Webpage initiated on October 31, 2022
“It is easier to fool someone than to convince them that they have been fooled” (Mark Twain).
Bill Federer, David Barton, and other Christian revisionists predominate the “Christian” landscape in America. To this day, they are constantly interviewed and relied upon by mainline Christian television, radio, and many “Christian” seminaries and Bible colleges. I followed them for twenty plus years as a Christian activist. Starting in the 1980s, I bought, read, and believed their books, DVDs, and other resources. Needless to say, I was somewhat upset when I began to discover, after many years of research, that they had misled me and millions of other Christians.
This webpage and the webposts linked to challenge Christian churches and believers to examine the truth of the theology and facts concerning the relationship of church and state and the history and meaning of the First Amendment presented on ‘American Minute’ with Bill Federer.
Here are a some resources concerning the Christian revisionism of David Barton, Bill Federer and others:
- Analysis of “Freedom of Conscience:” Rhode Island founder Roger Williams “Wall of Separation” as understood by Jefferson – American Minute with Bill Federer
- Analysis of “Jefferson’s Virginia Statute & How Courts Twisted Meaning of First Amendment to make Government Hostile to Religious Liberty” by Bill Federer
- Analysis of “How Luther & Protestant Reformation had Political Repercussions on America” by Bill Federer (Nov. 1, 2022)
- Analysis of “Virginia’s Founding & Highlights of its Religious History – American Minute with Bill Federer” (Nov. 2, 2022)
- George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation: Does It Support Union of Church and State or Separation of Church and State? (Christian historical revisionists take selected facts out of context to lead those who have not had time for study on the matter to believe that separation of church and state is not found in the constitution. This is one example of that revisionism examined.)
- The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus/Christian Revisionism on Trial (A comprehensive look at Christian revisionism in the American landscape)
- David Barton’s Christian Revisionism (August 2009)
- Exposing the dangers of David Barton’s teachings (September 2009)
- Another Conservative Calls Out David Barton’s History (121817)(Excellent article with links to other resources. Points out, e.g., Barton’s diploma mill doctorate.)
The Most Influential Evangelist You’ve Never Heard Of (080812)(Exposes Barton’s misrepresentation of Thomas Jefferson and other matters)
DAVID BARTON RUINED CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANITY FOR ME: A CALL FOR STORIES (061815)(In this room were NCFCA coaches, parents, and adult alumni. People who had taught me debate, logic, and rhetoric. Yet here they were, applauding a man who had just fed them lies, logical fallacies, and more fluff than a cotton field. Something inside of me broke that night. I realized that I couldn’t trust these people to have given me a solid foundation of any sort. When given false assurance that their beliefs were correct and would prevail, they ate it up.”)
Publisher Pulls David Barton’s Revisionist History of Thomas Jefferson (081012)(“Unfortunately, many evangelicals who would dismiss the use of such revisionist methods by someone like historian Howard Zinn or novelist Dan Brown unquestionably accept them when used by a fellow Christian like Barton. Many are unaware, of course, that Barton has long been considered an unreliable source. But too many are aware of the legitimate criticisms and dismiss them because they want to subscribe to Barton’s vision that America was founded as a “Christian nation.” Indeed, as Tom Gilson laments, “Inevitably some Christians will be angry with those who have shined a light on David Barton’s errors.””)
—–For more articles exposing David Barton, google, e.g., “another conservative calls out David Barton’s history”
Resources for Bible and historical truth:
Is Separation of Church and State Found in the Constitution? (Short essay)
Original Sin, Infant Baptism, and You, a semon by Evangelist Randy Keener begins at the 20 minute, 30 second mark of the video. In this sermon, Brother Keener explains the historical and Scriptural warfare between the Catholic/Reformed and historic Bapitsts concerning original sin and infant baptism.
Believer’s baptism was the key to the religious thought of historic Baptists. Infant baptism and believer’s baptism imply different concepts of the relationship of church and state. See The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus/Christian Revisionism on Trial (link to free PDF) for more on this. The following is from the index of that book:
- “baptism, 17, 27 (believer’s baptism inconsistent with union of church and state), 29, [believer’s baptism: 72 (Catholic v. believer’s as to church/state membership), 128, 141, 165, 167 (Backus), 168, 192,] [infant baptism: 110, 126, 129, 141, 152, 165, 167-168 (Backus), 169 (Baptists rejected infant baptism), 187.”
Buy the Truth and Sell It Not, a sermon by Evangelist Caleb Hickam begins at the 52 minute 34 second mark of the video. If you practice the truth, it will cost you something and someone is going to try to take it from you. Brother Hickam cites historical examples which prove this Bible truth.
Click the image above to go to an enlarged view an explanation of the historical chart as well as the contents of the book, The Trail of Blood, by Dr. J.M. Carroll. This chart and book summarize the conflict Catholic/Protestant and Baptist and the Catholic/Protestant persecutions of Baptists and any others they deemed to be heretics. “Historic Bapist” refers to those, by whatever name, who literally interpreted Scripture, were identified by certain earmarks, and whom God used to preserve the Scriptures as given in the original manuscripts. See the book for Baptist distinctives among which are separation of church and state and soul liberty, both of which are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
For a comprehensive explanation of matters covered read and study The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus/Christian Revisionism on Trial (link to free PDF). Click here or on the picture at left to go to the website page for the book. This book explains the hisorical and contemporary theological conflict that continues to this day in America. The American conflict centers around the true history and meaning of the First Amendment. Bill Federer, David Barton, et al. are on one side of that conflict while true historical Baptists are on the other. The former “secretly take the point disputed for truth without any proof; then, secondly, blending that error with known truths, make artful addresses to the affections and passions of the audience to prejudice their minds, before they hear a word that the respondent has to say; and thirdly, if the respondent refuses to yield to such management and if their church/state or state/church system in in effect, call in the secular arm to complete the argument.” The latter stand on reliance on all historical fact and Scriptural principles concerning freedom of religion and soul liberty which led to the adoption of the First Amendment and never persecute anyone.
Introduction to the Controversy
There is nothing more important for the Christian polictial activist in America than an understanding of the history and meaning of the First Amendment. To understand those matters, one must understand doctrine first. For a correct understanding of doctrine he must go to the foundation for all matters of faith, doctrine, and practice, the Word of God, both Old and New Testaments. Then one must search history for relevant historical truth. Then one must make the application to the contemporary spiritual warfare in America.
- Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
The thesis is that American Minute continues a spiritual warfare in high places – civil government and church – that originated in the early fourth century with the “Christianizing” of the Roman Empire; a conflict between those who believe and apply the Word of God and those who change and interpret the Word of God; between those who believe that God’s Word stands for separation of church and state and those who believe that the Bible prescribes union of church and state. That struggle continued through the dark ages when the Catholic Church was the established church in many countries, continued under Protestantism when various Protestant denominations combined with civil governments, and continued in the American colonies. The final result of that warfare in America was the adoption of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
As the spiritual warfare for religious freedom raged in the American colonies and early republic, Isaac Backus[i] wrote of tactics of his “Protestant” opponents:
- “[I] appeal to the conscience of every reader, whether he can find three worse things on earth, in the management of controversy, than, first, to secretly take the point disputed for truth without any proof; then, secondly, blending that error with known truths, to make artful addresses to the affections and passions of the audience, to prejudice their minds, before they hear a word that the respondent has to say; and thirdly, if the respondent refuses to yield to such management, then to call in the secular arm to complete the argument?”[ii]
Which side of the conflict was responsible for the adoption and ratification of the First Amendment? What is the meaning of the First Amendment – was it meant to separate church and state or combine church and state? “An American Minute” promotes the “Protestant” position and this website takes the position of the dissenters, foremost that of historical Baptists[iii].
“An American Minute” purports to give Scriptural and historical analysis of the matter of the prescribed relationship between church and state, and the correct application of that relationship in America. Are Scriptures referred to in “An American Minute” accurately quoted? Are they believed or are they incorrectly interpreted? Generally, the answer to the former is, “No;” and the answer to the latter is that they are incorrectly interpreted. Is “An American Minute” factual? Yes and no. Federer’s articles, books, and other resources give some facts, taken out of the context of other facts which need to be presented to have a knowledgeable understanding of the issues addressed. The facts presented on “An American Minute” are sometimes incorrect on their face and sometimes incorrect by omission.
The main issue the analyses linked to on this webpage will address are the history and meaning of the First Amendment. Is the Protestant position that “separation of church and state is not found in the constitution” correct? Or it the Baptist position that “the First Amendment meant to separate church and state, but not God and state, the correct position.
It is clear from Scripture that God wishes His soldiers to fight according to knowledge, understanding and wisdom. God makes clear that the method matters to Him, that he will “sweep away (a) refuge of lies.”[iv] The “Christian” political activism of churches and individual believers has followed “Protestant” the teachings of leaders and teachers. Is that the reason why God has not blessed their efforts? Is that why America has continued to decline, at an accelerating rate, spiritually or religiously, morally, and politically?
Who is the liar? “Protestant” leaders such as David Barton and Bill Federer or Baptists such as Jerald Finney who stand against their efforts? Sometimes one ignorantly follows and continues lies of the past, sometimes one willfully lies. Once one is presented with truth which exposes his lies, God desires that he repent and stand for new found truth. I was in the former category for many years as I fought spiritual warefare as an activist Christian in the Republican Party. When I learned the Biblical and historical truths about Bible principles of church, state, separation of church and state, and historical facts surrounding the road to the First Amendment, my first reaction was to be angry at those who had mislead me. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Mark 5:22). “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). My next reaction, as led by the Lord, was to set out to reveal to those believers who are or who wish to be soldiers in the Lord’s army the truths that I has learned. My goal was to please and glorify God by helping Christians put on the whole armour of God as they fight against the wiles of the devil. See Ephesians 6:10-18.
Sadly, as I have learned over the years, as Mark Twain said, “It is easier to fool someone than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
[i] Isaac Backus was born in Connecticut in 1723/24, a time when religious establishments persecuted those who refused to abandon dissentinf views and practices. He withdrew from the Congregational (Puritan) church, became a Separate, and later a Baptist. He witnessed, researched, and wrote books, tracts, and sermons, and speeches about the persecutions going on in New England, Baptist colonial history, and religious liberty. He was a leader in the fight for religious liberty in the American colonies and the early republic.
[ii] A History of New England With Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians called Baptists, Volume 1 (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, Previously published by Backus Historical Society, 1871), p. 150. This comment followed and preceded illustrations of how those in favor of church/state marriage, infant baptism, etc. advance their cause. On pp. 151-152, Mr. Backus illustrated how those in favor of infant baptism argued their position, pointing out the fallacies of their arguments. Their tactics have not changed, although in America, due to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, they no longer can call upon civil government to enforce their beliefs.
[iii] Although not always called Baptists, any group who adhered to certain earmarks can be called “Baptist.” One of the main identifiers was the belief in separation of church and state. History proves that tens of millions of such “dissenters” against the established churches, both Catholic and Protestant, were tortured, imprisoned, and killed by drowning, burning at the stake, and beheading for refusing to bow down to the church/state establisments.
[iv] See, e.g. Isaiah 28:14-18 (although speaking immediately to Israel, a general principle); Proverbs 6:16-19.