The Problems with Post-Modern Spirituality

Carissa Schumacher is a so-called spiritual medium to the stars who claims to be able to speak to the dead and channel Yeshua, or Jesus of Nazareth.  Among her clients are the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Uma Thurman, and Andie MacDowell. Carissa doesn’t have a website, she spends most of her time in the forest, and she only eats five foods: broccoli, cauliflower, chicken, turkey, and watermelon.  While some may recognize the overtly bizarre nature of this woman’s claims, others might hear her and question how her communication with the dead is any different from Catholics appealing to saints.

Recently on The Cale Clarke Show, Cale took a look at the practices of Schumacher and juxtaposed the problems of post-modern pseudo-spirituality and the all-encompassing truth of Catholicism. He also explained the reason practices like this have such a grip on today’s generation.

Schumacher, who recently attended a celebrity party in L.A., did an interview with The New York Times, to talk about what it’s like to be a “channel”. The author of the article also got a chance to interview several celebrities and they said that the legitimacy and truth of it aren’t what’s important. Spirituality is different for everybody, so if it works for you, that should be enough. Jennifer Aniston said, “It’s not going to be for everybody. But as long as it’s not harming anyone, I feel that to each his own. Whatever makes it easier to walk through this world with a lighter step, especially today.”

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This is obviously a dangerously misguided take on religion. It’s a take that is firmly planted in relativism, a concept wholly contrary to religion itself. Legitimate religion is founded on the idea that this set of beliefs encompasses the truth about God, about the divine, and about humanity. A form of spirituality that proposes that it will be true for some and untrue for others really means that it is just untrue for everybody. It’s false because the truth is not relative.

Cale dissected the ideas explained in the article, saying that the first problem that caught his eye is how many people take their cues from people like confused celebrities. They are lacking an attachment to God and so they feel incomplete. This attraction to pseudo-spirituality makes them feel like they’re accomplishing something to fill that void by appealing to their emotionality. This relativistic approach that celebrities seem to think is so harmless has a trickle-down effect. There are always millions of eyes on them and as backward as it may seem, people are following their example.

“In this post-modern world, what’s often been called the ‘post-truth world’, that we live in, it’s not about the truth. It’s about what ‘resonates with me’, what kind of, ‘Oh, this appeals to me. This really resonates.’ And sometimes the truth doesn’t really resonate with people, especially when you’re dying for the sake of the truth. It doesn’t feel very good. It doesn’t resonate really well,” said Cale.

He continued, saying that Catholics are often accused of doing the same thing that Schumacher allegedly does: practicing necromancy. They see Schumacher summoning and invoking the dead in order to speak with them, and they compare it to prayer to the saints. In reality, we are doing nothing except asking the saints to pray for us. It is not uncommon to ask our family members or friends to pray for us, so why is it improper to ask the people closest to God to pray for us? Ultimately, our appeals are not to the power of the deceased, but to the power of God, the ever-living.

Our prayers don’t result in a spiritual medium attempting to imitate the voice and posture of a dead person. They don’t result in the strange stories and claims of a woman who thinks she is the mouthpiece of Jesus of Nazareth. “We’re not looking for something that resonates. Jennifer Aniston is looking for something that resonates, that feels good. It’s kind of what her itching ears want to hear. But what we do want is the truth. And the true message of Jesus Christ doesn’t just resonate. It has the power to save us.”

Listen to the whole talk below:

Consulting the Dead vs. Intercession of the Saints

Tune in to The Cale Clarke Show weekdays at 5pm CT

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.