The other day, our newspaper ran an article about a group in our city that claims to follow an ancient form of paganism. They even say they practice witchcraft, although not the kind that harms people. Do you think they're serious about this, or are they just trying to attract attention? — Mrs. N.W.
Only they can answer this, of course—but if they are like other groups I've heard about, they probably take their beliefs very seriously.
I have often asked myself why people like this turn their backs on Christianity and embrace something that is almost the exact opposite. Some, I know, do this because they've had a bad experience with a church, or they have become disillusioned by what they've seen of Christians. Others simply like to be unconventional, and this is one way of showing that they reject traditional values and ways of living.
But others turn to groups like this because down inside they sense that something is missing in their lives, and they hope this will fill that empty place. But only God can do this, and any other way is a dangerous illusion. Dabbling with the occult may even bring a person under the spell of spiritual forces that are not from God, but from Satan. The Bible warns, "Let no one be found among you ... who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, (or) engages in witchcraft" (Deuteronomy 18:10).
These are solemn words—but remember that we can turn against God in many other ways, even by simply ignoring Him. Don't let this happen to you. Instead, commit your life to Christ and make it your goal to stay close to Him every day.