Just this past week I was teaching a Bible study, addressing various trends in our culture. One of these trends is the prevalence of the occult. We are a society beguiled and fascinated with witchcraft, sorcery, vampires, ghosts, zombies, paranormal powers and psychic phenomena. This is a very perilous trend. The Bible is explicit in its condemnation of all forms of the occult belief and practice. There are scores of verses that address this matter. The most comprehensive is found in Deuteronomy 18:9-14. Here God expressly forbids His people from any involvement in the occult.
After my lesson was over, a lady came up to talk to me. She was very concerned about a friend. Her friend is an elderly woman who is a devout Christian believer, and has served the Lord for many years. However, she has begun experiencing a new kind of spiritual experience. This woman claims that the spirits of dead people have been visiting her, and communicating with her on a regular basis. She talks with them, and they relay all sorts of information to her. Indeed, in this woman’s neighborhood she has become somewhat of a celebrity because of this. Someone loses their keys, they consult her—and she asks some spirit to reveal the keys’ whereabouts. Someone has a problem, the spirits give counsel and advice through their matronly channel. The woman has become the resident local medium for all sorts of help from the spirit world. Continue reading →
Question: “Is witchcraft real? And do witches really have power?” B.H. in Charlottesville, VA.
Answer: The Bible is very clear about the actual existence of witches, sorcerers and those who practical the magical arts. Although witchcraft is considered something mythical, even silly, in modern society, from a biblical perspective this is a serious issue. The Scriptures admit the existence of witches, magicians, sorcerers, mediums, etc. in Deuteronomy 18:9-14. And there is no indication here that these individuals do not exhibit genuine powers and supernatural ability. Indeed, in ancient times the presence of such individuals in Israelite society was considered dangerous enough that God mandated the death penalty for anyone practicing witchcraft, sorcery or divination (see Exodus 22:18, Leviticus 20: 6 & 27, cf. Deut. 19:9-11 and Micah 5:12). Continue reading →
As Christians what are we to think of the occult? What should our attitude be concerning witchcraft, magick, and sorcery? Are we to be concerned about ghosts and vampires? What about fortunetelling, seances, astrology and the like? Many people do not realize that the Bible actually has quite a bit to say about the world of the occult. Check out this review of Scriptural teaching on the world of the Occult.
Question: “How should a Christian feel about Ouija boards, palm reading, and things like that? Isn’t this just harmless fun?” (C. in Lynchburg, VA)
My Answer: Although these practices are often viewed as innocent entertainment, they really are very serious matters. When it comes to any kind of fortunetelling (e.g., palmistry, astrology, crystal gazing, Tarot cards, tea leaves, etc.) the Bible is very clear on these matters. These are all forms of divination. Divination means to seek out the future or to seek hidden knowledge through supernatural means. The Bible condemns divination in no uncertain terms. Divination in all its forms is part of the occult, and is grounded in an occultic worldview. The Bible has many passages that deal with this. The classic passage is Deuteronomy 18:9-14. Here you will see all forms of divination declared to be wrong. And God declares that He takes these matters very seriously. The Lord declares that these practices are “an abomination” in His sight.
The Biblical condemnation of divination is especially true when it comes to Ouija boards, séances, mediums, etc. This is not only an occultic practice, but it is an open door to dealing with spirits. Any attempt to contact the dead is actually an invitation for demonic activity. Satan knows how to fool us in these matters. There are many people who have been lured into witchcraft and the occult world through Ouija boards and séances. There are also a number of cults and false religions that had their origins in messages from Ouija boards. I have already read of people who actually were demon possessed because of Ouija boards. It is interesting that witches and occult practitioners takes divination, séances, and Ouija boards very seriously. To them it is no game.
But the final word is that God takes these things very seriously also. To Him, also, it is no game. It is not harmless fun. It is venturing into the Devil’s territory. And you don’t travel there without dangerous consequences.