Date: July 28, 2006 05:24AM
Seemed like maybe there was some confusion regarding Spiritualism and whether it was a generic name or a church
Spiritualism is a recognized religion since the mid 1800's. Although Spiritualist concepts had been practiced for some time prior to that, it made its way into america in upstate ny <hydesville> around 1840
The link that another member left will give you basic information about the religion of Spiritualism and its basic tenets, philosophy and principles, although the NSAC is one branch of Spiritualism just as in other religions there are different "branches" that have somewhat different practices or understanding of the teachings.
Excerpted here you will find some information from a very helpful and useful web article
Spiritualism is not, as is commonly believed, a sinister cult, meeting in darkened rooms to “call up the dead”, but an officially recognised religious movement with its own Churches and Ministers, who possess the same rights and privileges as ministers of religion of other denominations.
Proof of Survival
Spiritualism is a religion in that it embodies the main ideas of all religions that there is life after death, and immortality and the existence of God. The difference between Spiritualism and other religions is the ability, through Mediumship, to prove that Man survives the grave; that is to say, certain people called Mediums are able to communicate with those who have passed over, thus furnishing conclusive evidence of their continued existence in another world. Mediums cannot call up these people as one would call a friend on the telephone - they come to us only when they are ready and willing to do so.
Who are these Mediums? They are highly sensitive people who have developed certain psychic gifts - which each one of us possesses to a greater or lesser degree - women’s intuition being a very good example. Some are born Mediums, others take years to develop, while others, through ignorance or lack of opportunity of development are unable to exercise their gift.
The Philosophy of Spiritualism is based upon seven fundamental principles:-
The Fatherhood of God
The Brotherhood of Man
The Communion of Saints and the Ministry of Angels
The Continuous Existence of the Soul
Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all Good and Evil Deeds
Eternal Progress open to every Soul
Spiritualists are often accused of being Atheists or anti-Christian, yet our first principle recognises God as our Father - but who is God? We do not recognise Him as a nebulous person sitting on a throne, but the Infinite Power embodied in all that is good and beautiful in our World, the supreme factor in the Universe, and the controlling force of all nature.
Spiritualists are not anti-Christian any more than they are anti-Jewish, anti-Hindu or anti-Moslem. There are Christian Spiritualists in the same way as there are Hindu, Moslem and Jewish Spiritualists. We do not, however, claim a monopoly of religion. One’s religion is a personal matter and any person adopting Spiritualism is not asked to change his or her beliefs.
A major difference between Spiritualism and the orthodox Christian belief is embodied in the Fifth Principle - Personal Responsibility. We do not accept that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins. We hold that no one can do this but we ourselves. We are given free will and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong and we alone are responsible for our thoughts and actions.
What the Church calls sin we regard as being a violation of the Divine Laws made by God, which Paul interpreted when he wrote: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. Man alone must atone for these “sins” and not shirk his responsibilities.
God Not Vindictive
We do not believe in a vindictive God sitting in judgement over us. We are our own judges here and now and we shall receive compensation or retribution for whatever we have done, whether it be good or bad. Heaven and hell are not places to which we are destined to go, but states of mind of our own creation.
We do not automatically become spiritual when we leave this world. We shall in fact retain our earthly characteristics while the opportunity will be given throughout eternity to make spiritual progress and so undo any wrongs we committed on earth, for both free will and personal responsibility will still be with us in the world to come.
Man is a spirit now within a mortal body. Death is but the parting of the ways - our body to decay but our spirit to live on in a new and grander world. If death were the end of everything, life would merely have a material motive, whereas the knowledge of a future existence gives life a spiritual motive and purpose beyond mere physical existence.
We are living in a material scientific age in which orthodox religion has lost its impact. Any religion therefore which can successfully overcome this materialistic influence must be scientific - and Spiritualism is just that. It has turned the pious hope of a hereafter into scientific fact. The advent of the spirit of man into this world, and in the course of time his transition to another world, is a fact proved by Mediumship.
Religion has been defined as faith without science - and science as faith without religion. Spiritualism embodies science, faith and religion, unfettered by dogma or creed.
If anyone honestly desires more information about Spiritualism I would be more than happy to share with you, however i am not interested in trying to "prove" anything
I am an ordained Spiritualist Minister and as such am open to helping others to understand our practice, but not interested in trying to 'convert' anyone