I have a cold that won’t go away. Probably in part because I have students with colds that won’t go away. I mean, the students’ colds won’t go away. The students keep coming to school. I love my students.
Because I had a cold and could not sing, I stayed home from the song service last night and read for several hours about the ancient people ruled by the Inca. It is a great sadness to me to know that this people, at least their culture, is extinct.
Obviously, there are still descendants of what is now known as the Inca people, but much of their way of life was obliterated by the Spanish conquistadors under Francisco Pizarro. The Inca people were intelligent, hardworking people who accomplished great feats with what we would consider primitive technology. Although they did not have a written language, they had methods of keeping records of many things with strings and knots called quipus.
What’s tragic about the quipus is that the ability to read them was destroyed with the Incan culture—intentionally destroyed. The Spanish seemingly methodically destroyed anything related to the Incas, buildings, peoples, records, art—anything of value. It was a cruel and complete revolution.
Pizarro and the other “Christians” with him captured the Inca (the term for the emperor) and promised him freedom if he gave them a room filled with gold. The Inca did as promised, but Pizarro had him killed anyway.
And what’s sad about the revolution is that it was done in the name of Christianity. The Incan people were forced to convert to Catholicism, sometimes just before they were killed. How far from the precious Gospel of Jesus is this scene of tortured people pledging to a God they didn’t know in a desperate attempt to save their lives! So it was in the name of the Prince of Peace that this people and their entire way of life was slaughtered.
How it must grieve the heart of God to see His name and the name of His dear Son used as a masquerade for the selfishness, hate, and greed that destroyed the Incas. And what a tragedy beyond words that men bearing the name of Jesus have led the annihilation of many other people groups over the last two thousand years!
Still today, even in these so-called enlightened times of tolerance, people claiming Jesus as Lord go to war against other nations. How is it that they do not know Jesus taught not simply to love, but specifically to love your enemies! Do they not read where He says His kingdom is not of this world, and that His servants do not fight? Can you love your enemy and shoot him down at the same time?
And it’s not just lives being lost, relationships too are destroyed in the name of Jesus. So much bitterness and hate from those waving the banner of Love.
Let not the same be said of you. Remember the first commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the second is like it: to love other people—all people, including your enemies—just as much as you love yourself.
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31 NKJV
P.S. You can read about the Inca Empire and the Spanish Conquest on Wikipedia.