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Why I’m following Jesus – Byron Sarracino (Laguna Pueblo)

Byron Sarracino shares his own story of how he decided to believe and trust in Jesus. Byron is from the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico. As a Christian Native American, he is one of many Indigenous people from different tribes and nations across North America and around the world who follow Jesus Christ. You can listen to his full story here:  Byron’s story Byron Sarracino (Laguna Pueblo) Part 1

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Why I’m following Jesus – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Mark Custalow from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia shares his own story of how he decided to believe and trust in Jesus. Mark is one of many Indigenous people from different tribes and nations across North America and around the world who follow Jesus Christ.

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Isn’t Jesus and Christianity the white man’s religion? Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Is Jesus the whiteman’s God? Mark Custalow, from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia, answers this common question and perception that Christianity is the white man’s religion. He points out the truth that Jesus is not a white man but from the Middle East where the Christian faith actually has it’s roots among a tribal people. The carriers of the Gospel to the Americas were Anglo people. But that doesn’t make Christianity is a white man’s religion. Mark is speaking from a Christian Native American – First Nations perspective. He points out that God is the Creator of all people. Related: Christianity is not the white man’s religion. It is not the whiteman’s gospel. Pictures of a white Jesus are inaccurate and misleading. Christianity did not have it’s beginnings in Europe. Being a Christian is not tied to or dependent on one’s ethnicity. Jesus came for the Human race. The Gospel is God’s answer for the need of every person no matter their skin color, language, or identity. Jesus came for people from every tribe and nation. He said Himself, in the Bible in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Transcript: – Man, I’ve had a lot of native people in native communities tell me that they see Jesus as a white man’s God and Christianity as a white man’s religion.And to an extent I get that, I understand that. There’s been much, much travesty, much tragedy that’s been perpetuated on our native people in our native communities over the course of our history more times than we should have had to endure. So, yeah, so the other thing that we deal with as native people is that the carriers…

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How can you believe in Jesus after what’s been done by Christianity? – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Native history is by marked by injustice and harm, often done in the name of God and by those who identify themselves as Christians. So, it’s a legitimate and important question that Mark Custalow addresses: “How can you believe in Jesus after all that’s been done by the church and Christianity?” Mark is a Christian Native American from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia. He offers a perspective that is both personal and authentic. There is no excusing evil. Every person will have to answer to God one day. He is just and all wrong-doing will be accounted for. The question is, “How do people come to the place of wanting to follow Jesus after everything that’s been done in His name?”    

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Following Jesus will cost me family. Is it worth it? – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Christian Native American Answers: It’s not uncommon to face rejection from families and friends when someone chooses to follow Jesus. Mark Custalow from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia answers the question, “Is following Jesus worth it?” He makes a strong case that it is.

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We have our own ways – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Mark Custalow, a Christian from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia, addresses the question, “We have our own ways so why would we need Jesus?”  There are many differences among the religions of the world including the indigenous people of the Americas… but they share a common element.  Mark explains.

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What about our traditional beliefs? – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Christian Native American answers: Mark Custalow, a follower of Jesus from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia, answers the question, “What about our traditional ways and beliefs?” “You know, it’s a scary thing to leave and abandon what has been familiar and taught to you since you can remember anything in life. You know, maybe that you grew up in a native community, in a native family that have practiced traditional ways all your life, and all of a sudden you’ve been confronted with a different truth than you’ve ever known. You’ve got exposure, somebody that’s talking to you, or some piece of media that’s come across your way that’s saying that the creator God that you’ve known and acknowledged has a name, and his name is Jesus….” Is it true?  

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Is it possible to be Native and follow Jesus? – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

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.

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Is Jesus more powerful than the spirits – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Christian Native American Answers: Mark Custalow from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia answers the question “Is Jesus greater than the spirits?”  Is Jesus more powerful? These are important questions. If Jesus isn’t, then why would anyone follow Him. But if He is, what does that mean?

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Voices, spirits, and dreams. Can we trust them? Native American Christian Answers – Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)

Mark Custalow, from the Mattaponi tribe in Virginia, addresses the reality of spirits visiting and communicating with people. Dreams, visions, and voices – these are not uncommon. For many of us, personal experiences can determine or influence what we believe and trust. Is that safe? Can we trust them? What do we rely on to guide us? The Bible says that there are deceiving and familiar spirits. How do we know what is truth and what is deception? Here’s what Mark says: I’ve had many of my native friends, I was pastoring at a particular reservation up in the northwest for a number of years. I had church members that would come to me and say, “Pastor, I had a dream last night and they would have seen or heard a loved one who has been dead for some time speaking to them.” And they would relate to me what had been spoken to them by their loved one. I guess here’s what I would want you to know in that instance. We as native people, we certainly honor our loved ones. We honor our elders and we respect them. That’s just part of who we are. I want you to also know though that we have a sworn enemy. And the sworn enemy, his name is the devil. It’s Satan. It’s Lucifer. And Satan is sworn to yours and my destruction. I’ve seen Satan destroy a lot of lives and he uses a lot of tools to accomplish that. One of the things that he does to defeat, destroy, discourage, dismay us is he deceives us. He uses half truths that might be partially true enough for us to believe but it’s not ultimately absolutely true. And you may be saying, “Well, Mark, how do you know that?” Well,…

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