David Barton: Donald Trump is God's Candidate in This Election

So he told his Wallbuilders audience today.
Right Wing Watch has the audio.
What is maddening about Barton’s description is that he was asked for advice by a delegate who doesn’t believe Trump should represent the GOP. Instead of pointing the delegate to the Free the Delegate movement, he told him to accept Trump as “God’s candidate.”
Barton rationalized his advice:

“One thing I know for sure is that in the race of primaries, we had a lot really good God guys in there,” Barton said. “And we had a huge turnout of professing Christians and evangelicals and others, so there is nothing to complain about that we didn’t get a voice, we didn’t get a candidate. We had great candidates to choose from and this is who the people chose, and this is who the people chose with a really high turnout of evangelicals. So I kind of look back and say, ‘Hmmm, I wonder where God’s fingerprint is in this?’ because this is not necessarily a failure of the church.”

I wonder why Barton doesn’t consider Barack Obama God’s guy. Despite all kinds of evangelical GOTV efforts and prayer rallies and such, Obama won twice.
I am a mortal. I let God take care of His fingerprints. I can’t for a minute believe principled people are supposed to try to read God’s mind and come up with Donald Trump as “God’s candidate.”
The convention delegates have a gate keeping role and I hope that delegate who queried Barton will find the Free the Delegate folks and follow his conscience.

Message to the GOP Rules Committee: Free the Delegates

The Free the Delegate movement is moving. I was in on a conference call over the weekend put on by the Free the Delegate folks and it appears they are serious about proposing a rule change to free delegates to vote for the perceived best candidate, even if that isn’t Donald Trump. One sign of serious intent is the development of a command center in Cleveland. Another is the following ad:
I think this is just the beginning.

In His New Book, Eric Metaxas Whitewashes George Whitefield on Slavery

In his new book If You Can Keep It, Eric Metaxas provides an overview of early American history in order to remind us what is special about America. In the process, he provides a pithy formula for national success, but he makes significant historical errors and glosses over important facts. One such fact is the involvement of evangelist George Whitefield in introducing slavery to Georgia.
In his chapter on Whitefield (which appears to be summarized without attribution from Thomas Kidd’s excellent book on Whitefield), Metaxas asserts that Whitefield’s preaching was a great equalizer among American social classes. On page 111, he adds:

The egalitarian strains of the Gospel extended to women and blacks as well. Many female preachers were spawned by the revival of the Great Awakening and many African American preachers too. Unlike most of the mainline ministers of his day, Whitefield often spoke to “Negroes” and once remarked that he was especially touched when one of them came to faith. One of them even asked Whitefield, “Have I a soul?” That Whitefield believed he did meant that the Negro was in this most important respect perfectly equal to whites.
Metaxas, Eric (2016-06-14). If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty (p. 111). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

This is a disturbing whitewash of Whitefield’s views and actions relating to African slaves. As Kidd documents in his book (see also this post), Whitefield was “convinced that introducing slavery into Georgia was essential to the colony’s economic prospects…” Prior to Whitefield’s advocacy for slavery, Georgia had banned it. Whitefield himself owned slaves. On March 22, 1751, Whitefield wrote about the need for slavery in Georgia:

As for the lawfulness of keeping slaves, I have no doubt, since I hear of some that were bought with Abraham’s money, and some that were born in his house.—And I cannot help thinking, that some of those servants mentioned by the Apostles in their epistles, were or had been slaves. It is plain, that the Gibeonites were doomed to perpetual slavery, and though liberty is a sweet thing to such as are born free, yet to those who never knew the sweets of it, slavery perhaps may not be so irksome. However this be, it is plain to a demonstration, that hot countries cannot be cultivated without negroes. What a flourishing country might Georgia have been, had the use of them been permitted years ago? How many white people have been destroyed for want of them, and how many thousands of pounds spent to no purpose at all?

Africans are expendable and whites are not.
Yes, Whitefield preached to slaves and expressed pleasure when they converted. However, he also resisted the urging of at least one of this colleagues to reject slavery.  Not only did he own slaves, but he used his considerable influence to change the attitudes of Georgia decision makers to allow slavery in the colony.
Whitefield biographer James Gledstone commented in 1871 on Whitefield’s efforts to bring slavery to Georgia:

How complete and miserable a failure was the attempt to unite slavery and Christianity will be seen by and by. Meanwhile we think of the orphans being habituated to look upon Negroes as a servile race, of their growing to manhood and womanhood educated in the ideas of slaveholders, and of their being able to throw over all the abominations of the system, the reputation of a philanthropist so humane and a saint so sincere and so holy as was George Whitefield; neither can we forget that every man who owned a slave would be able to justify it by Whitefield’s example.

This reminds me of David Barton’s whitewash of Thomas Jefferson on slavery.
It is beyond absurd for Metaxas to write, “The egalitarian strains of the Gospel extended to women and blacks as well.” In what universe can Whitefield’s approach to Africans be construed as regarding them as “perfectly equal to whites?”
Apparently, Whitefield worship is a matter of great importance to Metaxas. He needs Whitefield to fill the role of the great Christian reason we had the revolution. About Whitefield, Metaxas says:

We might also say that providence brought them [unity and self-government] into existence through the life and work of a single man, very little known to us today. We are talking about the life and work of the man named George Whitefield, without whom the United States simply could not have come into being.
Metaxas, Eric (2016-06-14). If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty (p. 77). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Did providence also bring about slavery in Georgia?
Apparently, Metaxas needs Whitefield to be larger than life in order to bring God into the founding. At the close of the chapter on Whitefield, Metaxas says:

When we take the full measure of Whitefield’s role in creating what would become the United States, who can help but wonder whether our history is one in which God himself— and if not God, then at least those who are motivated by the idea of God and all it portends— has played a central role?
Metaxas, Eric (2016-06-14). If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty (p. 114). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

If you want a book to delight you with pleasantries and clever phrasing, this one could work. However, if you want accurate and honest history throughout, this is not the book for you.
*In my Kindle copy, there are only 7 end notes. I could be wrong but it seems like Metaxas owes a large debt to Kidd’s book on Whitefield.

Beware of Churchmen Making Political Declarations

Through an article by Peter Leithart at First Things, I recently became aware of Complicity with the Holocaust, a haunting book about how religious and academic leaders praised the rise of the Nazis. The book by Robert Erickson cites statements of support for the Nazis made by clergy during and after the rise of Hitler’s regime. The reason I bring this up is because some of these statements are quite similar to the glowing statements which have been made about current political figures.
Now, I must hasten to note that I have in mind a time frame beyond this week. In 2012, several candidates were presented to Christians as God’s choice for president (e.g., Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry). This time around Ted Cruz was picked by both the Christian and Latter Day Saint gods as being the anointed one. Now, especially after Tuesday meeting involving Donald Trump and his evangelical friends, more religious leaders are coming out with religious imagery to describe the rise of Trump.
Case in point is an article at Charisma News describing the meeting by Barb Heki. She summarizes the tone of the meeting by the words “amazing grace.” Her summary points are what reminded me of the Erickson book:

Franklin Graham echoed similar sentiments when, after telling the group that Donald Trump offers substantial hope for America whereas Hillary Clinton offers no hope whatsoever, Rev. Graham did this: He acknowledged that we will never have a perfect candidate, and he compared Trump to great biblical leaders who had fallen into sin at various points in their lives, like Moses and King David, yet were used mightily by God to protect and lead the nation He had chosen them to lead.
It made me wonder, as I’ve watched Donald Trump inexplicably winning state after state by record numbers: Are we watching the hand of God upon Donald Trump at this moment in history? I’m not alone in my wondering, and if the sentiment at this meeting was any indication, I have a lot of godly company in my assessment that we have got to vote for Donald Trump in order to defeat Hillary Clinton because the freedoms we will lose with her at the helm will obliterate our ability to accomplish the very thing that is our mission in life—to preach the gospel of Christ and make disciples.

“Are we watching the hand of God upon Donald Trump at this moment in history?”
Consider this quote from Erickson’s book (via Leithart) from a German Lutheran newspaper in April 1933:

We get no further if we get stuck on little things that might displease us, failing to value the great things God has done for our Volk through them [the Nazis]. Or was it perhaps not God but ‘the old, evil enemy?’ For humans alone have not done this, an entire Volk , or at least its largest part, raising itself up into a storm, breaking the spiritual chains of many years, wanting once again to be a free, honest, clean Volk . There are higher powers at work here. The ‘evil enemy’ does not want a clean Volk , he wants no religion, no church, no Christian schools; he wants to destroy all of that. But the National Socialist movement wants to build all this up, they have written it into their program. Is that not God at work?

Heightening concern is the observation that Trump has called for war crimes, singling out and banning Muslims, deporting 11 million illegal immigrants, stigma against children of immigrants, and limitations on the press. He also told religious leaders that he wanted to make Christianity more powerful and somehow coerce businesses to say Merry Christmas. Even the impulse to take power in this manner should be questioned by the church. Instead, religious leaders are telling us that Trump “gets it.”
By now, shouldn’t we question boldly the political declarations of religious leaders? History shows us multiple illustrations of religion being used and abused for political benefit. To be candid, I fear this in the present day. Religious leaders have had a full year to study Trump and become knowledgeable about him. However, after one meeting, many come out declaring him God’s man for the hour. I just can’t get there and in fact their reassurances worry me all the more.

Hispanic Southern Baptist Pastors Criticize Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board

Donald Trump told evangelical leaders on Tuesday that he believes he will do well among Hispanic voters. These Hispanic Southern Baptist pastors see things differently. They lament the joining of evangelicals (especially Southern Baptists) and prosperity gospel preachers and they consider Trump’s rhetoric about Hispanics to fuel racism.  Here is their statement:

Our Response to the “Trump Evangelical Advisory Board”

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – As Christian pastors, and Hispanic Baptist leaders, we have witnessed with sadness and concern the joining of the “Trump Evangelical Advisory Board” by several respected brothers and leaders, including some pastors in our Southern Baptist Convention. Let us be clear, they all have the right to join any political body, and they have done so on a personal level.

Nevertheless, we think that is not the wisest move by those we call brothers to join this particular board. We understand we need to be of “influence” or salt and light in a very dark world, but joining this board is not the wisest way to be salt and light. Upon occasion, we can influence more by holding forth the unquenchable light of the Gospel outside the camp, rather than jumping into a crowded office where the weed and wheat are undistinguishable.

It is not only Mr. Trump’s questionable character; the boasting about his fornications and his lack of repentance, and the use of an outrageous and disrespectful language to refer to the Hispanic community, igniting the hidden racism still imbedded in parts of our society. it is the joining as evangelicals with people who profane the evangelio.

This is our greatest concern. It is heart breaking to see brothers joining an “evangelical board” with false teachers like Kenneth Copeland and Paula White. These people have profaned the gospel of Christ. They teach a different gospel –i.e. the so-called prosperity gospel. They have deceived many in our Hispanic communities. In our churches, we have received many who have been victims of their fairy tales and false promises. The truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is too precious for us to be silent. By being part of a board with people like Copeland and White we send the wrong message to our churches and to our society, as if they are “evangelicals” as we are. Our main concern is not “political correctness”, it is about the testimony of the Gospel that has saved us and the Gospel that we proclaim.

Council Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance