The Gospel & Genocide
Q: Do you think that Native Americans and African Americans are better off on the tail end of genocide, because it introduced them to Jesus?
A: No, Native and African Americans are not better off due to genocide, yet neither was it essential for their introduction to Jesus; quite the contrary. God uses evil for good, but He does not require evil to institute good, and He certainly never condones nor excuses it.
The people who were responsible for genocide upon encountering the New World were not introducing Native Americans to Jesus: Jesus proclaims good news of eternal life to the hearer, based on His self-sacrifice and love; genocide is very bad news of destruction for the recipient, stemming from evil and hate. Nor was their initiative necessary for the transmission of the gospel. Genuine and effective missionaries ~ those interested in bettering the lives of others, who shared the truth in love ~ would have come with the good news of Jesus Christ, as they have all over the world, without needing any purveyors of genocide to pave the way.
The same is true for African slaves. In fact, there are probably more Bible believers in Africa today than in the USA.
Secondly, we don’t know that Christ Himself did not bring the good news and have converts already amongst the Native Americans. This assertion is based on biblical as well as anecdotal evidence. The Bible shows that God has certainly brought His message to people personally. Abraham was a Pagan man before he believed on Jehovah (and this belief on Jehovah was the basis of his salvation, as per Romans 4:3), whom God personally evangelized. Balaam was a non-Hebrew prophet of Jehovah. Nebuchadnezzar was a Pagan whom God converted directly.
God’s primary way of spreading His message is through preaching (Romans 10:14-15, 1 Cor 1:17-18), combined with good works, but it is not the only way. By way of testimony, there are numerous missionaries who have gone into isolated groups of people only to find that they’d already received a vision or prophecy about Christ and believed on Him, and they were now eagerly awaiting the arrival of messengers coming with more details. This in fact happens regularly in the Middle East right now in areas where people can’t get Bibles, and conveyors of the gospel cannot enter. There are many testimonies of people in Iran, Pakistan, and other Middle Eastern countries of Jesus Christ personally visiting people in a vision or dream and proclaiming Himself as God and their Saviour. Because of the widespread genocide of Native Americans, we cannot confirm that there were no Christian Native Americans in the New World already when Europeans arrived.
For the Cherokee peoples (some of Kristalyn’s ancestors), they had already had a revelation of the triune nature of God before the colonizers arrived and readily accepted the gospel message on the whole, once it was brought to the Nation by one of their own tribe, Catharine Brown. After several had converted, they were still sent on the Trail of Tears; many continued to receive Jesus during that journey, and many died. This is a terrible legacy, and those who instigated it will receive justice from God.
Ultimately, anyone in any situation is better off with Jesus Christ, even though many end up in persecution because of their faith in Him. Multitudes of Christians the world over suffer torture and death for professing Christ every year, when all they would need to do to escape it is to deny their faith. This is testament to the power, joy, and freedom that they know in Him that is not worth any worldly exchange, not even life.