So just how dangerous can tarot cards, ouija boards, and astrology really be? Today, Jeff discusses the Christian view of occult powers, and shares passages from the Bible and Catechism explaining their sinful nature.
Snippet of the Show
“Satan is a liar, and if we go to places outside the kingdom of God, putting our trust in these things, you will get answers, but they’re lies.”
Divination and Magic in the Bible
King Saul turned away from God and sought advice instead from occult powers:
“When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, ‘Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.’
‘There is one in Endor,’ they said.
So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. ‘Consult a spirit for me,’ he said, ‘and bring up for me the one I name.’ 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?’ Saul swore to her by the Lord, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.’ Then the woman asked, ‘Whom shall I bring up for you?’
‘Bring up Samuel,’ he said.
When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, ‘Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!’ The king said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. What do you see?’ The woman said, ‘I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth.’
‘What does he look like?’ he asked. ‘An old man wearing a robe is coming up,’ she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?’
‘I am in great distress,’ Saul said. ‘The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.’
Samuel said, ‘Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.’Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and all that night.” – 1 Samuel 28:5-20
“Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.” – Leviticus 19:31
“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, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.” – Deuteronomy 18:10-12
“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” – Isaiah 8:19“Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
“God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.” – CCC 2115
“All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.” – CCC 2116
“All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.” – CCC 2117
“God’s first commandment condemns the main sins of irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, and sacrilege.” – CCC 2118
“Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act. Jesus opposed Satan with the word of God: “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test.” The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.” – CCC 2119“Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.” – CCC 2120
Caught Up in Occult Powers?
- Renounce It: Go to confession and confess it as the sin of divination. Remember, it always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.
- Get Rid of It: cut up any materials and destroy them so no one can use them.
“Many also of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.” – Acts 19:18-19
- Talk to Your Children: explain Ouija boards and Tarot Cards and ask them if they have had experiences with them.
- Seek God and Trust Divine Providence!
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