Independent Spiritualist Association
of the United States of America

Principle 5 Expanded

"Come For A Spiritual Experience."

EXPANDED DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
[THE FOUNDATION BELIEFS COMMON TO ALL OUR MEMBER CHURCHES]

Expanded with comments by ISA Ministers
NOTE:  ISA Minister comments are their own and may not be universally accepted by the ISA.  These comments are meant to stimulate your own inner processes to know what it TRUE FOR YOU.  We each are responsible for our own beliefs and actions.

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5)    We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.

 5)    Spiritualism proves that we can talk with people of the Spirit World.

Rev. Phillip Falcone:  "Mediumship is not some fictional plot spoiler or some myth that spawned a religion.  Clairvoyance, also known as prophesying has been practiced for centuries.  Notable scientists of the times either been one of these oracles or have investigated their soundness.  During the 1700s, Emmanuel Swedenborg, a trained scientist, was thrust into the world of spirit communication through his deep research into his religious beliefs.  Afterward, he wrote numerous books about his communication with angels and the so-called dead.  Oliver Lodge, a physical scientist who lived during the late 1800s and early 1900s, investigated mediumship, automatic writing, and table tipping.  His method was to use different groups of mediums in different locations; each received bits of messages while others assemble the messages, and others confirmed their content.  William Crookes, a chemist who lived during the 1800s, used electrical resistance testing to determine changes in the human body during readings and other spirit demonstrations.  More recently, Julie Beischel (2008) using stricter criteria for testing mediumship has also validated the information mediums receive.  Thus, communication with the so-called dead is an affirmation that is a fact.  The means of the communication are not obvious, which is why it is a phenomenon."

Rev. Thomas Janssen:  "We are Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience.  We are created in the likeness and image of God.  Our Mind/Awareness exists without form, perhaps as energy but in the likeness and image of God. 

Spiritualist Mediums would have been called Prophets if they were Hebrews and male 3,000 years ago. If they were female or of another culture, they would be condemned. Not much has changed in all these years. The gifts and skills used by Mediums are no different than they have ever been throughout time. These gifts can be used for good or for ill. Your discernment is always your responsibility. Mediums have a special gift but are also a Spiritual Being having a Human Experience, just like you. We each are growing and evolving and are subject to all the pitfalls and temptations life presents. A good Medium can connect with one who has passed from human life back into Spirit. The departed's consciousness continues beyond death of the body. Our purpose for existence extends well beyond this one life.

Labels often are used to separate. While spending time in retreat in the North Carolina mountains deep in the heart of Free Will Baptist country I learned that acceptance had everything to do what you call something. If you were an Energy Healer or Reiki Practitioner it would be considered work of the Devil. But if you called it The Gift, it would be welcomed and accepted. Spiritualist Mediums would likewise be denounced but if someone within their church Prophesied then this was a gift from God. Not to pick on them but only to illustrate how labels dismiss offhand what might be a gift from God.

104 Billion human beings have lived and died here on Earth and another 7 Billion are alive today. I had to ask myself, how very few of them believe as I do, or could have had an equal chance to believe as I do? Spiritualism is an open belief system, open to the common experience of all humans now and from all time. We do not dismiss the Prophets from any past culture as being wrong or of the Devil. If you belief system is so rigid in regards to the path to Heaven then you must believe in a God who easily condemns the vast majority of his Creation to the torments of Hell without giving everyone a fair chance. I believe in a Loving God that has always communicated with It's Creation. Can we be less than the animals who exist by instinct, a form of collective consciousness? I watched day old kittens dreaming that seemed to be chasing and playing. I wondered what could a day old creature have to dream about? Certainly not it's own memories.

Much of Christianity and Judaism would have you believe that the Old Testament is the only Word of God. However, if one stands back to view it in it's place in time and history it stands out as the chronicles of the Hebrew people. It is their story filled with their encounters and instructions from God which came through their Prophets, and encounters with Angels and other beings speaking on behalf of God. Put into this context I have to give equal validity to the chronicles of other cultures who also claim a relationship with God. Why should experiences with God from other cultures not be valid too? And why can't the cultural differences account for their God seeming different from your God? I have asked myself this question, 'how do we know that the Hebrews are the chosen people of God? The answer is, 'because the Hebrew writers said so. The Saudi Arabians today think that they are the chosen people because they are the keepers of Mecca and the Kaaba. How do we know this is true? The Saudi's say so.

The God I have come to know personally is a Loving God, one that promotes life, that wants me to grow and become better, one that does not need to punish me severely, and certainly not for eternity, for my mistakes. I see our God like a parent watching their child take it's first steps. The parent is encouraging and supportive, taking delight in every failed attempt as well as successful step. This parent does not punish it's child for trying and failing. Gravity, a Universal Law created by God, however it is ever at work. Part and parcel to walking successfully is to learn about Gravity. Gravity is always at work when you learn to stand, to walk, to run, to jump, to ride a bicycle, to fly, to go into space, to understand the formation of planets, stars and the galaxies. Likewise there are Spiritual Laws that provide consequences from which we can learn and grow."
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