Is it permissable for a Christian or Jew to "cast lots" as a means of divination?

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posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 09:15 AM
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In Acts it is written that the remaining 11 Disciples "cast lots" to decide who should replace Judas as the 12th among them;


Acts 1:26; Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.


"Casting lots" is defined as;


making a chance decision by using lots (straws or pebbles etc.) that are thrown or drawn.(Web Definitions)


The Apostles were using this to determine God's Will as to who should be the 12th Apostle. They were casting lots as a practice of DIVINATION.

In the Old Testament DIVINATION was also practised. Urim and Thummim were two stones in the breast plate of The High Priest of The Ark of The Covenant, that began with Aaron, Moses' brother. The LORD gave yes and no answers regarding questions put to HIM by The High Priest. David used this form of divination.

I have always drawn a parallel here to what Jesus said about decision making;

"Let your yes be yes and your no be no".

On one level I see Jesus here referring to Urim and Thummim.

Modern Christians are discouraged by their Churches to practise divination. The common argument against this practise would be something like this;


The New Testament nowhere instructs Christians to use a method similar to casting lots to help with decision-making. Now that we have the completed Word of God, as well as the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us, there is no reason to be using games of chance to make decisions. The Word, the Spirit, and prayer are sufficient for discerning God’s will today—not casting lots, rolling dice, or flipping a coin.
What was the practice of casting lots?(link)

However, we can clearly interpret from Old and New Covenant Scripture that divination was an important part (if not the most important part) of High Priest duties and that it was used by Christ's very Apostles to make a very important choice as to who should be the 12th Apostle.

There is no getting away from these facts; divination was used in Old and New Covenant priestly practise.

On that basis should we presume that we as Christians or Orthodox Jews can practise divination to determine GOD'S Will in answer to questions we require a divine response to?

I invite fellow Christians, Jews and anyone else's response to shed light on whether divination can be part of our relationship with The LORD we worship.

edit on 14-9-2013 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-9-2013 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-9-2013 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-9-2013 by Revolution9 because: spelling




posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 09:24 AM
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reply to post by Revolution9
 
I am in a rush out the door and wanted to mark this thread and ask if the lot tossing happened before pentecost or after ...will check back in later peace



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by Revolution9
 


I always thought casting lots wasn't magical but just randomizing a decision. So in modern terminology, the apostle's flipped a coin to decide who was the next disciple.



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 09:38 AM
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Toromos
reply to post by Revolution9
 


I always thought casting lots wasn't magical but just randomizing a decision. So in modern terminology, the apostle's flipped a coin to decide who was the next disciple.


They certainly did, lol!

It is very strange that they did that over such an historically important decision.

I have used coin tossing and other forms of determining a yes or no answer when I could not make a decision. It does fascinate me that both The High Priests and Jesus' Priests did that kind of thing. It is never mentioned in religious circles these days, but those guys certainly did use those methods.



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 09:39 AM
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the2ofusr1
reply to post by Revolution9
 
I am in a rush out the door and wanted to mark this thread and ask if the lot tossing happened before pentecost or after ...will check back in later peace


Chronologically, according to Acts, it seems that they did this before Pentecost.



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 10:06 AM
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Well, if you cast a bunch of straws and they all stand on end in a pattern, it should be a good indication that the person has some unique traits.

I agree though, chance is just chance sometimes and even the devil (deceit) can make things look real when they are not. Casting lots is not a good way to judge character at all.

S&F



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 10:06 AM
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I think it is a good and fair question. I have been thinking about this myself lately.

I don't know what you mean by 'permissible', but I think the source you linked gave a valid reason as to why it is not needed anymore. Furthermore, I think that the pastors or elders are obligated to arbitrate.

A part of me feels that it would still be ok to cast lots, but I'm not sure.

Good question.



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 10:24 AM
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Note that the incident in Acts is solitary, and neither Jesus, nor any of the apostles taught this in their epistles.
One could also use Acts to build a case that God still smites people when he feels like it. But the incident in Acts chapter 5, with Ananias and Sapphira, is also a solitary incident. (Though I suppose Acts 13 could qualify as god smiting someone blind.)

From a dispensationalist point of view, one could say that Acts is the dividing line between law and grace. Therefore, you find a mix of old and new testament practices. However, after pentecost, things seemed to gradually smooth out.

The truth, however, is that even Christians cannot agree on how to interpret such incidents in scripture. So it's all open to personal intepretation. I would like to note, however, that just because the apostles did this, does not mean it met with Gods approval. Though it doesn't seem to have met with his disapproval either.
edit on 9/14/2013 by Klassified because: eta



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Thanks Klassified.

Yes, I agree Acts is very much a mixture of the Old Wine and The New Wine. It reads to me like a very honest and open account of the original Hebrew Christians' exploration of The New Message.

In fact, the whole Bible is honest. It never paints a glossy illusionist picture of even The Israelites. When they fell from grace it is very well documented. It lists the sins and failures as well as the triumphs of Israel.

King David, though the Ancestor of Christ is revealed as sending one of his soldiers to certain death so he could marry the soldier's wife. Moses, we are told, killed an Egyptian before leading the Hebrew people to freedom. Peter is described as denying Christ and Paul was guilty of encouraging the execution and imprisonment of early Christians before he had his eyes opened.

Israel is shown in the wilderness of Sinai years as falling into a state of Idolatry. Later, many times they polluted The Law by turning to Baal and sacrificing children as the pagans did around them.

The Bible never desists from giving an honest account of Kings, Prophets and Priests.

The reason I made this post was an attempt to understand whether it would be right for us to seek an answer from The GOD of Israel via casting lots or other means of divination. For me the jury is still out on that meaning I don't know.

I know that in The Torah it forbids witchcraft, sorcery and divination, but is it sorcery if one uses divination to ask questions of The Most High?
edit on 14-9-2013 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 11:26 AM
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reply to post by Klassified
 


Also, in the case of Ananias and Sapphira I am very perplexed by that account. The story goes that this husband and wife were struck down dead by Peter's admonition for them lying to him about the amount of money they had gained from selling their possessions. They had agreed to give it all to the Church at Jerusalem, but in secret kept a stash for themselves. Peter told them that they were lying to The Holy Spirit and it was stated that anyone who abused the Holy Spirit could not be forgiven.

It seems very harsh by New Covenant standards that such punishment would be inflicted upon individuls. Yet the example is written in plain sight in Acts. We are told that we can be forgiven if we step out of line and abuse The Name of The Father and Christ, but NOT if we abuse The Holy Spirit. I have not dared to test that one, lol. Nor would I ever!



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by Revolution9
 


kinda sounds like rolling dice...

Dice have been used for millennia for various things... games, divination etc etc...




posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by Revolution9
 

Though I am no longer a Christian. I was one for decades. My personal take from a Christian perspective, is if Christians were to use divination as a means of getting answers from God. It would have been taught in the epistles. The very fact it is omitted from the epistles, seems to be a clear answer, that it became unnecessary. Answers come from God by the Spirit of God, to the "inner man".

There is more than enough precedent in scripture to show that God used other means once "the comforter" came.



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by Revolution9
 



I know that in The Torah it forbids witchcraft, sorcery and divination, but is it sorcery if one uses divination to ask questions of The Most High?


This is not how God answers questions.

If you pray for an answer from God and you don't trust your own ability or judgment to decipher the answer yourself, just ask that he send you an answer through another person. I'm not talking about a psychic either.



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Revolution9
 

Well then it might have been mans best effort to correct something without Gods direction ...I think we have all decided to flip a coin in a similar situation in deciding something ...I would think that it might have been left in there for our learning ...don't forget God decided to pick Paul and we know how he contributed to the cannon we have today ..There does not seem to be anything significant from the one the 11 chose .....peace



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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Toromos
reply to post by Revolution9
 


I always thought casting lots wasn't magical but just randomizing a decision. So in modern terminology, the apostle's flipped a coin to decide who was the next disciple.


Nope, it's definitely divination. In fact, we still use it today. The cool thing about casting lots, though, is that it is very free form. You can have a bag full of meaningful things that you use for lots yet it won't be like another person's.

Normally, you would use things like a key or a pebble or a peace of wood. Each of these things represent a certain concept very much like you would perform Runemal. So like the key might be "revealing" or "understanding" and a pebble might be "fortitude" or "timelessness. It all depends on the reader.



posted on Sep, 14 2013 @ 02:10 PM
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the2ofusr1
reply to post by Revolution9
 

Well then it might have been mans best effort to correct something without Gods direction ...I think we have all decided to flip a coin in a similar situation in deciding something ...I would think that it might have been left in there for our learning ...don't forget God decided to pick Paul and we know how he contributed to the cannon we have today ..There does not seem to be anything significant from the one the 11 chose .....peace


I know what you are saying here. I have often felt that.

It is almost as if Paul was Jesus' choice of 12th Apostle and Mathias was The Disciples' choice.

Paul, in written Scriptural terms and as the evangelist to the gentiles, seems of equal significance as Peter and John yet Mathias does not seem to have been mentioned following the casting of lots.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 02:16 PM
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Revolution9
reply to post by Klassified
 


Thanks Klassified.

Yes, I agree Acts is very much a mixture of the Old Wine and The New Wine. It reads to me like a very honest and open account of the original Hebrew Christians' exploration of The New Message.



Could we conclude maybe that Acts was the "Transitional Stage"?

And there was another mention of casting lots, the sailors on board the ship Jonah was running away on, they also cast lots to see who displeased God, and the lot fell on Jonah. So it wasn't just that Hebrews were doing it, the practice seems to be universal in those days.



posted on Sep, 16 2013 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by Revolution9
 


Paul was not a disciple, he was born out of time. But the disciples, they all were there, minus Judas, on the Day of Pentecost. "Then Peter, of the 11, stood up to preach....".

Paul was an apostle. That is different than the disciples.

It wasn't so much that Jesus preferred Paul to the others, Paul was called, as we are today. But I can see where they are coming from, they knew God's will would be performed either way, but it was more for their own benefit, because in the beginning, they were sent out by twos. 11 is an odd number, so it was important to have 12.

You have to consider this also, they knew the road ahead was not going to be safe or easy. So the person chosen had to be ready to put his life on the line. That would be extremely hard to think about. The disciples didn't just want anyone, after knowing what Judas did. So their casting lots was a way of showing their faith in God through the casting of the lots.





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