Providential History: Pro-Family Legislators Conference Part 2. David Barton talks about America’s education system and why it is so important to teach about the Providential history of our nation and begin to teach cause and effect and what God is saying and what God is doing.
Air Date: 02/01/2017
Guests: Glenn Beck, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- Pro-family Legislators Conference.
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
You found your way to the intersection of faith and the culture! This is WallBuilders Live, we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and he culture as well. All from a Biblical , historical, and constitutional perspective. David Barton is our founder and president. He is America’s premier historian. And though not in the studio today he is on location. And we’re headed out there with him to pick up from his presentation yesterday.
If you were tuning in yesterday you heard the first part of the Pro-family Legislators Conference. We’re going to pick up where we left off yesterday. We will get most of it today and then the conclusion tomorrow. So this is David Barton. He’s speaking to a group of State Legislators, Reps and Senators from across the nation who have gathered in Dallas for Pro-family Legislators Conference. We won’t be able to get it all in. So we will get the conclusion tomorrow.
This is a three part series that will be available to you on WallBuildersLive.com for free. You can share it with your friends and families. To pick up where we left off yesterday, here’s David Barton at the Pro-family Legislators Conference.
In the last 15 or so months Tim and I have been contacted by three colleges who said, “We want to start government programs. We want to start schools of government. Will you help us create a school of government?” And so we did. We gone in and helped them create schools of government.
One of those colleges opened their school of government this fall. We have been working in their school of government teaching. Our philosophy of how you get good politics is a little different from every other school government out there. By the way, we called our school The School of Practical Government, because most government schools are very impractical. If you came out of the JFK School of Government out of Harvard I don’t want you anywhere close to government. I want you staying away from it.
Four Things You Need To Know To Get Good Politics
What comes out of most government schools is what’s destroying government. So, we want one that’s very practical that when you come out you can actually do something to move the nation in a more constitutional, more religious, and moral direction.
What we had determined looking back through history and all the history we have and going out to the library on on Sunday morning and we’ll see these old documents. Actually what we have the kids studying in class is we have them studying a Constitution class book from 1828. We have been studying commentaries on the Constitution from 1831-1841. We have them studying textbooks on government from 1843, so all the old stuff. It’s back when you were using the foundations.
This is what I want to present to you tonight. I think we have an opportunity to really train millennials, the next generation with the right philosophy of government. Because you just don’t get it at schools now. We think that there are several foundations that anybody needs to know and particularly what we’re doing with these schools of government, this is the way we’re trying to train them.
Below politics there are at least four things that we think have to come first before you get to politics. You’ll never get good politics as an end without doing these other things in sequence. So let me take you through them real quickly.
The first thing is a Biblical worldview. We think that’s a starting place.This is where we want God fearing Christian legislators being in. But we also want Biblical thinking legislators.
I don’t think I have shared with this group before. When we do pastors’ conferences in Washington D.C. trying to expose pastors to that thought or the concept that you need to be involved in a civil arena. We’ll bring in 12 to 15 senators, representatives, etc, and I always tell these guys, “I’m not going to let anyone come and speak to you unless their voting record matches their Biblical profession of faith.” If they don’t vote the way that their faith says that they are, we are not going to bring them in.
Compromising Values For Career
The two examples I use are two U.S. senators. One U.S. senator, really fun to be around. Because when he gets asked to pray for any group he’s going to pray in Jesus name and really doesn’t care who gets offended. He stands up for his faith. He’s just got a lot of backbone for his faith.
Then there’s another senator that all the time is talking about, “Look what the Lord showed me in Scriptures this morning. I got to share Jesus with this person and the janitor.” All the time this is their talk. Both of them vote for every abortion measure that comes along including partial birth abortion. Both of them vote against marriage every time it comes up. They vote against conscience protection, vote against public religion….
“Guys, how do you do this?” And they said, “Here’s our faith. But this is our job. Well, that’s a lack of a Biblical worldview. We’ve got a lot of people who say, “I’m a Christian but then I’ll take my personal views that guide the way I act.” You can’t do that. It needs to be consistent with what God’s views are. That’s literally what we believe.
In teaching that, Teddy Roosevelt said this, “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven entwined with our civic and our social life, it would be impossible for us to figure out what life would be if these teachings were removed.”
Notice he didn’t say, “Spiritual life.” He said, “The Bible is part of our civic and social life.” I think if you challenge most pastors, much less most Christians, to give three areas where the Bible shapes our civic and social life, I don’t think they can give you one. I don’t think they have a clue. And yet President Roosevelt says, “We all know the Bible is what shaped our civic social life.”
Politics and Government In Scriptures
The same thing from Zachary Taylor who said, “The bible was indispensable to the safety and permanence of our institutions.” Again, if you ask them, “What institutions are shaped by the Bible?” They wouldn’t have a clue.
I’ll just give you just one example. In a Supreme Court decision Stephen Breyer, who is a very secular justice and very liberal justice of the Supreme Court, actually made a comment in that decision.
He said, “Of course, we all know that all the due process clause is in the 4th and 8th Amendment of the Constitution. All those clauses came out of the Bible.” Oh, do we know that ? Really?
So, when I checked his footnote on it he goes back to the federal practice and procedure. If you are an attorney that practices federal law you’ll have federal practice and procedure. If you pull volume 30 out, there’s nearly 60 pages in volume 30 that show that every clause. And the due process clause, that’s the right to confrontation, the right to compel witnesses in your behalf, and the right to trial, which every one of those clauses came out of the Bible.
The right to confront your accusers, John 8:12. The right to compel witnesses on your behalf, Proverbs 18. Most folks today have no clue. In previous generations, we knew that you couldn’t have good government if you didn’t relate to what created that good government to begin with.
So that’s the Biblical world view we want. And to have a Biblical worldview actually just means the think Biblically, to know enough of the Bible to be able to think and know God’s values.
This Six Basic Biblical Belief Polling Questions
What percentage of Christians…you may know that in polling it’s usually, those that are self-identified either Christians, as born again Christians, or evangelical Christians. Those three different categories all have different parameters polling wise. So, what percentage of Christians and born again Christians hold six basic Biblical beliefs?
These are the questions that are asked.
- Do you think there is an absolute moral truth? Is there anything with an absolute right and absolutely wrong?
- Do you think the Bible’s accurate in its teachings? Or is it just a book of guidance like Plato, Socrates, or anything else?
- Do you think the Satan is a real being or is that just somebody we blame bad things on because we just need something to blame them on?
- Can Heaven be earned? Is that a gift of grace or is it something you can do to get into heaven?
- Did Jesus lived a sinless life?
- Does God still rule the world today? If you pray will you answer your prayers?
Those are six pretty simple non-negotiables that have been part of Christendom for 2,000 years. Yet, when you ask Christians and born again Christians if they agree with the six premises what you find is that only 9% of Christians and only 19% of born again Christians agree with those six premises.
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 Citizen’s 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.
In Behavior Most Christians Aren’t Different From The Population
You’re talking about Christians who have no clue on the basic elementary beliefs. From that thinking is what they do to move into policies and everything else. The reason they don’t know is only 14% of Christians read the Bible daily. And you can’t know what God says if you don’t read his Word.
Less than that about 5% have ever read the Bible from cover to cover. So we’re dealing with a very Biblically illiterate population for the first time in our history. And the church is not doing much to help that, quite frankly. That’s polling from a different presentation.
George Barna, who will be with us tomorrow. He is the most quoted pollster in history. He is quoted more than any of the pollsters ever been. I asked him one time how many people he had personally interviewed and polled. He that there are over a million people that he has personally talked to and polled. Unbelievable stuff.
No Difference Between Christians And Non-Christians In Behavior
George points out. Of course, he is head of Barna Group and has different groups like Christians Impacting Culture, Sage Con Weekly, etc. Those are things that he started. George pointed out that more than 70 immoral behaviors that we study. He said, “When we compare Christians to non-Christians we rarely find substantial differences.” Can’t find any difference between Christians and non-Christian when it comes to behavior.
Take, for example, the issue of abortion. The reason we still have an abortion today is not because of Planned Parenthood or because of the Supreme Court. It’s because of Christians. Right now 78% of Protestants do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Think of that. 3 out of 4 church going people do not want to see abortion ended.
You have 65% of abortions every year performed on Christians. And two hundred thousand a year performed on born again Christians. They’re the ones who keep Planned Parenthood in business. So it’s non-Biblical thinking Christians. And that’s why Barna says that we can’t find any difference in the behavior between the two when it comes to things like abortion or homosexuality.
Three Reasons Why Christians Deliberately Lie
Currently, 27% of active homosexuals say they’re born again Christians. I will point out that’s an impossibility because 1 Corinthians 6 says that homosexuals will not enter the kingdom heaven. So you can’t be born again and be homosexual because you can’t enter the kingdom. But that doesn’t compute to them. They’ve never seen that scripture much less all the other scriptures that deal with that particular issue. And churches sure don’t talk about them.
You have the issue of lying. Only 35% of Christians said that they had not deliberately told a lie in the past 30 days. When you ask, “You’re a Christian. Why would you deliberately lie?” The top three reasons:
Reason number 1. “If I told the truth it would devastate my friend.” Wait a minute. You are going to lie because you don’t want their feelings to be hurt?
Unfortunately, that’s the way we’ve done it. I mean if Trump has done one thing that’s already made a change is bust up political correctness. We’re starting to be able to have opinions we haven’t had in a long time. And we can express them. And now we don’t get beat up the way we used to, even a year ago, for expressing opinions. So if I told a lie to not upset my friends, that’s an unacceptable answer Biblically.
2. “I only lie about little things because God doesn’t care about that.” Really? That means you don’t know anything about the Bible.
- I love this one. “I lie. I know it’s a sin but that’s why Jesus died on the cross.” Ouch, not so.
But again, you have 2 out of 3 Christians that said they deliberately lied in the last 30 days last month. And that’s the excuse they give. And I can go through others.
But that’s why George says, “There’s more than 70% where we can’t find a difference between them.” That’s why we get to have better-thinking people to start with. I don’t want people close to the office until they understand how the Bible applies to every issue of life.
Biblically This Is What The Government Should Be Doing
I put these issues out there because there are Bible verses to address every single one of them. We need to understand God’s view on all these things. It makes policy a whole lot easier. And that’s why you get what Teddy Roosevelt, Zachary Taylor, and others said, “The Bible is indispensable to our institutions.” It’s because we used to understand those teachings.
So that’s the first thing that we start these kids in. They start getting a foundation of Biblical worldview. Not just Bible, but Bible and policy. What does the Bible say about social programs? Matter of fact, one of the things Tim and I did when we were at this college a few weeks ago we said, “There are 205 verses in the Bible that deal with taking care of the poor. Now we’re going to figure out who’s supposed to do that.”
So we put up a chart with categories, category of the individual, category of the family, the category of the church, and the category of government. We go through all those verses. And we see if it’s talking to the individual, the family, the church, or to the government.
When they got done with all the verses the only thing it told the government to do was when the poor come into court make sure they get justice. Don’t treat him different the rich. Every bit of taking care of material needs was done either by the Church or by the family or by the individual. No material needs were met by government, out of all the 205 verses.
So we want them going through and seeing what the Bible says about social programs, about economics. What taxes are good? What taxes are bad? The Bible deals with all of that.
How To Teach Politics In College
The second thing, we want is we want them to understand providential history. Now, providential history, of course, the basis of that is history. In a couple of days, I will be sharing particularly on the way we treat veterans. Here’s what study that was done by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the summary is, “America’s past, passed over. In other words, we’re not teaching history.
You’ll be surprised at some of the things that came out just a few months ago in this study on where we are in teaching basic history. Pretty shocking things. But we’re not talking history. What we’re doing is we’re talking providential history. Providential history means God’s view of history. Now, this is the way we used to deal with history all the time.
Jedidiah Morse is one of the top three educators in American history. He was historian. He did the first history of the American Revolution. He was part of that era in that timeframe frame where he knew George Washington.
This is what he said about the role of the historian, “The office of historian is, number one, to record the progress of human affairs as directed by the providence of God.” The first thing a historian is supposed to do is show you what God’s been up to as history moves along. What is God’s hand in this thing that is happening? He said, “Secondly, exhibit the connection of events, and show the cause and effect.”
A Moment From American History
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. As Christians become more active in politics they must remember to elevate principles above party loyalty. Perhaps, the best illustration of this comes from the life of Founding Father Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and who served in the presidential administrations of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Each of whom was from a different political party.
When Benjamin Rush was asked about his personal party affiliation he responded, “I’ve been called an aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christ-ocrat. I believe all power will fail at producing order and happiness in the hands of man. He alone who created and redeemed man is qualified to govern him.”
Like Benjamin Rush, we too must remain Christ-ocrats, regardless of our personal party affiliation. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8 REBUILD
We Need To Be Teaching Cause And Effect
Cause and Effect. Notice that, some things and some things don’t. We don’t teach that anymore because then we’d have to come to term with the fact that certain things are right and certain things are wrong.
Even in Texas, one of the textbooks that was introduced to our State Board of Education said…well…
This is where you get Obama saying, “Every nation is exceptional.” They are? Well, how come they don’t have the same results? How come some nations have better results? Some have better economics. Some nations have-
“No, they’re all exceptional.”
No, they’re not. There’s causes and effect. Things that work and things that don’t.
But if we were to teach that today, we would have to say certain things are right and wrong. We can’t do that. Right now, 2 out of 3 Americans believe there is no absolute moral values of any kind. Are you kidding? No absolute rights or wrongs? “Nope. we make up our own.” That’s what we’ve been teaching for about 20 years.
History is supposed to show what works and what doesn’t work. This is why Bernie’s kids overwhelmingly supported socialism. But none of them could define what it was because they have never been taught. They’d never been taught the free market economics.
I think only 3% of the universities in America today require any kind of a course in free market economics for kids. So if you don’t learn free market economics you are going to come out thinking socialism is the best thing possible. Socialism never worked anywhere it’s been tried. But then you’d have to show causes and effects.
Character Never Changes
The third thing is to display the character of man and the character of God. That’s interesting because believing that man doesn’t evolve, I believe he’s got the same problems he’s always had. He has the same tendencies and same characteristics. God doesn’t change.
Therefore, that’s why history is good from 300 years ago. I can study from a thousand years ago. I can study the writings of Sun Tzu on war, which we still do in a war college. Our war college is for all the various branches. We still study Sun Tzu’s principles of war because they are over 1,000 years old but they still work.
That’s because the character of man doesn’t change. And the character of God doesn’t change. That’s why it’s predictable. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “What has been, will be again. What’s been done will be done again. There’s nothing new under the sun.” Technology changes, but human behavior doesn’t change.
That’s why separation of powers will always work. That’s what checks and balances will always work. Because you’ve always got people who want to take it too far. You have the Supreme Court who wants to… Read the American Revolution. The Founding Fathers were in arms over what the Supreme Court did in being judicially active under the bridge system.
We are right back there again. If we read the history of judiciary 200 years ago we would think that we were talking about right now. The same thing right now, the same tendency of judges to take power to themselves.
Abraham Lincoln Wasn’t Always A Christian
“To record the progress of human affairs as directed by the providence of God.” Let me give you an example of how that looks. Just dealing with Abraham Lincoln for a minute. This is a view of Lincoln we don’t get any more but I want you to see this. There’s probably no president in the history United States that quotes the Bible more than Abraham Lincoln.
Yet, Abraham Lincoln in quoting the Bible was not a believer. As a matter of fact, as he related to an Illinois clergyman, he told that clergyman when he became a Christian.
This is what is recorded by that clergyman talking about Lincoln. According to the clergyman, Lincoln told him, “When I left Springfield, Springfield, Illinois to be president I left there on a train. When I left Springfield I asked the people to pray for me”
That’s a good prayer request.
“But I wasn’t a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. He said, “but when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, when I saw that, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus.”
Providential View Of History
Now his thing is he changed a Gettysburg. That’s 1863. It’s interesting that in 1863 is when Abraham Lincoln issued this national call for a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer. Alright, that’s cool, we’ve done that before. But look at it from a providential standpoint. I’m going to show you a two minute clip that I did with Glenn Beck. We do history programs from time to time. In doing his history program, just see this 2 minutes.
Talking about Abraham Lincoln, the change in him at Gettysburg. He said, “Now I am a Christian. Now I get it.”
How many of us can say that? I mean most of us say we are a Christian and that we believe in God. But how many of us can say, “No, no, no. After all these tragedies I still didn’t get it. Now I get it.” And he calls people to fast and pray and says, “This is it. Right: What happens?”
“This is a timeline of the major battles of the Civil War. There’s a lot of minor battles. You have got Pea Ridge. You’ve got Stone’s River. You’ve got all of these other battles. But let me show you as the civil war progresses how the union is doing.
The Union won Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. They won Shiloh, and that’s it. Everything else belongs to the Confederacy.
Then they get over here, they win Gettysburg. They win Chattanooga. They lose Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor. They win Petersburg, Richmond. They win on Sherman’s March. They win Atlanta. They win Mobile Bay. They win Nashville. They win Appomattox. And that’s the end of the Civil War.
Pretty clear difference. That’s where you had the national day of fasting and prayer, right there.
That’s a providential view of history. If you leave God out of the picture, “Oh man. He finally got a good general.” No, he didn’t change generals until 1864.
That’s a providential view. And that’s what we used to teach. Matter of fact, Charles Coffin who was a famous historian wrote a whole series of books that we used and were very popular in public schools 1870s, 1880s. He back in that day when you taught history you didn’t have teachers colleges so what you did was in the front of your book you told teachers how to teach the course.
This is what he uses in front of the book. He tells the teachers, “Notice that while oppressors have carried out their plans in history there were other forces silently at work which had in time undermined their plans. As if a divine hand would recon the counter plan. As if God had something in mind. He says, “Whoever proves the story of liberty without recognizing this feature will fail to fully comprehend the meaning of history. There must be a meaning to history or else history has an incomprehensible enigma.”
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional. And you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and bring a speaker to your area.
The Renewing Of Your Mind
That’s where history is today. We have no purpose and no meaning to it. Kids get tired of a bunch of dates and places, “It doesn’t teach me anything.” That’s because we don’t say anything is right and wrong. We don’t teach character of man or of God. We don’t have the providential view. We don’t show what God’s up to. What do you learn from history? Nothing.
But, what we’re doing for kids that we want to have an office someday. We want them see in God’s view of history, that God does get involved in the affairs of man. And he does have things he says are right and wrong. And there are things that work and things that don’t work. That’s the 2nd thing.
The 3rd rd thing we do is government. What we teach about government is the institution itself, not American government but just government itself. And when you look at the Supreme Court they have shaped the way most Christians think about government.
What they did starting in a case called Evidence vs. Board of Education they said, “You know faith is really important in America. That’s why people came here. That’s why we’re founded. Faith is still important. You’ve got the whole First Amendment protected. We just need you to practice your faith at home or church.”
And so what we started doing is compartmentalize faith. Faith goes over here, but it doesn’t go into the courts. Education is really important but faith is over here. “If you like education faith, have a Christian school. Faith and government don’t go together, so we get separation.” We compartmentalize faith which now causes many Christians to think there’s a difference between the secular and the spiritual. And there is not. God doesn’t say, “Boy, I wish…”
If you’re at the great white throne of judgment in the end time, you know Revelation, and you’re a fly on the wall watching all these people get judged, and God says, “Whoa time out, the guy’s in politics. It doesn’t apply. He’s off the hook.”
It’s not going to happen. God’s going to judge everything by his standards. There’s nothing in that is off limits to his standard. And yet Christians and especially pastors and even those political senators I was telling you before they compartmentalize their faith. They’ve broken it out. “Here’s what I do. Here’s what God does.” It doesn’t work that way.
So within that framework, I think where we often are in Romans 12:1-2 in the King James it says, “Do not conform to this world, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” But in another translation, it says, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.”
In a lot of ways, we’ve let secular thinking people shaped the way we think about government, what its role is to be, and etc. We need to be reshaping their thinking to what the role of government is, pushing them back in a different direction.
Out of time for today, folks. That was David Barton speaking at the Pro-family Legislators Conference. That was part 2 that we heard today. Yesterday was part 1. Tomorrow we’ll get the conclusion of part 3. So don’t miss it! Join us tomorrow here on WallBuilders Live.