Does supernatural = evil? In stories these days, characters with supernatural powers tend to use their powers for good as often as not, so they can be heroes. Hermione Granger is a witch, but never casts evil spells. Edward Cullen is a blood-drinking vampire but would never feed on the innocent. They’re “good.”
Unless you happen to follow a religion that teaches that it’s evil to practice magic. The Lord told Moses point blank that His people were not permitted to use sorcery or divination (Deuteronomy 18:14). So then it sounds like there can be no “good” magic. Even if the result serves a noble purpose, the means used to achieve it would be unacceptable.
Note that God never says magic isn’t real. In fact, the Bible contains several stories of supernatural happenings. In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul pays a visit to the Witch of Endor, a medium who calls up the spirit of the prophet Samuel from the dead. In the New Testament, Paul “heals” a slave with psychic abilities who made her owners rich by telling fortunes (Acts 16:16-18). The pharaoh of Egypt had magicians who could turns sticks into snakes and make frogs come up out of the ground (Exodus 7 &8). Believe what you choose, but the Bible never says magic isn’t real.
It just tells us we’re just not supposed to use it. On the judgment day, sorcerers will be equated with liars and murderers and cast into a lake of fire. (Revelation 21:8) The reason sorcery is considered so evil can be found in that verse. It is not only the liars and murderers that are headed for the eternal fire—the list includes “the cowardly,” and “the faithless.” I think that’s the key. Those practicing magic arts are putting their faith in something other than God.
That’s not to say that we can’t strive to do amazing things. It’s just that if we want to accomplish something amazing, we’re to do it by relying on the power of God, not spells or divinations. As you would expect, there are many instances in the Bible of God’s power working “magic,” achieving results that defy natural law. Moses sees a bush that burns but is not consumed (Exodus 3). Time stands still (Joshua 10:13). A donkey talks. (Numbers 22:28). Water bursts out of a rock (Exodus 17:6). And then of course Jesus instantly healed chronic illnesses, drove out demons and brought the dead back to life.
He tells us that we can do the same if we have faith (Matthew 17:20). But most of us don’t. We tend to look at following Christ as pretty boring. Go to church. Recite prayers. Give up stuff. Sing songs. Go to Sunday school. We live in an everyday world where the struggle between good and evil is every bit as real and important as it is in the climactic scenes of a movie with the armies of evil fighting hand to hand with the legions of the”good.”
But it sure doesn’t feel that dramatic or important. And that’s where the real power of evil takes root. We are lulled into complacency, thinking our everyday choices don’t matter much, drifting along in a world where our priorities swirl around ourselves like a whirlpool. And we all know what happens to things that get caught up in a whirlpool.
For years I’ve been trying to figure out a way to write a story to show how our everyday lives are really a dramatic life and death struggle. But it’s hard, and I get busy and then when I do make time to write, I write about easier subjects. It’s that whirlpool again.
So I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. I think magic is fascinating and it can be very entertaining. We just have to keep it in perspective and keep in the mind the true source of all power.
What do you think?