Australia Opinion Politics

Labor Senator describes Christian missionaries as a “type of virus” after Aboriginal converts reject indigenous spiritism

Senator Pat Dodson, an Aboriginal from Broome, WA has scathingly criticised Christians working in the Kimberley region with local indigenous people who are embracing Christianity and abandoning traditional Aboriginal spiritism.

“They are a type of virus that has really got no credibility,” he said.

According to the locals they have experienced results such as freedom from tobacco addiction and no longer living in a culture with lots of fear and retribution all the time. One African missionary there describes the revelation of the personal love of God impacting local Aboriginals in such a way that they decide on their own to stop drinking.

Senator Dodson is a former Roman Catholic Priest, but instead of celebrating the salvation of his people turning from spiritism and worshipping creation to worshipping the Creator, he’s outraged at the demonstration of their genuine and complete repentance.

An ABC article in September 2019 revealed Aboriginal Christians have set fire to objects they associated with curses such as disruption and violence in the community. In their own words, they wanted to throw away all the things that had been keeping them in bondage and slavery.

What’s really upsetting the woke Senator is these objects are considered sacred by many Aboriginal elders. The women burned clothes they had worn in ‘women’s business’ rituals. One man added a bundle of weapons he’d inherited. The converts also burned a bough shed where boys had been ritually initiated. No one told them to do this.

In response to complaints from people who want Aboriginals to stay trapped in spiritual darkness, the recently born-again Aboriginals have defended their new beliefs and practices claiming it is their decision to make. They say they now have peace and happiness because of their new relationship with God.

Pat Dodson became the first Aboriginal Roman Catholic priest in Australia in 1975 but that didn’t go so well. Less than a decade later he quit due to an inability to reconcile the conflict between authentic Christianity and Aboriginal religion.

He still doesn’t get it.

He should’ve stuck to politics and kept the state out of religion. But as he feels entitled to teach on Christian doctrine we should go there and scrutinise his public claims.

Describing the above good work and results of recent evangelists in the Kimberley region, Dodson exclaimed, “They are a type of virus that has really got no credibility. If they really understood the Gospel then the Gospel is about liberation. It’s about an accommodation of the diversity and differences that we have in our belief systems.”

The only “virus” is woke humanism setting fire to foundational Christian doctrines and claiming the cold ashes are what Christianity always was. The ex-priest who couldn’t hack it is the only preacher without credibility.

As a Christian who at least hasn’t rejected the often-uncomfortable teachings of Christ, allow me to educate anyone who thinks Senator Dodson isn’t dangerously deceived about the Gospel.

There is absolutely zero accommodation of different belief systems in Christianity.

Here’s what Christian Scripture has to say about the diversity of religions.

  • “I am the Lord; there is no other God.” – Isaiah 45:5
  • “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14
  • “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” – John 10:9
  • “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6
  • “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

That’s not a cherry-picked verse taken out of context. That’s the consistent message of the Gospel. It’s exclusive in that there is no other belief system or qualification for salvation from the natural consequences of every man’s imperfection (sin). The Gospel is universal and inclusive in that no one is less qualified than anyone else but all are equally saved who completely trust in Jesus as Lord (a profoundly impactful confession).

It’s okay with me if Senator Dodson doesn’t want to be a disciple of Christ and in that journey forsake false religion. It’s okay with me if he hates my religion and me because of my identity in Christ and belief in His teachings, and endlessly rages against imagined evils about us all.

What’s not okay is making stuff up and calling it the ‘Christian Gospel’. What’s not okay is using that confected ‘Christianity’ to vilify people making a real difference on the ground in remote indigenous communities where the gap between outcomes, alcohol abuse, drug addiction, domestic violence and sexual assault is biggest.

Make no mistake: authentic Christianity is exclusive. Truth itself necessarily excludes everything which is not true from inclusion in that which is. Don’t bother complaining, it won’t change. Either Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life as Christian doctrine has always held, or you can believe whatever you want and she’ll be right as Senator Dodson holds.

But it’s impossible to be both, they are mutually exclusive. If Jesus is the only Truth you cannot believe anything which contradicts Him. If you can believe anything you want, then Jesus can not be believed when He teaches you can’t.

If some or many indigenous Australians choose to outgrow the worst of their traditional culture, don’t shoot the messenger. Senator Dodson should stop trying to colonise the Kimberley with typical Labor paternalism and denying Aboriginals the agency to hear alternate ideas or to choose for themselves how they will live out their beliefs or what they will believe.

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