Confederate Battle Flag is a Christian Symbol
The best-known of all Confederate flags the battle flag is often erroneously confused with the national flag of the Confederacy. The battle flag features the cross of St. Andrew (the apostle was mar
tyred by being crucified on an X-shaped cross), and is commonly called the “Southern Cross.” A large degree of the Southern population was of Scottish and Scotch-Irish ancestry, and thus familiar with St. Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland. The stars represented the eleven states actually in the Confederacy, plus Kentucky and Missouri.
The Confederate battle flag eventually developed wide acceptance throughout the Confederacy, but it was by no means the only battle flag. The Stars and Bars continued to be used, and after it was replaced with a new national flag, that flag the “Stainless Banner”also appeared on the battlefield. In addition, some states used their own flags in combat.
The Confederate battle flag, called the “Southern Cross” or the cross of St. Andrew, has been described variously as a proud emblem of Southern heritage. In the past, several Southern states flew the Confederate battle flag along with the U.S. and state flags over their statehouses. The Southern Caucus provides information to promote our southern heritage.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America (CSA) convened a meeting and decided on this as the first formal flag of the CSA in March of 1861. It was a slight modification of the already existing flag of the USA. It was formally known as the Stars and Bars, and comprised 3 stripes in this order: red, white, red. On the upper left corner was a deep blue square which had a circle of 7 stars in it. A unique moment of a lesson of Confederate flag history was on the battle flag. This is how it got its name. History points to the flag, however, was soon rejected due to some problems that it posed. During the battle in Virginia, between Manassas and Bull Run Creek, this confederate flag history caused a lot of serious confusion. Because it bore a striking resemblance to the flag of the U.S. (stars and stripes), soldiers from the North and the South were often confused about who belonged to which part. This tiny mistake resulted in the death of many soldiers and hence it was decided to alter the design of the flag, a lesson in history.
The history reflects creation of a Confederate flag was one of the first decisions of the new country. The job of designing the flag was given to the new Committee on the Flag and Seal.
When I see a Confederate flag I sometimes think of the Lord Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples, the very founders of our Christian faith. If you will, please take a moment to look at the flag on the front page of this tract. You will notice there are thirteen stars in all, but one star is in the very middle of the flag. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus says that he is “the bright and morning star.” The center star on the Southern flag should remind us of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the other twelve stars, pointing out in four different directions, should remind us of the fact that Jesus sent his twelve disciples into all the world with the Gospel (Mat. 28:18-20).
Actually, the “X” shaped cross on the Southern flag dates as far back as sixteenth century Scotland, maybe even further. Andrew, the brother of Peter, was one of Jesus’ very first disciples (Mat. 4). It is traditionally believed that, in the first century, Andrew did missionary work in Greece and Asia Minor. Fox’s Book of Martyrs indicates that he was actually martyred in Edessa, Greece, on an “X” shaped cross with two ends in the ground. Some legends hold that his remains were later moved to Scotland. Whether they were or not, we can’t be certain, but it is a well established fact that, as a commemoration of Andrew’s devoted life and his martyrdom, the people of Scotland did use this “X” design on their flag. It became known as St. Andrew’s Cross.
In the 1800’s, many people from Scotland migrated to America’s southland. With them came St. Andrew’s Cross, which soon evolved into the Southern Cross. The colors changed, and stars were added, but the cross is still there for all to see.
Now, perhaps this would all be meaningless symbolism, except for the fact that so much preaching was done in the South between 1700 and 1850 that great revivals broke out and hundreds of thousands of sinners (white and black) found Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Such spiritual transformations occurred throughout the South under preachers like George Whitfield and John Wesley that our land became known as “the Bible belt.” This is a wonderful part of our heritage, and our Southern flag bears witness to it.
When I see a Confederate flag I am reminded of the origin of that “X” design, and I am reminded of the fact that many of our confederate soldiers were Christian men. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, chief leaders of the Confederate military, were both Christian men, and they heavily influenced others under their command for the cause of Christ.
Before Jackson died in 1863, he said, “Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.” I too am a Christian, and I’ll pass over that river one day and rest with General Jackson. When I do, I’ll not be ashamed in his presence because I didn’t desecrate the flag for which he died. I didn’t associate it with hate, bigotry and racism. I wasn’t among the unlearned masses who allowed their minds to be poisoned by the venom of the liberal establish-ment. By God’s good grace, I learned the truth about the Confederate flag, and I did what I could to teach others.
I am so thankful that I have all eternity to spend with some of the greatest men who have ever lived. It is true that many of our brave men never received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Even though they were great men in this present world, they never prepared for the next world. Such men are in Hell right now, according to God’s word, and I find it truly sad that I’ll never have the honor of meeting them.
However, there are some great men in Heaven whom I will meet. In addition to meeting my Lord in person and thanking Him for saving me, I’ll also meet the man who fearlessly led the Israelites through the Red Sea. I’ll meet the man who slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. (That must have been a sight! Maybe God has it on video!) As a blood-bought child of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, I’ll one day meet the man who, as a young shepherd boy, had the courage to charge on a heathen giant and lay him flat with one smooth stone. I believe I’ll even meet George Washington, a man who had about as much courage in battle as anyone who ever lived. I’ll meet some fellow Tennesseans by the name of Andrew Jackson and Alvin C. York. General Lee will be there, right along with his partner in battle, Stonewall Jackson. These men will be in Heaven, not because I like them, and not because they were great men, but rather because they all had one thing in common: they all enlisted under the greatest Captain of all (Heb. 2:10). They knew the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour. They understood that they were sinners standing in great need of a Saviour. In spite of the fact that they stood tall in the eyes of their fellow men, they all understood that they stood as sinners in the eyes of God, so they took the only cure for sin that God has provided: faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus left his glorious home in Heaven to come to this earth and die for your sins. He shed his blood and died to save you from a burning Hell. Will you show your appreciation by placing your trust in him, or will you dishonor him by ignoring the great sacrifice that he made for you? Just as you believe in remembering those who’ve fought for freedom and died, should you not also show your appreciation to God’s Son for the price He paid for you?
“Why,” you may ask, “did Jesus have to die for me?” He died for you because you are a sinner:“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) You were born with a sin nature, just as all men are, so Jesus Christ came to REDEEM you from your fallen sinful condition. Satan is a thief who has led mankind into sin, death, and Hell, but Jesus Christ, the Captain of our Salvation, came to lead men back to Heaven.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) Jesus bled and died so that YOU could have ETERNAL LIFE. He was a good soldier and a good Captain indeed!
But he was far more than that. Please notice these inspired words from Romans 5:6-10: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Read it again, please. Friend, Jesus Christ was much more than a good soldier. A good soldier will die for other good men, but Jesus Christ died for his EMEMIES! You, as a sinner in this world, are an enemy of God (James 4:4; Col. 1:21), but Jesus still came and died for you! Jesus is a GREAT soldier! He’s the greatest soldier to ever live.
In fact, God the Father in Heaven was so pleased with Jesus Christ that he RAISED him from the dead after three days in the tomb! The word of God says that “. . . Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (I Cor. 15:3-4)
Great men like Stonewall Jackson and Albert Sidney Johnston died for their country, but they never walked out on death. Jesus Christ came up from the grave – a Victor over death – to offer eternal life to all who believe on Him. Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, said, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev. 1:18)
Do YOU want to walk out on death one day? Perhaps you admire Generals Lee and Jackson, but do you know their Lord and Saviour?
I often see Confederate flags, bumper stickers and license plates being displayed by my fellow Southerners who know the Southern cause is right, and I sincerely appreciate their stand. However, most of these well-meaning people are totally unaware of the fact that if the thousands of Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War could speak to them today, they would have one chief message: DON’T LIVE WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST, AND DON’T DIE WITHOUT HIM. Those who didn’t know Jesus are regretting it right now, and those who did know Him are truly blessed.
In the two day’s fighting at Shiloh, over 23,000 American men slipped into eternity. Some went to Heaven; most probably didn’t. Over 51,000 American soldiers died in a three day period at Gettysburg. Some went to Heaven, because some had received the Lord Jesus, but most probably slipped into Hell forever.
They say the North won the Civil War. I don’t believe that. Satan won the Civil War by convincing thousands of grown men, on both sides, to die for their country without preparing to meet their Maker. DON’T LET HIM BEAT YOU!
Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE (John 14:6). Why not confess that you are a lost sinner and that you need a living Saviour today? Why not show your appreciation to the greatest Soldier to ever live by joining His army today? Why not turn your back on the devil and fight the good fight for Jesus Christ?
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You cannot save yourself. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash your sins away: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom. 3:24-25) If you could earn your salvation, then Jesus came and died for NOTHING. If God wanted you to “do good” and earn your salvation, then he would have never sent his Son to pay for your sins.
Friend, just as a military victory can establish national freedom for millions of people, Christ’s victory over sin and death can establish SPIRITUAL freedom for you. Because of Jesus, your sins can be washed away and forgiven FOREVER! “. . . Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Rev. 1:5)
Why not make Jesus Christ YOUR Captain right now? Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Why not bow your head right now and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart and wash your sins away? You won’t find a better friend anywhere! He DIED for you, and He AROSE for you! Now He invites you to be His very own.
Will you call upon the Lord Jesus today or will you let him fade into the past like an unknown soldier and miss your opportunity to be a soldier in the greatest army ever assembled? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:13)
If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please contact us for some free literature to help you grow as a Christian. Also, start attending a Bible-believing church (King James Bible), and speak with the pastor about water baptism and church membership.
LIES ABOUT LINCOLN
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28
“My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change.” Proverbs 24:21
The very mention of the name Abraham Lincoln brings two things to the mind of the average American: the saving of the Union and the freeing of the slaves. What usually does not come to one’s mind is the fact that Lincoln was a big government socialist who sought a more centralized Federal powerhouse in Washington.
Abe Lincoln was born in Kentucky in 1809, moved to Illinois in 1830, announced an interest in politics in 1832, was elected to the Illinois legislature in 1834, and he began practicing law in 1836. So, prior to becoming President in 1860, Lincoln held his own political views and fought for them.
In order to understand his political views, one must first understand the basic political climate of the first half of the 1800’s. Between our nation’s independence in 1776 and the Civil War in 1861 there were basically two main political camps. One camp was what we might call the constitutional camp, patterned after the views of such great Americans as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and later Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun. This camp was similar to the conservative camp of our day in that it believed in a very limited Federal Government. The opposing political camp, what one could rightfully call the socialist camp, was patterned after the views of men like Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay. This camp believed thatWashington should be empowered greatly by involving the Federal Government in the American economy, largely through high protectionist tariffs, a centralized national bank with a common currency and corporate subsidies. In short, the socialist camp believed that Americans couldn’t care for themselves, so a big brother government had to be set up and empowered.
In 1832, when announcing his run for the Illinois legislature, Abe Lincoln told everyone which of the two political camps he belonged to:
I presume you all know who I am. I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by many friends to become a candidate for the legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance. I am in favor of a national bank . . . in favor of the internal improvements system and a high protective tariff.
In plainer words, Lincoln believed in pulling as many tax dollars as possible into Washington and then letting “big brother” Government decide how to spend it.
Now, suppose you are a constitutional conservative and this man is running for President. If he is elected, he and his political camp will shove their socialist agenda down your throat. Suppose you are a Southerner whose state does much foreign trade. Lincoln’s “high protective tariff” will harm your state’s economy, and “honest Abe” will use the tax revenue to extend his power and expand his agenda for bigger and more centralized Government. Is this the kind of country your forefathers had in mind? Is this the kind of country you want to live in and raise your children in, or would you possibly be interested in starting a new country?
Now, let’s deal with some lies that are commonly taught about Abraham Lincoln. Of the some 16,000 volumes that have supposedly been written about the man, there are three “whoppers” which keep surfacing over and over. We’ll tackle them one at a time.
Whopper Number One:
“Lincoln was The Great Emancipator”
In the 1970’s, the Pittsburgh Steelers were a great football team. They had a great coach, a great offense, a great defense and several great players who went to the Pro Bowl numerous times. This great team didn’t win just one Super Bowl; they won four Super Bowls in a six-year period. They were great at football because they labored hard to be great at football. The life-long ambition of most of the men on the team was to play professional football and play it well on a great team. By the end of the 1970’s, it could be truthfully said that these men had accomplished what they set out to accomplish many years before as high school athletes. Their success was not incidental. It was the good fruit of their many years of hard work. Winning four Super Bowls was an appropriate reward for their labor.
The same could be said of the San Francisco Forty Niners of the 1980’s, or the Chicago Bulls of the 1990’s. Their great accomplishments were consistent with their many years of hard work. That is, they accomplished the thing that they worked for, not something different than what they worked for.
Bill Clinton just happened to be President during the stock market boom of the late 1990’s, and many have been so naïve as to credit him for the boom. However, no one can seem to put their finger on anything that Clinton did to bring this boom about. In fact, the most significant thing that Clinton ever did to the American economy was done in 1993 when he gave us the largest tax increase in our nation’s history! History books may be written so as to cause future Americans to view Bill Clinton as a “great” President, but very few people living today would view him as such. We know too much about the man to make such a mistake.
Abraham Lincoln is unworthy of being called “the great emancipator” simply because he spent very little of his life working to end slavery, and those living in the 1800’s knew this very well. True, slavery ended “on his watch,” and he was the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, but does this make him “great?” Does taking advantage of a social movement make a man great, especially when the man didn’t stand and fight for the movement’s cause until he had seen the political benefits of doing so?
Lincoln practiced law for twenty-three years, yet never once did he defend a run-a-way slave. Six years before being elected President, on October 16, 1854, Abe Lincoln said,
The whole nation is interested that the best use should be made of the [new] territories. We want them for the homes of free white people.
Would a man destined to be a Great Emancipator make such a statement? On August 21, 1858, only two years before being elected President, Abraham Lincoln made the following remarks in a debate with Senator Stephen Douglas:
I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and insomuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary.
Perhaps you were required to memorize Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in school, but was anyone required to memorize the above quote? No, because the above quote doesn’t fit the god-like image that has been given to Lincoln. It’s hard to be recognized as a Great Emancipator with quotes like the above one floating around!
If Lincoln’s heart beat so heavily for freeing the slaves, then why didn’t he attempt to accomplish this with peaceful emancipation like so many other nations had done? In Lincoln’s own lifetime there were numerous examples of ending slavery without war (Argentina, 1813; Chile, 1823; Mexico, 1829; Bolivia, 1831; Peru, 1854, and others as well), so why did Lincoln need a war? The answer isn’t that hard: one doesn’t need a war to end slavery, but one does need a war to force a big centralized government on an independent and free people.
In an 1862 letter to Horace Greely, editor of the New York Tribune, Lincoln said,
My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.
Mind you, that was in 1862, while Lincoln was serving as President and after the Civil War had begun. Here, from Lincoln’s own words, one can see that the war wasn’t fought to end slavery and the man is unworthy of being called “the Great Emancipator.”
Whopper Number Two:
“Lincoln Was A Good Dictator”
Even the most liberal historians will usually confess that Abe Lincoln was indeed a dictator, but they argue that this was acceptable under the circumstances and that he was a good dictator. Clinton Rossitor, in his book, Constitutional Dictatorship, writes that:
Dictatorship played a decisive role in the North’s successful effort to maintain the Union by force of arms . . . one man was the government of the United States . . . Lincoln was a great dictator . . .
This is scary stuff, indeed, because it shows that at least some Americans are willing to live under a dictatorship as long as they can call it a good one. With enough media spin and cover up, even the likes of Adolph Hitler could be made to look “good.” God save us from any Dictatorship, be it bad or good, but I suppose a good one would be preferred to a bad one by most.
But was Lincoln a good dictator? In the book, The Real Lincoln, author Thomas Dilorenzo lists several of the dictatorial acts of President Lincoln. Some are printed below. As you read the following list of Lincoln acts, please ask yourself if a good man would do such things:
Invade the Southern states with 75,000 troops without Congress issuing a Declaration of War, as required by our Constitution.
Imprison thousands of Northern people (not POW’s) without trial (some estimates claim that as many as 13,000 political prisoners were held by Lincoln.)
Arrest newspaper publishers who criticized him.
Censor all telegraph communication.
Create new states without the consent of the citizens of those states.
Order Federal troops to interfere with Northern elections.
Deport a Northern member of Congress for criticizing his tax policy.
Confiscate private property, including firearms, in violation of the second amendment.
Establish a secret police force for arresting those who were disloyal to his war policies.
Arrest members of the clergy who refused to say prayers for him.
Place the entire states of Kansas and Kentucky under martial law.
Order the Postmaster General to stop delivery of newspapers which wrote against his war policies.
Order 39 Indians to be put to death without having proven their guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Repeatedly allow his armies under such commanders as Sherman and Sheridan to attack civilians by destroying their livestock, their possessions, their homes, and their towns, and often raping their women (hundreds of accounts of rape – Sherman wrote in his memoirs that Lincoln even enjoyed hearing him tell of such attacks.)
On November 7, 1861, the Maryland state legislature stated the following regarding Lincoln’s dictatorial war: the war now waged by the Government of the United States upon the people of the Confederate States is unconstitutional in its origin, purposes and conduct; repugnant to civilization and sound policy; subversive of the free principles upon which the Federal Union was founded, and certain to result in the hopeless and bloody overthrow of our existing institutions.
Was Lincoln a good dictator? Only in the eyes of those who choose to ignore the clear facts of history.
Whopper Number Three
“Lincoln Saved the Union”
As I’ve already tried to point out, Lincoln’s political views were not those of our founders–certainly not those of Jefferson and Madison–so one would not expect Lincoln to lead the nation after the ideas of our founders. Take the list of abuses given in the previous section, for instance. How many signers of our Declaration of Independence would approve of such conduct by a sitting U.S. President? None, I should think. Well then, “the Union” which existed before the Lincoln years must have been very different from the one that existed after the Lincoln years, or else dictatorial powers would not have been needed in order to “save” it. French historian and writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, well described America’s early union in his work, Democracy in America:
The Union was formed by the voluntary agreement of the States; and in uniting together they have not forfeited their nationality, nor have they been reduced to the condition of one and the same people. If one of the states chooses to withdraw from this compact, it would be difficult to disprove its right of doing so, and the Federal Government would have no means of maintaining its claims directly either by force or by right.
Lincoln clearly did not save this Union because it is nowhere to be found today. In fact, it was nowhere to be found after Lincoln’s war was over. The Union which emerged after the Civil War was a Union of states which had surrendered far more power to the Federal Government than ever before. The states before the war had delegated (not surrendered) very limited powers to Washington. After the war, Washington enjoyed more power than ever and Lincoln’s un-American agenda was implemented. Lincoln’s acts were widely recognized as being un-American and unconstitutional, even by Northerners. Many Northern newspapers condemned Lincoln’s acts openly. The Albany (NY) Atlas and Argus, Nov. 1, 1860 wrote these words:
We sympathize with and justify the South because their rights have been violated to the extreme.
On November 13, 1860, the New York Journal of Commerce claimed that Lincoln and company wanted to
seek to regulate and control people in other communities.
The Cincinnati Daily Press, on November 21, 1860, wrote that the Southern states had every right to secede:
We believe that the right of any members of this Confederacy to dissolve its political relations with the others and assume an independent position is absolute.
On December 17, 1860, the New York Tribune really spoke out for the South when they wrote these words:
If tyranny and despotism justified the Revolution of 1776, then we do not see why it would not justify the secession of Five Millions of Southerners from the Federal Union in 1861.
Before the Lincoln years, it was generally understood that states reserved the right to secede from the Union if they chose to do so. Our Declaration of Independence says that governments receive their powers “from the consent of the governed.” The founding document then goes on to say That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.
After taking office, Abraham Lincoln didn’t believe the above for a minute. He believed in “saving the Union” in spite of the “Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”
Some suggest that the South should have waited for Lincoln to become “destructive” before pulling out of the Union, but his long held political views were clearly destructive to anyone who cherished the America formed by our founders. Lincoln had made it clear that he was going to change America forever. Waiting for him to literally do so would have been like a woman waiting for a rapist to enter her bedroom window before running out the door. The only thing that the Southern states needed in order to know that the time had come to secede was to see Lincoln win the Presidency.
So, did Lincoln save the Union? No, he forever changed the Union and set our nation on the course of self-destruction. Andrew Jackson said it best when he said that:
Our government is not to be maintained or our Union preserved by invasions of the rights and powers of the several States . . . its true strength consists in leaving individuals and States as much as possible to themselves . . . not in binding the States more closely to the center.
Since the Union before the Lincoln years was clearly different from the Union after the Lincoln years, the notion that Lincoln “saved” the Union cannot be true. The sovereign rights of the states are gone forever, and centralized power in Washington is here to stay—thanks to Mr. Lincoln, the creator of the new Union.
The Truth about Southern Slavery
“And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile: And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God. Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.” Leviticus 25:39-46
Before getting into this message, please allow me to make one thing clear. I am a Bible-believing Christian. I’m not just a Christian; I am a Bible-believing Christian. That is, I believe every single word and sentence from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. It matters not to me if you, your family, your friends, your church or your preacher do not believe all of the Bible. I believe it all. I believe that God is a good God with no unrighteousness in Him. If God’s word says that all have sinned, then all have sinned. If God’s word says that Hell is a place of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, then that’s what Hell is like. If God’s word said that the earth was round when everyone else thought it was flat, then the earth was round when everyone else thought it was flat. God’s word is always right, regardless of how few people agree with it. I apologize to no one for the goodness and accuracy of God’s holy words.
According to our opening text from Leviticus chapter twenty-five, God approves of slavery when certain guidelines are followed. This doesn’t mean that He approves of all slavery, but it does mean that He approves of some slavery. The text is quite clear about that. If you’ve never heard or read of a preacher making such a statement, I’m sorry, but you can see the Scripture for yourself.
Another passage dealing with slavery is Deuteronomy 15:12-18:
And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.
Clearly, slavery is endorsed in the Bible, but with certain guidelines or rules. If one should suggest that this is an Old Testament practice and that the New Testament does not endorse slavery, we only have to turn to I Timothy 6:1-2:
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
“These things teach and exhort” is obviously one of the most disobeyed commands in all the Bible, for not one Christian out of a thousand would say that God approves of slavery, yet there it is in plain black and white for all to see. If you disagree, your argument is not with Bro. Melton; your argument is with God.
It wasn’t until modern times that people practically started having heart attacks every time the word “slavery” pops up. Slavery, in its various forms, has been a part of human history for thousands of years. To think of slavery only in the narrow context of seventeenth century Americais being shallow to say the least. As we’ve already seen, the Bible addressed the slavery issue long before the Civil War, and there are numerous books that one can read to learn more about the institution of slavery throughout history. The average American’s concept of slavery is a few brutal scenes that he saw on the “Roots” television series, which bear very little resemblance to the truth.
According to the Bible, God’s infallible words, slavery is not always wrong. There is a right way to have slavery, and, as the Scriptures state, many slaves love their masters and prefer this kind of slavery over being set free: Deu. 15:16.
I am not saying that America was right in starting slavery in the first place. I am saying that slavery was brought here, like it or not, so was it all bad slavery, or did it sometimes agree with the sort of slavery that we’ve just read of in the Bible? You can decide for yourself shortly as we quote from some former slaves.
It is commonly stated that slavery began in America when twenty African slaves were purchased from some Dutchmen in the South at Jamestown, Virginia, around the year 1620. What is not commonly stated is the fact that only seventeen years later America would send out her very own slave ship, but this ship would not sail from a Southern port. It sailed from Salem,Massachusetts, a Northern state. The slaves at Jamestown in 1620 were not requested by anyone. They were offered to be sold, and the offer was accepted. The ship that sailed out in 1637 was sailing from a Northern port for the purpose of purchasing slaves for a profit. Since that time, many slave ships have sailed from Northern ports, and many of them sailed under an American flag. So far as we know, the Confederate flag has never flown over a slave ship.
The first colony in America to legalize slavery was not in the South. It was the Northern colony of Massachusetts. The first state of the Union that attempted to stop the importing of slaves was not a Northern state. It was Virginia.
Slavery was big business in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Due to industry and angry white people who grew tired of losing their jobs to the much cheaper slave labor, slavery did not prove profitable in the North, so the Northern states didn’t utilize slave labor as much as the South. However, they certainly did profit from it by trading for slaves in Africa and selling them to the South. So, in reality, money was the reason for the Northern states continually increasing slavery in America, and money was their reason for moving it out of the Northern states. The notion that the Yankees ridded themselves of slavery because of moral reasons is just plain false.
Now, about slavery in the South: How bad was it? The Bible does not declare that slavery in and of itself is evil; only that certain abuses of slavery are evil. Was racism a major problem in the South, or do we just assume that it was?
The South Was Right, by James and Ronald Kennedy, quotes some interesting words that were written by English abolitionist James Buckingham. This English gentleman visited America in 1842 and then wrote about his observations. Here’s what he wrote:
This is only one among the many proofs I had witnessed of the fact, that the prejudice of color is not nearly so strong in the South as in the North. [In the South] it is not at all uncommon to see the black slaves of both sexes shake hands with white people when they meet, and interchange friendly personal inquiries; but at the North I do not remember to have witnessed this once; and neither in Boston, New York, or Philadelphia would white persons generally like to be seen shaking hands and talking familiarly with blacks in the streets. So, what is all this talk about Southern prejudice? If slavery was so horrible in the South, then why would any black person be seen shaking hands and conversing with whites? If slavery had driven the wedge between the races that so many suppose, why didn’t Mr. Buckingham make a note of it, especially since he was opposed to slavery to start with? The fact is that if one could leave our present year and go back to personally visit the Southland of the mid 1800’s, he would be very surprised to find that most slaves were not resentful toward their white masters because their masters had treated them well. That is, many slave masters practiced Scriptural slavery, similar to the kind that we read of in Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 15. As a result, many slaves loved their masters and respected them greatly.
The book previously mentioned by the Kennedy brothers contains some actual quotations from former slaves. These quotes were gathered during a Government survey in the 1930’s. Read the following words slowly and carefully and then ask yourself, “Did Roots really tell me the truth and give me a balanced understanding of slavery?”
Former slave Isaam Morgan:
Any time a slave worked over time or cut mo’ wood dan he s’pose to, Massa pay him money for it, ‘cause when ever one of us slaves seen somp’n we lak, we did jus lak de white folks does now. Us bought it. Massa never whupped none of his slaves . . . No’m none of our slaves tried to run away. Dey all know’d dey wasm well off . . . dey [Yankees] offered me a hoss iffen I would go nawth wid dem, but I jus couldn’t leave de Massa eben dough I did want dat hoss mighty bad.
Former slave Simon Phillips: People has the wrong idea of slave days. We was treated good. My Massa never laid a hand on me the whole time I was wid him . . . Sometime we loaned the Massa money when he was hard pushed.
Former slave Mary Rice: Massa Cullen and Mistis Ma’y Jane was de best Massa and Mistis in de worl! Once when I was awful sick, Mistis Ma’y Jane had me brung in de Big House and put me in a room dat sot on de ‘other side of de kitchen so she could take kere of me herself cause it was a right fur piece to de quarter and I had to be nussed day and night . . . I was happy all de time in slavery days, but dere ain’t much to git happy over now . . .
Former slave Elija Henry Hopkins: I was fed just like I was one of the [masters] children . . . You see, this discrimination on color wasn’t as bad then as it is now. They handled you as a slave, but they didn’t discriminate against you on account of color like they do now. In slavery times, a poor white man was worse off than a nigger.
Former slaves Sarah and Tom Douglas: Slavery times wuz sho good times. We wuz fed an’ clothed an’ had nothing to worry about . . .
Former slave Jane Georgiana:
De times was better fo’ de war . . . I goes to church an sings an prays, and when de good Lord teks me, Ise ready to go, and I specs to see Jesus an’ Ole Mistis an Ole Master when I gits to de he’benly land!
Former slave Gus Brown, speaking of his former master:
I know I will see him in heaven, and even though I have to walk ten miles for a piece of bread [in the Great Depression] I can still be happy to think about the good times we had then . . . The Yankees didn’t beat us, we wuz starved out! . . . I am a Confederate veteran . . .!
Former slave Cora Gillam, speaking on the North’s attempt to “reconstruct” the South after the war: I’ll tell you lady, if the rough element from the north had stayed out of the south the trouble of reconstruction would not have happened . . . they tried to excite the colored against their white friends. The white folks was still kind to them what had been their slaves. They would have helped them get started. I know that. I always say that if the south could have been left to adjust itself both white and colored would have been better off.
When Confederate President Jefferson Davis died, thirteen of his former slaves sent a telegram to his family: We the old servants and tenants of our beloved master, Honorable Jefferson Davis, have cause to mingle our tears over his death, who was always so kind and thoughtful of our peace and happiness. We extend to you our humble sympathy.
Was Southern slavery all evil? No it wasn’t, not according to the people who were there and told their story about it. Yes, there were many cases of abuse, but such cases make up the exceptions, not the normal slave/master relationships. To claim that all slavery was evil and destructive because of some cases of abuse would be like claiming that all families are evil and destructive because of the fact that some parents neglect and abuse their children. All parents should not be judged in the evil shadow of the abusive ones. The same principle applies to slavery in the South.
Many slaves became Christians because their Christian masters allowed them to attend church services and hear the Gospel. Had they been left in Africa they would likely have died without Christ and gone to Hell forever. Many slaves lived long lives only because their masters gave special care to them when they were sick. Slave women often gave birth to many children because their masters cared enough to see that their health needs were met. There were many good masters who refused to allow their slave families to be divided up, even when doing so meant financial gain for them. Slaves were sometimes “bailed out” of legal troubles by their masters, and many slaves served as their master’s close friends and personal bodyguards. Because of this closeness between the masters and the slaves, even after the war was over and the slaves were free, most of them refused to move northward and escape the land of their servitude. The fact that our Southland is still populated by a good portion of black people is a living testimony to the fact that Southern slavery was not at all like we’ve been taught.
Like it or not, slavery is a part of our Southern history, and we cannot change that, but we can change our attitude about it. We can stop hanging our heads in perpetual shame and start telling people the truth about Scriptural slavery in general and Southern slavery in particular. We can honor God and our Southern heritage by displaying a true balance when dealing with the slavery issue. May God be our Helper.
“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.” Proverbs 11:1James L. Melton, Pastor Bible Baptist Church, Sharon, TN
Southern National Covenant
Our forefathers’ worst nightmare has now come upon us. They created a free government, limited in its powers and a servant to the people. But today the United States has become an empire, fast decaying into tyranny; and we their children have become strangers and subjects in the land our fathers won. Instead of a free and just social and political order, today we are threatened by a Godless national culture and a corrupt, despotic federal government that knows no limits to its power.
Our political leaders, setting themselves above the law, have forged an unholy alliance with large corporations and the international money cartel. These elites have purchased the lawmakers who are sworn to serve the People, enabling them to expropriate our wealth in the greatest act of plunder in human history. Through threat of force, government seizes half of all we make for taxes, yet it is still not enough to satisfy the vaulting greed of our rulers. Thus government spends staggering sums above its revenues, saddling our People with debt so colossal that it cannot be repaid to the fifth generation. To service this debt, the government-banking alliance has stolen our Constitutional and God-ordained right to sound money and has given the power to create money out of nothing to corrupt, private banking interests. Federal law forces us to use only this bank-created money; and because it must be borrowed into existence, our once free people have become enslaved to debt. The burden of confiscatory taxation, combined with runaway federal spending and a currency manipulated to benefit the ruling elites, has brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy and economic collapse, with all the political and social turmoil that must inevitably follow.
The federal regime has loosed upon us floods of immigrants, strangers to our laws and language embodying cultures and values contrary to those upon which our nation was founded, who are displacing us on the soil our fathers won with their sweat and blood. Fomenting hostility between the races and regions, our rulers have destroyed hope and spread despair. Injustice, tyranny, corruption, and deceit are the hallmarks of their governing. They call good evil and evil good, the recompense for which is divine judgement. Accelerated by dishonesty and corruption at every level of society and swept along by daily torrent of official lies, America is plunging toward the abyss. We watch transfixed with horror at the destruction of a once free and prosperous country and are forced to acknowledge the American political and economic system is no longer sustainable. It has become a long train of abuses, evidencing a design to reduce us under absolute despotism. Thus it cannot be salvaged or redeemed, only replaced.
We Southerners proclaim our right to be free of these evils our ancestors warned against and shed their blood to prevent. The seeds of our deliverance remain alive within our faith, culture, and historic principles of governance of individual liberty, rule of law, and impartial justice. Southern culture is founded on the enduring and permanent: trust in God, family, tradition, manners, property, community, loyalty, courage, and honour. We know that free and just government cannot derive from laws, regulations, bureaucracies, and ideologies. It springs only from the soil of faith and love, watered by struggle and sacrifice, and the harvest of which is liberty, justice, prosperity, and peace.
Before all the nations of the earth we affirm that we are a separate and distinct People, with an honourable heritage worthy of the respect of all mankind. Bound together by a shared history, faith, and blood, we have endured hardship and tragedy but have also enjoyed the fruits of Christian civilisation built by God’s grace and the works of our hands. Under heaven, we possess the right to govern ourselves in our own land under our own laws, customs, and religion.
With more sadness than anger we recognize that the country our forebears bequeathed to us no longer exists. By depending on the central government’s increasingly worthless currency, its loans, subsidies, and payments, its putrescent schools, and its false promises of security, we have forged our own chains. But if we have forged our chains, we can also sever them.
We are left us with no recourse but to look to our own counsel to secure our welfare. We must “abjure the realm,” withdrawing our support from the tyrannical government and corporate institutions created for our enslavement. Then we must work to restore the power of our States, the first bulwark of freedom, self-government, and Southern identity. As our forefathers did, we must establish a new foundation for law and government by all honourable means.
Therefore, with humble trust in the Sovereign Lord of Nations, and in the name of the Southern Nation and People whom we serve, we the Delegates of the fourteen Southern States, in Congress assembled September 12, 2009 in Delta, Alabama, make and publish this Covenant, to which we invite all Southerners who yearn for liberty and justice to join us in subscribing.
By this Covenant we corporately pledge ourselves to the protection of our Southern cultural heritage and to the defence of liberty and justice for the Southern People and States. We bind and oblige ourselves, as we are by God and nature tied, with our lives, fortunes, and sacred honour to stand in defence of our native soil and People, contrary to this perverse and infamous regime now arrayed against the South. We swear that we will be ever ready to use all our best endeavours for her preservation, and that we will not cravenly and shamefully bow the knee to tyrants. By this bond, each of us faithfully promises to assist one another as the need demands. All of which before God we most solemnly vow and promise to adhere to and never to turn from, all the days of our lives.
In mutual support of one another as Christian Southerners, we covenant together
To renounce the evils of corrupt government that our forebears warned against, and to resist by all honourable means acts of federal tyranny, as our circumstances permit and as the Lord leads.
To seek to revive our local economies, working together to promote every man’s prosperity as our own and toward freeing ourselves from the snare of the Empire’s worthless money and perpetual debt which are the lifeblood of tyranny, and seeking a return to honest public money in daily use — gold and silver coin or currency backed by gold and silver.
To support every measure which restores the sovereignty of our State and local governments, and the sovereignty of the Southern people.
To resist any Federal statute or Presidential directive that threatens our fundamental freedoms of speech, press, assembly, exercise of religion, and petition for redress, freedom from illegal search and seizure, and the right of due process under law.
Never to allow ourselves willingly to be disarmed nor submit to the confiscation of our means of lawful self defence; nor comply with any firearms registration scheme, which is the certain precursor to confiscation.
We declare before God and men that we earnestly desire to restore a Godly order in our respective States by peaceful means. We seek only that which may turn to the honour of God and the increase of peace and justice in our States and communities. Yet the growing evils of the time may not grant us the choice of peaceful means of redress. In such a pass, when criminal violence may be directed against one of us by the state, our fortunes shall be as their fortunes, their wives or husbands as our wives and husbands, their children as our children, their losses as our losses, and injuries done them as injuries to our own persons; and we shall not rest till they be delivered.