Far from entertainment, American natives see their customs and culture as God-appointed treasures. Hence, they don’t want to compromise losing their indigenous upbringing. They do mingle with people outside their tribes, but they’re very particular in keeping their ancestor’s ways.
Same goes for the expression of their faith and worship to the One True God. In general, they address him as the Supreme Being or the Great Creator. To those who have been around churches for a while, they’ve adapted the Hebrew equivalent of Jesus’s name-Yeshua.
For years, they’ve been led to believe that their tribal ways have no room in Christianity. Once they convert, they’re told to change all their “ways.” Sadly, that meant more than just turning their backs on evil and wickedness. They would have to give up even their ethnicity.
Their chants, regalia, and native musical instruments were branded as devilish. Brokenhearted, those who came to love Jesus found themselves transfixed between two choices. Should they walk away from their aboriginal identity in order to qualify as Christians? Or, ditch their new found faith altogether?
Rev. Richard Twiss, the proponent for Indigenous worship and co-founder of Wiconi International, states that being native does not put you at odds with following Jesus.
In an interview by the "Sojourners," he said,
"Jesus does not ask me to abandon my sin-stained Indian identity only to embrace somebody else's sin-stained identity."
Many efforts were put in conferences and talks to educate people about their contextualization of the Christian faith. They’ve embraced devotion to Christ, but they don’t see any harm in keeping their ethnicity.
Gradually, other religious groups have become accepting of this concept. Still, the majority don’t agree and are wary of this “First Nation” movement.
All that said, here’s one native devoted both to Yeshua and his indigenous identity. Watch the clip to the end. His explanation would shed more light on the aforesaid issue.
Richard Nunez Worship to the Creator
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