God’s Not Dead, We The People – With God’s Not Dead, We The People – With David White: What is the new movie really about, and why has it struck such a cord in our society? Is it biblically true or culturally relevant? Does homeschooling produce better results? Why do principles matter? Tune in to hear this amazing interview with David White, as he discusses the new movie, God’s Not Dead: We the People!

Air Date: 11/15/2021

Guest: David White

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. It’s WallBuilders Live. We are taking on the hot topics of the day always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. You can learn more about WallBuilders Live at our website, which is aptly named wallbuilderslive.com. Yeah, wallbuilderslive.com, that’s where you go for archives of the program, listen to the last few weeks and months that you might have missed. It’s also where you can learn a little bit about us as the host.

I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I am here with Tim Barton and David Barton. Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. David Barton is America’s premier historian. He’s the founder here at WallBuilders. And I am honored to get to work with these guys. Learn more wallbuilderslive.com. And while you’re there, we’re a listener-supported program. You know what that means? That means this program works because you support us.

So please consider making that one-time or monthly contribution right there at wallbuilderslive.com. It’s one of the best investments in freedom you can possibly make. It allows us to train more pastors, more legislators, more young people, put our program out to more people, get this truth in the hands of as many Americans as possible so we can restore our constitutional republic.

Folks, you know it, I don’t have to say it, I mean, you know, we’re at the precipice. You know, we’re dealing with literally a culture war right now. We’re at a place where we don’t know where America is going to go, and whether we’re going to continue down this road to socialism, and literally communism, or we’re going to come back to the basic principles of freedom. But we need to do our duty to push that the right direction. And when you give to WallBuilders Live, you’re helping to push in the right direction, you’re getting truth in the hands of as many people as possible.

Alright, David and Tim, later in the program, David White will be with us. People might know him as Pastor Dave from all 472 God’s Not Dead, okay, I’m just kidding. I mean, many God’s Not Dead movies they’ve all been pretty good. This one is, I think, really good, mainly because the content is amazing, but also because they upped their game, I think, on the storytelling part of it as well. So, pretty exciting that they’re taking on this whole issue of homeschooling, of parental rights, I mean, it’s a timely, timely topic for the American people.

David:

You know, it’s interesting that the perception is even changing the myth that you can have a movie on homeschooling now. And it wasn’t just a decade or two ago that that was kind of like a virus you wanted to avoid or you made fun, you had homeschool jokes. And they were the weird kids and whatever. And now, we’ve had previous programs. We’ve been talking about how much this is blown up statistically. It’s taken off across the country. It’s no longer the weird folks that do homeschooling.

Tim:

Well, let’s not sideline too much. There still are a lot of homeschool jokes. There still are some weird people that homeschool, we’re friends with some of them. With that being said, though…

Rick:

I thought you’re talking about us?

Tim:

Well, actually, I mean, I didn’t say your name.

Rick:

Now that you mentioned it?

Tim:

I didn’t mention your kid’s names. But anyway, not to digress, what is really interesting about the homeschool movement is even though statistics have been on the side of homeschooling for various reasons, a lot of increased academic performance. And again, a lot of reasons you could argue this because when you have more one-on-one work with a teacher to a student, the student tends to do better. And in a homeschool environment, obviously, the ratio is much better than in different schools.

Generally speaking, in a homeschool environment, there’s a different focus, there’s a different mentality, there’s oftentimes a religious reason a lot of people homeschool, and so there’s a biblical foundation. And we as Christians certainly believe that a biblical foundation makes a very big difference in a kid’s life. And depending on the school they’re in, if they’re in a public school, they’re certainly not in a place where they’re getting the same level of biblical foundation as they would in a Christian homeschooling.

And unfortunately, there’s even a lot of Christian schools right now that have not maintained the Christian in the name of their school being a Christian school. And they’ve become a maybe more polite public school, and sometimes not even always a more polite, sometimes Christian schools can be pretty bad at times too. But this is why you see the growth of the homeschool movement. And it’s not just that homeschooling has become so much more attractive all of a sudden, it’s that people are realizing how ugly so many things are in the public school, and they’re recognizing of all of the imperfect options, homeschooling might be the best imperfect option given the depravity we are now seeing an increase rates in public school.

David:

And the other thing I’d say about homeschooling, and I don’t think people talk about it from this aspect but I think it really goes back to a much healthier pedagogy or means of teaching. And if I go back to things we’ve talked about over previous years, I’m a huge fan of the one room schoolhouse that we had in America for generations, because in that setting you did not have classes, you had to meet every single kid at their knowledge level and take them forward from that.

And what we do in the class model that we have at Christian schools a lot of times and definitely in all public schools is we put everybody the same age in there and you can have some really smart people and some really dumb people and it means you got to shoot at the center of the class. And so some people are going to be bored because they’re not challenged and some people’s way over their head so you instantly get mediocrity. That’s what’d you get. But when you have that one…

Tim:

At best, you can get mediocrity.

David:

Yeah, at best, that’s right. And so when you have that one-room schoolhouse, you’re having to deal with every student as an individual, and you also have the older kids teaching the younger kids, they become teachers and they learn to better themselves.

Tim:

And this is also in one of the school I just thought where you had levels you didn’t have grades, right. This is one of the things that progressives came in. And of the many things progressives changed in education, one of the things was to go to age-based educational system or a graded system where you have your first through your 12th grades and every year you go to the next grade. As opposed to an early education with the one-room schoolhouse when there were levels, it doesn’t matter what point you’re at during the year. If someone has mastered the content for level one, they go to level two; if someone at level two has mastered the content, they go to level three. This is something also that’s very unique.

Because generally speaking, in the education system today, you’re not advancing from grade to grade during the school year, you’re not completing two or three grades during the school year. But when students were mastering content, people go at different paces in different levels. And there are some students that genuinely can go through multiple levels in one year. And there are some students, it might take them a couple years to get through a level.

But when you are doing education based on the needs of the individual student, of the individual in front of you, then it’s not this cookie cutter kind of socialist mantra that everybody has to be the same, you treat everybody as an individual and everybody does better because you’re helping meet the needs and challenge them where they are, and helping them grow based on their capabilities and abilities. And that’s one of the uniqueness of the one-room schoolhouse.

And dad, as you mentioned, when you have everybody in the same room together, you also have a lot of review going on. If you’re in level two, three, or four, and five, and you’re hearing what’s happening with level one, and then you’re helping teach level one which is helping re instill those things in you that you’ve already mastered and memorized, or whatever you’ve done, there were so much of a big unit production that was so much more effective academically speaking than what we are seeing today. And again, this is where that one-room schoolhouse is just a very different look and feel, but it had a much better result.

David:

The second on the progressive model is to put people in groups and that’s what they do right now. You have the oppressed and the oppressor. We’ve talked about that with Marxism. Right now it tends to be black and white, but at times it can be rich and poor, and it can be whatever else it is. But in God’s model, you have individuals, you’re not broken into groups. He looks at every single individual and treats them accordingly. And so homeschooling is much more of a biblical model. And it’s interesting that’s now making movies, you know, God’s Not Dead.

Tim:

Yeah. And along those lines, right, obviously, right now we’re seeing issues with parental rights. And so I mean, Rick, as you mentioned, having a movie that deals with homeschooling and parental rights is so unique. What’s also interesting about this is just knowing the way movies are made and produced. This is not something that they waited to see what was happening at some of these issues at some of the city councils, or some of the school boards, where some of the nonsense that’s being tight, and they said, hey, let’s make a movie about that real quick. They would have had to have started this possibly years ago in the script, n the writing.

David:

That’s right.

Tim:

And so in the midst of this, it’s just interesting how, obviously, as people of faith we believe that God leads and guides and directs us and God gets you in the right place at the right time. Clearly, God was doing something in somebody’s heart and mind to give them some ideas, some insight, some perspective, to say, you know what, we should do a movie about this. And at the time, I mean, literally, if we go back three or four years ago, some of the things that we are seeing now, we just said, okay, that’s crazy, nobody’s actually going to do a mandate and fire you for not getting it like the vaccine. That’s crazy talk.

If we go back a couple years, some of the things we are seeing today might seem crazy. And I can only imagine, as a writer, a producer, if you’re doing things like that in a movie, that might seem a little odd or farfetched or strange. But I would say at this point, it’s clear that God was helping give a message that was going to be vital to be communicated to people about maybe defending parental rights or maybe the value of homeschooling, the opportunity of homeschooling, whatever the case might be, and this is obviously not just a shameless plug for homeschooling this is the reality of recognizing that the greatest gift that God gives parents is their children.

And you just read Psalms, these are the arrows in the quiver that God has given you to be able to make a difference in the culture around you. And this is something, again, every parent knows their kids are so special, they care so much about their kids they value the future for their kids, and so then to have a movie that’s going to echo the sentiments that are biblically true, and now so culturally relevant is kind of fun.

Rick:

Yeah, you got you guys both hit on the two things that stood out the most to me. And one was just the fact that homeschooling does produce better results, and they dropped that in it really powerful times during the movie. But then the second thing, just that legal question of parental rights, and who do the kids belong to and who gets to make those decisions and they nail that constitutionally as well in the movie. So very excited about the impact that this can have. David White’s going to be our guest when we come back from the break. He’s the one that stars in all the God’s Not Dead movies as Pastor Dave and also cofounder of Pure Flix, so David White when we come back on WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

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 we, 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 and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Excited to have David White with us from God’s Not Dead: We The People new movie out right now. David, God bless you, brother. You guys do great work, and I appreciate you coming on.

David:

Hey, thanks so much for having me.

Rick:

Well, fantastic story. It felt like I was literally watching a WallBuilders story about the Founding Fathers. You guys even quote Gouverneur Morris, I was impressed, man. You did your research for the movie.

David:

Yeah. Yeah. No, the writers have always been I think that way, on the God’s Not Dead movies, for sure. You know, I got to give them props, for sure. And then Tommy Blaze came in on actually the third and this one installment as well. Yeah, they know their stuff. Along the way they pitched it to us, and you’re like, wow, I didn’t know that was true. There’s that whole thing about the astronauts and having communion was the first on the moon, the first liquid that they consumed it’s pretty cool.

Rick:

Yeah, I love you all had some good stories about some of the statues. You’ve basically got a tour of the Capitol in some of those cool ways. And I love the cold open with Reagan’s speech on freedom is a fragile thing. I mean, that’s a quote we use all the time as a powerful opening. Well done, man. Well done. Why this topic you could not have known when you all made this installment of the movie? What was going to happen in Loudoun County, and that parental rights, and all of those issues, were going to have come to a head right when you were going to release the movie. So God’s timing for sure. But kind of take us through that, for you guys, as a company, what made you decide to do this particular story?

David:

Yeah, it’s interesting. I mean, people are always saying, hey, did you have the foresight for the “God’s Not Dead” franchise and everything? And it really just started out with that one wanting to bring conversation of God back into the classroom. Originally, it was with all these court cases were happening in these colleges. And that’s what kind of spurred the first one along. And then what we found is as it’s gone through, it’s truly life imitating art. And there’s no way you know it because you’re sometimes a year and a half out from when you start a script.

But when this came up, we just felt for whatever reason, we obviously would pray about it. We say, Lord, what do you want us to do? Is there even a reason to do another installment in it? And it always seems like he brings it in and that installment really mirrors what’s going on in the culture, and this one as well. Never would have even imagined because the script was done before the pandemic.

And so, homeschooling, I didn’t even know really much about homeschooling before. Obviously, when you go into the pandemic, and then everybody is forced to really homeschool, and you have a whole appreciation for what that is. And then and then as you get into it now, you know what they’re doing in the schools and how far is too far when the government is coming into our lives in different ways. And yeah, I wish I could say that was me, but it wasn’t me. So I truly believe that it’s by God’s grace and by his leading.

Rick:

Yeah, I thought back in March in April, when the pandemic first started, I said the respect for homeschool moms is going through the roof right now. So everybody else has to try to manage this thing. So I think it hits home for homeschooler for sure. And I say that as a homeschool dad and look, I was homeschooled as a kid. In fact, in one of the scenes when Jeanine got the State of Arkansas seal behind her as the Judge, it hit home for me because I was homeschooling in Arkansas eight, nine-years-old when it was you hid under the bed when somebody knocked on the door. I mean, I can remember watching my pastor on the news as the state was coming after our church and the people that were homeschooling. So this was real for me 40 years ago.

So it hits home for homeschoolers for sure. I think every homeschool family absolutely should watch this. But you all bring it together at the end basically saying, look, this is about all of us. I mean, this is about just basic freedoms. And I thought that was really important to do because we need that reminder about what true freedom is, but it also made the movie applicable to everybody.

David:

Yeah, there’s no doubt about it, obviously, homeschooling has grown. It’s doubled, I guess. It went from 2.5 million to over 5 million families that are homeschooling today. But it really is the broader, that’s just really the backdrop of it. And then it’s really about freedom about where’s the line that the government’s not supposed to cross over into our homes, into our freedoms. Don’t forget about the sacrifice that was paid for these freedoms.

And to just bolt them out, or take statues down, or do all this stuff that’s been happening in our society, I think it’s truly a call. And that’s why I think people are really getting on board. It’s a call to stand up for our beliefs and these values. And it’s a reminder that we need this. And so, it was amazing to do run this into theaters for three days, obviously, given the pushback with all the studios and their blockbusters and everything else, the theater space was limited. So we still wanted to put it in theaters though, and we did the fathom of that for three days. And it was unbelievable. It was almost all sold out and standing ovations all over the country. It resonated with people. A lot like the first one did, very interesting to watch.

Rick:

The availability now so folks they can get it with a Pure Flix subscription, right? They can watch on Pure Flix now. Going to be a little bit of a time after the 21st not available, but also DVDs coming in December, is that right?

David:

Yeah. I mean, go right now, obviously, you can see it on Pure Flicks. And that’s exciting in a lot of ways. You know, it’s something that normally you have to wait a long time to be able to do it. But it’s on Pureflix.com right now. And then the DVD is kicking off with Universals partnering with us again on this and putting it out everywhere. And it’s such a testament to the hunger for faith in our country, and all over the world. Actually, we’re opening in Brazil in theaters all over the country in Latin America. And so, it’s just such a testament to that people hunger for the spiritual, and it’s still important. These films matter in a lot of different ways.

Rick:

Well, the Declaration talks about the laws of nature and nature’s God, and just the natural right and desire to direct the upbringing of your child. I think everybody identifies with that. And there’s something else, not to give away anything in the movie, of course. But towards the end, you give this great speech there. And it is done in a way where some Christians might say, oh, you didn’t keep decorum, and you weren’t nice and sweet because they have this picture of Jesus just petting lambs all the time and they don’t think about the lion, right.

And I just wondered if you guys debated that or talked about that because I think there’s millions of us that were feeling exactly what your pastor character was feeling in that moment and just tired of the hypocrisy and literally, almost like a John the Baptist speaking up boldly. Did you all debate that at all? Or was that even a thought? I mean, how did that all come about again, not to give away the end of the movie, but just the fact that you give a bold speech there in a way that some people might say, oh, he wasn’t real sweet when he did that?

David:

Yeah. Well, I attribute that to Vance Knoll, our director as well. It is as an actor, you can go a lot of different ways with the text, and we shot it in a bunch of different ways. But we really felt like people, they’re outraged with a lot that’s been going on in our country. And this overstep of the government.

And Reverend Dave, I resumed my character, he is also he’s, once again, he’s in the line of fire. What I like about my character is that he’s just an every everyday guy. Yes, he’s a pastor, but he’s an everyday guy. Like, in the first one, he just wanted to go to Disneyland. That’s the only thing he’s trying to do, not get involved in the whole thing.

Once again, he finds himself in the center of this whole thing that’s unfolding in Washington DC, and he’s like the last person on the planet that he would believe that he supposed to do this. But it has outraged him, it’s that holy anger that has risen up inside of him. And I think, in a lot of ways that’s life imitating art in that way too.

I’m from a little town outside of Dodge City, Kansas where I grew up on a wheat farm and my dad was a pastor. I did not want to go into the ministry. His hopes were I become an evangelist. But I was like, hey, I want to have a regular job or at least go to Hollywood to be just regular movies and whatnot in. And it’s funny how the Lord he has His hand on us if we allow it for such a time as these. And it’s extraordinary to watch what God will do in each and every one of our lives if we just allow it.

Rick:

Amen. Amen. No doubt about it, man. Well, God is definitely using you guys to influence the culture in a positive way, I think, in many ways to strengthen the church as well. Some people say don’t preach to the choir. I think the choir needs preaching too. We need embolden and we need that truth. And you guys just lay it on in a powerful way with this one. So God bless you guys. “God’s Not Dead: We the People”, new movie out right now pureflix.com, get your subscription. You can watch it, stream it with the family right now. And then DVD’s coming December 7th. David White, keep up the great work. Man, look forward to having you back again.

David:

Thanks so much. Appreciate it. God bless you guys.

Rick:

That was David White. Thanks to him for joining us today. And be sure to go to pureflix.com to stream the movie in your home or at your church. Get folks together and watch this. I’m telling you it’ll encourage you to be a parent that does take control the education of your child. We’re back with David and Tim Barton. And guys, because these are things that WallBuilders has talked about for decades, literally, and led the way in many ways to help families to do exactly this.

David:

You’re exactly right, Rick. And interestingly, Tim, you said in the first part, this kind of shows the benefits of homeschooling. But I think it also shows the benefits of using the right principles. And that’s where I go back to that one-room schoolhouse. That was kind of like a public homeschool. So it was a public school, but it was run on those homeschool principles, which really are the principles of individuality.

And Rick, even as you started this out, you said that it was great because they were even using names like Gouverneur Morris which most people would not recognize, but they have that content in there. And even as David said, yeah, the thing about most people would know that they had communion on the moon. Just a quick rabbit trail because this is something I really enjoy is the stuff with space.

And so if you go back to the American space programs, you had first, the Mercury program, then the Gemini program, then the Apollo program, and the Apollo program is what put people on the moon. So as you get to the Apollo program, they’re actually 17 Apollo flights. And as you go through the Apollo series, what happens after Apollo 1, three astronauts were burned to death in one of the practice runs that they were doing on the launchpad there. And so Ed White and others were burned there.

And after Apollo 1, a whole bunch of the NASA employees got together and said, hey, we need to pray for these guys. This really is dangerous stuff. It could kill anybody and these astronauts. Even as Apollo 13 happened later and that accident in space they all should have died, but very miraculous returned to Earth.

So they started praying, it was called the Apollo Prayer League. And so every single Apollo flight after that, they just buried it with prayer, and with intercession. And it’s interesting to see what happened because the first seven Apollo flights were all about orbiting Earth with three man crews because the Gemini had been two man crews and the Mercury’s one man crew. So now we’re up to three man crews because if we land on the moon, we have two guys going on the lunar module, we’ll have to have one guy keeping the command centers orbiting the moon and then reunite. So the first seven Apollo flights were really all about three man crews.

Apollo 8 is the first time that they left earth orbit and went to the moon. They didn’t land on the moon. They orbited the moon. And that’s when on Apollo 8, Frank Borman the other astronauts there, it was Christmas day, they came around the moon, they saw the earth rise in front of them, and they read the first part of Genesis 1 back on Christmas Day, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth”, which is exactly what they were seeing.

And so it’s a real significant spiritual time. They wished a merry Christmas to everyone on earth. And so it was very significant that was so religious. Now, they got sued by Madalyn Murray O’Hair and they were in court for a long time, and can you actually say something religious in space, which they did. But it’s interesting that so many of the Apollo flights had that spiritual tone to them.

By the time you get to Apollo 11, you have Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin being the first to walk on the face of the moon. And before they got off that spacecraft, Buzz Aldrin had communion there on the surface of the moon. He had planned it with his pastor in the church back in Houston. At a certain point in time the church was going to take communion back in Houston, at the same time, he would be taking it there on the moon. And so Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had communion there on the moon.

Rick:

Wait, wait, David, I didn’t know that. So you’re doing communion back home at the same time? I knew about the communion in space, but I didn’t, that is cool.

David:

Yeah, they were doing it with the church back home, the home church. And so by the time you get to Apollo 13, they had a load of Bibles that they were taking in the moon on Apollo 13. But that’s when they had the accident that happened on the craft and so they didn’t get to do that. So, Apollo 14, they landed 512 Bibles on the Moon, those 512 they’re all called lunar Bibles. We have one of those Bibles. We actually have a couple of them. Those lunar Bibles significantly, they built an altar on the moon and they left one of those lunar Bibles behind. You go to Apollo 15, you have evangelical Christians like Jim Irwin Apollo 15, and Apollo 16, Charlie Duke. I mean, there were just such a spiritual element, spiritual tone to what happened in space. And most folks don’t know that, but it’s a lot of fun to see.

Rick:

Alright, folks, thanks for joining us today. We’re out of time for today. Be sure again to go to pureflix.com to get the movie “God’s Not Dead: We The People” really is a good movie. I’m telling you, you’re going to be encouraged by this and there’s a lot of great stuff in there that it’s just a good reminder of what freedom’s all about. So watch it with the family, get encouraged, it hopefully get you engaged in the process. Maybe you need to be a coach. Yes, a Constitution coach, that’s you. Anyone can be a constitution coach.

If you’re just willing to get some friends and family together and hit play, you play the Biblical Citizenship in Modern America DVDs. We bring your Kirk Cameron, George Barna, Congressman Barry Loudermilk, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, David and Tim Barton, Pastor Rob McCoy, Pastor Jack Hibbs, all these folks teaching a biblical perspective on the culture and how to live out our biblical duty in our particular nation under our Constitution. And you get to be the one that brings it to your community, to your church, to your living room. Be the catalyst for a restoration of biblical values and constitutional principles. Go to biblicalcitizens.com today and get signed up. Biblicalcitizens.com. Sure appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.