What Does the Constitution Have to Do with It?

us-constitutionAre you an American who loves your country? Do you believe in a nation of law rather than a dictatorship or the tyranny of the majority? Do you love your Constitution? What part of the Constitution are we allowed to ignore?

I ask these questions because I have spoken to so many Christian voters over the years who have wondered, how much is enough — when will we stop giving the Indians government money? They have their casinos, don’t they? In a world where people are conquered though out history, how can we be expected to keep paying for our sins as a country? Can’t we just say that bad things happen in this world, and they are lucky they were not completely annihilated?

Worldview Adjustment

From the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian

From the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian

I hope the following will help folks answer those questions for themselves. As Christians, especially those who defend the premise that our country is built on Judeo-Christian principles, we ought never argue from a “bad-things-happen-in-this-world-therefore-get-over-it” perspective. As Christians we know that God holds governments, i.e. ministers of justice (Rom 13), accountable for the upholding and the maintaining of justice. As such earthly governments represent our covenant-keeping, law-giving God. The “bad-things-happen” view is simply not the premise we should begin with when considering Native American relations, or any other people group.  Most American Christians I know would never accept this premise when their opposing political parties ignore the Constitution.

What About the Constitution?

Recently I was reading the new book, Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations, by Suzan Show Harjo. As the title suggests it traces the history of Native American treaties. I would like to commend it to any Constitution-loving Christian. The first thing that struck me at the very outset of the book was this clause from our Constitution:

The Constitution, and the Laws of the United States, which shall be made in Pursuance thereof: and all treaties made, which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” –United States Constitution, article 6, clause 2

Glen Douglas, Lakes-Okanogan Indian, (February 1, 1927 - May 23, 2011) joined the U.S. Army when he was just 17, the start of a long and distinguished career that saw him take part in three wars: World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. He was with the 101st Airborne in Belgium in 1945, was injured by a grenade in 1953 during the Korean War. During his first tour in Vietnam he was an intelligence analyst with a Special Forces team...

Glen Douglas, Lakes-Okanogan Indian, (February 1, 1927 – May 23, 2011) joined the U.S. Army when he was just 17.

This is the same Constitution that so many Americans died defending, including thousands of Native Americans. The treaties with Native nations were made in perpetuity. The U.S. government has broken its treaties again and again. But breaking a treaty does not dissolve it, and time does not forgive. The treaties are still legally binding today. If you are a Christian who loves the Constitution, you should be all the more eager to recognize these things and even demand those who represent us in Washington do so as well.

More than a Political Issue

But lest you think this is political-activist post, let me assure you that I don’t wish to spend too much time in the political arena. My place is in gospel ministry. I bring it up only because I believe that false assumptions, ill-informed political opinions, and basic ignorance in our churches are dampening our missionary zeal to Native America. These ideas are prohibiting our mission efforts to the 567 Native American nations within our borders. And yes, they are real nations, and are part of the “all nations” to whom the Lord has sent us (Mt. 28:18-20). It just doesn’t seem fitting to me that so many churches who worship on land that was once Indian country do not have a line item in their missions budget for Native America.

I hope to awaken as many people as possible to the need in Native America, and how we as Christians should put the kingdom of Christ far above our earthly kingdoms.  Please prayerfully consider being part what we are doing in Native America. The harvest is ripe and the doors are open. Please read About our mission to Native America here.  All for His Kingdom!

We are Back!

We are Back!

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Point Judith Lighthouse in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

We are Back!
After a ten-day road trip, we are back in Sanford, Florida. We traveled to New England visiting the ‘Biggest Little State in the Union,’ Rhode Island, as well as Massachusetts and Connecticut. It was a joy to see family and old friends again. We were able spend a day as a family in Narragansett and explore the rocky shoreline of the Ocean State – a much needed respite after that long drive!

We visited churches in New England who are remaining faithful to the Lord’s work. We also had opportunities to meet with pastors and decision makers of churches in Virginia who have sent short-term teams to Cherokee. It seems we will have three, possibly four, new churches supporting us.

On our way up, we visited the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C. and took some quick pics of the Civil War Memorial in front of the Capital.

Civil War Memorial in D.C.

Civil War Memorial in D.C.

Wampanoag Mashpee Natives, Greg Joseph and Nick Hendricks

Wampanoag Mashpee Natives, Greg Joseph and Nick Hendricks

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Old Indian Meeting House, 1684, Mashpee, MA

A particular joy was visiting the country’s oldest Indian church in Mashpee, MA. The actual date of the establishment of the building is debated, but you can read more about it here. We were told by one of the men keeping the grounds that day that there is no longer a congregation meeting there, but nonetheless it was edifying to be in a structure where Wampanoag Indians worshiped the Lord so many years ago. Not only were we able to have a private visit in the Meeting House, the caretakers arranged for us to have a private tour of the Wampanoag Museum down the road even though it was basically closed for the season.

While in Providence, RI, we visited the very first Baptist church in the country (see our Instagram for a pic of that). Later that night we were in a church located in the same area where the great missionary to the Indians, David Brainerd, ministered while in Connecticut. On our way back home, while traveling to Centreville, VA we stumbled on Manassas National Battlefield Park where Gen. Thomas Jonathan Jackson earned his name “Stonewall.”

Cannons at Manassas Battlefield

Cannons at Manassas Battlefield

Remembering the Past, Looking to the Future
We had no idea how much history we were going to take in on this trip, and especially did not know how that would evoke such variegated thoughts and emotions. But our mission to Cherokee is about what the Lord is doing today. At the same time we as the church always need to keep an eye on the past examining our successes and mistakes while looking to see what the Lord wants to do with Native America in the future. I hope our posts and newsletters challenge you to think more in Kingdom categories that transcend our political, cultural, personal, and (dare I say?) denominational preferences, which will allow us to better examine ourselves as we seek to be true Reformers tenaciously embracing the doctrine of Semper Reformanda – Always Reforming.

Below are photos of the exhibits from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

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Appeals to Washington

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Compulsory prayer at an Indian mission school

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Removal (click on photo to enlarge)

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Great Nations Keep Their Word

Now that we are back in Sanford, we are back to writing newsletters, blog posts, and appeal letters, stuffing envelopes, making phone calls, presenting in home and church gatherings, and doing all the things necessary to raise our support. Please pray for perseverance on our part. The Lord has the funds out there somewhere. It is up to us to pray, work, pray, wait, pray, receive, pray, and repeat.

All for His Kingdom!

The Lennoxes

Above is an excerpt from November issue of Lennox Letters newsletter. See it here. Click here to SUBSCRIBE.