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Archive for November 11th, 2008

Creatures of time for a moment,

Creatures of eternity for aye,

Living once and so briefly,

Then passing forever away.

 

But away to what? Is the question,

To freeze the very soul;

Away to the place where one had

Planned to make his final goal?

 

Or away to the unexpected? 

Away to the undesired?

Where the sky is never blessed

With a morning sun, newly fired.

 

Away to the region of sorrows and griefs,

Here-to-fore unknown,

Away to reap the abundant harvest

Of “wild oats” carelessly sown.

 

Away to a place without babies,

To divert from the problem at hand.

Away to a scene, worse by far,

Than Alamo, or Custer’s Last Stand.

 

Away to separation – Separation  

– How sad that word, how sad!

Separation from a praying Mother,

Separation from a faithful Dad.

 

O God, may I die as the righteous,

Peaceful, Calm, Prepared.

And come to the brink of the river,

Knowing I have not spared.   -eab, 11/1973

 

Written in Nevada, Ohio

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One of the signs of our age is the worldliness of the supposed church.  Among the major changes is what is being accepted as “innocent” entertainment.  Once “Howdy-Doody” and Charlie McCarthy were clearly seen figures of the world.  They had no church association.

 Today the world is coming into careless Evangelical churches and even some so-called holiness connections via ventriloquism.  Ventriloquism is always tied to humor – canned, pre-planned jokes – both forms of carnal entertainment.  It may surprize some that ventriloquism is addressed by the Ante-Nicene writers – writing in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

 Ante-Nicene Fathers II, Clement of Alexander, The Instructor: Book 2

“But those who bend around inflammatory tables, nourishing their own diseases, are ruled by a most lickerish demon, whom I shall not blush to call the Belly-demon, and the worst and most abandoned of demons. He is therefore exactly like the one who is called the Ventriloquist-demon. It is far better to be happy than to have a demon dwelling with us. And happiness is found in the practice of virtue.”

Ante-Nicene Fathers III, Tertulian, A Treatise on the Soul: Ch.28

“—we know very well what are the resources of magic skill for exploring hidden secrets: there are the catabolic spirits, which floor their victims; and the paredral spirits, which are ever at their side to haunt them; and the pythonic spirits, which entrance them by their divination and ventriloquistic arts.” For was it not likely that Pherecydes also, the master of our Pythagoras, used to divine, or I would rather say rave and dream, by such arts and contrivances as these? Might not the self-same demon have been in him, who, whilst in Euphorbus, transacted deeds of blood? 

 Ante-Nicene Fathers V, Hippolytus On the Sorceress (ventriloquist), or On Saul and the Witch, On Kings

“The question is raised, whether Samuel rose by the hand of the sorceress or not. And if, indeed, we were to allow that he did rise, we should be propounding what is false. For how could a demon call back the soul, I say not of a righteous man merely, but of any one whatever, when it had gone, and was tarrying one knew not where?”

 Ventriloquists themselves (and/or modern writers about them) know they have these roots in the sinful world.  Read on

 A Feature Profile of Ventriloquist David Strassman, Published in the London Daily Telegraph, 1997

“Ventriloquism started life in ancient societies not as entertainment, but to get in touch with the dead. In Greece, Africa and even the polar regions, people believed that departed spirits took up residence in the stomachs of prophets from where they foretold the future. (The word ventriloquist comes from the Latin term meaning “belly speaker”) . . . From day one the church saw it as the work of the devil, except in France where they were much more relaxed. Cardinal Richelieu even hired a ventriloquist to play a practical joke on a bishop he did not much like.”

Can ventriloquism make a comeback? | Stage | The Guardian

“Ed Sullivan considered his show incomplete without a “vent“. Now neither of Sullivan’s two mighty successors, David Letterman and Jay Leno, will have anything to do with what they call “prop acts” . . .Odd that a practice with this kind of pedigree should have become stage entertainment; and even odder that it should have evolved during the late 18th century into a form almost exclusively associated with the dummy, cousin only slightly removed from the devil doll, taker of pins and curses, comer to life.”

Catharine Price at Mother Jones describes her experience at the convention with Christian illusionists:

“As the annual convention of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians kicks off on a hot July afternoon, the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University is awash in displays of irreverent reverence. Ventriloquists converse with Scripture-quoting puppets, unicyclists pedal through the halls, and a man plays “Amazing Grace” on a turkey baster. In the gym, vendors sell mysteriously materializing Communion cups, paper that dissolves in water (perfect for making sins “disappear”), and fire-spouting Bibles ($50 each, they open “with or without flames”). Visitors to the auditorium are greeted by a Noah’s ark and Jesus, life-size and complete with cross and crown of thorns, made from balloons by a group of self-described “balloonatics.” Outside, preteens wearing gold crosses and short shorts practice high kicks: The five-day event coincides with a gathering of the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders.” www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/religion_in_america/hocus_pocus_for_jesus.html

 

 If your church is using ventriloquism or cheap pre-planned humor. please pray it away and do not support it.  It is clearly the world taking the center of the church platform.

How sad then than what were once careful living people have allowed the dummy/doll of ventriloquism to enter holy doors.  How sad that the church is determined to laugh (and that at canned humor) while the world teters on the brink of destruction.

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