Wednesday, May 21, 2008
When Making Disciples Doesn't Seem Right
Right now I'm reading a completely AWESOME book called Blood and Thunder. Basically it's about Kit Carson, a mountain man/scout for the US Government and the "conquest of the American West." Its very well written, intriguing, and I would suggest it to anyone. But thats not the point. A large part of the book is about the complete destruction of the American Indian and their way of life. There are many things that bother me about this, including American's "Manifest Destiny" and just the complete lack of respect for the Native American culture as a whole.
But the biggest issue I have is the fact that the Anglo's (thats me!) were out to Christianize the Indians. I know full and well that Jesus told us to go make disciples of all nations, but in many cases, doesn't that mean destroying an entire culture??? I mean a major part of the Native American way of life is their rituals and their gods, so wouldn't becoming a Christian nation completely wipe that out? And in fact it did, as they were forced into shabby patches of land and told to become farmers. (In the American sense). None of it seems right to me, and I kind of feel the same way about missionaries in Africa. Not that they don't have entirely good intentions, but maybe we just try to do too much. Instead of just going and teaching them about Jesus, we also try to make them live like us. We should instead celebrate these different cultures instead of ruining them. Any thoughts? Ideas? Hopefully I explained that well enough.