An element of reality in the occult revival?

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by Leslie, Jun 27, 2008.

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  1. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    Obviously there is illusion and deception by those who profit from these things. However, is there also evidence of reality in occult ritual or is it all merely illusionary? I've been reading John Warwick Montgomery's Principalities and Powers. His has credentials as a Christian apologist (of the evidential stripe) and thinks that there is reality at some times, in some cases.

    A scriptural related question is whether the Egyptian magicians actually did what they seemed to do or if it was illusory and deceptive.
     
  2. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    I think that it is wrong to be dogmatic in this area but I see no reason why there is any reality in this occult revival, largely because people seem to get exited enough by charlatens and hoaxers therefore there is no need for any reality.

    I see demonic activity as accompanying (or rather opposing) the coming of Christ and am a bit of a cessationist in this area. It is easy to become gullible whether it be healing miricles, demonic activity or UFO's.
     
  3. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    Leslie,

    It appears from Scripture and from subsequent history that angels and demons act in the affairs of the world. The difference in their operation is that Christ came to "destroy the works of the devil", and to make all nations His disciples (see Matthew 28). Christ has bound the strongman, and is spoiling his household. I think this is an ongoing activity until every knee bows and every tongue confesses.

    Cheers,

    Adam



     
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    It's a little embarrassing in dealing with non-Christians to use the usual historical arguments for the resurrection of Jesus--and then deny analogous arguments for the reality of occult phenomena. The argument in particular that I'm referring to is that of multiple eye-witnesses who tell similar stories and have no possible motivation for falsifying their testimony. Of course, non-Christians involved in the occult do the same in reverse. They want us to believe in the reality of occult phenomena on the basis of eye-witness reports while denying the resurrection as historical fact. It seems that the theological liberal position of denying everything supernatural is more defensible.
     
  5. Hippo

    Hippo Puritan Board Junior

    All good comments, it is not easy to answer the points that you have raised and we definately do not want to be theologicaly liberal.

    I would say that you have to ask why these things are happening and does the resulting world view make sense.

    I am ashamed that I have my "Thomas" moments with the Gospel, but in some ways being sceptical (to put it mildly) about the occult shows how powerful the Gospel must be to pursuade people like me.
     
  6. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    I've said it before, the demons are real, the activity is real, the power is very heavily exaggerated by illusion and deception. Demonic activity is leveraged by superstition. Resist them and they will flea. Don't play their game.
     
  7. Leslie

    Leslie Puritan Board Junior

    What do you mean by superstition? My usage of the word implies unreality but maybe that's not the way you use it. Is it like Granny serving applesauce with pork so she won't get tapeworm? That's the sense in which I would use it.

    What do you mean by don't play their game? I would assume, at least, that it means not to dabble in the occult--don't go to a fortune teller or develop a morbid fascination with occult stories and games and the like.

    When confronted with a non-Christian who is into the occult (which I define as manipulating the supernatural for one's own ends), my stance would be to grant that there are times and places where one can use occult powers to achieve short-term goals. Sometimes it works (and sometimes it doesn't work). However, I would then point out that the last chapter of the book is the triumph of Christ and His kingdom over those occult powers. Does this person really want to be on the losing team when all is said and done?
     
  8. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    By superstition I mean the popular approaches to 'spiritual warfare' that are not biblical. Directly confronting a demon is based on superstition unless you are an apostle.

    The unsaved who dabbles in demons is NOT controlling anything. They are being played with and used. The demon is in control and doesn't care one wit about the 'sorcerer', 'congurer' or whatever. They are the game. Christians who fall for the techniques and methods to 'battle' demons are being sucked into the game.
     
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