David Lipscomb on Voting

November 5, 2012

David Lipscomb’s opposition to participation in civil government is perhaps well-known. He is, in some ways, a Christian anarchist. This arises both from his experience in the Civil War but also out of his kingdom theology which envisions the kingdom of God destroying all human ruling authorities through Jesus Christ. Consequently, Lipscomb was a pacifist […]


David Lipscomb: Forgiveness and Unity After the Civil War

April 13, 2012

September 11 means something to us. It raises questions about forgiveness, war and our future. I don’t think that date meant anything particular to David Lipscomb, but on that date in 1866 Lipscomb addressed the problem of war and forgiveness (Gospel Advocate 8 [11 September 1866] 579-583). How do we forgive those who sought our […]


David Lipscomb on God’s Role in Worldly Conflicts

April 12, 2012

In the second issue of the rebirthed Gospel Advocate in 1866, Lipscomb addresses the question of how God was or was not involved in the Civil War which ended eight months ago. He asks, “Does God Take Part in the Conflicts of the Kingdoms of this World?”  His answer, “Yes!” God has a role in everything within […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part XIII)

April 9, 2012

In the last issue of the Gospel Advocate during the Civil War, December 1861, Fanning noted the death of an “old friend,” Pierce Butler Anderson. It is Fanning’s last comment on the Civil War until the Gospel Advocate was rebirthed in January 1866. Fanning is gracious in reporting his death knowing “the Lord of all the […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part XII)

April 7, 2012

The church in Murfreesboro was divided over the war. Previously Fanning had published a letter from Lillard, Harding and Ransome, and he had printed an article by “Disciple” who responded to that letter from within the same church. Fanning now feels compelled to comment on their exchange. He uses the occasion to clarify his position. […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate for Peace in 1861 (XI)

April 6, 2012

By November 1861 the Confederate States and the Union were well settled into their warring camps and bloody conflict was in full swing. By mid-February of 1862, Ft. Henry on the Tennessee River and Ft. Donelson on the Cumberland would fall to Federal forces. By the end of February, Nashville was in Union hands. Rather […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate For Peace in 1861 (Part X)

April 5, 2012

After printing the questions of some of his critics and then responding to them, Fanning counsels his readers about “suitable labor for Christians in these perilous times” (Gospel Advocate 7.9 [September 1861] 281-286). What is a Christian to do in these trying times? Fanning laments that the disciples who have long “maintained that the word […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part IX)

April 4, 2012

Fanning printed a critical response to his peacemaking articles in the September issue of the Gospel Advocate, but not without his own reply to their questions (“Reply to Brethren Lillard, Harding and Ransome,” Gospel Advocate 7.9 [September 1861] 265-276). Fanning characterized his previous articles for peacemaking as an attempt to be as “wise as serpents and […]


Tolbert Fanning — Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part VIII)

April 3, 2012

Tennessee, a member of the Confederate States of America since July 1861, was now a full participant in an American bloody Civil War. Fanning had pursued every recourse to persuade disciples from joining the fight on either side. Three disciples from Murfreesboro in Rutherford County penned a response to Fanning’s several articles, particularly his three […]


Tolbert Fanning–Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part VII)

March 27, 2012

With Tennessee now a Confederate state and at war with the Union, Fanning published an article entitled “Taking up the Cross,” in the August issue of the Gospel Advocate 7.8 (1861), 244-245. What did it mean to “take up the cross” in August 1861 for Tennesseans, Confederates or Unionists? On the one hand, it meant abandoning […]