October 14, 2004

Native American religion vs. Christianity (Better Late than Never)

It sometimes hits me that we're all connected in some way...no matter what color or size or where we're from, we came from the same place.

"Rather than going to church, I attend a sweat lodge; rather than accepting bread and toast [sic] from the Holy Priest, I smoke a ceremonial pipe to come into Communion with the Great Spirit; and rather than kneeling with my hands placed together in prayer, I let sweetgrass be feathered over my entire being for spiritual cleansing and allow the smoke to carry my prayers into the heavens. I am a Mi'kmaq, and this is how we pray." Noah Augustine, from his article "Grandfather was a knowing Christian," Toronto Star, Toronto ON Canada, 2000-AUG-9. From Religious Tolerance.org:Native American Spirituality

As a Christian, I sometimes find myself believing the misconception that everyone is like me and every has (or should) have the same beliefs as me. It's a statement like that above that brings me back down to earth. We're not all the same and never will be, but we're all connected. I firmly stand by the belief that the most important aspect of a person's life is just that: BELIEVE. I'm a Christian and you're a Jew. Do you believe and stand by your faith? You're a Native American and you're Islamic? Do you trust and love your Creator? To me, that's the heart and soul of life. This is not to say I support those who worship Satan or idols, but believe in the Great Beyond and a Higher Being. Believe and stand by your faith, just don't disregard others and their life. We're all different and that's what makes us great.

Posted by KatherineLambert at October 14, 2004 02:28 PM

Native Indian, Jew, Arabic, American, Aussie, christian...without JESUS we are lost!
That's why we all need to hav a relationship with Jesus Christ, He is our Lord and our saviour......But it's up to us to choose Him!!

Posted by: June W at August 22, 2005 06:45 AM

I know some indian friends and im Catholic and i was just looking at some websites cuase i have to do a project in Social Studies its about Christian vs. Natives and i have to do the Christians and a boy in my class does the natives. yup. Bye!

Posted by: Aluna at September 25, 2005 04:10 PM

I agree 100% that whatever path one chooses as long as it is the good path, that is a good thing and a private choice for each person to make. However, as an American Indian of Cherokee descent, I sometimes tire of well-meaning, but sometimes overbearing Christians who are constantly trying to force their beliefs upon me. The constant emails, that end with, if you don't forward this on, you don't love Jesus. I was taught and I have always believed without doubt, that Creator is love, but we all know of the sufferings and deaths attributed to those Christians who have decided that their way is the only way. For an example, murdering doctors who perform abortions, because of their beliefs; the hatred of Gays and so forth. Granted, this does not mean all Christians have these beliefs - but if you are a Christian, love is suppose to be above anything, whether you like the choices others make or not. For us, as native people, there are Christians who still think we need to be saved, that unless we believe as they do, we are lost forever. I get weary after a while, of being reminded again and again of another's beliefs, therefore, saying to me, that my beliefs are wrong.

How well I remember after 911, when Jerry Falwell made the statement that the event and the deaths of so many innocent people, was a punishment for our sinful ways. I will never believe that. Again, I do not see or believe or feel that our Creator, is a vengeful Spiritual being. What happens in our world, happens for many reasons, but certainly not because of the wrath of our Creator.

We are not perfect beings and yet if our children were to do something we felt to be very wrong, would we be this cruel toward them? Would we kill them or banish them from our lives forever? I don't think so - at least not for the majority of parents. Then how can we ever describe our Creator who has gifted us with so much love and beauty to do the same to us, his children?

Thank you for touching upon this issue. My choice in life is as you have described as a native person who is following the spiritual ways of my people and who tries to walk, what the Cherokee call the White Road, which is that of peace.

to hi du

(wishing you the Great Peace, of mind, body and spirit).

Svhiyeyi Aga

Posted by: Svhiyeyi Aga at October 11, 2005 07:06 PM

Thank you bro. Please accept my views and help me. I'm a native american (realy Canadian Indian) but what do lines in the sand mean? To the point, I through the use and abuse of drugs alcohol and what ever else to take my pain of feelings away I was brought to my knees. A beief in a power greater than myself freed me of many demonds previously mentioned. But with out a defined set of beliefs I ended up becoming my own higher power. This is when I returned to the God of my youth, God, and his son, Jesus the Christ. Only recently with his command of not to 'fornicate' (sex pre-marriage) and subsequently having a relationship end because all though we 'had sex' I tried to keep it 'cool' till we decided to see where we were going in our relationship, and to sleep seperately in our respective houses. This as I've been later exposed of was 'hypocritacle' Hence she found someone who wasn't hypocrytical and didn't go home. Now I'm alone and feel that I let Christian morals interfere in my life and now I'm sad. Yet it sent me into sexual abstenence with the help of SA, a 12 step group, and now even questioning my Christianity and relation with Christ, or is it realy 'the great creator' the God of the native American? or is this just the 'disease' talking to me? I'm very confused yet feel some how as the medicine man told me on Kanawake, that (he use an eagle feather to describe life) the quil, hard riggid, is the walk we must make in life. We can by our own free will go off the path to either side and enjoy the soft hairs of life yet eventually we will fall through. Gone into the abyss. Get back on the quill which is hard and that is life. Life is hard at times but if you stay on the path you will succeed.
So confused but feel it's better to stay on the path I'm on today. Your view brother? I'm sorry to go on so long.
Good leaf

Posted by: Good Leaf at March 30, 2006 06:28 PM

To Katherine and Good Leaf,
Searching your blog for ways to help a friend, I came across Good Leaf's sad tale. The reason for my search was that I have a dear Native American friend that has a similar circumstance as Good Leaf's and is torn between his parents and their Christainity and native practices and ceremony. Praise God he has called us to him through his Son, Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven that we can call upon. God does give us revelations of Him and His calling through the Holy Scriptures. We are to forsake all and seek his will. Now, that also means that there is freedom in Christ and not bondage. Ask God to reveal. Seek Him. Be willing to follow when led. Sometimes those are tough choices between what the flesh desires and what God wills in our life. No one should believe that it will be an easy road to travel. Many are called and few are chosen. I pray God will reveal himself to you in a fashion that you will accept him without hesitation. PBJDave

Posted by: PBJDave at June 1, 2006 06:40 PM

Yes, it is wrong for any Christian to impose their religious beliefs on others, especially on Native people, then turn around and condemn those whose beliefs are not of their own. I agree that we should not do that. However, as a Christian myself (I'm not Native American, though; I happen to be Pennsylvania Dutch), I believe that every man, woman, and child on this planet deserves a chance to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and that we are all sinners by nature. I also believe that God gave us the gift of free will, and that we should respect those whose religious beliefs we do not or may not agree because whatever you are brought up to believe becomes your way of life, the only thing you know and have become accustomed to. Therefore, we do not have the right to force anyone to change their religious beliefs or way of life. Why is it that the group that always seems to be the most imposing or forceful never wants to be forced by others to change, and yet, they never seem to think of that or take it into consideration, but they also always seem more than happy or eager to do it to others? I'm a Christian, and while I believe in spreading the Gospel around the world to anyone who wants to hear it and accept it, I would never force myself on others or even condemn anyone whose culture and/or religious beliefs are different than mine. It is wrong, it is totally unacceptable, and it is self-serving.

Posted by: Joann K. at September 4, 2006 04:45 AM

I am a christian and know that I have Cherokee and perhaps some choctaw blood. My ancestors never went to get a roll card. They jumped the trail of tears and went into the missourri ozarks. I want to be a part of the cherokee culture and want to find out more about their religion. I hope they will accept me being a christian. I have bad spells of depression severe,and I talked to a Cherokee this morning who also speaks cherokee and he told me of the Great Father. Well we all beleive in the Great Father, and he told me that he could put me in touch with the Spiritual Leader. I want to do this as I need some help from somewhere for this depression. I beleive salvation comes thru Jesus Christ but also God surely had a way also to communicate to the Indians as they discovered medicines that the white man didnt have and are used today by our doctors.Will everyone please pray for me?

Posted by: Mary at October 1, 2006 08:43 PM
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