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Leading To Make A Difference In Your Community – General Vernon Lewis – How can you lead to make a difference in your community? What does the Bible say about the issues our society is facing? General Vernon Lewis joins us to talk about how to lead by example, get involved in your community, and live by your faith.

Air Date: 10/24/2022

Guest: General Vernon Lewis

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.

 

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. Thanks so much for joining us today.

My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s constitutional coach. I’m here with David Barton and Tim Barton. Tim Barton’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. David Barton is the founder of WallBuilders and America’s premiere historian. Tons of books and videos and fantastic material that’ll educate you, equip you, inspire you, all available right now at wallbuilders.com, that’s wallbuilders.com. And then our radio site, wallbuilderslive.com, that’s where you can get archives of the program. If you’re a first time listener today, you can go back in there and find some of those Good News Fridays to encourage you, some Foundations of Freedom Thursdays to dig deep into the principles of the nation as we answer your questions about those things.

And then Monday through Wednesday, typically, we have an interview with someone that’s out there on the front lines that’s influencing the culture in a positive way, restoring biblical principles, restoring those things that will make our nation once again be a great nation and a blessing to the people of America, but also people around the world.

That’s the really cool thing about applying Biblical worldview to a culture is that you’re truly salt and light. You not only preserve the culture, not only preserve the meat, you’re actually bringing out the best flavor. You’re making it the best that it can be. And people thrive and they have abundance and they have blessings. Deuteronomy describes all of this: when we do things God’s way, we get not only is it right, it works best and we get great blessings out of it. So if we do that as a nation, we are blessed here, but also then we become a blessing to people around the world.

And that’s what we’re restoring through WallBuilders. We’re helping you and your communities to be the catalyst for restoring those biblical values and constitutional principles. Hope that you’ve signed up as one of our Constitution coaches, hosting the classes there in your home or at your church. There’s all kinds of ways that you can be involved. Check it out at wallbuilders.com. And we’ll have links there today to all the different things that we’re going to talk about, from the things available to you at wallbuilders.com and also the things available to you from our special guest today.

Alright, guys, general Vernon Lewis will be with us when we come back from the break in a moment. We get to spend a little bit of time with him at our legislators conference every year. You all spend more time with him than I do. That’s the only time I get to see him. But I’m kind of excited to get to actually interview him. So let’s tell folks about him.

David:

General Lewis is a guy that has a strong military pedigree. He’s a retired two-star general, a major general. He goes back into the Vietnam days. He was an artillery guy. I think he told me that he has personally been there for the firing of one million rounds of artillery. I can’t even imagine what that is, but 1 million rounds and so he is a great military leader.

After he got out of the military he did fantastic in business, very successful in business, started some businesses. They’ve done very, very well. But he has never ever divorced his faith from anything that he did. He was a strong, open, outspoken Christian as a soldier. He is the same as a businessman and he is very concerned that really Christianity have an influence on the culture. And so as a result the community where he lives, he tries to model very things he wants to see the nation do. He doesn’t just talk about what we need to do to fix the nation. He works in his community to get things done.

Tim and I have gone in and spoken for him in community meetings and he gets churches to reach across church lines and hold hands to cooperate on greater value issues, doctrines fine, keep the churches with their doctrines. But on community things and influence and biblical influence, man, hold hands and let’s do things together. And so he’s been a very, very good leader, been able to bring people together from diverse backgrounds, get them cooperate for a greater good. So he really is a terrific guy in so many ways. Not only because he’s a warrior in the military area, but he’s a warrior in the culture area as well. I think he’s up in his nineties now. He hasn’t slowed down at all, that I can tell. I mean he’s still out leading stuff to make a difference. So he’s a really great guy.

Rick:

Alright guys, well General Lewis will be with us in just a moment. Stay with us, going to take a quick break. You’re listening to all WallBuilders Live.

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 the Great Britain. Pastor Israel Evans, a chaplain in the army proposed to George Washington that they build a structure where church services could be held during the month of waiting. Washington approved the plan and urged officers to ensure that the soldiers attended 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 of the freedom of his country ought to be attentive to the improvement of our youth in 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.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Major General Vernon Lewis with us, a great friend to the program and to Wall Builders and just an amazing guy. I’m thrilled to have you on the program, General Lewis. Thanks for your time today. And coming on the show, I’d rather.

Vernon:

Hear more introduction if you’re going to say nice things about me.

Rick:

We were going to use half the program to talk about you and say nice things, and I ran out. That was it. No, seriously, you’ve been with us and helped us for a long time. And we were talking off air before the interview about everybody always saying, get involved, get involved, and you got together with some friends and said, alright, we’re going to do this thing right. Tell us what happened with your faith community there and how you came up with United Truth Fellowship.

Vernon:

Well, we wanted to start some kind of grassroots movement down here, and we finally decided that the thing missing is people don’t get instructions on the truth of the issues from the churches. And so we said, let’s try to unite the churches in our county here and set up a program where they agree to start talking about the issues that are dividing this country in their sermons and quit just preaching the gospel 52 times a year. I’ve heard David say that before: he doesn’t have to be saved 52 times a year, let’s talk about some other stuff in church, too. And so we wondered if we could get them together.

So I got 15 of our leading Christian business people and Marshall in a room together, and we said, you think we can do this? And we said, let’s try. So we sent letters out to all the churches that we could find in the county. About 20% of them came back undeliverable from these little country churches that have just gone out of business over the years. But anyway, we got them, got all of them we could together up in old Hotel Marshall, which now belongs to the university, and a nice conference room up here, we had Gary Fraser come in to kind of motivate them and talk to them. And we told them we wanted to put them together and we wanted them to pledge to start talking about the issues in church. And we got two books. We got Wayne Gruden’s book, ‘Politics According to the Bible’ and Jim Garlow’s book ‘Well Versed’, both of which talk about the biblical references to every issue you can think of.

Rick:

So they hit the issue and they tell you, here’s what the Bible says about that particular issue, how we should live?

Vernon:

Yeah, we’re interested in telling our congregation. And so we said, we’re going to give you these two reference books and you can have them and you can use them as your field manuals to prepare your sermons or pieces of your sermons talking about the issues. And we want you just to talk about what the Bible says about the issues, what is the right and wrong. Don’t ever mention the Democrat or Republican Party. Don’t ever mention a candidate’s name. Don’t talk about liberal and conservative. Don’t talk about blue and red. Talk about the issue of gun control or the issue of the border or the family issues or the education issues. Just talk about the right and wrong of it and educate them so they got enough sense to figure out who stands for what when they go to the polls to vote and vote for people who stand for the biblical right side of the issues that are tearing this country apart.

Rick: 

It really is, General, having to teach the right value, what is the right and wrong of an issue. And then okay, now who in our communities is leading the right direction instead of the wrong direction? And who is running for office that is for that particular should that part they got to figure out. But if they don’t know the value, then how they’re going to vote for the right person? So you got to start with the right value.

Vernon:

Yeah, but we don’t talk about voting. This is not really about voting and we don’t represent it’s about voting. It’s about learning what God wants done about these issues. Now, you can take it to the voting booth, but our main focus and putting this thing together is not to emphasize the voting part. Talk about the learning part.

Rick:

Yeah. No, I’m saying they can’t do the voting part right on their own if we haven’t first taught them the values to then go out and live those values.

Vernon:

That’s exactly right. The minute you start voting, they say, oh, whoa, whoa, politics, in short, you can’t mix them up. And the people that say that, how can they say that when you look at the Bible, was Jesus involved in politics? And I guess he was, it got him crucified. Was Paul involved in politics? Was Daniel involved in politics? Was Daniel involved in politics? The Bible is full of mixture of politics in the Bible. And you can’t separate the two. You cannot separate your faith from your government.

Rick:

I’m really curious. You had seven different denominations in this group. How did that go, just bringing people together from these?

Vernon:

Oh, yeah. We got seven different denominations and we’ve got three non-denominational churches. We got 21 churches signed up in this county. And we started this, people said, you won’t get a half a dozen, but we got 21 churches signed up in this program. And I have arranged now with Gary Fraser who takes four groups of pastors to Israel on pro bono trips every year. Gary is going to take all 21 of the pastors in this county to Israel on one of his trips. And that’s a free trip for them. Doesn’t cost them.

We all came together and we picked our name and we said we’ll be the Truth Fellowship. And we found out that there are some other Truth Fellowships in the country. So we put the word ‘United’ in front of it and made ourselves the United Truth Fellowship. But anyway, these statues came together, and this little organization, this little Fellowship, is without leadership, Rick. We don’t have any control in it. The people that I just told you about that form it. We call ourselves a support group. And there’s no money involved. There’s no bank account. There are no donations. There’s no funding. If we need to have a dinner or something, 15 of us will throw the money in it to finance the dinner or whatever.

Once the church signs up with this, the church is on its own. We give them the two books and we give them a list of the suggested issues they talk about. For example, abortion, prayer in schools, marriage, transgender issues, educational matters, family and children, the Bible and politics, immigration, refugees, equal justice, gun control, homosexual behavior, socialism versus capitalism, drug addiction, suicide. I mean, they’re all in there.

Rick:

And it’s all the things that the flock needs to learn about so they’re hungry for information on these?

Vernon:

That’s exactly right, things that affecting this country down the middle.

Rick:

Yes. And I’m guessing that by doing it that way I would think pastors respond better to that than feeling like you’re trying to come in and micromanage them, by saying, hey, we’re just here as a support group. We’re not trying to run your church. We’re just giving you ammunition, intellectual ammunition and biblical ammunition. That’s what you’re doing.

Vernon:

That’s exactly right. And preachers with self-confidence and they follow what’s going on in this country sign up. And the ones that are afraid of it, don’t.

Rick:

Is there a way for people that are listening to model what you’re doing, I guess they could just take and go after those same types of folks in their community to bring them together, to then get the books and bring the passwords together and just do exactly how you did it?

Vernon:

Rick, the whole idea of this thing and the whole reason we did it is not for Harrison County, it’s for the country. And we want to export this idea to as many places as we can. And I want people like David Barton and John Graves and Lance Walnut and Kelly Shackleford and all these guys who are on my 10th Amendment Committee task force to get out there and start spreading this methodology around and get churches all over the country doing this. And one church in Mississippi can get ten more churches in Mississippi. One church in Montana can get ten more churches in Montana. And so if Gene Bailey and the guys will spread this methodology out, don’t give us credit for it, but just say, look…

Rick:

It’s organic.

Vernon:

Yeah, get your churches together. And then when you do that, every five or six churches you get together, forming a new little group and have those pastors meet for lunch or get together from time to time and get to know each other. And one of them says, okay, I’m going to prepare sermon on homosexuality. And somebody will say, well, send it to me because I’m going to prepare one on gun control. And somebody will say, the Bible and talk about guns; say, yeah, but the Bible, didn’t Jesus have two of his disciples carrying swords? Do you reckon he did that? And get to the roots of it and get in the environmental piece of this thing. Nobody understands the environmental piece of it and they never talk about.

For example, do you think God would create a universe down here where we exhaled CO2 and was polluting the air with people living on the Earth? No, God is not going to do that. Do you think God put oil in the ground and gas in the ground, do you think he puts it there in coal and lignite in the ground to just leave it in the ground? No, He put it there for us to use it and generate the energy we use. God made this Earth and He made it perfect. And people don’t talk about that. They want to talk about all the ice is melting and this is going on and that’s going on and we’re polluting the air.

You know, Rick, the facts of the matter here, it’s all about money for selected few. There’s a whole global warming thing is about that, we’re in a global warming. But we need to tell people that, they don’t know that. They don’t ever think about God making this earth and making it perfect and what we’re doing and what we’re using is for here.

Rick:

Well, when you bring up issues like that, General, it’s almost as if you’re promoting a radical idea that the Bible actually applies to everything in life, not just one or two issues, that just sounds amazing. I think we got to get pastors talking about that.

Vernon:

But anyway, we start with 21 churches in Harrison County, a little peaceful Harrison County, Texas. We don’t have any problems that are inter-surmountable that we can’t handle at the local level. Everybody in this county is waiting for the FBI to come breaking our door at night time here because we have no trust in our government. Not zero, zero, zero until after this election.

Rick:

It’s all over the country.

Vernon:

We’ve got to get them out to vote, Rick.

Rick:

Yeah. Amen. Amen. And I would love to get you back in a few months to almost like a report on how those pastors are doing what they’ve done next. And we’ll ask our listeners, go do this. Do the exact same thing the General did in your community, and then let us know, let us know. Send an email to radio@wallbuilders.com, let us know what’s happening with your pastors as you bring them together and encourage them to speak on these issues from a biblical perspective.

Vernon:

If you’re a listener out there right now, you can find you about a dozen Christians that are your friends that you can talk to and that you’re sure their faith is real and say, let’s get some churches together in this area and just get a half a dozen together and going and have them talking to each other and sharing their stuff, then get another half dozen.

Rick:

Well, General, God bless you, brother. This is the model. I mean, this is what needs to happen all over the country. So Harrison County is going to lead the way, and we appreciate you sharing it with our listeners today.

Vernon:

Okay. Remember, we don’t care for any credit. We just wanted to get it done.

Rick:

Amen. That’s what’s got to happen all across the country. General Vernon Lewis, God bless you, brother. Thanks for coming on today.

Vernon:

Okay, Rick.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. Will be right back with David and Tim Barton.

THE AMERICAN STORY

Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.

And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.

Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, wallbuilders.com, The American Story.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Back with David and Tim now, a special thanks to General Vernon Lewis for joining us today. David and Tim, man I mean, if every neighborhood did this, every community did this, every church was actually speaking to these issues, think about how fast this country would turn around.

David:

Yeah, and he set an example that’s really good. One of the things he told me that he got these pastors to agree to one time a quarter, take some current issue and preach on that current issue. Show biblical relevance to what’s going on around you. And we have seen in polling that of people who leave churches, two out of three who leave churches say they do so because they find no relevancy. And so this is really making the Bible relevant. But he’s done such a good job of this.

And quite frankly, Rick, we’ve been traveling so much in recent weeks, and I’ve seen some of the same stuff starting to happen across the nation. I’ve seen people join hands. We’re doing a lot with Faith Wins. And just in recent weeks, we’ve been at 22 different denominations where those denominations have reached out and joined with other pastors because we’re basically doing pastors briefings and pastors meetings where pastors are coming together, and it’s 22 different denominations that have hosted those pastors meetings and getting their brethren to come.

So this is the way you can really change the community. This is what we saw with the Great Awakenings, where the churches joined hands across the community, across the state, across the nation. And for the greater good of biblical values, they kept their denominational differences, but they remember the greater good. And that’s what I think General Lewis has got them doing, is joining hands because right now we got a big, serious enemy on the outside trying to destroy our kids, our country, our education system, our economic system, etc. And he’s got these leaders and they are leaders and they have solutions. He’s got them joining together to mobilize the community. I think that’s a really healthy model.

Tim:

I think it’s also interesting that he got the pastors together first by getting business leaders together. And the business leaders, they sent letters to the pastors, which certainly for every nonprofit, every pastor, they definitely need people who have money to be at their church. They need those tied dollars to be able to function. And so when you have the people with money who presumably connected to your church or have people from their companies in your church, whatever their level of influence might be, when they get together, hey, we’d love to meet with you, maybe these pastors were even just thinking, hey, these business leaders want to meet, maybe they want to donate to my church, who knows what all the motivation could have been?

But I think it’s significant that it didn’t just start with somebody going to the pastor. It actually started by gathering some of the business leaders together because those business leaders are even recognizing the challenges that they’re seeing in culture around them, which certainly right now, not the least of the challenges for business leaders are getting good employees and employees of the right kind of values and the right kind of character. There’s a lot of things we can probably do on the list.

I just think it’s interesting that you’re seeing a much bigger collaboration, not merely just of pastors, but even that you’re having business leaders come together recognizing the need for a restoration of biblical values. And it was those business leaders who make the approach to pastors asking pastors, can you please start teaching biblical values, biblical truth, again, knowing again what the output would be.

And as General Lewis pointed out, this was not something that they were going and say, hey pastors, will you please be political? They were literally just saying, can you please teach what the Bible says, knowing that there’s a natural ripple from that. If we start teaching what the Bible says and people start getting a hold of what truth is, when we start grasping and gaining what truth actually is, there will be some impacts downstream which hopefully will be at the ballot box. And of course, we think there’s probably some pastors who will be courageous enough to help connect the dots for some of the individuals.

As they’re saying, guys, the Bible is very clear on human sexuality. The Bible is very clear on economics and some of these issues, the Bible is very clear on whatever the topic might be. Show where there’s clarity in the Bible and then some of them will say, and so if there are people promoting this unbiblical issue, we probably shouldn’t support that unbiblical issue because we know what it will produce.

So again, I think it’s great seeing not only that there’s pastors being challenged to do this, but that the initiative started from outside of the church, largely speaking, with the business community. And then the challenge is not to make pastors more political, it’s to make them more biblical, which is really what we’ve seen a lack of in our culture.

David:

You know, Tim, as you mentioned, biblical and political. With Faith Wins, we were at a very large church a couple of weeks ago and we had a pastor’s meeting there, a luncheon there and I don’t know, there are 150 pastors, whatever, and the host pastor of that church was going to come in and start it off and say prayer and etc. And as we talked to him before the meeting, he said, yeah, I was asked to host this. I’m happy to host it, happy to have the pastors here, but this is just not me. I don’t do political stuff at all. This is just not what I do.

And so he stayed around, and instead of leaving like he was going to, he stayed around for the entire hour and a half. And at the end he came out and said, okay, I want to be your point man here. I want to get everybody together. I get it now. And we told him, we don’t want you to be political, we want you to be biblical. Is life a biblical issue? Sure it is. Has it been politicized? You bet it has. Is marriage a biblical issue? Yes. Has it been politicized? Yes. And Israel and religious liberty and everything else. That doesn’t mean that because they’ve been politicized, we should be silent about them. To the contrary, we should be talking about what the Bible talks about, which, by the way, as we talked in other programs, that includes economics, it includes immigration. Anything the Bible is clear on, we need to be talking about.

So I think that this is really good what General Lewis is doing here, because it also helps the people in the pews, not just the pastors, but people in pews understand the Bible does apply to every aspect of life. And that’s a good way to keep people from compartmentalizing the Bible and just shoving it to the back of their lives when they think it doesn’t fit something. It does apply to everything that goes on in life and what’s going there in East Texas is a great model, and hopefully other people will pick this up, other citizens will pick this up. That’s why we did the program. We think this is a model worth replicating, and it certainly is a historical model that helped return the nation back to its foundation, its biblical foundation and biblical applications.

Rick:

Alright, we’re out of time for today, folks. It’s been great having you with us talking about a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective specifically for pastors, and I encourage you to check out these pastors’ conference. Get your pastor to go to these. If you’re a pastor listening, I promise you it’s going to be a good investment of your time for both you and your congregation. It’s so important for us to be equipped with truth.

You know, I run a nonprofit organization with hundreds of thousands of people following what we’re doing, tons of students that come through our programs, 13,000 Constitution coaches. I want to make sure that I’m putting the right information in front of them, that we’re training them well. And so I’m constantly looking to learn, whether it’s at conferences or studying different resources out there. We need to do the same. Pastors need to do the same. We need to make sure we’re getting the right information in front of the people that God has given us the ability to have a voice with and for. So I really encourage pastors to get to these conferences, begin to study these things, and become a liberty pastor, make sure that you are a catalyst for a restoration of biblical values and constitutional principles in your community.

One of the great tools to do that is Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. Check that out today at wallbuilders.com. You can get the DVDs and the books there. You can sign up to be a coach for free. We’ll come alongside you and train you and equip you and help you to host that class at your church or in your living room or wherever you want to get people together. But I promise you, you’ll see great hope come out of those classes. Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.