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How Would Jesus See The Gettysburg Address?

Updated on August 26, 2017

Gettysburg, The killing field

Jesus taught us to love your enemy, Not kill an enemy.
Jesus taught us to love your enemy, Not kill an enemy.

History and the New Testament

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

Let us take a look at the Gettysburg Address from the viewpoint of the New Testament.

Lincoln says his purpose is to: “dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place to those who here gave their lives that nation might live.”

Would Jesus have consecrated a killing field and advocated killing again and again? Lincoln places nation above God. Who was/is more correct, Lincoln or Jesus?

Land cannot be holy because land is not alive. People can be more or less holy based on their actions towards other people. Do not consecrate land for the purpose of justifying war. If you must consecrate land as a memorial, do so as an example to Avoid War.

Jesus taught to love one another. His final command to Peter was: sheath your sword. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your enemies. All of these teachings go against fighting and killing in combat. Jesus never strapped on a sword. We should not dedicate land as sacred if killing was involved.

Alternatives to fighting existed such as: The Underground Railroad, public and private education against slavery. Given time, the attitudes of people change.

Another alternative would be for the abolitionists to hire merchant ships to dock at Southern ports and take on a few slaves as they departed. The ships could not be tracked as a runaway could be. There would be no safe houses to be discovered. The freed slaves could be trained as sailors and paid a sailors wage. Thus sailing away would be a sustainable way to move slaves to freedom.

Lincoln further says, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” “ -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – “

Dying for a cause does not consecrate land. Land is not alive. People are alive and may be more or less holy, but not land. Sacrificing does not remove any sin. Sin is in the mind. Forgiveness removes sin, not sacrifice.

The people who died at Gettysburg died in vain because they should not have fought at all. Killing people is not a proper goal. Killing is not hallowed. It would have been better to allow the South to secede and save 500,000 plus lives. Let us also not forget the widows and orphans left behind.

Set a high ideal. Fighting is not a high ideal. Be careful whom you follow. Do not dedicate yourself to fighting, even if the president asks you to fight for him.

Update statues and memorials to war heroes to renounce war, fighting and promoting civil rights.

Conclusion, promote peace.

Promote Peace.

Take the Peace Testimony: Renounce war and fighting for any cause or under any pretense whatsoever.

We should update all war memorials urging people not to fight at all.

Gettysburg Address

The history of war is still being fought.

Who was/is more correct: Lincoln or Jesus?

See results

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    • Jay C OBrien profile image
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      Jay C OBrien 20 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      somethgblue, sorry to get back so late. I must have missed this. I agree with you in your above post.

      You said,

      "Of course many things Jesus or (Immanuel) taught were not included in the Bible, such as sacrificing animals and not eating meat, plus the whole reincarnation thing that was the whole purpose for allowing himself to be nailed to a cross in the first place."

      Might I suggest the resurrection was like a modern day Near Death Experience (NDE). The purpose of the resurrection/NDE was to prove an afterlife actually exists because He could not come back from nothing. Lastly, see Pope Gregory the Great who documented NDEs in the 5th century!

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 24 months ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Of course many things Jesus or (Immanuel) taught were not included in the Bible, such as sacrificing animals and not eating meat, plus the whole reincarnation thing that was the whole purpose for allowing himself to be nailed to a cross in the first place.

      However I digress, what most people don't get is that slavery wasn't the main reason for the Civil War but money was and the South's share of the profits.

      Plantation owners had already figured out that financially it was far cheaper to hire migrant workers than it was to buy and keep alive a slave their entire life. So the South was already moving away from slavery by the time the first shots were fired.

      The Civil War was about money and taxes, the North was getting more than its fair share of profits from exports that the South was supplying for practically nothing. Remember the North had the industries and were getting its product from the South for practically nothing compared to the profit they were reaping. The Civil War was caused by European Bankers trying to prevent America from becoming an industrial super-power, the old divide and conquer maneuver.

      I agree that Killing Fields should not be memorialized but they should be recognized. Consider if the true message of Jesus was practiced, where humanity would be with 2,000 years of peace and harmony, practicing the love thy brother or sister mentality.

    • Donna Suthard profile image

      Donna Suthard 3 years ago

      I wholeheartedly agree with you Jay C..These are my feelings exactly.. Jesus taught us, by his very own example, "Love your enemy, as yourself." I do not nor will I ever believe, we are to kill another...for there is always a better answer..Killing only leads to terrible guilt, pain and suffering... There are better alternatives such as good communication, compassion and kindness which could lead to a win-win situation.. I believe people can be trained effectively how to help the mentally insane..war is insane..I recently counseled a Vietnam veteran, who was preparing for heart surgery..Robert poured out his heart to me about how he absolutely hated killing.. He still could not forget the memories of the people he killed in Vietnam..He is a spiritual teacher...who believes war is terribly wrong...

      I have heard Abraham Lincoln was very tortured by his choices to declare war.. It has been said, even now, his ghost still haunts the white house, for Abraham always appears so distressed by the decisions, he made long ago...

      My own family suffered as a result, my great great grandfather, Adam Radar. died as a prisoner of war in Ohio.. He did survive a bullet, but succumbed to tuberculosis. His wife Eve, was left with eight children to raise...

      There are no winners in war.. Thank you for a profound article..As Jesus said," Love your brother as yourself."

    • wmhoward4 profile image

      William A. Howard IV 3 years ago from Baltimore Maryland (USA)

      So the alternative to the Civil War could have been to let the South be and thus all those folks would have remained slaves for at least another 100 years? God killed a lot of Egyptians in the process of freeing the Hebrews from slavery. They went on to fight the Caananites, the Phillistines and so many more. Did Jesus denounce that?

      On the way to the Last Supper, Jesus was pleased that his followers brought along two swords. He knew that sometimes force (protection) is needed. However, when Peter used the sword wrongly, he also denounced that as well.

      Blessed are the Peacemakers. However, we must also respect those who had to fight bravely for our freedom.