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So Are Christians Now Okay With ‘Harry Potter’?

The Harry Potter series has turned 20. Have Christians grown out of their outrage about it?
| Jun 29, 2017 | 25 comments

Harry Potter has turned 20, and I’ve not seen nearly the Christian outrage I used to see.

No, I’m not complaining. I discovered this series in my early 20s. Rather quickly I joined the Harry Potter fandom, just in time for book 7 and film 5 to release. Not only did the series not share actual divination-based witchcraft—the kind the Bible explicitly warns about for clear reasons—it was overall well-written and just exquisitely plotted fun.

Most of my Christian friends must agree with me. In the last week I’ve seen only Harry Potter positivity: quotes, memories, and glee over the Facebook magic-wand app tricks.

What a change from the Christian world 15 years ago. Back then, we perceived that most Christians couldn’t stand this series. From my (false?) memories, parents were building bonfires to roast the paperbacks. They were banning students caught with the books.

At the very least, Christians had several VHS tapes and nonfiction books warning about Harry Potter’s dangers. I recall seeing an article or two, mainly about the controversy. Some Christians were also duped by a July 2000 Onion satire about Rowling’s supposed Satanism. (Sixteen years later, The Babylon Bee—a site by and for Christians—offered a similar satire, only this time from the perspective of Christians gently ribbing other Christians.)

My wife recalls going to a Christian speaker at her library. He specifically warned about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, aghast that Rowling’s world portrays a witch (Ginny Weasley) using a magic book to allow her body to be taken over by an invisible dark spirit. (For some reason, he did not recognize the story actively condemns this behavior.)

Surely some of these anti-Potter views are still around. Here on Speculative Faith, we’ve written about them here and there. However, I’ve moved from “not shutting up about Harry Potter” to writing more generically about Christian myths about magic and witchcraft.

So why aren’t Christians bothered about Harry Potter?

Here are a few theories about why, before I ask you for your thoughts:

1. Maybe more Christians do dislike Harry. They’re just really quiet.

People with legit concerns about Harry Potter may not be talking as much as they once did.

Maybe they’re afraid other Christians will call them “legalistic,” despite their own motives.

Comically enough, “that looks like legalism, so you’re a sinner” is itself a rather legalistic accusation. Concerned Christians ought to feel free to speak up. We ought to feel free to discuss these “disputable matters” in love, as Paul encourages in 1 Corinthians 8-10.

2. Maybe more Christians do dislike Harry. We just don’t hear from them.

As I get older, I find I’m blessed with far more mature and delightful Christian friends.

They care about biblical truth, including the truth of what God’s hated “witchcraft” actually is and why He hates it). They also care about biblical imagination, following Jesus and pursuing His holiness, which drives their secondary pursuits of fantastical storytelling.

As we move deeper into these kinds of real-life Christian circles and social media circles, we’ll be more “sheltered” from other Christians. We’ll no longer hear those beliefs shared.

3. Maybe more Christians are simply indifferent to popular culture.

For this one, I really, really hope that’s not the case. If anything, I’m seeing many more Christians who embrace popular culture exposure, discussion, and praise/criticism.

Maybe too many Christians are doing this. Some Christians treat popular culture as some unique grace from God, rather than a thing humans do naturally—as a broken reflection of God’s original creativity, a reflection that needs to be restored by Jesus Himself.

But even that flawed view is a conscious and studied view. More likely, we see among Christians an indifference to popular culture and imagination. This indifference is either positive: “popular culture can’t hurt me, so I won’t worry about it.” Or this indifference is negative: “popular culture is worthless, compared with real Kingdom work, so why bother.”

If this theory is right, Christians just don’t care to talk Harry Potter because we’re flippant about popular culture. We’re not taking it seriously as a human creation, for mixed good/ill.

4. Maybe more Christians are distracted by socio-political issues.

This theory about Christian silence about Harry Potter can be negative or positive.

The positive side is this: Fifteen to 20 years ago, Christians felt we had some edge in the “culture wars,” especially on the sexuality front. Maybe we felt we had time to critique fantasy series and other threats (either real or imagined) from popular culture.

Celebrate that thing that goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18).

But now the culture has changed. We see the real threats to biblical morality don’t come from a fantasy series that itself offers very Christian-influenced themes of good, evil, and redemption. We see these threats overtly, from people who flagrantly celebrate the worst sin, “pride,” under that very label—and often want to punish Christians who disagree.

The negative side is this: Now that pride-ists are winning the “culture wars,” Christians are fighting in kind. We put our trust in Gentile princes and the illusion of great numbers, rather than in Jesus himself. We are neglecting the gospel, although only the gospel can change people from the inside out. And thus we also neglect gospel-sourced engagement with other potentially hazardous gifts, such as imagination, fantasy, and Harry Potter.

5. Maybe more Christians practice better discernment about fantasy.

Of course, this is the theory I’d prefer to accept about my sisters and brothers in Christ.

In this view, Christians no longer seem to be blasting Harry Potter (or other fantastical stories) because they’re fearfully quiet, or unknown to the rest of us, or flippant about popular culture, or we prioritize more important(?) social and political matters.

Instead, we’re no longer blasting Harry Potter, et. al., because we know this story does not uniquely threaten us—at least no more than any other popular culture story.

Rather, we know the Harry Potter series includes great good. We know that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). And we know the apostle Paul’s encouragement and gentle warning to the Galatian church:

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.1

Why do you think Christians no longer publicly blast Harry Potter—if indeed we don’t?

  1. Galatians 5:13.

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25 Comments on "So Are Christians Now Okay With ‘Harry Potter’?"

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Kirsty
Guest

““that looks like legalism, so you’re a sinner” is itself a rather legalistic accusation. Concerned Christians ought to feel free to speak up. We ought to feel free to discuss these “disputable matters” in love, as Paul encourages in 1 Corinthians 8-10.”
I like this.

Kirsty
Guest

““that looks like legalism, so you’re a sinner” is itself a rather legalistic accusation. Concerned Christians ought to feel free to speak up. We ought to feel free to discuss these “disputable matters” in love, as Paul encourages in 1 Corinthians 8-10.”
I like this.

WriterOfMinds
Guest

I think there’s a sixth possibility … that opposition to Harry Potter was a sort of fad within the Christian community, that has now died out due to the simple passage of time. Does that mean we’re all more discerning now, or will we gleefully hop on the bandwagon when the next moral panic fad comes along? I’m not sure.

notleia
Guest

Inorite?

notleia
Guest

Inorite?

WriterOfMinds
Guest

I think there’s a sixth possibility … that opposition to Harry Potter was a sort of fad within the Christian community, that has now died out due to the simple passage of time. Does that mean we’re all more discerning now, or will we gleefully hop on the bandwagon when the next moral panic fad comes along? I’m not sure.

Autumn Grayson
Guest

I think part of it is that people just aren’t thinking about it as much anymore. A lot of Christians still disagree with Harry Potter, but after the initial controversy, it’s sort of old news now. People have moved on with their lives whether or not they agree with those books.

My parents have pretty much always thought Harry Potter was bad, though they weren’t crazy book burning types. They just forbade me from reading it and sometimes did annoying things like blame some people’s behavioral problems on the fact that they read Harry Potter growing up. I’m somewhere in the middle I think, there’s potential problems with the series, and at the very least I think some Christian fans can be a little careless about the whole thing, but I don’t think it’s much worse than other books with magic in them that Christians do approve of. I’m not really interested in Harry Potter, though, since I saw a few of the movies and didn’t care for them that much.

Autumn Grayson
Guest

I think part of it is that people just aren’t thinking about it as much anymore. A lot of Christians still disagree with Harry Potter, but after the initial controversy, it’s sort of old news now. People have moved on with their lives whether or not they agree with those books.

My parents have pretty much always thought Harry Potter was bad, though they weren’t crazy book burning types. They just forbade me from reading it and sometimes did annoying things like blame some people’s behavioral problems on the fact that they read Harry Potter growing up. I’m somewhere in the middle I think, there’s potential problems with the series, and at the very least I think some Christian fans can be a little careless about the whole thing, but I don’t think it’s much worse than other books with magic in them that Christians do approve of. I’m not really interested in Harry Potter, though, since I saw a few of the movies and didn’t care for them that much.

Travis Perry
Member

I am not thrilled with Harry Potter, but I would say the Christian overreaction to it is probably worse than any harm that could come from Harry Potter itself.

The Christian overreaction of course treats any fictional mention of magic as an invitation for demonic possession or a direct gateway “drug” to full Satanism. This is so over the top, it damages the idea that there is any danger at all in ANY form of fictional magic (or any form of fiction at all for that matter). The overreaction is so ridiculous that reasonable people will conclude that no story like Harry Potter has any possible harm to anyone at any time and may in fact conclude that about other stories as well.

My answer to that is, “Not so. Discernment means even ordinary things can be bad in the wrong hands.” So parents should not drag their kids to Harry Potter movies with a gush of enthusiasm and poo-pooing any idea that this could potentially be a problem. If they take them, it should be with discernment fully engaged.

Why do I say that? Because I Peter tells us “to be sober” (or serious) and vigilant because out enemy is seeking whom he devour, like a lion would. If we really believe in a supernatural spiritual struggle and believe the Bible is valid, then we need to act as the Bible says. Sober. Vigilant.

“What could be in Harry Potter that would require anyone to be sober?” someone might ask. Look, EVERYTHING is a potential danger and being sober means ABOUT EVERYTHING. Yes, even entertainment. Perhaps especially entertainment.

Which does not mean it is impossible to enjoy anything, like Harry Potter. But it does mean we should look at every aspect of every story and really give them a thorough view. What is potentially harmful we should openly identify. And discuss. That’s what it means to be alert, to be ready, to be sober, to be vigilant. To have the mind engaged, to notice problems before they happen and put a stop to problems before they get out of control.

So, I can say some good things about Harry Potter, such as the virtues it shows, loyalty, etc. And I am especially glad this fantasy-based world does not include any Pagan deities as far as I know, the inclusion of whom I think is a bad thing for reasons that are not simplistic and which I don’t care to explain in detail now. However, I do retain some concerns:

1. Calling non-magical humans “muggles” dehumanizes the human race a bit. It also sort of sets up someone reading the books (or watching the movies, whatever) to wish that he or she were special, too, as in separate from the rest of humanity or the ordinary humans he or she lives with. Or perhaps feeling special or different is already a characteristic of the base demographic of Harry Potter to a degree–and being special or unique is hardly a characteristic of Harry Potter alone. Still, the story certainly normalizes feeling separate from everyone around you–and based on what? The ability to work magic, right? (though of course only a young person would tend to take that literally…ahem)

Is there real magic a person can work in this world, if you really want to feel special by doing magic? Yes, actually. Not the Harry Potter kind, but isn’t it at least possible that someone getting a positive feeling about magic from HP could seek it out in real life? Of course it’s possible. How likely is it? I don’t know, probably not very. But possible enough to require dealing with it–and what’s the best way to deal with it? I believe it’s to talk about the issue openly, as I am doing now.

2. Magic gets mostly positive advertising without much downside or cautionary notes. This post comments that the magic the Bible condemns is only the divination-based type. That claim is simply untrue and while I can establish that with dozens of verses, let me offer just one: Revelation 9:21, in which there is not the slightest hint of divination in the words as used in Greek or English or any other language–yet this form of sorcery or witchcraft (based in the use of mind-altering drugs) is condemned. Magic is better defined as “seeking supernatural power outside of God.” Does Harry Potter show that? Of course. Realistically? No. But if a person only knew about magic from Harry Potter and had no other sources at all, would not that person possibly seek out magic? Why not? Looks pretty fun and exciting, right?

Note that magic is not a fantasy in our world–I think some of the casual attitude about such stories must be based in the idea that there is no such thing as sorcery, not really; there are no witches or wizards in the real world; there is nothing to worry about. But real ones DO exist, even though the Harry Potter kind does not.

Note also that a story that portrayed guns in a positive light might cause someone to be curious about shooting guns. Or perhaps not. But for the small percentage of people who read about guns in stories and become shooters because of it, a parent should be thinking about how guns and gun use is portrayed in a story. Even if the guns portrayed have no actual relationship to current weapons–because people can pick up attitudes from things that are not realistic and carry them over into the real world. (Of course.)

3. I’m also concerned about the immerse nature of the fantasy world of HP. I get concerned about ALL immersive fictional worlds, in fact. I think people can lose themselves in fiction in a negative way. I think it happens all the time. I have done this myself. But as immersive fantasy worlds go, HP is far from the worst. It’s a concern, one to watch out for, but not terrible.

As of the moment, that’s all I can think of to say. As I said, I’m not thrilled with HP, but I don’t have problems with other people liking it. Many far worse stories exist than Harry Potter. Still, I think it’s important to hit the following points:

*Stories actually can be bad in terms of influence.
*Magic IS real and is not just divination–though it isn’t the Harry Potter stuff either. *Doing magic does not make a person special.
*Don’t get wrapped up in a fantasy world so much you lose track of real life.

People should be warned, as I just did, and walk into this story or any other alert and vigilant. Because that’s what spiritual warfare requires.

notleia
Guest

Because it has to be referenced:

CONSTANT VIGILANCE

Paul Lee
Member

….is the price of the need to be certain, of assurance. The price of freedom is embracing the fact that someday, something horrible will happen, that you might be the one to make that horrible mistake, and that there’s nothing you can do right not to preemptively avoid that doom.

Paul Lee
Member

….is the price of the need to be certain, of assurance. The price of freedom is embracing the fact that someday, something horrible will happen, that you might be the one to make that horrible mistake, and that there’s nothing you can do right not to preemptively avoid that doom.

notleia
Guest

Because it has to be referenced:

CONSTANT VIGILANCE

Paul Lee
Member

(Random thoughts, not meant to be confrontational…)

Or perhaps feeling special or different is already a characteristic of the base demographic of Harry Potter to a degree

Yes, feeling special or different is a base characteristic of demographic of humans. We’re all the heroes of our own little monomyths. That’s why evangelical Christianity can demand that we lay down the lordship of our lives before Christ. The evangelical conversion narrative wouldn’t work otherwise, and if Christians expect the need to be special to disappear for believers after getting s-s—-, then that narrative doesn’t fit with the broader narrative of the Christian experience.

I think people can lose themselves in fiction in a negative way. I think it happens all the time.

Absolutely, and it’s been documented that people can lose themselves into fiction in negative ways. (Think, the people who have played World of Warcraft for a week straight.) And it happens all the time for me, but not in regard to fiction or any other entertainment. I get lost in my own fiction, in my own inability to get a grip on reality, even without any entertainment. That inability to get a grip on reality is at least a huge part of the problem in probably every case, I think.

I agree that we should be always sharp and capable, ready to act with all that we are, always alert to the ramifications of even the small choices. Still it’s not possible to be constantly vigilant, to observe and correctly judge all things at all times, and there is a kind of deliberate vigilance that wears you down and causes defeat.

….but I don’t even have a bone in discussions regarding the Christian use of entertainment anymore really. I’m just here for nostalgia and to procrastinate because I suck. 🙂

Paul Lee
Member

(Random thoughts, not meant to be confrontational…)

Or perhaps feeling special or different is already a characteristic of the base demographic of Harry Potter to a degree

Yes, feeling special or different is a base characteristic of demographic of humans. We’re all the heroes of our own little monomyths. That’s why evangelical Christianity can demand that we lay down the lordship of our lives before Christ. The evangelical conversion narrative wouldn’t work otherwise, and if Christians expect the need to be special to disappear for believers after getting s-s—-, then that narrative doesn’t fit with the broader narrative of the Christian experience.

I think people can lose themselves in fiction in a negative way. I think it happens all the time.

Absolutely, and it’s been documented that people can lose themselves into fiction in negative ways. (Think, the people who have played World of Warcraft for a week straight.) And it happens all the time for me, but not in regard to fiction or any other entertainment. I get lost in my own fiction, in my own inability to get a grip on reality, even without any entertainment. That inability to get a grip on reality is at least a huge part of the problem in probably every case, I think.

I agree that we should be always sharp and capable, ready to act with all that we are, always alert to the ramifications of even the small choices. Still it’s not possible to be constantly vigilant, to observe and correctly judge all things at all times, and there is a kind of deliberate vigilance that wears you down and causes defeat.

….but I don’t even have a bone in discussions regarding the Christian use of entertainment anymore really. I’m just here for nostalgia and to procrastinate because I suck. 🙂

Travis Perry
Member

I am not thrilled with Harry Potter, but I would say the Christian overreaction to it is probably worse than any harm that could come from Harry Potter itself.

The Christian overreaction of course treats any fictional mention of magic as an invitation for demonic possession or a direct gateway “drug” to full Satanism. This is so over the top, it damages the idea that there is any danger at all in ANY form of fictional magic (or any form of fiction at all for that matter). The overreaction is so ridiculous that reasonable people will conclude that no story like Harry Potter has any possible harm to anyone at any time and may in fact conclude that about other stories as well.

My answer to that is, “Not so. Discernment means even ordinary things can be bad in the wrong hands.” So parents should not drag their kids to Harry Potter movies with a gush of enthusiasm and poo-pooing any idea that this could potentially be a problem. If they take them, it should be with discernment fully engaged.

Why do I say that? Because I Peter tells us “to be sober” (or serious) and vigilant because out enemy is seeking whom he devour, like a lion would. If we really believe in a supernatural spiritual struggle and believe the Bible is valid, then we need to act as the Bible says. Sober. Vigilant.

“What could be in Harry Potter that would require anyone to be sober?” someone might ask. Look, EVERYTHING is a potential danger and being sober means ABOUT EVERYTHING. Yes, even entertainment. Perhaps especially entertainment.

Which does not mean it is impossible to enjoy anything, like Harry Potter. But it does mean we should look at every aspect of every story and really give them a thorough view. What is potentially harmful we should openly identify. And discuss. That’s what it means to be alert, to be ready, to be sober, to be vigilant. To have the mind engaged, to notice problems before they happen and put a stop to problems before they get out of control.

So, I can say some good things about Harry Potter, such as the virtues it shows, loyalty, etc. And I am especially glad this fantasy-based world does not include any Pagan deities as far as I know, the inclusion of whom I think is a bad thing for reasons that are not simplistic and which I don’t care to explain in detail now. However, I do retain some concerns:

1. Calling non-magical humans “muggles” dehumanizes the human race a bit. It also sort of sets up someone reading the books (or watching the movies, whatever) to wish that he or she were special, too, as in separate from the rest of humanity or the ordinary humans he or she lives with. Or perhaps feeling special or different is already a characteristic of the base demographic of Harry Potter to a degree–and being special or unique is hardly a characteristic of Harry Potter alone. Still, the story certainly normalizes feeling separate from everyone around you–and based on what? The ability to work magic, right? (though of course only a young person would tend to take that literally…ahem)

Is there real magic a person can work in this world, if you really want to feel special by doing magic? Yes, actually. Not the Harry Potter kind, but isn’t it at least possible that someone getting a positive feeling about magic from HP could seek it out in real life? Of course it’s possible. How likely is it? I don’t know, probably not very. But possible enough to require dealing with it–and what’s the best way to deal with it? I believe it’s to talk about the issue openly, as I am doing now.

2. Magic gets mostly positive advertising without much downside or cautionary notes. This post comments that the magic the Bible condemns is only the divination-based type. That claim is simply untrue and while I can establish that with dozens of verses, let me offer just one: Revelation 9:21, in which there is not the slightest hint of divination in the words as used in Greek or English or any other language–yet this form of sorcery or witchcraft (based in the use of mind-altering drugs) is condemned. Magic is better defined as “seeking supernatural power outside of God.” Does Harry Potter show that? Of course. Realistically? No. But if a person only knew about magic from Harry Potter and had no other sources at all, would not that person possibly seek out magic? Why not? Looks pretty fun and exciting, right?

Note that magic is not a fantasy in our world–I think some of the casual attitude about such stories must be based in the idea that there is no such thing as sorcery, not really; there are no witches or wizards in the real world; there is nothing to worry about. But real ones DO exist, even though the Harry Potter kind does not.

Note also that a story that portrayed guns in a positive light might cause someone to be curious about shooting guns. Or perhaps not. But for the small percentage of people who read about guns in stories and become shooters because of it, a parent should be thinking about how guns and gun use is portrayed in a story. Even if the guns portrayed have no actual relationship to current weapons–because people can pick up attitudes from things that are not realistic and carry them over into the real world. (Of course.)

3. I’m also concerned about the immerse nature of the fantasy world of HP. I get concerned about ALL immersive fictional worlds, in fact. I think people can lose themselves in fiction in a negative way. I think it happens all the time. I have done this myself. But as immersive fantasy worlds go, HP is far from the worst. It’s a concern, one to watch out for, but not terrible.

As of the moment, that’s all I can think of to say. As I said, I’m not thrilled with HP, but I don’t have problems with other people liking it. Many far worse stories exist than Harry Potter. Still, I think it’s important to hit the following points:

*Stories actually can be bad in terms of influence.
*Magic IS real and is not just divination–though it isn’t the Harry Potter stuff either. *Doing magic does not make a person special.
*Don’t get wrapped up in a fantasy world so much you lose track of real life.

People should be warned, as I just did, and walk into this story or any other alert and vigilant. Because that’s what spiritual warfare requires.

Richard Mull
Guest

The sad reality is that I find so few believers who actually take a serious look at what the Bible has to say on the subject of witchcraft, magic, sorcery and the occult. God’s word never treats it as fantasy and harmless. Search any good scripture search engine for words like sorcery, witch, witchcraft, and numerous other occult words and you will find very definitive truth in both the old and new testament.

Jesus taught 12 ordinary men to cast out demons, heal the sick and preach the kingdom of God. I spent 7 years in theological training and you know how many minutes we spent learning any of those subjects? Zero.

Today, in our ministry we see people every day and minister to people all around the world who have been tormented by demons. I’ve cast demons out of people who have been tormented because of reading Harry Potter and watching the movies. There were a few people who did serious research about the book and the history of the author J.K.Rowling. The book that I read is now out of print, but he clearly documented the intentionality that was behind the book being a primer and a gateway into real occult magic.

God had a zero tolerance for things that we are becoming numb to. Our cultural standards and morays have more influence on too many as opposed to God’s Word.

I challenge you to take serious what the God of the Bible actually says on this subject. I could give you all the scriptures. I’ve logged them all, but you might think I just picked the ones that support my narrow view. I challenge you. Do your own research, Ask the God of the Bible what He has to say and let your views be shaped by Him

notleia
Guest

Bless your heart

notleia
Guest

Bless your heart

E. Stephen Burnett
Guest

Indeed, Richard, bless your heart (and mind!) and thank you for commenting. Clearly you take these views seriously. You are among readers and fans, including “Harry Potter” fans who love Jesus, who also take this seriously.

But I must strongly disagree with your points, and your assumptions behind them.

These assumptions include:

Assumption 1. People who enjoy “Harry Potter” aren’t being serious about biblical truth or holiness (because if they are, they would agree with me).

This assumption is not true. As I’ve recounted above, and in countless articles, I enjoy the series very much. I have not sinned (no more than usual!) by enjoying this series. Neither do I ignore the fact that other people do sin as they enjoy this series. Instead, I believe Christians must talk about these matters, rather than basing their fears (either for or against a certain thing) based on “it could make someone I know, or someone in theory,” sin. This approach is not how the apostle Paul handled disputable matters, such as meat sacrificed to idols (1 Cor. 8-10).

Assumption 2. My personal experience, such as with spiritual-warfare ministry, is normative for all Christians, and a good basis for this argument (to avoid the “Harry Potter” fantasy series.

This is another bad assumption. If you argue based on personal experience, then you are vulnerable to another person arguing the same way. For instance, I know many Christians who love the “Harry Potter” series, who are not the least bit tempted into real-world occult movement, contacting demons, and so on. In fact, they love Jesus all the more because they see His creativity reflected in Rowling’s work, and in the good-versus-evil and even Gospel themes reflected there.

Do you see? It’s your personal Experience versus our personal Experience. It’s a deadlock that goes nowhere. We shall have to move the discussion out of the realm of “here’s what I experience in my life” to some other realm.

Assumption 3. We all know what we mean by “spiritual warfare” ministry, and if you question particular definitions of this, you are not a spiritual Christian.

This assumption is very wrong, and very dangerous to make about brothers and sisters who love the gospel, hate sin and Satan, and want to make disciples.

Clearly you have a positive experience with spiritual-warfare ministry, demon-exorcism, and that sort of thing. If that’s true, then more (Holy Spirit) power to you.

However, you seem to believe this is a one-size-fits-all gift that applies to all Christians, or that is itself immune to abuse. Not so. I have read terrible, anti-biblical nonsense from people who claim to practice “spiritual warfare.”

In one real-life situation, someone involved in counseling for interpersonal problems, with another person long-distance, decided to pin all the blame on that other person’s supposed “demonic influence.” She literally blamed demons for the other person’s sins (the other person was not even in the state) and refused to follow the biblical commands to repent, forgive, and be reconciled.

My point is that you cannot enforce one particular “brand” of spiritual-warfare ministry on all God’s people, for all times and all situations.

Assumption 4. “I’ve cast demons out of people who have been tormented because of reading Harry Potter and watching the movies.”

This is your most flawed assumption. In short: no, you did not. If you did cast demons out of people, you cast them out of people who were not God’s people. They invited Satan’s influence into their lives. They did not “catch” Satan’s influence from a particular book or movie series. They already had this sin inside their hearts, which resulted in them abusing things for this sinful purpose.

Do not, therefore, claim that these things will make people bad. Do not claim the unbiblical notion that sin is something we “catch” from the world or from objects. This is, itself, unbiblical mysticism. It denies (with good intentions) the Scripture’s truth about where sin comes from: our hearts, not the things we consume. (See Mark 7, in which Jesus explicitly condemns the “sin comes from outside us and corrupts our souls” notion on the way to pointing to Himself.)

Let us put this another way. Let us suppose I am weak in my body, because I am allergic to gluten. I cannot have gluten, because my body can’t handle it. Let us say you don’t have this allergy. Now, let us say that I not only recommend you, too, avoid gluten (for health reasons, trend reasons, etc.), but you should avoid gluten, or else you will be in poor health or could even die. But why should you listen to me? Your body is strong. You won’t get sick from it. And if I start insisting that yes, your body really is weak and could die from gluten, just like me and my friends in our gluten-free-living society, then I’m just being obnoxious.

Again, this is not how the apostle Paul dealt with disputable matters in the Bible. It is not how believers should address one another today — especially over the internet, which is the worst possible place to try to “discern” whether another Christian is taking holiness seriously, or is being careless in his/her private life.

I’ll end with a rather blunt quote from C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity, and an invitation to dialogue further:

“One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons–marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.”

Richard Mull
Guest

Do you know what every single verse that has any occultic reference in the Bible says? Is the Bible your standard of faith and practice or is it on the same level as other books like Harry Potter? I do not advocate for my normal or my opinion. I desire to be like Jesus, like the apostles, like their version of “CHRIST” IANITY. I have no desire for anyone to copy my version of anything. It is not about me. If you saw that in anything that I wrote, then I am sorry. One day a man sat in front of me in my church office and asked me if I had ever cast out a demon or healed someone who was sick. I had my B.A. my M.Div, and a Phd, but I had never had one class about the very things Jesus told 12 ordinary guys. In the Great Commission Jesus told his disciples to teach others everything that He had commanded them. The question that he asked me that day led me on a journey. I wanted to become a disciple of Jesus. Do and learn the things that Jesus did and taught. The sad thing is that too often we fail to walk in humility in those areas where we have no knowledge, training or experience. How can you talk about casting out demons or healing the sick when you have no experience? I’m not talking about you. No accusations at all. I am talking about me. It was the most humbling step for me. I left one of the largest and fastest growing churches to get on my face every day and ask Jesus to disciple me. It has cost me everything in terms of this world. But I found the kingdom of God.

Every day not I minister to people from all over the world who are tortured and tormented by the demons and witches, by nightmares, fears, infirmities of every kind. By God’s grace people are healed and set free. Doing what Jesus did gets the same type of results today. The religious world does not accept the things of the Spirit, just like Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night. He was curious, a leader, a religious man, teacher of The Word, but he struggled in the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to grasp that his religious experience was deficient.

I was Nicodemus. I was the Pharisaical Paul. I thank God for knocking me off my horse, showing me how blind that I was and teaching me more than I ever learned in all my classes about the things that He did and taught.

I am sincerely sorry that you felt looked down upon. My heart just breaks at what I see all the time, every day as a result of the reality of the occult. Hollywood and Disney have glorified something that is all about the subversive kingdom of Darkness. There are two kingdoms talked about in the Bible. The Kingdom of the Son of His Love and the Kingdom of Darkness. There is a real usurper who wants his kingdom.

May God deliver many out of the dominion of darkness, into the kingdom of His Son, whose power is greater, whose victory is certain and whose way is truth and life.

Richard Mull
Guest

ONLY FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

Here are a list of scriptures that I have found which have anything to do with Occult matters. I know that there are more but I’ve tried to create a full list.

Scriptures about Witchcraft, Sorcery, Wizards, Mediums, Spiritists
Witchcraft – Deuteronomy 18:10; 2Kings 9:22; 2Chronicles 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4 Galatians 5:20
De 18:10 Let no-one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practises divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
2Ki 9:22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?” “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”
2Ch 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practised sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
Mic 5:12 I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.
Na 3:4 all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.
Gal 5: 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Sorcery – Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:26; Numbers 23:23; Numbers 24:1 Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:14; 2Kings 17:17; 2Kings 21:6; 2Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 47:12; Isaiah 57:3; Jeremiah 27:9; Daniel 2:2; Nahum 3:4; Malachi 3:5; Acts 8:9; Acts 13:6; Acts 13:8
Ex 7:11 Pharaoh then summoned the wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts:
Ex 22:18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live.
Le 19:26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. “‘Do not practice divination or sorcery.
Nu 23:23 There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
Nu 24:1 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorcery as at other times, but turned his face towards the desert.
De 18:10 Let no-one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
De 18:14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.
2Ki 17:17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ki 21:6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ch 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
Isa 47:9 Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
Isa 47:12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
Isa 57:3 “But you—come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Jer 27:9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’
Da 2:2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king,
Na 3:4 all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.
Mal 3:5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
Ac 8:9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,
Ac 13:6 They travelled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,
Ac 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.

Wizards or (Spiritists in the NIV) – Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1Samuel 28:3; 1Samuel 28:9; 2Kings 21:6; 2Kings 23:24; 2Chronicles 33:6
Le 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Le 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Le 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
De 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
1Sa 28:9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
2Ki 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
2Ki 23:24 Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
2Ch 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Divination – Genesis 30:27; Genesis 44:5; Genesis 44:15; Leviticus 19:26; “‘Numbers 22:7; Numbers 23:23; Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:14; Joshua 13:22; 1Samuel 6:2
Ge 30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favour in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.”
Ge 44:5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’”
Ge 44:15 Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”
Le 19:26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. “‘Do not practise divination or sorcery.
Nu 22:7 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.
Nu 23:23 There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
De 18:10 Let no-one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practises divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
De 18:14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practise sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.
Jos 13:22 In addition to those slain in battle, the Israelites had put to the sword Balaam son of Beor, who practised divination.
1Sa 6:2 the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.”
Mediums – Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Levitics 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1Samuel 28:3; 1Samuel 28:7; 1Samuel 28:9; 2Kings 21:6; 2Kings 23:24; 1Chronicles 10:13
Le 19:31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
Le 20:6 “‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.
Le 20:27 “‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’”
De 18:11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
1Sa 28:7 Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go and enquire of her.” “There is one in Endor,” they said.
1Sa 28:9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”
2Ki 21:6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practised sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ki 23:24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfil the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD.
1Ch 10:13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD, and even consulted a medium for guidance,
Spiritists – Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1Samuel 28:3; 1Samuel 28:9; 2Kings 21:6; 2Kings 23:24; 2Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 19:3
Le 19:31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
Le 20:6 “‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.
Le 20:27 “‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’”
De 18:11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
1Sa 28:9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”
2Ki 21:6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practised sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists . He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ki 23:24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfil the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD.
2Ch 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practised sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
Isa 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people enquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Isa 19:3 The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists.

Richard Mull
Guest

MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR A BIBLICAL FOUNDATION

The Occult in the New Testament
Story of Simon the Sorcerer offering money to be able to give the Holy Spirit
Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
14 ¶ Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”

The Story of Elymas the Sorcerer
Acts 13: 4 ¶ So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant. 6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar–Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 “And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

Story of the Fortune-Teller
Acts 16: 16 ¶ Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune–telling.17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. 20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 “and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 ¶ But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Other passages related to Sorcery in the New Testament
Ga 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
Galatians 5: 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Re 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Re 18:23 “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
Re 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Re 22:15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Richard Mull
Guest

MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR A BIBLICAL FOUNDATION

The Occult in the New Testament
Story of Simon the Sorcerer offering money to be able to give the Holy Spirit
Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
14 ¶ Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”

The Story of Elymas the Sorcerer
Acts 13: 4 ¶ So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant. 6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar–Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 “And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

Story of the Fortune-Teller
Acts 16: 16 ¶ Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune–telling.17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. 20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 “and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 ¶ But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Other passages related to Sorcery in the New Testament
Ga 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
Galatians 5: 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Re 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Re 18:23 “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
Re 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Re 22:15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Richard Mull
Guest

ONLY FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

Here are a list of scriptures that I have found which have anything to do with Occult matters. I know that there are more but I’ve tried to create a full list.

Scriptures about Witchcraft, Sorcery, Wizards, Mediums, Spiritists
Witchcraft – Deuteronomy 18:10; 2Kings 9:22; 2Chronicles 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4 Galatians 5:20
De 18:10 Let no-one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practises divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
2Ki 9:22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?” “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?”
2Ch 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practised sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
Mic 5:12 I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.
Na 3:4 all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.
Gal 5: 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Sorcery – Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:26; Numbers 23:23; Numbers 24:1 Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:14; 2Kings 17:17; 2Kings 21:6; 2Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 47:12; Isaiah 57:3; Jeremiah 27:9; Daniel 2:2; Nahum 3:4; Malachi 3:5; Acts 8:9; Acts 13:6; Acts 13:8
Ex 7:11 Pharaoh then summoned the wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts:
Ex 22:18 “Do not allow a sorceress to live.
Le 19:26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. “‘Do not practice divination or sorcery.
Nu 23:23 There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
Nu 24:1 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorcery as at other times, but turned his face towards the desert.
De 18:10 Let no-one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
De 18:14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.
2Ki 17:17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ki 21:6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ch 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
Isa 47:9 Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
Isa 47:12 “Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
Isa 57:3 “But you—come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Jer 27:9 So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers who tell you, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon.’
Da 2:2 So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king,
Na 3:4 all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.
Mal 3:5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
Ac 8:9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,
Ac 13:6 They travelled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,
Ac 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.

Wizards or (Spiritists in the NIV) – Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1Samuel 28:3; 1Samuel 28:9; 2Kings 21:6; 2Kings 23:24; 2Chronicles 33:6
Le 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Le 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Le 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
De 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
1Sa 28:9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
2Ki 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
2Ki 23:24 Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
2Ch 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Divination – Genesis 30:27; Genesis 44:5; Genesis 44:15; Leviticus 19:26; “‘Numbers 22:7; Numbers 23:23; Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:14; Joshua 13:22; 1Samuel 6:2
Ge 30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favour in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.”
Ge 44:5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’”
Ge 44:15 Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”
Le 19:26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it. “‘Do not practise divination or sorcery.
Nu 22:7 The elders of Moab and Midian left, taking with them the fee for divination. When they came to Balaam, they told him what Balak had said.
Nu 23:23 There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
De 18:10 Let no-one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practises divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
De 18:14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practise sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.
Jos 13:22 In addition to those slain in battle, the Israelites had put to the sword Balaam son of Beor, who practised divination.
1Sa 6:2 the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.”
Mediums – Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Levitics 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1Samuel 28:3; 1Samuel 28:7; 1Samuel 28:9; 2Kings 21:6; 2Kings 23:24; 1Chronicles 10:13
Le 19:31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
Le 20:6 “‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.
Le 20:27 “‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’”
De 18:11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
1Sa 28:7 Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go and enquire of her.” “There is one in Endor,” they said.
1Sa 28:9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”
2Ki 21:6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practised sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ki 23:24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfil the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD.
1Ch 10:13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD, and even consulted a medium for guidance,
Spiritists – Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1Samuel 28:3; 1Samuel 28:9; 2Kings 21:6; 2Kings 23:24; 2Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 19:3
Le 19:31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
Le 20:6 “‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.
Le 20:27 “‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’”
De 18:11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
1Sa 28:9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”
2Ki 21:6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practised sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists . He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
2Ki 23:24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfil the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD.
2Ch 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practised sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
Isa 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people enquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Isa 19:3 The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists.

notleia
Guest

Eh, slapping up concordance results isn’t exactly an argument. As an M.Div. you should be able to give us historical and linguistic contexts for what encompasses “sorcery” and “witchcraft” in Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek/sundry, and why these are the same thing as a fictional world’s system for making plot happen.

Richard Mull
Guest

Thank’s for the challenge notleia.

Is that all it takes to make the Bible say what we want it to say? I would love to know where we get the freedom to use things that the Bible call’s profane to create fictional world systems. Did you read the verses? Did you read them in the Hebrew and the greek? Do you really want me to do that for you? I would be glad to. I’ve done that mostly because of the myriad of lives that I deal with who have been ravaged by the reality of what we play with as fiction. REAL PEOPLE, HAVE REAL DEMONS. I get calls from parents whose kids have demons talking to them at 3:00 a.m. Christian parents. This stuff is not fiction. The Bible didn’t call it fiction but it addresses it very clearly.

Please show me scriptural support for taking any one of these subjects and making it ok for our kids to play with. I’ve given some support, not for MY opinion, but for what the Bible says on the subject. And, if you are serious about wanting me to give you the deeper research, I will gladly accept that challenge.

Tim Cooper
Guest

“real people have real demons”

[citation needed]

Look, chief, cops and robbers are real people who exist in the real world, and thievery is bad, but I don’t see reasonable people getting soggy and hard-to-light about using cops, robbers, and heists to make fiction–or, for that matter, letting kids play cops and robbers. Taking your “tangential depiction is condoning” logic to its reasonable end, all fiction should be milquetoast depictions of everyone getting along automagically–and that’s just considering all the things that create conflict in the real world, not fairy stories made up by dirt-herders so deep in the armpit of the Iron Age Mediterranean that they subcontracted the /design/ of their holiest place to heathens who could actually grok geometry.

Richard Mull
Guest

Tim, what do you mean by citation needed that real people have real demons? Do you want Bible verses or real life experience? I could have the homeschool mom share her testimony of writing on the floor while we had to cast demons out of her, or the pastor’s wife who didn’t believe any of this was real till she was set free. They would both write a personal testimony. I could have friends in Africa write to you with real life stories? I could have some well known famous people in the sports world write testimonies about real demons being cast out of them. I can’t make people do anything. I have no power to make people writhe on the floor, Jesus doesn’t do that to people. How does one explain things like that or how speaking in the name of Jesus with authority causes all that to stop? I literally have thousands of people who could tell real stories. The Bible is full of these kinds of real life accounts as well. Ordinary people used by God to heal and set people free of real demons. I will give you as many citations as you would like or you could read one of my books that are full of real life stories. Did I misunderstand your notation [citation needed} I just want some clarification or correction. Thanks Tim

Oh, and I think real stuff like the Gospels and Acts is anything but milquetoast. I love good fiction and a great action movie. Sorry to come off so bland by trying to understand what the Bible really says about subjects related to the Occult. The reason I am so interested in the subject is that I deal with people literally every day, from all over the world who want to be free and who know that they are tormented by literal demons. Many have been into real witchcraft. Unfortunately, for some, the interest began with the TV, movies and books that led them into the real stuff.

May you continue to know Him better, love Him more and reflect His character.

Richard Mull
Guest

Tim, what do you mean by citation needed that real people have real demons? Do you want Bible verses or real life experience? I could have the homeschool mom share her testimony of writing on the floor while we had to cast demons out of her, or the pastor’s wife who didn’t believe any of this was real till she was set free. They would both write a personal testimony. I could have friends in Africa write to you with real life stories? I could have some well known famous people in the sports world write testimonies about real demons being cast out of them. I can’t make people do anything. I have no power to make people writhe on the floor, Jesus doesn’t do that to people. How does one explain things like that or how speaking in the name of Jesus with authority causes all that to stop? I literally have thousands of people who could tell real stories. The Bible is full of these kinds of real life accounts as well. Ordinary people used by God to heal and set people free of real demons. I will give you as many citations as you would like or you could read one of my books that are full of real life stories. Did I misunderstand your notation [citation needed} I just want some clarification or correction. Thanks Tim

Oh, and I think real stuff like the Gospels and Acts is anything but milquetoast. I love good fiction and a great action movie. Sorry to come off so bland by trying to understand what the Bible really says about subjects related to the Occult. The reason I am so interested in the subject is that I deal with people literally every day, from all over the world who want to be free and who know that they are tormented by literal demons. Many have been into real witchcraft. Unfortunately, for some, the interest began with the TV, movies and books that led them into the real stuff.

May you continue to know Him better, love Him more and reflect His character.

Tim Cooper
Guest

“real people have real demons”

[citation needed]

Look, chief, cops and robbers are real people who exist in the real world, and thievery is bad, but I don’t see reasonable people getting soggy and hard-to-light about using cops, robbers, and heists to make fiction–or, for that matter, letting kids play cops and robbers. Taking your “tangential depiction is condoning” logic to its reasonable end, all fiction should be milquetoast depictions of everyone getting along automagically–and that’s just considering all the things that create conflict in the real world, not fairy stories made up by dirt-herders so deep in the armpit of the Iron Age Mediterranean that they subcontracted the /design/ of their holiest place to heathens who could actually grok geometry.

notleia
Guest

Welp, if you don’t wanna, I’ll take a stab at it with my NET translation (with footnotes!) that offers a lot of notation concerning the original language.
Most of your texts are circular reasoning because their function is to say “these people are bad because they use witchcraft,” which essentially makes your argument “witchcraft is bad because witchcraft is bad.” This is a crappy argument that M.Divs don’t get to make because if all it takes to earn an M.Div. is prooftexting, then I’m qualified to be the frickin’ Pope and also you should pay me a porpskillion dollars for all the brilliant books I could write on theology.
If we want to analyze what “witchcraft” actually MEANS, then we need to be more selective, so I’m picking Deut 18:10 as being fairly comprehensive.
And according to my handy-dandy footnotes, it looks like roughly 75-80% of the definitions revolve around divination. Divination doesn’t actually show up that much in HP, and it was an entire plot point that divination is not foolproof because Voldemort chose to kill Harry rather than Neville tho the prophecy could have been interpreted to mean either of them.
The other bits seem to concern manipulation of nature and spirits, and the latter doesn’t really apply because there aren’t really spirits in HP. Ghosts, yes, but no one manipulates them with magic.
And then we’d have to parse what “manipulation of nature” MEANS. HP totes manipulates their environment, but they don’t really manipulate the “natural order” as such. Weather happens, they give birth the human way. Organisms that can’t make their own food have to consume other organisms. Fetching something from across the room with “Accio” is not exactly breaking the laws of nature with magic being the external force that fills in where the laws of physics would gap.
It’s hard to guess what individual people mean by “natural order,” anyway, because I see it applied to things that are purely cultural all the dang time.

Richard Mull
Guest

Prooftexting – That is when you pick and choose the verses that support your point of view. It has been my goal to include every scripture on the subject within the Bible. I did not leave anything out intentionally. I simply what to know what God, His Word and Jesus have to say about the subject that have become commonplace in our world today. I don’t want to support any viewpoint of my own. I want God’s Word to shape my life, my worldview. Please give me scriptures that put the subjects of magic, sorcery, witchcraft, divination, vampirism (this can be found in the bible if you know the Hebrew) and other subjects. Please show me where I am proof texting. It would seem that the same standard is not put up to anyone else in their discussion of the subject. What does God say about these subjects? Is He wishy washy? What happened to Saul when He turned to sorcerers instead of listening to God’s voice? Why did God drive the people out of the Holy Land? What does the book of Revelation say on the subject? Do any of these things matter in the discussion or am I just proof texting? It is not my desire to accuse anyone about anything. I only want to know what the Bible actually says?

Also, Has anyone in these discussions ever had to cast demons out of a witch? Would it make a difference if we learned the truth about the reality of witches, vampires, sorcerers, etc?

Jesus said to Nicodemus, we speak about the things that we have seen.

I pray for the Lord’s richest blessings on each of you, may you get a deeper revelation of His love, and may you hear his voice more clearly every day.

Leah Burchfiel
Member

Lord help us when you discover hermeneutics.

I’ve been dancing around this, but I’ll flat out say, I don’t believe in witches, sorcerers, vampires, etc. My belief in demons is suuuuuper abstract. There is no credible evidence that stuff even exists on the material plane. You might have people who wanna be witches, but no matter how many herbs they throw together or incantations they chant, ain’t doing nothing in the real world.

And I know very well this is going to make you doubt my salvation, and I can’t stop you, but I can decide that the opinion of some dude on the internet who can’t analyze his way out of a paper bag doesn’t actually make me feel bad about myself.

Richard Mull
Guest

I am so sorry Leah that I have in any way insinuated that you or anyone on this forum should doubt your salvation. I am also sorry that I’m so inept at analyzing my way out of paper bags.

Why would the Bible say so much about a subject that is not even real? Is God and the Bible Mythical and Fantasy? Did God pick a fight with something that doesn’t even exist? Why was Saul judged for going to a witch in Endor if they are not even real? Who was Simon the Sorcerer in Acts? What was Elymas in Acts and why did Paul challenge him and his power openly. Why did they burn all their books with magic in Acts 19 if none of this was real?

I’m one of those crazy people who actually believe that the Bible can be taken literally.

I believe that God loves you very much and that the only reason He would warn you about something is because of that love. He is not a cosmic kill joy who want to create a vanilla world where nobody ever does anything bad. He sent His son to die for a world because He takes sin literally. I want to know what He defines as sin and it is great when I understand why He does, but I try not to argue with Him. I trust Him.

I do happen to deal every day with people from all over the world who are coming out of the ravages of the real stuff. Jesus loves everyone of them and He forgives them and heals them. The real stuff is not nearly as glamorous as anything Hollywood puts out. Literal babies are dedicated to a literal satan and the effects of that type of dedication are not pretty. I wish it was all make believe, fairy tale and lovely.

Can anyone show me one verse where Jesus treated Occult themes as a plot in a story that has a positive ending or any verse in the Bible treated any occult themes in that way?

I have no desire to question anyone’s salvation, intelligence, sincerity or worth? I really would love to be able to stick to what the Bible says or just tell me straight up that what the Bible says is less important than our freedoms to do what we want.

Will someone take the time to read the passages on the occult and even add to my list if I left something out and be honest about what the Bible says on the subject? Is this a gray area or is God’s Word clear? Does the God of the universe have a different opinion than what is in the Bible or is He and old guy who is old fashioned and out of touch with our modern civilization and our advancements in understanding? How could He let His book be so full of stuff that isn’t even real?

Crazy to think that God is deluded but WE have figured out what is real. Maybe we should create our own Bible that cuts out all the crazy stuff and ads some of our modern enlightenment.

I’m deluded enough to want to stick with what the greatest book of all times says and I want Him to rule my life. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I’ve watched demons tremble at His name! I’ve seen Him set witches free (whether they were real or only in their minds it was definitely a fight).

Jesus has Michael the Archangel cast lucifer into the lake of fire at the end of the story. He is so much more powerful than lucifer and his minor kingdom that He doesn’t even get His hands dirty. The battle is not between two equal opposing forces, God’s kingdom is greater.

May His light and truth prevail.

These are simply the ramblings of one who has chosen to believe the Bible is real, God is real, satan is real, angels are real, demons are real, Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride. He is a good shepherd, a great Daddy and He loves every one reading all this. Whatever He says, I agree with. May everyone reading all of this be blessed to know Him more and better. May He heal the wounds in your heart from those who have judged and condemned you. I’m not in that camp though you might think so. I just want to engage on what the Bible says on the subjects at hand. Blessings to all.

Richard Mull
Guest

I am so sorry Leah that I have in any way insinuated that you or anyone on this forum should doubt your salvation. I am also sorry that I’m so inept at analyzing my way out of paper bags.

Why would the Bible say so much about a subject that is not even real? Is God and the Bible Mythical and Fantasy? Did God pick a fight with something that doesn’t even exist? Why was Saul judged for going to a witch in Endor if they are not even real? Who was Simon the Sorcerer in Acts? What was Elymas in Acts and why did Paul challenge him and his power openly. Why did they burn all their books with magic in Acts 19 if none of this was real?

I’m one of those crazy people who actually believe that the Bible can be taken literally.

I believe that God loves you very much and that the only reason He would warn you about something is because of that love. He is not a cosmic kill joy who want to create a vanilla world where nobody ever does anything bad. He sent His son to die for a world because He takes sin literally. I want to know what He defines as sin and it is great when I understand why He does, but I try not to argue with Him. I trust Him.

I do happen to deal every day with people from all over the world who are coming out of the ravages of the real stuff. Jesus loves everyone of them and He forgives them and heals them. The real stuff is not nearly as glamorous as anything Hollywood puts out. Literal babies are dedicated to a literal satan and the effects of that type of dedication are not pretty. I wish it was all make believe, fairy tale and lovely.

Can anyone show me one verse where Jesus treated Occult themes as a plot in a story that has a positive ending or any verse in the Bible treated any occult themes in that way?

I have no desire to question anyone’s salvation, intelligence, sincerity or worth? I really would love to be able to stick to what the Bible says or just tell me straight up that what the Bible says is less important than our freedoms to do what we want.

Will someone take the time to read the passages on the occult and even add to my list if I left something out and be honest about what the Bible says on the subject? Is this a gray area or is God’s Word clear? Does the God of the universe have a different opinion than what is in the Bible or is He and old guy who is old fashioned and out of touch with our modern civilization and our advancements in understanding? How could He let His book be so full of stuff that isn’t even real?

Crazy to think that God is deluded but WE have figured out what is real. Maybe we should create our own Bible that cuts out all the crazy stuff and ads some of our modern enlightenment.

I’m deluded enough to want to stick with what the greatest book of all times says and I want Him to rule my life. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I’ve watched demons tremble at His name! I’ve seen Him set witches free (whether they were real or only in their minds it was definitely a fight).

Jesus has Michael the Archangel cast lucifer into the lake of fire at the end of the story. He is so much more powerful than lucifer and his minor kingdom that He doesn’t even get His hands dirty. The battle is not between two equal opposing forces, God’s kingdom is greater.

May His light and truth prevail.

These are simply the ramblings of one who has chosen to believe the Bible is real, God is real, satan is real, angels are real, demons are real, Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride. He is a good shepherd, a great Daddy and He loves every one reading all this. Whatever He says, I agree with. May everyone reading all of this be blessed to know Him more and better. May He heal the wounds in your heart from those who have judged and condemned you. I’m not in that camp though you might think so. I just want to engage on what the Bible says on the subjects at hand. Blessings to all.

Leah Burchfiel
Member

Lord help us when you discover hermeneutics.

I’ve been dancing around this, but I’ll flat out say, I don’t believe in witches, sorcerers, vampires, etc. My belief in demons is suuuuuper abstract. There is no credible evidence that stuff even exists on the material plane. You might have people who wanna be witches, but no matter how many herbs they throw together or incantations they chant, ain’t doing nothing in the real world.

And I know very well this is going to make you doubt my salvation, and I can’t stop you, but I can decide that the opinion of some dude on the internet who can’t analyze his way out of a paper bag doesn’t actually make me feel bad about myself.

Richard Mull
Guest

Prooftexting – That is when you pick and choose the verses that support your point of view. It has been my goal to include every scripture on the subject within the Bible. I did not leave anything out intentionally. I simply what to know what God, His Word and Jesus have to say about the subject that have become commonplace in our world today. I don’t want to support any viewpoint of my own. I want God’s Word to shape my life, my worldview. Please give me scriptures that put the subjects of magic, sorcery, witchcraft, divination, vampirism (this can be found in the bible if you know the Hebrew) and other subjects. Please show me where I am proof texting. It would seem that the same standard is not put up to anyone else in their discussion of the subject. What does God say about these subjects? Is He wishy washy? What happened to Saul when He turned to sorcerers instead of listening to God’s voice? Why did God drive the people out of the Holy Land? What does the book of Revelation say on the subject? Do any of these things matter in the discussion or am I just proof texting? It is not my desire to accuse anyone about anything. I only want to know what the Bible actually says?

Also, Has anyone in these discussions ever had to cast demons out of a witch? Would it make a difference if we learned the truth about the reality of witches, vampires, sorcerers, etc?

Jesus said to Nicodemus, we speak about the things that we have seen.

I pray for the Lord’s richest blessings on each of you, may you get a deeper revelation of His love, and may you hear his voice more clearly every day.

notleia
Guest

Welp, if you don’t wanna, I’ll take a stab at it with my NET translation (with footnotes!) that offers a lot of notation concerning the original language.
Most of your texts are circular reasoning because their function is to say “these people are bad because they use witchcraft,” which essentially makes your argument “witchcraft is bad because witchcraft is bad.” This is a crappy argument that M.Divs don’t get to make because if all it takes to earn an M.Div. is prooftexting, then I’m qualified to be the frickin’ Pope and also you should pay me a porpskillion dollars for all the brilliant books I could write on theology.
If we want to analyze what “witchcraft” actually MEANS, then we need to be more selective, so I’m picking Deut 18:10 as being fairly comprehensive.
And according to my handy-dandy footnotes, it looks like roughly 75-80% of the definitions revolve around divination. Divination doesn’t actually show up that much in HP, and it was an entire plot point that divination is not foolproof because Voldemort chose to kill Harry rather than Neville tho the prophecy could have been interpreted to mean either of them.
The other bits seem to concern manipulation of nature and spirits, and the latter doesn’t really apply because there aren’t really spirits in HP. Ghosts, yes, but no one manipulates them with magic.
And then we’d have to parse what “manipulation of nature” MEANS. HP totes manipulates their environment, but they don’t really manipulate the “natural order” as such. Weather happens, they give birth the human way. Organisms that can’t make their own food have to consume other organisms. Fetching something from across the room with “Accio” is not exactly breaking the laws of nature with magic being the external force that fills in where the laws of physics would gap.
It’s hard to guess what individual people mean by “natural order,” anyway, because I see it applied to things that are purely cultural all the dang time.

Richard Mull
Guest

Thank’s for the challenge notleia.

Is that all it takes to make the Bible say what we want it to say? I would love to know where we get the freedom to use things that the Bible call’s profane to create fictional world systems. Did you read the verses? Did you read them in the Hebrew and the greek? Do you really want me to do that for you? I would be glad to. I’ve done that mostly because of the myriad of lives that I deal with who have been ravaged by the reality of what we play with as fiction. REAL PEOPLE, HAVE REAL DEMONS. I get calls from parents whose kids have demons talking to them at 3:00 a.m. Christian parents. This stuff is not fiction. The Bible didn’t call it fiction but it addresses it very clearly.

Please show me scriptural support for taking any one of these subjects and making it ok for our kids to play with. I’ve given some support, not for MY opinion, but for what the Bible says on the subject. And, if you are serious about wanting me to give you the deeper research, I will gladly accept that challenge.

notleia
Guest

Eh, slapping up concordance results isn’t exactly an argument. As an M.Div. you should be able to give us historical and linguistic contexts for what encompasses “sorcery” and “witchcraft” in Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek/sundry, and why these are the same thing as a fictional world’s system for making plot happen.

Richard Mull
Guest

Do you know what every single verse that has any occultic reference in the Bible says? Is the Bible your standard of faith and practice or is it on the same level as other books like Harry Potter? I do not advocate for my normal or my opinion. I desire to be like Jesus, like the apostles, like their version of “CHRIST” IANITY. I have no desire for anyone to copy my version of anything. It is not about me. If you saw that in anything that I wrote, then I am sorry. One day a man sat in front of me in my church office and asked me if I had ever cast out a demon or healed someone who was sick. I had my B.A. my M.Div, and a Phd, but I had never had one class about the very things Jesus told 12 ordinary guys. In the Great Commission Jesus told his disciples to teach others everything that He had commanded them. The question that he asked me that day led me on a journey. I wanted to become a disciple of Jesus. Do and learn the things that Jesus did and taught. The sad thing is that too often we fail to walk in humility in those areas where we have no knowledge, training or experience. How can you talk about casting out demons or healing the sick when you have no experience? I’m not talking about you. No accusations at all. I am talking about me. It was the most humbling step for me. I left one of the largest and fastest growing churches to get on my face every day and ask Jesus to disciple me. It has cost me everything in terms of this world. But I found the kingdom of God.

Every day not I minister to people from all over the world who are tortured and tormented by the demons and witches, by nightmares, fears, infirmities of every kind. By God’s grace people are healed and set free. Doing what Jesus did gets the same type of results today. The religious world does not accept the things of the Spirit, just like Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night. He was curious, a leader, a religious man, teacher of The Word, but he struggled in the presence of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to grasp that his religious experience was deficient.

I was Nicodemus. I was the Pharisaical Paul. I thank God for knocking me off my horse, showing me how blind that I was and teaching me more than I ever learned in all my classes about the things that He did and taught.

I am sincerely sorry that you felt looked down upon. My heart just breaks at what I see all the time, every day as a result of the reality of the occult. Hollywood and Disney have glorified something that is all about the subversive kingdom of Darkness. There are two kingdoms talked about in the Bible. The Kingdom of the Son of His Love and the Kingdom of Darkness. There is a real usurper who wants his kingdom.

May God deliver many out of the dominion of darkness, into the kingdom of His Son, whose power is greater, whose victory is certain and whose way is truth and life.

E. Stephen Burnett
Guest

Indeed, Richard, bless your heart (and mind!) and thank you for commenting. Clearly you take these views seriously. You are among readers and fans, including “Harry Potter” fans who love Jesus, who also take this seriously.

But I must strongly disagree with your points, and your assumptions behind them.

These assumptions include:

Assumption 1. People who enjoy “Harry Potter” aren’t being serious about biblical truth or holiness (because if they are, they would agree with me).

This assumption is not true. As I’ve recounted above, and in countless articles, I enjoy the series very much. I have not sinned (no more than usual!) by enjoying this series. Neither do I ignore the fact that other people do sin as they enjoy this series. Instead, I believe Christians must talk about these matters, rather than basing their fears (either for or against a certain thing) based on “it could make someone I know, or someone in theory,” sin. This approach is not how the apostle Paul handled disputable matters, such as meat sacrificed to idols (1 Cor. 8-10).

Assumption 2. My personal experience, such as with spiritual-warfare ministry, is normative for all Christians, and a good basis for this argument (to avoid the “Harry Potter” fantasy series.

This is another bad assumption. If you argue based on personal experience, then you are vulnerable to another person arguing the same way. For instance, I know many Christians who love the “Harry Potter” series, who are not the least bit tempted into real-world occult movement, contacting demons, and so on. In fact, they love Jesus all the more because they see His creativity reflected in Rowling’s work, and in the good-versus-evil and even Gospel themes reflected there.

Do you see? It’s your personal Experience versus our personal Experience. It’s a deadlock that goes nowhere. We shall have to move the discussion out of the realm of “here’s what I experience in my life” to some other realm.

Assumption 3. We all know what we mean by “spiritual warfare” ministry, and if you question particular definitions of this, you are not a spiritual Christian.

This assumption is very wrong, and very dangerous to make about brothers and sisters who love the gospel, hate sin and Satan, and want to make disciples.

Clearly you have a positive experience with spiritual-warfare ministry, demon-exorcism, and that sort of thing. If that’s true, then more (Holy Spirit) power to you.

However, you seem to believe this is a one-size-fits-all gift that applies to all Christians, or that is itself immune to abuse. Not so. I have read terrible, anti-biblical nonsense from people who claim to practice “spiritual warfare.”

In one real-life situation, someone involved in counseling for interpersonal problems, with another person long-distance, decided to pin all the blame on that other person’s supposed “demonic influence.” She literally blamed demons for the other person’s sins (the other person was not even in the state) and refused to follow the biblical commands to repent, forgive, and be reconciled.

My point is that you cannot enforce one particular “brand” of spiritual-warfare ministry on all God’s people, for all times and all situations.

Assumption 4. “I’ve cast demons out of people who have been tormented because of reading Harry Potter and watching the movies.”

This is your most flawed assumption. In short: no, you did not. If you did cast demons out of people, you cast them out of people who were not God’s people. They invited Satan’s influence into their lives. They did not “catch” Satan’s influence from a particular book or movie series. They already had this sin inside their hearts, which resulted in them abusing things for this sinful purpose.

Do not, therefore, claim that these things will make people bad. Do not claim the unbiblical notion that sin is something we “catch” from the world or from objects. This is, itself, unbiblical mysticism. It denies (with good intentions) the Scripture’s truth about where sin comes from: our hearts, not the things we consume. (See Mark 7, in which Jesus explicitly condemns the “sin comes from outside us and corrupts our souls” notion on the way to pointing to Himself.)

Let us put this another way. Let us suppose I am weak in my body, because I am allergic to gluten. I cannot have gluten, because my body can’t handle it. Let us say you don’t have this allergy. Now, let us say that I not only recommend you, too, avoid gluten (for health reasons, trend reasons, etc.), but you should avoid gluten, or else you will be in poor health or could even die. But why should you listen to me? Your body is strong. You won’t get sick from it. And if I start insisting that yes, your body really is weak and could die from gluten, just like me and my friends in our gluten-free-living society, then I’m just being obnoxious.

Again, this is not how the apostle Paul dealt with disputable matters in the Bible. It is not how believers should address one another today — especially over the internet, which is the worst possible place to try to “discern” whether another Christian is taking holiness seriously, or is being careless in his/her private life.

I’ll end with a rather blunt quote from C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity, and an invitation to dialogue further:

“One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way. An individual Christian may see fit to give up all sorts of things for special reasons–marriage, or meat, or beer, or the cinema; but the moment he starts saying the things are bad in themselves, or looking down his nose at other people who do use them, he has taken the wrong turning.”

Richard Mull
Guest

The sad reality is that I find so few believers who actually take a serious look at what the Bible has to say on the subject of witchcraft, magic, sorcery and the occult. God’s word never treats it as fantasy and harmless. Search any good scripture search engine for words like sorcery, witch, witchcraft, and numerous other occult words and you will find very definitive truth in both the old and new testament.

Jesus taught 12 ordinary men to cast out demons, heal the sick and preach the kingdom of God. I spent 7 years in theological training and you know how many minutes we spent learning any of those subjects? Zero.

Today, in our ministry we see people every day and minister to people all around the world who have been tormented by demons. I’ve cast demons out of people who have been tormented because of reading Harry Potter and watching the movies. There were a few people who did serious research about the book and the history of the author J.K.Rowling. The book that I read is now out of print, but he clearly documented the intentionality that was behind the book being a primer and a gateway into real occult magic.

God had a zero tolerance for things that we are becoming numb to. Our cultural standards and morays have more influence on too many as opposed to God’s Word.

I challenge you to take serious what the God of the Bible actually says on this subject. I could give you all the scriptures. I’ve logged them all, but you might think I just picked the ones that support my narrow view. I challenge you. Do your own research, Ask the God of the Bible what He has to say and let your views be shaped by Him

HG Ferguson
Guest

Dr. Raymond Dillard. OT professor. Hebrew expert. Bible commentator. Westminster Theological Seminary. Deut. 18:11. Citation: I WAS THERE. “There shall not be found among you [the people of God] one who casts a spell.” That’s not divination. That’s sorcery. And if that doesn’t take care of our boy wizard, you tell me what does. And please don’t insult my intelligence by saying “Well, we don’t know what that meant to the first hearers.” It means the same thing then it means right now. Also: when YHWH opens this discussion in Deut. 18, He says when you go into the land, YOU SHALL NOT LEARN TO DO ACCORDING TO THE ABOMINATIONS (pl.) there, of which spell-casting is but one. This does not say YOU SHALL HAVE NO IDOLATROUS INTENT. What do they do at Hogwarts? They go to school. To LEARN. This verse alone puts HP in a bad light. This does not mean as Christians we cannot enjoy it as a story. What it does mean is that we must not let it direct the way we think on this subject. Debates like this did not exist prior to HP, all Christians were united on one thing, sorcery/magic/divination is evil. That’s not the case anymore. I echo what Richard Mull and before him, Travis Perry has said here. Listen to the Word of God.

E. Stephen Burnett
Guest

H. G., the purpose of this evil sorcery, as seen in Deut. 18, is to obtain information about the future (from ghosts, hallucinations, entrail-reading, visions, or whatever) or security from a pagan god (through pagan practices and child sacrifice), so you can control your life. It is inseparable from that goal.

My point is that this is a far cry from imaginary magic that, in a story-world, allows you to fly on a broomstick or even shape-shift into another person. In the “Harry Potter” story-world, you learn to do this kind of magic. Not to practice paganism.

I definitely agree that “Harry Potter” doesn’t define this topic. God’s word does.

E. Stephen Burnett
Guest

H. G., the purpose of this evil sorcery, as seen in Deut. 18, is to obtain information about the future (from ghosts, hallucinations, entrail-reading, visions, or whatever) or security from a pagan god (through pagan practices and child sacrifice), so you can control your life. It is inseparable from that goal.

My point is that this is a far cry from imaginary magic that, in a story-world, allows you to fly on a broomstick or even shape-shift into another person. In the “Harry Potter” story-world, you learn to do this kind of magic. Not to practice paganism.

I definitely agree that “Harry Potter” doesn’t define this topic. God’s word does.

notleia
Guest

“It means the same thing then it means right now.”

Nope, not really. I didn’t even get into the difference between “denotation” and “connotation.” We could get all Ship of Theseus on this, but the important part is that the ontological function of the word “witchcraft” in this context more or less reduces down to “unapproved religious ritual.” In HP, magic functions more like a science than it does a religion. They’re not appealing to Baal or Moloch when they fetch something from across the room with “accio.”

But I guess the moral of this story is that none of us are convincing the other. I just wish you guys had a better sense of how textual support is supposed to work. But until seminaries require a literature degree, it’s probably gonna be hit and miss.

notleia
Guest

“It means the same thing then it means right now.”

Nope, not really. I didn’t even get into the difference between “denotation” and “connotation.” We could get all Ship of Theseus on this, but the important part is that the ontological function of the word “witchcraft” in this context more or less reduces down to “unapproved religious ritual.” In HP, magic functions more like a science than it does a religion. They’re not appealing to Baal or Moloch when they fetch something from across the room with “accio.”

But I guess the moral of this story is that none of us are convincing the other. I just wish you guys had a better sense of how textual support is supposed to work. But until seminaries require a literature degree, it’s probably gonna be hit and miss.

HG Ferguson
Guest

Dr. Raymond Dillard. OT professor. Hebrew expert. Bible commentator. Westminster Theological Seminary. Deut. 18:11. Citation: I WAS THERE. “There shall not be found among you [the people of God] one who casts a spell.” That’s not divination. That’s sorcery. And if that doesn’t take care of our boy wizard, you tell me what does. And please don’t insult my intelligence by saying “Well, we don’t know what that meant to the first hearers.” It means the same thing then it means right now. Also: when YHWH opens this discussion in Deut. 18, He says when you go into the land, YOU SHALL NOT LEARN TO DO ACCORDING TO THE ABOMINATIONS (pl.) there, of which spell-casting is but one. This does not say YOU SHALL HAVE NO IDOLATROUS INTENT. What do they do at Hogwarts? They go to school. To LEARN. This verse alone puts HP in a bad light. This does not mean as Christians we cannot enjoy it as a story. What it does mean is that we must not let it direct the way we think on this subject. Debates like this did not exist prior to HP, all Christians were united on one thing, sorcery/magic/divination is evil. That’s not the case anymore. I echo what Richard Mull and before him, Travis Perry has said here. Listen to the Word of God.

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