Standing Firm in Faith and Freedom, A Battle Against Government Tyranny – With Mike McClure:
Uncover the riveting narrative of a man of faith standing firm against government tyranny with our esteemed guest, California Pastor Mike McClure. This episode recounts the extraordinary journey of Pastor Mike who, adhering to God’s mandate rather than government mandate, faced extreme scrutiny and fines in millions, yet never wavered. The government told him his church could not meet during COVID. His compelling testimony throws light on the escalating government intrusion and the fight for religious freedom. Listen in as he shares how his resilience led him to convince the judge that his church cared more about people’s health than the health department did.
Next, we touch upon the intricate aspects of the legal system, discussing the status of the lawsuits. The conversation takes a chilling turn as we explore the increasing privacy violations in America, specifically focusing on data-tracking technology. Was the government actually tracking his congregation to see when they stepped foot on the church grounds, during the lock-down? Hear about Pastor Mike’s unique insights and his congregation’s reaction to this violation of their privacy. Furthermore, be inspired by the impact of Pastor Mike’s stand against tyranny, on his community. This episode is a testament to the power of faith, community, and the fight for freedom.
Air Date: 09/11/2023
Guest: Pastor Mike McClure
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Rick Green: 0:12
This is the Intersection of Faith and the Culture. Thanks for joining us today on Wall Builders. Be sure and visit our websites. WallBuilders.com , it’s our main site, where you can get all kinds of materials and great information and tools to equip and inspire your family yourself, the people in your church. It’s where you can get a copy of Biblical Citizenship or the American Story or a lot of the biographies. I mean a lot of cool stuff there, so go check it out. But then WallBuildersLive. com is our radio website and that’s, of course, where you can see, you know, catch up on programs. If you missed any programs over the last few days or weeks, it’s there in the archives and we’ll keep you posted on what’s coming up as well. I’m Rick Green, America’s Constitution Coach and a former Texas legislator, usually here with David and Tim Barton, but we’ve got an interview that’s going to take, I think, most of the program because there’s so much to catch up on with what’s been going on in the state of California. Always good to have Pastor Mike McClure with us. You know Californians leading the way. I’m telling you they have done a phenomenal job, these pastors that had to stand up to all kinds of tyranny out in California. It makes you really cement what you believe and then find out if you’re willing to stand for it. Well, this pastor is one that absolutely did face millions of dollars in fines, still fighting the government, and now we find out they were actually tracking the folks in his church. Mike, always good to have you on the program. Brother, thanks for giving us some time today.
Mike McClure: 1:33
Thank you so much, Rick, for having me. It’s a pleasure to be on.
Rick Green: 1:37
Oh man, you set a high bar in a good way for a lot of pastors across the country, I think. You know, you were faced with all kinds of threats, you know, financial, you know, you’re going to kill everybody. I mean just, they really brought the hammer down on you and you stood humbly but firm, and we enjoyed watching and supporting and, you know, just shouting from the rooftops this is, we need more of this, more of this, and other pastors, I think a lot of pastors followed your lead because you were willing to lead in that way. So, just as we’ve done before, but just once again want to say thank you for obeying God and not man and obedience to God is sometimes includes disobedience to tyrants. But for our listeners that may not remember the previous programs when we’ve had you on, can you give us a synopsis of what happened before we get into this whole new discovery in the in the court case that they were actually tracking your churchgoers from room to room? This is crazy Orwellian stuff. But back up and tell us what happened and why you got the attention of the government during the whole covid crackdown.
Mike McClure: 2:45
Sure, a little history back in 2020, you know, when I think covid was kind of discovered in February time frame if I remember right, I’ve been around, I think, just a couple months before that. But that’s when, you know, trump went on TV and said, hey, we’re going to do two weeks to kind of slow the spread with the Fauci and all that. So we did, you know, as most America all did, and churches, of course, just closed for two weeks and then they wanted to keep us closed down and we, you know, we didn’t really close and lock the doors. People were still kind of coming in on Sundays, but we eventually, what we did is went outside live stream like all the other churches in California, I think we’re just waiting. And then there’s a church united and and Jack Hibbs and a bunch of other churches, there’s about 2000 plus that said, hey, we’re going to open in May, on Pentecost Sunday, and so I was joining, I thought, many other churches in our area to do that and most of them ended up not doing that and we opened, and so as soon as we did, we didn’t know we had the Mercury news here and you know they were recording us and and then they put on the newspaper and then we became a target by the county. They began to fine us. We had three other churches that were also renting and they basically sued us after fining us and put a restraining order and they took assistant pastor, myself to court a few times and trying just to threaten and do whatever they could to get us to stop helping people. But they were also hiding numbers for, for instance, in October of 2020, we came to find out that they didn’t answer their suicide hotline in the county and there was 14, 000 calls that went unanswered. Now that the high time on the suicide rate was off the chart, they would not disclose what the numbers were, but we had people that worked for the county that took those phone calls and they told us that they believe they’re higher than the COVID death per month, and so we brought that out in court and you know, I just told the judge I could prove in 30 seconds that the church cares more about people living and their health, than even our health department does, and I showed him those numbers and it’s hard to argue with that, but we, you know he eventually did let us go. He threw us out. I think he kind of saw, as I told him look, I want to honor you, at the same time, you know, he said he was a church going man. He told me, can we just do what they say for a little while? And I just said, no, you know, as a pastor, first of all I have to answer to God. And I gave a lot of scripture in Hebrews, you know, 10, just not for a sake to gathering together of the saints as a manner of some. That word manner can also be translated mandate or law, and I said we have to gather especially, I believe that scripture has written for us because how much more, as we see his day approaching, we need to gather with one another to love and good work. And I said, you know, the first time we opened up our church, contrary to what they recommended, you know it told us not to. I had a district attorney call and say you can’t meet. And I was kind of flabbergasted and I said look, I’m trying to help people here, I’m not trying to hurt people, I’m a paramedic, I’m not a police officer. If you want to come down, are you going to arrest me? And he goes oh no, I’m not going to do anything. In fact, I 100% agree with you opening. I just have to tell you that message. So I had the district attorney in support, had the sheriff in support, had the chief of police in support, because they saw the need, they were recognizing, you know, the urgency. People were just, you know, going out of their minds with the fear and everything that was going on, and the church is a place that you can come and get that rest and, of course, share the gospel. In the meantime, we were having hundreds of people coming every week. We’ve had now over 1,200 people baptized in the last year and a half. I thought no one was… I thought that, you know, the paper turned against us. All the media showed up. We had a Christmas Eve service. They advertised for us all over the media. We had over 3,000 people come to our Christmas Eve service and you know they’ve just been mad at us ever since and we haven’t been disrespectful to them at all, but they have, you know, they’ve not told the truth about many things and they’ve attacked us. They went after our bank. They caused the bank that we were… had a construction loan with, to basically foreclose on us, and so they’ve done a lot of nasty things. Unfortunately, the latest isn’t the worst. I think they just want to make an example. What I understand is they really want to make an example out of us because this is kind of their backyard, I think, the tech company… I had a friend who was a lawyer in town I went to high school with him. He said hey, mike, this whole thing is actually backed by the tech companies. I thought he was kind of crazy until we actually found out through deposition that it was. So, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a few other small handful of tech oligarchs are really kind of calling this shot, and I think we know that. You know their media today, kind of what’s going on, but that’s where we’re at.
Rick Green: 7:43
And you’re in their backyard. So they, want you to bow, man, they’re literally asking you to bow. And talk about intimidation and threats, and I mean going after you personally in court and going after the bank loan. I mean all of those things. I mean this is Gestapo type tactics. It’s just embarrassing that this is happening in America. But once again you guys stood firm and proved what the church is supposed to be and can, you know, still serve people in the community and not let the government shut you down and prevent you from doing that. So it’s just a great testimony all the way around and I’m glad that the Lord has brought so many people to you. But, man, I got a zero in here 1,200 baptisms in a year. I mean, most churches in America would love to do that in the span of their lifetime like the entire history of the church. church really blessed you guys and brought people to you. It was almost like you raised a banner and it gave a place for people to rally and people to come to know the Lord that otherwise would have probably never stepped foot in your church.
Mike McClure: 8:48
It’s true. I thought, hey, we’re going to open up. We had conviction. Our entire staff, the church, I mean we had a unanimous decision when we did open up and say, hey, we know we need to do this, we’ve seen the need, we’ve seen the result. And you know, when we did that, people just started showing up. Of course, they were putting us in the news and making us look like we’re killing people, like you said, and all that. But people would show up and get very emotional even before they came into the sanctuary. Many testimonies of people just getting out of their car and walking in and realizing there was a cost to what they were going to do. But they wanted God, they wanted to know God more than they were fearing death and they were saved. I mean, I would say these people, it’s like they had an experience with God even before they started hearing a message from me or even almost a greeter. It was just a kind of a season where it was an attack from the enemy like I’ve never experienced, but also it was an overwhelming, just flood of peace and just the work of the Holy Spirit and you know, it was like a revival. You know you talk about revivals in past, and I think that was just a little glimpse of, and in that time period, of such an outcry from people to just know God. And people would say, they drive by here. They didn’t even know about the news, but they were desperate, they just drove in the parking lot. We had church, they came in and got saved. Next week we had a baptism, they got baptized, like a lot of those kinds of stories. And I’ve heard this not just our church, but across the country and every church in our area too that opened like we did, they have the same testimony of what God was doing. So it’s definitely a… I just tell pastors, if they do this again and you’re going to miss out, don’t listen to anybody but God.
Rick Green: 10:36
That’s right, man. Oh, it’s beautiful, I’m just… I love hearing the details and I always learn something more about what happened when I get a chance to visit with you. Catch us up on the court cases. I mean, I definitely want to get to this tracking thing, but where are you on the fines and all that you said they threw it out. Did they throw it out completely? Are you done with all that or are you still having to deal with that? And actually, Mike, hold that thought. Answer that when we come back. I got to take a quick break. Stay with us folks,
Tim Barton: 11:12
Hey guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called the American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today and, we would say, very providentially, in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America. Well, is America worth defending? What is a true story of America? We actually have written and told that story, Starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln. We tell the story of America not as a story of a perfect nation or a perfect people, but the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out. WallBuilders. com the American story.
Rick Green: 12:15
We’re back on WallBuilders. Thanks for staying with us. Just before the break I was asking Pastor Mike McClure about where they are on the lawsuits there at Calvary Chapel and all the government intrusion on them, the fines. What’s the status of all that? Has it all been thrown out? Has it all been settled yet?
Mike McClure: 12:33
It’s sad to say one thing… I’m so thankful, actually for David and Tim. I just love… I mean, David Barton, I think has given me such an insight. In fact yesterday I was at a Chinese pastor’s luncheon, kind of like a short little one-day conference, and it was in Mandarin so I had someone sitting next to me translating and they had me share a little bit about mainly our school. We have a K through 12 here. I gave the credit to David Barton. I mentioned him and just said David inspired me and going of course, through the tour and the Capitol I’ve gone with him, had him at the church and just his knowledge and history, the things he… As you know, he inspired… because I did not know that 27 of the signers were pastors until I heard that from David. He gives such a great honest on all of his research and it’s just so important. In fact, my wife wanted me to mention today that she’s waiting for Story the American story part two because she’s using it in our high school curriculum and she just loved it. She said David is just one of her heroes.
Rick Green: 13:34
Man, I want American story, part two, part three, part four, part five. I don’t know how many they’re going to come out with. I know they’re working on more volumes as well, but tell her as soon as possible, because there’s a lot of people that are scrambling for it. They’re like, okay, I need more, I need more. So, yeah, good stuff, good stuff, man, I love it.
Mike McClure: 13:52
These pastors yesterday, these Chinese pastors, you know, they were inspired and I just shared a little bit what I’ve heard from David and I said this is you know… They asked the questions about our church and were the lawsuits gone, I said you know I was just, because I know our American history, we’re basically facing the same kind of tyrannical government like Great Britain was, but now it’s within our own borders. But it’s going to take people like you recognizing, even though you don’t know the language or the culture. We need your culture, we need your love for God. We need you to stand and be united as a church and present truth. You know, I just love that David’s been such an inspiration, bringing you know not just history but just the spiritual insight, I think to what we have not heard about our founding fathers, that I think was really helping me, like deist and democracy was in a lot of Christian curriculum out there and I think when school leaders or, you know, pastors are putting books out, you’re going to be careful because just because they’re the Christian publisher doesn’t mean it’s right. You know there’s a lot of lies out there and I just appreciate how David cuts through all that and has firsthand accounts and it’s been phenomenal. But anyway, back to kind of where we’re at. Currently, we have had a lot of back and forth with the county and that is they first wanted $4 million plus for all the fines that they levied against us during the whole shutdown and we had gone to the Supreme Court in what they call an amicus brief. Bob Tyler, our attorney, with Advocates for Faith and Freedom. He’s done a phenomenal job. He also did Proposition 8, which is marriage between man and woman, California and a few years back. But Bob is just a, he and his team, Mariah, they do such a great job. But anyway, we ended up going to the Supreme Court and they ruled in favor against Newsom, that Newsom cannot keep us from gathering. So they were fining us for singing in church, for gathering, for not enforcing masks or social distancing and all these things. Although we had it all available, we didn’t enforce it. I said, look, my grandfather was a doctor. I just can’t imagine telling people what to do. I’m not a doctor, my grandfather was. I’m a pastor. My job is like a paramedic I’m going to take care of whoever needs help and it’s not about kind of fix what I think is wrong, its not my job. But anyway, they then got kind of pushed back, of course by the Supreme Court. We ended up trying to go into the Ninth Circuit filing for that and the federal court and the federal judge who, you know, she talked real tough against the county and then we get into her courtroom and she basically sides with them, kind of a shock, as she said, this is, I think, quote, a hill you’re going to die on, because they have the First Amendment and they’ve already had a ruling from the Supreme Court. And then she went against us and threw it out. And then we went to the state court and they ended up fining us for just the masks, I think it is, because that’s not been ruled on and it’s like $1.2 million I think they wanted. And then they came back to it. A local judge said we actually want like over $2 million for just this one thing, this violation, and there’s a lot of shifty stuff they’ve done. It looked like in their digital records they’ve added things, like they’ve never just fined us for masks. But all of a sudden they’re in the middle of their… you know they’re fining us for months and months. They have this digital record that we don’t have. They said they just fined us for masks. Because all the other things were ruled on by the Supreme Court. So basically, right now, we are in the Sixth Circuit State Appeals Court, in which we are, you know, the mask issue is what’s there, and they’ve already ruled in the past in our favor and threw out some other things. So what I learned about the legislative system is that it’s… I wouldn’t say it’s broken, but it’s definitely not the right to an immediate trial. It’s been over three years and it’s a circus, and what the county basically told our attorneys is hey, we have endless resources and time and we’re just going to run you guys out. So it’s sad to think that we’re in a system that favors, you know, the bad guys at times and doesn’t give you true justice. But of course, we’ve never, looked at the whole system to give us justice. Only God can give that, and what I don’t want. I’d rather have grace, so.
Rick Green: 18:25
Well, in fact, since you mentioned the signers, you know reason number one, number one grievance for declaring independence- He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. Reason number eight- he’s obstructed administration of justice. I mean, I could go on and on, but it’s exactly what you’re saying. I mean, and the he in this case has become the government, in general. And you know, like you’re saying, I mean what happened to a speedy trial and getting over the stuff? And for them to essentially change the record. I mean what you’re talking about, that they did electronically is essentially changing history and changing what they did in order to fit within those decisions. So that’s shameful in and of itself, and not honest weights and measures, if you will. But, man, now, on top of all of that, we find out they were tracking people in your church. How were they doing this and how did you find out?
Mike McClure: 19:22
Well, Rick, I think that they’re doing that to all of us, you know. I have a lot of people in our church that work for the big tech companies and they’ll tell you the most important thing, the new rate is the data rate. So all these data centers are getting built around the world. I mean, what do you think they’re putting in these servers? They’re keeping probably every conversation, text message. I think they’re doing that. You know Google, especially. I was talking to a lady who helped start Google just this last week and she said you know it used to be, don’t be evil. They threw that out a couple of years ago because they became evil. So they, I do think they’ve been doing that and you know you don’t have to be afraid if you’re a Christian, you know. I think that they’re not anyone we have to be afraid of but what they did in our case is, there’s a company called SafeGraph, who is a company out of Colorado. They tracked all of our numbers, which was interesting and we don’t know yet, and one reason we wanted to file a lawsuit in this one particular area is because they said whether it was a Stanford professor in the deposition or it was actually SafeGraph or the county were not all sure, but they knew which phones were tied to someone who had reportedly come up with COVID and that’s what they were searching. And they wanted to see who had COVID and they’re tracking these numbers. So it wasn’t like that film 2,000 mules where they’re just tracking like an IP address. They were tracking full numbers, apparently knowing like what you have in your health app. I mean, all this stuff is easily hackable.
Rick Green: 20:56
Wow, man, talk about a violation of privacy all the way.
Mike McClure: 21:01
So SafeGraph has been backed off and denied any support or any of this data that was used was not, with they’re permission. So I think they’re trying to get out of it, because the last thing they want everyone to know is that they have ability to track us all and not just to the church. So they had a geofence around our property, a geofence around the sanctuary and around the school, and they just knew who was here, who went to which room, and they’re following everyone’s phone. It’s kind of creepy. They didn’t have an order. There’s no judge giving them a warrant to do that. So I just thought this is crazy. And and yet we all have this, you know, kind of thought the back of our mind. How much are they tracking us? Well, I think the Edward Snowden’s out there and aren’t lying, and I’ve heard that from firsthand accounts of people in our church that would testify to that. Yeah, they, they do this. But you know how invasive is it? Well, now, I think it’s, they’re using it against us and you know we need to be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove, I think, but it is pretty creepy to think they’re using all this tech. They’re going where you go.
Rick Green: 22:12
Yeah, no, man, I got to tell you, Mike, you know, it’s important that we talk about it and that people know about it, because you know, I was one of those guys ten years ago, I would have been like, nah, they would never do that. You know, there’s no way. You’re a conspiracy theorist, you’re dreaming it up, blah, blah, blah. You know, I was one of those guys and this, this whole situation has just Blown my mind how far they’re willing to go, and it is like you said. I mean, it’s evil is evil, and and tyrants are tyrants, and I shouldn’t be surprised that a tyrant wants to tyrant, right, I mean they’re, they want to control people. So of course they’re going to track and of course they’re going to do these things and they’re going to use every tool at their fingertips. And I needed to be shaken out of my slumber to recognize that it’s real and that it’s happening. And so we, you know, we wanted to talk to you about what had happened there, just so people know. And, like you said, I love your attitude, man. I mean, you’re right on, we don’t have to live in fear because of all this, we don’t have to walk around, paranoid, it’s like you know, we go into this eyes wide open, we know who’s we are, not just where we are, so our joy doesn’t change, all of those things. But just as you’ve mentioned, I mean it’s a balance, it’s having peace but yet, at the same time, being like the Men of Issachar, understanding the times and knowing what to do, and that’s what you’ve represented there. And I got to ask before, we’re almost out of time here, but I, what has your congregation said to you about all of this? Like when they found out about the tracking piece, what was their response?
Mike McClure: 23:38
Oh, they… There’s a few people are already planning a class action lawsuit. We ended up not doing that because it’d just take a longer time. But you know, anyone can file a lawsuit for anything. But, yeah, you know they’re… they know what’s going on. I think what, you know, it’s like you said, kind of waking out of your slumber, and realize, Okay, okay they’re going to use everything against us. You know, you see what’s going on against Trump and it’s a political, you know, it’s not just a political battle. We’re really living in dark times in American history and it’s time for the pastors, I really do believe this, because we can’t expect the next election to be necessarily, you know, something that’s going to save our country, or even fair. It’s like there’s so many questions about what’s coming up and it’s really time to act now. And I think people are so thankful that, hey, there’s a church. And you know, they come with their phones. I tell them, hey, you better leave your… You might want to leave your phone at home, they’re tracking you, and you people are just like, I don’t care. Some people go, I leave it at home, and other people are like, you know what, just bring it on. They just, they want to… You know, they want to stand up and they want to do what’s right and I think that we should, is America, I mean, how much farther they gonna push us. They’re trying to steal our kids and we’re in a very liberal area, but it’s also an exciting thing when you have a school, which, by the way again thanks to David, inspired me, so if you start a school, it’s like 15 years ago, you’re going to change the county and now we have almost 400 kids in our school. We’re expanding, we have to actually… we’re getting other… looking at other areas to have to move to, and it’s a blessing. I just think it’s true, when you make disciples and you stand for truth and you teach the word and you teach them history and get them to think it’s amazing, and so I’m looking forward to what God’s going to do, even in our area, which most people have given up on California, they’re just like, oh, california’s awful! And yeah, sure it is. But I tell people who have moved to Texas, or moved to Arkansas or Tennessee, hey, come on back, it’s getting exciting. You know, there’s a lot of opportunity…
Rick Green: 25:37
I’m telling you! This is, okay, bro, this is hard for Texan to say this, but I’m going to close the program this way, California leading the way! California Christians leading the way! Actually, you remember Isaac Air Freight? Did you ever listen to any of their comedy when you were a kid, like I did? We need… Do you remember the crazy Christians routine they had? We need a California Christians leading the way. Isaac Air Freight, if you’re out there, bring it back. Mike, I’m telling you, man, I love visiting with you, bro. David and Tim say hi and thank you, thank you, thank you for what you’re doing and, man, appreciate you sharing the story and continuing to lead. But I’m serious, you guys, you and Jack and Rob McCoy I mean all the California pastors leading the way! We love you, man. Thanks so much for coming on today.
Mike McClure: 26:21
Thank you for having me, and God bless you guys. We appreciate what you’re doing out there.
Rick Green: 26:24
Thank you, brother. All right, folks, we’re out of time for today. Be sure and visit the website WallBuildersLive.com and WallBuilders.com. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders.