Christianity and the Native American Religious Experience

If there was ever one video I would have Christians watch when considering Native American ministry today, it is this one. Let us not be comfortable with our ideas and opinions until we have them challenged and informed. This short video provides a quick overview of Native American and Christian relations in early America.

About the speaker

Linford Fisher is assistant professor at Brown University. He graduated from Lancaster Bible College in 1999 and received masters degrees in religion and church history from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2002. Fisher completed his doctorate in American religious history at Harvard in 2008. The topic of his dissertation—how the 18th-century religious “awakening” in New England impacted Native Americans—is also the subject of his first book, The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America.

Posts, Tweets, Confessions, Disclaimers, Etc.

Image found @CEO on Twitter

Image found @CEO on Twitter

From time to time you will notice that I post a variety of things on social media concerning Native America in general and Cherokee specifically. It may be historical or current, political or religious, historic or simply culturally interesting. I post, tweet, re-tweet, and pass stuff along as I notice them from my Native American media feeds. I do this that you (we) may gain a better perspective of how Native Americans view the world. Since most of us have had our ideas about Native Americans shaped by Hollywood movies and U.S. government history books, it would only be wise to allow them to speak for themselves.

James 1:9 tells us that we should be quick to hear and slow to speak. Although I have studied a bit and have some knowledge of Native Americans, I don’t feel entitled to any real opinion that matters, except that the name of Jesus was too often misrepresented among them and only He can provide true reconciliation. By passing something along to you, I am not asking you to agree with all that is represented, but I would hope that you would try to understand why an individual or tribe may feel as strongly as they do about things.

Cultural sensitivity is not the same as political correctness. As Christians we need to be kingdom focused. We should do everything we can that doesn’t violate Scripture to break down every barrier and remove every stumbling block that hinders us from clearly proclaiming the gospel to Native Americans. The Apostle Paul became all things to all men that he might save some (1 Cor 9:19), but too often Christians are not willing to do that. We hold so firmly to our denominational and political allegiances (dare I say racial/ethnic  and socioeconomic as well), that we have no idea what it means to follow Paul’s example. I am not exempt from this charge. I hope you will join me in getting acquainted with our Native American neighbors and hopefully get reacquainted with the Lord of the Harvest whom we represent.

Please visit our Contact page to see the various ways you can track with us. You also may want to check out John Piper’s sermon on 1 Cor 9:19 by clicking here.

Giving Update

Some of our closest friends at the Big Y Community Center, June 2014

Some of our closest friends at the Big Y Community Center, June 2014

Quick Survey and Praise Report
As we look back at the month of June to see what the Lord has done, we are encouraged. While we were in Cherokee for those twelve days, we gained six supporters, while a few more came on board since we got back. Just this morning, another family came on board with us. We thank the Lord for that. We have even had some Cherokee youth sincerely offer to support us if that would get us there sooner. Words cannot express how that encourages us even more to work harder on getting back up there.

One-time vs. Regular
Which is better, one-time or regular giving? All gifts are accepted, helpful, and appreciated, no matter how big or small. Regular monthly, quarterly, or annual giving allows missionaries to plan better. It gives them the opportunity to do the ministry supporters want them to do without spending most of their time fundraising every year, throughout the year. All gifts are received with thanksgiving. As you consider a one-time gift, please consider a one-time gift next year as well.

Home Gathering
We are happy to report that we have four home presentations lined up for the month of July, but there is always room for more. If you would like to host a gathering at your house where we could present our vision before a group of 10 – 20 people, please contact us. We would love to talk with you. Please pray about that. Believe it or not, this method is better than visiting many churches, which usually only allow 2-5 minutes of speaking time (if at all). In your home, we can give a fuller picture of our ministry goals and answer all the questions people my have. If you would like to attend a home gathering, let us know, and we will let you know if there is one near you. Did I mention desserts?

Until next time…