Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

OCCULT

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Hocus Pocus

Monday, October 07, 2019
    If you practiced witchcraft just for fun, and you’re a teenager, are you automatically going to hell, and if so, can you change it?

Sincerely,
Bewitched

Dear Bewitched,

As long as we are living, there is time to change our lives.  Astrology, mysticism, séances, horoscopes, palm reading, witchcraft, etc. are all sinful.  God condemned that behavior in the Old Testament (Isa 47:13-14).  King Saul was put to death by God for seeking a woman that practiced divining (1 Chr 10:13).  Any Jew that was found visiting a ‘medium’ or ‘spiritist’ would be cut off from His people (Lev 20:6).  When someone became a Christian, they confessed sorcery as evil, and many of them burned their books of the magical arts (Acts 19:18-20).  If we want wisdom, we should seek it from God (Jas 1:5).

You mentioned that you did it just for fun and that you didn’t realize the implications.  Many sins are that way, but that doesn’t excuse the sin.  If you are driving down the highway and fail to note the speed limit… ignorance won’t stop the police officer from giving you a ticket.  When mankind makes choices in ignorance, those choices still affect us (1 Pet 1:14).  The way to receive forgiveness is to turn to the Lord, and He will give you forgiveness.  Read “Five Steps To Salvation” for exactly what it takes to be forgiven.

Duper-stitious

Monday, June 17, 2019
     I have a very interesting question, and I'm hoping you can help.  I know the Bible says you shouldn't mess with spirits, and fortune telling is sinful.  However, what if someone didn't ask for this gift?  I know it says no one knows the future but God, but what if He gave a gift to someone, and they were using it for good?  And what about Ouija boards?  I've always been taught they are of the devil.  One last thing, I'm from the south, and I've heard a lot about conjurers.  In fact, as a child, my grandfather visited one to get a growth removed, and it worked.  This woman was a christian and claimed it was a gift from God and not sinful.  Is this sinful and of the devil?  I am, by the way, very superstitious; however, I do believe the Bible is clear on the boundaries that should not be crossed.  Sorry for being so lengthy, but I believe there's a lot of people asking the same things.

Sincerely,
Magically Minded

Dear Magically Minded,

The dictionary defines ‘superstition’ as ‘a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief’.  Superstition means that you are placing trust in the supernatural power of a rabbit’s foot, not walking under ladders, four-leaf clovers, Ouija boards, etc.  This is always wrong.  We are supposed to place our trust in God (Ps 56:11), and God has clearly said that He doesn’t give people the gifts of fortune telling; all these things are of the devil.  Even if a conjurer removed your grandfather’s growth, being a conjurer is still sinful.  There are lots of sinful things that have short-term benefits… but long-term consequences.

Superstition is a mild and socially acceptable form of witchcraft or divining.  There is no difference between trusting in a lucky coin and trusting in the astrological tables.  Astrology and horoscopes are wrong (Deut 4:19, 2 Kgs 23:5); witchcraft and magical arts are wrong (Acts 19:19).  Superstition falls into the same category as those practices.

Boo!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
    Do you know why the medium freaked out after seeing the ghostly Samuel (1 Sam 28:12)?

Sincerely,
Surprise Me

Dear Surprise Me,

One reason she was so scared was because once she realized that the man who had hired her to conjure up a ghost was King Saul, she feared for her life.  Saul had previously cast out all the mediums from the land (1 Sam 28:3).  The other likely reason was that she had never actually seen a ghost!  Mediums and sorcerors were charlatans back then just as much as they are today.

Tarot Them Up

Monday, April 15, 2019
    I am having an issue with the last piece of my Wiccan past – my tarot cards.  I know that I need to get rid of them, but it is becoming painful physically and mentally to even think about getting rid of them.  I got past the part of where they are a crutch because of loneliness (having "someone" to talk to and respond back), but I still am hanging on.  Any suggestions?

Sincerely,
Wic-can’t

Dear Wic-can’t,

Burn them.  Do exactly what the christians in Ephesus did.  In Acts 19:19, there were people just like you that had once practiced magical arts.  When they converted to Christ, they stopped their practices and burned their books.  That is exactly what you should do.  You’ll have a fresh start and the relief that only a clean break from evil can give.

Wet Ink

Monday, November 26, 2018
Leviticus 19:28 said, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”  Why don't I hear too many churches preaching against putting tattoos on your body?

Sincerely,
Unmarked

Dear Unmarked,

The Old Testament strictly forbade tattoos (Lev 19:28). God was so adamant about it because cutting your flesh and tattooing were common practices of pagan cultures (1 Kgs 18:26-28). Tattooing was a religious practice closely tied to Baal and other idols.

In the New Testament, we are given no specific command against tattoos. It is valuable, however, to see that for a very long time tattoos have had a negative connotation. As a christian, there are many things that we can do but should think carefully about beforehand. Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean it is a good idea (1 Cor 10:23). Tattoos are permanent, and the decision to get one shouldn’t be taken lightly.

In American culture, tattoos can give a negative impression – especially if the tattoo is large or in a highly visible area. Some things to consider:

  1. Tattoos are a deterrent for some employers. Are you willing to get passed over in a job application?
  2. People will automatically form judgments about you based upon their first impression of a tattoo. Are you comfortable with being thought of as ‘the weird tatted-up guy’?
  3. You must also consider what effects it will have long-term. Will you still want Tweety Bird on your shoulder when you are in the nursing home?
  4. Are you ready to explain to your three-year-old why you have song lyrics on your bicep? Are you okay with your children wanting tattoos themselves?
  5. Many tattoos change their shape, size, and even location with weight loss and gain. Are you ready for that “cute” bellybutton butterfly to become a condor when you get pregnant?
  6. Many tattoos are of things that exude evil. Snakes, skulls, demonic signs, bad words, etc. are to be avoided at all costs.

We must always consider our influence and how it will affect others. This is not a right or wrong issue, but simply one of wisdom.  God tells us to be wise and seek wisdom in our decisions (Pr 8:33). Whatever decision an individual makes, I recommend seeking outside counsel before getting something as permanent as a tattoo (Pr 11:14). It is not wrong for a christian to get a tattoo, but it certainly isn’t a decision to make lightly.

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