Monday, February 27, 2017

Practical Magic's Resurgence

The NY Times published an article titled The modern charm of practical magic. I found it interesting for many different reasons. I was not saved by grace of the Lord Jesus until I was 42 years old. I spent all of my adulthood prior to the salvation moment, searching for the magic key to the magic in life, the unexplainable, explained. I dabbled in lots of different kinds of magic. Ouija boards, Kirlian aura photography, dreamcatchers, sage burning, Reiki, astral projection, summoning spirits & spirit guides, clairvoyance...

We all want to know what's on the other side. We do enjoy peeking behind the veil, knowing the unknowable. Because, the unsaved person knows there is a higher power. (Romans 1:19-20). They just deny Who it is. 'Oh it can't be God. It must be runes...solstice...labyrinths..."

The NYT article says that they notice more than ever, people seeking answers through magic,
You may have noticed it at work. Perhaps your co-worker has ornamented her cubicle with rose quartz crystals? Has a friend uploaded an I Ching app onto his phone? Or maybe your boyfriend blamed his failure to respond to your text messages on Mercury being in retrograde? 
Why magic, and why now? The lack of religious faith so prevalent in our age is an anomaly in history. Magic, which usually does not demand faith in a particular deity, or the sometimes exclusionary imperatives of organized religion, allows people to access a sense of the miraculous on the level of the quotidian.
The article concedes the yearning for a higher power but subtly warns against it actually being God,
There is relief to be found in simply accepting a higher order, in letting go, but what of appeals to reason? Is it not important to disbelieve things that aren’t real? Might faith in the healing powers of a vibratory sound bath lead the next day to outlandish conspiracy theories?
I liked this NY Times article, for many reasons but mainly for its use of my favorite word, quotidian. Where else are you going to read an essay where the author uses such a fancy word which means mundane?

The Christian is bombarded with practical magic all the time. Did you know that? The fads are part of the devilish worming into your home of these magical activities. Labyrinths, Breath prayer, mantras, prayer beads, Mandala coloring books, the false gospel of telling you your words have power, drawing prayer circles, horoscopes, seeking the Presence (which is actually summoning spirits)...and more, are just different kinds of old magic that satan is using to take your eyes off Jesus.

Beware of the charm of practical magic, brethren. The warning is not just for unbelievers, but for believers. Satan insinuates practical magic into our lives under the guise of it being Christian, but it never is. We have the answers. We have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our answers are in the all-sufficient Bible. We do not need additional practices that promise to deliver information, (but never does), or promises to give added insight (but won't) or gives a special closeness to Jesus (but never does).

Here are some resources about the dangers of Christian magic:

Desiring God: Jesus vs. the Occult

Critical Issues Commentary: Contemporary Christian Divination

GotQuestions: What does the Bible say abut Divination?


3 comments:

  1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I appreciate this post very much. If people would only see...! Hope this post helps some to do exactly that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Elizabeth! Thanks for your blog. It has been of great help to me and a strong motivator to keep practicing discernemt.

    May I ask for your thoughts on the Harry Potter series?

    So often I hear solid christian Friends praise the series for being "wonderful" and just "great stories".
    They argue that the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia have magic in them, but I personally do not see either LOTR and TCN having "magic" as the MAIN theme and foundation for the entire story.

    The other argument I hear is that the Harry Potter series doesn't properly convey "Real Magic" or "Real Witchcraft", and so "How can the Harry Potter series function as a gateway to the occult?"

    I know I have my Theological blindspots, and I need my fellow soldiers to call me out with Scripture if they see error, but many people I respect seem to have a huge Blindspot where they go out of their way to "defend" the Harry Potter series and use Scripture only to support the ideas that they need to be "discerning" when watching these films and not condemn themselves on non-critical/foundational issues (Romans 14:22).

    They praise the elements of sacrifice, love, and friendship and say that the "good of the film" outweighs the "bad", even though the "bad" isn't really bad because it isn't "real magic".

    Any help would be Greatly appreciate!
    Lord bless you!

    -Mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark,

      I believe this is an area of Christian liberty, under the discretion of the adults depending on their own knowledge of their own maturity, and for parents to make decisions based on their knowledge of their kids' levels of maturity.

      I read the 1st book and decided not to read any further in the series. I personally do not read or watch books or shows featuring witches, occult, etc. That is my choice but I understand if others decide for whatever reason, they want to read or watch. I believe it's a matter of individual liberty

      Here are a couple of perspectives on it

      https://carm.org/harry-potter-and-sorcerers-stone

      https://www.gotquestions.org/Harry-Potter-Christian.html

      Delete

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