The DaVinci Inquest part 6
Sex and the Goddess
by Greg Hanson
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
June 18, 2006
Hebrews 13:1-9 (NLT)
Last week we started to
talk about what Dan Brown in The DaVinci Code calls “the Sacred
Feminine.” And we looked at how he used that term in reference to
women. He claims that women have been oppressed and destroyed by the
Church whereas Pagan religions and Gnosticism elevate them. And what we
discovered by looking at Scripture and history is that the complete
opposite is true. Paganism and Gnosticism actually demean women,
treating them only as inferior property and as objects for sexual
fulfillment. Jesus, the Bible and the Church, on the other hand,
elevate women and acknowledge that men and women, though we are
different, are created equal and we all have intrinsic value because of
that. Jesus Himself set the example by esteeming women and including
them as His followers… something unheard of in the first century. And
there are several examples of honoured women both in Scripture and
throughout Church history.
Oh, there are exceptions to that. We talked about that, too. We saw how
there have been some embarrassing episodes and eras in Church History
when women were not treated with dignity and respect. But we also saw
that while those exceptions exist and are inexcusable, they are not
even close to the levels that Dan Brown claims in The DaVinci Code. And
we even saw, despite these exceptions, that Christian influence is the
primary reason that women experience their right to vote today.
Whenever Christianity has been introduced into a society, women have
All of that was last week as we talked about the Sacred Feminine as it
relates to women. If you missed that message, you can read or listen to
it on our website, just like you can with all the messages from this
series. But there’s another way in which Dan Brown uses that term, too.
In addition to using “Sacred Feminine” to define women, he uses it in
reference to goddess worship… worship of female gods. Both in the book
and in interviews, Dan Brown has talked about ancient pagan religions
which included goddess worship, and he has expressed a desire to return
to those days. He also claims that goddess worship was part of ancient
Judaism and early Christianity, and sex rituals were part of their
worship. And then he accuses the Church of wiping out goddess worship
and suppressing the Sacred Feminine because the male leaders in the
early church felt threatened by it. He believes the men forced a power
play so that they could have control.
So that’s what we’re going to talk about this week… Sex and the
Goddess. In Dan Brown’s eyes, these are tied together, and so we’re
going to address both of them this morning. And let’s begin by looking
at one of the claims of the book. In the book, Robert Langdon is a
Harvard professor and he explains…
believed that the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple housed not only
God but also His powerful female equal, Shekinah. Men seeking spiritual
wholeness came to the Temple to visit priestesses— or hierodules— with
whom they made love and experienced the divine through physical union.
The Jewish tetragrammaton YHWH— the sacred name of God— in fact derived
from Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah
and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah.”
~ The DaVinci Code, p. 309
Okay, well, let’s just
start with a fact check… just to get a couple things out of the way.
The word Shekinah… what is it? What does it mean? Well, Shekinah was
not a word found in any Jewish Scripture. That means it’s not in our
Old Testament, either. And remember, we have manuscripts dating back to
well before Dan Brown claims the Christian Church edited the
Scriptures. The word Shekinah was never used in any Jewish or Christian
Where it was used, was in some later Jewish textbooks or commentaries
explaining the Scriptures. But even then, it’s never used as a name.
The word itself means “glory” or “radiance” or “presence”, and it was
used to refer to the visible examples of the presence of God. For
example, when the Israelites were led through the wilderness by a cloud
or by a pillar of fire, that was the Shekinah or the visible presence
of the glory of God. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush,
that was the Shekinah or the visible presence of God.
Now, the word Shekinah is a feminine word. But that doesn’t mean
anything. If you remember studying French is school, you’ll remember
that in many languages there are words that are masculine or feminine,
and it doesn’t matter what the context is. For example, a book in
French is masculine… “un livre”. It could be a Harlequin romance novel,
and it’s still “un livre”. So the word Shekinah was never even used as
a name, let alone as a name for a goddess.
But there’s another word that Dan Brown refers to that we do use as a
name. It’s the name Jehovah. Would it surprise you to learn that
Jehovah is not actually the name of God, though? Let me back up. In the
Old Testament, God gave us His Personal Name, which is really
unpronounceable so we call it the tetragrammaton, or “the word with
four letters”. Here it is… YHWH. We don’t really know the
pronunciation, but a common rendering is Yahweh. And it’s used more
than 6800 times in the Hebrew Bible. Remember the commandment about not
misusing the name of God or taking it in vain? Well, the Jews were so
scared of doing that that they refused to even attempt it. Instead,
they would substitute the word “Adonai” which means “My Lord”.
Well, sometime in the first century, a group called the Masoretes
started to take the markings for the vowels from Adonai and added them
to YHWH to remind themselves to say “Adonai” when reading the
Scriptures in public. Then, when it was being translated into English,
the translators were not aware of this and thus mixed the consonants
and vowels together to come up with something like Yahovah, which with
transliteration became Jehovah. But it wasn’t even a word until at
least the 13th century, and wasn’t common until the 16th century.
[The Jewish tetragrammaton YHWH— the sacred name of God— in fact
derived from Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the
masculine Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah.”
So let’s go back to Dan Brown’s claim. And again, this is just to be
factual. He says that the tetragrammaton came from the name Jehovah.
Actually, the opposite is true.
And I don’t even know where he’s getting the idea that Jehovah is a
combination of Jah and Havah. Besides, Eve’s name was actually Hawâ,
(yes, pronounced Havah), and it’s in Hebrew. I don’t know what he’s
referring to when he says it’s pre-Hebraic.
All right, now we can talk about Dan Brown’s claims about goddess
worship among the ancient Jews and early Christians. In the quote we
looked at earlier, he claimed that early Jews believed that the Holy of
Holies, or the innermost and most sacred place in Solomon’s Temple, was
the dwelling place for two deities… God and His female counterpart,
Shekinah. We’ve already established that Shekinah wasn’t the name of
any goddess. But still, did the Jews worship a female goddess?
Well, the simple answer is, “no.” It was never part of Jewish belief
that there was a female goddess.
But that’s a little too simple of an answer. Because the truth is,
there were times when the Jews did worship goddesses in the Jewish
temple. But what you need to understand is that it was never part of
Judaism. It only took place when the Jews turned their backs on Judaism
and decided to indulge in the Pagan religions of the surrounding
peoples. Hold on to that… we’ll come back to it.
The fact is, Judaism is and always has been monotheistic. That means,
they believe in only one God. And that goes back to the earliest Jewish
Exodus 20:1-3 (NLT)
Then God instructed the people as follows:
“I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. Do not
worship any other gods besides me.”
And as for the early Christians, Jesus Himself said…
Mark 12:29-30 (NLT)
“The most important commandment is this:
‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you
must love the Lord your God…”
He’s the one and only Lord… there’s only one God. But Dan Brown would
argue that a male God needs a female counterpart. But the Bible doesn’t
teach that. Instead, it teaches something much more radical. Not that
God is a boy, and that in order to balance it out, He needs a wife, but
that God Himself is the fullness of maleness and femaleness together.
Now, we call him “He” because we don’t have a personal pronoun for
“it”. An “it” would be a non-person, and so that won’t work. And so we
refer to God as “He” and “Him.” And we even call Him “Father.” But that
does not mean that He is male. In Him is wrapped up everything it means
to be male and female. And that’s not a new teaching. That’s
traditional Church and basic Bible teaching.
Genesis 1:27 (NLT)
So God created people in his own image; God
patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.
So both men and women are made in His image. God is the fullness of
what it means to be male and female. God is not a male God who needs a
wife to be complete. God is complete in and of Himself.
But even so, Dan Brown’s not completely wrong about the early
Christians. I’m sure some of them did worship other gods and goddesses,
too. Remember, many of the people who were becoming Christians had been
active in worshipping in Pagan religions. For example, in the city of
Corinth, there were temples to the gods Poseidon, Apollo, and Hermes as
well as the goddesses of Isis and Aphrodite, plus several others. In
Ephesus, Paul incited a riot among the worshippers of the goddess
Artemis, because they were afraid of losing their influence and the
idol-makers were afraid of losing their jobs.
So, many people coming to Christianity were coming out of pagan belief
systems. And I’m sure it was difficult for some of them. I’m sure some
of them went back and forth for a bit. But understand, it was never
part of Christian teaching to worship two gods.
Of course, the Gnostics also worshipped multiple gods. But their
theology emerged later and was never accepted by the Christian church.
The Bible On Sex:
So what about this whole
thing of sacred sex rituals? We’ve already read the claim that men
would come to the temple and have sex with priestesses in order to
encounter God. Here’s what else The DaVinci Code says…
hallowed act of Hieros Gamos— the natural sexual union between man and
woman through which each became spiritually whole— had been recast as a
shameful act. Holy men who had once required sexual union with their
female counterparts to commune with God now feared their natural sexual
urges as the work of the devil, collaborating with his favorite
~ The DaVinci Code, p. 125-126
had nothing to do with eroticism. It was a spiritual act. Historically,
intercourse was the act through which male and female experienced God…
By communing with woman… man could achieve a climactic instant when his
mind went totally blank and he could see God… For obvious reasons, [the
Church] worked hard to demonize sex and recast it as a disgusting and
~ The DaVinci Code, p. 309
Well here’s a talk I
never thought I’d have to give. But here we go. According to The
DaVinci Code, sex was a form of worship called Hieros Gamos practiced
by ancient Jews in the Temple and even by early Christians, and it was
a way for them to encounter God. If you’ve read the book, then you know
that according to Dan Brown, a couple would have sex while others stood
around and watched. And according to Brown, the male-dominated early
Church was threatened by this and set out to suppress it.
Well, first of all, if this really was a valid form of communing with
God, then just being a guy, I don’t think it would have been oppressed.
That just doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, it could be quite a drawing
card. And it was a common practice in most pagan religions.
But the truth is, it was not a Jewish practice. In fact, the Old
Testament clearly forbade the Jews from participating in any such
Deuteronomy 23:17 (NLT)
“No Israelite man or woman may ever become a
But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try it. Remember, there were other
people in the area who had their own religions. And periodically, the
Jews abandoned their beliefs in order to try out some of those pagan
belief systems. One example would be when they turned away from
worshipping God and began to worship Baal and Asherah. But then, King
Josiah came along and brought the people back to God again…
2 Kings 23:4,7 (NLT)
Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high
priest and the leading priests and the Temple gatekeepers to remove
from the LORD’s Temple all the utensils that were used to worship Baal,
Asherah, and all the forces of heaven. The king had all these things
He also tore down the houses of the shrine prostitutes that were inside
the Temple of the LORD…
So yes, the Israelites did participate in a form of Hieros Gamos, but
certainly not as any form of Judaism. It was only when they turned to
Pagan worship themselves.
And let’s consider the New Testament setting. At that time, sex was
still a common form of worship in the existing pagan religions…
especially in cases like the worship of Aphrodite, the goddess of love
and beauty. According to some ancient texts, a temple of Aphrodite
stood on top of this hill in Corinth (the Acrocorinth) and at one time
employed 1000 prostitutes. And perhaps there were people who went back
and forth for a while… intrigued by the emerging Christianity but not
wanting to give up their old gods and goddesses. And so it’s to the
Corinthian Church that Paul wrote… as early as the mid 50s…
1 Corinthians 6:15-20 (NLT)
Don’t you realize that your bodies are
actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which belongs to
Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don’t you know that if
a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For
the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” But the person who
is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as
this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Or
don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who
lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to
yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God
with your body.
Does that sound like an endorsement of sex rituals and temple
prostitution to you? In fact, nowhere in the Bible is there any secret
sex ritual or manipulative technique that we’re told to use in order to
achieve an altered state of consciousness and experience God.
Yet Dan Brown sees validity in certain sexual rituals that play out
more like orgies than anything else. And he accuses the Church of
demonizing sexuality and suppressing it and treating it as shameful. Is
that really what we believe? Is that how the Bible presents sex? What
does the Bible say about sex?
The Bible’s View on Sex:
Eve were naked, came together as “one flesh” and felt no shame.
This means physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and mental
oneness. And God ordains this. It’s a holy, righteous, and sacred act
between a husband and a wife. Yes, this was before sin entered the
world. But this is the ideal. God designated sex as a beautiful union
between a husband and a wife. It was pure, and it was good.
Solomon is a love manual for married couples.
Every married couple should read this Old Testament book together. It
talks openly about the intimacy and beauty of sex within the marriage
13:4 talks about keeping the marriage bed pure.
Again, sex is a pure and righteous act within the context of marriage.
So those are just a few
examples of how the Bible portrays sexuality as an incredibly beautiful
gift from God. It’s not something to be ashamed of; it’s something to
be celebrated. It is a wonderful, sacred gift. And it should be treated
Now, you wouldn’t expect to go to the Charlottetown Mall, walk in, and
find a bunch of people having sex, would you? Why not? Because even in
our sex-obsessed culture there are boundaries. Well, sexual expression
is a wonderful thing, and God has set up boundaries so that it can be
experienced safely and respectfully and to the greatest enjoyment. The
most obvious boundary, of course, is marriage.
I was sitting in Tim Horton’s the other day preparing for this morning.
And while I was there, a friend of mine came over to me… I haven’t seen
her in months… and we chatted for a couple of minutes before she headed
out again. She’s not married, but now has two children. And after she
was gone, I looked down and realized what I was reading when she came
over… I was reading this article entitled, “Sex is Better in Marriage”.
Good timing, eh? Well, I want to read some of it to you this morning…
expression outside of marriage has all the promises of great pleasure,
it also has even greater amounts of pain due to the consequences… While
it may seem that sexual purity is an antiquated concept to many in
contemporary society, it is a brilliant idea designed to protect us all
from wounding. Those who violate the sanctity of sexual expression
before marriage might be more likely to violate the sanctity of sex
after marriage… History is replete with examples of people who violated
the bonds of marriage and regretted it profusely. It is not by accident
that surveys indicate that the most fulfilled sexual partners are those
within the context of marriage…
Surveys confirm that a biblical view of sexuality, that is, within the
marriage covenant, enhances fulfillment. A Family Research Council
survey revealed that 72 percent of all married “traditionalists” (those
who “strongly” believe out-of-wedlock sex is wrong) report high sexual
satisfaction. This is roughly 31 percentage points higher than the
level registered by unmarried “non-traditionalists” (those who have no
or only some objection to sex outside of marriage)…
This survey confirms an earlier and larger survey conducted by Redbook
magazine during the mid-1970s that include responses from 100,000
women. The survey indicated that women who were sexually active at age
fifteen were more likely to express dissatisfaction with their current
sex lives than those who refrained from early sexual involvement. It
also found that strictly monogamous women experienced orgasm during sex
more than twice as often as promiscuous women. And it found that highly
religious women were less likely to engage in sex prior to marriage and
more likely to describe their sex lives as “good” or “very good” than
moderately- or non-religious women.
~ from Sex is Better in Marriage, by James Garlow
So if you’re married, go
at it. If you’re not, then cherish and protect the purity of this
wonderful gift until such a time as you can enjoy it fully in a
The Church… the Bible… is distinctively pro-sex and sexual expression.
Oh, there have been specific people in Church history who spoke very
negatively about sex. But that has not been the message of the larger
Church, and it certainly isn’t the message of the Bible. The Bible is
The world, on the other hand, is decimating to it. The world encourages
sex to be abused and misused so that it loses it’s value, it’s
tarnished, it leads to heart-ache and devastation, there are
distortions of sexuality that are addictive, and the end result is that
it’s just not enjoyable anymore. And there are religious groups that
abuse sexuality… you see a list of examples in your notes…
• Followers of Adi Da
(aka Franklin Jones)
• Inner circle in Sai Baba movement
• Core members of the Family International
(Flirty fishing – evangelism through sex)
• Various pagan and witchcraft groups
• Buddhist and Hindu tantric groups
• Harley “SwiftDeer” Reagan
(Native American New Age Cult)
• Abusive priests, pastors, gurus, etc.
And so there are real
threats to sexuality… abuses from other people and even in the context
of religious cults. While sexuality is a beautiful gift, it needs to be
protected. So in your notes, you can write this in the margin…
celebrate sex while remaining cautious about relational and religious
Now, let’s shift gears a
bit. We’ve spent a lot of this morning talking about Paganism and
comparing it to Christianity. Why does all this matter? I mean, isn’t
Paganism just an ancient problem? What is Paganism, anyway? Well, there
are several definitions of Paganism. But basically, for our purposes…
Paganism is a
term for polytheistic (many gods and/or goddesses) or
nature-worshipping religions with ancient roots, and includes such
branches as the occult, New Age, and Gnosticism.
And I’ve got to tell
you, Paganism is not just a problem for 2000 years ago; it’s a problem
today. Particularly in the past 20-25 years, there’s been an upsurge of
paganism, and its influence can be seen throughout our culture. Our
society is much more spiritual today than it was 25 years ago, but it’s
a whole lot less Christian. And for the most part, the spirituality
that people are turning to is a revival of ancient religions. If you
doubt this, then tomorrow morning go to the closest bookstore and go
the religion & spirituality section. How many books do you
think you’ll find that uphold the Bible as the Word of God? Very few.
Mostly, you’ll find rows or tables filled with books that are
distinctly opposed to the God of the Bible.
Or consider the media… Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, Charmed,
Ghost Whisperer, The Craft, Practical Magic, Underworld… they
all deal with spiritual themes which aren’t exactly Christian. Even The
Lion King portrays God as an impersonal force tying
everything together. Pocahontas teaches that God is
the spirit of nature which inhabits all things. Even Star
Wars, which I enjoy, pushes the Buddhist
notion of spiritual energy. It’s in our literature, it’s in our movies,
it’s in our music… our world is a much more spiritual world, but a
whole lot less Christian.
You even see this among environmentalists. Now, God did instruct us to
care for nature. We should protect the environment. That’s a good
thing. So keep on separating your waste from your compost… as if you
have any choice. We are to care for nature, but we are not to worship
nature. But many have crossed that line.
Now, in case you think I’m just imagining it all…
Wednesday will be the Summer Solstice. And you know Stonehenge? Every
year for the solstice it’s closed down for Pagan festivals to take
place there. 30,000 people will gather at Stonehenge this Tuesday and
Wednesday to participate.
During my lifetime,
Iceland, Norway and Denmark have all officially recognized neopagan
religions worshipping Viking gods such as Odin and Thor.
In the US, there’s a
brand new Center for the Sacred Feminine in San Diego, and another one
in Arizona. And every year about the time of the Autumn Equinox, there
are Pagan Pride Parades happening in various locations throughout North
But in case you think
we’re unaffected here in Canada, I did a simple search online this week
for paganism in Canada, and it didn’t take me long to compile a whole
list of official Pagan organizations and conferences in Canada… most of
them formed just in the past 15-20 years.
Wic-Can Fest will be
held this week to coincide with the Solstice in Mansfield, Ontario.
And then the next
week, the Awakening Isis Festival gets underway in Danford Lake in
Quebec. This is from their website… “We welcome you to join us in our
reverent search to re-connect with Nature. The Divine origin of all
life. Nature is beautiful, magical and also Life. In Nature, there are
no lies.” So you see what they’re doing, right? They are taking all the
qualities of God and attributing them to nature, which they worship.
There’s another quote on their website… “There in the beginning was
Isis. Oldest of the old, she was the goddess from whom all Becoming
arose. She was the Great Lady- Mistress of the Two Lands of Egypt,
Mistress of Shelter, Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of the House of Life,
mistress of the Word of God. She was the Unique. In all her great and
wonderful works she was a wiser magician and more excellent than any
The Gathering for
Life on Earth Pagan Festival runs from August 4-7. According to their
website, “The Gathering for Life on Earth is a Pagan religious retreat
which aims to foster religious discussion amongst the Pagan community.
There will be interesting workshops and rituals, a Kids’ Area with lots
of fun activities, and, of course, a fabulous menu… Besides traditional
(and not so traditional) rituals, much more will be happening.” That’s
about an hour north of Vancouver.
And running at the
same time in Alberta will be PanFest VII. From their website: “This
year the theme is “Spirit in me”. Paganism is a way for many folks to
connect directly with the Divine, as well as a way to explore avenues
of personal growth… There will be a PanFest Kids Area with lots of fun
kid-style activities, several interesting workshops, and of course a
fabulous menu provided by our elves, under the command of Logan
Gathering is another Pagan conference that will be held this August in
Whispering Pines near the Quebec / Ontario border.
Harvestfest is a
Pagan Festival coming up this Fall about an hour and a half drive to
the north of Toronto.
Also in Ontario, you
can find the Dancing Lights Protogrove. They are a druid organization
in the Eastern Toronto area. And they’ve now started a children’s
program called Faery Lights Circle where children can learn druid
lessons and rituals.
Then there’s the
Wiccan Church of Canada. Here’s their description of themselves from
their website… “Wicca is an initiatory, oathbound mystery religion
which is polytheistic, honouring a variety of gods and goddesses but
also dualistic, seeing individual deities, at least to some extent, as
aspects of one God and one Goddess and pantheistic, viewing divinity as
immanent within the natural world. It centres around the mysteries
contained within the Charge of the Goddess and the Legend of the
Descent of the Goddess and encompasses the practice of magic as well as
And then there’s
Spirit Haven in Winnipeg, Manitoba. According to their website, “We are
a Contemporary Formal Initiatory Wiccan Tradition, whose focus is
self-knowledge, personal growth, and putting theory into action…
Spirit-Haven currently holds the following Open events each month:
Chant Magick - intensely focused Chant from a variety of spiritual
traditions. 1st Monday of the month.
Full Circle Community Singing and Drumming. 3rd Monday of each Month.
Plus there’s the
Toronto Pagan Conference is an annual event happening in March.
And there’s a
national Pagan Federation of Canada.
I even saw on the
Internet that there’s a “Sacred Feminine” award which is given to
Oh, and in case you
think all of this is a Western Canada problem, about a month ago there
was the Gaia Gathering in Halifax at St. Mary’s University. That was a
And this August,
while some of us are at the Leadership Summit in Moncton, the Avalon
East Pagan Gathering will be taking place in Annapolis Royal in Nova
Scotia. According to their website, this “is an annual outdoor event
held by and for pagans and other followers of Earth-centered
spiritualities, and those interested in learning more about them.
Something between a campout, small open air festival and three-day
church picnic for heathens and astrologers, each year the Gathering
welcomes people from all over the Maritimes, Central Canada and beyond…
The 2006 Gathering will be held on August 11, 12, and 13, a little
before the full moon and once again during the Perseid meteor showers!
The people who have attended the Gathering since its inception in 1995
have so far numbered between a hundred and a two hundred each year, and
come from all corners of the diverse Pagan community. Witches and
shamans; Druids and Asatru; diviners and craftsfolk; natural
philosophers and organic gardeners; lifelong practitioners and curious
seekers; all these and many more are present…"
Of course, this
festival is hosted by The Maritime Pagan Gathering Festival
Association, which claims “It’s main purpose is to establish and
organize pagan festivals and gatherings in the Maritimes… Another goal…
is to help educate the general public about paganism…” They continue,
“we often use the term “Pagan” to describe who we are. Yet many paths
run beneath. We include: Pagans and Heathens, Shamanics and Gnostics
and Wiccans and Druids. We have those that follow the Traditions of the
Celts, Greco-Romans, Egyptians and others. Witches pass among us and
wanderers who have yet to see their way with clarity, have found a home
And there are several
more. And those are just the official Pagan events and organizations.
Paganism is emerging everywhere. Russ Wise of Christian Information
Ministries wrote about the ancient Gnostic goddess of wisdom, Sophia,
“The Goddess Sophia has gained notice in recent years through the
Re-Imaging Movement. This movement has made inroads into many Christian
denominations: United Methodist, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, United
Church of Christ, Baptist, Episcopalian, Mennonite, United Church of
Canada, the church of the Brethren and the Church Women United. This
movement to establish the Goddess Sophia as a co-equal to God has its
origin in ancient Gnosticism and is now being reintroduced to a new
~ Russ Wise
In November 1993, the
World Council of Churches sponsored a Re-imaging conference in
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Some 2,000 women “seeking to change
Christianity” attended, and the most radical women in apostate
Christendom pontificated on every sort of weird and unscriptural
subject imaginable. Speakers included Chung Hyung Kyung, Korean
“theologian” who equates the Holy Spirit with ancient Asian deities;
Virginia Mollenkott, an avowed pro-abortion lesbian; Elizabeth
Bettenhausen, professor at Harvard Divinity School; Lois Wilson, a
United Church of Canada “minister” and Sister Jose Hobday, a Roman
Catholic nun who works with Starhawk and Matthew Fox and his Creation
Spirituality Institute at Holy Names College. The Nov. 3, 1993,
Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that “throughout the conference
worship experiences will celebrate Sophia, the biblical goddess of
creation.” Sue Seid-Martin of the University of St. Thomas School of
Divinity in St. Paul, Minn., claimed that this Sophia is “the
suppressed part of the biblical tradition, and clearly the female face
of the human psyche.” David W. Cloud, www.Wayoflife.org
And there are several other expressions of Pagan and Gnostic beliefs
which are ravaging our culture…
• Tarot Cards
• Fortune Telling
• Feng Shui (ancient Chinese - Auras and Energies)
• Some forms of Aromatherapy and Homeopathy
• Mystic Oils
• Tantric Yoga
• Mantra Meditation
• Amulets and Talismans
• Green Peace worship of Mother Earth
This is a virtual explosion of Paganism over the past couple of
decades. And not in some far-off land… right here in Canada. And it
greatly concerns me. But not for the church… the Church has survived
and even thrived in the face of false religions before and can do it
again. And I’m not really concerned for myself. I’ll survive. And even
if I don’t, that’s okay, too. But what concerns me is the number of
people who are going to buy into all of this and will be lost for
eternity. That would be a tragedy, and so we need to be prepared to
respond with the Truth.
And something else that concerns me is the potential for Christians who
are not grounded in their faith to begin to mix together Christianity
with these Pagan beliefs, just like the Gnostics did. And that can
happen in very subtle ways. And so you and I need to be able to discern
what is truth and what is a lie. And we need to protect ourselves by
putting on what the Bible describes as the whole armour of God.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about in two weeks as we wrap up
this series. (Next week - Guest speaker from Arab World Ministries)