Friday, 19 July 2013


A few decades ago, one Christian company recorded dramatizations of Bible stories and released them in a

Hearing the stories from the scriptures dramatized with a full cast and sound effects brought God's Word to life for me. I felt as if I was a witness to such events as Noah building his ark, Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, and Christ healing many people. Though the stories were tailored for children, I loved each one of them.

Remembering the oft-repeated admonitions to be careful with the cassettes, I panicked one afternoon when the story of King Saul and the witch of Endor  had a gap in the recording. I brought the cassette back and apologized to Sister Roberta, in whose home the church met, about the blank spot at the end of the tape.

"We did that," she admitted. "The story contained a lie about the woman of Endor so we erased it."

A few weeks later, Brother Herald taught on 1 Samuel 28:7-25. To cut a long story short, he claimed that the woman wasn't wicked because she fed Saul and his men with her own fatted calf. Brother Herald also claimed that this woman was exercising a skill that all believers should use, namely communicating with spirits. Though many Bible passages strictly forbid God's people to communicate with the dead and have nothing to do with familiar spirits, we believed our minister.

Now that I learned how to read the Bible in its proper context and without Brother Herald's theological blinders, I realize that our lay teacher was wrong about this sorceress from Endor. Through the scriptures, the prohibition against communicating with spirits has never been abrogated. The leadership of the cultic church deliberately disobeyed God's injunction and taught others to do so.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity.  Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

deluxe box set. The church I attended at the time bought it for the congregation's children and any sight-impaired members. Oddly enough, one church elder worried about me damaging the tapes if I borrowed them.

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