The Lure of the Occult

St Michael's Victory over the Devil, a sculpture by Sir Jacob Epstein

St Michael’s Victory over the Devil,  by Sir Jacob Epstein

I remember back in my high school days, last century, that every now and then an occultic fad would pass by: Ouija boards, seances and even palm and tea leaf reading. People have this “spiritual” itch that they want to scratch with these practices.

There is an excitement about dabbling covertly in these unknown realms. Many people have done it from Arthur Conan Doyle (who seemed so logical in his Sherlock Holmes stories!) through to the notorious Rasputin plus many, many more.  Every age seems to have its own versions and own followers. The latest incarnation is a game called Charlie Charlie.  The interweb has made the progress of this and other modern fads more immediate. A few days ago the SMH reflected on the speed at which Charlie Charlie had progressed.

Now it is easy to say that most people who engage in these facile games are not impacted for the long term.  But why does Scripture exhort us to steer clear of these activities? In Ephesians 6: 11 & 12 Paul reminds us to equip ourselves with the full armour of God: Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In other words, there is a realm of existence about which we not only need to be very wary but we also need to consciously protect ourselves. And if we don’t dabble in it we don’t have to be fearful either and the child of God will be protected.  Second Thessalonians 2 reminds us of the “lawless one” whose aim it is to encourage us to serve the lie – that is Satan.

When we read the Old Testament we also find many frightening passages which literally damn these practices as they are in direct contravention of the first four commandments.  God doesn’t mince His words when He speaks of divination, sorcery and its practitioners.

As parents and teachers we need to be sensitive and aware of this discussion.  Some young people may be just playing a foolish game, for others however, there may be a real spiritual longing – one that we could tap into and nurture in healthy directions. An added concern is the alarming prospect that there may be those for whom these games act like a gateway drug and introduce them to more worrying and even more sinister activities.

Whatever the situation, this latest fad is a clear reminder to be vigilant and to protect, educate and nurture those in our care or sphere of influence in ways that enhance and protect their spiritual and eternal welfare.

Here are a few helpful resources on the Web:

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-occult.html

http://studentsoul.intervarsity.org/occult

This has a useful list of texts further down the page.

http://www.gospelway.com/religiousgroups/witchcraft.php

 

Categories: christian, christian education, Christianity | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “The Lure of the Occult

  1. Thank you for this blog. It is important to warn people of the danger. When I was in college, many years ago, the ouija board was very popular. I had 2 friends that were fascinated and held seances. As a result, both dropped out of college and had serious mental health issues. Satan uses the same ploys wrapped in different packages to get people ensnared. Wisdom calls for our focus to remain on God and to follow his instructions because it leads to a fulfilled joyful life.

  2. Richard L Rice

    My son brought this up just yesterday as the craze in his high school.

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