Biblical Citizenship In Modern America Course – Part 1 Of Week 1 – How can you be a biblical citizen in today’s America? How can you make a difference in our culture? It starts with the Great Commission. Tune in to learn the answers to these questions and more as we bring part 1 of week 1 and the rest of this course to you throughout the week!
Air Date: 09/27/21
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Welcome to intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live, where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. And man, have we got an incredible week for you this week, we are actually going to dive specifically into that biblical perspective of how to be a good citizen.
We’re bringing to you the Biblical Citizenship in Modern America course. We’re going to share the first two weeks of it with you this week right here on WallBuilders Live, we think you’re going to love it. At least the folks that have been taking the class across the country over the last month or so, absolutely, have loved it. And we hope that you do as well. And in fact, we hope it’s so inspires you that you will host a biblical citizenship course right there in your living room, or at your church. So we are going to dive right into that first week.
By the way, my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator, and America’s Constitution coach. And normally here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders, and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders, but those two guys are actually going to be in the Biblical Citizenship course. And this week, we’re just going to very quickly be jumping into the course because we want to bring as much of that as we possibly can throughout the week.
So Monday through Friday, all throughout this week, you’ll be hearing week one and week two of Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. You’ll be hearing Kirk Cameron and Pastor Rob McCoy, Pastor Jack Hibbs, Mat Staver, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, David Barton, Tim Barton, and so many others. So let’s dive in. This is week one of Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
Biblical Citizenship in Modern America
Welcome to Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. You may be in your living room night right now with just a couple of friends and family. You may be in a church like we are right here with a wonderful group of citizens from all over the community. Look at all these folks that are joining us tonight.
Maybe you’re doing your Biblical Citizenship class online, it won’t be quite as fun as having fellowship like this, but it’s still a great way to learn with friends and family from all over the nation. So however, you’re participating, we are so thankful for you being a citizen that wants to follow the biblical commands on how to be a good citizen and wants to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations.
Each week we’ll start right here with this class. And then we’re going to travel across the nation visiting with experts in the law, experts in history, experts in theology. But we’re even going to go to the library that is the largest private collection of Founding Fathers documents in the world, David and Tim Barton’s library is going to be incredible. And then when we take our deep dive for a couple of those weeks into the Constitution, and the Declaration, the governing documents of our nation. So if we’re going to be biblical citizens in America, we need to know what the rule books are. We’re going to take that deep dive in the very room where those documents were framed. So we’ll be taking you right in to Independence Hall. It’s going to be a great time. Let’s just back up though.
Before we start going to all those places and talking to all those people, I think there’s some basic questions we have to answer if we’re going to say that we’re going to be biblical citizens, immediately, some people will say, wait a minute, those who don’t have anything to do with each other. Why would we even talking about government or our being a citizen in our community, and mixing that with the Bible? We’ve got this separation of church and state and that mindset that somehow the Bible doesn’t apply to how we run our society, or how we run our neighborhoods, our communities.
And so I want to actually start tonight with the Great Commission itself. Often we only think of the Great Commission as saving souls. So let’s actually look at what it tells us right there in Matthew, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Now, is there anything in our life that is off limits in that description right there?
We think about making disciples of men of all nations, with that biblical understanding, and with that doctrine of salvation, it’s not just you’re saved now, it’s what do you do with it? And that salt and light power that the Lord has commissioned us to really do will affect every aspect of our community for righteousness.
A lot of people want to talk about salvation. Amen. Let’s do it. A lot of people want to talk about church, that’s great. But doing righteousness is what we’re supposed to do after we are the believer. We’re to go out and do righteousness. I think if that happens in America, I think we’ll see a revival within the church and a shift within our culture.
And part of the problem we have is the Great Commission. I think everybody knows the Great Commission. But let me read it’s Matthew 28:18-20. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Now, we’ve taken the Great Commission and we’ve turned that into a salvation mandate. It’s a discipleship mandate. He said, you teach them everything I’ve taught you.
Think about what Jesus talking about. In Matthew 19, is all about no fault divorce. If you get over in Matthew 25, it was about taxation. If you get in Matthew 20, it was about employer-employee relationships. If you get in John 8, it was about civil court procedures. How come we’re not covering that? Jesus…
Yeah, when’s the last time you heard a sermon on employer-employee relations?
Or on taxes?
That’s right. And Jesus did that. And he says, you teach them everything I told… No, no, we’re teaching the sinner’s prayer. Sinner’s prayer wasn’t introduced in the church life until the 1920s. How do people get saved before there was a sinner’s prayer in America? This stopped right here. Now, here’s the problem we got.
There’s 613 civil laws in the Bible. Bible deals with everything, from immigration to marriage, from taxes through business, you name it. Bible deals with it, we don’t deal with that in the church, and so we don’t give people something to go live with…
Everything in our life has some sort of biblical instruction that will tell us how to live our lives. And if we follow that biblical instruction, we will be blessed. No doubt about it. We have the best instruction manual you could have for life itself, because it was given to us by the Creator, by the Designer of our bodies, our brains, our relationships. He knows how we will get the best out of our life, if we will follow His commands, we’ll be blessed for it. But often, especially in America, we kind of have this attitude of nobody’s going to tell me what to do, this is my own life. I’m going to run the show. I’m going to make all the decisions. And I’m not going to have any instruction, especially from God.
And that would be about like, you know, taking your, well, I’ll say I’ve got a new truck, my wife’s got a new truck, it’s a beautiful Dodge Ram 1500. She lets me drive it every once in a while. Okay. But when we were driving it off the lot, something interesting happened. We’re headed off the lot, she’s driving, of course. So I opened the glove box, guess what I found in the glove box in that truck? A manual, you got it. That’s exactly right. There was an instruction manual. Guess who wrote that instruction manual? The creator of that truck. The manufacturer of that truck. Why would they give us this instruction manual? Because they made that truck, they knew every intricate detail of how that truck works. And they were trying to tell us, if you operate it this way, you’ll get the most out of it. It’ll last the longest. It’ll perform the best.
But of course, being good, self-assured Americans, I took that instruction manual, I looked at my wife and said, ain’t nobody going to tell us how to drive our truck. This is our truck. Roll down the window, throw the manual out of the window. We pull over to the gas station to fill up. As we pull into the gas station, I look at my wife and I said, baby today, I feel like a diesel. We bought a gas truck, but today I feel like a diesel. And so how far do you think we’re getting out of that driveway after I fill that sucker up with diesel ignoring everything that the creator of that vehicle told me to do? Not very far, I probably won’t even get out of the driveway before it turns into a Chevy and breaks down. That’s probably what’s going to happen right there.
Now, I know just offended all the Chevy owners in here. Don’t worry, we’re going to offend everybody before it’s over. If the gospel doesn’t offend you, then you’re not convicted. Right? So you Chevy owners ought to be convicted right now.
Now listen, here’s the deal. We have this fantastic, fantastic instruction manual. It is flawless. It tells us everything we need to know to be good citizens, to have good relationships with our, not just our spouse, but our kids, our people that we work with; if you’re an employer, how to treat your employees; if you’re an employee, how to work hard and work good for your employer or to serve other people. I mean, you name it, any area of your life, the instruction manual speaks to it. But for some reason we’ve allowed ourselves to ignore the instruction manual when it comes to society, to government, to politics. We hear those words, and we think that’s off limits, somehow that’s not something that that God speaks to.
It’s always difficult to give a sweeping answer that encapsulates something so vast. But I have found over the years that the only really reliable matrix to reality is the biblical blueprint. I think it is true. And I think it is the blueprint that adequately explains what the evidence is that we see with our own eyes.
Yeah, the truth of the matter is, most Americans don’t have a biblical worldview, which means that they have to draw on or they’ve chosen to draw on other worldviews that are available to them; all of which would suggest there’s no such thing as absolute moral truth. There is no source of real wisdom or insight for how to live your life. It’s all up to you. And that would give anybody an uneasy feeling, knowing that we’re in charge, feeling that way, at least, the church has not done a good job of preparing people to have a solid understanding what God’s principles say about how to live.
Our schools are leading students away from most of the principles that would be part of a biblical worldview. Our families are led by parents who don’t believe that there’s any right or wrong, who don’t believe there’s black and white in any situation. And so their confusion is simply being passed on to their children. And so you put it all together, and we’re a nation in tremendous flux right now. It doesn’t know where to go. It doesn’t know how to get there. It doesn’t know who’s going to lead us there. And Jesus really isn’t the solution that most people are looking at right now.
Noah Webster kind of warned us about what would happen if we ignored the instruction manual when it comes to designing society. He put it this way said all the miseries and evils which men suffer from vise, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war. How do you get all those things? He said, it proceeds from despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. I’m just a country boy from Dripping Springs. He’s basically saying, if you throw the instruction manual out the window, you’re not going to get very far. That vehicle is not going to last very long. And our vehicle as a culture as a society is our government, it’s what brings us together as a nation. And so that’s what we’re going to talk about throughout this course, is how to be biblical citizens.
And Jesus definitely spoke to these things. The Bible speaks to this quite a bit. And often people will say, you know, we’ll talk about render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s. But what we need to start with tonight is recognizing that in our government, in our particular nation the way that our system is set up, we’ve got to know who Caesar is. So who is Caesar in America? Us right there, we the people. Right? First three words of the Constitution, we the people, so we’re Caesar. So alright, Rick, well, how in the world do I how do Caesar well, right? How do I serve as Caesar in my nation? That’s what this course is about. How do I in a free nation where I’ve been empowered with a responsibility to hold my government in check, to design my government, to decide what my government can or cannot do, how do I do this well? How do I serve as Caesar in this nation?
The church used to really take this job seriously. And we as Christians in the country used to take it, extremely seriously and we’ve shirked that duty for way too long. Charles Finney back in the in the Second Great Awakening, he told us, this is going to blow your mind, “The Church must take right ground in regard to politics. Politics are part of a religion in a country such as this. And Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God.”
He said, God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics. So he’s saying politics is just part of a religion, in other words, it’s just another area of our life. And the Bible applies to every single area of our life. So if we’re following the Bible, and we’re living out our religion, then we will influence politics in our country. And when the church influences politics in a country, then God’s going to bless that country because we’ll be following his instruction manual. So it’s actually a pretty simple idea. It just simply means we’re going to obey God’s commands in every single area of our life. We’re going to take this talent of freedom that we’ve been given, and we’re going to invest in it, we’re going to use it, we’re going to work it. We’re not going to bury it.
Alright, friends, got to interrupt here, we’re going to take a quick break. What you’re listening to is “Biblical Citizenship in Modern America”. It is a free course. It’s an eight week course. You can get it at biblicalcitizens.com today, you can become a coach. You can host it at your church, in your living room. We’re bringing it to you all throughout this week actually, so five separate programs this week on WallBuilders Live, and we’ll be able to squeeze in week one and week two. There are eight weeks total, but you’re going to hear some fantastic presentations even just during these first two weeks. So let’s take a quick break, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution, but just felt like man, the classes are boring, or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago, or I don’t know where to start? People want to know, but it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called constitution alive with David Barton and Rick Green, and it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders library, where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the “Quickstart Guide to the Constitution”, because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the citizens guide to America’s Constitution, you’ll learn what you need to do to help save our constitutional republic.
It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today, we’re going to dive right back into Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
Biblical Citizenship in Modern America
Remember, there were three servants given the talent and when the master came back, two of them had worked at hard, they doubled those talents. One of them had buried it out of fear. And we don’t want to be that wicked and slothful server that says, well, you know, I’m not going to be involved because I can’t make a difference. I’m just one person or the system’s too big or the system’s too broke, or whatever excuse we come up with, and so we bury the talent and then we’re the wicked and slothful servant. Let’s not be that. Let’s be like the other two. Let’s work this talent of freedom, this wonderful, wonderful gift we have to choose what our society is going to look like. Let’s participate as biblical citizens.
It really is a duty. It’s not just a privilege or right. I mean, even biblically, when you look at James, he says so whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him, it’s sin. When you look at our nation right now, we know we’ve got some problems, we’ve got some challenges. There’s no doubt about it. There’s some things happening in our nation that we need to be salt and light and change those things. We need to be the one wants to bring us back to that biblical foundation where we can live a culture and a society that God will bless. We know what to do. If we’re in the bible, we know what to do, then we’ve got to actually go do it. And that means taking action.
Aristotle said politics is the highest form of community. It combines morality with sociability, which want to go biblical. Let’s do that. Let’s just bypass Aristotle. Let’s go to Matthew 16:18. Jesus is with his disciples of Caesarea Philippi the headquarters of the Jordan, he turns to them and he says who do men say that I am? They say, some say you’re John the Baptist, others say you’re Jeremiah. And Jesus says yes, but who do you say that I am? Peter says, you’re the Christ, the Son of the living God. It goes really deep. He says, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. Upon this rock, this testimony, I will build my… Now, they know…
They know. See, I would have said church, most people would say church, they said Ecclesia…
You would have said church, but this is what you call an educated Ecclesia. The point is this for anyone who says that the body of Christ shouldn’t engage in politics, Jesus when he said Ecclesia, he didn’t say church. That word didn’t show up till 400 years later. As a matter of fact, William Tyndale would be hung and then burned at the stake for translating the word properly from the Greek into the English language. And the word he put was assembly and the translation of Ecclesia, because Jesus co-opted a secular term. He didn’t use a religious term. He didn’t say synagogue. He didn’t say temple. He said Ecclesia. Ecclesia had existed in Greek culture for hundreds of years prior to Jesus co-opting it.
And in Ecclesia was the public square. This is where citizens gathered together to establish the laws that govern their community. And above the door of every gathering of an Ecclesia were two words, Isonomia and eleuthera: liberty and equality.
Last thing I’ll share is from George Mason, this guy was a framer of the Constitution. It was 55 that actually gave us the Constitution, 39 that signed it. He was not one of the 39 to sign. He was there through the whole convention, he influenced the Constitution greatly. He was actually instrumental in several clauses that ended up in the Constitution. But he refused to sign because it did not end the slave trade and because it didn’t have the Bill of Rights in.
And here’s what he told us and think about what you want for your children and grandchildren, what you want for your church in your community in terms of being able to live out religious liberty. He said, “No free government, nor the blessings of liberty can be preserved to any people, but by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” He said, you may want freedom, you may want to enjoy the blessings of liberty, but you don’t get the output side of the equation if you don’t do the input side of the equation if you don’t know the principles that once sowed into a community will produce that freedom and prosperity and benevolence and all the things that we love.
And he said, the only way you’ll know what to put in on the input side is a frequent recurrence to learning those principles. We used to do that in America. We used to study these things quite often so that we would be reminded, and then we wouldn’t fall for the lies. We haven’t done that for a long time. And that’s what Biblical Citizenship in Modern America is all about, giving us a chance to basically go back to spring training.
You know, if you’re an athlete, doesn’t matter how good you are, in fact, the better you are, the more likely every year you go back to the fundamentals. You do spring training, or you do that workout camp to go back to the fundamentals of what makes you good at that particular sport. In the same way, we’re going back to what does it take? How can we be good salt and light so that America really is the city on a hill once again? What are the principles that we need to pour in? What is that formula that produces the results that we’re really looking for? That, in my opinion, is a huge part of the Great Commission, that as the church we will make disciples, we’ll teach people how to be good citizens, and how to live these things out so that our neighbors, so that our family and our friends, our entire country benefit because of what we’ve done.
Men and women for 244 years have bled and died to protect liberty, but our generation has convinced our children that why bother. And so we stepped out of the public square. You can’t name your school board members. You can’t name your city council members. Bible says pray for him by name and pray for those things that allow us to live quiet and peaceful lives in all godliness and reverence. We don’t do that anymore. We think our salvation is coming on Air Force One and someone else is going to do it for us.
But campaigns are only won by people participating. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. You need to walk precincts. You need to host coffees. You need to do all this you need to contribute your income to politicians. You need to hold them accountable. You need to run for office. You need to do the hard thing. You need to show your kids this part of it. This is a constitutional republic. It requires participation. And the church abdicated that. And by abdicating that, we have created a vacuum and good government only happens with good people.
We don’t teach any of our people how to govern in the halls of government. And I ran for office, I asked pastors and community would you pray for me? They wouldn’t even bring me forward to pray. I didn’t ask to speak. These have been my friends for 15 years. I’m asking you for the opportunity to be a missionary in the halls of government, if that helps you. But it’s almost as though the church looks at it no, no, no. Why are you saying no, no, no? You should be going, yes. And then we’re going to bring candidates up, we’re going to grill them every election cycle. We’re going to pass out voter guides. We’re going to make sure our people are registered to vote. It’s our Christian duty. It’s our civic responsibility. You’re going to have a seniors’ pastor on. You’re going to have a youth pastor on. You’re going to have a worship minister on. We’re going to have an Ecclesia pastor on the teach people how to vote their faith and participate. That’s what we’re doing in Biblical citizenship.
Last quote is from former President James Garfield, he kind of warned us really almost right at 100 years ago, and he was talking about us right now today. Back then he said, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress”. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt…” I know I could throw some slides up right now, but I’m not going to do it.
He said “it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.” He said, “If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it’s because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature” And here’s where he’s talking about us. He said, yeah go ahead, that’s worth clapping for. He said, “if the next Centennial”, that’s us right now, “does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” Guess who’s placing the blame on? Us right here.
So if we look at Congress, or we look at Sacramento, or we look at whatever state we’re in at State Capitol, or at our city council, or our school board, and we say, oh, it’s so terrible, it’s evil, and they’re doing terrible things, we got to look back at ourselves and say, what am I doing to control the political forces to be salt and light to be the preservative as salt, but also to bring out the best flavor? What am I doing to bring the light into places of darkness? It really does begin with us and end with us. It’s our job as citizens. Because I don’t want anybody to take this class and think that we are saying, politics is the answer, or that we’re saying that getting the right person elected will change everything.
Benjamin Rush at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, he looked over John Adams, and he said to him, “Do you believe will succeed in our struggle with Great Britain?” Now, Adams was a very learned man. I mean, he could have pontificated about civil rights and military strategy and all kinds of things. Do you know what Adams response to him when they were about to launch a nation, about to take on the greatest military power on the planet, when odds were completely against them? And yet, they were going to take these ideals, these biblical ideals, and try to start a nation with it. John Adams did not respond with all those theories that he might could have responded with. And he said to Benjamin Rush, he said, “Yes, if we fear God, and repent of our sins.” Now, why would I start with that in the course? Because it really does begin with us on our knees, thanking God for the freedom that we have, recognizing the blessing of what we’ve been given, recognizing that it is a spiritual battle first.
And that’s why it’s biblical citizens. That if we will follow the biblical commands for how to live our own lives, we want to be one nation under God, we got to be individuals under God as well. So we want to keep that in mind throughout this course, and not let anybody think when they take this, or they’re just saying, if you take over the White House, or the school board, or whatever, that you can solve all those problems… No, all of those things are downstream from the spiritual aspect first. And that’s why the church is where we’re having this class, because the church is the epicenter of the community.
This is where we find those answers. And when we go back in history, we find that that’s how our nation became so blessed, because the seeds that were planted produced all the wonderful results that America ended up getting to enjoy, becoming the most powerful, most free, most benevolent nation in history. Didn’t happen by accident. Something happened on this side of the equation that was sewn in that produced those incredible results. And that’s the journey we’re going to take over these next few weeks together.
And our first special guest tonight, I’m so excited and so honored to have him with us and to be a part of this. We’re in his neck of the woods. And he’s just been a champion for liberty. He has really become a great voice in America for returning to those values. And I’m so glad that he’s going to share with us what he’s learned in his study of history. Would you all please welcome none other than Kirk Cameron? Alright.
You know, I am getting so fired up sitting here with all of you listening to Rick Green. You’ve got more energy than all my kids put together.
You know, Pastor Rob McCoy needs eight shots of espresso to get to that level of energy. You’ve got all of our attention right now, because I look at this and I’ve been so excited to come here, not just to be a part of it, but to learn from what you’re teaching, and what David and Tim Barton have been teaching and what we’re going to learn from the other people. Because it counts right now. I mean, don’t you agree? I’m understanding now more than ever, the things our Founders told us, the things George Washington said, all those inspiring words that it is up to a moral and faithful people to keep the Republic and if the church doesn’t have the courage and the backbone required, we’ll lose it. And it kind of sounds like great words in a bit of a vacuum when we’ve always had such an abundance of liberty.
But now in our country, we’re seeing the winds change, and we’re realizing that our churches are shut down, and we’re in rebellion against the government, for us to meet and sing to our God.
We’re out of time for today’s WallBuilders Live program. What you’ve been listening to is Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. That is our new constitution course. It’s a citizenship course from a biblical perspective. How do you live this out? How do you live out the biblical command to occupy until he returns, to be Caesar, because we’re told to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s? But we are Caesar, in America in a nation where we the people are the authority.
So this course is going to continue throughout this week. I hope you enjoyed this first day. Be sure to tune in tomorrow and throughout the week. If you’re going to miss a day, then just go to wallbuilderslive.com, we’ll have all five of these programs available to you at the end of the week, and you can listen to them there. Or just go to Biblicalcitizens.com, and get signed up. Host the class yourself in your living room or at your church or wherever it might be. We look forward to picking up tomorrow where we left off today with Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.