By José L. González
FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO GOD sent to America a man bearing a great treasure in a very fragile vessel: his name was Cristoforo, “The Christ bearer.” Over one hundred years later, God sent to the northern shores of the Americas another people. These two different plantings of the Christian faith have borne very different fruit. It is time to know them, by their fruit.
The one brought the Christianity of the day – an unreformed, medieval faith represented by the Cross, the emblem of the Catholic Kings, planted at the point of the Spanish sword, bathed for eight hundred years in the blood of the Infidels. Conquistador, adventurer and priest worked side by side, seeking glory, riches and converts, each for the respective king: Cæsar, Mammon or God. By the sovereign Providence of God they conquered empires, dethroning principalities and subjugating people who often welcomed them to their land and to their daughters.
The others brought the Bible, by which each man governed himself according to the dictates of God. They were the fruit of a revival which had not yet begun when Columbus sailed, and which for historical reasons would not take hold in Spain. The Reformation, fueled by the printing of thousands of Bibles, bore fruit among the English Puritans, who wanted to “purify” their church. When they failed, they became “Separatists,” wishing to separate themselves from a church entangled with the crown. It was these, who wanted to establish for posterity a Christian commonwealth, who made up the Pilgrims that landed at Plymouth in 1620.
Who can argue with the past designs of Providence? And who can know what He has reserved for the future? All we are called to do is discern the signs of the present time. So we weep for the virgin daughter of the Reformation in America, weighed down by the abundance of her own blessings. And we swell with joy in anticipation of the coming of age of her sisters to the South, to the glorious morn of their betrothal to the Son.
A curtain of iron has been torn in Europe, but a spiritual curtain of mutual disdain, pride and resentment still separates the two American sisters – fruit of these different plantings. This stronghold is the same which kept England and Spain bickering for centuries. Now it keeps their American offspring divided, not just against each other but also against their African and Indian brothers. Not one can cast the first stone.
The Gospel does go forth, preached to every creature, its inexorable march binding together what the devil has kept divided, until of every kindred and every tribe, from every tongue and every nation there joins around a throne, the chorus of the elect: all God’s children, free at last, to love Him freely and in freedom, love one another!
José L. González is the founder of Semilla, an organization dedicated to educating Latin Americans in Biblical principles of government – self- and civil government.
This article is reprinted from The Journal of the Foundation for American Christian Education, Volume III, 1991, P.O. Box 27035, San Francisco, California 94127. Membership is available for $25 a year.