Monday, October 09, 2006

Columbus the Christ-bearer

The following article was written by Tom Flannery on October 9, 2006 in World Net Daily.

"Columbus discovered America by prophecy rather than by astronomy," the New Encyclopedia Britannica quite accurately explains.

It was, after all, the Holy Bible that convinced Columbus beyond any shadow of a doubt that the earth is round. Some 800 years before Christ's incarnation (and more than 2,200 years before Columbus' own birth), the prophet Isaiah had written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit: "It is He [God] who sits above the circle of the earth. ..." (Isaiah 40:22, emphasis mine)

Columbus, whom we honor in the United States today, may not have had a great deal of schooling when he first read this verse of Scripture, but he understood basic geometry well enough to realize that a circle, any way you looked at it, had to be round.

"Let God be true, but every man a liar," the Bible declares in Romans 3:4, and Columbus felt called by God to prove to the world that man had miscalculated and that God's Word had been true all along. The earth was a circumference!

Because he was unlearned and untried at sea, Columbus sought God's blessing and anointing for the mission.

"I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart's great desire," Columbus wrote, "and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task: seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and the placing correctly of cities, rivers, mountains and ports. I also studied cosmology, history, chronology and philosophy."

His mission began when a ship that he was serving aboard was sunk in a battle off Cape St. Vincent in 1476 and he alone survived by swimming all the way to Portugal with only an oar to help him, eventually coming ashore (of all places) near one of the world's great academies for would-be sailors.

As the New Encyclopedia Britannica notes: "His arrival in Portugal, miraculously saved from the wreck ... and his landing so close to the rock of Sagres, where Prince Henry the Navigator had established his academy of seamanship, seem to justify his sense of having been chosen." So, too, did his first name, Christopher, which means "Christ-bearer."

It was in Portugal that Columbus first presented his proposal to sail west to the Indies, an idea that brought him little more than scorn and derision. As he later wrote: "It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures ... encouraging me continually to press forward."

Columbus moved on to Spain, where he was granted an audience with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1485. They decided to establish a special commission of "learned men and mariners" to study the proposal, which the commission ultimately rejected in 1490 as impossible.

In his "Book of Prophecies," Columbus recounted: "I spent seven years in the royal court, discussing the matter with many persons of great reputation and wisdom in all the arts, and in the end they concluded that it was all foolishness, so they gave it up."

However, Columbus held to the promises of God being fulfilled "from everlasting to everlasting" without fail, continuing: "In support of this, I offer the Gospel text Matthew 24:35, in which Jesus said that all things would pass away, but not His marvelous Word. He also affirmed that it was necessary that all things be fulfilled that were prophesied by Himself and by the prophets."

In 1492, the unwavering faith of Columbus was rewarded. He was recalled before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, and his journey to the Indies was approved. The rest, as they say, is history.

Although best remembered for discovering America, it should also be remembered that Columbus' life was one filled with great accomplishments.

He discovered the best way to make use of the North Atlantic wind system for transatlantic sailing, began the European settlement of the West Indies, discovered the continental coast of South America, and explored the western Caribbean and revealed its landlocked outline.

Most importantly, he founded the land upon which God established a republic based on the biblical principles contained in our Declaration of Independence (where all people are endowed by the Creator with unalienable rights), a country which has evangelized the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ over the past two centuries. As it turned out, Columbus the "Christ-bearer" discovered a nation that would in time bear (bring) Christ to all nations.

And whereas many politically correct "history" textbooks produced in recent years portray him as a man consumed by his own ego and driven by personal ambition, that's not what you find in Columbus' own writings.

In his own words: "I am a most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence.

"The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will. ... Oh what a gracious Lord who desires that people should perform from Him those things which He holds Himself responsible!

"Day and night, moment by moment, everyone should express to Him their most devoted gratitude."

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Blogger Beth said...

Terrific article - thanks for promoting this truth about Christopher Columbus. This should be an encouragement to all Christians to follow God's word regardless of popular tradition which may be contrary.

October 09, 2006 2:05 PM  

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