Feb 16, 2006

19th Century American Indians Perspective Of Christianity


The "unchurched" are often totally confused with all the different views we have about God's Word and how we apply it's teachings. Not only do churches have different perspectives on what the Bible teaches, but members within each group can't even agree among themselves. And we wonder why some people become exasperated and just give up!

When American religious clerics attempted to bring Christianity to the American Indian in the 19th century they often met with disaster for the same reasons. One American Indian summed up the problem very eloquently, but I can't find the quote so I will only outline its essence.

Many blackcoats (preachers) come to tell us about their Bible and that we should belong to their church, and we listen to them and try to understand what they want us to do, but when a preacher leaves they send another blackcoat with a bible saying his church is the right church and what all the other blackcoats said was wrong. Again and again this happens, and we are confused and don't believe the white mans religion. How can every blackcoat be right when they don't agree. Before you send us any more blackcoats let them meet in your country and decide who is right, then send them to us with one voice so we can understand your religion.

We have made Christianity just as confusing to the lost today as the blackcoats did to the American Indians almost two centuries ago. Should we even wonder why some people in need of Jesus close their eyes and ears when they see a Christian approaching?

An extract from the autobiography of Plenty-Coups (1848-1932) a chief of the Crow Nation:
...Their wise ones said we might have their religion, but when we tried to understand it we found that there were too many kinds of religion among white men for us to understand, and that scarcely any two white men agreed which was the right one to learn. This bothered us a good deal until we saw that the white man did not take his religion any more seriously than he did his laws, and that he kept both of them just behind him, like helpers, to use when they might do him good in his dealings with strangers...
As the eloquent Yogi Berra would say:
this is like deja vu all over again!



5 comments:

jettybetty said...

I soooo agree with you--what do you suggest we do to un-confuse people?

LEM'S Politics said...

We have many who spend their life searching for proof, the bible tells Christians to have faith. The core of Christianity is belief and faith in Christ. but that is not enough for some they have to explain why their way is better and they proceed to search for that proof, I believe that if we accept that GOD is GOD and Jesus is our redeemer, and we are subject to their will. we will be fine.

jettybetty said...

Very good! If we are able to live our lives so that the world knows God as The God and Jesus as The Redeemer--perhaps they will be able to see through the confusion!

Larry said...

JB...
Stopping the confusion is a tough one.

Talk is cheap! Perhaps if we talked less, and lived our lives more like Jesus, we just might present a more significant reason for the lost to seek Him.

One other thing might help; keep all the televangelists off the air-ways so the "unchurched" don't get such a bad impression of Christians. :)

Larry said...

Laymond...
I wonder if we spend too much time reading books about other peoples fanciful opinions, and far less time spent quietly with God's Word, sans commentaries and bible guides.

If I had been raised outside the church I'm sure many of the hypocritical traits in some Christians would put me off completely. It's difficult to show the lost a better way of living when they daily view willfully sinful acts in professing Christians.