Every civil war has two stories. Learning about the American Civil War in the west burbs of Chicago, IL is night and day different than learning the War of Northern Aggression in Little Rock, AR. I grew up with stories about the evil “South” and their desperate fight to cling to the practice of enslaving people for all of my formative years. Elementary school history was obsessed with stories about the Under Ground Railroad and if you were really cool there was a house with a tunnel in your town. The war was interesting but also seemed pretty black and white to me. It always took me back and confused me how all these people in the South were willing to die for this one issue. I never even heard the phrase “states rights” until I moved to Missouri… and believe me… people in Missouri say that phrase a lot.
I was brought up as a good Yankee. I believed the Boston Tea party and our treason against our English founders was heroic and completely justified because they were trying to tell us what to do… the nerve. How dare the government interfere in our lives. In fact, it wasn’t treason… it was liberty, emancipation, a revolution… a strong nationalistic commitment to a nation that didn’t exist. We weren’t British (well we were), we were Americans. And no one pushes their will on Americans… except other Americans with lobbyists or deep pockets… or if they just complain long enough and get the media on their side… but I digress. In America you should have the freedom to believe whatever you want… until as a nation that becomes unpopular and they we are going to tell you what to do and if you don’t like it we will sue you, arrest you, take your land with eminent domain and if necessary go to war to make our point.
Don’t miss my point. I would have fought for the North for moral reasons. I would have gone to the Middle East to combat terrorism. I’m just curious what it would have been like to be on the other side of the war. Any war. I like to understand my opponent. How else would I know if he/she is actually the problem?
The problem we really have in America, the same problem that tore us apart once, the same problem that will eventually tear us apart again is the same problem Israel had… a reliance on an earthly government with shifting morality.
Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Wigs, Presidents, Congress, Kings, Dictators, Communism… we are doomed no matter what. The people of Israel never prospered under a king as they did in the time of Judges. Sure Solomon was the richest king in the world, but the people built that the temple were slave labor and were heavily taxed to pay for this feat. Solomon’s treasury didn’t suffer for it. God was very specific about his warning when the people first asked for a king. All that will come of that is suffering.
People are not pure. Governments are made of people. Therefore, all governments will be corrupt… without exception. You are not perfect and neither am I. If we were in charge… the government would still not endure. Israel put their hopes in a man… a king. When that king (Rehoboam) disappointed them, they declared war, succeeded and named a new king (Jeroboam). And I’m sure the Southern tribes were being loyal to God who said David’s descendent would always sit the throne in Jerusalem and the Northern tribes were being loyal to God who had Ahijah anoint Jeroboam. There are two sides to every civil war. But the problem isn’t which side of the line you are on because the line moves and shifts everyday. What once was taboo is the new fashion. Pink is the new black. Then blue is the new black. Then black is the new black. Governments are made of people. People change their minds and moods. Therefore governments have no anchor… no unmovable principles, unshakable morality or sacred ground.
God is the only thing that is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God’s way (the narrow one) is the only set morality that does not change. His ways will not waver with new scientific discoveries or celebrity tweets. Truth will not change no matter how you feel today or what our government decides is unpopular or politically correct. It doesn’t matter what sin you put in your heart, God’s does not change his approval because today you don’t think it is “a big deal.” In a season that everyone in America has opinions on who will be our savior(s) in the next elections… the answer is no one. America is not eternal. Politicians are not divine. Obama is neither the antichrist nor the messiah. Governments are made of people. There is only one Savior and one way to follow that assures blessing and victory in your life and only one way that does not waver and you can count on it from now till the end of time. God is our only salvation. Until we let that truth sit on the throne in our hearts we will always be at war.
There is a little sung, unremembered him called Built On a Rock that says…
Built on the Rock the Church shall stand
Even when steeples are falling.
Crumbled have spires in ev’ry land;
Bells still are chiming and calling,
Calling the young and old to rest,
But above all the soul distressed,
Longing for rest everlasting.
Here stands the font before our eyes,
Telling how God has received us;
Th’altar recalls Christ’s sacrifice
And what His Supper here gives us.
Here sound the Scriptures that proclaim
Christ yesterday, today, the same,
And evermore, our Redeemer.