This week, the associational missionary of the Bartow Baptist Association and several Bartow Baptist pastors traveled to Washington, DC to meet with our local congressman and Republican political operative David Barton. Barton regularly draws crowds of pastors to Washington DC though his “Wallbuilders” organization for historical lectures and meetings with conservative politicians. According a first-hand source, “50 pastors and leaders of Bartow County made the trip” which included what one Bartow Baptist pastor described as “a life-altering private tour that included the floor of the House and an explanation of the REAL background of our country’s Christian heritage.” This is disturbing news for Bartow Baptists who have an objective familiarity with David Barton.
Barton is the unofficial American historian of American right-wing Christianity. This is despite the fact that his most notable publication, The Jefferson Lies, was roundly condemned by historians and removed circulation by Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson. Barton has been condemned by liberal and conservative historians alike for his various historical claims and questionable associations. Stephen Stookey, professor of church history and director of the master of arts in theological studies program at Dallas Baptist University, had the following to say about Barton and his partnership with Mormon political pundit Glenn Beck:
Self-styled historian David Barton and conservative provocateur Glenn Beck—both inspired by the late Mormon conspiracy theorist W. Cleon Skousen—use tactics of half-truth and faulty scholarship to create a mythical America constitutionally established as a Christian nation. (source)
This is the narrative being presented to Bartow Baptist pastors, who took time this week from shepherding their flock to be Barton’s guests in Washington, DC. The “historian” Barton’s undergraduate degree is in religious education, not history. Furthermore, his alma mater, Oral Roberts University, was founded by the infamous prosperity gospel televangelist Oral Roberts. A degree from and association with that institution should cause the bible-believing community to lose respect for him. Instead, he is looked to as a source of expertise and Christian leadership. Barton, in an attempt to feign legitimacy, has gone so far as to claime an “earned” PhD from the same diploma mill as Joyce Meyer, Life Christian University. To the embarrassment of truth-valuing Christians everywhere, David Barton is the symbolic to the left of the typical politically-minded Christian. According to the leftist media group Right Wing Watch Barton’s work is “so routinely riddled with errors and misrepresentations that just about any factual claim that he makes ought to be checked for accuracy.”
The intellectual dishonest of David Barton should not be the image put into the minds of lost people. Christians should be leading the way in realm of open, honest, forthcoming scholarship. If the souls of the lost are to be one, it is not by the political operations of a faux-historian who seems to have only Americans pastors and TBN-viewers fooled about his complete lack of qualification. The visible church should be policing itself. Rather, it is put to open shame when non-believers and leftists must take the lead in exposing false claims of David Barton and his ilk.
Bartow County is 80% unchurched and it has been that way for years. Bartow County’s Baptists churches, with a couple of exceptions, are not full on Sunday mornings. Our Christian community is in desperate need of revival. It’s tragic that our county’s Christian leaders are seeking information from a man like David Barton. The answer to our church’s needs are spiritual not political. Bartow County’s pastors should not allow themselves to be used as tools to perpetuate a false narrative of American history from the likes of David Barton.
Both Christianity and American history are very important to me, the former moreso than the latter. I was raised in a Christian home and taught American history by my mother, a professional history teacher with master’s degree and over thirty years of teaching experience in the public schools. If Bartow County’s pastors want a history lesson, they can go see her. I am profoundly disturbed that so many pastors in Bartow County can be schnookered by a hack like Barton. I fear it is a sign of an emerging spirit of dominionism in our county…especially due to the presence of so many Pentecostals on the trip.
Bartow’s Baptist pastors were joined by Jacob King, Eric Mosely, and James Black. There was a day when Southern Baptists pastors wouldn’t be seen with such men. Those times have sadly passed in Bartow County.
I have personally witnessed Jacob King grab young women by the forehead, shake them while praying nonsense, and “slay them in the spirit” at the Church at Liberty Square. This is a regular feature of his ministry. It’s complete disorder done in the name God the Holy Spirit. The young women convulsed on the floor, needing their legs covered up in God’s house by the sport coat of one of King’s as they laid in the church house shaking.
Eric Mosely claims to be an “Apostle” and he and his wife fashion themselves as the co-pastors of All About Jesus Ministries.
James Black is an arch-charismatic and is the pastor of New Covenant Full-Gospel church. For years, he was the proprietor of the now-defunct Open Door Christian bookstore. At his store, he sold all manner of dangerous, scripture-twisting heresy at his store from prosperity pimps such as Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and Benny Hinn. He sold this spiritual poison to the men women and children of Bartow County.
Bartow’s Baptist pastors should be endeavoring to protect their flock from wolves such as these. Instead, they are taking trips with them to Washington, DC to meet with a faux-historian, returning in friendship with a false political narrative.
The Devil must be laughing.
We desperately need a revival and to turn to God’s word. We don’t need to partner with lairs and heretics. We need to warn fellow Christians. Sadly, one of the local baptist pastors I tried to warn responded to me with this:
“I don’t won’t you to send me anything negative about Barton…or anything else for that matter.”
Instead, I am told by a first-hand source that these pastors are actually planning to invite Barton to come to Bartow County and speak! Take heed readers. Oh, please, I pray that you’ll take heed. You may not like me or how I’ve said this but it needs to be said. I am understandably upset. In the past, I have cited some of Barton’s skewed history myself! I’m happy to have been corrected on such matters but ashamed that I allowed myself to be a conduit for his religio-political agenda. Please learn from my mistakes.
Go talk to your pastor about this incident and the recent practices of Bartow Baptists. Don’t be shy about it. Our community is 80% unchurched and it’s been that way for years. In our desperation, let us turn to God and not friendship with charismatic false teachers and political false historians.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church of which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.