Transcript of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln

Executive Mansion, Washington, DC, 1863.

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.

Abraham Lincoln, Draft of the Gettysburg Address: Nicolay Copy. Transcribed and annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois

Hope for This Election

MAX LUCADO, pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas said this:

We are really ready for this presidential election to be over. We’re ready for an end to the rancor and tackiness. Voters on both sides feel frustrated, even embarrassed by it all. There is a visceral fear, an angst about the result. What if so and so wins? When we wake up to Nov. 9, post-election, when the confetti is swept away and the election is finally over, what will we see?

I have a prediction. I know exactly what Nov. 9 will bring: another day of God’s perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has his providence depended on a king, president or ruler. And it won’t on Nov. 9, 2016. “The LORD can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases” (Prov. 21:1).

Understanding God’s sovereignty over the nations opens the door to peace. When we realize that God influences the hearts of all rulers, we can then choose to pray for them rather than fret about them. Rather than wring our hands, we bend our knees and we select prayer over despair.

I couldn’t agree more Max.

Christians shouldn’t panic. We should vote, participate, demonstrate, boycott, protest, whatever legal political activities we wish to take.  However, we must not panic because God is in charge.

Having said that, here some things we should remember…

Never compromise your Christianity over politics.

Never, never, never give up influence unnecessarily. Never jeopardize a relationship, especially over politics.  Allow people to disagree and still be your friends.  Don’t sin by slandering political leaders, calling people names, swearing or losing your temper.  Keep your behavior consistent with a manner that would please God.

We will be disappointed but don’t sit this one out.

I have no idea who will win the election. But I know this: no matter who you vote for, you will be disappointed.

Think of some of these things: Benghazi, Locker room talk, missing emails, tax return, bullying…scandal.  Whether you walk behind a donkey or an elephant, you’re going to step into some unpleasant stuff.

If your candidate loses, you’ll be disappointed after Election Day. If yours wins, you’ll be disappointed after Inauguration Day.

We must vote because Evangelical Christians are the most important voting block in America.

John 8:32 – “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – vote truth.

Truth is not objective, it’s absolute. 3+3=6 no matter how we feel about it.  Gravity is absolute.  You can sincerely not believe in gravity but when you jump, you will still hit the ground.  Truth is not subjective, it’s not personal.  Truth does not come from within but outside ourselves. God is truth and the author of truth.

There are a few moral issues we as Christians should agree upon as moral truths. The right to life. I can’t believe we have to discuss a person’s right to exist but the right to life is a moral absolute.  The definition of marriage.  One man, one woman in a monogamous relationship.  This is defined by scripture.  Please consider these truths as you vote.

A side note about Intolerance:

Let me say something about being a loving church that shows God’s love to ALL people.  In America today, we have elevated tolerance to be an absolute truth. Tolerance today says we must accept people’s beliefs as truth.  If I disagree with something that’s actually isn’t true, but based upon another person’s feelings, somehow that’s intolerant.

Love says we treat ALL people with respect…not mocking, not judging but truly loving people who are actively sinning.  Love also tells the truth. If I see you using heroin, I will tell you that going to hurt you and offer to take you to a rehab. That’s not intolerance or hatred.

Our Hope is in Jesus

No candidate can fulfill all the hopes and dreams we have for our nation.

So, yes, we need to vote. Vote wisely and prayerfully. But don’t put your hope there. Don’t put our hope in a candidate, a party or even a system.  Put your hope in Jesus. You’ll never be disappointed that way.

Neither this election nor any election, neither Trump nor Clinton, will encourage my hope or discourage my hope in the Sovereign King and His Kingdom. I will go to bed the night of the election and I will wake up the day after the election with the same hope: that Jesus was crucified, was buried, was raised and ascended to the right side of the Father, from where he rules all creation. My hope is in him and in his rule, not in any human government or ruler.


Don’t know who to vote for?  Last election I wrote in Lon Dean.

Misusing History

In an article in Christian History Magazine, author Daniel Driesbach correctly points out that Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” metaphor was misused by the Supreme Court to redefine church-state law and policy in a way never intended.  I completely agree.

On New Year’s Day, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, endorsing the persecuted Baptists’ aspirations for religious liberty. The First Amendment, he wrote, denied Congress the authority to establish a religion or prohibit its free exercise, “thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”  That “wall” was built to protect the persecuted Christians from the tyranny of the government.  Remember just 25 short years before the people here were still part of England, a country in which the government said there is only one church, the Church of England.  To be part of any other church was a criminal offense.

If I may be so bold as to assume I can speak for Jefferson’s intentions (why not the Supreme Court did) his intentions were never to remove religion from political or public society.  It was Jefferson who said, “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal, hostility against every form tyranny over the mind of man.”  Sounds to me like he wanted to protect us from limiting our religious freedom.

What bothers me the most is the phrase “separation of church and state” never appears in the Constitution but ONLY in this letter written in support of the Baptists.  Let’s play devil’s advocate for a moment (literally) and say that it was Jefferson’s intention to separate all religion from the government…So What?  A president doesn’t have the power to change the Constitution and neither should the Supreme Court!  Here’s what the First Amendment to the Constitution does say…

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Excuse me but isn’t saying that we can’t have Christian symbols, prayers and other such “religious” observances in government and public forums a violation of that amendment?  The First Amendment never restrained religious expression, completely the opposite…it kept the government from restraining religious expression.

Why am I taking the time to write about this?  Because I truly believe that we as Christians should know the truth.   If we are to remain “one nation under God” we must be informed to defend our Christian heritage.

Pray for President Barack Obama

Scripture is very clear about our mandate to pray for those place in authority over us.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Therefore, whether we voted for President Obama or against him, we now must pray for him AND respect him.

For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. 1 Peter 2:13-14a

One of the saddest thing about our country is the lack of respect for those in authority.  I know we have freedom of speech and we’re allowed to disagree with and even poke fun at our leaders but there is a growing attitude of disrespect towards our presidents.  I saw this as a large issue when President Clinton had a sex scandal while in office and it has continued with President Bush largely because of broken promises to find Weapons of Mass Destruction and Bin Laden.

People used excuses like “Clinton dishonored the oval office” and “Bush lied”.  People have told me “Respect must be earned.” but that isn’t what we just read in 1 Peter.  We are commanded to respect the office even if we don’t respect the person in that office.

Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. Romans 13:7

My taxes go to pay for abortions and other things I don’t believe but that doesn’t mean I’m allowed to with hold my taxes.  Presidents and legislators have done things and stood for things I totally disagree with but I honor them as placed by God.

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. Romans 13:1-2

I remember when President Clinton was elected it caused a rise in the prayer level of the church across the country because of his stance on moral issue like abortion and gay marriage.  I believe God will again cause His church to rise and pray for this nation after this controversial election and because of this trying time we live in both economically and with the war.

Pray, pray for our president because it’s commanded and it because it works. Respect, respect because it’s commanded and because it honors God.