Dictionary.com defines occultic (adj.) as “of or pertaining to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies.” The use of secret or supernatural powers is expressly forbidden in the bible (Lev 19:26, Deut. 18:10, 2 Kings 17:17 and more) and when people get involved in those activities, even unwittingly, bad things can happen.
The list of (possible) occult practices is long and widely debated in the Christian community even today. A partial list that has wide agreement includes horoscopes, palm reading, tarot cards, superstitions, psychics and more.
Christians continue to tussle about elements of chiropractic, holistic/new age healings, acupuncture, freemasonry, acupressure, hypnosis, martial arts and more. Hosea 4:6 says that “my people perish for lack of knowledge” and we believe that this realm of occultic sin is another one of those areas where ignorance is not bliss!
We have ministered to many people who, prior to salvation, were involved to different degrees in occultic sins. Some visited psychics frequently, others, desperate for a cure from physical afflictions, sought out alternative medicine healings and others were heavily involved in martial arts.
In our ministry, we emphasize three key points as it relates to occultic activity:
- Not all practices open doors for demonic torment. All chiropractic is not harmful, neither are types of holistic/alternative healings nor all martial arts. We think that the central question needs to be whether or not there is a spiritual component. “Universal energy” and “life force” are code terms for New Age teachings. We believe that if the spiritual reference is not explicitly directed toward the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then the activity can be harmful.
- Repenting of the sin does not necessarily mean there is freedom from the spirits! Many people recognize the error of their ways, repent of the sins and assume all is well. God does forgive us of course but it does not mean that the demons necessarily leave. They can still be in the house and need to be expelled. This is a shock to some because they erroneously believe that simple repentance of their sin meant they were somehow delivered from these demons. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it does not and this is when deliverance is necessary.
- It is typically repeated involvement in occultic sin that opens the door for demons. Reading a fortune cookie or a horoscope occasionally does not typically result in demonic oppression. We believe the problem comes not only from progressive involvement but also believing what was received. However, we have seen an instance where a man had had his palm read one tima at a county fair over twenty years ago. He remembered the reading and because he believed what was spoken over him there was a spirit of fear operating in his life. We saw him powerfully delivered from that spirit!
The realm of occultic sin involves knowingly or unwittingly inviting demon spirits into our house. Those devils are there to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) so who wants them hanging around? Have you seen instances where demonic influence is still present in a person’s life long after they were out of the occultic activity?