When Christianity came to native America, we became Baptists, Presbyterians, charismatics, Methodists. Christianity was a white-man’s religion. You can’t be both Indian and Christian. Pick one or the other.
Christianity has become so syncretistic with Western culture that you can’t distinguish the Christianity underneath. American Christianity is even more so. Materialism, modernism, individualism.
In avoiding the tendency to be “missionaries,” who are losing their once-effective impact on the current postmodern culture, perhaps the best thing to do in our local contexts is to come as friends, not “fixers.”
Probably one of my favorite points was the song that Richard sang for us. “A traditional healing song.” He had to make the point that he was using the drum to worship God… it’s not syncretistic. The drum is not evil, the deer hide is not evil, the tree that was used for the frame is not evil, the earth is all God’s and everything in it. Then he started singing, “Heyyaaaa heyyyaaaa… Jenny Craig, jenny craig I need your help, Jenny Craig.” I love it!