Over one hundred and sixty years ago, four Indians from
west of the Rocky Mountains traveled 3000 miles to St. Louis.
Someone had told them "that the white people away toward the rising
of the sun had been put in possession of the true mode of worshiping
the Great Spirit; they had a book containing directions." Upon
arriving at the doorstep of General William Clark, the
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, two of the Native men dropped dead
from sickness and exhaustion. The two remaining Indians were treated
with much fanfare and given a tour of the local sites. At the close
of their visit in St. Louis, one of the Indians named Ta-Wis-Sis-Sim-Nim
dictated the following.
"My people sent me to get the
white man's Book of Heaven. You took me where you allow your women
to dance, as we do not ours. The Book was not there! You took me to
where they worship the Great Spirit with candles, and the Book was
not there! You showed me images of the Great Spirit and pictures of
the Good Land beyond, but the Book was not among them to tell me the
way. I am going back the long trail to my people in the dark land.
You make my feet heavy with gifts, and my moccasins will grow old in
carrying them, yet, the Book is not among them! When I tell my
poor blind people after one more snow, in the big council that I
did not bring the Book, no word will be spoken by our old men or by
our young braves. One by one, they will rise up and go out in
silence. My people will die in darkness, and they will go a long
path to other hunting grounds. No white man will go with them, and
no white man's Book to make the way plain. I have no more words."
These words were published in an 1833
issue of "Christian Advocate and Journal." As a result, the hearts of
many of God's people were stirred that Ta-Wis-Sis-Sim-Nim's search
for truth ended in disillusionment and that such an opportunity to
share the truth was so tragically neglected. As a result,
approximately one hundred laborers responded to the call to share
the Good News of the Gospel among native tribes in the West.
Like Ta-Wis-Sis-Sim-Nim, native people
today, are looking for Truth. The answers they seek and the peace
that they long for have not been found in tradition, religious
rituals, or organized religion apart from Jesus Christ. Our loving
Creator gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of all people
including the Native American. New believers are rejoicing that
Christianity is not a "white man's religion."
God sent His Son
to be born among people who were a minority group (Deuteronomy 7:6-7
"...you were the fewest of all peoples."). God sent His Son, Jesus
Christ, to live as a member of a tribal people (Genesis 49:28)
living in the ancestral home of their forefathers (Luke 2:1-4). The
people that Godís Son identified with lived in a land under foreign
rule. The Jewish people knew what it was like to live in captivity. They
experienced their own long walk of forty years in the wilderness
(Acts 7:17-36). They survived against foreign aggression, dominance,
and arrogant cultures that were heartless toward their cultural
heritage. Their quest for survival continues today. Christ knew, as
well, the wounds of rejection inflicted by people of His own
community (Mark 6:1-6). He endured persecution at the hands of His
own people who chose to put cultural tradition before Scriptural
truth (Matthew 15:3,8-9) and chose to worship creation rather than
the Creator (Romans 1:16-25). As the all-knowing and all-powerful
God of the universe, He understands how we feel and wants us to
experience His strength that empowers us in our weakness.
Unless the Native American people are
able to know their Creatorís point of view, as recorded in the
Bible, the injustices that have destroyed so many lives can turn
into deep bitterness. Bitterness in our spirit is like poison in our
body. It will infect our thoughts, emotions, and decisions. Seeing
things from Godís point of view helps us to begin to experience
Godís healing process.
Ephesians 4:31: "Let all bitterness, and
wrath, and anger, and brawling, and evil speaking, be put away from
you, with all malice."
This requires a relationship with God.
The rituals of religion cannot replace a fulfilling relationship
with God through Jesus Christ. The ability to forgive others and
experience a joyful life, begins first with recognizing our own sin,
confessing it to God, and receiving His forgiveness. Only when we
realize that we have already been forgiven a far greater debt of sin
is it possible for us to consider forgiving another. By our sin, we
have wounded our Creator. (Isaiah 53: 5-6: "But he was wounded for
our sin...the Lord hath laid on him the sin of us all,"). The Son of
God died on the cross to pay for our sin that we might be forgiven.
He willingly suffered for us in our place to pay the debt of sin we
owed. Though undeserving, we have been offered forgiveness! God
desires that we accept His forgiveness, repent of (turn from) our
own sin, and seek a relationship with Him.
Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God". Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin
is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord." I John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness." John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he
gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life." Romans 10:13: "For whosoever
shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Have you obeyed
God in this matter of asking Him to forgive you for your sins that
have wounded Him? True healing begins when our relationship is
restored with Him. Is His Spirit working in your heart? Have you
prayed a sinnerís prayer similar to this? "Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me of my sin. I accept your forgiveness promised in the
Bible to those who repent (turn from their sin). Thank you for
giving your innocent Son to be wounded for me on the cross. I
receive your free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. I
surrender my life to you here on earth until you take me home to
your presence. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
For more information on what the Bible
says about our Creator and His gift of salvation, write us at:
Regeneration Ministries, P.O. Box 219, Fort Thomas, AZ 85536