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The Elections of 1856 and 1992

By Editorial Staff
Published April 2, 2008

By Ron Auvil

As we approach the presidential election of 1992, I am reminded of the strikingly similar campaign of 1856. The similarities include an unresolved constitutional issue, a controversial Supreme Court decision, a caretaker presidency, and most of all, a sense of national frustration.

In 1856, the unresolved issue was that of slavery. Slavery was an explosive issue whose fuse burned shorter and shorter. Slavery was not specifically forbidden in the Constitution, although the language in the Constitution and the framers’ concept of natural law could be construed as condemning it. The result was a lack of national consensus and a division of the nation into two soon-to-be-armed camps. Each camp had some claim on the wording used by the Founding Fathers.

The unresolved issue today is abortion. The fuse on this issue is also burning shorter with each passing day. Abortion is not mentioned in the Constitution. Those who are pro-abortion have to “find” this so-called right. This view of course will not stand among those who are pro-life, who correctly see the pro-abortion lobby as having created “rights” which cannot be found in the Constitution. The result is the same as in 1856; a lack of national consensus and the division of the nation into two camps. Whether or not these camps become armed remains to be seen. However, if the historical pattern remains constant, a Harpers-Ferry type of incident can be expected to occur soon.

The overturned Supreme Court case of 1856 also mirrors a 1992 controversy. That being the Dred Scott case which upheld slavery and was undoubtedly bad law. It was turned de facto by the Civil War and de jure by the postbellum 14th amendment. In the same way, pro-lifers and many constitutional constructionists see Roe vs. Wade as bad law and one which must be overturned.

The election of a caretaker President in this election would also parallel 1856. In the same way that President James Buchanan was a time-serving do-nothing, who served neither side of a rapidly deteriorating nation, a movement toward a morally neutered, and mythical middle ground could lead to a severely crippled executive branch. Just as James Buchanan’s attempt at centrist, amoral politics could not serve as a lightning rod for the tensions which were then building, neither will the same political philosophy or lack thereof help to decide our current cultural war. This trend is both ominous and dangerous.

The most obvious parallel between the election of 1856 and 1992 is the sense of national frustration in the air. I believe the reason that politicians “just don’t get it” is due to the to the fact that they’ve lost contact with the people they are supposed to serve. If you talk to the average citizen, you will soon learn of the rapid moral decay in our land and the general frustration over the status quo. To paraphrase historian Shelby Foote, “They are being led in directions that they do not care to go.” This mood is as electric in this nation as in the humid air before a thunderstorm. I know for certain that this mood exists in this nation.

We can only hope to hear soon of a lawyer from a small town in Illinois…

Ron Auvil is a staff member of Christian Evangelistic Endeavors, a ministry dedicated to bringing a great revival to the Church and spiritual awakening throughout the nations. If you wish to receive more information about CEE, you may write to:

CEE, 35155 Beachpark Dr., Eastlake, OH 44095.


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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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