Sunday, October 18, 2009

Elizabeth Clare Prophet (RIP), a "Christian"?

Elizabeth Clare Prophet passed away a few days ago at 70. She was in the last stages of Alzheimer's.

I know her son Sean, now an atheist, through Facebook and the blogsphere. It was through him on Facebook that I learned she died.

My American Creation co-blogger Brad Hart once cited her in a footnote as someone who believed in the "Christian Nation" idea (of course as SHE understood the term "Christian"); Mormons too have their own Mormon-Christian Nation idea.

Ms. Prophet considered herself a "Christian," and I think a number of other things, Muslim, Buddhist, someone who channeled the Ascended Masters including Jesus Christ himself. You could literally take courses at her University with Jesus, St. Germain, etc., all channeled through her of course.

Ms. Prophet's eccentric religious teachings are relevant to my studies on the American Founding and religion because of the disputed definition of "what's a Christian" and how it relates to whether America was founded to be a "Christian Nation" in a political-theological sense. If "historic Christianity" = orthodoxy, i.e., the lowest common denominator among reformed/evangelicals, Roman Catholics and capital O Orthodox Christians, then Ms. Prophet and her followers were not "Christians."

If, on the other hand, "Christian" means self defining as one, complete with the idea that Jesus was the Son of God (though not necessarily God the Son), "Messiah," "Savior" of some sort, then Elizabeth Clare Prophet gets to be a "Christian" along with the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and many other more heterodox, eccentric sects.

You can listen to Ms. Prophet speak about Jesus here:

BTW: She had a kind of neat teaching, if I understand it right, that all human beings through Karma and Reincarnation could one day become God. Not "Gods" plural, but God singular, using the same logic that Trinitarianism does. Many Hindus teach something similar about many gods really being one God. Instead of there being three distinct persons in the Godhead, there were potentially limitless numbers. That's the Hindu spin on monotheism. All of their deities are just different manifestations of one God. Ms. Prophet taught human beings became one with God (i.e., part of the Godhead) once they achieved "Ascended Master" status, as Jesus did, as her late husband Mark Prophet did (his Ascended Master name is Lanello). And as I'm sure many of her devout followers will now claim she has done.

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