Native American Christianity

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Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
3,462
715
113
#1
There are a number of significant reasons Native Americans are so strongly against becoming Christians, as the following will show.

First, the whole "Manifest Destiny" thing. The idea that white people were divinely ordained to settle the whole continent of North America-which necessarily meant removing and/or destroying the Native people already here. The premise that white people were inherently superior, and the conviction that God had ordained them to conquer the North American territories from sea to shining sea led to forced removal and/or violent extermination of the Aboriginal people who were viewed as blocking the furtherance of racial and technological progress.

What this meant for us was that the government would force us off our homelands onto reservations, where men professing to be Christians would steal most of the food allocated to us and sell it for their own gain. And then the government forced two generations of children to boarding schools. At these schools, men(and women)professing to be Christians beat, tortured, and raped these children. Punishment was for crimes such as speaking in the only language they'd ever spoken, and other "serious" offenses. My mother told me many stories of her experiences at Chemawa Indian School in Oregon.
When those children returned to their families, they no longer had anything in common with them. Many were sent to trade schools and forced to live and work in cities, so if they ever returned to their people's there was a vast gulf between who they were, and who they should've been.

Then there was the whole eugenics thing, where Indian Health Services clinics and hospitals were routinely sterilizing Native women-perhaps as many as 50% of all Native women, until the giovernment finally put a stop to that in the 1970s.

I am a Native man. Someone pointed out that I wasn't a full blood(which is true), but blood quantum wasn't an issue for us before colonization. Blood quantum is 100% a non Native creation, and nothing we went by prior to the coming of a white man.

Another person pointed out that I was racist, and implied that I thought "whity was bad.". I never thought that, and can't even understand why someone would think I would. Doing so would entail hating half of myself, and that would not only make me stupid, but crazy as well.

The reason I made this post was to let my Christian Brothers and sisters know the challenges I had to overcome, and the challenges other Natives are facing, before becoming Christian. These things are of vital importance to me, because I need to figure out how to respond to these obstacles. I was fortunate to meet a few Christians who weren't afraid to come witness to me where I was. There are a lot more JWs and Mormons out there doing the very same thing, and i've met so many Natives professing to be Mormons and JWs. It ought not to be so. The last time I saw Christians reaching out to this Native community was at Easter, and they came here from Russia to witness to the people in my youngest daughter's community. Some people think I'm angry, and I am, but not for the reason you might think. I'm angry with myself, because I don't know how to tell my own people that we've believed a lie all this time. Real Christians don't do all the things we've been believing they did. I know this because of a few brave souls who witnessed to me. I felt God's love through them, and even though I didn't get saved until years later, I never forgot those people who showed me Jesus Christ, and His love.

So, my brothers and sisters, I don't hate you, I love you. Like Paul, I have an overwhelming love for my people, who are being left to the JWs, and the mormons. I hope some of you will benefit from knowing how hard it is for Native people to even consider Christianity. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, and we know that the preaching of the cross is the power of God.

I know that God is in control, but I also know that He said that the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few
 

Shamah

Senior Member
Jan 6, 2018
2,735
687
113
#2
I know some native Americans the chant "Yah, Yah, Yah" and don;t talk about it but they worship "the Great Creator" and say His name is YHWH, thus "Yah"

I think great evil has come agaoinst their population, just an example, CPS gets twice as much to take an native child from their family. very sad, however Yah knows those who are His and will reply all evildoers.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
3,462
715
113
#3
As to why I identify myself as Native, I've never had a choice. People have always thought I was either Hispanic, Pacific Islander, or Native American. My white father left me with my Native mother, so I never knew any other life.
 

tanakh

Senior Member
Dec 1, 2015
3,788
456
83
71
#4
There are a number of significant reasons Native Americans are so strongly against becoming Christians, as the following will show.

First, the whole "Manifest Destiny" thing. The idea that white people were divinely ordained to settle the whole continent of North America-which necessarily meant removing and/or destroying the Native people already here. The premise that white people were inherently superior, and the conviction that God had ordained them to conquer the North American territories from sea to shining sea led to forced removal and/or violent extermination of the Aboriginal people who were viewed as blocking the furtherance of racial and technological progress.

What this meant for us was that the government would force us off our homelands onto reservations, where men professing to be Christians would steal most of the food allocated to us and sell it for their own gain. And then the government forced two generations of children to boarding schools. At these schools, men(and women)professing to be Christians beat, tortured, and raped these children. Punishment was for crimes such as speaking in the only language they'd ever spoken, and other "serious" offenses. My mother told me many stories of her experiences at Chemawa Indian School in Oregon.
When those children returned to their families, they no longer had anything in common with them. Many were sent to trade schools and forced to live and work in cities, so if they ever returned to their people's there was a vast gulf between who they were, and who they should've been.

Then there was the whole eugenics thing, where Indian Health Services clinics and hospitals were routinely sterilizing Native women-perhaps as many as 50% of all Native women, until the giovernment finally put a stop to that in the 1970s.

I am a Native man. Someone pointed out that I wasn't a full blood(which is true), but blood quantum wasn't an issue for us before colonization. Blood quantum is 100% a non Native creation, and nothing we went by prior to the coming of a white man.

Another person pointed out that I was racist, and implied that I thought "whity was bad.". I never thought that, and can't even understand why someone would think I would. Doing so would entail hating half of myself, and that would not only make me stupid, but crazy as well.

The reason I made this post was to let my Christian Brothers and sisters know the challenges I had to overcome, and the challenges other Natives are facing, before becoming Christian. These things are of vital importance to me, because I need to figure out how to respond to these obstacles. I was fortunate to meet a few Christians who weren't afraid to come witness to me where I was. There are a lot more JWs and Mormons out there doing the very same thing, and i've met so many Natives professing to be Mormons and JWs. It ought not to be so. The last time I saw Christians reaching out to this Native community was at Easter, and they came here from Russia to witness to the people in my youngest daughter's community. Some people think I'm angry, and I am, but not for the reason you might think. I'm angry with myself, because I don't know how to tell my own people that we've believed a lie all this time. Real Christians don't do all the things we've been believing they did. I know this because of a few brave souls who witnessed to me. I felt God's love through them, and even though I didn't get saved until years later, I never forgot those people who showed me Jesus Christ, and His love.

So, my brothers and sisters, I don't hate you, I love you. Like Paul, I have an overwhelming love for my people, who are being left to the JWs, and the mormons. I hope some of you will benefit from knowing how hard it is for Native people to even consider Christianity. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, and we know that the preaching of the cross is the power of God.

I know that God is in control, but I also know that He said that the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few
Thank you for sharing this. I think most of us in the UK have very little real knowledge of the Native American culture and experience. What we have comes mainly through Western films. I find it shocking that such things such as forced Sterilising only stopped as recently as the 1970s. Its not surprising that so many reject Christianity
 

graceNpeace

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2016
2,180
95
48
#5
There are a number of significant reasons Native Americans are so strongly against becoming Christians, as the following will show.

First, the whole "Manifest Destiny" thing. The idea that white people were divinely ordained to settle the whole continent of North America-which necessarily meant removing and/or destroying the Native people already here. The premise that white people were inherently superior, and the conviction that God had ordained them to conquer the North American territories from sea to shining sea led to forced removal and/or violent extermination of the Aboriginal people who were viewed as blocking the furtherance of racial and technological progress.

What this meant for us was that the government would force us off our homelands onto reservations, where men professing to be Christians would steal most of the food allocated to us and sell it for their own gain. And then the government forced two generations of children to boarding schools. At these schools, men(and women)professing to be Christians beat, tortured, and raped these children. Punishment was for crimes such as speaking in the only language they'd ever spoken, and other "serious" offenses. My mother told me many stories of her experiences at Chemawa Indian School in Oregon.
When those children returned to their families, they no longer had anything in common with them. Many were sent to trade schools and forced to live and work in cities, so if they ever returned to their people's there was a vast gulf between who they were, and who they should've been.

Then there was the whole eugenics thing, where Indian Health Services clinics and hospitals were routinely sterilizing Native women-perhaps as many as 50% of all Native women, until the giovernment finally put a stop to that in the 1970s.

I am a Native man. Someone pointed out that I wasn't a full blood(which is true), but blood quantum wasn't an issue for us before colonization. Blood quantum is 100% a non Native creation, and nothing we went by prior to the coming of a white man.

Another person pointed out that I was racist, and implied that I thought "whity was bad.". I never thought that, and can't even understand why someone would think I would. Doing so would entail hating half of myself, and that would not only make me stupid, but crazy as well.

The reason I made this post was to let my Christian Brothers and sisters know the challenges I had to overcome, and the challenges other Natives are facing, before becoming Christian. These things are of vital importance to me, because I need to figure out how to respond to these obstacles. I was fortunate to meet a few Christians who weren't afraid to come witness to me where I was. There are a lot more JWs and Mormons out there doing the very same thing, and i've met so many Natives professing to be Mormons and JWs. It ought not to be so. The last time I saw Christians reaching out to this Native community was at Easter, and they came here from Russia to witness to the people in my youngest daughter's community. Some people think I'm angry, and I am, but not for the reason you might think. I'm angry with myself, because I don't know how to tell my own people that we've believed a lie all this time. Real Christians don't do all the things we've been believing they did. I know this because of a few brave souls who witnessed to me. I felt God's love through them, and even though I didn't get saved until years later, I never forgot those people who showed me Jesus Christ, and His love.

So, my brothers and sisters, I don't hate you, I love you. Like Paul, I have an overwhelming love for my people, who are being left to the JWs, and the mormons. I hope some of you will benefit from knowing how hard it is for Native people to even consider Christianity. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, and we know that the preaching of the cross is the power of God.

I know that God is in control, but I also know that He said that the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few
[FONT=&quot]28 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT][FONT=&quot]29[/FONT][FONT=&quot] And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Gal 3:28-29

I put this quote up first because it is just so important.

I sympathise with your position, but would also direct your attention to other parts of the world, such as the African continent (sub-Saharan Africa in particular) that suffered under colonialism, sometimes for centuries, and the "official" churches of those colonising powers, yet saw through the paternalism, exploitation, and outright brutality sometimes shown by both coloniser and church to perceive and accept the essential truths of the Gospel. Also, much of the real heavy lifting, concerning the Gospel, in Africa was done by mission agencies and churches operating often against the wishes of the colonising powers. However, nothing was perfect here, yet, in reality, in the 21st century the centre of gravity of world Christianity is firmly in sub-Saharan Africa, NOT in Europe or North America. This is shown also by the volume of indigenous missionaries coming out of African countries that in most (uniformed) Christian's views still belong firmly in the camp of countries still requiring pioneer missions activity.

I grew up in a country (South Africa) that, amongst whites anyway, regarded itself as Christian, yet had some of the most racially discriminatory laws of any country in modern history. In addition, one of the major church denominations in the country, the Dutch Reformed Church, tried to give a theological justification to what the world came to know as Apartheid. I grew up as a so-called privileged white, but was also privileged to grow up with lots of negro's on our small farm. As a result, while I could see differences (some of them artificial and enforced) between them and myself, I could also see, as far as all the things that really count, essentially no differences at all. So, despite the laws of the land telling me, officially, that non-white ethnic groups were second-class citizens, I knew that however the government designated those people that they were NOT 2nd-class people!
However, in South Africa, despite all its ongoing problems the strength of Christianity amongst the non-white population of the country is very high (perhaps 40-50% of the population would be regular church goers)!

So, I completely get the paradox of a country that has a constitution such as the USA adopted, yet felt entitled to embark on a genocidal campaign against native Americans.
However, Christianity is NOT, and never has been, the "white man's religion."
It is also absolutely true that no ethno-linguistic group is intrinsically superior to any other (you don't really need me to tell you this, but it is important for me to explicitly mention it).

The merits of Jesus Christ stand irrespective of history!
And, Africans, praise God, have seen through all the insults, discrimination, violence and brutality thrown at them by whites, many claiming the moral high ground of professed Christian belief, to grasp Christ and have not let go!
I stand profoundly impressed, and have huge respect for African Christians who have responded to Christ in the way that they have in the face of their treatment by "white" Christians!

So, please understand that the situation of native Americans, while terrible, is not unique, having been repeated all across the globe to a greater or lesser degree wherever European nations established colonies, or some other form of "national interest".

Becoming a Christian, does not identify one with any other group defined politically or ethnoliguistically.
Children of God are found in every ethnolinguistic group on the planet, but are defined in these terms "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal 3:28
So, no matter what our gender, race, or social standing...

We are all blood relations, but only by the blood of Christ, nothing else would bring us together...

[/FONT]
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
7,528
1,696
113
#6
There are a number of significant reasons Native Americans are so strongly against becoming Christians, as the following will show.
Hey Didymous,

Thanks for that honest and heartfelt message. There is no question that Native Americans got a raw deal from Whites, particularly the governments. Even while the Civil War was being fought to end slavery, the federal government was enslaving Natives through their despicable policies of land grabs and reservations. Natives were also looked down upon by many others. Their lands were stolen and their buffalo destroyed. So that is definitely true.

Ever since, the chiefs and leaders of Native Americans have enriched themselves and neglected their own people. And many Natives are their own worst enemies. This business of building casinos on Native lands has contributed to their problems in my estimation.

But we can be thankful that some genuine Christians reached out to you with Christian love and as a result you are a child of God and love your brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians in North America could be doing a lot more for Natives, and should be doing so. In fact their is an entire mission field right here.
 

FlSnookman7

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,124
130
63
#8
Hey Didymous,

Thanks for that honest and heartfelt message. There is no question that Native Americans got a raw deal from Whites, particularly the governments. Even while the Civil War was being fought to end slavery, the federal government was enslaving Natives through their despicable policies of land grabs and reservations. Natives were also looked down upon by many others. Their lands were stolen and their buffalo destroyed. So that is definitely true.

Ever since, the chiefs and leaders of Native Americans have enriched themselves and neglected their own people. And many Natives are their own worst enemies. This business of building casinos on Native lands has contributed to their problems in my estimation.

But we can be thankful that some genuine Christians reached out to you with Christian love and as a result you are a child of God and love your brothers and sisters in Christ. Christians in North America could be doing a lot more for Natives, and should be doing so. In fact their is an entire mission field right here.

Agree with this except the civil war was NOT fought to end slavery. Besides, we both know that the only real freedom is from Jesus.:)
 
Last edited:

Mel85

Daughter of the True King
Mar 28, 2018
7,639
3,849
113
#9
Love you too dear big brother Thomas ❤️ Thanks for sharing :)

Praying that your Native Familia and community recieve the Gospel of Jesus!
 

Stunnedbygrace

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
9,111
809
113
#10
There are a number of significant reasons Native Americans are so strongly against becoming Christians, as the following will show.

First, the whole "Manifest Destiny" thing. The idea that white people were divinely ordained to settle the whole continent of North America-which necessarily meant removing and/or destroying the Native people already here. The premise that white people were inherently superior, and the conviction that God had ordained them to conquer the North American territories from sea to shining sea led to forced removal and/or violent extermination of the Aboriginal people who were viewed as blocking the furtherance of racial and technological progress.

What this meant for us was that the government would force us off our homelands onto reservations, where men professing to be Christians would steal most of the food allocated to us and sell it for their own gain. And then the government forced two generations of children to boarding schools. At these schools, men(and women)professing to be Christians beat, tortured, and raped these children. Punishment was for crimes such as speaking in the only language they'd ever spoken, and other "serious" offenses. My mother told me many stories of her experiences at Chemawa Indian School in Oregon.
When those children returned to their families, they no longer had anything in common with them. Many were sent to trade schools and forced to live and work in cities, so if they ever returned to their people's there was a vast gulf between who they were, and who they should've been.

Then there was the whole eugenics thing, where Indian Health Services clinics and hospitals were routinely sterilizing Native women-perhaps as many as 50% of all Native women, until the giovernment finally put a stop to that in the 1970s.

I am a Native man. Someone pointed out that I wasn't a full blood(which is true), but blood quantum wasn't an issue for us before colonization. Blood quantum is 100% a non Native creation, and nothing we went by prior to the coming of a white man.

Another person pointed out that I was racist, and implied that I thought "whity was bad.". I never thought that, and can't even understand why someone would think I would. Doing so would entail hating half of myself, and that would not only make me stupid, but crazy as well.

The reason I made this post was to let my Christian Brothers and sisters know the challenges I had to overcome, and the challenges other Natives are facing, before becoming Christian. These things are of vital importance to me, because I need to figure out how to respond to these obstacles. I was fortunate to meet a few Christians who weren't afraid to come witness to me where I was. There are a lot more JWs and Mormons out there doing the very same thing, and i've met so many Natives professing to be Mormons and JWs. It ought not to be so. The last time I saw Christians reaching out to this Native community was at Easter, and they came here from Russia to witness to the people in my youngest daughter's community. Some people think I'm angry, and I am, but not for the reason you might think. I'm angry with myself, because I don't know how to tell my own people that we've believed a lie all this time. Real Christians don't do all the things we've been believing they did. I know this because of a few brave souls who witnessed to me. I felt God's love through them, and even though I didn't get saved until years later, I never forgot those people who showed me Jesus Christ, and His love.

So, my brothers and sisters, I don't hate you, I love you. Like Paul, I have an overwhelming love for my people, who are being left to the JWs, and the mormons. I hope some of you will benefit from knowing how hard it is for Native people to even consider Christianity. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, and we know that the preaching of the cross is the power of God.

I know that God is in control, but I also know that He said that the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few
I can see why you are angry. It makes me angry too, to think that so many men and women have been hindered in coming to God because of what men did to them who claimed to know God. I will pray for you that God shows you how to reach them.
 
A

Ariel82

Guest
#11
"Real Christians don't do all the things we've been believing they did. "

I think that is the key: helping people understand the difference between the wolves and the sheep.

Manifest Destiny, Eugenics, beating and raping children....those are all wolves. Even Satan knows and twists scripture, just look at what he attempted to do to Jesus in the desert.

Will pray as you evangelize to your people. May the kids fade away in the brightness and glory of God's love and truth.
 
A

Ariel82

Guest
#12
Becoming a Christian, does not identify one with any other group defined politically or ethnoliguistically.
Children of God are found in every ethnolinguistic group on the planet, but are defined in these terms "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal 3:28
So, no matter what our gender, race, or social standing...

We are all blood relations, but only by the blood of Christ, nothing else would bring us together...
Amen! Beautifully said.
 

Jimbone

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2014
1,740
333
83
39
#13
I love you to brother, and praise God for reaching you where you were at, and breaking through the deception the world paints the truth of Jesus with. It's so hard sometimes to put aside what these white racist men did under the name of Jesus while actually DOING the exact opposite of what Jesus taught, long enough to actually go see for themselves what Jesus actually taught. I praise God every day for being able to take crazy, flawed, broken people like us and use us for His glory, to spread His kingdom, to proclaim the truth of reconciliation with God through faith in Jesus still blows my mind every day. I know what you’re saying and really hate how Christianity is falsely painted as the “white man’s religion”, those who say that are HUGELY misinformed, Christ saves everyone, the history of the church travels all over the world, it started in the Middle East and North Africa, moved to Italy then western Europe, hopped over to North America, now it exploding in South America and in China. LOL, Jesus is for everyone, and loves everyone. I will even say right now that if you say “I love Jesus, but hate you/him”, that you do NOT know Jesus, and are in fact NOT a Christian.

Thank you for sharing brother, you are a great testament to the power of Jesus to cut through the deceptions of this world, I pray He uses you to shine a light on these truths and He draws you and your family ever closer to Himself.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
3,462
715
113
#14
I thank you all for your feedback.
 

Didymous

Senior Member
Feb 22, 2018
3,462
715
113
#15
Ok, a quick question. What do you think of Native American Christians using the sweat lodge, dance regalia, sweet grass, sage, mugwort(the last three items are used as smudge{incense}; hand drums, and pow-wow drums?
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
25,084
3,326
113
#16
Ok, a quick question. What do you think of Native American Christians using the sweat lodge, dance regalia, sweet grass, sage, mugwort(the last three items are used as smudge{incense}; hand drums, and pow-wow drums?
Hello Thomas. I am glad you asked that, because I have been curious about it :) I have participated in sweats and medicine circles, but that was before becoming Christian. The thing I am curious about the sweats you participate in is, are they traditional sweats where you give honor to your ancestors, or are the sweats you participate in Christian focused? Or is it a mix, with all beliefs welcome, giving you an opportunity to witness to others? Thank you for inviting our questions :) I have been wanting to ask, but did not want to pry :eek:
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
26,491
877
113
#17
We all have unique challenges in becoming a Christian. A whole realm of spiritual warfare goes on as satan throws everything at us but the kitchen sink. Sin has its excuses but God's Word is greater regardless the background.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
26,491
877
113
#18
Ok, a quick question. What do you think of Native American Christians using the sweat lodge, dance regalia, sweet grass, sage, mugwort(the last three items are used as smudge{incense}; hand drums, and pow-wow drums?
Depends on the motive. If it is to stick with old pagan beliefs I wouldn't. Otherwise things are just things.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
8,528
1,215
113
#19
our Love and Hope in Jesus must always be pure,
not mixed with one grain of the world...
 
Sep 4, 2012
14,424
683
113
#20
Ok, a quick question. What do you think of Native American Christians using the sweat lodge, dance regalia, sweet grass, sage, mugwort(the last three items are used as smudge{incense}; hand drums, and pow-wow drums?
If they give glory to GOD in all things, how can they be bad things to do?