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Stranded almost 2,000 miles from home in the disastrous Juan de Valdivia shipwreck in the shallows of Las Víboras, twenty men managed to cling desperately to a life boat and survive drowning.

Of the twenty men, only eight survived the arduous trip; being dragged by the currents of the northern Caribbean sea to the coast of Yucatán.

Of those eight who reached the coast, all but two, Jerónimo de Aguilar and Gonzalo Guerrero, were violently sacrificed and cannibalized in religious rituals by the Mayans.

The two men fled inland where they found safety in the welcoming arms of a peaceful tribe, who they lived among for eight long years.

It was after almost a decade in a foreign land that, upon hearing of Hernan Cortes arrival, the priest Jerónimo paddled out to meet the newly landed conquistadors on the coast of Cozumel.

Despite approaching them with the appearance of a Mayan, now dark with tanned skin, long hair and wearing loin cloths, he cried out from the boat to the soldiers with four simple words in broken Spanish, which made the cautious Spaniards immediately lower their weapons and welcome their brother with many tears and warm embraces.

Those four simple words, to be fully understood, must be contrasted with the story of the other fellow survivor, Gonzalo Guerrero, who himself became fully assimilated into the rival culture.

While Gonzalo married a Mayan woman who bore him three children, Jerónimo remained faithful to his priestly vows and refused the young attractive women whom the chief presented him with.

While Gonzalo covered his body with tribal tattoos, pierced his ears and wore a hunk of jade in his lower lip, Jerónimo always held out hope of rescue; having kept his mind sharp by counting the days since he landed on the shores of this foreign land.

Under the torn rags of his outer cloak, Jerónimo kept an old tattered prayer book that had survived the shipwreck so many years ago. Gonzalo on the other hand, refused to even set out with Jerónimo to investigate the claim that conquistadors had landed, and had no interest in meeting with the men of his former homeland or of ever returning there.

And so Jerónimo set off in a small boat, prayer book clutched tightly to his chest, to find his fellow countrymen. That morning, on the shores of Cozumel he caught sight of massive Brigantines that had been anchored. His heart stirred within him, and what was once a distant memory of rescue was now finally within reach. He paddled out within earshot of the men unloading the giant ships.

He could see they were clad in armor that shimmered in the light of the rising sun, but he couldn't make out their features.

So he cried out those 4 famous words which no other words could so succinctly define who he was, who he was seeking to find, and the driving force which supersedes all other forces that define a man.

He could have cried out that he was a fellow Spaniard, but so was his compatriot Gonzalo. Yet Gonzalo became so fully immersed in the Mayan culture that he would later die by Spanish swords while fighting alongside Mayan warriors. Clearly there is a driving force spurring Jerónimo on that superceded ethnicity or even culture.

And so after the immense hardships of living eight years in a foreign land, and resisting all attempts at assimilation into a foreign culture and ethinic group, Jerónimo cried out in disjointed Spanish from years of disuse:

"Brothers, are you Christian?"

Beyond the geography of being European, and even beyond the culture of the Spaniards at the time, the cry revealed a deep seated morality, bound within the larger framework of Christianity that gives all those other things their foundation, their origin, and is the very source from which those ideals are derived.

But you see, this story isn't really about Jerónimo. It's about the fate of our Western society as a whole.

You need to understand, that when they attack us for being white, they aren't attacking us for being European, or Nordic, for our Western culture or even our language - but for the very framework that encompasses all those things under one single banner.

The banner of the cross.

Don't be misinterpret the truth of the matter, as I am not advocating for open borders or mass immigration. In order for a society to function it's people must share the same language, the same culture, and to a large extent the same hierarchy of values and ideals.

What I am saying is that there is an ideal that supersedes all those other things, from which they get their origin. There is a construct that molds culture to resemble something no other culture on the planet would otherwise resemble.

That ideal is Christ.

That construct that molds the culture to resemble Him, is His Word.

Your nation is Christian.

Your laws and morality are Christian.

Your sons and daughters are Christian.

What separated Jerónimo and Gonzalo was not ethnicity, for they were the same race of men. It was not the country of their birth, for they were both born in the sprawling hillsides and mountains of Spain.

It was not their language, nor even their culture, as even those things changed for both men in those eight years of exile.

What separated those two men, what made them so uniquely different at their core, is the same thing that separates us from so many of the foreign nations on this planet who's inhabitants flood our borders.

It is Christ.

And it is the steadfast devotion to His word and the paths of righteousness that make us who we are.

If we are to make a distinction between friend or foe, if we are to understand who our true compatriots are, then there is only one question that needs to be asked on the shores of this new foreign world we find ourselves in.

"Brothers, are your Christian?"



Jozef Lalka is a former Infantryman with the Canadian Armed Forces and founder of War Doll.

Since releasing from the military, Jozef has devoted his life to the scriptural motivation of the warrior culture, and the mentorship of the next generation. Jozef works as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer while pursing a passion for current global conflicts and how they relate to historical events.


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