Post 66 / The Next Language

Works of Man

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. [Pro 14:12 KJV]

On our return from delivering Gustavo and Stephen and Joel to record the Mixteco: Yutanduchi de Guerrero and Mixteco: Mitlatongo, Francisco and I swung past some ruins near our rented house in Tlaxiaco.  These were the ruins of San Martin Huamelulpam.  Still technically closed due to the vagaries of covid but open enough to graphically see the evidence of man’s efforts to please God- both ancient and not so ancient.

Very evident is the base of a pyramid which appeared to double in two stages as a viewing gallery to a ceremonial sacrifice bench where two slabs of stone were shaped and sized to hold the torso of human sacrifices while their hearts were cut out.  Between the slabs was a pit where I presume the corpses were thrown.

In the immediate foreground was a Catholic church dated to the 1960s along the remains of the older church that was dated to the 1930s – both relatively recent and probably concurrent with the excavations that exposed these ruins.

In the wall of the church were embedded sculptures that had come from the ruins.  Prominent is the life size stone figure of a sacrifice representing both men and women with their hearts cut out.

This seems gross by modern standards but is it any less evil than the clinical abortions that I am sure vastly exceed in number the human lives that fueled these ancient ceremonies?  The connection between the distant and the less distant past is evident in some of our elicited word lists where we find the word for God to be a Spanish version of saint.  Almost 100% of the villages in Mexico are named for a Catholic saint.  The ruins pictured above are in the village of San Martin.  Every saint has a date (they say there are 365 of them).  Once a year those saints are taken out of the church and paraded in the streets for all to see—accompanied by a time of revelry and drunkenness.

In July the three of us arrived at the Village of Jesus Maria y Jose just as one of their saints was out and we “happened” to pull into line at the very head of the parade!  We thought the crowds along the street were welcoming us.  We stopped for tacos and learned from a policeman that we would need to move our vehicle so the parade could proceed.

The Catholic veneer that replaced the human sacrificial system might look better at first but the underlying dynamics are just as pagan for the most part.  These represent two kinds of what our language helpers call “idolatry” that fall short of pleasing God.

I pray that one day we will see the number of the redeemed eclipse the enormous numbers that must have followed both of the past systems.  I do not know if that will happen or even if these ruins will survive into the “new earth” and the “new heavens” when heaven and earth will be one and truly God’s will finally is done “on earth as in heaven.”  Will we even want to be reminded of the past?  Or will that past only magnify the contrast between God’s ways and ours?

God Bless,

Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director

Global Recordings Network USA

If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media
that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general,
please phone Roland Heck at 951-216-9985.

Previous “The Next Language” posts
Deliverance – Post 65
New Discoveries – Post 64
The Wall of Pain – Post 63
Is There a Place for the Gospel in Your Story – Post 62
The Love Pyramid – Post 61
Obsession – Post 60
Verb Tenses in Hebrews – Post 59
The Unseen Weapon – Post 58
The Gospel Arrives in Zapoteco:Elotepec – Post 57
Fishing – GRN Style – Post 56
A New Day in Mexico – Post 55
Seeking – Post 54
Pick Your Battles – Post 53
How Big Is Your God? – Post 52
A Muted Gospel? – Post 51
Dedication Service for Marcos – Post 50
Two Weeks, Two Months, Two Years – Post 49
What Will You Give to Jesus – Post 48
Special Assignment – Post 47
The Good and the Best – Post 46
How Many Languages Are There? – Post 45
Verifying Speech Varieties – Post 44
Those God Things – Post 43
Meet Notch, the Desert Cottontail – Post 42
The Lost Languages – Post 41
The Rest of the Yoke – Post 40
What About Those Last Languages – Post 39
A Yoke That Fits – Post 38
The Other Side – Post 37
It Is Finished – Post 36
On the Ground in Culiacan – Post 35
I Will Go With Thee – Post 34
Unseen Warfare – Post 33
God of the Gaps – Post 32
The Father of Faith Missions – Post 31
WAIT – Post 30
Our Ultimate Weapon – Post 29
What Are You Doing Here – Post 28
Recordist Training Course Update – Post 27
Still Shameful – Post 26
Numbers Update – Post 25
The Gospel and Idolatry – Post 24
Could Ye Not Pray – Post 23
John the Baptist and the New Normal – Post 22
Genesis of a Script – Post 21
Embena Experiences – Post 20
An Easter Like No Other – Post 19
Go Or Stay Home – Post 18
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