July 24, 2013

Barton on Beck "He's only a Mormon out of loyalty" (as heard on Steve Deace)

Stand Up for the Truth posted a blurb from Right Wing Watch (which I am sure they don't care for, and neither do I, but which can still have accurate information).

As Barton explained to Steve Deace last week, individual Mormons can go to Heaven and Beck really “became a Christian back when he was in Alcoholics Anonymous” but identifies as a Mormon today only “because he has a loyalty to them”:
I listened to the entire Deace episode in question (July 19) shortly after it was posted, and wasn't impressed at all with Barton any more than I have been for years.  Besides the assertions he makes about Jesus' thoughts on economic issues (which he doesn't seem to exegete from Scripture, but just flashes up Bible references that don't really address his claims) (full version here, starting from about 7 minutes through 10:20 or so), like a used car salesman he rattled off a lot of facts that were almost beside the point, and did not really address the core issue of partnering with Beck in spiritual/prayer meetings.   [He used the strawman argument of "well I'm not starting a church with Glenn Beck."  But that wasn't the contention.] It would seem that as long as Beck identifies as a Mormon, then partnering with him in these religious meetings would be at beast a denial of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now, let's grant for sake of argument that Beck may indeed be a confused Christian, trapped in a social network from which he doesn't know how to extricate himself.  If so, he needs our prayers badly.  But until he comes out and leaves the LDS church, he is still a Mormon in the public's eye, and as such, Christians really can't partner with him in these prayer meetings without doing great harm to the gospel.  If he got saved in AA, then why did he agree to be part of the LDS church in the first place?

Barton should be his friend, by all means.  Witness to him.  Believe that he is saved if that is what private conversations show.  But what he tells you in private, if it doesn't match up with his public image, then you owe it to the church of Jesus Christ not to muddy the waters.

Considering that the waters are already muddied by the fact that much of Evangelicalism doesn't teach a much different message than the LDS church on any given Sunday, it's no surprise people can't tell the difference between Mormons and Christians.

Jesus is not our Creditor. He forgives all our sins by his work on the cross. Past, present, and future.  He has done it all, and we have supplied only the sin that makes our redemption necessary.

This is one place that I found rather alarming in the video where he makes the claim that Jesus didn't like minimum wage (and never supports it).  Starting at around 12:10 in the video, emphasis added at the part I have major issues with:
Let's just kind of think through this.  Let's say that you get home tomorrow and you check your answering machine, you got a call from the governor, governor says 'hey, we're going to have a session where we're going to have the lieutenant governor, me, house, senate, all going to be there.  I want you to come and preach a sermon to the entire state government.  You get a shot at the state government. Now if most Christians are given an opportunity to the entire state government, what must Christians preach about?  Speculation on my part, I'm going to speculate that most Christians would give a killer salvation message. And we would lay out the gospel really good to the whole state government.  And that's fine but the problem is the church today has become very good at making converts of all men but not very good at making disciples of all men.  You see, you look back into the Scriptures, you look at all the lawgivers that God had in the Scriptures, Moses was a lawgiver, Daniel's a lawgiver, Joseph's a lawgiver, look at Nehemiah, trying to get the country back to God, Nehemiah passed laws on marriage, on economics, on military, he passed laws on everything you can think.  Immigration, he passed laws on... all these issues are dealt with in the Bible.  So what we would do is we would walk into the legislative session and say well, you know guys there's some really tough economic times, look at what the Bible says.  Here's some economic guidance from the Bible. And there's tons of economic guidance in the Bible.  Whatever the issue was.  And you'll find that as you go through these sermons for 170 years and whatever was facing the state, we would take and apply the Bible to those issues facing the state.

The problem I have with what he's saying is not that we shouldn't consult Scripture for our decision making, but it's that dismissive "and that's fine" when he refers to a great gospel message.  It's that he thinks when a pastor is addressing a bunch of pagans and false converts, teaching them to use the Bible simply as an instruction book for running a country is at best a terrible misrepresentation of what the faith is all about.

[It figures he got his degree at Oral ("God's going to call me home if you all don't give me 8 million dollars!") Roberts U.  I'm betting their hermeneutics classes were ... somewhat original.]

Israel had all those laws, yes, David Barton, and look how often they fell away.  Laws do not give anyone the motivation to follow them, and that includes the proper enforcement of such laws.

David Barton seems to dismiss the idea that a Christian would preach the gospel to a bunch of unregenerate lawmakers... but thinks that the most important part is to just tell them how the Bible thinks they should be doing their jobs.  Seriously Dr Barton?  They don't care.  They don't believe, and frankly even for those who do, they are pretty much still just as able to be corrupted by the power they gain by being in office.

Barton wants to put the cart before the horse, and demand that people be sanctified while dismissing and minimizing with a shrug the only message that can sanctify.  Just another Rick Warren rip off with a patriotic window dressing.