Spiritualism is not only a religion in itself; it is a way of life. It is a religion with a difference in that it is not hampered by dogmas or creeds. Neither is it just another new religion but has been with us since the beginning of time. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of psychic phenomena. Many of the great writings of the past contained gems of spiritual philosophy.
Although we have declared that it is a religion we do not claim it as a monopoly. Religion is a matter of one’s own private conscience and of one’s choice. It is said that we are not Christians. This may be so in the same way that we are neither Hindus, Moslems, Brahmans, Buddhists nor Jews. We are just Spiritualists and accept the lives and teachings of the leaders of all these great religions as well as those of Jesus, where these teachings do not contradict natural law.
We have often been accused of being anti-Christian. This is certainly not true. Spiritualism is a universal religion embracing all creeds but subservient to none. We may have been Christians, Buddhists, Mohammedans, Jews or of no religion at all. We accept Jesus as a great healer and teacher in the same way as we accept the leaders of all other religions. Having no creeds or dogmas, Spiritualism bases its philosophy on the principle that God is our Father and we are all his children, no matter what our race or colour and that we have a duty to him and each other.
We prove through Mediumship that man survives physical death and that his spirit lives on in a different environment. We hold that man alone is responsible for all his thoughts and deeds and that he will receive compensation or retribution for those deeds according to his way of life on earth and will be given the opportunity of making eternal spiritual progress.
This great work which Jesus began was carried on for three hundred years after his passing by generation after generation of mediums and healers. They suffered great persecution and were forced to meet in small groups (circles) and all the time in the background was the atmosphere of envy and jealousy against these mediums by those who resented and coveted the power they possessed.
Birth of Orthodoxy
At this time there appeared on the scene a Roman emperor, Constantine, who perceiving the great conflict of religions among his own people and the steady growth of the young Christian church and with his eye on the main chance, became a convert himself and proclaimed Christianity the official religion. Given this new popularity and authority, many of these Christians lost their heads. Many councils were held, when a series of edicts, dogmas and a mixed creed of pagan and Christian thought was introduced.
From that time the influence of the mediums dwindled and the simple truths which Jesus expounded vanished, to be replaced by the orthodox Christianity we know today. For many centuries Spiritualists were persecuted and put to death and even in England it was not until 1951 that the Witchcraft Act was repealed and Spiritualism came back into its rightful place.
Both Spiritualism and Christianity – in fact all the great religions – subscribed to immortality, i.e. life beyond the grave which has been proved irrefutably to countless thousands at Spiritualist gatherings and so bringing us into personal contact with those who have survived death.
Spiritualism endeavours to find the cause of our social evils and to change man’s material outlook into a spiritual one, for by thus transforming the individual, we can reform society as a whole. Orthodox religion has lost its influence but man still needs some form of relation with God which Spiritualism can provide.
In a recent survey of modern religious trends it was found that half the population of this country believed in a hereafter, twenty-nine percent did not know, while twenty per cent declined to accept the possibility of another world. This survey showed that church attendance was rapidly declining – only ten per cent declared that they went to church, but only two per cent denied the existence of God.
Spiritualism opens the door to a wider and more virile religious outlook, the co-operation between our earthly world and the world of spirit which will continue to grow until the time when man will no longer regard death with dread but as a natural transition from the mundane limitations of materialism to the joyous and endless possibilities of the world to come.
Let us end by quoting from a speech made forty-five years ago by a great medium, Ernest Oaten:
“Let Christianity get back to the simple saintly life of Jesus and the early church. There is its true salvation. Christianity will then rest on the same foundations as Spiritualism, viz. spirit teaching reinforced by phenomena produced through Mediumship. Cut the creeds and dogmas that have overlaid the simple truth. Exorcize the demons of interest and power which have been wielded by vested interests. Let it abolish the theatrical stage trappings which hide the real players and peer behind the scenes. The functions and purpose of modern Spiritualism is to take Christianity back to its founder and enable it to forget its wanderings in the wilderness.
“Modern Spiritualism has been called into being to do this and with the mighty power of the spirit world behind it, neither priests nor prelates, principalities or powers, can prevent its accomplishment as long as Spiritualists are true to the spirit world, for the spirit message is ever the same and the spirit world is always true to itself.”