Under the Spell of Mother Earth - Chapter7
“In our own time ... the Goddess once again is becoming a symbol of empowerment for women ... an inspiration for artists, and a model for resacrilizing woman's body and the mystery of human sexuality.” 1 (Elinor W. Gadon)
“By pursuing your allurements, you help bind the universe together. The unity of the world rests on the pursuit of passion ...” (Brian Swimme, physicist, in The Universe is a Green Dragon)2
“She seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter... Little knowing it will cost him his life… Many are the victims she has brought down.” (Proverbs 7.21-26)
EXPLORING INDIA in the 1960s, my husband, Andy, and I went to Khajuraho, home to a group of medieval temples. There, ancient artist/priests had carved tier upon tier of couples or threesomes posed in a myriad of sexual unions. Amazed by the apparent message, we wondered if these sensual figures were traces of a worship that viewed eroticism as a path to enlightenment.
No guide was there to explain the spiritual significance of Khajuraho's curious blend of temple worship and sexual intercourse. Only in light of today's obsession with sex does it begin to make sense. I hope that the insights we have gained since then will help you understand the forces behind these facts:
An explosion of suggestive and explicit sexual images tantalize Western audiences through television, ads, music, entertainment, and modern mysticism.
Sex and AIDS education curricula encourage children to pursue promiscuity rather than abstinence, immediate gratification rather than permanent commitment, and provide graphic instructions on how to enjoy all kinds of sexual experiences
"More than half of American women ages fifteen to nineteen have had premarital sex.”3
A thriving pornography industry provides indescribable photos of women being abused, multiple-partner sex, a battery of hetero - and homosexual poses - and, in more hardcore magazines, scenes of gang rape, torture, bestiality, and rape of children.
Some of America’s noisiest social reformers insist on their "right" to federal subsidies for radical and obscene art
Most Ivy League schools celebrate Gay Awareness Week -"an extended brainwashing session”4 - but refuse to tolerate contrary opinions.
The Madonna Phenomena
The world's most popular female singer (over 80 million records sold) is a master at blending sexual and religious imagery. Sporting sensual/spiritual labels (Like a Prayer, “Like a Virgin," The Immaculate Collection) her musical sensations mingle Christian crosses and feigned innocence with seduction and sexual exploits befitting a pagan goddess. Bisexuality, sadomasochism, autoerotic orgasm, and multiple sex partners ... anything goes. "Unlike the other, I’d do anything;” she sings in "Burnin' Up," "I'm not the same, I have no shame.”5
She's right about the shame. Appearing on "Nightline" after MTV refused to show her kinky sex video, Justify My Love, Madonna told her interviewer that the focus of her video was "the celebration of sex. There's nothing wrong with that!"6 As for feminists who criticize her boy-toy image, she explained, "But I chained myself! I'm in charge."7 Apparently her admirers agree. Picturing Madonna on their December 1990 cover, Glamour counted her among its Ten Women of the Year "for personifying women’s power of seff-detemtination.8
How did Madonna grab and hold the attention of American youth and the media? Why do her fans - including millions of young girls - sing her songs and parade Madonna-style underwear as outerwear?”
“She's telling me that whatever it is I feel about sex, it's okay - Whatever it is I like, I don’t have to be ashamed,"9 explains Mia Tiemann of Petaluma, California. Record impresario David Geffen adds his insight: She is "the superstar sex goddess of the video generation."10
Madonna told Johnny Carson, “I wouldn’t have turned out the way I was if I didn’t have all those old-fashioned values to rebel against."11
Her rebellion against "old-fashioned values" serves Satan’s purpose well. To demolish the safe boundaries set by God, he has to persuade the masses that promiscuous sex, like Eve's forbidden fruit, is good, not bad. "You will surely not die," lied the serpent. "[Instead] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Genesis 3.4-5).
"Madonna Is All; she is a universe of one ... we must adore her because she demands it,"12 says music editor Harry Sumrall. Though Madonna may not embrace the spirituality of ancient Paganism, this shrewd, sexy star shines like a modem Aphrodite - the Greek sex goddess currently acclaimed by ecofeminist, religious scholars, and a myriad of seekers yearning of personal and social transformation
Transformation through Sex
A 1990 conference on ecology and religion featured Father Matthew Fox, founder of the Institute on Culture and Creation Spirituality (where the Wiccan leader Starhawk is a faculty member). I attended the conference, and listened as one of the pastors introduced the Dominican priest: "We ... have gathered to hear a man who is returning the word eros to the presbytery. More than a left-brain attitude toward this conference will be helpful."
Matthew Fox proceeded to share his alluring blend of environmentalism, eroticism, and cosmic spirituality with an audience that obviously delighted in his strange message.
Earlier, in an article published by the Earth Island Journal, Fox had summarized his prescription for healing the hurting earth. Notice how he blends truth and deception:
"Unlike Fall and Redemption theology, which is dominant today, Creation Spirituality is not patriarchal, but is feminist. It believes ecstasy, eros, and passion are not curses but blessings. Creation Spirituality emphasizes beauty, not self-denial. It believes compassion, justice and celebration are the goals of spirituality. It emphasizes creativity over obedience. It believes humans are essentially divine ...
"Meister Eckhart taught that 'God is a great underground river,' and that the world’s great religions are all wells tapping into that power. We must unleash the wisdom of all religions - Western and Eastern, as well as Native American and Goddess traditions - to reveal the Cosmic Christ."13
The "wisdom of all religions" has now been unleashed in the West. It has brought us face to face with pagan myths that are reshaping beliefs. Yes, we need to understand people from other cultures. But when leaders - and even those who call themselves Christian - promote pagan "wisdom” as our guiding light, we had better test everything we hear with truth and recognize the signs of the deception.
"What should I read to understand what is happening?" I asked Carol Delaney, assistant professor of anthropology at Stanford University. Since she had just given a lecture on patriarchal attitudes toward women, I expected her to recommend a champion for feminine spirituality - which she did: Carol Christ, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Religious Studies at San Jose State University.
I read Carol Christ’s two books, Womanspirit Rising and Laughter of Aphrodite: Reflections on a Journey to the Goddess. Both describe feminist Goddess-centered spirituality. The latter includes essays by two leading contemporary witches, Starhawk and Zsuzsanna E. Budapest.
Carol Christ calls herself "a priestess of Aphrodite." In the following description notice Aphrodite's rejection of boundaries.
Fully and joyously sexual, Aphrodite remains Virgin in that her sexuality is unbridled, untamed, and her own. Though married to Hephaestus according to Olympian mythology, she is neither submissive or faithful to him. Though she is a mother, her child Eros, Love or Desire, is but a reflection of her sexuality ...
Her sacred places, like her sexuality, symbolize transformation. Aphrodite is also connected to the Near Eastern Goddess of Renewal and Regeneration, Ishtar... Like Ishtar, she was served by priestesses who engaged in sacred sexual rituals ... 14
Aphrodite represents the "cosmic life force, associated especially with the transformative power of sexuality.”15 This power evidently has its cruel side. The Encyclopedia Britannica points out that Greek mythology often associated Aphrodite concerned "not with human love in general, but with its darker side: rape, adultery, and incest.”16
Most ecofeminist, deep ecologist, holistic/visionary scientists, and wiccan voices don't like to discuss the dark side of the Goddess (unless they want to use it to justify their own dark side). To them, her unbridled sexuality means lofty ideals such as liberation and renewal, energy and empowerment, ecstasy and oneness, both with others and with the divine.
Aphrodite's rituals of love and pleasure are the acts which connect the inner and outer planes ... we must actually dance, sing, feast, make music, and love in Her honor. It is with our bodies that we worship Her, and through our bodies that She blesses us. By these earthy rituals the false divisions between body and spirit, between mind and nature, are healed. We find the Sacred within us and all things, within our beautiful, living Mother Earth.17 (Judy Harrow in Gnosis)
Timeless Images and Sexual Rituals.
The power and delights of sex have never been promoted as effectively as through today's mass media. Teasing glimpses beckon from roadside billboards, Sunday morning newspapers, prime-time family television, and mail-order catalogs. Look through the eyes of a teenager at the new comic books and computer game arcades. Ponder the effect of movie ad lines such as one for Dangerous Liaisons: "Nasty, decadent fun.... A seductive, scary, savagely witty look at the unchanging way of the world." The reversal of values God warns against in Isaiah 5:20 is becoming a reality: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil."
Obsession with sex is natural to a world without God. People have always tried to manipulate the energy that supposedly controls life and creativity. Believing that human and agricultural fertility can be insured by simulating the reproductive act, earth-based cultures around the world have established rituals that did just that.
Of course, rituals are not all bad. To help His people remember that He (not pagan idols) was their provider, God appointed various annual feasts and festivals in Israel. During the Feast of Harvests in the late spring, the people brought the "firstfruit” of their produce to the temple to thank God for His provision (Exodus 23:14-16).
You can easily recognize counterfeit rituals. They are based on pagan myths and have a common objective: to invoke spiritual power. In other words, man rather than God wields the force - and makes himself god.
"A ritual can be defined as an enactment of a myth," explains Joseph Campbell. "By participating in a ritual, you are actually experiencing a mythological life. And it's out of that participation that one can learn to live spiritually."18
That’s true. Those who build spiritual lives based on myths and rituals, will connect with spiritual forces - but not God’s. So when ancient Babylon and other earth-based religions established ritual temple prostitution to win divine favor, they invoked demonic spirits. The price: oppression, disease, and destruction. But people have a tendency to ignore the lessons of history. Therefore, pagan beliefs and rituals keep resurfacing, promoting the same lies and occult powers.
In an article titled, "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven: 2,500 Years of Religious Ecstasy," Dr. Peter Berger explains these sensual rites from a Christian point of view:
The rhythms of nature, particularly the sequences of the seasons and the movement of the stars were suffused with divine forces.... the cult of sacred sexuality put one in touch with the divine forces in the cosmos and within oneself. That cult, logically enough, tended everywhere toward the orgiastic ...
The human being's fundamental religious quest is to establish contact with divine forces and beings that transcend him. The cult of sacred sexuality provided this contact in a way that was both easy and pleasurable....
The cult provided ecstasy. In the throes of the orgiastic sacrament, the individual stepped outside his normal self and the humdrum restraints of ordinary life. He became one with the cosmos, with the gods, and ipso facto with his own true nature. He ate the apple and he became divine: what, in the biblical perspective, was the original seduction was also the most archaic experience of "consciousness-expansion!"19
Reviving the Solstice
Around the world and through the ages, earth-based religions observed winter solstices with rituals that celebrated conception and rebirth. In the more developed myths of Babylon, India, Egypt, and Greece, the Goddess annually gave birth to the sun or the god it represented. The celebrations included mother/son images that resemble those of the Madonna with Jesus. Again the master-deceiver had planted myths that counterfeited God’s plan. That the timing of Christmas coincides with the pagan winter solstice adds to the confusion.
Today the winter solstice and spring equinox are honored through multicultural teaching, classroom celebrations, and community events. With their "inclusive" earth-centered emphasis, they are welcome substitutes for Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter.
Many reform-minded educators view rituals as a way to empower children, build self-esteem, and raise a new consciousness. Dr. Andy LePage's influential book Transforming Education offers this bit of advice:
Creating rituals for bonding, social transformation, and calling forth energy, would aid in making connections with others and with the earth. Through hatha-yoga, students could learn to befriend their bodies and cherish their breath... 20
The Mystery of Tantra
Hatha-yoga? Pupul Jayakar’s book, Earth Mother, shed some light on this occult ritual. Hatha (force) yoga (union) is a combination of physical/sensual exercise and spiritual ritual which is supposed to integrate mind and body and join the person to god. It was grafted into a branch of Hinduism and Buddhism called Tantra - which began as a mystical fertility cult that worshiped the regenerative powers of the Goddess. It flourished between the seventh and thirteenth centuries A.D., leaving relics such as the erotic poses on thetemple walls at Khajuraho.
Tantra’s more complex secrets were transmitted by the yogi (or jogi), who supposedly transcends both natural and yogi moral order. Though he renounces the earth, he indulges in its pleasures with abandon. Note the parallel between his lawless lifestyle and America’s shift away from God’s wise boundaries:
To the jogi nothing is forbidden. By donning this robe he symbolically renounces the earth and its fruit and frees himself from society and its moralities. The jogi ... is the magician/sorcerer, the master of alchemy, and the practitioner of the forbidding tantric ritual. He is the astrologer, the palmist, and the juggler, he is the poet, the faithless lover, the seducer of mind and heart. He is also the symbol of awakened man... a wild and fearful image explosive with power . . . 21
Tantra spread through India into Tibet and China. Tibetan Buddhists amplified and preserved the Tantric rituals in their mountain monasteries. When China forced the Dalai Lama and thousands of his disciples to flee their beautiful land, they first brought the Buddhist Tantra back across India and then into the West. Suddenly Buddhist study centers -- teaching a form of Tantra fitted to Western tastes - sprang up across the United States.
While the word Tantra sounds unfamiliar to most Westerners, everyone has seen some of the symbols: the all-seeing third eye, the yogi seated in lotus position, and the serpent - an essential to most earth-based religions.
The late Joseph Campbell has described the spiritual/ sexual steps in Tantric meditation countless times on PBS. It fits right into the body of myths that, according to Campbell, could restore meaning to a meaningless world. Now his devotees can read it in his best-selling books.
Part of his magic is that the general masses desperately want to believe in what he is saying. And apparently the powers of the media want his message believed as well… The result is that the impact of Joseph Campbell on present day America has been enormous. His influence may outdistance all the gurus from the East added up together.22 (Tal Brooke, SCP Journal)
Like ancient Israel, today’s masses covet a god who will do their bidding and approves of all their actions. Like Matthew Fox, many imagine God simply to be like the Goddess: “tender, embracing, erotic…” They choose to ignore or distort His holiness and righteousness.
The Color Purple, assigned reading for Women’s Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, remade God to fit pagan feminist demands. Ponder this dialogue. If you saw the movie, you may remember that Shug was the beautiful lover brought home by Celie’s self-centered husband. Here Shug is teaching Celie her pantheistic beliefs about God and love. Image the appeal to women who don’t know the true God:
“I believe that God is everything,” say Shug. “Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found It…”
She say, "My first step from the old white man was trees. Then air. Then birds... But one day when I was sitting quiet ... it come to me: that feeling of being part of everything, not separate at all. I knew that if I cut a tree, my arm would bleed. And I laughed and I cried and I run all around the house. I knew just what it was. In fact, when it happen, you can’t miss it. It sort of like you know what, she say, grinning and rubbing high up on my thigh."
"Shug!" I say.
"Oh," she say. "God love all them feelings. That's some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves 'em you enjoys 'em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that's going, and praise God by liking what you like."
"God don’t think it dirty?" I ask.
"Naw," she say. "God made it. Listen, God love everything you love - and a mess of stuff you don’t…”23
Does God indeed delight in people who happily "relax” and "go with everything that is going"? No! God shows us that undisciplined human nature tends to become selfish, frustrated, and unlovable, not self-giving, confident, and delightful. It breeds three companion problems: lawlessness, low self-esteem, and failure.
People who violate God’s values may try to avoid guilt by hiding from God or hating Him for His "intolerable" standard. They may try to repress their guilt, compare themselves with worse offenders, or blame others - all of which tend to increase intolerance rather than acceptance of others.
The dark side of the Goddess exposes Satan’s depravity. Read the accounts of attempted gang rape in Genesis 19:4-5 and Judges 19:22. Both tell of raging mobs of men demanding certain male guests to ravage. In the latter account, the crazed bisexual throng was given a woman to abuse to death. This horrible story seemed unreal two decades ago. Now, in our post-Christian nation, such sexual violence is becoming a reality. Forgetting that every animal knows how to reproduce, some youth view intercourse as a way to prove maturity. Gang rape has become a substitute for tribal puberty rites.
Our entertainment industry makes it all appear good fun. "It's no accident," writes David Hinckley in the New York Daily News, "that when the gratuitous nudity of early-80’s films got boring, filmmakers switched to gratuitous violence. Same principle. Just keep it fresh."24
We shouldn’t be surprised at the spreading decadence of a world that rejects its Creator. God told us long ago that "the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature" (Galatians 5:17). The social consequences of trusting human nature are devastating:
There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God....In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you learned (2 Timothy 3:1-4, 12-14).
WHAT CAN FAMILIES DO?
Pray, and keep wearing the armor of God.
1. God’s plan for sex.
2. The problem with promiscuity.
3. The consequences of rejecting His plan.
1. GOD’S PLAN FOR SEX.
God designed sexuality with four goals in mind: (1) to bond husband and wife, (2) for our enjoyment, (3) to produce children and build a family, and (4) to give us a tiny glimpse of the exceeding joy of being joined to Jesus forever (Genesis 2.24, 24:67, 33:5, Ephesians 5:22-23; Revelation 19:7-9).
Our Maker wanted sex to be desirable and fulfilling - a physical expression of a growing emotional and spiritual intimacy. But in this world of blatant immorality, God’s plan seems almost too idealistic - even to some Christians. Social pressures, false values, self-centered demands, and conflicting beliefs produce and often sanction unsteady, crumbling relationships - in stark contrast to the stability He offers us. More than ever, we need to encourage each other to honor God in our marriages, to pray for our families, and to teach His ways to our children. They need to know that when God says "Don’t!", it’s for their good (Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 11:13-15; Romans 6:11-23). Their future, the survival of the family, and our nation’s health depend on it.
"'Sacred sex” as a means to oneness and empowerment is obviously not part of God’s plan. Peter Berger explains why.
The basic presupposition of sacred sexuality was the unity of the cosmos with the divine. It was precisely this unity that Yahwism violently rejected. Yahweh was the God who had created the heavens and the earth. As Creator, He stood over and against the cosmos. He was not one with it; therefore, there was no way by which contact with Him could be established by fusing the self with the inner processes of the cosmos.25
2. THE PROBLEM WITH PROMISCUITY. To experience love, ecstasy, and spiritual transcendence, people risk bodily harm, emotional tearing, and spiritual emptiness. But promiscuity never satisfies. Like drugs and other addictions, it deepens the loneliness and intensifies the craving for more stimulation.
Because promiscuity and its partners, perversion and pornography, destroy people, weaken nations, and separate us from Him, God abhors them. Again and again, He urges us to follow His guidelines and be safe:
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal.... Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited up its inhabitants (Leviticus 18.22-25).
God is referring to the evil that corrupted Canaan before He turned it over to Israel. How bad was it? “…barbarous and thoroughly licentious,” writes W. F. Albright in his book From the Stone Age to Christianity.26
In the fourteenth century B.C., God led the Israelites into the Promised Land after forty years of wandering in the desert. Weakened by their decadent lifestyle, the Canaanites were ripe for defeat (Deuteronomy 7.1-6). Archeologists have unearthed Hittite manuscripts which allow us to peek behind Israel’s enemy lines. Wars and epidemics had sapped their strength. Listen to the prayer of a Hittite king from the fourteenth century B.C.:
What is this, 0 gods, that ye have done? A plague ye have let into the land. The Hatti land, all of it, is dying... 0 gods, take ye pity again on the Hatti land! On the one hand it is afflicted with a plague, on the other hand it is afflicted with hostility... Hatti land is a weary land.... In olden days the Hatti land with the help of the Sun-goddess Arinna used to take on the surrounding countries like a lion.27
Some of the most powerful gods (actually demons) and goddess of Canaan and Babylon demanded child sacrifice. Perhaps this practice also solved the problem of unwanted babies - those conceived through prostitution and other promiscuous relationships. Could this ancient horror be compared to our rising toll of unborn babies, conceived through promiscuity and aborted as a sacrifice to the "prince of this world” - the demonic force behind the Goddess?
The New Testament declares its condemnation - not of the sinner - but of promiscuous and perverted sex:
God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.... Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Romans 1.24-27).
3. CONSEQUENCES FOR REJECTING GOD’S GUIDELINES: The first consequence is spiritual: separation from God. This is Satan's primary tactic against Christians. When people choose their own way, they forfeit fellowship with Jesus. "Your iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). The sad prophecy in Matthew 24:12 warns us that in end times, few will turn back from the dangerous path they have chosen: "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold."
The second consequence follows: emotional bondage. God "gives us over" to our own meager resources, which are no match for the schemes of Satan and the unruly cravings of our human nature. In spite of man's demand for sexual freedom, once illicit practices are indulged, they trap their victims. No one is immune. "Don't you know that ... you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?… You are weak in your natural selves" (Romans 6:16-19).
The third consequence is physical: disease and death. Since illness touches everyone sooner or later, the faithful as well as the rebellious, people hesitate to connect STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) like AIDS to sexual behavior. But God doesn't mince words. Sexual disobedience together with idolatry lead to disease of the body as well as of the land:
You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame (Jeremiah 3:2-3).
The LORD Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon His sturdy warriors.... The splendor of His forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick man wastes away. And the remaining trees of His forests will be so few that a child could write them down (Isaiah 10:16-19).
Do these verses apply to us today?
Remember I Corinthians 10:6-8:Now these things [Old Testament consequences for sin] occurred as examples, to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.... As it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." We should not commit sexual immorality as some of them did - and in one day 23,000 of them died.
4. GOD’S STEPS TO WHOLENESS. God's patience with us reaches far beyond our understanding. His Father-love compels Him to draw us back to fellowship with Him. The way back is the same for all of us: Confession and repentance (our Part) forgiveness and healing (God's part).
First, He begins to touch our hearts with awareness of sin - a most unpopular word these days. Somehow Satan has persuaded most Americans that sin and guilt will somehow disappear if Christians would only stop using those words. The opposite is true. When we violate God’s principles, guilt makes us feel unworthy. Having rejected the cross, millions are left in that uncomfortable state. They don’t realize that God uses guilt to bring us to repentance - the place where we are ready to receive His healing and forgiving love. When we confess our sin, He fills us with a sense of acceptance and worth. No amount of positive self-talk can accomplish that.
"When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long," wrote King David. "Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and You forgave the guilt of my sin." Forgiven, cleansed and renewed, David ended his song on a note of triumph, "Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous. Sing, all you who are upright in heart!" (Psalm 32:3, 5, 11)
We all face a choice: Whom will we serve - self or God? Romans 12:1-2 show us the winning way: Offer your body to God, and renew your mind with truth. Feed your mind with truth until His warnings and promises become more than second nature.
Study Proverbs together as a family; we reviewed it every few years with our sons. Also, know and discuss the following Scriptures: Psalm 1; 119:9-18, 93, 105.
Don’t feed on the seductive images and tempting lies of today's popular movies, music, novels, and ads. "I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl,” said Job. Discuss job 31:1; Psalms 97:10; 101:3; Ephesians 5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8.
For detailed suggestions on building God’s values in children and youth, read chapter 4 in Your Child and the New Age. Other chapters provide specific guidelines for choosing movies, television programs, books, and music. One simple question we can all ask ourselves when watching a movie is: "How would the person (any character in trouble) have been better off if he or she had followed God’s principles?"
Above all, trust God, not yourself, to accomplish His purpose for you:
Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it (I Thessalonians 5:21-24)
1. Elinor W. Gadon, 7he Once and Future Goddess (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1989), xv.
2. Brian Swimme, The Universe Is a Green Dragon (Santa Fe, N.M: Bear & Company, Inc., 1984), 49.
3. United Press International, "New Study Of Teenage Sex" San Francisco Chronicle, 5 January 1991.
4. Don Feder, "Colleges Facilitate Intramural Sex," AFA journal (November/December 1990): 23.
5. Richard Harrington, "Madonna Thriving On Her Own Chaos," San Francisco Chronicle, 5 December 1990.
7. Camille Paglia, "Madonna - Finally, a Real Feminist," The New York Times, December 14, 1990.
8. Jay Cocks, "Madonna Draws the Line," Time (17 December 1990): 74.
9. Tom Sabulis, "Her Fans Speak Out on Spanking," San Jose Mercury News, 20 May 1990.
10. Cocks, 74.
11. Ibid., 75.
12. Harry Sumrall, "Madonna's Tour Spotlights Her Ego More Than Her Talent," San Jose Mercury News, 20 May 1990.
13. Matthew Fox, "My Final Statement Before Being Silenced By the Vatican," Earth Island Journal (Winter 1988-89): 50-
14. Carol P. Christ, Laughter of Aphrodite (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), 176-77.
15. Ibid., 188.
16. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol 2 (Chicago: Encydopaedia Brittanica, Inc., 1968), 110-111.
17. Judy Harrow, "A Season with Aphrodite," Gnosis (Fall 1990): 17.
18. Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth (New York: Doubleday, 1988), 182.
19. Peter L. Berger, "Cakes for the Queen of Heaven: 2500 Years of Religious Ecstasy," The Christian Century (December 25, 1974): 1218-1219.
20. Andy LePage, Ph.D., Transforming Education (Oakland, Calif.: Oakmore House Press, 1987), 118.
21. Pupul Jayakar, Earth Mother (San Francisco: H arper & Row, 1990), 134.
22. Tal Brooke, "Myths-Adhesive for a Generic Religion,: SCP Journal (Vol 9:2,1990): 8-9.
23. Alice Walker, The Color Purple (New York: Washington Square Press, 1982),187.
24. David Hinckley, " 'Dick Tracy' Shouldn't Have Sex’ The San Jose Mer-cury News, 25 June 1990.
25. Berger, 1219.
26. W.F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity, 214. Cited by Merrill F. Unger, Archeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1977), 177.
27. James B. Pritchard, editor, Ancient Near Eastern Texts (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1969), 394.