I get depressed, disgusted, and excited when I watch videos from the Get a Life ministry – specifically, the ones about world religions and cults. Pastor Billy Crone is a great researcher and teacher, and his Bible studies on these subjects really open your eyes to what's happening in the church. King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." All the old ancient pagan practices are manifesting themselves in the modern church. In other words, Paganism a Plague on the Church.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 KJV
"There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee."
When Moses presented God's law to the people of Israel and subsequently to us, his moral laws were the most important. God's moral laws include not only what we should do but what we should not do. This passage deals with the pagan practices to reject altogether. The first of which is child sacrifice.
The land promised to Israel was full of pagans, and they worshiped many gods, but the specific god spoken of here is Molech. In Leviticus 18:21, the Lord commanded, "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord." An infant or child would be placed in Molech's arms, and flames from between the arms would kill and consume the child. This practice was done to curry favor from the god for various reasons – good growing season, rain, fertility, getting rid of unwanted children, etc. God condemns this practice.
Most logical thinkers compare the modern practice of abortion to the worship of Molech. Abortions are performed to the god of convenience or selfishness today. If a child is unwanted or inconvenient, it is killed. That's paganism and is strictly forbidden by God. No child should be sentenced to death simply for being conceived.
Divination can manifest itself in many ways, which include the ancient and modern practices of astrology, witchcraft, wizardry, casting spells, speaking to familiar spirits, and necromancy (talking to dead people and morbid fascination with the dead). But you may think these old practices have little to do with our modern times. If you believe that, you're mistaken. You may think, "I'm a Christian, so why should I worry about this stuff?" Unfortunately, these practices are creeping into the church – disguised but still infiltrating the church.
The first example of these practices within the church falls under the category of divination. Bethel Church in Redding, CA, uses "Destiny Cards" Tarot Cards to practice divination. They slap some Christianese on them by calling them destiny cards, but it is still divination, trying to predict the future, enchant, and charm. All these things are in direct violation of God's moral law.
Witchcraft and Wizardry
An example of witchcraft or wizardry would be the charismatic practice of "name it, claim it." In witchcraft, words have power. In the charismatic movement, words also have power. Joel Osteen, Oprah, and many others would have you believe that positive affirmations lead to you getting what you envision, speak, and claim. This heresy is a lie! God determines your destiny, and you are not God! The Charismatic affirmation, "name it, claim it," is steeped in the pagan religion of witchcraft.
Divination and Mysticism
Even the old practice of opening the Bible randomly, closing your eyes, and dropping your finger on the page to "hear a word from God" is a pagan practice. It's mysticism or divination because it relies on chance and fails to follow the Biblically prescribed method of learning God's word. You might say, "oh, but I did that and learned something special from God, or it happened just as the scripture said." Respectfully, those things happened despite your disobedience, not because of it. God is good! We learn what God wants for us by systematically reading and studying scripture. That's how we hear from God, and he hears from us through prayer.
Sozo prayer is yet another practice of divination and enchantment (the state of being under a spell; magic:" Sozo prayer works you up into an altered state of consciousness. This altered state of awareness can leave you open to suggestions, make you do things you would not normally do, and potentially open you up for demonic suggestions. For non-Christians, it could even lead to full-on demon possession. 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" We are to be sober and avoid anything that could lead to an altered state of consciousness. Remain sober and aware of everything going on around you.
Channeling the Holy Spirit or Demons?
Some would say they received a special revelation or heard from God in a dream. Some would say, "God told me to tell you." Okay, if God speaks to you through special revelations, dreams, or audibly, it should be added to scripture. Oh, but wait, we have a closed canon of scripture. The Old and New Testaments say don't add or subtract from scripture. So, I guess you didn't hear from God. Again, we hear from God through Bible study! If you genuinely believe you received a special revelation from God, it had better reconcile with scripture. Because if it doesn't, you are a liar or receiving messages from a demon (necromancy). All unbiblical supernatural communication comes from demons, not your long-dead Aunt Gertrude or Saint Jerome – demons!
Conclusion – Paganism a Plague on the Church
We are to avoid all divination or mysticism. Even if someone slaps some Christianese on it and says, it's from the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit within you. You don't need a feeling or experience to get a "special outpouring of the Holy Spirit" because you're already poured full when you accept Christ as your Savior. Seeking a feeling or experience as your primary form of worship is wrong. It's unbiblical and pagan. We soberly experience God through Bible Study and prayer. Experiences like when you first accept Christ are fantastic, but you can't sustain a lifelong relationship with God that way. A lifelong relationship with God requires accepting Christ as Savior and LORD, Bible study, and prayer. Flee from paganism, which is becoming a plague on the church increasingly.