Sunday, October 15, 2017

PCG on Colonialism in New Zealand

New Zealand flag.

One peculiar claim HWA made was his insistence that in the Millennial reign of (HWA's) Christ all of humanity would speak one common language. Recently PCG has released an article citing the New Zealand Wars (1845-72) to prop up this bizarre claim. (Jeremiah Jacques, Does the World Need a Universal Language?, October 12, 2017.)
Does the World Need a Universal Language? 
A study of the main cause of the New Zealand Wars points emphatically toward the answer.
He presents this article as a study of "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars. Let us assess his article.

First he talks about a battle in Opotiki that occurred in October 1865.
This bloody October 1865 clash was just one short chapter in the nearly-three-decades-long conflict now known as the New Zealand Wars. All together, the violence of these wars claimed the lives of some 2,150 Māori and around 745 representatives of the British Crown.
What a terrible situation! And yet this historical fact is now going to be used to prop up HWA's bizarre claim that there will only be one language among humanity during the millennial rule of Christ.

The article gets its chronology confused.
Historians agree that the seeds of the conflict were sown 15 years before that Opotiki clash. 
The author is in error saying 15 years. He actually means 25 years referring to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 as is seen later in the article. PCG cannot even get that detail right and yet they expect their audience to believe that PCG's leadership is somehow uniquely connected to God.

[Update: October 31, 2017. Someone at PCG has since corrected the "15 years" statement to "25 years".]

Let us continue with the article.
Historians agree that the seeds of the conflict were sown 15 years before that Opotiki clash. Ironically enough, they were sown in pursuit of peace: Māori chiefs were seeking protection from sailors, convicts and merchants who were bringing strife into their villages. The Māori also wanted security from any potential takeover by colonizing powers such as France, and to bring an end to the intertribal Musket Wars that were killing tens of thousands of their people.
On the other side of the negotiating table were the British who sought to expand the reach of their stabilizing empire.
The author insists that the British had a "stabilizing empire." But this view depends on who you are talking to. In order to rule over so many peoples and territory it was necessary to subvert, cripple or even destroy whatever governmental institutions existed among those persons and within those lands.

PCG and many of the other COGs teach British Israelism, the idea that the white British and American peoples are descendants of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament. Part of their teaching is that when the northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated by the Assyrians in c. 720 BC part of (their version of) God's punishment on this people was to withhold bestowing blessings upon them for 2,520 years until AD 1800 onward. At that point (their version of) God blessed the white British and American peoples with vast material blessings. They insist that the vast colonial expansion of the British Empire was ordained by (their version of) God.

Jacques then mentions that about 535 Māori chiefs and the British signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 but the Māori chiefs were using a version of this document translated into Māori whereas the English version used different words.
But due to mistranslations in the Māori version and misunderstandings, many on the Māori side did not think they were giving up sovereignty. Instead, they believed they were assimilating themselves into the British legal system and giving the British the right to keep the peace, but that the treaty allowed them to maintain the right to rule themselves and to manage their own affairs. ... 
During the months after the treaty was signed, the conflicts caused by these “different understandings” grew increasingly intense. They eventually erupted into war. ... 
And the dispute did not entirely end at the conclusion of the New Zealand Wars. To this day, the Treaty of Waitangi remains the subject of heated debate and disagreement between factions on the two sides. Disputes about the Treaty’s meaning continue to cause strife that is the antithesis of the harmony it was intended to bring about.
Jacques links to an article about remembering the New Zealand Wars of 1845-72 but it seems he has nothing to say about the article's discussion of the pain that the Māori people have endured since those times, an common experience for those who have been colonized over the centuries. That is a shame but unsurprising. Armstrongism's views of British Israelism leads people to think that colonization was a good thing and causes them to ignore what it wrought to the colonized such as the Māori, Native Americans and indigenous Australians.

But Jacques puts aside the issues of colonization to prop up HWA's bizarre claim that in the future there will be one language spoken by all of humanity.
In a world of 6,700 languages and 39,000 distinct dialects, communication problems are inevitable. ... Often, as in the case of translating the English word “sovereignty” into Māori, approximations must be used. ... In most cases, the confusion stays within the realm of embarrassment and inconvenience. But sometimes—as in the example of the Treaty of Waitangi—it ends up veering into more serious territory, and causing long lasting problems.
It is terribly naive to imply that difficulties in translation were "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars. When one overthrows a government by force, such as the governmental institutions that existed among the Māori before colonization, it is not a misunderstanding. It is not because the colonized and the colonizers just spoke different languages. What an absurd thing to say.

Jacques insists that after the second coming all of humanity will speak a common language.
The Bible plainly shows that after Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth, the peoples of all nations will come to speak just one universal language. ... this future worldwide language will also be free of the ambiguity and imperfection that corrupt all modern languages. It will be free of the type of impurities that contributed to the Crown and the Māori lifting up weapons against each other in the New Zealand Wars.
Again, it is naive to imply that "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars and colonization were misunderstandings in a meeting in 1840.

Also why does he think it necessary to destroy all of our languages? Many languages are endangered and many people are struggling to preserve their languages so that the unique insights they contain and the heritage of their ancestors may be preserved. Many languages have already fallen out of use among humanity. It is not good that these communities all over the world are losing their languages. But this dogma of HWA's that there will be one language in the Millennium ignores the problems that the lose of languages presents to all of us.
In the present world, rife with linguistic confusion that contributes to frictions of all kinds, it is difficult to imagine such a bright and harmonious future. But the Bible makes clear that the dawning of that age of pure speech and lasting peace is very near.
HWA's promises, including his insistence that there will be a single language shared by all humanity in the near future, are empty words which will never be fulfilled. It is clear that Jacques' claim that misunderstandings were "the main cause" of the New Zealand Wars is completely wrong.

1 comment:

  1. I don't have a habit of reading the original material. To be honest France and England had been rivals for ages. It would be interesting to read more about if that struggle for domination had also been taken half way around the world. In some of the COG's I have noticed a refreshing take on some of the misdoings of the Anglo Saxon empire, being benign or not. (for instance Jacques mentioning of faulty treaties.) I am awaiting an article on the Boer war.

    In my personal assessment of Armstrongism and HWA as a "visionary" avant la lettre I find that google is already in an advanced state of instant translation of texts and spoken word through technology.

    I remember a lot of funny sermons during the Feast and "joking strife" among ministers from various countries on the topic of what would indeed be the "language of the millenium." Always in good natured and jocular spirit and really funny.

    Of course everyone at the time assumed it would be some form of Hebrew, since it seemed that language was able to convey 9 layers of feelings in 1 single world. Whereas Germanic languages would be very exact in their expressions. That's how I remember it.