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Friday, September 14, 2007

Richard Land's Lie

As a follow-up to last week's post entitled The Faith of Fred Thompson, I recommend that you check out the blog of Brian Kaylor and his post Land's Lie?

From Brian's blog in full:
In my Ethics Daily article last week on Fred Thompson's church attendance, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land claimed that Thompson "is attending church on a regular basis." Land's comment seemed like an exaggeration based on the comments in the article from the pastor of the Presbyterian church that Land said Thompson attended regularly. Now Thompson himself has spoken about his church attendance and his words very clearly contradict Land's claim. As Ethics Daily reports today, Thompson said that he does not attend church regularly.

So, Land said that Thompson attended regularly and Thompson says he does not. One would assume that Thompson would know if he attended regularly or not. The question then is why did Land claim otherwise. It could be that he was simply mistaken. However, he does know Thompson and it had not been previously reported that Thompson occasionally attended a Presbyterian church so Land must know Thompson well enough to know that. The other option, then, is that Land lied. He has been rooting for Thompson and may have thought that this claim would help Thompson. In fact, he told me as much right after saying that Thompson attended regularly. If he did intentionally exaggerate the level of Thompson's church attendance, then it should make Baptists wonder why Land is the head of an organization called "Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission."
Well said, Brian.

However, I have chosen not to put a question mark behind Land's Lie.

According to WordWeb (a great program indeed), "lie" is defined as a "statement that deviates from or perverts the truth."

Land's comment definitely deviated from the truth.

In an effort to put the E back in the ERLC, perhaps it's time for Richard Land to quit "selling candidates" and begin promoting the social concerns of the folks that pay his bills?



Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Perhaps part of the strategy of being the 'new Reagan'. The original seldom went to church either.

4:34 PM

Anonymous Chuck said...

Big Daddy,

Similarly (in the sense that both men's statements should evoke questions from good Baptists like Kaylor, you, and me), if President Carter did say Judaism and Mormonism are legitimate paths to God, it should make Baptists question, "Why is he the key figure in a new Baptist movement?"

Also, Carter's reported statements are lies, according to the definition you cited.


4:56 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


Can we actually verify that Judaism and Mormonism ARE NOT legitimate paths to God? No. My faith is not dependent on empirical evidence.

Land didn't say - I BELIEVE that Thompson attends church regularly. Instead he stated that Thompson "IS attending church on a regular basis."

No speculation.

Thompson contradicted Land's claim.

Now what all that has to do with the beliefs of Jimmy Carter - I ain't got the slightest clue.

5:14 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...


9:10 PM

Blogger ElhananWinchester in Pinstripes said...

Wow!! I cannot believe there is any question about the statement: "Judaism is a legitimate path to God." One's position on that question determines whether one is a fundamentalist or not.

So, if Carter said that, and I hope that he did, then I have the answer to your question. He is a key figure in the new Baptist movement because the new Baptist movement is rejecting both fundamentalism and anti-semitism.

4:03 PM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Neither Judaism, Christianity or any other religion is a "path to God." There are no human paths to God. The Good News is that God has made a path to humanity, first by electing the people Israel and then through the One Elect Israelite, Jesus the Christ, expanding that to Gentiles.

As the Apostle Paul says, God has not abandoned God's people. Even if every Jew were faithless, God is still faithful. In Romans, Paul tells us that when the full number of Gentiles come to God through Christ then ALL Israel will be saved. But not because Judaism, Christianity or any other religion is a "path to God." Humans, all of us, run from God, but the "Hound of Heaven" pursues us and in Israel (the people, not the modern nation-state) and Jesus God has found us.

Synagogue and church are two sides of the same covenant.

7:30 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

Wow, it just astounds me how far you "Baptists" have run from our traditional values and beliefs. Baptists throughout history have always believed that one can only be saved by means of a relationship with Christ and Christ alone! Solus Christus has always been our cry (always that is until Baptist began to be influenced by German liberal theology).

And yes, BDW, one can verify that Judaism is not a legitimate path to God. Just read the NT. If Judaism was good enough, then Christ did not have to die. If the Law could save, then Christ didn't have to sacrifice Himself. Mormonism is much more complex because of their status as a revival of ancient heresy, but one thing we do know certainly,

"Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he who came by water and blood- Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:5-12)

10:18 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


I believe you missed my point.

We can fact-check the words of Richard Land with Fred Thompson's own admission.

However, we can't empirically verify what is and is not a legitimate path to God. You and I both read the Bible, interpret the Bible, and have faith in what we believe.

Chuck was comparing apples to organges. The analogy didn't work.

I wasn't making a big theological statement. I don't know what Jimmy said about Judaism. But, I do disagree with him on Mormonism.

9:10 PM

Anonymous Chuck said...

B Daddy,

Since your faith is not dependent on empirical evidence, why would we need to verify that Judaism and Mormonism are not legitimate paths to God? What is your faith based on, if not dependent on?

Winchester, B Daddy, and Michael,

You all verify why Baptists with traditional theological Baptist values, will choose not to be closely identified with some other Baptists and Baptist bodies in a thing like the New Baptist Covenant.

Jimmy Carter can be your spokesman. Based on his reported statements on Judaism and Mormonism, I wouldn't have him teaching Sunday School, much less leading a "Baptist" movement I'm identified with.

If, based on his theological lies, you don't question the wisdom of Carter leading this "Baptist" movement purporting to be a "new prophetic voice" and "authentic Baptist witness" while upholding "traditional Baptist values", then why make a big deal about Land telling a political lie?

I was simply saying both men's statements should evoke questions from good Baptists.

9:49 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

You assume that Jimmy Carter is leading a "movement"

I see Jimmy Carter as a keynote speaker at a Celebration that hopes to offer an authentic Baptist witness for the World to see.

Big difference.

Chuck, are you suggesting that your faith is dependent on empirical evidence? evidence that can be tested? Faith is belief in the supernatural. I don't need William Dembski or anyone else to use complex numbers to prove the existence of our Creator, the clearly intelligent designer of the universe...

10:14 PM

Blogger Chuck said...

Big Daddy,

We may both be word-smithing each other to death here.

No, I'm not suggesting "that your faith is dependent on empirical evidence." How would you wonder that when, as I had just asked:

"Since your faith is not dependent on empirical evidence, why would we (you) need to verify that Judaism and Mormonism are not legitimate paths to God?" The simple answer is "No, they are not!" based on the clear message of Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit in our regenerated hearts.

Also, I see no significance--certainly no "big difference"--in your distinction between Carter "leading a 'movement'" and Carter calling for and keynoting a "Celebration of a NEW Baptist Covenant." The important point is that he is not suitable for any of these roles due to his plural--or, at best, inclusive--non-Baptistic statements.

4:03 PM


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