10Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Deuteronomy 18:10-11
1. The belief that the dead communicate with the living; spiritualism.
2. The practices or doctrines of those holding such a belief.
John Edward/Psychic Medium
There are many from time immemorial to today who've claimed that they have/had the ability to communicate with the dead or long departed. The practice of communicating with the dead is called spiritism and the actual conduit between the dead and the living is called a medium or a spiritist. For the most part many of the more modern and prominent of mediums have been found to be nothing more than con artists, fakes, and frauds. But there are those that believe that this practice is very real and that there are some mediums out there who are the genuine article.
Famed magician and debunker of all things magic and mystical James Randi has issued a $1,000,000.00 dollar reward to any one who could prove the existence of the paranormal under an observable and controlled environment.Here is the challenge as it is presented on the James Randi website.
James Randy aka the amazing Randy
At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place. All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform a relatively simple preliminary test of the claim, which if successful, will be followed by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually conducted by associates of the JREF at the site where the applicant lives. Upon success in the preliminary testing process, the "applicant" becomes a "claimant."
On his site Randi has a faq section about that challenge and you can acces that directly right here. I have been an admirer of James Randi since the 80's when he started showing up on television specials exposing the many frauds and the most common techniques that they used to deceive the gullible. I have read all of his books but my favorite one was The Faith Healers where he exposes some of the deceptive techniques used by some of the most prominent faith healing proponents of the day.
Since yesterday I was thinking about some of the practices of the adherents of Christianity. Particularly those of the fundamentalists type like I once was. First of all I came to the realization that the worship of Christ is not that much different than the practice of spiritism. Think about this for a moment. Christians worship a man who if he lived at all died around 33-35 AD, they claim to have a very personal relationship with him, and they claim to feel his presence/spirit around them or within themselves. Granted they claim that he rose from the dead therefore technically he is not dead but very much alive. But the fact remains that this resurrection claim is very easily nothing more than a myth that has been fabricated by the various authors of the New Testament.
The whole idea behind the resurrection myth is to demonstrate that Jesus Christ defeated death and that death itself could not hold him. By doing so he in turn frees those who choose to believe in him from the condemnation of death by providing them with the promise of eternal life in a glorified body or form after their physical deaths.
24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:24
The resurrection of Christ would have been so much more convincing if he later showed himself to his enemies and they too wrote and attested to the truth of this claim. But the authors of the gospels make no such claims. He appears to his followers, believers, and 500 anonymous witnesses whose names are not given and their identities could never be ascertained. Diregarding the resurrection claim, then Jesus if he ever existed is pretty much as dead as dead can be.
One of the many claims Jesus allegedly made was that he would never leave his followers alone. He promised that after he left the earth that he would send a comforter (the Holy Spirit).
15“If you love me, keep my commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
The very fact that Christianity is basically based on the belief that they are communicating with the spirit of a dead man makes it amount to nothing more than spiritism. It's no wonder why many traditionalist Jewish sects were quite resistant to this sects doctrines.
There are various methods that spiritists utilize to communicate with the dead and some are even highlighted in the Bible.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Peter 3:16
This sounds alot like automatic writing.
automatic writing: writing produced without conscious intention as if of telepathic or spiritualistic origin
19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19-20
This sounds alot like channeling.
channeling: The act or practice of serving as a medium through which a spirit guide purportedly communicates with living persons.
In closing, Christianity is nothing more than just another form of the practice of spiritism despite what any Christian may invent to try to refute this claim. They practiced automatic writing, channeling, and through prayer sought to communicate with the spirit of the Lord. In fact, that is what they are doing they are communicating with a spirit whether they consider it to be holy or not.
Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures. All word definitions are taken from the Merriam Webster online dictionary or the free dictionary.