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When Civil War Looms  

We are a nation at war.  With each other. 

 

For now, the battles are fought with blogs rather than bombs, tweets rather than tanks.  Still, we appear to be inching toward a civil war of values.   

 

So where does the Bible fit into a culture like ours?  What exactly is the role of Scripture in a divided nation?  And can we really expect the Bible to have a hearing as the fighting heats up?

 

These are the questions that gushed over the banks of my mind as I held a copy of the American Bible Society’s 1864 annual report. Recalling that this book was released right in the middle of a literal Civil War (1861-1865) I was dying to know: What was their perspective on the conflict that ultimately engulfed the nation?  What role did the Bible have during these tumultuous years?

 

 

The testimony in the following excerpts from the 1864 report are profound:

 

Amid national convulsions…producing such untold calamity in the land…there is no check upon the spread of God’s Word.  

The great number of prisoners of war held by the armies of the United States has made a constant demand for the Word of God among them.  Many letters have been received from prisoners requesting reference Bibles for themselves  and for their fellow prisoners, who desire them for use in their Bible classes.  The Word of God has been received with gratitude and eagerness.

Fearful as the war has become, every true friend of the Bible will rejoice that “the Word of God is not bound,” and that the American Bible society, true to its name and principles, has been enabled thus far to carry on its great work above the stormy passions and conflicting interests of the times.

Amid these strange scenes, the Bible, by the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit, is doing it’s appropriate work.  

 

(End of quote!) 

 

You and I can do little to stop whatever cultural clashes may be ahead.  But we need not doubt the power of God—and the power of His Word.   It’s a lesson America learned in the first Civil War.  May that truth comfort us as we move toward the second.  

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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