Patriot Academy Session: Cultural Marxism – With Voddie Baucham: Is Christianity just a “Western” religion? What does it look like to disciple nations? What does it mean to think critically and biblically about government roles? Has “whiteness” made America what it is? What do the freest, least-corrupt societies in the world have in common? How has critical theory penetrated American society? Tune in to hear an eye-opening interview with Voddie Baucham!
Air Date: 08/12/2020
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â 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
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we talk about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith and the culture, but always from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Thanks so much for joining us. As a part of that conversation and I got to tell you, I am just giddy about today’s program.
By the way, my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s constitution coach. And normally, I’m here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders.
But today, we’re actually going to share with you an interview that I just had with Dr. Voddie Baucham. Pastor Voddie Baucham is a phenomenal leader and I have been wanting to have him on the program for months and months. He has spoken at Patriot Academy multiple times and just knocked it out of the park every time. Absolutely love his teaching and watching his videos online. He’s been actually teaching in Zambia for the last five years, he’s been living there and he’s Dean of a theology program and pastoring a church and just doing phenomenal work there and we’re going to ask him about that as well.
But he came and got online and went through our Patriot Academy, was virtual this year, we couldn’t get into the capitals because of all the COVID crackdowns. And so, he joined us at Patriot Academy and just a phenomenal time of sharing. And so today and tomorrow, we’re going to share that with you.
The same way, if you’re a longtime listener, WallBuilders Live, you know, we have a legislator’s conference where we have a lot of great speakers come in and we try to share as many of those sessions with you as we can. Same with Patriot Academy, with this virtual academy, we were able to interview a lot of these great folks from across the nation, in this case around the world and then we’re going to bring that to you here on WallBuilders Live over the next few weeks. So, this one is Dr. Voddie Baucham. Here’s Voddie Baucham at Patriot Academy.
Patriot Academy Session:
I am so excited about this session. I have been praying that we could get Voddie Baucham here at patriot Academy for such a time as this. Voddie actually did the charge for our Patriot Academy years ago. Now, back then, he had a wannabe mustache and that was it. Now, he has a beard that makes Vikings everywhere jealous. It’s amazing.
Anyway, Voddie is now in Africa, he’s in Zambia at the African Christian university there where Dena theology, used to be a pastor, just outside of Houston and just has been a wonderful voice in the church. And I know for me, I learned so much, Voddie just watching you online even now that you’re around the world from where we are. And I’m just thankful you’re here, man. There’s so many questions I would love to ask you. But I want to just hand the time over to you and then if there’s time left, I know the students want to ask questions and I’ll probably jump in with some additional questions as well. So, I’m going to hand it off to you.
As you can see, we’re doing kind of practical application. We’ve been doing biblical worldview and philosophy, but now they’re working on actual campaigning and how to apply this stuff out there in the real world and make a difference in the culture. Anyway, I’m going to hand it off to you. Voddie, I love you, brother. Thank you so much for your time today.
Welcome Voddie Baucham
Yeah, absolutely, bless you. And it’s a pleasure and a privilege for me to be here and I’ll have a few remarks. But what I really want to do is I really want to give us time to interact as much as we can, especially on this format. But let me first say that I’m grateful for this opportunity and I have always thought so much of Patriot Academy and I’m really excited to see young people getting involved in processes like this and actually learning and being taught. It’s amazing and quite disappointing to me how little people tend to know about our system of government and how little they tend to know about how it works and about what it costs and what it requires.
And what I’ve seen in my own life is this sort of process that went like this. I didn’t know anything about what was going on politically. I knew historical names, right? But politicians were the sort of mythological figures. I grew up in Los Angeles, California, in South Central LA. And it was interesting, I was born in 1969. And so, you know, that means I was a child of the 70s.
And the 1970s in your average black home, there were three pictures on the wall. There was a picture of Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr and John F. Kennedy. It was just not at all uncommon to see those three pictures everywhere you went. That it’s funny how, you know, and I run into people from my generation, that kind of a running joke, even if I’ve never met them before, we can laugh about that, because it was so common to have those three pictures.
And so, for me, I had an understanding of politics as something far off, something almost mythical, if you will. And there were all these big issues. And as a black person, you know, these big issues surrounding race and ethnicity and history of slavery and Jim Crow and, you know, civil rights movement and things like that. So, I thought about it in these ways. And then all of a sudden, I came of age and I had an opportunity to begin to participate in voting. And all of a sudden now, it wasn’t far off anymore. It was kind of right here, you know.
Real Consequences of Decisions
And I think ’88 now is the first time that I get to think about participating. And it was right there and it was huge and it was heavy. And it was an amazing thing to be able to be a part of. And then there’s something else that happened. Shortly after that, the Gulf War happens. And all of a sudden, I’m thinking about the consequences of who’s in charge and who’s in office and these real decisions that have to be made. And that really sort of transformed the way that I thought about these issues as well.
And then having opportunities to meet people who serve in political office and have a relationship with people who serve in political office and just to recognize that not only are these just regular people, but these are regular people who need to be discipled. And that’s when I began to sort of my mind began to open up to this idea that people serving in politics, it’s not like there’s the church and there’s the gospel and there’s Jesus and what he does in our lives and then there’s over there, there’s politics, which is something different. No. No. We’re called to disciple the nations.
And part of that, all of a sudden, as a pastor, I begin to realize it, it’s my responsibility to disciple my people to be good citizens, but also to disciple the people around me who were serving in political offices. And so, one of the things that we did in our church in Houston was we prayed. I mean, we had prayer services and God is very clear about prayer. And there are a number of areas in scriptures where we’re told to pray, right? We pray that the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers. We pray for one another. But also, we pray for kings and those in authority. But what does that mean?
And often, I’ve been around where people would, well, let’s pray for the president or let’s pray for this or the elections coming up, so let’s pray. So, we just began to really look into that and take that seriously. So, what we did was every week, we would pray for our leaders.
Praying for Leaders in a Practical Way
But what that looked like is we divided the year up into three parts. And on one third of the year, we prayed for the executive branch, one third for the legislative branch, one third for the judicial branch. And then each week, we would go down the list of national, state and local leader in each of those branches and pray for those individuals.
And then what we do is, we write them a letter. And people could sign the letter, we signed it front and back and everything for people who were there at that service where we prayed for these folks. Send them a letter and say, hey, our church prayed for you this week and here’s a letter sign. And a quarter to a third of the people responded to us. And it was things like, first of all, thank you so much for praying.
And especially when we got down to like, the city comptroller or something like that and he was like, nobody prays for the city, nobody does this. And so, if you’re doing 52 weeks and you’re going through three different branches, and you’re doing federal, state and local, our people were learning that idea of kings and those in authority is much broader than who the President is.
And building relationships with those people.
And building relationships. Some of them came to visit our church, because they just wanted to visit this church where people prayed for them and sent them a letter. But some of them actually sent us prayer lists. And it was like, thank you so much for praying, here’s some specific things that you can be praying about. Some of them did it even after that.
Ministering in the Community
So, they got a letter from us months before that we prayed for them. Well, several months later, they’ve got some big thing happening and they just wrote our church and said, hey, you guys prayed for me before, would you pray for me because I’ve got this happening or whatever? And there were some relationships that came out of that. And some relationships where there are opportunities to minister to people.
So, we’re beginning to see that these are individuals who need to be discipled. They need to be taught how to put their faith into practice in the political realm and not see the political realm as some other place. And that didn’t just mean I’m going to do the same thing that everybody else in politics does, but I’m just going to pray before it. It meant, you know, here’s how you think critically and biblically about not only your role, what your very understanding of what it means to be a representative, what it means to be in the government, you know, so on and so forth. And so that really just begin to transform my thinking on this.
Another thing that has really transformed my thinking on this is living outside the United States. This is our second time living outside the United States. The first time, I went to school in Oxford, and I didn’t think that living in the United Kingdom would be so much different, that living in England would be so much different than living in the United States. But even living in the UK was so different from the US and it just really made me appreciate America.
And then now for the last five years, we’ve been living in Zambia and it has really made me appreciate America from a historical perspective and from a practical perspective, just what we have and what we’re called to steward and how precious and how precarious it is. And so, this is sort of been my journey and all that.
African Christian University
The other thing is I’m here at African Christian university in Zambia and it is a classical Christian liberal arts biblical worldview University. And so, it’s almost like I’m having an opportunity to be a part of something where people are building in the type of foundations that led America to be what America is. The things that we take for granted, these are the things I’m having an opportunity to teach a generation of students who have a view toward transforming their culture into something that resembles what we have in mind.
And so, I know Americans complain a lot, but there’s no place better. I’ve never appreciated America more. And anybody who’s complained about America, I just always tell them go live somewhere else for six months, you’ll never do it again. You’ll never do it again. God has been good to us. And so anyway,
Wait. I want you to go further on that. So, there’s fertile soil there that you’re sowing into these five years, you’re literally planting seeds for a generation Zambia to have the same foundational truths that our founders in America put when they put a declaration in place and said our rights come from our Creator and not from government, that basic idea, and then having a biblical worldview where you’re literally using God’s commands and making disciples that will follow those commands and not separate government or family or work from what they believe. That’s a huge, Voddie, I mean, I knew you were over there for a reason. But I mean, that’s a huge reason. That’s a generational reason for that nation and frankly, that continent.
The Freest Societies
Absolutely. And not only that, but this country, there’s about somewhere between 15 and 18 million people here, it’s a small country. And so, the level of influence here, number one, is a small country; number two, it’s a constitutionally Christian Republic. There are only a few in the world. And then number three, this particular institution is a very unique one.
And so, the things that we’re able to do, we have a student labor program so we’re teaching students about the importance of work. And what I tell people is, our school, just think early Harvard meets Tuskegee Institute and that’s who we are as an institution. And the fruit that we’re seeing is absolutely incredible.
It’s interesting, because there are a lot of Africans believe that America and the West is what it is because white people are superior. They literally believe that. It boggles the mind. And so, part of what I’m having to do here is sort of deprogram that and go, wait a minute, guys, let’s look at a world map and let’s talk about the freest societies in the world and the least corrupt societies in the world and let’s also overlay that with the societies where the gospel has penetrated the deepest.
And you’ll see that it’s not whiteness that makes the difference, it is the gospel because eastern Europe is white, but it’s not as free or prosperous as Western Europe, because the gospel has not prospered in eastern Europe like it has in Western Europe. In southern Europe, it hasn’t prospered the same as it has in Northern Europe or in the United States.
You see, so I try and get them to sort of see and understand that it is the gospel, it is the penetration of the gospel and these ideals that come from the Gospel that bear that fruit. When you look at cultures where minorities are the freest and the best treated and the most integrated, it is those areas where the gospel has penetrated, where women are the freest and the safest, it is where the gospel has penetrated. And so, it’s been amazing to help people get a hold of that.
A Western Religion?
And the other thing is, people think, well, Christianity, it’s a Western religion, it’s a white religion. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Christianity was on the continent of Africa before it was in North America, right? And so, we know names, like Augustine and Athanasius, but a lot of people don’t know that those are Africans. And so, it’s amazing to help people understand those two things.
Number one, that Christianity is not Western or white. And number two, it’s not whiteness that has caused prosperity and freedom around the world. But it’s the gospel that has called prosperity and freedom around the world. And oh, by the way, it’s that foundation that we’re laying in this institution that is going to bring greater degrees of freedom and prosperity in this country in the near future.
That is so good. And since you mentioned Eastern Europe, I want to talk about Marxist philosophy and whether or not it can abide with a Christian worldview. But don’t let me forget, we’ve got to talk about figuring out a way to get some of your students to Patriot Academy, even if it’s online, or having some way to help them get some of this process. And we’ve had some from Canada, but no other countries and I would love to be able to expand that in the way you’re planting those seeds there, what a wonderful opportunity.
Anyway, but let’s talk about the whole Marxist thing and this critical theory and all these things that are now seeping into American culture, not seeping, they’re being poured into American culture and how that’s tearing us apart right now. How does Marxism and biblical worldview compete in America right now from your perspective?
Stay with us folks. We got to take a quick break. We will get Voddie Baucham’s answer to that in just a moment when we returned a WallBuilders Live.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. We have Voddie Baucham with us. This is an interview that I had with him during Patriot Academy just last week. And I had just asked him before the break about biblical worldview versus Marxism in our culture right now and how they are competing in the culture for the hearts and minds of Americans.
I’m going to try to do this quickly. We understand Marxism writ large, right? There’s classical Marxism. And classical Marxism, Karl Marx, Germany, Marxism, socialism, communism, we understand the dividing of the world into the haves and have nots, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the people who control the means of production and the people who did not control the means of production.
And the whole idea was that in order for history to move forward that there had to be this revolt, workers of the world unite, right, from each according to his ability to each according to his needs. And the idea that Marx had was that capitalism was exploitative. And because of that, there would be a revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, but it didn’t happen. That revolution never came.
And the Marxist in the 19th century were really sort of discouraged about this 19th and 20th century, were really discouraged about this. But some of them kind of really put the thinking caps on and tried to figure out, okay, why didn’t this happen and how can we move this idea forward?
There’s one individual then in another group, Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist and he was put in prison by the fascist. And he began to contemplate how it was that Marxism could have more of a silent or cultural revolution. And then there’s another group, the Frankfurt School and they’re called the Frankfurt School because they were in Frankfurt, Germany first. But then when the Nazis took over, they left Frankfurt, Germany and eventually ended up in the United States, in New York at Columbia University.
And these people are trying to advance a new idea called Cultural Marxism. And then the Frankfurt School has the idea called Critical Theory. They’re all based on the same Marxist concepts, but with Gramsci’s influence. So, Gramsci’s idea is that all cultures are built on oppression and that oppression is called hegemony. Hegemony is the main big idea of the powerful group and it’s the way that they oppress everyone else, right? And the only way for there to be freedom from this is through revolution and eventually overthrow.
Not a Bloody Revolution
And so again, it’s still that idea of a revolt and a revolution, but it’s not a bloody revolution. It’s an ideological revolution. It is inherently anti-capitalistic and it is inherently atheistic and anti-Christian in its nature. And so, by default, it is inconsistent with Christianity, because it is inherently atheist. Their understanding of the world and the way the world works is that power dynamics are the way the world works.
Not that there is a God who is all powerful, but that there is always a group of individuals who have power and other groups of individuals who are oppressed by them because they don’t have power. And the deliverance that they seek, the salvation that they seek is the overthrow of that power or the replacement of that power, which again, would start the whole thing all over again. So, it’s completely inconsistent with Christianity.
If I could interrupt you right there, because of what you said earlier, but kind of how you came to the understanding of politics not being separate from the Bible or a biblical worldview, because the church has stepped out in the last 40 years and been pushed out of the public arena, that has made us ripe for that Marxist theory to come in and since they cannot abide together and if you’re going to make government God, you got to move God and the church into a, frankly non- essential place within the culture. Is that part of what made us ripe for this right now?
A More Sinister Plan
That’s part of what’s made us right for this, is more sinister than that. So, the radicals of the 1960s, again, you got to remember in the 1960s, there were radical groups who were revolutionary, right? The Weather Underground and the Black Panthers and Angela Davis, these people were bombing political buildings and police headquarters and this was an armed revolt, and it was a Marxist revolt.
And a lot of people sort of forget this, right, that these big riots and everything in the late 1960s were being fueled by the ideologies of the Frankfurt School, okay, and of classical Marxist. A lot of these people were classical Marxist, as well as the cultural Marxist. And so, it was a very turbulent time.
Patriot Academy Session: Cultural Marxism, Part 1 – With Voddie Baucham
And so, what happened to these people? Did they just disappear and stop bombing things? Well, some of them went to jail, but most of them went to the universities. And they became professors, especially in the areas of education, sociology and political science. And then they created disciplines. James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian have coined this phrase of “Grievance Studies”. And so, you have ethnic studies, queer Studies, feminist studies, women’s studies, African American Studies, Chicano Studies, anything was studies on the end of it, right?
Oh, I hate to do this to you folks, but we are out of time for today. We’re going to have to pick up with Voddie Baucham tomorrow for the remainder of that interview. Just a wealth of information, you don’t want to miss it. Be sure to tune in tomorrow, Voddie Baucham back on WallBuilders Live. We sure appreciate you listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.