I’ll be honest: I’m not really sure what to make of Columbus Day. I know I’m not alone. Most Americans know little about holidays if they are not accompanied by a paid day off.
Are we supposed to hail Columbus as a hero? He got lost, “discovered” a new land that was already occupied, claimed it for his country, then began to sell the natives as slaves in Spain. He thought he was in India, so he incorrectly labeled the Native Americans as Indians. That mishap still confuses people today.
My grandfather is part Indian. No, no, not the kind from India. The real kind.
Still, I’m glad that Columbus’ discovery was made, for it opened the door for the Puritans and Separatists to come here peacefully in search of religious freedom. This is separate from the merchants who came here for prosperity and killed the Indians. No, no, not the kind from India. Columbus forced the natives to convert to Catholicism, which was the very reason the Puritans and Separatists wanted to leave Europe—State run religion and conformity to the Catholic (not Christian) Church.
No matter what you might think of Columbus or the day named in his honor, it reminds me of one important fact. In the days of exploration in which Columbus lived, Earth was believed to have been flat. To Columbus’ credit, he was willing to risk his life in favor of a round planet.
Leaving Spain and heading east, Columbus thought he would eventually circumnavigate the globe and end up in India. And he would have, had the Western Hemisphere not stood in his way. When his vessel anchored down in North America, Columbus initially thought he had sailed all the way around the world and reached India.
This erroneous thinking still led to an accurate realization: the world wasn’t flat. The reason it took fourteen hundred and ninety-two years to come to this conclusion was explorers were afraid they would sail off the edge of Earth and fall to their doom.
This seems foolish to us today. For one thing, hindsight is 20/20. But more importantly, the Bible had already announced that Earth is round. In the Bible’s oldest book, Job records how God, “drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness (26:10),” and “He stretches out the north over empty space. He hangs the earth on nothing (v.7).” Furthermore, Isaiah 40:22 says God, “formed the circle of the earth.”
Just imagine if today’s Darwinian evolutionists lived back then:
Christians hate science!
People who go to school more go to church less.
You believe your fairy tales; we’ll stick with the truth.
We have the facts. We win.
Hey Christians, if the earth is flat, why does your Bible call the earth a circle, huh? LOL!
Teach flat earth science in the schools! Enough of these round earth kooks!
Want me to do a few more? OK, I’ll stop. The point is, when science and the Bible are at odds, don’t cower or cave for fear of looking stupid. I can’t stand when Christians sell out and embrace an old earth just because loud evolutionists say the debate is over.
On Columbus Day let’s remember that the Bible, not popular opinion or science, was right. Let it reinforce our belief in the inerrancy of Scripture, which certainly includes the Bible’s opening sentence.