So What's This All About?

In case you didn't know, I'm in the multi-year-long process of posting a Christian devotional at the TAWG Blog. The TAWG Blog is, and always will be, mostly apolitical. For the most part, Bible-believing Christians will find little to disagree with there. But I also firmly believe that God's word can--and should--inform everything in life, and this should include politics and popular culture. How should we vote? How should we respond to hot topics such as abortion, capital punishment, taxes, and other issues? Which party, if either, is closer to the Biblical ideal? Tony Campolo and Ron Sider, Evangelicals whose political leanings are on the Left, have made the case in several of their writings that God wants his followers to vote politically on the Left more than on the Right. At times, some of them have gone so far as to equate voting on the Left with obedience to Christ, either subtly or not-so-subtly contending that the converse is true as well: If you vote Republican, you're sinning against the Savior.
I don't agree. I think that to the degree they actually resort to the Bible, they're misinterpreting it. With a whole bunch of caveats, I think politically conservative positions are a lot more compatible with the Scriptures than the Leftist positions.
Just to clarify, I would never accuse people who disagree with me--especially siblings in Christ--of what they accuse me of. I don't judge my own heart, much less anyone else's, and I don't equate political disagreement with theological fidelity to God. I have no reason to doubt their love for the Lord and "for the least of these," but I believe that they're sincerely wrong.
So there are two main purposes for this blog. One is to make a case for my political beliefs based on Scripture. The other is a bit more vague, basically to work out my political beliefs and figure out what's based on Scripture and what's based on my own biases. I certainly don't have all the answers. Some of this stuff I'm still figuring out. And I'm certainly open to correction. As long as you make your case civilly and based on Scripture, feel free to make a comment, and I promise I'll post it and consider your arguments thoughtfully and prayerfully. Who knows? Maybe we'll learn a little something from each other.
May God bless our common striving together towards both the "little t" truth and "Big T" Truth. Our watchword here is a line from C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle: "Further up and further in!"

P.S. -- Below on the left is "Topics I've Covered" which lists everything I've posted topically. It's come to my attention that some people would like to see everything just listed for them. If that's you, you can get it here. Thanks to my friend Stephen Young for the tip!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Great Locomotive Chase

You've probably heard of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest honor our military bestows. Generals have to salute anyone--no matter what the rank--of any bearer. But I never knew who was the first recipient, let alone the circumstances behind it.

From Bill Bennett's American Patriot's Almanac:

On April 7, 1862, two dozen men met near Shelbyville, Tennessee, to hatch one of the most audacious schemes of the Civil War: slip deep behind Confederate lines into Georgia, steal a locomotive, and run it north to Chattanooga, destroying track along the way to cut a vital Southern supply line.

“Boys, we’re going into danger,” Union spy James Andrews warned, “but for results that can be tremendous.”

The raiders, mostly Union soldiers in civilian clothes, made their way to Marietta, Georgia, where they boarded a northbound train pulled by the locomotive the General. When it stopped at Big Shanty, where the crew got off for breakfast, the raiders uncoupled the passenger cars and steamed away pulling three empty boxcars. The General’s astonished conductor and two others sprinted after them. The Great Locomotive Chase was on.

Andrews’s raiders chugged north, stopping every once in a while to tear up track and cut telegraph wires. The pursuers kept on their tail, first on foot, then on a handcart, then an engine. When they met torn-up track or obstructions, they ran ahead and jumped onto another engine. Running the locomotive Texas backward, they caught up with the General. Andrews tried uncoupling boxcars and throwing rail ties onto the tracks to stop the Texas, but 87 miles into the chase, the General ran out of fuel.

“Every man for himself!” Andrews ordered, and the raiders scattered. Within a week, they’d all been captured. Several, including Andrews, were hanged as spies. The rest eventually escaped or were exchanged for Confederate prisoners.

In March 1863, six of the raiders met with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who explained that Congress had created a new medal to honor valor. “Your party shall have the first,” he said as he pinned one onto Pvt. Jacob Parrott—the first-ever recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration.

Every day, Bill Bennett provides via email--for free--a reading from his American Patriot's Almanac. You’ll read about heroes, their achievements, and key events that took place “On This Day” in American history. Click here to subscribe.

BTW, if you're interested, Stuff You Missed In History has 2 30-minute podcasts where they tell the entire story. You can listen to part one and part two at these links. Seriously, why haven't they made a movie about this?!

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