Home » How Spiritualism Leads to Idol Worship    


How Spiritualism Leads to Idol Worship — 10 Comments

  1. I tend to agree with you that believing dead people are in Heaven does tend to lead to asking them to take care of them etc, which does show that the dead people are in the place of God. I have heard people talk that way and it is interesting. I kind of feel like this is more of a Catholic thing, though. I have known many evangelical Protestants over the years and not once have I heard any of them talk like that, even though they believe their loved ones are in Heaven. So I think the issue may be as much that the people have never really gotten to know God as a Father and friend. Probably the reason people pray to Mary - she seems nicer.

    The other examples you mention are a little more iffy and it's hard to judge. I don't think it's wise to go to a grave and talk to your loved one even if it's just imaginary. At the same time, counselors sometimes recommend writing letters to loved ones as a way of processing feelings and I don't see that as communicating with the dead. Perhaps if it was a constant thing, it would be different.

    I lost my mom when I was 7 and it was obviously a life shaping loss for me. When I turned 20, I penned a letter to her just sharing the events of my life. I never thought of it as trying to communicate with her, but thinking about what she might think of my life if she was around and in a sense reflecting on the loss. Many of the things I wrote are things I hope to talk with her about when we meet at the resurrection. I also acknowledged her absence at my 40th birthday party, acknowledging her absence and how I had outlived her. I mentioned that her short life reminds me to be thankful for each year I have, since they were years she never had.

    Now yes, I could say all those things about God or to God, but our family relationships are significant. It's through our parents we first and foremost learn what God's love looks like (or we get a distorted picture of that). God Himself uses relationships to teach us about Him. And though God can fill our every need, He recognized the need for human relationships. Adam could have been perfectly happy with just communion with God and the angels, but God saw that he needed one like him.

    So I guess I've taken a lot of words to say it, but give some grace to the people at the wedding. Some people just express themselves very openly or feel a loss strongly. A focus on God as Father is probably beneficial for them, but there's so much we just can't know.

    • Christina I am so sorry about the loss of your mother at such an early age. I can tell by the way you write she would be very proud of you, and will be when you meet her in the resurrection. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • Mr. Earnhardt is correct regarding his comments about death and spiritualism, and the idea that we can sometimes idolize the dead.
      But I agree he should allow more grace to those who are grieving. After the fall, Adam and Eve were devastated to see their animal friends die. They were even sad to see a dead leaf fall to the ground. God did not "plan" for us to die, that was a consequence of the fall. And so we will feel extreme pain and loneliness.

      That said, we MUST turn to God in these times. Christian grief counseling can help us remember that God is the only way.

      • Mel [Full Name Please],

        I agree people should be allowed to grieve as Adam and Eve did but I do not see their grief as excessive to the point of idolatry. I sincerely am sorry for anything I conveyed that may have been perceived as hurtful or insensitive. I also understand my opinion is just one of several opinions.

  2. I agree with all of the above. When my father died my young widowed mother was given a lot of superstitious cultural mores by ‘well meaning’ SDA friends. Thankfully all of which she ignored. However l do recognise like Christina that people process grief differently. When my own mother died one of my teenaged sons visited her grave daily for many weeks to ‘tell’ her about his little accomplishments eg "hi grandma l passed my driving test today" He knew that she was not really there but somehow that gave him comfort. After the initial grief wore away he stopped going.
    A pet peeve of mine is when l hear SDA leaders announce that a person has passed on? Instead of the accurate euphemism fallen asleep. Indeed as Bible believing Christians we are not immune to spiritualistic influences.

    • Marcia please accept my condolences regarding both your parents. Yes we all process grief differently. Yet we still need to be careful. Just as everyone expresses love differently we must all be careful that our expressions of love don’t turn to lust. Likewise we need to be careful that our expressions of grief do not turn to idolatry.

      • Brother Earnhardt thank you for sharing this beautiful message of how to properly respect our deceased loved ones. We can learn to put God first and not them.

  3. My mother passed away last and my dad this year, about a year apart. They were Catholic, I am Adventist. When I visit their grave sites it is not to talk with them, but just to check on their grave site markers, put flowers on them and think about my parents. Plus, since they are buried on a hillside here in Los Angeles County coincidentally next to a college that I attended, I enjoy the view, the memories , and the nice walks around the cemetery. Sometimes on a clear day I can see the Pacific Ocean, or if the marine layer is low enough, enjoy the smell of the ocean air. Dad and mom were not perfect, but I appreciate that they did the best that they knew how to raise me. Their memory is buried in my heart and my sisters and I had beautiful funerals for them to honor them, as the Lord has commanded us to do. I can only hope to see them again when the Lord returns.

  4. John 11:35...the shortest bible verse, depicts Jesus' behaviour towards family pain.(Jerusalem)... Community pain he solaced at least thrice recorded: #1 Lazarus, #2 Nameless son of the widow of Nain #3 nameless daughter of Jairus the synagogue pastor (Judea)... #4 I submit: The group of resurrected disciples on our planet... The spouses of post COVID deaths... (the resurrections in the uttermost parts of the world). It took me all of 7 years to release my husband's wardrobe. I am decluttering the lifeless remains of other family and friends after separation and divorce. I do not think it's idol worship to visit graves or lay wreaths to ease pain. However, to ritualize these events to the extent that they interrupt or paralyze us for daily tasks continually, will become distracting weights which truncate the spiritual oxygen and the Living Water we can have here and now. Our Burden Bearer's promise of light loads has been my greatest motivation to stay the course however long it takes, even when it seems like every vision fails. I remember Max Lucado's quote "without the people the vision perishes."


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>