Index by Subject

Solid Food: The Sensitives

Introduction

They are ridiculously called “sensitives”: people who claim to have the ability to communicate with the dead, for a fee, of course. If your phone bills are high, imagine the overhead of running a business that connects with those beyond the grave. That must surely be long distance and then some.

A book by James Van Praagh has occupied a place on the New York Times nonfiction best seller list for months and has brought new legitimacy to a most illegitimate fraud. “Talking to Heaven: A Medium’s Message of Life After Death” explains that his and other mediums’ success these days can be attributed to the failure of mainstream religion. He reports that Cher has employed him to communicate with a recently deceased Sonny Bono. He says that he receives these “communications” by sensing an “energy level” of a spirit and passing along the message that comes to his mind.

A sociology professor at Eastern Michigan University is equally antipathetic toward religion but also critical of Van Praagh and his ilk. Marcello Truzzi says that “When people talk to the Virgin Mary, they’re talking to a dead person. It’s just a question of how you define this, as magic or religion …. Most of what he gives people is twaddle, and in a way that’s good. What people want is comfort, guilt assuagement. And they get that: ‘Your parents love you; they forgive you; they look forward to seeing you; it’s not your fault they’re dead.'” Continue reading » Solid Food: The Sensitives

Works of the Flesh: Sorcery (Witchcraft)

As the inspired writer lists the works of the flesh, he places after idolatry the word, “sorcery,” or “witchcraft” (KJV).

This new century is much like the one in which Paul wrote, fascinated with the mysterious and bizarre. As the Athenians gathered at the Areopagus to seek some new thing – some new religious oddity – millions today kneel before the gentle glow of the television or Internet in search of something similar. Thus we find Wiccans worshiping at Fort Hood with the approval of the United States Army and many more searching the stars for astrological direction or consulting charlatans masquerading as psychics.

The occult holds a place of fascination, curiosity and tolerance in an era in which men have become dissatisfied with the predictability and familiarity of Christianity. Neither can it be overlooked that this faith of ours disallows so much of the immorality that modern men crave and are unwilling to abandon; the occult not only allows such immorality, but often demands it. Continue reading » Works of the Flesh: Sorcery (Witchcraft)