Are America’s Christian principles in trouble? Find out as Dr. David Reagan interviews Rev. Peter Marshall on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on July 8, 2012.
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Dr. Reagan: The Christian Heritage of our Nation is coming under increasing attack as our society continues to drift towards secularism and paganism. Have we reached the point of no return? Is there any hope for reviving and maintaining the Judeo-Christian principles this Nation was founded upon, and which made this Nation great? Stay tuned as I interview one of Christendom’s greatest experts on the Christian Heritage of the United States.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Once again this week I am delighted to have as my special guest the Reverend Peter Marshall who is one of Christendom’s greatest authorities on the religious heritage of our nation. Peter it’s good to have you back.
Peter Marshall: Thank you, good to be back.
Dr. Reagan: And we really appreciate you coming all the way down here from Massachusetts.
Peter Marshall: Glad to do it, Dave.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, well in our last program, last week, we discussed the Christian Heritage of this nation. This week I want to look at the challenge to that Christian Heritage that is all around us today.
Peter Marshall: Sure is.
Dr. Reagan: And I would like to begin by the fact that I noticed that in your writings and in some of your videos that you keep on referring to the fact that our Nation is now in a Nehemiah time. What is a Nehemiah time? What do you mean by that?
Peter Marshall: Well the Old Testament David we read that the Lord led Nehemiah to come back to the Holy City of Jerusalem from exile and to preside over the rebuilding of the walls of the Holy City. I believe that we are in a time where God is calling on Americans, America’s Christian believers to rebuild the moral and spiritual foundations of this Nation. I think that is what I mean by that.
Dr. Reagan: Our walls have come down.
Peter Marshall: Absolutely have, I mean the wild boars are trampling the vineyard here. We are in serious, serious, trouble, I mean we are loosing the moral and spiritual basis of this nation right and left.
Dr. Reagan: What are some manifestations of that?
Peter Marshall: Oh, good heavens, I mean it is all around us. You know the increasing obscenity and sexual perversion and so forth that is revealed cinematically, movies, on television. Increasing use of the f-word, obscene language, I mean all over the place.
Dr. Reagan: Abortion?
Peter Marshall: Increasing corruption in Washington politically.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Peter Marshall: In business, it is all around us. The American education, the public education has just gone down the chute in terms of the loss of any kind of Biblical understanding of American History or American Civilization or culture. I mean the examples just abound, they are everywhere.
Dr. Reagan: You know you and I in our lifetimes have seen this.
Peter Marshall: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: I was born in 1938, you were born in 1940, and when I was growing up I grew up in a society where we studied the Christian Heritage at school.
Peter Marshall: Right.
Dr. Reagan: Where we prayed at school.
Peter Marshall: Right.
Dr. Reagan: Where we had Christmas programs at school that focused on the Nativity, and the birth of Jesus. I grew up in a society where your word was your, all you had to do was shake hands and that was it.
Peter Marshall: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: People did not use blasphemous language, you didn’t see that in movies, you didn’t see it, of course TV didn’t exist at that time. But I have seen it change so radically, so fast. What gets me is how fast it has occurred.
Peter Marshall: Yeah, absolutely. The sexual revolution in the 60’s, it’s gone downhill rapidly. And of course there are those famous statistics David Barton and others have pointed out that as soon as the sexual revolution was unleashed in the early 60’s the statistics on rape, on violence in schools, all this stuff just soared.
Dr. Reagan: Now one of the aspects of this is the rewriting of American History.
Peter Marshall: Right.
Dr. Reagan: Now you have been on a lot of textbook review committees. Could you give us a sense of how American History is being rewritten?
Peter Marshall: Well it started out David, with the sins of omission, you know where the truths about the Christian belief of the Founding Fathers for example as we talked about earlier, last week. And the idea that Christopher Columbus was a committed Christian was led by the Lord to do what he did because he was a brilliant Bible scholar. All of these things began to be omitted from the history books. But lately what we have seen in the last 30, 40, 50 years actually is lies, I mean accusations that the Founding Fathers being all Deists, you know unbelievers not Christian believers. Which is flatly untrue, they were Christian believers. But now what we are seeing is positively wrong statements being made.
Dr. Reagan: Well let’s come back to that in just a moment.
Peter Marshall: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to my interview with the Reverend Peter Marshall about the current challenge to America’s Christian Heritage. Right before the break we were talking about some manifestations of the corruption in America today. And you were talking about some myths that are being taught today about American History. Tell us about some of them.
Peter Marshall: Well again that all the Founding Fathers were just a bunch of slave owning hypocrites, you know this kind of thing, flatly untrue some of them were slave holders to be sure. Washington hated slavery, tried 3 separate schemes to get rid of his slaves, tried to get surrounding planters to take them. Slaves begged him to keep them on Mt. Vernon actually as a matter of fact when they became aware of what he was trying to do because they said, “Nobody will hire us as free blacks around here.”
Dr. Reagan: One of the things that seems to drive the historians up the wall is the assertion by anyone that this was founded as a Christian nation.
Peter Marshall: Oh, absolutely. And you know Washington and these men were determined to put these Biblical practices and principles into practice and they did. But the mythology that is being, it is almost… it is virtually impossible David in many colleges, and universities today to get a decent education in American History, because the courses have been politically driven to be narrowed down to silly kind of focuses on you know the kind of thing that I kiddingly talk about in terms of the history of women’s rights in south Dallas or something. I mean it becomes, you can’t put together a basic understanding of what this nation was really all about because they don’t have courses that focus on the kind of things we are talking about anymore.
Dr. Reagan: I was talking about the speed of the abandonment because in our lifetime we have seen this so fast.
Peter Marshall: Oh, yeah it has deteriorated totally.
Dr. Reagan: Let me emphasize this to you for a moment, I want to get your reaction to this. This is a statement that Earl Warren made to Time Magazine in 1954, he was the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court at that time. And to me if a Justice were to make this statement today there would be an immediate move to impeach him. But here is what Earl Warren said to Time Magazine, “I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book, and the Spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses. Whether we look to the First Charter of Virginia or to the Charter of New England or the Charter of Massachusetts Bay, or the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, the same objective is present, a Christian land governed by Christian principles.” This in 1954, “I believe that the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge of our Forefathers had of the Bible and there belief in it. Freedom of belief of expression, of assembly, petition, dignity of the individual, sanctity of the home, equal justice under the law, reservation of powers of the people. I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm will come to this country.”
Peter Marshall: Yeah, that is right. And as we drift away from those principles and reject them we are incurring the judgment of Almighty God. I think that is exactly what is going on today in America. I mean that was an accurate statement Warren shared by all kinds of people. I mean Harry Truman said that all the fundamental rights that are built into American government come from Isaiah and Saint Paul. You know he knew perfectly well they all come from Scripture.
Dr. Reagan: You are working on a book right now about the Christian Heritage of America as it relates to the Civil War. And one of the things that comes to mind is that great proclamation that Abraham Lincoln issued during the Civil War in which he called, in which he stated point blank that he believed that the Civil War was the result of this nations sin.
Peter Marshall: No question about it.
Dr. Reagan: And that we needed to repent before the Lord. And he asked everyone to go to their churches and synagogues; I think it was on a Thursday of a week, and to pray to God to forgive us of our sins, that this war might come to an end. You know I believe if a President of the United States were to issue such a proclamation like that today, he would probably be impeached.
Peter Marshall: Very much needed, desperately needed for us to have a President in the White House who will say that kind of thing. Now President Reagan used to talk that way, but since then we have not had as much of that kind of talk. Of course after 9/11 George Bush talked that way, but the problem, David, is that we lost that sense of God’s judgment because and why, because we have lost the sense of God’s call and His plan for the Nation. If you understand God’s plan for the Nation that America is to be a moral and spiritual leader, an example to the rest of the world of the possibilities of life on this planet. If you understand that then you understand that if the nation turns its back on that call then comes the judgments. I mean look at how God dealt with Israel. The Puritan saw parallels between God’s dealings with Ancient Israel, and God’s dealings with them. And I believe that parallels to wholes.
Dr. Reagan: I want to get into that with you now, in just a moment. One of the things that really impressed me in your book, The Light and the Glory was the way in which the preachers in the early history of America would see a major calamity as a judgment of God.
Peter Marshall: Right.
Dr. Reagan: And they would immediately rush to the pulpit and preach and say, “This is a calamity, this is a remedial judgment of God. God is calling us to repentance we must get on our knees.” And people would do it.
Peter Marshall: Well, in early New England, 1675 King Phillip’s War broke out, the only amassed Indian uprising in New England history, alright. Phillip was Chief Massasoit’s of the Pilgrims, Chief Massasoit’s son and he had been baptized a Christian but he turned against the Lord and Satan got a hold of him and he led this amassed Indian uprising. The preachers began preaching that this was God’s judgment on the Colonies because they had been drifting away from the stronger Christian faith of their fathers and grandfathers. Drifting away from this and God was allowing Satan to attack them through the Indians to visit His judgment upon to bring them to repentance. They thundered from the pulpits David, so many times sermons based on text from Jeremiah that historians have come to call those sermons, Jeremiads it has become a class of American preaching, historically speaking. So that was the clear understanding. When the King died, when there was drought, I mean there are examples in the “Light and the Glory,” of how the Pilgrims responded to drought, drove them into repentance, into the meeting house in prayer. Fabulous story that is well documented that they spent the entire day in there in prayer, they threw the doors open late in the afternoon, the sky was black with rain clouds. Now it hadn’t rained a drop in over 11 weeks, their crops on which they were dependent for food of course, along with what they could catch in the bay. The crops had died, but the next morning after that day long prayer meeting it began to rain a gentle soaking, a soft rain that lasted on and off for weeks and literally revived their crops. But I mean repentance was called for, they knew enough back then David that when we are in trouble we need to get down on our knees and seek the Lord.
Dr. Reagan: My wife and I have a devotional every morning and right now we are reading the book of Judges. And it is just the same cyclical story over and over, you know rebellion against God, God brings a persecution upon them they repent God raises up a judge. And it just goes over and over. And the Bible says that God never changes, and yet I run across pastors all the place today who say, “Oh, yeah, yeah.” Let me give you an example. I was banned from a local church, a very large church, here in the Dallas area because I preached a sermon that the people received but the pastor did not.
Peter Marshall: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: And the sermon was that Katrina was a remedial judgment of God upon this nation, and he went through the ceiling. He said–
Peter Marshall: Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: “That is the God of the Old Testament the God of the New Testament is a God of love and grace and mercy, He would never put a remedial judgment upon anyone.”
Peter Marshall: I have been through the same thing David, just recently, not too long ago, I was with a pastor in another state that said that he didn’t believe that God visited judgment upon people at all, that was all Old Testament and that there would be no more, no judgments of God until the Day of Judgment. And he said, “Can you show me that in the New Testament?” And I said, “Give me a few minutes, yeah.” Next morning I presented him a list of passages from the New Testament. I mean it is just.
Dr. Reagan: Well Romans chapter 1 talks about how when a society begins to rebel against God, God lowers the hedge of protection, steps back–
Peter Marshall: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: –and allows evil to multiply.
Peter Marshall: Well welcome to America.
Dr. Reagan: Amen.
Peter Marshall: Currently, that is exactly what is going on here, because we have done that.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, so I think that this attitude that was evidenced in these preachers throughout the New England area in the early history–
Peter Marshall: They were right.
Dr. Reagan: –is an attitude that should be in our pulpits today. People should be preaching for repentance in our pulpits today.
Peter Marshall: Well those boys knew their Scripture, and today we have gotten seduced by this bless me Jesus kind of mentality where we don’t take, we are lacking a Holy fear of God, a Holy fear of God, not talking about a cowering fear.
Dr. Reagan: I agree.
Peter Marshall: But we lack that sense of awe and we are dealing with the Creator of the entire Universe here. And He has become kind of a buddy, you know what I mean?
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Peter Marshall: It is like we don’t understand, He loves us, He loves us desperately but He is not our buddy.
Dr. Reagan: Well you’ve got that right and it is so disconcerting to me if I flip TV channels for example and see church services to hear just sermons that are just related to how you can live a positive life and they’re mainly positive psychology. And here is a nation that is going to Hell in a hand basket and somebody needs to be calling people to repentance.
Peter Marshall: Absolutely, it is the missing ingredient David, in modern American Christianity. Which is why we have no revival, because revival never, never, never, never happened, I mean read your Bible, read history, revival never happens without repentance first.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right. Well we certainly need repentance in this nation. You know it occurred to me years ago when I was traveling abroad. Every time I went to a motel, hotel room in any country in the world if I knew I turned on that TV set I was going to see the most violent, blasphemous, immoral American movies and television. We are the moral polluter of the entire planet, and God is going to hold us responsible for that.
Peter Marshall: That is one of the things the Muslims, one of the very few things the Muslims accuse us of worldwide that is correct, of being immoral in that sense. And you know we need to take that accusation away from them.
Dr. Reagan: Peter has our Nation reached the point of no return? Is there any hope whatsoever, or are we destined to destruction?
Peter Marshall: I think absolutely there is hope David. My ministry verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14, has been for many, many years. That verse starts with a two letter word that is critically important; if.
Dr. Reagan: If.
Peter Marshall: If, in other words this is conditional, no slam dunks here, okay. It is like, “If my people who are called by My name,” so this is aimed at the believers, not the unbelievers, “If my people will humble themselves,” meaning before we get humbled, “if they will pray and seek my face,” which is more than just showing up at church once a week, and thirdly, and here is the key thing, “if they, the believers, will turn from their wicked ways,” the ways of self, the ways of half-hearted commitment, then God says, “I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.” So the healing of the land, David, because that is what He is promising based on these, on our fulfilling these conditions, the healing of the land depends upon our turning from our wicked ways. That’s why I said earlier that the call to repentance is so critically important. It is the key to Americans being saved, it is the key to the nation surviving, much less fulfilling the role of moral and spiritual leadership that to which we are called. So there is hope but its got to start with the body of Christ, we’ve got to go deeper in Jesus, we’ve got to push through this shallow superficial, you know bless me Jesus kind of take away all my pains, and problems, and make life better for me, self-centered focused. It is not focused on going deeper in Jesus it is just focused on picking up the blessings, see and that doesn’t work that’s not New Testament Christianity.
Dr. Reagan: Well you know one of the things about that verse that you just quoted that is encouraging is the Lord does not say that everybody has to repent, He says, “If my people…”
Peter Marshall: Right.
Dr. Reagan: The people that are called by His name.
Peter Marshall: That is the hope of it.
Dr. Reagan: If Christian would do it.
Peter Marshall: See that is the hope of it.
Dr. Reagan: But you see the problem is that Christians all across this nation, we are all part of the problem. If Christian would stop buying lottery tickets the lotteries would close down. If Christians would stop getting abortions, the abortion mills… I mean people who call themselves Christians.
Peter Marshall: Right, right, right.
Dr. Reagan: That is what I am talking about. We are part of the problem.
Peter Marshall: Well there is a superficial Christian veneer.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, what I call cultural Christianity.
Peter Marshall: Right, exactly, that is what it is, it is cultural Christianity. Especially in the South where there has been more of a tradition of evangelicalism there is a veneer, it is what I call good ol’ boy Christians, you know the kind of thing, “Are you a Christian?” “Well of course I am a Christian, I go to Church don’t I?” You know this kind. And there is–
Dr. Reagan: And all the time you better be careful because he might spit tobacco on you.
Peter Marshall: Yeah, right. It is like where is Jesus in this picture? It is like where are you with Jesus? That’s the crucial question, you know. Is He really a personal Savior and Lord in your life on a daily basis? I mean do you rely on Him? The older I get David, and the longer I live the more I realize that there really is nothing but Jesus. I mean He is everything, everything, everything in your life.
Dr. Reagan: Or should be.
Peter Marshall: Yeah, depends on that relationship with Him.
Dr. Reagan: Amen.
Peter Marshall: And we have got to go deeper. Jesus Himself said, “If any man would come after me.” You know if you want to be a Christian. Let him what? “…deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Daily is in Luke, Luke’s version of that verse. So that the call to self-denial, I mean you don’t hear this preached from the pulpits today.
Dr. Reagan: No.
Peter Marshall: But this is what opens the power of Jesus to be loosed in your life, is when you get really serious about dealing with that fallen old sinful nature in there that you are still carrying around even though you have been born again and hopefully filled with the Holy Spirit for years.
Dr. Reagan: Well you are really touching on the essence of Christianity there, because it really is not a religion.
Peter Marshall: Right.
Dr. Reagan: It is a relationship.
Peter Marshall: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: A relationship.
Peter Marshall: And one that is supposed to be ever deepening, on a daily bases. We are supposed to be getting more and more into union with Jesus, less of self, more of Jesus on a daily basis. And yet this is not being taught. David the preaching, the level of preaching and teaching in our churches today is the worst I have ever seen it in my entire lifetime. It is just not there, we are not calling people to this deeper life.
Dr. Reagan: This is reflected in the polls that are taken every year of entering freshmen into evangelical colleges like Wheaten.
Peter Marshall: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: And every year they give them a quiz, a basic Bible knowledge, like really tough, name one of the Apostles, name one of the Gospels, they can’t do it.
Peter Marshall: Yup.
Dr. Reagan: And they are coming from evangelical churches, and you are wonder are they only having weenie roasts, or what? They are certainly are not studying the Word of God.
Peter Marshall: Well, you know, the whole mega church movement, it is awfully easy to get lost in the cracks. And a lot of pastors are aware of this okay there are a lot of good pastors out there that are really trying to deal with this. But I just, I sometimes think with a lot of these churches across the land, I sometimes think the only thing they are worried about is getting a Starbucks in the lobby, you know. Really? I mean we are not in good shape here, in the body of Christ. I mean look at, worldwide David, the explosion of genuine New Testament Christianity where is it happening? Africa.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Peter Marshall: Asia, Latin America. The locus of real Biblical Christianity and belief in Biblical Christianity has moved into the Southern Hemisphere.
Dr. Reagan: Amen.
Peter Marshall: Out of the Northern, so I mean there is a shift globally going on. And tragically the North, the North American Continent is being left out of this. We’ve got all this show of Christianity but where is the power of Jesus, you know. Where is the repentance? Where is the revival? So we’ve got a lot of homework to do, literal sense.
Dr. Reagan: Peter our public schools have abandoned the teaching of the Christian Heritage of our nation. So I would like to end this program by you telling our viewer how parents can remedy that situation. For example are there any Christian, any materials available that they could use in teaching their children about the Christian Heritage of our nation.
Peter Marshall: Well as a matter of fact, I think the children’s versions of our three adult history books, are being used and have been for many years now.
Dr. Reagan: So there are Christian versions, I mean children’s versions?
Peter Marshall: Absolutely for 8-12 year olds, there are also activity books for the 5-8 year olds on our Christian Heritage. For each adult book what we have done through the years David is to bring out the children’s versions and the activity books. And then there also is something I am very excited about which is four historical novels for young teens, 10-16 year olds based on, 95% of it is true American History, and in the back we have a page that says what we made up and what is really true so the kids will be clear about that. But the adults loves these books, Nate Donovan: Revolutionary Spy, Mercy Clifton: Pilgrim Girl. Nate for example is with Washington at Valley Forge, part of the book he learns about Washington’s Christian faith, he sees him down on his knees in the snows of Valley Forge praying. Mercy is with the Pilgrims she learns all about who, she is a Pilgrim and who they really were comes out. The third one, Pedro DeTerreros and the Voyage of Destiny he was a real person by the way, one of Christopher Columbus’ cabin boys, so he learns all about Columbus’ Biblical motivations, sees him in prayer, that fateful night just before landfall. The fourth book, Kate Winfield on the Oregon Trail she sees the hand of God. But these are character forming books, David.
Dr. Reagan: Which is so desperately needed these days.
Peter Marshall: What the kids need, you and I grew up on these wonderful stories of biographies of real people that made strong and correct moral and spiritual choices.
Dr. Reagan: Several years ago a friend of mine went to a garage sale in McKinney Texas and they had a bunch of old books there and he bought one and couldn’t believe his eyes, he brought it to me and said, “Look at this.” And it was the High School English Reader at McKinney High School in the 1940’s and every story in it was right out of the Bible.
Peter Marshall: Yeah, wow.
Dr. Reagan: And everyone ended with a moral. What is the moral of this story?
Peter Marshall: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: We don’t have this anymore.
Peter Marshall: No, and that is the tragedy of it. So the Lord called me to help restore this to the American people.
Dr. Reagan: Well I would strongly encourage people to get in touch with you because your materials are desperately needed in this society today. Your study of the Christian Heritage of America, beginning with the Light and the Glory. The sermons of your father, who we are going to talk about next week.
Peter Marshall: Right
Dr. Reagan: And the children’s books, there just wonderful. and I hope that people will go to your website and also through the website they can contact you incase they are interested in inviting you to come to speak.
Peter Marshall: Absolutely, I do that all over the country, wherever I am invited. It is not hard to get a hold of me, and it is easy to get me to come.
Dr. Reagan: I hope that you speak to a lot of homeschoolers. Do you do that?
Peter Marshall: Well I do, of course our materials are used by them, I mean they are very familiar with our materials. I do state conventions, home school conventions when I am invited. Love to do that, love to have an opportunity to share. I do Christian school fund raisers, I mean all kinds of, because I am strongly committed, as you know, to getting back the truth into American homes. The parents have got to take responsibility for what their kids are being taught. If you have your kids in public education you need to get your faces into those books. You need to know what they are getting taught because you maybe shocked by some of it.
Dr. Reagan: And you need to do some supplementary teaching at home.
Peter Marshall: Absolutely, we are not helpless, even if you can’t afford to have your kids in a Christian school. What you can do is supplement what they are getting with our things that are based on research and truth. You know feed your kids.
Dr. Reagan: You know I read a lot of your materials over the years, but I was not aware of your children’s materials, until I got your latest catalogue and I was really excited to see those in there, and I really hope our viewers will take advantage of that.
Peter Marshall: Well I do too. We have the whole family covered. I mean the study guides which were actually the lesson plans so that parents or Christian teachers or even public education teachers can use these to teach in the classroom.
Dr. Reagan: Well folks, I am delighted to announce that Reverend Marshall has agreed to come back again next week, and at that time the Lord willing we are going to talk with him about his famous parents and the incredible Christian legacy of his family. Until then this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries’ saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”
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