Churches teach you to quarrel about God

I ran across this interesting exchange between Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians and several commissioners trying to establish a new reservation for them. According to Dee Brown in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, one of the commissioners mentioned that establishing schools would be a great advantage for the Indians. But, Joseph replied that the Nez Perce indians did not want the white man’s schools. And, here is the exchange that ensued.

“Why do you not want schools?” the commissioner asked.

“They will teach us to have churches,” Joseph answered.

“Do you not want churches?”

“No, we do not want churches.”

“Why do you not want churches?”

“They will teach us to quarrel about God,” Joseph said.

Isn’t it nice to know that the church has a reputation for being really good at something?


About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on April 14, 2011, in Misc. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. “Churches teach us to quarrel about God.”

    His correspondent should have pointed out that it simply isn’t social structures that facilitate sin, but also the passions that war within (James 4:1). Of course, he may have been too busy dealing with the fallout from a broken deal by the U.S. govt….

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