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Old 06-30-2000, 02:30 AM   #16
Benther_Dunthat
Tiny Tot Dancer
 
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Some of my comments are long for boards such as these but I pray you will bear with me. These are important issues to many of us on and off the powwow trail and many people including myself are drawn to native ways in part because of our spiritual searching and longing to know the truth.

Majii: It was you who started this discussion. If you are willing it would be good for many of us if you could explain why in your view, your Christian ex-family finds it unacceptable to dance traditional but acceptable to dance other styles. Other people on these boards have tried to make a strong point of saying that the powwow is strictly social and not spiritual or ceremony. I think this conflict which you are dealing with helps to point out that although powwow is social, it is not without significant spiritual elements, else there would be no conflict.

Kahkakew: Thank you for sharing this little bit about you're traditional beliefs. What you share is in contrast to what I said regarding the Christian believe of God. This difference helps to illustrate a point I would like to make. Many people are saying that..."we are all praying to the same God anyway." This difference helps to demonstrate that in fact we are not; that these are very different teachings regarding the nature of who and what is "God".

I believe that the concept that..."we are all praying to the same god" is actually the result of an influence which has descended to us in fairly recent days primarily from teachings of eastern philosophies like Hinduism such as taught by Gandi. I think this philosophy truly does not reflect many traditional Indian beliefs and it certainly does not reflect the Judeo/Christian or Muslim teachings which are thousands of years old.

As another example I have seen it written, (though I can’t recall the source) that the Lakota concept of "Wakan Tanka" is in fact not a very old tradition but that it was created as a Lakota way of describing the Christianized concept of "God or Great Spirit", it was said that this concept did not exist in traditional Lakota teachings. I should like to know if anyone else is familiar with this teaching and if it is correct.

The ancient Hebrew people maintained that there is but one Supreme God, spirit in nature, that God visited their forefathers and commanded them to keep his words for the generations to come and that in return they would multiply greatly and that eventually through their race would come a messiah, who would save mankind. Scripture demonstrates that this salvation is of a spiritual nature; the restoration of mankind into a proper relationship with God. It was taught that man in our natural state is spiritually dead, meaning that where once we were joined with God,we have been separated; that by nature man tends to be something less than absolutely “Good” and yet we tend to seek to rejoin in communion with God.

This one God was pre-existent before all else, he created everything both material and spirit and only he was not created. When asked his name he said simply "tell them , I Am that I Am”, a name which in its original form was so sacred it was not to be spoken. Therefore when speaking the Hebrew people used many different names which describe God's character including among others, Lord, Provider and Creator. Evil then came not from the crator. Evil is whatever goes against the will of God who is "Good" in the absolute sense and evil first entered the universe when Satan a created spirit (angel) with free will tried to make himself equal to God.

I respectfully suggest that most of those who think we are all praying to the same spirit have been lazy in their study regarding what the ancients and elders of these many nations have actually passed on to us. It surprises me that so many times we are quick to accept teaches which have very limited evidence of historical accuracy or which have only been preserved orally or recorded within the last few hundred years and yet people will so often not bother to seek to discover the truthful facts regarding what has been handed down with great effort for the preservation of accuracy since the most ancient of days.

Even though we know mankind tends to be less than perfect, for we know our own errors, we to often judge the beliefs of others based on their imperfect actions rather than on an understanding of those beleives.

Your respectful but long winded clown,
Benther_Dunthat



[This message has been edited by Benther_Dunthat (edited June 30, 2000).]
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