Biblical Citizenship In Modern America Course – The Conclusion – How can you be a biblical citizen in today’s America? How can you make a difference in our culture? Does the Bible really matter anymore? Tune in to learn the answers to these questions and more as we bring the conclusion of this course to you today!
Air Date: 10/01/2021
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.
Welcome to WallBuilders Live, the intersection of faith and the culture. We are listening to Biblical Citizenship in Modern America this week. Today will be the conclusion. All throughout this week, we’ve been listening to that course. And you can host the course in your home or at your church entirely for free. Go to biblicalcitizens.com today to get signed up. Let’s jump back in where we left off yesterday with Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
You have millions of books, you have thousands of years of history, you have a lot of political writers, where did they get the ideas that created our government to be so different? And that question was asked by political science professor of the University of Houston, who said, why don’t we go back and collect writings from the founding era and see who they quoted? Because if we can find out who they quoted, we’ll know who’s important to them. So they did that.
The results were released in this study called the Origins of American Constitutionalism. They went back and found those 15,000 writings they thought were representative. And as they went through them, they found 3,154 direct quotes out of those writings. They said, now, let’s find out where that quote originated. And so it took them 10 years, but they tracked every single quote back to its original source. And at the end of 10 years, they released the report and they said, what we now know is the number one most cited individual in the American founding was a French philosopher by the name of Baron Charles Montesquieu. In 1750, he wrote a two volume set called the Spirit of Laws that was used heavily by the Founding Fathers. They quoted from him frequently.
The number two most cited individual in the American founding era was Justice William Blackstone, English Judge who wrote the commentaries on the Constitution, four volume set, it’s a great book. They cited it regularly. Thomas Jefferson said that American attorneys read Blackstone’s like Muslims read the Quran. So that was a big book to them.
The number three most cited individual was John Locke. In 1690, he did a book called the Two Treatises of Civil Government. In the two treatises by the way, it’s a little book, less than inch thick, 400 pages long. He references the Bible more than 1,500 times to show the properation of civil government. So if you think the Bible doesn’t say much about government, it doesn’t refer to it, read that book from 1690, that’s got a lot in it.
So these are the three most cited individuals, but what surprised them was the number one most cited source out of all sources, was the Bible. 34% of all the quotes they looked at from the founding era came out of the Bible, that goes to the concept of biblical citizenship. They use the Bible to help create a form of government that’s now the most stable government in the world, and it was built on these concepts and ideas from the Bible. So there is grounds for us knowing and being involved biblically.
Now, when you look at the document that they did, this document, the Declaration of Independence starts out with 161 words that gives forth 6 principles of government. After those 6 principles of government, they then give you 27 grievances showing how those principles have been violated and then, anything they have resolved. They say that we here, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor and they were doing this with a reliance on divine providence. So that’s the closing part.
But let’s go back to the 161 words, four of those 6 principles of government pretty simple. They start by saying there is a divine creator, then they say, you know, the divine creator has given us a fixed moral law, then they say, He gives us inalienable rights, or what we would call natural rights sometimes, but inalienable rights. And the purpose of government is to protect the rights that God has given us.
Now, if you take this, let me just take the second one for a minute that he’s established the fixed moral law; in the Declaration, they called it the laws of nature, nature’s God. Let me just take one example of how that this dual phrase in other words, there’s the laws of nature, what we see in what God created, and there’s the laws of nature’s God which is written down in the scriptures. Let me just take the area of self -defense for just a minute.
If you take the area of self-defense, it’s interesting to see how the Founding Fathers framed this as an inalienable right that came from God that reflected the laws of nature and nature’s God. If you take John Adams, John Adams said, “Resistance to sudden violence for the preservation not only of my person, my lamps, and my life, but of my property is an indisputable right of nature, there’s nature, there’s laws of nature; he said, which I never surrendered to the public by the compact of society in which perhaps, I could not surrender, if I would. This is a God given right, I can’t give it up.” He said, “The Maxim’s of the law and the precepts of Christianity are precisely coincident in relation to this subject”. Now, he says, the law and Christianity, so that’s the laws of nature and the laws of the God who created nature, which we find in the Bible.
So he finds self -defense being part of both. And yeah, if we look in the Bible, we can point to Exodus 22:2, is a verse on self-defense, we can point to two passages in the book of Nehemiah, we can point to passages in the Gospel of Luke. So there’s lots there on self-defense.
Alright, friends, got to take a quick break, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live and we’re actually sharing Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. We’re listening to week two right now. We’ll be right back after the break.
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 out of 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 the 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 the 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 wallbuilder.com, “The American Story”.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We are listening to Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. We’re going to dive right back in where we left off before the break.
James Wilson, who was a Founding Father who signed the Declaration and the Constitution, and was on the original Supreme Court and started the first law school in America and actually wrote the first law books, his lectures, he said the same thing. Notice how he said, he says, “The great natural law of self- preservation cannot be repealed or superseded, or suspended by any human institution. This came from God, and nobody can take it away from us because it came from God.” He says, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defensive themselves shall not be questioned.” You can’t even get close to challenging that, because that’s a God-given right. He says “Every man’s house is deemed by the law to be his castle, and the law invest him with the power and places on him the duty of the commanding officer of his house.”
Alright, and grab this. He said, your house is your castle, and if it’s your castle, you’re the commanding officer of your house. You have a duty to defend your castle. And that’s why I said every man’s house is his castle. And if anyone be robbed in it, it shall be a stint to his own default and negligence. In other words, my house is my castle. If I get robbed of my castle, it’s not the police fault for not being there, it’s my fault for not defending that. God put it in my hands.
So this is the phrase that we sometimes hear called the Castle Doctrine, I have no duty to retreat in my home. That’s a God given right, comes out of the Scriptures, comes out of the law of nature; you find it in nature, if you attack the home of any creature in nature, they’re going to defend that home, they’re going to defend their young and their property and their life. That’s a law of nature and it’s a law of nature’s God. But the Castle Doctrine we hear associated with this, we need to go back and understand where that Castle Doctrine came from. It is a biblical concept, but it’s not limited just to the Second Amendment. I want to take you back to a guy named James Otis.
James Otis was a Founding Father to the Founding Fathers. A number of the big name Founding Fathers, John Adams and Sam Adams and John Hancock, they were mentored by this man right here. He was a great attorney, he was in the years leading up to the American Revolution. And one of the most notable things he did was an argument in front of the British courts in 1761 here in America. 1761 here in America, it dealt with what were called writs of assistance. Now, we don’t really know what that is today, because we don’t study it much. This is super, super important. Because a writ of assistance was very much like a search warrant, except it was blank, there was nothing filled in on it.
So what happens is, if I’m a British official, and I say, I want a writ of assistance, I’m going to your house. I walk into your house with a blank search warrant and I start going through all the closets and cupboards, and I pulled out all the drawers and I look under all the mattresses, and I keep looking till I find something that I think is illegal. And once I find it, then I will fill out that search warrant and say this is what I was looking for. I was looking for whatever you had over here, in the third drawer down and the chest of drawers. And then I filled it out and I go give it to a Judge and said I found something illegal in this home, and the Judge says well, go arrest him, he had something illegal. That writ of assistance allowed anybody to come into your home at any point in time look for anything that they might consider to be legal, whether they actually knew something was there or not.
So what happened was, he argued against this in the courts. This is what he told the Judges. He said “I will to my dying day opposed with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments as slavery and villainy as the writ of assistance is.” To him, there was nothing more low than those writs of assistance. So he’s arguing against it to the British courts and he’s a British attorney. He said “It is the worst instrument of arbitrary power, and it’s instructive of liberty and the fundamental principles of law. One of the most essential rights is the freedom of one’s house: a man’s house is his castle. These writs totally annihilate this rights.”
Now, notice his phrase “A man’s house is his castle.” This is where it gets used in American history. This is where it pops up. A lot of the other Founding Fathers quoted it later, but it goes back to this argument right here, “A man’s house is his castle.” He said, it’s a power that places the liberty of every man and the hands of every petty officer. In other words, any government bureaucrat can now come in and take my liberty way, my house is no longer my castle, who may reign secure in his petty tyranny and spread terror and desolation around him. Both reason and the Constitution are against such is.
Now, I mentioned that he had a huge impact on a number of Founding Fathers and one was a young John Adams, who saw all the arguments that went with this. Because this was British policy at the time, it was being done by the British. But John Adams heard this, “A man’s house is his castle.” And he thought about that for the next 15 years leading up to the American Revolution. And as we got close to the Revolution, this is what John Adams recalled looking back. He said “That regarding that 1761 case”, he said “American Independence was then and there born.” Where? In that courtroom when he argued that man’s house is his castle. Every man in the crowded audience went away as I did ready to take arms against writs of assistance: this kind of tyranny we won’t tolerate.
There, and then was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then in there with the child independence was born. In 15 years, namely in 1776, he grew up to manhood and declared himself free. So he’s saying everything we did in American Independence movement goes back to the writs of assistance in 1761, which was based on the doctrine that “Every man’s house is his castle.”
Now, let’s take that concept for a bit that “A man’s house is his castle”. And it’s interesting that when you look at several amendments of the Constitution, remember, amendments of the Constitution are given to protect God-given rights. This is the Constitution in government, you can’t touch these rights, they come from God to us. And so when you look at the Second Amendment, we talked about that that’s the Castle Doctrine: you have the right to defend your home and your property, you have the right to defend life. We don’t have to back away from that, that’s a God-given right that God gives us in the laws of nature and nature’s God. So that’s “A man’s house is his castle”.
But let’s go to the Third Amendment for a minute. Because the Third Amendment seems a little unusual. It deals with the quartering of British troops in private homes. When the British were over here, we’d never needed the British military. Before we did all of our own fighting, and suddenly we find ourselves in the American Revolution with 25,000 soldiers at a time coming to America, they don’t have a place to stay, because there’s not British force here. So they start putting British soldiers in the homes of private citizens. And say, ma’am, we’re here in Boston, you take four of the soldiers; mister, you take these eight; ma’am, you take these seven. And suddenly we’re quartering troops in our homes. Now, this is a real problem from the standpoint of “A man’s house is his castle”, which is why we have the Third Amendment of the Constitution that says you can’t quarter military troops in private homes. But it’s not just military troops. Remember the concept that’s underlying all this. What’s underlying, this is “A man’s house is his castle.”
Got to take a quick break, folks, stay with us. We’re going to take a quick break, and we’ll be right back, and we’ll jump right back into Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
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 they 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 and wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. We have been sharing Biblical Citizenship in Modern America, our new constitution citizenship, biblical citizenship course that you can get right now at biblicalcitizens.com. It’s entirely free. You can sign up for free, you can host it for free, and invite your friends and family to join you. Let’s jump right back in. This is Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
We don’t let government come into our castle and start doing what they want. And that doesn’t matter whether it’s with defense or with our own property, stepping into our homes making it like the government’s home. You’ll find in the Bible in Deuteronomy 24, there’s this passage, very interesting. This goes back to the Castle Doctrine. It says when you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, so I’m making a loan to my neighbor, I’m going to get collateral from him, do not go into that man’s house to get what was offered to you as a pledge. In other words, don’t go collecting the collateral by going into his house, stay outside his house and let the neighbor to whom you’re making the loan bring the pledge out to you.
I don’t even get to go into my neighbor’s house to pick up collateral that he’s putting down on loan, I stay outside his house, and he brings it to me. Why is that? Because, “A man’s house is his castle.” This is a biblical teaching. That’s why over the castle, the parents are in charge of the children, not the government’s in charge of children, the parents are because it’s our castle. So this is part of the Third Amendment.
Even, if you look at the Fourth Amendment, Fourth Amendment very interesting. Fourth Amendment says “the right of the people to be secure in their person’s houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched with the persons or things to be seized.” This is all about writs of assistance.
Now notice what it says here. If you read that, if I just read that and don’t think about the modern era, if I just read it for what it says, I’m going to say, you know what, IRS Audits and bureaucratic agency searches of my receipts or papers, you can’t do that. IRS can’t demand to audit me. Here’s why. Because what is this? it says, you cannot search my papers, that would be my check stubs, that’d be my business receipts. You can’t search my papers unless you have a warrant issued by a Judge on probable cause. Somebody has to swear to a Judge, yeah, I saw him and he’s got all sorts of corrupt stuff in his books.
Somebody has to swear to a Judge, probable because, then they have to do oath of affirmation. They’re swearing under the law of perjury. If they’re telling a lie, then they’re in trouble. And it has to particularly describe the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. In other words, if the IRS wants to do an audit me, they have to say we have a warrant from a Judge, these are the witnesses that saw you do illegal things with your books, and we want to see check stub number 478 through 941. That’s what they got to do.
They can’t just come in and search my papers because my house is my castle. That’s a biblical doctrine. And that’s why when you look at the Bill of Rights and the scope and reach of government, because you remember back the beginning, God gives certain jurisdictions to each form of government; there’s only certain things they can do. But you know what, if we as Christians don’t understand that, we’ll let those lines get all melted, and government will get into doing stuff the family should do or that the church should do, everything gets mixed up. So biblical citizenship starts with understanding biblical lines of jurisdiction, and even our own history.
So “A man’s house is his castle”, that’s where we get the due process and the right to privacy we have in the Constitution. All the stuff is in there and it comes out of the Castle Doctrine, which is a biblical doctrine, is part of the laws of nature and nature’s God, which is what the Declaration guarantees to each of us. So there is indeed a biblical responsibility and even a biblical mandate for us to be active and informed and aware citizens in all that goes on around us with civil government.
It is astounding to me how many people in America have been indoctrinated into a condition of complete ignorance, completely unaware of the extent to which the Bible and ancient Jewish wisdom shaped the Founders. You know, again, as David Barton’s pointed out so brilliantly, it’s not an accident that the crests of these old schools like Yale and Harvard contain Hebrew words, because to these people who came here and set things up, the people we think of as the Founders, Hebrew was something they knew. The second governor of the Plymouth Colony was William Bradford. The first 19 pages of his manuscripts, his history book, the history of the Plymouth plantation is actually in his own handwriting in Hebrew. So it’s really rather remarkable.
But yes, I don’t doubt for a moment that if any of the Founders came back to life, they will be much more comfortable sitting down over lunch with you and me than they would sitting down over lunch at any government university campus in the country.
You know, if you really contrast how citizens and other countries that don’t have the freedom that we have live out their religion, you begin to realize how much we have and we take for granted. For example, Harry Mahat, who is one of our legal counsel at Liberty Counsel, our chief litigation counsel, he was raised in communist Romania.
In communist Romania, his dad was arrested, other pastors were arrested for bringing Bibles into then communist Romania. He has a situation once where the secret police came in with the German Shepherd sniffing dogs, they were trying to find contraband. The contraband were Bibles that the missionaries smuggled in. Fortunately, they never found them. In those kinds of countries, when you see the lack of religious freedom, the lack of freedom of expression, and then you see it here, we take it for granted. And so we have to realize how precious the freedom is that we have. And it is the ability, the freedom, frankly, the duty, the opportunity to be able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our friends, with our families, in our churches, in our homes, and in the public square. And so that’s really how you exercise it. That’s how you preserve your freedom as you exercise your freedom.
Yeah, a few years ago, David Barton and I had written a book called U-Turn. And one of the things that we did was we looked at the values of people in colonial days, and then move through history and compare it with the values that people have today.
Quick break, friends, we’ll be right back. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live where we are airing Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. Find out more today at our website wallbuilderslive.com. Right back, after the break.
Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? We’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and too often, no one is there. God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impacting the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need. Patriot Academy was created to meet that need.
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This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. The Reverend James Caldwell was a famous minister during the American war for independence. His sermons taught liberty and God’s opposition to tyranny. The British hated him and tried to kill them. So for his own protection, he would actually take loaded pistols with him into the pulpit and lay them beside his Bible as he preached.
In the 1780 Battle of Springfield, the Americans ran out of wadding for their guns, which was like having no ammunition. Pastor Caldwell ran inside a nearby church and returned with an arm load of watts hymnals, the pages of which would provide the much needed wadding. He took this great Bible-based hymnal raised it in the air and shouted to the troops “Now put watts into them, boys.” This pastor’s ingenuity saved the day for the Americans.
For more information on Pastor James Caldwell and other colonial patriots, go to wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Let’s dive in and get the conclusion of week two for Biblical Citizenship in Modern America.
Values are just one indication of the worldview that people possess, because your values come out of that worldview. And one of the things that we discovered is that back in late 1700s to early 1800s, the values of Americans were very distinct. But when we compare that distinct list of primary values, there were about nine of them, to the primary values that people hold today, there isn’t one value that overlaps from colonial America to today. And that’s just one of a number of indications we have that our worldview has radically shifted. What we believed back during the founding years of the country, and the years and decades immediately after that bears no resemblance to the values and the morals and the mores the traditions, the lifestyles that people choose today. And it all comes back to this issue of worldview.
A lot of people today want to talk about authenticity and us being relatable, and yet we’re missing it. Our nation was founded upon the pulpits that were ablaze. Alexa de Tocqueville talked about that, where pastors spoke to the issues of the day and that caught the attention of the people. Instead of us trying to make our ministry relevant today, all we need to do is rely upon the Word of God and speak the Word of God into the issues of life that makes us relevant: the Holy Spirit, the Bible is relevant. And I think we’ve lost that in the last 60 to 80 years in America.
If we get back to doing that, I think we’ll see our nation recover both in our cultural awareness and certainly our biblical relatability where Christians are speaking into the culture of truth. People resonate to truth if they’re hungry for it, they need to see it.
Rick Green coming to you live from the “Lone Star State” of Texas. I’m really excited today because our family just got back from one of the coolest celebrations in the country. Paul Revere’s ride the battles of Lexington in Concord on the anniversary of the shot heard around the world. And that begs the question: who fired that first shot?
There’s a lot of mystery around the question of who shot first.
I have a feeling that dad has some evidence.
Somebody has got to know.
It’s an opportunity to relive that special day.
Black powder, fire explosions.
It feels like we have stepped back in time.
Two of the greatest mid our nation has ever known right here.
Watching a reenactment is really cool, but being a part of it is even that much cooler.
That’s why Paul Revere was coming to this house. The British had a price on their head, all the while you can hear the drums in the British: fighters coming.
We still had one looming unanswered question. Who fired the first shot?
Well, friends, all throughout this week, you’ve been listening to Biblical Citizenship in Modern America. We shared the first two weeks of that incredible course with you. It’s an eight week course, the videos are amazing. We strongly encourage you to go to biblicalcitizens.com today and get signed up. It’ll give you the chance entirely for free to host this course in your living room or at your church and get people equipped to restore biblical values and constitutional principles. You can be the catalyst to make that happen. Go to biblicalcitizens.com. Thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.