If you are not a christian or a bible student then the link at the end of this post “Led by the Spirit into the wilderness” is probably not for you. It is by U.S. theologian Ched Myers, reflecting on his time spent with Aboriginal christians in North East Victoria and the bible story of Jesus’ sojourn into the wilderness. It is very long and boring and assumes of the reader a respect and basic knowledge of the bible. You wont go to hell if you don’t have these things but you will probably struggle reading it. But some may find it valuable.
The history of the christian church since the emporer Constantine has been one and the same with global imperialism. Before Constantine, the radical indigenous Palastinians of the Jesus movement were killed or imprisoned by the Roman empire for continuing to practice their culture and religion. After Constantine it was illegal not to be a christian and you could be imprisoned or killed for that. However the new theology of the Roman empire and today’s bible have nothing to do with the spirit, ancestors, law and theology of the Hebrew peoples of the bible.
The bible we have today, though based on texts written by the pre-Constantine Jesus movement, has been edited, censored and reinterpreted by the needs of the Imperial state and the cultural prejudices of the powerful elites within the Imperial .church for the last 1500 years.
In the 20th century the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were discovered. These texts were the sacred documents of a colony of Jesus people which were buried before their colony was smashed by the Romans. As the Roman forces repressed any outbreak of indigenous nationalism and cultural practice (such as the various Jesus communities) they would destroy the libraries that contained the real stories of Jesus. These sacred texts are enlightening in that their modern translation has occured by acedemics around the world rather than Roman state or church authorities. They reveal a theology that bears no resemblance to that taught in the modern churches of Australia. Check out the Gospel of Thomas –http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html (do a search for “Gospel of Thomas”, there are many translations, as well as many other gospel texts.)
Anyway, the long and boring link,
“Led by the Spirit into the wilderness” http://www.bcm-net.org/theological_animation/articles/assets/LedbytheSpirit.pdf
Reflections on Lent, Jesus’ Temptations and Indegeneity
by Ched Myers – a U.S. theologian who visits Australia now and then. http://bcm-net.org/wordpress/theological-animation/cheds-curriculum-vitae/
“In many other ways we who are the inheritors of the profoundly flawed legacy of “Progress” must face the truth about our past. The Devil tempted our ancestors and they too followed him, choosing to domesticate the wilderness and to conquer its peoples, instead of finding God among both. We have therefore become like the idols we worshipped: economically dominating yet captive to “affluenza,” politically grandiose yet impotent to change what we dislike, children of empire who still piously invoke God’s blessing and favor But there is another way. Repentance means to turn around, and that means not only facing the past but recovering what was left behind. With Jesus our Elder Brother, let us retrace our national footsteps back into the bush, confront our sins, and begin taking care of Unfinished Business with our indigenous First Peoples. We may also discover there older life ways which just might show us the way out of our historical