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Jan 04 2010

Divination and Lucky Charms

Nothing new under the sun

A number of years ago, I lived next door to a woman who was a self-professed “good” witch.  She spent a great deal of time trying to convince me that she was a good witch and did not cast bad spells on people.  She really wanted my acceptance.  She would listen to me as I explained the Gospel to her.  Unfortunately, her interest was in trying to convince a Christian that she was okay spiritually because she was a ‘good’ witch.  Eventually she moved away to another state.  And to be honest, as far as human beings go, she really was a nice lady.  She was friendly, giving and kind to people.  Despite that, she was as lost as they come, relying on her own ‘goodness’ while utterly defying God’s Word by practicing divination. We have this idea that witches, sorcerers and other evil things would be obvious to us as they should manifest themselves in scary and frightening ways like we see in the movies.  Times have changed and Satan, while he has not changed, has changed his ways to accommodate the times.  My former neighbor is a classic example.

The other day I read an article that demonstrates how much this is part of human nature.  I was, to be honest, disgusted by what I read and thought to myself “I really need to quit reading the news.”  Vultures, if something is not done to protect these birds, will end up extinct and some species of this bird are already on the endangered list.  And as bizarre as it seems, the reason for this is sorcery and divination.  Turns out people in South Africa are killing these birds, drying their brains and then smoking them.  Unbelievably it is thought that doing so will give them visions of lotto numbers and other things of the future.  Aside from this being one of the more vile (it’s beyond gross) things I have ever read, divination is wicked in the sight of the Lord.  I’m not talking about what they are doing to these poor creatures (and I do have a lot to say about that) but the reason they are doing this practice is wicked. 

  • There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer (Deu 18:10 ESV)

What these folks are seeking is fortune telling and this is expressly forbidden by God.  According to the experts that are trying to prevent and protect these birds, they have learned that the reason people smoke vulture brains is because the bird seems to appear out of nowhere to catch its prey and has extremely good eyesight.  Therefore, they believe that if they dry and smoke the vulture brains, they too will be able to see what is not there.  One vendor who sells “unusual” items states that he does sell vulture brain because “you see things that people can’t see.  For lotto, you dream the numbers.”  He said that smoking this “helps at the horse races, boost exam performance.”  This vendor also sells donkey fat “to chase away bad spirits.”

Witchcraft, sorcery, divination alive and well in our society.  While Americans are not smoking dried vulture brains, like my former neighbor who is a professed witch, it is alive and well in our country.  From lucky charms that people wear, lucky numbers, contacting a psychics or ouija boards is no different from what they are doing with the vultures.  Smoking dried vulture brain is admittedly more disgusting but no more evil than what western style divination.

  • “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.  (Deu 18:12 NASB)

God drove out nations before the Israelites because of these detestable things and destroyed nations because these activities are detestable in the sight of the Lord.  God has not changed His views of this wicked act.  It doesn’t matter how people clothe it, it is wicked and evil.  People have changed HOW they do these detestable things but they have not changed doing these detestable things.  It is so much part of our society that I think that sometimes we just don’t really recognize it.  I know that I have become so used to things around me that it is like the noise of the traffic, it’s there but I don’t really hear it.  It becomes like white noise.  I know that I have seen rabbit’s feet for good luck and my thoughts turn to the poor little rabbit.  While that is certainly sad, those that carry rabbit’s feet are doing something that is detestable in the sight of the Lord.

I shall end this bizarre post with food for thought.  I thought I would share what I read because as westerners, we would find this act truly wicked but sometimes I think we fail to really see what’s going on in our own backyard.  Crystals are a popular ‘charm.’  They are worn, and have even been ground up into a fine powder and drank for the same power that folks across the world smoke dried vulture brains.  Westerners are no different.  They just have a different methodology than what they use in South Africa.  The only difference is drinking ground crystal powder is less gross than smoking dried vulture brains.  However, both are as equally wicked in their purpose.

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  1. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    Boy!….. You sure know how to get my dander up!….. There are so many superstitions right here in “America” even with “college educated” people….. Right along with all this type of mentality is the supposedly harmless practices of “Halloween”….. I’ve written some things over the years regarding superstitions and myths….. I should try and dig them up and post them….. What is so horrifying is that every superstition and myth is a flat-out denial of the Lord God Almighty.

    In the end, it does not matter how much people try to proclaim the sweet innocence and fun in pretending and using one’s “gift of imagination”….. Whether it’s a rabbit’s foot, a boogey man under the bed, a fortune teller’s cards, scary “stories”, or whatever, they all rob people of the truth and peace of God’s love….. Our sinful natures have a natural inclination to become wide-eyed and fearful over these scary possibilities, that have nothing to do with truth.

    My point is that God, our heavenly Father, desires that we all be built up in the truth — in faith, hope, and love….. Superstitions are an attempt to tear all that down….. It is so vital to stay close to our Savior with our whole heart.

    Margaret

    1. Tishrei

      You are so right. I hope you do dig up those posts and post them. After I read that article about the vultures, I thought that was the most disgusting thing I had read in years. It actually turned my stomach it was so gross. But the reason I went ahead and posted is because western countries are quick to take issue with those things but doing the same exact thing themselves. The ONLY difference is the elements used.

      My dander went up too — for two reasons. The wickedness of the act — and well, the second is I feel really bad for these birds. I LOVE animals and I just want to fly over there and protect those birds.

  2. Liz

    great post. Now and days we as believers have to be on alert. Satan desquises himself as the angel of light. With new age or any other false teaching.

    I have had as i have said many expereinces with false teaching and am so thankful that God protected me and has kept me on the right path.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Liz,

      I agree. Satan has always been the same, a deceiver. The only difference is that he uses different methods to appeal to the culture and times of the lost.

      I too have had some, shall we say, very bizarre encounters with false teachers.

  3. Margaret

    Tishrei,

    You are getting your request..:)… My post for tomorrow, January 7, is the l-o-n-g article I wrote in 1997….. It may be long, but so is eternity….. I have also written some shorter posts over the years and will post them some other time…..

    Have a blessed day.

    Margaret

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks. I’ll go over and read it. With my computer being out of commission for a few days and now that I have a friend coming to town, I’m going to be off again for the next few days. I’ll be checking in but as it stands right now, I’m running behind.

      I enjoy your posts so I am looking forward to reading this one :) I like reading what other Christians say. one of the ways that I have really grown is reading and talking to other Christians. It’s kind of cool how God works that way. :)

  4. Daoist Christian

    All,

    Sorcery and being a priest are practically the same thing. Religion and spirituality however are completely different, Religion is following the knowledge taught within a system or through a book, which is good cause there is a lot of things that someone should know out of the bible. Spirituality is when someone can actually communicate with god and is aware of their own core self and spirits and being accepting of all people with unconditional compassion for god lives within us all, and to point out negativity in people is to be a hypocrite because how could you point out such things if they weren’t in yourself already.
    What do you think a priest is doing when he blesses you? It is using the power of whom he calls god to bring power through his intention. A blessing is when someone does good to improve things in benevolence (example: Wishing someone well with a relationship, praying for someone to have a safe drive home, thinking nice things towards someone, etc…). A curse is when someone seeks to shoot something down (example: Criticizing someone for what they do is a curse, blaming someone for problems, thinking negatively towards someone for what they do, etc…). What the word sorcerer means is someone who is of the source, Source meaning whomever they call god. The more spiritual and more connected someone is with god the more magical power they have to work with matter energy and spirit. That is how manifesting takes place and through this power priests have results by blessing people.
    Sorcery isn’t evil by itself, sorcery is just the practice of spirituality and the application of spells/ blessings/ hexes. Whether the sorcerer is good or evil is a different story. Would you say it is evil if i were to (blessing) bring wealth, abundance, prosperity, love, compassion, and kindness to a poor family through prayer/rituals/alchemy/spells/etc…??? But it is evil to Hex someone with bad luck, it is evil to use alchemy to transmute someone’s money into hatred just because you don’t like them, it is evil to pray for the death of someone through ritual. These are evil spells per say. I follow God and attend church weekly for I love god. But I am also in training to be a daoist preist because daoist mysticism is the application,practice, science, and understanding of spirituality through a sorcerers tools. I use my christian beliefs and christian connection with god to power my daoist preist training. I am a daoist christian mystic who blesses people everyday, who chants for the financial benefit of the planet, who prays to god for blessings on the people i love. So, tell me, am I evil?
    Terminologies don’t matter, to you I guess I could be called a good witch. I share with you what I practice and what I know so you can benefit by it in your choosing. You can follow the path and label me evil and use this information to your benefit in proving that sorcery is evil. Or you can be open minded and understanding of what I do and take it as just that, my journey and possibly open spiritual paths for you and others. I really don’t have any preference on what you choose to do with this information, that is your life and it isn’t my job to alter it in any way, I just enjoy writing these responses to open my own mind and subconscious to what I know about my studies. By sharing information I receive information.

    Blessings :)

    1. Tishrei

      This is what I can share with you. God is really very clear about sorcery. He does not make a distinction between a “good” sorcerer and a “bad” sorcerer. You have chosen to incorporate sorcery and have deemed what you do as good. There is no need to convince me as my opinion has no bearing on your life. What you need to do is read the Bible and see what God has to say about ALL sorcery for that is who you will answer to. I really do hope you take the time to read God’s Word and see what His opinion is.

  5. Daniel

    Hello Tishrei:

    I’m not going to try to convince you of anything. It’s not my place to change your beliefs, and I doubt I could, any more than you could change mine. I’d like to point out a couple of things though…

    You keep saying that God condemns, what you refer to as sorcery. While I understand that you believe that, i’d like to point out the futility of telling that to people who believe otherwise.

    I believe God not only does not condemn spellcraft, but that spellcraft is a gift from God. How do I know this? God says so.

    So you say God condemns it, and I say God gives it, and both of us claim the same source… God. The real kicker is that both of us have the exact same amount of objective evidence to support our claim… none. You have your book, which cannot be verified as being God’s word. I have God’s word direct from speaking with Him, which I also cannot verify independently. Neither of us can prove the other wrong. One could speculate that perhaps that’s the way God wanted it? Who can say?

    Claims about what God says are a dime a dozen. In the end, it’s all about faith. What you fail to realize is that every person of faith, no matter what religion, believes as fervently as you do. Do you believe me when I tell you what “God says”? No, of course you don’t. How then could you expect persons of other faiths to take your claim of what God says as truth? You can’t convince a person of faith that you know God’s will better than they do.

    This is why “witnessing” isn’t suppose to be about telling other people how wrong they are. One simply cannot insult another person into accepting your beliefs. Claiming “God says” based on your Bible is only effective if one already believes that the Bible is God’s word. Witnessing is supposed to be about telling your experiences, relating your faith, telling what your beliefs are. In the end the only way you’ll ever be taken seriously is if your life is so demonstrably better that the other person will want what you have.

    People of my faith do not preach or proselytize to others. We don’t go around telling people how wrong they are, yet we are the fastest growing faith in the western world, while fundamentalist Christianity is in a steady 200 year decline. Perhaps you might consider a change in tactics?

    Once again, I don’t expect you to accept my beliefs in God. I do hope, however, that I have shed some light on why your claims are also ineffective to others.

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Daniel,

      I agree with you, I cannot change anyone. That is outside the pervue of my abilities. Only the Holy Spirit can change someone’s heart.

      You keep saying that witchcraft/spellcraft is a gift from God. I can (and did in my original post) cut and paste the written word of God that states otherwise.

      The kicker is we do NOT have the same objective evidence (you said we did)). If you can find scripture where God gives His thumbs up to witchcraft/socery, then we have something to talk about. What you are telling me is that He has given you special revelation that it is okay. Do you realize that there are some that are convinced that God told them to go out and murder someone yet, His written word condemns the very act that someone claims God said to do?

      I can prove you wrong simply because God wrote it down in His Word (the Bible). I have no independent revelations that He gave me. My source of knowledge about God is what He has revealed to mankind and that is found nowhere but the Bible. Obviously you have chosen to discount that and have accepted another source. My hope for you — and I really mean this sincerely and 100% — is that you at least take the time to investigate the claims of the Bible. It’s not going to hurt you to read it.

      I agree — claims about what God says are a dime a dozen. In fact, I pretty much discount what people say that God said. However, what I do not discount is what God said preserved in the Bible. And yes, it’s about faith but faith has to be in the right source. Having faith in a tree or whatever someone chooses to save you is not going to cut it. I could have faith that my pet bird is going to teach me how to fly like him — boy would I be in for a big surprise when I jumped off a building with him at my side.

    2. Daniel

      Tishrei: you wrote:

      ” I can… cut and paste the written word of God that states otherwise.
      …His written word condemns the very act that someone claims God said to do?…
      I can prove you wrong simply because God wrote it down in His Word (the Bible)… My source of knowledge about God is what He has revealed to mankind and that is found nowhere but the Bible…what I do not discount is what God said preserved in the Bible… ”

      You see you’ve missed the point of what I was saying. You keep referring to your Bible as if it were the de facto Word of God, as if this were a proven fact born out of objective evidence.

      It is not.

      You have chosen to believe that the Bible is God’s word. I have chosen to believe God speaks in other ways. You cannot show that the Bible is God’s word, you can only make a claim; a claim that has no objective evidence to support it. Your claim is thus no better than mine, or Muslim’s, or Shinto’s, or any of the multitude of religions on this earth whose adherents all believe they have been spoken to by God, in word or in scripture.

      Until you realize that your success rate in converting others will be abyssmal, whether you have the help of your Holy Spirt, as you claim, or not.

      “My hope for you — and I really mean this sincerely and 100% — is that you at least take the time to investigate the claims of the Bible. It’s not going to hurt you to read it.”

      Why is it that when people disagree with you folks, you automatically jump to the conclusion that it is because we’ve never read the Bible? I was a fundamentalist Evangelical Christian for just over 2o years. I studied the Bible backwards and forwards. I attended Bible school and Seminary in preparation for ministry. I have a working knowledge of scripture in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. I have written several papers and essays that were published in leading Evangelical periodicals of the day.

      You can believe me when I say I have read the Bible. This reply does not come from a position of ignorance. I know the Bible well; better than most Christians I dare say. I just don’t happen to believe it is the Word of God.

      Why? I have no reason to believe it is. And you have no evidence to show that I am wrong. This is my point.

      “I could have faith that my pet bird is going to teach me how to fly like him — boy would I be in for a big surprise when I jumped off a building with him at my side.”

      Yet you also don’t have the faith required to drink poison, or allow venbemous snakes to bite you. If your Bible is the yardstick of faith, why do you find that so difficult?

      I could have faith that the leaves of the Bible will spread open in a large parachute, but boy would I be in for a big surprise when I jumped off a building with the Bible at my side.

      You see how empty religious rhetoric works for both sides? And yes, I’m aware that your Bible doesn’t work that way, but then neither does my faith work in the way you erroneously tried to descibe.

      1. Tishrei

        Hi Daniel,

        Of course I keep referring to it as God’s word. That’s what it is. See this post as an explanation. There is so much unbelievable evidence to support that it is that I would have just simply disregard “evidence” if it is to be rejected as God’s Word. I’m not just talking about my Christian faith but about physical and tangible evidence. The muslim Koran and other books cannot hold up to the same claims as the bible (I’m a former muslim). I also realize and understand that you do not accept it as God’s Word. What you have to understand is that my post is based on the FACT that it is God’s Word

        I also realize and understand that you have chosen to believe that that God speaks in different ways. Lot’s of people claim that – they claim that God told them to go out and murder because of that person’s sin. Are they wrong and you’re right? Even within Christianity, people who make those claims are in error which is evidenced by the fact that what they say is going to happen does not come to pass. I once listed to two people argue with each other – one saying that God told him such and such while the other person replied that God said the opposite. Which one of them do you suppose was right – both? Was God giving each of them different messages about the same thing?

        I will agree with you – MY success rate is abysmal. Actually, it’s worse than that – I bat zero in conversions. BUT fortunately, it’s not my job to convert people. Christians are the vessels. Look at it this way. You have a car but it’s not your car’s job to get you to your destination. You drive your car to your destination. The car is the source of your transportation but it is not responsible to make sure you get where you’re going. That’s your job.

        Okay, I obviously made a wrong assumption about you having read the bible. I was wrong. But I can say that most have not. My apologies to you.

        I’m wondering why you do not wish to share your faith with me. Obviously since you read my blog, it is obvious as to where I’m coming from but it would help me in having discussions with you to know your faith background.

  6. Nat

    Thank you Daniel, Because of you, I have faith that I’m not going to burn in Hell. At a guess, Daniel is a spiritual person (read description above).

    1. Tishrei

      Hi Nat,

      All I can suggest to you is make sure you put your faith in the right place. You said because of Daniel’s comment, you have faith in where you’re going after this life. Neither Daniel, me or anyone else can ensure where any of us end up. Being spiritual doesn’t do anyone any good if their faith is not place in the only one who determines our eternity.

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