Colonisation and Christianity: An Australian Perspective


#21

…when anyone says such things about the gods, I somehow find it difficult to accept…

Perhaps this is why people claim I transgress.

But as it is, if even you who know such things so well accept them, people like me must apparently concede.

What indeed are we to say, we who ourselves agree that we know nothing of them.

But in the name of Zeus, the God of Friendship, tell me: do you truly believe that these things happened so?


Timeout: Cosmic Conflict vs. Historicism
#22

Just imagine every week the first thing in church service, right after worship, is your pastor praying for the persecuted Christians around the world and for a sister Christian church and it’s pastor in the county each week. Now that’s Christians being Christian, brother! (Never reported seen within an Adventist church)


(Patrick Travis) #23

And, the most honest unifying interpretation of Matt.24:9 among the invisible church of Christ at the end of the end of days.
Regards, Pat


(Andrew) #24

If the author was completely intellectually honest to this narrative and extend the thought process to its natural conclusion, Christianity should be expunged from Aboriginal life in favour of their own Dreamtime and traditions.

Additionally, such a revisionist view of life in all aspects, always appears to be more cruel and unusual by our standards. The same “Christians” demonised for their colonisation (something practised by all dominant civilisations, not just Christian by the way eg Islam even more directly) much later in time, exported their own orphaned British subjects to Australia after WW2, probably thinking this was in everyone’s best interests. Often without any serious attempt to find existing UK relatives. These children we often sexually abused by Christian institutions, quite willing to offer the same “service” no matter the skin color.

Life always looks like a more cruel existence as we look backwards, whatever familial or societal relations we hold up to the light.


(William Noel) #25

What puzzles me in reading such an article is the author’s motivation in writing such a piece. Apparently some people in this politically-correct world want us to all feel guilty over what happened in the past when we have no power to change it. Yes, lessons can be learned from the past but choosing to feel guilty over what others have done isn’t learning a lesson, it is both avoiding learning and preventing us from doing positive things today. I think our time and energies will be far better spent dealing with the challenges of the present and choosing to minister God’s redeeming love wherever we are in the here and now.


(William Noel) #26

OK, it happened. What lesson(s) do you draw from that history? What impacts does that history have on your faith today? How do they contribute to you being a participant with God in bringing people into His kingdom?


(William Noel) #27

Only if you ignore what scripture says about what scripture says about how evil the people in those areas had become. The difference is when people claim divine prerogative to do things instead of actually having divine instruction to do it for an identified reason.


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #28

_Willaim Noel,
You ask what lessons I learn from that history?

Referring to the fact that the Anglican Church was anti gay/ homophobic, and was largely responsible for instituting anti gay legislation, making homosexuality a criminal offense, and in some countries, punishable by death — the British colonized huge swaths of the planet this Impacting the daily lives of millions.

What lessons do I learn ?
William Nel are you tone deaf ??
There are none so blind as those who will not see!!

Do you not perceive that the same beliigerant homophobia is alive and well in Adventism??

Were you unaware that the largest “compliance “. committee instituted by homophobic Ted Wilson was focused on homosexuality??

William Noel, are you one of those Neanderthals who still believe that our gay / lesbian offspring, deliberately choose to be gay? Instead of being born that way, with ZERO input of their own??

Are you deliberately unaware that the sordid shaming and shunning of our gay youth has resulted in countless suicidée??

So the lesson I learn from the criminalization of gays in India and East Africa, directly resulting from the Christianity, imposed on the local populations by the Anglican Church, has similar present and immediate effects on our own Adventist gay/ lesbian / transgender children / teenagers

The lesson I learn, kind sir is that instead of a “compliance “ committee about to engage in an anti gay witch hunt, we should emulate the Methodists, , who currently have their own committee , named THE WAY FORWARD COMMITTEE, whose sole goal is to be more inclusive, loving and supportive of their LGBT members!!


(William Noel) #29

Let’s try this again. I asked a simple question, so how about giving a simple and polite answer? The topic was colonialism and my question was asking what lessons the author might find that could be applicable today.


(Andrew) #30

Of all the wrongs of British colonialism, to single out Anglicanism as it pertains to modern day homophobia around the world is fairly tenuous.

The US divorced the mother country so long ago that Episcopal Christianity been of minor influence at best. US Christianity has been much more heavily influenced by other strands such as Calvinism.

I don’t support homophobia but I think the feet at which the blame should be laid is not so clear cut. You must rejoice at the fact that North America wasn’t colonised by an Islamic Kingdom.


(Paul Johanson) #31

I have enjoyed reading the various responses to this article. The article arose from various places - working in Aboriginal communities and developing countries and observing cross-cultural Christianity, reflecting on history (including discovering one family line that owned slaves in southern US and another that avoided settling in parts of New Zealand where Maori were displaced) and becoming more aware of the colonial meta-narrative. In terms of the motivations for the article, as stated, they are to encourage learning from Indigenous Christians with an aim of inter-ethnic healing, and becoming aware of the syncretism inherent in European Christianity. It may be that all Christianity is syncretic. That is not necessarily a problem so long as it is recognised. It may even be a strength. As Europeans hold onto their cultural form of Christianity, so it is important for Indigenous people to contextualise the gospel for themselves, to understand what God saves them from.

In terms of practical Christianity, this journey has led me to orientate my work to improve access to primary medical care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and has been deeply rewarding.

For those of you who would like to explore these themes further, there is an excellent set of Bible studies by my friend Celia Kemp. They can be found at www.celiakemp.com.


(Lincoln Dunstan) #32

To be honest I can’t think of any other country I would prefer to have “invade” Terra Australis than the British!! Although Australia is the 51st State I’m glad it wasn’t America and even happier it wasn’t Saudi Arabia, so what choices do I have left?!!
When all the slagers of the British are finished maybe you would have been happy to have had Genghis Khan colonize your country!!
The Gauls invaded southern England where my long past ancestors come from, so who am I going to rail against?
Anyway I think January 26th should be known shamefully forever as “Invasion Day”, we’ll all go back to where we came from and be done with the whole matter!!


(Thomas Schwartz) #33

With earlier migrations, would you include Caesars war on Gaul, the Viking conquest of the British islands, the muslim Caliphate conquest of north africa, east europe and the iberian peninsula, the Aztec conquest of northern mexico or the Chinese conquests of east asia?

Two countries which had just spent the previous century throwing off their own colonial masters.

A country becomes an empire by colonising its neighbours.

The 19th century division of Africa between european countries was at least partly justified by abolitionists wishes to abolish slavery on the continent…

I do find it interesting that you first claim that the phenomenon of colonisation was unknown and then immediately continue by giving examples of practical colonisation efforts.

I.e. the perspective of a colonised people.

If the laments over the woes caused by Assyrian and Babylonian colonisation of Israel does not qualify as an indigenous viewpoint, I am not sure what you mean by that phrase.

Does the bible really have the social phenomenon of dividing people into ethnic groups? In the early stories, it is more of a clan contest, i.e. our family is better than your family because God blessed our ancestor Isaac above your ancestor Esau. Later it becomes story of “we are greater than you because God gave the law to us and not to you”.


(Thomas Schwartz) #34

Before the English took the rule of India, it was largely ruled by the Mughal empire, which was muslim. It is somewhat uncertain whether removing the brittish colonisation from the history of India would have impacted this particular law much.


(Thomas Schwartz) #35

So, colonising someone elses land is ok if the previous inhabitant is evil enough?


(Spectrumbot) closed #36

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