I’ve got nothing against wolves, they’re a noble and much maligned animal. However, the figurative ‘wolves’ that are implied by the common saying that is the title of this post are anything but noble. They’re deceptive, they lie, and they lead unknowing people down a path they don’t intend to go down. That’s the subject of today’s post. Contrary to my usual routine, I’m not putting this one in the queue to go up on a Wednesday far in the future, as I think this is a wolf that fortunately may be on its way to obscurity. At least their main website seems to indicate such, as it appears to not be actively maintained. However, they do have a recently active crowdfunding campaign going right now (click here for that, but for the love of the gods, don’t donate, please)–they seem to be woefully short of their $10,000.00 goal ($135.00 so far). But then again, they may have just moved to a new site (here), so this gnat may not have met its windshield just yet. Please have a look at the links I’ve provided before you continue reading to spare me the need to give an extensive backgrounder on these folks.
I’ve seen this group on-line before (in reference to their presence at the Burning Man festival), but had conveniently shoved it to the back of my mind until it was inconveniently brought back front and centre thanks to a post in an ex-Christian Scientist Facebook page. Now, I feel inspired to write about it, and deconstruct it a little bit, in my own special way.
Holy Ghost Global Ministries sounds like a feel-good, holy-roller Christian revival sort of thing to me with some anime, music, and hipster veneer thrown on (did I say they were at Burning Man?), as I look at it on its surface. I’m sure they’ve lured in more than a few mainstream Christians and lost younger souls unawares, so this post is as much a warning to those who are Christian or just looking for a church home (I think I have a few readers who are Christian) as it is a critique of this ministry. First off, it is NOT a mainstream Christian ministry, not in the sense that most regular Christians would think of one as. It IS a Christian Science church/ministry, run as far as I can tell by a young married couple; and I believe one or both are Christian Science practitioners. Now, I’m not going to debate here whether or not Christian Science is “Christian” (I think it is, in its own special way and that opinion is not subject to change anytime soon), but it is definitely not conventional or orthodox Christianity. But, Holy Ghost Global Ministries puts itself out there as a somewhat conventional mainstream Christian ministry, albeit they seem to sort of aim themselves at a more “street” or hipster crowd than perhaps the more staid old-line Christian churches might–they like to toss in some anime art, for example, and there appear to be “spirit wars” going on in West Los Angeles (be careful if you go there, I guess).
What really bugs me about this, and I’m not Christian by the way, is how this ‘ministry’ is deceptively packaged to look like a mainstream Christian ministry. If I were a mainstream Christian, I’d be incensed, and I’m sure some are. It’s a Christian Science ministry. It’s a re-packaging of Christian Science to make it appealing to a more mainstream, younger audience. If you need to package your product in fancy and frankly deceptive packaging, then I think there’s something seriously wrong with your product. A bag of shit is still a bag of shit, no matter how many pretty bows you put on it, and that’s what this is.
Holy Ghost Global Ministries is a larger than life example of some similar things I see happening in the mainstream Christian Science community/church. While Mary Baker Eddy told Christian Scientists they must “be separate” from the world (see Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 451); however, the Christian Science Church itself is trying its best to fit in to the world. It refers to Christian Science practitioners as being in the “healing ministry of Christian Science”. Christian Science nursing is also now often referred to as a ‘healing ministry’ as well. Sounds a lot like regular old Christianity eh? Many is the time I’ve heard a practitioner say they were ‘called’ to their ‘healing ministry’, just like you will often hear Christian pastors talk about being ‘called’. This is just another example of Christian Science being packaged as something it is not. It is not a mainstream Christian denomination, but it’s trying to sound like one. Rather than being separate, it’s trying to fit in. Likewise, Christian Science also tries to package itself as a form of healthcare, yet it really is not–but that’s another topic.
Christian Science and its adherents are a dying (almost literally) breed that’s desperately trying to find relevance and to put more butts in the pews. However, unless some miracle of God strikes down from on high, I don’t think its decline will abate. I just find it darkly amusing how Christian Science is trying to find relevance in today’s 21st century society, moribund as it is in its 19th century roots. As with anything else, buyer beware. Always read the fine print.