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Channel and channeling are words that makes me shutter. Unbelievably, I heard my wife say something about so and so channeling so and so. Probably too quickly I expressed my distaste at its usage, which was interpreted as a rebuke and she felt offended. Oh, well. That word offends me.

Well, she only meant that the person was imitating another person in the tone or way of speech. And that’s sort of how the word is being used–I think misused–in America. For instance, recently in an article on a country singer, the lead read: “This Oklahoman channels the hip-shaking fifties and more on his sophomore release.”

Here’s my objection: Yahoo! dictionary defines channeling as “The act or practice of serving as a medium through which a spirit guide purportedly communicates with living persons.”

Alright. Common language changes over time. My kids say things like, “Wow. Sick!” Taken on face value, sick means being ill, or having a disease. But in common vernacular of kids it means the same as my generation did when we said, “Cool, man!” To us, forty or more years ago “cool” wasn’t measured in degrees Celsius; it wasn’t temperature related. Neither was “hot,” which is like saying “really cool.” Confused yet?

So why do I object to the world channel? I object to trying to make what is a connotation of evil into being acceptable in common speech. And that’s different from “sick” or “cool” or “hot.”

But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 1 Corinth 10:28

Paul’s words are not merely about eating meat. There’s more here to what he’s talking about. It’s about doing something that may cause someone to stumble. Let me spell it out. If you don’t see anything wrong with using the word “channel” in common reference to imitation of a person or a type of music–for instance–then you’ll likely be drawn into other people’s usage of channel when speaking about a demonic spirit. If you take a step, you’re more likely to take two or more.

Psalm 1, in the first verse, shows us that we are to guard ourselves from evil, and its progressively taking us down the slope.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers. Psalm 1:1

If you begin to walk with evil, you’re more likely to stand with evil, and then you’ll likely find yourself sitting with evil.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .