"I'm just not buying it," I wrote. "Dobson's claim was about as vague as he could possibly make it. Apparently, he knows the person who led Trump to Christ, but he doesn't know when it happened, and he thinks that the reason Trump doesn't talk like a Christian is that he just hasn't 'learned our language' yet.
"But if Trump really had accepted Christ recently, then why wouldn't he say so at an event where such a statement would have garnered him instant support? Or if he was too embarrassed to say something in front of a large crowd of Christian leaders, then why didn't he say something in his private meeting with his select group of 40?
"The only way that Dobson's claim makes any sense at all is if he was searching for some excuse to justify violating his own comments about leadership and moral character."
I had no idea that Dr. Dobson himself would soon vindicate my skepticism.
Last night, Dobson posted a stunning admission on his Culture Watch blog. In an attempt to validate his previous claim, Dobson made the mistake of revealing the name of his anonymous friend who supposedly led Trump to Christ. Here is what Dobson said:
I also hear that Paula White has known Trump for years and that she personally led him to Christ. Do I know that for sure? No. Do I know the details of that alleged conversion? I can’t say that I do.
I was shocked when I read this. Paula White is a known heretic who denies that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God. I was mildly shocked to learn that Dobson considered White to be a credible source on Trump's spiritual condition, but I was even more shocked to see him admit that he was relying on White's testimony.
Additionally, I suspect that Dobson never heard this claim from Paula White herself. In the interview and in his blog post, Dobson claims that White led Trump to Christ very recently and that Trump is a baby Christian. However, White disagrees with Dobson both on when Trump became a Christian and on how much Trump has grown. According to White, Trump has been a Christian since he was a small child, and he is a man who dearly loves the Lord. That's hardly consistent with Dobson's claim that Trump is a baby Christian who hasn't yet learned to speak our language. I suspect that, during the interview, Dobson remembered hearing White's speech from several months earlier and embellished it by filling in some of the holes in his memory.
White made her claims back in March of this year before a crowd of about 10,000 people and a video of her comments was posted by Charisma News.at that time. Do you know why her claims were basically ignored until now? Because the vast majority of evangelical pastors and leaders don't trust anything that Paula White says.
It's no wonder that Dobson initially tried to keep his source anonymous, but hang on, it gets even worse.
In White's speech, she said that Trump grew up under the ministry of yet another heretic, Norman Vincent Peale. Peale was a universalist who taught that everyone who believed in a god was saved. Throughout his "ministry," he endorsed several New Age and Occultic books and philosophies. If you're not familiar with Peale's many heresies, you can read about them at: watchman.org and in Dave Hunt's book "The Seduction of Christianity."
So what we have here is James Dobson relying on mere hearsay from one heretic who claims that Trump is a lifelong Christian who was raised under the ministry of another heretic. The fact that Dobson thinks this is a credible testimony will bring his own discernment into question in many areas.
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)