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TheSword

Pervasive Occultism

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Occultism has been greatly popularised by Hollywood, and of course the Harry Potter books have done their part to entice people into it. A lot of people buy into the idea that it's "just harmless fun" and don't understand the real spiritual dangers involved with it.

 

However, the lost can't discern things spiritually. Christians should be able to have a better understanding of the dangers. Yet many Christians are being enticed into the occult without even realising it. They're getting involved in things like contemplative prayer, "Christian" yoga and suchlike. Contemplative prayer is just Hindu/Buddhist mysticism with another name. They think these things will get them "closer to God", but in reality such activities are exposing them to demonic spirits. Mysticism will likely be the main glue of ecumenism in the future, and I believe that contemplative prayer is a much greater occultic danger, for the Christian church at least, than better-known practices like fortune-telling or Ouija boards (although those should certainly be avoided like the plague!).

 

My wife went to physical therapy after her recent back surgery, & while there she talked to one of our Mennonite women neighbors. She was going there to practice of all things, Yoga. We were totally shocked.

 

People who claim to be professors of Jesus Christ surely can make us wonder if they have only given lip service when they practice, dabble with, so many things that goes directly against the teachings of Jesus Christ. For as you say they should have the ability to discern right from wrong & follow Jesus closely yet they are not while running their testimony.

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It is largely thanks to Lighthouse Trails that I have learned about the dangers of contemplative prayer and spiritual formation. In particular, Ray Yungen's book A Time of Departing, which they publish, is a real eye-opener. Roger Oakland also covers contemplative prayer and mysticism in Faith Undone, although that's more about the emerging church (but mysticism is pretty prevalent in that). In addition to those books, there are also many articles published regularly about these subjects and others.

 

I am convinced beyond any doubt that no born-again child of God should have anything to do with contemplative prayer or spiritual formation. These practices should be avoided every bit as much as witchcraft, Ouija boards, astrology, necromancy and other such abominations. They do not bring you closer to God, but rather bring you into the realm of devils. The Bible commands us not to learn the way of the heathen or try to worship God in the same manner that pagans do. Many of the most prominent proponents of contemplative prayer have developed New Age worldviews over the course of time. That is the fruit of messing around with such a spiritually dangerous practice. It has become a trap for many already, and I fear that many more, even in independent Baptist circles, will be ensnared by it. Let those with ears to hear please heed the warning and stay away from this stuff! And if you're involved in it, please repent and get out of it before it traps you completely in deep spiritual bondage!

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It is largely thanks to Lighthouse Trails that I have learned about the dangers of contemplative prayer and spiritual formation. In particular, Ray Yungen's book A Time of Departing, which they publish, is a real eye-opener. Roger Oakland also covers contemplative prayer and mysticism in Faith Undone, although that's more about the emerging church (but mysticism is pretty prevalent in that). In addition to those books, there are also many articles published regularly about these subjects and others.

 

I am convinced beyond any doubt that no born-again child of God should have anything to do with contemplative prayer or spiritual formation. These practices should be avoided every bit as much as witchcraft, Ouija boards, astrology, necromancy and other such abominations. They do not bring you closer to God, but rather bring you into the realm of devils. The Bible commands us not to learn the way of the heathen or try to worship God in the same manner that pagans do. Many of the most prominent proponents of contemplative prayer have developed New Age worldviews over the course of time. That is the fruit of messing around with such a spiritually dangerous practice. It has become a trap for many already, and I fear that many more, even in independent Baptist circles, will be ensnared by it. Let those with ears to hear please heed the warning and stay away from this stuff! And if you're involved in it, please repent and get out of it before it traps you completely in deep spiritual bondage!

Have we meet before KiwiChristian on a different forum/website ?

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Immediately tossing in the trash or burning all things connected to these matters, even the "innocent" things some folks try to keep like "charms" or "crystals".

I was involved in the occult for many years, and I can assure anyone that there is no such thing is innocently dabbling with the devices of Satan, nor can you hang on to little trinkets from such a lifestyle and be at peace. Horoscopes, seances, Ouija boards, "ghost" hunting, Tarot cards, color magic (using certain colors to gain what you want, like people who think wearing green to a job interview will land them the job), superstition, herbal sachets, burning colored candles, astrology, numerology, Yoga, having Buddha statues in the home, mandalas, meditation (except on the things of God), "dream boards", chanting mantras, chakra therapy -  all of it is of the devil and none of it is safe for anyone, let alone Christians, to meddle with.

Edited by JimsHelpmeet

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I was involved in the occult for many years, and I can assure anyone that there is no such thing is innocently dabbling with the devices of Satan, nor can you hang on to little trinkets from such a lifestyle and be at peace. Horoscopes, seances, Ouija boards, "ghost" hunting, Tarot cards, color magic (using certain colors to gain what you want, like people who think wearing green to a job interview will land them the job), superstition, herbal sachets, burning colored candles, astrology, numerology, Yoga, having Buddha statues in the home, mandalas, meditation (except on the things of God), "dream boards", chanting mantras, chakra therapy -  all of it is of the devil and none of it is safe for anyone, let alone Christians, to meddle with.

Too many fall into the trap of trying to mix a "little" of that stuff with their Christianity, thinking they can get the best of both. They don't understand what they are messing with. They rely upon their "good luck" necklace rather than trusting God, but don't even see the problem.

 

Playing with a small rattle snake may seem safe since it's not as big as the others, but it's still dangerous and eventually that snake is going to strike. The same is true with keeping just a "little" of the occult at hand.

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Too many fall into the trap of trying to mix a "little" of that stuff with their Christianity, thinking they can get the best of both. They don't understand what they are messing with. They rely upon their "good luck" necklace rather than trusting God, but don't even see the problem.

 

Playing with a small rattle snake may seem safe since it's not as big as the others, but it's still dangerous and eventually that snake is going to strike. The same is true with keeping just a "little" of the occult at hand.

It's like my dad always said, "if you ingest a tiny bit of arsenic every day for several years, eventually you can down a large amount with no ill effect". Many Christians get caught up in trends, like Yoga or contemplative prayer or good luck charms, and think it's just fun or so long as they aren't directly invoking Satan they're not doing anything wrong. I've known many Christians who think Yoga is harmless. They think they can simply tune out the Eastern spirituality aspects of it and it will be fine. The Bible is clear we are to guard ourselves by not dabbling with these things in the first place. The enemy didn't come right out and tell Eve that she would fall into sin and her body and soul would begin to die at the moment she ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Instead, he dangled the fruit before her, talked it up, made it sound innocent enough. 

 

The occult is very alluring. It promises results with little work involved. Little discipline. It comes across as accepting of everyone, tolerant. All are welcome (only, I know from personal experience that Pagans are more stuck up, exclusionary, and intolerant than non-christians claim Christians are). Why pray and wait on God when a crystal dangling from a chain or some cards promise to predict your future immediately? The occult is life without sin. Life without consequences. It's a make it up as you go, every approach is correct so long as it feels right, system. 

 

People think it's just silly stuff, but I can promise people one thing - it's not a joke. If anyone is reading this and is thinking about dabbling in the occult and perhaps you're scoffing at what we are warning against, please know this...you're dealing in treachery. It starts off very subtly, but progresses into places you never meant for it to go. You will involve yourself in things nobody has any business being involved with. You will open up areas of your life to demonic influence. And, eventually, some aspect of the practices you're engaging in will yield frightening results. 

Edited by JimsHelpmeet

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I think where Christians have to be careful is the natural/health movement. Yep. Herbs....acupuncture...yoga....meditation. There is a fine line between being healthy and trying to stay away from chemicals, and getting caught up in this entire mentality of "cleansing" and "the mind" and "meditation" and things like that. I have heard it pointed out that many of the popular herbs today are also heavily used in the occult/Wiccan spells and etc. Acupuncture also has ancient Chinese religious roots. Yoga and meditation has to do with clearing your mind....I've always heard that if you get someone to completely clear their mind, that is an open door for the devil to get in. And you can read about people who have had "enlightenments" and heard "messages" during a time when they completely tried to blank out their mind, etc.

I believe that most Christians know to stay away from Ouiji boards and palm readers....but many, many, many Christians are in to the "natural herbal" movement....some even feel it is more "spiritual" and "God honoring" to do so. And again, I fully realize it's not sinful to go use natural remedies....but I think we have to be careful not to get all caught up in the "lifestyle" of it all, because it is closely linked with the New Age movement and things like that.

 

Yes, absolutely! I'm glad you mentioned this, because this is a more subtle way that Christians can get caught up in pagan spirituality and not see it coming. When I was a pagan, I was very involved in the environmentalist and vegan movement, which ties into the natural hygiene and raw food community. While there are Christian vegans and Christians who are health conscious, the majority of people heavily involved in things like animal rights activism and raw foodism/juicing are pagan or secular humanist. They're always trying to tap into a higher level of spirituality through the cleansing of the body and the mind.

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Yes, absolutely! I'm glad you mentioned this, because this is a more subtle way that Christians can get caught up in pagan spirituality and not see it coming. When I was a pagan, I was very involved in the environmentalist and vegan movement, which ties into the natural hygiene and raw food community. While there are Christian vegans and Christians who are health conscious, the majority of people heavily involved in things like animal rights activism and raw foodism/juicing are pagan or secular humanist. They're always trying to tap into a higher level of spirituality through the cleansing of the body and the mind.


I have a relative who is New Age/vegan/animal rights, etc. And that entire side of the family had a huge "spooky" thing going while they were growing up, on my mom's side. It actually came into her marriage with my dad and didn't end until we got saved and started going to church. And my mom wasn't even into the occult...it just sort of came to her through the family. It makes me shiver to think too much about it because it's sooo real and sooo scary, and too many Christians take it lightly and shrug it off if they never experienced it. Actually my dad was in a Christian home growing up but got away from it. In college he used a Ouiji board one time just for fun...and the board foretold how each guy was going to die. They were in Indiana at the time, and the one guy was going to die in a fishing accident in Alaska or something. They totally laughed it off. But then several years later, the guy actually died like that. Really spooky. And anyone who would think, "Wow, cool!" No. That is NOT cool.

My sister and I try to tell her husband some things about how serious it is, and he is a great Christian, but he calls us "superstitious" because he's never experienced anything like that. Well, anyone who has never experienced it should be glad they haven't, and they should never try. And I wasn't even into the occult...I only had a very small amount of scary things happen as a child, and to this day it makes chills go down my back if I talk much about it. *shudder*

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Have we meet before KiwiChristian on a different forum/website ?

 

I don't think so. It's not beyond the realms of possibility I guess. I'd be more than happy to say hello if we did know each other (or even just had a passing acquaintance), but I'm fairly sure we don't. Maybe you've come across someone with a similar user name to mine or something?

 

Some great posts in this thread, by the way! Thankfully I don't think I've had any direct experience with evil spiritual forces (an abhorrence of the occult was instilled in me from a young age and I've always steered clear of it), although I've encountered a handful of people who I'm pretty sure were demon-possessed. One was a seriously scary lady who had creepy visions of ladies in white around her bed and heard voices of dead relatives speaking to her, and who also liked to hang out in cemeteries. She had a very domineering kind of personality. I think her mother must have been into the occult a bit, because she talked about weird things that happened at her mother's house (like one room having a bad smell for no apparent reason, or pictures mysteriously moving on the walls and suchlike). That was over 13 years ago and I have long since got her out of my life. But apart from maybe reading about it in Christian books or reading the odd "real-life ghost story" on another forum, that's about the closest I've come to serious spiritual darkness, and it was plenty close enough!

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This is the time of year I become very much sorrowful over my occult past, and those who are still ensnared by the enemy through such practices. Autumn is one of the most sacred seasons for witches and other Pagans, because Samhain is in the near future. Samhain is the highest holiday in Pagan practice. Fall and the beginning of winter is when Pagans say the "veil between the worlds is thin", meaning it's easier to make contact with the spirit realm and channel those spirits. I'll never forget the night my husband and I were driving home from a movie. It was October and I was observing an esbat (full moon celebration) and I held my hand to the windshield and decided I was going to "draw down the moon". Within seconds I was overwhelmed by the enormous burden of grief. I started to sob and I couldn't stop. By the time we got home my husband had to assist me into the house because I was shaking so badly. The next day when we drove past the spot where I burst into tears, a roadside memorial had been set up where someone had been involved in a fatal car accident. 

 

Another time my husband and I started experiencing off phenomena in our home, so we bought a Ouija board and decided we were going to try and "commune with the spirits" that were in our house. The odd things intensified and two weeks later our house burned down. I don't share these things to pique anyone's curiosity or to be superstitious, but folks, demonic spirits are realYou cannot dabble in the things of Satan, even if you think you don't believe in him (as most Pagans do not) and not unleash a demonic presence and influence over your life. Wicca lead to traditional witchcraft and witchcraft lead to satanism in my life. It's just a slippery slope that offers no peace, no hope, no joy. Fortunately God rescued me out of the clutches of that lifestyle and all praise be unto Him!

Edited by JimsHelpmeet

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