Are David Barton and the Wallbuilders Advocating for Slavery?

Scars of a whipped slave (April 2, 1863, Baton...
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So says Bruce Wilson and a few others (warning), based on this article hosted on the Wallbuilders website?

I’m noting to respond to the entire post, but I will highlight some of the silliness of it –

The Bible teaches that slavery, in one form or another (including spiritual, mental, and physical), is always the fruit of disobedience to God and His law/word. (This is not to say that the enslavement of any one person, or group of people, is due to their sin, for many have been enslaved unjustly, like Joseph and numerous Christians throughout history.)

You see the doublespeak there – the bible says that all slavery is a result of sin (no, not really) but you cannot say that slavery is a result of Sin. Sounds to me like the author just doesn’t believe the bible.

He goes on to quote a lot from the Torah – which would exclude him, by the way, from the Kingdom and have us killing unruly children – but only briefly from the New Testament.

Oh, and remember the Michele Bachmann bit where she conflated the Founders and John Q. Adams? Yeah, our author does the same thing. Note that Rushdooney, whom the above author quotes – a lot – would allow the return to ‘biblical law’ which would allow pagans and non-believers to be kept as slaves…

How did he feel about Catholics and Pentecostals?

Reconstructionists may have time, Thomas, and God on their side, but they are short on friends. The problem is that interpreting life through a theonomic lens leads to chronic demonizing of a most pernicious sort. Scientists, for example, are guilty of neglecting morality and “reviv[ing] ancient tyrannies of magic and occultism.” Roman Catholics are preachers of a “polluted gospel.”2 Premillenialists are “retreators.” Environmentalists are “opposed to human life.” And Pentecostal preachers are “narcissistic ringmasters.” (here)

“Minority groups, by means of the general ticket, hold balance of power in many states:  the labor vote, Negroes, Catholics, Zionist Jews, pensioners, and the like… Only by restoring localism, by amending the Constitution to require the coincidence of the electoral college  and its vote with the structure of Congress, can minority rule, with its attendant evils, hatred and injustice, be checked.” -Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System, p. 19 (here)

He wouldn’t be too happy with Lutherans or Calvinists either.

But, I digress – read the articles linked in this post. The fact is, is that under what many assume is Biblical Law, slavery would be allowed to exist. Now, who do you think would be the slaves?

What you have is a very bad understanding of history which is being perpetuated by people like Barton, Beck, Bachmann and Palin (at least I think Sarah still has a camera or two near her). Focus on Christian Reconstructionism and think about how close it is to what many are advocating today.

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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

11 thoughts on “Are David Barton and the Wallbuilders Advocating for Slavery?

  1. Joel, are you serious or are you trying some bizarre form of comedy? The God that will allow sinners an eternity in hell would read your article and say “you of little faith.” I on the other hand ask your forgiveness for thinking you are a fool without knowing you. Get Biblical Counseling it may help.

    1. Say, ‘RC’, you wanna tell me where I am wrong or do you just want to play games and keep pretending you know what you are talking about?

  2. Christian Reconstructionism is attractive because it actually does something, something understandable, something explainable, something consistent-looking, something bold; with parts of the Bible that non-reconstructionists often try to avoid discussing directly.

    The theonomists also have an edge in that they see the entire world, including current events, as a sort of cosmic battle — precisely the way the Bible sees it.

    Now, I’m no theonomist myself, and I shudder at the idea of a world where Rushdoonies govern, but for those believers who are serious about trying to live biblically, reconstructionism has a lot going for it.

    The challenge, then, is for others to develop a framework, a way of addressing how we relate to scripture, that can outsell reconstructionism, that can explain a more compelling alternative. Because the current method of sniping at reconstructionism from a distance by pointing out things we think are absurd that they espouse is, I think, doomed to failure.

    1. Mitchell, I would contend with you that Reconstructionism is biblical at all. It sounds biblical, but so does a lot of things. As far as doing something, so did Nazism. Just because something does something doesn’t mean thatit does something good. CR is an evil by product of one man’s hate.

      1. If you take the word ‘one’ out of your comment, we might be in total agreement.

        And you realize you just hopped in with a Nazism reference, right? If we were arguing about something, that’s the point where I’d go away and find someone else to talk to.

  3. And you do know what the reconstructionists say about slavery, right? It’s a bit different from the pre-Civil War sort of slavery. They basically take a straightforward OT attitude toward it, with a little extra spite thrown in. Throwing the two next to each other won’t do any good at all, because the Reconstructionists advance by provoking, arguing in depth, and quoting Scripture. If they’re going to be beat, it’s going to have to be done on their own turf, but out-exegeting them, not by drawing sensational pictures next to quotes about them.

    Honestly, I’d love to see you actually start taking down reconstructionists in a serious and scripture-based substantive way.

    1. I would really like too. I won’t to shed light on the abuses of the Christian faith by religious groups, but there are times that I want to just keep my focus on studying the Faith.

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