Sometimes, Christians are their own worst enemies. I am no exception.
Five years of secular and Christian theological education in Auckland have revealed there has been a sustained effort to sexualise children within the Anglican Church of New Zealand. These efforts have been assisted (or even initiated) and promoted by Catholic priests and nuns seeking greater ecumenical support for their chosen lifestyle. In essence, they are normalising the sexual abuse and exploitation of children before they get the chance to make a decision to marry and live life with traditional Christian values.
This journey began in 2008-9 after my nephew’s release from prison where he had been recruited to join Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga, who had been working from Avondale mosque in his religious “prison ministry”. My nephew tried for a couple of years to recruit me to join them, and was fund-raising to pay off his fines, because he had been offered a free flight to Saudi Arabia where he would study Islam and prepare for the Arabs to overthrow their corrupt Western aligned governments. This later materialised as the Arab Spring uprisings. His conversion to Islam while in Mt Eden prison wasn’t his first religious experience. He’d previously converted to Christianity during an earlier incarceration.
My nephew’s reasoning for converting to Islam was pretty simple. Apparently all religions worship the same god, the Bible is corrupt, Biblical laws are not for today, all Christians are hypocrites, Mohammed is the example to follow, and the Koran is an inspired and infallible guide for believers. It was that simple. And if you fold an American bank note a certain way like a website instructs, you would see a picture of two planes flying into the World Trade Centre which proves all he believed was true. He was so passionate about it all, so convinced. He gave me a Koran, for free, sponsored by the Avondale mosque. He claimed that he was a living breathing example of the success of Islam. Mosques were not like churches he said, and his team were eating, sleeping, and showering at mosques, moving from mosque to mosque around Auckland hearing message after message each night. By living this way his whole benefit could go towards their cause.
During this time, I was invited to a church that held somewhat contrary Christian beliefs to the theology proposed by my nephew. I then joined a Pentecostal based prison ministry group that attempted to reintegrate former offenders back into the community. It was a group comprised mainly of retired women, and run by a women who wanted to offer non-judgemental love and compassion. They were keen to get a guy to join them as I was a closer demographic to those men they were working with.
Visiting a prison and talking with those men inside was a shock. Many looked, and spoke, exactly like me! Some had Christian backgrounds, some had been pastors, from all denominations, including Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists. Others were pastors kids and missionaries kids. They held a similar theology to my nephew, although vastly more developed. In prison they had a lot of time to study the Bible and knew to ask the questions which backed their ideologies. They had also sat under some of the top shrinks in the country, being that the units I was visiting housed paedophiles. It was clear that I needed a Christian education if I was going to be any help.
So, while still involved in this prison ministry, I chose to study theology at a secular institution, which approached Biblical interpretation from a “scientific” viewpoint. This government run institution was set up under Helen Clark’s government with the intent to be a joint effort between denominations to train all priests and vicars throughout NZ. It was led by one of Australasia’s most prominent feminist theologians, one who had studied under Schüssler-Fiorenza herself. This same secular academic theology has been the increasingly dominant line of “scientific” theology in New Zealand over the last 30 years. It includes several different methods of Biblical interpretation that are considered progressive. These methods of interpretation only work with the versions of history handed down by the university. It is all many of our current youth pastors and vicars have been taught. These lecturers did not allow their theologies to be questioned at length, and many were not required by the university to know anything outside of their specific specialist subject teaching areas. Having already seen where this same theology leads people, to Auckland prison, I questioned everything, and took advantage of the resources available at a university to investigate what was being taught, as it was being taught.
Everyone has their own theology, their own concept of God, and they base their lives on what this is. Saying that there is ‘no God’ is a theology that one bases their actions on. Given two competing theologies, both presented as correct, a person often chooses the path easiest to follow, even knowing where it leads.
It was during this time that another of the “Christians” in the ministry group reoffended, with another child. Over a period of four and a half years I have spent hundreds, possibly thousands of hours talking with this guy, the ministry group, others released, and others who reoffended. I questioned and watched how they live. I was able to see first hand that his choices were not helping him, while staying in contact with both Probation and the prison psychiatrist. Some of the other guys had clearly moved past their offending and settled into new lives with partners their own age. This guy hadn’t. The ministry group, loving and non-judgemental, was based on the same progressive theology taught by the secular university I attended. We frequently clashed on ideas of appropriate behaviour. He had chosen to follow the progressive theology.
This secular academic theology was the same line of theology brought against the Anglican Church of New Zealand at the Human Rights Tribunal claim in 2013, and acknowledged in the Ma Whea report released in 2014 to normalise homosexuality within the church. These progressive “scientific” theological interpretations, and their accompanying historical outlook, as taught by my university, served to justify many of the claims of the “Christian” paedophiles in Auckland Prison, and my Islamic nephew. It’s the same theology that my current flatmate, who tells me that he is training to be a pastor, has as his own.
I am not expecting to change the world with this website, or even make any change within Christian circles. But, for those curious about why people claiming to be Christians offend against children, the answers will be here. This is why Christianity has become so powerless in our society to help those who need it most.
The updates to this site will be in two formats. Firstly, blog posts will contain little snippets that I come across that are relevant to theology here in New Zealand. Secondly, specific pages will be added with the essays that one is not allowed to write while at university. Although I am not expecting Academics to read any of them, these essays will be footnoted with references.
Some of the anticipated pages will be:
Trendy secular academic theology: Higher Criticism to Cultural Marxism.
The evolution into Christian Darwinism.
Homosexual paedophile grips control of history.
Adoption or abortion: a nun-issue in the church.
Retroflective: Feminism before Judaism.
Secular Feminism rapes the Church.
The cost of bums on seats.
The sacred cows of feminist theologians.
Absorbing Islam for a one world religion.
Breeding abusers, statistically speaking.
Secular academics silence the church.
Theology of a paedophile.
Idols in your face.
In the beginning, was the Gospel.
The Final Chapter: Covering Abuse