Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

OCCULT

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Just A Little Voodoo

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Is it wrong to be superstitious?  I would think that it would fall into the same category as putting your faith in the occult or any sort of "mysticism".  Is this true or harmless fun?

Sincerely,
Lucky 13

Dear Lucky 13,

Superstition is wrong.  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, etc.  This is always wrong.  We are supposed to place our trust in God (Ps 56:11).  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 (Deu 4:19, 2 Kgs 23:5); witchcraft and magical arts are wrong (Acts 19:19).  Superstition falls into the same category as those practices.

Double, Double, Toil Or Trouble

Monday, March 14, 2016
Is neutral witchcraft that won’t harm, curse, or effect anyone in any way against the Bible, and if it is, why?

Sincerely,
Something’s Brewing

Dear Something’s Brewing,

There is no such thing as “neutral” witchcraft that won’t affect anyone.  Anything that is wrong always hurts someone – even if it just hurts you.  Anything that departs from God is sin (Ps 18:21).  Witchcraft, by design, places your trust in the occult.  Witchcraft, of any type, is always wrong (1 Sam 15:23).  We must choose whether we trust witchcraft to guide our life or whether we trust God to guide it (Matt 6:24).  When Paul preached in Ephesus, many of those who practiced magical arts converted, burned their books, and confessed their sins (Acts 19:17-20).  That is the only proper way to deal with witchcraft… burn the behavior up and never practice it again.

Death Of A Salesman

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Is it possible to sell your soul to God; if so, can you sell or bet it to the devil?  I know it’s not in the Bible, but I feel that maybe He left it out of the Bible because it wouldn’t help anyone by knowing, or maybe it would make peoples’ lives worse who worried they had sold it and cause them to commit suicide or turn against God (not that I would ever do any of those things).  Could you please help and be honest?  Also, provide Biblical evidence.

Sincerely,
Money Talks

Dear Money Talks,

You provided the Bible evidence all on your own.  You said, “I know it’s not in the Bible…”  The Bible contains all the information we need for salvation (Rom 1:16).  It also contains everything that pertains to “life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3).  The ability to sell your soul would definitely be classified under a “life issue”!  Therefore, if the Bible doesn’t say you can, then it must not be possible.  The Bible is the handbook to life, and it provides all the answers for how to conduct yourself in this life and prepare yourself for the next.

In fact, it would be impossible to sell something that you had already killed.  We have all sinned (Rom 3:23), and the price of sin is spiritual death (Rom 6:23).  You can’t sell a dead soul; you can only beg for God’s mercy that He would bless you with life.  The moment you’ve sinned, the devil already has your soul; he roams around devouring them all the time (1 Pet 5:8).  It is only through the grace and gift of God that we gain salvation (Rom 5:15).  You cannot sell your soul to God, but He can, and is ready to, give your soul life again through Jesus.  Read “What Must I Do To Be Saved” to understand how to take advantage of the gift Christ offered all mankind (Jhn 3:16).

Grave Concerns

Friday, December 04, 2015
My parents and I have a question about how to honor my deceased grandpas.  We would appreciate it if you could please help give us some guidance on this.

 

I was raised in a non-christian family in China.  One of my grandpa's ashes is kept in a Taoist temple where all the Taoist gods are worshiped.  My other grandpa has a picture at a Buddhist temple where the monks pray regularly.  My parents and I accepted Jesus Christ a few years ago, but our grandpas' ashes and picture are still at the temples.

We are unsure how to continue to show respect and honor my grandpas without violating God's commandments.  In America, it is typical that the deceased have a grave, and the loved ones go there to present flowers to honor the dead.  However, in my case, I cannot go to where my grandpa's ashes are to honor him without entering the Taoist temple full of idols and false gods.  What should I do?  Can I go, ignore the other gods, but just put flowers there for my grandpa?  Should I not go at all?

We cannot move his ashes elsewhere either because my grandma (who is still alive) and all my other relatives are still not christians.  In addition, the spot for his ashes at the temple cost a lot of money when they purchased it.  They are not going to agree to relocating my grandpa's ashes simply because of my belief and my mother's.  Both of my grandpas never heard the Gospel in their lives.  They died never knowing Jesus.  What shall we do now to honor them?  Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Sincerely,
Temple Trouble

Dear Temple Trouble,

Every culture and country has unique issues that it presents christians with, but there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9).  Your problem is with appearances.  You know that the Buddhist and Tao gods are nothing at all (1 Cor 8:4).  You know this, but everyone else doesn’t, and therefore, for the sake of their consciences, you must be careful how you act (1 Cor 8:10).  Here are some things to consider:

  1. Do people assume if you go to a Taoist temple that you are going to worship their gods?  If so, you cannot go.  Leave flowers outside the temple or give them to relatives to deliver when they visit, but make it clear that you cannot be seen as an idolater.
  2. There are some religious sites that don’t give the impression that all visitors are of that religion.  For example, take the Sistine Chapel – millions of people visit the site every year, and many of them are not Catholic at all.  Visiting there does not give the impression you are Catholic; it merely gives the impression that you wanted to see the Sistine Chapel and its art.  If this is the case with visiting these temples, you may be able to go without giving the impression that you are worshipping their idols.  Only you can make this decision.  It is a cultural issue, and you must decide how people would view your visit.
  3. Can you in good conscience visit your grandfathers’ memorials?  If we cannot do something in good conscience, for us it is sin (Rom 14:23).  A bothered conscience is a sign that you believe you are doing the wrong thing, and even if that isn’t true – you have to abstain for conscience’s sake.
  4. There are many ways to honor our deceased relatives other than visiting their graves.  Putting their photos on our walls, writing memorials, re-telling stories of their lives, etc. are all viable ways of showing how much they meant to you.  When someone dies, they are no longer concerned with the affairs of this world; anything you do to honor them is for the benefit of the living, not them.

After considering both your conscience and the influence you have upon others, prayerfully make a decision and stick to your guns.  In the end, you serve God and not man (Acts 5:29).

Magic Eight Ball Says?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I have a friend who visits an astrologer or "psychic" and seems to put great stock in what this person says. I think it is a waste of time and money, but is it sinful? How about reading your horoscope?

Sincerely, Say It Ain’t Séance

Dear Say It Ain’t Séance,

Astrology, mysticism, séances, horoscopes, palm reading, 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 practices 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). In the New Testament, astrology is just as roundly condemned. Paul cast out an evil spirit that was fortune-telling (Acts 16:16-18). 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). All astrology, horoscopes, and the like are wrong.

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