"Historians have documented that every single right set forth in the Declaration of Independence had been preached from the American pulpit prior to 1763. You know what that means? It means the Declaration of Independence is nothing more than a listing of all the sermons we had been hearing in church for the 20 years leading up to the American Revolution." David Barton's Revisionist History Lesson at FBC Jax, 9/11/11Last week Karl Giberson and Randall J. Stephens published an article entitled "The Evangelical Rejection of Reason" which points out how men like Ken Ham and David Barton - and those pastors who promote them in their churches - have helped create a "parallel culture" in Christianity that is extremely rigid and anti-intellectual.
In other words, more and more, to be a good soldier in the American evangelical army you have to check your brains at the church door. You have to believe special versions of American history, and you have to discard scientific evidence concerning the true age of planet Earth. This is why more and more of our youth are bolting from church, according to George Barna, as young people see churches becoming more antagonistic to science.
David Barton is a perfect example of how churches like FBC Jax are bringing in kooks, presenting them as experts who have special biblical and historical knowledge, and causing people to scratch their heads as they try to reconcile what they hear from the pulpit with what they learn through science and sound history. No different really, than a preacher bringing in Ergun Caner to tell stories of his days growing up in Turkey watching American television.
If you don't believe me about the kookiness that is being told in pulpits, get a load of this video of "historian" David Barton - the first part is from his "sermon" at FBC Jax on September 11, 2011, followed by a discussion with Kenneth Copeland that you're sure to think is a Saturday Night Live parody skit.
And who is aiding the likes of Ham and Barton to get their version of history out to the peeps so they can get the deeper knowledge on things like the age of the earth and "true" American history? Why, of course, mega churches such as FBC Jax and Bellevue Baptist Church! Mac Brunson gave David Barton the FBC Jax pulpit on 9/11 and soon after Mac gave his pulpit to Ken Ham and friends for a Sunday morning and Sunday night Young-Earth fest.
David Barton heads up "WallBuilders", which is dedicated to the education of people about the Christian roots of our nation, and to help shape public policy. He is a pseudo-historian, and many Christian historians call into question his lack of historical integrity and ridiculous assertions about the nature of our founding documents. For instance, he asserts that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were "evangelical Christians". He has gone on the record saying that Glen Beck, a Mormon, is a Christian, and Barton believes some very, very nutting things about "principalities" having control over certain governments - and that HE can sense them.
Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis have built an entire ministry around the concept that the earth is only10,000 years old, and their view of the earth's age leaves no room for a believer to consider one of the Old Earth Creationist theories that many Christians believe is supported by scientific evidence. For Ham, to believe in an OEC theory is to be anti-Christian and anti-Bible. Ham says:
"Believing in a relatively “young Earth” (i.e., only a few thousands of years old, which we accept) is a consequence of accepting the authority of the Word of God as an infallible revelation from our omniscient Creator." Ken Ham
So to not believe in a young earth would necessarily mean you are undercutting the authority of the Bible and its infallibility. This is the division that Ken Ham and those who push him and his beliefs in their churches are creating. The Wartburg Watch has some excellent articles on Ken Ham and the damage he is inflicting on Christianity.
Too bad that preachers can't just preach the bible in their pulpits. They now have to bring in their friends as "experts" on history and Islam and paleontology and have created a Christian sub-culture that requires Christians to permanently remove their thinking caps.