Has the occult invaded your home? There are forces at work that are anxious to introduce it to you and your loved ones.
I was relaxing on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Los Angeles a while back when an interesting commercial popped onto the large movie screen in the main cabin. An attractive blond woman stood cooking in the kitchen. These words flashed on the screen: “6:00 A.M., prepare breakfast for the family.” This was followed by the words, “7:30 A.M., send the kids to school.”
Next I read, “9:30 A.M., clean the house.”
Finally came, “11:00 A.M., talk to the dead.”
Viewers were then urged to watch the hit TV series “Medium, 9:00–10:00 P.M. CT, on NBC.” It all looked so homey and kosher.
CBS has released another series called Ghost Whisperer about an attractive brunette, Melinda Gordon, who is able to “see and talk to dead people.”1 One of my own relatives recently confided to me, “I love Ghost Whisperer! The actress is so cute.”
Similar raves might be made about the mother of all fantasy tales, Harry Potter, especially Hollywood’s movie version of each book. In every Harry Potter film, the teenagers who play Harry and his friends are nice kids. British actor Daniel Radcliffe stars as young Harry, Rupert Grint plays Harry’s best friend Ron, and Emma Watson acts as the witty, pretty, and lovable Hermione. Each of these kids looks innocent and friendly. The problem is, from a biblical perspective, that they each practice witchcraft, cast spells, and perform occult magic while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Hollywood and the occult
One of the most potent mind-molding forces today can be summarized in one word: Hollywood. In addition to the theater, television screens are almost everywhere, in homes, malls, airports, airplanes, and offices, even inside many automobiles. Computers also often double as television sets. Movies and TV shows all influence the thoughts of those who watch them.
Of course God can and does work through the medium of television, but so does the devil. To those with spiritual discernment, it is as clear as a mountain stream in Montana that our ancient enemy often uses Hollywood programs to seduce human minds, just as he tricked Eve in Eden. This is especially true of shows featuring occult themes.
And talking to dead people, practicing witchcraft, and spell casting are popular Hollywood themes. They make big money. These fictitious Hollywood programs make occultism look attractive, and Satan works through these programs to desensitize human minds to the dangers of the real thing.
In the Bible, God categorically warns His people to avoid such practices. “ ‘When you come into the land,’ ” the Lord warned Israel, “ ‘you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.’ ” Note carefully: “ ‘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.”2
Hollywood is making many of these practices look cool, but God says they aren’t cool at all. Rather, they’re “abominations.” The Lord says this not because He is Mr. Stuffy in the Sky, but because He loves us and knows full well that Satan and his evil angels work directly through these practices in the real world to enter human hearts and destroy souls. Hollywood is effectively desensitizing human minds to the dangers of this reality—precisely what Lucifer wants.
Nice people, bad activities
This principle has become clear to me: If you take nice people and portray them performing evil practices before viewing audiences, the minds of those who watch these programs will not only become desensitized to the danger of those evil practices, but the practices themselves will increase in popularity. If you don’t think this is true, just open your eyes and look around. Witchcraft, sorcery, and spiritualism are growing rapidly on every side.
Hollywood isn’t just peddling fiction either—far from it. NBC’s Medium is based on the real life history of medium Allison DuBois whose popular book, Don’t Kiss Them Good-Bye, describes her encounters with dead people.3 The co-executive producer of CBS’s Ghost Whisperer is James Van Praagh, one of the most celebrated mediums of the twenty-first century.4 Thus each of these Hollywood shows is linked to real occultism. This isn’t fantasy, but reality. Hollywood mediums may have nice, friendly smiles, but this doesn’t matter. God says they are abominations.
How about Harry Potter? In spite of some positive elements amidst the fantasy, there’s plenty of actual occultism within those magic-made-funny pages. Astrology, divination, crystal ball gazing, potion mixing, and spell casting are all depicted in humorous ways that make kids laugh. Are many teenagers checking out the real thing? You bet they are. In many bookstores Harry Potter books often sit on shelves right next to real witchcraft books.
I have a friend whose daughter works at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. “My daughter said that many teenagers line up behind cash registers to buy both Harry Potter books and real witchcraft books,” my friend reported. Obviously, not every kid who reads Harry Potter will rush out to become a witch, but this tantalizing tale about a boy wizard is influencing society big time. More and more, we’re shifting toward the occult. If you doubt the trend, just go to Walmart.com and type “Wicca” or “Witch.” You’ll be amazed.
Where it all started
In the Garden of Eden the forbidden tree was called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”5 This name is highly significant. Satan often mixes evil with good. If you take something evil and mix it with something good, human minds not only become desensitized to the evil but also soon start seeing evil as good.
The forbidden tree was just that: forbidden. God said, “ ‘You shall not eat [from it], [or] you shall surely die.’ ”6 The slithering serpent countered, “ ‘You will not surely die,’ ” and as a result of his subtle wizardry, Eve’s mind “saw that the tree was good for food” when it really wasn’t. Her mind was corrupted. Acting from perverted perception, she reached out, took the fruit, and ate it.7 The clear sequence was first, Satan blurred Eve’s mind about evil, then her mind thought evil was good, after that she committed sin, and, finally, the devil entered her soul. The enemy seeks to possess our souls through this exact same process in these last days.
Paul wrote, “I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”8 Here Paul described the battle for the mind and used Eve’s downfall as a warning. Notice carefully: The serpent influenced Eve’s thoughts before she plucked the forbidden fruit.9 Paul feared that what happened to Eve might happen to Christians. Therefore we must guard our minds lest through satanic subtlety they become corrupted from the purity of Jesus Christ.
Satan’s grab for your mind
Satan seeks to corrupt human minds, and all too often Hollywood functions as one of his agencies. The devil is master mind-influencer, mind-bender, and mind-molder. To withstand his subtle assaults, Paul urged every Christian to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”10 We need the power, love, and truth of Jesus Christ inside our heads. May the Lord help us to avoid being tantalized, seduced, or deceived in any way by popular programs that Satan works through.
Satan is pulling out all the stops in his warfare against Jesus Christ and His saints. His primary target is our minds. Lucifer is no dummy. He knows that whoever controls the mind controls the actions. Although the world’s news agencies don’t recognize it, life’s greatest conflicts do not occur on bloodstained battlefields or desert sands, but inside human hearts and heads. Don’t forget it. The biggest battle is for the mind.
This counsel is timely: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. . . . And the God of peace will be with you.”11
Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us. He longs to protect us from sinister forces.
Through God’s strength, let’s win the battle for our minds.
What’s your view of the occult? Write to us if you’d like to share your opinion with our readers. You can write a letter to the editor and submit it online on the Letters to the Editors page.
Steve Wohlberg is the speaker/director of White Horse Media. His eye-opening book is Hour of the Witch: Harry Potter, Wicca Witchcraft, and the Bible. You can learn more about his ministry at his Whitehorse Media Web site.