Pastors – Politics in the Pulpit, Building on the American Heritage Series

Pastors – Politics in the Pulpit, Building on the American Heritage Series: Today we’re talking about pastors in the founding era and the influence they had from the pulpit on the American War for Independence. We’ll be answering questions on pastors in politics such as what about the First Amendment? Did Jesus spend much time talking about politics? And much more!

Air Date: 09/20/2018

On-air Personalities: David Barton and Rick Green


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

You’ve found your way to the intersection of faith and politics – WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green. Also found online at WallBuildersLive.com, and WallBuilders.com, and also on Facebook. You can follow us there as well and comment on the shows as you get a chance to listen to them.

And in fact, you might have show you’d like us to cover, a topic, or an interview. You can e-mail that to us at [email protected] And we also encourage you to let your local station know if you’d like to hear us locally and we’re not on a station there close to you. So, if you’re not familiar with which station we’re on close to you then go check it out now at WallBuildersLive.com. Here we go to Building on the American Heritage series with David Barton.

Well, David, our topic today is pastors, the influence they had on the Revolution and whether or not they should be having influence today in the culture. What about the Revolution?

David:

Well, when you go back to the Revolution and look at people who were actually there who participated like John Adams from start to finish, signed the Declaration, signed the peace treaty to end it. John Adams, 1816, when giving a list of who is most responsible for independence in America went through and said, “Well, you’ve got the Reverend Dr. Samuel Cooper, you’ve got the reverend Jonathan Mayhew, there’s George Whitefield, there’s Reverend Charles *, preachers– not only to Adam’s point, but the British did as well. The British were the ones who named the American preachers the Black Robe Regiment. And the British said if it hadn’t been for the preachers America would still be a happy British colony.

Blamed for the Revolution

Rick:

So, they gave them a military name?

David:

Oh, they gave them a military name.

Rick:

The Black Robe Regiment.

David:

And they also went after them in a military manner. When they came to America and were going through the various states the British burned church, after church, after church. They went to New York City – 19 churches burned, ten to the ground. They went across New Jersey burning churches, they went across Virginia burning churches. We lost 4,300 soldiers to British bullets. We lost 11,400 soldiers to prisoner of war camps. But when a preacher got put in a prisoner of war camp, you can just about count that all.

Rick:

Because they blamed them for the Revolution.

David:

They specifically blamed them for the Revolution. You go, what’d the preachers have to do with the Revolution? Why would John Adams point to preachers? And historians have documented that every single right set forth in the Declaration of Independence had been preached from the American pulpit prior to 1763. That means the Declaration of Independence is nothing more than a list of the sermons we had in church leading up to the American Revolution.

Now, we used to study that. Here’s some old books. This is one called The Chaplains and Clergy of the American Revolution. It’s an old book, 1860’s, it’s online, people can read it at Google Books. But it talks about all these preachers who built America. You have one here, The Pulpit of the American Revolution, also from the 1860s. And these are the famous sermons that were preached that shaped America.

Truth Already Preached

David:

And sermons and preachers, this is a great example. This is a guy name the Reverend John Wise. He preached in America in the 1680s. He did two books in 1710 and 1717 talking about rights. But back in the 1680s, he has already preached that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. He’s already preached that according to the Bible, when you look at taxes, taxation without representation is tyranny. He’s already preached that when you look at forms of government in the Bible that the consent of the governed is what God prefers.

And we go, wait, those are all lines in the Declaration of Independence.

Rick:

Those are some of the most famous lines in the Declaration.

David:

That’s exactly right.

Rick:

This is a hundred years before the Declaration.

David:

In 1772, the founding fathers took his sermons and printed in this book. This is from 1772, they spread this all over America.

Rick:

So, they wanted to republish it, get it and get it back out.

David:

They wanted the Americans thinking right. So, they re-published his sermons. Two years later they had to reprint it because it was so popular. Two years later they write the Declaration and guess what? Lines right out of here show up in the Declaration. So, when you look at the role of pastors they had a huge impact.

Here’s, for example, a sermon preached by Reverend Foster, but it’s in front of John Hancock. What are they doing preaching in front– Because there’s preachers who help government officials think right about government. Here’s a sermon preached in front of Oliver Wolcott, he’s a signer of the Declaration. Yeah, but he’s the governor of Connecticut and this was preached in front of the entire government of Connecticut.

Here’s a sermon preached in front of John Taylor Gilman. He’s a signer of the Constitution. Yeah, but he’s the governor of New Hampshire. This is a preacher preaching to the government saying, “Hey, guys, here’s what God says about government.

If it Hadn’t Been for Preachers

David:

So, you look at all these preachers, you look at what we had in the beginning, America would not be the nation it is with the rights we have if it hadn’t been for preachers. And that’s why John Adams lists all of these preachers as being responsible for what we enjoy in America today.

Rick:

Alright, David, how about some questions from the audience on pastors?

David:

Sounds good.

Unknown Speaker:

I understand preachers were involved in the Revolution, but that was before the First Amendment of the Constitution. So aren’t they now supposed to stay out of politics?

Rick:

I have to admit at my age, my first picture of pastors in the Revolution is from the movie The Patriot. And remember the pastor going in to fight. So, that was a depiction of some of the pastor’s being involved. But that was before the Constitution.

David:

Yeah. Well, you have pastors involved in the Revolution as military guys, as chaplains, as legislators, as guys writing the state constitutions. Then you move into the period of the Constitution we mentioned a number of those guys at the Constitutional Convention which were ministers. 29 of the 56 signers of the Declaration held seminary degrees.

Signed by a Minister

David:

So, you’ve got all these ministers involved in every area, every category, of life. As a matter of fact, when you look at the First Amendment, it is signed at the bottom by a minister, the Reverend Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg. That minister had been back as a pastor at a church in New York City in 1777. That minister in New York City, when the British came into New York City in 1777, there were 19 churches in town, they burned ten of them to the ground. He stood outside his church watching as it gets desecrated. He said, “I’ve got to be involved.”

And he got involved. He helped write the original constitution for the state, he turns around and gets elected to the Continental Congress, and he is elected to the federal Congress, he’s elected Speaker of the House in Congress, he does the First Amendment.

Rick:

Wait, you’ve got to stop for a minute, this is a pastor–

David:

A pastor.

Rick:

–serving in Congress.

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

Not only a member of Congress, Speaker of the House?

David:

Speaker the House. So, now he’s over the writing of the First Amendment. And we’re going to think that a pastor over the writing of the First Amendment is going to write an amendment that says, “I can’t be involved”? I don’t think so. He got involved and he wrote the First Amendment, or helped write it, he helped oversee the writing of it as Speaker of the house, so that pastors would be protected.

Our Problem Today

David:

And that’s where our problem is we misunderstand the First Amendment. The First Amendment is not to secularize government in any way, shape, fashion, or form. It’s to limit government from secularizing society. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting free exercise thereof. The only limitation of First Amendment is what Congress can’t do – it’s not what pastors can’t do, it’s not what churches can’t do, it’s not what religious individuals can’t do. It also says, “Congress, you can’t set up a national religion and Congress you can’t stop anybody from expressing their faith.”

That’s all the First Amendment about. That’s no limitation on a pastor – it is wide open. They let pastors still serve in Congress, they let pastors still be legislators. And by the way, you actually had several pastors who helped frame the First Amendment. * is a signer of the Constitution, he’s also a minister, he’s a framer of the First Amendment. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, the speaker of the House, a pastor, his brother was serving in Congress with him – John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, he’s a pastor as well.

So, you’ve got all these pastors serving in Congress and we’re to think that they wrote an amendment that would limit themselves from doing anything? No.

Rick:

So, they didn’t stop with the fighting for the Revolution.

David:

No.

Rick:

Even before that they were planting the seeds of liberty from the pulpit.

David:

You bet.

Rick:

They were in the state legislatures after that and they were in Congress–

David:

In Congress.

Rick:

–giving us the First Amendment.

The Only Thing the First Amendment Limits

David:

All they did was limit the government from stopping those expressions from occurring. They did nothing to limit the expression themselves, nothing to limit pastors, nothing to limit churches. The only thing the First Amendment limits is Congress shall make no law. Now, prior to the First Amendment there’s actually a couple of states that tried to limit the role of pastors. You had, for example, down in Georgia that said no minister can serve in the legislature. Virginia had that.

It’s interesting that Thomas Jefferson is the one who went to bat in Virginia and said, “Hey, ministers shouldn’t be incapacitated from serving. They have the same rights of every other citizen. They don’t lose rights.” And when Georgia did that in 1777 John Witherspoon, who’s a signer of the Declaration, who was in Congress throughout the Revolution, he wrote a letter down to the legislature in Georgia saying, “Why would you say a minister can’t serve? Is he less of a citizen than anyone else? After having done so much in the Revolution does he now lose the rights to participate that he fought for?”

Rick:

And he was a minister–

David:

He was a minister.

Rick:

–serving in Congress, right?

David:

Serving in Congress. And now they’re saying ministers can’t serve in Georgia. The reason they gave was the gospel is so important you shouldn’t be distracted from the ministry of the gospel by being in the civil arena. And it’s kind of interesting, Witherspoon actually got humorous. He said, “So, I guess if I was profligate and immoral I could serve in the legislature, but being a minister of the Gospel and having a moral religious position I can’t, sir? Are you saying I’m going to the legislature set aside my religion, and my faith, and my morality?”

Dropping the Provision

David:

So, what you find is by 1791 so many of those states had dropped that provision. There had been an earlier attempt, and it’s an understandable attempt, because even Thomas Jefferson supported the early prohibition of ministers because so many of the ministers were Anglican. They had been part of the state established church by Great Britain. So, when Baptists, or Methodists, or Quakers, whoever, would try to preach, the Anglican ministers would whack them, they would fine them, they would throw them in jail, they would even kill them.

So, what happened was after we separated from Great Britain Jefferson puts in a prohibition, “We don’t want ministers serving” because he’s seeing these guys trying to whack the other ministers. Well, just a couple of years in he said, “Hey, it’s real clear that this is not the position of the Anglican minister.” As a matter of fact, Jefferson said of all the Anglican ministers of Virginia, I think, there were about 100-120 Anglican ministers, only 20 supported a state established church. So, it was real clear the majority didn’t. He said, “Let’s lift the prohibition on ministers. These guys aren’t trying to create a theocracy. They aren’t trying to create an established denomination.”

And that’s why the First Amendment says Congress can’t create that established denomination. And it takes away any ability of whatever minister to get together and say, “We’re going to all be Anglicans, or Baptists, or Presbyterians, or whatever”. So, while there were a couple of states that tried to limit ministers the founding fathers quickly put that to rest. So, it’s real clear in the First Amendment they weren’t trying to limit ministers because when that popped up in other states they went and whacked it in other states.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

Whether it be Jefferson, or–

Rick:

They slapped that down and said–

David:

They slapped that down

Spiritual and Civil Duties

Rick:

I remember you saying on one of our programs we talked about the separation of church and state and so here you’re saying these were actually pastors able to move within both arenas.

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

They were able to do state and church because they weren’t trying to take over one or the other, they were just serving as citizens.

David:

Which, as pastors simply read in the Bible because Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:21, “You render to Caesar what’s Caesar’s and you render to God what’s God’s. You’ve got spiritual duties, you’ve got civil duties.

Rick:

And they were doing both.

David:

They were doing both. They were rendering to Caesar and they were rendering to God and they never separated their faith from either arena. There was nothing in the First Amendment to separate faith. It only separates institutions. We’re not going to let the Anglican Church take over the Congress. We’re not going to let the Presby–anything else.

Rick:

Or the Congress take over.

Pastors and Government

David:

Or the Congress take over the church. So, what it says is, “Congress, you can’t establish a national denomination in Congress. You can’t stop anybody’s free exercise of religion. No Limit there to secularize any aspect of society.”

Rick:

Okay, David, back to the audience for a question about pastors and government.

Unknown Speaker:

Shouldn’t pastors keep their focus on the church and not on politics?

Rick:

Well, that’s a little bit of what you were referring to earlier. Some of these states had said, “We don’t want pastors doing both. Should they just be focused on the gospel?”

David:

Well, outside of American history you do have a biblical precedent for what’s happening. And what’s happening today is we have, really, a false paradigm created of what a minister is. A minister of the gospel, that’s a preacher, who stands in the pulpit.

Well, actually, if you believe the word of God is inspired, is inerrant and infallible, which I do, that’s a tenant of Christianity for 2000 years. You go over to Romans 13, in Romans 13, the inspired and infallible word of God, twice in verse 4 and once in verse 6 it says that those that are in civil government are “ministers of God.” Really? God calls–God uses the same word for those guys in government that He does for ministers in the pulpit? He doesn’t see a distinction between them? They’re both ministers? Same word.

And then as you get into Hebrews 11 which lists all the heroes of our faith, as you look at verses 22 to 34 everybody listed as a hero of our faith was involved in civil government. Now, why would God hold that up to us if He thought it was wrong to be involved in the civil arena?

Rick:

So, not just the American history in the Revolutionary period did you have pastors involved, biblically–

David:

Biblically.

Rick:

–you have ministers in government.

Just Read the Old Testament

David:

Well, consider how many– just go through the kings of Israel. Just read the book of Chronicles, read the book of Kings, read the books of First and Second Samuel, the six books that deal with the kings, look at the role of ministers in all those kings. Samuel, did Samuel keep his mouth shut when he got around Saul?

Rick:

No.

David:

“Saul, you shouldn’t have done that. I told you to do this.” You’ve get a minister speaking in the civil arena. You turn around with David, was a minister speaking? Yeah, Nathan again jumped up to David, immorality, “Got to go, you can’t do that, you murdered Uriah. You’re in trouble. Oh, by the way, David, you want to build a temple? Here’s what God says about it.” They were the advisers. You have even Ahab and Jezebel wouldn’t go out to war until they got a minister in and said, “Hey, what’s going to happen?” Jehoshaphat, the same thing, the role of the prophet was to speak to the king. That’s God’s Minister. You take any profit in the Old Testament, God had them speaking into the civil arena.

Rick:

You just give me– I had a picture of pastors now today being those prophets, being the pastors. We the people are the king, if you will, we’re sitting in the congregation. The pastor should be speaking to us on all those issues–

David:

On all those issues.

Rick:

On everything.

The Biblical Precedent

David:

And those that we the people elect in the government position, the pastors should be speaking into that arena as well. That is the biblical precedent. So, even though it is also an American precedent, who cares if American history says it if it’s against the Bible. But in this case American history lines up with the Bible. And you really do have ministers involved in the civil arena from the Bible and from American history.

Rick:

Okay, David, I have another question on pastors in government.

Unknown Speaker:

Jesus didn’t seem to spend much time talking about government or politics in his time. So, what about my pastor?

Rick:

Well, did Jesus talk about politics? In fact, I think he talked to politics, maybe even called some politicians some names.

David:

He called some folks out and He called Herod out, He called the civil leaders out, He addressed them specifically on several of their policies. And in addition to that, I guess the answer to this question is, what constitutes politics? Does policy constitute politics? Because Jesus sure talks about policy. And by the way, who defines what politics is? Now, we talk about marriage. Is that a political issue? Or is that a biblical issue? Well, it has become a political issue. 20 years ago it was only a biblical issue. It was not a political issue.

Rick:

And if it becomes a political issue is it no longer a biblical–

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

–does it take it away from the–

Biblical Issues Long Before

David:

Abortion, the acknowledgement of God, all these things that have become political issues, they were biblical issues long before. So, are we saying that every time the government says, “Oh that’s our issue” we suddenly can’t talk about it if the Bible talks about it?

Rick:

Yeah. Or just because it’s controversial does that now take it off the pulpit–

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

–and longer can it be addressed?

David:

What we have to do is say, okay, if it’s in here I’m going to talk about it. Oh by the way, in Matthew 20 and Jesus dealing with the viability of contracts between employers and employees. Wait, that’s labor relations stuff.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

That’s politics. We’re not talking about that. Jesus talked about it why shouldn’t we talk about it? You have, in Luke 19, Jesus talking about no fault divorce. He says, “Look, Moses allowed divorce for the hardness of your heart.” No fault divorce – you can put away your wife for any cause. He says, “From the beginning it was not so – he made them man and woman and said ‘don’t divide them.”

So, no fault divorce, that’s a big political issue. We’ve got probably two dozen states today trying to do something to reform divorce, make the waiting period longer, get away from no fault divorce cause it caused divorce, whatever it is, have covenant marriage. That’s political stuff.

There is a Biblical View on all of These Issues

Rick:

Well, let me ask you in a different way then. if Jesus spoke to it, and pastors should speak to it, I know our topic today is pastors, but for me as a voter then should I not be voting based on that biblical view–

David:

You bet.

Rick:

–of each of those issues. Not just abortion and marriage, but also taxes. There’s a biblical view on all of these issues.

David:

There is. Now, God does create a prioritization of issues. He gives us His top ten in the Ten Commandments.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

He said, “This is the tenor of my teaching.” So, we do have to look the four things that appear in the Ten Commandments. You have the public acknowledgement of God, you have the protection of innocent life, abortion, you have the protection, the preservation of marriage as He created it–

Rick:

There’s obvious biblical, the right position on every one of those things.

David:

The biblical position on marriage. You have the protection of private property in the 8th and the 10th commandments. Beyond that there are all sorts of guidance on taxes, there’s all sorts of guidance on labor relations, employees, there’s all sorts of guidance– and divorce would relate to the marriage thing.

Rick:

Well, not to take away my personal responsibility to read, and study, and do those things. But if my pastor is not speaking to those things most citizens are not going to know.

Every Aspect of Life

David:

The pastor should be expounding the application of the word of God on every aspect of life. And this is one of the problems we have in America today is on any given Sunday, about 60 percent of the nation is in church. 67 percent of the nation thinks the church is irrelevant today. Now, that means the people who are going to church think it’s irrelevant. And quite frankly, I agree with them in many areas.

I am a Christian. If I hear a salvation message 52 weeks out of every year what do I get for Monday morning? I’m already a believer. I need something I can go out on Monday morning and apply when I go to work, when I go to school ,when I go to my family. What do I take and apply? I need something practical.

Rick:

Some discipleship–

David:

Some discipleship.

Rick:

–some application to the things that are going to happen throughout the week.

David:

We have made the word of God are relevant by talking about one, or two, or three, things and nothing else. If you go back and look at what Jesus talked about, you bet He talked about eternal life, and He talked about repentance, but He also talked about a ton of what we call public policies. We need to say, “Hey, I’m going to follow the model of Jesus, I’m going to talk about all these things.” Jesus told Peter, “Feed My sheep.” We’re the sheep – not not the ones who are outside the fold, feed the sheep. And that’s what pastors need to take responsibility to do.

This Precarious Moment Book

David:

This is David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This Precarious Moment, Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now.

Issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.

These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.

David:

Jesus, in the Commission, says all glory is given to me in heaven, so go and teach. And He says, “Teach them everything I have taught you.” Now, that includes evangelism, but it’s everything I have taught you.

Rick:

Yeah, you just listed off the lot of things that had to do–

David:

You bet, you bet.

Rick:

What a difference the pulpit would be, the impact of the pulpit on our nation, if we were teaching those things.

Government Can’t Take This Away

David:

You bet. That’s exactly right. And we need to change our paradigm as the church, as pastors, as people who sit in the pews, and say, “Wait a minute, we can’t let the government take these things off the table just because it wants them. If they are in the Bible I’m going to talk about them. They’re not political if they’re in the Bible, they are– even though they’re policy issues, they’re not political they’re biblical. And that’s a big difference. We need to talk about what’s biblical and not let the government tell us what we can talk about.

Which, by the way, leads to another thing. There’s a great website the Speak Up Movement and what you find is the government and secularists have really intimidated the church into thinking that certain things they can’t talk about. That is not true. Even though they say, “Oh, you will you lose your IRS tax exemption.” Go to SpeakUp movement, look at the website, government can’t take your exemption away. That exemption came from the Constitution – not from the government. All the government does is give you a letter recognizing that you’re tax exempt.

Rick:

You’re on a big issue right here, David, because I think a lot of pastors if they were listening to the things we just talked about might say, “Well, I’m afraid to talk about that, I might lose that tax exemption.” Speak– say the website again.

David:

Speak Up Movement.

Rick:s

SpeakUp.org, they can go there and learn about whether they–

David:

That’s right.

Rick:

Or supposedly not supposed to say, but what the law still says.

Never Challenged in Court

David:

What they can say. And by the way, we’ve been pushing the IRS on this to prove– because, see, the IRS, this policy is 50 years old. There was never– 350 years, there was no limit on what the pulpit said. And in about 1954, Lyndon Baines Johnson passed an amendment that says, oh no we can’t do that. 501c3s, you keep them out on certain issues.” That has never been challenged in court. It was not even a policy debated in Congress. They added it as an amendment rider to a bill that went through without debate.

Rick:

That’s like sneaking it in in the dead of night with nobody paying attention.

David:

Exactly. So, it’s now become a national policy. We’ve never had a debate on it and we’ve never litigated it. Now, if you take this and go into court you say, “Now, wait a minute. You’re saying that Pastor loses his right to free speech? You’re saying that pastor loses his right to association, to choose who he wants to associate with, and talk about that association? Whether it be political entities or anything else. You’re saying that he loses the free exercise of religion? He believes with all of his conscience that abortion is wrong, but he can’t talk about it because it–” Well-

Rick:

You’ve empowered Congress to censor what a pastor can say then.

David:

That’s right. So, what happens is really there’s really four constitutional grounds that protect your pastor on whatever he says in the pulpit. So, with that, this group, Alliance Defense Fund, Speak Up Movement, has developed lawsuits that they’re willing to take at the IRS. But they can only take them to the IRS if they get they can get the IRS to come after a church. So, what they’ve been doing for the last several years is getting pastors to clearly cross the IRS line and talk about political issues in the pulpit.

Rick:

Which are truly just biblical issues.

David:

Which are biblical issues–

Rick:

Yeah.

Crossing the Line

David:

–but they are. And by the way, they even call candidates names and political names from the pulpit. Because if I say, you know, I look at the president, he’s the most pro abortion president we ever had in history, he’s enacted over 41 pro abortion policies. Is that politics or is that just reporting the truth? So, all these guys have been going in. They even said, “Look, you cannot vote for certain candidates because they are pro abortion. You as a Christian cannot support the shedding of innocent blood. And if you vote for that candidate you’re wrong.” They’re calling a candidate by name.

We take those and we turn them in the IRS and say, “Oh, IRS, you’ve got to come after this preacher, he crossed the line.” And we know they crossed the line. We’re encouraging them to cross the line because we want the IRS to come. Years now, the IRS refuses to go after any of those guys. Now, why would they do that? Because there’s 370,000 churches in America. If they come after those guys, we hit them with that lawsuit, and we win the lawsuit, then 370,000 churches know that there’s no limitation on what you say.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

So, they would rather let 200 churches cross the line and not get in trouble than lose control of 370,000 churches.

Rick:

This is huge, David. So, these pastors spoke from the pulpit on an issue as controversial as abortion–

David:

Pr marriage, or all sorts of other issues that are in the Bible.

Rick:

–and they name candidates and their positions on these issues.

David:

And let me let me say also, there’s pastors speaking in the pulpit on things I disagree with, but that doesn’t matter.

Rick:

They have the freedom to do that.

Government has no Right

David:

They have the freedom. There’s some guys coming out all sorts of– “The Bibles against any war anywhere at any point in time. I’m against the War on Terror, I’m against President Bush when he did the War on Terror, I’m against President Bush.” They’ve got the right to do that from the pulpit. Government has no right to go into the pulpit and tell you what you can or cannot–

Rick:

Limit them in that way.

David:

Because you’ve got the right of free speech.  

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

They don’t limit anybody. They don’t limit unions from saying what they want, they don’t limit teachers from saying what they want, they don’t limit political parties from saying– Why would preachers be the only one they would limit?

Rick:

Well, it sounds like they’re not then. If these pastors have been able to that and send these sermons to the IRS–

David:

That’s exactly.

Rick:

–IRS hasn’t gone out. We need to send that to the world and say, “Folks, you can say these things.”

David:

These pastors are gone through legal training and they have deliberately crossed the line saying, “Please come after me because I need to file a lawsuit.”

A Paper Tiger

Rick:

The IRS line – not the Constitutional line.

David:

That’s right. Or the biblical line. They didn’t the biblical line or the constitutional line, they’ve crossed the IRS line.

Rick:

Which is really a paper tiger it sounds like.

David:

And that’s all points, a paper tiger, and that’s why I recommend going to Speak Up Movement, SpeakUpMovement.org, the Alliance Defense Fund, one of the premier constitutional groups in the United States. They defend pastors for free. We’re finding out that there is no limitation.

Rick:

David, that’s a wealth of information. Not just for pastors, but for those of us in the pews as well. Let’s get another question from the audience.

Unknown Speaker:

My church is full of different political views, but we’re all united by faith in Christ. Should I be concerned that introducing politics into the pulpit will breed disunity in the church?

Rick:

Well, here we go, small or large church, they’re all going to be a diverse relation there in that church.

What You Really Want

David:

That’s right. The bigger question is who cares about unity. What you want is biblical foundations. Because Jesus said, “When I come I’m going to be bringing a sword. I’m going to divide a family. There’s going to be two against one, one against two. Because when you start holding up a standard of truth there’s people who don’t want to embrace the truth.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

So, your objective should not be church unity. Your objective should be to declare the word of God. That will wean things out. You may recall the disciples came to Jesus in Matthew 15. They said, “Jesus, the stuff you just taught, don’t you realize the Pharisees were offended over that?” He said, “Look, it’s the truth. They’re either going to get it now or they’re going to have to get it at the judgment, but I’m not going to stop speaking the truth.”

Rick:

That’s good.

David:

So, when you go from that standpoint and you go, for example, to 1 Timothy 1 verses 8-10 where it says the purpose of law is to– Paul makes it real clear– he says, “The law is good if it’s used as it should be used. Knowing this, law is not made for righteous person, but for the lawless and wicked, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane.” The law is made to regulate murderers, and man slayers, murderers of mothers, of fathers, fornicators, homosexuals, kidnapers, lyers, perjurers, and all this other stuff.

Who Cares About the Supreme Court? God has Made it Clear

David:

So, if I come out in the position that says, “Wait a minute, the Bible says the law is made to regulate sexually immoral – whether it’s homosexual or whatever.” So, we need to have laws that say this which we had up until just a few years ago and the Supreme Court said, “All those laws have to go away because we disagree with them.” I don’t care what the Supreme Court says. God has made it really clear what is right and wrong in the scriptures.

Rick:

So, even if your congregation is split on that issue, there’s still a duty to preach what the truth is.

David:

If I– this is where Jeremiah called the pastors back then a bunch of dumb dogs. And that is dumb meaning they keep their mouth shut – they don’t bark. They should bark and they should bark when they see danger approaching. But they were dumb dogs, they wouldn’t bark at the danger. Which, go over to Revelation 21:8 and 22:15, you find that there’s another list of things that says this is not to be tolerated in society.

That’s what formed the basis of common law which is the seventh amendment of the Constitution. This is still common law today. But suddenly we think we shouldn’t talk about it because it’s divisive. It’s more important to get people to think biblically than it is to get them to have unity on a false basis.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

You need to have unity based around the continuity of what God says and God’s word. And if people can’t handle that you don’t compromise your message just because they don’t like what God said.

Rick:

And not only to think biblically, but act biblically, like you said earlier in the program. We need that application–

David:

That’s right–

Rick:

–on Sunday to be able to go out on Monday and apply what God’s word says.

Pastors – Politics in the Pulpit, Building on the American Heritage Series

David:

That’s exactly right. We need to get back to using this as the basis of building our lives, our churches, and our culture. Everywhere we go, everything we do, if it’s in this it’s not off limits to talk about in the pulpit. If it’s in this, it’s not off limits for living in society. If it’s in this, this is what has made America successful. You don’t limit it just because somebody, the government, says, “Oh, that’s political stuff in there. You can’t talk about that.”

No, no, no. What we want to do is Romans 12:1-2. In the King James it says, “Be not conform to this world, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I love in the Phelps translation it says, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” We’ve got to stop letting the government, or secular people, or critics within the church, squeeze us into their mold. We need to go back and say, “Hey, this is the guidebook. This is the mold. This is the plan I’m going to follow.” It was pastors who made America, it was pastors who kept America great, and it’s only pastors who are going to keep America going the right direction.

Rick:

Thanks for listening today folks. Many of you have the DVD set of the American Heritage series. You could get the sequel which is Building on the American Heritage Series. A lot of new material, some fantastic programs. You want to you want to have it in your library. You can get it at our website today at WallBuilders.com.

2018-10-03T08:20:05+00:00September 20th, 2018|Godly History & Good News|2 Comments

2 Comments

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