The Bible and Witchcraft

The Bible and Witchcraft

Today witchcraft, wicca, the occult, spiritism, neopaganism, and various New Age beliefs and practices seem to be everywhere. While Christianity is in decline in the West, these other counterfeit spiritualities are on the increase. What should Christians make of all this? Here I will offer what Scripture says, and in future articles I will further explore this in various ways.

A recent headline caught my attention: “Scotland may pardon thousands of ‘witches’ it executed hundreds of years ago.” The article went on to say this: “Attorney Claire Mitchell leads activist group Witches of Scotland, which wants to have the names of the convicted legally cleared, a written apology letter from the government and a monument established in their memory.” nypost.com/2022/01/07/scotland-may-pardon-thousands-of-witches-it-executed-hundreds-of-years-ago/

This made me think of the famous line by C. S. Lewis in his preface to The Screwtape Letters: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

If in times past some folks were overly concerned by such things, today most folks are too little concerned – or worse yet, they actually celebrate and promote such things. The Scottish situation (which the church is expected to go along with) is a case in point.

As to the issue of witchcraft trials (both in Europe and America), I have already penned a piece trying to provide some context and background to the situation. You can find that article here: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/01/19/on-the-witchcraft-trials/

Today witchcraft, wicca, the occult, spiritism, neopaganism, and various New Age beliefs and practices seem to be everywhere. While Christianity is in decline in the West, these other counterfeit spiritualities are on the increase. What should Christians make of all this? Here I will offer what Scripture says, and in future articles I will further explore this in various ways.

The Bible of course clearly condemns all of these activities, be it witchcraft, divination, necromancy, astrology, fortune-telling, spiritism, communicating with the dead, and so on. Here are just some of the passages that can be appealed to:

Exodus 22:18 You shall not permit a sorceress to live.

Leviticus 19:26, 31 You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying…. Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 20:6, 27 And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people…. A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

1 Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. NKJV

2 Kings 21:5-7 And he [Manasseh] built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.

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