See Me, Feel Me, Touch me, Heal me…A Challenge to the Colonial Christian West by Randy Woodley

In 1969 The Who released the now famed rock opera album Tommy. Mostly written by Who guitarist Pete Townsend as a way of working through his abusive childhood, Tommy was a hit. As I think about the abusive relationship between to colonial Christian West and the indigenous peoples who have been degraded, exploited, and now forgotten I bring a challenge. Many of my friends have said, “okay, I agree, but what can I do?” So, I will try my best to come up with actionable points in each post that we can all engage in together.

In the next several post I will frame four questions to my Western Christian brothers and sisters,

1. See me: A Call to the Western Church to Invite Those Different Than Them to the Table.

2. Feel Me: A Challenge to the Western Church to Hear and Feel the Pain of Being Shut Out From the Conversation.

3. Touch Me: A Request to the Western Church to Enter into the Experience of the Other on a Grassroots Level.

4. Heal Me: An Invitation to Join in the Healing Process Together.

Of course, the problem with asking these questions are manifold.

  • Will the posts get to the right people or will this just be more “preaching to the choir?”
  • Will Western Christians minimize this as just another call for the same ‘multiculturalism” they are tired of hearing about?
  • Will the importance of these questions escape most Westerners because it can be, and it’s just another “minority thing?”? In other words, they have nothing to lose by skipping this appeal.

The answer to these questions is probably “yes,” but I’m going to post them anyway. You can help by sharing, liking and emailing these to your friends, especially your Western friends. I’m hoping to hear back from some folks after they read these post-both positive and negative. If you care, please respond after each of the four post.

A question you can begin thinking about is: What is the cost to the whole community of faith when a particular part, in this case indigenous followers of Jesus, are shut out?

Thanks!

  • Darlene Silversmith

    As a Navajo Christian living on the rez I question a lot of the practices that the Christians adhere to whether it’s the church worship services or at campmeetings or Bible study. Some get very emotionally charged if you attempt changes from the way it’s always been done. Some call other’s churches “dead” and sensationalize their worship in order to demonstrate spirituality. But one thing they all avoid is the down and outer or the single parent who always needs help or even hitch-hikers and such. It seems to be the same thing but on a larger scale with those in power.

  • Pat Van Ryssel

    In a Voice of Their Own a must read for ALL of us we are ALL Treaty People.Healing requires understanding of the historical process of colonization and an immersion in Aboriginal culture. Non-Aboriginal People: Walk Beside us, not in front, nor behind. 2Corinthians 5:18 Listen to them learn from them honour them and celebrate with them the recovery of our true humanity

  • Rick Janzen

    Same issues in Canada my friends. It is high time Christians stood at the forefront of reconcilation with all First Nations peoples as they call themselves. Some of our anscestors were perhaps not directly involved in the colonization process and it’s attendant attrocities, but we certainly benefited from them. It’s time to take ownership of that.

  • Pingback: See Me: A Call to Christians in the West to Invite Those Different Than Them to the Table by Randy Woodley

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  • mikeh

    Mahto,
    You wrote, “Lastly, all of these “social issues” have little, or nothing to do with the gospel.” What, then, is the gospel as understand it?
    Thank you for your candor and opinion. These are very important to me.
    God’s blessings, mike

  • http://ethnicspace.wordpress.com randywoodley

    I had to remove John’s (Mahto) quote because it makes false accusations and the tone is vicious. It typifies the division in Indian country over the contextualization of Indian culture. In my opinion, this view shows a self-hatred that has been groomed through the colonial process of mission. Attacking my own Indian identity and my character is one way to try and discredit the views held by me and many other Indian folks concerning Christ and culture. This is what almost always happens when people have no valid theological viewpoint. Sorry to air dirty laundry from an inside battle.


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