“Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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Joseph Antley
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by Joseph Antley »

I can't tell if people are being sarcastic or not about the high-fiving.

High-five!
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by Nimrod »

Joseph Antley wrote:I can't tell if people are being sarcastic or not about the high-fiving.

High-five!

Joseph, which other posters in this thread are you high-fiving? It's kind of like your hand is just up there in the air all by itself.
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by Joseph Antley »

Nimrod wrote:Joseph, which other posters in this thread are you high-fiving?


Ask thews.
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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Joseph Antley wrote:That's the plan! Hopefully I'll see you there.

I look forward to it!

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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Joseph Antley wrote:
Nimrod wrote:Joseph, which other posters in this thread are you high-fiving?


Ask thews.


You now have a high five from me.

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by thews »

Joseph Antley wrote:
Nimrod wrote:Joseph, which other posters in this thread are you high-fiving?


Ask thews.

A :highfive: is a post that adds nothing to the thread, fails to address the thread topic, and is typically done to agree with another poster to show support. These would probably account for half of beastie's post total.
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by Mike Reed »

Thews has the reading comprehension skills of a comatosed banana slug.

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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Mike Reed wrote:Thews has the reading comprehension skills of a comatosed banana slug.

Note to anyone that wants to see how a Mormon attack mindset works, the above is a good example. You'll see more like it on MADB when the gang starts to form in suppor tof a position, but this is the softball that is intended to summon the :highfives: as Mike Reed is basically begging for attention in an attempt to divert attention away from his very weak Joe Smith magic cane = Christian object argument. Mike Reed is now reverting to insult as a way to defend Joe Smith’s place in Christianity, which is based on Mike’s logical foundation that Joe Smith was in fact a fraud. If you see yourself sink to this level, you may want to re-think the possible results, as third grade ended a long time ago and it just isn’t going to carry the punch you thought it would now that you’re an adult... well, except for the target audience.

Edit to add: You could reference the next four posts for a good example of beastie regurgitating her opinion and spewing it up for her faithful club members like a bird feeding her young, and like Mike Reed’s softball, I’m pretty sure a :highfiver: will stop in to lick up the sloppy seconds.
Last edited by thews on Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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thews wrote:Note to anyone that wants to see how a Mormon attack mindset works, the above is a good example. You'll see more like it on MADB when the gang starts to form in suppor tof a position, but this is the softball that is intended to summon the :highfives: as Mike Reed is basically begging for attention in an attempt to divert attention away from his very weak Joe Smith magic cane = Christian object argument. Mike Reed is now reverting to insult as a way to defend Joe Smith’s place in Christianity, which is based on Mike’s logical foundation that Joe Smith was in fact a fraud. If you see yourself sink to this level, you may want to re-think the possible results, as third grade ended a long time ago and it just isn’t going to carry the punch you thought it would now that you’re an adult... well, except for the target audience.






Yeah, if only you guys acted all mature and scholarly and stuff like thews. Like his posts from the last three pages of this thread


you continue to come back with these pathetically wounded puppy responses


You really are a legend in your own mind aren’t you? Since you cannot form a logical conclusion by yourself, let me break it down for you...


don’t give a rat’s ass which Mormon “scholars” you want to quote to make the brilliant conclusion that magic in the form of divination and Christianity go hand-in-hand, but to present this argument as something so universal that any educated Christian should accept this “fact” of yours, further defines you arrogance of just how important your hot air is… to you. Why is it, if you believe so strongly that Joe Smith was being guided by God, are you not a Mormon?


My insert: the scholars I quoted were not Mormon, and I’m an atheist, so I clearly don’t believe Joseph Smith was guided by God.

You believe in whatever plight you champion for your pals and it gets so tired basking in your delusional greatness of your opinion as your bounce it off the :highfives:


Or from this thread

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13007&p=324115&hilit=ass#p324115

You are so damn two-faced it's sick. Is Jersey Girl gonna come rush to help you again with the hot air of some windbag who thinks her mannish persona has the right to tell others what to do?


Guess what windbag :highfiver:, you aren't the boss of me and I don't give a rat's ass what you think about me,


And the perennial favorite:

Good for you. You can go home and wash your vajaja now.


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12945&p=320480&hilit=vajaja#p320480
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by Joseph Antley »

Highfive, beastie.
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by beastie »

Joseph Antley wrote:Highfive, beastie.


Hey, don't get your Mormon attack mindset all over ME. I'm MATURE. Like thews.

:::MrStakhanovite inserts some cool smilie here:::
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by beastie »

Does anyone else wish exmormonism were an island from which we could kick people off?

thews, you're off the island.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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Runtu wrote:
by the way, I hope life is treating you well down there in miserable Southern California. Life's not bad here. I've been so busy lately I hardly have time to pick off the weak in faith.


I'm supposed to be at the 11,000 foot level of Mt. Shasta this instant, preparing for the summit in a couple of hours. Hurricane winds turned us back. Oh well. Invite me to lunch; I'll take you.

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by thews »

Interesting stuff from Ariarates on the MADite board...

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/topic/ ... Mormonism/
Ariarates wrote:I am currently reading Stark & Bainbridge’s “Theory of Religion”, in which they interpret religion as dealing with the meaning of the universe, whereas magic is concerned with manipulating the universe for very specific, immediate purposes (pp. 40-41).

That doesn’t mean magic and religion are mutually exclusive. Religion often has magic elements and magic usually has religious undertones. In fact, the very first anthropological book I ever read in my university days (Claude Levi-Strauss’s “La Pensee Sauvage”) maintains that there is no religion without magic and vice versa.

The claims of magic are much easier to falsify, though, which is why Stark & Bainbridge observe that in time, most religions will move away from the specific claims of magic toward a more general theology: “as religious elites develop and assume places of great power and privilege in societies, they can be expected to pursue their own best interests by dropping this risky line of merchandise” (p. 105). I think Mormonism is a case in point.

Nevertheless, Stark & Bainbridge agree that most religions maintain elements of magic (mostly to meet personal needs such as healing or reassurance) but such practices always carry the potential for conflict and competition with the general claims of the religion in question. This is aptly expressed in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

“Latter-day Saints reject magic as a serious manipulation of nature and are advised to avoid any practice that claims supernatural power apart from the priesthood and spiritual gifts of the Church”.

It’s important to realize that this is the institutional church staking its claims in the realm of supernatural power providers. It has little to do with how sociologists or anthropologists view the distinction between magic and religion. Again, your own source provides a very good illustration of this by citing Bruce R. McConkie’s definition of magic. Elder McConkie, too, refers to magic as a way to “produce effects” by using supernatural means but calls it an “imitation of true religion by unauthorized ministers” (meaning non-LDS ministers). Or, as you put it, "religion is what we do, and 'magic' is what they do".

Is it possible that your defensive attitude toward the term magic (and those who dare to use it) in relation to Restoration events in the early church is derived from the exclusive claim to supernatural power by the later institutional church? If so, at least that is a better reason than relying on your personal (and therefore limited and anecdotal) experience that everybody who mentions magic in the context of Mormon origins is out to get you



Brant then adds this...

Brant Gardner wrote:Unfortunately, this definition simply won't work. They are correct that all religions will define themselves away from any appearance of magic, even when the retain things that an outsider would consider "magic." That is ultimately the problem with the definition. There is no scientific line where you can say "this is magic, past this it is religion." The two are intertwined definitions with a social component, consistently placing magic outside of religion, where religion is defined as what is the comfortable belief of the definer.


Not sure if Brant still wants to talk about this, but how can you inject a “scientific line” when talking about magic? Magic isn’t science, and while Brant claims his religion is defined as “magic,” I’ll go back to Sally Chase. Was what Sally Chase practiced with her seer stone “magic” by definition, as it wasn’t religion?
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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thews wrote:Not sure if Brant still wants to talk about this, but how can you inject a “scientific line” when talking about magic? Magic isn’t science, and while Brant claims his religion is defined as “magic,” I’ll go back to Sally Chase. Was what Sally Chase practiced with her seer stone “magic” by definition, as it wasn’t religion?

Is it really that difficult to understand that when one speaks from the perspective of social science that it doesn't mean that magic is science? What social scientists tell us is that the definition of magic is social. That is the reason that you have such a problem with it--you define it according to your social perception and allow no other perspective than the one you see.

So, let us return to Sally Chase and her seer stone. Because I use definitions that inherently differ from yours, I cannot answer a question that tries to separate her use of the stone into magic or religion, because there is no functional definition that allows me to answer that question. You are asking me if she has six eggs or half a dozen eggs, and then demanding that I choose only one and deny the other.

I have no new answer than I have not already given. You have imperfect and functionally dangerous definitions. Until we begin to speak the same language, we won't correctly communicate.

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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Brant Gardner wrote:Is it really that difficult to understand that when one speaks from the perspective of social science that it doesn't mean that magic is science? What social scientists tell us is that the definition of magic is social. That is the reason that you have such a problem with it--you define it according to your social perception and allow no other perspective than the one you see.

Thanks for the response Brant. I found the point made by Ariarates interesting when he said, “whereas magic is concerned with manipulating the universe for very specific, immediate purposes.” In attempting to define motive regarding the mix of magical practices and religion, the end result is good metric IMO, but what also has to be acknowledged is that some magic is occult magic. Using magic to find something is an immediate purpose is a good metric IMO when personal gain is the motive. When I ask about Sally Chase, if she wasn’t “seeing” things in her stone under the pretense that God was guiding her, then the definition of her “folk magic” wasn’t part of an assumed Christian/folk magic mix, but rather occult magic.

A interesting point is made in the following regarding the end result being for the individual.
http://hirr.hartsem.edu/ency/Magic.htm
Magical beliefs are those that survive because they have not been subject to any attempt to disprove them. Usually some other explanation—other than that the belief is false—is invoked to account for those occasions when practices based on such beliefs fail to produce the desired result, for example, that countermagic was employed or that there was a failure to recite the spell correctly. If the unwarranted presumption of validity is what distinguishes magical beliefs about the world from scientific ones, then it is the practical aim of gaining control over the environment that principally distinguishes them from religious ones. For, like religion, magic can be said to consist of nonempirical beliefs, but while religion is oriented primarily to the worship of supernatural beings that are either propitiated or worshiped, magic deals primarily with the manipulation of impersonal forces. In addition, magic is usually only employed to achieve the ends of individuals, while religion also usually addresses the needs of communities.


Brant Gardner wrote:So, let us return to Sally Chase and her seer stone. Because I use definitions that inherently differ from yours, I cannot answer a question that tries to separate her use of the stone into magic or religion, because there is no functional definition that allows me to answer that question. You are asking me if she has six eggs or half a dozen eggs, and then demanding that I choose only one and deny the other.

Actually Brant, I’m not asking you a question you can’t answer and you only need to use the definitions of words as they exist, unless you champion the cause that Sally Chase was a Christian. If Sally wasn’t a Christian doing good deeds for the community, then she was using occult magic IMO. The real issue is then attempting to define motive in Joe Smith, who was being paid for the service of “seeing” treasure. How can it be more black and white here that Joe Smith was using magic for his own needs? For the record I think Joseph Antley’s argument that Joe Smith was being paid $14 a month to seek treasure and he believes Joe Smith believed it was done by the power of the Christian God’s guidance the weakest of any I’ve heard.

Brant Gardner wrote:I have no new answer than I have not already given. You have imperfect and functionally dangerous definitions. Until we begin to speak the same language, we won't correctly communicate.

Functionally dangerous? At what point do we “speak the same language” based on an agreed upon definition of words? In my opinion, the examples used by others in here to make the argument that the cultural outliers in Christianity who employed magical beliefs under the guise of Christianity are to be the accepted Christian norm when defining folk magic motive. Sacrificing a rooster in Guatemala is an example in defining the motive of the farmer doing it to appease God, and in this case it’s the Christian God when the cultures are mixed. If I understand your arguments about folk magic and what is encompassed in it when people who practice folk magic become Christian, then to imply motive, the end result would have to be assumed for the good of the community. You could make a case for Joe Smith’s intent seeking treasure, but it’s Joe Smith who admitted his motive was to become rich.

If you would answer me one question I think it would really help in understanding you. Under what scenario do you consider magic to be occult magic? Do you agree with the definition of magic for an immediate result done for personal gain?
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by Brant Gardner »

thews wrote:I found the point made by Ariarates interesting when he said, “whereas magic is concerned with manipulating the universe for very specific, immediate purposes.”

And you managed to miss the response I made to that indicating that while it has been a popular idea, it is dated among scholars and no longer considered applicable to the problem. It simply doesn't work as a functional definition.

In attempting to define motive regarding the mix of magical practices and religion,

Motive? Surely that wasn't what you meant. Christianity would only be Christian if we can determine the motivation for one's Christiantiy? Magic is magic if we can determine a magical motive? That really won't work as a definition.

the end result is good metric IMO, but what also has to be acknowledged is that some magic is occult magic.

Now we have the compounded problem of not only separating religion and magic, but magic and occult magic. Unfortunately, the social rule resolves them all. If you are "like me," it is religion. If you aren't "like me," it is magic. If I think it is really weird, it is occult. There is really no other useful definition.

I can understand the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation as religion, or I can be uncharitable and call it magic. If I really want to make it sound strange, I can call it occult. I could make all three arguments for the same doctrine. Which is it really? That is the problem of definitions, these are all words without precision in the definition and have the added problem of being so semantically loaded that they create a meaning that may not be intended in the original action.

When I ask about Sally Chase, if she wasn’t “seeing” things in her stone under the pretense that God was guiding her, then the definition of her “folk magic” wasn’t part of an assumed Christian/folk magic mix, but rather occult magic.

Horsefeathers. That is a self-serving definition that denigrates history. If you understood more of Christian history, you would find that you are also condemning early Christians as occult. I suggest that you read more. I would offer some more titles, but I suspect you haven't looked up Dolansky yet.

Magical beliefs are those that survive because they have not been subject to any attempt to disprove them.

This author clearly is not an anthropologist and doesn't know world literature. This opinion is simply, and quite demonstrably, incorrect.

If the unwarranted presumption of validity is what distinguishes magical beliefs about the world from scientific ones, then it is the practical aim of gaining control over the environment that principally distinguishes them from religious ones.

Really? Would you please explain the difference between prayer and recitation? What is the functional definition that makes a prayer stick magic and a rosary religious?

You are reading someone who doesn't handle the literature.

In addition, magic is usually only employed to achieve the ends of individuals[/u], while religion also usually addresses the needs of communities.

No. This is again demonstrably untrue. It becomes "true" only when one creates a definition that assumes that religion is different because it is religion. I have read two different interpretations of the paleolithic cave paintings, one which calls them magical and the other religious. They are the same paintings. Why the different terms? Who is right? How would we know?

unless you champion the cause that Sally Chase was a Christian.

Are you really suggesting that Sally Chase did not consider herself Christian, or that her minister father did not? Really? How narrow is your definition of Christian?

If Sally wasn’t a Christian doing good deeds for the community, then she was using occult magic IMO.

OK, since you added the IMO, I cannot suggest that you don't believe it. Here, however, are the historical problems with your conclusion:

1) Sally and pretty much everyone else, considered themselves Christian. For much of this time period, many of the people were unchurched, but still adamantly Christian. They would have known virtually no other way to be. If you are going to suggest that she wasn't Christian, you either have to find contradictory historical evidence (I have seen none) or you have to define her as non-Christian by simply moving the definition so that it does what you want it to. This Lewis Carrolesque use of words worked in his novel, but not in any academic discourse.

2) The implication is that one can only do good deeds for the community if one is Christian. I believe she was and I believe she was doing good deeds for the community. She fulfilled a traditional role that was highly valued. These were people who in England where we have a bit more information, were considered touched by God for what they could do. So, good deeds? Yes, she was doing them.

3) finally, you categorize her as occult if she isn't a Christian doing good deeds. "Occult" is a particularly loaded label which is even harder to pin down than the elusive "magic." Once again, it is a social definition and simply indicates a larger distance between what that person is doing from what you would do. Therefore, I can see why you might call her occult (based on the way you are crafting your definitions), but she wouldn't have called herself that, and no one in the rural community would have done so either. I suspect that no one would do so for perhaps even a hundred years later.

The real issue is then attempting to define motive in Joe Smith, who was being paid for the service of “seeing” treasure.

I see you never looked up the word "elicit" either. Your reading of what I said bears only the slightest resemblance to what I actually said. The defining issue isn't whether anyone paid them, but whether they solicited payment for their services. (Hence the Ozark example, which is quite applicable).

How can it be more black and white here that Joe Smith was using magic for his own needs?

Since this isn't "black and white," but rather your idiosyncratic reading of the evidence combined with personal definitions--it can be very different under circumstances when anyone but you handles the data.

At what point do we “speak the same language” based on an agreed upon definition of words?

It certainly hasn't happened yet.

In my opinion, the examples used by others in here to make the argument that the cultural outliers in Christianity who employed magical beliefs under the guise of Christianity are to be the accepted Christian norm when defining folk magic motive.

There is a truism. You don't believe any evidence contrary to the evidence you are willing to believe. I agree that is your position.

If I understand your arguments about folk magic

There is no evidence of that yet.

If you would answer me one question I think it would really help in understanding you. Under what scenario do you consider magic to be occult magic?

When someone perceives a practice far enough removed from their own beliefs that the word "magic" is no longer sufficient to separate themselves from that action or practice, they call it occult.

Do you agree with the definition of magic for an immediate result done for personal gain?

No, and had you read what I wrote in the response from which you quoted some things I said, you would have known that. You would also know that the reason I don't accept it is because the scholarly community who deal with such items cannot accept that definition, based on their examination of the data.

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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thews wrote: For the record I think Joseph Antley’s argument that Joe Smith was being paid $14 a month to seek treasure and he believes Joe Smith believed it was done by the power of the Christian God’s guidance the weakest of any I’ve heard.


That doesn't mean much since you haven't demonstrated that you actually understand my argument.
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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Joseph Antley wrote:
thews wrote: For the record I think Joseph Antley’s argument that Joe Smith was being paid $14 a month to seek treasure and he believes Joe Smith believed it was done by the power of the Christian God’s guidance the weakest of any I’ve heard.


That doesn't mean much since you haven't demonstrated that you actually understand my argument.


Which is not surprising, since thews seeks neither to understand nor to be understood. Thews is interested only in complete annihilation (of the church), and will not rest (or shut the hell up) until he has delivered his winning argument (of course, first he has to put an argument, which hasn't occured yet). Thews doesn't seem to understand--whoops! there's that word again-- that he's not even in the same library, let alone in the same book or on the same page as the scholars. It might help if he went back to school. Education is a fine thing, even for the social sciences.
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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

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harmony wrote:Which is not surprising, since thews seeks neither to understand nor to be understood. Thews is interested only in complete annihilation (of the church), and will not rest (or shut the hell up) until he has delivered his winning argument (of course, first he has to put an argument, which hasn't occured yet). Thews doesn't seem to understand--whoops! there's that word again-- that he's not even in the same library, let alone in the same book or on the same page as the scholars. It might help if he went back to school. Education is a fine thing, even for the social sciences.

And more meaningless fodder from the side of harmony’s brain that claims to believe in Mormonism while simultaneously disbelieving in Joseph Smith and his seer stones. The cognitive dissonance required to maintain such conflicting beliefs must be maddening.
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2 Tim 4:4 They will turn their ears away from the truth & turn aside to myths

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Re: “Folk” magic redefined by Brant Gardner and Mike Reed

Post by thews »

Joseph Antley wrote:
thews wrote: For the record I think Joseph Antley’s argument that Joe Smith was being paid $14 a month to seek treasure and he believes Joe Smith believed it was done by the power of the Christian God’s guidance the weakest of any I’ve heard.


That doesn't mean much since you haven't demonstrated that you actually understand my argument.

Joseph, I'm trying to understand your argument. Instead of what doesn't constitute occult magic to you, it would be really great to understand what does as defined by the bible. This whole discussion regarding select instances in culture to make the "scholarly" argument that magic was used by Christians, only makes sense to me when it was supposedly done in praise of the Christian God. Runtu's example of a rooster being sacrificed in Guatemala could be understood that way based upon the local culture that existed before Christianity was embraced, but it still doesn't make the practice "Christian" as it is an outlier. Your example of treasure seeking done under the spiritual experience moniker is a reach at best IMO, when Joe Smith admitted his intentions in seeking treasure was to get rich, which is what you'd expect.

Help me understand you Joseph. What does constitute occult magic that has nothing to do with Christianity? I assume we both believe in the bible, so using the bible as a benchmark for what God does define as an abomination using "necromancer" and divination, where is the line drawn where divination is occult magic?

Thanks
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2 Tim 4:4 They will turn their ears away from the truth & turn aside to myths

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