God’s Hand in Our Nation’s Birth, part 1: 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: 3/13/2023
On-air Personalities: Tim Barton and Rick Green
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Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, it’s WallBuilders. We’re taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Thanks for joining us, be sure to visit our websites today WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com. And of course there at either of those sites, you can make that one time or monthly contribution. We really do appreciate you coming alongside us. Every time you make a donation here. It allows us to invest in the culture, it allows us to train more pastors, more teachers, more students, more young leaders, more legislators, I mean, all the different things that we’re doing. It’s an investment in freedom, it’s literally training up the next generation of leaders, the current generation of leaders, in fact, and that results in good government, you’ve got to have people with a good strong biblical worldview, that understand history, that understand the Constitution. And that’s what we do here at WallBuilders. So thanks so much for checking that out at our website today and considering a contribution. But also just, you know, downloading some of our more recent programs, or sharing them with your friends and family, lots of ways that you can help to save the culture and lots of ways that you can use this program to be a force multiplier, and help to spread the news and educate as many people as possible. Here’s what we’re going to do today. Normally, we’re with David and Tim Barton. Of course, David, America’s premier historian, and our founder, WallBuilders, Tim’s national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator and America’s constitution coach. And normally, we’re all three here, either interviewing someone or doing good news Friday or Foundations of Freedom. But this week, we’ve got a special program we’re going to share with you from the ProFamily Legislators conference a few months back. It’s actually Tim presenting and he’s and he’s just really sharing some of the secret sauce of America’s formula through the stories of those folks in our history that really were exemplary in applying a biblical worldview and exemplary and God using to create the greatest nation in the history of the world. And it really does point to God’s hand in our birth as a nation and you know, frankly, for the first couple of hundred years, just how we acknowledged God, and it was godly principles that made America great. We’ve run from that, we’ve shunned that over the last few decades, really half century, and we’re living with the result of that. So if we can rediscover the original story, we can rediscover the original secret sauce and the formula. And we can begin to implement that again. So let’s just jump right in. Here’s Tim Barton speaking at the ProFamily Legislators conference.
Some of these, I think, maybe even be new stories for some of you who have been here a while before, as you know, WallBuilders we are continually collecting new artifacts, and we’re learning new stories and new history all the time. I want to start with something that I think is a good foundation. In 1813, John Adams wrote Thomas Jefferson a letter, and he said, remember back at the American Revolution, when we were coming together, he said, it was such a diverse group of people that came together. He said in our group, we had Anglicans and Catholics and Presbyterians and Episcopalians, and we had Congregationalists, and we had the Anabaptist. And, he goes through and lists like 20 different groups. He said, we even had some some atheists or some deist in our midst. And he goes this whole list, he said, but what happened is we were able to come together on some unifying themes. And here’s what he reminded Jefferson. He said, the general principles upon which the fathers achieved independence, were the general principles of Christianity. Now, the whole letter’s worth reading, because he actually goes through this, and it says, it wasn’t the specific principles of the Catholics or the specific doctrines of the Anglicans. And he goes through again, this list, he says, but it was the things we all agreed on, we all came together on these principles. And this is, I think, very significant for us, because there are people coming from lots of different directions, even in the conservative movement, right? And this is, I’m going to say, even bigger than just a party name or a party title, right? But in the idea of preserving the Constitution, and the idea of defending religious liberty, we might have some unlikely allies along the way. But if we have the same general principles, we can accomplish some things. And you know, if you look at John Adams, there is a historian who Alice Baldwin, from the 1920s and 1940s. She was in charge of the Women’s University, connected with Duke University, but she wrote a book called The New England Clergy and the American Revolution. And she pointed out that if you look at the Declaration of Independence, every single issue the founding fathers identified in the declaration had been preached from American pulpits prior to 1763. Because she actually went through just all these sermons from these pastors. She said, this was the foundation. And I’m making that connection, because when John Adams says the principles that we established America on were the principles of Christianity, well, then you realize that even the declaration, all of those ideas that the founding fathers put forward came from pastors, it seems illogical and inconsistent to most people because most people haven’t spent time actually going through the documents, actually reading the founders writings. But if you even remember, go back when the first time the Founding Fathers got together, it was September 6 1774. And John Adams that… There’s a whole series of really great letters that we can document a lot of the story that John Adams would write to Abigail on a pretty consistent basis. And John Adams says, Abigail, when when we first got together on September 6, one of the very first motions was that we open in prayer and then there was debates about could we really even do this because we were so divided on our religious sentiments, and the Anglicans weren’t sure… or the congregationalist weren’t sure, they can pray with the Anglicans, because they’ve been persecuted by the Anglicans. And so we weren’t sure. And then, it was Sam Adams, who stood up and said, he’s no religious bigot, and he could pray to God with all kinds of people, Right? As long as we’re asking God for help on this. And so he recommended the Reverend Jacob Duché. So the next morning, the Reverend… and they said, we have to make sure he agrees. But the Reverend Jacob Duché agreed. And the next morning he came, and John Adams is explaining this to Abigail. And there’s several letters where he unfolds more and more of the story. But one of the things he told Abigail, he said, when the Reverend Jacob Duché showed up that morning, he said, you must remember it was just after the cannonade of Boston where Boston now was under siege from the British. And we were all so nervous about what was going to happen for us as individuals and maybe the future of our nation and what are we going to do as colonies. He said, and the Reverend Jacob Duché said that we should spend time reading in scripture that morning. And so he went to the prescribed scriptures for that morning. There were four chapters, he said, but one of them was Psalm 35.
Alright folks, quick break, we’re going to be right back, you’re listening to WallBuilders. Tim Barton teaching at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders, with another moment from American history. America is a special and unique nation. The average length for a constitution in other countries is only 17 years, but we’ve had ours for over two centuries, and our 4% of the world’s population produces 24% of the world’s gross domestic product. And every year we produce more inventions and technology than the other 96% of the world combined. In 1831, Alexei de Tocqueville of France came to America, travelled the country, and in his famous book Democracy in America, reported, the position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional. And it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. This is the origin of the phrase American exceptionalism and affirms that America is unique because of the distinctive ideas on which we’ve been based, including inalienable rights, individualism, limited government, and the importance of religion and morality. For more information about American exceptionalism, go to WallBuilders.com .
We’re back here on WallBuilders. Thanks for staying with us. Let’s jump right back in where we left off with Tim at the ProFamily Legislators conference.
When he read Psalm 35, it is as if God was speaking to us, that morning from Psalm 35. Now part of what he told Abigail in the letter, he says, I must beg you to read that Psalm. This is like the last three sentences of the letter. He said, please read that Psalm. Read it to your friends, read it to your father. And her father was the pastor of their home church. But this is where he explained like this is where they got inspiration. They read Psalm 35. And if you remember Psalm 35, that’s when David was being chased by King Saul. And David writes, Lord deliver me from those who are oppressing, trying to kill me, for I’ve done nothing wrong, and they are seeking my destruction. Well, this is what the founding fathers were reading, as the British are now attacking the Americans. John Adams then goes on and in another letter and he says one of the actions we took in Congress this morning, he says, we’ve appointed a continental fast, millions will be upon their knees at once before their great creator, imploring His forgiveness and blessing, His smile on American Council and arms. Now, this was Congress having a call to prayer. And if you look in the American Revolution, there actually were 15 congressional prayer proclamations. We had one on the table last night, when we went through the American Journey experience. There were four sections. On one of those tables, we actually had an original Continental Congress prayer proclamation. Well, this thing, big picture, if you look at the Continental Congress, what they did was they generally had two kinds of prayer proclamations, you see one’s for prayer and fasting, because we need God to move and intervene, and then they would have times of prayer and thanksgiving. We’re going to thank God for His intervention in what happened. Well, with his very first one was one for prayer and fasting, but it’s also worth noting, I mentioned last night, by 1815, there were more than 1400 official government prayer proclamations, and this is a fact worth remembering. And also, that was 1400 from the New England states alone, that’s where the count came from. So they’re not even including any of the southern colonies. That number would grow significantly. This is just the New England colonies. There had been 1400 by 1815. So when people say, well, the founding fathers weren’t really religious, or they were atheists or agnostics or deists, I just want to know, why did they pray all the time? Right? If you’re suggesting they didn’t believe in God, that doesn’t make any sense. They had prayer proclamations all the time, we’ll go back Continental Congress, the very first Proclamation was for prayer and fasting, because they recognized we’re in a situation that if God doesn’t intervene, we will not survive. Well, as you again, you can track so many fun letters from John to Abigail. Well, in John Adams writings in general, he wrote a letter where he explained there was a miracle because Colonel Smith and his men had just captured a British fort. He said, In fact, we’ve also just captured a 20 gun, British man of war ship, and a 64 gun, British man of wor ship. If you remember history, that actually is pretty impressive, because Great Britain was the number one military power in the world, at that time. As Americans, we were British colonists. So when we start the war for independence, we don’t have a navy. Now, there were actually many founding fathers who were in the business of trade, and so they had ships. So what they would do is say, hey, just get whatever guns we can, get the cannons we can, load them on the ship. Well, these weren’t warships. These were trade ships that they’re trying to now outfit with cannons, what’s really fun, even as you go through the story of the revolution, is seeing the progression we made along the way. But if you go to Washington, DC, the Smithsonian Museum of American History up on the third floor, they have one of the very first ships in the American Navy, it’s called the gunboat Philadelphia. That’s the gunboat Philadelphia. Okay? This is why it matters. John Adams explains, it’s a miracle. We’ve just captured a 20 gun British man of war ship, and a 64 gun British man of war ship. How? Like with rowboats? That’s crazy! But this is the reality. In fact, John Adams in December 1777, he wrote his wife, he said, I was sitting at dinner this evening, and there were men at another table behind me. And I was listening to these men talk. And as these men were talking, they were explaining some of the things that we have seen, some of the miracles happening and taking place. And one of the men said something that I think is the best summary, to explain what’s happening. He said, This is the sentiment the man expressed, he said, it appears to me the eternal Son of God has operating powerfully against the British nation. Now, that was the observation from Americans going, how is this happening? Jesus. Right, like, that’s what’s happening. Jesus is showing up on our side. And John Adams told Abigail, he said, I think that’s the best explanation for what we’re seeing right now. Now, let’s also point out, if the explanation is that Jesus is on our side, that doesn’t sound very secular, right? Well, of course, it’s not. These were people that literally were praying for God to move on their behalf. And so then when they’re seeing miracles, like things that don’t make sense, how is this happening? The only logical explanation in those moments is God must be doing something. Right? Literally, that’s the only logical explanation. Let me walk you through some of this, right? Well, why were some of these people thinking this? Let’s go to the Battle of Long Island. Some of you might be familiar with the story. Let me walk you through, maybe give you a few more details you might not know about. The Battle of Long Island happened in 1776. And in the in the Battle of Long Island, this is where the British thought that they could show up with force, they could divide America as a nation. And then now that America’s separated, they’ll conquer one part then they’ll conquer the next part.
Alright, sorry to interrupt Tim, folks, we got to take a quick break. We’ll be right back, you’re 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 outlined the leaders of faith that have 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. And this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available WallBuilders.com . That’s www.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 at our ProFamily Legislators Conference. Let’s jump right back in with Tim.
In this battle, the British had 30,000 Troops, Washington was leading 9,000 And they were pinned on the river. And as they’re pinned on the river, the British decide that they’re going to sail their fleet up to the river, so the Americans are fully pinned in. Well as the British send out word, hey, move the fleet up this river, let’s pin the Americans in, a storm breaks out. And the storm was so significant that the British commander said we don’t think it’s safe to sail our ships up here. We think we need to be out here where we can navigate better. Well, the storm goes on all day. They can’t move their ships in. Well, Washington saw that there was some movement in the ships and he sees the danger and goes, hey, if they get in here, we’re trapped; we’re done. And so Washington says, we have got to get off this island. So that night, Washington says, you go find anything that floats. Go get every boat you can. Right? And at this point, it’s about a mile across to the other side. And in this time in American history, Swimming was not a normal activity. Right? Most Americans actually didn’t know how to swim. So it wasn’t even an option [that] we can just swim across. They had to find things to float. Washington says go find things that float. Well, also they talk about that as they’re finding things throughout the night, that a breeze came at their back and begin to blow across. So the storm that had been there calms, and then a breeze is at their back, blowing them across, which is seems rather providential. Well, there’s 9,000 troops. As the morning is approaching, there’s more than 1,000 troops who have not yet made it off the island. Washington said he was going to be the last one off the island, right? Because as a military commander, I’m not escaping, leaving my men to die. He said, I’m going to make sure my men get off. If he’s going to be the last one off the island, you can imagine other officers are very nervous at this moment, because this is our Commander of the Military. Sir, we got to get you off. He says, I’m the last one off, not leaving yet. Well, morning is coming. But before morning arrives, a great fog fell so thick, which you actually can go back, there’s a lot of guys who wrote about this, major Benjamin Tallmadge was the guy who was the leader of the Culper spy ring. So the spy ring is something that maybe you’ve heard of that name, and there’s actually a lot of really fun spy rings in the American Revolution, this… the Culper spy ring was one of the more famous, but Benjamin Tallmadge was there that day. And here was his explanation that morning, he said, a very dense fog began to rise, and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments. I recollect this peculiar providential occurrence perfectly well, and so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man at six yards distance. So before morning comes, fog, right, rises up. And six yards!? You can’t make somebody out just a few feet away from you? That’s what was going on. Well, as this is unfolding, Washington is still working to get people off, and let’s go and let’s go. Well, as the fog begins to rise, the British have gotten word, hey, the Americans, they’re moving, you got to go. The British run down, all the American camps are empty. They arrive at the edge of the river in time to see, across the river, as the last ship has reached and arrived across the river, that was Washington on the last ship, and he steps off as the fog lifts and they see across. Now, that doesn’t make any sense at all. Had Washington been captured… Right, which 30,000 and 9,000, plus the fleet, like this should have been the end of the revolution. Had Washington been captured, had the military been conquered, the American Revolution is effectively over and yet it wasn’t over. How in the world do you explain that? Well, no man Controls the Weather. No man can make a storm come up that keeps the Navy from going in, or make it calm, and then a wind at your back and then a fog in the mornings. Like nobody controls that. But they had already been praying for God to intervene. So when these things happen, they recognize Providence is moving on our behalf. Let’s go a little further. Because as you.. this is still 1776. As you go through 1776, when you are coming into December of 1776, at this point, the Americans have been running and getting their tails kicked the whole time. In fact all they pretty much dealt with were defeat because you had the Battle of Long Island which we escaped from, but we certainly didn’t win that battle, but you have the Battle of Kip’s Bay, the battle in White Plains, the battle Fort Washington, the Battle of Fort Lee, and ultimately the loss of all of New York. And as we’ve gone through all of these defeats, all of these challenges, it’s worth keeping in mind that the longest enlistments were usually about one year, and they finished at the end of the year. Because you would sign up in January and go to December. So all we’ve done is lose, enlistments are now running to a close and Washington’s going, okay, like, what are we going to do?
Got to take another break, folks, stay with us, you are 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. We’re going to jump right back in with Tim Barton speaking at the ProFamily Legislators conference.
If all you had to defeats you can know morale was really low. Not only that, desertions were becoming a major issue. And nobody wants to re enlist with the losers. So Washington says, we’re going to have to get a victory so that we can help boost morale, when we can encourage people that this is a fight worth fighting. And so Washington’s thing, what can we do? It’s a Washington’s idea is over in Trenton, because this is December, and over in Trenton, you have the Hessians who are at this fort, and Washington realizes, okay, so Hessians, German, they celebrate Christmas, but they celebrate Christmas in some unique ways. Right? There’s a lot of alcohol involved in this. Which is also a side note. America did not celebrate Christmas for a long time, because they saw how Europeans celebrated it and saw the ungodliness surrounding it. And they said we’re not going to do that, because that’s pagan, what they’re doing. Nonetheless, Washington was like, we will use this to our advantage. So Washington said we’re going to march on Trenton and Washington’s idea was they were going to have a overwhelming force that was going to show up to ensure the victory. So the idea they’re going to have a midnight crossing. And on this midnight crossing, you have General Henry Knox, who is one of the guys there, that’s important because I’m going to read you a note from him later. But the midnight crossing there were going to be 5,400 troops. Now, again, this is December, we’re in New Jersey. So winter is full on set it. And as they’re going to cross, they are going to take across their their horses, their cannons, they’re loading on these flat floats, and they’re going to try to get across. But because of the time of year, there was such thick and heavy ice, that they weren’t able, first of all to get everybody across. And secondly, those they were able to get across, it slowed them down so significantly, they were hours behind their scheduled time of what they thought would arrive. So only 2,400 troops made it across. So your force is now significantly been cut. Right from 5,400 to 2,400 Troops, and the idea was to show up with overwhelming force so it’s going to be super and easy victory, everybody’s encouraged. Well, now we’re not nearly as overwhelming as we thought we were, and we’re super late and getting across, they didn’t get across the 4AM and they still have a 12 mile march to get to Trenton and they were trying to get there before there’s any light out because they already wanted to be surrounding, right, set up. So when light rises, the Hessians realize we’re outnumbered, okay, let’s not have this issue. Well, how in the world are you going to arrive unseen at this point? There’s no way they can do it. You can’t make that march with this many troops and arrive and get set up before there’s light. Well, one of the unfortunate things that happens on the initial perspective was there was a blizzard that comes out. And as they’re going and this blizzard is coming and pounding on them, in the in the battle for Trenton, and this is… I’m getting a little bit ahead of the story. In the battle for Trenton, no Americans died. The only Americans that died that night, died on the march in the blizzard. Because even at this point, Americans so often were just farmers who had enlisted and they didn’t have winter clothes. Right? They weren’t outfitted. They weren’t ready for this. So literally two men froze to death on the march. Well, if you’re an American, you’re going, God, come on.
Alright folks we’re out of time for today. This is segment one out of three segments to share Tim’s entire presentation at the ProFamily Legislators conference. So make sure you tune in with us again, tomorrow and the next day. By the way, quick note, we are opening the Patriot Academy campus in Fredericksburg, Texas. And of course, our WallBuilders audience invited to that, as always, so many of you have joined us before on our constitutional defense trips out to Nevada, or to Raton, New Mexico. Well, now we’re going to be doing that in Texas on our very own property. The Patriot Academy campus, the groundbreaking is happening, the official ceremonial groundbreaking is happening April 22. And we would love to have you there and a part of that. Go to PatriotAcademy.com to learn more, totally free to join us for the big celebration. We’re going to have John Rich. We got Lauren Boebert with us, congresswoman from Colorado. She’s one of our Patriot Academy, grads and Constitution Alive. Tim Barton will be with us. We’re just going to have a great weekend. It’s going to be phenomenal. And you’re welcome to stay over and join us for the very first constitutional defense course on the Patriot Academy campus. What a great opportunity to go through your handgun defense course and get your constitution training. Would love to have you for that inaugural class. Again, check it out at PatriotAcademy.com . We’ll pick up tomorrow where we left off with Tim. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders.
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