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What does the Bible say about ventriloquism?
The word ventriloquism means, “the production of the voice in such a way that the sound seems to come from a source other than the vocal organs of the speaker” (Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).
This practice has been used by some people in children’s ministries (and even in regular church services with adults) when talking to “dummies” or “mannequins,” and supposedly carrying on a conversation back-and-forth with them. Normally, it consists of saying a lot of humorous things to make people laugh, and then trying to get more serious and give the gospel or some Bible truths.
There are two things wrong with this. Number one, spiritual matters have nothing to do with the world of “make believe.” If you put on a “make believe” program of deceiving people that a dummy is actually talking, then how do they know if you are deceiving them in all, or in part, of what you are telling them? People watch all kinds of “make believe” productions that make them laugh or get very emotional—but that all soon passes. Normally, they are not going to be crying the next day, nor laughing the next day. The production worked on their emotions for the moment, but they know that it is just “make believe,” so the emotions soon pass. If you use worldly practices to stir up emotions in people to bring forth “spiritual” decisions, then do not expect their decisions to be “real” or “lasting.” You faked them out with the ventriloquism, and they know that it is fake, so why should they believe anything that you said? Why should they not think that it was all just a “good show,” and go on and forget about those emotional decisions that they made the previous day?
Number two, the practice could cause people to let down their guard in the matter of “demonism” (familiar spirits). Isaiah 29:4 says, “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” People’s voices coming out of places other than their mouths, is likened unto the sounds made by demons when they speak. That is not a “humorous” thing, but a “deadly serious” matter.
That was the final straw with King Saul, and the Lord allowed him to be killed in the battle the next day. 1 Samuel 28:7 says, “Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.” 1 Chronicles 10:13 says, “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it.”
Jesus did not use such gimmicks to try and reach people with the truth; nor did the apostles; nor did the Old Testament prophets; nor did Noah to try and fill up the ark. Ventriloquism, and a multitude of other worldly gimmicks, should have no place in the ministry.
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