Saturday, January 9, 2016

What we are leaving behind ... and yet

This is a series I mean to keep coming back to as my church leaves the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), “What we are leaving behind, and yet …” I will explain the “and yet,” at the end. I am not writing of buildings, we are leaving those behind, but we are also leaving behind troubled ministry.

A worshiping community, one of the 1001 worshiping communities of the PC (U.S.A.), gather with a feminist group, which is a part of their community, to honor the divine feminine. “The East Tennessee Feminist Collective in partnership with Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center, will have its first Women's New Moon Circle of 2016 at 7 pm on Sunday, Jan. 10.”

The announcement states that “The tradition of women gathering is eons old and when we gather on the New Moon we join millions of other women around the world, and throughout history, doing the same.” Well, not really—the tradition comes from tales told by a wicked old man, Allister Crowley, an occultist of the nineteenth century.  And the stories he told were added to by Dion Fortune, Robert Graves, Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner.[1]

Such moon cycle gatherings are a part of the fellowship of Mercy Junction. And deity in this worshiping community is referred to as God (dess).

Mercy Junction, which I have written about in another posting, also dabbles in eastern religion. They are having a Sunday event entitled “Sunday Morning Qi Gong.” The blurb for the event states:

“Qi gong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. The word Qi gong is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice.”

The idea of a life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe is too often mistaken for the Holy Spirit. But there is no similarity. The idea of the life force is generally pictured as an impersonal force which can be manipulated by humanity. But the Holy Spirit, who is God, as well as co-equal with the Father and the Son, is personal and certainly not an energy. The Holy Spirit gives life and directs and leads, but is not manipulated by anyone. He is, as is the Father and the Son, sovereign.

While I will soon no longer be a part of a denomination that harbors such a congregation which promotes such dangerous ideas, (They call themselves heretics with tongue in cheek but the truth is they are heretics.), I and the members of my church will still exist in a world of heretics and non-believers. This is the “and yet” part. God still calls us to minister to broken people, including ourselves. God still calls us to stand for the faith and against false teaching. I, with the help of Jesus Christ, will continue to write about his truth, his gospel, his love and forgiveness, it is the call of Jesus, not mine.

And in all the ways that my church has ministered, and in new ways, I am sure they will continue on despite what the presbytery is doing to them. God will grace them (us) with his abundant power and compassion to serve.

May the members of Mercy Junction find in Jesus Christ a savior and forgiveness that their good works might evolve from the true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  


[1] For more information see “Goddess spirituality: from a Christian perspective” at

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