By Nanci Des Gerlaise
(author of Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality)
Nanci Des Gerlaise is a Canadian First Nations Cree.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36)
While those practicing Native Spirituality may believe they are practicing a completely unique form of spirituality, originating with them, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Native Spirituality is just one part of a vast movement that is creating a paradigm shift in our present-day culture away from biblical Christianity and replacing it with an all-inclusive interspiritual global religion that relies heavily upon mystical practices. The results will create a “Christianity” that has no resemblance to biblical Christianity whatsoever.
As part of this massive global shift, many Native American or First Nations tribes are exploring the renewal of their ancient spiritual traditions and reinstituting ancestral and mystical practices. Natives involving themselves in this pursuit see this as an opportunity to bring recognition to the forgotten and once persecuted Native American religion. They fail to realize that they are actually participating in a mass deception spreading throughout the world in the days prior to Christ’s return.
One example of this “awakening” among Native Americans took place on July 30th, 2007, when the Lummi Nation in Washington State sponsored the Paddle to Lummi Canoe Journey 2007 for six days. Its motto was Traveling the Traditional Highways of Our Ancestors, and its theme was Xwialken etse Tl’aneq—Lummi for the Return of the Potlatch.1
Salish canoe families from around the Northwest Coast gathered to celebrate their first potlatch since 1937. Potlatches, a distinctive tradition in the area, focused on stabilizing relationships among tribes, feasting, celebrating, and giving gifts. The call was to celebrate “as the Lummi Nation Reawakens, Renews and Revives their ancient traditions.”2
Many other examples exist, as well, that show how this spiritual “renewal” is taking place within the lives of Native Americans and First Nations people. Richard Twiss, of the Lakota Sioux tribe, is looking for this renewal or awakening among Native people. In his book, One Church, Many Tribes, Twiss states:
This is a time of transition in ministry among indigenous believers around the world—a time of exploration and sincere inquiring of the Lord for new perspectives and approaches to Native ministry. Around the globe among indigenous Christians, cultural identity is surfacing as the key dynamic in this emerging new Native ministry paradigm and spiritual awakening.3 (emphasis added)
Christians are debating the use of Native American drums, gourds, rattles and dances as legitimate expressions of godly faith. In the next decade or so, this controversy will also subside and we will hear and see indigenous sounds and movements in church services across the land in glorious worship to Jesus Christ. Indeed, that day is already dawning.4 (emphasis added)
What Twiss is saying is very scary because a lot of people will be deceived into thinking that what he is proposing is a good thing. But while many Native American Christians, like Twiss, are looking for a great spiritual awakening within the First Nations and Native American groups—primarily by incorporating Native Spirituality cultural practices into their Christianity—right under their noses, a massive worldwide deception authored by Satan is incorporating Native Spirituality into its plan and is surging forward, ultimately forsaking the purity of the Gospel message. . . .
Twiss talks about “heal[ing] the rifts”5 between Natives and Anglo-Saxons, Democrats and Republicans, men and women, rich and poor, etc. and asserts how we can “all have a part to play in the healing of our nation [America].”6 This is exactly what the emerging church is proposing to do. But the healing of the nations (America, Canada, or any part of the world) is not going to happen before Jesus Christ returns. The teaching that we can, in and of ourselves, usher in the Kingdom of God on earth now before His return is heretical. Our focus, as Native or non-Native Christians, needs to be the preaching of the Gospel according to the Holy Scriptures. It is not the earth we are to save but rather men, women, and children’s souls. When Twiss tells us to “imagine Native believers enjoying the fragrant aroma of burning sage, sweet grass or cedar”7 or “smudging,8 I believe he is misleading many. Galatians 3:28 tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” In other words, our focus as born-again believers isn’t to practice rituals from the cultures we were born into. We are born again, into a brand new culture—God’s culture. The one “culture” that God has bestowed on all mankind is the Gospel; it is the one heritage passed on to us by God, yet we are destroying it today.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
(From chapter 8, pp. 135-137, 141-142 of Muddy Waters by Nanci Des Gerlaise. Click here for more information or to order. Nanci Des Gerlaise is a Canadian First Nations Cree.)
1. Lance Dickie, “The Pull of History and Healing” (The Seattle Times, July 27, 2007, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2003807813_lance27.html).
2. Lumni Nation (http://www.whatcomvolunteer.org/HOC__Organization_Profile_Page?Oid=0018000000t9HvPAAU).
3. Richard Twiss, One Church Many Tribes (Ventura, CA: Regal Books from Gospel Light, 2000), pp. 20-21.
4. Ibid., p. 21.
5. Ibid., p. 23.
7. Ibid., pp. 132-133.
8. Ibid., p. 133.
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