EMISSARY^7 (G²)

COMMISIONED by CHRIST 4 SHARING HIS LIFE/KEEPING IT REAL ADMIST THE LIES (II Cor. 5:17-21))

TRIBAL CHARISMATIC: Contexualizing the Gospel/Spiritual Gifts among American Indians?

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on June 16, 2008

TRIBAL CHARISMATIC: Contexualizing the Gospel/Spiritual Gifts among American Indians?

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For anyone interested, I’m writing this due to how my research in the Word of God’s showing me how crucial it was for the apostles/Jesus to contexualize the GOSPEL/GIFTS of the Spirit within the CULTURES they were in——-as those who were Gentiles didn’t have to operate 100% like the Jews did nor vice versa in order to be faithful to the standards in I Corinthians 12…….

Just like it is in churches where the gifts are basically practiced but the format is QUITE different, such as with black churches and white churches. This is something which has been a real passion of mine of late, due to growing up in a multi-cultural church and seeing how great the racial gap is in most churches—–though I’ve brought this up before among churches that’re Emerging Reformers like Mark Driscoll/John Piper (who’re BOTH CHARISMATIC as wll) and who’re much for sound theology but being relevant to the cultures around us (Does anyone here know of any MINORITY/BLACK Emerging Leaders existing?…..In that thread, I was seeking to understand/raise awareness of how folks could begin trying to reach/evangelize those within Urban/Black Culture (as also discussed here in, “Missional” Living beyond the “Burb’s”/ usual Ethnic Groups (i.e. White Culture)) ……And with that said, I was wondering what people’s thoughts were in how to promote the advancement and utilization of the Gifts within the culture most people rarely consider: NATIVE AMERICANS (or more specifically, American Indians). There are some, apparently, who’re trying best as they can to do this—as another pointed out to me once:

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Hey G²,

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There’s Richard Twiss, a Native American minister who runs Wikconi International. I saw him speak at a conference last year – he’s really solid, but also solidly non-white/non-Western in his approach and speaking style. He seems to have ties to charismatic movements as well as emerging movements, but he doesn’t fit nicely into anyone else’s schema.

As I researched Richard Twiss—- I WAS ASTOUNDED!!!!!!

PROBABLY MORESO ASTOUNDED BY HIS WORK THAN ALL OF THE OTHER SOUND CHARISMATIC PREACHERS I’VE HEARD OR AND SUPPORT IN A LONG TIME—BECAUSE IT TRULY SEEMED AS IF SOMEONE WAS TRYING TO TAKE THE GIFTS AS EXERCISED IN THE MAJORITY OF CHARISMATIC CIRCLES AND USE THEM FOR THOSE IN THE NITTYY-GRITTY AREAS OF LIFE THAT NO ONE SEEMS TO WISH TO DEAL WITH.
Again, ABSOULUTELY BLESSED TO SEE THAT SOMEONE WAS TRYING TO REACH MINORITIES—especially the NATIVE AMERICANS (which are truly the “INVISIBLE MINORITY” as we learned in “CULTURE & POVERTY CLASS”, seeing how they have the highest highschool dropout rates and suicide rates. )……No one remembers enough (though at the CALL with Lou Engle, they did a conference one year where they wished to stir renconcilliation with Native Americans).
As one of the articles said about the ministry
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Twiss is a Rosebud Lakota theologian from the state of Washington, the co-founder of Wiconi International, the author of One Church, Many Tribes (Regal Books, 2000), and a Doctor of Missiology candidate at Asbury Theological Seminary. His ministry encourages Indigenous people from North America and around the world to use appropriate aspects of their cultural traditions for expressing Christ-centred theology. Using the lense of biblical theology, he recognizes culture as the heart language of the Indigenous church – a language that will free Indigenous peoples to live the abundant life that Jesus came to provide. …..

Twiss recognized that addiction and poor economic circumstances are tough issues for First Nations communities, but suggested that questions of self-identity pose larger problems. He pointed to the conflicting notion that God loved Indians so much that he allowed his son die for them yet objected to their drums, their music, their ceremonies. “Jesus loves us but he doesn’t like us very much,” Twiss quipped. Indigenous people have been led to believe that in order to follow Jesus, they must abandon their traditional ways and become “white.” These “white” or Eurocentric biblical interpretations and expectations have eroded Indigenous identity, generating low self-esteem and even self-hatred. ……

Twiss recalls being labeled a syncretist when he began calling Indigenous peoples back to their culture. “I was continually accused of trying to blend Indian religion with Christian faith, resulting in a hybridized, mongrel religion that was neither one nor the other.” Integrating culture and theology requires discernment, he cautioned, referring to the example of praying with sweet grass smoke. “Praying with sweet grass smoke can be idolatry or worshipful. If you thank God for giving smoke power, it’s syncretism.” However, he explained, using smoke as a symbolic representation of prayer rising to God in heaven can be worshipful and meaningful in a cultural context. Only when cultural tools are worshipped in and of themselves do they become dangerous.

Participants watched two videos depicting Indigenous people worshipping God through song, dance and drumming. In the follow-up discussion some asked how to discern the theological validity of such practices. But for most, the sights and sounds of reverberating drums, chanting, bright traditional dress and expressions of pure joy evoked emotional responses. Norman Meade, a Metis Elder, was moved by the uninhibited dance of children. “It comes from here,” he said, tapping his chest.

Again, cannot tell you how much that blessed me…..

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And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
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Revelation 7:9
[ The Great Multitude in White Robes ] After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.” 11All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying:
“Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”
13Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
14I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
16Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat.
17For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Does anyone else here on this forum support this or think it’s something noteworthy to get involved in? And how to do this more often in churches where it’s within their reach to do the same as this man has?

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