“All Men Are Created Equal” This equality of all people is fundamental to our faith and our government. Michael Mason, former minister of the Cornerstone Christian Church in Jackson, Michigan wrote in his church paper of an incident in the Civil War that I want to share with you.

“It was a cold, wintry morning when the small congregation outside of Hickory Flat, Mississippi gathered for worship on Sunday. The congregation was made up mostly of women, children and elderly men as the younger men were off fighting in the Confederate Army. The service was beginning when there was a loud knock on the door. Everyone grew very quiet. Union patrols had been spotted in the area. Mothers pulled children close. Old men looked at each other with fear and apprehension. Finally a deacon said, “We had better see who is at the door and find out what they want.” When the door was finally opened, there stood a group of Union soldiers. Barely speaking above a whisper, the Union officer said, “Please don’t be afraid. We are not here to harm you. We would just like to come and worship the Lord with you. May we?” They were told that the congregation would have to talk it over. The door closed. No one knew what to do. Finally a deacon said to a woman dressed in black, “Betty, you have lost two of your loved ones in this war. You have suffered more than anyone else. What do you think we should do? Should we invite these soldiers in to worship with us?” Betty began to weep. Between sobs, she managed to say, “If we cannot worship with our enemies, then we can’t truly worship.” The soldiers were invited inside and shown to seats.
The service resumed. Songs were song. Scriptures were read. Prayers were offered. A sermon was preached. One of the Union soldiers even sang a solo. When the service was concluded, the soldiers thanked everyone for their graciousness. They shook hands and all wished one another God’s blessings.

What a marvelous testimony of the power of faith at some of the worst of times. The Civil War divided the nation and ripped families apart. Even churches were in turmoil creating conflicting theologies attempting to justify slavery in a nation dedicated to the equality of all people. In the midst of all the problems facing our nation today, the Church must and foremost be the People of God. We must never allow social agendas or political pressures to tarnish or impede the mission and ministry of the Church.

We must be a loving people loving people. We, as Christians, must be salt and light to a salt less and dark world. God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27               Thank you, Michael Mason, for this article.

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