Recently, tele-evangelist and "prophet" Kenneth Copeland, performed a mock cutting ceremony in which he pretended to cut his finger then mix his blood with Christ’s blood during communion; he directed his congregation to do the same. This was weird, even for him. Many were confused and wondered if this was some sort of nod to the Catholic's Eucharist. Perhaps. But my guess it that he was following teachings like those of H. Clay Trumbull, a forefather of his faith.
Henry Clay Trumbull, born June 8, 1803 in Stonington Connecticut, was best known as an evangelical theologian, author, and proponent of the Sunday School movement in the United States in the early 1800s. What many professing Christians may not know is that Trumbull’s writings are based largely in metaphysics, New Age, and the Occult. His writings heavily influenced people like E. W. Kenyon, William Branham, Franklin Hall, and Oral Roberts. Men who would go on to lay the foundation for teachings and practices within the Charismatic movement's New Apostolic Reformation (N.A.R).
Trumbull was particularly versed in eastern religions, ceremonies, and belief systems. He authored several books to this effect and enlisted colleagues whose fields of study were the same, to assist in his endeavor. In his book ‘The Blood Covenant: A Primitive Rite and It’s Bearings on Scripture,’ Trumbull draws on ancient Eastern, Mid-Eastern, and African tribal rites. He begins in the book by telling the story of a Syrian blood covenant ritual in which two unrelated men cut themselves and drink one another’s blood as a way of attaching their lives and natures to one another; covenanting he called it. They would then keep a blood marked document of the covenant in an amulet (good luck charm).
In gross error, Trumbull used the words amulet and phylactery interchangeably to indicate that Israelites also wore sacred amulets to carry sacred documents. However, the phylacteries worn by Israel held passages from Exodus and Deuteronomy; God’s word. Not a blood contract between men or something conjured. Nor was there blood on the document in the phylactery as this would’ve been considered unclean for God’s people.
Trumbull explains the covenant as an “inter-mingling” of the participants lives that nothing can “transcend.” He writes:
"The universally dominating primitive convictions: that the blood is the life; that the heart as the blood fountain, is the very soul of every personality; that blood transfer is soul transfer; that blood sharing, human or divine-human, secures an inter-union of natures, and that a union of the human nature with the divine is the highest ultimate attainment reached out after by the most primitive, as well as by the most enlightened, mind of humanity."
One of the hallmarks of a false teacher is the propensity to participate in linguistic acrobatics. Common knowledge of words and definitions are reconstructed and redefined. Unorthodox or hyper-spiritual sounding terms and ideas are introduced to biblical orthodoxy. A few examples of this are New Age terms like “transcendence” and “life-force” which can be found throughout Trumbull’s book. The prefix “inter” is added to many words in the book to implant the idea of spiritual interconnectedness which has pantheistic undertones. Words like “inter-mingle” and “inter-union” are used to communicate oneness or integration of souls, lives, and divinity even; hence the term “divine-human.”
Trumbull goes on to make more astonishing statements, like the idea that covenants between men cannot be broken and are more sacred than the God ordained marriage covenant. Following a thorough description of a cutting and blood sharing ritual, he writes this:
"The covenant is commonly between two persons of the same religion--Muhammadans, Druzes, Nazarenes; yet it has been known between two persons of different religions; and in such case it would be held as a closer tie than that of birth or sect."
It’s important to note that Nazarenes was a name given to the early church to signify those who followed Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 24:5). What Trumbull did in this section is grouped the early church with other religions to allude to the idea that they too practiced the pagan blood rituals upon which his book is based. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he goes on to imply that if Nazarenes had made this covenant with a Muhammadan, then it would make that brotherhood closer than natural or their Christian brothers.
I don’t think I need to tell you that this is lunacy and found nowhere in the Bible. In fact, the opposite is true. Second Corinthians 6:14 admonishes followers of Jesus Christ not to yoke/enjoin themselves to unbelievers. “How can righteousness and lawlessness be partners?” Paul asked in 2 Corinthians. According to Mr. Trumbull, through pagan cutting rituals.
But before we move on, let's not just gloss over the “blood-transfer is soul-transfer" bit in the earlier paragraph. The belief that souls can be transferred into an inanimate or animate object or that blood can be shared to create some sort of esoteric union is a doctrine of Hinduism and the occult, not the Bible. But this is of no consequence to Mr. Trumbull. He writes:
"Proofs of the existence of this rite of blood-covenanting have been found among primitive peoples of all quarters of the globe; and it's antiquity is carried back to a date long prior to the days of Abraham. All this outside of any indications of the rite in the text of the Bible itself. Are we not, then, in a position to turn intelligently to that text for a fuller light on the subject?"
Trumbull mentioned in the preface of the book that due to “religious dogma," of “prominent and influential” Christian teachers, he considered rewriting as they had repeatedly been thrown off by his introduction of new terminology as it pertained to the Bible. And for good reason. A rewrite, however, would not have been sufficient. An Acts 19:19 book burning, would.
'The Blood Covenant' attempts, among other things, to sell the reader on the idea that ancient tribal cutting, blood-mixing/drinking, blood-brotherhood, and soul-transference were instituted in some way by God, even though the Bible indicates nothing of the sort. Again, these are occult practices. From beginning to end, he blasphemously parallels God’s covenants, including the Lord’s Supper, with pagan blood rituals of across the globe. When met with criticisms of these rituals outlined in his book and although practiced in what he sometimes called “primitive” ways, he sustained his view that these blood covenants between men are of God and God honoring. The question is, what god? Certainly not the God of the Bible; of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
There is much more disturbing phenomena in ‘The Blood Covenant’ like the author’s belief that divinity can be attained or his fixation on vampirism.
During Kenneth Copeland's bloody communion performance, his assertion was that he would become one with Christ by the mixing of blood. His demonstration was a perfect picture of how the teachings of H. Clay Trumbull have matriculated into what many, sadly, view as Christianity.
While Trumbull is heralded as an evangelical theologian who brought Sunday School to America, his book 'The Blood Covenant: A Primitive Rite and It’s Bearings on Scripture,’ (which can be found in an occult section), is in fact, a witches brew of New Age, Occultism, and Eastern mysticism that would lead many astray and forever sully the landscape of the modern church.
Sources: The Blood Covenant: A Primitive Rite and It's Bearings on Scripture, ©1889;