Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fakes and Phonies .............. Parables 288

October 9, 1991

An Alberta newspaper ran an article about a woman who was arrested and charged with two counts of “pretending to practice witchcraft.” It seems someone complained about her fee schedule and the police took a closer look at her activities.

My question is this: Is it also illegal to practice as a real witch or only illegal to PRETEND to be one?

Actually, there should be laws against anybody pretending to be what they are not. We don’t want fake policemen, fake doctors, or fake car repairmen. We don’t want fake religious leaders or fake religions either.

Come to think of it, maybe we need a law that makes it illegal to pretend to be a Christian. While fake witches might jilt the unsuspecting out of pocket, fake Christianity dupes people out of something far more important.

The Old Testament fake religious leaders certainly didn’t cut it with God. When He gave Jeremiah a 40-year ministry of speaking against them, He said: “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.”

He also said, “Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams... who, by their lies and by their recklessness, cause My people to err. I did not send them... therefore they shall not profit these people at all.”

These fake spiritual leaders led the people into idol worship and eventual judgment. Such is the power of a few religious hot-shots who claim to be genuine. They can fool an entire nation.

In the New Testament, Paul said false apostles and deceitful workers would “transform themselves into apostles of Christ.” He said these fakes would “come in by stealth to spy out the liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage” (2 Cor.11:13, Gal.2:4).

He was talking about phonies who tried to change the gospel of Christ which says salvation is a free gift into a religious system of rules by which a person could supposedly earn the favor of God. They took advantage of human guilt and their fear of judgment and exploited this for personal gain.

The fake witch in the newspaper story was making predictions and taking money from unsuspecting people, action forbidden by civil law. Real witchcraft is forbidden by God, even called an abomination, because real witches are in the business of deceit too. They steer people from the truth about God and about man’s eternal destiny by promising superficial knowledge of the future. People who earnestly want some control of their destinies need to hear the truth — that only God can give anyone that eternal well-being they are seeking.

In the long run, such deceivers haven’t a hope. Satan, the master-fake, is doomed just as are those who follow his ways, including fakes and witches. Revelation 10:10 tells of their fate, “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

That fake witch likely faces a fine and maybe some time in jail. She will change her advertising, lower her rates, and be back in business before very long. However, unless she and others who practice deception determine to follow the truth, a genuine punishment is yet to come.

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