Greg Locke: A Jerk for Jesus?

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This is a podcast episode titled, Greg Locke: A Jerk for Jesus?. The summary for this episode is: <p>This week's episode is with Greg Locke, Founding and Lead Pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Greg refers to himself as a "jerk for Jesus." But does Jesus want jerk in his name? Hopefully, this episode presents an example of healthy, charitable disagreement as our host, Patrick Miller, debates Greg on a variety of issues in our modern world. Greg shares his background and how he became a pastor. Patrick and Greg then discuss Christian Nationalism and whether or not this phrase applies to Greg. Later in this episode, these two dive into the effects of COVID-19, shutting down in-person worship services, and their differing views on the COVID-19 vaccine. Tune in now!</p>
A lesson from God through divorce
01:27 MIN
Diving into Christian nationalism
04:47 MIN
Why Greg supports Donald Trump
02:21 MIN
Finding your way through the passage of revival
02:22 MIN
Are there lasting legacies of Jim Crow?
01:12 MIN
Why Greg was critical of pastors shutting down in-person worship
01:37 MIN
Greg's view on how Democrats stole votes
02:13 MIN
Thoughts around the COVID-19 vaccine
08:47 MIN
Thoughts around the COVID-19 vaccine
08:47 MIN

Keith Simon: Are you tired of tribalism?

Speaker 2: I think a lot of what the left supports is satanic.

Speaker 3: The only time religious freedom is invoked is in the name of bigotry and discrimination.

Patrick Miller: Are you exhausted by the culture war?

Donald Trump: If they don't like it here, they can leave.

Hillary Clinton: You could put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.

Keith Simon: Are you suspicious of those who say Jesus endorses their political party?

Speaker 7: Is it possible to be a good Christian and also be a member of the Republican party? And the answer is absolutely not.

Speaker 8: From certainly a biblical standpoint, Christians could not vote Democratic.

Patrick Miller: We trust the lamb, not the donkey or the elephant.

Keith Simon: This is the podcast that's too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.

Patrick Miller: I'm Patrick Miller.

Keith Simon: And I'm Keith Simon. And we choose truth over tribe.

Patrick Miller: Do you? You probably don't know who Greg Locke is, but that might change soon. So let's just start with the basics. He's the founder and pastor of Global Vision Church near Nashville, Tennessee, which has anywhere from 50 to 120,000 people joining them every week for online worship, they have about 1500 people coming in person every week. Over the last two years, he's garnered a massive social media following, over 2. 4 million people. His posts, they run the gambit from totally normal pastor stuff, like preaching about salvation, everyday life, asking for prayer requests to, well, kind of weird things. He's claimed that COVID-19 wasn't a real pandemic. He told Christians that they had to stop the steal. Before the riots on January 6th, he said this was going to be the biggest day in American history. He's called his congregation not to take the vaccine, and he has actually started banning people from coming to worship with masks on on Sunday mornings. Now, since we actually recorded this interview, some of those things happened so we weren't able to talk about absolutely everything. In fact, he's recently been kicked off of Twitter. Now here's the thing, the far, far right is increasingly presenting Greg Locke as a freedom fighter who's bringing revival to America, a country that's been oppressed by the demonic secular left. Now, the left is obsessed with him for totally different reasons. In fact, in 2021, CNN has published over 10 pieces on Greg Locke. You'll be hard pressed to find that many pieces about any other Christian leader on CNN. In their work, he's kind of presented as the stereotypical example of white evangelical Christian nationalism. Now, I find this totally bizarre because I know of a lot of evangelicals who have never heard of Greg Locke. How can he be their avatar, their representative? And maybe that underlines the main point here. Greg Locke isn't a part of mainstream evangelicalism. He represents the genesis of a new brand of far right culture warriors that thrive in a tribal symbiotic relationship with the far left. They're both fueled by disdain and typified by intentional misunderstandings of one another. Now, this leads to a question, one that I know I'm probably going to get, why interview Greg Locke? I know we're going to be critiqued for" platforming" him, but that misses the point. Greg and I certainly have actually lots of areas of agreements, but when it comes to the culture wars, to COVID, the Capitol riots, and a lot more, we couldn't be more different. That's exactly why I want to talk to him. On the one hand, we just wrapped up a series about the rise of the religious right, and it feels totally misguided to talk about that subject without listening to someone who represents its latest incarnation. But on the other hand, I know it's easy to treat people like memes, as though they're just headlines that I can understand in a single line. This kind of political gamesmanship and slam- dunking on both sides, it's exacerbating tribalism in our country. It's exacerbating it inside and outside of the church, and it dehumanizes people. It crushes discourse. If Jesus challenges us to choose truth over tribe, it's inevitable that we will be challenged to listen to people who we have serious disagreements with. Truth over tribe embraces the core of Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, make peace, love enemies, act meekly, question your anger, live humbly, trust God, resist sin, speak truth. We didn't have time to cover every topic that you could imagine us talking about and even though there's lots of things that have a lot of gravity to discuss with Greg. So don't take my silence as some sort of implicit acceptance of his views. I pressed Greg on a lot of topics and sometimes his answers honestly surprised me. They were better than I would have expected. On the flip side, I found his absolute certainty about topics like COVID and the COVID- 19 vaccine dangerously naive, overly certain. Choosing truth over tribe means remaining open to the idea that, actually, I don't know everything. Given enough information, my perspective on a lot of important things could easily change. His unwillingness to do this in regards to the pandemic feeds exactly the kind of tribalism that I think the gospel tears down. A final thought, I want you to see Greg as a person made in the image of God, because he is, and other people like him, the exact same way. Changing people into demons never actually changes people. In John 4, Jesus' disciples leave Him to go off into a town and get some supplies, and He ends up staying where He was at. He gets into this long discourse with a Samaritan woman who's standing at a well. Now, this was someone that His disciples would likely demonize before they ever heard her speak a word, but Jesus treats her like a person with a story. He asks her question after question after question, and in the end, she's transformed. When Jesus' disciples get back, they're all appalled by what's happening. John says that they're all thinking," Why are you talking with her, a woman, a Samaritan? That's the other team. That's the other tribe." Jesus' response," The fields are ripe for harvest. I send you to reap." If we refuse to treat people like memes, like headlines, if we refuse to demonize them, and if we choose to listen, the harvest is ripe. So let's go reap. Greg, thanks so much for being on the show today.

Greg Locke: I'm honored to be on the show. Thank you.

Patrick Miller: So I want to start with your personal story. How did you become a Christian?

Greg Locke: Well, my father was in prison for about the first 10 years of my life, and so I wasn't raised around real strict Christianity. But I was sent to a children's home, a boy's orphanage for four years when I was 16. So from 16 to 19, I was in state's custody, in a lot of trouble, arrested six times, on probation five times, and went to a youth revival, April the 17th of 1992, downtown Nashville. I'd heard the gospel, but my grandmother always said,"If you ever give your life to Jesus, He'll change you." I didn't want Him to change me. I wanted my rebellious ways. So I went and heard the gospel, was saved at a youth revival, and then lived in that home for, like I said, the next four years of my life.

Patrick Miller: So you were saved before you were in the home or while you were in the home?

Greg Locke: 10 days after I got there.

Patrick Miller: Wow.

Greg Locke: 10 days after I got there, yeah. It was a powerful place.

Patrick Miller: And was that revival, was that a part of what was happening inside the home? I mean how did you end up there?

Greg Locke: Not inside the home. They were just taking the young people there with several churches in the area. Went and heard a Louisiana evangelist by the name of David Benoit. Man. He preached.

Patrick Miller: Have you ever talked to him since then?

Greg Locke: I have. Matter of fact, we have him coming to our tent next month and we're going to honor him. It'll be only the second time I've seen him in 29 years.

Patrick Miller: Wow. That's wild. So what led you to want to become a pastor?

Greg Locke: You know what? I never wanted to become a pastor. I traveled as an evangelist for almost 11 years, just all over the world, 48 states, 15 countries. I loved it. I call it blow in, blow up, and blow out.

Patrick Miller: How did that get started? Who brought you in? Who was the guy who said," Hey, we got to get this guy preaching?"

Greg Locke: I don't know. The Lord just started opening so many doors. When I was in seminary in North Carolina, man, it just started happening. They said," Oh, it's going to take five or six years to get meetings." But soon as I graduated, I mean I was booked solid. I worked at Chick- fil- A as a manager, so I was off on Sundays. So I used my off Sundays to go preach just really all over the place. And then when I was 30, 15 years ago, I came off the road and started the church. I knew I was supposed to when I was 28, but I was afraid of what people would think. Because we were very successful in evangelism, but here we are 15 years later and just blowing and going.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. When did you get married?

Greg Locke: I got married when I was 20 years old. And then sadly, years later, my marriage fell apart. It was a debacle.` It was ministry- related. It was a lot of hurt- related. So we had four children. She left, moved out of state, left me with the kiddos, and she was remarried about 14 months later and then subsequently got a secondary divorce. I was remarried to a young lady in our church almost four years ago.

Patrick Miller: Okay. Okay. So that was four years ago that you met your current wife?

Greg Locke: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Patrick Miller: How's that been for you guys? I mean a mixed family, that can be a challenge sometimes.

Greg Locke: Yeah. You know what? Blended families can be rough, but it has been such just an amalgamation of favor is what I call it. The Lord's favor has been all upon us. It's almost like it was clicking on all cylinders from the get- go. I love her kids as much as I love mine, and vice versa. Of course, I already had two adopted kids. So it was very natural for me to be able to love kids that biologically weren't my own, and so now you had never know the difference. It's been really a beautiful, just put together.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So how many kids do you have collectively now?

Greg Locke: Six.

Patrick Miller: Six?

Greg Locke: Yeah, we got six. Our oldest daughter just got married, so she's kind of on the way out. But she's the church secretary, so I'll still see her around.

Patrick Miller: What stage are your youngest kid?

Greg Locke: Nine. Yeah, the two girls are bookends and then teenage boys in the middle. There's a lot of craziness, anger, and testosterone in the Locke house. There is no doubt about that.

Patrick Miller: That's great. I've picked up you clearly love your family. You talk about your family. You want the best for your kids. You want them to be walking with Jesus. I know that's my prayer for my children every day is that they would know Jesus. Who would you say are some of the biggest influences on your faith, your life?

Greg Locke: A. W. Tozer way back in the early days, somebody introduced me to The Pursuit of God book. I'm telling you, it just radically changed my life. I began to read Andrew Murray and Charles Spurgeon, a lot of the old- timers, Leonard Ravenhill. I like the old guys. I'm reading some new stuff. Even to this day, I love to read. But man, the old guys just really influenced my faith in a lot of ways. We've come out of a very strict Baptistic hierarchy of denomination to a much more Spirit- led, non- denominational type of situation. So it's really been a strange balance for me to kind of find who I am in the ministry. A lot of that has really been as of recent days because I was a super strict cessationist. All the gifts have ceased. Only the Bible is how God speaks to us, and there's no such thing as signs or miracles or wonders or healings and all of that So we flipped and went way to the other side of that. It's been a beautiful trip, but it's also been a brutal trip. So I call it brute- iful. So it's been a brute- iful journey to come from where we were to where we are and just a great balance. Now we have hundreds and hundreds of people that show up every week just to experience the Word of the Lord and what God's doing in our midst. So it's been a cool journey.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, that is cool. What was your biggest takeaway from A. W. Tozer? I'm a Tozer fan myself.

Greg Locke: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I loved it when he said," It is doubtful that God will ever use a man greatly until He hurts a man deeply." Until I went through just a real media fiasco and a public debacle and a failed marriage, I never understood what brokenness was. And then all of a sudden, we had a great platform. We had a huge platform of millions of followers, but pretty soon it didn't take very long for me to figure out that it made me just as normal as everybody else. Fixed folks can't help broke folks. When I went through a very deep, deep moment of brokenness, it opened up a new platform, and now what I thought was going to destroy me has become an opportunity for me to minister to pastors, literally, all over the globe. There's not a week, not a week that goes by that divorced pastors or guys going through horrible opportunities in their marriage and things like that, they call me and they're like," Hey, man, what do I do next?" So it gave me a real platform. So I think Tozer taught me that sometimes you got to embrace your brokenness and just walk in it.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. What would you say was the biggest thing God taught you through your divorce?

Greg Locke: Obviously, it takes two to tango. I mean it was a very difficult time. I mean we had a lot of struggles for a lot of years about a lot of things. I was super, super young when I got married, and I just wanted to hit the road. I wanted to be in a successful evangelist. I was in that vein, you can't do it unless you're married. So I just settled when I was 20, and I just took off. We had a lot of problems. It's not that it wasn't any times that were good and things like that. I won't demonize the entirety of it. But the busier I got in the ministry, the more the church began to grow, it was almost like the church became the other woman. It was very difficult to hold the home together. She had a very difficult time with a couple of the kids, and it was always like oil and water. So I think communication was our biggest problem. We had a very, very difficult time communicating. So I tell people all the time, like the movie says," What we have here is a failure to communicate." Communication is not text messages. But we would just argue and argue. It was just day after day. We just got farther and farther and farther and farther away from each other. So I tell couples all the time now," You don't have kid problems. You don't have in- law problems. You don't have sex problems. You don't have money problems. You have a talking problem. You need to communicate about the right things in the right way at the right time." So I think it's helped me become a better and a more, I guess, gracious listener. I maybe wasn't a very good listener back in the day. I wouldn't wish what I walked through on my worst enemy, but I wouldn't change a second of it because it really has defined me. I really have found a out what marriage and fatherhood and being a husband and really being a pastor is all about. So restoration's a beautiful thing. It really is.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, it really is. Thank you for sharing about that so honestly. When we were getting ready for the show, I told you that I was hoping this conversation would be a different kind of conversation than we see happening out there and that this would be a conversation where two people who have some core things in common could also discuss some, I think, substantive areas of disagreement. But my biggest hope, as the interviewer especially, is to give you a place to try to express to people who probably have some serious doubts and questions about your perspective, what you actually believe. Let me kind of step in as, okay, well, help me understand this guy and let's see where we go. So here's where I'd love to start. I've heard a lot of mainstream media call you a Christian nationalist, and so I want to know, do you agree with that assessment? Would you call yourself a Christian nationalist?

Greg Locke: I wouldn't necessarily call myself a Christian nationalist simply because it has such CNN derogatory connotations. Now, if they mean by that that as a Christian, I love my nation, of course, but I also love the world. I mean the church I pastor is the Global Vision Bible Church, but we can't discount the fact that God is a God of nations. Every tribe, every nation, every tongue, every language cast their crowns at the feet of the Lamb and said," Thou art worthy." So He is a God of nations. so I tell people," Look, I'm not just trying to save America. I'm trying to save Americans." If we save Americans through the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is still the power of God and the salvation, Romans 1: 16, then we will effectively save America. But I do love this nation because I think revival is baked into the soil of this nation. To say that we weren't founded on Judeo- Christian principles is utter nonsense. So I don't like the phrase. I don't like the stigma, Christian nationalist, but I'm a Christian and I do love my nation, if that makes sense.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So when I hear people say Christian nationalist, I think there's obviously two different parts to that. But I want to get your take. I think whenever people talk about nationalism this is what I think they mean, that nationalism is the exaltation of my nation over all other nations, and it's the pursuit of my nation's interest to the exclusion or maybe even the detriment of other nations. So if that's a definition, would you say, yeah, I'm for that, I'm against that? How do you respond?

Greg Locke: Oh, I'm totally against that. As much as I love America, and I do believe we're the last bastion of freedom and capitalism, at the end of the day, we send people all over the world. We just shipped a missionary area over to Africa. We got people in Canada. We got people in the Philippines, and we love the entire world. For God so loved the world, not so God loved America, right? So, no, I definitely would not adhere to that type of philosophy.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, okay. So let me press in even further. Christian nationalism, here's, again, what I think people mean when they say it. I'm pulling these definitions off of various articles and other places, but I want to give you the chance to respond and say," No, I agree. I don't." So they would say it's a populist, right- wing movement which believes that America was founded as a uniquely Christian nation chosen by God to bear His identity and carry forth His prerogatives internationally. How would you respond to that?

Greg Locke: Well, ultimately, all nations are supposed to be that. All nations should have a prerogative to preach the gospel. I mean we're made in God's image for God's glory. So I don't think America is special at that point, but I do believe that God has given America a very unique platform. I mean once we're done, once our capitalism is gone, once we fall eventually to socialism, then the whole world knows it. I mean everything's going to be run by the, lack of better terminology, the globalists, the elite, the bankers of the world, because America is still, again, that last bastion of freedom. So I think all nations ought to be the image barriers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, not just America. So I don't think we're exclusive and that God's just going to bless us. But the fact that He has so abundantly favored us and we have been able to have such a beautiful alliance with the nation of Israel, I think that's why God has blessed us. He promised that He would do that. So to say that we're racist or we're bigots or we hate the rest of the world because we love this nation, I really think that's kind of a play on words. So I think a lot of times all the definitions that we get are, like you say, you get them out of these media exposés and things like that. But I don't think they even understand what Christian nationalism is. I'm not a racist. I'm not a bigot. The head of our deacons, our elders is a Black gentleman. The lady that leads our worship is Latino. I mean when you come to Global Vision, it's really an eclectic group of people. They're all different races, all different nationalities, all different types of people. So I've been painted in the corner as this racist bigot when we've never had one issue in 15 years of our church with a race problem, and we never will because that's just not who we are.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, no, I appreciate what you're saying. If I'm understanding you correctly, it's that, look, you think that all Christians have a calling to carry forth God's prerogatives in the world. It doesn't matter if you're American or you're Nigerian or you're Mexican or you're Brazilian, that's your calling in life. I think I would agree with that and maybe, just to be honest with you, even feel a little bit surprised. I think I expected you here to say," Yeah, God has a special, unique covenant relationship with America that makes it stand apart from those other nations that I just listed."

Greg Locke: No, no, I don't think so. He has a covenant with the world. He has a covenant with His people. I don't care where His people are, right? Now, obviously, we've done some things correctly that has secured the favor of God and, again, our alliance with the nation of Israel. But to say that God has this special covenant with this... There's other nations that have experienced revival as well. Maybe they didn't foster it and propagate it the way that they should and so the hand of God was removed. But at the end of the day, we are going to fall. America is going to fall. I happen to believe the whole mystery of Babylon stuff. But regardless of where you are prophetically, we are going to fall one day. There is no doubt, but I just don't believe it's going to be now. I don't believe it's going to be to Biden. It's not going to be the socialism because I don't think God's through with us yet because He is able to use America as a great platform to continue to get the gospel out. That being said, I think we're almost receiving as many missionaries these days as we are sending missionaries these days. So the handwriting's on the wall.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, yeah. Now you've mentioned Israel several times, and I'm curious to lean into that because my guess is you would say this special relationship or God's use of America comes before the nation state of Israel. I mean obviously Israel starts in 1947. It's established by the UN. I mean, to be honest, if you look at the history, even Republicans have kind of had a back and forth relationship with Israel really up until George H. W. Bush and then George W. Bush, who really leaned in and said,"No, we need to have a strong relationship with them." So I'm curious. Is that relationship based on what's happening in Israel between the US and Israel, or is it something else?

Greg Locke: Well, I mean Republican, Democrat, two heads of the same snake as far as I'm concerned but, at the end of the day, I do believe Genesis chapter 12, whether it's an individual or whether it's a nation or whether it's a church, because we've collectively experienced this as a church, if we bless the nation of Israel, God will bless us. If we curse them, God will curse us. It's pretty much that plain. So I know there's a lot of people that want to call you Zionist or whatever, or say that that's not really the nation of Israel. God is not done with an nation of Israel, 100%. Those are His chosen people. The Hebrew people are indeed God's folks. So I don't care if it's George W. Bush. I don't care if it's Trump. One of the reasons I do have a great affinity for Trump is because he was a friend to Jerusalem. He was a friend to the nation of Israel, and I think everybody knows that. The left hates him because of that. Joe Biden is no friend to the nation of Israel, 100%. He is no friend to the nation of Israel. So I think that America and other nations, if you look historically at the record and the narrative, any nation that's ever turned its back on Israel is in the sewer dump of history. It's just not going to be blessed. It's impossible.

Patrick Miller: That's an interesting historical statement. So you're saying since 1947, the establishment of Israel, any nation that has turned their back on Israel-

Greg Locke: Even before the actual establishment, just people that have come against the Jews in general, the people of God. But yeah, certainly since then. I mean there's not a whole lot historically that we could say about the prosperity of any nation that's turned against them. I mean they're all socialists. They're all communists. They're all anti-God. You can't have socialism with God. Socialism is political atheism.

Patrick Miller: Again, going down the same line, how would you respond to people who would point out that there is a rich and very dark history of Christian antisemitism, that what happened in Nazi Germany simply didn't happen without Christians, I mean even guys like Martin Luther for hundreds of years beforehand being deeply committed-

Greg Locke: Oh, there's a rich history. I tell people there are pastors today that I know that would have been the first to put a Jew on a boxcar if it was still alive today. They'd put a Jew on a boxcar and then quote Romans 13, type of deal. So yeah. Oh yeah. There's nefarious people that just give into the tyrannical buck- wild demon possession of the government type of a deal. So you can't erase history. I don't care who they were or what they did. Anybody that stands against the nation of Israel does not have the favor and the blessing of God upon them I just don't see any way around that.

Patrick Miller: So let me transition here. I'd love to talk a little more about Donald Trump. You were saying why you liked him. So let me just ask that question. Why are you supportive of Donald Trump? What drew you to him?

Greg Locke: Well, Donald Trump gave evangelicals a voice that we never had before. So he was kind of the one that tapped into the ability... Keep the churches open, the Word of God, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Now what people don't recognize maybe about me is I've been with the Evangelical for Trump movement on the advisory board since almost the inception, since the very beginning. So I've been able to hobnob with a lot of the people that Trump surrounded himself. Theologically, some of them would be on a glaringly different page than me. I get it. But I've been in those rooms. I've been to Vegas. I've been to RNC. I've been to DC. I've been to all those places. So I am convinced that God can use anybody that He wants to at any moment. That's what makes Him sovereign. But I do not justify his past. I don't justify the womanizing. I don't justify all of that stuff. But here's what I know. They want to continue to dig in his past when I'm interested in his present. Because once he became the president of the United States, other than a few mean tweets that people need to get over, I miss the mean tweets, but other than a few mean tweets, at the end of the day, you can't look back and see any of those scandals, any of those problematic things moving forward. When he made his what we would consider a confession of faith, a profession of Jesus Christ being his Lord and Savior, I've seen steady growth and maturity from a man that I think really does have a knack, if you will, to want to know what truth is. So he surrounded himself not just with all charismatic or with all Baptist, but with a whole amalgamation of people, and I've watched the change. I've watched the maturity. So the left or even the right, anybody, nobody can go back and say," Okay, since he became the president, look at all these evil, wicked, vile things he did." No, there was some evil, wicked, vile things that he used to do, but we either believe in conversion or we don't. We believe in the fact that God transforms lives or we don't. So does he have a sketchy past? Yeah, but all of us have a sketchy past. The Bible says that Samson had the Spirit of God come upon him mightily while he was in bed with a harlot. That kind of bothered his parents, but they knew not that they were using Samson and the Philistines as an occasion or this woman he was in the bed with as an occasion to rise up against the Philistines. So I think God is using and has used Donald Trump as an occasion to rise up against some of the nonsense that has come against the world, that has come against this nation. So I like the guy. He gave us a voice. He kept his promises. Let me just say, because the conversation will probably end up going that way, if there's one thing that me and Trump glaringly, glaringly disagree on, it's his vaccine nonsense. Okay. I think he ought apologize to his base for that stuff, because he had a lot to do with this and I'm not going to let that one go.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I want to come back to that. One of the things that stands out to me, and I've heard people say," Hey, Donald Trump's gone through a sincere conversion." Now, I might be a cynic by nature, but go with me on this for a second. I have two thoughts. First is, and maybe I've missed it, I have not heard any public apologies, repentance saying," What I did in the past to those women that I very publicly again spoke about and bragged about, that was wrong, and I wish I could take that back." I think about David in Psalm 51. He publicly confesses before the people of Israel, before everybody, and he says," Look, against you, God, and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight." I think that true repentance, especially from public figures, often involves public repentance.

Greg Locke: Oh, absolutely. Now, there was a very public repentance, if you want to call it that, once the Trump tapes came out and the debacle of the things that he said. He did publicly apologize for that one. So maybe dig into that and read that a little bit. All I know is there has been some very private repentance, and I get that it needs to be in the public sector as well. But I know he did apologize for the whole," Grab them," statements and stuff like that and some of the evil, nefarious things that he said in the past. So I do think you can find that if the MSM will let you find that. But I know he did make a public apology about,"You know what? I was wrong when I said that, and that was very inappropriate." So I'm not sure. But I know privately there has been a lot of change in his life.

Patrick Miller: Well, I'll definitely look for that. That leads me to my second question, which could break off into two more. Do you ever fear that what you've seen or other evangelicals you've seen in the room where it's happening, do you ever fear that this might just be window dressing? I know that's really cynical, but it's a question I think we have to ask. To give an example, Billy Graham, he developed a really profound relationship with Richard Nixon. He was on the edge, on the cusp of actually saying," Hey Christians, we need to go vote for Richard Nixon." He backed out at the last second. He had a whole thing written out. And then obviously, later on the whole Watergate scandal happens. All of these tapes were released of Nixon saying these terribly anti- Semitic things. This was a really sobering moment for Billy Graham that he kind of took with him to the grave of," I cannot trust what I see and hear from politicians because they'll say what they need to, to get my base under them." So what do you think about that?

Greg Locke: Well, a couple things, they don't like him because he's not a politician. He's a businessman, and he's kind of self- made, as it were. So he doesn't need their money. He doesn't need their recognition. So that's why there's been such a groundswell with the MAGA movement, if you will. But you have to understand. People say," Well, it's the lesser of two evils. Don't ever choose between the lesser of two evils." If we're dealing with man, we're always going to be choosing between the lesser of two evils. So, for me, it's not even a problem. It's a very simple balance. Okay, I've got a choice. I got Donald Trump. I got Joe Biden. There's no way in the world, they'll be sipping Frostys in the lake of fire before I ever voted for somebody that believes in the things that the Biden administration votes for. So even if that were true and he had some nefarious plan at this point that's not been revealed and it's just all window dressings and all blowing smoke in our pipe, at the end of the day, I'm going to go with the guy that has the policies that match biblical principles and that match freedom.

Patrick Miller: I think I'm asking that question because you're saying," Look, what Donald Trump has done is he's allowed evangelicals into the room. He's given us unprecedented access and the ability maybe even to shape some of his policies." That, again, leads to the question of are evangelicals being allowed into the room because of what they bring with them, which is a incredibly motivated grassroots base who will get out and vote and help people get elected? Or how do you know that it's not just a cynical," Look, I need these people in my camp?" I realize it's probably a question you can't answer. You're going to say," Well, that's God's to judge." But it's one of the things that I fear most as I hear these stories.

Greg Locke: Right. Well, I mean it's kind of like the Proverbs. The Bible says," The wealth of the sinner's laid up for the just." Well, at the end of the day, if the devil builds me a platform, I'm going to use it to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. So I don't know the issue of a man's heart. I know the promises that he's kept. I know what he's done for America and, consequently, for the rest of the world. The media can say what they want to, but the world loves Donald Trump way more than they love Joe Biden. So it may come out. To be fair, here's what I tell people. We just had CNN here for a big exposé. And then CBS was here for this big, long 35- minute documentary. They're back this weekend, as a matter of fact. So we live in this world. I said," Look, to be fair, here's what you have to understand. They use all these clips and soundbites of me saying things about fraudulent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and all that, which I believe 1000%. But here's the deal. If it comes out that Donald Trump is as nefarious as the rest of them, he doesn't get a free pass." I'll preach against him too. I'll stand against him too. So I'm not worried about his past as much as I'm worried about their present. They're still doing the things now that they condemn him for doing in his past. So right now he's given me no reason not to believe him. It's almost to me like a Barnabas and Saul moment. We're either going to give the guy chance because the rest of the apostles are like," No way, this guy's murdered people. He's raped women. He's burnt down villages. He's took people to prison." Barnabas is like," No, I'm the son of comfort. I'm the son of consolation. I believe God's done something in this man's life. I'm going to come along beside of him." So now we have 14 books in the New Testament because somebody took a chance on somebody that everybody else kind of disagreed with. So I think that's kind of the moment for the church right now.

Patrick Miller: So let's rewind the clock back to 2016. We're in the initial primaries, and there are other legitimate evangelicals sitting on the ticket who we didn't have these kinds of questions about. They weren't going around and having tapes released, talking about them grabbing women's genitals, anything like that. Back then, were you saying," Yeah, let's go with Trump, this is the right guy?" Or were you more willing to say," No, you know what, we have some people who have proven, not just in a moment of saying,'Hey, I'm with you evangelicals right now,' but I have no proof to it?" We have people who have proven," Hey, I'm walking with God. This is part of my life." Were you drawn to him back then?

Greg Locke: I was. I was drawn to him in 2016 when the whole thing happened. Yep. Almost right from the get- go.

Patrick Miller: Why him over those other guys?

Greg Locke: I was going to vote for Ben Carson when that whole thing was coming out. And then when I began to see the boldness and the courage, I wanted somebody that would stand up against the establishment and just take them on at that point. I wasn't voting for a pastor. I was voting for a president. So the more I heard, the more I got around, the more I was behind the scenes as well as on the stage, I began to say," You know what? This is the guy for the minute. This is the guy that's going to take America to the next level, not because he's all pastoral and dignified in the way that he does things in the church world, but because he's not afraid of them." What I like about him is the reason he's not afraid of them is because he can have courage because he doesn't have the things on him that the rest of those blackmailed politicians have on them. It would have already been released. Did he say grab them by the genitals? Yeah. Did he do some stuff in his past? Yeah. But as far as a politician is concerned, the reason they hate Trump is because they have nothing on him that's going to expose him the way that everybody else has things on them that's going to expose them, if that makes sense. I've always liked him. So right from the very get- go, they came to me and they're like," Look, we want you to go on this bus tour. Lift the vote. We're going to go around. We're going to pray for the nation and pray for God's power." It was also a Trumpian situation. I've liked him right from the get- go. I still like him to this day, and I believe he won unbelievably by a landslide.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So you were drawn to his style initially, I mean his disposition, the way that he acted. You didn't find it bullying? You didn't find it angry?

Greg Locke: Most people would have never found it that way had the mainstream media not painted him in a corner that way. They just take little sound bites. I know that now because it happens to me every single day of my life in marriage and ministry. So I can see the nefarious plan. They project what they want people to believe. So yeah, he could be a little bit bullheaded. There's no doubt. He's a bull in the china shop. He has a spirit of disruption. There is no doubt. Maybe that's why I like him. He could walk into a room, he just disrupts things. Like my granddaddy used to say,"If it ain't broke, break it." Well, this guy breaks stuff because he knows there's some things that just need to be broken.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. It's interesting to hear you say that. I mean I personally found his character, his demeanor, his attitude, to be the thing that I found most unattractive about him as a Christian. I had a difficult time squaring it with what Jesus says about our character, how we speak, how we treat others. I think about him making unkind remarks to reporters, and I get it. He's frustrated, and I'm sure he's been misreported on and all of that. I think about the comments he's made about people who are disabled. I mean the list just is kind of endless. So it does seem like an aspect of his character. But what I'm hearing you say is," No, I wanted someone who's going to be like that, someone who's going to want to fight, someone who's going to have an aggressive attitude." So I mean really, how do you square that with what Jesus says about how we should live?, I mean, think about the Beatitudes. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are the peace makers. Blessed are the pure in the heart.

Greg Locke: Well, I mean, everybody has to grow at a certain point, right? Everybody has to mature and grow into some stuff. But also I know that He said John the Baptist was the greatest prophet ever born of a woman, and John the Baptist would have been the biggest jerk for Jesus that the world's ever seen. There's no way you and I could sit down on a podcast with a Starbucks coffee and talk to John the Baptist. The guy had the personality of a rock. He got his head cut off for equally preaching the gospel and calling out the corrupt politicians of his day. I mean the guy was really, we would have considered him just an abrasive jerk for Jesus. Jesus said," That's the greatest man ever born of woman. That's the greatest prophet." So you look at the minor prophets. I mean these guys, even the major prophets, these guys walk around buck naked. I mean these guys called out for politics. They were vulgar-

Patrick Miller: Is that your next move, Greg. You're pulling an Isaiah?

Greg Locke: Yep, I'm going to walk around. I mean these guys were crazy, laying on their side for so many days. They're standing on the pulpit. They're tearing their hair out. Ezra stood on top of a pulpit of wood. So some of these guys were pretty abrasive. So I don't know. I think the culture that we're up against deserves a little bit of abrasiveness. I just like the fact that he's a disruptor. No, I don't want him bullying people and being disrespectful and things like that. But I get the disrespect to the media and all that. I've been there. They show up at our church all the time and sometimes you're just like," You know what?" You got to call these devils for who they are and what they are. So you can't go through anybody in the Bible, Genesis 1: 1, Revelation 22: 21. There's no possible way anybody can show me any preacher anywhere in any of the Bible that did not have somewhat of an abrasive personality towards the political sector. I mean look at Moses. I mean you look at Elijah. I mean he stuck his finger right in the king's face and said," Oh no, you're the problem, Jack. You're the problem." Even Jesus, calling them foxes and, of course, He gave more scolding rebukes to the churchgoing crowd than anybody else. But it's just there, from one to the other, 791, 328 words. When you boil them all down, preachers were bold. So I think when we need preachers and politicians that are bold and stand up against the bullies that are really out there.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I agree. I think sometimes we have a caricature of Jesus and a caricature of prophets and prophetic voices. There were a lot of prickly people. I'm sure Paul could be difficult to be around. And yet on the flip side of that, I do start, especially with Jesus, looking at who He had His harshest words for. As you just said, yes, He did call Herod a fox. But outside of that, His harshest words sincerely really were for religious people who were ingrained in their religious attitudes. He didn't seem as interested, although He easily could have done it in going after the Sadducees, the Herodians, the Romans, all of these other characters who had major political issues. Again, that seems to be something that needs to show our demeanor in the present is we need to be more concerned about our own house than we are about what's happening outside of it.

Greg Locke: Sure. Well, absolutely. I mean, at the end of the day, I don't want to be a jerk for Jesus. But I tell people," You can call me anything you want to, but God's never going to call me a coward." So people are like,"Oh my goodness, all this guy ever does is preach about Trump and politics." I think that's utterly ridiculous because I preach verse by verse, line by line, book by book, word by word. I took two and a half years of Sundays and preached every syllable of the Book of Ephesians, and we do that a lot. Although it's more revivalistic spirit, under our tent right now with so many hundreds of people coming from all over the world every week, people need to recognize if you really took my sermons, if you took the last, let's just say, since the whole COVID debacle, the last 15, 16, 17 months, you took every sermon I preached on a Sunday, every sermon I preached on a Wednesday and you really comparatively looked as a journalist at how much I say about politics and how much I say about Jesus, it would not even remotely even be close. People are like," Oh my goodness, he preaches 75% politics." I may preach, 0. 2% politics. The rest of it's about Jesus, about the kingdom, about the gospel, about loving people. I just preached last night on the fact that the church in America has forgotten people. The church in America is a coffee- drinking social club, and we should be reaching those that are addicted and those that are and loving people where they're at, going to Waffle House, going to Cracker Barrel, going to Walmart, loving people where they are, not where we wish they were in the next five or 15 years. Our tagline is where broken people find new meaning to life. So people may get this mantra, get this idea that I'm this massive Trump- supporting monster, no matter what, and I'm this racist, homophobic bigot, but we have a church full of people that are just broken. At the heart of all of it, you take away CNN. You take away Fox News. You take away three million Facebook... You take away all that nonsense. I'm a country pastor that loves people, passionately loves, love putting their marriages back together, love addicts, love the homeless. Man, we do so much for the homeless, it's ridiculous. We more money away. This is the honest to God truth. Anybody could look at our records any time. We give more money away as a church than we ever spend on ourselves, ever. I mean single moms, people in our community, I mean we had Single Moms Sunday impromptu on Mother's Day. I mean who does that? So we brought up 68 single moms in one service and just right off the rib gave every one of them a check for$ 750 just because our people love to give. We just sent a guy to Africa last week. This weekend we have a guy coming in that works with orphans. So people get this idea," Pastor Greg Locke, he's a bigot. He's just a jerk." Where if they would sit down on a show like this or even, more importantly, just in a room and sit down over a cup of coffee, what they would find is I'm very demonstrative in what I believe and what I say, theologically and philosophically and politically. But I just love people. I'll cry with you. I'll talk with you. I'll spend time with you. I'm not going to be a jerk and turn you away. I'll give money to you. Give the shirt off my back. This is who I am at the heart of all of it. So I don't want to give people this snippet that they get in these little three to five- minute video clips," Oh man, this guy's just a colossal jerk." Really, he's not. I hate what's going on in this nation. I hate what's going on in America. I think the culture's buck wild. Yeah, we need to call it for what it is. But that's just at the end of the day, I'm just a real simple down- to- earth... I just love you. I just love people. I love homosexual people. I love transgender people, Black people, white people. People don't understand. We have a lot of people that come to this church for the truth that we propagate, and we don't turn them away. Acceptance and approval are two very different things. I'll accept you no matter what you choose to do. That doesn't mean I have to approve, because we have to speak the truth in love. Jesus was a perfect balance of grace and truth. Too much grace with no truth, you're a compromiser. Too much truth, no grace, well, you're a Pharisee. I want to have a good balance. I know that's a long way around the barn, but I'm a pastor inaudible preaching.

Patrick Miller: I let you preach for a second. Let me just say, I love that. I love what you did on Mother's Day. I love your heart and your spirit for the homeless. I saw that on your Instagram. If I had any pushback on what you're saying people's perception of you, it would be it's obviously not just the mainstream media. I mean you post on your Instagram you talking about all of these issues that we're bringing up. So there is a sense where I think you do want to talk about it. It's not the main thing. I was looking through your Instagram just the other day and I didn't count things up, but it seemed like every fourth or fifth post was going to be something that was going into this political realm. So I do think that's where the perception maybe comes from.

Greg Locke: Sure, absolutely. Yeah. Like Twitter. I mean Twitter is my political outlet. There is no doubt about that. People are like," Oh my goodness. All he ever tweets about is things that are going on in the world or in the nation." And rightfully so. But it's not my expository sermons, right? It's not the YouTube page. It's not what we're doing on Facebook with the livestream. So I get it. I get the perception, but there is a balance. There's a balance there.

Patrick Miller: One other question, and I really promise I'm not trying to get gotcha questions about Trump, but I think they're the questions people are asking, and I think you've given some thoughtful answers here. I've heard you say," Hey, look, we are Global Vision Church. God doesn't have a nation. He has many people and many nations, and He wants all of them to walk with Him and follow Him." Obviously, another comment that made President Trump notorious was when he, excuse the French, called foreign country, shithole countries. He was speaking about Nigeria in particular and he talked about people needing to go back to their huts there. It concerned me because Nigeria is actually, in fact, one of the most Christian nations in the world. I think they've got the fourth or fifth most Christian people in their nation. I thought," Wow, we just called our brothers and sisters..." It's not calling them that, but you can't talk about a nation without talking about the people in the nation. A nation's an abstraction. So I'm just curious. I mean what do you think about those kinds of comments?

Greg Locke: Number one, I don't know exactly the context of what you're speak about. But we got to understand that we speak from a ministerial standpoint. He speaks from a total political standpoint. He's not speaking from a church standpoint. So we would look at that and be like," Man, that's offensive. Those are our brothers and sisters." I get it, and I would agree with that. If I was sitting in a room with him, I'd be like," All right, Mr. Trump. You're going to have to dial things back just a little bit because that was a little bit too much." And again, I don't know the context, but he thinks linearly. He thinks strictly from a political standpoint. Here's why he calls them a... hole because something's going on politically. He's not thinking about race. He's not thinking about, the churches. He's not thinking about the same things that we would think about. We would express things differently because we're coming at it from a different angle, if that makes sense. We're kingdom- minded. He's not kingdom- minded when he says things like that. He's thinking overall about the world and about what's happening in society.

Patrick Miller: Well, I would hope, and it sounds like you have a relationship with him in some fashion, that there would be an encouragement for him to think in a kingdom mindset even as a politician, that that should be the shaping thing.

Greg Locke: Absolutely.

Patrick Miller: The context of that comment was about immigration. He was talking about where people were emigrating from. This is one of the things I found very ironic. He said that he wished that we had more people coming from countries like Norway. What I find so fascinating about this is there's guys like you who are saying," Look, the secular left is a major problem." And yet we're saying we want people to immigrate from the most secular far left countries in Europe. Let's bring those ones over instead of let's bring people from South America and Africa and other countries where you have majority Christian coming over. I mean 68% of legal immigrants are Christians, and there's no other close majority. It's just kind of a mishmash after that. So this has been an interesting thing for me as a Christians. I say if we want to see America transformed and we want to bring in more believers, I actually think we should have a radically pro- immigration position. Because by bringing in these immigrants, we're bringing in our brothers and sisters who love America. They want to be a part of America. You know what? So I'm just curious. I mean would you agree with that? Do you want more legal immigrants coming in?

Greg Locke: I'm 100% for pro- immigration as long as people are doing things in a legal way. I've got a daughter from Guatemala, so I got some skin in the game. So absolutely. Absolutely. I'm not for shutting everybody out. I'm for just flooding the borders and opening everything up and just letting everybody come in willy- nilly, no big deal and taking jobs from Americans and things like that. But I'm absolutely pro- immigration.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So you would love to see legal immigration increase over time or you want it to decrease?

Greg Locke: Absolutely.

Patrick Miller: That's great. Yeah.

Greg Locke: Absolutely.

Patrick Miller: I was curious-

Greg Locke: I mean nobody's wanting to go everywhere else. Everybody's wanting to come here. If they're going to go through the process and do it correctly... And I even think we ought to streamline the process to make it more simplistic for people so that they can get some legal immigration to this nation. But I'm all for that.

Patrick Miller: And what are your feelings about, DACA has been a big conversation, allowing the children of illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents, they're kids. They have have no choice. Now they're here. Do you want to see a nice streamlined process happen for them as well?

Greg Locke: I think we need a streamlined process. I mean there's just some people, they're just, unfortunately, victims of a system or of a situation that they have no control over whatsoever. The people that are here, they don't have nefarious plans. They don't want to burn the nation down. They're not going to join up with Antifa for next week. those people, I think, need a streamlined system.

Patrick Miller: I love that. I love it because God has a heart for the immigrant.

Greg Locke: Yes, He does.

Patrick Miller: I mean it is all over the first five books of the Bible is," You were immigrants in Egypt and you should love the immigrant and welcome the foreigner and give them a place." I think it's such a rich history in our tradition of, yeah, we've got to welcome those people, and especially those who are walking with Jesus. It's a wonderful gift to give.

Greg Locke: And when people hear us talk about a wall or Donald Trump, they automatically think," You're going to be totally against that and you hate these people." No, I don't. I've been to Mexico. I've Been to South America. I've been around the world many times, and I love it. We send missionaries there, and we send gobs of money there. We sent$50, 000 last Wednesday to an orphanage in Mexico that rescues young ladies out of pornography and out of sex trafficking. So when people hear," Wall, wall, wall," it's an not about that. It's about a legal process to get people here so that they can live out their life and their family and the American dream. I'm not against that at all. I'm very much for that.

Patrick Miller: Let's take a break from my interview with Greg for one second. If you like listening to things on audio, that's great. But sometimes you actually want to see people having the dialogue, because things get missed if you can't see people's faces, hands, all that kind of stuff. So make sure to check out our YouTube channel. We record every interview. You can watch it there. Just go to Truth Over Tribe. Find channel. Subscribe, hit the alert button, and you can watch us there. I'm kind of going back to an early part of our conversation, but as you've talked about God's relationship with America, you talked about revivalism being baked into the soil. One of the things that will come through people's mind and they say," Look, God has never had a special covenant with America, a special relationship with America because the sins of America from the start have been so grave." I'm going to lay this out, so give me a second to say it. But I think it's a question that I'd love to hear your answer on. We know that 12.7 million slaves were shipped into the US. Many of them were kidnapped, and about 1. 5 million of them died on the passage. Obviously, this was a lucrative trade, in part, because of the purchases that were being made in North America and in our colonies. At the peak of slavery, we had four million Black people who lived in bondage. In that situation, we had women who were being raped, children who were being mutilated, whipped, abused mercilessly without respect for human dignity. Families were separated, marriages ripped apart, children sent away screaming from their mothers. During the Jim Crow era, we had over 5000 Black people who were lynched, men and women, disemboweled, dismembered, eyes plucked out, mothers who had children in their womb, their children pulled out of their wombs, stomped on the ground. These were things that were announced publicly in newspapers. People took pictures. They sent out postcards afterwards, and there was hardly anybody arrested. So when we start talking about this special nation that has a special relationship with God and all these great things baked into it, for a lot of people, and I would say, especially for a lot of Black people, remembering some of this stuff is still within living memory, it makes them want to laugh. They'd say," Gosh, we've really missed the mark because you really think God has a special relationship with a nation like that?" So tell me what you think.

Greg Locke: Well, it's not a speciality, like we said a moment ago. But you have to understand, a lot of that stuff is still happening to this day, but it's also happening in every nation on the planet. There are more slaves alive today than there's ever been in the history of the world, and it's not a Black and white issue. It's a sex trafficking issue. But they're still slaves nonetheless to the plantation of the globalist elites. But yeah, a lot of that stuff, we're not going to justify any of that stuff that happened. But we also can't discount the fact that the reason we have a 1776 is because you have men like George Whitfield that went up and down the 13 colonies and thundered out nothing but the gospel and preached against slavery and preached against wickedness and immorality and all the things that were happening in those colonies. That's where our freedom comes from. So we probably, in its originality, we started out in some bad ways. There was as many white slaves as there were Black slaves around the world. I mean we can talk about slavery. We can talk about reparations today. Here's what I tell people," Look, I've never owned a slave. You've never been a slave. There's no reason for you and I to have to come together and have all these heated race debates." Because at this point, it's not the issue in the United States that the mainstream media has made it. We've had to state our repentance about what we did. It was wicked. Slavery was wicked. I'm convinced it is the biggest reason why during the Civil War, there was more revival. If you read Christ in the Camp, there was more revival in the northern states than there was in the southern states because I don't think the blessing of God was upon the South during that time, whether they would have won or not. Doesn't make any difference. It's because there was so much of that slave trade and that nonsense going on, that evil. So I don't discount any of that, but I also don't discount the fact that America had to find its way. I believe a lot of America found its way through the passage of revival, through these men of God that did preach. So can God use the wrath of man to praise Him? Absolutely. But to think that we have just this special bond and covenant with God that we're the only one, that's nonsense. God can use anybody. The only nation I know that has a special covenant with God is Israel, and that's plain in the Bible. They're the only ones that have a special covenant. The rest of it is just the whole world. I love America. I want America to continue to foster freedom for the entire world, and that's what we do. That's why people hate the idea, not just the nation, but the idea of America. That's why people like Trump because he stands behind the idea of what America is. America is about freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of the whole deal, right? Do we have some atrocities? Yep, absolutely. We do. You ought to read in the Old Testament. Man, there was some crazy stuff going on in that Old Testament. And yet, the nation of Israel is still the select covenant people of God. Does that make sense?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So what I hear you saying is you haven't bought into this fairy tale version of American history that presents us as a perfect nation from its inception to its birth, with this slight little blemish sitting on the side of slavery and Jim Crow.

Greg Locke: Oh, heck no. No, we're crazy. We were wicked for that mess. There's no doubt about that.

Patrick Miller: Again, the follow- up question is going to be, you said," Hey, well, I don't know why we have to talk about this. I didn't own any slaves." Two major thoughts come to mind. First of all, I can't help but think about passages like Daniel 7 and Ezra and Nehemiah 9 where we see the people of Israel, who didn't commit sins, confessing the sins from their past. You've got Daniel confessing the sins of his father, and he's one of the most righteous men who ever lived. He didn't worship idols. He had nothing to do with that, same with Ezra and Nehemiah. This is just 70 years away for Daniel, a little over 130 years away from Ezra, in other words, within the exact same time period that we're away from slavery and Jim Crow. So do you think there's a place for collective repentance today for us to own the sins of our forefathers?

Greg Locke: Oh, absolutely. I think there's a difference in repentance and reparations. The mainstream media wants to paint everything as reparations, but I believe the church ought to repent. I believe the nation ought to repent, absolutely. I mean continually, like you said, with Nehemiah, we, we, we, we have sinned. We have sinned. We have sinned." If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves." So absolutely, I believe we have to take responsibility and accountability. I think that's why this culture and this generation, if you will, so willy- nilly approaches things and has no accountability. I think we need to take accountability as a nation. Yeah, absolutely. But I don't think we have to continue to foster these conversations, moving forward to demonize everybody that had nothing to do with the demonism and the wickedness of our past. But we need to accept it and say," Look, we were wrong. We were wicked." We don't need to paint this idea that America is the only nation that can be wonderfully, abundantly blessed of God. That's nonsense.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I hear what you're saying. You're saying," Look, I'm rejecting race essentialism, that someone is evil or wrong because of the color of their skin, whether they're Black or white or anything else." I would guess, but I'm curious to know, that it seems to me that there is a lasting legacy from slavery and the Jim Crow South. The easiest example I can come up with is redlining. This is back in the 1930s when the government's giving out federal dollars for people to be able to buy houses, and banks are drawing lines in neighborhoods to determine where they would give mortgages and where they wouldn't give mortgages. If you look at those maps, they drew lines around Black communities and said," No mortgages." If you go to those same maps today, they map onto reality today. The most poor communities, which are largely Black in those same cities, are the ones who, they were never allowed. They were never given the opportunity to have a mortgage. It's hard to say when you know that owning a home is one of the best ways to build wealth over time. Even today, there is a lasting legacy of racism that we do need to figure out how to deal with it. So do you think there are lasting legacies of Jim Crow?

Greg Locke: It needs to be addressed. I mean when things like that are still going on, when things like that are still a carryover, obviously somebody needs to step up to the table and be like," Look, we need to deal with this issue because there is a race problem." You talk about those neighborhoods and all that. You see, it's not just a Trump problem or not just a white problem or not just a Christian problem because those circled neighborhoods are the very ones that the left goes to with Planned Parenthoods, right? Because you got Margaret Sanger who wanted to exterminate Black people and so she starts this entire genre of killing Black babies. So the left wants to make it look like the right targets all of those neighborhoods. When, at the end of the day, there's not a nice rich white neighborhood on the planet that has a Planned Parenthood in it. They always go to the down neighborhoods, to are the circled neighborhoods, to the Black population. So I think it could be a problem on both sides. So do I believe it needs to be addressed? Yes, but it doesn't need to be fostered for more racism and more hatred and more violence moving forward. So I think what the mainstream media has done, it's made us an us and them situation when I really don't think there's nearly the racial tension in this. I go all over the nation all the time. There's not the racial tension that the media, even Fox News or any of them want us to think that there is. It's not as big a problem as we've made it to be, not today.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I Probably disagree with you, but it would largely be based on my own anecdotal experience. And then we're going to get into an anecdote war. But again, I'm appreciating what you're saying here. Let me turn to one last topic here for the interview, which has been the one that you've probably got the most attention for in recent times, which is COVID. You were very critical of pastors who shut down in- person worship for any period of time during COVID. I'll be candid with you. We shut down worship for about two months here. And then we reopened. Now, we had online worship. It's not as though we stopped worshiping. I know you've got a big online church, so you don't see people being online as inauthentic, or they don't count, or it's not real worship. But I'm just curious. Why were you so critical of pastors who shut down in- person worship?

Greg Locke: I did give them the first 15 days to slow the spread because we had a lot of people doing that. We didn't, but I mean that was fine. So at that point, I was just like,"You know what? That's cool. Every bucket sits on its own bottom." We believe in the autonomy of the local church. So they shut down for a couple of weeks, and then it was a couple of months. And then it got longer and longer and longer. So my problem was this is really a First Amendment situation. I mean the government has come in, pandemic or no pandemic, and told us when and how and what. So I just felt like the pastors were giving in to this tyrannical nonsense. I was like," No, I'm not going to stand for that." I still believe the local church is the hope of the world. I still believe we're the pillar and ground of the truth. If the gates of hell shall not prevail against the body, then certainly COVID-19's not going to prevail against the body. So I thought pastors needed to lead. I call it counting nickels and noses. What we found is a lot of guys are like," No, let's just see. Let's just be cautious." But at the end of the day, we have to understand that this has not been about safety and caution. It's been about nothing but compliance. If people will roll over and stop now, what's going to happen in three years? What's going to happen in five years? Now you got the Delta variant. It's like there's no end to it. It's almost like the only place, according to the media, that you could get COVID was church and a Trump rally. That was it. You could go to Walmart. You could go to the liquor store. You could go to a pole- dancing session. But if you go to a Trump rally or you go to church, you're going to get COVID and you're going to die. So I just-

Patrick Miller: Well, I'm laughing because I heard that too.

Greg Locke: I just all through the hypocrisy of it, and so I made some statements maybe to make pastors and churches think. Now at this point, if churches are still closed, we really do have a cowardly issue. We really do have a governmental compliance problem. But for some guys for a little while, I got it. I got it. I didn't say a thing. But after a while, I'm like," Come on, guys. You're going to have to shepherd. You're going to have to lead."

Patrick Miller: Okay. So let me give a charitable read of what I'm hearing you say, which is, look, you saw this as an issue of government trying to control churches.

Greg Locke: Yeah. Overreach.

Patrick Miller: You made the choice in your church to nonviolently resist that mandate, those rules. Obviously, that's different place to place. Some places, it was city ordinances. Other places, it was county ordinances, not typically a federal ordinance or anything from that kind of a super high- up structure. But to give maybe me the benefit of the doubt, our church, like I said, we were shut down for two months, and I would not say it was because we were seeking to be compliant with the local state authorities. Now we were being compliant with them. We were certainly in conversation with them. Our chief concern was that we did not fully know at that point how dangerous COVID was. We knew that we could do online worship and keep all our people walking with Jesus that way. We really sincerely thought part of loving our neighbors is dealing with this infectious disease properly. One of my biggest influences is Martin Luther. Martin Luther, they had all kinds of plagues and pandemics that came through back then, and this is what he said. He said," Therefore, I shall mercifully ask God to protect us. Then I shall fumigate," which was one way they dealt with things," purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. See, this is such a God- fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God." That's kind of been our approach is saying," Man, it feels a little brash. It feels a little foolhardy." Now again, I'm giving you a charitable read. I had to resist. Can you give a charitable vote of confidence to pastors who went down this route?

Greg Locke: I can. I can, to a point and to a degree. But like Andy Stanley is no fan of Greg Locke, and that's cool. But I mean we've kind of had a little tit for tat and back and forth and back and forth because he feels like, in a lot of ways, I've shamed some pastors. Well, at this point I kind of have, because do I believe in safety? Yeah. Do I believe in making sure people feel comfortable? A lot of churches didn't shut down because of the government. A lot of them shut down because they got elderly people in their church and they were concerned. Like you said, they're trying to figure it out. I get that. I fully get that. But there has to come a point when we recognize that the flu left. Influenza left. Everything became COVID. Everything became COVID. I'm convinced and, of course, I don't have to be too much convinced because the CDC said themselves of the 250 some- odd thousand people in its originality that died, 5% of them were actually COVID deaths. So I saw it as just numbers inflations, numbers inflations. So we always need to be clean. We want to be safe. We want to be sanitary and things like that. I think your building ought to be clean. You got to have some hand sanitizer stations and all that. But all the six feet apart, sign up for services, you can only come on a certain Sunday or every other Sunday and wear a mask and all that, it just got to more compliance and more control than anything about safety. It's like the airlines. You have to stand six feet apart. You have to wear a mask. But as soon as we get on the plane, they sit you in my lap. It doesn't make any sense. Stand six feet apart. But once you're on the plane, then all of a sudden you can't get COVID anymore. They're like right up against me and handing me drinks and pretzels and things like that. So there's just been so much hypocrisy in it. I think it's just been nothing but numbers inflation. To say that COVID in all honesty and actuality was not an opportunity for mail- in ballots, I think is to be dishonest at the end. That's exactly what it was about. It was about stealing an election, and they did it. Now the people aren't afraid anymore. so now there's Delta variant and all these other... All these things are popping out because now everybody's unasked. Now everything's open and they're like," Oh, we got to get control again." Democrats want to shut down the economy. They love shutting down the economy. But to think that this is not an attack, ultimately, against the church, I think it's nonsense. I've already had Artur Pawlowski here. I've had the men that have gone to prison here and they said," Look, it's coming. It's coming." I mean these guys are being arrested, hauled off to prison. 27 churches have been burned down in the last month and a half by Antifa. The government says nothing. The church leaders say nothing. I mean you got all these men. I mean you got people in the States going to jail. They're not arresting strip workers. They didn't arrest people that were selling liquor and cigarettes. They arrested pastors. They're making a point. They're making a point.

Patrick Miller: So Greg, you said a lot there. I don't think I can possibly address every little point, but let me say a few things. Obviously, you brought up the 5% number. I don't know what that is now. I remember when that came out/ that was earlier in 2020. My understanding of that was that at that point they thought only 5% of people died solely because of COVID. The other deaths were COVID- related in some fashion. Again, I'm being very honest when I say I don't know what those numbers are today. But leaning in a little more, I'm having I guess cognitive dissonance right now because your state governor is a Republican. You're living in a state that has a state legislature that's all Republican. So the idea that these state legislatures, that these local municipalities, which are all largely conservative, I mean where we're at, it was counties that were making these regulations. Where you're at, I'm guessing it was very similar. Again, they're all conservative. It just makes no sense to me that they would intentionally shut down the country so that Democrats could steal a vote from them.

Greg Locke: It makes a lot of sense to me. That might be where the cognitive dissonance is because it makes a whole lot of sense to me, absolutely. Yeah. I mean the leftists love shutdowns. That's why they're voting for shutdown right now. They want to shut things down. They just love it. They love governmental overreach. They love people standing in bread lines, as it were. They want to be able to give you all the handouts. That's why you go to a restaurant now and there's two people working. It takes you an hour to get a table and two hours to get your food because Joe Biden's paying everybody to stay at the house.

Patrick Miller: You and I probably share some views about how we should handle unemployment and whatever else. But I guess my point is leftists weren't in control of these counties that were making these decisions, and it wasn't a leftist government that was in the federal government. So I'm just having a hard time. How they dupe everybody?

Greg Locke: Well, I mean, at one point everybody was just going along with the flow. All the dead fish were just going downstream. Nobody was really pushing back, and the people that were pushing back were getting a lot of pushback in return. We may not have had a governor that was saying," Oh, I'm going to take you to jail," but there's not a week that went by that the Sheriff's department didn't show up, the city didn't show up. Then people tried to violate us on a sewer ordinance, on a sound ordinance. It was just one thing after the next, shut us down, shut us down. But they weren't going to Walmart doing that, right? They were doing that because," Oh my goodness, you're a COVID spreader. You're not going to kill everybody in town." Absolutely not. So maybe I see it as a little bit more of an overarching nefarious plan. It wasn't just about the churches. But it was about crippling the economy, and they've very much effectively done that.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. This is an interesting conversation. Obviously, we're in an area of disagreement here. But let me change a little bit to talk about the vaccine for a second. So I'm going to give you my context. I live in Missouri. I live in a small town in Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. It's a college town, but still small. It's where I've grown up, so my whole life here in Missouri, I mean. We seeing something unprecedented happen right now. In the Southern part of Missouri, Springfield's the third largest city in our state. It is having a absolute explosion of hospitalizations for COVID. In fact, in the last five weeks, they've had more people in their hospitals than they had during the busiest five months of the pandemic. So these are people coming in with the Delta variant. The reality is that 90% of those people who are coming in are unvaccinated, and the ones that are vaccinated and being hospitalized almost without exception were immunocompromised, so they were already highly at- risk people. Many of the people who are coming in, and by the way, I actually know people who have died from COVID both older and younger. But here in Missouri, many of them are in their 20s, their 30s, their 40s. They're mothers. They're fathers. They're coming from these counties where we have very, very low levels of vaccinations. It's getting so bad. I mean we live about three hours north of Springfield. People are being sent to our hospitals because they're being so overrun. Obviously, you've spoken about not taking the vaccine. You've kind of questioned the actual danger of COVID. And again, my personal experience here, in my state at least, is that those things don't seem to ring true. So what do we do?

Greg Locke: Well, I mean every bucket sits on its own bottom. People are going to have to figure out what they're are going to do and can't do it. I don't trust the vaccine, not one little bit. We're finding now that so many people that have been vaccinated are getting COVID at this point and they're testing positive for COVID.

Patrick Miller: But they're not being hospitalized. They're not dying. They're not having these terrible side effects. I mean our hospitals, again, are overrun and they're unvaccinated. Those are the ones who are coming in and in many cases dying.

Greg Locke: Yeah. I don't think the vaccine's doing anything. I think what we're finding right now is there's going to be far more people affected because of the adverse effects of the vaccine than those that are actually affected by COVID. Now, we may disagree on that, but it's my mother- in- law. My mother- in- law passed away a few months ago of... I mean she was obese, and she had a horrible heart condition. My wife served her for the last year and a half, two years of her life. So she dies in hospice, and they come alongside of us. They're like," We're going to put on her death certificate that she died of COVID." Are you kidding me? It wasn't even remotely a COVID situation. That was the farthest thing from our mind. She died because she'd been having complications for 15 years type of a situation. So it's almost like everything's COVID. Everything's COVID. Everything's COVID, and the vaccine's going to fix it. No, the vaccine's not going to fix it. It's just not. I think it's going to cause way more problems, and the problem is Facebook, Instagram, TikTok-

Patrick Miller: Had your mother in-law been vaccinated or was she unvaccinated?

Greg Locke: What's that?

Patrick Miller: I was just trying to track with the story. Had she been vaccinated or was she unvaccinated?

Greg Locke: Who's that?

Patrick Miller: Your mother- in- law that you were talking about?

Greg Locke: Oh, unvaccinated. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely unvaccinated.

Patrick Miller: Sorry. Keep going.

Greg Locke: But I mean that had nothing to do with her heart. You know what I'm saying? At the end of the day, everybody wants to push vaccinations. I know Newsweek said that I said that they were shot full of sugar water, placebo or whatever. There's no way. There's no way on God's earth, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Kamala, there is no way those people got this experimental vaccine, because we have become the experiments. So you have a 99% survivability rate, and now they're going door to door. This is for your safety. Really? How come insulin's not free then? How come heart medication's not free? How come chemo's not free? Why is it just that the vaccine's free? Why can't people now travel? You can't go anywhere. You can't get on a cruise ship. To me, it's government overreach. It's nonsense. This has nothing to do with shooting ingredients into people's body to save them.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And obviously, the federal government has not mandated that people get these vaccines. I kind of hate the phrase whataboutisms, but we could do that with a lot of different things, say," Why did this happen? How did that happen?" You've also talked about how in the vaccine, you believe that there's fetal tissue inside the vaccine.

Greg Locke: Well, I believe that's in a lot of vaccines, not just this one. I'm against vaccines, regardless. My kids don't get them. I'm against them straight across the board. But I'm definitely against this one because this one's the one that the government's using as a bazooka to take away people's rights.

Patrick Miller: I just want to hear your response. Can I give you my best case for why people should consider getting the vaccine? Let me just say this. First of all, I want to agree with you. If, if, if, if it were true that these vaccines required these big pharma companies to actively go and harvest unborn babies or if it created a future market for that kind of thing or if it actually included fetal tissue in it, I would, just so you know, I'm 100% with you. I don't think I would take the vaccine-

Greg Locke: Right. Which I already believe has happened, they're just not going to tell us that.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So let me ask you a few questions around this. I just want to get your take. You already spoke about this earlier, so I'll start here. As I think about the vaccine, I think it's been a little strange for me to see a lot of Trump supporters turn against it because it was obviously Operation Warp Speed that caused this to happen. Without Operation Warp Speed, we do not have these vaccines. Right now Trump's biggest criticism, obviously, he's telling people you should go get the vaccine. He's recommending it. But his biggest criticism of Biden is that he's not getting it out fast enough. He needs to get it out to more people. But on the flip side of that, I guess one of the things I haven't heard anybody say, and maybe I'm missing something, is if, as you already said, you're against Donald Trump on this one. You don't think people should be getting the vaccines. Nonetheless, he was using federal dollars to get this vaccine out the door. He was doing it, as you know, the information about the abortive cell lines inside these vaccines. Everybody knows about that. If he was using federal dollars to, in a sense, prop up abortion, doesn't that cause a moral problem for us supporting him?

Greg Locke: Yeah, absolutely. That's why when I go down to Mar-a-Lago in a couple of weeks, I'll ask him about it because I'm going to be like," Look, you and I severely disagree on this issue, severely disagree." It is the one thing that has upset me about Donald Trump more than anything else is this Warp Speed nonsense. I'm totally 1000% against this vaccine, 100,000%. No, it's not the mark of the beast. Everybody always accused me of that. But I promise you one thing, it's the precursor to it. I've now figured out how it's going to be so simplistic for the antichrist to implement this system because people are just standing in line for something they don't even need. I'll go to my grave for that.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. It just seems to me that if people are going to be pro- life, they should have a big problem if they believe... Again, we can talk about that. I don't agree with you entirely on the abortive fetal tissue thing. But it does seem like that's a major problem with Donald Trump's presidency that you have to wrestle with. Now, I have not heard you say anything around the microchips or tracking or anything like that. Is that part of this or is that something else?

Greg Locke: I have no idea. I mean you see all the videos of people saying they got trackers in their arms and magnets sticking to them. I'm not running down the rabbit hole, all the QAnon stuff. I don't have time for that. I just think it's a compliance plan at this point. I just don't think it's going to serve people well, and I just think it's all about," Hey, we know what's best for you and your family." It's just government overreach. Regardless of what you think about the healing properties are the non- healing properties of the vaccine, it's government overreach at the end of the day.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I mean I can see an argument about government overreach. And again, I look and say," Gosh, no one's actually forcing anybody to get this." They are trying to get people to get this so that we can stay open, so that lives are saved.

Greg Locke: Other nations are forcing them. I've seen far too much going on. I mean they'll chase you down and just stab you with the thing.

Patrick Miller: I'm with you. I do not think that anybody should be forced to put anything inside of their body. That seems like a massive overreach. It just doesn't seem like that's what's happening here. As we talk about the fetal tissue thing, and I know you're not the biggest fan of Fox News, but I'm trying to go at least right of center. This is a quote from an article they did. They said," The debate centers around the cell line, HEK293, which was cloned from a fetus aborted in the early 1970s. The cell line itself is not composed of original fetal tissue and neither Moderna, Pfizer, nor Johnson& Johnson vaccines contain the fetal tissue." To just add to that a little bit is Moderna and Pfizer, in particular, they were made using mRNA. They actually did not use any fetal cell lines. Johnson& Johnson did use those fetal cell lines which are cloned from that fetus which was aborted in the 1970s which, again, I would say was a terribly wrong and atrocious thing. Now, this kind of goes back to our earlier conversation. There is a distance in history from us. We're now 50 years away from when that happened, and that doesn't make it okay. To add to that, it's not directly. They're not still taking cells from that aborted baby now. They've cloned those cells. So it is an indirect use of them. It's not that those cells are actually inside the vaccine. They're used to culture the vaccine. So you don't have real fetal tissue inside of it. It's just, again, it's cultured inside of that. Now I'm with you and saying I think this is a terrible thing that happened in the past. And yet, I'm willing to say that given the proximity, given that it doesn't create a market for more fetal parts, given that you don't have to abort more babies to produce these vaccines, it seems like we might be able to get to a point of saying that was awful. That was terrible. That was evil. It's in the past, and we should be thankful for what we have and maybe even thankful for these mRNA ones that can do these things without using any cell lines from aborted fetuses.

Greg Locke: Well, I think a lot of people use the aborted fetal cell as kind of a straw man argument because. Regardless if it is or if it isn't, I tend to think it's more in a lot of the other vaccines, and that's why I'm kind of an anti- vaxxer in a lot of ways. But at the end of the day-

Patrick Miller: It is. It's in measles, mumps, rubella.

Greg Locke: ...people don't have enough courage just to stand up. So they say," Well, it's got dead babies in it, so we don't touch it." Look, take that away. No, that has nothing to do with it. It's because they don't want to say this whole COVID debacle is nonsense, and the government has lost their minds. That's why I don't believe in. It has nothing to do with the aborted fetal cell. That's the other vaccines that I would have problems with. Whether this one has it in it or not, that's not the reason I'm not taking it. I'm not taking it because all the numbers have been inflated, and I just feel like the government's trying to do a lot of things that the government can't do. So people use that as a straw man, as a cop out." Well, it's got dead babies in it, so I'm not going to take it." There's a lot of reasons I don't take it that have nothing to do with that.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So if you were here in Missouri where we're at, you were in Springfield, Missouri, that area I was talking about. Because there's people in your congregation who are being hospitalized because they haven't taken vaccines and the hospitals are literally being overrun, they don't have enough space. It is far worse than it was earlier when we were wearing masks and practicing social distance. Now we're not doing it and we're not vaccinated-

Greg Locke: But I think they've made people believe it's because they haven't taken the vaccine. Absolutely not. They know what the cures are. They know what cures COVID. They're not going to put it out there. I mean I've had in my church. I've got some pretty high- up friends all over the world, and I've watched it happen. I mean I have a medical doctor that I work with on a very regular basis that's cured COVID 100 out of 100 times, but they don't want to talk about that in the MSM. They don't want to deal with things like that. But there's cures to COVID. There's 1000% cure to COVID, but they're not going to talk about that. That's not going to go in the vaccine. If they're shooting those kind of vaccines in people, hey, let's rock. We're saving lives. But they're trying to convince people it's because you're not vaccinated. That is nonsense. It's nonsense.

Patrick Miller: I would love at some point... Let me put it this way. On a scale of one to 10, how confident do you feel about this COVID vaccine about we should not take it, it is government overreach. There are other real cures out there, and we're just not using them. Would you say," Yes, I'm a 10. I'm a nine." Where do you fall on that?

Greg Locke: 10 or nine being what, that I'm against it or that I'm for it?

Patrick Miller: I'm sorry. You're like," Which one is that? You're going to trick me here." One being I am not certain at all. I really don't know. And 10 being, I am absolutely certain. You could not change my mind.

Greg Locke: I'm 20.

Patrick Miller: That wasn't an option, Greg.

Greg Locke: I am way past 10. I'm 10 to the 10th power, bro.

Patrick Miller: Doesn't that alarm you at all?

Greg Locke: Not at all. Not one bit. It alarms me that so many people are believing the nonsense. That's what alarms me.

Patrick Miller: This is just me. Now again, I already called myself a cynic. There's hardly anything in my life that I would put a 10 on. I'm not even sure I was born on October 7, 1987. That's what my parents tell me, and it's on a sheet somewhere. But I'd maybe give that one a nine.

Greg Locke: Well, it's just a matter of perspective. Some people just have a different... just demonstrative in different ways. But I'm way beyond a 10 on this one.

Patrick Miller: So there's no evidence I or anyone else could show you that would change your mind about this?

Greg Locke: No. I mean I've studied it pretty good. I know a lot of people. No, there's no way.

Patrick Miller: That's what I wanted to know. Man, Greg, I've taken up so much of your time. This has already been an an hour and 11 minutes. I could keep going for a long time. I have one more question, but I saw you looking at the clock and I don't take too much.

Greg Locke: We can come back and do it at some time.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. Thank you so much for being here with us today. I have to say this. I really appreciated a lot answers. You and I do still have some pretty substantive areas of disagreement.

Greg Locke: Absolutely, that's okay.

Patrick Miller: That said, it was great to hear you articulate that your vision of the church is not a America- first church or an America- only church, that you think God wants to rescue people from all nations. I hope people listening to this, while I'm sure they're like me. They're going to have areas of disagreement. They also saw and heard a human who had a human perspective on these issues. So thank you so much for being on the show, answering my questions.

Greg Locke: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. We'll do it again.

Patrick Miller: All right. We'll do it again. Thanks, Greg.

Greg Locke: Thank you.

Patrick Miller: I'm picking this up right after my interview with Greg, which is not always a great idea to share your reflections in the moment, but I think it's valuable right now. The first thing I'd say is this. That was, on one level, a convicting conversation for me. I know that I walked into this conversation with a lot of assumptions about who Greg is, what he believes, and why he believes those things. If you listened, you probably heard him say things that broke those assumptions. Now, of course, there might be other people out there who believe those things, but it illustrates a point that when we start squashing people down into memes and headlines, we rarely fully understand them. I think that if I was talking to someone on the far right or the far left, that will almost always inevitably be the case. The thing that I thought they believed, that extreme box that I wanted to put them into, as it turns out, that's not where they're at. Maybe even more importantly, as it turns out, I had common ground with Greg. And I'm going to have common ground with anybody. That common ground is a place where we can build bridges, change minds. I'm thinking about that last question I asked him about how certain he was about the COVID vaccine. I think that illustrates a different point. Our certainty should always be in proportion to our knowledge and our expertise. There are very, very few things in the world that we should put a 10 on, if 10 is the most certain thing that we can be. I mean I even think about my walk in relationship with Jesus. I'd probably give that a nine, and that's a really, really high number for me. And yet, I know that there are things that could happen that could disprove my belief in the resurrection. If someone had true evidence that Jesus didn't rise from the dead, well, gosh, that would be something that would challenge my faith to the core. I don't think the goal as Christians is 100% certainty. The goal as Christians is proper confidence. It's confidence that, hey, I don't know everything, but I have enough information to make a good guess or maybe even go beyond that and base our lives on something tremendous. So I hope that maybe even as Greg listens to this podcast, he would reflect and say," You know what? Having absolute and total certainty is not a sign of strength. It's actually a sign of un- openness to facts, to reality, and to other things." I hope that as you're listening to this, maybe you have a similar reaction, that if we want to be people who are living in reality, we can't be over certain. As I look at what's happening in Springfield locally with COVID, I'm hearing of people being hospitalized and dying, and that is a set of information that should upset us. There was an article about a man in his church, Grace Church, who died of COVID during his preaching about not getting a vaccine, and he didn't get a vaccine because of what Greg preached. I sincerely believe that while I liked Greg after that interview, there's going to be accountability for him, just like there's accountability for me before God for what he said and how that affected the lives of people. I think when we become over certain about things, we close ourselves off to being able to hear God's voice, being able to hear God rebuke us and say," You know what? You think this, but when you look at reality, when you look at what's happening on the ground, you need to change." So I'm really thankful actually to spend that time with Greg. I hope that you got something out of this as well.

Keith Simon: Thanks for listening. If you found this podcast helpful, make sure to subscribe and leave a review.

Patrick Miller: And make sure it's at least five stars.

Keith Simon: Stop, no. Just be honest. Reviews help other people find us.

Patrick Miller: Okay, okay. At the very least, you can share today's episode. Maybe put it on your social, your favorite text chain.

Keith Simon: And if you didn't like this episode, awesome, tell us why you disagree on Twitter @ truthovertribe_. We might even share your thoughts in an upcoming newsletter.

DESCRIPTION

This week's episode is with Greg Locke, Founding and Lead Pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Greg refers to himself as a "jerk for Jesus." But does Jesus want jerk in his name? Hopefully, this episode presents an example of healthy, charitable disagreement as our host, Patrick Miller, debates Greg on a variety of issues in our modern world. Greg shares his background and how he became a pastor. Patrick and Greg then discuss Christian Nationalism and whether or not this phrase applies to Greg. Later in this episode, these two dive into the effects of COVID-19, shutting down in-person worship services, and their differing views on the COVID-19 vaccine. Tune in now!

Today's Host

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Patrick Miller

|CO-HOST
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Keith Simon

|CO-HOST

Today's Guests

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Greg Locke

|Pastor, Global Vision Bible Church