True Power

True Power

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Civil War Revisited- Man versus Woman

Excerpts from my book "The Politics of Prayer"

“I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works. And if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.”
Ken Burns

The argument of whether or not a woman should be a minister will go on forever. There are those who will point to certain Scripture that is against women ministers and then there are those who will point to Scripture believing the Bible does not condemn women as ministers. The above qoute can also apply to this debate. During the Civil War, both the North and the South used the Bible to validate their position. I used my book on politics and the need for prayer and wisdom to highlight the war waged against women as ministers.


Stanley Hauerwas reminds the Christian that there is a temptation, once the Christian becomes involved in politics, for leaders and people in general to convince one another that they alone are on God’s side, while those that disagree with them are completely evil. Christians can confuse political power with faithful witness.

Last year, while watching a program about the Civil War on the History Channel, I was amazed to realize both generals of the North and the South prayed to God for victory. Both of the generals were earnest and persistent in their religious request to be the victor of God for a cause they each believed in their souls. If God answered the prayers of the general of the South would that mean all of the participants of the opposition were evil and deserved to die? If God answered the prayers of the general of the North would that mean all of the participants of the opposition were evil and deserved death? Was one group Christian and the other group sinners? How could two groups with differing views on slavery both pray to God and both claim to be Christian?

In “The Bible and Slavery” (Religion and the American Civil War), Mark Noll asserts that the availability and widespread access and limitless use of the Bible in a society where each individual was concerned with their own growth and prosperity; framed by the conflict of slavery – ultimately led to war. Both North and South would turn to the Bible as the ultimate source in answering the dilemma of slavery, but in radically opposite manners. Northerners appealed to the spirit of the Bible (liberalism) in opposing slavery, whereas southerners appealed to the letter of the Bible (literalism) in defending slavery. These competing biblical claims helped shape public perceptions that led to secession and war.

When people begin to choose political sides and equate Christianity with those choices, there is the danger or temptation of turning a cause, as righteous as it may be, into a test of Christianity by man. God has given the criterion for who is and is not a Christian. Christianity can not be judged by deeds alone even though actions are good indicators of one’s religious belief. I have heard many Christians state “I am a die-hard-Republican” or “I am a die-hard-Democrat” or “I am a die-hard-Patriot.” It would be music to God’s ears if they would say “I am a die-hard-Christian.”

Reverend Jim Walls affirms the belief that God is for all of His creation. He is against sin, but he awaits every person turn or return to salvation. “God is not partisan: God is not a Republican or a Democrat. When either party tries to politicize God, or co-opt religious communities for their political agendas, they make a terrible mistake. The best contribution of religion is precisely not to be ideologically predictable nor loyally partisan. Both parties, and the nation, must let the prophetic voice of religion be heard. Faith must be free to challenge both right and left from a consistent moral ground.”

In the same way, the value of women in service of God should be evaluated without any type of agenda. It is the heart of God that is revealed in Scripture and the heart of man will be revealed as he interprets and executes the word of God. No matter the sex of a person, corruption of God's word is a sin. Can a woman minister without corrupting God's word? Should this be what is the test of servitude? Who was right and who was wrong in the Civil War? Who was God for and who was God against? Who actually was standing for the word of God? Can the answer really be both?

God alone can answer these questions.

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This Could Be Me At Your Next Event
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Do you have an upcoming gardening, church, or women's event planned and need a speaker? Contact me. I can speak on various topics such as:

1. Detangling Ancient Mythology From Christianity
2. The Female Presence In The History Of Christianity
3. Superstitions and Gardening In The 21st Century
4. The Politics Of Prayer: The Bible Speaks
5. African American Geneaology: Pride From The Grave


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