Irish dancing has now become a big part of the Philadelphia Church of God’s culture. It is currently being taught to the children of Imperial Academy of Edmond. As a matter of fact, one of its students, Jude Flurry, was featured in various news outlets in Oklahoma because of his achievement in the field of Irish dancing. Here is one of the interviews done after his noteworthy achievement on March 2013.
My Outlook: Jude Flurry
Written by Sarah Paige Berling in the June 2013 Issue
Jude Flurry is only eleven years old, but he’s already an accomplished Irish Dancer. Having danced since he was six years old, he placed 9th in this year’s world championships. We spoke to both him and Shane Granger with Armstrong Auditorium, to get some insights into this sport.
Shane, what is some of the history of Irish Dance?
Irish dance has roots going as far back as the 6th century BC, when the high king of Ireland, Ollam Fodla, established the Feis o Tara, a celebration involving sports, poetry reading, music and dance. It’s become very popular over here, primarily, I think, due to the popularity of Riverdance…
Jude, how did you get into Irish dancing? Is it a family tradition?
It’s not a family tradition, but my sister does it, most of my cousins do it and all of my close friends do it too. Having my friends and family doing it makes it more fun in class because there are other people who I’m close to doing it. I’m definitely glad I got involved in it.
Notice that nearly every child in Imperial Academy in Edmond Oklahoma seems to be enjoying the Irish dance. And again, according to Shane Granger, that Irish dance became very popular primarily due to the popularity of the Riverdance:
Riverdance is based on the story of the Irish people. The beginning of the show deals with the first settlers coming to Ireland and realizing the power of the land. This part of the show incorporates symbolic elements representing the sun, the moon, thunder, lightning and water. The stories and themes are heavily influenced by Celtic mythology. The second half of the show deals with the Irish people’s emigration to America. Scenes depicting Irish immigrants and African-Americans sharing dance and song illustrate the unifying power of these human experiences. The Riverdance finale shows how the Irish people have joined the various communities of the world while retaining their heritage through music and dance.
Now let us briefly consider what goes on during the Riverdance performance. This dance performance show is usually being introduced by a very enchanting flute solo with the stagecraft of a moonlit picturesque dark of night background; then a commanding voice-over narration introduces the first act:
Out of the dark we came, out of the sea…
Where the long wave broke on the shore.
As the day broke and the night rolled back,
There we stood on the land we would call home.
Out of the dark – out of the night,
The first of many mornings in this new place.
When the sun rolled back the mist
We rose back like a strong wave on land.
Now we were the people of this place!
What burns through the rain and mist?
What banishes dark?
What makes the children straight and bright?
What makes the mountain sharp?
The SUN is our lord and father!
Bright faced at the gate of day!
Comfort of home, cattle and crop;
Lord of the morning, lord of the day!
Lifting our hearts we sing his praise,
Dance in his healing rays!
Now, look closely at the screenshot sequences which illustrate the sequences of the first act in a typical Riverdance performance:
Or you may watch the video here:
The title of the first act in the Riverdance is called “REEL AROUND THE SUN.” Let us find evidence where that REEL AROUND THE SUN originated:
A Scotch dance, the Reel, still keeps up the memory of the old Celtic circular dance. There is, also, the Deisol, or practice of turning sun-ways, to bless the sun. This was from right to left, as with Dancing Dervishes now, or the old Bacchic dance from east to west. Plautus wrote, “When you worship the gods, do it turning to the right hand. “Poseidonius the Stoic, referring to the Celts, said, “At their feasts, the servant carries round the wine from right to left. Thus they worship their gods, turning to the right.” … Bel is also the sun in Irish, as in eastern lands. Beli was their god of fire. Bel-ain were wells sacred to the sun. The Irish vernal equinox was Aiche Baal tinne, the night of Baal’s fire. The sun’s circuit was Bel-ain, or Bel’s ring. A cycle of the sun, or an anniversary, was Aonach (pro. Enoch); and it is singular that we are told that the days of Enoch were 365 years.
Easter, as is well knowm, is connected with sun-worship. The Irish Dancing Easter Sunday is thus alluded to in an old poem :
“But, Dick, she dances in such a way,
No sun upon an Easter day
Is half so fine a sight.”
People used to be out early on Easter Sunday to see the sun dance in honour of the Resurrection. …The circular dance in honour of the sun was derived from the East. Lucian says “it consisted of a dance imitating this god” (the sun). The priests of Baal indulged in it. A Druid song has this account—“Ruddy was the sea-beach while the circular revolution was performed by the attendants, and the white bands in graceful extravagance”…
A Scotch writer observes— “The hearty Celts of Ireland say, ‘The top of the morning to you.’ Are these expressions to be regarded as remnants of Dawn-worship? It may be so, for many similar traces of the worship of the sun and moon, as givers of good fortune, are still to be found”…
Similarly sang Orpheus of old— “O Sun! thou art the genial parent of Nature, splendent with various hues, shedding streams of golden light.” (pp. 191, 194-196; Sun Worship, from Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions, by JAMES BONWICK, F.R.G.S., Hon. Fellow of the Anthropological Institute, published in 1894)
The old Celtic circular dance called “the Reel” is still very much alive today as witnessed through the world renowned Riverdance’s introductory performance which has been called the “REEL AROUND THE SUN.” For emphasis, as noted by James Bonwick; “People used to be out early on Easter Sunday to see the sun dance in honour of the Resurrection. … The circular dance in honour of the sun was derived from the East. Lucian says ‘it consisted of a dance imitating this god’ (the sun). The priests of Baal indulged in it.” Now, it became obvious that the first act in Riverdance came from a pagan custom of honoring the SUN. For further proof, let us consider for a moment a brief history of the Irish dance:
The history of Irish Dance
The early history of Irish dance reveals a constant shifting of population through migration and invasions. Each of these peoples brought their preferred types of dance and music. There are only vague references to the early history of Irish dancing, but there is evidence that among its first practitioners were the Druids, who danced in religious rituals honouring the oak tree and the sun. Traces of their circular dances survive in the ring dances of today. When the Celts arrived in Ireland from central Europe over two thousand years ago, they brought with them their own folk dances. Around 400 AD, after the conversion to Christianity, the new priests used the pagan style of ornamentation in illuminating their manuscripts, while the peasants retained the same qualities in their music and dancing.
Notice that it was the DRUIDS who were the first practitioners to have USED THE IRISH DANCE IN RELIGIOUS RITUALS HONORING THE OAK TREE AND THE SUN!
But who were the Druids?
The Roman occupation of Britain lasted from 43 AD to around 400. Before the Romans invaded, the druid priesthood was the undisputed power in the land. For the previous two or three centuries the druids had been a dominant force throughout what was then the Celtic world, which included France, the Netherlands and parts of Scandinavia as well as Britain.
History is written by the victors; this can make it hard to get a clear picture of the people on the losing side. When the Romans conquered the Celts and Ancient Britons, they gave unflattering descriptions of the druids. Some sources describe the druids as bloodthirsty barbarians who were addicted to human sacrifice… There are a few things we can say for certain.
- held ceremonies in oak groves
- saw mistletoe as a sacred plant with healing powers
- practised divination and believed they could foretell the future
Here is what Encyclopedia Britannica further wrote about the Druids:
We find in Caesar the first and at the same time the most circumstantial account of the Druids to be met with in the classical writers. He tells us that all men of any rank and dignity in Gaul were included among the Druids or the nobles. In other words, the Druids constituted the learned and the priestly class, and they were in addition the chief expounders and guardians of the law. We are, however, informed by Diodorus and Strabo that this class was composed of Druids, bards and soothsayers.…
Britain was the headquarters of Druidism, but once every year a general assembly of the order was held within the territories of the Carnutes in Gaul. The Gauls were accustomed to offer human sacrifices, usually criminals…
Diodorus informs us that a sacrifice acceptable to the gods must be attended by a Druid, for they are the intermediaries…
They are said to have had a firm belief in the immortality of the soul and in metempsychosis…
In Mela we find the Druids teaching in the depths of a forest or in caverns. In Pliny their activity is limited to the practice of medicine and sorcery. According to this writer the Druids held the mistletoe in the highest veneration. Groves of oak were their chosen retreat.
(Source: 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica)
Here is another source:
The Worship of the Oak
When we pass from Southern to Central Europe we still meet with the great god of the oak and the thunder among the barbarous Aryans who dwelt in the vast primaeval forests. Thus among the Celts of Gaul the Druids esteemed nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and the oak on which it grew; they chose groves of oaks for the scene of their solemn service, and they performed none of their rites without oak leaves. “The Celts,” says a Greek writer, “worship Zeus, and the Celtic image of Zeus is a tall oak.” The Celtic conquerors, who settled in Asia in the third century before our era, appear to have carried the worship of the oak with them to their new home; for in the heart of Asia Minor the Galatian senate met in a place which bore the pure Celtic name of Drynemetum, “the sacred oak grove” or “the temple of the oak.” Indeed the very name of Druids is believed by good authorities to mean no more than “oak men.”
(Source: From The Golden Bough. 1922 – XV. The Worship of the Oak by Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941)
What is an oak?
Any of numerous monoecious deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Quercus, bearing acorns as fruit.
OAK (Heb. אַלּוֹן), the main trees of Israel’s natural groves and forests. The three species which grow there have in common their strong and hard wood and all attain a great height and reach a very old age. The Hebrew name, allon, means strong (Amos 2:9). Extensive oak forests still exist in Bashan, and these, together with the cedars of Lebanon, symbolized pride and loftiness (Isa. 2:13; Zech. 11:2). The people of Tyre made the oars for their ships from the oaks of Bashan (Ezek. 27:6). Some oaks served as sites for idol worship (Hos. 4:13), and burial took place under them (Gen. 35:8). The oak is long-lived and when it grows old or is cut down it has the ability to renew itself, putting out new shoots from the stump or roots that in time develop into a strong tree…
*Jerome notes that Titus sold 10,000 Judean captives under this tree. Since the third century many Jewish and Christian pilgrims have mentioned that this tree is considered sacred. It is an evergreen of the species Quercus calliprinos, which constitutes most of the groves in the hills of Judea and Galilee…
According to the dictionary and other sources, an OAK is an EVERGREEN TREE, which brings us to a specific prophecy in Jeremiah chapter 17: “Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills” (v. 2).
Is this “groves by the green trees” specifically pertains to the Irish dancing which the altars (priests) introduced to the children? Let us investigate:
Around 43 AD to 400 AD, as what had been written by Encyclopedia Britannica, that “the Druids constituted the learned and the priestly class, and they were in addition the chief expounders and guardians of the law.” And according to another source, referring to the early history of Irish dancing, “there is evidence that among its first practitioners were the Druids, who danced in religious rituals honouring the oak tree and the sun.” It really does look like that Irish dancing has indeed originated from a pagan custom. And even early on, the priestly class (the Druids), were the ones who FIRST used the dance in religious rituals to honor the oak tree and the sun. Now before we further continue, let’s consider the posture in Irish dancing:
Posture in Irish Dancing
Posture in Irish dancing is not only a matter of body carriage (extended torso – shoulders back and arms down at the sides) but also the elimination of movement in the upper half of the body. This feature makes it somewhat puzzling, because dancing is an expressive form built on movement of the body. A tradition in which half the body is held immobile invites curiosity… The uniqueness of this posture derives from its presence in the context of dance forms.
The restricted pose of the Irish solo dancer, with arms rigidly down by the side, no movement above the waist and so on, looks very strange to people nowadays, accustomed as they are to seeing the freedom of full bodily movement in the various kinds of popular dancing in vogue today and by ballet. What was the reason for this peculiarly inhibited dancing style? (Small, 1990).
Jackie Small’s question from a radio series on Irish dance music echoes one of the questions I hear most often as an anthropologist interested in Irish dancing. Why is Irish dancing so “stiff”? Whether the descriptive words used are ‘stiff’, ‘rigid’, ‘inhibited’ or ‘restricted’, the question reveals a curiosity about the visible discipline of the dance form and the significance of non-movement in a system of expressive movement…
The posture is puzzling (as Small suggests) because it is non-movement in dancing, where we have come to expect more “freedom of full bodily movement”. It is also a puzzle because, as Breathnach suggests, its connection to Irishness is unclear.
It seems that everyone, including the anthropologists, is quite puzzled about the posture of Irish dancing. Could the posture of the Irish dance which is described as “stiff, rigid, inhibited, or restricted” be directly connected to the posture of the Druids who used that dance as a religious ritual to honor the oak tree? That is, resembling a dancing oak tree?
Notice again what Jeremiah prophesied about this EVERGREEN TREE – the OAK:
“Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.”
Notice that the “green trees” are mounted “upon the high hills” or has been put in a pedestal.
Let’s look at how “the worship of oak tree and the sun” through the Irish dancing has been put on a pedestal (“upon the high hills”) – even on the WORLD STAGE! And notice that the annual competition occur every Easter! Is this not another image of Astarte? According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “groves” is from H842:
asherah (or Astarte) a Phoenician goddess; also an image of the same
Take note that “groves” as what we have proven already means, the image of Astarte or Easter.
Today there are many organisations promoting Irish dance. The Feis has been an important part of rural cultural life. Children, teenagers and adults compete in separate competitions for Feis titles and prizes. There are group and solo competitions where dancers are graded by age from six to seventeen and then into the senior categories.
There are dancing championships in all four provinces, and winners of these provincial competitions qualify for the All Ireland Championships. The World Championships are held in Dublin at Easter where dancers from England, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand compete for the World title.
Remember that Jude Flurry, the eleven year old son of Stephen Flurry even won the 9th place in his category in the 2013 World Irish Dance Competition held in Boston – that is such a pedestal!
This is actually the specific fulfillment of “groves by the green trees upon the high hills” – letting their children join the World Irish Dance Competition during the Easter of 2013! What is even more remarkable is that, the competition dates (March 24 to 31, 2013) fell on the supposedly spring festivals of God! The Passover was scheduled on March 25, 2013, but began on the evening of March 24; while the Days of Unleavened Bread ran from March 26 to April 1, 2013. Surely, God will do something about this abomination.
“Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.” (Ezek. 8:15-17)
It looks like the 25 men of spiritual Judah (PCG) are leading the whole Church in the worship of the sun. God is asking: “Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here?” We are using a dance which the pagans used in worshipping the sun!
This is no light thing for God; it should not be totally ignored. Look at the children in God’s Church today; they think that there’s nothing wrong with Irish dancing. They knew nothing of its history. Will the children in the PCG not remember their ministry with that Irish dance? How could the children ever forget? They were even made to perform that Irish dance during the Jeremiah Musical UP IN THE STAGE (upon the high hills) of the Armstrong Auditorium! And it was even shown during the Sabbath night (Friday evening) of the Feast of Tabernacles 2013 as a Behind the Work film. God’s Sabbath was profaned with a pagan form of worship! Remember that that dance was used by the Druids as a religious ritual to honor the SUN! Is this not abominable in God’s eyes? A sickening sight of abomination is currently being done even inside God’s own house!
Here’s another proof of how the children will remember the ministry because of Irish dancing – Jude yet again, won recently from an Irish dancing competition – the Open Championship of Pat Roche 2013 Chicago Feis held last October 12 to 13, 2013; and this time he is now in the first place. It was even posted on Stephen Flurry’s Twitter account:
Here is another specific fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy about the “groves by the green trees upon the high hills” – even during the 2013 Feast of Tabernacles:
IRELAND—Three hundred and one out of 315 Feast of Tabernacles attendees in Enfield participated in the site’s family dinner dance at the Johnstown House Hotel on September 23…
Performances included poetry readings, flutist solos and family songs…
An Irish band provided live music for the dance portion of the evening, a departure from previous years’ traditional string quartets, a move that acknowledged the deep folk musical culture of Ireland. The change in music type also enabled Irish-dancing youths including Savannah and Isaac Macdonald and their cousins Leah, Luke and Tara Hyde to perform a jig. Savannah Macdonald, age 10, said the jig was a lot of fun and that afterward brethren frequently thanked them and told them they had enjoyed their performance. Later, more members joined in the Irish dancing; when the band opened up the floor for volunteers to learn traditional Irish ceili dances, the dance floor filled with participants of all ages.
“Seeing a big ring of people holding hands—little kids, the elderly, and singles—all in the same circle was just so millennial,” Palmer said. “You saw it and you knew that there was something godly at the root of it. I think I never really appreciated before how rooted in King David, and how great, the Irish music and Irish music culture is.” (p. 16, The Philadelphian, October 25, 2013)
Notice how the young children loved the Irish dance – that for them it was a “lot of fun.” Notice also the CIRCULAR DANCE – the “big ring of people holding hands” that has been participated by all ages was considered as “so millennial.” One member even commented: “You saw it and you knew that there was something godly at the root of it.” Is there really something godly at the root of the Irish circular dance? Of course, but not as what the members think:
“People used to be out early on Easter Sunday to see the SUN DANCE IN HONOUR OF THE RESURRECTION. …The CIRCULAR DANCE IN HONOUR OF THE SUN was derived from the East. Lucian says ‘IT CONSISTED OF A DANCE IMITATING THIS GOD’ (THE SUN). The priests of Baal indulged in it. (pp. 194-196; Sun Worship, from Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions)
Truly BAAL – the SUN GOD is at the root of the CIRCULAR DANCE. The PRIESTS OF BAAL would definitely indulge themselves upon seeing such a sight! And, oh what an abominable sight it is in God’s eyes! It is so sickening!
Now, who do you think could have brought in and introduced this Irish dancing to the PCG in the first place? You wouldn’t have to guess so hard – it was the ministry of course, as prophesied by Jeremiah. Let us consider a note written about it:
October 1, 2013
For the last few years, Wayne Turgeon has apparently brought in a “Riverdance” instructor to teach the children of the Edmond elites to learn how to “Riverdance” – i.e. Irish Dancing. It seems that this “worldly” instructor was flown into HQ, given room and board with the Turgeons, and paid a nice salary to boot… Some of the Edmond elite’s children were featured “Riverdancing” on a local Edmond TV news program… –B.
Again, who brought Irish dance to the Philadelphia Church of God Headquarters? Apparently, it was Wayne Turgeon, a PCG evangelist!
“Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.”
Paraphrasing the verse we have: While the children remember their ministers with the images of Astarte through the Irish dancing upon the stages of the world and of the Armstrong Auditorium!
The children and the youth in the PCG look up to the ministry with high regards that whatsoever the ministry (altars) introduce or give to the children, they will just follow it. Do you think the children will not remember what the “idol” ministers have said and done which actually conforms to the “image of Easter or Astarte”? The PCG ministers have gone back to the worship of Astarte and the children will remember those 25 ministers and the images of Astarte because of Irish dancing! (Ezek. 8:15-17). Here is what JFB Commentary wrote regarding verse 2:
children remember…This is given as proof that their sin is “graven upon … altars” (Jer. 17:1).
It has now become obviously clear that it is indeed the altar or the ministry whom the people in God’s Church have looked up into instead of God. The people fear the men over them instead of fearing God. As JFB Commentary noted that the prophecy in verse 2 about their ministers and their groves (images of Astarte which includes the Irish dancing) is given as PROOF that the sin of Judah is graven upon the power of their ministry! (Jer. 17:1) – that power makes the IRON WALL in Ezekiel chapter 4 impregnable (v. 3); and God saw that it would need a diamond point iron pen just to be able to write their sin into their hearts because of its hardness!
Why does the phrase “horns of your altars” in its plural form in verse 1? – Because the same story goes on and happens around the world where the power of the ministry is being highly feared. The altar (ministry) has already become an idol, and the groves (images of Astarte) are just the undeniable evidence that it is so, as Judah and Jerusalem have done in the past:
“And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.” (2 Chr. 24:18) – As what Mr. Flurry said in his Opening Night Message for the 2013 Feast of Tabernacles that the book of Chronicles is for the Philadelphia Church of God!
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