Oklahoma Wesleyan University, A University Who Stands For Biblical Truth: In today’s episode we talk with Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. This is a University where you can be confident it is going to teach truth and clarity to your young person going to college. Everett Piper and Oklahoma Wesleyan University is known for its boldness in standing for faith and truth. Tune in now to hear more!
Air Date: 04/12/2017
Guests: Everett Piper, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- God’s People Want to Know polling questions
- Oklahoma Wesleyan University
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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 because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about these hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always looking at it from Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Find out more about us at our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premiere historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton with us today national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name’s Rick Green. I’m a former Texas state rep.
We appreciate you being with us. Again, visit those websites. You can get a list of all of our stations across the country. Lots of up to date news and just wonderful information on both of those websites. WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com.
Only 2.8% Of Pastors In America Address Current Issues
David, Tim, a lot has happened in just the first couple of months. Were really only what? Eight, nine, weeks past the inauguration of President Trump?
We’re barely into it. Yet, just yesterday I was in a meeting with a bunch of national leaders already looking at the 2018 elections and what happens. Because if you know much about the political world we have to start right now recruiting candidates, getting the right kind of people in there, getting the right messaging put together, the right teams.
So we’re already looking downstream. We have to look one, two, three, four, five years in advance.
So, as who were doing so, one of the things I did for them was say, “Ok, let me just point out four lessons I learned from the Trump election and what happened there. I think it gives us guideposts on how we plan for going forward. What we’re going to do in the elections etc.”
It also shows the climate of the voters that we’re dealing with. So one of the things that really stood out to me is even though we had the highest ever recorded percentage of evangelical turnout in this presidential election it is real clear that evangelicals did not follow their evangelical leaders.
Across the country, you had folks like Russell Moore, for example, who is the spokesman for the Southern Baptist. Russell Moore is clearly anti-Trump, almost, “You can’t be Christian and vote for Trump” kind of a stand.
Well, clearly Baptists didn’t follow him on that. And it was true with pastor after pastor across the country. Back when I was doing the super PAC for Ted Cruz we won Iowa. We roll into South Carolina and we knew the 69 percent of those who vote in the primary elections are evangelicals. So we thought man if we get the pastors tied up we’ve got the state.
So we went out and I mean we just tied up pastor endorsements like crazy across the state. Huge networks of pastors endorsing Ted Cruz. We thought we’ve got this. And yet, we got our clock cleaned. Trump knocked the stuffings out of us.
It was clear that the evangelicals who voted in that primary did not follow the lead of their pastors. And that really leads me to when you start looking at a national revival, historically, it’s always happened outside the church. It doesn’t happen inside the church.
George Whitefield was not allowed to come inside the churches to preach, they kept him outside. They didn’t want anything to do with him. And so the revival takes place outside the church. That’s the first thing that I’m kind of seeing here is that people are not listening to their evangelical leaders because they’re evangelical leaders are not talking about specific, relevant things.
So we saw that even in the polling that we’ve done. George Barna did that poll for us where we saw that there were 14 issues where at least 70 percent of evangelicals wanted to hear their pastors talk about it. And then we asked the pastors about it and ninety percent of the pastors said, “That is in the Bible but I’m not going to talk about it.”
That’s 90 percent of theologically conservative pastors. So not 90 percent of all pastors. Just statistically this is only like 28 percent of pastors that said that they believe in the entirety of the Bible. And of that 28 percent, only 9 out of 10 pastors of that 28 percent, 90 percent of that 28 percent of all pastors said that even though the Bible addresses all these issues that they really don’t even talk about those issues.
So you’re only talking about 2.8 percent of pastors in America are willing to address current issues that the Bible also addresses.
Let me point out, this is not a time when we’re trying to throw pastors under the bus at all. That’s not what this is about, necessarily. But just statistically. So this isn’t us saying, “Pastors aren’t doing a good job.” This is us saying, “Statistically, according to pastors themselves, what they say about themselves, about their beliefs, and about their teaching. Only three percent of pastors according to pastors actually believe in teaching the entirety of the Bible.”
Does Your Church Preach On These 14 Issues
And if you’re wondering, a lot of people might be thinking, “Well, not my pastor.” Just ask yourself this question, “Over the last even year, when they got to a particular part of the Bible if they’re preaching straight through or however they do it, do they avoid the hot topic issue even though the scripture that they’re reading says it?” And then the sermon it’s like, it automatically pops in your mind you think, “Wow they’re probably going to touch on–” And then they avoid it. If that’s happening you might need to ask them, “Hey, we want you to be a little more clear.”
Here’s another way to measure. Go to the WallBuilders website, look at the poll God’s People Want to Know: (https://www.wallbuilders.com/downloads/WhatChristiansWantPastorstoPreachAbout.pdf ). Look at what evangelical people from Bible believing churches said they wanted to hear. There were 14 issues where 70 percent of churchgoers say, “I want to hear this.” And see if you’ve heard any of those out of your pulpit in the last year.
And that includes the value of life, includes human sexuality, includes marriage and relationships, includes Israel-
Persecution, Islam, and Christian heritage.
When you start looking at cultural issues, these are all things we are dealing with in culture. Too often pastors want to point people to Jesus because we love Jesus and Jesus loves you and you need to be forgiven of your sins. But we don’t do a very good job of discipling according to what Jesus taught.
Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commands.” We don’t always do a very good job of teaching what Jesus taught. Those commands we’re supposed to obey according to Jesus. And this is where pastors statistically aren’t doing a very good job across the board.
2 out of 3 Christians Think There Are No Absolute Right And Wrongs
That’s what leads to the second thing that I saw from the elections is even though we had high evangelical voter turnout what we also saw was there was 154 ballot initiatives at the state level, 51 of which we would call moral type initiatives.
Even though we had high Christian voter turnout we didn’t win. I think we may have won one, maybe none of those 51 moral initiatives. So very clearly, you had Christians turn out but they weren’t thinking Biblically when they got there.
And of those moral initiatives, that’s including things like marijuana, physician-assisted suicide-
Casino gambling, condom use-
This shouldn’t be that complicated if you are a Christian who says you base your life on the Bible, then open the Bible, see what it says. Well, the Bible is clear on an issue culturally then we shouldn’t be confused about the position. And yet the majority of self-identifying Christians seem to be confused about what position they should take which indicates they really didn’t know what the Bible said or didn’t believe they should follow what the Bible says. Either one of those is troubling.
So, what you see with that is, you had people who want a smaller government, they want less government, they want government in a different direction. But they don’t want morals with it. And that was including Christians.
That goes back to, “Well, we really don’t have moral clarity in the stuff. Two out of three Christians think there are no absolute moral rights or wrongs. You saw even in recent weeks one of the leading folks on the Blaze Network came out and went on the View and said, “Well, I’m personally pro-life but I think the government should be pro-abortion.” Where did that come from? That’s a libertarian view.
That’s a very France position too from back in the French Revolution days. “We want freedom, we want limited government, but we don’t think there should be any standard of morality.”
And y’all saying that’s not just cultural, generally? You’re saying even within the church?
Especially within the church.
Even with the Conservative Evangelical Christian Church.
You know, one of the things about the church is that the church is not sheltered from the culture that we are living in. It used to be that we would think, “Because of the Bible, because of our faith, we are supposed to be different.” Right? We’re supposed to be salt and light. We’re supposed to be in the world but not of it.
We’ve really fallen to what Paul warned us against that we’ve been conformed to the pattern of this world. And so, where George Barna points out if you look at Christians and non-Christians and you compare their moral behavior he says, “There’s really almost no statistical difference between their moral behavior.” And that’s why we are seeing this even inside the church with a reflection of culture.
Tim, I got to stop you guys because I am conformed to the pattern of our show and I have to go to break right now. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
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 and punishing crimes. It takes so little pains to prevent them.
He was right, we now have seven million Americans in prison on 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
Most College-Aged Kids Are Biblically Illiterate
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! Thanks for staying with us! Just as we were going to break Tim, you were saying that the church is not insulated anymore. We’re not separate from the culture as the culture has moved a particular direction we’ve seen the whole church do the same thing. David, you were about to comment on that.
What we’re also seeing is Tim and I talked, we speak at universities across the country and colleges, etc, Christian and secular both. And what we’re seeing from Christian college professors and Christian college presidents they’re telling us that the kids that are arriving on campus now coming out of churches to these largely evangelical universities and colleges that those kids cannot tell the difference between Jonah and Moses. There are so Biblically illiterate they don’t know the difference between those two heroes in the Bible.
And just for clarification, Jonah the one swallowed by the big fish.
And Moses had an ark, right? Oh, wait, no that’s right.
So if I was to ask how many of this kind of animal did Moses take on the Ark?
Hopefully, we would catch that on this show.
Yes. And that’s true, generally with the audience that we have. They are very engaged Biblically and engaged culturally. That’s just not a general reflection of the rest of the world around them. Where Moses was the guy that God rises up to lead the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt –
Now wait, what about the animals?
Guys, come on, we’re trying to bring some clarity. Biggest problem we deal with in culture? A lack of clarity. And now, guys, come on, you’re compounding the problem.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University Is Making An Impact
But that goes to the point which is within the Association of Christian Colleges Universities that have largely been evangelical in this organization 110-120 or whatever. You’re now seeing those colleges completely repudiate Biblical positions of morality and adopt what the culture is saying.
So we’re seeing that preachers won’t talk about it. And people are wanting to hear it but they’re not hearing it and so they’re getting it from the culture. And as a result, even those who grow up in church are not even knowing the basic Bible stories that even every pagan in America used to know. Jonah the whale, or the fish, it’s not a whale. It was taught as Jonah and the whale, but it’s Jonah and the great fish. And Noah and the ark. I mean, they don’t even know those stories anymore.
So one of the universities that has not backed away from that clarity, that has held the standard very high is Oklahoma Wesleyan University, our good friend Dr. Everett Piper. But getting his perspective of what’s happening within the Christian college movement is really fairly amazing.
By the way, we decided we should talk to Dr. Piper because we’re watching some of these Christian universities. In the last couple of weeks the things they’re embracing, the things they’re doing, when they’re having these safe spaces and these big feel good fests at Christian universities-
A snowflake festival.
Oh, it’s unreal. But if you want to get some more moral clarity on the issue there is not anybody better to talk to you than Dr. Everett Piper.
Dr. Everett Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University joining us when we return. On WallBuilders Live!
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If We Meet Everyone’s Needs What Will We Stand For
Thanks for staying with us today. We’ve got Dr. Everett Piper back with us from Oklahoma Wesleyan. Always good to have you, Sir, thanks for your time today.
Thanks, Rick, it’s always a pleasure to join you.
Well, appreciate what you’re doing there at your university and also just your commentary and your articles and all that you do. Appreciate your voice in this culture. We desperately need it, we’re questioning these days in our culture even what it means to be a Christian. And sometimes what it means to be a Christian university, which you face every day. You stand out as a university that still stands for truth. Not exactly popular in today’s culture.
There are challenges at every turn. I run into conflict, not infrequently, it’s not every day where somebody will say, “Your voice, Everett Piper, Oklahoma Wesleyan, is too bold. It’s too over-the-top. It’s too exclusive. You’re excluding other people that we want to invite into the community, into the church, into the college, and you’re hurting rather than helping.”
I just think that is, frankly, sad. If you can’t stand boldly and unapologetically for the truth of Christ and the truth of Scripture and you can’t take a bold and unapologetic stand for capitalism, free enterprise, and for the Constitution, if you can’t establish the Josh McDowell Institute for Christian Thought in Apologetics and the Frank Caving Center for Capitalism and Free Enterprise. If you can’t do these things without being criticized from within then it really is an indictment on the church in many ways.
It makes you wonder what you’re inviting them into. If people are worried about us being uninviting or scaring off people that we want to bring in. Well, then what are we standing for to even bring them into? It just changes who we are to mean practically nothing in this and this culture.
It’s Time To Teach Apologetics
But there are universities that aren’t standing strong in that way and kind of following this whole social justice agenda and the safe spaces and that sort of thing. One in particular you know canceled their classes on Valentine’s Day so they could host social justice events and enrolled students in a contest so they could win a scholarship if they were willing to not go to class basically.
Yeah. Essentially, the juxtaposition here between that institution, that other Christian University, and on the Wesleyan University is so stark, stop and think about it. A week earlier Oklahoma Wesleyan University canceled classes for a day to have RZIM Ravi Zacharias Ministries bring in three scholars to teach us, our students, our faculty, and everybody else in the community was invited to attend to, how to define and defend the orthodoxy of our Christian faith. In a culture that’s rotting, in a culture that’s dark and blind.
We were teaching our students the importance of the orthodoxy of the Christian faith. And then a week later another Christian college canceled classes for the day to do what? Rather than to teach students of sound apologetics, basically teach students why they should apologize for Western civilization and for all the things we hold dear within our culture.
So one Christian college thinks it’s time to apologize and the other Christian college, IE Oklahoma Wesleyan University thinks it’s time to teach apologetics. Could the contrast be greater?
Yeah, and a great example, though, of where the church as a whole is, not just the universities. But the church is really in a battle right now over what we believe, what we stand for, and when you call yourself a “Christian.” What does that actually mean?
Well, you kind of hinted at it earlier. It’s a seeker friendly position, quite frankly, which the church is trying to impose on the college. And then if the college isn’t seeker friendly, if it’s not a safe place, if we don’t attend to microaggressions, if we don’t apologize for trigger warnings, if we don’t coddle rather than confront, if we’re not interested in having a conversation about them. But we actually think that there should be conviction and repentance for that sin rather than sitting around and talking about it.
If the college doesn’t take the “marshmallow position” then that college is somehow compromising the gospel. This is a sad commentary on the state of education. And Rick, I get it all the time, “You’re too political. You’re too political.” And my response to that is this. “Who decided that the definition of life is political? Who decided that the definition of marriage a sacrament of the church is political? Who decided that freedom, religious freedom or economic freedom is political?”
If I’m too political then people need to go back and look at the founding of my church. Orrin Scott and Luther Lee two men that stood in the face of slavery decided to confront the most politically volatile issue in the history of our country was called abolition and took a stand accordingly and established the Wesleyan church.
Bonhoeffer told us not to speak is to speak and not to act is to act. Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless.
We’re told by Abraham Kuyper to redeem every inch of creation for Christ in His kingdom. I refuse to not defend the life of the youngest among us and I refuse to let the government co-opt the definition of the sacrament of the church. That’s not political, that’s principle.
You Have To Stand For Truth To Love
That’s why people are drawn to your university, to that banner that you’re raising to say, “Hey, we do stand for something. This isn’t just a mealy mouth, feel good so that everybody is comfortable. This is, “Hey, there is truth. We’re going to stand for it. And it’s because we love you.”
It comes back to that. You’ve talked about that before too, this isn’t because you’re trying to offend people it’s because you’re trying to love them by standing for something that will make their life better not just let them wallow in whatever dark place that they’re in. There’s a reason that we want to hold this banner high and stand for truth.
Well, when I was on the O’Reilly Factor, I said to Bill O’Reilly, “Christian love is the superior virtue. Secular tolerance is inferior.” I don’t send my wife an “I tolerate you” card on our anniversary. If I did it wouldn’t end well. Tolerance says, “I could care less about you.” Love says, “I care deeply about you.” Tolerance says, “Do what you want. I don’t care.” Love stands in your way and says, “Stop it.” There’s a big difference between love and tolerance.
Man, no doubt about it. Well, brother, keep speaking the truth. I think it’s only going to make your enrollment go up, by the way. I think there’s a massive amount of our population out there that is hungry for something to believe in and something to stand firm on and that the backlash against this moral relativism that has permeated our culture I believe is coming. We’re hungry for it. Thank you for taking a stand, Dr. Piper. Oklahoma Wesleyan University, check it out online, folks. It’s a great place to send your kids, by the way. Dr. Piper thanks for coming on, Sir!
Stay with us folks, we will be right back with David and Tim barton.
DVD On Common Core
Hi, friends! This is David Barton of WallBuilders. The current condition of education in America is abysmal. Not only is educational achievement plummeting, but every year, some 19 percent of high school seniors who graduate is completely illiterate. They can’t read at all but it was not always this way.
For generations, we taught students how to think. But after the progressives took over education in the early 20th century, things began to radically change. Education shifted from thinking to learning, which made the emphasis on the teachers rather than the students. And that elevated indoctrination above knowledge.
At that time, progressives also made massive changes in the way we tested students. They extended school from 8 to 12 years. They introduced graded education and they added compulsory education. Statistics prove that these changes have harmed education rather than helped it. And now the progressives are pushing common core.
In our new DVD on common core, we give you eight reasons why this current approach is so dangerous to our kids and our culture. We also show you an amazing history of education. So get this new DVD at WallBuilders.com.
Love And Tolerance Are Not The Same Thing
We’re back on WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. Back with David and Tim Barton. Thanks to Dr. Everett Piper for joining us in that last segment.
David, Tim, I remember the first time I was impressed by Dr. Piper, it was actually the first time I ever heard words come out of his mouth. Y’all invited him to the legislator’s conference.
I wasn’t familiar with him before that. But when he talked on why I’m a liberal and other conservative ideas. He went back to the original meaning of liberal and just laid it out. He was just brilliant. And now we’ve had him on the show I don’t know how many times. It’s a blessing to have somebody like that to go to on these kinds of issues.
He speaks with boldness and he speaks with clarity. The only way you can do that, there are a couple of things required. One is, you have to believe that there is truth and the truth is absolute.
In other words, if I take my tape measure out of my truck, I measure a piece of wood, and it’s 22 and a quarter inches long. That’s absolute. It’s not 16 inches long, it’s not thirty-nine and a half inches long. It’s not whatever I feel it’s long. It is absolute. There is an absolute standard of measurement and is 22 and a quarter inches long. End of story.
You have to believe there are absolutes.
That’s what truth establishes. So if you don’t believe in truth you won’t believe in absolutes and therefore, it can be whatever you imagined or want it to be. And that’s where so much of the culture is heading including these Christian universities like Dr. Piper is talking about.
It really is. We’re seeing a lot of Christian universities fail in a lot of areas. But I love when Dr. Piper, I think one of the best things I’ve heard and talk about recently, especially because I do a lot of work with young people with millennials. And so when he is talking about definitions of words and how we skew those with tolerance and love is a great example.
Where those two words should be so simple if you just knew the definitions. The problem is our culture’s changing the definition to where love now is, “If you’re not tolerant then you’re not loving.” But those are not mutually the same.
I love the point he makes, “I’ve never given my wife an ‘I tolerate you’ card. That wouldn’t go over very well.” But we just don’t think critically and strategically in a lot of areas.
And when he points out with a very morally clear position that there is a difference between what the world is saying. Love is the higher ethic, it’s a higher virtue, the higher moral than tolerance is. And it really does make it so simple.
I’m reminded what Paul said, “When the wisdom of the world is foolishness to those who believe.” What we believe is foolishness to those that are perishing. And we look at the contrast between those that who uphold a Biblical standard. The truth should be very clear it shouldn’t be confusing.
Yet, we see so many Christians confused by what should be very clear issues, which is a reflection that we really don’t know truth. We don’t know the word of God and that’s why we don’t have clarity on these issues.
We Are Called To Be Unoffended
When you take something as simple as God’s word, which is truth, that word is truth is what the Scripture says, and that is an absolute. Then I can take a verse like Psalm 119:165 that says, “Great peace have they which love the law and nothing shall offend them.” And if Rick says something that offends me I recognize it’s not Rik’s problem it’s my problem. If I love God’s word I will not get offended.
What if Rick doesn’t say it in his free speech zone? Then that’s offensive, right?
That’s the problem. And that’s what happens-
I am known to use trigger words. You gotta watch out.
But see that’s the same thing. If I take that measurement and say, “I’m the one that fell short of the measurement. The measurement was there. I don’t get offended if I love God’s Word. Then that’s the measurement.
So, if I take Proverbs 28:1 that says, “The righteous are as bold as a lion.” And if I look at people and say, “You know, they’re not very bold.” Then that tells me they’re not very righteous. They may not like that. “Well, I’m in good standing with God. I asked him to forgive my sins.”
No, if you are righteous the scripture says you will be bold as a lion. So if you don’t have a backbone, if you don’t have the moral clarity, and courage to stand up say, “That’s right. This is wrong.” I question whether you’re righteous or not. And that’s based on God’s absolute standard, not my opinion.
I think David just used some trigger words, Tim.
I was a little offended right there.
Great stuff, guys. Thanks to Dr. Everett Piper once again. I really do encourage you to check out Oklahoma Wesleyan University a place you can be confident is going to teach truth and clarity to your young person going to college. We appreciate you joining us today on WallBuilders Live!