Friday, February 5, 2016

Superstition In the Life of Christians

Even among Catholics we still have about one out of  four who have  participated in some superstitious  practice, and close to one of three who have no problem with fortune telling. President of a Catholic College writes in the Kyeongyang magazine on the way he sees the issue and what has to be done.

In the Catechism of the Church #2116: "All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse  to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices  falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots,  the phenomena of clairvoyance and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict  the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone."

'Begging for blessings' is a type of religious faith that those who indulge in superstitious practices find attractive. Many who have studied the issue have made known the problems and reasons for them.

First, we have little Christian understanding, lack of  trust and reliance on God, and no identity and confidence.  Secondly, the feeling of loss in an insecure society, Church's failure to present mercy and consolation, and to speak about the the harm of superstitious practices, are reasons for their prevalence.

Our  writer finds  reasons for the continuation of this  fortune telling culture as related to Christians' understanding of being led by the Spirit. Koreans see divination and looking for blessings as their search for elegance and elation. Buddhism, Confucianism and Christianity have as their bed rock shamanism. 

Koreans in their religious feeling believe something is moving them. Theologically, we Christians, call this the Spirit. The writer feels that more than wanting to know the future those that go to fortune tellers are seeking to be led by truth and the Spirit of God.

It is not easy for a Korean Christian to  experience God and following Jesus they always feel something missing.They want to be led by the Spirit and truth and they do not find this experiencing of the Spirit so they substitute it with fortune telling and asking for blessings.

He concludes the article by suggesting the way to lessen the hold of divination and looking for blessings is to deepen the faith of the Christians in the role of the Spirit in life by prayer.