(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Is the Great Spirit of Native American spirituality the same as the Christian God? That appears to be the teaching of the Christmas edition of Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The magazine highlights (see link below) an ELCA congregation called Lutheran Church of the Great Spirit in Milwaukee which “combines the Lutheran church and indigenous ceremonies”. The church hosts a Full Moon ceremony and practices smudging (the burning of plants to drive away evil spirits). The church prays in the direction of the Four Winds to pattern itself after Native American spirituality.
I remember years ago, before I led my congregation out of the ELCA, I shared in a sermon that I had attended an ELCA convention in which we prayed toward the Four Winds to pattern our prayers after Native American worship. I got to the microphone at the convention and said “I am from German ancestry, what are we going to incorporate next, Thor and Oden worship to accommodate people like me?” After my sermon, a Native American woman of my congregation came up with tears in her eyes, saying “They’re trying to take us back to what Jesus saved me from.”
The Living Lutheran article quotes the pastor of Great Spirit Lutheran to say “Indigenous peoples were living the Christian way before the Europeans came”.
What would the Apostle Paul say to this? As Paul traveled the Roman Empire, he did not preach that Zeus was really the same thing as God the Father. In fact, Paul taught that the ancient pagan gods were demons, not reflections of the true God (1 Corinthians 10:20). The ancient pagans indeed were not worshiping the true God before Paul came along.
This Christmas, let us worship the one true God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit-and let us turn away from all the false gods that we and our ancestors have worshipped.
In Jesus our only Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(See ELCA article here.)
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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