My grandfather was a World War II veteran. He was a part of the 10th Mountain Division, which fought the Axis Powers in Italy. He was a gregarious storyteller and relayed to our family more than a few humorous tales of his wartime service. If my grandfather had traumatic experiences during the war he did not, like many of his contemporaries, let on about them. I do know that my grandfather sometimes had trouble sleeping, suffering from night terrors, but, again, that was not the type of problem about which the members of the greatest generation let on. Yet, the reality is that many soldiers came home from World War II with what is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A half-century after the end of the war, veterans still return from the battlefield suffering from PTSD. As the United States faces terrorist and insurgent threats, a new type of warfare, the American solider is perhaps even more susceptible to suffering from PTSD. Fighting irregular troops in urban environments, some of whom aren’t much more than children, can have a devastating long-term effect on the psyche of a combatant who returns home to a neighborhood which doesn’t look that much different from the foreign “battlefield” in which he fought. According to a recent report from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the suicide rate of veterans is 22% higher than that of non-veterans. In response to this situation, the DVA has made treatment available to veterans. The government, as it should, recognizes the serious health risks related to PTSD, as do I. That’s why I was incensed to learn that multi-millionaire word-faith prosperity preacher Kenneth Copeland and popular evangelical speaker David Barton had taught their audiences that veterans could be cured of their PTSD by claiming the promises Moses gave to Hebrew soldiers in Numbers 32:20-22. A video of this outrageous claim is shown below:
Even more outrageous, for Baptists here in Bartow county, is the fact that the Bartow Baptist Association is bringing WallBuilders to Cartersville in August for a “Role of Faith in America Conference” to be hosted at Rowland Springs Baptist Church on August 17th and 18th. On its website, WallBuilders describes itself as “an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.” The founder and president of WallBuilders is none other than David Barton who, along with his son, will be a featured speaker at the August conference. Barton, who makes a living advocating for Christian nationalism on the evangelical speaking circuit, is a charlatan, a hack historian who possesses no legitimate academic credentials in the field in which he purports to be an expert. Barton makes a living twisting both the facts of history and the Holy Scriptures. Tragically, Barton has been invited by Bartow County’s Baptist leaders to ply his sordid trade in Cartersville this summer.
Just a few months ago, Barton hosted those same leaders in Washington, DC. As I reported in October, “50 pastors and leaders of Bartow County” are to participate in a tour of the nation’s capital hosted by WallBuilders. At that time, I tried to warn my (now former) pastor (the hireling) Joe Ringwalt about the nature of David Barton. Ringwalt, who took part in the Washington trip, refused to listen and rebuffed my warning with the following statement:
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Washington. Several Christian congressmen, and one congresswoman, shared with us their testimony about their commitment to work hard on protecting Christian values and voices. It was encouraging. We also visited Family Research Council where we learned a great deal about how we can help make a difference in politics in America.
I proudly admit that I enjoyed all of it, especially David Barton’s presentation. I have seen and studied his materials for years. I know he’s not perfect, and I personally talked with him about his relationship with Glenn Beck, which I admit, I didn’t like his answer. But nevertheless, I would recommend him to any pastor or family. A matter of fact, we will be inviting him to come to our area in the near future.
Seth, I know what you posted on Facebook about this trip, and it’s sad to hear how negative you are when you have no idea what God did. We’ve talked about this at length, how unmercifully and pessimistically you write about Christians. Listen, I don’t won’t you to send me anything negative about Barton or the FRC or anything else for that matter. I know you disagree and that’s your right, but the truth is, I’m tired of how you treat brothers and sisters in Christ.
Please receive this in Christian love. There is no need to respond.
Ringwalt is the pastor of Rowland Springs Baptist Church, where the “Role of Faith in America Conference” is to be hosted. Ringwalt will join the infamous club of pastors, inlcuding Kenneth Copeland, who have played host to David Barton.
Aside from his discredited historical claims, that David Barton regularly partners with Copeland, a prosperity pimp wolf who has gotten rich teaching seed faith theology and claiming that humans are “little gods” who can speak reality into existence, should have raised a red flag to Bartow Baptist leaders. Yet, Bartow Baptists are partnering with Barton for the second time in less than a year. In doing so, they dishonor both God and country. Barton himself has prosperity gospel background, having graduated from Oral Roberts University. Barton’s grasp on biblical theology is feeble and twisted. His teaching is full of wild claims; Barton argues that Jesus taught about capital gains taxes and minimum wage and that retirement is an unbiblical pagan comment. Barton even claimed that professed Mormon Glenn Beck is a Christian! A detail examination of some of Barton’s errant teachings can be found in the links from the Fighting for the Faith program below:
This is what Chris Roseborugh, the minister who hosts Fighting for the Faith and researches false teachers for a living, had to say about David Barton:
There are people who twist God’s word and then there are people who just make fleeting references to it…Dave Barton…is flat out deceitful…he needs to clean up his act…he is discrediting himself and he is discrediting Christianity by engaging in this kind of deception.
Bartow Baptist discredit themselves by partnering with David Barton. It is unconscionable that the Bartow Baptist Association is bringing this man to Bartow County, putting him in a church pulpit, and inviting other Christians (and our children) to hear him. Someone must be held accountable. His name is David Franklin. Franklin heads up the Bartow Baptist Association with assistance from another man named Bradley Baker. These men can be contacted using the Bartow Baptist Association website.
Anyone with 30 minutes to spare and Google can discover just how discredited David Barton is. Until the Bartow Baptist Association can show that it is able to exercise basic discernment, funding should be withheld from it. Other Baptists should keep their eyes open to make sure that compromised, ignorant, and incompetent leaders in their own counties are not partnering with David Barton and his ilk.
*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 at 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.