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Posted on 02/22/2013 8:48:40 AM PST by fishtank
Lincoln Laments at Gettysburg: Biblical Creation and Civil War Insights by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. *
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.1
These words spoken by Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago allude to Americas Declaration of Independence. In that foundational document, the colonial declarants proclaimed a creation-based view of human liberty:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.2
Why is Lincolns 1863 cemetery dedication important to us today? And why did a nation that professed creation-based liberty principles in 1776 suffer such a devastating civil war less than a century later, fighting over the practices of racist slavery?
Although the majority of the 1787 U.S. Constitutions provisions are admirable, and many are much better than their 18th-century counterparts, the Constitutions treatment of slaves is clearly unbiblical. For example, notice how it bars runaway slaves from being legally emancipated if they escape to a free state:
No person [slave or servant] held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged [emancipated] from such Service of Labour, but shall be delivered up [involuntarily returned] on Claim of the Party [slave-owner or master] to whom such Service or Labour may be due.3
Compare how the preceding constitutional mandate for the return of runaway slaves blatantly contradicts Deuteronomy 23:15-16:
Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee; he shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best; thou shalt not oppress him.
In light of the creationist liberty tenet in Americas Declaration of Independence, why did our predominantly Christian forefathers put an opposite mandate into the Constitution? Could it be that Americas slavery policies are evil fruit from the same corrupt tree that produced evolutionary science?4 If so, what is that corrupt tree, and why does it produce such evil fruit?
Are Evolution and American Slavery Related?
There is a logical correlation between American slavery and evolutionary theory: Both are effects produced by the same cause, namely, disregarding the Bible when it applies to secular topics such as politics and science. But some might protest that American slavery preceded Charles Darwins influenceso how can evolution and slavery be related?
American slavery practices were constitutionally formalized in 1787. Darwins natural selection theory was not published until 1859, over seven decades later. Darwin is not to blame for American slavery practices.5 However, Darwin does share the blame for promoting racist attitudes and abuses after Americas Civil War.6, 7 Darwins own words proposed a theory that all men were not equal, and Darwinisms promoters used preexisting racist attitudes to help sell Darwins natural selection theory, teaching that darker-skinned humans were less evolved than lighter-skinned humans:
No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man.8
As shown by this quote from evolutionist hero Thomas Huxley, Darwins bulldog, ethnic racism clearly predates the influence of Darwins natural selection theory.5 Yet Darwins theory and American slavery practices can both be traced to the same kind of humanistic thinkingclosed-Bible thinking about secular topicscalled rationalism or free-thinking. Led by leaders of the deism movement, rationalism experienced a popular revival in the 1700s and early 1800s. Deists were closed-Bible creationists, precursors of the Intelligent Design Movement.9 Deists actively and passively rejected the biblical creation teachings of Genesis, including teachings on human origins, ethnic origins, and geologic history.
Deism-dominated science conceptstaught since the late 1700ssowed tragic misinformation and destruction.10 Those ideas influenced Americas slavery policies and the pseudo-sciences of natural selection and social Darwinism.10, 11
Applying the lessons of Genesis, including its teaching that all humans are created equal in Gods sight, would have spared America two agonizing tragedies: race-based slavery and the human slaughter of its civil war. But to have a biblical view of human dignity, one must appreciate how Adams race (the only race recognized in the Bible) was uniquely created in Gods image on Day Six and understand that every human born after the Flood descended from the solitary surviving family that disembarked the Ark.8
Deists such as James Hutton (a medical doctor who promoted old-earth ideas as early as 1788) and Sir Charles Lyell (a barrister who popularized Huttons uniformitarian old-earth ideas as early as 1833) scoffed at Genesis history, including its detailed record of a global flood. In order to accept the geological theories of Hutton and Lyell, their contemporaries (including other deists and even many Christians) ignored or dismissed Genesis explicit record of the earths geologic and human history.10, 12
In deism-grounded science, the earth was imagined to be millions of years old (or older). Similarly, deists rejected the family history of Adams race recorded in Genesis, teaching that the words of the Bible were a prescientific Semitic myth (unfit for the enlightened minds of reason-ruled intellectuals). Thus, this mindset that rejected Genesis history was already becoming popular, thanks to Dr. Hutton and his ilk, long before the U.S. Constitution was ratified!
Just like many popular intellectuals of today, many leaders of the Enlightenment (in the late 1700s) exalted the powers of human reason over the authority and reliability of the holy Bible. They closed their Bibles and chose to study nature (including human nature) without the benefit of Genesis data.10, 12 Freeing themselves from the framework of biblical revelation, these free-thinkers relied only upon human reason as they strove to analyze and understand their worldincluding geologic beginnings and human and ethnic origins.
As the American experiment with slavery tragically proved, a closed-Bible approach to human relationships will never prove satisfactory. In fact, Americas most costly war (in human lives) was fought to abolish that shameful experiment.
Why, then, did the American slavery practice produce such a curse in America, with generations of turmoil and tragedy following its official abolition?
Because the unbiblical practice was founded upon two fatal flaws: 1) wrong beliefs about the origin and history of the human race, including how and why humanity was ethnically divided at Babel; and 2) wrong practices toward some of Adams descendants, based on ethnic differences that flowed from linguistic differences created at Babel.8, 11, 12
The practical question, then, for any society is this: When people assertively reject the truth and morals God has provided in Scripture, why should they expect Gods providential blessings, rather than tragic and cursed outcomes?
How a society treats its own people will determine whether that society invites or rejects Gods blessing. Rejecting Deuteronomy 23:15-16 led to the cause of Americas tragic Civil War, including the bloodshed at Gettysburg, and the loss of more than half a million American lives.
Likewise, how a society teaches and practices origins science will determine whether it invites or rejects Gods blessing on its origins science. If we settle for closed-Bible deism (often referred to as the Intelligent Design Movement), do we have a right to expect Gods blessing on our origins science?
Only the truthbiblical truthtruly emancipates the human mind: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32).
Both Lincolns Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, and his slavery-prohibiting Executive Order, the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, celebrate their 150th anniversaries in 2013. See Laura Pratt. 2012. Hidden in Plain Sight: A General Overview of the Human Trafficking Issue. Texas Bar Journal. 75 (10): 762-765 (analyzing 22 U.S.C. § 7101 et seq. (2000). Pratt documents that the worldwide problem of slavery is worsemore than 27,000,000 slaves exist todaythan it was during Lincolns lifetime. U.S Declaration of Independence. U.S. Constitution, Article IV, § 2 (3). Bad trees produce bad fruit. But a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit (see Matthew 7:17-19, Luke 6:43-44). The U.S. Constitutions unbiblical slavery provisionsespecially Article I, § 9 (1); Article IV, § 2 (3); and Article Vwere drafted in 1787, before Darwins Natural Selection theory publications of the late 1800s. American slavery laws contradicted many biblical standards, e.g., prohibiting kidnapping to acquire slaves, requiring return of runaway slaves, prohibiting the violation of slaves family relationships, requiring freedom for permanently injured slaves, and guaranteeing rest from labor on the Sabbath for slaves. (See Exodus 21:2-6, 26-27; Leviticus 19:20-22, 25:53; Deuteronomy 5:14, 15:12-16, 24:7).
Weiland, Carl. 2012. Slavery and One Drop of Blood. Posted on creation.com, accessed November 30, 2012. Abraham Lincoln acknowledged that many Americans faithfully practiced biblical Christianity-based compassion during the Civil War era. See usccgettysburg.org (Civil War history site of the U.S. Christian Commission in Gettysburg).
Bergman, Jerry. 2012. Winchells Theistic Evolution Evolved into Racism. Creation Matters. 17 (2):2.
Morris, H. M. 2005. Many Infallible Proofs. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 320, quoting T. H. Huxley, 1871. Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews. NY: Appleton, 320-321.
Johnson, J. J. S. 2011. The Failed Apologetic of the Wedge Strategy: How the Intelligent Design Movement Treats the Bible as Irrelevant. Acts & Facts. 40 (8): 10-11.
Mortenson, Terry. 2004. The Great Turning Point: The Churchs Catastrophic Mistake Before Darwin. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 28, 32-36, 38-39. Advocating social Darwinism and eugenics, Adolph Hitler and other totalitarian tyrants argued for human evolution policies, rationalizing genocidal massacres in modern times. Johnson, J. J. S. 2012. Hidden in Plain View: Evolutions Counterfeit History Is Everywhere. Acts & Facts. 41(2): 8-9. Note that evolutionary racism was used to rationalize WWII genocides by both Hitlers Germany and Hirohitos Japan.
Johnson, J. J. S. 2011. Just Say No to Trojan Horses: Worldview Corruption Is Lying in Wait. Acts & Facts. 40 (2): 17-18.
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Johnson, J. J. S. 2013. Lincoln Laments at Gettysburg: Biblical Creation and Civil War Insights. Acts & Facts. 42 (2): 10-11.
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Simple. The cause of the war was not slavery.
And the Confederate leaders were apparently all Darwinists.
Had they become acquainted with Darwin's proposals, they would have truly been rank amateurs compared to Darwin and his peers.
This article is devoted to political opinion, not science.
The article admits Darwinian evolution wasn’t formalized until long after black slavery was established. But it links them, through the non-principle of the magic equivalency of all racist. See, Darwinians were racist and slavers were racist, therefore evolutionists are responsible for slavery (?). Or was it both were racist, therefore both were infected by the same racism-causing underlying condition, namely ignoring the Bible.
Except prior to about the middle of the last century everyone was racist. Everyone pretty much still is, depending upon how strictly you wanna define it, though they exert great effirt pretending otherwise. Back to the Bad Old Days, this included religious people. Abolitionists were racists, too. Only a vanishingly small proportion of them advocated anything past legal equality. One in a thousand, maybe, could abide free social intermingling. And it’s possible to still be racist and allow any and all race mixing, as we ought to know by now, or else the MSM has a LOT of apologizing to do.
Which you could argue as merely more Bible ignorance. But then no one really followed the Bible, and that can’t be used as a means of segregating all the groups you don’t like—for instance slavers and Darwinians—in a little Bible-ignoring room together.
Unfortunately for the well-meaning author, the law against returning an escaped slave to his master applied only to Jewish slaves escaping non-Jewish masters outside the Land of Israel.