Monday Miscellan; November 19,2007;

Focus Text: Ephesians 5.14-17

It was just a small roadside sign, not more than about 2 feet by 3 feet, that caught my eye. I was driving through a small suburb of Atlanta toward Sunday morning worship services when I saw it and some thoughts came to mind that might be worth sharing. The sign was actually located in the front yard area of an ordinary looking residence, but the content of the sign was everything but ordinary. All the sign said was, “Psychic” with a phone number below it.

Not to get too personal, but I have had some really rough times over the past couple of years, times when I certainly could have used some abilities that would be beyond the normal, maybe even bordering on the paranormal or even the supernatural. I am sure that the reason there was a sign out near the road was so passersby could see the phone number that was given and contact the psychic so they could get the information they needed and so the psychic could make some money from the deal; that’s just the way those kind of things go!

Well, here is the question that came to my mind: Given that the person responsible for the sign has psychic powers (i.e. the ability to perceive unexpressed thoughts and/or see into the future), and since I had recently experienced the need for such services, and in as much as the psychic probably had an opening or two in her schedule, why didn’t she call me? I know she had her number on the street for everyone to see, but it seems to me that she could have just sensed that I needed some help and given me a call instead! At least that’s the way I might have imagined such connections might have been made. I think there is a reason that the psychic didn’t call me, and it is the same reason they have to advertise their services rather than just picking up the telephone and calling the people who “need such help” and who are willing to pay for it; they have no such powers!

Psychics are no different than any other religious charlatans; they prey on the emotions of hapless people during their most trying times; furthermore, they do so for the same reason that other false teachers do it, namely, to line their own pockets with the money taken from the people they deceive. The motives of the psychic emanate from one who is self-deceived and who intends fully to deceive others.

At the worship services that day, an evangelist who is doing full time work in Africa spoke of the people of Zambia where he lives and gave some background information that was relevant to his presentation. I remembered a time many years ago when my sister and her husband were located in Africa; I thought about something she had said about men who claimed special powers and who could “cast a spell” on someone should they need to do so to further their cause. I remembered how she said that ignorance provided the soil in which a man like that could thrive. I had marveled that such a situation could exist in our modern world.

It was just a small roadside sign, not more than about 2 feet by 3 feet... Atlanta and Africa are worlds apart, but the result is the same; where biblical ignorance exists, the fertile soil in which such charlatans thrive will continue to produce its fruits!

Questions:

1. Why didn’t she call? Do they ever call? Why or why not?

2. How can such charlatans survive in an enlightened society like ours [Atlanta, GA]?

3. What is needed to dispel the darkness in which such opportunists prey on their victims?

4. What is the fundamental difference between the false teachers in Africa and the false teachers in America? Upon what do they depend so that they can continue to ply their trades and hold power over the populous (Read Ephesians 5.14-17)?