Those who discover in themselves, or in another, the gift of sensitivity or mediumship, may look to the CFPSS for guidance. To seek to lay down rules of conduct in a matter so individual would be presumptuous. The Fellowship, however, may usefully draw upon the experience of its members to offer some guidelines on this difficult and complex subject.
Sensitives have the ability to communicate with dimensions of reality other than the material. It must be seen to be a natural faculty, but, nonetheless, as potentially one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12.7-12). Sensitivity, ranging from person-to-person communication at the level of human relationships, to healing, guidance and to inspired prophecy, may be seen as having a real part in the life of the Church. The gift of sensitivity operates on the psychic level, but when the person is dedicated to the service of God it may be raised to a spiritual level.
Biblical prohibitions on mediumship do not necessarily apply to the mental attunement of a present-day sensitive. The ministry of sensitives must be evaluated in a Christian context, and because we are an interdenominational body, varying attitudes will be encountered. The Christian attributes of prayer and meditation, love and humility will be important aids to the creation of the right environment.
There is a darker side to the psychic dimension which may lead to the need for expert help in the form of deliverance or exorcism by clergy and sensitives experienced in such work. We must give due warning of the dangers of psychic experiment; those members of the Fellowship who are themselves sensitive are the most concerned to advise the need for care in the exercise of psychic gifts. Natural egotism, which seeks admiration, status and gratification should be subordinated to the will of God and then it may be less active in the situation.
If we say we are the body of Christ, we must see ourselves as individual elements inter-relating within the one body. As such, we can be instrumental and vitally active in the bringing about of health and growth in that body. Just as in the physical body, the body of Christ must also be in communication with itself for healing to take place, and so, through our individual states of development and understanding, we have much to offer and communicate to each other.
Mediumship, in the sense of acting as a go-between, should never seek to disturb the communion of saints (souls of our departed loved ones as well as the greater saints) but rather let them take the initiative (I Samuel 28.15). Discernment and discrimination are always vital, since the initiative may come from those who are not within the communion of saints, but who may still have a need, as may the recipients.
Some sensitives may be given the ability to act as counsellor or pastor for both the incarnate and the discarnate. It is even more important for such sensitives to dedicate their psychic gift in the service of God. The sensitive should heed the warning expressed in 1 John 4.1-3: 'Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.'
It is advisable for a sensitive to be surrounded by the prayerful support of others. Prayer acts as a protection from unwanted communication from the other side and promotes healing in the discarnate and the incarnate. This is particularly important for groups of people who are involved in 'rescue' work, where constant harmony and rapport are necessary.
We must not 'cling' to those who have died: they should be released to go forward in their new life, and we, too, must be ready to stand upon our own feet in this life. Those who would consult a medium must do so with an open and discerning mind in an atmosphere of prayer and humility.
In these comments we do not seek to be dogmatic but to provide guidelines which experience leads us to believe to be important. We consider it essential to place sensitivity in its right context as a potential spiritual gift within the body of Christ. It is particularly important for mediums to take to themselves the words: 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness.' (Matthew 6.33). Then God can use this channel for His purposes `that the Son of God may be glorified thereby.'
A comment by the late Worshipful Chancellor Garth Moore QC,
former President of the CFPSS
This is a subject of great importance to all Christian seekers in this area and one of considerable difficulty about which none of us should be dogmatic. What is sensitivity or mediumship, and how far is its exercise compatible with that common Christianity which is the basis of our Fellowship and which we share with others who come to gain knowledge from us?
The word medium is commonly used for one who is or purports to be a go-between between the living and the dead. Unfortunately some self-styled mediums are fraudulent and others are mistaken in their claims. But, when allowance has been made for these, there remains a strong body of evidence to support the view that mediumship is a genuine phenomenon. How far is its practice legitimate for the Christian?
The first point to recognise is that genuine mediumship is only one of many examples of ESP (extrasensory perception). Perhaps all of us have it in some degree. Some have it in a high degree. Insofar as we possess it, it is innate: it is a gift from God, like a gift for music. Like a gift for music, it can lie fallow or it can be developed; but basically it is there.
Just as a person who is not deaf cannot help hearing, so someone who is psychic cannot help being psychically aware. For those who become spontaneously aware there can be no condemnation. How far, however, is it legitimate deliberately to develop this awareness or to practise it?
I suggest that it is often perfectly legitimate. Indeed, like any other talent, it is given to us in order that we may develop it - not for our own benefit; but for the benefit of the Lord who has bestowed it on us.
But like so many of God's gifts - fire, water, air -it can be a dangerous gift and should be consciously used only with great caution and only for a good purpose. Those who are mentally or psychologically unstable should not seek to employ the gift. Everyone should know that deliberately induced psychic awareness is the result of deliberately laying oneself open to psychic influences, and that some psychic influences are evil. Deliberately induced psychic awareness should be undertaken only with prayer and with a good intent. Idle curiosity and levity are completely out of place and dangerous. The good intent may be either the serious intent to advance scientific knowledge or the intent to help others.
The advancement of scientific knowledge is legitimate, because it is the advancement of the knowledge concerning God's creation and, therefore, the advancement of our knowledge about the Creator. Helping others is part of the commandment laid upon us to love our neighbour. In this context our neighbour may be either among the living or the departed. The living need help for a variety of reasons, especially in bereavement. The departed can sometimes receive help from us. We can always pray for their repose and continued welfare in what for us is the hereafter, but which for them is the present. Sometimes it would seem that the departed do not know that they have died and continue to haunt the places familiar to them when on Earth. In such cases a medium may be able to help them by alerting them to their true status, so that they may cease to cling to what for them is the past and concentrate on advancing in their true environment.
Those with a mediumistic gift may, with caution, lay themselves open to whatever knowledge may come to them psychically, including the desires of the departed to communicate with the living; but care should always be taken not to disturb the departed by deliberately seeking to summon them.
Great care should be exercised before accepting a mediumistic communication at its face value. Those with the mediumistic gift of ESP are but human. They may have but very little power of censorship over what comes to them; their `receiving set' may be faulty; their imagination may be vivid; and they may be unable to distinguish what comes to them by way of a genuine communication from what they pick up telepathically from those around them including the enquirer.
In short, when dealing with an elusive and potentially dangerous gift, prudence dictates that all these and many other considerations should be constantly borne in mind. But sight should never be lost of the fact that psychic awareness (of which mediumship is but a facet) is a very great gift from God, like any of the recognised five senses. It is the duty of the Fellowship to ponder and discuss the subject in its Christian context.