through and destroyed the other nine breaking windows throwing out pews. And he actually watched as his church was burned to the ground. When the British burned his church to the ground, he had an epiphany. Right? I think I need to get involved. Well, what’s interesting about this is right, even when the declaration is done, and we separate from Great Britain, we were English colonies. But once the Founding Fathers realized, like we are free independent nation, the founding fathers go back to their states, and they begin writing their state constitutions. If you go back and look at the early colonies that became states, see who was part of their original Congress’s. See who was a part of writing their constitutions. And what’s worth noting, is in the original state congresses, the places where they’re writing these constitutions, you will find that in so many of these states, it actually were pastors who were heavily involved in helping write even the state constitutions. Pastors were part of everything we did, and let’s go forward. So let me go back to Frederick Augustus and walk him forward. So Frederick decides he’s going to get involved. He actually left New York, he went to Pennsylvania, he ran for a state legislative seat in Pennsylvania, he became the Speaker of the House of Pennsylvania. And then when we get a constitution in 1787, it’s ratified, it’s enacted in 1789. First Congress meets, he was chosen to be a member of the first Congress, but not only was he chosen remember the first congress, if you actually look at something like the Bill of Rights in the Bill of Rights, there are only two signatures on the bottom of the Bill of Rights. John Adams, who was the vice president, and the Speaker of the House, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg. His name was on a bill of rights, why? He was the Speaker of the House of Congress. And he wasn’t the only pastor there. There was over 10 pastors who were part of… there’s only 90 members of the first Congress. 10 of them pastors, and they actually helped as they’re drafting what became known as the Bill of Rights and the Bill of Rights, when we hear today, well separation of church and state. No, no, no, it’s that Congress doesn’t get to pick a denomination and make everybody be that, and that no government entity can ever stop our free exercise of religion. That’s what they were doing. Why? Because literally, his church had been burned to the ground. But here’s what’s, again, it’s worth noting, if you look in early America, after we do the Constitution, when it’s going to be ratified, as it’s going to be ratified, in many states and went to churches for the ratification committees and the meetings. Why would they go to churches? Well, because at that time, most legislators didn’t meet hardly at all. So where are you going to find people? Well, generally, in some of these places it’s going to be churches, and pastors say, right, let’s host it. We got a big building. Pastors were involved the whole time. In fact, there were dozens and dozens of pastors who actually were ratification delegates approving the Constitution. And as I mentioned, the Bill of Rights, down here at the bottom, that’s Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg’s signature and some of the other pastor there. His brother John Peter was also a member of the first congress, other pastors Abiel Foster, Benjamin Contee, Abraham… and I’m saying, pastors, some of these guys were chaplains in the revolution. So they might not have pastored a church at the time they’re signing, but their religious activity there as a chaplain, it’s very clear their faith and their ministerial position. With that being said, let me conclude by thought from JT Headley. JT Headley, explained that the patriotic clergy of the revolution were the sound is statesman of the time. If you want to know what to do, don’t listen to a politician, listen to pastor, because they’re going to tell you politically what we need to do. Well, that’s super interesting, because today, most pastors don’t want to get involved in politics, which is actually why politics is as dirty as it is, because pastors haven’t gotten involved in politics. If you look at America, what is unquestionably true, America never would have become America had it not been for the influence of Christianity and the church. Unquestionably, right. Like not, even this just should not even be a controversial thing. And this is also… you guys were given this, but I want to make the connection for you. If you look at the founders Bible, this is one of the significant things about the founders Bible, too, is because in the founders Bible, we actually… There’s hundreds of articles, there’s 1000s of quotes, but we actually are using the founders Bible to show people the direct connection the Bible had on shaping America, how it shaped the Founding Fathers, how to shape policy, or even state constitutions or law, legislative process, education, medicine. It’s an incredible resource. And I want to finish now with a practical application thought for you guys.
Alright folks, got to have one more break today. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders.
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard the wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties about all the things that makes America exceptional. And you might be thinking, as incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area, and share with my group, whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event or activity. If you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com . And there’s a tab for scheduling. And if you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bios, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event. To bring this information about who we are where we came from, our religious liberties and freedoms go to the WallBuilders website and bring a speaker to your area.
Welcome back to WallBuilders. Let’s go back to Tim Barton at the ProFamily Legislators conference for the conclusion of his presentation a few months ago with those legislators
We already talked about the early battles. My dad mentioned on Thursday night, right as the first battles are unfolding, it was all local, right? As you look at Lexington Green or Concord, the battle of the Road Back to Boston or Bunker Hill Breeds Hill. As this is happening, nobody calls for George Washington, right? Nobody’s looking for national Solutions, because they recognize the problem we have right here is in our own backyard. We got to solve we’re doing here. So they’re not looking for a federal solution. They’re acting locally. But let me just give you also big picture. Not only are they acting locally, if you go to Wikipedia. Wikipedia, and I’m not saying this in a critical way, although usually that’s what I do when I talk about Wikipedia. Wikipedia identifies there were 263 battles in the American Revolution, because it includes a lot of naval encounters and naval skirmishes. But let’s say there’s more than 250, because Mount Vernon says there’s 230, but Mount Vernon doesn’t… and they actually have a list. Mount Vernon doesn’t include some of the battles like in the Bahamas between naval encounters and vessels, right. But so if you look at kind of some of the peripheral stuff, there’s more than 250 battles in revolution. George Washington was a part of 17 battles. How many did he win? 6. Now, some of those wins, he won because he was on the field when the British left. It’s not a resounding victory, right? It’s like the football game, you had seven turnovers, and so on the game, okay. You won. You played awful, right? Washington is the father of America. He’s the hero of the revolution. Let me point out, Washington wasn’t there all that much and he lost more than he won. In fact, in the entire revolution, we lost way more battles than we won. But we won the war because we didn’t stop fighting the battle. What I want to encourage you with is, as we look back, even lessons we learned from American history, they knew they had to fight this battle, whether they won or not. But they also had the courage, the faith, and the perseverance that they were going to continue on, regardless of the outcome because they knew it was the right thing to do. As long as they could keep fighting, they were going to keep fighting. And with the incredible intervention of Providence along the way, God helped them to win the war, even though they lost majority of battles. As we look at what happened on Tuesday, a lot of people feel like, man, we lost so many battles. It’s okay the war’s not over, right. The revolution lasted seven or eight years by conventional measurements. But if you go back to the founding fathers, the founding fathers think the revolution was more than a decade because of when the British first started getting involved in the tyrannical practices. And actually the first shot that shed blood… John Adams said the very beginning the revolution was the bloodshed on King Street, the Boston Massacre, that was 1770. Revolution, peace treaty that ended it was 1783. That’s 13 years. We don’t win wars, generally speaking historic contexts. Now many wars are won very quickly. That’s pretty unique when that happens. What is generally true are there are campaigns that last a long time. And in the American story, we lost an awful lot of battles, but because people had the courage to stay involved, and keep fighting what needed to be fought, we won the war. I want to encourage you, not only the religious Foundation of America, I want to encourage you, as you are going to engage in battles going forward. Don’t despair because you lost the battle. Stay faithful, committed and courageous [to] what God’s called you to do, and if we will, I really do believe we can win this war. Kelly Shackleford was just telling us, we’re literally winning this war on so many fronts right now. Do not let the enemy come in and lie and discourage you, and tell you because we lost some battles here and there that we might win this war. We lost the majority of battles in the American Revolution. You know what we won? The war. America’s a free independent nation right now, because our founding fathers were not discouraged by losses along the way. Don’t be discouraged by losses along the way. Stay engaged and Let’s win this war.
Alright folks that was Tim Barton speaking at the ProFamily Legislators Conference. If you missed the previous day or two, where we compiled this presentation, it’s all available at our website WallBuildersLive.com . There in the archive section, you can get all three programs. As we’re closing out today, one more reminder, April 22 Is the groundbreaking of the Patriot Academy campus. We hope that you can join us there. Tim Barton will be with us, John Rich, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and a whole lot of other folks. We’re going to have a fantastic celebration as we begin this new chapter for Patriot Academy and for WallBuilders. We’re going to have people coming in from all over the nation, every week getting the Patriot Experience, a handgu defense class, constitution training at Independence Hall. Get to be a legislator for a couple of days and really learn how the system works. You can go home and work better with your legislature or maybe even run for the legislature. But this April 22 groundbreaking really important day we would love to have you there and a part of it and stay over and be a part of the very first constitutional defense course on the Patriot Academy campus. Check it out today at PatriotAcademy.com Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders.
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