Wednesday, July 2, 2008

LINCOLN or DARWIN: Who was more important?



From the new issue of Newsweek: Who Was More Important: Lincoln or Darwin? Is Newsweek serious? This is the most absurd question and pairing I have ever heard.

I believe the only reason writer Malcolm Jones paired Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin at all was due to the trivial fact that they were born on the same date in history, Feb. 12, 1809... and they were both famous. Big coincidence. Big deal.

I was born April 1st, 1970. Which do you think was more important? My birth or one of the following events which also occured on April 1st, 1970:

• Odessa, Texas (where I was raised) was the first city in Texas to have the Emergency 911 Dialing System which began on April 1st, 1970

• Phil Spector brought in Ringo Starr to add drum fills to the track "The Long and Winding Road" on April 1st, 1970, the very last session where any work on a Beatles track was done featuring a member of the band. Therefore, this counts as the Beatles' last session.

• President Nixon signed a bill into law banning cigarette ads from radio and television on April 1st, 1970

• Color TV was first broadcast in Sweden on April 1st 1970

• The unbelievably ugly AMC Gremlin was introduced to the world on April 1st 1970

You see,... I was born the same day that these things happened, yet there is no way to consider which of these things were "more important" until we define what is "important".

The question asked about Lincoln and Darwin is "Who was more important?". That is strictly a matter of opinion based on what one deems to be "important".

To a Beatles fan,...

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...the "last session" is worlds more important than "Jon Sharp's birth". But then go ask my mother and see what she thinks!

To the Body of Christ, Lincoln held up and defended some Biblical principles while Darwin tore them down, desperately trying to do damage to our Savior's name. Who will WE see as more important?

To the atheist, Darwin fought for a new era of humanistic understanding destroying the long-held stance of "radical" Christians that a Supreme Deity created all things and is therefore to be regarded as Owner/Creator and Lord. Who will THEY see as more important?

Concerning Lincoln, Jones writes: http://www.newsweek.com/id/143742/page/1

Lincoln's religious history is perhaps the most tangled aspect of his life. His law partner, William Herndon, swore Lincoln was an atheist, and to be sure, there are plenty of boilerplate references to the Almighty scattered through Lincoln's speeches. But as the war wears on, and the speeches grow more spiritual, they become less conventional. Lincoln was a believer, but it is hard to say just what he believed. He speaks often of the will of God, but just as often adamantly refuses to decipher God's purpose. And he never, ever claims that God is on his side...

Then (Lincoln) delivers what biographer David Herbert Donald has called "one of the most terrible statements ever made by an American public official":

"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'."

Lincoln sounds correct in his stance to me! No matter what, even if God destroys us all, His judgments are true and righteous. But what will be the atheist reply?

FROM http://www.greatamericanhistory.net/lincolnsfaith.htm

Lincoln's relationship with God is a subject highly debated by historians. Some say Lincoln was an unbeliever, or at least a skeptic, of Christianity. Many say he was a "deeply religious" man that daily sought God's guidance. Many books have been written on the subject. When one reads Lincoln's presidential speeches, filled with his pleas to the American people to seek God's aid and guidance, and demonstrative of his own dependence on God's mercy, it is difficult to comprehend any scholar that would see Lincoln as anything but a man that sincerely depended on God.
It is true that Lincoln never did join a church, although he attended church services regularly while President. The reason he gave for never joining a church was that he could never be satisfied with all the dogmas and creeds that the denominational churches of his day required. On this subject Lincoln wrote:
"When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and Gospel, 'Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and thy neighbor as thyself' that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul."
One of Lincoln's earliest statements on the subject of his faith came in 1846:
"That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular....I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion." [July 31, 1846]

Lincoln stated the following upon receiving a gift of a Bible from a group of African-Americans from Baltimore:

"In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to men. All the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it." [Sept. 9, 1864]

Below is one of Lincoln's many proclamations, as president, for a national day of fasting and prayer. Few ministers of the gospel could have done better:

"It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in Holy Scripture, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch (sic) as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness." [March 30, 1863]

Now, let's look at CHARLES DARWIN:

Charles Darwin was raised in the Anglican church and was taught early to pray. Later in life he discussed his "childlike faith".

"I often had to run very quickly to be on time, and from being a fleet runner was generally successful; but when in doubt I prayed earnestly to God to help me, and I well remember that I attributed my success to the prayers and not to my quick running, and marvelled how generally I was aided."

Darwin even entertained the idea of becoming an Anglical minister and attended Christ's College in Cambridge for three years studying for the ministry. He said:

"I liked the thought of being a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with care Pearson on the Creed and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our Creed must be fully accepted."

Darwin's favorite books at this time books were by William Paley. The first was Evidences of Christianity and the second was Natural Theology which seeks to prove the existence of God showing design as the evidence.

From ChristianAnswers.net:

Despite all of the...religious influences in his life, the decline of Darwin's faith began when he first started to doubt the truth of the first chapters of Genesis. This unwillingness to accept the Bible as meaning what it said probably started with and certainly was greatly influenced by his shipboard reading matter--the newly published first volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology (the second volume, published after the Beagle left England, was sent on to Darwin in Montevideo). This was a revolutionary book for that time. It subtly ridiculed belief in recent creation in favor of an old earth, and denied that Noah's flood was world-wide; this, of course, was also a denial of divine judgment.

Surrounded as he was by unbelievers, and having soaked his mind in literature that rejected the concept of divine judgment in earth's history, Charles mused,
“I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.”

In 1876, in his Autobiography, Darwin wrote,
“Formerly I was led... to the firm conviction of the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, 'it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion, which fill and elevate the mind.' I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body. But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind.”

In 1880, in reply to a correspondent, Charles wrote, “I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.”

Now, I'll readily admit that both Lincoln and Darwin changed the world and the effects of each of their teachings and writings are still changing lives for better or worse. And both had obvious theological beliefs that cause alarm.

However, Charles Darwin's sole life purpose and goal was thus turning people away from an Almighty God Who is Creator and Judge.

Abraham Lincoln's sole life purpose and goal was to lead men from bondage into liberty and from war and death into peace and life and though he may have had personal spiritual questions he was regardless obviously erring toward faith, giving God the glory for each victory rather than shunning the notion of God and giving glory to humanity or to the Northern troops.

Charles Darwin died at a nice old age and had plenty of time to repent... yet he did not. (Despite many sermons and legends stating that he did repent on his deathbed, there is no reason to believe that he repented. Again, from ChristianAnswers.net, "He merely is said to have expressed concern over the fate of his youthful speculations and to have spoken in favor of a few people's attending a religious meeting.")

Lincoln was shot down by an assassin during dark, troublesome days during which he stated:

"I went to my room one day and locked the door and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this war was His war, and our cause His cause, but we could not stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville... And after that, I don't know how it was, and I cannot explain it, but soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul."

I'm not saying Lincoln was an evangelist preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ... but he surely was an infinitely more important person to humanity, leading the United States toward faith in a Deity rather than away from any type of faith into darkness. As I said, Lincoln had some theological problems, but would he have been a candidate for repentance possibly putting his faith in Christ alone, had he lived? Who knows, but he definately showed signs of being "drawn" to repentance and reliance on God rather than outwardly denouncing God like Darwin.

Darwin with his skewed and disproved theory could only lead men further into darkness and confusion without allowing them a God to pull them out of it! And yet the world pats him on the back for his "enlightening" theories which only an utter moron should accept. Darwin was highly successful in moving men to forsake the simplicity of creation by an all-powerful God to instead deduce (by failed and illogical human reasoning) that monkeys and dogs and fish and algae are our ancestors!

NOTE TO NEWSWEEK:
Lincoln wins this one hands-down and Darwin should not have even been in the running.

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