by Richard Mansel, managing editor
The tragic story of the displacement of Cherokees to satisfy the insatiable land hunger of the early settlers provides a wealth of lessons for our own times.
The Cherokees were largely a peaceful people. They followed a path that provides a spiritual application for the Lord’s church. While our situation is different, the paths of the Cherokees do prove illuminating.
Humanity has always possessed a fear of those who are different. Untold numbers of people have lost their lives for having a different color skin or culture. It is all the more heartbreaking when the two cultures blend, and it has no effect on the outcome.
“During the early 1800s, the Cherokee adopted their government to a written constitution. They established their own courts and schools, and achieved a standard of living that was the envy of their white neighbors. Particularly noteworthy was the invention of written language by Sequoyah (George Gist) in 1821. Utilizing an ingenious alphabet of 86 characters, almost the entire Cherokee Nation became literate within a few years. A Cherokee newspaper, the Phoenix, began publication in the native language in February 1828. Prominent Cherokees are too numerous to list but include Senator Robert Owen and Will Rogers. Despite all they have endured, the Cherokee level of education and living standard ranks among the highest of all Native American tribes.”/1
White settlers, for the most part, despised the Cherokees because they were different. Yet, they became just like the White settlers, and the Cherokees nonetheless found themselves on the Trail of Tears.
Christians need to hear this lesson. We think that if we become increasingly worldly, the world will no longer mock us and we will stop being perpetual punch lines.
The Cherokees should force us to awaken from our stupor and realize that this is a gold-plated lie of Satan. Becoming increasingly worldly only benefits Satan and diminishes our spiritual influence in the world. With the light of the Lord extinguished, his message cannot pierce the darkness.
A professor of a Christian college recently defended profanity on his website and claims that Christians should embrace the practice.
Christians walk around almost as immodest as the world and I fear that the attitudes of many in the church about fornication are loosening. We can easily say that the overall moral condition of God’s people is changing for the worse.
Remember, when the world moves away from God and we follow, we are also moving farther away from the Lord.
Rationalizations turn to 1 Corinthians 9:19-20, where Paul indicated that we should become all things to all men. He was discussing Jews and Gentiles and spiritual matters. He did not mean that we should be as sinful as the world in order to win the world!
If we will be sanctified (Ephesians 4:1,17-19), we will become lights to the world (Matthew 5:14-16; John 8:12), rather than being sullied by the filth of darkness (1 John 1:5). Assuredly, Satan will be happy to take our hand and pull us further from our Father.
Ultimately, the Cherokees were victims of gravity. The settlers were going to take their land, no matter what happened. Likewise, Satan will keep attacking us, no matter what we do. By joining the darkness, we simply give in to his lies and bring glory to the Devil (John 8:44).
Satan is the ultimate liar and far too many are succumbing to his monumental lie. There is a vast difference in going and pulling sinners from the flames of sin and setting ourselves on fire!