There is no denying that the arrival of Western civilization in the Americas has brought with it the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ to those who would have never otherwise heard it. While such evil things — unjust killings — certainly happened, in God’s sovereignty, He used this to bring about a greater good.
If these people [America-hating Evangelicals] were truly Christians, they would be thankful that God used such a broken man as Christopher Columbus to bring the gospel to the Americas. North America, much like the continent of Africa, was filled with idolatry of the worst kind. Native Americans, especially in Central and South America, practiced some of the worst affronts to God. Not that America today doesn’t still practice such idolatry — but before the arrival of Western civilization, there was absolutely no gospel to confront it.
The fact that God allowed Westerners to come to the Americas is an enormous act of mercy and grace on His part. He could have completely given them over to their idolatry, or worse, completely wiped them off the face of the Earth. But he didn’t. He chose to show them mercy and by allowing the gospel to be heard in a land that had never heard it before.
Indigenous people should, as every year, be thanking God for colonization on Columbus Day. The Great Commission as promised by Jesus – to spread his name and message throughout the world – has largely been the byproduct of the expansion of Christian empires through colonization. And through colonization, disadvantaged parts of the world have thrived by the influence of God-fearing nations.
Native peoples around the world are far better off, more happy, more healthy, and more at peace than they ever would have been before, if it were not for colonization of the New World and the expanse of Christendom throughout the world. Although Columbus himself was a Romanist and not a real believer in Jesus, his voyage across the Atlantic brought the competition of religion between Romanists and Protestants, and set-off the race to Christianize the savage in the New World.
“God made a special carve-out, if you will, in the late 1700s to create this new country called the United States of America. It was all birthed out of biblical values or, as my dad calls it, the mind of Christ [for the purpose of spreading] the Christian Gospel all over North America and then we spread the Christian Gospel all over the world. And by ‘we,’ I mean American Christians.” “This is a spiritual war for America and I think Satan hates America because America has spread the Gospel around the world and we still have a majority Christian nation. That’s my view. I can’t prove it but I think that’s why we’re so engaged and we see so much going on for our country’s future.”
First, I find it interesting that Wildmon ignores the first hundred years of American history. Why is that? Perhaps he wants to steer clear of the genocide perpetrated by America’s first settlers on Native Americans. Or perhaps he wants to distance himself from the fact that commerce and trade were the primary reason settlers migrated to America.
Second, there is little to no evidence for the United States being “birthed out of biblical values.” Wildmon is taking his fundamentalist beliefs and attempting to read them back into history. He, like David Barton, scours history for evidence to bolster his claim. So far, the evidence is scant and I don’t expect any to be forthcoming. Certainly, some of the founders of the United States were Christians, but I seriously doubt that any of them were Evangelical. Many of them were deists.
Third, commerce and control of taxation were the primary reasons for the founding of the United States. The tea thrown into Boston Harbor was not tossed overboard because of a lack of religious freedom.
Fourth, America has not spread the gospel all around the world. The vast majority of world citizens are NOT Christian. And those who are belong to sects that Wildmon likely thinks preach a false gospel. (i.e. Roman Catholicism) According to a 2012 Pew Research report:
There are 2.2 billion Christians in the world (32%)
About 50% of Christians are Catholic
About 37% of Christians are Protestant (this includes Evangelicals, Anglicans)
About 12% of Christians are Greek/Russian Orthodox
There are an estimated 285,480,000 Evangelicals, corresponding to 13.1% of the Christian population and 4.1% of the total world population. The Americas, Africa and Asia are home to the majority of Evangelicals. The United States has the largest concentration of Evangelicals.Evangelicalism is gaining popularity both in and outside the English-speaking world, especially in Latin America and the developing world.
According to Operation World, there are about 550 million Evangelicals in the world. Regardless of which number is used, Evangelicals are 4-8% of the world’s population. So much for “spreading” the good news of the gospel. The true gospel of the United States is capitalism. When IN GOD WE TRUST was put on our money they left a word out. It should have said In THIS God we Trust.
Fifth, the United States is a Christian nation in name only. Surely, Wildmon would agree that one of the marks of being a Christian is regularly attending a Christian church. Yet, the vast majority of Americans never, rarely, or infrequently attend church. 63% of Evangelicals attend church weekly, but the same cannot be said for other Christian sects. Like many Evangelical zealots, I suspect Wildmon conflates Evangelical Christianity with generic Christianity. At best, the United States has a cultural form of Christianity, and if we want to see what future awaits us, all we need to do is look at Europe, especially England.