Saturday, October 08, 2005

What is Animism?

Animism is the way Tribal people across the world view the world they live in. Animism is a belief system that isn’t only false but can leave a person living in constant fear throughout their entire life, which is unless someone teaches these people the truth of God’s word.

The definition of Animism is: The belief that spiritual beings and impersonal spiritual forces have power over all human affairs. Therefore, man must try to discover what spirit is influencing each of their actions so that they can attempt to appease, or manipulate that spirit in order to gain its favor. The Animist lives in fear and expects imminent doom.

An example of Animism in action would be how a tribal person feels that they have to say a special chant, due a ritual, or even give a sacrifice to the water god before they can go fishing. Another example would be if their baby got sick they would think back and maybe that could have happened because they moved a stick on the trail and the spirit of that stick doesn’t like its new home and therefore caused their child to get sick.

Animism is very ingrained belief system in these people’s thinking. This is why it is imperative to know their beliefs inside and out to give a crystal clear gospel presentation, this last part is crucial because of the possibility of syncretism (I’ll talk more about syncretism later). This can only happen after years of langue and culture study.

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