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Freedom from the subtle influences of spiritualism

From the June 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Seeking wisdom from the departed was quite fashionable in the 19th century. People would go to a medium to have a séance, in which it was believed the spirit of someone who had passed on could be called up, to communicate with them and offer advice. 

This was not a new phenomenon. There are a number of references in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, to this practice. The twenty-eighth chapter of First Samuel relates the story of King Saul of Israel consulting a woman at Endor who had a “familiar spirit,” asking her to call up the late prophet Samuel for advice. This turning from God to a medium for help did not turn out well for Saul, and Israel suffered. By contrast, St. Paul, by the authority of Christ Jesus, healed a young woman considered a fortuneteller of her “spirit of divination” (see Acts 16:16–18). 

Spiritualism and divination may seem like harmless superstitious nonsense in this age of science and reason. The advertisements for palm readers and horoscope prognostications may seem to offer a fun dalliance, but dabbling in the occult would insidiously ensnare us into believing its claims to influence our lives and even affect our health. 

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