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Doctrinal Writings
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Dr. Richard Flanders
Juniata Baptist Church
Vassar, Michigan
"... and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many..." (Daniel 8:25)

They called them "Peace Democrats" because they advocated a swift end to the war and the soon bringing-home of the troops. The year before the presidential election, one of them, a former congressman from the Midwest, called the war "cruel" and in a speech asked, "ought this war to continue?" He then answered his own question with the words, "No, not a day, not an hour!" The war had entrapped brave American soldiers in a quagmire of pointless death and destruction, they said. Casualty numbers were shocking and victories were few.

Not all Democrats, however, were in the "Peace" wing of the party. A significant faction supported the war, but disagreed with the Republican president over how it was conducted and what should be its goals. As the election year came, it actually appeared that a War Democrat might win his party's nomination.

The peace movement engaged in public protests against the war. Just seven months before the election, an anti-war riot directed at soldiers leaving for the fields of conflict resulted in five people being killed! As the campaign season approached, Republican hopes were dying too. At the Democratic National Convention in August, the Peace Democrats basically wrote the platform. It stated that "justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities." It attacked the president for the "usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers not granted by the constitution." Under the guise of fighting the enemy, they said, the president was suppressing human rights. The convention finally nominated that War Democrat for president, but he made accommodations for the Peace wing of the party and its platform.

Then something unexpected occurred. Several major U.S. victories were won in the months between the Democratic Convention and Election Day. A swell of optimism about the war killed Democratic chances and elected the Republican. The peace movement ended up being the ruin of the Democratic Party as the war was won. As a matter of fact, no Democrat was elected to the White House for another 20 years!

Of course, this story is not about the election of 2008, which has yet to happen! It is an historical account of the events leading up to the election of 1864. The war was the Civil War, not the Iraq War. The controversial president was Abraham Lincoln. The Peace Democrats were called "Copperheads" by the public because of their reputation for treason. The story is old, but may well be in the process of re-enactment!

The Bible tells of a king who will "destroy many" through the use of "peace" (Daniel 8:25). Peace is desirable, and certainly more desirable than war. However, peace movements have often been fraudulent, and sometimes actually organized by the enemy. Some pre-Second World War "peace" organizations were actually Communist fronts to keep America out of Europe as long as Stalin and Hitler were allies. When war broke out between them, this "peace" movement shut down. Of course, the enemy connections to the Vietnam-Era "peaceniks" are now well-known. Even sincere peace protestors have often served the interests of the enemy, and many have been manipulated by the powerful to further political purposes they never intended. "Peace" as a cause and a battle cry has indeed destroyed many.

For these reasons, Christian people must beware of the sometimes fatal attraction of those who cry, "Peace!" Justice and high principle are more important than peace. These are causes worth fighting and dying for, but cowards and traitors will subtly undermine such causes with calls for peace. Let us be wise and discerning in these times of conflict and desperate demands for peace.

FOR THE CAUSE OF REVIVAL Dr. Rick Flanders is now available to preach in various places. Contact him at this e-mail address or at 989.823.7848.

Monthly Article
by Dr. Rick Flanders
currently Pastor of
Juniata Baptist Church
Juniata Baptist Church
5656 Washburn Road
Vassar, MI 48768
(517) 823-7848

Dr. Rick Flanders Biographical Data

Converted in 1963 through a radio ministry.
Earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Bob Jones University.
Honorary D.D. from Pensacola Christian College.
Pastor at Juniata Baptist Church since 1973.
On BCPM Board, (Baptist Church Planting Ministry)
and also MACS. (Michigan Association of Christian School)

Articles published in the;
Sword of the Lord
Baptist Preacher,
Christian View of the News,
Pulpit Helps,
Maranatha Watchman
Church Bus News,
and other national periodicals.

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