So began my conversation with Melissa from the World Mission Society Church of God. Andy and I were spending our date night at Lloyd Center Mall. I emerged from a store to find Andy sitting down with a man who was showing him something from a book. Melissa approached me and caught my attention right away with her opening pitch. Once I recovered from my surprise, I gladly sat down to hear about God the Mother.
Melissa took me first to Revelation 22:17:
"The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life."Melissa says, see, the Bible says that Christ will have a bride.
I responded to her that there are many places in the Bible that refer to the body of believers, the church, as the bride of Christ. Without missing a beat, she said, "Let me show you another verse."
This time, Revelation 21:9-10:
"One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God."See there - the angel tells John that he will be shown the bride of Christ and he shows John Jerusalem, Melissa says. Jerusalem is a person and the bride of Christ.
I said, no, the city of Jerusalem is a real city, the rest of the chapter describes it in detail, and John was shown the city because that is where the bride of Christ, all Christians, will live.
"Let me show you another verse," Melissa said.
She took me to Galations and told me it says that Jerusalem is our mother. Galations 4:22-26:
"For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother."So you see, Jerusalem is our mother and the bride of Christ, She said.
No, I said, The use of mother here is figurative. It's a figure of speach to call a city or country your mother. You know, like 'the motherland'.
Melissa argued that it says the Jerusalem above, we don't live in the Jerusalem that comes from above.
I told her that when you accept Christ as your Savior you receive that citizenship. If you belong to Christ then the New Jerusalem is your new 'motherland.'
"Let me show you another verse."
"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."Melissa argued that God referred to himself in the plural and that he made humans male and female as there was male and female God. I told her that John chapter one talks about Jesus being present at creation, so that accounts for the plural 'our' and that it isn't just genitalia that make man man and woman woman. It's the essence, and God himself contains all that.
She seemed to be running out of arguments so I asked her why I should believe in God the Mother. Because it's in the Bible, she said. I told her that surely she knows that what she is saying is contrary to what nearly every Christian will believe.
Wanting to know more, I asked her how one receives the gift that the Spirit and the bride offer in Revelation. Melissa took me on a scattered journey through Matthew, Isaiah, Hebrews, Revelation and Exodus. She said that in Matthew 5 when Jesus said that he came to fullfil the law he meant that we must keep the law as it was written. So we must keep the feasts, most importantly the sabbath and passover. And in Isaiah 2 it talks about the law coming from Mt. Zion, so we have to find Mt. Zion and receive the law there. When we celebrate passover it must be with passover bread and passover wine. And if we do that we will be like the 144,000 in Revelation 7 to whom no calamity will come.
Oi vey. This girl moved so fast I could hardly get a word in. For every question and contradiction she had an answer. Not a good one, but an answer. When she first began she was smiling and animated. By the end of our conversation, which lasted about 30 minutes, she had a long face. Several times she told me she would show me one more thing and then let me go because she knew I needed to. Once she finished I'd ask her another question. Hey, the longer I kept her talking to me the less time she could talk to someone else!
Finally, Andy had finished his conversation with the man so I decided to wrap up mine. I asked Melissa if she had a brochure about her church that she could give me. No. A website? No. Anything? No. What church are you with? Church of God. Very nondescript.
There are a hundred things I wish I had said to her but didn't get a chance to or didn't think about it at the time. I'm sure I blundered my way through many of the things I did say. But I was infinately thankful for the chance to talk. Who knows - maybe I said something right that will stick. Ultimately, it made me angry to watch someone take my Bible and twist it to make it say something it doesn't. And it made my heart hurt to see someone so wrong and confused.
Saturday I Googled "God the Mother." Finally on page eight of my search I found another blog post chronicling an encounter much like my own. This one provided a link to the World Mission Society Church of God. That was it! I found them! Go ahead - check them out. You will find that God the Mother is actually incarnate and lives on "Mt. Zion" in Korea. Also, we apparently missed the second coming of Christ. His name was Ahnsahnghong. Unfortunately, he died in 1985, but you won't find anything about that on their website.