As Ben Carson's Campaign Ends, He Still Invokes Divine Leading

Seventh-day Adventist presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has elected not to participate in this evening’s Republican debate, indicating that his campaign is all but finished. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the retired neurosurgeon told supporters that he sees no way forward:

I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit. Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America. I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results. However, this grassroots movement on behalf of ‘We the People’ will continue. Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation.”

Carson’s poll numbers have tumbled dramatically since he briefly overtook Donald Trump in late October 2015 as the GOP frontrunner. Carson picked up only three delegates on Super Tuesday earlier this week, finishing outside the top three in every state that voted.

Despite his acknowledgement that he has no path to his party’s nomination, Carson has not yet suspended his campaign. Speaking to students at Lee University before Super Tuesday, Ben Carson’s wife Candy said that God called her husband to run and Dr. Carson wouldn’t quit unless God told him to.

“He had a conversation with God," Candy Carson said. She said he told God, "If you open the doors, I'll walk through.”

She blamed some defections by Carson staffers on those individuals’ failures to be in tune with God’s leading, according to a report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The invocation of God’s leading has been a consistent theme in Ben Carson’s waning presidential run.

In October 2014, I attended an event on Carson’s “One Nation” book tour at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California. Carson told the audience that day that he had planned to retire quietly from his medical career, “But the Good Lord had other plans,” Carson said. Even before that, Carson was talking about the possibility of running and giving God credit. In 2013, Carson told Fox's Sean Hannity that "If the Lord grabbed me by the collar and made me do it (run for president)," he would do it.

Wearing his faith on his sleeve won Carson admiration among Evangelical voters, but their appreciation for Carson and his faith never translated into votes. Even after trailing in every voting contest in

2016, Carson remains firm in his conviction that God wanted him in the presidential race, for better or for worse.

In an interview with Time Magazine, Carson said, “God gets the credit for all the things I do, but he also gets the blame. My job is to do the best that I can do.”

Tonight, as the Republican Party moves on without Carson on stage for the first time in this election cycle, it seems God has some answering to do. Especially since in addition to Carson, Republicans Scott Walker, John Kasich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee all invoked God’s plan in their bids for the GOP nomination. Of those six, only Kasich remains in the race—running a distant fourth among the final four contenders.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7354

Ben Carson simply comes across to me as a religious wing nut. Is he waiting for God to write on his bathroom mirror that the doors are now closed? And God is to blame for his failed outcomes?

I respect what he did as a neuro surgeon. Not what he has done as a politician. Nor do I respect the intellectual picture he has given of Christian faith with public statements as seen above.

Thanks…

Frank

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This raises some important questions regarding mystical experiences. I know SDAs place a lot of emphasis on angel voices and reputed miraculous signs but we need to ask, "Having foresight, why would God allow so much campaign money to be spent fruitlessly when there are so many charities in need?"
Carson was not the only candidate to claim God’s leading. Apparently all of them have left the race. That’s a lot of money down the drain, millions of dollars I daresay.
What did Carson hear in his conversation with God? Was it a one-way or two-way conversation? Or was it simply a vague impression?
We need to be careful what we attribute to God.
I suggest that Carson is too honest for politics and is more suited to raising finances for a medical charity.

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Politics is a very “rough and tumble” business in today’s world. It is anything but “fair and balanced” and truthfulness is a very rare commodity.
To be totally honest I believe Ben is “too nice” to run for POTUS. He is like James Stewart in the movie “Mr. Smith goes to Washington”.
Members of my family have worked with Ben at Johns Hopkins and have great respect for him. I could share some direct knowledge stories about Ben that would likely change your mind about him being a “wing nut” or a poor representation of Christian faith. The media thrives on controversy and much of the spin on Ben has been generated by a media that is amoral and doesn’t respect “faith in God” by anyone.
Ben is a good guy and he brought some civility to a dirty process and some good old fashioned “common sense” as well.
Good luck Ben and I am sure God isn’t done with you yet!!

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History is full of those who heard “voices” or God speaking to them. Some were guilty of horrible excesses some were relatively harmless. Many end up in institutions or worst become a hazard to them selves or others.

It is not something that should be encouraged by sane reasonable people. If I were an acquaintance of the good doctor I would be concerned about a number of things.

Unfortunately those who hear “god speaking to them” end up getting burned one way or another as was the case of Jeanne d’ Arc et al.

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Sometimes it is difficult to sort out what is God’s voice within the context of all the drama surrounding Ben’s notoriety since his Prayer Breakfast stump speech. I won’t second guess his convictions, but he wasn’t making president running on an anti political correctness, personal life platform. It was a silly notion thinking that was going to work. But his closest mentor Armstrong Williams made him believe it would work. That same mentor messed up a campaign team that gave him a modicum of a chance. It was never meant to be.

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Adventists should be the last people to cast aspersions on anyone hearing from God. What exactly Carson meant, we can’t be sure; but plenty of people, in tune with God’s will, claim to be following God’s leading. It’s personal. Apparently, Ben Carson felt that God wanted him to run for president. It’s to Carson’s credit that he kept himself above the fray during all the televised food-fights; and I applaud him for not showing up for this last one.

For the most part, the media has been very kind to Carson. The leftist will ridicule anybody who isn’t lock-step with the leftist agenda - freedom of speech to anyone except to those who disagree with them. They have their own nut-job to contend with and shouldn’t be throwing stones. If anything, Ben Carson has exhibited admirable patience and class.

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It’s unfortunate God wasn’t powerful enough to influence his staffers. Testifying to the fact that you have asked God for guidance is great but he has always made me uncomfortable with the way he infers that he has a special hotline to the man upstairs because he is so important.

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Best wishes to Ben as he bows out gracefully. Unfortunately, expertise in one area does not necessarily qualify us to function effectively in another area. Politics is not your game Ben. You have contributed much to society over the years and you will continue to do so if you stick to what you know and do well. Regards, Rene G.

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That God may have told Ben Carson to run as POTUS is not the same as saying the claimed God told him he will replace Obama at the White House. Did he?

It really is stunning to see these statements from SDA’s, when they have a prophet who spent 70 years having dreams, visions, and visits from spirit guides. Reading The Testimonies, Early Writings and Spiritual Gifts, is far more unsettling than Carson’s comments.

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I’m not sure why/how that observation would bolster the claims made in this case concerning divine leading. One might note (as I do in the article) that a significant number of the candidates who dropped out of the race made the same claims as Carson did (funny how God would instruct them all to run, and then cause them all to lose). Further President George W. Bush in 2005 [invoked God’s leading][1] similarly in his incursions into Iraq and elsewhere, with disastrous consequences:

President Bush said to all of us: ‘I am driven with a mission from God’. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did." Mr Bush went on: “And now, again, I feel God’s words coming to me, ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East’. And, by God, I’m gonna do it.”

As far as Ellen White goes, many have pointed out, in carefully researched books and papers, that many of the things she asserted she was shown by God have turned out to be factually inaccurate (counter-claims by the White Estate notwithstanding). So her claims to special revelation are by no means without ongoing scrutiny.

Given all those facts, do the statements really seem that “stunning”?
[1]: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

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It amazes me that some Adventists continue to be deluded about Dr.Carson. He told some of the most outlandish falsehoods during his run for the presidency AND also revealed his great need for professional help to boot. In addition any smart person running for office would NEVER say “God told me to do this or that” it immediately makes you suspect in the public arena. An astute person would keep it to themselves and just run. Whenever someone uses that phrase it right away sets off red lights in my head. But many others are easily sucked right in by it. Finally, you can be extremely intelligent and proficient in your field and still be quite damaged mentally.

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[quote=“JaredWright, post:13, topic:10515”]
One might note (as I do in the article) that a significant number of the candidates who dropped out of the race made the same claims as Carson did (funny how God would instruct them all to run, and then cause them all to lose).
[/quote]I don’t find their claims to God’s instructions any funnier than Ellen’s claims to God’s instructions to her. That’s why it’s interesting to me, that the article seemed to question their claims of God instructing them, when the SDA church follows a prophet full of instructions from God.

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The Lord desires all who bear the message for these last days to understand that there is a great difference between professors of religion who are not doers of the word, and the children of God, who are sanctified through the truth, who have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The Lord speaks of those who claim to believe the truth for this time, yet see nothing inconsistent in their taking part in politics, mingling with the contending elements of these last days, as the circumcised who mingle with the uncircumcised, and He declares that He will destroy both classes together without distinction. They are doing a work that God has not set them to do. They dishonor God by their party spirit and contention, and He will condemn both alike. – {FE 482.1}

So much for God leading into politcs… If the personal impression disagrees with what is revealed than we need to questin it rather think “God told me…” I met prople who said that God told them that they need not keep the Sabbath holy. Certainly not the God of the Bible! (See Ex. 20:8-11; Mark 2:27; Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 22:14). We have been warned about experience superseeding what God’s word already revealed as false.

Galatians 1:8 (KJV)
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

1 John 4:1 (KJV) 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

We are to test the spirits. How?

Isaiah 8:20 (KJV) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.

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I wonder if God told Dr. Carson to insult President Obama at the prayer breakfast. That act on the Doctor’s part turned me off the man. The comments were insensitive to say the least and rude at the most.

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Ugh. That is just an awful sentiment.

I am with OldAbe here. Claiming that one hopes that they are understanding God’s leading is perhaps as far as sane and humble people go. Blaming God for one’s mistakes strikes me as at best presumptuous. The kind of thing that would get one a case of leprosy in the old testament times.

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Compare and contrast:


Martin Luther: Preachers are the greatest murderers because they admonish the ruler to do his duty and punish the guilty.

I, Martin Luther, slew all the [100,000] peasants in the uprising, for I ordered that they be put to death; all their blood is on my neck.

But I refer it all to our Lord God, who commanded me to speak as I did.

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/09/luther-i-have-slain-all-peasants.html

Some of President Obama’s critics suggest he is not a Christian, as he professes, but a “stealth” Muslim; others insist that he is not a “real Christian” based on his political positions. That kind of rhetoric has no place in our civic life. Political leaders who turn questions of faith into a political club should carefully consider the consequences of their actions.

Jared Wright wisely reminds us in this Spectrum article about the futility of Dr. Carson and others to invoke God as their political pawn, Jared wrote:
“Carson remains firm in his conviction that God wanted him in the presidential race, for better or for worse. In an interview with Time Magazine, Carson said, “God gets the credit for all the things I do, but he also gets the blame. My job is to do the best that I can do. Tonight, as the Republican Party moves on without Carson on stage for the first time in this election cycle, it seems God has some answering to do. Especially since in addition to Carson, Republicans Scott Walker, John Kasich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee all invoked God’s plan in their bids for the GOP nomination. Of those six, only Kasich remains in the race—running a distant fourth among the final four contenders.”

Most Americans are accustomed to a significant level of religious language in the public arena. Brian Taylor of James Madison University says, “the candidate talking the most about religion in the general campaign won in every cycle from 1976—2008.” Candidates should feel free to talk about their faith, but should also be free to choose not to talk about the details of their religious beliefs. Candidates should not denigrate the faith of others.

Americans who support religious freedom—and the pillars of church-state separation and free exercise of religion that uphold religious liberty—are inheritors of principles enshrined by our founders in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. These principles become ever more essential to the health of our civic discourse and the strength of our communities as we continue to become a more diverse and pluralistic nation.

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So what does his endorsement of Donald Trump reveal about Dr. Carson and Trump?

A backroom VP contract?
Carson’s delegates? Not too many.
A better understanding of “What’s an Adventist?”

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