Friday, April 29, 2016

Supernatural or super dangerous .................. Parables 425

June 14, 1994

A young pastor was not particularly interested in the daily horoscope column. While he knew Christians were not supposed to dabble in such things, he thought it was basically harmless. However, he decided to read it every day, just to prove that it was nothing.

Within weeks, this man lost his ability to minister to his congregation. He could not sleep properly and struggled with roller-coaster emotions, particularly fear. His doctor could find no physical cause for his problems. After other counseling, his daily reading habit came to light. He was encouraged to stop and when he did, his difficulties dramatically ceased.

Horoscopes, Ouija boards, seances, crystal balls, and divining rods have been around for a long time. These and other devices have been used to predict or discern the unknown or communicate with the dead or the spirit world.

Often, those who have experience with such things will tell you of their success. They have discovered their future, or been told to avoid certain things they may otherwise have chosen. Many claim to have talked with, or at least seen images of someone who is dead.

Every now and then, a community hosts a “fair” that features these and other related elements. Those who attend often think nothing of it; it’s just harmless fun.

If asked about the origin of such “supernatural” happenings, some might say “it’s all in your head” or “people have untapped powers” or “there is a lot we don’t know.” Some might even say this belongs to the same realm as God.

While the Bible leaves a lot of things unexplained, it plainly says not everything supernatural is from God. The miracles that He did are not the same as those done by magicians. God’s miracles are never described as tricks or stunts. Their purpose was to deliver His people from danger, make the sick well, give sight to the blind, cause the lame to walk, or demonstrate His power over nature and the elements.

Neither are prophecies God gave the same as those given by fortune-tellers. His predictions concerned what He would do in the lives of His people (usually either to bless or chasten them) or the appearance of the Messiah, or His second coming and the events surrounding the end of the world as we know it. He did not tell people things about their personal future except as it related to their obedience or disobedience to Him.

According to the Bible, other than the realm that relates to God, all intriguing and mystical supernatural activities are off-limits. God warned His people: “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).

Deuteronomy 18 is more specific: “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, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God.”

Notice what God calls these things. He does not find them imaginary, or fascinating, or harmless. To Him, they are detestable, offensive, even repulsive. So are those who practice them.

A person who believes in Christ is given the mind of God (1 Corinthians 2:16) and ought to feel the same way about these things as God does. However, as the young pastor found out, the ungodly side of supernatural also has power to attract and hold even a Christian in bondage. This is one “fair” and one “roller-coaster ride” to stay away from.

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