180 years ago in New Zealand the Bible was valued more than gold. The hunger across the land for the Maori New Testament – Te Kawenata Hou was insatiable. Now it is being removed from our schools by ardently secular parents.
They say it is a human rights issue. What they fail to grasp is that the very rights they purport to be protecting only exist because of the Judeo-Christian cultural heritage they enjoy in this nation.
Wherever the Bible has gone in the world it has provided two key values upon which democracy and human rights have flourished – the fundamental value and equality of all human beings as made in the imago Dei, and the accountability of all human authority to a higher authority. (Refer ODT article 24th Oct 2003).
Christianity transforms societies for the better. New Zealand is no exception. In the 1820s thousands died in the inter-tribal musket wars. In the 1830s as the Spirit of Te Kawenata Hou moved across the land, peace broke out, slaves were liberated and civil government was established.
Understanding our cultural roots is vital if we are to make sensible decisions today. New Zealand’s second longest serving Prime Minister, W.F. Massey, certainly appreciated his inheritance. Whilst debating a Religious Exercises in Schools Bill in Parliament he noted:
“ The Bible is the basis of the Christian religion and the basis of our civilization. The more our young people can learn about the Bible, the better it will be for them and for our nation.” Rt Hon William Ferguson Massey New Zealand Prime Minister 1912 – 1925
I agree with him.
Ewen McQueen 18th February 2014