Was Abraham Lincoln a Christian?

    At the Central Woodward Christian Church in Detroit, Michigan, they dedicated a beautiful stained glass window in 1929 showing Abraham Lincoln as the Emancipator striking the shackles from a slave boy.  The  minister at that time, Edgar DeWitt Jones, tells the amusing story of the Detroit businessman, born in the South, who brought his mother to worship. She was seated up front opposite the Lincoln window. The service was beginning when the little lady lurched in her pew and muttered something of alarm.  “Is anything the matter, mother?” whispered the son.  “O my soul, yes,”: she replied.  “Look, Abe Lincoln in a church window.”

    We can understand the woman’s consternation when we realize that people have been trying to get Lincoln into church throughout these many years.  Nearly every denomination has laid claim on him.  If you believe than all, then Lincoln was the most frequently converted Christian on record. He was baptized as a child, immersed and sprinkled as an adult and converted again and again up to the day of his death.

    According to Henry C. Deming, congressman from Connecticut, when Lincoln was asked why he never united with a church,  Mr. Lincoln answered: “I have never united myself to any church because I have found difficulty in giving my assent, without mental reservation, to the long, complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterize their articles of belief and confessions of faith. When any church will inscribe over its altars, 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 with all thy mind and thy neighbor as thyself,”  that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.”  Lincoln was not a denomination’s man, he was God’s man.  For Lincoln, faith was a personal and private matter, and as president he must have thought this was best. 

    If Lincoln was not a Christian, I would that Christians had the characteristics of that non-christian.  If evolution is right and the higher animal man is getting better, why can’t we produce another Lincoln?

     Was Lincoln a Christian?  I say, “yes.”   But, that is not really important. What really matters is, “Are you?”  I point you to Jesus and tell you “accept Jesus, be a Christian, a child of God.”

2 Responses to “Was Abraham Lincoln a Christian?”

  1. Max, I really like the article. Thanks for taking the time to stop by….I so appreciate your gentle humility. I look forward to serving with you in the future.

    Jim Jacobs

  2. Max; I truly had to laugh at the thought of Lincoln striking the shackles from a slave boy. Obviously, someone never read the Emancipation Proclamation.
    You see, the proclamation freed NO ONE! Lincoln declared that, in the South ONLY, in areas NOT UNDER UNION CONTROL, that if those states did not rejoin the Union by a specific date, he declared the slaves free.
    The problem with this?
    First, he had NO power to free slaves in another country! The South was, as that point, another country where he had not legal authority (or any other kind) to do anything (and of course, he could not even if he wanted to).
    Second, he never did ANYTHING to free slaves in areas under NORTHERN control – like the entire states of Maryland, Kentucky, or slaves owned by the US government that worked on construction projects in downtown Washington the entire course of the war!

    The myths about Lincoln, and the desire to deify that racist, war criminal, and tyrant, are truly amazing!

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