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Failing forward

Published January 19. 2013 09:03AM

Dear Editor:

Consider the Civil War General Robert E. Lee for what he is remembered for...LOSING. He lost both at Gettysburg and also the entire War of Northern Aggression. Lee is perhaps America's favorite loser. This Virginia born man was a respected adversary of the North, a seminary president after the war, and a example of a man failing forward in God's economy.

Lee loved the state of Virginia more than the federal Union. That conflict is the same for us in America today, if you are more loyal to constitutional freedoms over and above federal flag waving for international corporate business interests. For Lee his motivation wasn't a matter of simply identifying what was wrong as much as being deliberate over what was right. Lee was defending his heritage and homeland in geographic and political sovereignty guaranteed by United States charter called the constitution.

"Lee picked bad odds" most would say because the South lost. But mankind clearly won and good advanced. Gone now is chattel slavery; both for black man in bondage and the white man who owned his Negro brother.

The North winning in the mid 1860s A.D. began the the tyranny we have today in the twenty first century with federal government drastically over stepping its constitutional boundaries. Lee's perspective on God's created order as a loser is valuable because it frames the big picture. Slow progress forces the virtue of patience for those under the weight of injustice.

God is still on schedule! He is taking his creation somewhere here and now without believers going to heaven yet. This is true because of a preexisting context for life that theologians grounded in a knowledge of history call "providence". God's providence is the glue of progress. My father's college dictionary defines PROVIDENCE as the "foreseeing care and guidance of God over his creation." Lee illustrates this optimism.

"The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires to impatient: the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble: the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope."

The stage is being is set by the Creator for a larger advance for the glory of God. Believers call this Good News. This is true despite the ulterior motives of establishment politicians undermining rule of law in a republic form of government. Man plans but God installs His own will.

Robert Dages

Jim Thorpe

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