Peru is situated on a continent that laid in darkness for centuries. Spiritual darkness covered the entire Americas as far as we know. The continent will not even be discovered by “Christians” until 1492. It will then take years before the gospel can get to the American people. Columbus called them Indians.
Their first encounter with Christians was those bound in “religion” more than a relationship with God. They kept spiritual laws, carried relics, images, even what they called holy artifacts as a part of their religion. They would bring no true light to the Americas.
The gospel preaching missionaries will not arrive in Peru until the 1800s. They will get a slow start because by then the religions of the Indian people and the Catholic religion will have become entrenched.
India had her William Carey, the father of modern missions. China had her Hudson Taylor. Africa had David Livingstone and Henry Stanley. Teams of missionaries had arrived in these places while it appears that most accepted the “fact” that the Catholic Church had evangelized the Americas. No well known evangelical missionaries made their way to the natives of the Americas.
The only light you hear about is told in the book “Eternity in their Hearts” by Don Richardson. He claims that Pachacutec, ruler of the Inca civilization in the 1400s, reached out for and found God.
The Incas worship Inti, the sun. The Incas, according to Richardson, sang hymns that communicated the truths Pachacutec taught. It seems that after building the temple to the Sun in Cuzco that Pachacutec began to question Inti’s credentials.
If the sun, Inti, were indeed God how come he followed a set path, performed definite tasks and keep certain hours like a laborer. Why didn’t the Inti do anything original if he was a god? Pachacutec noticed that a passing cloud could dim the glory of Inti. How could that be?
Richardson says that Pachacutec began to realize that he had been worshipping a mere thing as Creator. He asked if Inti is not the true God then who is? “Pachacuti took the testimony he himself had derived directly from creation and aligned it with his own culture’s almost extinct memory of Viracocha—the Lord, the omnipotent Creator of all things.”
Pachacutec believed that a god that created all things deserved worship. He called a congress of priests of the sun at Coricancha where he presented his doubts about Inti in the following three sentences.
Inti cannot be universal if, while giving light to some, he withholds it from others.
He cannot be perfect if he can never remain at ease, resting.
Nor can he be all-powerful when the smallest cloud may cover him.
Pachacutec later said about God that “he is ancient, remote, supreme, and uncreated. Nor does he need the gross satisfaction of a consort. He manifests himself as a trinity when he wishes, . . . otherwise only heavenly warriors and archangels surround his loneliness. He created all peoples by his “word,” as well as all huacas [spirits].
Please read Richardson, Don. Eternity in Their Hearts. Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers, 2006 to see the source of these comments.
We will see about the first evangelical missionaries in the next posts, but please consider with me that the Americas lay in darkness for thousands of years until the 1800s. You may wonder why I believe that missionaries are needed in Peru and Latin America so you will slowly learn the reason from the history we study.
Thousands even millions of people went to hell without a clear presentation of the gospel. I think you could also call Latin America the forgotten continent. Pray with me for the souls still in desperate need of the gospel.