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A Lutheran church is returning Christendom to its lost roots
The sobriquet "HerChurch" is the first thing one notices when visiting their website, and it carries some heavy implications. As we must be charitable, we must first enterain the possibility that perhaps it's just that the church building itself is owned by a lady of some repute, and she wished herself commemorated in some anonymous way. That might be vain and improbable, but at least more acceptable than the alternative.
Not so, unfortunately. We are helpfully informed:
Oh. Well, uh. I'm not sure what thealogy is, though I could make a pretty good guess. I'm not sure why the church's "restricted language" (as opposed to "restrictive" language, which would be the option for proper grammarians) needs to be "challenged" so boldly if it was actually correct, which it would appear to have been. As far as the historical record can be relied upon for anything, it is the assertion that Jesus Christ was male.
They go on:
The distinction they are careful to make between "Christian" and "Lutheran" is curious, though its importance will become clear in a moment. It is also worth noting that Mary, a fairly well-attested positive female figure, and no less than the Theotokos, does not seem to figure in the "storehouse of tradition" from which this bold new Christendom hopes to spring.
And, of course, the phrase "empowered by the risen Christ-Sophia" cries out, though what it cries is a mystery to me. Again, anyhow, a guess could be made.
Now, to give us an idea of what they're about spiritually, the website is full of examples from their prayers and programs. A prayer of some importance is visable on their front page:
Where to begin? Gone is any suggestion of God being, say, above us, or something, in any respect. No, God is "within us," and may be celebrated by "many names," thank goodness. The piece continues, a hideous pastiche of the Lord's Prayer. No longer His Kingdom Come, but merely some sort of general wisdom (to empower us in our diversity, of course). "As it is in Heaven" seems now to have been reduced to "unfolding from the depths within us." We will not comment on the appropriateness of the word "depths" here, but it must nonetheless be said that this phrase is consistent with their teachings. Heaven forbid that God's Will be distinguishable from our own conscience or feelings in some way.
God is exalted for "support[ing] us in our power," an idea that is as far from Christendom as north is from south. The overwhelming message would appear to be that we're doing splendidly on our own, thanks, but the Mother has thankfully come along to give us that sassy little edge. Note how this has subverted any mention of asking God's forgiveness for anything, which I guess of course these ladies don't have to do, because they've never done anything wrong, I guess.
The prayer concludes with some gratitude to God for being a sort of vague panthea that stands for empowerment and celebration.
But there's more.
- An offer to join a "Carol Christ" for a "Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete." More information about this available here.
- The Goddess Rosary, which must be seen to be believed.
- Nuggets of exegetical wisdom abound. Like this one: "Feminist interpretation of the Bible and church teachings requires that attention be given to what does and does not liberate women and men from the effects of patriarchy. If a biblical text, church teaching, or an interpretation of either does not liberate, then it either must not be true or has been misinterpreted. This insight is rooted in the words of Jesus, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"
- An image on this page which, well... it rhymes with "Rio Reaganism."
And so on and so on. I have nothing to say about the scholarship with which they back up their suggestions, for I am not qualified to say it is one thing or another. As ever, though, things most definitely suggest themselves. So, as a scholar, I have nothing to say; but as a Christian, I am by turns amused and saddened. The whole thing smacks of syncretism at its worst, and is, literally, a sort of neo-paganism.
Am I being too hard on them? What do you think?
Then loom'd his fearsome majesty
From out that wine-dark fog,
And spake he unto all my crew:
"Go forth, and read my blog."
Some sneer; some snigger; some simper;
In the youth where we laughed, and sang.
And they may end with a whimper
But we will end with a bang.
Re: A Lutheran church is returning Christendom to its lost roots
Wow... That rosary is somthing else. Almost reminds me of early greek mysticism. No, you are not being too hard on them at all. Matter of fact, this "church" not only blasphemes Martin Luther for using his name, but God himself for calling themselves "Christian." People like this give us a bad name and sorely deserve to be set straight. Maybe we should sic jpholding on them huh?
I confess…I’m an intellectual. I like to discuss Christian theology. I appreciate that the Christianity we live today was shaped by first the writers of the New Testament and lots of faithful people...
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