Christian Spirituality – Chapter 1.1

6/30/2013

From time to time, we will post sections from Osofo Mante’s book entitled An Outline of Some Basic Principles of Christian Spirituality.

Chapter 1

What Christian Spirituality is Not

1. It is Not Spiritism

First, Christian spirituality is not spiritism and should be immediately distinguished from it.  By spiritism I mean the worship, adoration, or veneration of other spiritual beings other than the Holy Trinity.  These beings could be humans, angels, ancestors, or some other forces or spirits.

The basic clue in this regard is taken from Rev. 22:8-9.  In these verses, after the revelation of St. John on the Isle of Patmos, John fell down to worship the angel who brought him the revelations.  But the angel forbade him and said, “You must not do that!  I am a fellow servant with you… Worship God.” (Rev. 22:9).

Also in Lev. 19:31, sorcery and witchcraft, which are high forms of spiritism, are condemned by God, and they are said to defile the people of God.  “Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.”  Sorcery ([1]) and witchcraft, therefore, imply getting involved with other spirits outside of Jesus Christ – these acts are demonic and are part of the kingdom of Satan.  Today, some so-called intellectuals are beginning to revive witchcraft wither as an academic discipline or as a form of liberation.  According to them, they practise these things out of a pure academic interest.  But in the spiritual realm there is no such thing as practising evil out of a pure academic interest.  One must already belong to the devil’s camp before one could actually practise witchcraft.

Some of these people operate from the wrong premise that evil consists only in harming another person.  Thus where there is no physical harm done to another person, it is said that there is no evil.  But a broader and better description of evil (at least from a Christian, biblical perspective) is the desire to, and act of contributing to or enhancing the kingdom of Satan.  This could be either spiritual or physical.  In fact, it is the case that in the spiritual realm usually what turns out to be physical evil already started out as a spiritual evil.  Hence in the book of Ephesians we are exhorted to understand that in our Christian existence we do not just contend with flesh and blood (i.e. the physical) but with “principalities and power” (Eph. 6:12).  It is important to point out that the doctrine that there is no personal devil is only a bias among some intellectuals and there does not seem to be any properly studied empirical evidence showing that there is no such thing as a devil.  In fact, if most of us were not just biased, it seems that there is so much evidence all over the world to show that there is a personal devil than the contrary belief.  However, the converse doctrine that looks for and blames a personal devil for every evil with no human responsibility is also a bias of ignorance.

I believe that it is rather more true to say that the devil usually uses human beings to act.  The devil acts on our free will. We can always say yes or no to the devil, just that our ability to say no to the devil has a lot to do with our yieldedness to the Holy Spirit.  (But this is not a book on demonology and so I will leave the rest of this subject for that discipline).

Spiritism is diametrically opposed to the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  It is against the first commandment (Thou shall have no other gods before me), and the way to deal with it is to renounce it.  The last thing anyone wants to do with the devil is to play games with him.  Just get out of any form of spiritism!  It is spiritually dangerous.  We have not yet heard of anyone involved in spiritism whose life has been made better.  Almost always, as far as we know, the lives of spiritists are destroyed in the last analysis, though initially they thought it was a great experience.  I plead with any reader who is involved in any form or aspect of spiritism to please get out before it is too late.


[1] Sorcery is by definition the use of supernatural power over others through the assistance of evil spirits.  In this sense witchcraft is a form of sorcery with the addition of an elaborate cultus.

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