Monday, November 30, 2015

Biblically Speaking - Witchcraft

Part 4 in my study on what is abomination in the sight of God.

Many believers have fallen into accepting that which is abomination in the sight of God. Unless we study God's Word to learn His Mind on what is abominable, how will we know to purge ourselves from abomination? Lord willing, I will be posting the fruits of my study on the word "abomination," but feel free to leap ahead of me and study it for yourself. What is an abomination to God?

This is probably the harshest one to cover. I know that I am listing things in a straight-forward, blunt manner, but I am not judging Christians who participate in what I list below. I am simply stating what I believe God's Word says on this issue.

Deuteronomy 18:10-13 - There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.

All that do these things are abominable to God (Hebrew definitions given):
~using divination (oracle)
~observer of times (act covertly, practice magic)
~enchanter (to hiss, whisper a spell, to prognosticate)
~witch (to whisper a spell, enchant or practice magic)
~charmer (a spell)
~consulter with familiar spirits (mumble, necromancer)
~wizard (a knowing one, a conjurer, ghost)
~or necromancer (to pursue, to kill, seek or ask).

Christian, go through the list again and apply it to the movies, games, and books that you accept into your home. I'm not talking about the "obvious" things like Harry Potter. What about some the Disney cartoon Cinderella with the fairy godmother? Snow White, Fantasia, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, oh...and the big ones of today, Tangled, Frozen? What about games? Clash of Clans? Entertainment has put a happy light to that which God sees as abomination. Will we mesh with the world and accept what God defies?


Sarah Holman said...

I so agree with you! I get so much flack for my stand on not reading or watching things with magic in them, but it is so important to to be deceived into thinking that it is harmless and just cute.

In short: Preach it sister!

Amanda T. said...

Thanks for your comment, Sarah! I'm glad it encouraged you! :) :)

Rebekah @ Heritage of Grace said...

When I saw this on Pinterest, Amanda, you scared me! I came to a screeching halt. I thought- "What?!? Who in the world would make such a claim!" Then I saw it was you who wrote it and I realized you were going to say something Biblical. I totally agree with you. How many believers overlook this aspect (many knowingly).
We do not watch Disney movies with magic in them, like the ones you listed,and my younger siblings were instructed as to why they do not watch "Frozen". I praise the Lord they knew it so well (that it is not Biblical to watch/read occult movies), they even knew how to defend their position in front of young peers at church who did watch Frozen and their parents (even pastors!) allowed them to watch such cartoons.

Many Christians also rationalize books like "The Lord of the Rings" and "Narnia". They do not do their homework and see that both Tolkein and Lewis were part of occult societies, (Lewis denied many things about Christ and fundamental Christian foundations). Furthermore the characters in the stories are blatantly occult (goblins, orcs, trolls, gnomes etc.).
Many Christians claim that despite all that, the stories have good Christian lessons, themes and morales, so it's okay to read/watch. But the Scripture says "a little leaven leavens the whole lump".
Like you said, whenever this gets pointed out, many believers think you are judging them, but that is not true.

Thanks for your thoughts! :)

Lydia Borengasser said...

Interesting thoughts. There are some who see books/movies such as these as merely fictional (much like Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, etc.), and thus not to be taken seriously or realistically. ...Yet more than of art, which in many instances portray and teach the truths of the Bible and the gospel quite clearly. They would see the usage of these books/movies as, 1) not the same as participation in evil (unless we carry it out...but that could be said of the most godly books/shows...there are always "evil" elements we learn from rather than adopt), 2) and thus, pure and wholesome enjoyment to be encouraged, 3) discipleship tools (many conservative Christians I highly respect use these to teach their children), 4) "secular" art forms in which God's glory is seen.
I'm sure you've heard these viewpoints before. Just curious what your response would be. Rather, what do you think the Bible says? How should we, as 21st century Christians, apply the Bible to this issue, no presuppositions?

Olivia R. said...

Ever since I can remember we've never watched Disney films with magic in our housewhich puts us in minority (I do remember watching Cinderella one time...seems innocent enough, but it certainly is not!). Frozen has become a big concern to me of late. I've read a couple articles concerning Frozen that put me on guard to the film right away (other than the magic and other obvious things). It's sad to me how many Christians do not see these films as a problem.

Thank you for this post :)

Amanda T. said...

@ Becky,

Okay you made me laugh. :) Hey, at least it got attention, right? ;)

It is definitely wise to instruct others WHY not to watch something rather than just say, "Nope!"

Agree about Tolkein and Lewis. So much has slipped into the Christian world--we must be ever careful!

Thanks for commenting!

Amanda T. said...

@ Olivia,

I was raised watching several of the Disney cartoons, actually. It is so easy to let it just slip over your head and not really THINK about it. However, when you DO stop to is easy to see that it's in there.

Amanda T. said...

@ Lydia,

I personally see fiction as a completely different field than magic. Magic is dabbling in witchcraft, demons, etc.--things which are of satan (the definitions listed in the article). Fiction is telling a story that was not lived out in real life--fiction does not always have magic in it. But I did go through several months (years?) of debating fiction, if it was okay to write and read it. For now, the Lord has given me freedom to read and write fiction (if that fiction is in line with God's Word).

Unlike magic, fiction is not clearly prohibited in God's Word (to my knowledge). You clearly pointed out some great benefits in fictional works and how it can be used to further God's kingdom.

Personally, I believe our reading should be filtered through Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Many people will stop at the first and say, "Look! It's made-up! It's not true." I don't believe it's wrong to go to the Greek and define this word "true--as not concealing." Fictional work, although made up, can portray that which is true. It can portray that which is honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous, and praise-worthy.

If someone can find a verse that completely disallows fiction, I will weigh it. But so far in my studies, I have not found it. Does that answer your questions? Very good thoughts--thanks for sharing!

Lydia Borengasser said...

Thanks for your response, Amanda. To clarify... Books/movies such as we're discussing are fictional representations of magic, and therefore not participation in the real thing. If there is something wrong with watching Harry Potter, the same should be said of Little House. Both are merely fictional tales which include some good/right, some evil/wrong. They are designed for enjoyment and designed to teach. We should not dabble in witchcraft, demons, etc., but reading/watching fiction which includes such is a different matter altogether. Especially when these involve biblical allegory, as I mentioned.

The passage from Deut 18 basically says not to practice magic/witchcraft. Reading/watching these fictional tales comes nowhere close in my estimation thus far.

Hope that clarifies my question. I don't mean to start a debate (I'm actually not a fan of debate at all!). I'm honestly not sure where I stand on the issue. I'm trying my hardest to understand Scripture properly and to apply it properly, and to use it alone as the basis for my beliefs.

Thanks for bringing this issue up and for responding to my comments. It's helpful!

Amanda T. said...

@ Lydia,

Ah, gotcha! Like Chronicles of Narnia then. I didn't register this as a debate and am not replying as such. :)

I don't have a surefire answer for you, but maybe replace the question with other abominations: Is it wrong for me to watch/read adultery if I'm not practicing it? Should I watch a movie where the main characters are a sodomite "couple" even if I am not practicing it?

There is a big debate about magic and I don't feel studious in God's Word enough to give you a clear answer, but I do appreciate your willingness to search the issue. Here are a couple of verses to consider:
1 Thessalonians 5:22, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (appearance in the Greek means form; appearance, fashion, shape, sight)

Ephesians 5:11-12, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret."

Also consider that witchcraft is in the list of the "works of the flesh" in Galatians 5:19-21. If we are to walk in the Spirit, should we accept those things which God calls the works of the flesh?

I would encourage you to do a word study on witchcraft in God's Word (all words related to it). I am grateful that you're not trying to change because of what someone said, but trying to discern what God's Word says!

Lydia Borengasser said...

Those are some good thoughts. Thanks, Amanda. I will definitely give these verses some thought. I feel pretty confident that the Deut passage does not apply in this way. But these verses you've mentioned may shed some light. I know one thing that troubles me is inconsistency. Galatians 5 also includes idolatry, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, envy, drunkenness, etc....are we going to discontinue reading/watching these things as well?
I think if we say Harry Potter is out, then there are so many things (on our "clean list" that should be out as well). All books we read and all movies we watch have some wrong/evil in them, because we live in a sinful world. If to read/watch them means we're endorsing the sin or participating in it, that's a problem! Not that I'm saying we should give up entirely, but it does make me wonder what these passages are really getting at.
Thanks again for your help with this!

Amanda T. said...


Sorry for the delay in replying. It was a crazy busy weekend! :)

In response, I guess you could ask, "Does it portray this sin as SIN (like the Bible does) or does it make sin appear as something good? (like the Bible does NOT)"

It is hard to combat inconsistencies in our Christian walk, but for me personally, I believe that as God shows me His light in one area at a time, I am to follow, one step at a time (as James 4:17 implies).

Hope that helps a little! And you're welcome! :)

Lydia Borengasser said...

Yes, I think that is an important question to ask. I would say most of these movies/books we're talking about still portray good/evil within their fictional world. To be consistent with God's Word and consistent with our own convictions and standards, we would have to accept these as appropriate and God-honoring, in my estimation thus far.

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