Channeling – Historical origins
According to those who practice channeling, it is the contemporary term for spiritism. Channeling has been present since ancient times when people sought advice from the spirit world -- like the oracles in Roman and Greek times who sought advice from the fates. There are accounts in the Bible of ancient people seeking out mediums and wizards who would whisper and mutter (Isaiah 8:19). Some say that the modern renaissance of spiritism can be attributed to Emmanuel Swedenborg, who lived from 1688-1722 and had a large following. Kate and Margaret Fox started an American spiritualist movement in 1848. The sisters received messages from the recently deceased as the spirits tapped their tabletop, rapping out a message using the alphabet. Channeling has become a popular activity in this present age. The Hollywood culture has helped the spread of its popularity. Many religious cults make use of channeling, including shamanism, voodoo, and other New Age groups.
Channeling – Practices and beliefs
The practices and beliefs for channeling are varied. Tools used in channeling are tarot cards, Ouija boards, and trance media. The medium reads tarot cards and remains conscious while seeking a spirit to channel information through the cards. When the medium uses a trance media, the medium is not aware of his/her surrounding and must be told later what the spirit had spoken through them.
The basis of the channeling practices and beliefs, and the messages given by spirits through those channels is that there is not a one omnipotent God; creator of heaven and earth. The belief system of channeling explains that there are multiple layers of consciousness and many spirit beings in various stages of evolution or development.
Channeling – Christian response
What does God have to say about channeling practices? The Bible says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). This means that God was outside of time and space to be able to create time and space and everything in the universe -- visible and invisible. He is separate from His creation. It is true that God is present everywhere, but everything is not God.
In the Ten Commandments, God says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). This statement implies there are other spirits out there acting as gods. These are spirits that God created who later sinned and turned against Him. People seeking mediums to hear the spirits speak, and channelers allowing the spirits to speak through them are in essence elevating those spirits as though they were God; thereby, breaking the first commandment.
Since the future hasn't happened yet, there is no power here on earth that can tell us what's in store. In order to have a hope for the future and gain the wisdom to make sound decisions now, we must tap into the power of the Creator of the universe -- the only One who knows our future -- God.