3 Ways Churches Can Help Prevent a Second American Civil War

Joe Forrest
13 min readAug 28, 2022

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It’s worse than you think.

Much worse.

Before we begin, however, I want to apologize for the inflammatory nature of this article’s title. I’m not, typically, an alarmist or prone to hyperbole. I’d charitably describe my disposition as “cautious optimism.”

Many may dismiss the central idea in this article as “irresponsible,” “needlessly inflammatory,” and “implausible.” To be honest, I actually hope that turns out to be the case.

But, in the time it takes you to read this article, I aim to convince you that — while not inevitable — the looming threat of a Second American Civil War is legitimate, and pastors may play a surprisingly pivotal role in the battle for our nation’s future.

The Likelihood of a Second American Civil War

The phrase “America has never been more polarized since the beginning of the Civil War” has become overused to the point of cliche, and I fear our over-familiarity with the sentiment has numbed us to its terrifying real-world implications.

For the record, the United States is probably not on track for a sequel to the nation-shattering conflict that left over 620,000 Americans dead between 1861 and 1865. And thankfully, most American citizens have no interest in instigating open warfare between the federal government and militant separatists.

But just because America isn’t currently standing at the precipice of a Second Civil War doesn’t mean it won’t or that the groundwork for a future conflict isn’t being laid right now.

As conservative Christian lawyer David French writes in Divided We Fall: “It’s time for Americans to wake up to a fundamental reality: The continued unity of the United States of America cannot be guaranteed.

For example, at least half of Americans believe “in the next few years, there will be a civil war in the United States.” Meanwhile, more and more scholars and conflict researchers are raising alarms that America is headed into dangerous territory.

And that’s nowhere more evident than the animosity and hatred festering between America’s “superfactions” — its two major political parties.

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Joe Forrest

Joe Forrest writes on the intersection of faith, culture, secularism, and politics.