I have been a Christian for about a year now. Amazed? Yea!?! Me too.
A little over a year ago, I discovered that the Creator (who I always believed in) has a son named Jesus, or as the Cherokee say, Tsisa. I felt His love, His kindness, and His peace when I realized that He created me in His own image out of His love. I am still a Christian, and always will be, because now I know my salvation comes from Him, my eternal life, somthing that nobody can ever take away - not even death.
So now I'm no longer a lost soul. I pray, and read my Bible and have a relationship with Him - somthing that I would never trade, not even for all the money in the world. I finally know what it means to be at peace, even if my life is still a struggle.
Now you would think that most trouble in my Christian life would come from my family, and extended family because only my mom and maternal aunt and maternal great-grandmother are Christians. All my uncles, other aunts, cousins, neices, nephews arent. So naturally I get all my trouble from them, right? Wrong.
I have discovered, over and over again, that most trouble in my "Christian Walk" comes from other Christians. I can't tell you how many times people have made sideways remarks about "Indian Christians" who are always in danger of going "back to the blanket" and bringing "Indian curses" into the church. Some Christians have even "prohpisied" that God is "through" with my Rez and "the time of the Reservations are over" and us Indians need to "go and live with the rest of the people". Well, I'm not saying that Reservations are always wonderful places, but somehow I doubt God is "through" with them, Or that we should leave the lands that the Creator gave us so we can live with "the rest of the people" - whatever that means.
As if that wasin't bad enough! Many are opposed to native Christians praying in a sweat, or even using a drum to worship. I know many good friends who are Christians - in every true sense of the word - who have outright been accused of being SATANIC because they (for example) worship with a drum. I don't have the words to describe how this feels, but I'm not happy.
I think the root of these problems is Profits. False Profits.
Ever since the first Europeans came here their goal has been to make money, and lots of it, at the expense of everyone else. Without regard to the Creator, the Peoples of this land, and even the land itself, they took what they wanted and did what they wanted. This still goes on to a lesser extent today. I can't even count how many land disputes there are between Tribal Nations and mining corporations, logging firms, farmers, ranchers, governments, fisheries, white supremacists, etc.
Nevertheless, the attidude of superiority still exists in the church at large. Non-believing Natives are seen as a small and inconsequental mission field while Believers are seen as always being dangerously close to returing to "paganism". From my viewpoint, it seems the "dominant" church is in the strange position of being neglectful and lethally overbearing at the same time. What a strange position, and how un-surprising - because this is the way the United States Government has acted towards natives for over 200 years.
Author's note: Okay. I've been having some second thoughts about this article. Nothing "too serious", but I think a few things need to be cleared up. I should have prayed about this article even before I began to write it. I am FAR from perfect and this is clear when you read some of my articles....heh heh...
I should also note one other thing: something that SHOULD have been the main point of my article in the first place - that the "dominant" Christians who often act badly towards native Christians - are human - and that is the reason they make mistakes. Its the reason I make mistakes too. I can't count how many mistakes I've ever made, they are probably beyond numbering.
My point is, as a Christian, my attitude towards those who offend me should be one of forgiveness and mercy, as I pray that they change. When I re-read my article, it seemed as if I was pounding on a pulpit and yelling at some senseless churchgoers, when ironically, I was speaking against the very same thing. It made me feel alittle hypocritical. Its about time I remember that Jesus forgives them, just as much as He forgives me, and I have done some very bad things in my life as well. So....sorry 'bout all this....