Sunday, February 18, 2007

"In This Temple..."

The following words are found engraved in a building that looks like a Greek or Roman temple: the Lincoln Memorial.

"In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever."

Webster's 1828 Dictionary gives the following definition of temple.

TEM'PLE, n. [L. templum.]

1. A public edifice erected in honor of some deity. Among pagans, a building erected to some pretended deity, and in which the people assembled to worship. Originally, temples were open places, as the Stonehenge in England. In Rome, some of the temples were open, and called sacella; others were roofed, and called oedes. The most celebrated of the ancient pagan temples were that of Belus in Babylon, that of Vulcan at Memphis, that of Jupiter at Thebes, that of Diana at Ephesus, that of Apollo in Miletus,that of Jupiter Olympius in Athens, and that of Apollo at Delphi. The most celebrated and magnificent temple erected to the true God, was that built by Solomon in Jerusalem.

In Scripture, the tabernacle is sometimes called by this name. 1 Sam. 1-3.

2. A church; an edifice erected among christians as a place of public worship.

Can he whose life is a perpetual insult to the authority of God, enter with any pleasure a temple consecrated to devotion and sanctified by prayer?

3. A place in which the divine presence specially resides; the church as a collective body. Eph.2.

4. In England,the Temples are two inns of court, thus called because anciently the dwellings of the knights Templars. They are called the Inner and the Middle Temple.

Is it just me, or does this bother you?


Susanna Moore said...

Well said, Elizabeth. A temple for Lincoln? While our leaders deserve our respect, they are not worthy of such adoration. This should be reserved for God alone.

Me said...

Is it wrong? Yes. Does it surprise me? No. The founders of our country and subsequent leaders professed a belief in Christ and the Bible. When one looks at their lives and how they lived, one discovers that their views were often mashed into other interests and beliefs and mixed well.

Many were classical humanists and a surprisingly large number were free masons. Their ideas of God certainly didn't fit within the theological boundaries held by most God-fearing denominations today.

That said, I do think most of them were sincere. They were simply way off base with far to much belief in the capability of humans to be good.

I believe that the idea of total depravity was probably lost on most of them.

Jacqui said...

yes. indeed. i noticed this myself when i visited there two years ago...hmm.

Erin said...

Wow, I never knew that. That's . . . sad.

Robert W Moore said...


Thank you for posting the photos. You asked a good question about the Lincoln temple.

Abraham Lincoln is without doubt the most deified of all American leaders, and it is by design.

As you know, Lincoln brought untold pain and loss to our country. As the Lord would have it, the Southern nation lost its struggle for independence. Winners write the textbooks and build the temples.

"Union" was glorified above all else. To Lincoln, his end justified his means. Lincoln is deified because he allowed his generals to commit war crimes in order that the American imperialist vision of "Manifest Destiny" (sea to shining sea) might prosper. At any cost.

Lincoln lied to secure his place as the American god. He promised to honor the right of each state to resolve its own internal conflicts. Specifically, he promised to never invade the sovereign soil of a southern state with federal troops. One may argue that he said it so forcefully that he, in all likelihood, had full intent to do precisely the opposite.

Hopefully, your readers will take the time to read Lincoln's First Inaugural Speech. It is readily accessible online. (Always read source documents -- what the individuals said and wrote rather than what the historians claim.)

Lincoln is enshrined so as to humiliate the land he trampled. The temple-builders created a perpetual aura of invincibility. From his lofty throne, the sculpted image of an all-knowing savior looks upon those whose liberties were not gained but trampled.

Our sovereign God, in His wisdom, has allowed our land to suffer. Neither the winner nor the loser may lay claim to glory that is God's alone. We must study to know the truth and then depend upon God to vindicate our cause.

Deo Vindice

Becc@ said...

While I understand your point about this monument, and worship for God alone, and I can understand why you think it seems like a place of worship because it's in a temple...
But I think of it more as a place of respect of a very great leader who saved our nation!
This man Abraham Lincoln who said 'If my name ever goes down in history, it will be for this one thing, the abolishment of slavery.' And Praise God, it happened!!!
I think he deserves our admiration, and great respect!

Now, if you worship this statue, or and other thing, besides God, than it is VERY wrong!

Now my question is; If this monument was of somebody else, say, Robert E. Lee, would it bother you?!

Please no offence, this is just my opinion on this subject!=)

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Thanks for commenting! Yes, it would bother me if this monument was for Robert E. Lee. It would still be a grievous sin against God: no man deserves to be idolized in this way.

The entire style and wording of this monument mirrors the way the American people have lifted President Lincoln up and revered him as being somehow better than the rest of mankind. It is wrong, and I think it saddens God that a mere man is receiving such god-like recognition.

Putting the temple aside -- President Lincoln was not a fraction of the man Northern history books make him out to be. “Honest Abe” is the last nickname I would ever ascribe to him. Lincoln was a conniving “smart” politician. He knew how to mold the public’s opinion or shut them up if they disagreed. Anyone who believes in our first amendment right of a free press should distrust Lincoln’s legacy. He shut down newspapers and arrested people who had the boldness to write against his policies. President Lincoln was two faced – anything but honest. He would say one thing and do another. I just read his first inaugural address this morning. It is a shocking and revealing speech. You might enjoy reading it.

God bless you, Becc@!

Your Friend,

Robert W Moore said...


Regarding your comment about Lincoln's legacy, it's worth noting that we can learn from the history of war. Warfare is nearly always waged over land. With the land -- and rule of the people who live in the land -- comes natural resources, land and sea routes for transportation, cities with established commerce, farms and dairies, and so forth. With these come wealth, power, and influence in the world.

Abraham Lincoln had no desire to interfere with slavery. In fact, he did not cause slavery to end. A careful reading of history, especially southern source material, shows that the institution was going to come to its end. It was the land. Lincoln wasn't going to lose the land -- whatever the cost.

Speaking of the institution of slavery, the constitution of the Confederate States of America specifically prohibited the importation of slaves. One must read 19th century American history carefully to understand the issues.