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Dr. Brash and the exclusivity of God.

Dr. Brash and the exclusivity of God.

Dr. Don Brash, who was interviewed by North and South magazine, when asked about his religious beliefs denied the validity of prayer or even its possibility: "If you mean, 'Do I believe there is a supernatural being with whom I can talk', then no."

Brash seems to have had a change of heart and according the Herald had actually prepared a prayer for a church service at Waitangi, though he was not given an opportunity to pray his prayer. Brash’s prayer is quite revealing.

Firstly we have to ask has he changed his mind about the existence of a being with whom he can have a conversation. If he has, should this not be big news? If the Prime Minster an atheist/agnostic also started praying, that would be big news would it not? Should not the media have reported on this amazing conversion? Which church is Dr. Brash now attending? Does he do weddings? Strangely the media is silent on this Damascus Road experience.

Brash’s new god is also exclusive, which is hardly pc. Brash comments: “we worship the God of all New Zealanders who made the land, the seabed and the foreshore”. Apparently those present were believed by Brash to worship the same God. Yet this is not true of those who hold to Maori pagan belief. Traditional Maori belief is in many gods. Then there are the Buddhists, Hindus, Japanese ancestor worshippers, Wiccans and witches and other assorted multi-god devotees. Yet Don will only have one God who created the land, the seabed and the foreshore. We must conclude that Dr. Brash either denies that those polytheists who live here actually worship the true God, since he says that we all worship the same God, singular, or he is speaking with forked tongue.

Brash also believes in creation. Does this mean that he actually avows that this one God made all that there is? It seems so. So the big-bang theorists who do without the need of a god are no doubt disappointed that Don has become a creationist. And if Don actually does believe in the one God, which is the same as my God, then he must reject evolution also. I am heartened by these insights Dr. Brash is now entertaining.

But Brash is even more specific about this god he wants to pray to. He says “that we have all sinned, Ngapuhi and Scotsmen, Maori and European, and that we have to do better”. Yes he believes in the concept of sin, and in the fall of man. He seems to have the Bible in mind: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Again this excludes those religions who do not believe in the concept of sin. Certainly the God of the Bible teaches us that “all have sinned”, but this is not a universal concept in all religions. He also seems to be alluding to the God of the Scotsmen and therefore assuming the God of the Presbyterians. Dr. Brash’s father was a Presbyterian minister, so perhaps Don is returning to his roots?

However, I am sceptical. Has Dr. Brash really changed his views about God? Was he really trying to have a conversation with God, or was this mere pomp and show and piffle? I suspect it is the latter and for this reason I deduce that unless Brash does indeed acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ (and therefore the One True God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit) that Christians will see through this charade for what it is. The Christian vote will not be won in the way of hypocrisy.

Garnet Milne Monday, 7 February 2005

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