A devoted reader passed along a video of celebrity psychic Thomas John who challenges the Church’s prohibition of his trade by insisting that the Bible was written by psychics and is full of “mediumistic” experiences.
In this video, John was answering a question from a Catholic who asked, “As a Catholic we’re told psychics are not real and that believing in them is not appropriate. How do you feel about that?” (at 15:37mins).
John responds by asking her a series of questions.
First, he asks that if, according to the Church, mediumship and psychics are not good or not real, then why was the bible written by prophets who he claims are psychics?
Actually, John is not alone in confusing the psychic with the prophet. It’s a fairly common mistake.
First of all, while it’s true that God can and does choose to reveal the future to His prophets, authentic prophets know that they must “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) to determine if their information is coming from God, themselves, or the devil. I don’t know of any psychic who does this.
Second, while both the prophet and the psychic can make correct predictions about the future, only the prophet is getting their information from God. How do we know this? Because, according to Scripture, God considers psychics/mediums to be “abominations” (see Deuteronomy 18:10). For this reason, God would never contradict Himself by consorting with one. This is how we know that whatever information a psychic is getting is either coming from themselves (through hot or cold reading) or from demonic entities.
Third, we can be sure that the Bible came from God through prophets just by looking at the “numbers.” For example, the Bible was written by at least 40 different authors over the period of 2700 years and yet there are more than 300 precise prophecies about Jesus Christ written in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the New Testament. To say that this continuity occurred by chance is statistically impossible. Not only does this confirm its authenticity as a work of a Superior Being working through prophets over a period of thousands of years, but the fact that this revealed Word became the basis of a religion that revolutionized civilization is hardly the fruit of a bad tree.
Having said this, we can only ask if there is any psychic or psychic network in history who can lay claim to such a long-standing record of repeated accuracy on a single point? This question can be answered with a single word – no.
Mr. John goes on to ask why the Church considers divination to be wrong when the Magi who brought gifts to Christ were astrologers. Again, he is falling into a trap meant for the uncatechized. As this blog explains, in the time of Christ, astrology and astronomy were the same pursuits. It wasn’t until much later that the science of astronomy broke ranks with the occult art of divination known as astrology. At the time of Christ’s birth, people were using the stars as a divination tool as well as an aid to navigation. As the Bible clearly states, the Magi “saw his star at its rising” (Matthew 2:2) and followed it, meaning they were using the stars for navigation purposes, not to divine the future, which is expressly forbidden by Scripture.
John continues by questioning the Catholic about why there are so many mediumistic experiences in the Bible of people coming back from the dead and giving messages if this is against the religion.
What John is apparently unaware of is the fact that God can and does allow people to come back from the dead, such as when He allows souls from purgatory to appear to ask for prayer or when He allows the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints to appear to issue warnings or give guidance. Biblically speaking, we know that Jesus raised people from the dead, and was Himself raised from the dead, but these incidents can hardly be called “mediumistic” because no mediums were involved. These incidents were brought about by the power of the Almighty.
The only time a medium was involved in conjuring the dead was when the Witch of Endor summoned a spirit claiming to be the prophet Samuel for King Saul. As we all know, this didn’t end well for Saul. He died a few days later. The Church Fathers are nearly unanimous in their belief that the spirit who appeared was not Samuel but a demon in disguise. This is because God doesn’t answer to the beck-and-call of mediums who evoke the dead to appear and give them messages about the future. Remember, in Deuteronomy 18:10, He explicitly condemns those who ”consult ghosts and spirits or seek oracles from the dead.” Because God never contradicts Himself, He would not consort to allowing a disembodied soul to appear to, or speak through, a medium.
John ends this session with a cautionary word about how the Bible is an historical document that needs to be interpreted. However, judging by his arguments, he appears to be confusing interpretation with cherry picking. But even the best cherry picker will find it hard to take out of context the many prohibitions in Scripture against psychics, mediums and those who conjure the dead.
“A man or a woman who acts as a medium or clairvoyant shall be put to death . . . ” (Leviticus 20:27),
“Should anyone turn to ghosts and spirits and prostitute oneself with them, I will turn against that person and cut such a one off from among the people” (Leviticus 20:6).
“Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord . . .” (Deuteronomy 18: 10-11)
“He practiced soothsaying and divination and reintroduced the consulting of ghosts and spirits. He did much evil in the Lord’s sight and provoked him to anger” (2 Kings 21:6).
I could go on and on but I think you get the message. Now if only we can get this message to Thomas John . . .
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