Thursday, May 22, 2014

EM Bounds

There are very few books that have changed my life in the same way that EM Bounds books on prayer have- I'm a lover of books, especially a lover on books dealing with prayer; and pretty much everyone who writes about prayer goes to this guy for their quotes (okay, and the Bible.) 

I've always thought it was super weird that EM Bounds- this spiritual giant in my eyes- served in the confederate army (some say as a chaplain, some say as a general). Like whaaaaat? Abraham Lincoln and EM Bounds were on opposing sides? 

Then I found this this morning: 

Edward McKendree Bounds (1835 - 1913) was a powerful preacher and a well-known minister during the era of America's Civil War. Although he was against aligning himself with either side in that war, having refused to join the Confederate Army initially, the Union Army nevertheless arrested him as a Confederate sympathizer because he pastored a church in Brunswick, Missouri, which was Confederate territory. He was released about a year and half later whereupon it became impossible for him to minister the gospel within the arena of war unless he was given official sanction. Thus, he enlisted as a Confederate Chaplin in the Missouri ranks. He became an immense source of comfort for both Confederate and Union soldiers alike, ministering to either side as the Lord gave him opportunity. It is recorded that one night before a major battle, Bounds was holding a gospel service for a large contingent of Confederate troops encamped along a river. On the other side of the river was the Union Army. When the Union troops across the river discerned that Bounds was holding a service, they began to yell across the river and ask for prayers for various comrades who had been wounded or who were otherwise in need. The Confederate side, under Bounds, warmly received these requests, and yelled back across the river with names of their own injured, thereby soliciting prayers from the Union side. Such was the effect that E. M. Bounds had upon all he ministered to. 

How's that for unity in Jesus' name to God's glory? 

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling…" 
(ephesians 4:4)

Maybe we shouldn't freak out so much when we disagree about ultimately dumb stuff.