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Peace Child

Don Richardson, author of Peace Child and Eternity in their Hearts, is known for a discovery that he and his wife, Carol, made among the  Sawi people of Dutch New Guinea.

At the time (1960s) the Sawi people were headhunters, at war with rival tribes, and absorbed in a culture of aggressive self-protection.

To the Richardsons’ dismay, when the Sawi people first heard the story of Christ they regarded Judas as a super-hero, and Jesus as someone to be laughed at for being a naive victim of betrayal.

One online source explains: “For centuries, the Sawi lived as cannibal-headhunters, each Sawi village warring with the others. Ordinary murder was nothing to them. To be a “legend maker,” you had to create a special scenario in which you pretend to make peace with someone, then kill him when his guard is down. This Sawi ideal is called “tuwi asonai man” which means “to fatten with friendship for unexpected slaughter” as one would fatten a pig.”

Eventually, however, Don and Carol discovered a way to build understanding with the Sawi. According to an online Wikipedia summary, “Three tribal villages were in constant battle at this time. The Richardsons were considering leaving the area, so to keep them there, the Sawi people in the embattled villages came together and decided that they would make peace with their hated enemies.

Ceremonies commenced that saw young children being exchanged between opposing villages. One man in particular ran toward his enemy’s camp and literally gave his son to his hated foe. Observing this, Richardson wrote: “if a man would actually give his own son to his enemies, that man could be trusted!”

From this rare picture came the analogy of God’s sacrifice of his own Son. The Sawi began to understand the teaching of the incarnation of Christ in the Gospel after Richardson explained God to them in this way.”

Later Richardson would write books and lecture about his belief that there are  woven into the cultures of the world “redemptive analogies” that can help people move from an idea or practice that they already accept to the life-changing news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in our place.

Also part of the Richardsons’ story is their discovery that “Sawi tradition contained prophecies that someday the Words of “Remon” [Regeneration /Immortality] would arrive. Richardson realized that some Sawi customs might actually be an attempt to reach such a high degree of collective sorrow that the Words of Remon would come more quickly. For those who believed that the Richardsons’ arrival with the Gospel story meant that the Words of Remon had arrived, the old customs became unnecessary — an old covenant was supplanted by a new one.

Seems to me that what the Richardsons discovered parallels what the Apostle Paul did when speaking with the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill (Acts 17:16-34). He reached into their common experience and used ideas that they already accepted… as a bridge to explain what Christ has done for us.

I see it as a reminder to us that, although God alone understands the thoughts and motives of human hearts, and although he alone can judge peoples’ response to him on the basis of the light they have (i.e. as before the cross), no one (before or after) will come to God apart from the mercy and salvation that Jesus purchased by his own sacrifice and resurrection.

While “what about those who have never heard?” is the usual question, our most certain answer is that, according to the New Testament, everyone needs to hear what Jesus has done for us. Those who accept the message receive all that God has purchased for them– through the suffering and sacrifice of his own Son. All who refuse that good news reject at their own loss their only hope of forgiveness and immortality.

Note: This has been such a good and lengthy time of listening to one another that I may be testing your patience with this post. But as we’ve compared notes and convictions, it seemed to me that Richardson’s well known and widely accepted work might be worth thinking about again.

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46 Responses to “Peace Child”

  1. Sakoieta says:

    Mart..I was going to mention this story in the other postings but figured it would take up too much time and didn’t want these sessions to be turned in to the “Sakoieta” saga. LOL.

    Our people as well reached a stage where we were cannibals, killing each other and killing others… we usually checked though with priests to see if they were boilers or Fryers (Friars) LOL. Then in our history there are the stories of the child who was born to our people who offered us a message our Elders tell us came from the Creator. This was a peace child who would later be called the Peacemaker. It was through him that Creator’s laws were brought back to us in the form of what we today call the Great Law of Peace. It was this Peacemaker who formed the first united nations on this continent. A group of five warring Indian nations throwing away their weapons of war and committing themselves to peace. They would become known as the Five Nations Iroquois Confederacy and later six with the joining of the Tuscaroras.

    But the precept we then followed was political activity at it’s highest form has to be spiritually based on Gods teachings and spirituality in it’s highest form has to include political activity that dispenses the justice of a divine God. From this many of our people, even though persecuted by the church, have had little or no difficulty accepting the Biblical message while still maintaining our culture, language and nationhood.

  2. foreverblessed says:

    On peace child:
    That’s beautifull, the peace child. What a good preparation for the gospel for these people.
    On the Daily Bread it was this week Psalm 98: v 2 The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
    It is always good to listen to the people you are bringing the gospel to, learn their language, learn their way of living. They do not have to put away their whole culture if it is not against anything in the gospel.

    What about those who did not hear Christ:
    Is not everybody judged according to what they have done? Matthew 16:27 and Rev 20:11-12. Will they then not hear about Him?

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Mart, let me first of all thank you for allowing our last conversation to run it’s course. I hope we all learned something of ourselves from it. I know I did.

    The string of misunderstandings and self defense attitudes, shows me how difficult a task missionary workers have wherever they are sent.

    It takes special people and a calling from God to undertake such a task.

    The story you have outlined above shows how wisdom and patience pay’s off.

    The Richardson’s had success in this mission, but many missionaries were killed tortured and even eaten by the people they came to offer eternal salvation to.

    All of the original Disciples, died a violent death, except John who was imprisioned on Patmos for all his years. I suppose so that he could give us the writen record of the Revelation.

    Paul’s use of customary belief in his Mars hill speach, shows that even after giving Paul the oportunity to speak, the “wise” men of Athens turned their backs on his efforts.

    Paul then did move on, to find ears and hearts ready to not only listen to his message but ripe to accept it. Athens would have to wait for another missionary to change their minds.

    I am intrigued by the story you mentioned about the Sawi people having a traditional belief that the words of Remon would someday arrive.

    I have read this story in nearly all cultures around the globe.

    I have always attributed this to the people who left to populate the world from the Tower of Babel. I have also believed that the entire story of the garden, the fall and the promise of one to come, bridge the gap and save all of mankind; has been known since the fall and beginning of the story of man.

    Eternity is written on the hearts of man. I have never ever heard of an aboriginal people who were athiests.

    Only in the “enlightened knowledgable intellectuals”, of todays society do we find such people. (still feasting on the tree)

    These people are to me the most difficult to “missionalize”. Because they have hardened their hearts to recieve the message of Christ.

  4. Sakoieta says:

    I agree with Steve’s statement. Our Elder’s have stated many times study of Indian culture and beliefs never created any atheists. Many of our people have looked at our ancient teachings as being the same as Old Testament teachings found in the Bible. Many of these teachings were verifed through our seeking the God of Creation. We also recognized the importance of accepting other people’s revelations of their encounter with the Creator. A good example is some of our people were tipi dwellers. They recognized they, of their nation, were only one pole in the structure and as such had only limited knowledge of God. In order to learn more about the fullness of God they had to listen to the other “poles” or nations share from their perspective and experiences on how God had revealed himself to them. If one pole demanded that all others view the Creator only from their position and prespective the lodge would not stand and could not be built. All the poles would fall.

    From that structure, once it was built, all the poles were brought together at the top and tied together with a rope or life line. It was taught there were many different paths that lead us to understanding of God but only one life line, that given by God to us as humans. Our people have always been open to God’s revelation of Himself through His Son. Where there has been difficulty with the message has not been with the message but the messengers. I worked with many missionaries for many years and many of them have confessed years later they did not realize how much damage they did to the people they went to with the gospel. They all mentioned how much grace the Indian people had shown them despite their mistakes and arrogance. That is the other side of the coin of missions. Also I use the term Indian, because that is what I was taught all my life. It was explained to me that early writings of explorers to our people who were spanish described them as a Godly people..”In Dios” in God. Just today, I heard the Mohawk Nation has been successful at having Canada being investigated for acts of willful genocide in it’s past and continued treatment of Indigenous people at The International Cour of the Hague. Canada and the U.S. government and church have set up residential schools where little Indian children were taken away from their parents by force. Often never returned. In those schools the children were beaten or punished if they spoke their language. Many were killed, used for medical experiments, sterilized by force, assaulted, raped and sexually abused. All with the blessing of the government and church. Man’s sins against humanity do not go unpunished. In Canada we have an estimated 50,000 children we believe were killed or murdered in these schools. The last one closed in the late 1980’s. Some churches in the states still operate them. This was only a small part of the holocaust we have endured and continue to endure today.

  5. paulruppert says:

    Great article, I took time to read it and give a wonder of thought, which in these days people seem to refuse to do. I don’t think it was courage that the Richardsons had when they did what they did, but a total love, respect and belief in Jesus, and most of all, love for the Sawi people and other peoples in the region. They did what God commanded us all to do, Love. If the rest of the world would even do 1% of what the Sawi and Richardsons did, maybe the coming conflict would not happen. Good article.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Sakoieta, There is a sad and dishonorable history whereas the treatment of “every” nation and tribe of Native Americans is concerned. First by the Spanish and then by the French, English and in South America the Portugese.

    But it didn’t stop there. Once the Kings of Europe found they could circumnavigate the globe, no indiginous people anywhere was safe from being colonized and or conqured.

    The Catholic Priests seeing everything as idol worship, destroyed the written record of hundreds if not thousands of peoples. Globally. These peoples history forever forgotten.

    I don’t know if you ever studied the histoy of the Persian empire or not. But there is a historian named Herodotus. Who wrote down a history of the Persian conquests and their defeat by the Greeks. The best thing for me in reading the history Herodotus presented, are all the various tribes and cultures he wrote about.

    It is interesting that the Persians, like the Babylonians, had a coquest of tolerance. The empire would send an ambassador to the nation they wished to take into the empire, and ask for earth, wind, and fire. If the nation agreed, it was a total surrender without any military action.

    The newly conqured nation would become part of the empire complete with all rights privledges and protection the empire afforded.

    They would however be required to pay taxes and conscript an army to be used by the empire.

    They would be allowed to keep their religion, culture, bussiness,farms, economy ect.

    Of course if they refused to surrender they were wiped out as a people and took into slavery.

    When I read of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, The statue of man has a head of gold. This represented the best of world rulers. This was the Babylonian empire. Followed by a chest of silver, this represented the Persian Empire, good but not quite as good as the head of Gold. The stomach of brass is representative of Alexander the Great, the legs of Iron the brutal and crushing intolerant rule of the Roman Empire. The feet a mixture of iron and clay, Todays alliances and mixtures of strong and weak governments that “rule” the world.

    Ever since man fell and sin entered the world. Someone has tried to have domination over another.

    Like the statue of man in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we are getting worse not better as Governments. I believe we are at the end of Man’s rule on earth. As represented by the destruction of the feet of clay in the dream. But I will save that story for future discussion.

    Empire’s that tried to conqurer the New world did not have the “wisdom” of the rulers of ancient Babylon or Persia. As they came against people it was the brutal conquest of total annihilation that they practiced.

    It was wrong then it is wrong now, to offer nothing short of the extinction of a people or culture for political or religious reasons.

    Here we are today. How do we as individuals offer or make restitution to any of the peoples who has had wrongs forced upon them by opressive governments of the past? where would you begin and how far back in time do we go?

    Christ came to make restitution for all men with God.

    The name of Christ has been misused throughout history. Jesus warned us of that. But Christ remains the same.

    Revenge belongs to the Lord. And revenge is coming.

    All I can do is live for Christ as best I can. I am sorry for all the pain you feel, and the anger it causes to to feel as well. I pray you can reach the point where you have peace in your heart. Peace that makes no sense to the world. It is the same peace I strive for.


  7. phpatato says:

    My cousin, through genealogy research on her father/my mother’s mother’s side, found out that my great great great great grandfather was given as a “PLEDGE” to the Oneida tribe (at the age of 5) for 3 1/2 days. He later returned to marry the chief’s daughter. It is recorded that his family were Godly Christian people.

    It takes mountains of Faith, complete and total trust in God, a heart full of love and an attitude of deep respect to be a pioneer/missionary. God Bless them All because Steve, you are right, it must be an overwhelmingly difficult task.

  8. poohpity says:

    Before I went to Africa I studied the region, culture, politics and current events. Someone else had decided what I would teach but as I prayed about it the Lord gave me the stories that the newly orphaned children could relate to. The first day we talked about creation and asked them to tell all the different kinds of things that they could call out that were created and ended by saying that each one of them were part of the creation and very special to God. With the losses of their family to HIV/AIDS pandemic I bet they felt so all alone.

    The next story I told was how the people from Jacob and his son’s were held captive in Egypt and that they cried out to the lord and how the Lord provided for them in the desert and daily supplied manna for them everyday just like they were provided a big meal everyday. Then I asked them if they ever did any thing that they got in trouble for and then explained how God came in the form of man to die for all the wrong we had done and further explain the cross and 50 plus young people excepted the gift of salvation. They really enjoyed hearing how Jesus was born in a manger and had straw for His bed which in their little homes they understood that. That He wanted to be at our level to show His love.

    So listening and learning the culture from the example of Paul was primary to teach me to listen much before we present the Gospel but it fits into any culture and most already have a part of the picture.

    Excellent topic.

  9. Sakoieta says:

    Steve: it isn’t so much how far back do we go so much as it is, will people stand up and tell the church and government to stop right now. In past posts I have already mentioned some of the areas where in many ways we are just looking at the same thing but from different perspectives. I no longer accept in my work, someone telling me, but I follow Christ and so therefore I am okay in what I do and what I do is from Christ…especially if I see their actions, words or deeds hurt people. Not long ago I witnessed a person show ultimate disrespect for another one and finally I spoke out about it only to have that person rebuke me in the name of the Lord since according to him man was given authority over the woman. A few years ago I got sucker punched by another Christian man who was a church member when he was upset and I was trying to quietly calm him down. Also two years ago I was asked to do a workshop for a church group on how to work with Native people. Because I not only offered positive methods as well as mentioned some instances where the church had failed as examples of what not to do, I was severely chastised in a church conference periodical that has a world wide audience of readers for as, an Indian, daring to say what I had said with ministers present.

    I also have to ask at this point and time, I have had numerous Indian friends who freely chose to become Christian, only to, at conference events, have people ask them who were the white missionaries who had led them to Christ. They were a little agitated when they responded it was by their free choice and that if they had to make a decision based on the work of the missionary on their reservation, they would not have made that choice. Why does the church in many areas refuse to allow us in as first class citizens of the church of God? We see the difference in workloads. We see the difference in pay structures. We see the difference in treatment. Even here at Six Nations Reservation we have over 18 different denominational church buildings along with numerous house churches all vying and fighting over converts. This is why I can read all of your words and accept your faith as you tell it, but the truth be told I have heard the same thing a million times from thousands of Christians and all I have ever asked people if you talk the talk you better walk the walk and when it comes to application on an everyday level..for the most part I don’t see it. My Elder’s have taught me when you speak, speak from your experience only, anything else is just guessing. I have many Christians who are gems and some are my closest friends. There are others that I encounter daily where I wonder, as I mentioned in an earlier post, if they have ever even met the Jesus they proclaim. I remember one man who would openly grab people and shake them asking them why they weren’t Christians. Another one would not even allow a casket of a young man who had drowned to be brought into his church because the young man was of another faith. During the funeral all he did was rail about how the people in attendance better accept the Lord since it was too late for the young man in the casket who was obviously burning in hell for being a catholic. the people had been kind enough to ask him to do the service since it was an isolated community and the priest wasn’t able to attend. These are the missionaries who for the most part we get stuck with as Indian people. I remember one minister tell me one time that people who wanted to be missionaries wanted to go to places like India, Africa, China, or other places where the real glory of working for the Lord was and really looked at working in America or Canada with Indians as third class mission work. Most wanted to work until a spot opened up on a foreign field. How is that for Christ’s work? That reeks to me of nothing but misplaced ego. In many cases we got stuck with that to work with. So I am not so much saying how far back do we go but why do we let this corruption of the spirit continue? Why does the church let it continue? Anyone here can preach to me all day and I will enjoy hearing how you accept and honor your belief system in the Lord, but you better show me evidence of it if you work on my reservation, or if I sense racism, marginalizing, paternalizing, patronizing, or inappropriate treatment of my people coming from you…I’ll be the first to ask you to leave. I’ve seen enough to last a life time and you can shake the dust off your shoes all you want…I’ll just sweep it up and throw it right out the door and say NEXT.

  10. poohpity says:

    I do not know where you hang out or who you hang out with but it sounds like a horrible group of people. It sounds like the anger over your treatment has consumed your life from what has been posted. I am so sad to hear how you have been treated and hope there will be peace and forgiveness in your life soon. Anger left without being addressed will cause us sometimes to be bitter and resentful which will affect every area of one’s life. I hope one day things will change for you.

  11. DebraD says:

    Hi, I am a new member to this and have read the comments and it is interesting to see how this topic has carried on from the last one. I went home yesterday and got into a discussion with my sister when one poster asked the question that if you met someone in the middle of nowhere (I am not entirely too sure of the full question) would you consider them saved. I immediately thought of God saying the Gospel would reach the four corners of the earth and that everyone would hear the message. From then on it is up to the individual to make that choice to receive Christ. How we get there is irrelevant. What is important that the final journey ends with Christ. Our experiences, our past, etc, good and bad are all ways we get to our loving Father. It is interesting how God can use any story in anyone’s history to fulfill His purpose and that is to bring us to the saving knowledge of Christ.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Sakoieta, I can not disagree with you, nor am I trying to. I would also be upset with people acting superior to me, and attempting to treat me as if I needed a nanny.

    Nowhere in the Bible is there instruction to humiliate someone. To make them feel inferior to another person. Quite the contrary. Jesus took a lot of time to show that prideful and haughty people will be brought down in shame and the meek and humble held up in honor. In the coming Kindom.

    I have fought against injustice all my life. It has not won me friends. But has made me plenty of enemies.

    I can’t take back the wrongs done to any in the past. Where the tree falls, there it lays. For it cannot be put back up on the stump.

    I can only be responsible for my actions. If there is any action I can take “with” you in order to help you, As long as it does not go against my Christian principals and is within my abilities, I will do it.

    We have all heard hypocrites, preach one thing and live another. Jesus encountered the very same attitudes from the religious leaders of his day. But not from every single one of them. Some were genuine in their attitude and walk with God.

    It’s the same today, and has always been this way. Christians who dishonor Christ are remembered the most. I think maybe because they do the most harm.

    But there are plenty of good honorable Christian people. They are all individuals, though brought together in their spiritual beliefs, still each person is unique.

    I love this blog, for it enables me to talk with people I would never have been able to otherwise. But it is sometimes very frustrating. Not to be able to hear the tone af anothers voice or look into the eyes and see the spirit. Perhaps to touch the shoulder of a stranger and become their brother, or embrace a person with a broken heart and allow them to cry.

    Unless you have went back and read all the comments on this blog from the past year. You really know little of me. I have shared my grief with the people here and reaped friends. Others have also opened up their hearts and exposed their pain. And been comforted by genuine caring people.

    My crippled son gets very upset with life and it’s unfairness. So when he complains, I have learned that he needs to complain. I just listen agree and tell him I love him. I can do little else.

    I have placed myself my family and all I am in the hands of God. It is in my hope of Christ that we can endure unto the end. That the things I cannot control are in His control and wherever He takes me is still better than anywhere I would take myself.

    Perhaps we can change the world, Sakoieta, one friendship at a time.


  13. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    SFDBWV Steve your word’s are so encouraging and you are such a blessing.

    ” That the things I cannot control are in His control and wherever He takes me is still better than anywhere I would take myself.”

  14. peacechild says:

    So many truths on which all who are in Christ can join in complete agreement, such as this from Ephesians 2:14-18: “For he himself (Jesus Christ) is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross by which he put to death their hostility…For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

    The “dividing wall of hostility” for the Ephesian church was between Jew and Gentile, and it is to this relationship Paul is speaking directly, but in other letters to the churches, he broadens this principle, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.” Galatians 3:28

    This important teaching regarding one aspect of Jesus’ work on the cross is always addressed to people groups in which one has traditionally seen themselves as superior to the other and felt this gave them license to abuse the group with less power. Since this is the principle, it applies to all relationships in which such domination exists.

    Since Jesus Christ has abolished the divisions and the resulting hostilities, making us all one in his body, we must now view ourselves and each other in this light if we are to be true to the Gospel message.

    Submission to this truth is enormously freeing! Though I am female, it is not my primary identity. I see myself joyfully as one with you all; Ephesians 4:1-6 is my watchword:”…one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

    So let us disagree and agree as we will, but not allow differences to rule our hearts, but rather the peace and freedom Jesus Christ has given us when he set us free! Galatians 5:1

    Blessings to all.

  15. mtman says:

    Very touching comments above with one exception. It is not who you hang out with – it is showing respect for each other! Just two days ago I was asked frivolous questions to make someones obscure point. I was asked along with Sakoieta whether I was a Christian. Did I descend from Noah, and so forth. I had been posting here for many months and have stated many times I was a Christian and how much I loved the Lord.
    These were condensending comments and frivolous questions to make a senseless point. I answered those questions respectfully. What Sakoieta has posted above has occurred right here on this blog site in a less than respectful way. Some apparently simply do not get it that respect for each other is what is called for and not recompense or challenges to ones core belief’s. “If I hurt your feelings – I’m sorry” just rings hollow. In my replies I was respectful but bruised by the posts. There were three posts that were totally disrespectful to any human being. It is not about feelings but respect for each other and to think things through before they are put to print. Recently someone asked where all the regular poster’s had gone. That really shouldn’t be a surprise. I came back to see if things had changed but I can now see they have not.
    My position is that if something doesn’t draw me closer to the Lord then it is hardly worth my while. I have come to the conclusion that platitudes that ring hollow, condensending comments lack our Lords wisdom and love in them regardless of how subtlety they are presented.
    Therefore I choose to continue to read Mart’s topics, but will not post again. I wish you all the best and fortunately I have other Christian blogs to participate in where our Lord is truly glorified and individuals are respected whether they are ‘traditional’ or not.

  16. Sakoieta says:

    But Poohpity, you fail to see I am not angry in the least. I came here to share the stories of wisodm where I have found it and seen it, and where it has been talked about but not shown. I’m not angry at anyone, I am just sharing the stories that come from my experience. But I find it interesting any time I have spoken against the activities of the church, I have been accused of being this terrible angry Indian man. Yet for those who have attended workshops of mine, I am known for my ability to be very calm, likeable, genuine and my crazy sense of humor, even when I have been publically attacked. I continue to always look for the good in people I work with and people from the church. The one’s I hang out with are some of the same type of people as we have on here. They come shouting the praises of Christ and shouting their words of praise for the work of the church and themselves but very soon their words and actions wither and die beside the road and we see the real person standing there in God’s light. I shared earlier the church and Christians need to hear the stories of the recipients of their message in order to know if the message brought enlightenment or was later changed and brought darkness. Much of my experience with attending churches was always positive at the beginning but the after I spent some time, the circumcision started. The Bible says a man should not have long hair, we’d like you to cut yours. The Bible says this and the Bible says that.. all aimed at me and what I need to do to conform and be just like eʌeryone else who was sitting there, with little realization they were only adding their cultural baggage to the gospel and saying that was of God but by my living by my way of life my culture was wrong. Sorry but(Buzzer please) Wrong answer.

    Here’s a prayer my nephew, who is ultra-evangelical and a Marine put on one of his posts. “Dear Lord, please do not listen to the prayers of the pagans or heathens as we fight this battle. Guide our shots and bullets so we do not waste ammunition as we send their heathen souls to the depths of hell where they belong.” Funny that’s the same mentality, for the most part, we Indians have experienced all through out history. I deal with people that some who post here obviously also hang out with based on the reading I have done of some of the posts. When I spoke to him about it the rest of the family who are so heavenly minded jumped on me for criticizing him as he does the work God has called him to do in Iraq. I have been told, by my mother, that I am no longer welcome and I am banished from my mother’s home and the rest of the family who supports my nephew.

    I have learned a long time ago not to get angry over any of this but to address it in as good a way as I can offereing peace, mutual respect and friendship, as much as I can. I try to just make sure my own life is in order. This morning as I read devotions, Proverbs 3:5,6 spoke to me. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths. I also speak from my own experience anything else is guessing. I do not work with guessing, or people who guess this is the way to go, but with facts. That is all I have shared here. The Lord led me to the ancient path of worshipping him in true love and thanksgiving as He has revealed himself to me as a Mohawk. That is my experience. That is my truth. I will not forsake it, nor will I turn my back on it. That is where the Lord has led me. I thank him for that all through out the day. To those who don’t understand it… well let’s show respect to each other and maybe it will be shared. Not all of us understand rocket science either but that doesn’t mean it is irrelevant.

  17. poohpity says:

    Wow mtman, it is a shame that for some reason people expect perfection from others while not looking at their own error. It is easy to see where others mess up especially when they are under a microscope and open to communicate here. After a while you get to see the sin side of everyone which we all have. “People honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me’ God is the only one to see our hearts. I know for myself there was never any malice towards anyone just confusion. That is why the guidelines were created on this blog, just as the rules about how we treat one another are in the bible. Guess what none of us are able to follow them perfectly, none are without sin no not one. If someone apologizes for their behavior and we can not see them face to face how can we judge that. To at least recognize error I think is just great but to never admit wrong now that is sad. ODB today is so very fitting for this subject. The topic is “Peace Child” and we are all called to be peacemakers and not slam others but sometimes when we are trying to protect someone else we harm others intentionally with what it seems is no remorse. Matthew 7:1-5

  18. Sakoieta says:

    Steve I enjoy your words and our friendship continues to build. It reminds me of a Creek friend of mine. We are best friends and people used to just find us totally humorous. He is a strong believer in the Bible and was raised under the influence of a missionary to their people who taught the Creek that anything Indian is evil. We both used to work with Native Missions. We ate together, visited together, laughed together, shared stories,etc. But when we went into meetings he always went to sit with his people who were the Christian group and I went to sit where I was instructed to sit with those who were the traditionalists. In those meetings everyone spoke respectfully to each other most of the time, but occasionally the atmosphere would get a bit warm and his group looked to him as the main speaker to speak up and stand firm on their beliefs while my group afforded me the same “pleasure”?? LOL. We spent many hours and on many issues never came to agreement. Yet as soon as the meeting was done I would always approach him and say.. Good words…Good stuff. You hungry? He would smile back and say yeah, let’s go eat my friend. That’s the way I am. I can say that is how I think we would be Steve, you me and mtman, if we lived close enough to visit each other in person. Other people could not understand how we could be so far apart in our beliefs but such good friends. All I ever said was he follows God as he sees God and so so I. That same God has called us to love our neighbor as much as we love ourself. I know he loves sea food and so do I so this time it’s my treat. We are always able to make jokes about and use our humor in a good and appropriate way to keep our friendship going. Even when we talk at meetings, he will use his humor by saying I know what I say is going to offend the Mohawks since they weren’t in line the day the Creator gave this message to the human beings. I used to tease him as well by saying the day the Creator gave the bread of life to the Mohawks with this teaching, the Creeks were standing in the salad line. So I have no anger toward you at all Steve. I also lost a six year old daughter to terminal brain cancer and still to this day I have people try to tell me she is burning in hell because we buried her using a traditional Mohawk burial ceremony. So fo figure? I just do as good as I can do with the wisdom and knowledge I have and am willing to work with anybody that wants to work with me or my people in a respectful and friendly way. People need to realize my people have heard the gospel preached for several hundred years, we just haven’t seen it. Take care.

  19. poohpity says:

    Sakoieta it seems in your your zeal of empathizing about “The Mohawk Way” I have felt very attacked for my “Christianity”. I consider myself a disciple of Jesus Christ and have never harmed a person of any specific nationality but seemed to have been lumped in with those that have caused harm to your people. I did not do anything to anybody. I have had problems with people in the church more than you can imagine but I do not lump them all together because there are weeds sown in with the wheat.

    I just lost my mom a month ago and what my own flesh and blood has done to dishonor her name and her possessions have taken my breathe away. I have always felt like this blog was my family and yet I come here to get slammed too. I am sitting here just weeping over the thought of where can I go to just talk about the Lord whom I love and it be peaceable. I just want to be around some people who are kind and loving right now because I do not have the energy to for ugliness which is what I understand is happening now. Could we not just let all this back and forth stuff stop for awhile. I can not change anyone else and I do not feel like I need to defend who I am in Christ to anyone. So what is the point in all this commotion, is it bringing peace or strife into each others lives? For me right now it is causing strife.

    Someone once told me be kind because you never know what someone is going through. I love long hair on men, beards, tattoos, earrings and whatever anyone wants to have. What is on the outside does not determine a person’s heart.

  20. Sakoieta says:

    Poohpity. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your mother. That tears the heart apart and only tears can heal it. I agree some conversations on here have been difficult. My manner of sharing as I do as a Mohawk is done that way because most people who do not know about Indians lump US all together. On one post wretchlikeme mentioned my Native mysticism, that is sterotypical hogwash. I have read the posts that others have written and their zeal for having God in their life, why should mine be any different? If we have standards of communication set for all posters then all posters need to abide by them as well as exalt in them. There is no ugliness happening here at all. This is life. This is reality. This is people who believe differently learning the importance of allowing people to do just that, believe differently, yet still be friendly or respectful to each other. I cannot find one post on here where I have asked you or anyone else to change. What I have asked is for those who believe in the church to stand up and speak for those of us who have no voice, because we are seen as the incorrect, the wrong. That injustice is the ugliness I live with each breathe I take, each day.

    All I have tried to do here is to get people to see what is happening in my world that has led me to make the choices I have made, since they have seen fit to question it or comment on it as not being correct. I have been named in many posts and challenged in many. My posts to others have been only for further clarification of comments made to me. I have not slammed you once nor do I plan on it. I came on here to share as an equal in faith, only to be subjected to accusation, suspicion, comments made due to false stereotypical belief, racist remarks, etc.

    I do not plan on posting much more unless someone makes an incorrect statement in regards to my posting or someone asks for clarification. In our teachings, it says a man who walks in the ways of the Creator and of peace shall have skin seven spans in thickness so that no anger or inappropriate emotion will have lodging in his body thus interrupting the passing of the peace from one to another. That is what I pass to you…peace.

  21. Loretta Beavis says:

    I love you poohpity. I’m sad for all your hurt, I wish I could sit with you today. I can’t, but I know God can love on you today in a way far greater than I could…I heard this song a couple of days ago, How Great Is Our God? some of the words were:

    …how great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God -and all the world will see, how great is our God … age to age He stands and time is in His hands…

    Your mom died, you spent a lifetime with her, years and years and years, the hurt of someone you love dying, their presence gone doesn’t stop in a month, does it…I think I already posted, with my mom, my relatives were collecting their “things” before she died, she was at home, had a stroke, couldn’t talk, move, etc. My sister came and took “gold” silverware, the stuff. Yuck.

    Sakoieta, my friend, I would hope there is a way for you and yours to remove these creeps from your Reservation. I would expect that the presence of these church groups, (denominations or whatever) are there by privilege. Are they, or is there a legal “thing” that requires their access to your precious people? If it’s a legal thing get together and get rid of that too. Lawsuits, petitions, whatever is appropriate for you. Does your Reservation belong to you? Screen the mission stuff BEFORE they come in. Isn’t missionary work a spiritual calling? and not a “job?” These “off course” people are squatters. You can love ’em, but at a distance. Let them work out their salvation somewhere else. (Send them to my community – it’s has a nickname something like the pastor’s graveyard and the county is something like the graveyard of churches).

    I used to go to a women’s bible study. During a high school “break” a teacher came and talked about a young man being teased, harassed, and assaulted by the other “kids”, etc. to the point of not attending school a lot. He was “fat.” The group listened and wanted to, I won’t talk about that nonsense. I spoke up quick and said the man’s right to attend that school was being legally breached as well as his civil rights (I live in the U.S.), and he was being assaulted and NOBODY was calling the police! The group got quiet. I’m sure I didn’t sound like a nicety nice Christian at that point. After the study, I called the sheriff dept that handled that stuff and reported it. It stopped.

    A local elected politician promised not to raise taxes – he did. My community has a recall petition about to come to fruition. I signed the petition to remove a corrupt governor of my state too.

    The continuing abuse in your life needs to be stopped. Besides prayer, take the action, legal or whatever to get rid of the abusers. I’m not near where you live, but something is really upside down. I stayed up a long time last night, mad about your situation.

    Start a “church” with your faith statement; dump the religious, legalistic doctrines that hide behind “denominations.” You won’t have to vie for converts; people will come because they experience God’s love through y’all and God promises He will be there with you wherever three or more gather in His name. Eighteen buildings will not be enough for worship services, you don’t need missionaries to come to you, I don’t believe there is no a lack of people within your group to reach “in” with the Good News.

    No reply necessary, I just want to help.

    I’m not good at humor, but here’s something close: “Then God said, … let them have dominion … over every thing creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 excerpted – NKJ)

    Please take charge and get rid of the “creeps.”

    I would like to help; what can I do?

    A wannabe follower of Christ.

  22. daisymarygoldr says:

    “Peace Child”- an excellent topic with a perfect conclusion… very timely… and as always interesting comments:) It is so true “Redemptive analogies” is present in every culture.

    Most of the growing years of my life were spent in a country that boasts of its rich and diverse multicultural heritage, to name a few— Dravidians, Aryans, Jews, Greek, Persians, British, Portuguese, French…. In the same street where I lived, we had Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs that went to school along with us, one of my friends was a Jain and one of my favorite teachers in 2nd grade was a Parsi.

    This past month when I was visiting my family, my daughter questioned her grandparents i.e. my in-laws about the use of vermillion (offered to their gods) which they smeared on their foreheads. They said that it protects them from evil. My father who was hearing all of this conveniently used it to draw a parallel with Exodus when the Israelites according to God’s commands smeared blood on the door posts… which protected them from the angel of death. My father then went on to explain about the shed blood of Jesus Christ that covers our sins and protects us from the judgment of God.

    The message of Redemption through Christ the Son of God is present both in oral and written form of scripture followed by all people groups. Just like the “peace Child” discovered by the Richardson’s, Srinivasa Bhattachary discovered John 3:16 from the Vedas in Sanskrit!

    ” Santhakaram purakasayanam, pathmanabam suresham, vishwakaram. mekavarnam. lakshikanthan yogikirtham vandal bishnumbam, survalokayika.” literally translates to “The God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son of God that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life”.

  23. daisymarygoldr says:

    Personally, I have never read any of the following examples presented below… but it was quite an experience to google and discover Sanskrit writings in Vedic scriptures that mention virgin birth of Christ, the sacrifice of Christ and the need to be born again…

    1. Atharnava Veda 13-3-4
    Koumaro loko ajanishta’ putrah nwarvhethan wai uttaravoth
    [Translation: A son will be born to a virgin in this world, take ye hold that (son) is what is superior (than everyone).]

    2. Mahapurana Book 3. Chapter in 34 verse
    Ko bhavaanithi tham praaha Sobhovaachamudaanwitha:
    Eshaputhram cha maam idhi Kumaareegarbha samahavam Aham easa Maseeha nama Bhavishya
    [Translation: (King Saka asked ) ” May I know who you are ?” That man replied happily “I am the son of God born to a virgin. My name is Easa maseeha”]

    3. Bhagavat Gita 1:7
    Asmaakam thu visishtaye Thaanni bodha dwijothama
    [Translation: A perfect Brahmin is twice born. nobody can become a brahmin without being born a second time.
    Note: The meaning of the word Brahmin is ‘ brahma jnaanethi brahmana’- One who has attained the wisdom about God, who has found God. Hence nobody can find God unless he is born again a second time.]

    4. The sacrificial victim is to be crowned with a crown made of thorny vines (Rig Veda X:90:15, and Bruhadaranyakopanishad III:9:28)

    5. His hands and legs are to be bound to a yoopa causing bloodshed (Ithareya Brahmanam 2 : 6)

    6. None of His bones must be broken (Yajurveda XXXI)

    7. Before death he should be given a drink of somarasa (Ithareya Brahmanam)

    8. The very next verse [of item 1] (Rig Veda X:90:16) goes like this: Thamevam Vidwanamrutha iha bhavathy Nanya pandha ayanaya vidya
    [Translation: “Those who meditate and attain this man, believe in heart and chant with their lips, get liberated in this world itself and there is no other way of salvation.”]

    9. Sikh texts, states: “We learn that from the beginning God, who is Word / Shabad, made everything — and then made a body for Himself and lived with us.

    10. Quran? Well all of you might be familiar with what the Muslims believe about Jesus…. needless to mention the clear prophecies of the Old Testament…

  24. daisymarygoldr says:

    “Redemptive analogies” therefore, is sufficient proof provided by God Himself to all people belonging to every ethnic group living in every geographical area that could be possibly inhabited throughout human civilization…so that no one is without any excuse. Excuses like:

    Jesus belongs to the white man’s religion. Jesus came only for the Jews living in the Holy Land. …and this is my personal favorite because it was my husband’s excuse before accepting Christ. If Jesus Christ is God why has he not revealed Himself to people other than the Jews?

    The testimony of God revealing Himself in the person of Jesus Christ is very much embedded in the myths and teachings of all religions and philosophies of this world. As Paul did in Athens, we can also dig out these hidden truths to present the evidences that Christ fulfilled and point people to Christ—God whom they can also know….who “commands all people everywhere to repent” Acts 17:30

    The world is our work field—a world that is ripe with cultures that include both Christians who are an outward show of empty religious practices and non-Christians that have either rejected Christ or have accommodated Him as everything else other than God—cultures that have been given the truth of God— Jesus Christ, but have ignorantly exchanged it for a lie to worship and serve the creation rather than the creator.

    God loves all people and wants everyone to know Him, to be reconciled and forgiven through Jesus Christ… that none may perish. What I am led to wonder is: Who amongst us is willing to go and tell this to the perishing world? Who amongst us will continue to view the gospel of Christ as a foreign “white man’s religion” — a threat to their culture or identity and reject the loving forgiveness of God?

  25. Sakoieta says:

    daisymarygoldr, I really appreciate your last posts I would only change one thing if I am allowed to do so. It is in your last paragraph where you ask several important questions. It leads me right back to what I mentioned many posts ago….”What I am led to wonder is: Who amongst us is willing to go and tell this to the perishing world? Who amongst us will continue to view the gospel of Christ as a foreign “white man’s religion” — a threat to their culture or identity and reject the loving forgiveness of God?”

    What I would change is instead of “tell” this to the perishing world, I would say “show” it to a perishing world for words and deeds have to match. It is for this same reason that we would say the gospel of Christ, as it has been shown to us, embodies the dominant white man’s religion, with similarities to the gospel of Christ. My people strive to seek the spiritual each and every day. Every meeting we have, every gathering we attend, all open and close in prayer and thanksgiving. Everyone of them. I think you are asking the wrong questions. And if you are going to ask questions then ask yourself what is it about the way I have tried to share the gospel that has had people reject my sharing and presentation. It may have not been the gospel you were sharing that caused the problem it may have been the cultural baggage that you included that turned them off. That is why we have to be sensitive to culture of our own and other people’s.

    I remember another story of missionaries who went to a tribal group and as soon as they got off the plane and saw the people, one of them went and hugged a man. He was immediately killed. The people were all horrified and found out later in that tribe if you hugged someone you were testing to see if they were fat enough to eat. Culture is important. Jesus practiced it and lived by it. We need to take heed of it if we are going to go into all the world and show people a difference. How many posts have your read and you still do not understand what I am offering to you in the way of sharing your belief, that I can accept as a recipient of every type of missionization that has been put forth?

  26. daisymarygoldr says:

    How about “Show n’ Tell?:) Thx, Sakoieta!

  27. dependent says:

    A few days ago I had the privilege of worshipping our Lord in several remote villages in West Africa. I watched amazed and delighted as a young pioneer missionary, led the joyful singing and dancing in these “Christ Groups” he had planted and labored over. He is a young African man from the area, living with the people who had planted 30 such groups, who in turn spawned a total of 200 groups in villages all over the area in only two years.

    I met new brothers and sisters in Christ with faces shining from the joy of the Lord–delivered from animism, mysticism and witchcraft. A more vast cultural divide I can’t imagine–but one that was bridged by oneness in Christ. The drums, chants and dances were a wonderful expression of worship. The gifts we exchanged and the hospitality we received reflected the love of Christ–a love that transcends cultural differences, theological frameworks and demoninational leanings.

    And I was reminded again of Jesus’ examples, recorded over and over in the gospel accounts, where he publicly reached across seemingly insurmountable cultural barriers and prejudices to extend his love and compassion. And it angered people then. And it still does now.

    And as I worshipped alongside these new friends, the Holy Spirit challenged me with the words of Phillipians Chapter 2: “Do you highly esteem these people as better than yourself?” Hmmmm…the surgery of the Word on my heart.

    And so I struggle to “work out my salvation” in light of that sobering revelation–the distance I still must travel in my journey to become like Christ. To love an “agape” love. The kind of love that “covers the sins of multitudes”, forgives, believes the best, isn’t easily angered or resentful. To simply extend the kind of amazong grace that has been extended me.

    And I see in this group, as I caught up on Mart’s blog, a family of adopted, but radically different children, working out their salvation, challenging and being challenged…sharpening one another as good friends do. The same effort that my new friends in francophone Africa exert to wisely deal with difficult cultural issues surrounding polygamy in the homes of new believers, the rejection of idols and talismans, etc.

    So it is this WISDOM I share below, from the same source that supplied the Richardsons a means to share the Good News. The same source that has been revealing the glory of God through his creation, his prophets and his only begotton Son–all pointing to the absolute pivot of history, the stumbling block to the nations, Jesus the Christ from Nazereth and his claims.

    So, I humbly challenge all of us (chiefly me)…whether we are “tellers” or “askers” by nature, to keep the following front and center in these fascinating discussions–so that our attitudes will increasingly reflect Christ and exalt him!

    Php 2:1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,
    Php 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
    Php 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
    Php 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
    Php 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
    Php 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
    Php 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
    Php 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
    Php 2:9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
    Php 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    Php 2:11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  28. Sakoieta says:

    dependant…This hit me right in the center, and the words you put forth, “the surgery of the Word on my heart” reminded me, one time a Chief of the Cheyenne made a similr statement when he was asked to work with the missionaries. He told them I am a Cheyenne first because that is what God created me to be and a Christian next to that. I would ask you in your work with my people to look at your work as neurosurgery where you have to sharpen your knife to the sharpness of a scalpel. For with that you have to be very careful in telling my people what you are going to cut away from who they are as a people of the Creator, other wise if you have not sharpened your knife with the wisdom of my people you will do surgery with a dull blade and may do damge to what the Creator gave us and called it good and right. You may trample ground where the Creator has already planted much seed.

    I think in the discussions here we each have our favorite knife and some of the people here have very good whetstones as I do also. Our knives are getting very sharp to do as saidymarygoldr just said in her last post..tell what we need to cut and show just how carefully, like a neurosurgeon we can do it.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Sakoieta, Thank you, you have greatly honored me by first calling me friend and then by compairing me to your Creek friend.

    You are also very correct I am sure, if we lived closer we could and would be great friends.

    I makes me very sad to hear that you lost a daughter. Many of our other bloggers hear have also lost children. This is a horrible tragedy for anyone to endure. But the dark insult thrown at you and your family, reguarding your daughters eternity, is just without excuse. And shows only that persons ignorance about God and scripture.

    My appologies to all, It has been an exhausting day for me and I only wanted to stop in and say hello to all and to “answer” Sakoieta’s comments to me.

    A good and peaceful evening to all.

    The peace chid came, and still lives.


  30. diamonds says:

    Off-topic (prayer request)—Please pray for my brother, Clyde. Prostate cancer has returned. I would very much appreciate your prayers for him. Thanks.

  31. poohpity says:

    At the church I attend when able we have missionaries that are in Papua New Guinea. They had to learn the culture and the language to translate the bible into their language. They had to be helicoptered in and every village is a long walking distance. When they come home for sabbatical they wish they were back there because it is home. Their job was not to take the culture out of anyone but translate the bible and tell The Gospel that is what I have always understood is the Great Commission to go and tell. Not to take the culture out of the people, I have never read that in the bible.

  32. bubbles says:

    I’m so very sorry about your daughter, and even sorrier for the comments that were made to you about her.
    ‘know it’s not anywhere near the same, but I lost my mother to cancer 32 years ago. It’s a wound that won’t heal.
    About the ‘long hair’: the Old Testment tells us that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.

    We had to read a biographical story at school about Jim Thorpe’s life. It was heartbreaking. I’m so very sorry for how people have spoken to you and treated you, and I wish it hadn’t happened.

  33. dependent says:

    In sharing my personal moment of conviction/revelation, my word picture of surgery on my heart refers not to any scalpel held by man, but rather the Living Word–the Spirit of Christ in me–revealing my hardness of heart and pride and providing the means for me to repent from that sin.

    I wonder if the ability of the word of God to divide soul from spirit is that selfsame Truth that helps us discard some of the culturally inherited tendencies of the flesh that, as Paul said in Romans 7, “war against the law of God in our inner being.”

    Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart.

    All the terrible mistakes and injustices done in the name of spreading the gospel should be noted. But, I would add, that like the well-intentioned missionary with the errant hug, many of those hurts and setbacks for the cause of Christ came not from intentional efforts to harm, but from gospel bearers ignorant of cultural nuances, clumsily trying to serve God whilst laden with their own cultural baggage. They, like all of us, are still under formation. In Christ by the grace of God but still maturing in His likeness, and choosing (with varying rates of success) to conform not t0 this world but to be transformed renewing our minds by the living word of God – Rom 12:2.

    What I love about Christ is that He chose me before I chose him–seeing through millenia of accumulated and inherited sin, knowing in advance that I would fail Him over and over but still extending His hand of mercy and compassion that transcends my culture, my prejudice, my pride and yet stood at the door and knocked so that we might dine together in the presence of the Father.

    It seems to me that every culture or worldly system has its share of historical hurdles, sinful customs and norms that fall short of the glory of God and his standard of righteousness. We’ve discussed the sins of the white man. I’d be curious to learn the peculiarities of indigenous cultures that tended to steer them away from the Creator and his precepts toward paths of injustices between tribes. War, enslavement, injustice existed before explorers from other lands stepped in. It seems common to human history that evil is perpetrated against one’s neighbors. How do the traditions and belief systems of the native peoples deal with the existence of evil? In your tribe’s understanding, Sakoieta, does a newborn child come into the world bearing the consequences of “the first Adam’s” rebellion against God?

  34. daisymarygoldr says:

    dependent, welcome back after a job well done! Wondering about other children like Bob/rdrcomp… and Michael/plumbape, hope you are not stuck with “provider challenge” we have all of eternity to figure it out!

    diamonds, your brother Clyde is in my prayers….

  35. foreverblessed says:

    On losing children:
    The following is a report on the breaking news last night in our country:
    The night before a terrible fire had destroyed the attick of an attached house in a small town.
    4 young children had died. A family lived there with 14 children, the mother and 10 children escaped the fire. (The father was workin on inland navigation, he was on a boat in Germany). The fire had started near the steps leading to the attick where the 4 children were sleeping. Noone could go on the stairs, because they were burning too much.
    They were all on the street outside neighbours around them, The children were all soken wet, trying to quench the fire with water.

    The mother cryed out loud to Jesus to save her childeren, but when she saw that it was hopeless, the attick was burning too much, she and the 10 children kneeled down on the pavement and started to pray together. And a deep peace and calmness filled the family.
    The neighbours were deeply impressed by this.
    And that was breaking news.
    The reporter was in the town, and told all the good reports the neighbours had on this family, which was a very christian family. Living together with 14 children in a simple home, and that is quite extrordinary.

    God who gives peace to any who ask Him. Thanks to Him we have peace.
    But if anyone has a prayer, please pray for this family, who just have lost 4 children.
    (By the way: the mother is canadian and the father dutch, the children are bilingual. Not that it makes any difference, but this is mainly a north american site.)
    Most of the time we do not have to preach, we are to be a witness.
    And this family was a big witness. Showing the peace of God to the whole nation.

  36. phpatato says:

    I just want to say

    MAN I LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU and count it a blessing to have this site. Someday I will give each of you a hug….hoping I don’t get shot :-)…and tell you that face to face.

    May you day be filled with His Blessings from above.


  37. SFDBWV says:

    foreverblessed, It is a sad and broken world we live in. We are to be a light that shines in the darkness that leads to the Christ.

    It can be so depressing to read the news. There seems to be heartache and heartbreak everwhere.

    Many times amid the circumstances of tragedy is when we see the milk of human kindness, and the face of Christ.

    I will pray for this family as you have requested, and many more un named.

  38. Sakoieta says:

    dependant, to answer your two questions…

    How do the traditions and belief systems of the native peoples deal with the existence of evil?

    Our creation story speaks about the coming of evil into this world. And when it affects human beings causing them to commit evil, we look at how can we stop this evil, what damage has it caused, and how do we go about helping reconciliation to happen to those affected by it and then how do we restore the community back to healthy living again. I will only share this was done through ceremony bringing people back to the Creator’s teachings. To explain each component would take up too much time, space and explanation to do that here and even then, in this instance, unless you were to be able to witness first hand some of this being done, my explanation will not come even close to addressing this issue adequately. All I can say is we managed to look after our communities very well.

    In your tribe’s understanding, Sakoieta, does a newborn child come into the world bearing the consequences of “the first Adam’s” rebellion against God?

    First of all, I know this is going to upset many people and it will launch the who’s creation story is more accurate debate, but I will say honestly. We didn’t have a name for the first created humans other than Onkwehonwe, “original man”. We are also taught the Creator created four sets and gave them instructions on how they were to work together to take care of the earth as wise stewards. These our what we refer to as our “Original Instructions” on how to live on this earth in a way that honors the “One Who Made Our Bodies”. Our belief was the earth was one land mass at the beginning of creation until these four sets of people began to fight and then because of that the Creator separated the land into different parts and the four sets of people with it, with the instructions that when they were ready to work together they would of their own free choice seek each other out. We were instructed there would be a time when one of these sets would forcefully try to control two of the others by forcing them to return against their own free will. We believe this happened when the white people brought slavery of the black and oriental people to North America and brought them here against their will.

    In regards to our children we believe when a child is born, it is making a journey from the Creator’s land down to this earth where the child will live a certain number of days the Creator has given it to live. That child’s journey will consist of entering through the one sacred doorway that will allow it to physically appear on earth. That sacred doorway is the mother’s body. That woman is to be held as a sacred lifegiver and shown respect at all times. It was and is against Mohawk law for a man to strike a woman physically, emotionally,mentally, or spiritually, with heavy penalty if a man was ever found to have done this. We believe when the woman’s water breaks as the baby is being born, that it has then been washed and cleansed in the purest water ever created by the Creator and as that baby enters life the Creator has blessed it and it enters into this new world washed and cleansed by the Creator. It is innocent, clean and pure.

    Adam’s sin is one part of the creation story the church brought. We can accept it in the context of the Adams family maybe being one of the one’s who started fighting with the other three sets of people. For those who literally follow Genesis account I have a question. If there was only Adam and Eve and Eve bore Cain and Abel. Who did Cain and Abel marry. I already have my own beliefs about this but I am asking you?

    Actually, to me it really doesn’t matter because I believe each nation has part of the truth of God revelation even with the creation story. I believe no one nation has the whole truth on this. That’s all I’ll share for now.

  39. plumbape says:

    Poohpity & Daisymarygoldr >

    I’m listening and if the rock throwing doesn’t stop these folks are running dangerously close to being taken off my Christmas shopping list…!

    You go girls
    The ape in Indy

  40. poohpity says:

    In today’s reading 1 Cor. 3 reminds us that it is all about God, that is who we follow, not the teachings of man. If we are still stuck in the wisdom of man then we are still drinking spiritual milk and are unable to understand deeper truths about God. It says the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. I can really see how wise that statement is because as we give of ourselves to the Lord the things of this earth get very small when we consider all the harm that is caused by earthly thoughts and actions. How can the creation become smarter or wiser than the Creator? Spiritual things no longer grasp the things of this world they are far beyond this touchable, seeable and smellable life.

  41. poohpity says:

    Hugs and kisses Ape. Have you stopped traveling for now? If not come to Arizona and see me.

  42. dependent says:

    Sakoieta, thanks for taking the time to carefully explain your people’s beliefs.

    I have little interest in creation debates. But as you might have guessed, I’ve been wondering how Christ as Redeemer, who reconciles those who place their trust in Him to the Father (Creator?) fits into your belief system. That is, if one is born pure and good why the need for a “second Adam” to atone for sin? Just trying to understand how the doctrine of original sin fits into the picture. When Jesus says, “I came to seek and save the lost”, are the “lost” all, some or none of your people?

    I’m glad you decided to stay in this forum because I’ve learned much from the risks you are taking here.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    I liked Daisy’s Sanskrit story, And have always enjoyed the Native American stories concerning creation. “Niawen” (thank you), Sakoieta.

    I think all of the different stories we hear from our earliest peoples have the ring of truth in them. I think our hearts always can recognize the truth. In the same way we can usually sense a lie.

    I wish to clearify that my thoughts are just that…my thoughts. I am not claiming any special talent or higher understanding. Ok?

    I believe that when in Genesis when God said “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs,and for seasons,and for days and years.” That the story of man was written in the original Zodiac. Not for the nonsense of fortune telling, as it was later corrupted to become, but a story of the seasons of man. From beginning to end. including the virgin birth of the savior.

    I believe that Adam was a very special man and that he possessed great information from God. I also believe that after the fall, Adam passed on to his children the knowledge he possessed about God and of course the promise of a comming savior.

    I can only imagine that Cain married his sister, and that each generation told the stories of creation and coming salvation in the manner of anyone telling stories. I also imagine that Seth either married a sister or a niece from his brother Cain.

    10 generations later we have Noah, his three sons and their wives. We are told that these 8 people are the only survivors in all the earth of the great flood.

    After Noah and his family exited the Ark, we are told that the children of these men were told to disperse and repopulate the earth. When they would not leave the area whereby they had all settled, God confused their languages so that they could not understand one another.

    Thus forcing them to do what they were told to do in the beginning. Relocate all over the globe and repopulate the world.

    I believe that each group took with them the knowledge of God and of creation and of a coming child that will make peace with God and man, and of the flood. Also much other information that was originaly known in the Garden. These people told and retold these stories for many generations.

    The Magi, who were a ruling class religious men of Persia, knew of the birth of this Peace Child and Savior. By reading the signs in the stars, and studing a fellow countrymans accounting of the Christ’s comming. Daniel.

    For me when I read of or hear of early people who have not seen nor heard of the Bible, telling stories about creation salvation and the peace child. It makes perfect sense that all have a common base. Even if told differently. Because they all came from the same original source.

    All over the world people awaited His coming. We Christians know who He is and it is our responsibility to go to all the world and tell everyone. That the Peace Child has come and He offers to them the “way” back to fellowship with God.

    Do you believe in the “Peace Child”? Do you believe He was born, as predicted, to a virgin? Do you believe he was offered as a sacrifice for all mankind? Do you believe He laid down His own life on the cross? Do you believe He picked it back up again, resurected? If you do believe, and ask Him to be your own personal savior, He will accept you into His new family. Give you eternal life and forgiveness of all wrongdoings.

    If you believe this man Jesus of Nazareth, is the promised Christ, He had a lot more to say. And so do the men who were with Him.

    It is recorded in a testimony called the New Testement.

    Because I believe all I have shared here with you today. I also believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Writen by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for all men to be able to share together in learning about God and the Christ. For the ultimate goal of our salvation.

  44. Sakoieta says:

    dependent.. sorry I should have explained better. Even though we believe that a child is born pure, innocent and cleansed. We also believe that none of the human beings are born perfect and so need to be taught as they grow of the importance of seeking the Creator’s will for their life’s work and always remaining open to the ways the Creator will reveal himself to them. We place very heavy emphasis on the parents to teach their children to do that. It follows the teaching train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Later, when the child enters puberty we have rites of passage ceremonies where we will send the young one out to fast alone in the woods to seek the Creators guidance and will for his or her life. All through our life we periodically take time to fast in this manner to seek the Creator’s guidance to make sure we are staying true to the path He has placed before us. Many of us do this each spring and fall. We are also taught each day when the day opens and closes to again come into the Creator’s presence..in the morning to give us strength, guidance, and wisdom for the day and again at night. As I said earlier we had the revelation of a peacemaker come to our people and it is from him that we have our system of belief and government.

  45. Sakoieta says:

    Oh and I should also point out these stories I share are only from what I have been taught from our teachings as Mohawks. There are hundreds of different tribes each with their own stories that may or may not be similar to those of my people. Just to make sure no one lumps all of us Indians together. We have many different vibrant cultures that should not be confuesd with the others. What may be true in one may not be true in another.

  46. Sakoieta says:

    Steve, when I went to Bible school there were numerous ministers who stated they believed there were other people created beside Adam and Eve. Just that Adam and Eve were the first in the geneology that would later allow the Christ to come into the world. Thoughts???

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