Question: I wonder if you can help me with a question. I was very interested and involved in magic and witchcraft when I was younger through my mother. Later I became interested in God, but now find myself being drawn back into my previous practices. What in your opinion is the Bible's position on these matters?
Response: The Bible is very clear on this point: witchcraft, sorcery and the like are outlawed. There is a very simple reason for this, namely, that if one is not seeking the supernatural through God's means, then the only alternative is that one is seeking the supernatural through means which are anti-God (and so pro-Satan). All activities related to witchcraft are therefore extremely dangerous, and no believer in Jesus Christ should have anything to do with them - put as much distance as you can between yourself and these things and do so as quickly as possible!
In the Old Testament, witchcraft of any sort was punishable by death (Ex.22:18; Lev.20:27; Deut.18:9-13). Likewise in the New Testament, magical practices are described as sinful acts that alienate the person involved from the kingdom of heaven (Gal.5:20; Rev.9:21; 18:23; 21:8; 22:15).
Now we are all sinners, but there is a big difference between those who have become disciples of Christ and are striving to live life as He would have us live it, and those who, on the other hand, have not only chosen not to do so, but who have instead openly cast their lot in with the devil (and that is the practical equivalent of what the practice of magic is: seeking supernatural help not of God - Satan and his demons are the only other place to go for this in reality). And God does not compromise on this point:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
When the inhabitants of Ephesus came to know the power of God and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ for their salvation, one of the first things they did was to burn their magical scrolls, knowing full well that one cannot follow God and the devil at the same time (Acts 19:17-20).
Following Jesus is often not easy. We have to deny ourselves, our personal non-biblical opinions, personal interests and agendas which conflict with what He says, then pick up our cross and follow Him (Matt.10:38). But if we do commit ourselves to Him, place our faith and trust in Him for eternal life, and follow Him faithfully, then we shall live forever:
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.
Witchcraft - that part of it which is not phony, is almost always related to demon possession and demon influence (where else would non-divine supernatural power come from, if genuine?). After rejecting the truth about God, and about His Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, the human heart inevitably becomes a vacuum, prone to sucking in all sorts of evil. For those who open themselves up to the darkest evils, direct control by the devil is often the ultimate result.
But it is not only those who profess Satan or practice witchcraft who come to be under the devil's control. The sad truth is that the vast majority of mankind throughout the entire course of human history have had their "eyes blinded" by the "god of this world" (2Cor.4:4). Whether its money, or sex, or fame, or just self that people worship, ultimately, these can be every bit as dangerous idols as those wood and bronze representations of the host of heaven so abominated in the Old Testament.
The good news, the really good news, is that despite whatever sins we may have committed, despite whatever questionable practices we may have dabbled with or become involved in, and no matter how far we have strayed from God, from Christ, from the truth, it remains the truth that Jesus died for us, died for all our sins. We have only to turn back to God, return to the Son of God with a truly repentant heart, and He is waiting to forgive us, to restore us, to pour His Spirit out upon us, and grant us eternal life. Life that is not the result of anything we have done, but comes on the basis of Jesus' sacrificial death for us:
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household."
The fellowship of and with Jesus Christ is so much more experientially precious and blessed - in this life as well as in the next - that it easily causes even the most tempting alternatives (whatever we may find tempting, witchcraft for one person, something else again for the next) to shrink to the true nothing that they are by comparison ... once we start the process of truly seeking Him.
Don't sell your birthright of eternal life for a miserable mess of pottage, no matter how tasty it may look to you at the moment (advice that applies to us all, whatever our brand of "pottage" may be).
Please see these links:
Demon Possession (in SR #4)
The Demon Possessed Girl in Acts 16:16.
Drugs and Witchcraft
Politics and Society
The Witch of Endor
Yours in the only way of eternal life, Jesus Christ,