God, the Great Creator, has been in this land through the Holy Spirit since the time of creation. He revealed stories and pictures about God to indigenous people, which is shown in many of their stories, ceremonies and beliefs.
However, there are also aspects of indigenous culture that come from Satan. Australian Aboriginal Christian Leader, Tim Edwards says:
The legend of the rainbow serpent is told all over Australia, that this serpent is the all knowing,great creator. The rainbow in scripture speaks about God’s Covenant and Promise to all mankind. Today this old serpent is exposed as the father of lies who doesn’t have covenants or promises, but has established himself through myths and legends as the creator of Australia.
…the First Nation people have been bitten by this serpent of old… have believed in the legend of the rainbow serpent and to this day seem crippled in economics, health, employment, housing, social rejection plus many other disabilities.
In 1606 it was prophesied that Australia would be the “Great Southland of the Holy Spirit”... this is God’s Promise and Covenant for our land... If ancient spiritual strongholds are not identified and exposed; then God’s destiny for Australian Aborigines (as first people in the land) and the Australian Church will not be as affective or be fulfilled.
Ps Tim Edwards SpearMaker Australia
As a sign of our commitment to God and His standards, Jon Cooper (Chairman, In My Father’s House Trust) has a vision to invite every indigenous Australian tribe/nation to contribute a rock for a national cairn to celebrate the restoration of relationships in Australia. This would be like when Israelites entered their new land and erected a cairn of stones as a sign to future generations of what God had done for them (Joshua 4). This could possibly be in the shape of a map of Australia, at a place determined in consultation with indigenous people. Within local shires, towns and communities, local indigenous people and non-indigenous people would be invited to join together in building a cairn to link with the national cairn, recognising the truth of local history, and using the ‘ceremony of the cross’ to deal with all the sin, grief and shame (details of this are below).
Ps Peter Walker Australian Indigenous Christian Ministries Tel: 02 9623 0485
Rev Ron Williams (Kurta) of the National Indigenous Ministries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance was an indigenous statesman, senior elder and historian in this nation until his death in 2003. He and other indigenous leaders have suggested a new national day of celebration that can be a focal point for indigenous Australians, as well as government and civic leaders - and also for Christians, as we apply God’s standards to return the land to God’s ownership, and begin to rebuild the nation and manage its affairs His way.
Indigenous leaders are looking at a specific significant day and details will be notified when available.
Healing the Land
In many places in the Bible, God makes it clear that mankind’s sin pollutes the land so that it can no longer provide His blessings to people whom He has appointed as stewards to care for His land. When the sin is dealt with, God has promised He will heal the land (2 Chronicles 7:14). When we meet His terms, God is able to act so that the land provides abundantly for its people. Under God’s New Covenant, it is the blood of Jesus from the cross that heals the land when we turn to God and repent. Jesus has taken the tribal punishment spear for indigenous people and for non-indigenous people who also deserve to be punished in this way under the tribal law of the land.
Dealing with Shame & Grief
There is a deep sense of shame over most of the people in Australia. Shame results when we sin or when others sin against us (eg the victims of incest and rape). Shame comes when we lose our hope or the control of our lives and our destiny – either individually or as a people. As a result, we feel unworthy of the love and respect of God or other people, and no longer respect ourselves. When we feel guilt and repent, we are freed from our offences. However, the shame often lingers, controls and binds us. Robert Capp, who has spent most of his life as a missionary among Central Australian Aborigines (mostly with the Presbyterian/Uniting Church in Australia), describes the situation in Australia as ‘toxic shame’ – it is an oppressive wet blanket over the whole nation, that is almost impossible for indigenous people to escape.
‘Shame’ is a word that is on the lips of indigenous people almost all the time, and governs so much of their behaviour. It is also present in a huge number of non-indigenous people. It is a spiritual force that has been in operation since mankind’s first sin in the Garden of Eden, but is very powerful in Australia. Jesus took our shame on the cross when He was exposed and hung naked on the cross. His sacrifice needs to become effective in the life of our nation and all its people.
Another major oppression is grief. Many indigenous Australians have to deal with the death of five or more close family members in one year – and not just once in a lifetime! But it is also grief from the loss of dignity, the loss of heritage through development and through struggles like the ‘stolen generation’, and control of their lives, land and society. Jesus also took our sorrows and grief on Himself at the cross.
The Ceremony of the Cross
Throughout history, God has acted powerfully through symbolic actions. John Blacket (Director of Khesed Ministries) in his work with indigenous people has found very dramatic ways of making the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ effective and meaningful for indigenous and other people. He uses a ceremony where rocks symbolise people’s sin like the woman brought to Jesus over her adultery. Everyone takes a rock and thinks of what Satan would accuse them of at God’s judgement throne. Then they all come in repentance, leaving their rock, which symbolizes their sin, grief and shame, at the foot of the cross for the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ to wash. A tribal punishment spear is pointed at the people present and then turned to the cross where it pierces a container of grape juice attached to it, with the juice flowing down over the rocks. Then, to celebrate their release from sin, grief and shame, they take part in Holy Communion.
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