Dr. Melina Abdullah — a professor at California State University who also leads the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter — recently summoned the spirits of several deceased people to fill a Methodist church with ethereal energy, including Martin Luther King, several other slain civil rights leaders, victims of police brutality, and an African warrior named Shaka Zulu.
“This is not just a social justice, a racial justice, an economic justice struggle,” Abdullah told a crowd gathered at Hollywood United Methodist Church on Thursday night. “This is also a spiritual struggle, so it’s appropriate that we’re here in this setting. It’s also important that we summon the right energy into this space no matter what faith you are.”
The church was hosting a townhall organized to stop two new jails from being built in Los Angeles County. The meeting opened with Abdullah leading a ritual called the “pouring of libations,” which she defined as “a summoning of energy” in “the names of our ancestors.”You can watch a portion for yourself, at least until the censors at YouTube take the video down. I have watched it and it does indeed contain what is described by the article.
Of note is the chant "Ase" after each name is uttered. Ase is a concept of animistic, pagan West African religion described as follows from Wikipedia:
Ase (or às̩e̩ or ashe) is a West African philosophical concept through which the Yoruba of Nigeria conceive the power to make things happen and produce change. It is given by Olodumare to everything — gods, ancestors, spirits, humans, animals, plants, rocks, rivers, and voiced words such as songs, prayers, praises, curses, or even everyday conversation. Existence, according to Yoruba thought, is dependent upon it.
In addition to its sacred characteristics, ase also has important social ramifications, reflected in its translation as "power, authority, command." A person who, through training, experience, and initiation, learns how to use the essential life force of things to willfully effect change is called an alaase.
Rituals to invoke divine forces reflect this same concern for the autonomous ase of particular entities. The recognition of the uniqueness and autonomy of the ase of persons and gods is what structures society and its relationship with the other-world.If you think that sounds like a pagan, occultic practice and concept, you are correct. If you further think that the Bible condemns this sort of thing, you are also right. If you wonder why a "church" would agree to this going on, assuming someone from the church was there, you are on the right path.
It sounds as if this was a community event hosted by the church, not an actual "official" church gathering but on the other hand the "church" hosting this event, Hollywood United Methodist Church, proudly proclaims their "progressive" street cred in search results....
...and a "leadership team" features the obligatory female "senior pastor" and an open, "married" homosexual "associate pastor" as well as a couple of other homosexual staff...and a statement of "beliefs" that includes gems like this:
We believe in the Bible, interpreted through the lenses of our reason, experience and tradition, and wherever it agrees with the fundamental truth of God’s love and grace as revealed by the life of Christ.Well that is just a deliciously nonsensical example of circular reasoning "We believe the Bible where the Bible agrees with Jesus!". Of course all we know about Jesus we get from the Bible so what this really means is that this "church" pre-determines which parts of the Bible they will agree with rather than being conformed to what the Bible says. Little wonder they have a woman senior pastor, practicing homosexuals on staff and host far left wing political events that feature a blasphemous séance and involving of an animistic religious practice. If I was a senior pastor and I heard about this going on in our building I would stop it. Or if I was a member. Or if I was a regular attender. Or if I was someone just wandering down the street and heard/saw a women pouring out libations, trying to summon the spirits of dead people and invoking animistic chanting.
I am not surprised to see stuff like this happening at a "church" but I do have to wonder what in the world is going on at the United Methodist Church headquarters that no one, as far as I can tell, has made a peep about something that has as much business being done in a building consecrated to the Christian faith as a goat being sacrificed to Demogorgon.
My real question is this. I know people that are in UMC churches that seem like pretty solid Christians that don't buy into this nonsense but yet are allowing themselves to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) that preach and practice rank heresy. When you are part of a church that is part of a denomination, you express some level of unity and solidarity with other churches in that denomination. If I became a member of a Southern Baptist church, I would understand that implies some unity on essential doctrines with every other Southern Baptist church. At what point do faithful Christians in United Methodist churches demand some action from the denomination to deal with wayward local churches or push their own local church to leave the denomination or failing that find some other church to attend?
I understand the power of history and tradition and loyalty but at some point you have to ask if you can be in fellowship, even from a distance, with a local church that allows an unbeliever to have a séance invoking the spirits of a Zulu pagan warlord and a Muslim Black Nationalist into a Christian church. Is the United Methodist Church so desperate to be seen as tolerant and inclusive that they will gut every single feature of the faith in order to appease the ever shifting sensibilities of the unbelieving world? I think recent history unfortunately assumes that they are.