Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Gettysburg Address: Iconic, But is it Biblical? Pt. 2

Constitution Mythbusters

Posted: 29 Nov 2013 08:21 AM PST
[T]he law is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted. (Habakkuk 1:4)
November 19, 2013, was the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The speech is iconic, but is it Biblical?
That the Nation Might Live
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
Let’s not overlook that President Lincoln had no thought for Gettysburg’s Confederate dead, who were not at all interested in giving their lives so the corporate United States of America might endure. Moreover, a nation exists not so much by the lives of those lost in her battles, but as a result of Yahweh’s1 predetermined design for His ultimate purpose. This is true even for nations whose leaders (such as Lincoln2) are in rebellion to Yahweh:
[T]he most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. (Daniel 4:17)
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
Webster’s 2000 College Dictionary defines “consecrate” as “to make or declare sacred; dedicate to the service of a deity.”3 The blood of soldiers can no more consecrate the killing fields of Gettysburg than the lives lost in New York’s Twin Towers can hallow Ground Zero.
Numbers 35:33 tells us that “blood it defileth the land.” After Cain killed Abel, in Genesis 4:9-10, Yahweh informed Cain that “the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” One can only imagine the deafening uproar created by the blood shed just at Gettysburg alone.
An Ungodly Battle in an Ungodly War
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
If we’re smart, we will never forget what was done at Gettysburg and vow never to repeat it. (Thus far, Americans have not proven themselves very smart.) It was an ungodly battle in an ungodly war.4
The power to declare war is a serious responsibility. Why were the framers so vague in defining the parameters of war and the conditions under which it could be declared? Article 1, Section 8, Clause 115 is the only place of significance where warfare is mentioned in the Constitution. Little wonder this power has been abused. Luther Martin (one of Maryland’s delegates to the Constitutional Convention) protested:
…the congress have also a power given them to raise and support armies, without any limitation as to numbers, and without any restriction in time of peace. Thus, sir, this plan of government, instead of guarding against a standing army, that engine of arbitrary power, which has so often and so successfully been used for the subversion of freedom, has in its formation given it an express and constitutional sanction….6
John Quincy Adams predicted the consequences of America’s imperialistic military entanglements:
America … has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings…. Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad [How much more so within her own borders?]in search of monsters to destroy.… She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors, and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force; the frontlet on her brow would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished luster, the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become [and has] the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.7
Because the framers provided no Biblical parameters, unbiblical warfare (including the War of Northern Aggression) has been the rule ever since. Yahweh prescribes strict rules of warfare for His people.8 These Biblical parameters determine the righteousness of a war.
Untold numbers of people have been killed in wars fought in the name of Christianity, but few of these wars were Christian. If a military conflict waged in the name of Christianity is not Biblical, it is not Christian. More often than not, the departure from the Biblical rules of warfare is what is responsible for the unjustified deaths in these “holy” wars.
Only conflicts waged in legitimate defense of one’s homeland are justified and godly. The South had no intentions of attacking their Northern brethren. Consequently, President Lincoln had no Biblical authority to declare war against the Southern states. On the other hand, the Southerners were justified in defending themselves against their invaders.
Abraham Lincoln was wrong. The fields of Gettysburg were not consecrated by the blood shed there. Rather, they were defiled.

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Related posts:

1. YHWH, the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, is most often pronounced Yahweh. It is the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible and was inspired to appear nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. It was unlawfully deleted by the English translators. In obedience to the Third Commandment and the many Scriptures that charge us to proclaim, swear by, praise, extol, call upon, bless, glorify, and hold fast to His name, we have chosen to memorialize His name here in this document and in our lives. For a more thorough explanation concerning important reasons for using the sacred name of God, see “The Third Commandment.”
3. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, s.v. “consecrate” (New York, NY: Random House, 2000) p. 284.
4. In the beginning, Lincoln’s War had nothing to do with abolishing slavery. That slavery became an issue is merely an instance of political opportunism on Lincoln’s part.
5. “[Congress shall have power] To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water.” (United States Constitution: Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11)
6. Luther Martin, Jonathan Elliott, ed., The Debates in the Several State Conventions, on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, 4 vols. (Washington, DC: Jonathan Elliott, 1836) vol. 1, p. 59.
7. John Quincy Adams, quoted in William H. Seward, Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams (New York, NY: C.M. Saxton, Barker & Co., 1860) p. 132.
8. Deuteronomy 20, etc.

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