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Church Culture

Atlanta Church Hires Psychic Medium

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The New Testament describes the various roles needed to build up the church, including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and elders. 

Scripture also describes the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to these servants so they can minister effectively, including wisdom, tongues and interpretation, knowledge, faith, healing, and prophecy. 

Psychic mediums do not appear on the list of church offices, nor do psychic readings based on communion with the dead appear in the list of the Spirit’s gifts. 

Now, one woman wants to change this, according to an article published last May by Rollingout, an Atlanta publication covering entertainment and culture. The headline read: “Black Girl Psychic Medium, at a church near you.” 

According to the article, and those that followed on The Christian Post, CBN, and other outlets, Vision Church of Atlanta has added Dr. Lakara Foster, a star of the YouTube Series “The Gift” and a graduateof The Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, which is a consortium of mostly African-American schools. 

Foster says she wants to “heal people, give voice to the spirits, and help us reframe church and psychic mediumship.” She made the case in her doctoral thesis: Every Good and Perfect Gift Is From Above (James 1:17): Making The Case for the inclusion of Psychic Mediumship among the Spiritual Gifts of the Modern Church. 

As Foster explained to Rollingout: 

One of the reasons I pursued my doctorate on this topic is because I really wanted to understand my gift from the intersections of Afrocentrism and Christianity, and why the church believes this gift shouldn’t be considered a spiritual gift among those listed in the Bible. 

And as the Louisiana native told the TV show, Great Day Louisiana: 

Being a medium allows me to communicate with our loved ones who are departed…. 

For me it was very important that I was able to merge the two. My love for God” and her psychic abilities. 

Long Journey to Progressive Church 

Foster says she came to believe she had special skills long ago, but says she kept them under wraps. 

As a child, I always sensed the presence of spirits around me although I didn’t know at the time that this is what they were called. I never presumed that there was anything different about me and assumed everyone could see and hear the same things I saw and heard. I quickly learned this was not the case. I kept my gift of psychic mediumship a secret from my family and friends for a long time. 

Foster follows in the footsteps of Edgar Cayce, the so-called “sleeping prophet” who combined mediumship with being a Disciples of Christ Sunday school teacher.  Cayce’s teachings – which included belief in reincarnation – have been rejected by the Christian church.   

Foster likewise pursues teachings that are in direct contradiction to Christianity, including her central teaching, that she can communicate with the dead.  One of her goals is to re-write the Bible to include psychic mediumship as one of the spiritual gifts: 

One of the reasons I pursued my doctorate on this topic is because I really wanted to understand my gift from the intersections of Afrocentrism and Christianity, and why the church believes this gift shouldn’t be considered a spiritual gift among those listed in the Bible. 

She says her unique calling became clearer to her after God told her to do her YouTube series, “The Gift”: 

Honestly, I was reluctant at first because I felt very vulnerable and thought I would get a lot of pushback and negative feedback being a minister and a medium. I thought people wouldn’t understand but I knew I still had to do it. I knew I had been called to do it.  When I asked God, ‘Why this gift? Why not singing? God said, I promised my people eternal life, how will my people know that I’ve kept promise if you don’t demonstrate your gift?’” 

Vision Church of Atlanta is widely known for departing from Christian teaching.  Its website, parts of which haven’t been updated in years, says Bishop O.C. Allen III, the church’s gay founder and senior pastor, is also the Presiding Bishop and founder of the United Progressive Pentecostal Fellowship of Churches, an organization without a website and which appears to have only one other church member:  another church with a gay pastor, The Renewed Church of Los Angeles.  The website for that church has been suspended for non-payment. 

The Bible – in Leviticus and Deuteronomy and elsewhere – strongly condemn spiritism, mediums, the occult, and psychics.  Saul died after consulting a medium (1 Chronicles 10:13), and Jeremiah warned: “So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers” (Jeremiah 27:9).  

Foster’s mingling of mediumship with Christian ministry has drawn theological rebukes from, among others, Pat Robertson, who said, “The Bible does not consider conjuring up spirits a spiritual gift. In fact, God warns the children of Israel in Deuteronomy not to get involved in the pagan practices of conjuring up the dead. 

Foster appeals to people’s understandable hunger to hear from lost loved ones, but John’s advice remains essential: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). 

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Steve Rabey

Steve Rabey is a veteran author and journalist who has published more than 50 books and 2,000 articles about religion, spirituality, and culture. He was an instructor at Fuller and Denver seminaries and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He and his wife Lois live in Colorado.