Reading this makes me more and more grateful that the Orthodox Church has not caved in to current trends of political correctness. I also applaud Bishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria and the other clergy who are resisting this neo-paganism. Perhaps one day we shall welcome them home to Orthodoxy:
Weblog: Episcopal Church Officially Promotes Idol Worship
"Women's Eucharist" calls for worship of pagan deities specifically
condemned in Scripture.
Compiled by Ted Olsen | posted 10/26/2004
Imagine for one moment that you're a leader in the Episcopal Church
USA. You know that within the next few days, a global commission is
going to release a report on how the global Anglican Communion should
respond to your church, and is likely to be critical of the
ordination of an actively homosexual man as bishop. You know, and
have said yourself, that the debate isn't just about sexuality: It's
about how one views the Bible. And you know that all eyes will be on
your denomination over the next few weeks. What do you do?
What the real leaders of the Episcopal Church did was to take an
action that makes ordaining a homosexual man as a bishop almost a non-
issue. They started promoting the worship of pagan deities.
This is not a joke nor an overstatement. In all truth and
seriousness, leaders of the Episcopal Church USA are promoting pagan
rites to pagan deities. And not just any new pagan deities: The
Episcopal Church USA, though its Office of Women's Ministries, is
actually promoting the worship of idols specifically condemned in
"A Women's Eucharist: A Celebration of the Divine Feminine" is taken
almost completely (without attribution) from a rite from Tuatha de
Brighid, "a Clan of modern Druids GÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âª who believe in the
interconnectedness of all faiths." But who cares where it's from?
Look at what it says. Here's how it begins.
We gather around a low table, covered with a woven cloth or shawl. A
candle, a bowl or vase of flowers, a large shallow bowl filled with
salted water, a chalice of sweet red wine, a cup of milk mixed with
honey, and a plate of raisin cakes are placed on the table.
You might be wondering: What's with the raisin cakes? Is it just
Communion wafers with raisins? No.
The plate of raisin cakes is raised and a woman says,
"Mother God, our ancient sisters called you Queen of Heaven and baked
these cakes in your honor in defiance of their brothers and husbands
who would not see your feminine face. We offer you these cakes, made
with our own hands; filled with the grain of life—scattered and
gathered into one loaf, then broken and shared among many. We offer
these cakes and enjoy them too. They are rich with the sweetness of
fruit, fertile with the ripeness of grain, sweetened with the power
of love. May we also be signs of your love and abundance."
The plate is passed and each woman takes and eats a cake.
So those raisin cakes have a historical reference: Those "brothers
and husbands" banned them. Sound familiar? It's a reference to Hosea
And the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by
another man and is an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the children
of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins."
Now there are other biblical references to raisin cakes, but this is
the only reference (except possibly this one) to them having any kind
of role in worship.
Many scholars believe they were offerings to the goddess Asherah, the
female counterpart to Baal, but in this context it may be more
directly tied to Ishtar/Ashtoreth/Astarte, the "Queen of Heaven."
"Our ancient sisters called you Queen of Heaven," says the Episcopal
liturgy. That's a reference to Jeremiah. And not a happy one. In
Jeremiah 7, God complains, "The children gather wood, the fathers
kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen
of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to
provoke me to anger." The liturgy's reference to defiant women
worshipping the Queen of Heaven with cakes comes directly from
Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to
other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the
people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered
Jeremiah: "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of
the LORD, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that
we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out
drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings
and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of
Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no
disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of
heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked
everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." And
the women said, "When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and
poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands'
approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out
drink offerings to her?"
In other words, it wasn't their brothers and husbands that the women
were defying: It was God.
And now Episcopal Church leaders want you to do the same. Defy God.
Worship pagan deities. There is no other possible reading of
this "Eucharistic" text.
It should be noted that the pagan rite isn't on some hidden page in
the deep recesses of the Episcopal Church's web site. The site is
actually promoting this. The main pages of the web site (there are
three: one for members, another for visitors, and a third for
leaders) all link to an Episcopal News Service article on the "The
Women's Liturgy Project." The article says, in part:
The Office of Women's Ministries is working towards creating a
resource to be used by women, men, parishes, dioceses, small groups,
within the context of a Sunday morning service, or any other
appropriate setting where the honoring of a woman's life passages and
experiences beckons a liturgical response. These can include, but are
not limited to, liturgies/rites pertaining to: menstruation,
menopause, conception, pregnancy, any form of pregnancy loss,
childbirth, forms of leave taking, and many others. GÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Âª There is
already a working section on the Women's Ministries website that
contains worship resources that are currently available to be
downloaded and used by all.
Go to that worship resources page, and there are only nine offerings,
the second of which is the "Women's Eucharist." Another troubling
entry is the Liturgy for Divorce, which includes this theology:
While the couple have promised in good faith to love until parted by
death, in some marriages the love between a wife and a husband comes
to an end sooner. Love dies, and when that happens we recognize that
the bonds of marriage, based on love, also may be ended . God calls
us to right relationships based on love, compassion, mutuality, and
justice. Whenever any of these elements is absent from a marital
relationship, then that partnership no longer reflects the
intentionality of God.
Such a view of love and marriage is profoundly unbiblical, but at
least there's no prayer to fertility goddesses. (Commenters over
Midwest Conservative Journal are discussing both rituals.)
The Anglican Primate of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, has been explaining
that the difference between his church and the Episcopal Church USA
isn't your standard intradenominational infighting. The Episcopal
Church (along with other western churches, he says), isn't even
Christian any more. Instead, he says, it's "embroiled in a new
religion which we cannot associate ourselves with."
One would have thought that the Episcopal Church USA might have
argued whether it was really practicing a different religion.
Instead, their challenge to Akinola's statement might be that it's
not new at all: Their idolatry has been around since Old Testament
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