Mennonite Central Committee concert postponed because of ideological clash
Immanuel Pentecostal Church says it was not comfortable knowing ceremonial smudging was to be part of show
Mennonite Central Committee Canada is postponing their biggest event of the year after a clash in ideological values between a group that was scheduled to perform in the show and the church that was supposed to host it.
Former prime minister Joe Clark was scheduled to speak at what was to be MCC’s 50th anniversary benefit concert, and Buffalo Gals drum group was to perform.
But officials at Immanuel Pentecostal Church were not comfortable knowing that a ceremonial smudging was to be part of the Buffalo Gals drum group performance. They said it clashed with their Christian values, and the show was cancelled.
“Their position was that the practice of smudging was not in alignment with that statement of faith in practice. We thought we had to respect that. We also felt we had to respect the position of the drumming circle,” said MCC’s executive director, Ron Janzen.
Janzen went on to say everyone involved is saddened by the postponement. “Heartbreaking for everyone no question. Yeah this is, we felt so blessed by just the coming together of different groups on the event.”
The committee says it is in the process of considering a new date for the benefit.
What is smudging?
“Many cultures and religions use sacred smoke made from the plant medicines. This is called smudging in Native America.
Often incense is burned during rituals, both for purification and to symbolize the prayers of the worshipper, which are then carried to the Creator along the smoke.
While much is written on the use of smudging to cleanse negative energy, one of its main purposes is to bring vision, aided by the sense of smell.
In ancient Greece, smudging formed part of the rituals to contact the dead, following long periods of fasting and silence. Their sacred smoke was born out of sulphur and minerals in lieu of herbs to part the veil between the worlds of the living and form a bridge to the other world.
Besides producing visions, smudging is used to purify tools and people before an important spiritual ceremony. It is also used to clear sacred space and open the soul before calling upon the Spirits and their healing powers.
The Elders say that the Spirits like the aroma produced when we burn sacred medicines.”
Source: SMUDGING AND THE FOUR SACRED MEDICINES
Can the Mennonite Central Committee’s slide down the slippery slope of compromise be stopped if more brave, God fearing Christians stand up for biblical truth? (Also see: ‘Little affinity between native spirituality and Christianity,’ says pastor)