A Christian’s Perspective

 

Aborigines have not always lived in Australia. Aboriginal beliefs about the creative acts of their totemic God ancestors and talk about the time when the earth was created and when people populated the earth. This belief is not substantially dissimilar to the Biblical creation story. Professor Blainey in Triumph of the Nomads states “the first Australians came across the stepping-stones from Southeast Asia during an epoch when the level of the ocean was lower. The sea-straits were narrower but the voyages were courageous. The slow eastward movement of peoples was one of the great events in the history of man.” Blainey and others have suggested that waves of Aborigines arrived and moved south, with tribes retreating voluntarily and otherwise from the lands they once occupied, until order and boundaries were established.

The immigrants brought with themselves, ancient sacred beliefs passed down in word, image and song, remembered by many tribes around the world concerning creation, the creative God and the spiritual connection between the land, environment and the ordained cycles of life. Some of the most ancient written records of antiquity are the Jewish manuscripts that form the Old Testament portion of the Christian Bible. The book of Genesis or beginnings describes the story of the creative God who made the earth, created spirits to worship him, watched as some who fell into evil, and then created the first man and woman.

The myth of Baiamai, the Creative God worshipped by the Bigambul and Kamilaroi and other related tribes are not dissimilar to the Biblical Myth. What is the essential difference to the biblical story? The myths and beliefs have been localised. If God ascended from a mountain to go into the sky heaven, the Aborigines generally placed the event in the most significant location in their landscape rather than on an unknown hill in an overseas country. Could Baiamai really be from antiquity, the same, the one and only God of Christianity, Judaism and Islam?

A very early Biblical story explains in a very small number of words a worldwide significant event. The bible states that all people spoke one language and moved eastward to the plain in Shinar in the Middle East, when the land was good and fertile. The peoples of the world were multiplying and began to challenge the religious structures and beliefs. The story states that God believed that the men had the genetic ability to do “what would be considered impossible” if they worked together with one language. They even began to construct the first tall building in Babel as a sign of their challenge to God. The story states that “Lets us go down and confuse their language…scattering them all over the earth.”

A range of ethnological sciences present a migration of people to the east including the continents of Asia, the Americas and Oceania / Australia. Modern science does not give weight to Mythological stories, however science clearly indicates a common ancestry for all people. Separation by language and distance may have led to the acceleration of genetic difference between peoples and the differences in language and societies. People and their societies have adapted to their living environments. It is quite possible to accept that the Aborigines traveled in waves from the Middle East, Asia and the islands to the North of Australia, carrying with they memories of the creative God, and the stories surrounding the creation of the world. Indeed, the bible indicates that it was God’s plan for the Aborigines to live in Australia. The apostle Paul when talking to the Philosophers of Athens discussed the “Unknown God” who the Athenians knew to be a most powerful God. He explained that it was their time to understand who the unknown God was and heir place in history. Paul stated:

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temple… From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. Acts 17: 25-26.

The myth of Baiamai and the religions structure handed down by word of mouth; often in song is a remarkably accurate remembrance of the way Biblical mankind as a whole remembered the beginning of the world. A sound argument could be made that Baiamai is a name given to the same unknown god discussed in the bible, who is the same creative all-powerful god of the Bible.

What is the essence of Aboriginal religion? It is in essence founded on pre-Abrahamic religious structure that existed prior to approximately 2000BC. This was a time in a biblical sense when the head of the household undertook animal sacrifice to God to receive a blessing for their crops and food harvest. Similarly, Aborigines across the continent performed acts of sacrifice to ask for God’s blessing on their food supply. The sacred ceremonies, described as increase ceremonies, gave men an opportunity to pray for an increase in their food supply, however, in a generous act they waived the shedding of animal sacrificial blood and replaced the animal sacrifice with blood shed from their own arms.

*If you would like to learn more About Australian Aboriginal beliefs, Anthony Pike , the Author of Aboriginal Traditional Ceremonies Sourcebook is offering a a discounted electronic delivered copy of the book for $14.99USD with $7.00USD to be donated to ACTs. EMAIL the author to obtain a copy at brizvegas@hotmail.com. For $19.99USD, you also receive the bonus Aboriginal novel Malbanka.