Elizabeth Johnston, founder of The Activist Mommy, is joining me today on the podcast. Listen in to part one of this two-part series!
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Psalm 69:13,16
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Elizabeth Johnston is an activist, blogger, speaker, and best-selling author who educates and inspires the public on the burning social and moral issues of the day. She and her husband Patrick have been pro-life ministry leaders for many years and home educate their 10 beautiful children. The growing threat to America’s children and the vicious attack on religious liberty is what dynamited Elizabeth out of her comfort zone to inspire a nation of belittled conservatives and Christians to “come out of their closets” and boldly take their country back. Elizabeth regularly posts viral commentary and witty videos which have netted over 70 million views. Elizabeth has been featured on many major media outlets, such as Fox & Friends, The New York Times, The Blaze and Christian Broadcasting Network, as she has become a thought leader on topics of importance to families. The pulse behind all her activism and cultural commentary is her love for her family and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
This podcast is brought to you by our friends at Teach Them Diligently!
Hey, everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John podcast. I’m glad you guys have joined me for a special edition of Mailbox Monday. Today is Monday, February the 10th. You guys, February is flying by. Normally I answer your questions today, but today I’m going to not do that because I have a special friend on the show with me today. My friend Elizabeth Johnston is here today, and we’re going to mix it up. We’re going to talk about politics, and homeschooling, and why you should get off the bench and onto the battlefield. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged,
So thanks for tuning in today, everybody. As you know, this podcast is sponsored by Teach Them Diligently. And for everyone listening in the Nashville area, I will be speaking at the Teach Them Diligently convention on February 27th through the 29th. I want to encourage you to come out and say hello. For nine years, their Christian homeschool conventions have been an encouragement to new homeschool families and seasoned homeschool families, and even those of you who are just thinking about homeschooling. And you guys can use my name. You can use the code Heidi. Please don’t spell it wrong or you won’t get your 15 bucks off. H-E-I-D-I when you register, and that will help you save $15 on your registration.
Also, February 21st through the 22nd, I will be in Lakeland, Florida. So the weekend before Teach Them Diligently, I will be in Lakeland, Florida for my women’s conference Faith That Speaks, and this year we’re shaking it up. This year, my friend Kathy Barnett and Elizabeth Johnston are going to be joining me on the road. And really, it’s our hope to get you guys off the bench and onto the battlefield to encourage you that our faith really should be a faith that speaks. So for more information about those, you can go to heidistjohn.com/events. Those events are coming up really, really soon, so we want to encourage you to get your tickets today.
All right. I want to introduce you guys to my friend Elizabeth. She’s been on the show with me before. I have been a friend of Elizabeth’s for quite a while and a fan of her work for a long time. Elizabeth is better known online as the Activist Mommy. And she has really gotten off the bench and onto the battlefield on a really big way, and she’s having an impact in the culture. So I’m excited for you guys to hear her heart and to welcome her to the show. Elizabeth, my friend, welcome back to the podcast.
[Elizabeth] Hey, soul sister. How are you?
[Heidi] I’m doing good. I’m doing good. You and I have been out on the road a lot this season, and it’s good to just hear your voice. It was really great to see you in person in Greenville, so I’m looking forward to-
[Heidi] I know. Finally. We’re like, “My goodness.” So I want to introduce you. I know that there are a lot of new listeners to the podcast, and you’ve been on the show with me before. But for those who don’t know, you’ve been married to your sweetheart for 20 years and you’re a mama to 10, right?
[Elizabeth] Yes, I am so blessed to have 10 children. My husband and I always knew we wanted a large family. I don’t think I thought that I would make it to 10, but I am super happy that I did. I do have six babies in heaven as well. I just want to encourage all those moms that are listening who have miscarried babies that none of that is wasted time. You have given the Lord another worshiper, someone to adore Him throughout all eternity, and we look forward to being reunited with those babies that are in heaven as well. But yes, we do have 10. And would you believe all 12 of us, including my husband and I, all have blue eyes and either blonde hair or red hair? It is the craziest sight to behold.
[Heidi] Well, that’s a beautiful sight to behold because you guys are really out there with your family. And that’s one of the things that has always encouraged me with your ministry. It’s not just one person. You guys have chosen to involve your whole family. You’ve been deeply entrenched in the abolitionist movement, really the pro life movement trying to get abortion abolished in this nation. I’ve seen you in front of abortion clinics praying for people and trying to educate expecting mothers as they go into abortion clinics. And I’ve seen your kids with you.
[Elizabeth] Oh, yes. I mean, the Activist Mommy platform is only like three years old. My husband and I have raised our children on the front lines of the abortion battle in front of the abortion clinics for 20 years. Ever since we’ve been married, we have taken our newborn babies out to minister to offer help and hope to the men and women going in. It’s just you’re the last line of defense when you’re at an abortion clinic. You’re the last line between the baby and the abortionist weapon of choice, if you will. So it is an amazing thing to be out on the sidewalk outside an abortion clinic praying, asking God to use. No, we don’t know what to say. We don’t know what we’re going to say. We just trust God to give us the words.
And when we get opportunities to speak to moms, dads, grandparents, boyfriends, pimps, prostitutes going into the clinic, it is just an amazing thing to see a person choose life and then you’re able to give them the gospel. We’ll throw baby showers for the baby when they choose life for the baby. We will walk with them as long as they need us to walk with them through the process. That has really shaped our children’s worldview—to be on the front lines with Mom and Dad has truly changed their lives.
[Elizabeth] And I would highly encourage your listeners to go to sidewalks4life.com. That’s with the number four, sidewalks4life.com. Watch some of the videos and read some of the articles and get trained and equipped from that website, free website, free tools, to learn to do what we do outside the abortion clinics. It’ll give you more confidence, and it is an exciting thing to rescue a child and to be able to hold that baby six months later, seven months later. Wow. There’s nothing like it. It’s addictive, and it’ll keep your kids off the video games because if they’re-
[Elizabeth] Yeah. If they’re anything like mine, they are trying to wake me up on Friday or Saturday morning to urge me to go out to the abortion clinics. So I highly encourage your listeners to get involved at sidewalks4life.com
[Heidi] Now, you guys … I’ve been out, obviously not as much as you have, but I’ve taken my family out to abortion clinics and we have prayed and tried to talk to women as they have gone in. And the first time I did it, I had to say I was not ready for how absolutely spiritually supercharged that environment is. I was talking to a friend of mine today about it because she had gone for the very first time last weekend to an abortion clinic. She said, “I just went to pray. Didn’t take a sign. Didn’t do anything. I was like, ‘Father, if I can talk to someone, then let me talk to someone.'” And she said, “Heidi, I was shocked at the … ” She said, “It was almost like I was standing at the gates of hell.” And I said, “Because you were.”
[Elizabeth] Right. Precisely.
[Heidi] Because, I mean, right. I mean, the gates of hell has to be where we kill babies.
[Elizabeth] That’s right.
[Heidi] That has to be the entrance to hell.
[Elizabeth] That’s right.
[Elizabeth] And yes, it is intense. But again, we’ve taken our children, all our married lives, and our children have not been in danger. But yeah, I mean, most people don’t … can handle it. Most people can handle it just fine. I do recall one time taking a girl out of, like a teenage college-age girl out, and she actually kind of started having a panic attack when she got out there. Then we prayed.
[Heidi] Oh, really?
[Elizabeth] We laid hands on her, prayed for. I want you to know 30 minutes later she was conversing with a woman, calling out a woman to choose life for her baby. It was amazing the transformation in 30 minutes that happened in this person who had never gone to an abortion clinic. But again, it doesn’t have to be something that everyone does, but it is powerful. It’s life-changing for your children. And it really has shaped my kids into the warriors that they are. And you’re right, we do everything as a family. I mean, we don’t really know how to do life any other way. We’ve always chosen to take our family everywhere with us and do everything together. We believe that that helps shape our children, their courage, their worldview. And if we couldn’t do it as a family, we pretty much didn’t do it. So that, again, I think that’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made as a couple is to include our children in the ministries that we do. Let them walk alongside Mom and Dad as they stand for righteousness and stand against evil. Take a stand in this culture.
[Heidi] That’s one of the things I love so much about you. It’s been on my heart for the last 15 years that I’ve been speaking to families, and I’m just saying, “Listen, parents, we can’t pass on what we don’t possess. You can’t train your child to be out in the world if you yourself don’t know how to go out into the world. We can’t train our children in how to have an active prayer life that they can’t find us on our knees in prayer.” And it starts at home, this working alongside your children, bringing them into the ministry with you. We’re not training up children, right? We’re, we’re training up adults.
[Elizabeth] Amen. And we have such an issue in the church today of everything being so age segregated and we’re going to put the kids here and the youth here and the parents here. Again, we’ve chosen to just do everything as a family, and that has just been a very, very good decision for us. Our kids seem to have a more mature view of the world, and of outreach, and an ability to handle intense outreach, even the kinds of outreach that I’m mentioning, which is about as intense as it gets in this culture, and that’s at an abortion clinic where you never know kind of what you’re going to encounter when you arrive so …
[Heidi] It’s true. And you have been … I mean, Activist Mommy is relatively new, but you and I have kind of known each other for a while. I think we met out on the homeschool circuit, right?
[Elizabeth] We did. My husband is a medical doctor, and we were very concerned as we studied vaccines that we learned they were made from aborted fetal tissue. This is 20 years ago. This is before this was kind of a popular thing. My husband researched it, had to research it extensively because they actually don’t even make this information clear to physicians.
[Heidi] Yeah, they’re not disclosing it.
[Elizabeth] Not even to physicians. Physicians don’t even know.
[Elizabeth] So my husband had to research it extensively, and he did. And it became something that he started speaking on just to educate parents and so that they could make informed medical decisions for their children. He began to lecture on that at homeschool conventions around the country, and he also writes books. So we would go to homeschool conferences, and no one knew me, and I was there with my children behind the booths selling my husband’s books as he would speak and never planned on any of this happening as a public figure myself. As I just started responding to some of the things in the culture that were happening, like Teen Vogue magazine teaching kids how to sodomized one another, pornographic sex education, abortion, the women’s march, just the visceral women’s march. So many things I just started filming little iPhone videos, Heidi. I mean, 70 million video later, and a book deal, and speaking engagements. None of this was supposed to happen. And you know this so well because you were in the same boat.
[Elizabeth] None of this was supposed to happen with you and … We just want to take every opportunity that the Lord sends our way to prayerfully be salt and light in our culture because we fear that there’s a problem over the last 50 years where the church we’ve been content to just kind of listen to sermons and wait for Jesus to come back and rescue us. And there hasn’t been an occupy to come type of mentality-
[Elizabeth] … that God wants the righteous to rule, not the wicked to rule. As it says in scripture, that when the wicked rule, the people mourn.
[Elizabeth] And we’ve kind of sat back and allowed the wicked to rule and it has placed us in a very dangerous place where we no longer recognize our country and where 200-pound men are able to be in the shower rooms, and locker rooms, and changing rooms, and bathrooms of our daughters. I mean, this is insanity where we are. My speaking up on the issue, I think people just were very ready for a very bold response from a Christian. We see responses from maybe political pundits and whatnot, but seeing a Christian woman respond boldly to these issues, I’m telling you, our culture is hungry for this. So don’t fear man. Be strong and courageous. Take the opportunities that God gives you. Open the mouth that God’s given you and speak to these issues. You’ll be amazed at how God will use you.
[Heidi] Yeah, and it’s amazing to me. You’re talking about courage, and you and I’ve had this conversation many times. The culture right now is literally saturated in lies, and they’re bold lies. These are lies we’re telling the culture, “Oh yeah, male and female, that’s a malleable thing. Gender’s a social construct.” So we’ve been saying, listen, a bold lie can only be countered with bold truth, and that boldness that God says be strong and courageous. We talk about what the Bible has to say about courage and about boldness, and God was never behind the scenes saying, “Gird up. This is war. Your children have been given to you like arrows in the hands of a warrior.” God saying this is a battle, and we see courage mentioned dozens and dozens of times, and yet in the church we find an incredible lack of courage and an incredible lack of … It’s like a politically correct culture has infiltrated the church.
[Elizabeth] Yeah. What an odd thing because the scripture is so replete with examples of courage. All of our heroes in the Word of God are just the most bold and courageous examples to us, like Daniel who did just the opposite of what he was told by law that he was allowed to do. He opens the window and basically says, “Nanny, nanny, boo, boo. I’m going to pray three times a day like I always have,” you know?
[Heidi] Yep, yep.
[Elizabeth] And Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said, “I will not bow down.” And the Hebrew midwives who said, “I will not murder these babies even though I’m being commanded to.” The Scripture is so full of these kinds of examples, and I’m just so inspired. Every time I read one of these stories, I think I could fly. I think I could scale a wall. I could do anything through Christ when I read these stories. And that’s the effect that they are supposed to have on us because these were real people, Heidi, who had the same nervousness, and the same PC problems in their own cultures, and the same fear, and the same jail, and shackles, and bars, and fires that they could face if they didn’t stand boldly and there to be our example.
So that’s just what I feel my main mission is in life at this point, is that God wants me to stiffen the spines of others. He wants me to encourage people with just a bold example. If you’re tired of the pornographic sex ed in your schools, then either pull your children out and homeschool or get in the office of somebody who can change it and do something about it, darn it. You know?
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah.
[Elizabeth] Don’t sit there and allow your kids’ little minds to be raped. That’s just the natural mama bear response that God has given all of us, and we’ve allowed this culture to take away our natural instincts from us. I think that God wants me, and you, and other people that he’s using to remind the mama bears of this culture what God gave them.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right. And we’ve been saying for a long time now, “Father where are the men? We need men of courage and men of valor and women of courage and women of faith to stand in the gap for these children.” Because really, it’s the next generation in the crosshairs right now.
I was reading in Chronicles the other day. I think it’s 1 Chronicles 28 where David is instructing Solomon his son. And he said, “Solomon, be strong and courageous and do the work. Don’t be afraid to discourage because the Lord my God is with you. He will not fail you. He will not forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.” And man that’s a message for today. God’s saying, “Get out there and do the work. I’m right here. I’m right here.”
And something that is so encouraging to me as I’ve watched you, I remember one time I was talking to you in a text message right before you were … you went to an abortion rally, which always astonishes me. I’m like, “Elizabeth, you shouldn’t do that. Don’t you want to stay home and figure out a new recipe for your Crock-Pot? That seems like a better way to spend a Saturday.” And instead, I get this video from you and you’re walking with what looked to me like 150-foot sign out into the middle of an abortion rally. And you were befuddled the people that… And people have never met you, that never seen you, you are very tall.
[Elizabeth] No, 5’3″.
[Heidi] Yeah. I’m 5’7″, so you and I stand next to each other and it looks a little funny. I was thinking. I remember telling you later, I was like, “Elizabeth, why you got to be like that? Why you got to go in … ” And I remember watching this online thinking, “Here is this little itty-bitty woman, this Joan of Arc,” and you’re like, “Listen, if y’all are going to vote for abortion, here’s a picture. You should at least know what you’re voting for. You should at least know.” And I’m watching people try to hit your sign out of your hands, and I saw you go and talk to the police officer and say, “Excuse me, are you going to do your job?”
And I was thinking. I remember talking to you on the phone after that, and I think this was before I flew to New York to be with you for the day of mourning. And I remember you said something to me that I actually wrote in my journal. You may not remember it, but you said … Because I told you. I said, “I was worried about you.” And you said, “Heidi, I’m not going to let you speak fear into my life.”
[Heidi] And I was like, “Okay, we’re friends. We’re friends right now, which is the reason why I can take that.” Because what you were saying was basically get behind me. I’m going to do what God told me to do. And I feel like, boy, Elizabeth, we need more men and women of valor to say, “No, no, I’m not going to let you speak fear in my … ” Even if you love me, even if it’s because you care about me, there’s not a day. God said my days are ordained for me already. Until the Lord says, “Heidi St. John or Elizabeth Johnston, it’s time to come home,” we better be about the Father’s business. And I was so encouraged just to see you actually walk it out. And Billy Graham said that when one person takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened. And I have to believe that what you’re doing and hopefully what I’m doing is encouraging to others who are watching and their spines are also being stiffened.
[Elizabeth] They are. I get the most encouraging messages, Heidi, of people saying, “Thank you so much,” for example, “My eyes have been open. I’m now running for city council. I’m running for board of education. I am-“
[Elizabeth] “I am going to my local Planned Parenthood, and praying, and ministering outside.” There’s so many ways people contact me, Heidi. And I get the most amazing feedback. But back to that rally that you’re mentioning, the problem, Heidi, is that we’ve been so indoctrinated and brainwashed in this nation that we actually don’t behave like the babies that are being butchered inside those clinics are people. If we really believed they were people … Just think about it for a second. If we really believed they were people, they were babies, wouldn’t it evoked more response than we are presently giving in our nation?
[Elizabeth] So we really need to search our own hearts. Do we really mourn and grieve over these lives lost. Do we really believe that babies are being butchered down the road in our communities? Because they are. And if they really are people, and of course you and I both know they are because we know the God who created them, then we need to do more. We need to not settle for what’s presently being done. It’s not okay that just late-term abortion be banned, all abortion must be banned.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Elizabeth] We must fight for every one of these children.
[Elizabeth] And I think we get so pious and Holy when we think about the times of the Holocaust and we think that we’d be such amazing, epic people and that we’d be hiding Jews like Corrie ten Boom and her family were doing. And we are literally living in the middle of a Holocaust and people are sitting right now watching Fox news. They’re watching their whatever, their 700 Club. They’re perfectly content to go day in and day out and do nothing about the bloodshed in their own communities. So let’s be careful not to think so highly of ourselves. Let’s challenge ourselves to do better than we are doing right now. There’s so much more that we could do to end this bloodshed. And we want to be the William Wilberforce’s, do we not?
[Elizabeth] The ones who go down in history as the ones who ended slavery. There’s going to be a day abortion is over, is in the dust heap of history books just like slavery is today. And we don’t want our children to ask us, “Mom and Dad, what were you doing when they were killing babies on main street?” And you just say, “Well, I mean, I went to work. I voted Republican. I didn’t really do much.” I don’t want to say that to my kids. I want my-
[Heidi] Right. I voted Republican. That was good enough.
[Elizabeth] Yeah, yeah.
[Elizabeth] We can do better. We can do better.
[Heidi] No, we absolutely can do better. I wonder what would happen. I think someone said to me the other day, “Why do you share these images on your Facebook page? You tell people not just that … We want to fight against pornography, but then you share an image from the Superbowl, and I’m so offended,” or, “You shared the image of the baby that is being murdered in the womb.” And I thought to myself, “Are we so blind that we’re offended at having to see the wickedness rather than stand up against it?” We’re offended that we have to be … that our eyes have to be offended by what’s happening in the culture. And I think so often we’ve sanitized this stuff, right? Abortion doesn’t happen in the streets because if it did we’d be going crazy.
[Heidi] Abortion happens in a sanitized room. Abortion happens behind a neatly decorated waiting room where they’ve got plants and bottled water for you. That’s where this is happening, and I-
[Elizabeth] And where they don’t let you take your cell phones in, by the way.
[Heidi] Right. That’s right.
I want to thank you guys for tuning in today and really just being a part of the conversation that Elizabeth and I are having about the things that are happening in the culture today. And hopefully we’re encouraging you and inspiring you that your faith should be a faith that speaks. So we’re very excited to be partnering together. Elizabeth’s going to be joining me with my friend, the beautiful Kathy Barnette, and the first place we’re headed to is Lakeland, Florida on the 21st and 22nd of this month.
We hope that you guys will join us. Tickets are on sale right now. We would love it if you’d help us get the word out about Faith That Speaks. And let’s see if we can impact the culture with a message of hope really that comes from the gospel.
We really appreciate you guys listening. I’m going to go ahead and end this broadcast today, and then we’ll pick it up on Wednesday with part two of my conversation with Elizabeth Johnston.
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Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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