Truth Transcends Politics
I have written before on the dangers of Christians who think politically and not biblically. Issues in this country tend to take the hard sides of Liberal VS Conservatives, democrats vs. republicans. The danger can be a kind of persuasion where Christians end up fearing political treason more than biblical infidelity.
Peter told the civil magistrate of his day “we must obey God rather than men,” and we ought to be able to say that to our party comrades as well as our legislators. It is important that we side with God on each issue rather than with men, even if those men have a very good track record of siding. One of these political issues is prevalent today.
Today is Columbus day, and many are very good at making sure the world hears, what they consider to be, the real story of Columbus. They view him as a very wicked and evil man, one who engaged in genocide and slavery. They make it known that he came to a land that was not his own, and slaughtered the people who it did rightfully belong to. This is why many consider this day “Indigenous People Day.”
They protest against the public school’s simple portrayal of him as a brave and brilliant sailor who crossed the ocean blue (in 1492) and discovered new lands which we now enjoy.
They may be right, yet, many conservatives are afraid to admit this because they cannot stomach “siding with the enemy.” However, if this characterization of Columbus is true, then they would actually be siding with truth, and siding with truth is always siding with God, Who is the very fountainhead of all Truth. The Bible holds us accountable for utilizing the available information to make a fair and balanced judgment, regardless of which political majority may dislike our conclusion.
It is certainly acceptable to disregard what your public school system taught about Columbus, provided the counter research supports it. Public school curriculum is guilty of getting history wrong.
The best example of this is the immediate connection most people make when they hear the word “Puritans.” If your connotation to the word “Puritanical” is “legalism,” or “witch-hunt” your christian leaders were probably educated by the public schools.
For an easy to read reference which is still robust in its material, I would highly recommend the book Meet the Puritans by J.R. Beeke and R.J. Pederson. Read the personal biographies of some of the Puritans documented in that book, and try to compare your Christian faithfulness to the men and women you read about. It will most likely be as humbling for you as it was for me.
In reality, most of the Puritans were theological heroes. They produced some of the most shining examples of Christian bravery, and fidelity to Christ in the midst of horrendous, unimaginable persecution. On top of that, they contributed much to the Christ’s church theologically through their literature and sermons. Every Christian in American and Europe today owed much to the Puritans.
Of course, as a human culture, they made mistakes. However, were they around today I guarantee their voices would be much louder than the national evangelical whispers faintly heard nationally about the slaughtering of 60 million, but don’t worry, we are getting to that later.
Getting back on track, the point to all of this being that Truth is not wedded to a political party, but to the character and nature of God. Christians are allowed to dislike Columbus, that is acceptable.
There are many public schools that do in fact teach that Columbus was wicked, that the discovery of America was immoral, and that it ought not to be celebrated. Christians are free to believe or reject that idea as well. The question is simple: What does a faithful examination of the most reliable resources provided yield?
It is also fine to not use one brush to paint a painting. Christians may simultaneously believe, if they have good reason to, that Columbus was wicked, without denying he did some beneficial things. Christians may also simultaneously believe that the “discovery of the new world” had both wicked and righteous conquests. Another alternative is the possibility that many of the cultures involved had this coming.
Perhaps Columbus, and many of the groups that followed after, was barbaric and wicked, and perhaps that is precisely why they were tasked with the job. This lesson is most readily noticeable in the rich treasure that is Habakkuk.
The great prophet complains that God is so patiently allowing a nation to be wicked and vile without stepping in with His swift hand of justice (1: 2-4). God answers Habakkuk’s complaint by promising to bring the Chaldeans to do the job for Him (1: 6-11). However, Habukkuk then had something new to complain about: the Chaldeans were more wicked than the nation they were about to destroy.
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do You idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? (1: 13)
However, the God of all comfort brought Habukkuk just that by then promising to judge the Chaldeans as well (2: 6-20). The Chaldeans were wicked, yet, God used their wickedness to judge other wicked people.
When you look at all of the conquests that arrived after Columbus, there was much bloodshed at the hands of many Europeans, and it was evil. However, many of those peoples whose blood was shed needed to have their blood shed.
Read about some of the Aztecs whom Hernando Cortes dealt with for example. Archaeological and historical studies have rendered a more than confident understanding of their practices. These were nations and people who would behead, torture, skin, sacrifice, and some would even cannibalize, innocent people (including women and children). They were truly barbaric, and truly deserved barbarism.
Consistency as the Mark of Truth
Christians need to be fair and judge history in a way that pleases God, not in a way that panders to the political party they are most often in line with. I don’t care what you, Christian, think about Columbus and the many others who came looking for the new world, provided your opinion is defensible and consistent.
To judge history biblically and fairly requires consistency. Truth is always characterized by consistency. You cannot define truth without the words “God” or “consistent”. And here is what is not consistent:
We live in a nation of unbelievers who, on one hand, hate Columbus for his genocide, or for being the one to grease the skids for it, yet, they turn around and vote to keep genocide “safe and legal.” Even if we decide Columbus was a mass murdering lover of genocide, he doesn’t hold a candle to 60 million. The very people who hate Columbus are the kind of people that would make him blush.
Our nation is a nation of genocide still. We still love to slaughter 60 million. Only now they are not native Americans, but baby Americans, also native to America. We slaughter millions of children legally, and for many, joyfully, every year.
Who are we to look down on Columbus? Did Columbus own slaves? Did he sell slaves? If he did sell them, he at least had the decency to sell them in one piece. That is a courtesy Planned Parenthood has no interest in offering. Columbus took whole slaves, Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of dismembered ones.
One cannot criticize a man for genocide if one votes for genocide. One cannot hold up a “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” sign, and then put it down today in order to have both hands available to hold the “I Stand against Columbus’ Genocide!” sign. That’s called inconsistency. It’s called self-refutation. It’s called hypocrisy. It’s called sin.
By What Standard?
Along the lines of criticizing folks at all, another important aspect to Columbus Day is having the worldview which can even account for any criticisms of human behavior at all.
We live in a post-modern nation that believes we have no right to judge other societies, and we teach that morality is subjective…..except for Columbus’ society: they were objectively immoral apparently. What a convenient exception. A culture which has abandoned the only worldview which can account for objective morality has nowhere to stand in order to criticize a man for committing objective evil.
Columbus was evil? Says who? What worldview can provide the objective moral criteria that is transcendent upon all people and all nations and is unchanging, from 1492 all the way to 2016? Certainly not the one held by most of the people who protest Columbus Day.
The native Americans owned this land first? Why does being here first give you rights over it? What worldview can provide that moral criteria? “You were here first so it belongs to you”… Says who? Certainly not Darwin.
Nothing about Darwin’s lies commit one to believing man cannot travel to a new land, kill people, and take it. That is much closer to a “virtue” in Darwinian evolution than it is a “vice.” The strong survive in the dog-eat-dog world painted by Naturalism. Columbus and his European colleagues were stronger, their teeth were sharper, and their bite was harder than the native Americans. They deserved the land by virtue of being more powerful and superior in battle. Deal with it Naturalists, your worldview demands you do. Only the Christian worldview can account for the objective moral framework to criticize genocide, only the Christian has the moral grounds to be fair.
Christian, you are allowed to make reasonable, fair judgments; you are not allowed to be inconsistent. So, should you celebrate Columbus Day? I’ll let you decide that.
But while you calculate and process, while you type away and do your research, let me show you the hands of someone who will not be joining you in your typing endeavors.
|Ya…but that Columbus sure was a bad guy…|