Christianity 201

July 15, 2020

Should Christians Use Diving Rods (Witching a Well)

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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Two weeks ago some Christian leaders surprised me by posting a Facebook meme wherein a person was holding a forked tree branch, and you were to leave a comment if you knew what it was the person was doing.

The practice is called ‘dowsing’ — it is sometimes called ‘witching a well,’ which should cause lots of red lights to appear on your dashboard — the branch is called a ‘divining rod.’ (More info at Wikipedia.)

Anyway, I truly wondered why they were playing at that practice and determined to be informative, I started assembling some internet citations together which you see below. I never really finished the project, but as it was already over 1,300 words, I thought I’d share it here as is

(I do need to add that some Christian farmers have used this tool and there is divided opinion among some believers on the nature of so doing.)

Got Questions:

While anyone can walk around with a forked stick, dedicated dowsers believe they are using a sixth sense to channel the earth’s energy. They believe the “universe” is speaking to them and revealing buried truths. Using a dowsing rod is similar to using a Ouija board. It is an attempt to gain information through “positive or negative energy” that is supposedly controlling an inanimate object. While some argue that the earth is water-rich enough that almost anyone can predict a water source if they drill deeply enough, others point out that the accuracy of dowsers seems to be significantly higher than that of random guesses.

The Bible addresses practices such as dowsing in Hosea 4:12: “My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner’s rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God.” The “diviner’s rod” has been variously interpreted as a magic wand, an Asherah pole, or some type of wooden staff used to predict the future or guide seekers into “wisdom.” The occult diviner’s rod condemned in Hosea sounds similar to a dowsing rod—in fact, another name for a dowsing rod is “divining rod,” because the purpose of dowsing is to divine the location of water or precious metal. According to Hosea, the Lord places divining rods, idolatry, and prostitution in the same category. But why would God be opposed to a harmless means of discovering a water source?

The bottom line is that dowsing is a form of divination, a practice strictly forbidden by God…

The Berean Call:

So what happens is you begin to believe that there’s some kind of a power in your subconscious mind. They have all kinds of explanations. Some “universal mind” out there, and you can tune into this. This is how religious science, science of the mind, and so forth, these things work, and the next thing you know, you have begun to believe that there is some force, or some power, some spirit. It doesn’t matter what you want to call it. Some higher power.

It’s not the God of the Bible, but something that you want now to commit yourself to, and you want to become in tune with this thing so that you can use it to your own ends. That’s the lie of the serpent in the Garden. And then next thing you know, I’m a regular little god! I can use what I think are supernatural powers.

So it’s very easily—a person is very easily drawn into this. Now, how would they protect themselves from this? Well, of course, if they know the Bible, they would know that it’s not biblical and they’re warned against it. But even if you don’t know the Bible, you would realize, “Wait a minute! This isn’t normal. There’s something going on here.”

All About Spirituality:

Dowsing is a form of divination — attempts to know hidden knowledge or the future through a supernatural means, apart from the God of the Bible. An biblical example is in Acts 16:16: “One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters.” You will notice that this girl was demon possessed. She was practicing a form of divination, similar to dowsing.

Women of Grace:

[M]any Christians also believe in dowsing as a divine gift and attempt to justify the practice by appealing to the Bible. Unfortunately, the scripture passages they cite refer only to digging wells or searching for water – never dowsing – which they claim is because the verses were mistranslated. If they were correctly translated, they would supposedly mention dowsing.

However, there is only one direct reference to dowsing in Scripture and it’s hardly an endorsement. “My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; for a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have played the harlot, departing from their God” (Hos. 4:12).

►► Condemnation is not limited to conservative Evangelicals. For example, The Eternal Church of God, an offshoot of the Worldwide Church of God, has this to say:

…Nanay Selda says SHE IS GUIDED BY A ‘FORCE’ WHEN SHE EXTENDS HER ARMS USING THE GUAVA BRANCHES… After she’s used the branches, one can see red welts on her palm, evidence of struggle WITH A FORCE, which shows UNUSUAL STRENGTH in such small frail arms. When I asked how she did it, she snapped like a bitch warning her pups, ‘I don’t know so don’t ask me.’ One water expert… had this to say…’ There is no empirical basis for water divining, yet it works. Water witches have not studied hydro-geology academically, but they know it intuitively.’”

The fact that water divining sometimes “works,” does not justify us to reach the conclusion that Christians can use this method. We read, for example, in Deuteronomy 13:1-4:

If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams and he gives you a SIGN or a WONDER, and the sign or the wonder COMES TO PASS, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ — which you have not known — ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is TESTING you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

The Seventh Day Adventist Church:

The Bible gives a most positive answer to this. The references may easily be found in both Testaments. They are described, and the inference is clear that they have been a commonplace occurrence in the life of mankind since Adam disobeyed. They are positively identified. There is clear warning that the spirits must be tested to prove their origin before having anything to do with them. The manner of testing them is made plain. The deceiving spirits are identified as evil angels—those who chose to be on the side of Lucifer who became Satan, and whose one and only intention is to deceive mankind and to lead away from the one true God. These deceiving spirit entities, benevolent, seemingly honest, sincere and wise, historically and presently lead mankind away from God by being truthful just enough to establish acceptance, and then the completely destroying lie is slipped in as innocently as if it were a continuation of the preceding truths. These lies are anti-God, every one of them.

So, there are spirit entities. There are two classes. Only one of them is amoral, lying, and hurtful. They are among us, and have been since Eden. They can materialize at will and convince us of reality that is not so. They are masters of the hoax. Eve, our first mother, and presumably the most intelligent woman ever to have lived was taken in by the first hoax lie, “. . . ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” without the least hint of the terrible consequences that accompanied the risk. They have been successfully hoaxing the intelligent among us ever since. According to the Bible, they were created as a higher classification of beings than man. Since their rebellion they have used this higher condition (which all of us know well) to defraud us. They fit every known need in an understanding of the occult. We submit that dowsing is an occult act, and has been known as such from ancient times.

The fact that dowsing has an undeniable physical element does not detract from an understanding of its occult aspects. There need not be any confusion over this.

…So…had you heard of this before now? What are your thoughts?

July 24, 2019

The Soul: Good News and Bad News

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:32 pm
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NLT.Lev.19.31 Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.

This is an example of an article that begins to answer a somewhat straightforward question, but then expands into broader areas of interest. It shows how an inquiry on a specific topic might even have another “question behind the question” or how a specific doctrinal belief might impinge on another doctrine.

Should a Christian see a fortune teller? Tarot card reader? Should a Christ-follower even read their horoscope?

This is taken from the website Truth or Tradition, sponsored by Spirit and Truth Fellowship International. Opinions on this subject may differ among various Christian groups.

What does the Bible say about “Soul?”

The word “soul” has a broad meaning and usage in the Bible. Some of its many uses are:

  • The life force that animates the body (Matt. 2:20, Gen 2:7). Animals also have this life force, “soul” (Gen. 1:24 Rotherham)
  • Man’s emotions, attitudes, thoughts, and feelings (John 12:27)
  • A person or individual (Acts 2:43)

When the Greek empire, led by Alexander the Great, conquered the area we know as the Holy Lands in the 4thcentury BC, much of the Greek culture, ideas, and language migrated into the Jewish culture. Even the Old Testament scriptures were translated into Greek, in what we now call the Septuagint. The Greeks believed the soul was immortal, and that teaching made its way into Judaism, and Christianity as well. That the “soul” is immortal and lives on after a person’s body dies is not stated in Scripture. About the soul, the Bible says:

  • It can die (Ezek. 18:20)
  • It can be destroyed (Matt. 10:28)
  • Jesus laid down his life (soul) for his sheep (John 10:11)

That the soul is immortal has spun off other erroneous doctrines. If the soul lives on after death, then there must be a place for them to live. This gave rise to the doctrine that evil souls are tortured in hell, and good souls go to heaven. Both of those beliefs are not supported by the Bible. Those false doctrines have led some to visit spiritualists who claim they speak to the dead, an activity that God condemns (Lev. 19:31).

King Saul is the classic example of visiting a medium to speak to the dead. 1 Chronicles 10:13 says,So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord, because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it.” God forbade this kind of practice because it was the work of demons, which the Bible refers to as “familiar spirits” in 1 Samuel 28:7 (KJV). These familiar spirits were demons who were familiar with the dead person and would imitate them through contact with a medium.

Because of the misunderstanding of what “soul” is and the many subsequent erroneous beliefs, further study will be necessary. You will find the links below helpful in that study.

BeliefNet on reading horoscopes:

God’s people are to heed Him only and any other source of guidance, information or revelation should be rejected. The Bible tells us to only focus on Jesus Christ and to trust in God alone. He knows our direct paths in life and will guide us accordingly. Faith in anything other than God is considered misplaced. We cannot determine God’s Will for our lives through horoscopes. As Christians, we are to read the Bible and pray to God in order to gain wisdom and guidance. Consulting a horoscope is a violation of God’s means of communicating with His children.
[click the link above to read the longer article]

Additional scriptures (NASB) from Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry:

  • Deuteronomy 4:19, And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
  • Isaiah 47:13–14, You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you. Behold, they have become like stubble, fire burns them; They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; There will be no coal to warm by nor a fire to sit before!