Saturday, October 11, 2008

John Robbins Discusses Christians and the Civil War


I just sat down to read the latest mail from The Trinity Foundation, though this has been a melancholy experience since John Robbins went by faith through grace to be in the presence of Jesus just a few weeks ago. I felt quite vindicated by what he wrote in December 2007 concerning the neoconfederate idealism that has infiltrated many Reformed churches in recent years, now published in the recent Trinity Review.

This is official essential reading for anyone interested in the Cause of the South and anyone interested in the patriarchy movement promoted by individuals like Doug Phillips, RC Sproul, Jr and others. I don't completely agree with Robbins on some of these points, but this matter is so ideological and revised from the perspective of history that I don't know what to believe objectively. I don't know that there is such a thing as a completely objective historical account of it all.

A couple of notewordy quips from entirely noteworthy "Christians and the Civil War" by John Robbins:




Some of these Latter Day Confederates seem to be people who were born and reared in the North and now feel they must prove their fidelity to the Lost Cause. Apparently their Northern roots have given them a guilty conscience. What is worse, many of these men profess to be Christians and mix their religion with their love for the Confederacy, making the two inseparable. This has done much damage to the cause of Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel in the South.

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Organizations such as American Vision in Atlanta (Gary DeMar) and Vision Forum in San Antonio (Douglas Phillips) are promoting Confederate propaganda. (Oddly, these groups all have “vision” in their names, yet they are blind to both soteriological and historical truth.) Wannabe Romanists themselves, their efforts are applauded by genuine papists like Thomas DiLorenzo.

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Even Presbyterian Robert L. Dabney’s 1867 book Defence of Virginia and the South, which purports to defend Southern slavery from the Bible, has been reprinted. This embarrassing and inexcusable association of Christian theology with Southern slavery has been a stain on Christianity in the South and a hindrance to the proclamation of the Gospel for two centuries.

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DeBow’s Review, a Southern secessionist journal, wrote in 1862: “Every man should feel that he has an interest in the State, and that the State in a measure leans upon him.... It is implied in the spirit which times demand, that all private interests are sacrificed to the public good. The State becomes everything, and the individual nothing.” The political ideology of the Confederacy was statist and socialist, and that ideology was to become the dominant political ideology of the twentieth century.

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Temple acknowledged that “there was no justifiable ground for the attempted secession of the eleven Southern States in 1861....” He discussed the causes of secession, as he saw them. His discussion of the Southern attitude toward work, and the South’s generally pagan,(4) agrarian, and medieval anti-capitalist mindset, reflected in its acceptance and defense of slavery, is particularly good...

Footnote (4):
Some readers might be surprised by the word pagan. Spokesmen for the South not only appealed to Greece and Rome as exemplars of civilizations built on slavery, but they espoused views of work and commerce that were held by pagan philosophers such as Aristotle and Cicero. In these senses the mind of the South must be characterized as pagan. Please see my commentary on Philemon, Slavery and Christianity, as well as my book Freedom and Capitalism.

Please read the complete and entire document HERE.
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