banner top

Go Home

Promise Keepers and the Men's Movement


(From the December 1995 issue of Christian Conscience magazine)

The revival of pagan myths and rites includes
the reintroduction of the Sacred Prostitute concept for women

WARNING: This article contains passages from the written works of others which are sexually explicit and describe practices of the occult. We sincerely apologize for the necessity to print them. However, we know of no other way to demonstrate the insidiousness of the occultic and pagan concepts and practices which have infiltrated the Church today.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

The secular women's movement in this country is now a quarter of a century old. Its ideas and influences have spread across our culture, so totally permeating our society that the traditional concepts of family, marriage, childrearing, and femininity have been turned upside down.

Today, several decades after the initial onslaught of the woman's movement, most of its ideals and practices have seeped into the Church and are tolerated as part of normal American Christian life. Only a handful of Christian writers have focused their attention on how extensively the Church has adopted the secular lifestyle of the feminists; i.e., women returning to work, child care, birth control/abortion, and other issues. Mary Pride wrote two excellent books, The Way Home and All the Way Home, which offer an orthodox Christian alternative to feminism. Other writers, such as Berit Kjos (Under the Spell of Mother Earth) and Wanda Marrs (New Age Lies to Women), warned the Church about the feminists' fascination with the occult; e.g., creation spirituality, goddess worship, wiccan rites and New Age symbols. And there was quite an outcry several years ago when some "Christian feminists" had a conference which talked about worshipping Sophia. However, since the practical outworkings of feminism have become so mainstream, Christians have become disarmed to the fact that feminism's connection to the New Age movement is alive and well.

Last issue we began Part 1 of "Resurrecting Pagan Rites", where we discussed the growing men's movement, which has come out of the New Age movement. The New Age movement has been a seedbed for the revival of Carl Jung's ideas. Jungian psychology emphasizes the necessity of revitalizing ancient myths to define and remediate the human psyche. Wholeness and identity are defined in terms of one's connection with the images in these age-old fairy tales.

If you thought ancient Greek and Roman gods and goddesses went out of fashion with Latin classes in high school, think again! This new breed of psychology is much more than mere fantasy. There is a growing body of people who have incorporated the classic myths from cultures around the world into modern psychology - to the point where the ancient rites accompanying these stories are being revived.

One such mythical concept experiencing revival is that of woman as "Sacred Prostitute". This is an abrupt shift from the "independence" agenda of secular feminism. Superficially, this is being marketed as a new and better sensuality and sexuality for the New (Age) Woman. But, as we shall see, the Sacred Prostitute is the "goddess" unmasked - the ultimate outcome of feminism's interplay with the occultic worldview of pagan religious systems. In its final form, this new sensual freedom marks a drastic return to age-old spiritual and physical bondage for women.

The Feminine Journey

You might think that such a bizarre and unthinkable concept as the Sacred Prostitute would never enter the evangelical Church - especially without a challenge. Not so! Surprisingly, we first read about the concept of Sacred Prostitute from a Christian book called The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks (NavPress, 1993). It can also be found in The Feminine Journey (NavPress, 1994), which is co-authored by Cynthia Hicks and Robert Hicks, a husband and wife team. Last issue, in part 1 of this series, we investigated the men's movement and the book The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks, which has been associated with Promise Keepers, a national Christian men's ministry. Both books have accompanying study guides for group activities. Much of the content in The Feminine Journey elaborates upon the ideas promulgated in The Masculine Journey, and in this sense it could be considered a sequel or a companion book.

In order to understand the concept of the Sacred Prostitute, we had to return to the original footnoted sources. As the reader might recall, in Part 1 we documented how the reader of The Masculine Journey is encouraged to read the original sources. It is the references to the original sources that give rise to the warning we posted at the beginning of this article, because these quotations are sexually explicit. The reader may be offended by the material in the Hicks' books as well. Co-authorship of The Feminine Journey is acknowledged on pp. 26-27:

    If you haven't noticed by now, there are two names on the cover - Cynthia Hicks (that's me) and Robert Hicks (that's my husband). Since he wrote The Masculine Journey, and this book complements his work, we thought it would be reasonable for us to do this one together --- throughout the process of writing, both of us were involved. Bob would write a section and I would edit, critique, argue, and rewrite. Then I would write a section and Bob would edit, critique, argue, and rewrite. Most of the historical background, language studies, and technical data is Bob's contribution.

The Feminine Journey follows the same "journey" motif, including the same psychological constructs of Daniel Levinson (p. 24) as its male counterpart. In Part 1 we noted the similarities between this "journey" model of adult development and the "rites of initiation" stages written about by Jungians such as Robert Bly and Robert Moore.

The Hicks separate themselves from the "completely secularized and psychologized world ... [which puts] women on a journey toward self-awareness and self-happiness," and plant themselves firmly in a middle-of-the-road position in regards to feminism:

    "Some believe the traditional `Christian' perspective has also deceived women with the teaching that our only significance should lie in our connection with our husband and children, with little or no value placed on the development of personal identity. As a result, a conflict has emerged between two ideologies that, when taken to extremes, hopelessly fail women."

    "I believe most women today are journeying somewhere between the feminist camp and the strict Christian "woman at home" camp." (p. 22-23, FJ)

The "six aspects of a woman's life" in The Feminine Journey (p. 25) parallel the six stages of a man's life as described in The Masculine Journey. They are:

  • Creational Woman: 'Adam/Eve - A Woman of Contrary Appetites
  • The Young Woman: Neqevah/ Parthenos - The Alchemy of Beauty
  • The Nurturer: Em/Meter - The Maternal Mystique
  • The Relational Woman: 'Ishsah/Gune - Uniquely Feminine
  • The Wounded Woman: 'Enosh/ Almanah/Chera - Necessary Losses
  • A Woman of Strength: 'Eshet/ Hayil - A Steel Magnolia

Parthenos Power

It is in the second stage of a woman's life where we encounter the Sacred Prostitute during this "feminine journey." This chapter begins by discussing the negatives of the undue emphasis our society puts on female beauty, and the writings of critical feminists such as Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth) and Susan Faludi (Backlash) are cited. However, there is an abrupt shift about halfway through this chapter, beginning on page 60, where the authors begin to establish the premise that beauty is a "power" possessed by young women.

    Scripture confirms that on a woman's journey the season of youthfulness is a normal stage. It is a time of magnetic-magical attraction to the opposite sex, a time when one's appearance gains and grants tremendous power. [emphasis ours]

    The New Testament word for young woman - parthenos - picks up many of the meanings and usages found in the Hebrew Old Testament (bethulah and 'almah).

There are numerous references to beauty in the context of power from this point on in the text:
    . . . the idea of the young woman includes the related ideas of sexual power because of her purity or virginity. One linguist noted, "The emphasis lies less upon chastity than upon youthful vitality with its magical power."(Ibid.) [emphasis ours]

    . . . the main use of the Hebrew word for `beauty' - yapheh - relates to the young woman and feminine imagery. The conclusion is not difficult: in biblical usage, the power of the young woman lies in her beauty. (Ibid.) [emphasis ours]

    Rachel `got her man' by being beautiful in both form (body) and countenance (face) (see Genesis 29:17). (Ibid.)

These particular quotes represent a divergent interpretation of the Scriptures that is not found in orthodox Christianity. While is is true that our human sinful nature is attracted to physical beauty and its accompanying sensuality, Christians are told to
    Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:15-16)

Reviving Sexuality and Spirituality

After establishing their premise that (sexual) beauty = power, the authors then romanticize an era when sexuality and spirituality were fused:

    What is interesting is how deeply interrelated the concepts of sexuality and spirituality are to an understanding of God's relationship to Israel in using this feminine metaphor of the nation. In fact, through all of ancient history, sexuality and spirituality are united. It is only in the late Greek philosophical period that a certain dualism sets in whereby sexuality and issues of worship become separated. (p. 62 FJ) [emphasis ours]

    Perhaps to better understand what is happening in regard to the worship of beauty among women and men, we must look back. Then we can see that early in the history of religion, sexuality based on beauty was very much a spiritual subject, and not set apart as it is in this modern secular period. Indeed, one writer notes that to combine these two elements "presents a paradox to our logical minds; we are disinclined to associate that which is sexual with that which is consecrated to the gods." (Ibid.) [emphasis ours]

Please note the distinction: the authors state that in the history of religion sexuality was a spiritual issue. This is certainly true when one looks at cross-cultural pagan practices. But this pagan model cannot be equated to God's relationship with Israel in the Bible (unless one comes from the multicultural position that both are equally valid expressions of the same spirituality!) In the New Testament the expression of sexuality was always to be limited within the holy confines of marriage, exemplifying the mystery of Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:21-33). This Christian model of sexuality has never included sexuality as a sacrament. Marriage was a sacrament. In a multitude of cross-cultural pagan religious sytems throughout history, however, sexuality has been a sacrament, and perverse sexual practices were an inseparable outcome of the occultic doctrines. Please note the source of the above quotation which speaks of associating the sexual with the "gods". The Hicks are quoting from Nancy Qualls-Corbett's book entitled The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspects of the Feminine, which is referenced two more times in The Feminine Journey. In fact, Qualls-Corbett is cited in The Masculine Journey as well; however with a disclaimer that the author (Robert Hicks) is "not suggesting that true sexuality and spirituality should be united in this way." (p. 53) In The Masculine Journey Robert Hicks states:
    This division of sexuality and spirituality is rather recent in the history of religious experience. In most pagan societies, sexuality was seen as an important aspect of uniting the spiritual with the physical and with the worship of gods and goddesses. In many cities, sacred prostitutes "served" at the temples in order to be the mediatrix between the gods and humans. One writer [Nancy Qualls-Corbett, The Sacred Prostitute] notes,

"The hieros gamos, the sacred prostitute was the votary chosen to embody the goddess. She was the goddess' fertile womb, her passion, and her erotic nature. In the union with the god, embodied by the reigning monarch, she assured the fertility and well-being of the land and the people". She did not make love in order to obtain admiration or devotion from the man who came to her, for often she remained veiled and anonymous; her raison d'etre was to worship the goddess in love-making, thereby bringing the goddess love into human sphere. In this union - the union of masculine and feminine, spiritual and physical - the personal was transcended and the divine entered in. As the embodiment of the goddess in the mystical union of the sacred marriage, the sacred prostitute aroused the male and was the receptabcle for his passion . . . The sacred prostitute was the holy vessel wherein chthonic and spiritual forced united." (p. 53 MJ) [sic]

The Sacred Prostitute is also quoted at length on page 63 of the The Feminine Journey, but this time is cited as a "serious study of the `sacred prostitute'":
    The feminine ideal of beauty has always been a significant aspect of ritual worship . . . author Nancy Qualls-Corbett writes about this goddess of passion:

"The goddess of love, passion and fertility was known by various names at different times and in different places . . . In Greece, she was the beautiful Aphrodite. Aphrodite was not associated with fertility - Aphrodite reigned over love and passion, and her image is perhaps the most renowned for those attributes today. Regardless of her name or locale, the goddess of love is associated with springtime, with nature in bloom, the time when seeds burst forth in splendor. Beauty is the quintessential component; Aphrodite's nakedness is glorified. She is the only goddess to be portrayed nude in classical sculptures. The loveliness of her feminine body is adored and adorned." [emphasis in FJ] [sic]

At this point in the text of The Feminine Journey the authors launch into a detailed description of the accentuated body parts of pagan fertility goddesses - a passage so graphic that we believe it would be sin on our part to re-publish it (Eph. 5:11-12: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.) These well-endowed pagan idols, the reader is then told, are not merely "`nice' works of art" or "`pagan pornography'" but "were the representations of the gods and goddesses. They found their real-life counterparts in the ancient temples where, as sexual prostitutes, young beautiful women became mediatrixes between the gods and humans." (p. 63 FJ)
    Imagine for a moment the Greek Parthenon (Greek for `virginal young woman'), one of the Seven Wonders of the World. What happened there? This was where the priestesses, the goddesses of love, were concealed behind candle-lit veils, creating an aura of mystery. Sacred young women of perfect proportions would then take strangers into their inner love sanctuaries and kneel before the image of Venus of another goddess of passion and love. The woman would pray that their `offering of love' would be received. Both individuals believed (if they were orthodox!) that in the consummation of their love-act, a magical transformation would take place. [emphasis ours]

    The maiden was initiated into the fullness of womanhood. The male stranger, likewise, was changed forever.

At this point in the text, Nancy Qualls-Corbett's book, The Sacred Prostitute is quoted from again:
    "The qualities of the receptive feminine nature, so opposite from his own are embedded deep within his soul; the image of the sacred prostitute is viable within him. He is fully aware of the deep emotions within the sanctuary of his heart. He makes no specific claims on the woman herself, but carries her image, the personification of love and sexual joy into the world. His experience of the mysteries of sex and religion opens the door to the potential of on-going life; it accompanies the regeneration of the soul." [emphasis ours]
The Hicks conclude by reiterating the point about the regeneration of the soul:
    This is powerful stuff! Having made love to this perfection of beauty, the male then carries her image in his soul for the rest of his life and receives regenerative strength from the experience. This is very much how the images of perfect women are carried every day in the minds of both sexes. (p. 64 FJ) [emphasis ours]
This analogy of the beauty of womanhood is not drawn from Biblical sources, but rather a pagan model. Robert Hicks even acknowledges in The Masculine Journey that it was this type of sexual activity that "the Apostle Paul was trying to straighten out in the Corinthian church because some of the believers were apparently still having intercourse with sacred prostitutes (I Corinthians 6:15-20)." Yet, the above quotations obviously paint a glowing picture of sexuality in the context of occultic spirituality, a blissful euphoric experience between a man and his temple prostitute whereby he becomes spiritually regenerated and she passionately adores her "job." Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Sacred Prostitute

It is first necessary to examine the book that was just quoted from, The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine in order to understand more fully what has just been described. The book was part of a series of paperbacks called "Studies in Jungian Psychology Jungian Analysts." Other books in the same series include books of such incredible titles as: The Phallic Quest: Priapus and Masculine Inflation, Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine, Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women, Castration and Male Rage: The Phallic Wound, The Rainbow Serpent: Bridge to Consciousness, and numerous books about life stages such as The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife, Under Saturn's Shadow: The Wounding and Healing of Men, and Change of Life: Dreams and Menopause. This series appears to be on the cutting edge of modern Jungian psychology. The Sacred Prostitute, which contains numerous illustrations graphically depicting pagan fertility goddesses, presents an alternative route to salvation. For man to become a "god" in the wide range of cross-cultural pagan societies cited, he must unite with the "goddess," i.e., the Sacred Prostitute. This goddess was a mediatrix between god and man, and by uniting with her, the man arrived at a "higher consciousness." A mediatrix is "one who stands between two persons or groups of persons either to facilitate an exchange of favors or, more often, to reconcile parties at variance." This concept of "mediatrix" can be found in the Catholic tradition as applied to the Virgin Mary which "dates back to the 6th century in the East, and to the 9th century in the West . . . as worthy Mother of God and full of grace, she occupies a `middle' position with God and his creatures . . . (Dictionary of Mary: Behold Your Mother, Catholic Book Pub. Co., 1985, pp. 226-227). In the occult sense, a mediatrix is a medium, a channel between man and God. Of course, man has no need for a mediatrix, save Jesus Christ, whom we are told in the Scriptures is our mediator, reconciling us to God through His death on the cross and His resurrection:
    How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Heb. 9:14-15)
The Bible says there are no other paths to salvation, and there is no other mediator between God and man:
    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Tim. 2:5)
In a classic case of redefinition of terms, these goddesses were referred to as "virgins" not because of their purity or chasteness, but because they were not yet married, such as the famous Vestal Virgins of ancient Rome. Names for these mythical goddesses include Inanna, Enheduanna, Gaia, Ishtar, Anahita, Anath, Astarte, Isis, Cybele, Venus, Hathor, Demeter, Kali and Aphrodite, to name just a few. How does a woman become a goddess? The Sacred Prostitute tells us how. It involves a ceremony, a rite of initiation for women. Readers will recall that last month, in Part 1 of this series, we described the men's movement's return to the pagan rites of initiation. In The Sacred Prostitute we learn that women undergo this rite as well through the author's explicit description of a frieze found on the wall of a villa in ancient Pompeii:
    The first stage of initiation . . . begins with the preliminaries of prayer, the ritual meal and purification. The second stage is entrance into the underworld, showing half-human, half-beast satyrs and Silenus, a fat old drunken man . . . With the loosening of consciousness, the initiate entered the world of instincts and wisdom far from rational safety. The painting depicts fear in the initiate's face, and her position suggests that she wishes to escape; yet she drinks of the Dionysian wine held by Silenus.

    In each successive stage the initiate is less clothed, as if she were divesting herself of old roles in order to receive a new image of herself. In the final stage a winnowing basket containing the ritual phallus is unveiled to her; she is now able to look upon the fertilizing power of the god, a primal regenerative force . . . The final scene shows the initiate beautiful dressed and adorned. She grooms herself in the mirror of Eros, which reflects her feminine nature of relatedness. She has entered into and experienced, and now embodies, the sacred marriage of Ariadne and Dionysus. She is the woman transformed, ready to move into the outer world in full awareness of her deep inner strength. (pp. 70, 72 SP)

Reality Check

It is time for a reality check. What has just been glamourized here is a brutal, shameful and frightening experience for a young woman. Like her young male counterparts, described in Part 1 of this series, she has just been forced to undergo a gruesome, occultic rite of initiation - literally, she has just been raped! Although very ancient societies, such as the Sumerians, are said to have accorded temple prostitutes with various rights and privileges, the woman was still a captive, a prisoner of a lifestyle chosen for her. It is highly unlikely and would have been extremely irregular for her to have the right to "choose" to live the life of a prostitute in pagan cultures. Despite the feminists' revisionist histories about a "golden age" of matriarchal societies, the truth is that these women were the victims of a barbaric occult system. This unfortunate young woman was likely a carrier of a multitude of venereal diseases, may have been compelled to undergo abortions or give up her infants for sacrifice, may have been physically mutilated in some fashion as part of her "service" to men, and lived a tragic life filled with the horrors of demonically inspired occultic practices. The Old Testament laws, set in place by Jehovah God, stand in stark contrast to the pagan nations surrounding Israel. God designed parameters to protect women from this type of exploitation, derogation, and abuse. Women were under the protection of, as well as the authority of, their fathers or husbands. This type of sexual activity was strictly prohibited, not only for women but also for men. In New Testament times, Jesus offered salvation to women who had been prostitutes (The woman taken in adultery in chapter 8 of the Gospel of John was told: "Go, and sin no more"). Similar parameters of protection for women are outlined in the New Testament, the chief one being the exclusivity of monogamy that blesses a Christian marriage. The lifestyles of the ungodly and promiscuous are forbidden. As in the accounts of the rites of initiation for young men described in Part 1, the rites for young women in pagan societies were equally tortuous. The similarities in the rituals include the 1) separation from their home and family, 2) abandonment of reality and the alteration of consciousness through drugs or alcohol, 3) a physical wounding or mutilation, and 4) making the connection with the occult or demon spirit. In some ancient societies the young man's rite of initiation included an encounter with the Sacred Prostitute as a means of connecting with the occult through her (as mediatrix). The Seekers Handbook: The Complete Guide to Spiritual Pathfinding, defines Sacred Prostitution as
    "An age-old tradition in the Orient, where sexual intercourse was treated as a rite of unification between man and God(dess), or as a means for the male to be initiated into awareness of psychic/spiritual realms, . . ." (p. 363 SH)
The rite of initiation for young women was seen as a mark of maturity, a rite of passage on her journey to womanhood, and is defined in this manner by the Jungian author of The Sacred Prostitute. Lest the reader assume at this point that this type of imagery is confined to the Jungian analyists, there are increasing references in feminist and New Age spiritual literature about the necessity of reviving the pagan role of the Sacred Prostitute. Gnosis magazine (Fall 1995, p. 8-9) ran a brief article on Cosi Fabian, described as "the reigning sacred prostitute" by performance "artist" Annie Sprinkle (of NEA-funding fame). Cosi Fabian teaches a class to feminists on the history of the Sacred Prostitute. Cosi explains: "'I was always a bad girl, and I'm talented sexually, so I declared myself a demoness whore.'" Another account of the Sacred Prostitute is provided by Deena Metzger, who is the author of The Woman Who Slept With Men to Take the War Out of Them, a 1978 novel about Holy Prostitutes. In her article in Critique (Spring 1990, p. 22-25), "Re-vamping the world: On the Return of the Holy Prostitute," Deena Metzger affirms the role of the Sacred Prostitute as a necessity in the transformative process to become one with God. Deena then describes how she personally encountered the Sacred Prostitute goddess spirit:
    "Recently, in a guided meditation, I was confronted by a large, luminous woman, approximately eight feet tall, clearly an image of a goddess, though I had never encountered a goddess figure in any of my own meditations. Her hair was light itself. As she came close to me, I was filled both with awe at her beauty and terror at her presence . . . The woman was powerful, but her power was of receptivity, resonance, magnetism, radiance. She had the power of Eros; she drew me to her . . . when she appeared, I consciously experienced the terror of the feminine I had so often read and heard about. I was afraid of my own nature. At that moment, I committed myself to risking heresy, to converting, whatever the personal cost, to the feminine . . . she is the woman I aspire to be." (p. 25)
Another book titled Women of the Light: The New Sacred Prostitute, edited by Kenneth Ray Stubbs, Ph.D., is advertised in the back inner cover of the June 1995 New Age Journal. This author has also written about the eastern mystical concepts of sexuality and spirituality.

The Significance of the Phallus

The remainder of the chapter on "The Alchemy of Beauty" in The Feminine Journey discusses positive and negative uses of beauty. The authors state that beauty is more than skin deep:
    This power of beauty is something that is very mysterious, lying deep within the recesses of the human spirit. The power is much more than merely trying to look good! No, the issues are much deeper; they are issues of the heart and spirit, something that can be explained only by looking deep within the structure of human sexuality itself. (p. 68 FJ)[emphasis ours]
At this point the authors give a definition for female which some will find quite offensive. They use a Hebrew term for female, defined in terms of graphic sexual imagery.
    The anatomical implications here are quite obvious. Being female means being defined by our unique vaginal opening. Our male counterparts are also defined by their anatomy in the Hebrew word for male (zakar) . . . (p. 68 FJ)
This definition of male, alluded to in the quote above can be found expounded upon in some detail in The Masculine Journey. In a discussion on the importance of the male phallus, Hicks notes, "Much of the original manuscript for my book Uneasy Manhood, on the subject of men's sexuality, was edited out because it was too frank and honest, even about a Christian man's sexuality." It is no wonder! Hicks proceeds to quote from a man named Eugene Monick on the proper role of the phallus. Monick's essay on the phallus can be found in another Jungian psychology book, To Be A Man: In Search of the Deep Masculine. Monick's essay is a vividly frank treatise on the phallus. In it, he states that the phallus is "a god" that "demands expression." Robert Hicks quotes from Monick who is quoting from George Elder, saying
    "`Phallus, like all great religious symbols, points to a mysterious divine reality that cannot be apprehended otherwise. In this case, however, the mystery seems to surround the symbol itself . . . It is not as a flaccid member that this symbol is . . . important to religion, but as an erect organ.'"(p. 126-131)
Eugene Monick has authored a book in the same Jungian series that The Sacred Prostitute can be found in, called Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine. We will spare our readers any direct quotations from the book, which also contains exceedingly explicit illustrations. In his introduction, Monick acknowledges that "phallos, for me, is an existential god-image." (p. 11) Indeed, it is not a flaccid organ that one finds in numerous, cross-cultural pagan statues and idols. The Romans, for example, worshipped a phallic deity, Priapus. Christianity is credited worldwide for abolishing the fertility cults and destroying phallic columns and pillars, which were part of the pagan fertility rites. The Christian missionaries recognized such objects as a part of the worship system which the Bible forbids, and which the Hebrews were commanded to eradicate in Canaan. These religious practices are described in the Bible as abhorrent, and those who practiced them worthy of death:
    And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Lord your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherin ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do my judgments, anad keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord . . . For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. (Lev. 18:1-5, 29)

    And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the poeple of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a-whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a-whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you . . .A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. (Lev. 20:1-8, 27)

Molech and Blood Sacrifices

Fertility and goddess rituals, which were inextricably linked to the Sacred Prostitute, always involved the horrors of human or animal sacrifice. In fact, the Parthenon in Greece is reputed to be an ancient place for human sacrifice. Even the men's movement acknowledges this dreadful facet of goddess mythology. Sam Keen, men's movement leader, in his book Fire in the Belly (referenced in Part 1) warns his male readers to look deeper into glamorized female mythologies. He says,

    We also need to question the historical romanticism of the feminist ideology. It is always a good idea to be suspicious of nostalgic histories that look back to golden ages . . . [When] God was a woman - Isis, Ishtar, Artemis, Diana, Kali, Demeter - she was a terrible mother, as bloody as God the father. By a logic built into the metaphor of childbirth, the goddess required human sacrifice as the price for making the earth fertile. As Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor write,

"The ancient people believed that the fetus was entirely formed and fed from the mother's blood - and this was why women didn't menstruate during their pregnancies . . . expanding on the perceived power of menstrual blood, it was believed that the Mother as earth body needed strengthening and renewal through blood sacrifice; as her blood created creatures, so the blood of creatures was cycled back to her. What was taken from her by humans in the form of harvest had to be returned in human or animal sacrifice."(p. 200-201)

Eugene Monick describes Dionysian festivals in Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine as accompanied by child sacrifice:
    A frenzy invaded women in his ceremonies even to the tearing up and devouring of their children. (p. 86-87)
And, the author of The Sacred Prostitute describes a New Year festival during the summer solstice:
    Great feasts with ample containers of beer and wine are prepared at the temple of love; after all, it is the locus of potency and fertility. The temple musicians play lively music which enhances the merriment, the dancing and love-making. During the celebration, sacrifices are also made in the temple in order to return to the goddess in thanksgiving some portion of the life she has provided. The first grains and fruits, the first offspring of the livestock, and even the first child - that which was most precious - are sacrificed to her. (p. 24)
In the verses from Leviticus cited previously, you will note that the Lord mentions whoring, sacrificing to Molech and wizards all in the same context. The Hebrews would have recognized this context, they would have known that this was all part of the pagan Canaanite religious system which they were to have no part of. No wonder the Lord told the Hebrews to eradicate this horrible evil!


The point of this focus on male genitalia in The Masculine Journey seems to be that men are prone to worship (idolize) their own anatomy and fulfill its lusts. Yet, the imagery and examples that are provided by the author suggests that there is a deeper, psycho-spiritual meaning to the phallus. Although there are various references to Biblical examples, it is rather evident that the underlying framework utilized by Hicks in this discussion originates from modern Jungian psychology, which emphasizes the spiritual significance of this body part. Certainly there are strict regulations in the Old Testament regarding sexual conduct, and this point is not debatable. However, the author deviates from the traditional Christian understanding of sexuality when he makes statements such as :
    Possessing a penis places unique requirements upon men before God in how they are to worship Him. We are called to worship God as phallic kinds of guys . . . (p. 51 MJ)

    Every time . . . [a Jew] used his penis, he was making a spiritual statement about who he was and who he worshiped [sic] and why. (p. 52 MJ)

    Our sexual problems only reveal how desperate we are to express, in some perverted form, the deep compulsion to worship with our phallus. We are like those Hawaiian cultic objects. We have enlarged the erect phallus and dedicated it to the gods. In time, the phallus itself becomes our god. (p. 56 MJ) [emphasis ours]

    When the phallus is given over to its full-blown spiritual power without restraint, it becomes an idol. Therefore, in the sacred Scriptures God makes it very clear that the phallus, though being the symbol of God's faithfulness and provision, must be regulated, lest it become a very mysterious taskmaster. (Ibid.)[emphasis ours]

Likewise, Monick, in his Jungian interpretation of the role of phallus, concludes that "phallos is wondrous and at the same time very odd as a taskmaster. That is what religious people have always said about gods." (p. 131, To Be A Man) [emphasis ours] We believe the significance of the phallus is spiritualized beyond being a mere part of man's flesh in these examples. While this is something which is common to pagan societies, where the phallus represents a divinity, there is no precedence for this belief in orthodox Christianity. Man is far more than mere phallus, he is created in the image of God. There is a feminine counterpart to this in The Feminine Journey, where a woman's beauty is elevated to a status beyond mere flesh and is represented as a psycho-spiritual power. There is a perplexing mixture of truth and error at this point, which makes the concept extremely muddled. While it seems to be the contention of the authors that women idolize beauty, connections are made between beauty and spirit that go beyond common understandings of Scripture. Much of this confusion, in our opinion, can be directly attributed to the heavy reliance upon pagan myths to legitimize their premise. For example, on page 68 of The Feminine Journey, as a prelude to the discussion on "Beauty Is an Issue of the Spirit," the authors state:
    Hopefully, by looking at the ancient and contemporary mythologies surrounding the beauty theme, one can see that much more is going on here. [emphasis ours]
The Scriptures, which should be our sole source of authority on matters of spirituality and sexuality, do not confirm the pagan philosophies of "ancient and contemporary mythologies" that the authors use to build the case for an inherent power in female beauty and in the male phallus, i.e., flesh. Rather, the Lord tells in his Word that the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41), that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed (Rom. 6:6), For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing (Rom. 7:18), and that we should put no confidence in the flesh (Phil. 3:3). The New Testament informs us that the flesh is a "taskmaster" we are no longer to be subject to! Any "power" in the believer, comes not from the flesh, but from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8 is a treatise on this very point:
    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Rom. 8:1-13)
The Scriptures also warn about preoccupying oneself with myths. While it would seem on the surface that myths are pleasant fairy tales, palatable for children, and for therapeutic use in psychology, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Paul warns Timothy about those who would teach other doctrine:
    Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is is faith: so do.(1 Timothy 1:4). Titus was told to rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth (Titus 1:14). And Peter states that we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty (II Peter 1:16).
The story of Jesus Christ is real and not a myth. These Scriptures indicate that giving credence to other stories, fables, fairy tales, and myths turns men from the Truth and does not edify.


At this point we must stop and ask why the emphasis on myths, especially fables so full of vulgarities. Is it necessary for Christian writers to write about these things?

Is modern Christian man (and woman) so confused, so bereft of the Truth, so psychologically disabled as to require this elaborate reconstruction of pagan myth to help him along his/her life journey?

Is the Bible obsolete, having outlived its usefulness to modern man? .

Have we become so psychologized, so paganized, that this material, such as the concept of the Sacred Prostitute and Phallos-god, no longer offends?

Consider what the outcry would have been had the material quoted in this article appeared in a Christian publication by a reputable publisher 20 years ago, 40 years ago, 100 years ago! Have Christians become so desensitized to sexual perversion and license that such material is now passed off with a mere "ho-hum"? We wish our readers to recall that in Part 1 we documented that the national men's ministry, Promise Keepers, has endorsed The Masculine Journey. The excerpted material from The Masculine Journey and The Feminine Journey, with several notable exceptions, quotes from the Jungian references without qualification, refutation, or explanation. As we expressed in Part 1, we are concerned that the weaker or immature brother or sister in Christ could get carried away into error by such contextual omissions.

This is the second article in a multi-part series published in the January 1996 issue of The Christian Conscience.
Copyright 1995, Lynn and Sarah Leslie, publishers of The Christian Conscience, PO Box 17346, Des Moines, Iowa 50317, fax 515-262-9854.