Richard Twiss Connections
Twiss is supporting the New Apostolic Reformation in attending Asbury
Wiconi International's President Richard Twiss has recently embarked on an educational journey at Asbury Theological Seminary pursuing a doctorate. He says that "one of my great hopes in this endeavor is to blend the balanced perspectives from various "apostolic" streams...to produce new understandings and models of Kingdom living that effectively advance Christ's work among us, especially as it applies to our Indigenous communities around the world! "There is no doubt in my mind," says Twiss, "that we are living in a pre-determined time in the Father's purposes! Our generation is witnessing massive global change, emerging new paradigms of church life, a deepening dissatisfaction with the status quo...." (Wednesday, September 15, 2004, LAST CALL FOR NATIVE AMERICAN SYMPOSIUM, By Jim Uttley, Special to ASSIST News Service, http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s04090089.htm)
Links to NAR ministries on the Wiconi site
Over the past ten years God has done a quick work and numerous First Nations ministry organizations have sprung up.
www.jerusalemcenter.us Kenny Blacksmith
Wisconsin, New Mexico, Urbana 2002, Don Richardson, and Gordon Thayer
NAR Endorsers of Wiconi (http://www.wiconi.com/intro/endorsers.htm)
Dr. C. Peter Wagner
President Global Harvest Ministries
"Richard, Congratulations! God is using you in a remarkable way as a leader who is hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches."
Advancing Church Ministries
"Besides being my personal friend, as an anointed Lakota/Sioux Indian, Richard Twiss is a man raised up "for such a time as this". Richard carries in his soul God's heart for North America's Native Peoples. He is one of those gifted individuals who sees past the illusion of traditions, past deceptions that have kept Christians divided. I not only endorse Wiconi International, Richard's ministry arm, I pray that God will raise up thousands of disciples who, like Richard, follow Jesus into the healing of the nations."
Dr. Charles H. Kraft, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology
School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary
Now, after many years of cultural domination by well-meaning but culturally insensitive missionaries and those they have trained, some within the Native American community are beginning to see that Native American culture, like First Century Gentile culture, can be used by God. Richard Twiss and Wiconi International is one of these. We have usually required our converts to adopt some version of our cultural expression of Christianity as if that were endorsed by God. We often failed to see that God wants to be understood and responded to by each cultural group in terms that are most meaningful to them, in terms of the only way of life that really makes sense to them. We have often made the mistake of seeing the culture of our converts as the enemy rather than the real enemy, Satan, as the one to oppose by working against him both in their culture and ours. "The Native American community has waited too long to hear the message of Jesus Christ in a culturally appropriate, acceptance-possible form. Following Paul's (and Jesus') example, Wiconi International seeks to present the Gospel as relevantly and attractively as possible to a neglected people group who for too long have been required to abandon their own way of life to become Christians. I have known Richard Twiss for several years now and I heartily endorse the motives and aims of Wiconi International and count it a privilege to be a supporter."
(DITC Note: The culture of the Lakota Indians sees God as the panentheistic Great Spirit. Is this how God wants of be understood?)
Rev. Terry LeBlanc, Mi'kmaq/Acadian
Nations Manager, Aboriginal Programs, World Vision Canada
"...I believe the approach of Wiconi will be absolutely essential in the days ahead for successful ministry to the First Nations of North America. You have my heartfelt and full support."
Don Richardson - Author, Peace Child, Eternity in Their Hearts…
President, Don Richardson Ministries
Richard Twiss, a Lakota Native American in a predominantly Anglo America, reminds me of Joseph, long ago leader of a Hebrew community in ancient Egypt. To be sure, Egyptians gave Joseph dire cause to feel cynical about Egyptians. But Joseph, rising above cynicism, blessed an undeserving nation, a nation that initially enslaved him. Native people across North America have at least as much basis for cynicism about us as Joseph had for Egyptians. Richard Twiss, like a modern Joseph, is calling Christian Native people to rise above cynicism and fulfill a Joseph-like destiny in today's strife-riven world. Richard is one of a new group of articulate Native Christian leaders. I urge pastors to invite Richard and other spokespersons he lists as speakers in church conferences. It is my hope that Christians everywhere will pray for these new leaders. Their message is like a healing balm for the many racist wounds inflicted over time.
Jeffrey P. Bjorck, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA
I am privileged to endorse Richard & Katherine Twiss, co-founders of Wiconi International. I have known them since 1996 and have grown in my appreciation for their deep desire to reach Native Americans with the message of salvation and reconciliation. Some Christians might raise concerns about a ministry that seeks to embrace the Native American culture, given that aspects of these cultures are often intertwined with pagan theology. In response, let me state my confidence in Richard and Katherine's firm commitment to embrace only those facets of Native American culture, which do not violate their higher commitment to Biblical orthodoxy. As a clinical psychologist, I am very aware of the painful human dynamics inherent in cultural clashes between majority and minority groups. Furthermore, I know the importance of recognizing that individuals are shaped to some extent by cultural heritage. Thus, I am particularly glad that Wiconi International will focus its ministry on facilitating the healing of wounds related the cultural despotism of the majority. Specifically, I heartily endorse the Wiconi vision of incorporating Native-American strategies for learning and training, rather the merely forcing Native-American content into a Western academic model. In order to prepare persons for ministry, it is essential to train them in methods and concepts directly applicable to those for whom the ministry is intended. I believe Wiconi International is doing just that.
NAR Endorsers "One Nation, Many Tribes" by Richard Twiss (http://wiconiresources.safeshopper.com/2/3.htm?571)
Published by Regal Books. Forward by John Dawson. Richard Twiss shows how by understanding the history and worldview perspectives of North America's “host people” the church will discover some invaluable insights and needed Biblical principles for unity in the Body of Christ.
Tommy Tenney - One Church, Many Tribes is not merely a book about Native Americans. It is about God's heart for Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. I heartily recommend it.
Bill Bright - An outstanding book that will bring compassion and reconciliation between diverse peoples created in the image of God and for whom Christ died. Highly recommended.
Dr. Jerry Yellowhawk - Richard Twiss's vision and committment to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ through innovative methods that do not comdemn the cultures of Native people makes my heart glad.
Wiconi promotes book by Daniel Kikawa (http://wiconiresources.safeshopper.com/2/15.htm?571)
The Cross-Cultural Evangelism Game by Daniel Kikawa
Daniel Kikawa has written an outstanding cross-cultural educational tool. He gives case studies of hypothetical events in the life of a cross-cultural worker in a tribal setting. You are put in their place and asked what you would do it in their predicament. By doing this you are challenged to examine why you believe what you believe in light of God’s Word and cultural worldview. The principles revealed here are equally helpful in the Native North American context. This is highly recommended by church leaders like John Dawson, Don Richardson, and Lynda Prince.
Wiconi sells NAR Transformations videos
Wiconi endorses Eagles Wings who claims the Great Spirit's son is Jesus Christ
Eagles Wings is the ministry of pastor and author Randy Woodley and his wife Edith. Both Native Americans, their mission is "to present the Great Spirit's Son, Jesus Christ and His Words, the Bible to Native Americans in culturally relevant ways." (http://www.ethnicharvest.org/peoples/nativeamer.htm)
NAR Endorsers of Eagle's Wings
Author John Dawson, Healing America's Wounds, has described Randy as "one of the most trusted, wise and fruitful Native American leaders of our generation" and notes "Randy can be trusted because his biblical foundations are solid."
Says Richard Twiss of Wiconi Ministries and author of One Church Many Tribes, "Randy is a courageous Native leader who, like the Apostle Paul, is fully committed to helping people find a loving relationship with Jesus Christ…Randy is a frontrunner in First Nations Ministry who has fearlessly begun developing evangelistic and discipleship models, that are thoroughly biblically based, yet radically culturally Native. As a result he has seen much fruit in the lives of Native believers…I am honored to consider Randy a friend, co-laborer in the Kingdom, and Native brother in Christ and recommend his vision for Eagle's Wings Ministry as one worth supporting."
Author and speaker Winkie Pratney shares "Some years ago a Native American friend of mine with a deep heart for his people had a vivid vision. In it he saw a traditional warrior on a horse silhouetted against a sun low on the horizon. In alarm he asked; 'What does this mean God? Is this the sunset of my people?' 'No' God spoke to his heart, 'it is the sunrise.' Eagle's Wings Ministry is one of the new and creative ways to touch a loved and special people group that are long overdue for a healing visitation of God. Randy and Edith Woodley are walking the old paths with a new Eagle feather from the Eternal Elder. We need their special kind of ministry today as God is calling back all His lost and landless children from around the world."
Gene Brooks, Chairman of Mission Carolina states, "Theoreticians usually croon from an ivory tower somewhere. They talk about the work that is needed. Practitioners grunt and sweat down with the common people. They do real work. Theoreticians are a dime a dozen. Practitioners are like refined gold. Randy Woodley is a practitioner. (http://www.eagleswingsministry.com/endorsements/)
Twiss claims the Great Spirit is the Holy Spirit
Richard Twiss was on the 700 Club show with Gordon Robertson (Pat Robertson’s son) recently and in an interview he told Gordon that the Great Spirit of the Indians is the same as the Holy Spirit. Robertson heartily agreed. The problem with this idea is that the Great Spirit has no son, and without the son there is no redemption. The Great Spirit required human sacrifices and other atrocities. (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/lehmann2.html)
Twiss identified his "real self" with the Great Spirit
Author, Dave Hunt wrote in his January '98 newsletter, The Berean Call wrote that Richard Twiss, a Lakota Indian, got Promise Keepers to ask Native American men to host its October 4th 'Standing in the Gap' gathering in Washington, D. C. These men participated in full Native American dress including the eagle war bonnet. That bonnet signifies that "the wearer actually becomes the eagle, which is to say that he identifies himself, his real Self, with Wakan-Tanka [the Great Spirit which . . . (the Spotted Eagle) represents." (Ibid., p. 3 in citing Brown, The Sacred Pipe . . . (Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1989), p. 7, 45, http://www.nepaugchurch.org/Sermons/zz19990718.htm)
The Great Spirit is Panentheistic
Religious beliefs varied between tribes, but there was a widespread belief in a Great Spirit who created the earth, and who pervaded everything. This was a panentheist rather than a pantheist belief. But the pantheistic tone was far stronger than among Christians, and more akin to the pantheism of William Wordsworth. It was linked to an animism which saw kindred spirits in all animals and plants. (http://members.aol.com/pantheism0/indians.htm)
The Lakota concept of Wakan Tanka (most frequently translated as Great Spirit) illustrates panentheism well: Wakan Tanka is the Spirit over, under, and throughout all of the physical world, its guiding principle, present in individual phenomena yet not confined to it, not strictly singular nor plural, neither truly personal nor impersonal. Manitou/manitos of the Algonkians is a similar concept. (http://www.stormwind.com/common/nadoc.html)
(DITC Note: Richard Twiss is a Lakota Indian!)
The Great Spirit required human sacrifice/suicide to lift a sickness he had sent
“I am a very old man, my friends. I have lived through many summers and through many snows. Now I will tell you why I have lived so long. My father, who was also a great Medicine Man, told me that when I became old, the Great Spirit would send a sickness upon our people. All would die, unless a sacrifice was made to the Great Spirit. An innocent maiden of the tribe, the daughter of a chief, must willingly go to the high cliffs above the Big River and throw herself upon the rocks below. If she does this, the sickness will end.”
Not a word was spoken until the old man slowly sat down. At last, the chief lifted his head and said, “Call all of the young maidens, who are daughters of chiefs.” Soon all of the young maidens stood before the chief, including his own daughter. The chief told them all that the old man had said. “I think his words are the words of truth,” he added. He then turned to his elders and said, “Tell our people to meet death bravely. No maiden will be asked to sacrifice herself. This meeting has ended.”
The next day Morning Sun saw the sickness on the face of her lover. Now she knew what she had to do. Without telling anyone, she followed the trail to the high cliffs above the Big River. When she arrived there above the jagged rocks, she turned her eyes upward, lifted up her arms and spoke to the Great Spirit, “If you will accept me as a sacrifice for my people, let some token hang in the sky.” Just then, the moon rose above the trees across the river. It was the token. She closed her eyes and jumped. Soon afterwards, the sickness left her people. (The Great Circle of Life, Copyright 2001 - 2003. All rights reserved by Roger Kayser, http://www.zeeone.com/Readings/Wedding/wedding.htm)
As I have set down, they worshiped Toya, or the sun, which they claimed represented the Great Spirit. Every morning as the sun rose they would stretch out their hands in adoration and chant a hymn of praise; and also when the sun was at its highest gave they gave this salutation; as evening drew on most of the tribe would gather near the sacrificial mound. Just as the sun was about to set, their jauva would slay an animal and place its beating heart upon the altar and all would chant a prayer beseeching that Toya would return to give his light. When the sacrifice was a human heart only the warriors drew near unto the altar. After our companions had been sacrificed they brought in no more captives of our race, but did sacrifice warriors captured from other tribes. (CHASCO HISTORY Written by then, postmaster Gerben M. DeVries in 1922 the pagent script, has been changed throughout the years - but still remains belittling and offensive., This translation from the original manuscript is dedicated to the Avery Library and Historical Society of New Port Richey, and published for the information of those who dwell in the West Coast section of Florida., By Gerben M. DeVries, New Port Richey, Fla. March.1922, http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/aimfl/script.html)
But among some tribes north of the Rio Grande, human sacrifices did exist. Evidence exists that the Pawnee (in what is now Nebraska) occasionally sacrificed someone. The Iroquois are said to have occasionally sent a maiden and white dog to the Great Spirit. And human sacrifice and cannibalism are believed to have existed among people along the coast between Louisiana, Florida and up the coast to Virginia, where people experienced the wrath of the gods more frequently in the form of extremely violent storms than did people in other parts of the country. (THE AMERICAS, edited 9/20/2004, Copyright © 2000 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved., http://www.fsmitha.com/h3/h16-am.htm)
The Great Spirit required blood rituals
The Sun Dance
Each year, the summer sees another type of blood sacrifice; the Lakota Sioux and other natives of this continent spill their blood onto the earth in one of their most powerful rituals, the Sun Dance. In this controversial ritual, the participants pierce holes into the skin on their chests, thread large hooks made of antler or wood through the holes and hang themselves from a sacred tree until either they rip the skin through and fall or until they pass out. Through offering their own blood, they are able to achieve an ecstatic state, making a connection with the Great Spirit and giving back to the earth something that is truly of their body. This ritual was outlawed but still survives today as an Indian-only event, within the larger Sun Dance festival attended by thousands. (Sacrifice Today, In the Andes - And Closer by Wendy Davis, Copyright © 2004 by the article's author, http://www.widdershins.org/vol1iss3/l04.htm)
(DITC Note: Twiss is a Lakota/Sioux Indian)
Richard Twiss is spreading the doctrines of the New Apostolic Reformation and is endorsed by them. He claims that the Great Spirit of the Indians is the Holy Spirit of the Bible, and endorses ministries who make this same claim. He endorses and promoted books by people like Daniel Kikawa that present information as fact when it is proven myth. He continues to teach that the Great Spirit is the Holy Spirit by wearing the cultural items associated with the Great Spirit, even though it is a historical fact that the Great Spirit is a pantheistic god that required blood rituals and human sacrifice. Richard Twiss claims that what he is doing is not syncretism, when it is the very definition of syncretism.