Tuesday, May 03, 2011

what is the aussie Christian response to this?

A crisis of grief is unfolding, a spiritual collapse so deep it cannot be held back. The acts of self-harm are not inadvertent, not mistakes, not just the ill-judged results of too much drink and drugs, not something to be solved by simply lowering the levels of intoxication. Those watching struggle for words and fear they may be watching as an entire culture, acting collectively, destroys itself.

The conclusion to an article by Nicholas Rothwell, titled “Living hard, dying young in the Kimberley” in The Australian over the weekend has just left me gob-smacked. It outlines the state of indigenous communities in Western Australian outback.

What on earth does the church do if he is even half right?

Posted by steve at 08:43 PM


  1. Sadly, I think it probably only tells half the story.
    The churches complicity in colonisation and the perpetuation of the myth of Terra Nullis leaves the church with little but lament to offer I fear.
    The Australian fixation with economics and the recent mining boom leaves little room for the church or aboriginal communities to offer an alternative life/structure to meaning and purpose other than one constructed through the eyes of economics. The gospel’s it seems to me speaks in a similar situation of Roman occupation and a repressive economic society.
    I was interested in the comment about the loss of a spiritual dimension and I wonder if this is the opening for the church to start? I suspect also that being advocates and empowers of communities that offer alternative understanding to life is part of the role of the church as the sign and witness of the reconciling work of Christ in and for the world.

    Comment by Geoff — May 4, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  2. These are really helpful perspectives Geoff. Thanks for commenting, it’s a discussion that I find often is simply greeted with silence in Australia.

    The article does seem a light year away from the Preamble discussion – on the one hand the ability of indigenous folk to craft a narrative, yet a culture seemingly headed for extinction in rural Australia.

    I still very much feel an outsider on this, but as Director of missiology, I remain deeply prayerful about the implications for my role in your country in regard to this,


    Comment by steve — May 4, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

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