WallBuilders Live’s Independence Day Special Part Two: What does it truly mean to be free? How do we preserve that freedom for future generations? In our special Independence Day program, we will answer all these questions and more! Tune in for part one of our part three series!
Air Date: 07/05/2019
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
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective. Today we are going to find the conclusion of a three part series on Independence Day.
It’s a television special, actually, that David and Tim Barton did for TBN. You can watch it online, we’ll have links today at WallBuildersLive.com. If you’re just tuning in and haven’t listened all week, you can go to the website right now, and in the archives section there’s yesterday’s program and the day before.
So Wednesday, Thursday, and now today. It’s a three part series on this Independence Day special. It’s David and Tim Barton. You don’t want to miss it.
A lot of great information that’s going to equip and inspire you, and it’s going to take you into July 4th weekend and get you excited about being free.
It’s been a fantastic week, looking forward to closing out the week and all these Independence Day programs with today’s special. We’re going to jump right back in where we left off yesterday.
Here’s David and Tim Barton about Independence Day.
Mr. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, to the trustees of the Catholic Cathedral Church.
He’s the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. Now, this actually is he is renting his pew, one of the ways you helped fund the church back then was not only in tithe, and today we have customs. If you go to church much you know people generally sit back and you actually kind of bought the seat where you sat.
So that’s one of the ways they fund it.
Breaking the Barriers
This is, for three months, pew row for a particular pew. But back then, we often again hear the narrative that, “Oh, there was so much bigotry back then. They were anti Catholic.”
The anti Catholic sentiment was really because, “These guys will be against what we’re trying to do by giving people the freedom to choose their leaders.”
Well, he certainly wasn’t. He’s a guy who signed the Declaration of Independence, who stood up against the king. He kind of broke the barriers, and they said, “Oh, look, there is a Catholic that is a pro Republican Catholic.”
By the time we get to the Constitution, we have more Catholics actually signing the Constitution. So he kind of breaks through some things.
He lives to be really old. He died at the age of 95.
Now, age 95 is not that impressive today, but you need to know that the average lifespan back when they signed the Declaration was 33 years old. So he lives to be 95.
It’s interesting because he outlives his kids and grandkids, and late in life they are the kind of talking points, that, “Charles, you’re going to die someday. When you do die, are you ready to meet God?”
Which is a good question.
This is his answer. This is a letter from Charles Carroll in 1825, which makes him 89 years old at the time.
“Am I ready to meet God? Of course I am. On the mercy of my redeemer I rely for salvation, and on His merits, not on any works I’ve done in obedience to His precepts.”
That’s Ephesians 2:8-9.
The Founding Fathers Were People of Faith
He was the wealthiest man in America, hands down. Wealthier than John Hancock. Interesting to see what he did with his wealth. He lived in a rural part of Maryland where they didn’t have a lot of people, so you didn’t have enough tithes to be able to have preachers all the time at the churches. So he took his wealth, and he endowed a church there—permanently endowed the church and personally endowed a preacher—so that you would have a preacher to preach the gospel even when there’s not enough people to be able to afford to get a preacher in. So he put his money into the Gospel stuff as well.
Again, great guy, great founding father.
And certainly another one of those guys who breaks that religious narrative of “the Founding Fathers weren’t people of faith.”
And one of the guys who certainly was a man of faith at the time of the Founding Fathers—he was probably one of the most significant Founding Fathers, at least according to John Adams. John Adams said that this founding father was one of the three most notable. He said the three most notable were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and this guy right here, Dr. Benjamin Rush. Now today Dr. Benjamin Rush is not a name that probably any American can tell you very much about, unless they’ve specifically studied the signers of the declaration, and then they know his name.
Benjamin Rush, One of the Three Most Significant Founding Fathers
He actually served on three different presidential administrations, he was director of the U.S. Mint, and he started five universities—three of them still go today—he actually was known as the father of public schools under the Constitution, he was the father of American medicine. He came up with medical cures over 200 years ago that are still in use today. He was a very significant founding father.
But today we just know so little about him.
He was a strong, Christian founding father, in every sense of the word he would be evangelical. Benjamin Russia from Pennsylvania.
Now, Pennsylvania’s largely a Quaker State. In 1774 they pass a law that says, “We’re anti slavery.”
Well, the king vetoed that law as well. When the king vetoed that law, he said, “Look guys, you’re part of the British Empire. You can’t end slavery.”
That’s when Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin said, “Let’s not be part of the British Empire anymore. We want to end slavery.”
This actually is really an act of civil disobedience. This is the Constitution for the first abolition society ever founded and America, and it goes back to 1774.
We’re still a British colony, but these guys are saying, “We’re not doing this now.” Benjamin Rush not only helps found the society with Ben Franklin, he goes on to become the leader of the National Abolition Movement. They started abolition societies all over the United States. They want slavery ended.
The Founder of the First Bible Society and Abolitionist Society in America
So Benjamin Rush is a huge anti slavery guy. He is also a guy who, like many Founding Fathers back then, would read through the Bible once every year from cover to cover. This happens to be his notes that he kept as he would read the Bible, and the Lord would show him out of the Scriptures he would make these notes and write down versus and it’s on various topics. So he’s got verses that deal with animals, he’s got verses that deal with salvation, and the efficacy of prayer, and forgiveness, and so he just is in the word all the time, and because he’s in the word all the time, he wants everybody else to have the word.
So he’s a founder of the Sunday school movement. This is a newspaper from 1791, and it talks about the new Sunday school movement. Benjamin Rush is one of the guys run in the Sunday school movement, but he still wants that the word of God out there for everybody. So another way to do it is—like John Witherspoon wanted the Bible the hands of everybody in New Jersey—Benjamin Rush said, “Let’s just create a society that can give Bibles to everybody.”
And that’s the Constitution for the very first Bible Society ever started in America, and it’s Benjamin Rush who has written the address there for all the people. And in looking for a way to make sure that they could get Bibles, he came up with a new way to print bibles called stereotype printing, kind of a mass production.
That’s the first mass produced Bible done in the United States. That’s done again with Benjamin Rush’s Bible Society. So really cool stuff he did, and tried to propagate faith throughout the United States.
A Defense of the Use of the Bible in Schools
Well, one of the essays he wrote is this essay right here. It’s called A Defense of the Use of the Bible in Schools. And you can guess from the title exactly what he’s talking about. It was why we need the Bible in schools.
In this essay he gave a dozen or so reasons why the Bible was a necessity for the next generation. In fact, he warned that if we remove the Bible we would spend time and money punishing crimes that we could have prevented had we instructed young people in morals.
He goes on to write several essays, and a lot of them do with education. This is a book of his essays. So in this he talks a lot about the Bible and various other topics, but when he talks about the Bible, one of the things he says is that in America, “The only useful education has to be laid in religion, specifically the Bible, because without religion there can be no virtue, without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object of our government.”
The point he makes is that we want to be free as Americans, but Freedom only works if we have virtue or morality. But you only have virtue of morality if you go back to the Bible.
Without the Bible, Liberty Dies
He says, “Without the Bible, America will never be a free nation. But if we will teach the Bible, we can always enjoy freedom.”
And this is one of the things that’s fun, looking back on these guys, when you start to see their stories and get beyond just the generalization of, “Well, those were old guys,” or whatever the generalizations are, when you actually start studying their stories, you see not only were these real people who actually dealt with real things in their life, the vast majority of them were so pro God, so pro Faith, they knew we need the Bible in America and knew that ultimately the Bible is the basis of freedom.
Moment From American History.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. American Patriot Paul Revere road to alert Americans of the impending arrival of the British. But, he also sought patriot leader Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that the British were seeking their execution.
Adams and Hancock were staying with the Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington. When they asked Pastor Clark if his church was ready for the approaching British he replied, “I’ve trained them for this very hour. They will fight and, if need be, die under the shadow of the house of God.”
Later that morning 70 men from his church, and several hundred British in the first battle of the War for Independence. As Pastor Clark affirmed, “The militia that morning were the same who filled the pews of the church meeting house on the Sunday morning before.”
The American church was regularly at the forefront of the fight for liberty. For more information on this pastor and other Colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.
“Do You Know Anything About Their Faith?”
Do you know anything about their faith?
Do you know anything about their faith?
Did they believe in God? Because we’re taught a lot today that they’re atheists or agnostics in the US, So what do you know anything about their faith?
No, I don’t. I would guess. I would guess Presbyterian or Episcopalian.
- The majority of them were.
What do you know about their faith?
Well, the Quakers. Quakers are pretty big and involved.
There were some Quakers, of Stephen Hopkinson was a Quaker. He was a governor—
And the the Puritans obviously were.
So do you think some of the Founding Fathers were people of faith?
One nation under God, so yeah.
- We’re talking about the Declaration of Independence, specifically the Fourth of July and the signing of the Declaration. Things associated.
As we look at independence, a lot of people don’t know a lot of the Founding Fathers. In fact, when I have the chance to speak in schools or colleges, I’ll show a picture of the signers of the Declaration and we’ll say, “OK, who can you name?”
Generally there’s two names that stand out above all the others: Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
And generally we recognize them because they’re known as the least religious Founding Fathers. That’s the way they’re painted. But even for being the least religious Founding Fathers, they really weren’t anti religious.
Jefferson: The Least Religious?
You take Jefferson for example. Jefferson, undeniably, I don’t dispute he’s one of the least religious Founding Fathers. But least is a comparative term. Least as compared to what?
If you have a room of preachers together, one of them is the least religious. That doesn’t mean he’s anti religious.
If you take Jefferson and say, “OK, let’s just look at public actions that he did.”
For example, while he’s in office—in federal office under George Washington, a great example, when they’re building the capitol—Jefferson, as Secretary of State, starts church services at the building of the capital so that, on Sunday, government folks are going to church where they’re building the capital.
Well, he then gets elected to be Vice-President under John Adams, and when he becomes President, he does an interesting practice of he goes to church for eight years to the church at the capital that he helped start when he was Vice-President. So as Vice-President, they take every Sunday and they take the Hall of the House of Representatives in Congress and turn it into a church building, and that’s where Jefferson went to church for eight years.
Jefferson helped start a church there.
Well, when he becomes President, he also starts Sunday church services at the War Department, at the Navy Yard, and at the Treasury. Now, imagine this, you want go to church in Washington D.C.?
“Do I want to go to the Capitol? Do I want to go to the War Department?”
Jefferson is the one who starts churches, and this is the guy that wrote a letter about the separation of church and state?
Yeah, but nobody reads that letter anymore.
Separation of Church and State Misinterpreted
I think we’ve misunderstood what he meant. If we read the letter we would see that separation church of state means the government can’t stop a religious activity or can’t compel you for a certain denomination.
It can’t compel you be Catholic, or Anglican, or Episcopal, but it also can’t stop you from religious activity. That’s the First Amendment.
When you look at the Declaration, the Declaration was written by a 33 year old man, which, if you’re younger, that might not seem impressive, but if you’re older, that’s more impressive, right?
A 33 year old is where Jefferson is when he goes into Congress. He’s the one on the Committee of Five largely responsible for drafting the Declaration independence, and in it he put a lot of unique thoughts and ideas that were not common practice of the time. He says that all men are created equal.
Under the king, under a monarch, that’s not a common belief.
He said these are self-evident truth. They’re only self-evident truths if you know what the Bible teaches. That we are all God’s kids, and therefore we’ve all been created equal in God’s sight. Even though the world and culture Jefferson lived in largely didn’t recognize that, Jefferson is just not the guy we often hear and think about.
Bring a WallBuilders Speaker to Your Area
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, our spiritual heritage, religious liberties, and all the things that make 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.
It might be a church, a Christian school, public school, or some political event or activity. If you’re interested in having a WallBuilder speaker come to your area, get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com. 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. Then, 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.
The Writings of Richard Henry Lee
Faith was a part of so many of these guys. There is a set of books here, this is from 1825, and it’s the writings of Richard Henry Lee.
Now, Richard Henry Lee is this guy right here that, on the 7th of June, he’s the guy who said, “Let’s separate from Great Britain. Let’s not be British colonies. We’re separate from Great Britain.”
It’s interesting, because at that time several things happened. One is Congress calls for a time of prayer. By the way, Congress often called us to times of prayer. These happen to be national calls to prayer from the continental congress. So the Congress is calling the people to prayer. Congress calling the people Congress called the nation to prayer 15 different times in the American Revolution.
We have all these guys together working, and their faith is very evident.
Then Richard Henry Lee says, “Let’s just go ahead and separate, and be a separate nation.”
At that point Congress says, “OK, let us back away from this a little bit. If we’re going to write a declaration, let’s get together what we’re going to say to the world.”
So they get that prepared.
“These Great and Wise Men…”
And it’s interesting that we voted to separate eventually, and the Declaration came out, but years later, the letters of Richard Henry Lee were collected by his grandson.
The grandson has all granddad’s letters, and he brings it out in these two volumes. This is from 1825, and in reading the letters of Richard Henry Lee—he’s reading letters from Richard Henry Lee to Washington, to Jefferson, to Benjamin Rush,to John Adams, to Francis Hopkinson, and after he’s gone through so many of the letters of the Founding Fathers, I want you to hear what the grandson concludes and having gone through all these letters.
He says, “The wise and great men of those days,” all these Founding Fathers, “The wise and great men of those days were not ashamed to confess the name of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on behalf of the people as their representatives and rulers. They acknowledge the sublime doctrine of His mediation.”
When I read all the writings of the Founding Fathers, man are these guys Jesus guys. On behalf of the entire nation, they talked about Jesus.
So on 4th of July, which is where we are now we celebrate Independence Day, we celebrate the principles in the Declaration.
How do you do that? How’s the best way to celebrate and really take responsibility for preserving those principles?
That was the discussion that happened 200 years ago when they approved the Declaration of Independence. John Adams wrote his wife Abigail two letters. Here are letters.
How Are We to Celebrate?
What happened on the day they did this is he was thinking ahead, “How will future generations see what we just did today?”
And he starts predicting that, “I think they’re going to want to celebrate what we did today.”
Now here we are 200 something years later, we celebrate what they did.
But back then, on the day they did it, he said, “I think future generations will want to celebrate this.”
Listen to what he told his wife Abigail about how to celebrate this Independence Day.
“I’m happy to believe that this day will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”
He was right. He was a prophet. That’s what we do now.
He said, “This day ought to be commemorated. It ought to be solemnize with pomp and parade, with shows, and games, and sports, and guns, and bells, and bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward, forever more.”
Make a big deal out of this. Fireworks and everything.
Listen to this:
He said, “This day ought to be commercial rated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion, to God Almighty.”
The way you ought to celebrate the Fourth of July is as a religious holiday, a day of devotion to God Almighty.
Well, still right. We celebrate. We have the barbecue. Maybe go to the lake to view fireworks, we celebrate, but ultimately not only do we celebrate freedom, the way to appreciate enjoy freedom, he says, “Make sure we thank God for the fact that we have freedom.”
Thank God for Freedom
Living in arguably the freest nation on earth, certainly one of the freest nations in the history of the world, that is something every Fourth of July, not only do we shoot off fireworks, we go, “Lord, thank You that You’ve allowed me to be in a place where I have freedom.”
Now that was 1776, here’s a 4th of July oration given in 1837. So now we’re sixty one years later, and this is given by John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams. So now, 61 years later, how do we celebrate the 4th of July? What’s the big deal about the Fourth of July?
Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? We’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and, too often, no one is there. God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impact in the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need.
Patriots Academy was created to meet that need. Patriots Academy graduates now serve in state capitals around America, in the halls of Congress and businesses, in the film industry and the pulpit, in every area of the culture. They’re leading effectively an impact in the world around them.
Patriots Academy is now expanding across the nation, and now is your chance to experience this life changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit PatriotsAcademy.com for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults. So visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at PatriotAcademy.com.
4th of July is a Religious Holiday?
This is what John Quincy Adams says.
“This is not, that in the chain of human events, that this birthday of the nation, Fourth of July, is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?” 4th of July and Christmas go together? He says, “It forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation. Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission on earth, that it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”
He says the Fourth of July took what Jesus did on His birth, and we’ve now brought it to America. So the principles that Jesus brought in the world is what the Fourth of July brought to us. They saw the Fourth of July as one of our top two religious holidays in America.
That’s a good thing to remember on the Fourth of July.
In the midst of everything else we do on the Fourth of July, one thing we ought to remember is what the Founding Fathers pointed to. John Adams says that we ought to be celebrating this as a day of deliverance, almost like when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.
We’re going to stop and thank God that we now get to enjoy something not everybody in history has enjoyed. We’re enjoying freedom.
So, on the Fourth of July, say, “God, thank You for freedom.”
As we celebrate Independence Day, just like John Adams, at the end of his life, he was able to raise a glass and offer a toast, I would suggest that, as we celebrate Independence Day, that maybe it would be appropriate for us to raise a glass and toast independence, forever.
Be Sure to Check Us Out at Our Website
Today we’ve uncovered the individual and very personal stories of several signers of the Declaration of Independence. We discovered they were honorable men who sacrificed their fortunes, their families, their homes, and even their lives to secure for every one of us the freedoms we now enjoy and so often take for granted.
What we’ve seen and heard only scratches the surface. For more information about any of the day’s topics—or to get resources you can personally study for yourself—go to our website WallBuilders.com or go to the app store and download the WallBuilders app. You can also like us on Facebook or go to our YouTube channel and other social media. And be sure to stay tuned to TBN for more exciting chapters in America’s hidden. History.
Friends, we are out of time today. Thankfully we got the conclusion. We got to do some great programming this week, so that’s what you just heard, that was David and Tim Barton in their Independence Day special that they did for TBN. We’ve got that available on our website today at WallBuildersLive.com, so that you can listen to the entire program if you happen to miss yesterday or the day before.
Maybe you tuned in in the middle of the program today. So that entire special is available right now at WallBuildersLive.com, and of course early in the week we started with Brad Stein talking about all the wonderful July 4th celebrations that we’re having, had a great time out of Front Sight on a Wednesday night, brought in July 4th at midnight with a huge fireworks celebration. And then tonight tomorrow night and Sunday night we’ll be at the Ark Encounter.
Thank You for Celebrating Independence Day With WallBuilders
You don’t want to miss that if you live anywhere in the Midwest. Be sure and come out one of those nights and celebrate with us. We’re going to be doing the comedy and Constitution, you’re going to laugh with us, you’re going to learn, you’re going to be educated on what Independence Day is really all about, and we’re gonna have a wonderful wonderful time.
Thanks for joining us this very special week of Independence Day. You have a great July 4th weekend, and be sure and visit our website today WallBuildersLive.com. God bless you. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.