The numbers were brought up by others as if they reflect the essence of God's judgment. I never meant to agree with that way of looking at it and I'm sorry if it came across that I agreed. I simply thought that jar's absolute numbers didn't represent the actuality of the loss -- even just with respect to the numbers -- and that the reality comes across more clearly when you see the percentages involved, showing in this case a more equal loss than the absolute numbers show. But I don't think I said anything to imply I regard this as a measure of God's judgment.
I never intended to make the numbers, either absolutes or percentages, a measure of how God judged the North and South, and as I also argued and you go on to point out, the loss of property made the South's loss the greater, just as it made Germany and Japan's losses the greater in WWII.
Abraham Lincoln himself believed it was God's judgment for slavery, as I quoted him saying in his second inaugural address in Message 4, along with many Christians of his day and since. He even quoted the Bible. Perhaps if he were still around you'd lecture him about it too?
Neither were any of the American founders "worldclass theologians" but they all knew their Bible and had sat under Christian preaching all their lives and all of them quoted the Bible on many occasions as the best guide for the nation. This despite the fact that some of them weren't really Christians. But a Deist in those days wasn't what we think of as a Deist today. They believed that God was involved in the nation, they advocated prayer for instance and understood that God's laws ruled in this world. So did Abraham Lincoln, and they all say basic things all Christians agree with. Except perhaps modern "liberal" Christians.
Lincoln's position is standard orthodox Christianity. So was Jefferson's when he said: this:
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
which is basically the same thing Lincoln was saying about God's judging the nation for slavery. Jefferson's complete statement is here:
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish a law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state and on a general plan."
And what an absolutely absurd idea that we shouldn't appreciate the correct understanding of Christian teaching as applied by a leader of the nation. Two leaders quoted so far. And I may be able to dig up more. Absurd.
I think you are referring to the Jefferson quote and misattributing it to Lincoln. Jefferson didn't quote Jesus but he did express the Biblical concept that God will judge a nation for its sins, slavery in this case.
Lincoln quoted Jesus's saying "Offenses must come but woe to those by whom they come" -- the offenses being slavery, and the woe being God's judgment on those who support slavery.
Um, no, I don't believe that Lincoln is to be believed because he was President, I believe the fact should be respected that an American President expressed a true Biblical precept that was well recognized and accepted by Christians in general in his day and that he was one of many Presidents who understood and quoted the Bible as guide to the nation back in the day.
Also Lincoln did not start the war, the South did.
It's a tradition for Presidents to quote the Bible or sound Christian. But Obama didn't say anything about God's judgment. The point I'm trying to make here is that God's judgment on nations is not some weird oddball idea of my own, or my own peculiar "sect" as people like to call it here, but a very traditional Christian principle that comes from the Bible, which ought to be recognized from the fact that both Lincoln and Jefferson believed it quite seriously and applied it to the sin of slavery in the US.
I don't get what you are saying about God being pleased with the war? War is horrible, and God's judgments are horrible, that's why He tells us to warn people when it's coming in the hope of bringing them to repentance. The lists of things that will happen to Israel if they fail to keep God's law is scary: famine, war, invasion by foreigners, economic disaster. I think it's Deut 9 and Lev 26 but I need to check.
We figure the Civil War was judgment because of slavery, which was the main issue it was fought over.
You have to be very careful when you state that slavery was the cause of the Civil War. Few things in history are black and white. There are many nuances and many other issues that tie in and wrap around each other.
Yes, and I'm aware there were other causes. I said "main issue," not "only."
But I don't see why it matters in this context which is that Lincoln considered the war to be God's judgment for slavery, and Jefferson had earlier believed that God would eventually have to judge the nation for slavery. Perhaps some of the other issues involved God's judgment as well, or maybe not, but the idea here is that slavery certainly did.
The only thing I claimed the beliefs of Lincoln and Jefferson were evidence for is that God's judgment on nations was standard Biblical theology and not some oddball idea of a minor "sect."
Lincoln was also famous for saying that the important thing is whether we are on God's side, essentially debunking the whole idea of His being on "our" side, so your claims about what "all theists" think is not true.
Who won doesn't prove much in itself. It could be God's judgment against the enemy rather than His approval of your beliefs. The Assyrians and the Babylonians destroyed much of Israel and Judah, but they were God's scourge against God's people for their sins, and God specifically says not to believe He favored them because they would come under judgment themselves in due time.
Sometimes (often?) aggression against others is sin in itself and will eventually be punished, no matter who "won."
Pieces in a chess game? I don't think so. Some others here have treated it that way, but I don't think it's all that easy to know the particulars of God's judgment on nations because we can't know all the complex interwoven causes that God sees. I think in the case of the Civil War it had to be God's judgment but beyond noting that the South lost it dramatically I haven't suggested anything about the specifics of the war as God's will. Again it's too complex for us to figure out beyond the blanket assessment that it WAS judgment.
Since their beliefs were standard Biblical theology, as I said, and I know that because it's what I've learned from every orthodox source of theology I've encountered over two and a half decades, then it is true, period. I have no interest in proving to you that it is standard Biblical theology, or that it is true, take it or leave it.