War is Never Civil

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
civilwar5.jpgOn April 12, 1861, the Civil War, otherwise known as the War Between the States, began in earnest with the firing on Fort Sumter. Over the next four years, more than 700,000 died. The horrors of the war still reverberate throughout the land.
The impetus for the Civil War was the secession of the Confederacy over the issue of State’s rights. However, lurking in the shadows was the curse of slavery. Fighting and dying so that human beings could be enslaved and treated as animals is repugnant.
Slavery is a permanent stain on this nation. Americans may try to cover the stain, but it continues to bleed through the fabric of our history. We try to banish the memories, but the crepe is still on the doorknob, tattered as it may be from age.
Contemplating the conflict and its consequences, we will learn the lessons of the war or we will remain divided. History is more than cobwebs; it is the teacher of the future.
First, the Civil War exists as a perpetual reminder of the price of racism, prejudice and bigotry. The faces of racism and prejudice are as old as time. Lest we forget, neither side in the Civil War considered the slave to be as equals. Their perspectives were different but, as a whole, they emanated from the same place.
God created all humanity in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). He commands that we love all men and treat them with respect and honor (Matthew 22:36-39). Just as God loved the world, including those who hated and murdered his Son, we must rise above our baser selves and follow God’s example.
“He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8, NKJV). The darkness and pure evil of hatred has absolutely no place in Christ (1 John 1:5). This vile darkness cloaked Satan as his minions lynched and killed their fellow man for no more reason than pigmentation.
Second, we must remember the destruction of division. The United States became a house divided (Matthew 12:25-26). Homes, families and communities found their allegiances tested and often destroyed. Brother killed brother and blood screamed from the ground.
Division and war stem from sin, not righteousness (James 4:1-2; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Matthew 19:6). God calls for unity, peace and love among his children, even to this day. We must come together as a people and stop dividing by race, education, wealth and position.
God’s people must learn these lessons if they will stop the wars in our midst. War is never civil and it only feeds Satan’s coffers.
To this day, the lessons of the Civil War elude many of God’s children. No one is our inferior nor do we have the right to decide who will receive the gospel. We do not have the right to segregate or deny our own brethren entrance to worship. God’s name is on our souls and services. He decides who is in Christ (Acts 2:38,47; Galatians 3:27), not us.
The Civil War, which bore no semblance of civility, brought shame on our nation. Every time God’s people war and divide, we bring shame upon God. In the judgment, God will remember our temerity (Revelation 20:11-15).

Share your thoughts: