Archaeologists and historians of past civilizations understand that modern efforts to interpret the past have strict limitations. We have to “take a leap of imagination” to bridge the fixed gulf between THEN and NOW. THEN is a word alien to NOW. The scholars make a huge mistake, however, when they instinctively feel that our opinions and persuasions are almost invariably “prejudices and preconceptions”. Lost Cities of the Ancient Southeast, 4
That puts us at an unnecessary disadvantage. It sees the ancient Indians of America as the norm and we as invasive interlopers. They become the standard of correct behavior and we the nihilist of their Good, Excellent, Superior culture. Such scholars invariably consider Europeans as invaders, not as creators. That makes the seven nations of Canaan innocent victims of a predatory Israel. And all Europeans as exploiters of innocent American natives.
The truth is...Europeans did enough harm to be condemned for greed, pillage, and brutality. But they DID NOT have to teach those vices to Indians; they had bloody religious practices that made everyday brutality commonplace. Nor did they teach them war, for warfare had been systemic for longer than the first Americans could remember, and for causes they had long forgotten.
The spiritual truth is, Christians cannot avoid the challenge of calling unsaved sinners from the old rut-worn ways of egotism, humanism and materialism to the foreign concept of a Christ-centered life of self-denial. That’s a challenge some preachers won’t accept because it makes them prophetic oppositionists to behaviors acceptable in our depraved society.
Unlike paleontologists, who see in ancient Americans standards Europeans should never have violated, God’s word calls us to his OLD PATHS because only he determines behavior and lifestyle. Yours for a faithfulness to God’s word that begins, as Jesus did, with the demand to “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” Matthew 4:17. The only way any mortal, whatever his educational, financial or cultural fame, will enter God’s presence is through self-denial Matthew 16:24-26.