Simony is attempting to buy spiritual benefits, graces and gifts. It was first seen thousands of years ago and talked of in the Bible. Instead of going away, it’s seen everywhere we look today and is on the increase.
The word Simony came from Biblical times due to a man called Simon Magus, also known as Simon the Magician or Sorcerer. His story is one of the earliest examples teaching us the huge differences between supernatural gifts as bestowed by God and of the ‘gifts’ people try to buy or acquire from mankind.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gifts of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. ACTS: 18-22
People love magic or the fantastical, as the passages above and below show. They can’t get enough of things done to astound them or that smack of the miraculous. Spiritualism and New Age practices offer false supernatural gifts.
Certificates are given to everyone who buys what they believe to be gifts and sadly, these certificates are accepted as genuine by far too many hospitals and professionals; otherwise intelligent people who should know better, but who are taken in by the production of a piece of paper that is as worthless as the claims made on it.
Healers, claims of speaking to the dead, Reiki ‘Masters’ who call on symbols, contacting angels for readings and so much more can be offered to the susceptible. Those interested in such things are also told they can not only be helped by those claiming such things, but that they can buy the same gifts for themselves.
Let no one be found among you who … practices divination or conjury, interprets omens, practices sorcery, 11 casts spells, consults a medium or familiar spirit, or inquires of the dead. 12For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable things the LORD your God is driving out the nations before you. DEUTORONOMY 18: 10-12
False gifts make for huge money making and is big business, yet those involved in such practices think nothing of condemning the Orthodox Church for the money they have.
Talking of the Orthodox Church, anyone selling relics and blessed items for profit is just as guilty too. If done for profit, they are guilty of simony also. One has to accept there is a cost in making items and these costs have to be covered, but profit on each item should not be made.
Pretending to make someone a medium, healer or any other thing and the selling of religious objects for profit, is all Simony. It doesn’t matter how much you, or those teaching and selling you such things, pretties it all up with words and promises designed to entice, the truth is, all of it goes against God. Not only does it go against Him, but it takes those participating in it further from Him.
9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. ACTS 8: 9-11
Just as in Bible times, people of today are no different. They too make wondrous claims. To see the truth of this, look around you at today’s world. Magazines, newspapers, theatres and television stations are filled with famous mediums talking about or selling their wares and performing on stages.
They are happy to be thought of as someone great to be looked up to and followed. They aren’t disappointed, as people are only too happy and quick to follow those claiming mystical and magical deeds. They are also then eager to buy any claimed abilities for themselves.
Classes, potions, lotions and all manner of things are on offer today to lure you from God and into their ways instead. Workshops and misnamed ‘churches’ offer lessons and certificates to all who want them and are willing to pay.
The sad thing is, many know the truth about what they’re following or taking part in, but are weak and can’t help themselves. Some even follow God, or claim to, and yet go against His teachings without a care. They just hope they’ll get away with what they’re doing by telling themselves God will ignore it. He won’t.
People need to be taught that what they’re buying, or think they are, isn’t true supernatural gifts. They don’t come with a fantasy life of everything being magical and wonderful as they see from false ways, but actually come with great suffering.
Supernatural gifts of heaven and God come with great hardship, suffering and a weight of knowledge no human would willingly wish to bear. Maybe everyone would do well to read the lives of the saints who possessed such gifts and compare them to the lives of those selling their ‘gifts’ to any buyer. The two ways of working are poles apart. The two types of people often are also.
Read up on Simon the Sorcerer, read the lives of the saints and then compare each with what you see on television, in your classes and in books teaching how you can acquire such things. Maybe if you do read up on them, you’ll start to see the differences in the gifts and the people claiming them.
You need to be open enough to accept what you’ll see and read and be able to accept it might not be what you want to know. For once you do know the differences, it means you will have to make an informed choice. Once you can see the differences for yourself, it’s then you have to choose which path you decide to follow and who you try to emulate. Will you stay on the one you’re already on, or will you change to another?
That is why God gave us free will. By using that free will, God can see who is for Him and who is against Him; those who are easily tempted and those who reject temptation, just as Jesus did when tempted by Satan. He will see those who pretend to be for Him from those who really are. Whatever you decide and choose to follow will be right for you – but the big question is, will it be right for your soul?
Coming next – The antichrist may not be a person
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