TOPICAL ISSUE: MAGIC IN CHURCH
At the Public Seminar organized by Church Arise! on Saturday 23rd June, Rev Ade Adegunwa, the Chaplain of the All Souls Chapel of the Obafemi Awolowo University, spoke with much passion and concern on the prevalent and unfortunate incidences of pure magic going on in several Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria under the guise of "Signs and Wonders". The review article on page ** of the current edition of Church Arise! shows how much Satanism has quietly but effectively permeated the entire spectrum of
society; and witchcraft has now gone from the secretive craft of dirty old women on broomsticks to ideas freely taught in the public square to children all over the world through books, cartoons, TV,etc.
The documentary film by Pawcreek titled False Anointing - where will it end (available at our Library) is an excellent review of this general sad trend in Christian churches. In the film, hard documentations are provided to show the rotten decays in the Church:. showmanship, strip-tease artistes, snake charming, and unbelievably, simulation of sex and orgasm (with demons?) right on the altar, etc If not for those hooked on self-deceit how could anyone ever mistake these satanic manifestations for acts of the Holy Spirit?
That these strange-sounding ideas are indeed already seeping into the Church in Nigeria was confirmed recently by highly respected Pastor E.A. Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. At the annual ministers conference of the Church (which attendance was open for all, this year), he expressed shock that one of the parishes of the Church (and there are now some thousands of them) was contemplating holding what is labeled a "Crazy Night"! Warning that he would not hesitate to close down any Parish that dares put such an idea to practice, he affirmed that only "demons attend Crazy Nights". We congratulate the man of God for such vigilance and prompt pronouncements. Several of the Churches generally labeled today as demagogues were actually once very respectable widely growing organizations that gradually allowed the lure of having supernatural experiences at any cost to introduce satanic concepts into their ranks. As Rev.2:20 shows, this is by no means a new phenomenon either.
The end of the matter will probably come when satanic ideas and magic cease to be mere aberrations in the Church, but accepted and officially integrated norms in Church life. And we don't have to wait much longer for this to happen. According to a recent report in the Guardian newspaper, the Catholic Church - one Church that is apparently not in any hurry to be removed away from the earth to heaven - is already on this path. Pope John Paul II was recently presented a magic wand by a Salesian Priest of the Church who requested him "to name a patron saint of conjurers, magicians and wizards". The request was not some sort of joke. It was made by a very influential priest and there was no doubting that it was warmly received.
(The Pope's pet programme of Interfaithism already makes no distinction between the Christian gospel and the philosophies of other religions). The priest making this request, Don Silvion Mantelli of Turin in Italy, reportedly attracts huge crowds to his Church where he routinely presents the "magician mass". An eye-witness describes this mass: "It's the first time during catholic liturgy I've seen a succession of entertainers, including a ventriloquist preacher, a trick cyclist, a juggler and a fire eater, performing in front of the altar". The description continues: "Don Silvion wore ordinary priestly vestments. Later in a nearby field, under a circus big top he had rented for the day, the priest was dressed in a black T-shirt and a conjurer's hat. On stage he did conjuring tricks for 15 minutes. Then his other guests took their turn. One was Gaetane Bloom who does magic shows at the Crazy Horse nightclub in Paris...." (Guardian, June 3, page 110
What does all this indicate? It shows that the devil is desperate in his efforts to neutralize the Church. Having found it an impossible task to prevail against the Church and have it crushed outright, the devil is trying the other option - befriending and neutralizing Her. In this way the devil wants to make the Salt of the Earth, totally irrelevant and good for nothing but the dunghill. But the good news is that this is only another wil-o-the-wisp of the devil, a dream that can never materialize. Despite the appearance of things in the world, including the sponsorship and promotion of purely satanic churches to cause confusions, the one true Body of Christ, with membership drawn across several denominations, continue to match strong and remains unassailable. The light shines in the dark, and the dark comprehends it not! Do you belong?