Baptists and the American Civil War: February 17, 1862

Georgia Map Civil War EraIf the war were to last for years, what should Baptists of the South do? An editorial in this week’s Georgia Baptist’s Christian Index offers an answer:

This war may last and probably will last during Mr. Lincoln’s administration; and, in the meantime, Sabbath schools must be maintained that our children may be taught the truths of God; and, that our schools may be supplied with books, our depositories must be encouraged as a reservoir from whence those supplies may be drawn.

Our churches must be informed as to what is being done in the religious world and christians must communicate with one another; and for this purpose our religious periodicals must be generously sustained. Pastors must be supported that the different flocks of christians may be fed; a pity it is that many congregations are now like sheep without a shepherd.

The churches must sustain their missionaries, home and foreign; for it will never do for them to prove so recreant to duty, so false to principle, so unmindful of their great commission, as to think, because trouble is brooding over our land and adversity overshadowing us, that, therefore, they may let those whom they sent forth to preach the gospel die for want of sustenance, or that, therefore, they are excusable for not striving to urge onward [t]he great care of salvation.

Before the year is out, it will be clear that Georgia Baptists are unable to maintain their pre-war church, education, and missionary advances.

Source: “A Few Strong Hints,” Christian Index, February 18, 1862