Friday, October 07, 2005

Forgiveness Seminar

Last week (my blogging is a little behind) I went to a seminar entitled The Healing Power of Forgiveness by a Christian Science practitioner. It was hosted by the Spiritual Care Department of Akron General Medical Center and it cost $25 to attend. The seminar was approved for continuing education credits for counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists as well as for chaplains and nurses. The problem was that it was an hour and a half of Christian Science proselytizing which had almost no practical application for any of the aforementioned groups, UNLESS you chose to accept the premise that we have a divine "core of core, heart of heart". The presenter was billed as a licensed marriage and family therapist, a certified independent social worker AND a Christian Science practitioner. However in the first couple of minutes of the presentation, I found out that she was no longer working under the auspices of marriage and family therapy or social work but only as a healing prayer practitioner. Her presentation boiled down to the following: forgiveness comes through realizing your own divine nature, thereby transcending the hurt. This presenter did talk a lot about Jesus, which I think was the most insidious element of her presentation – that it sounded to theindiscretiong ear like a Christian denomination that she was talking about rather than a completely different religion. Beyond the notion that if you pray hard enough you will get better and the lack of meaning in any suffering (indeed in the meaninglessness of all matter) was the fact that the cross is entirely ignored. She quoted Jesus as a moral philosopher in that he was forgiving but did not talk about the cross, or its necessity. Her God is pure Love. This sounds great. She says that if we look to this love we will realize that evil is a misperception of the divine nature. I however, serve a God who requires holiness and is just, therefore requiring atonement of sin (the lack of conformity to God’s law). The cross is where Justice and Mercy kissed. Usually justice requires less mercy and vice versa, but on the Cross, God was fully Just to our Sins and also fully merciful to every sinner.

Needless to say, my feedback sheet was full. I let them know that whenever they would like me to come and try to convince people of the truth of orthodox Christianity, hand out copies of my literature (she provided free copies of Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures - which I took and placed in my heresy box), and grant continuing education credits for it all, I'm ready. I guess I can't fault a hospital's spiritual care department for hosting such a thing, it just makes me angry that it she was billed as a mental health professional when she had renounced her training for her prayer 'ministry'. It also astounded me how many heads were nodding in approval, including nuns and other 'religious' who should have known better. After the presentation I asked her how she gets paid - she is covered by some insurance companies, but not most managed care. In this instance I'm glad for managed care.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever hear of this... a financial seminar

1:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home