Debating Group.

OUR DEBATING GROUP.

For one reason or another our debating group has not met since last November. Recently we decided to keep our group going by having discussions on the Internet and added a few friends into the group. The subject of our first meeting online The Coronavirus Pandemic.

Numbers attending Spiritualist churches have been dropping over the past few years.  Do you see a resurgence in numbers once the lock down is over?

Yes……………………………………… 90%

No………………………………………    6%

Not sure?…………………………………………     4%

“I am sure our churches will get an increase in numbers, a small increase.  However, the psychic nights will be where the biggest increase will be.  I am sure there will be a bigger craving for entertainment rather than a Divine Service”.

“Here is the opportunity for our churches to get out of the rut and take a long hard look at their policies before the lockdown.  Many of our establishments kept the same rotation of mediums for a decade or more.  Twice a year and usually at the same time each year.  It is time booking secretaries opened their church diaries to new mediums. There are plenty of new faces out there.  I believe doing this alone would boost numbers”.

Do you think that churches will be in the first/second phase of lockdown relaxation?

Yes……………………………………….  75%

No…………………………………………  15%

Unsure……………………………………. 10%

“Opening churches will bring comfort to so many and give them fresh hope that the can overcome the negative situations that will be surrounding them at the moment”.

“Pressure on the government will be immense to let churches open their doors in the first phase that they will succumb. Whether that will be a correct decision we will have to wait and see”.

Is this pandemic punishment from God for the way mankind has been behaving at the moment?

Agree……………. 36%

Disagree…………. 52%

Don’t Know………12%

“God has done it before so why not again? Remember the Ten Plagues of Egypt.  Just look at the state the world is in at the moment so could you blame a supreme power for punishing us?”

“The only thing God is to blame for is giving us freewill”

Do you believe the stories going around that the virus has been manufactured by man and not originated from bats or any other animal species?

Engineered by man and escaped from a lab?……………………………………….. 52%

Originated from bats, or some other species of the animal kingdom?……  34%

Nature throwing up another virus?…………………………………………………     12%

You just don’t know……………………………………………………       2%

“Man is becoming too clever for his own good. In the most negative of situations man is usually at the root of the problem”.

“Nature has always flung up viruses and so far in all cases man has triumphed in the end.  This time we will have a long journey to travel before this evil virus is defeated”.

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Do you find that charities are too demanding these days?

The need for charities is greater than it has ever been.  These organizations are under severe pressure to help their chosen groups.  I can see why they put a lot of effort into their campaigns to get donations.

Spiritualist churches and their members hand over a tremendous amount of money each year to charities.  It is time we broadcast a bit more of what we do for charity.

An impossible task to find the total of money we donate in a year it must be colossal.  Maybe a rough nationwide estimate published to let others know that we don’t just talk to the dead.  No use hiding our light under a bushel.

In my area all churches do a lot for charity. I find that other religions, mainly give to the larger national and worldwide charities.  Spiritualism concentrates more on local charities and individuals. That is a good thing as between us all we are helping those less fortunate than ourselves locally, nationally and internationally.

Vast sums handed out to executives in the large charities puts me off from donating to them.  I seek out local charities.

Some of these big organizations are like multinational companies and need the best business people at the helm. For the best you have to spend.

I hate it when I put into a collection tin when I go into a shop then the same tin is put in front of me at the checkout and then on leaving the store.  The look of some of the collector’s faces is not very nice at times when I say “I have already donated”.

People in the street trying to sign me up for a charity and they get paid for each new signature.  That gets my goat.

Local charities are usually so grateful and, in many cases, you can see the good that is being done.

Several times I have seen a charity stall at the entrance to a store and when going up to donate I am told they do not accept cash.  That is where the hard sell begins and the aim is for you to donate by direct debit.  This really gets me angry.

My wife and I put by what we can afford a week then at the end of the month we select a charity for the money to go to.  Each month it is heart breaking choosing only one charity

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Have you ever considered opening a Spiritualist church?

No, never in all these years has such a thought came into my head.

I did more than think about it, I planned for more than a year and at the last moment I dropped the idea.  There was only one hall that I felt was suitable and the rental was cheaper than the rest I had looked at.  A week before signing the contract for a year I found out that we could not have the hall one week a month.  I have known churches in the past missing one week a month and struggled to make a go of it.  People were getting confused what night they were on or off”.

“As you all know I, did start up a church, but the noise from other activities, using the centre made it too noisy to have a service.  My fault before checking this out beforehand”.

“My brother was keen to start up a church.  The problem was that his way of thinking was a divine service can only take place on a Sunday.  Few halls were open on a Sunday and those that were cost an arm and a leg to rent”.

 “Too many churches around these days we don’t need any more

“Why do churches in financial difficulties not hold a special night once or twice a year to keep the doors open.”.

“Too many special nights can have a negative effect.  The more you have, the fewer eventually turn up.  Most churches have charity nights so adding on nights to fund the church would just be too much”.

“Not all churches have charity nights so no problem”.

 “I have heard a few say that they could not get qualified healers to help out at their church.  Of course, they could have had the church up and running with no Spiritual healing apart from absent-healing”.

“A point that has yet to be raised – have a committee or run the church yourself? 

“Wait a minute, let’s get one thing straight.  By opening a church do you mean one that has a Divine Service or somewhere that has a prayer and then straight into the clairvoyance?”

“A Divine Service”

“Committees equals arguments.  I have never known a committee where there was no strife”

“Yes, a single person at the helm with volunteers helping out on church nights is usually the answer to harmony”.

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Is Spiritualism in a Better Place Now Than when You First Became Interested in It?

So much has happened in my forty-years in the movement. On paper so much that is for the better, but in reality, our religion is being destroyed from within.

When I started out it was a small self-disciplined religion now it is free for all entertainment.

In the past so many considered Spiritualism as unnatural even evil. The last decade we have went out to spread the word so to speak.  Now the link with Spirit is looked upon as natural.

A mad house these days.

So many are making a career after launching off from our churches.

A fat wallet is needed these days for workshops and qualifications.

After being welcomed into the fold, laying wreath at the cenotaph in London and we have been accepted by the World Council of Churches we have moved away from the true values of Spiritualism.

As we become more and more accepted things are a bit ropey at the moment.  I am sure in the long run our religion will be bigger and stronger.

All big business at the moment I am sure Spirit will soon step in and sort things out.

Many are making our religion into a profitable career.

I see nothing wrong with what is going on at the moment.  At one time I was ridiculed at work for being a Spiritualist now I am a firm favourite with my work colleagues.  The constantly seek me out to ask me all manner of things about Spirit etc.

With other religions, it was “Go out and spread the word”.  Once we started doing that it was like a small corner shop becoming an international business.

Other churches have soup kitchens and help give shelter to the homeless.  Our way is to have psychic nights to help charities, good causes and individuals.  I

wonder how much Spiritualists make in a year to help the needy?  The total must be staggering.

I see no reason to worry about

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From a Spiritualist’s point of view what are your views on the Death Penalty?

“There is always the chance that no matter how strong the evidence may be at the time the wrong person could be found guilty. To execute the wrong person is unthinkable”.

“It is the only deterrent that will get through to some people”. “Not for all murders, but some murders are so brutal that the only sentence suitable is the death sentence”.

“I was brought up in a Christian environment where ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ was an important part of our belief.  That stays with me to this day.  Society cannot stoop to the level of the murderer”.

“Each individual case has to be looked upon separately.  The Death Penalty should be there for exceptional cases”

“What is an exceptional murder – murder is taking a life and all life is precious”.

 “As a Spiritualist, I still believe in ‘A life for a Life’. 

“Serial killers should expect nothing more than a one-way ticket to the gallows”.

“Keep society safe by locking them away.  Karma will come into force when they move over”.

We have those in our religion that tell us that before we begin this life, we choose all that happened to us.  So, does the murder choose to murder, does the victim choose to be murdered?  Totally confusing”.

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                        Fast Tracking v Taking Time to Mature.

Some comments from our monthly debating group.  None of the comments below are mine – I was chairing.

Plenty of talk about how good mediums were in the past. I don’t rely on talk I rely on the two messages I got from Albert Best. Astonishing details and the energy and nature of this gentle man was something special.  I have experienced nothing like it since.

Questions, questions, questions that is all we get from the platforms these days.  With some mediums it has become a habit a bad habit, poor tutoring.  Their tutors should have sorted that out in development circle long before they set foot on church platform.  It is not to say that mediums in the past did not come out with a question, but would soon correct it with ‘Sorry I should not be asking a question’ and then rephrase it.

Mediums nowadays throw a message open instead of going direct to the recipient.  Surely those in Spirit know their mother, father husband, wife, son, daughter?  I have my own theory about this.  The medium puts out information and reaction of some of them facing him show that the message could be for them.  I will never accept anything from a medium working in this way. We were a close family and any of those who have gone on before me would let the medium know where to go.

Only the person receiving the message can really know how accurate it is.

How often these days do you hear a medium asking ‘can you take someone with a birthday on a particular month?  There will be very few who do not know someone here or in Spirit who has some form of anniversary in all twelve months of the year.  I cringe every time I hear this and feel like walking out.  When sitting in circle forty years ago if I came out with this I would have been told to go back and ask for some more info connected with this. I put this down to the medium not being given proper training.

Fewer mediums in the past in this area.  The same medium could get a booking at our church three or four times a year.  Now, no more than two attendances per year.  It is great to see new mediums working in their own individual way with Spirit. 

‘Individuality’ is a thing of the past.  See a new medium and we ‘old uns’ can tell whose circle they have sat in, who’s workshop they have attended.  That is copying not blending with their own spirit team. 

I can see where you are all coming from, but I prefer the new style of mediumship.

These days name after name are rolledout in quick succession. It is considered a success if you can take the name connected with anyone, if dead or alive. The modern way is to bring in Spirit as if they are on a conveyer belt name and no info.My mother was on a church committee for over thirty years and constantly went out to vet mediums to see if they were ready for our church platform.  I shudder to think what she is thinking at the moment.  I know there would be more ‘red crosses’ than ‘blue ticks’ against many of today’s mediums.  The lure of fame and fortune is too much to resist.

 I sat in development circles for eight years before it was suggested that I might be ready to take a service. Then, my bookings for the next six years were two, three, six, six, nine and then 16. I did not take my first workshop until I had been on the platform for ten years. I am not saying that this is a guideline for us all to follow.  We all develop at different rates. Today with social network a medium seems to burst onto the scene and is taking workshops from the word ‘go’. 

Looking at social media it appears that mediums now have to be comedians as well as having a link with Spirit.  They get judged on how many laughs they get.

From what I have seen recently many mediums give us what we want to hear.  A nice rosy picture of our loved ones.

In the past I was told my father was a milkman something I could not accept as he was a teacher.  Years later at his funeral I was told during the summer break he headed north to let a friend who had a dairy get time off. 

Don’t shoot the messenger the medium can only give what is relayed to them.

Why would Spirit change from good accurate information to general stuff?

Could it be all the frequencies around us are jam packed with mobile and wi-fi signals?  Correct.