Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Getting Advice from a Fortune Cookie—or Worse (Laodicea - Canon 36)

They who are of the priesthood, or of the clergy, shall not be magicians, enchanters, mathematicians1, or astrologers; nor shall they make what are called amulets, which are chains for their own souls.  And those who wear such, we command to be cast out of the Church.

Scripture tells us that there should be no person of any rank who practices things such as these (Deut 18:10-12; Ezek 13:9).  The use of these measures indicates either an uncertainty or an unwillingness to rely on the Lord in all things.  In either case, he is deemed unreliable, so an attempt is made to divine things from the natural or evil spiritual worlds.

1 Mathematicians in this context were those who used numerology or calculations of natural, observable phenomena to discern the times or future.

A friend passed along that the Actuarial Sciences use "calculations of natural, observable phenomena to discern the times or future."  I am a bit embarrassed.  My intent was to show how people cannot use math to engage the mystical or spiritual realm: not to debase the science of predicting future risk based on past statistical trends.

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