The Lone Ranger & Tonto are riding down into a box canyon. At the far end, the Lone Ranger notices an army of Comanche Indians, in full war-paint, frowning down from the cliff walls at him. Turning to his left he notices a great number of very mad looking Arapaho Indians staring down. On his right he observes a host of Cherokee Indians peering at him over the rim of the canyon. Looking behind, he sees every Apache brave in the world slowly creeping into the canyon, blocking the exit. The Lone Ranger turns to Tonto and says, “We’re in a heap of trouble, Tonto!” Tonto’s nervous reply, “Uhh…who do you mean we, pale-face?”
It is called The Doctrine of Manifest Destiny and it’s the primary basis on which Protestant European settlers justified their settling the North American continent and resettling of the native population elsewhere. The scriptural support for Manifest Destiny came from what is known as Replacement Theology. This teaches that Christians are now the chosen people (not the Jews), America is now the promised land (not Israel) and its cities are now the new Zion (not Jerusalem) and any non-Christians (such as the native peoples) are akin to the Canaanites. Manifest Destiny was proclaimed by Protestant explorers, preached by Protestant clergy, taught by Protestant teachers and legalized by Protestant legislatures. The message was clear, the American Continent is now God’s city set on a hill and the light to the rest of the world.
However, when it comes to land, only Israel has a biblical “manifest destiny” from God.
The settling of oneself in (Genesis 12:1) -Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee; And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing…
The resettling of others out (Numbers 33:52,53) -Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein…
But this was to be a one-time-only biblical event. And throughout history, whenever an attempt has been made to re-enact the Abrahamic land command elsewhere, sparks have flown between those settling and those being resettled (it happened then with the Hebrews and the Canaanites and is happening now with the Canadian government and some of the Aboriginal people.) And of course, this is not an endorsement of the current news, just an explanation.
The bottom line? Nevertheless, God does have another “manifest destiny” for his people. However, this one does not involve soil, but souls. It is called, The Great Commission. And Christians are to go to every nation, rescuing men and women from the god of this world and resettling them into the kingdom of heaven.