Christian Leader Finds Exact Words of the Bible in the Constitution

Beebe, AR — Saying he thinks his discovery will settle the Christian nation debate, Rev. Cyrus Jones revealed in a press release that he has found the words of the Bible in the United States Constitution. Pastor of the Patriot Baptist Church, Jones said he was skeptical at first but was encouraged to seek the truth by listening to historical document collector, David Barton.
“Barton has 100,000 pre-1812 documents in his library. Because of that, I figure he knows something about old words,” Jones said. “For sure, the Bible has old words and so does the Constitution. I decided to see if Barton was right when he said the exact words of the Bible are in the Constitution.”
Jones said that he found many exact words. “‘The,’ ‘and,’ and, ‘an’ are especially common in both the Bible and Constitution, but the clincher was words like ‘blessings’ and ‘liberty’ and ‘faith’ and ‘numbers.’ Those exact words are in both the Bible and the Constitution.”bible const
Jones is preparing a multi-part sermon series with a sermon on each exact word in common. “It is going to be anointed,” he said.
 
For more on the exact words of the Bible in the Constitution, watch the video below:

See also this and this.
(I hope it is obvious that Cyrus Jones is made up and the story is a spoof. Sadly, however, David Barton’s claim is very real (hat tip to RWW).

A New Argument for the Existence of God!

Christian apologetics – 2016


Atheists trembled until Tebow went hitless in his next 5 at-bats. Another promising argument spoiled by the rest of the story.

Donald Trump, Rosie O'Donnell, Alicia Machado, and Evangelical Women (UPDATE: It got worse)

There were many articles out yesterday and today regarding Monday night’s debate and much has been said about Donald Trump’s attitudes toward women as indicated by what he said about Rosie O’Donnell and Alicia Machado.
I wonder if evangelical women are paying attention.
About O’Donnell, Trump said:

“You know, Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials. Some of it’s said in entertainment. Some of it’s said – somebody who’s been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.

About Machado, Clinton reminded Trump about a former Miss Universe.

CLINTON: And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.
TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this?
CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

Machado has spoken out about how Trump treated her at he time.
In an appearance by phone on Fox News yesterday morning, Trump doubled down saying at 47 seconds into the clip Machado “gained a massive amount of weight” after she won the contest:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UdqZmNy4o0[/youtube]
I looked and asked around to find out if any evangelicals condemned this gross disrespect toward these two women and by extension to all women who aren’t perfect. I found nothing. Evangelical supporters of Trump seem to be accepting everything Trump does. His disgusting attitudes toward women was in full display during the debate and has been throughout the campaign.
Trump ridiculed O’Donnell and essentially urged others to do so as well (“she deserves it”). He demeaned Machado for her race (“Miss Housekeeper”) and appearance (“Miss Piggy”). Will evangelicals stand for this?
Although some evangelicals have admitted Trump lost the debate, I have not heard a direct condemnation of him over his disrespect for women. I have to believe when many evangelical women enter that voting booth, they will remember what he said and how he bullied and demeaned women. Closer to home, evangelical men should worry that evangelical women will remember that their men said nothing about it.
UPDATE – Steve Deace is a pretty conservative and a Never Trump person. He had something to say:


Trump tripled down on his attacks on Machado, now suggesting people watch a sex tape that apparently doesn’t exist.

Tullian Tchividjian Posts Possible Book Excerpt at Expastors.com

Tchividjian image expastor
At the expastors.com website an article appears under Tchividjian’s name (oddly with his name spelled incorrectly in the first line and image – How does that happen?) which promises a vulnerable look at the recent history of the troubled ex-pastor.
Tullian misspelling
There was no mention of his recent remarriage in the expastors article.
Tchividjian reveals that he went through a suicidal period. It sounds like he is on the mend. Good for him and I wish him well.
In the comments section, there is a good deal of arguing back and forth about the nature of this article. Some are skeptical and others are angry. Some wonder if this is a part of the comeback prior to an upcoming book release with David C. Cook.
Many of my readers have shown interest in Tchividjian’s career and this seems to be an interesting turn of events.
Incidentally, the Churchill quote at the end is has not been found in Churchill’s written works.
UPDATE: 9/28/16 – Since I posted this yesterday, I have seen a text thread with an early draft of the expastors.com article. The material was circulated by Tchividjian to friends in March of this year (prior to his non-speaking speaking engagement at a CA church). You might recall that Tchividjian’s Liberate Network was revived and then abruptly closed down in March due to new revelations at the time. Apparently, this expastor.com article is a re-worked segment of an upcoming book, tentatively titled, Finding Grace in a Hopeless Place.  The last paragraph in the March version reads:

This is a book about sin and grace, desperation and deliverance. This is a book about brokenness and the glorious fact that God’s grace runs downhill and meets us at the bottom in ways that we simply cannot know or experience when we’re at the top. This is a book about finding grace in a hopeless place.

The two documents aren’t identical but the latter appears to be a re-written version of the former. In the March text, this paragraph again falsely quotes Winston Churchill but does not mention a suicide note.

That admission takes suffering, crashing and burning, collapsing, a running out of our own steam. It takes being exposed—a real confrontation with ourselves that we fight to avoid, delay, push back, and mitigate at all costs. As one of my counselors told me early on, circumstances don’t create the condition of the heart. Rather, circumstances reveal the condition of the heart. And what was revealed to me about my heart in the fiery hotness of dire circumstances was scary and destructive. As Winston Churchill once said, “The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.”

From the expastors article:

The truth is, though, that we are very good lawyers when it comes to our own mistakes, but very good judges when it comes to the mistakes of others. As one of my counselors told me early on, circumstances don’t create the condition of the heart. Rather, circumstances reveal the condition of the heart. And what was revealed to me about my heart in the fiery hotness of dire circumstances was scary and destructive. This disgusting truth about myself (and the desperate aloneness that I felt because of it) made me want to commit suicide.

Tchividjian has attributed the “human heart” quote to Churchill before.  Max Lucado just used the quote without attribution. It has been attributed to Adrian Rogers and Oswald Smith as well as Churchill. I can’t find any primary source for the quote.
Update: The inaccurate spelling of Tchividjian’s name has been corrected.

Big Influential Names Gather in Alabama @LeadNet #400Gathering

In other news…
Mark Driscoll is speaking at what Ed Stetzer calls “a private meeting of the most influential churches in the country.” He tweeted that the meeting is in an undisclosed location but I found it pretty easily (Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, AL).  The blurb for the next gathering at Saddleback in January, 2017 says:

The theme is Religious Freedom and Conscience Rights in the New Season, and the event will serve as a forum for leading church Senior and Executive Pastors to discuss topics such as:
• What should our stance, practical tactics and preaching look like in our own local contexts in a country where “freedom to worship” has seemingly replaced “freedom of religion?”
• How will new norms impact outreach, guest services, personnel policy, marriage and communication strategies?
• How will Christian leaders be marginalized, ostracized and put on legal defensive and what should the response be?
• How will we equip our congregational leaders (especially lawyers, teachers, medical personnel and small businesspersons) to be salt and light in the new cultural environment?

Looks like a scarefest to me.
Since it is apparently secret, I don’t know what the theme of this one is.
If you want to know what the influential churches are talking about, you can follow along at #400gathering.
 

Post Ted Cruz, Is It Time for Glenn Beck to Reconsider David Barton?

On his show today, conservative pundit Glenn Beck became irate with Ted Cruz over Cruz’s endorsement of Donald Trump. Right Wing Watch gets the hat tip and has some clips. Watch:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNjgAUzUwCI[/youtube]
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BshqMopwv2E[/youtube]
It is must watch TV. Beck nailed Cruz on his endorsement and demanded to know what new information Cruz had which allowed him to endorse Trump. Cruz had none (in fact, Cruz allowed Trump to use his mailing list before the endorsement) In the second video, Beck rails against Cruz and the two parties.
If Beck is this angry over Cruz’s turn around, what must he think of his old buddy David Barton?
Barton believes Christians must put aside their complaints and vote for Trump (link, link, link). Barton believes Trump is God’s choice and that Christians have a biblical duty to vote for him. Barton has been pushing Trump for weeks.
How is it possible for Glenn Beck to excoriate Ted Cruz without comparable ire being directed toward David Barton?
Perhaps this will motivate Beck to really examine the claims Barton makes about historical matters (and even Barton’s own educational status). Beck has a mutual friend who reached out to him in 2012 about Barton’s history. Perhaps, Mr. Beck, you could reach out to that person and reexamine the evidence.
 
 

Eric Metaxas: Donald Trump Speaks Hyperbolically and Shouldn't Be Taken Literally

According to Eric Metaxas, people who oppose Trump have taken him at his word and that is a mistake.
Really.
Read what he told Justin Brierley with Premier Christianity (UK).

Brierley: I think they would also point to some of his polices, like banning Muslims from entering the US
Metaxas: What fascinates me is how everyone takes him literally, and they don’t seem to understand that he has always spoken hyperbolically and impressionistically. That’s what he does. The idea that he is a racist or a xenophobe, I think that’s simply not true, but if you say something enough people believe it.
What about Trump’s rhetoric on Muslims and Mexicans?
If people think that he could bring xenophobic legislation into the United States of America, I just don’t believe that we would stand for it. I think what he is really talking about, which ought to be common sense, is that we’ve got to protect our borders.

The contortions of Trump’s Christian supporters are painful to watch. How else are we supposed to take the policy pronouncements of the GOP candidate for president? If we can’t take him literally, then how can anyone take him at all? Once upon a time words mattered, but in the post-modern evangelical space, a leading evangelical figure is fascinated that his fellows take the words of a presidential candidate seriously.
We are to assume Trump speaks nonsense impressionistically, but we are cautioned with the straightest of faces to take each word from Hillary as a dark prescription for the end of everything good. Furthermore, Metaxas is convinced that the American people will reject Trump’s impressions should they turn out to be literal but will be powerless to withstand Hillary’s evil mind tricks.
Every time I read Mr. Metaxas, I think of the warnings from William Buckley about hyperbolic demagoguery. Buckley knew Trump and warned about him. He also had something more general to say about how America should respond to a demagogue:

In other ages, one paid court to the king. Now we pay court to the people. In the final analysis, just as the king might look down with terminal disdain upon a courtier whose hypocrisy repelled him, so we have no substitute for relying on the voter to exercise a quiet veto when it becomes more necessary to discourage cynical demagogy, than to advance free health for the kids. That can come later, in another venue; the resistance to a corrupting demagogy should take first priority.

Ironically, Buckley’s reference to “free health for the kids” is something Mrs. Clinton championed. In so many words, Metaxas admits that Trump is spoofing us, just talking smack with the details to be named later. What should we do with such a pretender to the throne? According to Buckley, the voter’s first priority should be to reject such “cynical demagogy.” I concur.
For those who believe both Trump and Clinton are corrupted demagogues, there is potential to move the election into the House if only a certain voting bloc would follow Mr. Buckley’s advice.

Eric Metaxas: Hillary Clinton is 1930s Fascism in Rainbow Colors

Eric Metaxas continues to double and triple down on his contention that opposition to Hillary Clinton (and support for Trump) is like Bonhoeffer’s resistance to the Nazis. For good measure, he seems to liken Trump opponents to German Christians who failed to oppose Hitler.
Reading the comments, it appears that many of his Twitter followers aren’t buying it.
From Twitter today:


and


and


Bonhoeffer was an exception but many German church leaders agreed with the Nazis about the “Jewish problem.” They also had good things to say about the coming Nazi domination. Any analogy to now can only work if Trump is the fascist element. Trump’s conservative opponents are not rhapsodizing about Hillary the way German Christians did about the Nazis.
I agree with this Twitter user:


In a post back in June, I discussed a book Complicity with the Holocaust. Author Robert Ericksen describes how the church overlooked the warning signs about the Nazis. I wrote then:

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.

As I have said before, I don’t think Trump is reincarnating Hitler. I do think he has described a program for the vanguard of an American fascism. It is not Trump alone that frightens me, it is his followers and those who want him to do more than he publicly described. What he has owned is bad enough.

David Barton Used a Secondary Source for His PhD Video (Video with Pop Ups)

On September 7, religious right history writer and Christian nation advocate David Barton posted a video on his You Tube and Facebook accounts claiming to have an “earned doctorate.” The very next day he removed the video, perhaps in light of the revelation that the degree may have come from unaccredited Life Christian University. LCU is on record as giving what it calls “earned doctorates” to famous people who never attended the school.
Since he removed the video, Barton has not commented or explained why he claimed to have an earned doctorate but failed to say from where he earned it.
In case you missed it, here is Barton’s video with some commentary provided by me in pop ups to keep things light (see the original here).

 
In an another amusing twist, it turns out that Barton took his information about honorary doctorates from a secondary source. Even though he cited West Virginia University in the video, the phrasing he used to describe why a school might award an honorary doctorate came directly from reference.com and not West Virginia University as Barton claimed. Barton said:
The website Reference.com cites WVU’s honorary degree web page and reads:
Reference com WVU doc
 
Although reference.com cites WVU, a search of West Virginia University’s honorary doctorate page doesn’t turn up that phrase. Apparently, the phrase Barton’s quoted and attributed to WVU was a paraphrase constructed by reference.com. He used that paraphrase and attributed it to WVU.
In any case, neither of Barton’s honorary degrees come from WVU so their procedures don’t apply. Barton’s honorary degrees come from two schools which are not regionally accredited. Barton is on the board of one of those schools (Ecclesia College).
The bottom line is this. Barton’s tenuous credibility is at stake. He directly and forcefully claimed to have an earned doctorate. However, he hid the diploma and then removed the video evidence. He has not explained why he won’t supply verification after saying for years that he did not a PhD. It is simply not credible to claim to have an earned doctorate and then refuse to disclose the details about it. To claim such a degree without having one is academic fraud and in the real world has significant consequences.