States Rights and Secession
We are the United States of America. These words are so often spoken that we are desensitized to their meaning. You could say that we are the States of America that are also United. The founding fathers took great issue with the potential power struggle between federal and state governments, both of whom they deeply distrusted.
In 1787, the 10th amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Here is an interesting story:
Some argue that, sixty three years later (1850), the seeds of Civil War were planted with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 applied federal power for the benefit of slave owners to protect their ‘property.’ It also compelled citizens and states to assist in fugitive slave rendition and made assisting suspected runaways a federal crime!
Then the NORTH rebelled. One by one, Northern states and municipalities passed “personal liberty laws” to nullify the federal powers. In support of their stand, Northern apologists appealed to the notion of “states’ rights”. The Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 unconstitutional.
So, it was Northern States that used nullification to resist slavery. In South Carolina, one author wrote “For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing.” When southern states asserted their own authority and seceded, northern support for state sovereignty went up in flames of war.
It was always about slavery. States rights’ arguments were tools to justify resistance. United, we were not.
In the ESV, the word United appears 3 times. NIV: 6 times. KJV: 0 times. However, wherever the word appears in any major translation, it appears in the New Testament and really along the same theme:
(NASB) 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection… Romans 6:5.
We are United in spirit. Philippians 2:2.
We are United by faith. Hebrews 4:2.
Whatever the case, and whatever the weather…we are called to be United as Christians. Division is a tool of the enemy. It is always the precursor to strife. This is something to really ponder in 2019.
TODAY’S TRAINING: What do you think unites us as Christians? Are you able to discern what is Christian and what is not?