We Will Not Be Silenced – With Erwin Lutzer: Did Erwin Lutzer write his new book to reclaim the culture or to reclaim the Church? Is social justice a Gospel issue? What is the ultimate desire of Marxism? How does propaganda work? What should you do if your pastor is going woke? Are there any solutions to the problems we face? Tune in to hear Erwin Lutzer discuss his new book: We Will Not Be Silenced!

Air Date: 07/20/2021

Guest: Erwin Lutzer

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 culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. We’re talking about the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. I’m Rick Green, former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. Here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian. He’s our founder here at WallBuilders. Tim Barton with us, he’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders.

And guys, later in the program, we’ll have Erwin Lutzer with us, he’s a pastor with a new book out called “We Will Not Be Silenced”, I love the title, “We Will Not Be Silenced”. Everything we talked about here on WallBuilders Live, though we drive it back to that biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. 

You can get that perspective on virtually every issue. If you go to wallbuilderslive.com and click on the archive section, you can look at all the different programs and guests we’ve had on, Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs, Good News Friday programs, there’s a ton of information there, check it out at wallbuilderslive.com.

Alright, guys, there’s a lot of folks that have been silenced frankly, a lot of the church that has been willing to be quiet in order to not offend or whatever other reason to not speak truth. And so we need to be courageous, not be cowards and actually speak up. David, you do a whole talk on this in the biblical citizenship class, where you specifically talk about how important truth is, but you got to have the courage to speak that truth.

David:

Yeah. And that’s why I really liked the title of this book, because it’s a declaration of intent. And you have to start by saying, you know, I hope I can be strong, I hope I can… You can’t do that. You have to say, I’m going to stand up, I’m going to be strong, I am not going to be solid. You’re not going to cancel me. 

We Will Not Be Silenced

And you have to make those type of determination. This is part of a game plan. In sports, you have game plans, here’s what we’ll do if this happens, etc. And this is making a game plan. You have to determine in yourself, in your heart, in your backbone, that I am not going to be silenced, I have things to say, and I’m going to say them.

Tim:

Yeah. And one of the things too, as he goes to this book, there are several significant topics that are very relevant to where we are in culture. And one of the things that certainly as Christians, so often we’re looking for the answer saying, okay, how do we address this topic? What do we say about this? And so I really appreciate the fact too that he outlines in this book, several different topics, responses to things that are happening in culture around us.

And this is one of the things that I think is also important as we look even in the Bible in Chronicles when it talks about the sons of Issachar. And it says that from the tribe of Issachar, there are 200 men, they were the leader of the tribe, they understood the signs the time and they knew the best course for Israel to take. One of the things that significant as it identifies leaders is two things that these leaders had, they had an understanding of the culture in which they lived, but they also knew the appropriate response to the issues they were facing.

And as Christians, we definitely want to make sure that we are informed of what the issue is. And then we want to make sure we have the right response. And I really appreciate that pastor Lutzer made an attempt in this book to say let’s try to give Christians a right response to all these problems. So he identifies the problems, but then he also offer solutions, which, of course, is probably the more important thing than just identifying the problem is how do we solve this problem, what is the solution?

The Right Response to Cultural Issues

And I think that’s certainly something as Christians we ought to be focusing on and saying, okay, so what is the answer to this question? Obviously, guys, it’s what we try to do here at WallBuilders, is the reason that we spend time every day on radio and identifying oftentimes, what is the issue, but then obviously looking at saying, okay, so from historic, from a constitutional, from a biblical standpoint, what is the right response? And again, that’s why I’m grateful for what he worked to do in this book, trying to give Christians the right response for those cultural issues.

David:

Erwin Lutzer actually was the pastor of a really famous church for a number of years. I think he was 36 years at Moody church, and that’s one of the more famous churches in nation, goes back to the Second Great Awakening to the turn of the century revivals with D.L. Moody. There’s Moody Bible College, etc. 

So very famous institution, very significant part of America’s history in the 1800s, early 1900s. So Erwin Lutzer has had a lot of experience over those 36 years of dealing with a lot of issues and will be a good voice to help us understand just how to address the issues today.

 Rick:

Erwin Lutzer, our special guests today, stay with us. Tim had a chance to interview him at the National Religious Broadcasters convention, huge gathering in Dallas of religious broadcasters from across the country, folks that are in all kinds of Christian media. And so Tim had a chance to catch up with Pastor Lutzer in person and get this interview. Here we go to NRB after the break. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

A Moment from AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. America is a special and unique nation. The average length for a Constitution in other countries is only 17 years. But we’ve had ours for over two centuries. And our 4% of the world’s population produces 24% of the world’s gross domestic product. And every year, we produce more inventions and technology than the other 96% of the world combined.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville of France came to America, travelled the country, and in his famous book, “Democracy in America” reported, “The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. This is the origin of the phrase ‘American Exceptionalism’ and affirms that America is unique because of the distinctive ideas on which we had been based, including inalienable rights, individualism, limited government, and the importance of religion and morality.”

For more information about American exceptionalism, go to wallbuilders.com

Tim:

Well, welcome back. We are here with Pastor Erwin Lutzer, who is not only a pastor for many decades, he’s an author and has now gotten into one of the most significant topics for our culture today. His book is called We Will Not Be Silenced. 

Welcome Erwin Lutzer

And pastor, you look at a lot of the attacks in our nation where so many of the roots go to Marxism. And now we hear about critical race theory. On the program, we’ve talked about the Marxist ideology and roots of critical race theory, but there’s so much more happening in the culture than just those things. 

And I know you address a lot in the book. So I want to start with the book. What is it you’re hoping to accomplish from the content of this book?

Erwin:

Well, the ultimate reason why I wrote it is to help the church. You know, even when you talk about critical race theory, which I do quite extensively, it’s always with a view to how should the church respond, because what we want to do is to strengthen the church. I didn’t write the book, in order to reclaim the culture. 

I wrote it to reclaim the church. Now why this book? I began to realize that the radical left in America does not believe that America can be fixed. It has to be destroyed, and rebuilt upon a quasi-Marxist foundation.

Now, you’ve probably covered this in other interviews, but people have to understand that classical Marxism was primarily economic. You, of course, have the revolutions in China and Russia. Cultural Marxism says we can achieve the same goals if we capture the law, if we capture education, the media vote for the right people. 

It can be brought in incrementally. So what I do in the book is I show that this explains the vilification of our history using race and using slavery, which of course was awful, no question about it, but using that as an excuse to totally vilify the United States of America, overlooking, of course, the tremendous documents that founded the nation and so forth in the 1619 project, which I also refer to there, and show how it is bad history and really a Marxist view of the United States.

The Importance of Memory and History

What I do is I not only apply it to the vilification of our history, by the way, Schlesinger, who was a confidant of President Kennedy said that history is to a nation what memory is to a person. Now you and I know that if a person loses his memory, he becomes whatever people say he is. And they want us to lose our collective memories. But then I apply it to race.

You think, for example of Saul Alinsky in Chicago, a Marxist, he recognized that Marxist categories could be applied to the whole racial issue. I talked with a man who worked for him and he said that we had good plans to help the under-resourced communities of Chicago and he blocked them. He said, gentlemen, don’t solve problems, use them. 

So what he began to do is to say, look, we can take Marxism with his great emphasis on the whole issue of oppression, which for Marx was the key to history, you know, men oppress their wives, parents who oppress their children, God was the ultimate oppressor for Marx, he said, we can apply that to race. So what we can do is to talk about the oppressed and the oppressors, and put them in these categories. And that, of course, as you know, is the basis for what we call critical race theory.

The intention, the intention of all of those diversity studies is to keep the racist divided to keep them shouting at each other, blaming each other and so forth. And we see that happening every single day here in America. And by the way, the church has an answer to that that the world doesn’t have.

But then I apply it to freedom of speech. You know, Mark Cousy was also a Marxist who believed and he lived in the 60s, now I still remember him, but I can tell that you were too young to remember.

Tim:

It’s a little before my time.

The Only Way Marxism Can Win

Erwin:

A little before my time. He argued that if we allow freedom of speech, the capitalists will always win because they are the oppressors. So the only way that Marxism can win the debate is if we tell the oppressors be quiet, it’s time for the oppressed to speak. 

So that, of course contributes to it. And then a chapter that I have that I think is very important is on the whole issue of how propaganda works. So let me just tease you a little bit by telling you, and then we can flesh that out later.

The purpose of propaganda is just so shape people’s view of reality, that even when confronted with a mountain of evidence, they will not change their minds, in fact, and George Orwell shows this. The ultimate desire is that people enjoy their slavery and take delight in it actually, because in return, you know, they get certain benefits and certain protections. And so what you have is that happening in society, and collective demonization that we hear so much about, the Cancel culture.

Same thing happened in Germany, when churches put up a swastika on the door of their church saying, when you come for the Christians don’t come for us because we actually are on your side. So what happens today is people are asking, am I woke enough to be seen as virtuous?

 Woe to the person who is on the wrong side of woke. And that’s where we are. And the church needs to be able to respond to the sexualization of children, and socialism, and why it appears so attractive. But in the end, it becomes a paradise for parasites.

The words of Jesus to the church at Sardis, strengthen what remains. Now, the reason that I feel so deeply about this message is, I want Christians to be able to think through what the issues are, but I also want the church to be encouraged to stand strong, both biblically and historically, the church has always had to do that.

Woke Pastors

Tim:

Absolutely. And pastor, as we look at this, one of the things I’m so grateful for that you put in your book was not just identifying the problems, but offering solutions to the church. And so I want to talk about solutions for a little bit if we can. I know right now we have a lot of listeners, a lot of parents who are frustrated, actually, probably many people who attend to church, and they might be saying our pastor is maybe falling into a little bit of the woke category. 

We’re seeing this where actually literal denominations that are having infighting, that are dividing over this notion of critical race theory of some of these Marxist ideology. So first of all, what would you say to maybe the pastors out there, or to the people attending a church where this ideology is creeping in? What is the response for Christians if they’re seeing this in their church?

Erwin:

When somebody tells me that social justice is a gospel issue, I have no idea what they’re talking about. Because the question is, I sure hope, they don’t mean what they seem to mean, namely, that somehow you have to believe in social justice in order to be saved, and it’s a part of the gospel. 

They probably mean that social justice is a fruit of the gospel. But then we have to ask the question, what is social justice over against biblical justice? Because people have to think through that issue.

The simple fact is that social justice is all kinds of things. When you get a box with a label on it, and it says social justice, open the box and find out what’s in it. And what you’ll discover is that it’s sexual radicalism, you’ll discover that its environmental justice. 

Here, again, propaganda, where good words are used, but used wrongly. There’s marriage justice centers, this justice. And all of that gets lumped together under the social justice label.

Now you asked a question. What about churches that gets off track because they begin to preach “the social justice gospel?” And I want to say it as loudly as I can, if you can shout on radio, this is the place where I want to do it, the gospel is not what we can do for Jesus. 

The True Gospel

The gospel is what Jesus has done for us, and that message must remain clear and distinct, and not have all of these add-ons. So in answer to your question, we could begin there and then we could talk about other things. But there are churches that are going woke, and they’re doing it under the banner of social Justice and critical race theory too. And we have to respond to that.

Tim:

So this is something that clearly we’ve talked about many of these issues and topics in the program before, is as Christians, we want to make sure that we are being guided by the truth of God’s Word. And so as you’re pointing out, if you just judge the fruit of the social justice movement, if a Christians promoting that, that fruit it’s not a tree that’s bearing good fruit. 

Those are not ideals that line up with what the Bible teaches us to be the truth of the way God created the world or the way the world functions. And so as Christians, we want to be on guard against that.

But now we know we get emails from listeners periodically, they say, okay, my pastor, maybe is starting to promote and teach some of this stuff. And they’re saying it because in this new notion of we want to love everybody, it means we should accept immorality and except sin and an embrace debauchery, if people are in church, that maybe is going the wrong direction, and one of the things that we’ve encouraged is maybe talk to your pastor, we would recommend not just getting up and leaving right away. 

Because if you can help redirect the pastor to truth, and maybe it can change the congregation going forward. But obviously, there’s different scenarios. So what would maybe some of your thoughts be for people if they are in a church that they’re seeing is starting to go woke a little bit, and of course, one of the answers might be really good option is to get the book “We Will Not Be Silenced”.

Erwin:

I love that idea actually. I didn’t write it for pastors only obviously. It’s written for the common person. But I think your advice is very well taken. Namely, don’t leave right away, because some of these pastors are genuinely doing that, and they’re confused, and they don’t realize it. But let’s take the issue for example of race since you mentioned it.

Critical Race Theory

Critical race theory continues to tear apart what Jesus died to bring together. If you look, for example, at Colossians, chapter 3 verse 11, the apostle Paul says, in Christ, there’s neither Jew nor Greek, , did they ever have their difference… Yes, barbarians, barbarians, they acted in a way that was barbaric, bond or free, Scythians. I looked them up, they were some kind of marauders.

I attended a conference where a young black pastor gave a lecture on why is it so difficult to talk about race. It was very helpful. One of the things he said is we don’t have to agree on everything to affirm our unity in Christ. And that was very freeing, because the Scythians and the Greeks and the barbarians, do you think they agreed on everything? But yet they strove for that unity.

Christianity says this. At the foot of the cross, there isn’t that much difference between us, we are all created in God’s image. We are all his image bearers. We’re all sinners. 

We meet together. And then we ask ourselves the question, now that we’ve come to the foot of the cross to receive forgiveness, what can we do together to make things better? At the Moody church where I served for 36 years, on any Sunday morning, we had people from more than 70 different countries of origin. 

Because we said Revelation 5, right, the people from every tongue and people in nation but we didn’t spend our time blaming one another, or focusing on all of our differences, though, the differences were there, we focused on our unity in Christ, and as to what can we do together as a church? 

In other words, to put it in a single sentence, Christianity says, we do not have a skin problem, we have a sin problem. And that’s the answer to critical race theory that keeps tearing apart that which Jesus died to bring together.

The Book: We Will Not Be Silenced

Tim:

And I love the Apostle Paul’s conclusion that we are all one in Christ. Where we find the unity is in the common bond we have in a common Savior, the one that we looked at Jesus as the author, the finisher, the completer of our faith. Pastor, it’s such a great word. 

And literally, I feel like we could talk for days about some of the content of your book, and we probably need to have you back on to talk more about some of the content of your book. But I know right now, there’s people listening saying, okay, I want to know more. You were a pastor for literally decades, if they want to learn more about some of the things you’ve taught, if they want to be maybe mentored and discipled by some of your teachings, where’s the best place to go to get the book and to get more of your resources?

Erwin:

First of all, with regard to the book, they can get it wherever books are sold. Even Amazon, you know, there are those who say, oh, don’t mention Amazon, but people go to Amazon. They can go to Christianbook.com, Christianbook.com. If they want to know more about my sermons, which are online, my blog on all those things, they can go to Moodymedia.org, Moodymedia.org. And that will bring up all this information and remember this. It’s my heart to help the church: we will not be silenced.

Tim:

It’s wonderful. Okay, everybody, you need to check it out, the book is “We Will Not Be Silenced”. Check it out. Also, Pastor, I’m sure people are going to be looking for your sermons and more of your teachings. But thank you so much for being with us today. We look forward to having you back on in the future.

Erwin:

Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

Tim:

And we’ll be back in just a minute with David Barton and Rick Green.

We’re going to take a quick break, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

The AMERICAN STORY

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 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 the story of a perfect nation of 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:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. And thanks to Tim Barton for grabbing that interview with Pastor Lutzer out there at National Religious Broadcasters. 

And man, the whole concept of even courage, I remember, you guys might remember when Pastor Ken Graves came to the Capitol and spoke at Patriot Academy. And he told the students, he said it’s not an option. He didn’t say, you know, if you feel like being courageous, be courageous. 

He said, have not I commanded you, be strong and have a good courage. And I love that message. I think that’s the way we’ve got approaches. We can’t be silent, because God commanded us to be courageous, even in the face of all the criticism out there today.

Reclaiming the Church

David:

And I thought along with that, that the focus is really good. As he pointed out, he said, look, I didn’t write this book to reclaim the culture, I wrote this book to reclaim the church. And I thought that’s exactly right. 

Because the church, if they’re doing what they’re supposed to, you’re not going to have the culture we have. If we can reclaim the culture and get them to have courage and get them to stand up and get them to talk the way they should be talking, then the culture will shift.

So I thought the focus is really good on that. I mean, the church in many ways, needs a swift kick in the tail and they need to get engaged, because they’re the ones who have the answer. That’s what God gave them. 

That’s what the scripture is all about. That’s what our relationship with God through Christ is all about. But if we don’t get engaged, and don’t get involved, I mean, it’s like Jesus said, you’re taking a candle, you’re hiding under a bushel, you’re keeping the salt in the shaker, you’re of no use except to be trodden underfoot.

And so the courage that Ken Graves talks about and the fact that it needs to happen with us and not the culture, yeah, the culture is all messed up, needs to be fixed. But we don’t sit here and complain about it. We’ve got to get engaged and do it. 

And so getting some answers on how to do that, the fact that he’s trying to equip the church, that is the right thing to do. And hopefully, everybody will get themselves equipped so that they can go be good soldiers in the culture war.

Rick:

Yeah, I think they’re hungry for that too, right, they’re feeling silenced right now. And there’s this self-censorship that you talk about, David, where people tend to just self-censor out of fear that they’re going to be canceled on social media, or that it’s going to upset somebody that’s a friend or family or whatever. And so they’re already feeling silenced. 

And so this idea of we will not be silenced and here’s why, and here’s how to equip and here’s the things you can do effectively. You know, there’s definitely a hunger out there for that, and to know that they’re not the only ones feeling that way. Because a lot of times, Christians feel isolated today.

Christian in Name Only?

And they feel like, well, man, we must really be in the minority now, and most people in America must be anti-Christian and not believe in the things that we’re talking about here, when in fact, the opposite is true. I mean, there’s at least they have the label of Christian even though as we know from Barna’s research, they don’t have the worldview because we haven’t been teaching these things.

But I think people need to know that they can have a voice, they don’t have to be silenced, they’re feeling that right now, they’re concerned about the crackdown on our speech and all of those things. So this is going to be a really equipping opportunity for believers.

David:

It is and I hope it changes expectations as well. I think a lot of us, we want to get along, we want to see the culture get along, we want people to stop yelling at one another, etc. But I was in Scripture this morning, and I was really struck with what Jesus said. 

He said, look, I did not come to bring peace to the earth. I came to set a man against his son, and then the daughters against the mother. He said, when I started telling this, people are going to get offended over some things, and they’re not going to like it, and it’s going to bring splitting and division.

And we can’t let the fact that people don’t like it back us off from talking about it. I mean, you have to carry the message forward. And Jesus said, look, that’s a consequence of my lifestyle of me saying these things. 

These are not things people want necessarily to hear, but they are right. And I thought it was interesting to how Dr. Lutzer was talking about the fact that there’s a big difference between social justice and biblical justice.

And a lot of the churches bind in social justice, and we’re hearing that over a lot of pulpits. But that’s not the same thing as biblical justice. And get it done the way God wants it done with his standard is what’s ultimately going to work. 

And we may think that if everything’s nice and peaceful and quiet, that’s the best way. That’s not the best way because that doesn’t make the best policy. It has to be right to be that way. 

We Will Not Be Silenced – With Erwin Lutzer

And that again, comes back to the church, getting some backbone and getting some information and standing up. And not just the church, every one of us individually, having the courage to stand up and stand for those convictions.

Rick:

Yeah, I love that man. I mean, sometimes we do, we just say, oh, it’s the church’s fault, it’s the pastor’s fault. 

What are we doing individually? We’ve got that responsibility as well. Pastor Erwin Lutzer, our special guest today, the book is called “We Will Not Be Silenced”, and we’re actually going to have Pastor Lutzer back tomorrow to talk more about the book. 

Thanks so much for listening today. Be sure and visit our website at wallbuilderslive.com today, and we’ll have links to where you can get the book as well. Thanks for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.