The Gettysburg Address

Executive Mansion, Washington, , 186 . Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal” 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 battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow, this ground– The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here. It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Enough Already

     The past few years in this country have caused me to wonder if I still live in the United States of America. It appears that there is division on every hand. Everyone seems to be angry with everyone else and all for false reasons. This is rather disconcerting because President Obama was lifted as some sort of messiah who would heal all. He would be the one to bind those that were pulled apart by reason of scandalous racial issues because he would be the post-racial president. Unfortunately the racial divide has only broadened since Mr. Obama has taken office.

     Blacks have been pitted against the Whites while Hispanics abhor Asians. Jews are against Gentiles and the Polish disdain the Italians. Further divides are evident as in the phony war against women. As such females have been pitted against males. The young are angry with the old. The rich and the poor seem to have nothing in common. Yes, this is the most divided nation since the Civil War. The difference is that then Abraham Lincoln was torn as to how to bring the people together while Mr. Obama seems to seek division on every hand. Enough already!

     And the “church” seems to be acting no better. It has been said that Sunday morning is the most divided time of the week. There are so many divisions it is not certain that all the breaches can be mentioned in this article. Still the racial divide cannot be ignored. There are “Black” churches and “White” churches. The “Chinese” and Korean” churches cannot be ignored. And while on the subject we might as well get to the “Hispanic” and other racially divided churches. But, the list goes on as to divides. There are Holiness churches and Pentecostal churches. Then comes the Baptist churches and the Freewill Baptist churches. Enough already!

     I Corinthians chapter twelve highlights some divisions that were in the early church. Paul sought to correct this heretical practice by showing that even though there were different administrations and gifts in operation in the Church all should be accepted as long as these works are indeed ordained by God. Verse twelve states that “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” This statement clearly shows that divides in the church are not acceptable and that such divides should be healed. Further Paul makes it clear that there are many parts to the body but that they all work together for the good. Versus fourteen through twenty-one read:

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

     Paul seemed to be saying enough already. There is no cause for divisions predicated upon superficial ideologies that serve only to bolster hatred. Even more these divides, by extension, exclude those that are seeking Christ but are turned away merely because they do not fit into the norm of the small society seeking only those that neatly fit into their shoebox of ideas. This is not of God and needs to be stopped immediately.

     God is a God of love and not of hate. It is impossible to love God while pulling away from the multiplicity of people that God has placed in the Church. Hatred is not an option and must be abhorred. God loves the world and all that are in it. It is for world that Jesus died and at no point does He suggests any divide. Enough already with this racism and divide in the house of God! It is past time we joined together with one voice in worshipping God and in serving humanity irrespective of nationality or skin tone.