Pastor Attacked By Left Over Truthful Statements About The Constitution: Polling shows that more and more Americans are coming to the realization that “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. This is great news! How did this big shift happen? Tune in now to find out!

Air Date: 10/15/2019

Guest: Robert Jeffress

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

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders, and my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

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Truth About Separation of Church and State

Guys, later in the program, Pastor Robert Jeffress will be back with us. We just had him last week; but I got him back again this week because he gave his incredible, impromptu response to a question about separation of Church and state when he was speaking at a National Convention a couple weeks ago. And, I don’t want to pick on a denomination here; but, I’m going to for second.

When I first started with WallBuilders 20 years ago—don’t tell anybody it’s been that long. One of the denominations that was least receptive to the truth about “separation of Church and state” was, frankly, the Baptist. Yet, here we have a pastor of one of the largest Baptist churches in the country, who has become a champion for the truth about “separation of Church and state.”

David, can you walk me through how do you think maybe that’s happened?

DAVID:

Well, I’m not sure how it’s happened but know it has happened. In the 80s, the polling showed that roughly two-back thirds of Americans believed the phrase “separation of Church and state” was actually written in the Constitution. Now, today polling shows that over two-thirds know it is not in the Constitution.

So, we’ve seen this thing shift. I’ve seen various reasons credited for that. Certainly, we were a cause of a lot of debate in the 80s and 90s for the stuff that we did in putting that out.

We made a lot of national media that How dare we say that “separation of Church and state” is not in the Constitution? Then, they read it and said, “You know, you’re actually right.” So, there’s—

RICK:

Okay wait. I got to interrupt you, David, because you’re often way too humble. No, it’s good that you’re humble on this.

But, I actually meant specifically with the Baptist Church, when you talk about the national conversation on this, I don’t think—well, God always find someone else if we don’t step up and do what we’re supposed to do. But, you were more than instrumental.

WallBuilders Was the Catalyst

You were the catalyst. And, I know you always hate to be singled out when people talk about what you did. But, you took a ton of heat; I mean a ton of heat.

You were lambasted by a lot of people in this country because you simply went back to the original documents and brought this truth out. It started with your book Original Intent originally The Myth of Separation. And, I mean, you were the catalyst for this national debate.

And, we don’t talk about this much on the program. But, man, you were like a George Whitefield going 400 times a year all over the country, day in and day out, speaking more than—I know I couldn’t physically do. And, over a period of years, it changed the debate nationally.

And, I think that has to be pointed out. The Bible says, “Render honor unto whom honor is due.” And, I think you deserve that honor for the hard work you put in for decades to change that discussion.

But, I’m curious. And, I’m sorry for going on a little bit of a tirade there; but, I think people need to know the role you played in that and how you persevered through a lot of very negative press. Yet, even in the middle of all of that, the folks that should have been our friends on that were often not, but were pushing back.

And, I remember even doing a debate myself, at Baylor University, on this topic with some of the professors there. But, even in the Baptist circle, they didn’t—and, I was Baptist for a long time. They weren’t receptive to this.

Baptists Have Been Changing

It’s changing. I’ve been in a lot of Baptist churches recently where they’re now the champions of saying, “Wait a minute; don’t infringe on our religious liberty.” So, even in the Baptist circle that’s happening.

And, I need to take the question back to you: Why? What’s shifted in the Baptist circles, you think, to cause them to even come along to the truth here?

TIM:

Well, I’m going to jump in real quick, not take away from my dad being able to answer this, but one of the things that that we always know is that attitude is a reflection of leadership. And so, when you have leaders who are standing up and being bold, it’s a lot easier for people to follow where somebody is blazing a trail.

It’s a lot easier for me to step in and do things at WallBuilders because my dad has laid the foundation for the last 30-plus years where I’m not having to do all this brand new research. I can just kind of read some of the letters that have already been identified and highlighted. It makes it a lot easier for us to find the truth because it’s already been revealed in a lot of levels.

And, what we’re seeing is, when you have some of these different leaders, not just of the denomination as a whole, although I think there are some great leaders inside the denomination now who are recognizing some of these truths and are standing up. But, even when you have individual leaders who are standing up with boldness, it causes other people to feel differently, think differently, and follow differently. And, we certainly are seeing a different generation of leaders inside the Baptist Church than we saw—as far as a denomination as a whole, right?

I mean, we could point to 20 years ago, and there were some really great leaders of individual churches inside of the Baptist, as a whole, congregation. But, you didn’t always see the same strength of stand on some these principal issues from the whole denomination; whereas now, we can point to even more examples of some great pastors inside the Baptist denomination than before. But again, when you have some of these leaders stand up, it does make a difference and create a trickle-down effect to others.

RICK:

Well, I’m sorry I got us off you know off topic. But, it just it seems like it has changed so much. And, you’re right, Tim, there’s been some fantastic leaders like Richard Land and others, who over the years were right there with David in bringing this truth out, trying to get others to listen. And, I guess there hadn’t been anybody as bold as Robert Jeffress, at least in the last few years, that comes to mind. I mean, he really has stepped up in a way that has made a big, big difference.

The National Polling Has Flipped

DAVID:

Well, Rick, here is another factor. I mean, we mentioned at the beginning that the national polling has flipped on this thing. It is totally on the other side.

And, I know this may be a shock to a lot of people; but, Baptists are Americans. And, as the American numbers have shifted, that means the Baptist numbers have shifted because they’re in the public that’s polling.

RICK:

Yeah.

DAVID:

And so, as they shift—and, if they hear their pastors say something wrong about that, they’ll say, “Hey, Pastor, that’s just not right.” And, Baptist seminaries had that wrong for a good while; or, many Baptist seminaries did. Not all did; but many did.

But, they’ve been confronted by their parishioners, seen it on the news, read articles, seen things they didn’t— so, Baptists have shifted just like the nation has because they are Americans and part of the debate.

Now, here’s where I think nuance is interesting. If I say to you guys, “There is no separation of Church and state,” would you guys agree? No.

You’d say, “Yes there is a separation of Church of State; God ordained it. It’s there in the Bible.”

TIM:

Well, first of all, I would ask, “What do you mean by that exactly? Are you referring to in the Constitution?” Because no, it’s not in the Constitution. But, do we mean a separation of jurisdictions and functions? Well, yeah; they should have different—

DAVID:

Yes. That’s right.

God Ordained A Separation of Church and State

TIM:

They do have different jurisdictions. So, it would depend on how you are using “separation of Church and state.”

DAVID:

And, that’s the point because I believe in a separation of Church and State because God said, “Hey, Moses, you’re not over both the temple and the civil.” We’ve got different guys over that and different jurisdictions. But, if I said, “There’s no ‘separation of Church and state’ in the Constitution,” you’d say, “Absolutely.”

So, here’s where it’s really funny. We’re going to talk with Pastor Jeffress about a clip that came out on video. And, the people that publicized that video were Right Wing Watch.

Now, they’re the ones that think we’re just the worst enemies they’ve got and they’ve got to expose what we say to everybody. And so, in the video clip, Pastor Jeffress says that there is no separation of Church and state” in the Constitution. We agree.

But, the title and the announcement that Right Wing Watch put on this video said, “Pastor Jeffress says that there is no separation of Church and state, period.” That’s not what he said. He said, “…in the Constitution.”

Right Wing Watch’s Deception

So, even Right Wing Watch realizes that they can’t win this without changing the rhetoric and trying to change the dynamic. They realize people aren’t going to with them unless they can mis-portray his actual quote. So, when you listen to the video, you say, “Yeah, he’s exactly right.”

But, when you read their headline about the video, it’s designed to invoke you, provoke you, and say, “Man, what a goofy guy he is. Doesn’t he know the difference?”

I really appreciate the boldness he had. But, he spoke with great clarity and conviction about this. So, we thought it would be really fun to have him address it for us as well. RICK:

Robert Jeffress back with us today. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live!

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No “Separation” Clause

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

First of all, there is no “Separation” clause. It doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution. There is no such thing as a “separation of Church and state” in the Constitution.

What the First Amendment says is: “Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Our forefathers came from another country where there was a state-imposed church, where people were forced to worship. They wanted no part of that.

Our forefathers said, “We’re not going to allow government to establish a state church and coerce people to worship in it.” That’s all it says. It has nothing to say about 10 Commandment displays in schools, nativity scenes in the public squares, or prayers at the graduation.” {applause}

That is absolutely in back in the early—in 1980 the Supreme Court in Stone vs. Graham said: “You can no longer display the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky school, can’t even display them, much less teach them.”

What’s interesting, Clark, is 118 years before that, a similar case came before the Supreme Court of whether the Bible could be read in school. And the Supreme Court said unanimously—and I’m quoting, “Why may not the Bible, especially the New Testament, be taught as God’s revelation? Where can the principles of morality be so clearly found than the New Testament?”

Now, that was the Supreme Court 118 years earlier. And, every time I’m on FOX debating some of these pinheads from the ACLU, I asked them the question. I say, “Now, tell me: Why is it in the mid-1800s, you could read and teach the New Testament, but suddenly the Supreme Court decides 118 years later that you can’t even post the Ten Commandments? What changed?

What Changed?

“Did the Constitution change and nobody told us about it?” Of course not. The Constitution hasn’t changed.

But, what has changed is this. We have allowed the atheists, the secularists, the humanists to hijack our Constitution and pervert it into something our forefathers never intended. That’s what the problem is.

I’m going to say this, and it may cost me some book sales, but I’m going to say it anyway. Thank God we have a president like Donald J Trump who understands that. I don’t like seeing my friend under attack like he is under right now.

But, I don’t like the prospect of what’s going to happen in America if we allow the left to seize control of this country again. And, I believe one of the great ironies of history is going to be this. When the historians look back, they are gonna say with great surprise, that it was a secular billionaire, real-estate tycoon from New York City who became the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty, and pro-Israel president in history.

Now, that’s what I believe.

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Welcome Pastor Jeffress Live

RICK:

Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here WallBuilders Live! Pastor Robert Jeffress is back with us.

We just had you last week, talking about the incredible stance and attention that President Trump brought to the persecution of Christians around the world and the loss of religious liberty here in our country. But, we appreciate you coming back.

Thanks, Pastor Robert Jeffers, for joining us today.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

Oh, great to be with you. Thanks for having me again.

RICK:

Hey, I have to tell you. Of course, we’re all on Right Wing Watch’s list, and they love monitoring everything we all say. But, I noticed they posted a video of you.

And, all they do is post your video; so, I think I’m going to thank them because it’s this wonderful, four-or-five minute exposition on separation of Church and state and the role of faith in the American history. And, they are just playing it for people. I don’t know where you were; but, it was a fantastic speech.

Thank you for doing that. And, thanks, Right Wing Watch, for promoting it.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

Well, I think they really did help a lot by getting that message out. I was actually at the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

RICK:

Oh wow.

It is Nowhere in the Constitution

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

It’s the largest gathering of gospel music people in the country, and they were so nice to have me up there. At the end of my talk, I was actually preaching about rewards in Heaven. But, as I was getting ready to leave the stage, the director of the event came up and said, “This is completely extemporaneous; but, I want to ask you just a question in front of this group: What do you think about the effort to enforce the clause of the Constitution about the separation of Church and state.

“Would you just answer that?” Of course, he knew he was delivering me the softball when he did it. But, I took that occasion to talk about, first of all, what even most Christians don’t realize: the “separation of Church and state” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution, not in the First Amendment, or indeed any other amendment.

But, as David Barton has done so well in educating all of us, though, what the Constitution does say is: “Congress can make no law regarding the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Words mean something. The Founders used the phrase “establish” for a reason.

They didn’t want a state church established like they had experienced in Great Britain where they were forced to worship in a church of the government’s choice. But, the First Amendment has nothing to say about prayer at football games, Ten Commandment displays, or nativity scenes in the town square. And, what has happened is, we’ve allowed the secularists, the atheists, and the heathen to actually pervert the First Amendment into something that our forefathers never intended it to be.

A Perversion that has Silenced Pastors

RICK:

And, Pastor, that perversion has silenced most pastors to not speak into the culture the way that you do. Then, there are a lot of great pastors that do; but, the more they get silenced, the less influence we have, the less salt and light that we are. Do you see that changing a little bit now? Are more pastors waking up and saying, “Wait a minute. Why let them muzzle me on these important issues of our day?”

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

Rick, if only I could say, “Yes, I see a change,” but {it wouldn’t be true.} I think some of the wimpiest, weakest Christians we have stand in the pulpits of America.

RICK:

Wow.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

Now, let me be clear. There are many good pastors out there also doing God’s Word. But, I see so much weakness out there, and I hear it from church members all across the country who contact us through our Pathway to Victory ministry.

And, they just say, “We wish our pastor would, not talk about partisan politics, but wish he would address the issues of the day and what Christians need to do.”

RICK:

That’s right.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

And, quite frankly, Rick, I blame the condition of our country, not on the pagans or unbelievers. I mean, we expect them to uphold these ungodly values.

I blame the condition of our country on weak Christians.

RICK:

I agree.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

Who’ve allowed fear, intimidation, and a desire for popularity to keep them from sharing and standing for the truth.

Salt and Light Are Needed in Our Communities

RICK:

I think you’re 100 percent right. You can see the result out there, and hopefully, there will be a revival in the pulpit to say, “Hey, this salt and light is needed in our communities.”

I think as we see freedom lost, maybe people will wake up and realize the importance. They’re certainly seeing that in the area of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

I feel so strongly about this and have a new book coming out in February called Courageous: Ten Strategies for Thriving in a Hostile World.

RICK:

Perfect.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

And, I’m taking the 10 survival tips that survivalist use in a dangerous situation and show how Christians ought to employ those strategies.

RICK:

I love it.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

I think this is a time for us to stand up like never before. Next year is going to be particularly challenging.

RICK:

Pastor, please come back when that book’s ready, and let’s do an interview about it because that’s exactly what we need right there.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

I’d love to do it.

RICK:

And, tell me really quickly before I let you go. Pathway to Victory, tell us what that is.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

Pathway to Victory is our daily radio program. We’re on 1000-plus stations Monday through Friday. And, our television ministry is on every day: Monday through Friday on TBN, Trinity Broadcasting at 7:00 a.m. Central Time and Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Central Time; Daystar is Sunday afternoons at 5:00.

So, it is growing. They tell us it’s the fastest-growing Christian broadcast ministry the country right now.

RICK:

Keep speaking that truth. And, folks, go get that truth from Pathway to Victory. Then, look for that book coming out in February: Courageous.

Always a privilege to have you, Pastor. Keep up the great work. We love and thank you.

ROBERT JEFFRESS:

Thank you. Well, Rick, we love what you and David are doing at Wall Builders. God bless you.

RICK:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll right back with David and Tim Barton.

America’s Hidden History

DAVID:

Hi, this is David Barton.

TIM:

And, this is Tim Barton, and we want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday night. TBN is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night, there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History.

And, this season is called “America’s Hidden Heroes.” The reason is, we highlight heroes from American history. For years we’ve been focusing on the forgotten history and heros of the nation.

And now, we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.

DAVID:

These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location to the sites and show you where the events happened. It’s the stories of folks like Bronco Charlie, Stagecoach Mary, Jedediah Smith, Robert Smalls, and so many inspiring folks.

TIM:

Now, this happens every Thursday night, and the time is gonna be different based on where you live. Either way, we think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you in learning some of these great stories for America’s Hidden History.

RICK:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! We’re back with David Barton now for our final segment of the day. Guys, I’m glad we shared the actual video because just off the cuff, that was such a powerful defense of the Constitution and religious liberty in churches.

“Wimpy Christians in the Pulpit”

DAVID:

It was. And, by the way, not only was he concise in explaining. The question you asked him afterwards, his answer or maybe more concise than that, because you said, “What’s the deal with pastors? Do you see them changing?”

And, he said, “Some of the weakest, wimpiest Christians we have stand in the pulpit of churches.” Oh my gosh, I mean—but, he spoke with great clarity. And, that’s just who he is, and I appreciate it.

TIM:

Well, and we’ve said that for several years. But, we also don’t pastor a church of 10s of 1000s of people. So, for someone of his stature to say, “No, we don’t have the courage we need.”

We’ve long challenged pastors: “Stand up. Be bold; be courageous. Speak truth.”

We’ve challenged congregants: “Tell your pastor to stand up and be bold.” But, to have people like Pastor Jeffress as an example, is certainly something we are so grateful for: his clarity, boldness, and courage to stand up and speak truth.

Courageous

RICK:

It is without question why I’m excited about his new book Courageous. It’s going to be good to expand that and have other pastors doing the same thing, not just pastors though.

For all of you listening right now, no matter what your role is, your title or “station” if you will, in life, you’ve been placed there to be a leader and someone who takes God’s Word and applies it in your particular area. And, make sure that you’re setting a good example for others and doing your part as a citizen: literally obeying those biblical commands to occupy until He returns, to it to be a good steward of the talents that you’ve been given, including that freedom.

Pastor Attacked By Left Over Truthful Statements About The Constitution

So, I think Pastor Jeffers sets a great example of that for all of us. Definitely pastors out there, no question we need more pastors standing up, doing the same thing. But, I would say it applies to every single one of us as well.

We challenge you to do that, which is why we give you all the tools that we do at WallBuilders. So, please check out WallBuilders.com and look at some of those things that you can use to educate yourself and others around you. But also, take action in your community to preserve freedom.

Every single one of us has a role to play. I think, like our Founders, we need to give “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” That means giving up our time: studying freedom, studying what it takes; our fortunes: investing in freedom, looking for good candidates to give to the good causes out there.

Of course, WallBuilders is a great cause for you to donate to. And, WallBuildersLive.com is a great place to make that donation. Just click on that “donate” button, and you can be a part of our team that helps make this program grow, our ministry grow to reach, equip, and inspire more people to do their part as well.

So, check that out, if you would, today at WallBuildersLive.com. We sure appreciate you listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!