A Contemplation on the theological important of “Land” in PNG Perspective
This paper is a theological contemplation on the significance of land and the natural resources in Papua New Guinea position. Papua New Guinea ( PNG ) is one of the three cultural groups that make up Melanesia. The first group is called Micronesia. The 2nd group is called Polynesia. And the 3rd group is call Melanesia whereby PNG is portion of. The theological important of land in PNG position will ship with the definition of land and so travel on mentioning some the scriptural mentions to the land. The author will utilize scriptural mentions as the footing of the contemplation and so travel on to indicate out the theological facets of the important of land in the PNG context.
Land is a really rich...
scriptural phenomenon whereby it plays a cardinal portion in determining the Christian divinity from the creative activity to the eschatology. Land is a cardinal subject in the treble promise to Abraham and finally ends in eschatology in the terminal times in the book of disclosure. It is the vanishing of land that signifies the terminal times. Central to the Melanesian societies peculiarly from the PNG position, land takes a outstanding topographic point. For them, land is life. For PNG, Land reveals God, land speaks of eschatology. The get downing point for any Melanesians divinities and spiritualty is the construct of land.
Definition of Land
Land is defined by the Webster’s New Dictionary and Thesaurus, A concise edition as the solid part of the earth’s surface ; land or dirt. It is a portion of the universe that is land instead than sea or air.
The usage of the construct land in this article refers to the surface of the Earth and all that it contains, like minerals, forest, mountains, rivers, coasts, reefs, ocean floor.
Biblical Foundations of Land
Creation of land ( Gen 1:1-31 )
Land is a really rich scriptural world and therefore it is a theological phenomenon. Land is one of the world that was the first to be created. ( Gen1:1-2 ) . Land takes a outstanding topographic point in the sacred Bibles. Land is placed at the really introductory pages of the bible, or better still, land is strategically place in the first chapter and first poetries in the book of Genesis. ( Gen1:1 ) In the creative activity narrative, out of the 30 one verses in the first chapter of Genesis, Land was reference 22 times. This means that merely 9 poetries are without the reference of the land. This signify that land is an of import constituent of the creative activity event.
The promise of land ( Gen12:1-2 )
We have it in the 12th chapter of the book of Genesis “Now, the Lord said to Abram, ‘Get out of your state, from your household, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will demo you, I will do you a great nation’” ( Gen 12: 1-2 ) “ to your descendants I will give this land” ( Gen 12:7 ) . In obeisance based on deep religion and trust to God, Abraham left his familiar environment, comfort and take a hazard to go more than 500 stat mis [ 1 ] in to the wilderness 4,000 old ages BC [ 2 ] in chase of
the fulfillment of the treble promise. Still within the same book, we see another mention to set down as an of import subject. The land is explicitly promised to Abraham. In the treble promise to Abraham, land took another outstanding topographic point ( Gen12:7, Gen13:15, Gen15:18, ) . Land was singled out and peculiarly promised by God to Abraham and his descendants once more signifies the significance of land.
Eschatological character of land ( Rev6:14 )
We established that land was treated in the first book of the Bibles. The construct of land tallies throughout the bible. Without bias to the other mentions in the Bibles, land is finally presented as portion of the disclosure episode of the eschatology to John in the last book of the bible to mean the terminal times. ( Rev 6:14 ) ….. We can state that the Bibles begins with the construct of land and concludes once more with the construct of land. Land opens the door and closes the door of the Bibles.
The Theological Significance of Land
Land and Divine bid ( Gen 1:27-28 )
In the book of Genesis harmonizing to the Jerusalem Bible it says “God created adult male in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God bless them, stating to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, make full the Earth and conquer it’” ( Gen 1:27-28a ) . In other interlingual rendition, the word subdue is used in the topographic point of conquer the Earth. This is a bid addressed to humanity through Adam and Eve. Therefore, the bid was supposingly address non merely to Adam and Eve, but
it is a bid that is inclusive to the entire humanity
Conformity to Divine bid to make full the Earth
As we have pointed out above “Be fruitful, multiply, make full the Earth and subdue it” ( Gen1:28a ) is a godly bid to Adam and Eve, in the name of humanity at big, this commands to “fill the earth“ was earnestly followed by the first colonists of the Melanesians group of people. These first colonists had to forcefully happen agencies and ways to put pes on the shores of PNG in conformity to the bid. For the instance of PNG, the first colonists followed the Godhead bid to “fill the earth” was achieved when they foremost set pes on the shores of PNG. The archeological grounds suggest that the first colonists reached the shores of PNG on some signifier of tonss [ 3 ] at least 40 1000 ( 40,000 ) old ages ago or more [ 4 ] . Having followed the Godhead bid, the early colonists explore the land, colonize it, subdue it and finally have it. It is evidenced that the agribusiness site at Kup [ 5 ] in the Highlands country of PNG since 10,000 old ages ago [ 6 ] is the grounds of the 2nd bid to “conquer or repress the land and lean it” when they explore the land and moved from the coastal countries in to the backwoods countries. And to this twenty-four hours, the land ownership rights of the autochthonal Papua New Guineans was a 40 1000 ( 40,000 ) old ages old ownership rights. In the fulfillment of the bid to “fill the Earth and subdue
it” ( Gen1:28 ) . The PNG people have “filled” certain portion of the Earth and repress the land for the last 40 ( 40,000 ) thousand old ages.
Theological Significant of Land & A ; it’s ownership in PNG position
Central to the Melanesian divinities, Melanesian Religions, Melanesian spiritualties, Melanesian Cultures, Melanesian sociologies, Melanesian Myths and finally Melanesian life whereby PNG is portion of, stands the construct of land. In short, for Melanesians, land is life in all its facets. To take away land is to kill the people. At this occasion, land is owned or subdued by the autochthonal people for the last 40 1000 ( 40,000 ) old ages. In this instance as we speak, through the customary land term of office system. It was for the last 40 thousand old ages, the autochthonal people subdue the land and 100 % own the land. It was merely 200 old ages ago during colonial yearss and missional yearss that the colonial province get 3 % of the land from the autochthonal people. Therefore, to this twenty-four hours, 97 % of the full land mass is subdued by the people while the province through the procedure of land disaffection system owned mere 3 % . It is hard for the province to get land from the customary land proprietors. The ground being that land is a common belongings and is owned by the kins and folks. This stands a good opportunity of dissension and no consensus for any land purchase in PNG. The province and any developer must seek consent of the people for any land mobilization plans. To this twenty-four hours, the autochthonal people of
PNG claimed 40 1000 ( 40,000 ) old ages of being and Land ownership rights. They became Christians merely less than 200 old ages ago [ 7 ] . They became autonomous and independent province of Papua New Guinea merely 40 old ages ago on the 16Thursdayof September 1975. Finally, we may state that PNG is little in Nation, immature in Christianity and mature in being.
Land Ownership Rights Documentations
Unlike the Israelites where by the promise of land and state is sealed by a compact between them and Yahweh ( Ex24:1-8 ) . For PNG, the fulfillment of the bid to make full and repress the land is documented and kept as “verbal record” inscribed in their different creative activity myths. The fulfillment of the bid to make full the Earth and repress it was besides documented as “living record” through the customary land ownership rights of the folks and kin systems practised by the people of PNG for the last 40 1000 ( 40,000 ) old ages. The ownership and repressing rights of land is farther “administrated and governed” through the cultural practises which are really much alive to this twenty-four hours in PNG.
From PNG position, the bid to ‘fill the Earth and subdue it, is ne'er directed to the inceptions like States ( Government ) , private concerns and few land Godheads, but to human existences who subsequently organise themselves as province and concerns and so on and so forth. Therefore, it is merely right for such establishments to liberate the land and return it back to the people to truly repress it and lean it in fulfillment of the bid for their endurance
and should poverty rate is to be reduced. The provinces whereby the natural resources a identified must esteem the want of the Godhead to apportion portion equity to the custodian kins and folks and people in general and listen to their aspirations and take them onboard for determination devising to exert their land repressing authorization.
Land- A Divine Gift to Custodians
Central to the Melanesian myths is the land and how it came to be. We have established that land and natural resources were created and later were given to worlds as generous gift like the Christian creative activity narrative ( Gen1:28 ) . Therefore, it follows on that worlds are to repress the land and the natural resources as these were designated to them for their usage and they were mandated to take attention of them as keepers. To be abide by the wants of the Godhead that land and all that it contains is for all, the ownership rights of land and natural resources are common belongingss owned by the kins and folks at big. Land and natural resources are ne'er a private belongingss as the instance of PNG and whole of Melanesia at big. So, it is imperative to understand that worlds are merely custodian of the land and natural resources. Because worlds are merely keepers, their utilizations rights of these resources is regulated and has to be manage harmonizing to the want of the proprietor who is the Godhead himself.
Enough for all
It follows on that because land and the natural resources is intended for the usage of all, it is presumed to be adequate for everybody to utilize every bit much as we
need harmonizing to the unknown program of the proprietor as to what of all time clip He intended, may be until the terminal of the universe. Because the utilizations right of the keepers is regulated presuppose that the proprietor of natural resources intends the usage of the natural resources as for all non single or minority. The usage of the natural resources for all suggest that people now and people in the hereafter. Having said that, careful planning is require to reap the natural resources and non to be pressured by the demands of the universe market and moneymaking high monetary values and started reaping one undertaking after the other. The natural resources are the wealth of the people and the state and they are here to remain hence why we want to reap them all at the same time, Let these wealth remain invested in the “word bank” Internet Explorer. ( land, the bank of God ) instead than in the universe bank where rusts and moths can destruct them, or people can steal them ( Mt 16:19 ) .
Land – A Disclosure of God and Heaven
The apprehension of the Godhead, the Eden and spirit for Christians is intrinsic to the narrative of the land ( Gen1: 1-31 ) . It is the myth of the creative activity of land that people came to cognize Gods and religious universe ( celestial spheres ) . So it is appropriate to state that the disclosure of God is the land and all that it contains in the natural environment. In Christian divinity of creative activity, Land reveals to us the Godhead ( Gen1:1-2 ) . In
the Melanesian myths about the beginning, land reveals the Godhead. The character of Land Tells us something about God, therefore land finally reveals God to us. When we see the ocean, the desert, the virgin wood and other natural resources and minerals they remind us of God who created them. Worlds can non claim to hold cognition of God without the narrative of the land. It is the narrative of the beginning of the land that worlds can clearly cognize God, Holy Spirit, Trinity and the Heavenly Eden. This disclosure reached its comprehensiveness in Jesus Christ, the exclusive go-between of disclosure of God. In the old testament and in the early church, people encounter God in the land. The narrative of Moses is one typical illustration of this proposition. Therefore, land reveals God and Heaven to us
Land – An Eschatological arrow
Land is served herewith as a mark station of eschatology or terminal times. It is our Christian belief that the terminal times will see the disappearing of the Earth. Harmonizing to the book of Revelation, John had a vision of the terminal times when the 6th seal was opened. “I looked up when he opens the 6th seal, and behold, there was a greatEarth temblor; and the Sun became black as sackcloth of air, and the Moon became like blood. And the stars of the celestial spheres fell to the Earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty air current. Then the sky resend like a coil when it is rolled up, andevery mountain and island was moved out of it topographic point” ( Rev 6:12-17 )
. Equally long as the land remain integral, worlds perceived that the terminal times is yet to come. Peoples will cognize as to when the terminal of clip is at terminal is through the behavior of the land.
Land – An Eschatological Dwellings
From the Melanesian and peculiarly PNG position, it is the land that provides the homes infinite for the many liquors and forces. Melanesians believed that certain parts of land is the brooding topographic point for the liquors both natural liquors or the liquors of the dead people. This is another component of the eschatological character of land. The belief in the Melanesian society holds that the natural liquors and the liquors of the death people resides in certain parts of the land. That is celestial homes for the liquors of the dead people. This is usually on mountain tops at a distant topographic point. They believed that it is in that portion of the land that we will fall in the liquors of the dead when we die. In our Christian religion, we believe that the psyche of the dead find their topographic point in Eden. The Eden being the topographic point of the psyche of the dead is a credo that we profess. Therefore It is logically follows that from the Melanesian land divinity position for the last 40,000 old ages, land is heavenly topographic point whereby the liquors of the dead dwells ( spirit universe ) . That is how the Christian thought and construct of celestial spheres make sense to them.
Land- A Sacred Reality
In the Melanesian context, and cardinal to their Melanesians beliefs is that land is sacred. For them Land
and all that it contains as natural resources are sacred and has religious value. The are other points that support the belief that land is sacred. Land provides cultural significance to the liquors. Land provide sacred infinite whereby rites are performed, Land is natural shrines. This belief that land is sacred can be seen from the old testament in the narrative of the combustion shrub when God himself says” Moses, Moses, he said, Here I am he answered, come no close, he said, Take off your places, for the topographic point on which you are standing is a holy ground” ( Ex3:5 ) . And in the Gospel of John it saysThe natural characteristics and scene of one’s environing called “environment” has the influence and capacity to determine 1s divinity and spiritualty. The mystics did non physically drift in to the skys in order to be in brush with God, instead some went in to the desert [ 8 ] , or undermine, or the mountains tops in purdah. To be in the desert give you the “wonder of awe” of the desert. For those in the ocean would travel to an outer island to look beyond the skylines of the ocean, the seas, while those in the mountains would travel higher to the highest mountain to hold an over position of the lower lands.
Land - A Life Being
In the PNG divinity, land is a life being whereby at all times people must harmonize it with diligence and due regard it deserves. The PNG divinity perceives land to hold hears to listen, eyes to see, feelings to experience so much so that land can revenge
if abused or treated without regard. Land can be friendly and bring forth good crop if treated with regard it deserves or land can be aggressive and react by bring forthing really small crop if land is upset. Land slide violent death of people is interpreted as land is disquieted Idaho is contending. These are some signifiers of communicating between the people and the land. Peoples would speak to the land and in return listen to the land. Peoples believed that we can detect if the land is happy or the land is angry.
Land was and is still a rich biblical and theological phenomena. From the PNG position, land is a cardinal and outstanding portion of their lives. Their divinities, spiritualise, beliefs, civilizations and myths draws its footing from the land. Therefore, land is beloved to the people of PNG
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