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Removing these carving, the right thing to do.

By Rev Joseph Walters

Carved images of humans including obscene images and other weird looking creatures that have eyes but can not see, have ears but can not hear and mouths that can not speak can be divided into two groups.  Firstly, it can be the handiwork of a genius' master-piece showing off his artisan prowess and gifts, period.  Secondly, and commonly in PNG that a lot of this carvings have far deeper meaning and connotations than just mere works of art.They are visible reflections and expressions of a person or society in search for identity and destiny.

They also represent his search for an inner longing for a person, force or deity much greater than himself. Apostle Paul called this "the unknown god" when he addressed the philosophers and those indoctrinated by Plato, Socrates and Aristotle on Mars Hill in Athens steep in a mixture of heathen ism, idolatry and paganism We all know too well in PNG of our spiritual roots. Animism, paganism and diverse forms of idolatry were normal practices we came through. They played significant parts in the moulding, shaping and influencing one's total existence. Different festivals and rituals were held in different seasons of a year to acknowledge different deities and invisible spirit beings that were the powers behind a society's existence. Man and unseen supernatural forces co-existed are real facts of life we can not try to rationalize,understand and interpret intellectually

. These are spiritual matters   The missionaries then brought and introduced the "unknown god" which of course is now known and worshipped by millions of Papua New Guineans and over a billion world wide as that God that our ancestors were searching for represented by the carved images in their pursuit for worship of someone or something more superior and powerful.This God is none other than the God of Abraham Isaac and Israel( Jacob ) that we ascribe to.  Our first missionaries called our culture, festivals and rituals heathen ism and paganism, these must not mix. They replaced them with the Bible,carved images of Jesus, Mary, the cross, baby angels etc   Our founding fathers by choice embraced the God the missionaries brought in addition to our ancestral ones and included them in our most important document- the preamble of our Constitution. A mixture therefore existed from day one of carving out our destiny.  

Then our founding father corrected that mixture when he was accorded the privilege to make covenant with this God alone on our behalf signaling a departure from all forms of animistic, heathenistic and paganistic gods to the one and only true and living God.  The Grand Chief went a step further to give this nation and it's people to God declaring allegiance to this God alone and renouncing all other forms of idolatry, paganism and ancestral worship thus detaching us from heathen ism   So what is the big fuss all about ? What I believe the God-fearing Speaker is embarking on to restore, reform and modernize is really the next thing to follow.   True Christianity is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It has it's own culture,value and belief systems.

It is not a religious system. The sad thing in PNG religious systems and cultures are inter-twined. So its all mixed up and badly compromised and misrepresented.  So one can understand why religious heads are so vocal about few wooden images being tampered with because it infringes on this compromised forms of Christianity.   I call on all MPs who swore allegiance by holding the bible, who pray the Lord's pray at every parliament session and mention Christ name to come out clear and show their true convictions by supporting the courageous initiatives of our brother Speaker whom I can call a modern- day Reformer. The Lord's prayer ends with "thy kingdom come thy will be done". So be it.  If our leaders can not come out clear, we can call ourselves hypocrites

This is indeed our defining moment .This is our moment of truth.   Donate these carvings to the museum or some archive as reminder to the generations to come of our past and magnify the Holy Bible in our Parliament as our guiding pillar and point of reference for the future. Rest the constitution and our people on the sure, immovable bedrock of the Bible. That we we will build on the chief cornerstone and sure foundation and not on sinking sand.   It takes just one act of righteousness to invoke and involve the Almighty and He will partner with us to carve and chart a reformed future because "when the righteous rule, the people rejoice, and righteousness exalts a nation". The Speaker and the House committee have taken that step .   The battle line has been drawn. PNG can not falter between two gods.  God's righteous can unite to dethrone the devil and enthrone the King Jesus