We have our own ways – so why Jesus? Native American Christian Answers (Mark Custalow)

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 but they share a common element. Mark explains.

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So you know, every culture in all of human history has attempted ways to appease the God that they understand.

God created us with a God-shaped hole and a desire and a need to appease the God that we understand exists. The tragedy is that if you study world history, civilization history, mankind has thought a lot of things about God, and then it came up with ways that we had to appease the God that we came to understand and know.

You know, the Aztecs, a tribal cousin of ours to the south in Mexico, they believed in order to appease God, they went to a great extreme and they practiced human sacrifice. I mean, it’s well-documented, some of those things. So you have anything from cannibalism to human sacrifice to cutting yourselves or things that you have to do to yourself to get God’s attention and say, “Look at me, accept me. I’m good enough. I’ve done enough. I’ve paid enough.”

Every world religion is based in that type of approach to appease the God that we believe is out there somewhere as this impersonal being deity.

The good news is that God is not impersonal. He’s a very intimate, loving God. And Christianity, unlike any other man-made religion, yea, even tribal, traditional religion, Christianity is not one where you have to earn the favor of God because we could never do that. Our God is holy. He’s righteous. He’s pure. And we are none of those things. In fact, the Bible says there is nothing we could do on our best day to impress God. But in the eyes of God, our best deeds are like filthy, dirty, rotting rags. No, in order to appease the real true God, it doesn’t depend on our works. It goes back to faith and believing. For it’s by grace that we’re saved, not by works. By believing in faith, exercising the faith that the Holy Spirit gives us to believe that Jesus is who He says He is, that He is God. He died for our sins to forgive our sins, to cleanse us, to make us acceptable to a holy righteous judge, to God Himself.

So yea, so having our ways and having that been in culture for a long time, that might be a cultural reality. But God the Creator said, “Here’s my way.” Because He’s the Creator, He gets to call the shots. And we have to approach on His terms. And those are His terms.

End Transcript

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