Mike Frank - 1973
1) In the Old Testament we are told quite clearly that when God called the people of Israel to be His people He forbade them to practice many of the religious practices used by nations around Israel. Israel was permitted to worship only the true God, the God who had revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and who had sent Moses to set the people of Israel free from the bondage of Egypt. Thus the Israelites were not permitted to worship false gods, nor were they permitted to use the idolatrous forms of worship found in the worship of idols. (cf. Deuteronomy 9:5ff and 12:29ff for a good picture of this conflict.)
Furthermore, the people of Israel were specifically forbidden to practice magic of any sort, forbidden to consort with such "magical" people as augurs, wizards, sorceresses, mediums, etc. (cf. Deuteronomy 18:9ff, for a command which specifically forbids such activities.)
2) In the New Testament we see that the early Church found her people practicing the forbidden activities mentioned above. The early Church immediately recognized that when Christ sets a person free He sets Him free to know the true God, and to thankfully use all the good things in God's creation. The Church also understood that Christian freedom does not set a person free to continue practicing the forms of magic and idolatrous worship found in the Old Testament. Freedom in Christ, the Church discovered, really means freedom for God and not freedom from God.
Thus we find in the book of Acts the early Christians confessing their old forms of worship and magical practice, and in a specific act of repentance burning their books of magic. (cf. Acts 19:18-19) We also find Paul warning the members of the Church of Corinth not to return to their old, idolatrous ways. (cf. I Corinthians 10:1ff, and especially 10:14)
3) Mediums and thus consulting with the dead, are specifically mentioned and forbidden in the Old Testament, and included in the kind of activities forbidden in the New Testament.
a) Perhaps the key verse in regards to this specific practice is to be found in Leviticus 19:31 which reads "DO NOT TURN TO MEDIUMS OR WIZARDS; DO NOT SEEK THEM OUT, TO BE DEFILED BY THEM: I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD."
b) Unfortunately these practices and these roles still exist today. Most of us do not immediately recognize them as being the ones forbidden in the Bible, but when we look closely we see that they are. For they all are concerned with contacting the dead. One such activity today is called a seance. It is usually conducted by a medium, and its function is supposedly to contact the spirit of a loved one who has died. Whether or not it really does make such a contact is beside the point. What is important is that even attempting to make the contact is forbidden by God.
Seances are often conducted by individuals who belong to groups of people called Spiritualists or Spiritists. They conduct worship services, and many strange things happen at these services, some which might even appear to be beneficial. Nevertheless the services and the practices are forbidden by God.
Finally, we must make reference to the "mechanical medium," the Ouija board, whose function is to answer questions with aid of the spirits of the dead. Many people play with this board not really believing that they will receive help from these "spirits." Nevertheless such help is forbidden, and such playing is dangerous. It is better in terms of Christian obedience to have nothing to do with the board.
c) What does it signify to seek information or help from such forbidden sources? It signifies that a person has turned from the living God to the arts and practices of the Enemy. Such a turning can, of course, endanger a person's relationship with God for all eternity unless it is followed by true repentance. (By this I mean quite simply a refusal to continue in these practices and a spoken "I'm sorry" to the Lord our God. This done, the Christian can trust in the blood of Christ to cleanse him fully from the stain of sin.)
4) In light of all this, and as we suggested above, most of us must admit that, through our own lack of wisdom, at one time or another we have fallen into the clutches of these seemingly innocent activities. We have either gone to a palm reader, gone to a meeting of spiritists, trusted in astrology, played with Ouija boards, etc. Your own pastor, when he was a boy, was not innocent in this matter.
Having offended God in our falling we must be eternally grateful that there is a New Testament in our Bible. For without its message we would surely be lost. But with it we find that there is help to be found, there is forgiveness to be found. For Christ has come, and He died for the forgiveness of our sins. The letter of St. John tells us that quite clearly:
IF WE SAY WE HAVE NO SIN, WE DECEIVE OURSELVES, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST, AND WILL FORGIVE OUR SINS AND CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. (I John 1:8-9)
5) We mentioned in section 3 that it would be a good thing, having turned from the practice of these activities, to say a prayer to God, confessing our error. What kind of prayer? Well, all of our prayers are different, because we are different people. I simply give an example of such a prayer below, for whatever help it might prove to be.
I HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU. I HAVE (AND HERE NAME WHATEVER WAS DONE). AND I AM SORRY. I ASK YOUR FORGIVENESS. AND I THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME FORGIVENESS THROUGH THE LIFE AND DEATH OF YOUR SON JESUS. I ACCEPT THIS FORGIVENESS. AND I ASK YOU TO HELP ME FROM HEREON TO WALK IN THE NEWNESS OF LIFE, IN THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS.
IN JESUS' NAME I ASK THIS.
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