Unleavened Brett

Brett’s Friday Blog Post

UB Oct 13

Turning from the occult

Did you see the baptism of Kat Von D (Drachenberg) that she posted online? She was a reality TV tattoo artist that I was only vaguely aware of, but who has made headlines recently after dramatic lifestyle changes. She was known for wearing dark, goth clothing & make-up. But she sold her beauty brand, began covering up tattoos, moved from California to Indiana, & threw away her tarot cards & books on witchcraft, magic, & macabre.

Many people are like she was. Due to the ever-increasing popularity of Halloween, October has become occultic. It seems the entire month has been devoted to all things not only dark, morbid & ugly, but demonic & evil. People turn to the occult whenever they deal with the “paranormal,” spiritism, psychics, seances, ghosts, witchcraft (Wicca), fortunetelling, astrology, & even Ouija boards. These things not only fascinate & put a friendly face on the forbidden but offer the illusion of benevolent help & friendly power.

Before you write me off as a religious crackpot who can’t separate fantasy from reality, let me say that I understand lots of occult things are meant just for fun. But would you allow that these seemingly harmless things can be the doorway to danger, & cross over from mere entertainment to something more sinister?

There are a number of people who put their faith in Christ, but never really give up their occult practices. It may be because they don’t know what God has to say about those practices, or it’s just difficult for them to give up something that’s seemingly been enjoyable. But God says to stay far away from it. Why? Occult activity rejects God’s will for us. The whole point of occult knowledge is to try to find information that God has not revealed, or it’s to give a person supernatural power over his own life or over others. God says these things are idolatrous because they’re putting something else in His place (Deut. 18:9-12, Lev. 19:31, Isaiah 8:19).

Even worse, occult activity introduces people to spiritual enemies. We should know that much of what passes for occult activity is just delusion & deception. There’s no more to it than shaking a Magic-8 Ball. Skeptics who don’t believe in life after death, angels & demons, or anything that’s not material and scientifically verifiable will claim it’s all fake. But the Bible treats it as real. So what they’re actually doing, whether they know it or not, is inviting demonic activity because demons are most likely to go where they’re welcomed. If you’re truly accessing information that’s humanly unknowable, then understand that “…Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Your open door gives demons a foothold. These are not only God’s enemies, but entities who seek our destruction.

That’s why we have to be careful & discerning about this stuff (Eph. 6:10-12). Humans are inherently unsuited for encounters with occult realities. It’s like walking unprotected on a minefield without knowledge of the number or location of the mines. We don’t know exactly when it becomes harmful. For some, it’s quicker than others, but it’s never safe. If God says it’s off-limits, then whatever “contacts” are being made & whatever powers are being produced, are not from Him. So where do they come from? They’re clever counterfeits meant to draw us away from God (Ezek. 13:18-20). Those who participate in “witchcraft” & “magic arts” will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal. 5:20, Rev. 21:8).

So what should be done? If you’re a Christian, completely renounce any involvement in these things. An example comes from the citizens of ancient Ephesus who practiced sorcery. Those who became Christians brought their scrolls out & burned them publicly (Acts 19:18-19). Get rid of it all. Until then, there’ll be a barrier preventing spiritual growth, or drawing close to God. There may not always be an answer for every paranormal experience, but no matter what occult phenomenon you’ve encountered, denounce it & repent if you’ve willingly participated in it.

That seems to be the example Kat Von D was following when she threw out her occult paraphernalia. She wrote: “…I just don’t want to invite any of these things into our family’s lives, even if it comes disguised in beautiful covers, collecting dust on my shelves.” Another time in the early Church, the Apostle Paul encountered a fortune-telling slave girl (what we’d call a “psychic” today). She actually had an evil spirit that was using her. She earned a lot of money for her owners. Paul cast out that demon, which made the girl grateful, but made her owners angry (Acts 16:16-18)!

If you’re not a Christian, the first thing you need is to come to faith in Jesus as Lord & Savior. You need forgiveness & freedom to live how God intends. He’s what you’re searching for, even if you don’t recognize it or reject it. Your mind may be closed to it right now, but if you call out to God, He wants to deliver you. You may be in bondage to a spiritual force you don’t understand right now, but God is greater! Your personal experience & feelings are not reliable guides to truth. Jesus is the way, the truth & the life (John 14:6). Trade in the occult based on fear for Christ who casts out fear & offers perfect love (1 John 4:18).

When it comes to Kat Von D, it’s sometimes hard to trust how real or long-lasting celebrity conversions can be. She says, “But right now, it’s never been more clear to me that there is a spiritual battle taking place, and I want to surround myself and my family with love and light.” Transformation is possible, & we pray that she continues growing stronger in her new faith.