According to a study conducted by the Barna Group called "Teens and the Supernatural," three out of every 10 teenagers have played the Ouija board, had their palms read, and eight out of 10 have read horoscopes.
Maybe these numbers do not shock you. But while these activities may seem innocuous, below the surface there lurks an extremely dangerous and powerful world—something Scripture refers to as "the powers of darkness."
Take, for example, the Ouija board, a game young people have played for decades. Manufactured by Parker Brothers, the game combines numbers and letters around a pointer that mysteriously indicates answers to questions players ask. Even Parker Brothers cannot explain how the pointer moves. That's because the game taps into spiritual forces outside the realm of human control.
Another "pastime" with dark undertones is horoscope reading.
According to one survey, 29 percent of Christian teens said they did not see anything wrong with it. Eighteen percent said they read horoscopes, but do not think it really predicts the future. And another 8 percent said they read it, but feel guilty about it.
Just like the Ouija board, the horoscope can also be dangerous—a dangerous first step into the world of the occult. One woman, Barbara Gardner, writing in Today's Christian Woman, explained how reading horoscopes sucked her into a dangerous pattern that led to astral projection—also known as "out of body experience"—palm reading, and fortune-telling. She ultimately attributed the breakup of two of her marriages to her obsession with occult activity.
And the list goes on, from seemingly innocent activities like yoga (which is steeped in Eastern mysticism) and playing video games with demonic themes, to more obviously sinister things like communicating with spirit guides. Beyond that, many popular films, TV shows, and books have minimized the seriousness of dabbling in the occult, movies and shows like Goosebumps and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No wonder many kids find the spiritual world harmless at best, or deeply intriguing at worst.
A representative of the Barna Group said: "Teens give the supernatural world the same treatment as any other aspect of their lives. They cut and paste supernatural experiences and perspectives from a variety of sources . . . Most of all, they are motivated by their desire to find out what works for them and what feels right."
The Barna report also indicates that the teens who feel like their lives have spun out of control are the ones most likely to dabble in the occult. But instead of gaining control, they are relinquishing control to powers more terrifying than they can imagine.
Far from being harmless activities, Ouija boards, palm-reading, and horoscopes are really gateways into a world that is Satanic at its core, and directly opposed to God's commands.
There is a reason that Isaiah 8:19 says, "When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God?" And if you really want to know what God thinks of all those who tell fortunes or who inquire of the dead, read Deuteronomy 18.
So, parents, be alert when it comes to your children and the occult. Talk with your kids honestly about it. And always, always point them to the source of true power and love and acceptance—Jesus Christ Himself.
From BreakPoint®, June 2, 2008, Copyright 2008, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. "BreakPoint®" and "Prison Fellowship Ministries®" are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship