The real miracle workers
On the contrary, in church healings there are no “black boxes” with incomprehensible content. For, here everything is openly said: Lord, come and heal the sick person, if this is in accordance with Your good will! It may be that it would be better for a person to get sick for a while. Of course, God loves us as much as we can imagine. But this love sometimes manifests itself in a way that is not at all what we imagine it to be. If God sees that it will be more useful for man, for the salvation of his soul, to get sick, He will not undertake to heal him. And this will be the truest manifestation of love for this person.
That is why the church miracle-healers never promised a “100% result”, as we can read in the advertisements of modern magicians. And if God already acted through them, then this was an undoubted testimony of God’s action. Here is how the Bible describes such a case in the third chapter of the Acts of the Holy Apostles:
“1. Peter and John went up to the temple together at the ninth hour of prayer.
2. There was a man, lame from his mother’s womb, whom they carried and placed every day at the temple gates, called Krasni, to beg alms from those who entered the temple;
3. When he saw Peter and John coming into the temple, he asked them for alms.
4. And Peter looked upon him with John, and said, Look on us.
5. And he stared at them, hoping to get something from them.
6. But Peter said, I have no silver and no gold: but whatsoever I have I give thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth arise and walk.
7. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were strengthened,
8. And he jumped up, and stood up, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God.
9. And all the people saw him walking and praising God;
10. And they knew him, that it was he which sat at the red doors of the temple for alms; and they were filled with terror and wonder at what had happened to him. “
To make it clearer: chromium from the mother’s womb means that this person has been deprived of the opportunity to walk since birth. He has never walked in his life, and he has not even stood on his feet. Neither the body’s muscles, nor the nerve conduction pathways, nor its reflexes, nor the corresponding parts of the motor areas in the cerebral cortex – nothing of it didn’t work for him. Complete atrophy, no chance of recovery. And suddenly he jumped, jumping with joy at his suddenly strengthened legs. And whom does he praise for this; the healer? Praise God, Whose Name alone has done such a wonderful miracle with him. And the Orthodox healer himself calmly goes on to preach the Gospel to the people.
This is the essential thing that can be said briefly here about the difference between “healers through magic” and holy Christian miracle workers.
And with “harmless divination”, Nikolai, things are the same. And divination is the same “black box” in which there is some action at the entrance, and at the exit – a result in the form of a prediction of someone’s fate or an event. And the question arises: if this is all just a game, a harmless prank, and the man does not believe in divination, then why bother with it at all?
And if he still, albeit a little, but believes, then he has every reason to think – how this thing works. Because this is not about some trifles – the fate of man is clarified, sometimes for years and decades to come. What is this powerful force that can help a person see the future, and in such dubious manipulations as pouring wax, spilling coffee grounds and card solitaires?
It would be simplest to attribute this power to God – only He has the absolute fullness of knowledge about everything, and for Him the future is as open as the past and the present. But such an answer is completely out of the question, because in the Bible God speaks of such activities, very simply and unambiguously: “Do not heal or foretell.” (Lev. 19:26).
Then who is in the “black box” and provides the necessary information at the exit?
It seems that in the “harmless” divinations and divinations we risk again turning to the enemy of the human race. And this is always associated with misery and harm to man; if not physically, then probably spiritually.
The thing is, fallen angels don’t know the future, and for that reason, they can’t predict it. On the other hand, they can create a scenario for the person, symbolically express it in divination, convince him of his “truth” and consistently direct the life of the trusted unfortunate to the final point of their “prediction”.
Oddly enough, even modern science has drawn attention to this phenomenon, naming it The Self-Fulfilling Prophesy. Its author, the American sociologist Robert Merton, formulated the mechanism of such a prediction as follows: “Self-fulfilling prophecy is a falsely defined situation, provoking new behavior that turns the original false image into reality.”
Simply put, a person’s belief in the prophecy begins to change his behavior in such a way that the prediction eventually comes true. One of the clearest examples of this kind can be considered the well-known from everyone’s school desk “Song of the Wise Oleg” by Pushkin. There the prince was so concerned with the sorcerer’s prediction of his death, which his beloved horse would bring him, that he immediately gave it to his servants for life. And when he learned that his horse was dead, for some reason he went to examine his remains, stepped on the horse’s skull and received a deadly bite from a snake crawling out of the skull. And would the prince have gone wandering among the horse’s bones, and digging them with his foot, if he had not believed in the magician in the past? The question must be superfluous.
Indeed, the American sociologist does not include demons in his reasoning; he is therefore a scientist. On the other hand, in his definition sounds the word, which is extremely important for understanding what actually happens in divination. This word is “lie” – a false definition of a false idea.
And believers are well aware of who the Scriptures call the spirit of lies. This is the fallen angel himself – the devil, about whom the Lord says: “He was a murderer from the beginning and did not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44).
The ancient Romans had a doctrine of fatum – predestination, the inevitable fate that awaits man, no matter what. This pagan principle still underlies divination today. The person who has decided to engage in divination, consciously or vaguely believes that his destiny is static, like a finished painting, already painted by a metaphysical artist. And that everything that happens to him in life is just another fragment of a giant canvas, which is gradually revealed to him. But he wants to see the future and the day after tomorrow… And if he can, he can see the whole picture. Although, if you think about it, what is the use of such knowledge, even if it is real, if you know for sure that you can not change anything you see? And given that you know that in the “black box” between casting wax and “knowing” your fate, you can hide the father of lies, who has always been a murderer…? Perhaps divination, Nikolai, is not as harmless as you write. And it is no coincidence that the Church warns its members about it.
Christianity also presupposes a general picture of human life. But unlike all kinds of pagan fatalism, this painting is not a complete canvas. Every moment we draw new details on it, change the plot, invent new forms. Although, of course, there is some initial predestination here as well.
Christians believe that God has a unique plan for everyone, in which the highest good for this person consists. But to follow God’s plan or to oppose it is a personal free choice of each of us. And the Christian can know God’s will for himself by comparing his actions with the Holy Scriptures, the teachings of the saints and his own conscience. Let’s say that you are offered a well-paid job, where your obligations will include systematic fraud of the company’s partners or users of its services. As this fraud is generally unpunished – all activities are formally within the law. And you know that “every one that doeth iniquity is an abomination unto the LORD thy God” (Deuteronomy 25:16). And depending on your decision, your further life will either get closer to God’s plan for you, or will move away from it.
This is how we all paint the picture of our lives – moving, plastic and unfinished to our last breath. So divination is an absolutely pointless activity for a Christian, and because there is simply no pre-painted picture of his future in his worldview.
As Saint Basil the Great writes: “Do not be curious about the future, but dispose of the present with benefit. Because, what is the use for you to foresee God’s decision? If the future will bring you something good, it will come without knowing it in advance. And if it’s something sad, why bother in advance? Do you want to be sure of the future? Do what is required by the Law of the Gospel and expect enjoyment of the good. ”
Photo: Icon “Devils at an aerial toll house”
Source: The article by Alexander Tkachenko was published in the magazine foma.ru