Glorify the Lord, all the nations of the earth
It seems that they are right, those who speak of imperialism if the Church or Christian imperialism. Church proclaiming Christ to all continents for centuries is certainly causing some mixed and confusing reactions. Some people have also similar feelings after the publication of dogmatic document "Dominus Jesus", which generated so much discussion among theologians and the peoples of Asia as well as among the liberals and dissidents. But is it true that the Church is imperialistic; or rather it is only some kind of "allergy" or aversion of God?
Leaving aside these kind of academic and theological disputes maybe it will be better to look at today's Gospel scene. We see the pagan nations, in the persons of the three wise men (the Magi) coming to not at all an imperialist Christ, to a Child and recognizing in Him the King, Whom they want to worship. Today's Solemnity of the Epiphany shows us the immense truth that man (on each latitude and in every culture) is waiting for the manifestation of God, the Creator. It shows that humanity yearns for Him, and is looking for Him eagerly. It is not the Church or Christianity that is imperialistic; God wants that all nations on the earth may know the truth of His saving Love for man, the truth of His saving Passion, Death and Resurrection.
It is undoubtedly true that often in the history of the Church some institutions have committed an error of imperialism. It is true that some people of the institutional church have had an imperialistic attitude. But this kind of generalized accusation is a misunderstanding if you look at the whole history of salvation and its effects. Church since apostolic times was always aware that it is "The love of Christ impels us". And this awareness, this imperative of God's Love nobody who knows Jesus could resist. Let's not get mad when others accuse us that we are imperialist, because we "impose our way of life", because we command or are forcing to live according to our own, Christian norms and rules. Working in the missions for more than fifteen years I didn't notice anything like that. I also try not to impose anything and do not violate anyone's beliefs. Church rather proposes: "If you want to be saved, if you want your life took on a different and deeper meaning and dimensions of eternity, believe in Christ. Ultimately, however, the choice is absolutely yours. "Thousands of martyrs in Africa, South America and Asia, teen of thousands of missionaries who gave their lives in proclaiming the truth to save the man from his misery are the best proof of this. And those who secretly sell weapons to the Third World countries, those who exploit them economically, who steal natural resources, they can scream and shout loud -for sure- about the imperialism of the Church to cover their own evil and dark machinations. And the Church cannot cease to preach Christ, Jesus Christ crucified. He came as a child, helpless and without power, so to release the man from the powers of evil. And so, evil will always be the loudest in protesting against the revelation of the goodness. And that evil still screams accusing of imperialism the Church of Christ and distorting the truth, just by dressing up itself in the garments of truth and freedom.
Christians - do not be ashamed to be the followers of Christ and showing others the One Who for the salvation of humanity became Man. Even if we are accused of all sorts of imperialism, let us not be ashamed to be the disciples of Christ. Let's not get crazy, discouraged and intimidated. Let's not use force in converting, but let us not be weak and submissive conformists, let us not compromise the Gospel for the sake of political correctness or luxury. Let us live as followers of Christ and in our life let us proclaim the fact that He is the only Savior of man. May His Name – the most Holy name of Jesus- will be known and praised by all who believe in Him, and for those who reject Him, let it be the Name full power and causing fear in their hearts.
Only wicked people may accuse Christ of imperialism. Wise and honorable people -as Patrons' Saints of today- always recognize in Him, in Jesus Christ the Savior and the true King, Who conquers the world and the human heart, but not with weapons and power, but Love which He is revealing to humanity. Only the foolish and perverse political systems are afraid to open the doors for Christ. Only the little people, persevering in their selfishness do not want open the doors of their hearts for Him.