Gary: This week’s item is from a NY Times news service, […] Russia. There is trouble in the one-room matchbox home of Anatoly Montezov and his wife, Yekaterina, two grizzled middle-aged residents of this mud-road farming village. Like many families in trouble, they have summoned a priest. Unlike many families in trouble, they have also laid in thirteen half-liter bottles of vodka. By the time the priest is gone, seven or eight hours hence, the vodka will be, too. Let outsiders snicker and make cracks about appealing to a “higher power.”
In Buryatia, a region of southern Siberia that is an outpost of the mystical Mongol religion called shamanism, vodka is quite literally holy water, sprinkled, dabbed, and, most of all, drunk, as an integral part of religious rites. And the vodka carries a kick. After 90 minutes of prayer and libation, neither the Montuzovs nor other relatives at the ceremony, seem to be troubled at all. “You drop, you pray, you talk to God,” said Alexei Spasov, one of two shamans who minister to a cluster of villages along the shore of the huge Bratsk Reservoir a few hundred miles north of Mongolia.
“According to the Buryat tradition, I’m here to bring some moral calmness.”
Many people might regard shamanism as the John Denver of religions—a 1960s Earth-Mother kind of faith, with a heavy dose of channeling and an occasional side of psychedelic mushrooms.
In much of the world, various forms of shamanism are found on most continents. It is a complex religion. Mongol shamanism dictates that humans have at least three souls, two of which reincarnate. And animals have two reincarnating souls that must not be offended, lest the animals desert the human hunting grounds. Reverence for the earth is a tenet of the religion. Mongolian shamans talk to many gods—among others, one hundred upper ones led by the Father Heaven and Mother Earth, thirteen divinities bound to earth and fire, and a host of local of local spirits that stand guard over holy sites, like mountains and rivers. A shaman’s role in this order is to mediate between the spiritual world and mankind.
Tom: Well, Dave, the vodka produces an altered state, which facilitates contact with spirit entities. I mean, we’ve said before, shamanism is, the world over, it’s the same idea that however you can contact spirit entities, whatever device it takes, that’s the heart of it.
Dave: Mm-hmm. So here we have another proof for the fact that matter is not all there is. There really are spirit entities out there. We do talk about that in [my] book as well, and they do communicate. And we can prove that because the communication—I mean, I’ve interviewed people around the world who’ve had no contact with one another, but they’ve come out with the same messages from these entities, and they conform to Satan’s four lies that he introduced to Eve in the Garden of Eden. So we know that they do exist, and we know pretty well who they are, because of what they say.
Here we’re kind of back to what we were talking about, Tom. I mean, what evidence do they have for this? That’s what this book is about: An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith. What evidence do they have for this hierarchy of “gods”? Father Heaven and Mother Earth, and the hundreds of deities and all of this—things that they’re going through in their rituals, and so forth. What is the basis for that?
Tom: Well, some of it’s pragmatism. In other words, some things seem to work. You’re getting information from…you know, in an altered state of consciousness, whether it’s on vodka or a sacred mushroom or whatever. But they get…it’s like they’re led into it. It’s entrapment, basically.
Dave: Well, unfortunately, the Bible warns that there are deceiving spirits out there and that men will heed them. They bring the lie. Seducing spirits, the Bible calls them, that bring the doctrines of devils. And these are doctrines of devils, but the point I’m trying to make is what…just give me a solid basis for this. “Why do you believe this?”, I would say to the shaman. Well, they’ve been led into this. This is something that they’ve done. You say it works. Sometimes it seems to work. The information they get isn’t necessarily true. Generally it’s not. But sometimes it turns out to be. But here they are, putting their trust in some spirits out there that they think they’re communicating with, and in order to communicate with them, you’ve got to drink vodka! You have to get into a state of consciousness where you’ve really lost touch with your own rational faculties, and with the universe, the physical universe around you, and you have no basis for believing. How can you verify what’s going on?
But, Tom, it’s not just up in Mongolia…
Tom: Or Siberia…
Dave: It is all over this world, and there are people who even consult a Ouija board, or Tarot cards, or they consult a medium in a séance. Or they just trust the pastor, because he sounds convincing. And then you’ve got an awful lot of pastors these days who don’t even believe in God. They don’t even believe in anything. And it’s just kind of a business for them, and they’re involved in sort of salving people’s consciences and calming people down. You’ve got the “Death and Dying” movement, where—what do they do? These dear people are dying, and what is their purpose? Not to tell them where they’re going. Not to tell them about salvation. Not to warn them of the possibility of judgment. But just to say, “Everything is going to be okay. Let’s be positive about this,” and so forth.
So, this article that you read is just symptomatic of so much that’s going on out there.
Tom: Dave, and our concern is…why would we even pick out an article like this? Because, you know, it seems a little bizarre. But when you break it down, these are the same things, in a sense, that are going on in the church! We have subjectivity, we have a contemplative movement, where you’re trying to “experience God,” or go through some kind of ritual, and have God speak to you or commune with spirits, and so on. And this is our heart’s concern. This is why we have this program, Search the Scriptures Daily, because if it’s not according to God’s Word, then it’s not His way. And if it’s not His way, we’re into strong delusion.
Dave: And the only reason you say that, Tom, is because we can prove the Bible is God’s Word.