Las Vegas Shooting, The Biblical Response To Tragedies: In today’s episode, we talk with  Matt Teis who is a Pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Las Vegas. Matt Teis is very involved in helping his community in all seasons, and when tragedy struck, he and his church were ready. Las Vegas victims need our prayers and our support. It’s not just those who died or who are injured, it is the families left behind, friends, and the neighbors that have been also greatly impacted. Tune in now to learn how you can get involved in not only helping the victims of the Las Vegas shooting but in your own church and community.

Air Date: 10/05/2017


Guests: Matt Teis, David Barton, and Rick Green.


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  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, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator. You can find out more about us and the organization at our websites WallBuildersLive.com. That’s our radio websites, so check that out WallBuildersLive.com. Also, WallBuilders.com for our main website with all the tools we have available for you.

Addressing Natural Disasters From A Biblical Perspective

David Barton, I’ve heard you talk many times, you’ve shown me the sermons in the library there were pastors throughout America’s history when something happened, an earthquake, or any other kind of tragedy, they spoke to it from a Biblical perspective. Even when a tragedy, like what happened a couple of days ago in Las Vegas, happens we need to say, “What does the Bible say about that? What can we learn about it from history?”

David:

And there is a lot we can learn from history. As it turns out, we’ve got a perfect guest to address that which is a pastor from Las Vegas who has been right in the middle of this. He’s been there with the police chief, and the press conferences, and others. So he’s certainly in the middle of it and he addresses it.

As a matter of fact, he’s a good friend, you’ve been at his church. He’s been on national TV this week which I think is really good that they’re asking a pastor’s perspective on this.

The Bible addresses this kind of stuff, no question that the Bible addresses this. I’m sure Matt will hit some of it. And I’ve got some Bible verses from the Bible that deal with this kind of stuff on the other side after we hear from Matt.

There’s no question it’s there and this is one of the things that Biblical thinking people ought to do. If anything something like this comes up you go, “What do we know from the Bible about this? What can we learn from this? What can we do with this? How do we respond to this Biblically? What policies do we need to change going forward based on Biblical principles?” Etc.

And by the way, because we are who we are, it’s Biblical and constitutional principles. We look at both of those. We also have history to go with it. So this is not the first disastrous massacre, if you will, that’s happened in history. There have been a lot of responses from which we can learn and a lot of things we can see.

Matt is going to have a great perspective because he is on the ground there, he has been with the police chief, now that a few days have passed, and unfortunately, the death numbers may continue to go up because of the high number of wounded that were there. It’s already climbed from 50 to 58, 59, so we’ll see where it ends.

But certainly while those victims are in the news we’ve got to remember that every one of the victims has families, and extended families, and others, and has neighbors, there’s really a lot of people touched by this like there was at 9/11. It wasn’t just those who died in the towers it was the families left behind, it was the neighbors that had been impacted by that. And that’s the kind of stuff that Matt can address.

Rick:

All right, Matthew Teis, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church out in Las Vegas. He’ll be our guest, he’s been on the program with us before, he’s going to be with us when we come back from the break. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment in 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 should be read in schools in preference to all other books.

He specifically warned that if America ever ceased promoting Biblical principles in schools then we would waste so much time and money punishing crimes. It takes so little pains to prevent them.

He was right, we now have seven million Americans in prison or probation or on parole. 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.

What Can We Do To Help Las Vegas

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for being with us today. Our special guest, good friend, he’s been on the program before. We’ve actually had a chance to share and speak out there at his church in Las Vegas. From Liberty Baptist Church, Pastor Matt Teis.  Matt, good to have you back. I know it’s a tough week for you guys out there and just to get any of your time today is a blessing. So thanks for coming on with us.

Pastor Teis:

Rick, I’m honored that you let me come on and share with you what is what’s happening in Las Vegas.

Rick:

We’ve been watching this thing as families all over the country on our phones, and tablets, and whatnot, on the computer, or news. Outside of Las Vegas, everybody’s just heartbroken saying, “What can we do? How can we help?” Obviously, pray, but you’re right there in the thick of things. What can folks do in addition to praying?

Pastor Teis:

The Church of Jesus Christ is lifting up and I’ve seen amazing things happen through our community with God working through our church. There are two organizations that we’ve partnered with. The first organization is The Police Wives Of Las Vegas, their website is LVMPOWives.com. They are a great group, they have supplied the first responders, every single hospital, every single * department, they’ve brought snacks, goodie bags, and resources to people who are needing it most.

We’re taking them to the victims at our convention center, toothbrushes, deodorant, things they went without for several days earlier this week. That’s a great place, if somebody wants to donate cash LVMPOWives.com is reaching through our first responders into the community and there is no overhead 100% of what happens goes straight through them. Also, United Blood Services is a place where we’ve collected blood for the great need in our community right now.

Rick:

A lot of times people say, “Well, does giving money actually help?” Absolutely, yes it does because it takes money to put those supplies you’re talking about in the hands. It frees up those that have the time and certainly the churches and others like this organization you’re talking about to be able to focus on actually delivering those goods instead of spending so much time trying to raise the money to pay for them. So definitely a great way to help. Give me that website one more time, Matt.

Pastor Theis:

It’s LVMPOWives.com, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers Wives.com.

Rick:

Gotcha, alright, we’ll put a link today at WallBuildersLive.com to make it easy for people to get over to that website and be a part of that to help.

Sharing The Love Of Jesus To The Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Rick:

People sometimes think, “Wait a minute, you’ve got a Baptist preacher on from Vegas, really? So they definitely think of Vegas in a different way, we talked about that last night we had you on. But share a little bit about that. This is not just a city of casinos, there’s a lot of people that live there, there’s a lot of good churches there, and you guys have done some phenomenal outreach.

I remember our last program we talked about your relationships with the police department, going into some communities that desperately needed the service of your church and the police officers. Y’all have done some pretty cool things there as a church.

Pastor Teis:

Our community is known for the Las Vegas strip, and the casinos, and everything that’s happening here. But there are 2 million people that call this valley home. And there is a strong dependence upon Jesus Christ by the Church of Jesus Christ here. This week we’ve seen that overtly expressed. There were prayer vigils every night of this week so far where thousands of people have called upon Jesus Christ.

I was so impressed earlier this week, our mayor held a news conference and there were five of us evangelical pastors up there just calling on the name of Jesus. The community of believers and how they were acting, we lost a police officer on Sunday morning, and there was a pastor in with that police officer when the sheriff delivered the news and there was just the love of Jesus.

I watched as one chaplain take the flip-flops off a lady and washed her feet because she ran from the scene and was barefoot running through the desert about a half a mile or so. It was just a reflection of Jesus as she washed her feet. Just showing the love of Jesus it’s amazing what happened.

Rick:

That’s incredible. I read some stories about some of those police officers that were on site who were just running directly into the line of fire in this situation. Just phenomenal bravery and courage there as well. A lot of other amazing stories coming out of what happened. It gives you hope in our fellow man even in these horrible situations.

Pastor Teis:

It is amazing that you can see the good of people come from, the thing that God originally designed us for, that reflection of who he is, being created in his image, is being demonstrated in that tragedy. To see the Church of Jesus Christ rise up and be at the tip of the spear showing the love, it’s been a spark of revival here in our city.

Rick:

Stay with us folks. Special guest Pastor Matt Teis from Las Vegas talking about what you can do to help and how you can specifically pray for the people there in Las Vegas as we see this thing unfold. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

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Looking At Hard Times Through A Biblical Perspective

Rick:

Welcome back folks, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Just so encouraged by the report we’re getting from Matt Teis, a pastor at Liberty Baptist out there in Las Vegas. Some neat stories coming out of, obviously, a tragedy.

Matt, how do we, in times like this, either we believe the scripture or we don’t, that all things work together for good. I don’t think God puts evil on us in these situations at all but he does take these events of evil, like you were saying as we’re going to break, you can see Christ moving through some of the people that were, there some of the things that happened, and certainly in the way that people are responding to help. Kind of help us, as a pastor, how to even view these events from the standpoint of, “Why would God let this happen? Or how do we respond as Christians?”  

Pastor Teis:

As Bible believers, we understand that we live in a broken world. Sin that so easily beset us, and sometimes that wreaks havoc, and we deal with the collateral damages of it every single day.

This man, who for whatever reason, as news speculates, as law enforcement try to figure out what his motive was, he was inherently flawed. His sin was manifested this way or another. But I think it gives us time to reflect on the fact that we have issues, too.

That’s why God came, that’s why Jesus died our sins, because we all have problems, we all have issues, and that’s the need of a savior.   

When this happened, I’d say, “God, forgive me for the things I’ve not done not right. Forgive me for the places that I’ve not honored you. And help me to reflect you as an ambassador of Jesus Christ.”

Rick:

So good.

Pastor Teis:

Rather than getting political, and looking at an excuse, gun control, legislation, and whose fault was it. I think when we take a look at ourselves and say, “Where’s my issue and how am I helping others? Where am I reflecting Jesus Christ?” That’s where it always starts.

I think it’s right for us to debate in this wonderful free country, free society, we have to talk about issues and talk about things, but at the end of the day I just build a circle around myself and say, “Am I right with my God? Am I honoring Him?” Because that changes the whole dynamic of everything.

Rick:

So good, Matt. It really is a David approach of, “Search my heart, Lord, search me. Where do I need to get right and be a better example and a better ambassador for Christ to my neighbors and family?” Every one of us, whether you’re in Vegas or anywhere in the country or the world listening. What a good message, what a solid message.

Matt, before I let you go, you were telling me off air about even the signs at the casinos around the city are pretty interesting and encouraging. Tell us about that.

Pastor Teis:

I was driving home this week and the billboards in Las Vegas most of the time are not promoting a Christian message. But this week, all of our billboards, everything in the city, even on some of the anti-Christian places, have signs that say, “Pray for Vegas, pray for Vegas.” I think there’s something God is doing here. If my Christian brothers and sisters out there, I’d ask you to believe with us, that us on the front line we will share Jesus’s love.

Rick:

Of course, we never hope for these kinds of tragedies but when they happen we do hope for God to do the most out of them, to tenderize hearts, to bring people together, and just looking forward to your city in many ways being brought together in reaction to this tragedy. We’ll keep you lifted up brother, and hopefully get you back soon, and get a report on how things are going.

We sure appreciate your time, I know you’ve got a lot of people calling on you right now and a lot of people in need. So thank you very much for being with us today.  

Pastor Teis:

I look forward to having you back up to Vegas, too.

Rick:

Sounds good, stay with us folks, we’ll be right back with David Barton.

Tim:

Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting at WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.

We get to go to the Capitol at night.  And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C.

If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling.  If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor’s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.

Active Churches Brings Lower Crime Rates In Their Communities

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us on this program today. Thanks to Pastor Teis for joining us today as well from Las Vegas. We’re back with David Barton now. David, obviously, it’s appropriate for the church to be at the center of this recovery and response, that’s part of our role.

David:

It’s part of our role, Matt has already established that relationship with the city. On the previous program, we had him on some months ago, he talked about how that the crime numbers in Las Vegas have dipped in those areas where the church has been active. In his case, the really worst murder community in Las Vegas grew up around his church, rather than doing what other churches did which is move out to a safer place in town they just stayed there and said, “No, we’re going to change the community around us. We’re not leaving the community.”

Working with the police, they’ve seen the murder numbers drop there where they’ve been working. And the police have seen them all along the way in such a degree that now when this disaster happens, guess what? You get five evangelical pastors standing there with the police chief because they’ve already created a relationship and already been able to show that the Bible has solutions for all sorts of things.

Here comes a disaster that is unprecedented in Las Vegas’ history, where did they turn? They turn to say, “Pastors, it’s time for you to step up again.” And that’s what every pastor needs to think about in every community. If something happened in the community, “Would they call me? Would they call my church? Will they call us to say, ‘You guys are indispensable, got to have you help. We need you right here beside us on this.’” Or would they look to the secular psychologists and all the others?

I think what Matt has done is really show an example of historically what it used to be,  Biblically what is supposed to be, and of practically what it is right now which, is really a good thing.

Rick:

David, you point out a very important point there, it’s what you’re doing before the tragedy hits that causes them to want to call on you to help in that situation. So you’re so right, what are we doing now in our own communities to make sure that we are available? And we’re showing the police and other leaders in that community that our church is a resource to them.

David:

Matt was already looking around for things in the community to make a difference on and he did. He got involved and they made a difference. Now he now has a track record and every church needs to be able to say that about their own community.

“Our community knows that we’re the go-to, whether it’s what’s going on in the schools, whether it’s what’s going on in the city, whether it’s what’s going on in certain neighborhoods, we are the go-to resource.” And Matt has done that.

Before You Judge Others, Take A Hard Look At Yourself

Matt addresses very clearly- But at the end, he said, “We all need to be looking at ourselves too. That took me immediately back to Luke 13:1-5, Jesus is with his disciples and followers and they say, “Hey Jesus, did you see what just happened with Herod? Herod just killed a bunch of Galileans and mixed human blood with his sacrifices. How barbaric!

And Jesus said, “That is really bad, but every one of you should say, ‘All right, what’s my relationship? What’s my condition? Do I need to repent of something?’” Then he said- Jesus brought it up, in the construction accident, where they were building a tower and it fell and killed 18 people. Don’t go around looking for blame don’t go around saying who’s to blame for this. He said, “You all look at yourselves and say, ‘Do I need to repent of anything?’”

I thought what Matt said was really significant because he said, “This has happened, but let’s all look at ourselves. I looked at myself.” He prayed after the event, “God, is there anything in me?” And that’s exactly what Jesus did.

He took two tragedies that were in the news in his day at that time and said, “Here’s the right response for you, my disciples, look at yourself and say, ‘Ok, what do I need to do to learn from this?’  Don’t look about setting blame.”

Setting blame, man, the news was not even fully out before the blame game started. The last couple of days seeing the headlines has been unbelievable. Instantly here came Hillary and other guys saying, “Gun control, gun control, gun control.” Wait a minute, timeout. Yes, this is a tragedy. Let’s not politicize it.

And by the way, if you’re interested in gun control, do you realize that more people die in Chicago of gun violence every month than what happened in Las Vegas in this event? So if you want gun control, let’s look at Chicago, they’ve already got gun control in Chicago. It’s one of the most gun control places. It doesn’t seem to be working.

By the way, D.C. has great gun controls as any city in the United States and they’ve got the same crime rate that Chicago has. Don’t politicize this, don’t make it a big issue, talking about the police chief, we’ve mentioned him there in Las Vegas.

From a political perspective that is not a red town. Las Vegas shows up as a big blue every time there’s a vote. He got up and said, “There is absolutely nothing that could have prevented this. No policy difference, nothing.” He tried to defuse the political climate right at the beginning and he’s right.   

This is why you go back to Founding Fathers like Benjamin Rush who way back on April the 10th 1791, signer of the Declaration, said, “If you take the Bible out of schools, you will just spend all your time and money fighting crime when you can prevent it right there in the classroom. Because everything comes out of the heart.” Which is why Jesus said, “When something happens, look at your own heart.”

If you get your heart under control according to God’s standards then you don’t have to have the police on the outside trying to control you. And they could not control this guy who did the shooting because that guy could not control his own heart.

If you can’t control your heart you’re in trouble. That’s why Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the House, there at the time of John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, he said, “Men in a word must necessarily be controlled by the power within them or by power without them. Either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

Gun control is not going to do it, heart control is what it’s going to take. So the whole nonsense of, “Let’s have gun control.” If you guys are really serious about saving lives, you would focus on doing something in Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and New York City, and Baltimore, and all these other murder capitals across the United. But they wait for an event to happen and then politicize it hoping to ride that.  I hope everybody just rejects that, turns it off as the nonsense that it is.

Take the Jesus response to say, “Ok, let’s focus on the heart.” Because if we don’t get the heart right- and by the way, as long as we’re going to have a secular culture, as long we’re going to fill it up with an absence of religion, as long as we’re going to tell kids that they can’t hear about God, and as long as you’re going to have lawsuits against Arkansas because they want to say, “In God we trust.” the Bible tells us in Romans 1:28 that if you’re not God conscious your behavior changes for the worse.

That’s the best way to have any kind of control is that. But the other one that really stood out to me was an article that came out on Vox which said, “Do you realize that since Trump has been elected president, white men have killed more people than all the terrorists have killed in America.” What? That’s the big headline.  

Let me back up. Do you realize that since Obama was elected president more white men have killed more folks than all the terrorists? Wait a minute. Let’s back up. Do you realize that since Obama was elected president more black men have killed more black men than all the terrorists in America?

This is a none- but what they do is they take a statistic and then wrap it around their political philosophy. You can throw 100 stats into what he just said about-

Rick:

That is the epitome of truly politicizing an event or a stat and making people perceive something that’s not even accurate, so it’s actually being fraudulent.

David:

It is being fraudulent. But as we know, the media is not generally into the truth right now. The problem we have in America is two out of three Americans believe there is no absolute moral truth. If there’s no truth then a Machiavellian philosophy is fine, end justifies the means. “I’ve got a tragedy here. Let’s see what I can do smash Trump with that tragedy.” That’s nonsense. Hopefully, everybody will reject that kind of stuff that’s coming out. Those are two articles just in the last day or so that have really caught my attention as people are trying to turn this tragedy.

Why It’s Important To Give Back

But on the other side, Matt told us, “There’s a way you can help here in Las Vegas.” Rick, as you pointed out, people say, “Giving is not going to help.” Yes, giving is going to help.

Because you may have, I think it was over five hundred that were finally admitted to the hospitals. Let’s say that each of those came out of a family of four. Now you’re up to 2,000 and they are going to be hanging around the hospitals. A lot of people weren’t from town, they were from out of town. So families are going to travel in to the hospitals and they’re not prepared for that kind of travel, they need help.

As Matt pointed out, the police wives are out there giving out toothbrushes, shaving kit, why do they need that? Because you have extended family coming in. Because of that, you literally have thousands of people who have been directly impacted by this. And that’s a big strain on the city. The website he gave-

Rick:

In fact, let me give that out again real quick David, it’s LVMPOWives.com. What that is, just in case you didn’t understand, this is Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officers Wives. LVMPOWives.com, go to our website WallBuildersLive.com, we’ll make it easy to get over there. Sorry to interrupt you, bro, go ahead.

David:

No, but that’s what people need to hear. And I love the combination. The policeman, as you pointed out, were out there running into danger, running into the gunfire, to get the folks out and the wives are on the other side saying, “Let’s help pick up the mess that we’ve got here.”  

I love that pairing how God puts people together in families and it’s always a great combination. Benjamin Franklin said that’s a cool part of marriages, man and woman by themselves, either one is just one half of a scissor.

But when you put them both together you get the full scissor, now you’ve got a full unit that works and operates. Look at the wives of the police officers stepping up here and saying, “We’re going to meet a need as well.”

That’s a good place to contribute as he pointed out 100% goes directly to the needs. There’s no overhead with this so anything you contribute is going to go right to help people. That’s just a good way to bless people. So that website, give it again, Rick.

Thanks To The Churches And LVMPOWives.com In Las Vegas

Rick:

And by the way, as we’re closing out here. Also so cool, just to see the role the churches here, just critical, what a great example the Teis family has been as well with their church.

Real quick, website again is LVMPOWives.com. And again, we’ll make it easy, at WallBuildersLive.com we’ll have a link today for you. Special thanks to Matt Teis and Liberty Baptist for being a part of this. Everybody keep Vegas in your prayers. So thankful that people are crying out to God at this point and we’re seeing so many need being met. Thanks for listening today, to WallBuilders Live!