Standing For Biblical Values And Truth – With Barry McKeen: Why are leaders of a private school in Florida receiving death threats? Should Christian schools be able to hold biblical values? How did NBC use deceptive, divisive rhetoric to stir up hate? Tune in to hear Grace Christian School Pastor Barry McKeen explain why it’s time to stand for truth and not apologize for it!

Air Date: 09/14/2022

Guest: Barry McKeen

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. You found WallBuilders Live, where we take on the hot topics from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective.

I’m Rick Green, America’s constitution coach and a former Texas legislator. Love serving here with David and Tim Barton. Tim’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. David’s Of course, America’s premier historian, and no kidding, man, his brain has more information about the founding fathers than most libraries do. It’s incredible. But it’s fun to be here on the program with him and get to ask him questions about things from history. And we love getting your questions as well.

So if you got some of those, send them in, radio@wallbuilders.com, we get to those questions on Thursdays, we call it Foundations of Freedom Thursday. So don’t miss that tomorrow, we’ll be covering as many of your questions as we can. And then of course, Friday, we’ve got our Good News Friday programs. And earlier in the week, Monday through Wednesday, we have interviews with special guests from across the nation.

If you missed the interview with Kirk Cameron earlier this week, be sure to check that out at our website, wallbuilderslive.com, great movie out right now called Lifemark, and you want to go see it, this week. Don’t miss it. Because if you go see it this week, you’ll help to push the theaters to have it in theaters for more weeks, which means more lives saved because it creates a culture of life and encourages adoption. So check that out, Lifemark is the name of the movie. And no, they didn’t pay us to advertise or anything, just excited about what Kirk Cameron is doing there, and would encourage you to be a part of it.

Alright, David and Tim, later in the program, we’ve got a school administrator private school administrator and pastor that’s going to be with us under attack, big time, for simply having the same biblical values and standards for the school that they’ve had for almost 50 years.

Biblical Sexuality

It kind of reminds me, guys, remember when we had Dr. Everett Piper on and he was still at Oklahoma Wesleyan and there was a handful of schools that were still going to uphold the basic standards of biblical sexuality and apply their standards; one man, one woman only within marriage, anything heterosexual, homosexual, whatever, outside of that is not something they were going to condone on campus.

And he talked about how so few even Christian schools were willing to still stand up for that; and that’s at the college level. I’m assuming the same problem is happening at the Christian school at the local level, elementary schools.

Tim:

Well, one of the sad realities to your point is that so often we see Christians that are being molded and shaped by culture around them were in Romans 12:2, where he encouraged that we should not be conformed with the patterns but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. And we unfortunately are seeing a lot of Christians that are being conformed to the pattern of the world, that they’re embracing some of this new transgender woke ideology they’re embracing some of the world’s standards for human sexuality.

And the irony of the interview we’re going to have today is literally there’s a Christian school who novel concept decides to follow biblical Christian teachings as a Christian school simply sends an update to the parents to let parents know, hey, by the way, just so we’re still going to do what the Bible says we’re still going to follow these biblical principles. And somebody turns it over to the press, and there’s a big hubbub.

One of the things fortunately we are seeing in culture is this is actually, on some level, a more simple time where we can recognize who’s on our side and not on many levels, because the more polarized sides are becoming, and especially when one side is for morality and biblical truth and human decency, when one side believes in such things as: men and women; preborn children; in basic biology, anatomy, science; and one side doesn’t, it’s not complicated what side we need to be on. So, it does simplify things on some level.

A Culture War

However, it’s also sad to see that there are so many greater levels of criticism and attacks against someone for standing up for these basic biblical values. And this is part of unfortunately, where we are in the culture war.

David:

You know, what’s really amazing about this as well it’s not only did they take a really clear biblical position, a traditional position for a Christian school, a position they’ve held for decades. But it’s interesting that NBC ran an article and said, oh, look at these guys, they have this position of traditional sexuality except that’s not what they said. They interpreted and said, this is a position of anti-LGBTQ and is full of hate. And they’re telling people that if you happen to be LGBTQ, you’ve got to leave the school, essentially you’re kicked out.

So what they got was thousands of pieces of hate mail, death threats like crazy, I mean, simply for holding a biblical position. When NBC ran that article, it just launched an attack on these guys. And so the atmosphere around them has become toxic in many ways. But they’ve been really strong. They’re not ashamed of the biblical position. We’re told in Romans 11:6, I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Well, that’s the whole truth of the counsel of God, and so they’ve not been ashamed of…

My goodness, have they taken a pounding simply for holding a non-woke position that is consistent with what we’ve had in America for 400 years and what we’ve had in the Bible for 5800 years essentially?

Rick:

Well, today’s guest is actually a great example of this doing it the right way, still standing up, still standing for truth and definitely having the culture come against him and the entire school. So it’s going to be an interesting story. Barry McKean is with us, he has a private school there in Florida. We’re going to talk about what happened when the news suddenly decided to highlight their policy that hasn’t changed in decades. Stay with us, folks, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. The year after the American War for Independence ended, we began addressing the issue of Muslim terrorists in North Africa, who were attacking American ships and killing and enslaving American seamen.

Congress dispatched John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate peace. And when they asked the Muslim Ambassador the reason for the unprovoked attacks, he told them that “It was written in their Koran that it was their right and duty to make war upon them whenever they could be found.” 16 years of negotiations failed, and in 1801, America sent its military to crush the terrorists.

When that war ended in 1805, the first American edition of the Qur’an was published urging Americans to read the Koran to see for themselves that its teachings were incompatible with the safety and peace of non-Muslims. To see the first American Qur’an and to get more information about America’s first war on Islamic terror, go to wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Really glad to have Barry McKean with us. This is a guy that is standing up for biblical values and truth, and there’s so few people that do it today. He’s got a private Christian school in Florida that’s been around for a long time doing great work, graduating great kids and sending them out into every area of the culture.

And because they just continue to stand for biblical definitions, and frankly, scientific definitions, oh, boy, oh, boy, have they gone after these folks. So really thrilled to have Barry with us just to talk about what’s happening there and hopefully encourage you wherever you are in the United States to stand up for truth in your community. Barry, God bless you, brother. Thanks for coming on today.

Long-Held Policies

Barry:

Yeah, thank you so much for having me. And I think you said it right, trying at this point, just to encourage other people to stand up for what God says and what we believe.

Rick:

Well, I know you’re taking a lot of heat. And the Left is relentless once you end up on their radar. We hear it WallBuilders have been in that position many times, so we know how you feel right now. But just kind of walk our listeners through this. As I understand it, nothing changed, you guys didn’t change your policy.

It’s just that all of a sudden somebody in the media got a hold of it and made a big stink out of it and you clarified it, and they decided to make even more of a stink out of that. And frankly, I thought you did a great job clarifying it. But kind of walk us through what happened in the last few weeks?

Barry:

Sure, yeah, I appreciate that. So usually, in the summer, we will spend a lot of the summer just communicating with our parents as the New Year is approaching, reminding them of policies, sometimes we will see things in the culture happening and say, hey, we got to remind you that we don’t do that at our school, that sort of thing.

Clarification

And we might have noticed some things at the end of the previous year kind of developing amongst students. And so that was the nature of our email on the 6th of June is just to clarify. And we sent out about seven or eight different emails, clarifying policies, other things dealt with jewelry, and stuff like that. But this particular one was a human sexuality policy.

And if I can summarize the whole thing, it was basically, hey, these are students in high school, and God doesn’t expect any of them to be sexual because they’re not married. And that’s where the whole policy begins. Marriage is designed between the man and a woman and sex is designed to happen only within that relationship. 

And we got a lot of positive feedback. We got only positive feedback from our parents, thank you for sending this out. And then we heard nothing negative and we rolled on the summer. And on the 15th of August we started school.

And this reporter from NBC started blowing up my phone and my email and trying to ask questions, and I never talked to the guy. But he clearly had my email that I had sent to the parents. So at the time, I didn’t know who sent it to him. Later, a former parent did an interview for our local NBC, I can see who the parent was, and then it all kind of made sense to me.

Rick:

And let me ask you this, Barry, because I can’t remember if I’ve read the original email that went out in June, but just based on your statement that you put out with the video, I mean, you make it very clear, hey, listen, we’re not picking on any particular sin or any particular form of sexuality outside of marriage, we’re saying all of them outside of a man and a woman, whether it’s heterosexual, homosexual, multiple, whatever the scenario is, if it’s outside of God’s design, and in our case, we’re dealing with kids, they shouldn’t be dealing with any of these sex issues. I mean, the way I took your tone and the description, this was not a “attack” on any particular group for reference or any of that stuff.

No Witch Hunts

Barry:

It wasn’t and they use all these headline grabbers school ask transgender students to leave. That didn’t happen. We’ve never at this point been forced to enforce this policy. And like any school, I’m not naive, I think we probably have students have a lot of different persuasions who come into the school, even graduate from the school, and they’re not running around wearing it as a badge of honor and telling everybody I’m this or I’m that.

We don’t go on witch hunts to find out. And we don’t ask students up front are you this or are you that? It was just kind of a clarification that, hey…

We’ve dealt with stuff like homecoming issues, and hey, if you’re bringing a day boys bring girls and girls bring boys and you know how the transgender thing has exploded, and it’s become super big in our area. So one of the thoughts was, hey, if your son goes to our school, we’re going to call him he and him and by his name, we’re not going to make me up here. 

And again, it’s not a new policy, the school’s in its 49 year, some version of this policy has been in existence for every single one of those years, parents sign a statement every year, even if they’re a returning parent that they’ve read the policy, they understand it, they’ll abide by it. So this was really just a reminder.

Rick:

And Barry, for our listeners to completely unfamiliar with your school and where you are in Florida, tell us a little bit about the size of the school. I mean, from what I can tell on the website, you guys are pretty good sized private school. It looks like a very diverse private school. I mean, you got kids of every color and background and everything else. It looks like a thriving… I mean, I’ve went all through your website, I’m like, that’s the kind of place I’d want my kid to go. I mean, you guys look joyful and thriving, and all of that good stuff. So just tell us a little bit about the school.

Barry:

Sure. Yeah. We’re about 10 miles east of Tampa, Florida and the school has been here. Like I said, 49 years, it’s a ministry of a nondenominational church called Grace Community Church. And we’re really proud of the diversity in our school…

The History of GCS

Rick:

By the way, started by your father-in-law who played professional baseball which I thought was really cool as well.

Barry:

Yeah, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, and he’s in the Rollins College Hall of Fame. He was actually the first freshman in college history to be all American back in the 60s. He was phenomenal. And he always had a vision of starting a church and a Christian school. So he and his father kind of built the church in the school in the early days, almost with their own hands; and he was alive until 2016.

But yes, like I said, we’re really proud of the diversity of our school, it’s thriving. We have about 540 students, which is our biggest enrollment ever, with about 100 kids on a waitlist. And we just couldn’t be prouder of what our teachers are doing here and they’re just spectacular.

Rick:

I got to say, man, the take home message, when you say that 540 with a waitlist of 100, you stand for truth, people are hungry for it, they’re drawn to it. There’s so many administrators, pastors, and organizational leaders, everything else out there that are so walking in fear right now, oh, that may not come back, or they may not if we do this. I’m telling you, people are hungry for bold, courageous leadership. They’re drawn to it. They want to be a part of it. They want their kids go into a school like that. 

That’s why I love highlighting your story, because I hope it gives courage to other administrators out there that are scared to death to deal with these issues, where this evil of manipulating, I mean, the things they’re doing to kids right now, all across the country it’s so wrong and you guys are doing what’s right.

COVID Prepared

Barry:

Yeah. No, I appreciate you saying that. COVID did different things for different people. But when we came out of COVID for school in August in 2020, we were one of the few schools around our area that was completely mask optional, opened under normal conditions. We didn’t use social distancing. We didn’t use screens. And we did some extra sanitization and stuff like that.

But it’s almost like God was preparing us for this through that because we just stood up for God who’s the author of science, and COVID wasn’t an issue for kids and the safest place for them to be was school. And it’s like out of COVID we built this army of parents because I’ve gotten a lot of credit for standing up, and I tell people I hope I would have stood up anyway.

But with the team that I have behind me, my teachers and my wife, and our school parents and our church, it’s like this army that’s just not going to be shouted down and cower because somebody’s saying something ugly or threatening, you know.

Rick:

Praise God! Oh, man, wait, you’re about to get a whole another round of hate because you just said God’s the author of science, which means Anthony Fauci is not. I’m so confused now. I thought Fauci was the science. Oh, man, you’re such a blessing. Man, I just got tell you, God bless you, Barry and your family, the whole staff there and the students. I mean, it’s a beacon of light and hope to people around the country.

And we ought to have the freedom to have private schools like this that backup whatever our beliefs are. We’re not saying that other people can’t have private schools with whatever their beliefs are. We’re supposed to believe in freedom and competition and the marketplace of ideas and let parents take their kids where they want and if a kid isn’t comfortable and wants to live a lifestyle that your school is not about, they could go somewhere else, not like your locker in room saying you can’t go anywhere.

Private Schools

Barry:

That’s what makes me scratch my head the most, I’m like, this is a private school. And by the way, there’s 150 Christian schools in the state of Florida, every one of them has the same exact policy, almost verbatim. There’s probably 80 of those schools who have those same policy word for word and it’s been that way forever, and nobody’s forcing anybody to go here. And as I’ve been saying, it’s just almost like in our culture, it’s okay to believe anything but the Bible.

And I’ll say this, I think just God’s given this platform and I got a speaking engagement coming up in two weeks in Atlanta at the Prevost stand rally with Tony Perkins, that came out of this. And for me, at this point, it’s about trying to tell Christians don’t get shouted down, don’t get intimidated, they’re going to say ugly things and threaten, but greater is He who is in us he who is in the world,

Rick:

Amen. Amen. Well, brother I’m usually at that Prevost stand event, I can’t make it this year. I wish I was so I can meet you in person, but Lord-willing soon. And just know we’re all praying for you, pulling for you are thankful for your example. And thank you for doing it in love, explaining it well, I mean, that’s rare unfortunately for our side. So thanks for being a good voice out there for just truth and science. 

Thank you very much. They call us the radicals; they’re the ones that are completely changing science and ignoring biology and all those things. So it’s just great to have somebody with common sense and biblical worldview. Keep it up. And please encourage your staff and church and everybody else and let them know there’s millions of us out there that are behind you.

Barry:

Yeah, thank you so much for having me. And I appreciate what you’re doing and we’re all in this together.

Rick:

That’s Barry McKean, Grace Christian School outside of Tampa, Florida. So many others all across the country in the exact same position, be encouraged, stand firm and having done all, stand. Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

CONSTITUTION ALIVE!

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.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us and thanks to Barry McKean. Well, thanks for coming on the program, Barry, but man, thanks for taking the stand. Tim and David, I know sometimes our listeners might feel like there’s nobody left, there’s nobody standing for truth anymore. But we know because we’re out there all the time and we get to meet guys like Barry all the time that are on the front lines. And so I love getting to highlight his story today and also just let he and his family and his school know that there’s millions of Americans that are thankful for them being willing to take a stand like this.

Egregious Claim

David:

Well, it’s funny too, that as he pointed out, this is the position held by 150 Christian schools in Florida, all the Christian schools in Florida, 80 of those schools apparently have the same language, 70 of them have the same position. And here, this headline comes out making this egregious claim about this supposed announcement he made on we’re kicking you out if you… As he said, that’s not what he said, that’s not what was there. They put out a biblical code of conduct the same one they’ve had all the way through for decades literally.

And so these guys, the media really stirred up a firestorm by creating rhetoric and language that was not used by the principal or not even part of the language that was in that piece he sent out. So here you get all this hate stirred up. But this really goes back to the thing and I really appreciated the fact that he did this was such a good attitude. You hear no bitterness in him, no retaliation in him. 

And it’s like, hey, we’re just standing strong for where we are and this goes back to something we’ve talked about before. And it’s time for people to stand for what they believe and not apologize for it. And you don’t see him backing up at all.

Tim:

Well, and specifically, it’s time for people to stand for what’s true and what’s right. Because you might have to leave something really dumb but don’t stand up for that necessarily, right, stand up for what’s true. And dad, to your point, he has a great attitude right now, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t incredibly frustrated at some point along the way. If he’s getting death threats and ready, presumably with his wife and kids and I don’t know the makeup of his family, but if he’s dealing with this, man, I can only imagine how you feel wanting to protect your family and you don’t want to endanger them. But you don’t want to compromise biblical values or positions as well. But it’s great.

Happy Warriors

Rick, you reminds me of something that Ronald Reagan said that I hear you quote often, where Reagan talked about being happy warriors. And where we want to engage in culture, a lot of times people engage in culture, but they’re not very happy and you don’t often feel like they’re the people you want to hang out with. Now sometimes, they’re the people you want on your side to fight the fight, but maybe not go, have a coffee or ice cream or go get a meal with, they don’t really seem like fun people. And this guy seems like such a good guy who just loves people and wants to serve people.

And even just to point out, hey, guys just want to remind you biblical position that human sexuality is to be in a marriage with as the man and woman and so like this should not be a controversial position at all. But when you have a culture–

And really a culture of leftism that’s embracing post-modernism where there is no truth, there is no morality, there are no rights and wrongs, it’s objective, and the only thing they seem to agree on is if you disagree with them, then you are a fascist or a communist or a racist, or whatever they want to throw at you, whatever that moniker might be. He is someone who is just unapologetically and lovingly standing up for biblical truth and morality.

David:

You know, as I was listening to interview, Rick, as you’re talking to him, and he’s responding, I was reminded of a story out of the Old Testament, where it’s going through King David, all the mighty men, his 30 mighty men, and the top three, and these guys weren’t the top three, but they were the next three, etc. And one of the mighty men was a warrior, who the Bible says he did nothing but defend a beam patch until the sword stuck to his hand. 

I mean, he stood there and defended what would seemingly be a worthless piece of anything, except that was what he was told to defend and he stood there and defended that beam patch. And when the battle is all over, they had to prize fingers off the sword because he wouldn’t back off what he had been told do.

Courage

And I’m sure that this Christian school probably has not had this kind of national publicity before, but they’ve stood there and faithfully done what they were supposed to do and that’s trained Christian character, and trained young people with a biblical view. And it’s one of David’s mighty men with that kind of courage.

Tim:

Well, and as he pointed out, even the interview, Rick, you pointed out, the school is actually looking very strong and healthy. They’re growing because of this. And in an era and culture, where people are so confused, and there’s such attacks against basic principles and values and morals in Christianity, when you see someone standing up in love, in truth, doing the right thing, it really is a beacon that people want to be there and they want to surround.

What we’ve heard is, estimates are that up to 20% of students will not be in public school this year, whether it’ll be homeschool or private or Christian school, whatever kind of variation there might be. People are looking for other options and answers. And when you have a school like this with a leader who unapologetically is holding a biblical position, in spite of the death threats, in spite of the negative press, and isn’t able to come on a show and just talk in love about holding this position, that’s the kind of place where parents are going to look at and go, oh, man, we want our kids to go there because those are the kinds of values we want them to have.

David:

And I thought Barry closed with the good challenge is good for us as well and he uses that verse out of 1 John that greater is He that’s in us than he that’s in the world. And if you really believe that, if you really believe greater is He that’s in us, Jesus, God in us is greater than anything in the world, he said, then don’t get battered down and don’t get intimidated. You know, that’s really good challenge. If God is greater than anything in the world, we can get intimidated and we can get battered down, and he surely hasn’t. He’s a great example for all of us.

Standing For Biblical Values And Truth – With Barry McKeen

Rick:

Alright, folks, out of time for today’s special thanks to Barry McKean not just for coming on the program, but for standing firm and being an example. I hope that everybody listening today will take courage because courage is contagious, and you’ll recognize it when you do stand for truth, God will be there with you through the tough times, and through the good times. And that’s why in James, when we know when we’re facing those trials, we’re supposed to count it all joy when we experience various trials because God’s using those to make us perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Check that out in James today if you haven’t read that recently.

Special thanks to all of you for listening, especially to those of you that have been contributing and helping us continue this program and reach as many people as possible. If you haven’t done that lately, or you’ve never made a donation, please consider doing that at wallbuilderslive.com, wallbuilderslive.com. That’s also where you can check out some of the programs you might have missed over the last few weeks and months. 

And as well, you can become a constitution coach, don’t have to have any particular experience, no special degree, you don’t have to know anything about history or the Constitution or any of those things, you’ll learn with the people that you invite over to your living room or at your church. Let the videos do all the teaching. Check that out at constitutioncoach.com, get signed up today and be the catalyst for a restoration of biblical values and constitutional principles right there in your community.

Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.