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Lincoln’s Religion

December 1, 2016

Lincoln’s father and stepmother were Separatist Baptists, but Lincoln never joined any Baptist assembly.  As an adult Lincoln attended Presbyterian services, but he never joined that denomination.  Although he was never baptized, some have said he turned to the God of the Bible in repentance and faith shortly after the death of his son Willie.  Some have claimed he would have made a public profession of faith if he had only lived a little longer.  Others say he remained somewhat skeptical to the end.  In any case, Lincoln was always respectful of religion.

In 1846 Lincoln was elected to the U.S. Congress.  During the campaign the Democrats had accused him of being “an open scoffer at Christianity.”  After the votes were counted, Lincoln responded by saying: “I do not think I could, myself, be brought to support a man for office, whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion.  Leaving the higher matter of eternal consequences, between him and his Maker, I still do not think any man has the right thus to insult the feelings, and injure the morals, of the community in which he may live.”

In his 2nd Inaugural Address, Lincoln cites two verses from the Sermon on the Mount and one verse from the Psalms.  In a speech of less than 700 words he mentions ‘God’ or ‘The Almighty’ a combined total of seven times.  Lincoln may not have had a religion, but he did have a theology, and even a superficial reading of his speeches will reveal that his theology came from the Bible.






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