A Twist of Faith - Chapter 6
Forgive us... as we forgive
or I choose to forgive -- or curse!
Skip down to Marianne Williamson ~ Kali ~ Valerie
"I had a lot of negative feelings to try to dissipate. My forgiveness chant -- a kind of mantra, or repeated affirmation of spiritual wisdom -- worked like a healing balm on my emotional turmoil." Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love
"Kali manifested herself for the annihilation of demonic male power in order to restore peace and equilibrium. For a long time asuric (demonic) forces had been dominating and oppressing the world." Manuela Dunn Mascetti
"Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37-38
When Rachel Holm walked into her son's Sunday school classroom, she found a new poster on the wall. "Gathering into the Sacred Circle," it said. Surprised, she stopped to look at the symbol under the words. It showed a cross inside a circle - but it didn't quite look like the Christian cross. Could it be the medicine wheel - an occult symbol used by Native Americans in many of their rituals? Her heart began to pound. Why would a Lutheran Sunday school curriculum use this symbol?
Moments later she saw her pastor, so she asked him. He seemed reluctant to answer, but indicated that in today's pluralistic culture, Christians must be open to new ideas. What did he mean? Rachel felt confused.
Curious, she ordered the manual describing the curriculum called "The Whole People of God" from a distributor for Augsburg publishing house. She learned that it was being used by more than a thousand congregations from coast to coast, including most mainstream denominations: Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, etc. "Sales are booming," said the telephone representative.
When she received the manual, Rachel noticed that matching lessons were prepared for each age group -- from young children to adults. It also explained the poster she first saw in her son's classroom: "The logo for Unit I is a circle symbolizing God and the interconnection of the whole creation." Concerned, Rachel read on:
"The center that keeps the circle together may be called Creator or Great Spirit, or God. The circle in our logo is made with braided sweetgrass which is used by many people of the First Nations to purify or cleanse the body and soul...."
Did it imply that cleansing came through the Native American sweetgrass ritual, and not through Jesus Christ? What about confession and repentance? Rachel turned the page and found an unexpected answer to her question: an "apology to Native Congregations" submitted by the United Church of Canada in 1986. Sad, she read the words to the strange confession:
"In our zeal to tell you of the good news of Jesus Christ
we were closed to the value of your spirituality. . . .
We tried to make you be like us and in so doing
we helped to destroy the vision that made you what you were.
As a result you, and we, are poorer
and the image of the Creator in us is twisted, blurred. . . .
We ask you to forgive us...."
"This is a politically correct Sunday school curriculum," Rachel told me later. "Christian children learn that they are guilty simply because they are part of a culture that taught others to trust Jesus Christ. It tells our children that it's wrong to be missionaries, but right to blend Christianity with Native American spirituality or any other pantheistic religion."
New grounds for forgiveness.
Rachel knew the Bible well enough to see the gulf between God's truth and today's new standards. Some prefer not to look. As you will see in Chapter 8, many feminists reject the concept of sin altogether. Others sense a need to confess something in order to feel forgiven, but they have never learned what God considers right or wrong. To them, it doesn't really matter. Admitting what they believe is wrong soothes their sense of guilt and dulls their sensitivity to God's view of sin.
Sin means "missing the mark" -- God's mark. Those who don't read His Word, won't see that "mark." Certain to miss it, they aim for a different kind of mark, one easier to hit. For some, the new mark might be the new politically correct standards. Many find it far more comfortable to confess a corporate sin such as cultural sexism or intolerance than to disturb their own comfort zone by facing embarrassing personal sins such as envy or immorality.
Actually, public confession need not be embarrassing at all. These days it can even help your public image, raise self-esteem, and bring lots of warm hugs and affirmations. It can show others your willingness to be open and vulnerable, to express your feelings, and to conform to the new group norms. . . all of which are essential to the new-paradigm community. From its perspective, the best kinds of confession are those that affirm the evils of the old ways and the ideals of the new quest for pluralistic oneness.
Such a confession was suggested by former World Council of Churches President Lois Wilson at the Re-Imagining Conference
"Can we re-imagine an apology by the institutional churches to the aboriginal people for collapsing their culture, their spirituality, their language, and abusing their children in residential schools?"
In the context of the earlier confession, "abusing their children in residential schools" referred especially to teaching them Biblical truth and thus helping "to destroy the vision" of their native beliefs." True, many children had been forcibly removed from their families by zealous church people who apparently did not follow God's guidelines for love and kindness. But that's not the main issue in this confession.
The main point dealt with the belief that the Biblical Christianity is better than Native American religions. Such promotion of "classism" -- the belief that your ways and values might be better than others -- is intolerable to those who promote feminist unity. It clashes with their new moral freedom. Today's re-imagined freedom allowed lesbian leaders at the Minnesota conference to elevate their homosexual lifestyle to a divine model for perfect love. On the other hand, it condemned those who still clung to biblical guidelines such as 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
“Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites. . . . will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
The goddess Sophia fit the new mindset. "She does not judge," says Lutheran reporter Kathy Kersten, "nor does she recognize any sin but the corporate transgressions of racism, sexism and classism. She only gives one command: 'Freely bless your own experience.'"
As feminists distance themselves more and more from Christian guidelines, confession becomes increasingly mystical, feeling-centered, and occult.
"Visualize a source of light about six inches above your head," suggests Ayya Khema, a German-born Buddhist. "Confess -- to yourself, to the light -- something you've done wrong. . . . Feel deep regret for your action. Vow not to repeat it. Experience the light above you streaming down through the crown of your head and flowing through your body, pushing out the impurities caused by action; feel the negative residue leave your body. . . Sincerely wish that others can benefit from this light."
The following counterfeit confession by Patricia Eagle is simply an upside down accusation. Instead of admitting a sin, she subtly blames the culture that caused her problems in the first place. She ends with the typical Wiccan decree, “So be it!”.
"We confess that we have all been captive to the masculine mystique . . . . We confess that we have only begun to understand how much damage we have done to ourselves and to each other under the sway of this mystique. Allowing our gender to define and limit our possibilities, we have disowned those qualities and needs and feelings in ourselves which do not fit....We confess that we stand in need of cleansing in order that we might experience healing and wholeness. So Be it.
Women as victims.
Patricia Eagle's anger typifies our victim-centered world. These are angry times. "Anger has become the national habit," observes New York Times columnist Russell Baker. Indigenous people are angry. Third world nations are angry. People of color are angry. White people are angry. But few groups are more angry than today's feminists.
In a dramatic display of feminist fury, groups of college women funded by a Presbyterian Women's Ministry Unit recite a new litany: "We will channel our rage to end the war against women! The energy of this rage empowers us to act!"
The training packet supposedly used for college evangelism "reflects the feminist strategy of indoctrinating women through 'consciousness raising' sessions designed to generate anger toward men in general," explains Sue Cyre in her article, "College Women's Packet Promotes Goddess Worship." This "anger is then channeled by group leaders into actions furthering the feminist agenda."
With a little help from feminist friends like Marianne Williamson, the rage spreads fast. Remember, her network of admirers include Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, and countless Hollywood stars. In her book, A Woman's Worth, she tells us that:
"One of the most sophisticated, insidious conspiracies has been perpetrated against women.... Archaeological evidence now argues for the existence of a twenty-thousand-year period of history when men and women lived as equals.... Women were revered as priestesses and healers.... We healed one another through our compassionate connection to spirit and earth.
"The world is currently set up according to masculine models of thought and structure, and it has been for thousands of years. Aggression, force, domination, and control have been at the heart of our social agreements. Organization, technology, and rational analysis have been the order. . . . [while] the feminine principles of nonviolence and the values of intuition, nurturing, and healing were pushed aside....
"The Goddess awakens in our hearts before she awakens in the world."
Be careful what you believe. The "archeological evidence" she claims as proof doesn't exist outside the feminist imagination and the books it conceived. Many claim that the discovery of hundreds of early European female figurines provided the "archeological evidence" feminists needed to back their beliefs. But in the absence of cultural facts or historical data, one can only speculate. Do fertility idols, many of which showed exaggerated sexual characteristics, really prove the existence of a matriarchal culture as many feminists declare? Do they even prove equality? Or do they merely prove a reliance on pagan fertility goddesses for sun, rain, abundant fields, and fertile women? The writings of most respected scientists discount the feminist claims.
In the above quote, did you notice that Williamson, like other feminist leaders, spurns "rational analysis"? Yet, without it, genuine science can't exist. Yes, women were priestess and healers, and we will look at those roles in the two next chapters. But their cultures were neither peaceful nor compassionate, and the ancient goddesses that modeled womanhood and power were downright scary.
So why do feminists love them? Could it be because these idols were angry, tough, and mean? Whatever the reason, many of the violent goddesses were worshipped during a 1995 chapel service at the United Methodist Garette-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois. In his response to the event, faculty member Dr. Robert Jewett decried "the adoration of brutal deities" and described several. Ponder the nature of Anath "the Canaanite goddess of fertility with a thirst for violence:"
"Her mating with Baal regenerates the cycle of nature. She appears. . . as the violent sister of Baal [incest was no big deal] in the wars against the other gods, joyously riding a warhorse with blood up to its belly from victims she has dispatched. In the description of the Anchor Bible Dictionary, 'Anath is depicted as a fierce, invincible warrior, slaughtering people, tying their heads and hands to her person, wading knee deep in the blood and gore of those she has slain, reveling in fighting and destruction."
The speaker at this chapel service was the much-quoted theologian Dr. Rosemary Ruether, who is also a faculty member at Garette-Evangelical. Naturally, she wrote a response to Dr. Jewett suggesting that he consider the "legacy of war and violence in Hebrew Scripture and Christianity."
I am sure he has. Every Christian who studies history can only grieve over the atrocities that have been committed in the name of God by people who refuse to follow His ways. We see it today. Many bear the name of Christ, but few surrender their lives to Him. They miss the joy of the exchanged life: our weak, finite lives for His triumphant, eternal life—that is, His life in us as a true demonstration of His loving ways.
If both women and men would follow those ways, women would be the winners. We might as well admit it: we are physically weaker than men. That's why God tells men to protect and care for their wives: "Love your wives," He says, "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." That means putting her first, providing a safe place where she can be fulfilled. Believe it or not, innumerable men live out that command by God's grace.
But God's ways have no place in the feminist agenda. Males have become enemies, not protectors, and it's time to even the score. Restoring harmony between the sexes, says Dr. Rosemary Ruether, "demands a rejection of all forms of patriarchal religions." To win support for this cause, feminists must perpetuate the stereotypes of the violent, aggressive man and the passive, victimized woman.
The desperate strait of countless women around the world has been well documented. Famine, war, social chaos and dysfunctional families have put millions of women in physical and economic danger. Rape, torture, and murder have devastated war-torn nations. In the Sudan, girls are still circumcised as part of a coming-of-age ceremony. And the merchandising of women and girls in sweat factories and brothels amounts to a revival of slavery in some parts of the world.
Women are battered, abused, oppressed. They need help loving support and a shelter where they can feel safe. But you can't heal a culture by spreading hate. The early feminists won for us the right to vote and opened doors to economic opportunities by using old paradigm tools such as fact, reason, and perseverance. But everything has changed. Facts gave way to propaganda, and truth to myths. And myths don't die as easily as they start.
Christina Hoff Sommers, who wrote Who Stole Feminism, has exposed some of these myths. She had read in Revolution from Within by Gloria Steinem that "in this country alone. . . about 150,000 females die of anorexia each year." That seemed like a lot. More than three times the annual deaths from car accidents! So she traced the story back to its source. Ms. Steinem found her "facts" in Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth, which gave the same statistics but added an outrageous comparison between the Holocaust and "the emaciated bodies [of Anorexia victims] starved not by nature but by men." Starved by men?
Miss Wolf got her figures from a former director of women's studies at Cornell University, who was "fully aware of the political significance of the startling statistics" and wanted to point out that "these disorders are an inevitable consequence of a misogynistic [hateful or distrustful] society that demeans women. . . by objectifying their bodies." The Cornell Professor attributed her figures to the American Anorexia and Bulimia Association (AABA).
"We were misquoted," said the president of the AABA when Ms. Sommers asked for the original data. Eventually, the true statistics came to light: the actual number of deaths from anorexia in 1991 were 54. A far cry from 150,000! But the lie had already served its purpose: it validated feminist rage against male oppression and raised social consciousness everywhere.
"Why are certain feminists so eager to put men in a bad light?" asked Ms. Sommers. Ponder her conclusion:
"American feminism is currently dominated by a group of women who seek to persuade the public that American women are not the free creatures we think we are. . . Believing that women are virtually under siege, the 'gender feminists' naturally seek recruits to their side of the gender war. They seek support. They seek vindication. They seek ammunitions. . . . To confound the skeptics and persuade the undecided, the gender feminist are constantly on the lookout for the smoking gun, the telling fact that will drive home how profoundly the system is rigged against women. . . . they must persuade us that the system itself sanctions male brutality."
Hating men will only multiply our problems. Radical feminists know that -- and cheer. They don't want to heal our nation. They want to tear it down. Every part of our "patriarchal" system must be dismantled -- the family, the church, and our government -- so they can recreate the world of their imagination. That means increasing the conflict and chaos -- two vital ingredients to any effective revolution. They have come a long way, as you will see in Chapter 9, which shows how the Beijing action plan hides global controls that are inconceivable to most Americans.
To understand the feminist revolution, we need to admit that men have no monopoly on violence. Women can be cruel and destructive just as men can be gentle and compassionate. You may be surprised to hear that Hutu women joined in the savage butchering of at least half a million minority Tutsi adults and children in Rwanda a few years ago. After the slaughter, government officials admitted that "the role of women as killers and cheerleaders for murder was unprecedented in any other genocide this century."
Please don't think I'm trying to demean women. I only want to expose the myths that block honest discussion and lasting solutions. The attitude that brings healing is not an arrogant and sexist "We're better than you." It is a willingness to confess our own vulnerability and say when someone fails, "But for God's grace, there go I."
"Females are at some periods just as intense, just as violent as the boys and in some cases more so," said Carl Taylor, a Michigan State University professor of family and child ecology. His comment came after a local high-school girl had attacked a classmate with a baseball bat. She faced charges of "assault with intent to murder." Concerning girls in general, the director of Detroit's Barat Human Services, Dianne Bostic Robinson, said, "We're finding them much more violent, not the nice little glove-wearing girls we saw years ago."
Radical feminists are trying to shed that old image of girls. They don't want to be nice anymore. To them, strong men and amiable women symbolize the western culture they despise. Any form of authority other than their own is intolerable and must be crushed.
In Sisterhood is Powerful, Robin Morgan adds the nuclear family to the list of social villains. Quoting Frederick Engels, she says, "The modern individual family is founded on the open or concealed domestic slavery of the wife." To Morgan, "the family is a decadent, energy-absorbing, destructive, wasteful institution for everyone except the ruling class, the class for which the institution was created."
Those angry words are mobilizing the feminist army. By "helping" women see themselves as victims of male oppression, feminist leaders fuel the rage needed to achieve their revolution. By holding out promises like a carrot, they manipulate the anger according to their own agenda. But their lofty promises are just as hollow as their deceptive statistics. They promise great benefits, but they will eventually deliver the opposite:
Feminist accusations and visions
Accusations: Patriarchy" caused --
Vision: Feminism promises --
Powerlessness and self-condemnation
Empowerment and self-esteem
Harm and abuse
Dignity and personhood
Dominance and inequality
Freedom and equality
Exclusion and injustice
Inclusion and justice
Hopelessness and depression
Joy and renewal
Dualism and separation
Unity and wholeness
Limited to patriarchal spirituality
Blends all human experience
The feminist rage stirs a calculated kind of behavior. Studies show that when crowds are incited to action, individuals throw moral inhibitions and reason to the winds and yield their will to the group. In other words, mass anger can easily become heartless and wild-- just as it did among the murderous women in Rwanda.
While anger is a great motivator, it's a terrible healer. God has shown us a better way. By first defusing the rage, women could bring the pacifying touch of calm reason into the search for social healing. We should never tolerate injustice or close our eyes to pain. But for our own peace of mind, we can begin with a choice to forgive individuals who actually hurt us or others, then work together for answers without spreading venom of bitterness.
But women who have rejected the disciplines of truth find it hard to turn fury to forgiveness. Many choose a more natural response: swear, curse, scheme, shout. . . . anything that placates the inner fire and feeds the fighting spirit.
Cursing Truth - Craving Darkness
"People can choose to be open, loving, positive in each moment of their lives -- or choose to be negative, resentful," Marianne Williamson told a reporter shortly after officiating at Liz Taylor's 1993 wedding. Bemused, her interviewer observed that the famed New Age author and counselor "seems to be choosing anger and resentment but [is] struggling to reign them in."
At least Ms. Williamson tried. Others just give in to the rage. Some have even revived the ancient terrors of the curse. Strange as they may seem, curses accompany today's pagan revival. They often lead to their victims' death. At the Re-imagining conference, Korean theologian Chung Hyun Kyung praised a Hindu ritual reminiscent of the emotional mob lynchings that cloud American history. Notice that feelings, not facts fed this ritual to the gruesome, blood-thirsty goddess Kali:
"I went to Sri Lanka . . . in front of Kali temple... They have this ritual which is very simple and very striking. . . . [They] read all the names of the government officers [believed] to have killed their sons... After calling all these men's names, she said only one thing: 'Kali, let them be punished.' Then 3000 women brought one coconut apiece. In front of Kali they smashed coconuts on the ground . . . as an offering to Kali. But as outsider, I witnessed all these men's head were smashed when they smashed the coconuts, because Kali has all these necklaces [of skulls] and a beheaded man's skull in her hand... Kali is goddess of revenge and goddess of justice.... She's fierce, she's uncontrollable... she's wild...."
Kyung had begun her story by telling about her "new Trinity", the goddesses Kali, Kwan-in, and Enna, whom she discovered through her "participation in Asian women's movement." She closed by sharing her dream of "breaking coconuts in front of International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Vatican...."
Her audience of 2000 "Christian" women gave a hearty applause. Designing your own justice feels good to an untamed human nature.
All the more, this natural tendency to hurt rather than heal our "enemies" shows our desperate need for truth. "Vengeance is Mine," said God. "I will repay." Only He has the wisdom to be fair. Our part is to love, however unnatural it may seem. But when we trust Him, He gives us what we need: tough, forgiving love -- a love that "does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:6-7)
This love seeks the kind of healing that can only be found in Jesus Christ who enables us:
to understand the corruptive and contagious nature of sin
to build kind and caring communities
to humbly confess our sins to God and, when necessary, to each other
to let His forgiveness flow through us to others
We can't do it ourselves, but He delights to do it in and through us!
Trading bondage for God's forgiveness.
Valerie learned it the hard way. She thought she had found the power to succeed, but the "Jesus" she met as a child turned out to be a counterfeit spirit who tormented her for sixteen years -- until she met the real Christ.
As far back as Valerie remembers, her family went to church. But at home, her television diet included "Bewitched," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "Red Hot," and "Wendy, the Little Witch" -- all shows that sugar-coated witchcraft and demonology. On Saturday mornings she watched captivating horror films. No one warned her about occult dangers. So when she was invited to play the Ouija board during a Halloween party at the home of a kindergarten classmate, she had no reason to refuse.
The instructions told them to start by inviting a spirit to come, so they prayed that the board would send someone. Then they put their finger tips on a smooth heart shaped disc called a planchard and asked the spirit to tell its name. The planchard began to move. They stared amazed as it spelled Saint Paul. Could this be the Paul in the Bible? A real dead person? It answered YES. "How did you die?" asked Valerie. "CRUCIFIED," spelled the spirit. The children didn't catch the lie but, after a while, they did notice that it only answered Valerie's questions. "Why do you only answer Valerie?" asked one of the girls. This time it answered her -- and spelled psychic.
Psychic? Valerie didn't know what the word meant, but it sounded important. She must be really special! Not only did she have special power from "Jesus," he sent her three invisible spirit friends. Named Patty, Jane and Maureen, they sounded like teenage girls as they talked and argued inside her. "We were pals and hung out together," explained Valerie. "My parents thought they were just imaginary friends."
Prompted by her spirits, Valerie was always on the lookout for psychic literature. When Valerie's older sister bought the Witches' Spell and the Encyclopedia on Witchcraft and Demonology to fulfill a book club commitment, Valerie was the first to study them. No one connected the onset of her daily "petit mal seizures" with her occult interests.
By the time she was seven [yes, Valerie was a precocious learner], she was deeply engrossed in astrology, yet no one in her family seemed concerned. She knew that lying and stealing were wrong, but psychic things seemed innocent enough. After all, they seemed to work and didn't hurt anyone. They had to be from Jesus.
Each day, Valerie read her horoscope. The predictions were confusing sometimes, but when she looked hard enough for matching real-life experiences, she always found something. Later, with hindsight, she could see how those general predictions became self-fulfilling. Her attention was fixed on what she expected to see and her imagination was ready to comply.
Valerie's first grand mal seizure came during her first communion. She was sitting with her friends in the church, when she suddenly felt ill and stood up. Her body stiffened and shook with violent convulsions. It seemed as if something grabbed her, contorted her body, and threw her to the floor. Her startled friends thought she was dying. Dimly conscious, Valerie sensed that her hands clutched the air like claws and her gown was being pulled up over her head, making her feel violated and ashamed.
Strangely enough, her second "grand mal seizure" hit during her confirmation. Before she had time to confirm her faith in God, she lost consciousness. She remembered nothing afterwards, but the seizures became a regular part of her life. A doctor diagnosed and medicated her as an epileptic, but nothing stopped the convulsions.
Valerie was fourteen when her mother died and her spirit guides convinced her to try suicide. "You'll go to heaven anyway," they coached. "You're a good kid." A miraculous intervention hindered her death, but life became increasingly painful. Sometimes she found herself speaking in "counterfeit tongues" -- or barking, growling and saying nonsense words that shocked her peers. A series of physical and sexual attacks increased her fear and isolation. Alone, she would console herself with her three spirit pals who were training her for the craft.
In college, Valerie became a "white witch" and learned to "cast circles in Jesus' name." Her spirit guides told her to marry Keith, a warlock obsessed by the occult role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Trained to do their will, she agreed and was soon engaged. Her obedience was rewarded with a well-paying job as a fortune teller. "I still thought I was doing God's will," said Valerie years later. "I called myself 'a witch for Jesus.'"
In spite of all the medical tests and prescriptions, the daily seizures grew worse. One day a theology student named Martin happened to see her convulse. When it ended, he helped her back on her feet and took her home. Inside her apartment, he noticed her shelves full of Wiccan manuals, crystals, amulets and other occult paraphernalia.
Frightened, he said, "Valerie, this is a bad thing you're doing."
"No, it's not," she answered. "What do you know about this? You're into your craft for the Lord, and I'm doing mine."
"I'm going to pray for you," he replied.
"Okay, pray for me. It won't hurt."
From then on, Martin often helped her through the seizures. "Valerie," he said one day, "Come with me to my church."
She agreed. The next Sunday, sitting in a pew, an awareness of God's holiness swept through her. Suddenly, she saw -- as if through His eyes -- the evil she had embraced. "I felt so filthy and ashamed," she explained later. "I just wanted to cover myself up. It was as if God told me, 'Change now, or you'll never be safe. Your heart will become so hardened you will never be able to hear me.' I asked God to forgive me for all the awful things I had done, and I knew He did. I knelt on the floor and sobbed with joy. The change was incredible. I felt so different, so clean inside."
Back at her apartment, Valerie knew what to do. "I've got to get rid of some stuff," she told Martin. She threw everything -- books, crystals, amulets, ritual music, "even the rock and roll stuff" -- into a big lawn bag. She wanted a brand new start, and thanked God that she had already broken her engagement to Keith.
Two years later Valerie married Martin. They moved and found a Bible-teaching church. Finally Valerie began to learn the truths about the God she had mistakenly assumed she knew all her life. Visiting her pastor one day, she told him about her own dark journey.
"Did you ever go through deliverance?" he asked her
"No," she answered. "What is that?"
He explained that she needed to renounce every occult practice she had embraced and be freed from all demonic connections. She was more than willing, so they agreed to do it on the spot. In prayer, Valerie disclaimed everything she could remember: the Ouija board, astrology, spiritism, divination, necromancy (communicating with supposed spirits of the dead), channeling, the tarot cards and spell working -- the "abominations" mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:9-12. She trusted God to break every link to occult forces.
The spirits resisted. Valerie's chair began to sway and horrible demonic voices began to speak. "We're not leaving," they mocked. "You have no power." But the pastor called their bluff and, with the authority of Christ who commissioned him, he commanded them to get out. They had to obey and Valerie was finally free. What Jesus did for the child in Luke 9:42, He had done for her: "the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit [and] healed the boy. . . ."
Before the session ended, Valerie confessed her own readiness to welcome spirit guides, her Wiccan profession, and her part in leading others into darkness. One by one, the Holy Spirit brought the memories to the surface of her mind so she could take every sin to the cross and receive the pardon and cleansing Jesus had bought with His own life.
"Thank you, my Lord," she whispered as the words of her favorite psalm began to flow through her mind:
"Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness...
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin. . . .
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me. . . .
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit." (Psalm 51:1-2, 10-17)
God answered her prayer -- and gave far more than she asked. Not only did the real Jesus fill her with His life and love, Valerie never had another seizure, nor did she face the usual withdrawal symptoms when she stopped the medication.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, she was able to forgive all who had hurt and abused her. One by one, she extended His forgiving love to them -- to some only in the secret of His presence, to others by mail. For how could she -- who had been forgiven so much -- refuse the same kind of forgiveness to others?
Often, since then, the beautiful promise of Luke 7:47-49 has come to mind: "Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. . . . Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." Jesus, who is the Truth, had indeed set her free.
Freedom is the heart-cry of feminism -- freedom from authority, injustice, moral boundaries -- and freedom to chart your own way. The next chapter will show why no freedom can be found in the feminist movement.
Next: Chapter 7 - Temptation? I create my own values!
 Marianne Williamson, 138.
[ii]Manuela Dunn Mascetti, The Song of Eve (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990), 86.
The Whole People of God (Grove Heights, MN: Logos Productions, 1993), 15.
Lois Wilson, Re-imagining Conference, November 6, 1993. Tape 7-1, Side B.
Kathy Kersten, "Looking for God in the Mirror," Bibliscope (May-June, 1994); 2.
Kimberley Snow, Keys to the Open Gate (Berkeley: Conari Press, 1994); 263.
Patricia Eagle, Book of Shadows. Cited by Snow, 76.
Susan Cyre, "College Women's packet Promotes Goddess Worship," The Presbyterian Layman, May/June 1993.
Ibid. The Evangelism and Church Development Ministry Unit of the Presbyterian Church USA gave $85,000 to the Women's Ministry Unit to underwrite a project called "Witness to Women" believing it would be used "to reach unchurched." The Coordinating Committee of the College Women's Network developed materials using classic feminist strategies designed to disciple new converts to feminism rather than to Jesus Christ.
Marianne Williamson, A Woman's Worth (New York: Ballantine Books, 1993), 15-16.
Robert Jewett, "Response to the service honoring Sophia," May 9, 1995. Dr. Jewett cited Anchor Bible Dictionary I.226.
"Goddess litany at UM seminary chapel ignites controversy," Good News (September/October 1995); 35.
Transcribed from taped address by Rosemary Radford Ruether on "Healing Violence to Creation" at the Renaissance of Christian Spirituality conference presented by the California Institute of Integral Studies, March 25, 1995. Transcribed from tape #2.
Christina Hoff Sommers, "Figuring Out Feminism, National Review (June 27, 1994); 30.
Ibid. Referring to (not quoting) Joan Brumberg who wrote Fasting Girls: The Emergence of Anorexia Nervosa as a Modern Disease.
Reported by Thomas Dunn of the Division of Vital Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics. Cited by Christina Hoff Sommers.
Christina Hoff Sommers, "Figuring Out Feminism," National Review (June 27, 1994); 32.
Patrick McDowell, "Women's Role in Rwanda Genocide," San Francisco Chronicle, September 26, 1995.
Associated Press, The Oakland Press, March 13, 1994.
Frederick Engels, Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. Cited by Robin Morgan, Ed., Sisterhood is Powerful: An Athology of Writings from the women's Liberation Movement (New York: Vintage Books, 1970), 546.
Robin Morgan, Ed., Sisterhood is Powerful: An Athology of Writings from the women's Liberation Movement (New York: Vintage Books, 1970), 546.
Chapters 8, 9 and 10 will explain why.
Gustave Le Bon wrote in The Crowd (Burlington, VT: Fraser Publishing Co., 1982), xvi, xx, 9:
Little adapted to reasoning, crowds are quick to act.... How powerless they are to hold any opinions other than those which are imposed upon them.... [They are led] by seeking what produces an impression on them and what seduces them...."
Crowds possess a "collective mind which makes them feel, think and act in a manner quite different... [The member of a crowd gains] a sentiment of invincible power which allows [him] to yield to instincts which, had he been alone, he would... have kept under restraint.
Mike Capuzzo, "The Divine Ms. W," The Sacramento Bee, May 30, 1993.
Re-Imagining Conference Tape 2-2, Side A.
[31i]John 8:32, 36.
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