Bill: And welcome to Off the Grid Radio today. This is Bill Heid – we’re delighted that you’re here with us. We have a guest today that I’m very happy to have on the show. I have Gary DeMar, who’s a graduate of Western Michigan University. He’s earned his Divinity degree at Reformed Theological Seminary and also a PhD in Christian Intellectual History from Whitefield Theological Seminary. He’s written countless books, essays … Gary, we’re so happy to have you on the show. I checked your Wikipedia bio – is there anything you want me to change in Wikipedia this morning?
Gary: [laughs] I don’t look at it very often. I don’t even know what’s on it any more.
Bill: It’s always kind of funny because you can change things so it’s not really – your bio’s never really written in stone because you can just go back and edit it whenever you like.
Gary: Yeah. I think I probably ought to go in there and at least put …what they want of course is support documentation for the claims in there. I don’t know how you support things that only I know. The actual person it’s giving information about really can’t put down things because the only way he can substantiate them is by his own recollection of things and that’s not good for Wikipedia, it seems.
Bill: Well, maybe you could have Wiki Leaks release your dissertation that you did for Whitfield and do a big press release or something. What I wanted to talk about, Gary – and you’re a personal hero of mine because of your steadfastness and because of your mission and what you’ve done over the years. I’ve certainly been a follower of yours for years. But what I wanted to talk about today is something that I think is such a critical topic. The topic is, basically, we have to decide in this country – is this a Christian nation? Then we have to decide, as a lot of people talk about – are we a Christian nation? Do we want to be a Christian nation? And I think President Barry Soetoro would say that we’re not a Christian nation. And as I look around, I had mentioned to you before we started, that I had looked around last night and found this Smithsonian Christmas piece and as I read that article I became angrier and angrier, and I said to myself “is this Christian nation? What do you think?”
Gary: Well, I think definitions are extremely important in all this. When we say a Christian nation I think a lot of people react to that and say “you can’t impose Christianity on people.” I think they’re right about that. You and I think about Christianity – we see it as something that isn’t done by the force of law, it’s not compulsion. It’s something that the Holy Spirit does on the renewal on the inside. So when we say Christian nation, we have to be very careful that we’re not saying that the state needs to intervene and compel people to go to church or to believe basic Christian doctrines and so forth. On the other hand, when you go back and look at the original documentation, especially state constitutions and the earlier Colonial charters, and even calls for national days of prayer and Thanksgiving, it’s very obvious that Christianity was at the center of all that. There was no other religion that was even conceived of. And even deism – while there were certainly deists among the Founding Fathers, you wouldn’t find an ACLU advocate or Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who would even allow anything of a deistic nature in a modern, contemporary culture. When you go back and you look, and you say certainly America was founded on basic Christian principles – really the record shows that that is indeed the case – and even people, skeptics like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams – they kept coming back to the basics of the Christian faith in terms of its moral prescription. That was certainly true with Thomas Jefferson, who took the three Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – and snipped out all of the supernatural elements but kept the moral teachings of Jesus. Even among the most skeptical of the Founding Fathers you will see that they could not and would not distance themselves from the ethical and moral prescriptions of the Bible.
Bill: And, Gary, wasn’t most of Jefferson’s skepticism revealed well after his death? Those were private thoughts, for the most part, during his life, were they not?
Gary: Yeah. In fact, that so-called “Morals of Jesus,” which has come down to us as the Jefferson Bible was not published in his lifetime. Most of his discussions about religion were done in private correspondence. There were those who, at the time of his running for President, certainly saw him as an infidel and made it very, very clear about that. We think campaign rhetoric and advertising for political campaigns is rough today? You go back and see what those guys did – it’s pretty remarkable. But Jefferson is really the anomaly. He certainly was skeptical. He did not like the organized church – and you and I certainly don’t like a lot of the things that are going on in the organized church. (Sure.) And we would be very critical of that as well. But he was a Rationalist in the sense that he didn’t believe certain Biblical doctrines, the triune nature of God being one of them. But the majority of the presidents and the majority of the Founding Fathers were specifically Christian in their outlook. You can see elements of that woven into official and unofficial documents of the time.
Bill: Let’s talk a little bit – I remember years ago reading a Rushdoony piece where he talked about if you analyze a culture – and he was talking about even anthropology today –if you go into a culture and look at it, he always said you can analyze two sections: one, what does that culture protect with its laws? What’s its highest thing that it protects as ultimate? So what’s the law – what’s the law of that culture? What’s it protecting? And then secondarily, what does it hand down to the next generation as ultimate? So you have law and education as being just windows through which you can look and analyze a country. If you were to look at the early Colonial period through those two windows, what are you seeing? Take us back in time a little bit – what do you see?
Gary: Well, certainly on the educational side that’s pretty easy. The earliest of the founders – and that’s another thing we need to keep in mind, the Founding Fathers we think of as 1776 to 1791, from the Declaration of Independence to the final ratification of the Constitution – people say “those were the Founding Fathers.” Well, America wasn’t dropped out of the sky in 1776, there was a lot of history that went before it. When you go back and look very early on, one of the … the founders did three things. When they came here, they attempted to survive. That meant setting up a perimeter for their colony and fortresses in some cases – you can see this at the Jamestown Colony – finding food sources and things of that sort. So the first thing was survival. The next thing that they did was they set up houses of worship. Again, Jamestown was very interesting – it started out as a tent and ended up in an actual edifice. The next thing that they did is, so that they would not leave an illiterate ministry and so that the people would be able to understand these basic principles that they had brought from the Old World, they established schools. Harvard – I mean, 1636 with Harvard – this is at the upper level. It was established to set Jesus Christ at the bottom as the only foundation of knowledge. When you’ve got survival – physical survival and then spiritual survival and then educational survival – that’s what our founders cherished most. There’s another stool on the leg, and that was of course financial survival, because a lot of the colonies were, in fact, investments from those in England. They were sent over here to make money, which is certainly a very good thing. You put those four things out there and you get a pretty good picture of what America was like with those four corners.
Bill: Well, Gary, that’s a good snapshot of the beginning of the country. We’ve got a little break here. We’re going to talk about that, we’re going to talk about some other things. I’d love to talk about the Sharia law issue that’s in Oklahoma City, as well as the Smithsonian, and maybe what the Puritans would have thought – of course we probably know already what the Puritans would have thought – about the new Smithsonian Christmas display. We’ll talk about that in just a moment, right after the break.
Bill: And we’re back – it’s Bill Heid here today with Gary DeMar. Gary DeMar at Americanvision.org has great material for his study about the roots, especially of this great – once great – Christian nation. And Gary, we were talking about what would those Puritan folks that we – the early Colonialists, even Jefferson – what would … let’s even forget the Pilgrims, what would Jefferson would have said about the Smithsonian display?
Gary: I don’t know how … how much people know about this. In fact, I guess the story just came up yesterday. I guess the exhibit, it’s in the National Portrait Gallery, which is one of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution – I guess the exhibition features images of an ant-covered Jesus, which I always find interesting. Your tax dollars can be used to support this sort of blasphemous trash – that’s OK because it’s art, but a young lady giving a valedictorian address thanks God for her abilities and so forth, the ACLU immediately steps in and says “this is unconstitutional because it violates the constitutional doctrine of the separation between church and state.” I mean, the hypocrisy among these groups is overwhelming. And of course he would have been against it all because he would have said you shouldn’t be using tax dollar money …
Bill: Right, right, right …
Gary: … for this type of stuff, no matter – I don’t care how good the art is. And you and I would agree – I don’t care how good the art is. If you want to buy it, you pay for it. Why should I pay for it? I mean, why should I be made to pay for something? I don’t care who says it’s art and I don’t care how good the art is, I have no right to take money from somebody else and to use it for purposes that I … that, first of all, are unconstitutional in the sense that it doesn’t give the government the right to collect taxes for these types of things. There’s nothing in the Constitution that gives the right to the government to set up museums and so forth. You want a museum? You want to donate to the museum? You can go ahead and do that, but please don’t force me to do this sort of thing.
Bill: And I totally concur, Gary, but what I’m thinking about as well – that’s a great horizontal analysis, but what … if we’re a Christian nation, it’d be one thing for us to talk back and forth about whether we think we’re a Christian nation … you and I know old friend, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, of course if he was here he’d say “by what standard are you going to measure whether this is a Christian nation or not?” And as I look at this, I look at this vertical thing and I think “what would God say?” We have corporate, as an entity, as a group, as a nation, this is the display that we’re putting on. You can say that’s just a small percentage. Irrespective, that’s what we’re putting on as a display at Christmastime – this time of year.
Gary: Well, again, this is the problem that we face in the United States. And this is one of the criticisms of the Constitution itself, because it doesn’t make any explicit reference to what is the standard other than “we the people.” I think our founders – did they anticipate the problems this was going to bring? I don’t think they did. I think one of the things that they believed was that because this was really a government wrest-…that was based upon the states, that the states, and since the Federal Government had very limited power, that the states would determine these types of things. Unfortunately, the Constitution kind of floats in the air, “we the people.” Well, who are they? And does 51 percent of the people make the decision as to what’s right and what’s wrong? And if you can get enough votes on your side, it doesn’t matter what’s displayed, because “we the people” – ‘we’ 50 percent plus one – have decided what is right and what is wrong and what we’re going to use for your tax dollars. This is the dilemma of our day. This is the … this is the biggest problem that we face in America today, and unfortunately we’ve got too many Christians out there who believe in moral neutrality and they believe also in this idea of a dualism that civil government operates on one system of ethics and the church and the Christian generally operates on another system of ethics, and never the twain shall meet. So Christians can’t go to the civil magistrate and say “no, you can’t do this because here’s the standard,” because they’ll say something like “well, we’re supposed to render under Caesar, the things that are Caesars and to God the things that are God’s.” But the thing is that Caesar is even under God as well. He’s not exempt from any of this. Romans 13 says he’s a minister of God. The Greek word there is diakonos, he’s a deacon. Therefore, he must do God’s bidding in these things, and this isn’t one of the things that God would bid him to do.
Gary: And I think, as you’re saying, I think most Christians – and I hope it doesn’t get to this, where we have to see what sort of brutal world it is when you remove this foundation of Christianity – but I think … I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but Peter Leithart’s just written a book on Constantine.
Bill: Yes, I just got that.
Gary: Have you read it yet?
Bill: I just started it and I’m really anxious to get through it.
Gary: Well, I think … I heard him interviewed about it. I haven’t gotten to my copy yet either, but I think what’s delightful about it in my mind is that if nothing else, I think there’s a lot that you can be said about what did life look like prior to Constantine and what did he change, at a minimum? I think Christians are so ahistorical in our country that – or post-modern or existential, whatever it might be, but no one has a historical perspective saying “this is the way the world operated prior to Constantine,” where you had the senate, Gary. They didn’t open a senate, especially during Diocletian’s period, I guess, or maybe even before that, without examining entrails. These were religious people.
Bill: Yeah. Again, the victors write the textbooks and we … we gave up our institutions – we mentioned Harvard and Yale and Columbia and most of the Colonial colleges – probably the only one that was not founded by Christians was University of Pennsylvania. They weren’t taken away by force of arms, we gave them up through compromise. Those institutions cranked out the historians and then the historians cranked out the books. The graduate schools developed the professors and the teachers. We gave all this up because we said “this role belongs to the devil, we’re not supposed to be involved in it. Jesus didn’t get mixed up in these types of things.” And so it’s our own fault. Again, there wasn’t a single institution in the United States – educational institution – that was taken over by the force of arms. We laid down our right to these institutions that were started and gave them over and now we’re in the process of revising history but we haven’t developed the historians as well. Peter Leithart – this is really not his field. A lot of Christian guys in the educational establishment, they can’t write outside their field because they won’t get tenure. It’s a really crazy system. So you have to write outside your field in order to break down the historical gatekeepers.
Bill: That’s true, and you have that as being a problem and then we’ve also got the problem – I don’t know if you’ve seen the new Pew study, the Forum – the Pew study on religion? Have you had a chance to see that yet?
Gary: They’ve done a number of them. How long ago was this one?
Bill: I think this one’s fairly recently, where they’ve taken … this just amplifies the problem. You’re squeezed from above academically, but then you’re also squeezed from below, from the pew, no pun intended – but from the church pew, not just the Pew Foundation, where the data that shows up is you have a good number of Christians in the church that can’t really name you the four gospels … (Yeah.) … or the first book of the Bible. Rebuilding becomes a very difficult thing if you’ve got a populace that – where’s your starting point? How do you get out of this?
Gary: In fact, this is one of the further problems with this. It’s interesting when you start talking on history and Biblical things, it’s amazing the reaction you get from Christians when they don’t agree with you on things. The display of ignorance among Christians comes every day in my e-mails. They think that they really, really know this stuff, and in reality they don’t. When questioned on certain things, I get a couple of reactions, one is to call me the Antichrist and the other is no response at all.
Bill: Hey, Gary, hold that thought. Let’s take a little break here. I want to talk about that and I want to take you back in time to the same kind of perspective when you did an interview years ago with Dave Hunt. We’ll be right back.
Bill: Welcome back, this is Bill Heid with Off the Grid News, the radio portion. I’ve got a special guest today – Dr. Gary DeMar. Gary, welcome again. Let’s talk a little bit about your emails from other Christians. When you try to present these basic foundational principles that the Reformation – that they brought over from the Reformation – these freedom, these liberty principles, the foundations of our liberty today – and you try to bring these up, what’s your e-mail box look like?
Gary: It depends on the topic, but I get emails on America’s Christian heritage stuff and they make the typical statements – all the founders were deists. There’s no reference to God in the Constitution. Actually, there is. It states that it was done “in the year of our Lord,” which is very interesting. And also, it said Sunday is the day of rest for the President, so there are still remnants of a Christian world view within the Constitution, especially when you compare that with France that started with a brand new ‘year one’ and changed the calendar, went to a 10-day week and so forth. So there’s a great deal of ignorance about this and they’ve fallen into the trap of the secularists. I keep point out, state constitutions were specifically Christian. You’ve got these documents calling for days of prayer and Thanksgiving, some of these documents signed by some of our founders who many people would say were some of the skeptical ones. They mention “salvation in Jesus Christ,” they mention the Holy Spirit and so forth. There’s a great deal of history out there that these people just don’t know anything about. The historical side of things is pretty relevant. And you’ve got, of course, the Evolutionists and the Christians who bought into this theistic evolution idea. I said “look, you can push that, but keep in mind that evolution today is officially Atheistic. You may want to believe that you can be a theistic Evolutionist and somehow you’re going to be accepted in the Evolutionary community,” I said “it ain’t gonna happen.” Then there are those that – the cultural side of things, starting to talk about rebuilding the culture and so forth. You’ve got Christians out there who are saying “we’re living in the last days. Jesus is coming soon. Things are supposed to get worse and worse. You can’t impose your morality on other people.” It goes on and on and on. I’ve been debating that for, I guess, close to 30 years. This debate still goes on. In fact, up on the American Vision’s website, yesterday’s article and today’s article, I’m dealing with a guy named Greg Laurie who’s a very fine, fine fellow, he’s an evangelist, but he continues to write these articles on the end of times and I see this as a schizophrenia. You’re out there talking about the culture and so forth and so on, and you’re trying to get people involved in it, and on the other hand you’re telling people “the end of the world’s coming and Jesus is coming back soon,” so what am I supposed to do? This is the “between a rock and a hard place” that a lot of Christians are in today.
Bill: Let’s talk about the archetype of schizophrenia. I want to put you in a time capsule and take you back – I think it was maybe 25-30 years ago when you and Gary North debated Tommy Ice and Dave Hunt. What I find interesting about that debate, and it’s a good debate – I don’t know if it’s available anymore …
Gary: I think it’s up on our website. I think we’ve …
Bill: You actually have it on your website?
Gary: … put it up on the website, yeah. Americanvision.com.
Bill: OK. Good – it’s a good thing to watch, because what happened – and your hair’s a little darker, and your glasses … the size of your lenses are a little larger, but you’re basically, Gary, saying the same thing that you said. But what was remarkable for me was to hear you basically giving the same presentation that you’re giving us – here’s the Christian beliefs of the founders. Here’s the moral fiber. Here are the foundational principles that started our country. And for that, you’re accused of having a deviant theology, for basically having the same theology as the Pilgrims, Puritans, first couple hundred years of our country’s existence, that built our country. You’re accused of having a deviant theology for saying that the Bible should be applied – all of the Bible should be applied – to all of life, and that includes politics and that includes economics. Here’s why I’m bringing this up, today we find ourselves in a hole and this economic hole we’re in you’ve written about before, you’ve talked about before. I’ve done a little research just recently and we’re into it about $14 trillion. That’s the official government announced number but, Gary, if you add all of the obligations and unfunded liabilities to that, it’s closer to – you’re sitting down, I hope – it’s closer to $100 trillion. You mentioned before, Deuteronomy 28:12 and Moses’ advice corporately about lending and borrowing. And yet you were criticized that night for having the gall to take the perspective – Moses’ perspective.
Gary: Oh, yeah, there’s no doubt about it. Of course I asked Dave Hunt, because he talked about things getting worse and worse and worse, and I said “wait a minute, Dave, if you say that, then there was a time when things were better. How did those things get better?” And he didn’t have an answer for that. If things get worse and worse, that means the time between this ‘worse’ means that they were better. You mentioned Constantine and you mentioned the Roman Republic and all that. I mean, Christianity changed the world, and it was a consistency. They did apply the Bible to every area of life – not always consistently, unfortunately. We talk about the slavery issue and some other issues. But Christianity made the difference. But today they maintain that you can’t get any of that back. I say they’re wrong. I do believe you can get it back. I believe it may take a collapse of our culture for this to happen. They see not the collapse – they may see the collapse of the culture but they say “we have an escape hatch here, we’re going to be raptured out of here so it really doesn’t matter.” Those are the two avenues. At the one avenue, you’ve got Christians going down saying “things are going to get worse and worse and the solution to this is we’re going to be raptured out of here. Why get involved?” The other avenue is “the Bible applies to every area of life. Things may get worse. Things have been worse in the past at various points in time. God may take us down to the lowest point of low, but if we remain faithful and we apply God’s word to every area of life, we can start taking this territory back.” That’s the side I’m on.
Bill: That’s the historical side of not only church but the founders of this country. In that debate you mentioned simple things … again, you take an Existentialist Christian – a post-modern Christian, ahistorical Christian like Dave Hunt – I’m not picking on Dave, I don’t think Dave’s feeling well these days – but if you take that perspective, how do you account for hospitals? And you had mentioned in that debate, Gary, you were operated at a hospital. What was the name of the hospital you were operated on?
Gary: I think it was – was it St. Joseph’s Hospital or Mercy Hospital? I can’t remember.
Bill: It was one of those hospitals. Was it in Pittsburgh?
Gary: Yeah, it was in Pittsburgh.
Bill: Yeah. So if you look …
Gary: Gosh, see you’re going back to something that was in 1988. It’s been a while since I’ve rehearsed it. But yeah, you’re right. In fact, almost every hospital – every hospital you think about – was started by some religious order. You have the Red Cross. You go to these Pagan nations and you don’t have anything comparable to what we have here. The same thing with education. Who started the first – the major universities? It was Christians who did. I guess Dave Hunt would have said “they shouldn’t have done that.” So if someone had come along and said “we want to start this college, we’re going to call it Harvard. We want to start this college, we’re going to call it Yale.” Would he have said “no, no, no, don’t do that,” because we’re not supposed to apply the Bible to the area of education? Of course most Christians would say “no, I don’t think … no, that’s not really the case.” But their world view ends up becoming that. What these types of Christians are doing today, they’re living off borrowed capital. Living off the investment made hundreds and hundreds of years ago by their Christian forbearers. They don’t want to put any more money in the bank.
Bill: And I could tell you where they go, because there’s a new – I went to Hunt’s site and there’s a new article, not written by Dave, but this … here we are, from 1988 to today, and they’re basically, Gary, saying the same thing. “Our country’s a mess. We’re dying as a nation.” From any standpoint, it could be even secular authors are saying the same thing – but they’re going to go to 1 John 2:15-17 and say “love not the world,” Gary, “neither the things in the world,” that when you built that hospital you are loving the world. I think – let me just read you the end and we’re going to go to a break. I’ll read you the end of this article. When we come back you can comment on it. At the end of the piece, you have – it’s not written by Dave but someone else – you just have them basically saying that it’s time to save souls and there’s this Titanic reference and said “our agenda needs to be to line up??[0:38:15] with the Biblical mandate of the evangelists and the soul winner” – John Harper – he makes a reference to the Titanic thing, about running to-and-fro on the deck. That guy’s even helping other people. He’s not just evangelizing. He’s running to-and-fro and helping with life jackets and so forth. But let’s talk about that a little bit when we come back, right after this. [0:38:35-0:43:00 break]
Bill: And we are back. It’s Off the Grid News with Bill Heid and my special guest at this holiday season, Gary DeMar. Gary, why do you love the world so much? Why do you want to build all these hospitals and just love the worlds?
Gary: Well, I’m always … when the Bible talks about loving something – the Bible says don’t love money. If you follow people like Dave Hunt and others, they would go so far as to say “you shouldn’t even have any money.” But that’s not what the Bible says. When the Bible says not to love something, it means not to make it your highest priority. I guess they shouldn’t love … being healthy … I think Dave Hunt’s had hip replacement surgery. He didn’t go to a culture that didn’t have hospitals. He got hip replacement surgery here in the United States and he got it from people who are, even if they don’t acknowledge God or operating within the context of the way the world works, and so they really haven’t thought this sort of thing through. I would say this, if you really want to be consistent about soul winning like they talk about then what you need to do is you need to sell absolutely everything and maybe get yourself an RV and go around the country and that’s all you do. Not only them, but everybody ought to be doing that. Everybody ought to sell – every Christian ought to sell everything and just go proclaim the Gospel. Of course there’s nothing in the Bible that tells us to do it that way. If the early apostles had done that, 2000 years later where would we be? Everybody would have just gone around preaching the Gospel for 2000 years. We wouldn’t have anything. We’d be living in tents. It’s utter nonsense for them to do this. This ‘sinking Titanic’ idea – the world isn’t a sinking Titanic. The world of unbelief is on the outside. Noah’s ark didn’t sink. The boat that Paul was in, in the Book of Acts, Paul told them “if you want to survive you stay in the ship.” To be “in Christ” – that’s really the analogy there – the Noah’s ark and so forth, the whole idea was to be “in Christ.” God created the world. God said that the world is good. He looked on everything that he had made and he said it was very good. Things in and of themselves aren’t the problem, it’s man’s attitude toward those things. I’m going to have to go on the site and take a look at this sort of nonsense. They’ve been saying this for … for almost 30 years, since I’ve been dealing with Dave Hunt. I think my first book, “The Reduction of Christianity,” which by the way, I wrote with Peter Leithart, was a response to all this nonsense. Again, part of the problem is here, they were expecting everything to end in 1988. You have to remember that Hal Lindsey came out with his book “Late Great Planet Earth” in 1970 and said Israel becoming a nation again was the beginning of the prophetic time clock and so the generation would be 40 years – 1948 plus 40 is 1988 – you think of the time we’ve wasted waiting for the end to take place in 1988, which didn’t happen. They’re still using the same message and people are naïve and forgetful of they’ve been saying this for decades.
Bill: Dave did say it that night at the debate. He said that Jesus was coming quickly, and of course that’s one of those little phrases that they use to make mean whatever they want to mean. When Jesus comes that’s his business. But this idea of doing what you’re saying – I think … I look back, I have a little quote from Luther – I think Dave’s not the only one – I’d like to read you this, Gary. We’ve got a few more minutes here – and get your response to this. This is a piece that Luther had penned to – an open letter to the Christian nobility of the German nation concerning the Reform of the Christian state. It was about the Pope. He said “the Pope should restrain himself, taking his finger out of the pie and claim no title to the kingdom of Naples and Sicily. He has exactly as much right to that kingdom as I have and yet he wishes to be its overlord.” I guess Luther’s basically saying that you can be Pope, but you can’t be anything else. I mean, why is it always an either/or? Why can’t we do evangelism, like we’re supposed to, like we’re commanded to, as well as go vote, as build hospitals. We don’t have to train animals like Dave was inferring that Gary North … did Gary ever train any circus animals after that? I think he pretty much quit training monkeys and tigers after that, didn’t he?
Gary: Yeah, I mean … one of the most silliest arguments that the Dominion mandates – has to do just with animals and so forth – I’m just thinking, how silly of a thing that is. But that is the nature of Dave’s type of debate. He never really deals with Biblical arguments. He always throws in these little jibes to get some sort of response from the audience. I’ve found him to be very frustrating in terms of debate because he rarely ever sticks to the topic and goes off on these little tangents of his making.
Bill: Generally, he won’t debate where there’s cross examination. He just likes to do what he does best, which is, as you’re saying, little polemical jibes. Again, I think Dave as an archetype here for what he’s thought all these years, and I brought Luther into it for saying we don’t have to do just one thing or another. The Bible doesn’t give these single commands to us. The Bible’s a really fully-orbed book. You talk about “all of the Bible for all of life,” so why do you think it is that we want this continual reductionist perspective? The reason I brought this up again, Gary, is here they are. They’re doing it again. It’s 20-30 years later, reduction, reduction, reduction.
Gary: Yeah, and here it is … how are they doing this? How are they getting their message out? They’re getting their message out on the internet.
Gary: If we were ever to follow their ideas of things, there wouldn’t have been an internet. There wouldn’t have been a printing press. The printing press was invented or finally put into work by Gutenberg and the first thing off the printing press is what? It’s a Bible. So I look at all these tools that are out there. We’re having to grovel in front of the humanists because they’ve taken over the world. They’ve taken the Dominion mandate and they are fulfilling it and we’re their lackeys. We’re the ones … getting the crumbs from the table. It’s very much – if you’ve ever seen the movie “The Miracle Worker,” with Helen Keller … (Sure.) The scene – remember they sit down for dinner for the first time and Anne Sullivan is there and what’s Helen Keller doing? She’s deaf, blind and mute and she’s reaching out and just taking stuff off the table and stuffing it in her mouth. Very content with that and the family was content with that. Anne Sullivan said “this isn’t the way someone created in the image of God should be doing it,” and essentially said, “no, you’re not to be satisfied with crumbs and slop.” That’s the way Christians are. They feed off of and use what the humanists have done. Humanists have taken the Dominion mandate and Dave Hunt and those like him are using that and basically saying to Christians “it would have been wrong for us to be involved in these types of things because it’s not pure evangelism.” I don’t get. I just don’t understand it.
Bill: And that … I don’t understand it either, but in that light, we’ve got a couple of more minutes, so we’ve got a Federal judge here in Oklahoma City saying – after this referendum saying “we want to indelibly stamp in our Constitution that we’re never going to have Sharia law.” You get a federal judge saying, basically, striking that referendum, saying “no, you must leave yourself open or subject to Sharia law at some point in the future.” What’s someone like Dave Hunt going to say to that? Do we even defend ourselves? Is it Dominion for us to fight back at all? To say no?
Gary: He would say “this is just another indication that we’re living in the last days and persecution is going to come and it’s going to come via Islam,” and so forth and so on, my guess is. But you know what’s interesting about this Bill? I’m thinking of this judge and so then we could make a case for Biblical law too, then. Because the Southern Poverty Law Center has just come out and described American Vision as a hate group because we oppose homosexuality based upon the Bible. If this judge says that Sharia law is OK to consider, then why isn’t Biblical law OK to consider? It’s going to be interesting to see how all this works out, because there have been critics of Biblical law, both on the Christian side and on the secular side, and here you have a judge saying “it’s OK to consider Sharia law.” And I would say this, I’m OK with considering Sharia law, as long as it lines up with the Bible. I have no problem with that at all. But that’s the problem, we don’t have any objective standard of law to determine whether something that Islam is doing is legitimate or not, because we don’t have a standard ourselves.
Bill: I couldn’t agree more. And as we wind it down, I would again make the comment that if I come out – I can tell you where this is all going, that as long as it’s against Christianity it’s going to be fine. (Sure.) But if I were to – and thinking about if that happened here in the great state of Illinois that I lived in, or even if I were to complain about this Christian display, I would be willing to bet you, Gary, if I called my congressman and said “I am incensed. I am insulted by the display. I demand that you do something,” I’ll bet I would be placed on a terror watch list for my comments. What say ye?
Gary: It’s possible, but I think there is kind of a new mood in America right now. I think the politicians are running scared. This is an opportunity to keep forcing the issue from our perspective. I think this last election said a lot. It certainly hasn’t gone far enough, but we have a long way to go. I remember 1980 when Ronald Reagan swept in and brought in a lot of conservatives at the time, threw out a lot of long-time liberals, the Christians thought that they had won the war when they had only won a battle. I’m always fearful of that type of thinking taking place today. Yeah, we threw out a bunch of leftists but there are still a lot of leftists left. This is the time to really double our efforts for the next election, continue on the educational process which is one of the things American Vision is doing. I’m seeing a lot of … since late 1980s when I started debating Dave Hunt on this particular topic, there has been a huge shift in the area of Eschatology and American Vision has been on the forefront of that. Things have changed dramatically. Dave Hunt does not have the voice he had back in the late 1980s. There’s nobody at the upper levels academically who are defending the position that he holds. It’s generally pop prophecy writers. They still do hold a sway, but American Vision’s working on putting a conference together next June on Eschatology and so far I haven’t gotten anybody to come out publicly and debate the position. When you’re not willing to defend it publicly, that particular position is going to be dead in the water.
Bill: That’s really interesting. And it’s about all the time that we have. When is that conference, Gary?
Gary: June 1st through the 4th, at Ridgecrest Conference Center up in the Asheville, North Carolina area. They can go to Americanvision.org for more information. We’ll have it up in a couple of weeks or so.
Bill: Again, please go to Americanvision.org, read Gary’s articles, Joel’s articles … there’s a lot of good material there. Folks, it’s a way that we can climb back. It’s a way that we can remain diligent and faithful. Gary, thank you again for being with us today.
Gary: Thank you, Bill.