Fear and Faith – A Struggle Between Religion and Psychic Ability

29 Jul
English: A Christo-Pagan symbol called "P...

English: A Christo-Pagan symbol called “Pentacrossagram”. Which is a Christian Cross within or mounted on a Pagan Pentagram. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of you have figured out from reading my various posts that I was raised in a Christian household, with Christian values and beliefs.  You’ve also figured out that I am no longer a ‘practicing’ Christian, but that many of the beliefs and values I was raised with are still a part of me.  This brings me to a dilemma that I have faced my entire life.

I’ve always felt that I had something… extra.  That I had a gift, or something special, beyond the ordinary; something I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on within the scope of the religion in which I was raised.  Until recently, I didn’t know that some of the things that were just natural for me just weren’t normal for everyone else, or if anything did pop out as being ‘different’, there was always something else to attribute it to, such as keen observation (never mind the fact that I am often lost in my own world) or a simple lucky guess.  I had to attribute these phenomena to something ‘normal’ and explainable, because to do so was to invite thoughts that were not allowed by the religion in which I was raised.

‘Psychic’ abilities are considered of the devil, witchcraft, and to entertain such thoughts is to endanger your soul.  Mind you, I was raised (regardless of the ‘label’ on the front of the church) Pentecostal, where such ‘gifts’ of the Spirit like speaking in tongues, the gift of discernment and the gift of prophesy are accepted, but only in the context of the church.  In other words, you could stand up in the service and begin speaking in a language that sounds like gibberish to the rest of the congregation, know things with no explanation for knowing them, or you could stand and make a prediction that relates to God, the church, or even the world, and people would smile, nod, and say ‘Praise the Lord’.  It was accepted, and even encouraged, but to have these things happen in regard to things not of the church, well, that was witchcraft.  That person had been led astray by the ‘world’ and needed prayer to find their way back to God.

I never understood this.  Why would God give Christians gifts which would or could only be used in, or in relation to, the place of worship?  If I was given the ability to make prophesy inside the four walls of a building, would that ‘gift’ suddenly disappear when I stepped out the door?  Or what about the gift of discernment?  This website says the following in regard to these gifts:

PROPHESY: A prophecy consists of divinely inspired words or writings, which a
person receives through revelation from the Holy Ghost. The testimony of
Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10).
A prophecy may pertain to the past, present, or future. When a person
prophesies, he speaks or writes that which God wants him to know, for
his own good or the good of others. Individuals may receive prophecy or
revelation for their own lives.

DISCERNMENT: To understand or know something through the power of the Spirit. The
gift of discernment is one of the gifts of the Spirit. It includes
perceiving the true character of people and the source and meaning of
spiritual manifestations.

To me, that sounds like being psychic, in all of the ‘worldly’ sense of the word.  Why do religions feel like everything unexplainable that happens in regards to themselves to be either a miracle or gift directly from God, but yet that same thing occurring outside the scope of their benefit, is of the devil, or witchcraft?  I couldn’t tell you how many times ‘psychics’ were likened to both while I was growing up.

I try very hard to include my religion in things in life, to find an explanation that both satisfies my quest for truth and my religious background.  I fear dying and my soul suffering eternal damnation.

Eternal.

For all of eternity.

I fear a God that would sentence his ‘children’ to a never-ending suffering for something which, if you’re looking at things in the ‘eternal’ scope, is a small drop in an ocean of water.  What is 60, 70, 100 years in relation to all of forever?  I was raised that God loves us like a father.  I don’t know about everyone’s father, but my earthly father would never sentence his own children to an eternity of suffering, no matter what they did.  Obviously he has and would mete out punishment to fit the crime, and even on occasion beyond what fit it, but never an eternal punishment.  So why would God, who loves us more than even that, do such a thing?

So, to return myself to the scope of this post, I find myself, when contemplating the possibility of psychic gifts and myself, full of excitement for finally finding an explanation for things which have been unexplained my entire life, but also terrified, that by even considering the thought, I am going to go to hell.  Forever.

Now, I don’t know if I really have any psychic gifts.  I know that I am extremely intuitive, ridiculously empathetic, occasionally have foresight or knowledge of events that cannot be readily explained, have an ability to ‘read’ the motives behind people’s actions and sense a lie, all of which, in my opinion, could go one way or another (between a ‘gift’ and simple observational skills) and have varying degrees of accuracy at any given time.  But my grandmother saw the dead, and my mother knew when my brother got his first tattoo, and she wasn’t even in the same state.

But in my family, we do not use the ‘P’ word.  We used no word for my grandmother’s abilities (it was rarely mentioned, and when it was, it was with a nervous and uncomfortable twitter of laughter), and for my mother’s, we simply refer to it as ‘mother’s intuition’ (because it’s okay, apparently, to be psychic when it comes to your children, as long as you don’t call it being psychic).  What about me?  I don’t have children, which means that I don’t have an ‘excuse’ for being the way that I am.

I suppose there is no real conclusion to this post.  It is simply a cry for understanding, an outpouring of emotion, I guess.  I’m not asking anyone to believe in religion, nor to believe in psychics, and if you believe in all, one or none of them, it is your choice, I’m simply sharing the conflict I am going through at the moment in my own mind.

How does one bypass the fear of their religion, and merge their faith with what their hearts tell them is true, when the two seem so at odds with one another?

I’d like to specifically thank Spirit, owner/writer of the ‘Spirits and The Paranormal, Don’t Be Afraid‘ blog, for openly and honestly tackling this subject with me.  Please take a moment to visit her blog and show some support, in appreciation for all of the support she gives to others.  Thanks!

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6 Responses to “Fear and Faith – A Struggle Between Religion and Psychic Ability”

  1. Frances D July 29, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Hi. I’m Frances and I followed you here from an excellent comment you left on Gabriel’s blog. I was raised Catholic, but never felt comfortable in parochial school or at church. Twenty plus years ago I began studying Eastern philosophies, and found it a perfect fit for me. My husband and daughter joined the Pentecostal Church about 16 years or so ago. My husband and son-in-law are both ordained ministers, and my daughter loves her life as a minister’s wife. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos July 29, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      Hi Frances, and thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog! I post about everything from art, religion, weight-loss and my own nonsensical ramblings about nothing 😉 So I hope you enjoy variety, because I’m all over the map!

      Welcome!

      As for my post, did you find it difficult, the transition between the way you were raised and Eastern religion/philosophy? That’s where my issues are based, because I was taught that to follow any other religion would doom my soul to hell. That’s scary. But on the other hand, should I believe that one select group of people have the ‘key’ to heaven? That a god who is all powerful and all-knowing, who could create such diversity and beauty in the world, would lock themselves inside the rigid box created by any organized religion?

      Fear and Faith… for me it truly is a struggle, since just doubting such things is akin to pressing the ‘Down’ button on the afterlife elevator (according to how I was raised).

      Like

      • Frances D July 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

        The day I walked into the ashram I knew I had found the place to be. The funny thing was I did not know it was an ashram when I went in. A friend “tricked me” into going. A feeling of peace and rightness came over as I sat on that light blue carpet. It was meal time, the food was veg, it was over 20 years ago, I can still visualize it on my mind’s screen. There was no transition period at all.

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos July 29, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

          I have had that same feeling (just recently, which is why it is weighing so heavily on my mind), but afterward came the fear- instilled at an early age- that anything that differed from my childhood teachings was a trick of the devil, and inherently evil.

          The compass of my heart is pointing me on a different path than the way I was raised, but Christianity has an answer for everything, all ending in eternal damnation of the soul for daring to question its teachings, and I am left to wonder why we were given the ability to logic and reason, if we weren’t meant to use them? Were we truly intended to follow a book written by fallible human beings, influenced by whichever faction was in power at the time of each translation, or were we meant to follow the guidance of our conscience?

          I find it sad that I must fear my own faith unless and until I find answers, or at least a balance that satisfies both my heart and my religion. Very sad indeed.

          Like

  2. astraltravler August 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Dear KraftedKhaos,
    You have my support 100%. I was brought up in a very reformed home within in a different religion. We never attended any religious congregations, and I never felt a kin to my cultural religion. I believe in the “Spirit, and Paranormal”. Many folks such as yourself have a gift that I beleive should cherished. Nurture and use your talents. Unfortuneately as you mentioned in your post there will always be those who see this as the “devil’s work” or in some other negative light. When asked and depending by who my general answer is I don’t have a religious preference. I don’t need to explain myself. I do understand, and am compassionate to what you have expressed. I did drop by “Spirits and the Paranormal don’t be afraid” and am Happy to say I’m a new follower. Thank you for posting this topic and the links to other blog sites related to this subject matter.
    Your Pal,
    Anastasia

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos August 14, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

      Glad you checked her out and followed, she’s a great lady!

      Thanks for the support! I appreciate it very much!

      Like

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