I have been reading Lame Deer Seeker of Visions. Lame Deer had some interesting thoughts about the white man’s religion and Moses in particular. This is what Lame Deer Says:
Inyan Wasicun Waken—the Holy White Stone Man—that’s what we call Moses. He appeals to us. He goes up all alone to the top of his mountain like an Indian, to have his vision, be all alone with his God, who talks to him through fire, bushes and rocks. Moses, coming back from the hill carrying stone tablets with things scratched on them—he would have made a good Indian medicine man.
There is a lesson here for all who would become missionaries or even share the gospel with a neighbor. Part of reservation life involved sending young children away to school to be taught white man’s ways and this included instruction in Christianity. It is possible that Lame Deer actually knew more about Christianity than many white people do today. However, in this case Lame Deer interprets the events described through is own world view. Moses has gone on a vision quest to receive a message from the great mystery, the impersonal Wakan Tanka, delivered through nature—rocks, bushes, and fire.
The influence of culture is powerful. Lame Deer probably heard the message clearly but could not understand because of the dominating influence of his culture. Sometimes a clear message by itself is not enough change hearts and bring people to salvation. Lame Deer said often that you can’t change an Indian.