The tables have turned this week! Brad takes a look at the role Monica has taken with her passion for the family, liberty, and religious freedom. Brad asks her some very intense and critical questions as this series is wrapped up with one giant bow. Sit back and enjoy this interview, and most importantly… find your passion and the mission God gave you!
We are so excited to announce that the first weekend in October, we will be launching an “e-book” that will have all 16 weeks, new sections, and over 250 hyperlinks!
Brad: We primarily discussed the Money leg of our three-legged stool. We said our culture rests on these three legs: Faith, Family and Money. Of course, most of what I discussed was Money. I touched on Faith in Week 1 and Week 2. What would you like to add to that?
Monica: Brad, you summed up the three-legged stool beautifully. All three legs are needed in order for our culture to be able to stand. If just one leg is taken away, the stool falls. It is critical we have this foundation before we act. Your passion is money; my passion is faith and family. I believe God has given us these passions and gifts to work His purpose and to complete the big picture. There were several times throughout the interview that I felt like it would be less painful for me to pull my lip over my forehead, than to read your comments. Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but your interview illustrates the passion and knowledge God has given you. I like to compare this to the story in the book of Nehemiah; the story of Nehemiah building the wall around the city. His blueprint was BRILLIANT. Each person knew his gift and took care of his own portion of the wall. With everyone working together, the wall was built. Every position was needed. I wrote about it here. We all have a place and a position on the wall. My place on the wall is to defend the moral/family and social stand of the country. The economic, moral and defense legs of the stool are of equal importance. One is not more important than the other.
All Laws Are Based On Morality
Brad: So what’s the most important thing you want these readers to know about family values?
Monica: I would say first and foremost, there is HOPE. We have reached a point in history where our family values have come under such a massive assault, and those who have been sleeping have been suddenly jolted awake. Those who have been busy raising families are no longer able to ignore the attack on the family; they are beginning to rise up and say ENOUGH! The family is the foundation of the nation. If we lose our family values, we have lost the heart of the Nation. It’s often said, “You cannot legislate morality.” I don’t believe this is a fair statement. All laws are based off of someone’s definition of morality. The question is: whose? George Washington once said, “You can’t have national morality apart from religious principle.” Source Abe Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.” Source Without morality we have no liberty. Liberty is freedom plus morality.
Brad: Monica, I wonder if people feel overwhelmed. It seems like there are so many issues to deal with. What would you like to say to those who are overwhelmed and perhaps feel hopeless?
Monica: First I would say, take a deep breath. Some of us who have been on the front lines for so many years forget to breathe sometimes! We are thrown so many issues we passionately care about that we forget to care for ourselves. I think that is intentional from the left. If they can overwhelm us, they know they will win because we are exhausted. That is why I like God’s activism design that I described in my book, Not on My Watch. I talked about how to find your gifts, talents and abilities. Finding your passion—your place on the wall—and then working hard is the key. Your passion is for finances, mine is for the family. Others have different God-given niches. I care about finances and will do everything I can to help you get your message out; you care about family values and help me … but we do the bulk of the work within our passion. Imagine if everyone did this? We would have a different situation in this country than we currently do. What has happened, instead, is that we fell asleep at the wheel. Maybe we got tired and overwhelmed. Maybe we were spending too much time working on our neighbor’s portion of the wall instead of our own. Find your passion and stick to it. Educate yourself and become an expert. Work with laser focus on your passion. Don’t forget self-care. Brad, I think you and I probably have some of the same personality, so I am sure it is like one alcoholic talking to anther when I say, “Laser focus. Breathe. Do one thing at a time.” Sometimes “good” things can replace God’s best things in your life. Prioritize, and work … leave the rest to God. Ask him to show you what is best
And let me also add: suppose we can’t accomplish everything … suppose we lose even the major battles. I want to leave this earth having done my best with what I knew to do. I’m not going to be a spectator. I believe God will hold me accountable for what I did with what I knew. I believe that is part of what it means to be light in a dark culture.
Are You Polarizing?
Brad: Some of your critics say that you are polarizing. What’s your response to that?
Monica: This is a common response to me and other activists. I understand how people may think this. If you ever receive an email from me, you will see my signature line reads, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” by Edmond Burke. If I am one of the millions of people in the world that do nothing, I will have to stand before my Lord one day and account for it. I have studied my Bible and I’ve studied the Constitution. Men and women died for truth. My guess is that those men and women wore the “polarizing” label, or “badge of honor” as I like to call it. I believe we have not only a responsibility to stand for truth, but a duty to our country and our Lord to stand. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Silence in the face of evil, is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Source Bonhoeffer willingly gave his life for that belief. Source I respect that commitment and have tried to live my life with that type of integrity.
Millions of silent Americans and sleepy pew sitters are allowing evil to prevail in this world because they are afraid of a little criticism and polarization. I can say that because I used to be one of them. I can’t do that anymore. I have a calling and duty to my children to live for truth, even if that means not being popular. If Americans were honest and, for just five minutes, looked around them at the evil atrocities, they too would rise up and say, “As for me? I am standing for truth.”
I’ll leave you with a story by a woman named Penny Lea. I posted this on my blog a few months ago. I’ll let the interpretation be personal to each reader. However, when asked if I am polarizing, I just think of this story and vow to push even harder.
We heard stories of what was happening to Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it because what could we do to stop it.
A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance, and then the wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars. Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews in route to a death camp.
Their screams tormented us. We knew the time the train was coming, and when we heard the whistle blow, we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church, we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.
Although years have passed, I still hear the train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me, forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians and yet did nothing to intervene.
Brad: That’s powerful. We could end there, but let’s move on. I think I know the answer to this, but why have you given your free time to this?
Monica: I would have to say several reasons. The biggest reason is that we are commanded to do so in the Bible. We are commanded to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and we are commanded to speak truth. But to some people that is up for interpretation, so I’ll bring it closer to home. This is a tough job. Activists don’t have many friends and the attacks are intense. I’ve wanted to quit many, many times. I’ve tried to quit many, many times. The problem is, I look at my four precious children and my heart breaks in two when I see the freedoms we have lost on my watch. I give my time to protect our liberty for four reasons: Tony, Alex, Kyle and Sarah. Who will protect our freedom if I don’t stand?
Does The Church Have A Role In Activism?
Brad: What do you see as the church’s role in activism?
Monica: I believe the church has a responsibility and DUTY to stand up and speak out. The church has every single answer needed to fix the situation we find ourselves in right now; and yet they are cowering in a corner worried about being sued by the government, or growing crowds, making sure we tickle the ears of our pew warmers in hopes we don’t make them mad. Brad, you have hit a passionate spot with me. I will try my hardest to be in full restraint mode.
I believe America is in the spot we are in today because of the silent pulpit. We have created soft feel-good pews that have spoken selective truth for years. This has given us soft skin that gets easily offended. We get offended by Jesus own words these days and feel the need to “interpret” what He commanded. There are several reasons we have done this, but one of the biggest I see being the root of all evil: “the love of money.” We have built these HUGE buildings and massive structures, installed fancy lights to draw people in and give them an “experience.” We have drawn them in, now we have to keep them. We now have to change the message of God’s Word so we don’t offend anyone. An empty pew means we can’t pay the mortgage, which means the big business is in trouble. Perhaps we justify this because we prioritize the Gospel … yet, we end up not teaching the entire counsel of God. We preach just enough to get them saved, but not enough to impact our culture.
I know all churches are not like this, and I know this kind of thing is tough to hear. You may say, “Monica, I did not ask you the problem, I asked you what their role is, stick to the question!” If I am to tell you the church’s role in activism, I have to tell you why they have advocated this roll. Many pastors say they don’t want to get involved in politics because it is messy and everyone has a different opinion.
Some pastors want to see grey when it is black-and-white. Some pastors put the blame on the IRS, saying they are handcuffed.
To all of those excuses, I say a big “PHOOEY!” There has never been a church that has lost its tax status for their teaching. The only thing a pastor cannot do is endorse a candidate. A pastor can and should speak on biblical truth. In the day and age we live in, this may not be popular for him to do, but it is his responsibility. We have a generation that has grown up in the church today that has been served milk instead of meat. They are leaving with a false social gospel, and don’t even know what God defines as right or wrong! When they are faced with the new “political correct” religion, they buy it hook, line and sinker because they do not know the truth. It is time the churches turn this around and feed their sheep. It’s time for them to engage the culture and be a light to this dark world with TRUTH! If the church began to preach truth, the pew sitters would become world changers.
Brad: What church do you look to as a model of doing this well?
Monica: I look to the early church. They knew what it was like to follow Christ with an unbridled passion, and yet stand up in the public square and say, “As for me, I follow Jesus.” They were thrown in jail, beaten and told to be silent. They were not. They preached anyway. They were successful in changing their culture. The world was never the same. Source I think if the church got just a glimpse of the early church, they would be bold as lions for the cause! You taught us history throughout this series. Here is a history lesson for you:
The Black Robe Regiment
“It was Sunday morning early in the year 1776. In the church where Pastor Muhlenberg preached, it was a regular service for his congregation, but a quite different affair for Muhlenberg himself. Muhlenberg’s text for the day was Ecclesiastes 3 where it explains, ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted…'”
“Coming to the end of his sermon, Peter Muhlenberg turned to his congregation and said, ‘In the language of the holy writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.’ As those assembled looked on, Pastor Muhlenberg declared, ‘There is a time to fight, and that time is now coming!’ Muhlenberg then proceeded to remove his robes revealing, to the shock of his congregation, a military uniform.”
“Marching to the back of the church he declared, ‘Who among you is with me?’ On that day 300 men from his church stood up and joined Peter Muhlenberg. They eventually became the 8th Virginia Brigade fighting for liberty.”
For the complete story, read: http://www.heritageofthefoundingfathers.com/article11.html
In today’s world, there are many churches that refuse to stay silent. I follow an organization called, “Pulpit free Sunday.” These pastors do not care what the government says. They know the law, and they would know the government cannot control their sermons, so they step out boldly each fall and say, “This church will stand for principle no matter the cost.” We have a couple of those churches here locally. Those pastors are heroes to me.
The Next Big Battle
Brad: What do you see as our next big battle?
Monica: Religious Freedom. I could talk and write for hours about this topic, but to narrow it down to a few simple sentences: I believe we are living in a time when our religious freedom is once again under assault. We have become lazy activists that live under the assumption that our founders fought for freedom, so we will always be blessed with it. The reality is, while we were sleeping at the wheel, the progressives came in and little by little began taking our freedoms. I think it began when our churches accepted the 501c3 status carrot. They suddenly became silent government helpers. Pulpits became silent and our guards were dropped. The government handouts were traded for our convictions. We will see this more and more as the homosexual agenda spreads across the nation. Marriage is under assault. Christian business owners are faced with whether to compromise their beliefs. It is at the church’s doorstep. I believe very soon, we will see churches required to host gay weddings, and not much later, pastors required to marry homosexuals. It is happening right across the ocean as we speak. Christian schools and colleges will be forced to hire homosexuals. I believe Indiana MUST pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act that will protect Christian business owners, schools, and churches from having to do things that are against their values and principles. Nineteen states have already passed this act. It’s time for Indiana to act; and they have to act now! Religious persecution is happening right under our noses. I wrote just twenty examples in my marriage blog. It can be found here. We must stand together to protect this freedom.
Brad: What’s the next step, then, for activists?
Monica: Find your passion. Find your place on the wall. Decide you are going to make a difference, then jump in. There is a place for you. If you don’t know where to begin, email me: email@example.com . I will help you. You are not alone. Decide to take that step, then put your toes in the water. Just do something!
Brad: Here’s a softball question: How do we stay informed of these issues?
Monica: Brad, you hit my passion. I love talking about what we can do to make a difference. Many people think that the mess is too big, the work is too hard, and no one is listening. I challenge every bit of that sentence. I am just a mom. I am raising four children. I have a job. I have seen firsthand what God can do through one person. If you use your gifts that God has distinctly put in your hands, you can change the world.
Monica Boyer is currently the president of Kosciusko Silent No More and co-founder of Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate. She has committed her life to fighting for conservative values in the local, state and national political spectrum. She is an active blogger; where this Q&A first appeared. She is the author of Not On My Watch, her personal story of a soccer mom becoming an activist. Monica and her husband, Brian, have four children and live in Warsaw, Indiana.
Brad Skiles is the founder and owner of Center Street Partners in Warsaw, Indiana. In 2009, he went back to school. During his free time, he’s taken seven classes from the Mises Academy. These classes have included: The Great Hyperinflations of World History; The Anatomy of the Fed; Keynes, Krugman and the Crisis; The Economics of the Great Depression; and The Economics of ObamaCare. Brad is also an avid reader; his reading list can be found here. He also participates inLiberty Classroom. Brad and his wife, Patti, live in Warsaw, Indiana.