New Zealand, along with all nations, is acutely religious. But, more than most Western countries, the dominant religion is now the Established Religion. We are using “established” in the historical sense of a religion prescribed and protected, so that all citizens must respect and honour that particular religion’s beliefs and practices. Established religion is the religion buttressed and proscribed by the law of the land and funded by tax money.
The established religion in New Zealand is Maori animism. In historical terms it is a pagan and primitive religion, riddled with superstition and idolatry. It is an offence and provocation to the Living God. But none who want official and public respect in New Zealand dare criticise the Establishment. Those, however, who fear God more than man are prepared to call it for what it is: stale hokey pokey–a thoroughly sour, ignorant and stupefying batch of mouldy ice-cream. Every Christian who understands what the Bible says about idolatry and false gods has no hesitation in flatly rejecting Maori animism. In so doing, we have become the new dissenters.
Wavering Christians may well be offended at such a stand because they fear it will cause offence to Maori. Not causing offence has regrettably become for some of our brethren, not the eleventh commandment, but the only commandment. To these brethren we say, “harden up”. Fear God, not man. These weaker brethren have not yet realised that when it comes to a choice between offending the Living God, on the one hand, or man on the other, Christians must offend man a thousand times over. We must never, ever wilfully offend our God.
We will drive out any idol, never tolerating any in His presence. We will be as jealous of God’s honour as God is Himself. We will never bow down or honour any image of God, which makes all graphical representations of God idolatrous. We will never tolerate His Name being used in an empty or vain fashion. We will honour His holy day. This is what former generations called the First Table of the Law.
The ignorance and stupidity of Maori animism has been on display in recent days. A church youth group had a fantastic day out, climbing Mount Taranaki, packing up a couch and BBQ by hand. Quite a feat. At the top they reclined for a celebratory meal. After enjoying the Lord’s creation and celebrating his goodness, they decamped taking their gear and detritus with them.
On returning to the land of the living dead they were assailed by a government official: an outraged Taranaki Department of Conservation boss, Phil Mohi. Now, Phil it turns out is a Maori who has returned to the religion of his ancestors and is a card carrying animist. He has taken it upon himself to speak out in the name of his god. His god is the mountain (Mt Taranaki). The top of the mountain is tapu–sacred ground, in the eyes of Phil and his colleagues. To eat up there is to eat on his god’s head. (We are not making this up. One shudders to think the depths of outrage that would be disembogued were anyone forced to relieve themselves up the mountain.) According to a media report entitled “Mt Taranaki summit cook-up ‘tapu offence’“:
He said the summit barbecue was disappointing because the young people there probably didn’t realise or hadn’t learnt that the mountain and especially the summit is a very sacred place for iwi of Taranaki. “We discourage camping at the summit and try to make people aware that the very highest part is the most sacred of all – and ask climbers to avoid standing there. “There’s a difference too between eating prepared food for sustenance and actually cooking on the summit,” he said.
Ah, the casuistry of the animist. How quaint. Now the young Christians were taken aback by this outburst. They apologised. They did not want to cause offence, they said.
What they should have said is something like this: “Mount Taranaki is holy to us because it belongs to the Living God Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine. All the earth is His. We went up the mountain to celebrate His glory and His majesty. We ate and drank with Him and feasted with Him and communed with Him. We gave thanks to Him for our food. We praised Him for His greatness displayed in the grandeur of Mount Taranaki which He has created. People need to respect our faith. All the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”
Sadly, these young folk were not mature enough to understand that this is how they ought to have responded. Instead they apologised for offending animists because they had not respecting their beliefs. Sad. But, hey, they will mature.
Now all of this may have been a mere debate between opposed religions–except that Phil Mohi was speaking as an officer of the Government of New Zealand. This is why we have argued that Maori animism is now the Established religion of our nation.
Mr Mohi said that was a good reflection on the group and he encouraged and applauded all those that made use of the park. “But part of our management role is to promote and protect the mountain’s cultural and spiritual values,” he said.
He said the summit barbecue presented a timely reminder that the mountain is of huge significance to a great many people and that such actions show little respect to a very special place. DOC’s interpretation panels do explain the overall significance of the mountain but Mr Mohi said that staff will be exploring other ways to build greater awareness among the public. (Emphasis, ours.)
OK, Phil–let’s build greater awareness of each other. What you are promoting is deeply offensive to Christians and to God. It is also a lie. Your gods do not exist. Your beliefs offend and anger the Living God. Such idolatry ripens New Zealand and our people for judgment. It calls down the curses of the Covenant upon our land. Have we not already begun to taste His cup of wrath. Are we not being left once again in this country to demons from the ancient world? Are we not bloated upon the carcasses of our abused and aborted children? Are we not enslaved to drink, drugs, and crime? Are we not subjected to criminal gangs that imprison, enslave, rape and maim all who fall into their clutches? The fact that your paganism is now the Established Religion of our nation makes it all the worse.
That our government will stand four square behind Phil, supporting him in his imperialistic animist beliefs and tacitly promoting them with the force of rule, regulation, law and taxes, condemns the nation–that is, all of us–to wrath. But we Christians want no part of it. We are called to come out from among them, and be separate, and to touch not the unclean thing. (II Corinthians 6: 16-18)
The “unclean thing” is Maori animism; the clean thing is the creation, for it belongs to the Lord alone. Therefore, we will go up the mountain again, as often as we consider it appropriate, and eat and drink and feast and be merry before the Lord. Maori animism be damned–literally.
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