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The Forerunner

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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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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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

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

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