Roger Marsh: Founding father, Patrick Henry once said, "It is the business of a virtuous clergy to censure vice in every appearance of it." In other words, pastors and teachers of God's word have a responsibility to denounce and condemn evil whenever and wherever it appears, including, and perhaps, especially in the political realm. I'm Roger Marsh, and you're listening to Family Talk, the broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. Today, we're going to share the conclusion of a presentation given about a decade ago, by Pastor Jim Garlow. Pastor Garlow gave this talk at a small gathering to a few of Family Talks' close ministry friends. Dr. Dobson, and his wife, Shirley were in attendance along with other Christian speakers and leaders. The topic of Pastor Garlow's presentation, the responsibility that pastors have to call sin, sin. Unfortunately, as he shared on yesterday's broadcast, too few pastors in our country actually address topics like homosexuality and abortion, because they consider them to be, "Too political to be tackled from the pulpit."
By the way, to hear the first half of Pastor Garlow's presentation here on Family Talk, you can listen to yesterday's broadcast, when you go to drjamesdobson.org/broadcast. Pastor Jim Garlow is former senior pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, California. Dr. Garlow is the author of 15 books, including the best seller Cracking the DaVinci Code. He earned his Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Drew University, a Master's of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and his Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. For 42 years, Jim was married to his wife Carol, before her passing. In 2014, Jim married Rosemary Schindler and together they co-founded Well Versed Ministries. The goal for this ministry is to bring biblical principles of governance to government leaders and the people who elect them. Let's listen now to the conclusion of Pastor Jim Garlow's important presentation on this special edition of Family Talk.
Jim Garlow: We will never have the spiritual renewal in this nation, we all long for, until pastors are unfettered in the pulpit, to speak with complete freedom and boldness and not be controlled in any way, by Ceaser. That is what it will take.
There was a meeting in Statuary Hall in the US Capitol. Congressman, you're the historian here, but I'm told by the guy who convened it, it was the only second time in 100 years, a religious service was held in there. I was one of a number of people who spoke briefly in that location. And as I prepared my comments for that evening, only invited people were congressional staffers and Congress, in themselves. I found myself wanting to confront those in Congress, until the
Holy Spirit did a number on my heart about two weeks prior. In which, He challenged me to, instead of condemning those in the Halls of Congress, to on behalf of the Christians, or the pastors in America, repent for the failure to stand firm. Let me ask you a question, what do you suppose the result was across America, when 1,621 pastors violated the Johnson Amendment, endorsed or supported candidates, as all pastors had done up until 1954? And they mailed their sermons to the IRS.
What do you suppose the response was in the pew? Pastors in conference calls with hundreds of pastors coming on together, the report was 100% positive. Congregations standing and applauding and cheering on their pastor for being the pastor they wanted him to be. One pastor reported, "I lost so much time, because of ovations. During my sermon, people were clapping so long and so hard, I lost a lot of preaching time, that particular Sunday." That's a problem you want to have every week, isn't it? What does it tell us? It tells us that the laity are ahead of our pastors. It tells us that the pew is significantly ahead of the pulpit, in many places. There was one pastor who has fought against us for 40 years on speaking out on issues. He changed this last year. He changed and finally realized he needed to speak out on the issues after 40 years, a very visible pastor in America. But, 55 million babies have died during that time, sir, you're very late to the party.
Another pastor, very prominent in America said, "I'm going to speak out for the first time, politically from my pulpit. I've never done it before and I'll never do it again." Wrong, sir. You should have been doing it before, because you're not being political in the pulpit, you're being biblical. But, our nation has slipped so far, we don't recognize biblical preaching anymore. My wife and I have a friend who lost a lot of weight and she went from being overweight to very slender and she was a runner and people would come to her and say, "You don't look healthy, you don't look healthy. You've simply lost too much weight." And she finally got a response back to them, she started saying, "You don't recognize me healthy." Application of that illustration, is when pastors stand up and preach authentic biblical-founded sermons. When they make biblical application in actual community life, the congregation oftentimes has lost the capacity to recognize true biblical preaching.
And they call it by a wrong name and say, "Oh, you were political." "No, I was just being biblical." I learned during the Prop 8 Battle, that if was willing to take the hits, along I gathered about five, or six other high visibility pastors of state. If we were willing to take the hits together, we could get hundreds of other pastors, thousands of other pastors to join with us, but we had to be able to take the hits. But, here's the problem. And this comes back to why we're in this room this night.
There are way too few pastors standing up. And you say, "Jim, why are you talking to us about this? We're not pastors." Most of you in this room are not pastors. I presume, maybe I'm the only one perhaps, who is a pastor, I don't know. "Well, why are you talking to us about the condition of the pastors?" I want to explain to you historically, when I've been setting the stage historically, how did we end up in this room tonight? In order for us to move a nation, we need at least critical mass. There's 350,000 churches in America, at least 15% would make critical mass. We need at least 40,000 pastors, we don't have 40,000 pastors who fear nothing, but God, and will speak nothing but truth. We don't have it, not to my knowledge, yet. And so, God looked down on America, when he could not find the pastors willing to take the heat.
And he said, "I'm going to have to find a child psychologist, who will do what pastors are unwilling to do." Had the pastors of America been doing what they should have been doing, the Ministry of James Dobson would never have been needed. But, when God saw, hear me carefully. When God saw he could not entrust this truth to be proclaimed to the pastors of America, at least enough of them, at least critical mass to move a nation, he said, "I'm going to go to California and pick on a guy with a Ph.D. in psychology, and I'm going to raise him up. He's going to have to bear the weight of this, he's going to have to take the shots from it. His wife and his children will pay a dear price of sacrifice. He will pay an enormous sacrifice."
But, God says, "I'm going to raise him up to do what the pastors are not doing." God looked around on another issue. He had to find a football coach at the University of Colorado, Bill McCartney. He says, "Because, pastors are not taking lead, I'm going to have to raise him up." And he looked around more and he says, "There's not enough pastors willing to speak up, I'm going to find a pediatric neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins University, named Benjamin Carson. And I'm going to put him in front of the president and he's going to speak the truth at the National Prayer Breakfast.
You may not want to clap, when I say the next line. What's the basis of this, I'm saying? Two pastors had spoken before Benjamin Carson ever spoke, before him. And one of them, the most pronounced evangelical, but if I said his name you'd all know him. He stood before our president and referred to him as, Pastor-in-Chief. And along came the next pastor that same day of the inauguration and said, "Sir, Mr. President, you should've been a pastor. No president has ever, ever stirred vision for the future." I'm quoting as near as I can remember the exact words, "Like you. Truly, you should have preacher." Now, you see, I've just cited three people, two who I've not named. And then, Benjamin Carson, who stood at a crossroads. And the crossroads was simply that, between 2 Samuel 12:7, or between John 19:15. They stood at a crossroads to decide, which am I going to choose?
2 Chronicles 7, Nathan stood before David, and he said, "You are the man." John 19:15, the chief priest cried out, "We have no king, but Caesar." And so, three people I've just cited, stood before a man who's responsible for the destruction of marriage, at a pace we have never seen. Who's been most committed to destroying babies in the womb, at a pace like we've never seen. Destroying the economic foundation, which is a moral biblical issue, as are the other two, at a pace like we have never seen. And when God gave them the opportunity to bring well thought out, not angry, not dishonoring, or disrespectful, but frank forthright, biblical correction. When they had that moment, they palavered all over him. So, God said, "I can't trust this, to a pastor. I'm going to get a pediatric neurosurgeon to stand before him." And Dr. Carson stood before him and said, "Political correctness is wrong. It's stifling free thought, free thinking."
He built it on that foundation. And then, he modeled for us, how to do it in a respectful fashion. I had a guy stop me one time at an event where I was getting an award for the thing I'm talking about right now, just doing what a pastor ought to do. I shouldn't be getting an award for that, every pastor should be doing that. But, I was getting an award for it. And he pulled me aside, and says, "Guess what? Guess what? My pastor, let me put up a table to make people aware of the abortion and marriage issue. Isn't that exciting?" I said, "No, it's not exciting." I said, "Your pastor let you put up a table? Let you? You see your language? Your pastor should be insisting you put up the table and he ought to be there with you. That's the difference."
But God looked down and he saw the condition of the American church and he said, "I'm going to choose a child psychologist. I'm going to raise him up. I'm going to him a staggering ministry." I stood before congregation last week, and I outlined where America is, the most forthrightly, then I have on any Sunday morning. We had to go carefully on a Sunday morning, because you don't want to ship-wreck baby Christians. Understand exactly where America is, so I'm easing in to help people prepare them for what is to come in American culture. The last Sunday I was working my way through 1 John and I came to the part, 1 John 2:18, this is the last hour. So, I talked to them. I said, "I don't know if it's the end of the world, or not. It's the last hour for America. And let me tell you, and make my case why?"
And then, I turned to my left where the high school students sit, and I said, "Almost all the guys my age, are retiring." And I'd love to sit in a condo on the beach, quite frankly, because I love the beach. It'd be so much easier, than taking the hits we continue to take. But, I said, "I'm concerned about the world for you. And God has given me some influence, a small amount of influence, but whatever influence I have, I got to steward that influence, cherish it, treasure it. I won't always have it, there'll be a time that nobody wants to talk to me, nobody makes any phone calls to me anymore, but right now I have a little bit of influence. And so, I'm committing myself not to go into retirement, like all my buddies, and to fight through the cause as best I can for you." And the congregation began to stand and cheer.
They weren't standing and cheering for me, and I got that. This didn't feed my ego. They were standing for a concept and a strategy. Dr. Dobson could have retired years ago. And if anyone had an excuse to do it, he did. And if anybody's got enough shrapnel in them, I mean, how many more purple hearts does he need? He's been at this war. I called him today, I said, "What's the bull's eye? What do you want me to talk about tonight?" He said, "I just want you to bless the people." Well, I came on, I hope I bless you, but I didn't tell him on the phone, I came to honor a hero, Dr. Dobson. That's why I am here tonight.
We don't fundraise. He started going to all that. He's not going to say this, so I'm going to say it. He doesn't know I'm going to say this. I encourage you to sacrifice whatever you possibly can, to support this ministry. Whatever funds you have and resources you have, we have a short time to make those resources count. You probably have sacrificed a lot. I want to challenge you to go further. He has no knowledge I was going to say this. If you happen to be supporters of the ministry, I urge you to take a step even further. What good is it going to be, if this nation actually goes down? It won't make any difference then. Pastors should have risen up, they did not. Now, the good news, is I think we're moving in the right direction with pastors.
I'm encouraged and I'm not giving up, not giving up moving pastors. I'm trying to motivate them every way I possibly can. We're laying out a fresh new strategy, asking God to show us, how do we move as many pastors, to be as bold as possible, as quickly as possible, in the shortness of the amount of time that we have left? David Barton and I were giving a tour called "The Next Great Awakening Tour" in June and July 2010. We went through Washington, D.C, our brother, a Congressman spoke to us along with a number of other people who met us along the way, about 10 major speakers along the way. But, the highlight of the whole trip in terms of buildings we went to, or stopped by, was one we didn't even actually go in. We drove by the home of Jonas Clark in Lexington, Massachusetts, a yellow colored house.
And that was a home that Paul Revere was trying to get to on the night of the famous, Midnight Run. He was trying to get to that location to warn him, the British were coming after him. They were going to incarcerate him, or try to kill him, or whatever. Why were they trying to silence Jonas Clark? He must have been the governor. No, he wasn't. He must've been an important legislator. Oh no, no, he wasn't. He must've been a very successful businessman. No, no, no, he wasn't. What was he? He was a pastor who wouldn't be silenced in the pulpit and the British troops were coming after a pastor, because he was willing to speak the truth, inflexible on speaking the truth. I ask my pastor friends from time to time, if the moral equivalent of the British troops were coming after you today, would they be coming after you? Or, somebody else?
I can tell you the moral equivalency of the British troops, have been coming after Dr. Dobson for decades. And I admire you, sir, for how you stood. It is remarkable. I close with this and it's a tender story, it's autobiographical. And as I share the stories of my wife's health condition, I don't ask any sympathy. Sympathy won't do any good for us, prayer will. Many of you are aware of this, some of you are aware of a health journey we've been on for five years and eight months. She was diagnosed with a form of extremely aggressive cancer, three C stage, and now been stage four for some time. The battle has been intense. In fact, even so much as last Monday night, we got extremely disappointing news, and all radiation is ruled out, all surgeries are now ruled out, all chemos are ruled out, except we're down to one potential.
That's what they call Velcro treatment. They just throw it against the wall and hope this one sticks. But, the tumors in the liver have gone from two to 10, size of a golf ball. One of them lymph nodes. And so, we're in a very intense battle, she's dropped down weight very, very rapidly in recent times. And her strength level, is really critical, and some days are extremely painful. And for the first time on Monday night, well, the first time ever in our home, we use the word between us of hospice. For the first time in our home ever, we talked about what she would want in a memorial service. It was a time from 5:30 PM to 11:30, nonstop tears. As our four kids were in the home, or stopped by on their way, for part of the evening.
It's a painful time for us, we're still in the battle. We're still believing for the miracle. We're not in denial, we recognize where we are. It was April 2010, that we got a phone call from the oncologist, informing us that the cancer had come back for the third time. It's since come back a total of seven times, and she's not been able to get into remission for the last year. Matter of just trying to control the tumors at this point. But, it was when that call came, we were quite stunned and shocked. Carol was not in the home, I took the call by myself and I said to the oncologist, something I don't know if a caregiver should ask. I said, "Barring a miracle, which we fully expect, how long does she have? And when he answered the question, my body physically shook. It just registered in a way that I was unprepared for, because his answer jolted me.
And about two weeks later, sitting in that same chair in my study, if I heard from the spirit of God, right. I thought the Holy Spirit said, "Jimmy, you're fighting for the life of your wife and you're fighting for the life of your nation. And both barring a miracle, have a very short time." I've written two books, having to do with heaven and the afterlife, several years ago. In which, we studied and analyzed, my co-author and I, near death experiences. People who were clinically dead, but were remarkably resuscitated and came back to life. And I'm hanging on like you are to a conviction, to a belief that something could happen. The spirit of God could be released in such a way, that something stir within this nation and that revival we've longed for, suddenly inexplicably break out someplace, somewhere and sweep this nation and touch enough lives and transform enough lives that we would see life come back to what appears to be a dead patient.
I'm praying the same as my nation, as I am for my wife. Crying out, "God, we need a miracle." And God would have us look back to the scriptures in moments that are sobering as these. In 2 Kings 6, what does the rest of that passage say? When the servant of the great prophet, he comes and he says, "Oh my Lord, what are we going to do? We're surrounded by horses and chariots. The enemy's coming in on us, right now. And Elijah says the most strange thing. He does not say, "Oh, God help us." He says, "Open the eyes of my servant." The servant wasn't seeing something. And he opened his eyes and he saw the mountain surrounded with horses and chariots of fire. That God was still there in this horrific situation, the pain and that realization of marriage devastated, abortion continuing and national debt, and all that goes with that.
He would want to say to us, "Open your eyes, I have not forgotten you. The mountains are filled with horses and chariots of fire." Our issue is not, "Oh, Lord, what are we going to do?" It's what the wise prophet said, "Open your eyes." Psalm 11:3, which we started with a moment ago. And it says, "When the foundations are being destroyed, what are the righteous to do?" It sounds like this, "When the foundation is being destroyed, what are the righteous going to do?" It sounds like a ringing text. "What are we going to do?" But, there is an ambiguity in the Hebrew text. And so, it can be rendered one of two ways. And the other one, is the correct one. I don't think it's saying, "When the foundations are being destroyed, what are the righteous going to do?"
The other rendering of the Hebrew text is, "When the foundations are being destroyed, what is the righteous one doing? Capital R, capital O. What is God doing? When it looks like the nation is going down, be assured the church is going to stand and the kingdom of God will do well. And so, when the foundations are being destroyed, what is the righteous one doing? That gets more fun. That's a question I like to ask. That's a vision, horses and chariots of fire surrounding. We do not give up in this moment and we have to keep our eyes on the righteous one, and he's going to show us what to do. Thank you for the privilege of sharing with you here tonight. Thank you so much.
Roger Marsh: Powerful words of exhortation from Pastor Jim Garlow, today here on Family Talk. Calling on all Christian pastors to teach boldly and biblically, even when that means addressing topics that some think are, "Too political." By the way, if you'd like to learn more about Pastor Jim Garlow and his current ministry, visit our broadcast page at drjamesdobson.org. That's D-R, jamesdobson.O-R-G/broadcast. Also, if you have any questions about Family Talk, or the JDFI, or if you just need someone to pray with you, you're always welcome to give us a call. We're available all around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And our number is (877)-732-6825. Finally, remember you can always write to us, our ministry mailing address, is The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, PO box 39000, Colorado Springs, Colorado, the zip code 80949.
You can request a resource through the mail. You can also use the mail as a great easy way to send your tax deductible donation, in support of our ministry as well. So, jot down our ministry mailing address, The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, PO box 39000, Colorado Springs, Colorado, the zip code, 80949. Thanks so much for making Family Talk a part of your day. It's because of listeners, just like you, that we are able to bring great content to the airwaves each and every day. From all of us here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, have a great weekend and be sure to join us again on Monday for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
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