Leaders And Hope From The Next Generation Part Two: Tune in today for part two as we have another special guest on who has been through the WallBuilders Leadership Training Program. Learn more about the program, what students are taught, and find out how you can join us! Tune in now!

Air Date: 04/03/2019

Guest: Sergei Kelley

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. This is WallBuilders Live where we talk about today’s hottest topics on policy, and faith, and the culture. Always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re kind of picking up where we left off yesterday. We’ve been talking about the leadership training program at WallBuilders. We had a great guest yesterday that had been through the program already applying those things in their life. And later in today’s program we’re going to have another guest that’s been through the leadership training program.

But we’re going to start with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. And Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

Looking forward to today’s program. David, Tim, we’re just going to jump right back in where we left off yesterday just talking about the need to teach truth, to give young people the opportunity to engage in that kind of iron sharpening, and also expose them to the opportunity of studying original documents from the Founding Fathers. I think that’s one of the coolest parts of the leadership training program is actually you get to put their hands on these original documents there in the WallBuilders library, do the research with you guys, go over to Mercury One and be able to be in the studio there with Glenn Beck and see how that part of our system works. It’s just a great experience.

Setting Up Today’s Program

Rick:

So, to just kind of set up today’s program in case people are joining us today that did not listen yesterday. Tim, if you would start just share with us a little bit of the concept behind the leadership training program and the type of folks that you’re looking for to apply for this. And there’s very few spots. This is a an elite group that you get to be a part of. Just a handful of folks that get this one on one time with David, and Tim, and Glenn Beck, and others.

But, Tim, tell us a little bit more about the leadership training program.

Tim:

Yeah, it really was kind of birthed in the idea of we do a lot of work with young people and, Rick, with Patriot Academy that’s been going on for more than a decade, right, for a long time. We’ve been working with young people with High Point up in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Burke Hill. So, working with young people, we’ve seen a lot of the challenges they get.  

So, sometimes kids who have grown up learning some of this history from their parents, or learning even from WallBuilders, they’ll go to college and so much of what they’ve heard is challenged. And sometimes they don’t know how to defend it and they don’t know what to say. And looking at culture and how secular cultures become, and this push toward socialism, and we’re seeing so many issues. We periodically people say, “Hey, can we come intern with you for the summer?” We thought what if we just do a program where we can bring in young adults, college kids, 18 to 25 year olds.

So, kind of in that stage of life where they’re dealing with so many of these ideological issues. Where whether it’s from college and professors, or whether it’s friends and social media, or the marketplace of ideas, they’re hearing so many things. And for so many young people they haven’t been taught to be critical thinkers, they haven’t been taught to challenge ideas in a pursuit of truth.

So, what we said is, “Look, we need to help prepare young people for the things they’re going to deal with. So, what are issues we know they deal with?” We said, well, the foundation is truth and we live in a culture that doesn’t even know that truth exists anymore. We deny truth, truth is subjective, it’s what you feel, it’s what you think, it’s what you want, right? My gender is based on how I feel today, I go to what bathroom I want to, and we identify.

Helping People Understand Absolute Truth

Tim:

And we said, no, we have to help kids understand, “No”– and I’m saying “kids”, right, but it’s college students, young adults, we have to help them know that, no, there is absolute truth, it does exist, it’s built on biblical principles and biblical morality, the Word of God, God does exist. So, we do an apologetic for the Christian faith and we do an apologetic for the Bible in America. Why do we have to have the Bible in America? Because, well, in America we give freedom to people. But freedom only works if you have a moral people because if you give freedom to immoral people they do immoral things.

So, you have to have a moral people. Well, where do you find morality? Well, the best system of morality was taught by Jesus in the Christian faith. So, we do this apologetic– and by “apologetic” I really mean the way we teach where we are pursuing truth and once you find truth, and you know this is truth, and you know how to explain it, and how to defend it, that’s the apologetic for it.

So, we’ll do an apologetic for America – why she’s a special nation, why she’s unique, and the fact that she actually is unique, and she is different, and what makes her different. What are the ideas and philosophies of America? Where do those come from? What did the Founding Fathers used to come up with those ideas? We go through the Constitution, we go through the free market, we go through the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment, right, the gun issue, and how do we deal with that?

So, we really try to address things that are very prevalent in culture and we try to give them the apologetics and not just us feeding it to them. Because a lot of what we do is very hands on where we actually hand them documents from the Founding Fathers. At WallBuilders we have been blessed to collect more than 100,000 documents from before 1812.

Going To The Source

Tim:

So, when the students come and they’re holding original documents in their hands, it is a altering thing philosophically. Because if they’ve been told, “Well, no, the Founding Fathers really didn’t believe in God.” and then you’re holding hundreds of prayer proclamations that come from the founding era, all of a sudden that changes your philosophy and the way you view things. Not because somebody told you something, but because you’ve held it in your hand.

Well, not only do they get to hold the original documents in their hand, we help them find even online. You can get online and read the actual writings of George Washington, or John Adams, or Thomas Jefferson, or James Madison, their writings are available online. So, you don’t need to just take your professors word for what they said. You don’t need to just listen to a news outlet and say, “Well, that’s what it must be.” You actually can pursue truth and find out for yourself what truth is.

So, a lot of what we try to do is is cover issues they deal with in culture, they’re going to deal with in college. Whether they’re going to college now, whether they’re in college, whether now they’re out of college, but they heard so much nonsense. We want to help them know what truth is and how to find truth. As a Christian, right, but as an American, as people living under the Constitution, as people living in a free market capitalist system. We want to go through all these things that they’re going to deal with and try to give them the apologetic in a very hands on fashion.

And that’s kind of how the leadership training program was birthed. It’s a two week program. So, for two weeks, it’s the first Monday through the second Friday. So, basically not two full weeks, but basically two full weeks, they’re going to come in and my dad will give lectures, I’ll give lectures, we have different attorneys, actually, many that are on this program. We have different leaders, Glenn Beck, all kinds of people will come and we’ll cover different topics and issues that are very relevant.

An Interactive Learning Process

Tim:

And, actually, even saying “give lectures” might be misleading because really we try to make it much more conversational. We try to make it very interactive, so we’re not just sitting down taking notes the whole time, but we’re kind of having a learning process together.

So, the leadership training program has been going on now for several summers and we are seeing amazing fruit from it. Which, actually, yesterday talking to Daniel, just a really, really, sharp young man, going to be an incredible lawyer, and actually someone who cares about the Constitution which is awesome for somebody in law school right now.

But we also had a young man we thought we really need to talk to, a guy whose name is Sergei Kelley, he’s up at Michigan State University. He’s actually someone that was in the news recently for issues going on his college campus. He actually got to take a visit to the White House because of it. So, he has a pretty cool story as well, so that’s the next guy we’re interviewing today.

Rick:

Alright, Sergei is going to be with us when we come back. I want to know where my invitation to the White House is. He got an invitation to the White House. He’s in college at Michigan State University, but he’s taken a really strong stand and I think it’s awesome he gets to go, or got to go, to the White House and we’re going to get to hear his story. So, stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. After the final victory at Yorktown the Continental Army awaited the outcome of peace negotiations with Great Britain.

Pastor Israel Evans, a chaplain in the army, proposed to George Washington that they build a structure where church services can be held during the months of waiting. Washington approved the plan and urges officers to ensure that the soldiers attend that service.

Pastor Evans further knew if we were to secure the liberties they had fought for, sound education would be crucial.

He declared, “Every parent and every friend to the freedom of his country ought to be attentive to the improvement of our youth and the principles of freedom and good government. And then the people will stand fast in their liberty for a long time.” Our schools today need to return to teaching the principles of freedom and good government in order for America to survive and prosper. For more information about Pastor Israel Evans and other colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com

Another Graduate To Share With Us!

Rick:

We’re back on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. And we have another graduate of the leadership training program with us now with an opportunity to hear from him, what his experience was like. Sergei, you with us?

Sergei Kelley:

Yes, I am.

Rick:

Sergei Kelly, appreciate you coming on, man, and I appreciate you attending the program. Tell us where you are now before we talk about your experience at leadership training, the leadership training program, what are you doing these days?

Sergei Kelley:

These days I’m a student at Michigan State University, about halfway through my double major program. I’m involved in a lot of conservative groups on campus, and student government, and always looking at different training programs to do, and just kind of pursue on the side just American history and kind of that stuff in general.

Rick:

Cool, cool, cool. So, you went– when did you go through the leadership training program? Which summer were you attending?

Sergei Kelley:

I attended the summer 2018 session.

Rick:

Okay. So, you attended our most recent one. Well, okay, what did you go in expecting from the program and a little bit about what you experienced there?

A Personal Experience

Sergei Kelley:

So, I really don’t know kind of what to expect going in. Just I knew the general appeal of WallBuilders, and what they were doing, and it looked really good. Obviously, by going through it it only increased just realizing how much wealth of knowledge there is about American history that’s just not brought up these days, it’s maligned, it’s brought a skewed view. So, really, leaving that program it was now just a whole other vault of American history that I’d learned, discovered, than, I would say quite honestly, in 12 years of formal education.

But much more also in the sense of we were taught to question, and to ask questions, and to lead, and to investigate things, so we could find the truth. Whether it’s something you agree or disagree with. So, that was probably one of the biggest things was leaving to go out there and be like, “Ask your teacher this. Research your book. Why does it say that. It could be wrong for all the reader knows.” So, really just intriguing and gaining a whole nother step of knowledge from that program was huge.

Rick:

It’s interesting, Tim, you were just yesterday on our program talking about that that’s the real foundation of the program to seek truth and define truth. So, how does that– that’s got to feel pretty cool to you right now to hear that from a graduate of the leadership training program actually applying that.

Tim:

Yeah. I love the fact that we didn’t prep him, it wasn’t like, “Hey, Sergei, make sure you say we pursue truth.” So, yeah, that’s really refreshing to hear because we really do. We encourage– Sergei, you might remember even during a program we would say something and I’d say, “Wait a second, what should you be asking me right now?” Right, like, “Well, how do you know? What’s your source?”

Taking Truth To Culture

Tim:

Because we say, obviously, we’re trying to present things in a very truthful manner, but what if this is the one time we happen to say it the wrong way and you believed us and we weren’t trying to mislead you, right. But you’re accountable for the information that you intake and what you believe. So, Sergei, obviously, probably what we try to do in the program the most is really equip and prepare you for the stuff that we are hearing in culture around us. Michigan State University is certainly no exception to probably some of the stuff you hear.

So, when you went back to school, did you hear stuff that we talked about in the program where they’re talking and you’re like, “Okay, wait a second, I recognize that’s ridiculous.” Were there things that were applicable for you? And if so, maybe what stands out to you that you experienced when you got back to school?

Sergei Kelley:

Yeah. Yeah. There was a lot of stuff just really in my classes– I’m studying fishes and wildlife. So, we get a lot of the– we talk about how America was settled, how Africa was colonized, and we always get this very– the whole white guy mentality, he comes into an area, he wipes out the natives, he has no mercy, they take everything. So, really, saying “Well, hold on, if we look at America how eventually it would be settled by Europeans and maybe give birth to America.” It wasn’t just white men coming in and destroying everything. It was a huge complex situation.

You had much more, for example, from disease spread through the air, you had many attempts have friendship with the natives, which is never talked about in history class. We referenced in that class, I remember now, the different proclamations and especially some of those really early, especially the Puritans and very spiritual colonials that came over, those very early ones, they made huge strides to have bonds and friendships with natives. Which the fish and wildlife classes were exposed as just the whole, they came in, they wiped them all out. And we’re living on land that’s someone else’s right now. And it’s kind of that white guilt they like to talk about.

Once We Know What’s True

Tim:

Well, and, Sergei, that’s where certainly– and you know this, but for the listeners– that’s where we would say this is one of those questions that you should say, “Well, how do we know?” And it’s not to challenge the authority. It’s not just to challenge the status quo of the statement. It’s like, “Well, no, let’s actually find out what’s true.” Because if it’s true that we stole all the land, and it’s true that we abused, and were abusive, and we were terrible people, well, I would want to know that. I want to know what’s true.

Sergei Kelley:

Yeah.

Tim:

Because once we know what’s true then we can navigate our course properly. But–

Sergei Kelley:

Exactly.

Tim:

I don’t want to just believe whatever somebody says because it’s a professor, right, because, maybe they’re all great people, but maybe they have bad information. Maybe they’re not being intentionally misleading in this, maybe they don’t know. But that’s where we would say, “Well, so how do we know? What’s the source? Where’d that information come from?”

So, just again, for the listeners, this is where we kind of learn to pursue truth and not just take what somebody tells us. Because, Sergei, as you mentioned, it was pretty complex. There were a lot of moments when the settlers were very good people, where they were trying to have good relations, and actually, in many occasions they had some good relations with the Indians where they purchased the land, they didn’t steal it. So, there’s more to the story than just one part of the narrative.

Although, sometimes there’s truth to that part. That’s not the only part there is. And sometimes we only hear the bad things not the positive things or the other side of the story too.

And then, Sergei, as you mentioned, you’re involved in conservative groups up there, I saw recently– so, we’re friends on social media and I saw recently that you got an invitation to the White House. Which–

Invitation To The White House

Sergei Kelley:

Yes.

Tim:

I’ve seen you having many battles at Michigan State and I know you’ve gone through a lot. But then I saw you get an invitation and I thought, “Okay, this is amazing.” Why did you get an invitation the White House? And what was that like going to the White House and meeting President Trump?

Sergei Kelley:

Yeah. So, funny story, I actually saw the e-mail from like the Social Office of the White House and I was like, “Okay, it’s probably a scam. It’s probably like 2016 campaign stuff.” which I get regularly.

David:

I love it.

Sergei Kelley:

But then I looked into it and I was like, “Okay, it’s obviously not a scam.” Really, it’s a really awesome moment. And then I obviously RSVP as quick as I could. Then I got a message from a friend of mine over at leadership institute. And I’ve gotten to know her well, I took the youth leadership school there. That was, I think, after WallBuilders.

So, she said I had been added to the list that they had sent of people that fell under the persecuted at campus by their university because of what they’ve said or what they’ve done.

And most recently, two weeks before that actually, the student government tried to kick me out over my efforts to recruit conservatives to come into student government. So, they had tried to kick me out, there was a whole bunch of articles that came out there that we were trying to just recruit conservatives. They said we were being discriminatory and hateful and that we should not have a place on student government.

An Incredible Opportunity

Sergei Kelley:

So, I got the invitation. I went to the White House. Really incredible opportunity. And there wasn’t just a bunch of people that had connections that were somewhat influential that were there, there was just regular students like myself that had had the university go against them and they were standing up and saying something. There was legislators there that were writing their own versions of free speech bills in their state legislature.

The guy next to me was from Ohio doing that exact thing same thing. But, really incredible opportunity to have Trump sign the Executive Order right there. And really, all the kids there, they were very happy. There was a very mixed group. You had people from Turning Point, YAL, College Republicans. It was all of us coming together.

And, really, I call it like once he signed it and the room was full of applause, it was kind of like another push against the universities and kind of that what would be called leftist takeover of academia. Now there’s some solid ground where the federal government can go after them. And it also gave me and I know everyone in that room kind of like some hope like we can– we’re not losing this sphere. We have the ability to, I guess, fight tyranny on campus.

Tim:

So, Sergei, knowing that you had a battle at your campus big time, and, as I mentioned, I was friends on the social media. Actually, I think, The Daily Wire, The *, several different news outlets even told part of your story. So, as I was watching this unfold I was so encouraged for you to see this happen. But as I’m seeing this it made it even more real for me the battle that college students are facing on college campus.

So, with that being said, you know the hostility on campus. So, when you look back at the leadership training program, what would you say to somebody maybe one of your peers, right. Maybe it’s a college student, maybe it’s a parent of a college student, that maybe they’re dealing with this stuff now. Do you think the leadership program would be beneficial for them in those moments? And if so, why?

The Beautiful Thing

Sergei Kelley:

Absolutely, absolutely. Hands down. Probably the biggest thing is a two part thing that kind of was really stressed at the leadership training program was not just all the knowledge you learned about and what was questioned, but we actually learned what America was founded on.

And what was really beautiful was I’m a Christian, but I didn’t need to be a Christian to go there to appreciate how Judeo Christian values have influenced America. And looking at that, and really seeing America isn’t just another nation, we’re not just a– the Founders weren’t just a random group of guys that had nothing to do with their time. It was a very– it was no accident.

So, learning about that, having a sense of pride for your country and for what’s been done and what can be done, and then taking that and saying, “I’ve got to run on my own now. I’ve got to be able a question, I’ve got to be able to–” and not to be stupid about it.  You don’t want to just be yelling in class and being just a sign waiver and saying, “No, everyone’s wrong.” But actually intently studying.

And I know right after the leadership training program I had written down all the books that was recommended and I tried to get most of them that I could. So, it was really just that active pursuing of learning and still studying. I would recommend it because people at that program we get so much knowledge where we don’t get that college, we probably– there were some, I remember there were a few times in class where kids were like, “Yes, I did learn that in my elementary, but nowhere near in college.”

So, it’s really gaining a knowledge that we don’t get in college. And that also that initiative and strive to keep asking questions while we’re studying in college. So, then when a professor says anything from white privilege, to all the founders were racist and had slaves, you can be like, “Well, actually, do you know? Can you give me specific cases?” Really just pursuing that knowledge because it’s not about you being right. It’s about having access to the truth.

Taking A Stand

Tim:

Well, man, we love it and we are so grateful for the stand you’re taking in Michigan State. Buddy, I pray for you and that God strengthens and encourages you. But we appreciate you taking time to be with us today. Obviously still in the middle of the school year, so I know it’s a sacrifice, a commitment. But, man, we appreciate you taking time to be with us.

Sergei Kelley:

No problem. Thank you very much. I loved it. I really enjoyed this opportunity.

Rick:

Appreciate you being with us, man. And thanks for having– and we’re going to be praying for you to continue to have discernment and wisdom in doing this so well. You’ve made a lot of people really proud to have you out there leading the way on your campus and just keep up the great work. And we look forward to hearing more good news from your campus and your fight there.

Sergei Kelley:

Alright, thank you very much. Thank you.

Rick:

Stay with us, guys. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

Share a veteran’s story

We Want To Hear Your Vet Story

Rick:

Hey friends! If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live.  Once in awhile, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.

One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live, from folks that were in the Band of Brothers, to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived the Indianapolis to so many other great stories you heard on WallBuilders Live.

You have friends and family that also served.  If you have World War II veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please e-mail us at [email protected]  Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live!

When You Cover The Stats

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Back with David Tim. Guys, I’m blown away by the guys– for a young man like that to have that kind of discernment. I love what he was saying about you don’t stand up and holler, and disrupt, and all that, there’s a right way to do this. So, just great to see it and I’m so glad you guys were able to pour into him for two weeks and now he’s able to go apply that at his college camp.

David:

I’ll tell you what the really cool part for me is. Because I get to be there, and see these kids, and they are remarkable kids, they’re great. But what I really like is since, as people who listen to this program know, we cover a lot of stats. And when you cover the stats, this generation we’ve talked to in the last two days, they have so many major statistical problems in the sense that their beliefs on economics, their beliefs on government, and their beliefs on morality, as a group, no nation has ever survived the beliefs that this generation has right now.

So, it is very concerning, very troubling. And this is where a lot of older citizens look– and I don’t mean older in terms of you’ve got to be 80 years old. I’m talking to even some 40-45 years old say, “This is not a good direction we’re headed.” Let me tell you – we hear that, I know that, I know the stats, but what I see at the end of two weeks is, man, this is one of the most reachable generations we’ve ever had. They do respond to truth when they see it. They’ve been told there isn’t any and that you make it yourself.

When They Come Out

David:

But the response is different. And they come out, as you hear, these guys, they’re convicted guys with strong passion. They will be excellent leaders. And I just, I love the way that these kids come out with such a conviction. And as Tim said, an apologetic on truth, and America, and economics, and Constitution, and so many other things. It’s just great news for the future.

Tim:

Well, when you look at someone like Sergei who actually took a beating where the student council came out against him. And you can imagine, at most universities they’re fairly secular, they’re fairly liberal, they’re not receptive always to Christians and conservatives. So, his engagement is, first of all, very encouraging. But the fact that he goes through persecution and it doesn’t deter him, it hasn’t frustrated him, and made him want to give up. He’s saying, “No, I’m trying to get more conservatives involved in the process.”

This is someone who has been awakened to truth. And that’s not something that is necessarily we presented. We helped fan the flame that was there. Certainly, as he mentioned, he is a Christian. So, there is no doubt in our minds God’s got a plan and purpose for every one of these kids.

But to see someone embrace what God is doing, and learn to pursue truth, and even learn a lot of things that were true that he hadn’t heard, and maybe other people weren’t saying, and be able to go back and engage in conversation, and trying to make a difference on his campus. This is what we need is more young people fired up to make a difference.

So, if you’re listening, if you’re 18 to 25, you need to go to the WallBuilders website, look for the leadership training program, find out more information. If you’re not 18 to 25, if you’re younger than 18, you need to start thinking about one somewhere in the future when you’re 18 to 25 you need to go. If you’re a parent and you’ve got a kid who’s in that range, you need to check out this program. This is something that is absolutely phenomenal for giving them a foundation moving forward in this culture we live in.

Leaders And Hope From The Next Generation Part Two

Rick:

And this is a limited– there’s only going to be a handful of people. Which, actually, is part of what makes experience so incredible because you’re getting to get your questions in, you’re getting to have that kind of interaction with David, and Tim, and Glen, and all these other folks that are going to be there. So, it is a very special, special, deal. But that also means it’s very limited, so you’ve got to get your application in quick.

Be sure to go to WallBuilders.com today. We’ll have links today on our radio website – WallBuildersLive.com. Phenomenal experience. You don’t want to miss it. Make sure you check it out today.

Thanks for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.