Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Remember When . . . They Called Up the Dead?

I find the idea of mediums totally bizarre. I mean, people who talk to the dead? Who can summon them up? Um . . . weird. And unbelievable. As in, the kind of thing that makes most of us roll our eyes and go "Riiiiiiight." Right? Surely anyone claiming to be a medium is really just a charlatan. A fake. A phony.

So why does God order us not to go to them?To be "defiled by them" as He puts it? Hmm. Why, for instance, in I Samuel 28, does Saul first toss all the mediums out of the land, then seek one out? Do you remember that part of Saul's story? It's crazy. Samuel has just died, but Saul needs his advice. So what does he do? He goes to one of the mediums that Samuel himself had instructed Saul to cast out and has her call up Saul so he can ask him a question.

The really crazy thing? It works. It's right there in the Bible. So obviously this isn't just a hoax (all the time, anyway). Which begs the question of what it is. And since God tells us very clearly not to do it, not to go to the people who do, and not to have anything to do with it, that makes it pretty clear--this stuff is possible, but it's not of the Lord. Which means it's of His enemy.

Let's fast-forward a couple thousand years to Victorian England and America. As you may remember from my intro post on Spiritualism a couple weeks ago, it became rather suddenly fashionable to be into the afterlife and looking for a bridge between it and this life. Enter mediums. There were a few very famous, very notable ones reported to do everything from summon a hand to touch someone to a dead relative to give a few words to call up full-bodied apparitions (like the one in I Samuel). We have no way of knowing today which of these mediums was faking and which weren't. And even in the day when it was happening, folks had a hard time deciding, sometimes, what was real and what was hoax.

There seemed to be a few main categories of how people reacted. There were those willing to believe anything, and who tried to tap into personal abilities to do this stuff too (housewives and servants were apparently especially predisposed to this--perhaps because it brought a little excitement into their lives?), there were those who were willing to entertain the notion and keep an open mind about it. And there were those who thought it all a bunch of nonsense. Those, at least, are the reactions I've seen recorded.

But where, I wonder, were those who believed it could and did happen, but took the Biblical stand and cried out against it because it could and did happen, but was wrong? Well, that's where my fictional heroine comes in, if ever I settle down to write this novel. =) She's not going to take too kindly to folks parading out their young children and using them as mediums, no sirree. Why? Because it's real--and because it's real, it's dangerous. Oh, if only everyone would listen to her . . . ;-)

Happy Wednesday everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, wow. I certainly believe it's possible. And certainly bad, too.

    Wouldn't it be interesting to write a Twilight-like story that reveals the truth about demonic forces and the paranormal?