Is There Anything Wrong With Playing Ouija Board?

Title: Is There Anything Wrong With Playing Ouija Board?

Text: Deuteronomy 18:9-12, 1 Samuel 28:7-8, Philippians 4:19

Time: October 19th, 2012

 

I remember sitting in high school homeroom class one day and seeing a girl playing with a Ouija Board. She invited a few other students to join her in asking the board its name. I thought that was pretty strange, but continued to watch her and these other students work the plastic stylus and spell out different words and names. Was this a joke? Or were they for real, seriously? Fast forward a few years later, after high school. I was watching the horror movie The Exorcist and the main character, a little twelve year-old girl, was playing with a Ouija Board and as a result becomes possessed by the devil. The movie describes all the evil she went through in order to get free from the demonic possession. The movie was based on a true story. So when we come to the topic of the Ouija Board, we are dealing with something more than just a parlor game or board game, like, Monopoly, or some other form of entertainment. We are dealing with an occult object, a tool known about for hundreds of years as an instrument of divination, used by spirit mediums to talk to so-called departed spirits. It may be sold as a board game along games like Battleship, but it is anything but a harmless pastime. Have I ever worked a Ouija Board? Regretfully, I must admit that I have, before I became aware of how dangerous it is, before I became knowledgeable about its past use and history. Thirty or forty years ago, the last time I used a Ouija Board, I thought it was just an interesting thing, something that presented a curious topic of conversation. While in high school, I even did a report on activity related to the Ouija Board for psychology class, complete with pictures of a live session and explanations of what happened. Mysteriously, after receiving an “A” for the report, I couldn’t find the paper or the pictures. Somehow, accidentally or deliberately, the class project came up missing. To this day, all these years later, I still don’t know what happened to that report on occult activity related to the Ouija Board. Now the word “occult” means hidden or secret knowledge. The world of the occult is about obtaining secret or hidden knowledge through spiritual means outside of approved Christian or biblical channels. Or in other words, God has given us revelation through the Bible, through His Spirit, through prayer, through the church, and so forth. But the occult goes outside of God’s revelation and seeks to obtain secret knowledge directly through other spiritual means, such as séances, Ouija Boards, ghosts, medium trances, and other such ways. Not content to confine oneself with God’s revelation, many people today seek direct spiritual access to knowledge outside of God through different means. This is occult activity. And it’s popular today. Television and movies glorify mediums and other occult practitioners. But we shouldn’t think occultism is any less dangerous because it’s popular. It’s even more dangerous, especially with so many gullible people participating. Let me explain why we should never play around with the world of the occult, particularly the Ouija Board.

 

First, God forbids us to participate in any form of the occult. Deuteronomy 18:9-12, “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.” The Jews were forbidden by God to participate in any form of the occult, in any form of communication with the spirit world other than with God or God’s messengers, the angels. Now the other nations, the pagan nations, did practice occult rituals in an effort to obtain secret, hidden knowledge. For example, the Egyptians actively tried to communicate with the dead through the spirit world. But God strictly forbid the Jews from doing so. In the New Testament, we see the Christians follow the Old Testament rules against occult activity. In fact, with the coming of Jesus and the Holy Spirit we get a fuller understanding of the source of all occult knowledge – the devil and demons. Here’s a warning from the Apostle Paul about such things, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons,” 1 Timothy 4:1. So from the New Testament we learn that Satan and demons are behind occult communication and activity. No wonder God forbad the Jews in the Old Testament from seeking wisdom, power and knowledge through occult channels. From the Bible, there’s really only one conclusion to be drawn about the occult – it’s from the devil, not God. Now that may surprise people to hear because today there is the misperception that some or certain spiritualistic practices are really signs of God’s power or presence. I’ve even seen some Christians duped into thinking that it’s from God, for example, the Ouija Board or séance activity. I must admit that as a teenager, and as a new Christian, I acted in ignorance about such things for a year or two before I found out the truth. The biggest reason for not getting involved in the occult is that God forbids it; it’s against the will of God. It’s tempting, especially in our modern, secular world today, to think that anything spiritual, anything supernatural must be from God. Wrong. Satan and demons can and do operate in the spiritual real; and they can do paranormal or supernatural things. They can reveal information and move objects magically. But we are expressly forbidden by God to participate in anything they are connected with. We must say, “No,” to the world of the occult, because God says, “No.”

 

Second, participating in the world of the occult leads to spiritual bondage. 1 Samuel 28:7-8, “Saul then said to his attendants, ‘Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.’ ‘There is one in Endor,’ they said. So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. ‘Consult a spirit for me,’ he said, ‘and bring up for me the one I name.’” Now picture this scene. The Jewish King Saul had just expelled all the mediums and spiritists from the land of Israel because God strictly forbade all occult activity. But since Saul was having a hard time discerning God’s will, he decided to visit one of the few remaining occult practitioners, a woman, a witch at Endor and ask her a question. This is typical of people today. Many people know that occult activity, such as Ouija Boards, séances, card reading, fortune telling, crystal balls, table tipping, medium readings, for instance, are wrong; yet they sneak off to do such things in an effort to gain knowledge of some kind. Sometimes people want to talk to a departed love one, and so they think a medium will put them in touch with the spirit of their beloved. Others want to know information or gain knowledge about something, for example, about the future. So usually people come with a question seeking an answer in the world of the occult. But this is a bad move, because it usually puts them into some form of bondage – whether to fear itself or into something worse, a possessing demon spirit. In the case of King Saul, he inquired about contacting the departed soul of the prophet Samuel. The spirit medium or witch put him into contact with someone – who that someone was is debatable. Some Bible scholars say it really was the spirit of Samuel, while others believe it was a demonic deceiving spirit. We don’t have time to get into that discussion today, because it’s lengthy and is a message in and of itself. But whoever it was that the medium put Saul in touch with in the spirit world, the message was bad news nonetheless. Saul learned of his own upcoming death and the defeat of his army. And that’s how it usually turns out in dealing with the occult, it turns out bad. Nothing good ever comes out of occult contact, and usually something bad results. I mentioned the movie The Exorcist in the introduction of this message. A little girl’s harmless playing with a Ouija Board results eventually in her demonic possession. It all started with playing around with the occult. Interaction with the world of the occult causes fear and anxiety usually. Or it may tempt one to pursue more and more contact with the occult by wetting one’s appetite for the paranormal or supernatural, thus sucking one deeper into bondage. Or, like I said before, it might lead to some form of demon oppression or even possession. In any case, the occult is bad news. It should be avoided at all cost.

 

Third, there’s nothing in the occult world we need; God will give us all we need. Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” People get involved with the world of the occult because they think they need something God isn’t supplying. For someone who has lost a loved one, they think they need to contact this person again for some reason; so they ask a medium to give them “a reading.”  For someone else, they think they need specific knowledge or information that they can’t obtain through normal means; so they visit a medium or attend a séance to get it. Still others think they need a touch from the realm beyond, from the spirit world, in order to give their life meaning and purpose, or to reinforce their belief in life after death. And there are many persons who are just plain interested and drawn to spiritual or supernatural reality, but are turned off by Christianity or the church; they participate because they find the occult new and fresh, as opposed to more traditional spiritual practices such as prayer, reading the Bible, or attending church.  There are countless reasons why people participate in the world of the occult, but when you boil it all down it’s basically because they doubt that God will give them all they really need through typical Christian means. They doubt that prayer can really meet all their spiritual needs, so they visit a medium seeking something more. They doubt that God’s Word, the Bible, can fulfill all their spiritual expectations, so they seek out new and novel spiritual realities through occult means. Or they doubt that the Christian church, any church, can really fulfill their soul’s desire for spiritual reality, so they dabble in the occult for greater spiritual awareness. We can understand the motivates of most people who involved themselves in the world of the occult. We can sympathize or empathize with them to some extent. The reality is, many churches are boring and dry spiritually. Prayer can and does sometimes get old. Bible reading can become a routine and yield little fresh spiritual insights or inspirations. There are these and other temptations to seek after something more in the world of the spirit. But we must resist the temptation to go outside or go around God’s approved spiritual practices; we must say, “No,” to dabbling in the forbidden world of the occult. We must trust the promises of God found in the Bible that tell us that God will provide for all our needs – our real, legitimate needs – by the means of his choosing, in his time, in his way. We must not become impatient or seek to “take matters into our own hands” by jumping into the occult reality. Or we’ll be sorry.

 

It may be hard for most people to believe that something as harmless as a board game, like the Ouija Board, could be a source of danger; but they need to stop and consider a few things. One, a Ouija Board isn’t a game, it’s an occult tool used by spirit mediums to contact departed souls. From the Bible’s revelation, we know that the end result is not communication with departed spirits but actually contact with demon spirits, either impersonating departed loved ones, or fooling people into thinking so. This is not something to play around with; it isn’t a game. Two, the risk of mental, emotional and spiritual bondage is just too great to risk participating in even the most seemingly harmless occult activities, for example, like visiting a medium and getting a reading. Do most people who visit a spirit medium really believe they are in touch with the souls of the dead? Perhaps not, but they ask questions and listen to the answers the medium is giving that are supposedly coming from the spirit world. This runs the risk of great mental, emotional and spiritual harm. Suppose something is said that is really hurtful or damaging? Suppose the words spoken by the medium from the so-called departed soul really upset or affect the person seeking contact? It could possibly alter their entire life in the wrong way – if they really take serious the interaction. I’ve often thought that these so-called spirit mediums should be sued for malpractice because the role they play has the potential to really injure and damage visitors short-term and long-term. It’s not a game. Words spoken in such a context have the potential of doing great harm, and probably do great harm, even though we don’t have accurate records of such. Three, because occult activity is outside of the will of God, persons participating in spiritistic practices run the risk of offending God. Is it a sin to be involved in some form of the occult, like séances or Ouija Board? Yes, definitely, because it’s outside the express will of God. God in the Bible commands us not to seek secret or hidden knowledge through occult means. If we disobey him and do so, we are sinning. God will not bless those who directly and deliberately disobey his will for their lives. His good will for us doesn’t include the occult. What about those who in ignorance dabble in the occult? God in his mercy and grace may protect them from such encounters, but we shouldn’t presume upon the grace of God. Before I knew any better, regretfully, I involved myself in a few occult practices. Thankfully, God showed me what was true and right; I was able to walk away and never do it again. I would never, ever tempt God by going back into the occult for any reason. We can all learn from our mistakes, but it’s better to not make the mistakes in the first place. I hope none of you participate in any occult practice, large or small. If you have, quit it now, confess your sins and rededicate your life to God. God’s will can be trusted, but the world of the occult cannot.

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