Turning from sin and being forgiven are the tools to cancel Satan’s power.
In Zechariah 3, Zechariah sees Joshua the high priest standing before God. Satan is also there to accuse him. Satan is not allowed to speak. Deliverance is promised by forgiveness of sins through a coming Messiah. Forgiveness, repentance; these are the ways we silence the devil.
Throughout the New Testament, those who were involved with occult practices (and most of the Gentile church would have been) were not singled out for special demonic deliverance, but were asked to repent.
Involvement with the Occult is born out of our own lust. Hence, the answer to demonic activity begins in our own hearts.
In Acts 8, when Simon the Sorcerer repents and is baptized, he is stuck in a habit of lust for power and wants to buy the power Peter and John display. How does Peter handle him? He says that Simon’s heart is not right before God. He had wickedness and should repent and pray. Simon’s problem was Simon, not demons indwelling him. And he was an ex-wizard!
Galatians 5:20 describes witchcraft as a work of the flesh, resulting from the lust of the flesh, like adultery. The answer to both is faith, prayer, righteousness, the gospel of peace, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God, not demonic deliverance.
Witchcraft and Occult involvement are not more dangerous than other sins.
I do not believe there is Biblical support for the widespread belief that occult involvement is a special portal for demons to influence humans. I believe the Bible shows that there are a plethora of ways demons exert influence, the occult is just one tool of many. The occult may be more flashy than gossip or overindulgence, and it may incite delicious fear that the evil spirits glut upon, but wouldn’t you agree that evil talk and self-indulgence are more prevalent destroyers than witchcraft in our American churches? Then why shouldn’t we give those sins the same degree of fear and shunning as we do witchcraft?
Demons hate us. Satan seeks to destroy us. He will use any means God allows to deceive, warp, corrupt, and enslave us. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says that both thieves and witches are living dangerously close to hell. Both have been declared disgusting and vile. The answer to idolatry, sorcery, lust, adultery, homosexuality, gluttony is all the same. Repent or die. Not, be freed from the demons that beset you.
Hence, I don’t believe a witch or warlock, druid or pagan would have a more difficult time with demonic activity (the result of their sin) than an obese woman would with losing weight or an embezzler with paying back what he stole. I believe demonic activity is the consequence of sin, much like an ulcer is the consequence of worry, or an STD from immorality, or arguments from greed and envy. And, demonic torture is resolved in the same fashion, through persistent faith and discipline, because changing any sinful habit takes time and hard work.
Practically applying these beliefs to my life results in freedom to enjoy fantasy.
Because I believe the occult is not something that acts independently upon me, I don’t believe I can “pick up a demon” due to proximity with magical practices or items. I do not fear witches more than I fear a lying gossip or a homosexual. (Which I don’t fear, by the way! Just making a point.) I enjoy fantastical books detailing the adventures of magicians and wizards, just like I enjoy a good romance whose plot often involves adultery. I’m not going to cheat on my husband just because I read about it, and I’m not going to cast an obedience spell on my daughter either! Although, that I find tempting! he-he.
And this brings me back to World of Warcraft … for the next post.