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Is Native American Spirituality Compatible with Christianity?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2024 5:00 pm

Is Native American Spirituality Compatible with Christianity?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 3, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1481 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Did God have a beginning? 2. What can we say to people who have suffered the loss of a loved one? 3. Are Native American spiritual practices compatible with Christianity? 4. How can I convince my spouse that the Lord has changed me?     Today’s Offer: Praying with Jesus   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Is Native American spirituality compatible with Christianity? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi and happy Friday. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open, and we'd love to hear from you. If you have a question, you can call us for the next 25 minutes or so at this number. It's 833-THE-CORE. You might want to make a note of that for future reference, 833-THE-CORE or 833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our social media sites. And of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up, we've got a voicemail from two different people, Jennifer and Sterling from Arkansas.

Here's eight. We have been studying the Bible, and he has a question for everybody. I'm Sterling, and I have a question, and it is, how did God start? So he's wanting to know how did God start.

He fascinates me sometimes with these questions, and I'm just not sure how to answer that. And I told him about your program, and we decided to do that. We decided to call in, so thank you very much. We're excited to hopefully hear our question, and he's excited to hear what you have to say. God bless and thank you.

God bless you as well, Jennifer and Sterling. What a great question. Thank you so much for giving us a call with that question.

I hope that anytime you have questions, you feel free and excited to give us a call, and we're more than happy to try to answer your questions. And this is a really good one. How did God start? And in fact, Sterling, I'll just say, this is a question that my kids have asked as well.

I have kids who are around your age. And what we believe as Christians is that God never had a beginning. I know it's hard to kind of wrap our minds around this, because we have beginnings.

We start. We have a mom and a dad, and so many of the things around us have a beginning. But God is different from his creation, and one of the ways that he's different is that he never had a beginning. He always was, and the word that we use to describe that is to say that God is eternal.

He always was. Now, there's this really neat verse in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews is in the New Testament in Hebrews chapter 7. We don't know who wrote the book of Hebrews.

It's an unknown author. Some people think that the apostle Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. Other people think that Apollos wrote Hebrews.

There are different theories out there, but Hebrews is one of the books of the Bible inspired by the Holy Spirit. And in Hebrews chapter 7, the author is writing about this mysterious figure in the Old Testament named Melchizedek. And he says that Melchizedek is almost like this picture, this type of Jesus. An example, we might even say, of Jesus in the Old Testament.

And listen to what he says about Melchizedek. He says in Hebrews chapter 7 verse 3, he is without father or mother or genealogy. In other words, he doesn't have a family tree, no genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God.

He continues a priest forever. In other words, this character in the Old Testament was this picture of Jesus. And one of the ways that he was a picture of Jesus is how he was presented.

He didn't have a father or a mother that's described, no genealogy, no family tree, neither beginning nor end. And that's God. That's how God is. That's how Jesus is. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last.

He always was. And so one of the amazing things about the God that we worship, Sterling, is that he never had a beginning. And, you know, you try to wrap your mind around that, and it just is like, wow, I can't even fathom it.

And what it should do is lead us to worship to say, God, you're so much bigger than I am, so much more amazing than I am, and you are eternal. And so thank you, Sterling, for giving us a call with that question. And again, feel free to call us anytime.

Love you, Sterling. We appreciate you listening to our program here. And Grandma, thank you so much for helping him to really discern some of these big issues in life. Isn't it great when we have grandparents and parents that are willing to take these questions and really grapple with them with their kids?

Absolutely. And I think it's important for us as parents and grandparents to make sure that we're engaged, and especially engaged in the things of the Lord with our kids and with our grandkids, and answering these tough questions. By the way, I'll tell you something, Bill, that my kids like to do, because they know I like to answer these questions for them, is they like to wait right until bedtime, or past bedtime, and then they're laying in bed, and then all of a sudden one of them will say, I have a question about God, Dad, and I know what they're doing. A lot of times I'll say, okay, what's the question? And then they're trying to think something up on the spot, and I'll say, gotcha. Or I'll just tell them, if this is a real question, you can ask it in the morning. And so also, parents, watch out for that strategy that the kids will use. They'll try to take advantage of this, and they'll wait until bedtime, and they'll say, can you talk to me about God? Oh, that's great. You should.

You should. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Our phone lines are open, and we're taking calls for the next 20 minutes or so. Maybe you've got a Bible passage that you've always been sort of confused about. It's like, I don't really understand this.

It doesn't make sense to me. Or maybe you've got some doubts about the Christian faith. Hey, we're more than happy to take calls from people who might consider themselves to be an agnostic or even an atheist. If you want to try to stump the pastor here, feel free to give us a call at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We also get voicemails here at Core Christianity, and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your voicemail on our system.

Here's one that came in from John in Minnesota. Hello, Pastor. I've got a question about death and mourning. There's a family in our church body here that has suffered incredible loss with the death of three family members in four months. Her mother has lost her sister, her husband, and now her son-in-law this past Sunday. The whole family has an unshakable faith and know that their loved ones are waiting for them in God's kingdom. What can we say besides, they're with Jesus now, or they're in a better place now?

Thank you. John, I'm so sorry to hear about these devastating circumstances within your church, and sometimes we really don't have anything to say. Sometimes we just mourn with those who mourn.

At this point, at this early stage, coming alongside of them and seeking to serve them and to pray with them and even to weep with them as a family, I'm thankful that they have the hope of the gospel and that they have the hope that their loved ones are in the presence of Jesus. But we oftentimes can stick our foot in our mouth when somebody is going through something really difficult and we feel like, I've got to say something, I've got to help solve this problem. The problem of death is not something that you or I can solve. It's something that was solved by Jesus when he rose again from the dead. And so when we can and when there's opportunity, we fix our eyes on that reality, on that hope. But I think at this time, praying with and for the family and coming alongside of them and mourning with them, and mourning in a Christian way.

And what do I mean by that? Well, you think of what the apostle Paul told the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 4, verse 13. Again, thinking about the coming of the Lord. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep. Now, when Paul says those who are asleep there, oftentimes sleep in the New Testament is this picture, this metaphor for death for those who have died.

So he's talking about people who have died. We don't want you to be uninformed about those who are asleep, those who have died, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. I want you to know, Paul says, he's writing to these Christians, I want you to know about the hope that we have even for those who have died, those who are asleep.

4. Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. The Lord himself will descend from heaven with the cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words. What words, then, can we use in these situations, situations that you've brought up? Again, I think being sensitive and mourning with them is important, but the kinds of words that we want to use are the ones that Paul gives us there in 1 Thessalonians 4, 13-18. Encourage each other with these words. Encourage who? Those who are mourning because of someone who has died.

With what words? With the word of hope that comes through the resurrection of Jesus. Because we believe in Jesus, we know that we will rise, and all those who have died believing in Jesus, the dead in Christ, they too will rise. And even now, having died, they're in the presence of the Lord, in the Spirit, worshipping him and enjoying the bliss of heaven in the presence of the Lord. And so we are comforted by the words of Scripture, but we do still mourn. And mourning is natural.

It's okay. It's important for us to do, but we mourn as those who have hope. Thanks for the question, Jon, and God bless you, and God bless your church family as well. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, something going on in your church that maybe you're confused about or concerned about. We're always open to questions on church life. The number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. By the way, in case you haven't heard, Pastor Adrian has come out with a brand new book just in the last couple of weeks, and it's all about the Lord's Prayer. Yeah, the book is called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer. And praying with Jesus because Jesus taught us how to pray. His disciples asked him in the Gospel of Luke, teach us how to pray. And what did Jesus give us? He gave us those words that have been prayed billions of times, so many times by the people of God throughout history, the words of the Lord's Prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. And yet many Christians don't understand those words and those petitions.

We pray them oftentimes mindlessly. And so this book is a way of diving deep into the Lord's Prayer to understand what it is you're praying for, why we pray, and hopefully to give you confidence in your prayer life. I wrote this to help you in your prayer life, and I hope that it does indeed help you.

I believe that it will. And so get a hold of this resource again. It's called Praying with Jesus, Getting to the Heart of the Lord's Prayer. It'd be a great resource for you personally, or maybe to read as a family, or if you're involved in a Bible study group, maybe you could use this particular book as your curriculum, or maybe even teach a Sunday school class.

It'd be a great opportunity to really dive into the Lord's Prayer, something we often take for granted or don't fully understand, as Adriel said. And we'd love to send that to you for a donation of $25 or more. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash praying. That's corechristianity.com forward slash praying. By the way, while you're at our website, make sure you browse around. We've got lots of wonderful free resources, including our core guides and our core questions and a ton of different Bible studies on books from both the Old and the New Testament. You can find those all at corechristianity.com.

You can also email us anytime at questions at corechristianity.com. Here's an email that came in from Roseanne. She says, A close family friend who professed to be a born-again Christian and was baptized at age 15 is now 31 and is saying that she has been gifted by God with the ability to be a medium and communicate with the dead. She's saying she's taking reiki classes too. I heard this from my daughter because this young woman doesn't want me to know as she knows I won't agree with it.

She's Native American and she's also spoken of beliefs in Mother Earth. She's always been like a daughter to me. How do I approach this situation?

Hey, Roseanne. It's especially difficult, right, when you have someone that you're close with, a family member, a friend who is like family, and they start going down a path that you're concerned about. And they don't want to say anything because they know where you stand and you don't know what to say. You love this friend, this person, and you want her to walk with the Lord. And I'll just say straight up that, no, this kind of thing is not at all compatible with Christianity. Now, we can distinguish between Native American culture and Native American religion or spirituality and things that are done there that contradict the teachings of the Bible. And certainly communicating with the dead and necromancy, this is something that is forbidden in the Bible.

Very much so. And it sounds like we're getting into some sort of New Age spirituality stuff here. And there are, I believe, demonic influences behind these kinds of practices. And so I think this is very spiritually dangerous.

And because it's very spiritually dangerous, you do want to talk to this person. I mean, essentially what's going on here is what we call syncretism, this sort of blending between these religious beliefs. Somebody trying to take this other kind of spirituality and worship and maybe merge it together with the Christian faith. And yet God has always opposed this, especially because we have a tendency to commit idolatry when we try to do these kinds of things. Think of that text in Ezekiel chapter 8, where the prophet Ezekiel sees these different abominations that were brought into the temple of God.

Pagan worship that had been introduced into the temple of God. And God is showing him. And it just gets worse and worse as the chapter continues. And it's God saying, look at how far my people have strayed from me.

Even the priests, how far they've strayed, they've introduced these foreign practices, this pagan spirituality into the holy and pure worship of God. And that's what happens, and it sounds like that's what's happening here. And so I think it's a subject that you do want to broach. And obviously in love, going to this person, and they already know, she already knows where you stand. But I think, one, pray for her and pray that the Lord would soften her heart.

Two, maybe ask questions. You know, it seems to me like you don't get to doing this without having drifted a significant amount away from being grounded in God's word and the teaching of Christianity. So maybe trying to get to the root of that. Where is there a disconnect?

Where has there been a disconnect? And then talking about true spirituality, which is found first and foremost in Jesus Christ. We don't need to communicate with the dead.

We don't need to, you know, do reiki classes or, I mean, these other sort of new age things where she's trying to have this spiritual connection. No, true spirituality only comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the one who died and rose again from the dead and is alive. And we can talk to God through him. We can go directly to Jesus, directly to the Father, because of the work of Jesus Christ. It's the grace of the Holy Spirit in our lives. That's what we need more of, and it comes through a solid understanding of the word of God. And when we set aside God's word, that's when we begin to drift into some of these other things that, as I said, are very dangerous. And so, may God grant you wisdom, and may God be with this friend who's like a daughter to you, and grant her repentance and eyes to see that she needs to turn back to the word and to Jesus. Good counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel.

You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We're still taking your calls. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, call us at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

You can also leave a voicemail at that same number anytime. Let's go to Thomas calling in from Illinois. Thomas, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes. So, I got married right after I got out of prison. I was saved miraculously by the Lord, where he put his Spirit inside of me, and he changed me. In my heart, you know, the righteousness of the Lord was inside of me, and I know it.

I feel the change. And everything I want to do, I want to glorify the Lord in parenting every little piece of everything. But I'm having a hard time communicating it with my wife.

And what I feel the Lord has given me and the direction I feel like he's having me go in, which is, you know, help people that came from the same background as me, which is drug addiction and gang membership and stuff like that. I'm always having to answer questions of motives and intentions and desires to the point of where my wife, she's constantly believing her opinion and forecasting an evil imagination and a suspicious mindset. And I can't even plead my case.

I can't even say my side. She only goes with what she believes in her heart and what she sees and feels. And going outside of even the sanctification process of the Lord and accusing me of certain things that wouldn't even be inside of a person that believes in the Lord like I do. So I'm having trouble there, and there's a lot of strife and dissension and arguments between her and I and even in front of the children sometimes. And it's causing a lot of open doors in the Spirit, and I feel like the Lord's leading me to a time of separation.

Could I get some advice on that or counsel? Okay. Thomas, I'll just go back to you.

So part of what you're—and I want to answer your question, but just to go back. Part of what you're thinking about pursuing is ministry, per se, and are you in a church right now? Are you guys in a church right now? Yeah, we're in a church. I was saved and anointed with the Holy Spirit before I ever knew what it was. It was all at once. Saved and anointed with the Holy Spirit.

And he taught me when I was in prison. And I got out and we started going to an Assemblies of God church, and we didn't follow biblical principle like when it comes to premarital counsel and certain things. We just got married real quick and then thought about, oh, we'll deal with this afterwards.

And now it's just a big old mess. Okay. So a few things, man. First, let me just say thank you, Lord, for saving Thomas. And I have some dear friends, Thomas, who were in prison, were locked up, and came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who are serving the Lord now, just like you want to and just like you are. I mean, I could tell that you're on fire for the Lord, and I praise God for the work that he's done in your life, filling you with the Holy Spirit, as you said. And I also thank the Lord for the passion and the desire that you have to serve him. And sometimes there can be that tension with family.

Here's a couple things that I want to say. As a minister of the gospel and as your brother in Christ, first and foremost, your primary ministry is your family, your wife. And it sounds to me like there's some tension there with regard to your call to ministry or this sense of call that you have, and her feeling like, well, what are your motives, and her not being on the same page. I would say your focus needs to be pursuing her, not separating from her, but pursuing her with the love of Christ, and seeking to grow together as a Christian couple into a godly marriage more and more in the context of the body of Christ.

If she has questions about your sincerity, or with whatever it is, I would say put those questions to rest by your loving pursuit of her as a godly Christian husband, so that you get to the place where the two of you are on the same page. And this is something that is the work of the Holy Spirit. If God is calling you to this, then God is going to make a way, but he's not going to make a way in spite of your family, in the sense that it's not going to be like, well, I'm just going to run with this and my family's going to be in shambles. No, our family is the primary ministry, the primary calling. Paul makes this clear in 1 Timothy 3. You have a sense of call to serve the church.

That's a good thing. This is a trustworthy saying. If anyone aspires to the office of an overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, I would encourage you to read 1 Timothy 3 and pray through these things and say, God, work this in me and in my family. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well with all dignity, keeping his children submissive. For if someone does not know how to manage his household, how will he care for God's church?

If you're called to this, what you want to grow in now is these characteristics. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, loving your home, your wife, seeking to establish that godly household. And then in the context of the church, you know, the church sees that, the church sees your gifts, and that internal call you feel is also confirmed by the people around you. Your wife, your church, them coming alongside you and saying, man, this is a good, this is something we're called to, that you're called to, and we believe it and we support you. That's what you want if you're going to go into ministry. You want that support. Mr. Thomas, may God bless you and be with you and encourage you and strengthen you to be a godly man, a godly husband and to serve him. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-03 21:33:24 / 2024-05-03 21:43:29 / 10

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