Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ouija boards and talismen

So I started reading the book you loaned me. Good stuff, I got half through it in the first read. The author is spot on about the potential dangers of the occult.

That's probably why God tells us not to mess with it- "Do not practice divination or sorcery" (Leviticus 19:26) Sorcery, as I'm sure with your brains, you get is another word for witchcraft. Many non Bible believers misunderstand it to be some benign, natural pre-Christian (pagan) practice that allows you more control over your destiny and might not even like to use either the term sorcery or the term witchcraft because of their negative connotations. Divination is an old word that can mean fortune telling or predicting, or talking to the dead or communicating with the spirit-world. Bottom line is that as God's children, we're supposed to put our faith and trust in Him implicitly rather than having to feel more in control by seeking insight from other (especially dark) sources.

Do ouija boards work? Just like the author talked about in this book, yes and no. Most people who don't know any better think it's just a game and think it's fun to freak themselves out- like visiting the Vilisca Axe Murder House after dark or watching a scary movie. Some gullible people are convinced that it's away to speak with the dead like psychic John Edwards (not to be confused with the former presidential candidate) pretended to do on his TV show "Crossing Over." Then, more dedicated people fascinated with the occult, like the kids in this novel, think it is a way to get help or advice from some other dimension, a supernatural world of spirits. They think that spirits are like animals or people or something, some helpful and some dangerous- but not really holy or evil, as if aligned with the true God or with Satan. This can be exciting for some, or help others feel more powerful or more in control of their lives. In the 1800's when Parker Brothers started producing ouija boards, spiritism and spiritualists were a big fad.

Unfortunately, you can't domesticate a demon and use them as your own personal
Concierge. And you certainly can't become friends with a demon and expect them to give you helpful advice. People aren't the players with ouija, they're being played with.

How do we know they aren't kind, well-meaning dead people? Most Christians believe that as soon as you die you're either in Heaven or Hell.
Jesus told one of the thieves next to Him on the cross "TODAY you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

Jesus told a parable in which a rich man in Hell could see into Heaven, but someone he knew on earth was oblivious to anything outside of Heaven (Luke 16:19-31). People in Heaven trust God and don't need to come back to earth to talk to the living, and people in Hell aren't allowed to.

Some Catholics still buy into that purgatory thing, but there is absolutely nothing about it in the Bible. Some people think it was first invented by Dante as a dramatic device for his epic poem, the Divine Comedy. Others suspect it was a convoluted doctrine devised by a medieval pope so that the church could make more money off of frightened and guilty Christians.

All of this must be disappointing to some people who have some romantic notion that we can talk to ghosts or somehow help them find their way home, like in the movies. It does seem confusing that Jesus told his disciples that their friend had merely "fallen asleep" (John 11:11). The Bible tells us that several of Jesus' followers who had died before He was crucified, came back to life at the moment He died and went into Jerusalem to share the Gospel- had to be pretty freaky (Matt 27:52).

The one and only reference in the Bible to anyone being able to talk to someone "from the other side" is when King Saul went to a witch in order to talk to the ghost of the prophet Samuel instead of seeking God (1 Samuel 28:7-25). And guess what, God was already angry with Saul for not listening to Him, and now Saul was in trouble for divination and sorcery. Way to go, no wonder you lost your kingdom to David, thinking with your spear instead of your brains again!

Let me know if you want to talk about any of this or need me to pray about anything for you.


  1. I forgot to include my personal theory of "sleeping."

    You know how when you fall asleep, and have a good night's sleep, you wake up and it's as if no time has passed?
    My theory is that it FELT like the thief woke up and was together with Jesus "today" in paradise, but keep in mind that to God, a day is like a thousand years to you and me- (Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8). We experience time one hour at a time in a forward moving line or continuum, but God created time, He transcends time, so if He experiences it, it's not like He's standing on a road, looking forward or back, like we do- He's outside of it, like holding a ball in His hand, He can perceive all of eternity all at once.

    That's why, when we die, we don't have to worry about being trapped here as ghosts or stuck in purgatory like sitting in the dentist's waiting room with nothing to do but page through decades old magazines.It will already be forever-
    " a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."~1 Corinthians 15:52

    Anyway, that's what I come away thinking when I read the Bible.

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