Standing Up To Tyranny In A Christlike Way – With Pastor Mike McClure – You do not want to miss today’s program. Tune in and share with as many people as you can! Mike McClure, Pastor of Calvary Chapel in San Jose, California, shares the story of his church’s stance against tyranny, and how it can be done in a Christlike way. It is important to stand for liberty; what can you do for the cause of freedom?
Air Date: 03/01/2021
Guest: Pastor Mike McClure
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.
This is the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith, all kinds of things in the culture, but we’re always looking at it from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. We’re so thrilled that you are with us today. We have got a lot of great programming for you this week. But I’m telling you today and tomorrow, you do not want to miss this, and you want to make sure you get your pastor to tune in, as well.
You know, that biblical perspective is so important with all that we’re facing in our culture right now, so please check out our website, wallbuilderslive.com, and share these programs with as many people as you possibly can. As we take this perspective, it’ll help to get us back on the right course in America. There’s so many things that we just got off the rails, folks. We stepped out of the culture for so long, that we’ve allowed people that don’t share this biblical constitutional historical perspective to rule the roost, and they have definitely taken us down some very bad paths. But the principles don’t change, and if we’ll apply the principles, we can turn the culture around. So check out our information at wallbuilderslive.com. Share it with your friends and family become one of our Constitution coaches. That’s a great opportunity for you to share in your community. Become the catalyst for restoring biblical values and constitutional principles.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. and I am here with the founder of WallBuilders, David Barton. He is America’s premier historian. Tim Barton is with us. He’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And you are with us. So man, we got everybody we need to start making a big change in the culture. We got a really great program for you. Again, as I mentioned, you know, today and tomorrow, both actually, you’re going to want your pastor to hear this program.
Alright, David, Tim, for today’s program later in the program, Pastor Mike McClure will be with us. He’s got a church out in San Jose, California that’s been standing up against the COVID crackdowns. And David, actually, you’ve been there at that church recently speaking.
Yeah, I was there not long ago, and I’d been watching the church. I’ve been there previously. And I had been seen articles where that there’s this church out in Northern California and they are refusing to shut down and they’re being fined. And so I saw that they got up to a million dollar fine on the church, and I was just watching from afar. And then as I saw the schedule, I was scheduled to speak at a church, I think that’s the church I’ve been watching and Pastor Mike McClure, and I knew the name and knew the church, because again, I’d been there.
And so started digging in a little deeper and found a bunch of national articles pointing out what’s happening there. And the fact that he just will not back down to the governor. He’s not backing down to the city. He’s not belligerent in the sense of, you can’t tell me what to do. It’s like, no, this is what the church is supposed to do. He’s very calm, very, almost engineer, like a professional engineer or a computer programmer. Not a heck of a lot of emotions that are really visible, and he’s just real logical and real plain.
And so I thought, this is going to be interesting, because I was going out there to speak just a week or so ago, or I guess, a couple weeks ago. And I thought, I wonder how this is going to turn out because they’re having the city officials show up at every service and issuing fines and issuing penalties and whatever, I thought, interesting, I wonder if I’m going to get interrupted in the middle of a service?
Well, and this is also a guy who understands that church is essential, right? And it seems to be now one of these big debates in culture of how important is church, and even what are the limitations of what you can do in church? Can you show up and everybody’s sitting in their own corner and nobody talk and nobody’s sing and he can’t greet each other? And as Christians, we have to remember what the Bible says in Hebrews that we don’t forsake the assembling together of the brethren, that obviously, we want to be safe, we want to be healthy. We don’t want to do things that are going to endanger people.
But at this point, we know so much more about Coronavirus, and where the threats are and what some of the limitations are. And it definitely is much more of a power play that he’s battling. But for a pastor to know that their church is essential, that this is the central to the body of Christ, that meeting in community, that getting together matters. This is someone that ultimately were really impressed with his stand.
Yeah, he is taking a very firm stance, but I would say very Christ-like stand in the sense that it is extremely strong, but extremely kind at the same time. He’s not belligerent. And so we thought this would be a really good interview for several perspectives. One is to see how far this stuff is gone in so many states and is still continuing, because this certainly was new several months ago when churches were starting to stand up and we just haven’t seen it covered much since then. But my goodness, this is still an ongoing battle for these guys. And I guess they’re coming into 8 or 9 or 10 months of this battle with the city, and the city is absolutely not backing down. And we find out that there’s a lot of churches still fighting the same kind of battle across the country.
Well, today’s kind of my best part Harvey, if you want the rest of the story, so David was headed out there to speak at a church that was in defiance, doing civil disobedience and you had to find out whether my dream came true of getting to go bail David Barton out of jail. Did it happen or not? Anyway, got to take a quick break. We’ll be right back, Mike McClure, pastor for San Jose Calvary Chapel when we return on WallBuilders Live.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. As the American war for independence began, the president of Yale was the Reverend Naphtali Daggett. When New Haven, the home of Yale came under attack, about 100 citizens rushed out to meet the British. The Reverend Daggett gouged by them on horseback, his clerical robes flowing behind him in the wind, and he took up a solitary position on top of Hill.
The 2500 British soon for the townsfolk to fly, but the Reverend Daggett continued to stand alone, firing down on the advancing troops. A British officer confronted him. “What are you doing there, you old fool? If I let you go, will you ever fire again on the troops of His Majesty?” “Nothing more likely” was the preachers reply. America’s early pastors have personally confronted danger and courageously lead their communities.
For more information on Pastor Daggett and other colonial patriots, go to wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Really excited today to have Pastor Mike McClure with us from Calvary Chapel in San Jose, California. Mike, appreciate you, man. Thanks for all you’re doing. And thanks for taking some time out of your schedule to share with us on the program.
Rick, thanks for having me. It’s a blessing to be on it.
Well, David was super excited to be with you guys and share it your church and just see what you all are doing, the boldness there, the courage, not only of you and your wife, but of the congregation. I mean, it’s just been cool. I’ve watched you all on video and of course, been even talking to Pastor Rob over Thousand Oaks and other pastors about what’s been happening to you.
And our listeners need to know, I mean, they know that California and other states have shut down churches and that some pastors across the country have been bolden and stood up. And we just want to share your story. Because not only have you stood up, you stood up in the face of significant fines, significant pressure, been in court multiple times. So we just want to share the story. So take us back to the beginning when all this started a year ago. How did you decide what you were going to do as a pastor?
Well, we had, like everybody else closed because the President asked, I think is, two weeks, he said let’s close down. And then they came back and said a month, and we started doing, I think the Zoom online videos of Sunday mornings. And then we were outside. We went out there and said, hey, come back to the parking lot or in the area we have like a Greenfield to play field for the kids. And so we were out there. And we were just going to the Bible like we started a year ago.
I remember some years back, David Barton was, and I’ve known him for years, just sharing the history of the Founding Fathers. And we had him a number of years ago when he said I’ve really focused on just getting the churches to read the Bible, because I’ve noticed just the lack of Bible reading in a lot of these churches across the country. And so I said, you know, that’s a good idea and we finally just started doing a two year Bible reading program.
The reason I share that because it was a week we were really praying about what to do, and I wanted just everyone on our church board, our elders, our whole staff just to be in unison, and just praying. And I just think of Acts 16 how’s given the Holy Spirit unto us, you know, there’s this Peter, and all those that were the apostle there saying, this is what the Gentiles should follow. And that was what we wanted, just the Holy Spirit just to minister our hearts, and just to say, this is good in the eyes of Holy Spirit, we should open in this way, and in this time.
And so we were all praying about it, and everyone everywhere, all over our whole staff just said, you know, we know that this is what the Lord wants to do. And for me, I was going through, we were at that portion of the scripture in Psalms 73, if you recall. The psalmist almost slipped, because he was jealous, and really kind of bothered that all these wicked people in the world were getting away with all kinds of evil and he himself was here following God and yet, he suffered all kinds of things, and these guys didn’t seem to suffer, the wicked, they were able to stay what they want and do what they want and got away with everything.
And it says, through that Psalms as he began to watch them, he was getting angry almost with God and then he goes into the house of the Lord, and it says at that moment, he remembered their end, the end of the wicked and the consequences, and in a moment, they’re going to go right down into hell when they die. And for me, it hit me. You know, being in the church and being together with believers is not only what Hebrews 10:25 says, but it’s really a reminder and not only how great God is, but it’s a reminder that we need to have compassion for the lost, for the wicked, for those people that we can look around.
We live in Silicon Valley where people seem to get away with everything. You know, in high tech, it’s kind of like the 49 or territory of the 1800s, and it’s still that way very much so for people coming to get stock and to get wealth from their companies, and then to get out of town. It’s real expensive to live here. So people are kind of like, you know, they’re mining for gold, they come in the golden handcuffs.
But you look around, and you see all these tech companies and people making lots of money and the success, and you can get like that Psalmist, as he was just looking around. But when you come into the house of the Lord, you begin to have compassion for the wicked, for those that are lost. And that’s what kind of started the whole thing of just we need to go in the house of the Lord, we’re not trying to defy the government, we’re not trying to start a start a fight. But what we really wanted to do is just worship God, because we know how important that is, as believers, of course.
And so that started May 31, we went inside, and it just was significant at that time as well. Not only our staff, and everyone wanted to just knew we were supposed to do that, but also, we had many churches in California that knew that we all, let’s do this together. And I think there was 1,500 churches that agreed to open up on Pentecost Sunday. And so we went inside, and we just began to have services inside. And it was at that time, there’s also through the summer got smoky, there were fires, and so it was just better to be inside all around.
And as we began to meet every week, everyone say, you know, why didn’t we do this earlier? What were we waiting for? And of course, we were trying to figure out what the COVID-19 virus was, how serious it was. And then we began to realize that it’s not going to kill like the governor was telling everyone, 20 million people by May, that just didn’t happen. And so we started realizing, oh, this is a big deal, and so we came back in. And we were having a great time all through the summer, just worshiping every week, and we have prayer meeting every night, and we had different Bible studies throughout the week.
And then I opened up the church for these other churches in town who didn’t have a facility to meet in. And when we took, Selfridge was one of the churches we took in and had a relationship with the county in the city, and they were after them trying to keep them from meeting. And to that compassion, we just wanted to meet with those people. You had some tragic stories of things that like people wanted to come to his church, and they ended up not able to come and committing suicide, and so he’s just like, I got to meet, I got to meet. And so when we meet the afternoons on Sunday, we have three other churches here already, and so when he came, that kind of put us on the radar of the county, and we became a target at that point, so they started fining us. And I’ve been trying to build a relationship with him ever since, you know, but it’s been unfortunately, through to two attorneys.
You’re getting to know him in the courtroom, you know, of all places. Actually, let’s back up just a second though, because this timeline is important. I mean, you guys like most folks at the beginning, I mean, we didn’t know what we were dealing with. He said, hey, you know, we want to be good neighbors and take care of our folks too, and followed what the government was telling us at the time and so that lasted a couple of weeks, and then a month. And then even when you started looking at the data yourself and the results and saying, hey, it’s not what everybody thought it was going to be, and even what some are still saying is going to be.
But the data is clearly showing that doesn’t line up, out of a heart for serving your people is what it sounds like to me, it was like we clearly see that not only do our people in our church need to fellowship and need to be ministered to, but you had a heart for the community to say this is where the church has to be salt and light, how can we be a witness out there and how can we reach the last if we’re not actually providing that that that opportunity? So I mean, just the heart that you had in not shaking a fist at government, but literally just saying hands open, hands raised, God, we just want to follow you. That’s what it sounds like, to me anyway.
Yeah, I have a grandfather, he is actually a fellow at the Mayo Clinic, he is a surgeon and I was thinking to be a doctor at one time, I don’t know if I’d be a good one. He was a great doctor. And he used to encourage me, when he came to Christ in the 40s, when he was in his 40s, he just said, you know, I did a lot of surgery on a lot of famous people and helped a lot of people, but they all died. He said, I wish I could go back I would just serve a ward full time now knowing what I know about Christ and the Bible and everything that God can do and his power and ability.
And then he used to show me how all the hospitals got started really by churches, and that impacted him as a physician as well. And so I’ve always looked at that and I’ve enjoyed American history. I’ve learned so much from David Barton, of course, I walk through the Capitol with him, I think, three times and we use his curriculum. And so I just know, like the Founding Fathers, and so many of them were pastors, and they understood the scriptures. And so that was kind of something on my heart. It’s like, we’re here to help people, the church is a hospital, before they were hospitals, you’d go to the church, and so we absolutely wanted to just help. We weren’t trying to go against the county or any of these orders. I thought that they would be okay with it.
But when I began to see people in our church who weren’t going to the hospital because they were either afraid, or they couldn’t and then they would get sick because they didn’t get their cancer treatment, and then I go visit them, and they wouldn’t let me in, it just began to really bother me. I think maybe I should have gotten medical license, like, at least go in and see people in our church. And I begin to see the hopelessness, the people that were hurting, and I saw this shutdown, to begin to really cause harm.
And just as a pastor, kind of a frontline seeing people every week and seeing what they’re going through and their family, and so we didn’t open because we were trying to defy, we open because people were just absolutely fearful, they were being hurt, and they just needed desperation, they just needed to be and I see that every week. I mean, if I can take a picture, or just show a video of the people that come to church, and what I see, it’s painful in some ways, because a lot of times they’re crying, and they’re weeping to say, I can’t believe I haven’t been in church for 8 months or 10 months and just what the Lord has minister to my heart and I can’t believe. And I’ve had people walk through these doors saying, I attempted suicide yesterday, and I just thought I’ll come here and to see what you guys have to say before I try it again tomorrow, whatever.
So we’ve had quite a few people like that. And I think if the government, they’re just a big machine in some ways that they’re not able to really look at the little people so to speak, but that’s what the church does. I mean, we take care of everybody, God loves every single person, and we want to make sure they’re getting ministered to. So that’s why we did it, that’s why we still do it. And I tell that to the Judge, I said, there’s really three reasons why we open: one is it’s our rights. And I got to give him a little history lesson, because I think a lot of people don’t know that the Mayflower wasn’t just bringing people over because they’re looking for freedom. If the church group looking for freedom to worship, specifically God because they were being ostracized or penalized, and they wanted to have freedom just to worship. And when they got here, they didn’t leave, you know, half of them died.
And those are inspiring stories that give me courage, because it shows me like they were here to lay down their life for the next generation, and that’s really inspiring. And a lot of that I’ve learned again, from David and I didn’t even know that growing up a lot of the history. And I think that’s what we’re suffering in our culture because people don’t know the history. And so the church is really there because we have been given in this country, these amazing rights, you know, you look at the first amendment, you look at all these things.
And then secondly, I’m telling the Judge, as a pastor, I have a responsibility to God. And it’s interesting, if you do a little word study in Hebrews 10:25, you’ll find that we’re told not only to not forsake the gathering together as the manner of some, how much more we need to meet as we see the day approaching, but that word manner of some, that word manner can be translated ordinance or law. In other words, he’s saying, we’re not going to forsake the gathering together as saints as a church, even if someone makes a law or ordinance to not meet.
And so I shared that what the Judge saying, if you tell us not to meet, the Scripture right here tells me I don’t have to listen to you, because God’s word I really believe in this is the founding of this country, they understood the religious freedom that people came here for, and continue to come here for. And that’s the real heart of freedom, is to believe and to worship as we want to, without the government coming in.
And so I explained what a pastor does as a shepherd, and you can’t Shepherd through Zoom or through phone: you really need to be with the sheep. And I said, you know, I’m willing to lay down my life and like a doctor, a physician, that’s what I see myself, as someone just going to help and minister and be a part of people’s lives and to give them hope and give them God’s word and to let Jesus Christ be the answer, the solution to everything, because he is the answer to everything. The real core message of the gospel, of course, is a Christ crucified, rose again.
And then the third thing I told him is I said, I wish I could take you here to church just to see these people’s faces, you know, the change in their countenance. Because I said, the county, a lot of times we could just look at people as physical beings, we could just see them in a medical side. And I said, I have a grandfather, and I told him about how he got saved and received Christ and suddenly realize that we’re trichotomy, that we’re body, soul and spirit, and how we all need to minister to the whole and that’s what Christ alone can do, we can help people physically.
I said, but that’s the church, this whole wall of separation that now the government’s clamping over the other side. And I’ve been told for years, I can’t preach or speak the name of Christ in public. Or I’ve been told that by our council members, I went to go pray here, I am a chaplain for the police department, I’m invited to go open up their meeting and prayer. And it’s tradition, of course, and they tell me just before, sorry, you can’t pray in Jesus’s name. And I said, what, you invited me here, who am I supposed to pray to? And said, I’ve gone through being kicked out of the public square, but now I have a government coming into the church and telling us how we can minister, what I can, I can’t say, telling us we can’t sing. I said, you know, these are people. This isn’t my house, this is God’s house. And the way that the church is described is it’s one body, that we’re unified, and how important it is that we come together because we bear one another’s burdens. So I said, our church has done so much for this community, and we want to do more. And last thing I want to do is go against the government. I said, I’m not going to call you your Honor, and then dishonor you, you know, I want to do what you say.
Alright, hang on, folks. I know, you probably want to know what the Judge had to say, at that point as bad as I want to know. But you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow, Mike’s going to be back with us. We’ll finish up this interview tomorrow. Right now we’re going to take a quick break, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
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 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 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”.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. We’ll get the rest of the interview with Pastor Mike McClure tomorrow here on WallBuilders Live, so be sure and tune in. And if you miss it, go to our website wallbuilderslive.com. Back with David and Tim for our final few minutes today, though. And I guess, David, we got to let people know, I didn’t get to come bail you out of jail, I mean, that would have been a moment to remember.
Now wait a minute, the story is not over yet. We still got tomorrow.
Well, we’re in front of the Judge, which has got to be really interesting. Going through legal stuff, I just can’t imagine him standing there and reasonably presented to the Judge just conversationally going through, look, here’s what the church is supposed to do, and here’s hurting people and just trying to visualize a scenario. And that’s not what I think of in courts, I often think of attorneys making legal arguments and hear this pretty interesting approach in that court.
Yeah. And it struck me as impressive also, that the Judge is letting him have that kind of leeway when you’re right, the impression we get that this is not seeming to be like the most legal manner of what you would do. But certainly, he’s getting to lay out his case and you hear so much of his heart behind this, and I love as he’s explaining to the Judge that, we want to do what’s right, we want to do what’s honorable, but we also recognize the difficulty of where our people are.
And again, as we mentioned, even before the interview, he’s someone who understands that church is essential because of what it does for people, people that are struggling, the depression, and the suicide attempts and all the things that are happening, he understands, this is part of the role of the church and the community and what they’re adding to the community that even the community recognizes is important. And we actually have had the privilege that we got to listen to the whole interview today, so we actually know what he’s going to talk about tomorrow. But it’s so powerful to hear the courage of this pastor standing up in the face of these incredible odds, and what he’s being threatened with, but doing it with such grace and love and mercy which really is what should define us as Christians. He really is such a good example right now of the face of Christianity in the midst of this battle.
And I was thinking even as he was talking about his interaction with the Judge, going back to when Paul in the book of Acts was before Felix and Festus and etc. and Agrippa and he just had conversations with them. He said now, king Agrippa, you know that this is what, and it was just conversational. And that’s what really struck me about Pastor Mike with this thing. He was just kind of like back in the book of Acts having a conversation with a ruler who has really a lot of authority over what’s going to happen to him and his church. And it just really was unique. And so it’s going to be fun to hear the rest of the story tomorrow and see what happens. And I will go ahead and spill some of the ending. It’s not all settled yet and there’s still a long way to go with this. But just the resolution of what happened in this particular session in court’s really interesting.
Alright, we will get the conclusion of Mike McClure’s interview tomorrow and you’ll find out what happened with that Judge, you’ll find out whether or not David Barton went to prison for speaking at that church. Well, I already gave that one part away. But at any rate, so thankful for pastors that are willing to stand, so thankful for David and others going and speaking at these churches. We need that fellowship folks and we’ve got to get America open back up. Most importantly, we got to get our churches open back up across the country. Our communities are dying, as a result of not having the salt in life that we so desperately need. We needed it before COVID, but we needed even more now.
So be sure and check out our website today, wallbuilderslive.com help to amplify our voice and speak this truth into the culture as much as possible. You can do that with a donation at wallbuilderslive.com. You can do it by hosting one of our biblical citizenship courses at your church or in your living room or online. Check out wallbuilderslive.com to learn more. Or go straight to Biblicalcitizens.com to sign up and get your class started. Everyone can play a role in restoring our constitutional republic. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the conclusion with Pastor Mike McClure. You’ve been listening to the WallBuilders Live.