St. Paul the apostle did not write the book of Acts, but he was the most prominent figure in it, because he was appointed by Jesus Christ to spread the gospel to the gentiles of the known world. “And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:6-10. Spread the gospel he did.
To me, the main significance of the Acts 16 quote is the two separate sentences crediting the intervention of God in directing Paul and the missionaries west, to Greece and Rome-the two main influences of “Western civilization”-instead of east, to the orient, or south, to the rest of Africa. The Roman Empire, heavily influenced by Greek culture, expanded to most of the known world, exporting their language and principles of governing, building roads, while persecuting this new “cult” of Christianity and battling fiercely independent tribes in their expansion. The Barbarians were, for the Romans, those people living outside the boundaries of the Empire: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Franks, Huns and others. They had in common being pastoral, tribal people, masters of great herds of cattle, possessing no cities and not given to agriculture. The Empire sometimes attracted them, for the easier, more secure living within its frontiers, sometimes warring with them.
The powerful and ruthless Roman Empire did not last, but the gospel did. By 774, Christianity was the dominant religion of Europe, having first been legitimized and spread under Roman rule. 17 of the 27 books of the New Testament are letters to other believers, mostly the churches of Greece and Rome. If I translate the spread of the gospel to current, postmodern dogma, it took root first in white cultures, and was initially spread to Asia and Africa by contact with the Roman Empire. My question, perhaps unanswerable, is “why did God direct the first missionaries west rather than east or south?” If I may be so bold—and I may, since this is my blog—I will attempt to answer my own question and in so doing, explain the root of hostility to “whiteness”.
By the time the United States Constitution was ratified, our nation and Western Europe, primarily Britain and Germany, were the “standard bearers” of Protestant Christianity. Spain, Portugal, France and Italy were the “standard bearers” of Roman Catholicism. The pilgrims who sailed here and established Plymouth Bay colony–the “spiritual progenitors” of the United States, were English Protestants highly influenced by the Protestant Reformation, and the theology of John Calvin, who wanted to purify the Anglican Church (state Church of England) from Roman Catholicism. The Bible contains a number of passages exhorting expansion of the gospel, in both the Old and New Testaments. Two are representative: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28. Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.
In the next post I will explore this idea that God had Paul turn west rather than east or south because of the expansionist and industrious nature of the people of the west and north: Present day Europe. If that is true, then the hostility that self hating whites towards what they call “whiteness” is really hostility to the God of the Bible.