Jul 5, 2011

Lost Tribe Found

Yes you read that correctly. Last week, pictures were released to the public showing a lost tribe in the Amazon. Apparently satellite imagery revealed the existence of yet another tribe in Vale Do Javre Reservation. According to an article in the Daily Mail, the tribe consists of 200 people and subsides on corn, bananas, peanuts and other crops. The accompanying photos showed three large huts constructed in the clearing of the forest. In one of the pictures, three native people are staring up into the camera from the low-flying airplane. I bet that provided an interesting dinner conversation!

It is so strange to imagine that in the 21st Century there are peoples living in the forest that are completely unaware of the modern world.

But this raises an interesting moral dilemma. How does the world treat this tribe? On the one hand, if we went in to their village and showed them the truth about the world around them, we could put their whole village in culture shock. Who knows what the impact would be? But on the other hand, isn't there a moral obligation to protect them against those things which we could easily help?

And aren't we much like voyeurs if we simply leave them alone? I am reminded of the web-cam that had millions of subscribers watching the birth of a bald eagle. Imagine how much internet traffic there would be if we placed a webcam watching this village? Certainly that would be wrong.

I am reminded of the Prime Directive in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. When the Star Ship Enterprise encountered a primitive culture, they were allowed to observe it, but never to interfere. The belief was that cultures should be allowed to move at their own pace. Somehow the Enterprise found a way to interfere with the primitive culture without being detected. I think that everyone would agree that this approach is best.

Now consider this. How much more advanced is God than the human race? How much should He reveal to us while letting us go at our own pace? I think He did it just right. He entered into our world as one of us and then showed us the majesty of His world. He revealed just enough to let us continue at our own pace, and yet revealed enough so that we could move towards His kingdom.

We were the lost tribe and He found us.


Pastor David Hook