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Don’t shoot the messenger; test the spirits.

Posted on 28 December 2012, 17:14

I spoke to an acquaintance over Christmas and I asked how a friend of hers was, who I met some years ago. He’s elderly and she remarked that he is now quite ill.  I asked if his wife is still around to support him, and she told me she is, but the marriage has been difficult for many years because he has been investigating psychic phenomena for more than 50 years, and his wife is a born again Christian, and because of her beliefs, she has a problem with his work.

This problem extends to her not even allowing his research books in the family home.

As an atheist turned spiritual truth seeker, I’ve often wondered why the Christian Church (or for that matter, most organised religions) shy away (at least publicly) from discussing spirit communication and psychic phenomena, after all, if you deleted every account of spirit communication and psychic phenomena from the Bible, it would be a much slimmer book, so why does the church seem to avoid it like the plague?

Even in the 21st century, if one tries to discuss a premonition, or a deathbed vision, or maybe a case of clairvoyance, with a Christian, many will recoil in horror, open their Bible, and quote Leviticus;

” ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ “  Leviticus, 20:27 NIV

witches

At which point one might point out the obvious contradiction in the Bible which validates spirit communication by quoting John’s gospel,

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” John, 4.1 NIV.

spirits

Or you could quote the most well known instruction in the Bible which contradicts Leviticus 20:27.

“Thou shalt not kill.” Exodus 20:13, Mat. 5.21 ; 19.18 · Mark. 10.19 · Luke. 18.20 · Rom. 13.9 · Jas. 2.11

When asked ‘what religion are you?’ many in the West who were once Christian, will now tell you they are ‘spiritual not religious,’ (SNR) or as they are now being labelled, the ‘Nones,’ meaning they don’t subscribe to any organized religion or dogma.

Many of these SNR folks still feel Christian at heart, but because they’ve had a near-death-experience, or a psychic encounter, or maybe they just no longer feel the 66 books that we call the Bible, are the literal the word of God; they no longer believe everything in it, if they ever did.

The problem is, they often don’t feel they can talk to their local priest about their experiences, because even if the priest doesn’t quote Leviticus or accuse them of communing with the devil - the chances are, he or she will know little or nothing about psychic phenomena for all the reasons above.

I can’t help thinking; if the Christian church had a forward thinking outside PR company, that company would be pitching to the powers-that-be at the Church, the following suggestion;

Your Eminence,

It’s come to our attention, in recent decades church membership is in decline, and a growing number of ex-Christians now call themselves ‘spiritual not religious.’ (SNR)

When we ask them in our surveys why they are now SNR, many of them tell us that they, or someone they know, has at some time had a psychic experience. It could be telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance - something of that nature, and it has often has a profound spiritual effect on them, and yet they often don’t feel they can bring it up at their local church or discuss it with their priest, so many leave their church, and eventually abandon their religion all together and become SNR or Nones.

The fascinating thing about these people is that although they might have abandoned their religion, they have in no way become less spiritual, nor have they lost any of their deep convictions about Jesus the Christ, and if anything, they now take a more active interest in spiritual matters, living more productive lives, often becoming more ‘Christ-like’ than they ever were before.

As you know, during the past few centuries we’ve changed our Christian marketing strategy; for instance, we no longer order children to be put to death if they strike their parents, as we are instructed to in Exodus;

“Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death.” Exodus 21:15 NAB

And equally, although we don’t promote it, we don’t insist that if a married man and woman have an affair, they should be executed, which Leviticus (again) insists on.

“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10 NLT

Our professional view is; as with the adulterous husband and the violent teenager - today’s churchgoers feel a tiny bit squeamish at having to bludgeon to death, Mrs. Smith, the psychic, who lives at number 42, just because she got a message from uncle Bob who recently died and communicated to Mrs Smith that he is just fine, and wants her to pass the message on.

We think it’s about time the church came out of the closet and let people know that spirit communication does happen to ordinary people every day, and that it’s not the work of the devil, nor does it go against certain books in the New Testament.

We know our suggestion might sound radical but there has been a precedent.  We discovered, in 1935, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Lang, commissioned a report into mediumistic communication, but the powers-that-be in the church, subsequently chose not to publish it.  In case you are not aware of it, you can read it here. The Church of England and Spiritualism 

Maybe it’s time to rethink our marketing strategy.

We think the church should embrace these experiences rather that brushing them under the celestial carpet, and in doing so, maybe the church will become a little more ‘spiritual not religious’, and maybe, a little more Christ-like.

Yours,

Christian PR Inc.


Comments

I see this is from some time ago.  So, just to mention that there is the Churches’ Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies.  Been around since 1953, in the leaflet I read says something like psychical experiences are best viewed as a by-product of spiritual development, not as an end in themselves.  I’ll go with that.

Graham Dalgleish, Sat 7 Mar, 13:06

Mark,

Thanks for the article. Very interesting. I’d forgotten about the Samaritan woman. it’s another good example.

In the New Testament, miracles abounded as Jesus and his disciples displayed a wide array of paranormal phenomena. A clear example of clairvoyance occurs when Jesus speaks with a Samaritan woman who is drawing water from a well. In this dialog Jesus asks the woman-a complete stranger-to call her husband.

To this request the woman replies, “I have no husband.”
Jesus responds, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband:’ for you have had five husbands and the one you have now is not your husband.”

Stunned by his insight the woman confirms Jesus’ accuracy, in responding, “Sir I see that you are a prophet.” John: 4, 1-19

Jon, Wed 2 Jan, 23:57

Many of these SNR folks still feel Christian at heart.

that describes me and I do indeed agree with this article. My dogma got ran over a long time ago but my hope and even my faith are scarred and bent but still intact.

Steve Snead, Wed 2 Jan, 20:36

I think it would be tremendously positive to see Christian leaders learn more about mediumship, and parapsychology, and discuss the evidence with their congregations. After all, these phenomena provide the most reasonable explanations for how some miracle stories in scripture may have actually happened.

In today’s world, skepticism and materialism hold great sway and people aren’t as willing to rely on blind faith alone. And the fact of the matter is that the Bible is not consistent in dealing with this whole area, primarily because the books it contains were written at different times, by different authors, whose backgrounds, perspectives, and motivations varied.

I wrote an article on this subject a while back so here’s a link if you’re interested:

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs095/1102382222447/archive/1102779074025.html

Mark Ireland, Wed 2 Jan, 11:59

Yes! I completely agree with this article, it describes me! Christians are supposed to be loving and accepting but I have not known this to be true first hand. I so not call myself Christian anymore even though in my heart I know there is a loving God and my faith has not changed.

D, Wed 2 Jan, 10:42

Can I say “ditto” “ditto” “ditto” and one more “ditto?” Brilliant.

Carla Wills-Brandon, Wed 2 Jan, 10:00


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Spirits and Crime by Carl Wickland – Habits, desires and inclinations are rooted in the mind and remain with the individual after he is freed from his physical body, until they are eliminated by the will. The spirits of many criminals, murderers, those who were executed or are seeking for revenge, remain indefinitely in the earth sphere and often endeavor to continue their former activities and to carry out their evil designs through controlling the bodies of mortals who are sensitive to their influence. Read here
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