Church involvement

12 06 2009

Leaders of churches would have a role in a Consent Ceremony, even though the consent should ultimately have been sought by the representatives of the State. Our Western Law and Australian Federation were explicitly forged from the Judaeo-Christian worldview. Spiritually, it was predominantly Christianity that came with British occupation.

For the Church there’s some confessing to do. “The Church,” more specifically the Anglican Church was tied historically and organisationally to the State, and benefited from State land donations over the years. And church organisations participated in colonisation, some in the harm done, while others remained too ignorant or silent. These days, virtually every denomination has a statement of apology about that, which is good.

Also, participating in the Consent Ceremony would be a profound prophetic act. Not only confessing in accord with the justice of the prophets, but declaring a new future, a way forward that’s more in line with the way God wants. A way of respect and cooperation, prayerfully under God. Christians are supposed to be the ones who most walk in this Way for all nations.

There should certainly be a spiritual dimension to the Consent Ceremony. Neglecting the spiritual would be to unjustifiably impose a secularist worldview upon the proceedings. Pre-British Aboriginal spirituality entailed a mix of ancestor veneration, polytheistic spirits, totems and dreamtime stories, and a Great Spirit Creator beyond the dreamtime.

In this respect there is significant overlap with Judaeo-Christian spirituality – The Great Creator Spirit, the reality of other spirit beings, certain Messianic prefigures. This (I’d say God-ordained) overlap has made it possible for some to identify as both fully Christian and fully Aboriginal, seeing the one as fulfilling the best of the other. It has also been important for many Anglo-Christians to see the connections between Aboriginal motifs and Christ.

In fact this ability to discern the evil and embrace the godly within both Christian and Aboriginal cultures has enabled good people of both cultures to identify with each other, break down the walls of separation and move forward together. Without this transcendent, unifying reality, human nature on both sides too easily retracts into polarisation based on social-group alone.

I expect that Christians would want to participate in the spiritual aspects of a Consent Ceremony, expressly not as complicit representatives of the State, but this time as godly representatives of Christ, seeing where he is already at work here, and prayerfully blessing and benefiting the land and its inhabitants.




One response

12 06 2009
Consent Ceremony « Whadjuk Sovereign Lands

[…] of the church approach the elders, Repeat: “we wish to remove the curses we have caused your people & […]

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