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First Things First

"Early on [in the War Between the States], the chaplains of all denominations agreed that their preaching and teaching among the soldiers had to be performed on a nondenominational basis. . . . The chaplains' main mission was to be the preparation of the soldiers for the likelihood of death and eternity; therefore, their focus must be the salvation of souls, adding those souls to the membership in Christ's kingdom, not the adding of members to any specific church or denomination."

"General Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson was known for his strict adherence to his Presbyterian doctrines. But he also strongly believed that the men and chaplains should not argue about the nonessentials among the various denominations. For him, the important question was not the denomination a chaplain belonged to but, 'Does he preach the gospel?'"

"The source of and responsibility for the division [that exists among denominations today] lies not with any denominations that have tried to maintain the original biblical standard but with those that have departed from it. God and His true disciples have not changed the ground rules; the compromisers have rejected them. And in rejecting them, they have rejected God and have created gods in their own image, after their own likeness, and according to the way their sinful hearts are bent."

(Excerpts from Christ in Camp and Combat: Religious Work in the Confederate Armies by Dennis L. Peterson and available from Amazon at )

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