Is Unity Fellowship worshipping dead people?


I see dead people. But its not who you think it is.

Is the black gay church denomination Unity Fellowship of Christ Church  worshipping dead ancestors? Do they actually allow the practice of pouring out libation or “drink offerings” to dead people in a so-called Christian church?  I had heard several times from ex-members that indeed it is allowed, but we had no evidence. That changes with this interesting profile of UFC’s local DC congregation.

In a photo slide show, The Washington Post profiles the local congregation and in the process proves just how bizarre the beliefs of some gay churches can be.

Intoning over the pictures, Rev. Abena McCray, pastor says,

“We believe in the bible and we believe in all great spiritual writings and guides, but we read them knowing that they have to be read, taken in consideration when they were written, the practices of that time, cultural differences, and fact that we as thinking the people have the right to question and examine interpretation and we dont really believe that when they put the last line in revelation, that the Bible stopped. We are the bible we are the living bible.”

I’m not sure I will ever understand why a so-called Christian church would use the Bible, but then categorically retort that it is basically useless to them unless it can fit into their tiny window of credibility. The window of useage of the Bible has to meet all of Rev. McCray’s near atheistic criteria before she will accept its applicability. One wonders if there is anything left to approve after McCray’s rigorous trial by fire  approval system. Of course, fielding such criteria provides her with an easy out of anything which doesn’t parallel her own mutant ideologies.
And yes, the pastor acknowledges belief in “all great spiritual writings”. This may sound lofty, enlightened and open, but it is a sentence of judgment. Apparently Christ (in Scripture) holds very little prominence in the Unity Fellowship. He is but a mere religious relic alongside other religious apparitions in the UFC.  A derivative of His name is used, but the practices and idolatrous beliefs of McCray and the UFC betray and denigrate His unimpeachable Lordship and supremacy. Either he is Christ alone or he is not Christ at all. The apostle Peter wrote prophetically: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1.

Based on Rev. McCray’s own words, she is a false prophet in an organization thinly masquerading as a Christian church. According to scripture anyone who denies Christ the same is devoid of the Father since there can be no separating of the two.

To sum:  you can deny Jesus Christ, demote his Lordship, discredit the Bible, speak to dead people, and when you do use the Bible, grossly misinterpret it,  but for Buddha’s sakes,  whatever you do,  don’t stop singing those black gospel songs! That seems to be the strategy at UFC.

In the WaPo peice, Mccray is heard commanding:  “Call the names of your ancestors!” With African drums pounding in the background for effect, she calls the names of several people with the response ashay meaning “be with us”.   One of the names called is murdered lesbian activist Wanda Alston, a woman whose god was “feminist activism”.  Does the DC UFC think that Alston is watching over them or that she is protecting them? The scriptures say that the dead have no memory  (Eccl 9:5) moreover, God explicity commands that no living person is to attempt contact with the dead.  But we’re sure those things don’t pass Rev. McCray’s credibility muster.

Finally what is a false prophet without requisite hypocrisy? McCray claims spiritual superiority by saying that —unlike others— UFC  “doesn’t discriminate” and they certainly don’t commit the cardinal sin of  “judging”.  To her, that means that everyone can come into her church. We felt that was exceptionally novel. Thousands of churches all across the length and breadth of America and there’s only one who allows everybody to come in.  But this is one strange welcome. Homeless people and drug addicts have to “sit down”, be “decent” and cannot be “loud or boisterous.”  McCray should have just invited these people From what I have seen most homeless folk because of their living conditions, would hardly be considered decent. Drug addicts even worse.

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22 thoughts on “Is Unity Fellowship worshipping dead people?

  1. Unity Fellowship Church is a break off of the major gay denonmination MCC. Unity Fellowship Church is similiar to the Bahai faith with a mixture of Santeria/Voodoo and in some locations the practice of Islam. According to the backgrounds of the cult leader (I mean Pastors). They are not a christian denomination but uses Christ as a banner to hind there politics. The prerequsite of being ordained in clergy is to be hiv positive.

  2. DE,
    I find this very interesting. Especially the prerquisite to be HIV positive. What about the women leaders? There seems to be more of them than men. I do know that the founder Carl Bean built much of his reputation of HIV/AIDS “education”.

    Do you have any hard links to what you’ve said? Or personal experience?

  3. Based on personal experience and being a former pastor of the UFC Miami Church. Carl Bean has been under pressure from the feminist bunch in the movement to put women in the forefront. In fact they will be ordaining their first female bishop Tonyia Rawls out of NC.

  4. Donald Eckardr,

    You know nothing at all about all of the people running UFC. We all have had bad experiences. In this time, that is GOD telling us we need to be somewhere else. If it can not get to a resolving point.

    Speaking of how I think everyone else thinks is Ignorance. We are all raised differently, even growing up in the same home, we are raised differently, we all think differently on a lot of things, I can not change the past of others or my own, only my future, therefore, I can only speak for myself. I follow the teachings of Christ as well as some of the other Profits. I eliminate any teaching that promotes hate.
    “uses Christ as a banner to hind here politics” Wow, what people were you with. If there are people here who do that, I don’t know too much about them, but things will change.

    There are a lot of people here who are being ordained, who are HIV negative.
    Be careful everyone, Ignorance is BLISS!

    My whole life has been changed for the better since I found UFC. Rev. McCray means well in everyhing she does. She is one of the hardest working woman I know, doing for the ministry. Even as Pastors, we have our flaws, but GOD will work them out one day. Noboby is perfect. She deserves credit where it is due and that is just about everywhere.

    In the Bible, it also states “judge not, lest ye be judged!”

  5. It is quite interesting that the individual who wrote this blog knows absolutely NOTHING about the AFRICAN tradition of worship which was demonized once they became slaves in the United States.

    The calling of ancestors at the pouring of Libations is a time of recognition of honor. The most IMPORTANT name that is called is the NAME OF JESUS!

    Yes, we call upon the Spirits of our ancestors out of respect, humility, and homeage — and evidently — that is hard for some people — regardless of race or religious affiliation– to understand.

    Peace and Light

  6. I would be very wary about practicing “ancestral worship” Do we really know enough about African culture to practice it? What was African culture prior to the Great Tribal Wars leading to its decline.
    We really don’t know because whatever the practices in Africa were at the time of slavery by both the Arabs and Europeans, it obviously was out of favor with God. Wars led to the depopulation of Africa through enslavement and war. Much of West African “worship” and cultural practices were done to appease the gods of war and make entreaties to them. God warns all nations that if they are eager to engage in war, He will send a people to rule over them who doesn’t even know his name.
    Many plagues, sickness, poverty and ecosystem collapses happen in Africa. Could it be that its people still worship the “gods of war” but just don’t know it, believing it is their culture; and then they call up rather than call on a spirit?.

  7. Unity Fellowship Church is rather inclusive however the suggestion that only hiv positive people are ordained is a complete fallacy. Additionally, Jesus Christ is sovereign and Lord in this denomination. All of our churches do not pour libation. The denomination’s inclusive stance is intentional and designed to allow others to feel comfortable — entering realizing that God’s love is for everyone. Ask most non Christians (not atheist or haters) about the reputation of Christians and you will discover why progressive Christian churches are emerging everywhere. Everybody is tired of the hateful anti-love message that this blog network and other conservative exclusionary platforms operate from.

    Demonize Rev. McCray if you want, but she like many other ‘progressive’ christians gay and straight will continue fighting the good fight, lifting up the banner of God’s love for everybody. It is a matter of time before neofacist fundamentalism diminishes into the winds of irrelevance. Like it or not, progress is here, and to stay 🙂

    Dean Smith

  8. Re Anthony and Rev. Rawls comments

    UFC is just another apostate movement with a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. Deception is easy to fall into and duplicate therefore “progressive churches emerging everywhere” is only a sign proving what Jesus said would happen —False prophets, false christ, false spirits— would arise in the last days and deceive many.

    Check the scriptures, if youre not too busy being “progressive”.

    That’s nothing to cheer about from the biblical perspective. Finally, Rev McCray and her church chose self demonization when they decided to pray and give homage to dead people. They probably arent aware, but demons masquerade as the spirits of dead to deceive the living.

  9. Wow. This is just absolutely bizarre!! I must have missed this blogpost when it was originally posted back in Sept. 2007.

    Commenter SCL wrote, “I can only speak for myself. I follow the teachings of Christ as well as some of the other Profits.”

    Profits? Is that just a misspelling or a Freudian slip?

    Got a question for SCL:

    Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

    Then, we get the same, tired old argument, “In the Bible, it also states “judge not, lest ye be judged!”

    GCMWatch, you have answered Anthony and “Rev.” Rawls perfectly – with solid, biblical accuracy.

    The desperately confused ideology of such groups is truly scary!

    God’s Word has a warning, and a message for them all:

    See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

    The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong to those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

  10. There is a lot of antiquated thought and hiden bigotry in this blog. Honoring the ancestors is not only an African tradition but also holds true in many other cultures and like it or not Jesus died. That makes him an ancestor also.

    The bible is a tool written by humans in an attempt to give the world what humans beleive God thought. If it was the innerant word of God there would be no confusion within its pages.

    I serve a living Creator and what you thnk about that means nothing as I know What God is and my personal relationship with My Creator goes beyond a book, form of worship, ideaology or theology.

    Spend more time showing love and understanding and if your way is the way the life you live will shine.

    GCMW: Rev. Bowen is a gay former pastor in the Unity Fellowship Church.

  11. The actions in the DC UFC church appear to be much more than just “honoring” ancestors. Its more like worship. And just because something is a tradition doesnt mean it is right to practice it. And we dont honor a “dead ancestor” Jesus, we serve, obey and worship the Living Christ.

    Having said that…

    Rev. Bowen, I will be cordial with you and afford you and opportunity to clarify your generalized accusations.

    1. Please cite three examples of “antiquated thought” on this blog. After the examples please cite the sources which prove such “thoughts” are indeed “antiquated”.

    2. Are you still a member of UFC? If not why did you leave?

  12. Rev (?) Bowen:

    Why are you so hard on the Bible, saying that “The bible is a tool written by humans in an attempt to give the world what humans believe God thought. If it was the inerrant word of God there would be no confusion within its pages.”?

    I mean… the Bible tells about God and His power in Creation, His love in His salvation plan for all who have done wrong, His sovereignty, His mercy, His grace…I mean what about the Bible just make it a “mere tool”. This is not an ordinary book. This is an extraordinary book. There is none like it, “Rev (?).

    You claim to have a greater revelation than Scriptures when you state “I serve a living Creator and what you think about that means nothing as I know What God is and my personal relationship with My Creator goes beyond a book, form of worship, ideology or theology.”?

    I mean…How do you know that you serve a living Creator? Where did you get “your” power to make such statement? What is your source that is so greater than Scriptures that enable you to say “You serve a living Creator, and how did you become to know what God is?

    Is where you got “your” revelation to make such claims, greater than what was written by those human who published the book as a tool?

    Proof and evidence points to show more that the human who wrote the Bible really got revelation from God, just by the message recorded in those 66 Books. The lifestyles of those human (different culture, different backgrounds…you have kings, shepherds, tax collectors, fishermen, religious, etc) and timeline (over spans of hundreds of years) during which they wrote, yet with the same central message, that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. All have sinned and is in need of a Savior. They all testified of a Savior and the world’s need to be redeemed.

    Yet somehow we are supposed to believe in your revelation, as you developed it through… “YOU”? On what authority can you claim that “Your Creator goes beyond a book, form of worship, ideology or theology. Come on “Rev(?), tell us. Where did you get this idea? From someone who “greater” than those who wrote the Bible? I guess all the revelation you have allots for “no confusion”, as you claim the Bible has on its pages. Why should anyone believe what you have to say about “your Creator’?

    Better stick with the Bible, God’s inerrant Word, and not dabble into your own thoughts so to build in pride that will cause you to accept and believe falsely. If one’s view of scriptures is tainted, one’s view of God is corrupt. And as it follows, that when one’s view of God is corrupt, their lifestyle may become polluted as well. THE BIBLE IS THE INERRANT WORD OF THE LIVING WRITTEN BY MEN AS GOD HIMSELF INSPIRED THEM!!! I would rather much believe it that believe you…

  13. Rob, I echo that. Why believe the word of someone who has lived maybe 60 years (judging by his pictures) over the WORD of someone who as Psalms 90:1 says is “from everlasting to everlasting”?

    There’s literally no comparison. Rev. Bowen is in a fantasy world if he thinks the junk religion he practices has any credibility beyond his own convoluted thinking.

  14. Antiquated thought is any thought process that allows for the oppression of anyone and or the exclusion of a group or groups of people.

    Maybe if the bible was not misinterpretered, reinvented and changed from The Kings James version to Baptist Standard version and the list goes on it would hold more value but that is not important to me.
    I did not just leave UFC I left the community of organized religion. Religion needs human definition and interpretation and I moved into a spiritual spce that does not need any of that and fas far as my faith being convoluted well everyone has an opinion and fortunately none of you have a Heaven or Hell to send me to.

  15. Rev. Bowen who said anything about have a cliched “heaven or hell to send you to”? Just be informed that God does. And will if you continue to live in willful disobedience.

    Its very convenient when you dont want to follow God’s word to attempt to discredit it as out of date.

    If I were you Id be concerned about reprobation. You seem (from your own words) to be about a step and a half away.

    Once death comes, there is no more hope. Stop blaming people and “misinterpretations” for your own sin and disobedience and repent while you have time.

    It has nothing to do with “oppression” or “exclusion”. You are allowing the devil to oppress and exclude (not to mention bamboozle) you when you can be free.

  16. If life is eternal my friend then death is simply the passage to the next step. I do not believe in Heaven or Hell nor does the God of my understanding live in a book or a theology.

    The word is continous and that which is God revelas itself to me daily.
    Sin in my awareness is Self Inflicted Nonsense. You live your way and I respect that and if you don’t respect mine that is no longer a problem I need concern myself.

    The devil is not a person or force but human thoughts that are not about love. Evil with the “D” allows an excuse for personal unloving behavior.

    The God of my understanding is greater than a book, doctrine or theology.

    My freedom is living beyond the yoke of human interpretation and definition.

    Go with love.

  17. Careful, your foolish backside is open and showing.

    That’s an interesting statement you make considering that you are human. If your “freedom” is about living “beyond human interpretation and definition”, then what about all the HUMAN made and defined laws you follow every day? I bet you wear clothes every time you go out in public dont you? Why? Because humans say that you cant be naked in public or else. And its written in a book, too. And I bet you comply.

    So sin is self inflicted nonsense? Really?

    What about some sins that evoke human retribution and justice. Murder is sin. Its also a crime. Do you kill? Lying is sin and its also a crime. Do you lie? Stealing is sin and will get you arrested. Do you steal? If you dont do any of these things because you dont want to face human justice, then you really arent “living beyond the yoke of human interpretation and definition”. Humans have written the law humans have defined it and you (a human) live under it and obey it. That doesnt sound very “free”, does it?

    So Rev. Bowen, books and theology really isnt the problem. Its you. Just admit that you consider yourself god. Its okay to be honest. Its a human quality.

  18. No, Rev Bowen, no wasted time at all. You’ve provided a valuable lesson to the readers of this blog.

    Maybe you dont get that, but thanks anyway.

  19. My pastor allowed one of this cults to have service in our church….I will put up with a lot of things …..but I refuse to do…..I will not compromise my convictions……I believe in the Father, son and Holy Spirit…….. Jesus is coming soon………….Let’s all have are oil ready, like the 5 virgins were ready to enter…….

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