Is it really possible to be Native and Christian? Native American Christian Answers (Mark Custalow)

Some people say that it’s not possible to be both a Christian and Native American / First Nations. Is following Jesus tied to ethnicity? Can you be an Indigenous follower of Jesus? Mark Custalow, from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia, addresses the question, “Can I be a Christian and Native to?”.

There is only one Creator God and He is the Creator of culture. His intent was that people would spread throughout the earth and multiply, which would inevitably lead to a diversity of cultures. Mark shares the story of what happened when people did not do as God instructed… how He created languages which would become the foundation for the cultures of the world.

Our ethnicity is given to us by God. In the bigger way we all belong to the Human race. God made us all. He is interested in people – all people – people who are different in language, culture, color, and location. God tells us that Jesus came for people from every language, tribe, and nation. So, yes, it is possible to be Native, First Nations, Indigenous, African, Asian, Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, Anglo, Hispanic, and every other background and mixture – and be a follower of Jesus.

Check out more important questions and answers here:

If you’ve found this helpful, Please Subscribe, Like, and Share!


I hear a lot of people in our Native culture and our tribes, tribal communities saying, “Hey, can I be a follower of Jesus and a Native at the same time? Can I be a Christian and Native too?” And the answer is absolutely resoundingly, “Yes.”

And here’s why. Do you know that God is a creator of cultures? There’s a story in the Bible that talks about how God wanted humanity to express all of His diversity, and humankind rebelled against that. And they came and said, “God, we know a better way.” God came down and said, “No, I created you with a perfect plan, and My plan was there for there to be a diversity of cultures.” And so He forced that people couldn’t understand each other. They had different languages because of a miracle that God created, and they dispersed to different parts of the earth where God led them to have and develop these cultures that He intended in the first place.

The Bible says at the end of time, in the book of Revelation, it describes what Heaven’s going to be like. The Bible says, “Around the throne of God will be people from every nation, language, and tribe represented around the throne.” God doesn’t want us to lay down the cultures He created to become who He wants us to be. He wants those cultures to express part of the beauty of His creation.

Now, we’ll hasten to say this. We’ve taken what God created beautiful, and we’ve perverted it. We’ve diluted it. We’ve made it something different than what He intended. And so there are, in fact, parts of our culture that are challenged by the truth of the Gospel – sinful parts of our culture that the Gospel says, “That sin, that’s wrong, and we need to jettison those things.” But that’s not all of our culture.

There’s part of our culture that God created beautifully in His image to express all that He is. You and I are trophies of His grace. We’re reflections of His glory, and how He created us even culturally was intended by God to express that beauty. The key is you and I following God’s lead in determining what part of our culture is challenged by the gospel, what part of our culture expresses the diversity and the beauty that God intended us to have. And when we are there, we will reflect even greater the beauty of all that God is, and the watching world will look at us and marvel and say, “Man, I want to be part of that.” So let’s embrace that part of the culture that God gave us as a gift that He gave to us. Let’s jettison all that doesn’t please God, and let’s be the creation that He designed us to be.

End Transcript

Interested in true-life stories of First Nations people from across Native North America who are following Jesus Christ without reservation? Check out The Storyteller on our YouTube channel:

You can also listen on The Storyteller radio app.
Or you can visit our website:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *