Aussie Spirit: Empire Spirit
Australia is becoming a prison colony once more, languishing under lockdowns, mandates and oppressive leaders. But these are just the latest nation-threatening crises Australians are facing. With many more challenges looming, everyday Aussies are approaching the breaking point. They desperately need something. But what?
Although the Dutch and French reached the island continent first, it was the British under Capt. James Cook who first claimed it. This nation was founded in 1788 as a penal colony for British criminals. But far from their homeland, under the burning Australian sun, those early prisoners became pioneers. After serving out their sentences, some went on to become successful and wealthy land owners and cattle drivers. As the classic 1987 Seekers song summarizes it:
I came upon the prison ship, bowed down by iron chains.
I bought the land, endured the lash, and waited for the rains.
I’m a settler, I’m a farmer’s wife, on a dry and barren run.
A convict, then a free man, I became Australian.
Adventurous and entrepreneurial Europeans also made the treacherous voyage Down Under to a harsh yet beautiful untapped land. It yielded up its increase only upon payment of blood, sweat and tears by those who swung the ax and heaved the plow. For all its challenges, Australia provided isolation from war-torn Europe. It was a haven and an opportunity for those seeking a fresh start.
It became known as “the lucky country” due to its location, abundant natural resources, and the profound effort and endurance of early Australians to sacrifice and struggle to claim, settle and make the most of the land. It brought out the best of the Aussie spirit. But there was a much more important factor that determined Australia’s rise.
That factor is also determining Australia’s fall. It’s why the cycle of incarceration has come full circle. Prisoners earned their freedom and built their homes; now their free descendants are willing prisoners, locked up in their own homes.
But we have lost more than just the Aussie spirit.
Victory Under a Union Jack
When World War i began, half a world away, Australia answered the call to defend Britain. In 1914, Australians had convictions and spirit so strong that they sacrificed their lives for their nation and their empire. This nation was one of the few that maintained a purely volunteer military for the entire conflict.
From a population of fewer than 5 million, 416,809 men enlisted. More than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded or captured. Many an Australian soldier returned a changed man. Yet along with the scars of war, each man and woman who fought the fight bore a badge of honor. Australia had answered the call. It had given its sons to unmarked graves on the sandstone cliffs of Gallipoli, the muddy fields of Fromelles and the desolation of Passchendaele. It had helped save both the Empire and the free world from German-European tyranny.
Australians fought and died under the Union Jack. They died for something they believed in: the British Empire and its ideals. Australia still comes to the aid of its allies, but that Empire and those ideals are gone.
Politicians who even speak of war or a fighting spirit today are ridiculed, as Defense Minister Peter Dutton was when suggesting the possibility of war with China over Taiwan. A July 2021 poll by the Australian Institute found just 38 percent of Australians thought the nation should fight China if it invaded Taiwan. It seems only the intrusion of Chinese war vessels near or in Australian waters would peak alarm. Australians are focused on themselves.
Leaving the Empire was smooth. British legislators voted to allow self-governance in the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. Australia is technically a constitutional parliamentary monarchy, and there is a movement to change it completely into a republic. Australians do not realize just what they are leaving behind.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “Britons like [British Prime Minister Winston] Churchill worked and sacrificed for something far greater than themselves. They believed not only in the glory of the Empire but also what it had done for the world and what it could do for the future” (Royal Vision, November-December 2021).
This is what motivated the best of the Aussie spirit. A belief in finding and pursuing what is right, not just for your family but for your empire and for the benefit of the human race. That quest and that fight was based in large part on the Holy Bible.
Today, most people in the Commonwealth hate the British Empire. They consider colonialism shameful. Yet just a few generations ago, their forebears lived and died for it. “In a world with many peoples who had barbaric and beastly practices, the Empire could provide freedom and direction that would civilize and ennoble people, as well as protect them from exploitation and tyranny” (ibid).
Why can’t Australia muster the courage to stand for freedom anymore? Why has the Aussie spirit become so diminished? The nation has lost its empire vision! That means it is losing its vision of the future.
‘With All Her Faults We Love Her Still’
Most Australians know the national anthem, “Advance Australia Fair.” It is the first verse of a colonial-era song written by Scottish-born colonialist Peter Dodds McCormick in 1878. Yet nobody knows or sings the original version.
Here is the second verse as it was first written:
When gallant Cook from Albion sail’d to trace wide oceans o’er,
True British courage bore him on til he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England’s flag, the standard of the brave;
‘With all her faults we love her still. ‘Britannia rules the wave.’
In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance, Australia fair.
Such a love of England and of empire is anathema to modern Australia. We have allowed our collective education and conscience to be turned against it. The history of the positive impact of the Empire or even of Australia has been replaced by Aboriginal history. The Empire is frowned on, its shortcomings magnified. There were of course problems, as with all systems of government ruled by flawed human beings. Yet why such venomous hatred for a power that lifted entire continents out of barbarism and gave health, education, prosperity, freedom and pursuit of higher ideals to tens of millions of citizens across hundreds of years?
Churchill called people who opposed the expansion of the British Empire “little Englanders.” Australia has become a nation of people who are not only content to pursue selfish interests but who think that sacrificing and even fighting to spread virtues to other human beings is a terrible evil.
Australia has lost her history, lost her depth, lost her purpose. Without British history, Australia is just an isolated island nation in the South Pacific with no real connection to the world.
McCormick’s final edit to “Advance Australia Fair” was to include the following:
Britannia then shall surely know, beyond wide oceans roll,
Her sons in fair Australia’s land still keep a British soul.
Australians have been taught to hate that soul. Many Australians are so far removed from their forebears that they openly advocate new anthems and new flags, rubbishing the last vestiges of a British past. Yes, the British Empire was an imperfect tool, yet with it God made Australia!
God Save the Queen
Popularity for the monarch holds a slim majority in Australia. A 2019 poll by the Australian National University found that just 51 percent of Australians favor keeping Queen Elizabeth ii as head of state. Another poll in January 2021 found one third of Australians support a republic. At the highest levels of government, leaders are openly discussing becoming a republic once Her Majesty dies. There is no love for the heir to the throne, Prince Charles.
Over her long rule, the Queen has become synonymous with British rule. People like her personality. They are loyal to the leader, but not the throne itself.
Secession may not change much in the day-to-day lives of Australians, but it would signal a break from a monarch far more important than the Queen: Almighty God.
It was God who gave Britain that throne, a seat of authority that can be traced right back through history to King David (article, page 11). Australians’ history with the throne is their history with God! It points Australia to its true origins—not to a penal colony, or even to Britain, but to God’s chosen nation: Israel!
In 721–718 b.c., the kingdom of Israel was conquered and removed from its land by the Assyrian Empire. Israelite captives were forced to migrate north and west. A few generations later, the kingdom of Judah was conquered and taken captive by the Babylonian Empire. Yet these peoples survived! And so too did the throne of David! God had promised that this throne would carry on forever! (see 2 Samuel 7:12-16). Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States are all among the modern descendants of ancient Israel. And for centuries, that throne was the British throne.
Separating from that throne means separating from our history with the glorious God!
Australia has been walking away from God for many years.
In 2007, Australia was suffering through a severe drought. “It’s very serious, it’s unprecedented in my lifetime, and I really feel very deeply for the people affected,” Prime Minister John Howard said in an extraordinary televised statement. “So we should all, literally and without any irony, pray for rain over the next six to eight weeks.” It rained.
Yet that same year, John Howard lost not only the federal election but also his seat in Parliament. We have had six prime ministers since that time. And we have had more droughts, more bushfires, more floods—but not one national call to prayer.
Australia has lost touch with the one who created the nation, nurtured it and blessed it—the one who can and does intervene in our lives both nationally and individually! God promises blessings for obedience and promises curses for disobedience. Australia is passing up the blessings God promised to Israel and its descendants. The nation is walking away from its empire, its throne and its God.
Feeding the Chinese Dragon
Instead of holding to its allies and brothers in England, Canberra is turning instead to foreigners who do not have Australia’s interests at heart.
China’s rapid rise initially appeared as a blessing to Australia. Here was a large power right on Australia’s periphery that was hungry for resources, and Australia has a smorgasbord of them. When the financial collapse of 2008 hit the globe, Australia carried on. China buoyed the economy by voraciously buying up as much iron and natural gas as Australia could extract from the ground. Everyone was thankful to have such an eager trade partner in the region.
As the Chinese middle class expanded, so too did their stake in the Australian residential market. Left, right and center, the Chinese eagerly bought up property. The resulting property boom is still being felt today, with the median house price in Sydney now well over au$1 million.
As the Chinese dragon grew, alarm bells began to ring. Chinese interests expanded to other properties: cattle stations, dairy farms, vineyards, forests, mines. More alarming, China has worked to buy electrical grids in numerous states, and to make purchases that directly conflict with Australian national security interests. It has bought century-long leases on the Port of Darwin; the island of Keswick, Australia’s largest coal port; and an airstrip near Australia’s only submarine base.
Meanwhile, Australian politicians have lined their pockets with Chinese money. Until a scathing Four Corners report in 2017, Australian law permitted unrestricted international political donations. As such, wealthy Chinese businessmen, who are ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, were able to buy the nation out from under its own feet. More than one Australian politician has retired and accepted employment with the very Chinese companies now running these facilities.
God calls Ephraim, the ancient forefather of Britons and Australians, a “silly dove” for trusting in surrounding nations (Hosea 7:11). By leaning so heavily on China, Australia is playing a reckless, dangerous game. Many other nations have played the same game with China and lost.
Across the Pacific, small island nations have accepted Chinese offers to build ports, airports and other infrastructure. When these nations fail to repay Chinese loans, China seizes the infrastructure. This debt-trap diplomacy is building the Chinese Communist Party its own 21st-century silk road.
Australia is falling prey to such traps. China is its largest trade partner, and Australians have walked a fine line between keeping that partner happy and supporting traditional allies. China now has enormous economic leverage over Australia. This was highlighted by the heavy tariffs and embargoes China levied on key Australian products after Australian leaders dared question its role in the outbreak of covid-19.
On a more global scale, China banned the export of urea phosphate, a key component for late-model diesel engines. It produces 80 percent of the supply in the Asia-Pacific region. Without this fuel additive, half of Australia’s trucking fleet will be grounded, risking a potential supply chain collapse. As of mid-December, Australia had just eight weeks’ supply remaining. The ban shows just how beholden to China Australia has become.
And Then Came COVID
When the coronavirus “plandemic” began, Australia was inflicted with a terrible sickness. But it wasn’t coronavirus. It was a disease of government. A weak federal government was quick to subcontract the pandemic response to the individual states. Yet without national consensus, and no doubt fearing political reprisal, state premiers leaned heavily on advice from medical experts that lacked all perspective and balance. Thus began the reign of the health minister. Suddenly, unelected bureaucrats nobody had heard of were revoking the basic freedoms of Australians everywhere in the most stringent, least fact-based lockdown laws in the world. Premiers from both sides of the political aisle happily complied, as this fit neatly with their leftist ideals. The response to covid-19 has highlighted the fact that conservatism no longer exists in Australia’s largest political parties.
With a federal government missing in action, individual states have freely trampled on the individual liberties of the people they took an oath to serve.
First came travel restrictions. Borders closed. Planes were grounded. Then the masks came on, and 2-meter social distancing was mandated. Then 4-meter distancing. Then 2-meter distancing again. Then directives to eat sitting down, not standing up. The outright bizarre and illogical quickly turned sinister. In South Australia, residents quarantined at home were forced to display signs indicating their status. This was to aid locals in reporting to authorities anyone who breached their home quarantine.
One man chose to leave quarantine, sneeze in an elevator, and go about his life. He instantly became public enemy No. 1. In the Northern Territory, three teenagers who tested negative to coronavirus sparked police blockades and road closures when they broke out of a quarantine facility.
Communist-ruled Victoria implemented the most stringent lockdown measures, confining residents to a 5-kilometer radius for months on end. Wherever citizens mustered enough Aussie spirit to protest, the police moved in with surprising force. Riot police shot rubber bullets at unarmed protesters from point-blank range. Officers threw elderly ladies to the ground and pepper-sprayed them.
Then came mandates. Mandatory vaccination for anyone working in hospitals. Then it was schools. Then cafés and restaurants. Then any premises regularly accessed by the general public. Under dolled-up politicians speaking condescending words, authoritarianism has descended upon Australia. A campaign of fear and intimidation has pushed vaccinations while pointedly ignoring both the extremely low covid numbers and the terrible side effects of the vaccine.
In Queensland, the federal and state governments are quickly building quarantine camps containing permanent structures surrounded by double electric fences. Such facilities indicate a long-term enforcement of draconian measures against the unvaccinated.
Interstate travel is banned for most unvaccinated Australians, with those who are allowed to cross a state border facing quarantine. The unvaccinated are being aggressively separated into a different class, a class that is banned from cafés, pubs, clubs, sporting facilities and other public spaces.
The Aussie spirit has been smothered by power-drunk leaders who are intent on building a Communist Australia. And a docile public sits back and watches it happen.
We are witnessing the fulfillment of Isaiah 3. The Prophet Isaiah warned that in the latter days the descendants of Israel would be cursed with oppressive leadership. “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (verse 12).
The Ferrar Fenton translates God’s response in verse 15: “How dare you My people crush down, and grind on the face of the weak?” God is upset with the leaders grinding people down and crushing them with oppressive rule. But God is also upset with the people. They have forgotten Him!
Australia cannot afford to forget its history. Not just the history of the anzacs who fought and died for freedom. Not just the history of the British Empire that brought education and light to a dark world. Not even the history of the pioneers who crossed oceans and forged a new nation. Australia must remember—or learn for the first time—its history with God.
If Australia would go back to that history, it would see that we need more than just an Aussie spirit—or even a spirit of empire—to survive and overcome this dark world. We need a different spirit: one of humility before our Creator! We need faith, obedience and righteousness before God.
Jesus Christ is about to return to this Earth. All mankind will soon learn their history! And they will learn about the marvelous future God has in store. You can learn it today! There is a God who blesses for obedience and curses for disobedience. That same God who can bless nations wants to bless you!