Some Indians have a special relationship with nature and their Creator, the Great Spirit, Whom we know to be Jesus Christ (See Crying Wind's testimony below). They believe everyone is a part of everything else and we should be kind and treat the earth and the animals as if they are our brothers. To hurt or kill something is wrong, unless you have to. And then you only kill animals for food with a prayer in your heart. This story about the deer is a true story. It really happened. The man telling the story is a friend of the Indians and Grandma knew him.
A very good friend of mine went to his sacred place. (He is an Indian medicine man.) In this place where he prays, there was a man killing deer. This place is so sacred that all the Indians treat it that way and the deer are tame. (And here was an Indian shooting these deer.) So he went home to pray about it because he felt badly. He said, Lord, help those deer take care of themselves. I dont know what Youre going to do but help them take care of themselves because that place is sacred.
A couple weeks later, this man who had been hunting had a story to tell. He said he was out there and aiming at this deer. The deer stopped, turned around, looked at him and said, Why are you going to shoot me? He said he was so dumbfounded he dropped his rifle and said he is never going to hunt again. He said, I heard it plainly; it wasnt my imagination. In fact the deer said it to him twice. (Excerpt from a sermon by Ron Livingston, Our Brothers, the Indians)
Do Plants and Animals Have Souls?
Grandma has a friend named Bill. Many years ago he told me this story about how he used to go hunting a lot. He didnt have a need to find food that way. There was plenty in the store, and he wasnt poor. He just liked to hunt because he was a good shot. That means he could shoot right on target nearly every time. He was called a sharpshooter.
When Bill was in the army he was called a "sniper" because he was so good at shooting straight. They put him way out in front of the army to hide in trees and shoot the enemy as it moved toward them. Bill was very afraid all alone, but his wife was home praying for him. One day Bill had a vision that an angel was protecting him. The angel told Bill that he would come back home O.K. because God had a work for him to do. So the angel was always with him to protect him. And Bill did come home.
Bill was much older than Grandma and I loved him very much. He was like a father to me. One day Bill told me why he quit hunting. He said when he came home from the war he found Jesus church and became a minister. Bill loved people, and when someone was sick and called Bill to come pray for them, he wanted to be able to pray for them and see them healed. But they weren't. Bill prayed and prayed for the gift to lay on his hands and see them made well, but the gift to heal didnt come. His wife said, Maybe the Lord wants you to stop hunting. Bill didnt believe her.
One day he was out hunting, and as he walked across the field, his gun fell apart piece by piece until it was totally broken. He still didnt believe it. Then one day he had a vision.
An angel came to Bill and took him out into a place where people go to hunt. They walked over to a pile of dead sticks. The angel showed Bill a frightened, little blind bunny rabbit hiding under those dead sticks. The angel said a hunter had shot at the bunny and only injured it. Now it couldnt see so could only eat what was around it. It had eaten all the bark off these twigs and couldnt find anything else to eat, so it was waiting to either be killed or starve to death.
Bill felt very sad for the little bunny and was sorry he had ever hunted just for sport. The angel told him that if he wanted to heal people with his hands, he couldnt kill with them, too. He said when it was time for judgment and Bill stood before God, he would have to tell God why he had killed all those animals when he didnt have a need. He said the animals would rise up and tell God what he had done to them, in fact they were going to tell on everyone who has hunted like this.
So Bill stopped hunting, and then he received the gift to heal. God healed many people from illness through Bills gift, and Grandma was one of them. Under Bill's hands (through the Melchisedec power) Grandma received the wonderful gift of dreams and visions).
Yes, there are animals in heaven. Read the testimony of a little girl who was taken there by an angel and saw them. Symphony Of The Stars.
Crying Wind's testimony is a heart wrenching story of a young half Kickapoo, half white girl whom God reached for and brought out of loneliness and despair. Every Christian should read her story. If this story doesn't make a Christian feel guilty for not testifying more of Jesus Christ, nothing will.
Being born into Christianity sometimes leaves one with a false security, we treat it lightly and lose it. We become hypocrites and in danger of hellfire. To whom much is given, much is required. Jesus told me to "think" of the privilege and opportunity I had by being a member of His Restored church on earth. I didn't fully understand it until I read Crying Wind's story and thought back on my own life, of how close a walk I've been privileged to walk with the Lord, My heart goes out to every person who hasn't found Him yet, and I pray for them to find Him. I know Crying Wind is also praying the same. Jesus is reaching for the Indian race.
Crying Wind spoke of searching for a god she could worship who was the god above all gods--the one most powerful. In her heart, she knew there must be one. The following describes what some Indians believe about their gods. She had been to the mountain praying to the strongest god she could find--the Wind God. She said:
"The last thing I remembered before I fell into an exhausted sleep was, 'If he (the Wind God) heard my prayer, if--if--.'
I was glad I believed in the Wind God. He was the most powerful of all the Indian gods. The bear god was strong, but he slept all winter. I didn't want a god who was asleep half the year. The snake and horned toad were ugly gods. I didn't like them. The wolf and eagle were beautiful and clever, but they could both be killed, and you could see their bones turning white in the sun. The Sun God was mighty, but you couldn't call on him at night, and during the day, clouds could cover his face. No, the Wind God was the best. He could be everywhere. He couldn't be caught or killed. He could blow your house down. He could tear at you until you couldn't stand up against him . He could be so cold he could freeze you to death or so hot that you would faint from his hot breath. Of course, the wind was a fickle god; he could be good or evil; he could answer your call or not, as he chose. But a god can't be everything. A god can't be perfect, and I was satisfied with this one.
It was Grandmother who had taught me all about the Indian gods and legends. I had been with her ever since I could remember, ever since my mother had abandoned me." (p. 8)
On the first day Crying Wind became a Christian, publicly speaking to God and giving herself to Him (as yet unbaptized), she witnessed her first miracle. She was job hunting, and God sent a man to her asking her to come work for him in a place suited to her race and skills. She was overjoyed and recognized it as the hand of God. She said:
"As soon as I left their store I called Reverend McPherson and Audrey. 'Do you want to hear about a miracle?' I asked. I told them what God had done for me on the very first day I was a Christian.
That night I went to church. It was a small, informal prayer meeting and afterward many of the people stayed behind to visit. Sally was there, and I told her the good news and that I would be joining the church soon. She was overjoyed.
A lady beside us said, 'We are happy to have you join our church, but it's a pity to turn your back on your culture and your heritage. I always thought the Indians were children of nature and that the Indian religion was a beautiful. After all, haven't you always worshipped the Great Spirit? Isn't he the same as God?'
I squirmed in my chair, I wanted to speak, but I was afraid. Then I saw Audrey and Sally and Reverend McPherson giving me encouraging smiles, and I found the courage to speak.
'The Indian religion is only beautiful to outsiders. To those of us who know the terror, hopelessness, and fear, it is not beautiful. I remember a young man who lost his bride, and he went to a medicine man for help. I remember him running through the night, screaming and terrified. No one ever saw him again. If the Indian religion is beautiful, why do more Indians commit suicide than any other race of people? Why are there more Indian alcoholics? The Great Spirit I called to was not the true God. People say it does not matter what name you call God, but it does matter or God wouldn't have said, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." I looked around. Everyone was watching me. I had said too much.
The lady spoke again. 'But isn't there any way to save the Indian culture by incorporating it into Christianity? Couldn't the Indians have a church and use their symbols and change their legends into Bible truths? Don't you think that would help more of them feel at home with Christianity?'
'No, I think that would be a mistake. I cannot see peyote beadwork without thinking of the drug peyote that it represents. I cannot think about Indian legends or symbols without thinking of the past. People must be willing to turn their back on the past and change to be Christians. The symbols and beadwork of the old way are not just decorations, they represent false gods. The Indian will have to be willing to give up something. God gave up His son. Heritage is important, but not more important than where you will spend eternity.'
'Yes, I can see you are right.' she said. 'I didn't really understand before. Could you come and talk to the Women's Missionary Circle and tell them what you've just told Me?'"
The Danger of Compromise
Crying Wing just explained the danger of mixing Christianity with paganism. Unknowingly she explained what happened to Christianity that brought on the Dark Ages--the great apostasy Apostle Paul warned the Christians about. Paul said that before Christ was to come in glory, His church would become polluted with seducing spirits and false doctrines. The woman above clearly described the sentiments of early Christians trying to preserve the "culture" of pagan religions, "keep the pretty parts" to make the converts feel comfortable. In doing this, the Spirit left, and the church was on her own for 1,260 years. The New Testament Church Christ established through the Apostles fell apart. The great Apostasy came.
Crying Wind, pp. 171-173, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago 1977 ISBN: 0-8024-1677-2