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Bush — born again, or not? (Desperate Media Alert)

Posted on 09/29/2004 2:34:53 PM PDT by truthandlife

Any discussion of President Bush’s presumed evangelicalism is complicated. Evangelicalism is a style of worship, not a set of beliefs, and to a large extent evangelical Protestants are defined by their personal stories of faith and by whom they choose as their pastor. But core to many evangelicals’ identity is the “born-again” experience described in John 3:3, when a sinner undergoes an intense conversion during a personal interaction with the Holy Spirit, often Jesus Himself.

George Bush has not said directly that he was ever born again. He has often said he wwas pointed on the path to God after a discussion with evangelist Billy Graham in 1985.

“Over the course of that weekend, Reverend Graham planted a mustard seed in my soul, a seed that grew over the next year,” Bush wrote in his 1999 campaign autobiography, “A Charge to Keep.”

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.
— Matthew 13:31-32

The “mustard seed” is an allusion to verses in the Gospels relating faith to a bush that grows slowly, taking over the field only over time. It is not the searing thunderbolt of awakening that is commonly accepted as characterizing the born-again conversion.

There is a second story about how Bush started on the road to salvation, one that is more in line with the common narrative. While Bush has never confirmed it, he has also never contradicted it, nor has he apparently sought to reconcile the two accounts.

Evangelist Arthur Blessitt, best known for carrying a 12-foot cross around the world, writes that in 1984, Bush asked to see him and told him: “Arthur, I did not feel comfortable attending the meeting, but I want talk to you about how to know Jesus Christ and how to follow Him.”

The two men and an aide prayed together and discussed salvation, Blessitt says in a long article on his Web site, which comes complete with photographs of Bush and Blessitt together and of personal, handwritten notes Bush wrote to him as late as 1998.

“It was an awesome and glorious moment!” Blessitt writes. “We were just three brothers rejoicing in Christ. I said ‘There is rejoicing in Heaven now! You are saved!’”

Bush does not mention the episode in his autobiography. The Republican National Committee, however, approved the screening of a film, “George W. Bush: Faith in the White House,” at off-the-floor events during its national convention this month in New York; the film recounts the story and implies that Bush’s meeting with Blessitt was the true beginning of his spiritual rebirth.

Richard J. Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., said this month at a conference of religion writers that the ambiguity surrounding Bush’s religious beliefs was, if not intentional, at least a fortuitous development for the president’s campaign.

“I don’t think Bush says, ‘I’m God’s man,’” Mouw said. “But he doesn’t correct it when others say that.”

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: bornagain; bush; bushandgod; christianity; evangelicals
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To: jim35

LOL, you sound like one of those TBN preachers!

61 posted on 09/30/2004 7:47:09 AM PDT by streetpreacher (Bush did not lead this country into an unjust war; Kerry led this country out of a just war.)
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To: luckystarmom

I always hear that and I don't know why. I wish I would have grown up in a Christian household and never had to taste the dark pleasures of sin. You just don't walk away from a sinful lifestyle without scars.

62 posted on 09/30/2004 7:50:17 AM PDT by streetpreacher (Bush did not lead this country into an unjust war; Kerry led this country out of a just war.)
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To: CourtneyLeigh

I'm so sorry you read Marrs... and believed him.

63 posted on 09/30/2004 7:57:16 AM PDT by streetpreacher (Bush did not lead this country into an unjust war; Kerry led this country out of a just war.)
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To: CourtneyLeigh

All beliefs are not created equally.

64 posted on 09/30/2004 8:00:44 AM PDT by streetpreacher (Bush did not lead this country into an unjust war; Kerry led this country out of a just war.)
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To: VisualizeSmallerGovernment
Oh my, that's the funniest quip I've read in a long time! Thanks for the belly laugh.
65 posted on 09/30/2004 8:05:25 AM PDT by Pirate21 (For honorable leadership, re-elect President George W. Bush.)
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To: streetpreacher
I'm not. God brought Brother Texe Marrs and his ministry into our lives in great timing. I was about 13, and that was the last halloween I ever participated in, and within a year, God started pulling our hearts towards Christ, His teachings, and the truth about the lies we'd been believing for years.

I praise God in grateful tears, for ever strong, outspoken, Godly man that has ministered to our somewhat blind hearts! If it weren't for men like Texe allowing God to glorify Himself thru them,

Like my mom always says: I'd be on the street, homeless, pregnant, and afraid to trust anyone

66 posted on 09/30/2004 8:05:41 AM PDT by CourtneyLeigh (Why can't all of America be Commonwealth?)
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To: streetpreacher
You got that right! Cause the only true faith was created by God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Emmanuel, and it was HIM!

All other "beliefs, or religions" don't quite cut the cake!

67 posted on 09/30/2004 8:07:09 AM PDT by CourtneyLeigh (Why can't all of America be Commonwealth?)
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To: truthandlife

msnbc should read.... THE FAITH OF GEORGE W. BUSH , by STEPHEN MANSFIELD. It has about 4 or 5 different times when President Bush came to talk about HIS REALATIONSHIP WITH HIS LORD AND SAVIOR.

Leave it to MSM to question someone's faith? They are beyond even lurking on their website or their t.v. stations.

68 posted on 09/30/2004 8:08:17 AM PDT by JFC (Go Jammies Go Jammies....)
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To: truthandlife
And these people wonder why FoxNews is beating all of them COMBINED in the ratings! What a bunch of turd burglers!


69 posted on 09/30/2004 8:09:24 AM PDT by JaguarXKE
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To: JaguarXKE

When the day of Judgement comes..........

WE Who belive... will see George W. Bush. We will also see the missing ones, but let God Judge them, when He will turn His back on them and say He does not know them. That day might be sooner than they realize.

70 posted on 09/30/2004 8:12:19 AM PDT by JFC (Go Jammies Go Jammies....)
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Thatls so true

71 posted on 09/30/2004 8:21:27 AM PDT by CourtneyLeigh (Why can't all of America be Commonwealth?)
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To: CourtneyLeigh

MSM might want to check out this letter:

Bruce Vincent receives Presidential Award
May 26th, 2004

Two items are recounted:

1] He and the First Lady were asked about the impact of the Presidency on their marriage and, with an arm casually wrapped around Laura, he said that he thought the place may be hard on weak marriages but that it had the ability to make strong marriages even stronger and that he was blessed with a strong one.

2] He noted that it would be a mistake to come to the Oval Office and entertain a mission to 'find yourself.' He said that with all of the pressures and responsibilities that go with the job, you'd best know who you are when you put your nameplate on the desk in the Oval Office. He said he knows who he is and now America has had four years to learn about who he is.

When we departed the I said to him, "Mr. President, I know you to be a man of strong faith and have a favor to ask you." As he shook my hand he looked me in the eye and said, "Just name it."

I told him that my step-Mom was at that moment in a hospital in Kalispell, Montana, having a tumor removed from her skull and it would mean a great deal to me if he would consider adding her to his prayers that day. He grabbed me by the arm and took me back toward his desk as he said, "So that's it. I could tell that something is weighing heavy on your heart today. I could see it in your eyes. This explains it." From the top drawer of his desk he retrieved a pen and a note card with his seal on it and asked, "How do you spell her name?" He then jotted a note to her while discussing the importance of family and the strength of prayer.

When he handed me the card, he asked about the surgery and the prognosis. I told him we were hoping that it is not a recurrence of an earlier cancer and that if it is they can get it all with this surgery. He said, "If it's okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now. Would you pray with me?" I told him yes and he turned to the staff that remained in the office and hand motioned the folks to step back or leave. He said, "Bruce and I would like some private time for a prayer." As they left he turned back to me and took my hands in his. I was prepared to do a traditional prayer stance - standing with each other with heads bowed. Instead, he reached for my head with his right hand and pulling gently forward, he placed my head on his shoulder. With his left arm on my mid back, he pulled me to him in a prayerful embrace. He started to pray softly. I started to cry. He continued his prayer for Loretta and for God's perfect will to be done. I cried some more. My body shook a bit as I cried and he just held tighter. He closed by asking God's blessing on Loretta and the family during the coming months. I stepped away from our embrace, wiped my eyes, swiped at the tears I'd left on his shoulder, and looked into the eyes of our President. I thanked him as best I could and told him that me and my family would continue praying for he and his. As I write this account down and reflect upon what it means, I have to tell you that all I really know is that his simple act left me humbled and believing. I so hoped that the man I thought him to be was the man that he is. I know that our nation needs a man such as this in the Oval Office. George W. Bush is the real deal. I've read Internet stories about the President praying with troops in hospitals and other such uplifting accounts. Each time I read them I hope them to be true and not an Internet perpetuated myth. This one, I know to be true. I was there. He is real. He has a pile of incredible stuff on his plate each day - and yet he is tuned in so well to the here and now that he 'sensed' something heavy on my heart. He took time out of his life to care, to share, and to seek God's blessing for my family in a simple man-to-man, father-to-father, son-to-son, husband-to-husband, Christian-to-Christian prayerful embrace.

He's not what I had hoped he would be. He is, in fact, so very, very much more.


Eddie Davis
Production Operation Specialist
Sec. 47/48 Join
Phone # 523-2576
Fax # 526-8908

72 posted on 09/30/2004 8:23:17 AM PDT by JFC (Go Jammies Go Jammies....)
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That makes my skin crawl.

73 posted on 09/30/2004 8:27:34 AM PDT by CourtneyLeigh (Why can't all of America be Commonwealth?)
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To: CourtneyLeigh

Why, exactly?

74 posted on 09/30/2004 8:31:13 AM PDT by agrace
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To: agrace
Maybe it's that "Non-conformist" in me, that sits back, and analizes things. I'm not one to, think(say):" Oh how sweet, that definitely makes sense".
You know how sometimes instincts or your conscience sears your mind/heart about that which comes across to easy, to right, to "goody" feeling. Makes you sit back and question what you've just seen/heard/read. That's why!

I know Gods word, I know in the end times, the closer we get the final chapter of Gods will for the people on this earth, there will be many, masked in sheep clothing, that seem like Good People. Yet, many may be pretending. And many may be real.

God isn't going to punish us for being too discerning. I'd rather walk thru fire, and recieve Gods healing waters; than to embrace that fire, and have to ask God to forgive me.

75 posted on 09/30/2004 8:37:21 AM PDT by CourtneyLeigh (Why can't all of America be Commonwealth?)
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To: truthandlife

What a curious piece for anyone in the media to write. You mean they really care???

76 posted on 09/30/2004 8:41:43 AM PDT by housewife101
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To: streetpreacher

Well, if I had perfect patience, I wouldn't be human. Sometimes... luckily, someone has made it possible to me to be forgiven my trespasses! Whew!

77 posted on 09/30/2004 10:01:11 AM PDT by jim35 (The DUers think the MSM is biased toward the right. Luckily, no IQ test is required there.)
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To: CourtneyLeigh; lupie

I appreciate your thoughtful answer and I can certainly appreciate being led of the Spirit, getting those little checks when something doesn't seem quite right. Of course you'll also agree that those checks, as well as what caused them, must be weighed against scripture to determine what is a valid reaction and what is fleshly as opposed to Spirit-filled. And while we have no intimate knowledge of a person's heart, we can be discerning of their fruit.

Your statement that "God won't punish us for being too discerning" is true to a point. As long as our discernment doesn't become prideful, as long as we truly listen to the Spirit and follow the guidelines set out for us in scripture, as long as the glory of God is more important than our own satisfaction and knowledge, we're ok.

That said, I have no idea what your sources are and what you've read with regard to the Bush family and why you have come to the conclusions that you have. Quite possibly there are some nasty skeletons in the Bushes' closets. But I have seen nothing, have not been made aware of anything personally that would cause me to doubt President Bush's word when he claims the name of Christ. Could he be faking? Sure. Any of us could. But for him, to what end? There are a dozen reasons why that's a bad idea and hardly politically expedient. The road is narrow after all.

Has he demonstrated fruit that is contrary to his testimony? I don't know - it's not like I know the man personally or interact with him on a daily basis, but from what I have seen from this distant perspective, I can't call him a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Feel free to enlighten me. I'll never be one to shut my eyes against the truth.

78 posted on 09/30/2004 10:24:30 AM PDT by agrace (Funny how socialist leaders never actually practice it themselves.)
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