Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ouija Boards, Horoscopes and Crazy 8 Balls: What Does the Lord Say?

When men tell you to consult mediums and spirits, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God?  Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  ~Isaiah 8:19
Recently, I came across this verse and it immediately brought back a memory of the Ouija board game my sisters and I used to play as children.  Games such as the Ouija board, the Crazy 8 ball and the shrunken head experiment were popular 'toys' at the time, and my family, indiscriminately saw them as entertainment like Monopoly or Scrabble.  What exactly are these 'toys' that can sneak in and desensitize children, as seemingly innocent forms of entertainment? What does the Bible say about such things?

 "...Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7:15) While this verse refers to people, many of the 'toys' on the market today are disguised as 'wolves in sheep's clothing.'
The Ouija board (now available as a 'glow-in-the dark' board game) is a spirit talking board that some view as harmless; others say it is associated with the threat of demonic possession.  A movable indicator tells the spirit's message by spelling it out on the board during a seance.  Even if there weren't countless and eery stories about demonic possession, this game, even in 'fun' is against the teachings of God's word.  Its purpose is to communicate with the dead.  A newer and similar board is called the 'Angel Board,' which boasts it will connect you to your guardian angel.  What a clever and even more deceptive way to lure our children to communicate with the 'other side.'

The inventor of the Crazy 8 ball was inspired by a 'spirit writing' device used by his clairvoyant mother.  It was first marketed as a crystal ball.  When asked a yes/no question, it answers with one of twenty responses predicting the future.  It was unpopular sold as a crystal ball, so a Chicago company refashioned it to look like a billiard ball.  Under this disguise it became a popular 'toy.'   

One of the strangest 'toys' I had was the shrunken head kit, which included instructions on how to shrink an apple, and the supplies to make it look like a real shrunken human head.  In the recent children's movie 'Hotel Transylvania,' talking shrunken heads hang on each of the guest's door.  Even though the kit is meant to be 'all in good fun,' have you ever wondered what is a shrunken head?  It is exactly what the name implies and was used for trophy, ritual or trade.  The macabre act of severing and shrinking the human head was believed to harness the spirit of the enemy and to prevent the soul from avenging his death.  Surprisingly, there was a significant trade of human shrunken heads in the 1930's.  The United States finally outlawed the import during the 1940's.  Apparently, the toy industry decided to keep the idea alive by recreating the shrunken head with an apple and marketing it to children.
The presence of the Ouija or Angel board, Crazy 8 balls, horoscopes, shrunken (apple) heads, and palm readers are in our world today; as are tarot cards, psychics, fortune telling, contacting the dead and sorcery.  Unfortunately, many are available to our children as games.  Innocent children don't naturally see things as sinister, particularly when it comes in the form of a game.  Wouldn't it be just like the devil to devise a board game to deceive our children?

What is a parent to do?  God's word tells us to be alert and to teach our children.  "Be alert...your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)  I pray that I will 'be alert' and aware of the culture around me; that I "don’t become so well-adjusted to my culture that I fit into it without even thinking." (Romans 12:2 The Message)  About God's truths, the Bible says, "Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (Deuteronomy 11:19) The 'world' will certainly teach them untruths when they 'walk along the road,' when they go to school or to a friend's house.

The Bible says, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world..." (Romans 12:2) Without Christ, I lived 'of this world' the first twenty-one years of my life.  I know what the world has to offer and what it teaches.  Understanding God's character and His word are the weapons our children must carry to be in this world.  God's word in their hearts and an awareness of what is 'the pattern of this world,' with its deceptions and beguiling lures, will hopefully offer discernment to my children as they 'walk along the road' of life. 

While preparing this devotion for my children, my youngest daughter came home from school and was so excited to show me a toy her first grade friend had given to her; a Crazy 8 ball.  Small and attached to a plastic ring, it appeared to be a toy from a fast food restaurant.  She proceeded to tell me to ask it a question and then she would shake it to get the answer.  To a six year old, this seemed like an innocent game.  She had no malice attached to it, nor did her friend who gave it to her. 

Do I respond as an over-reactive parent and snatch it from her hands?  Do I ignore it and think, "Its just toy.  Let her have it for some fun"?  In that moment, God's scriptures returned to me, and all I could hear resounding in my head was, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world.  She has plenty of other toys; toys which are wholesome and peaceful, and promote creativity and learning.  This 'toy' with its hidden meaning and masked design, is against the teaching of God's word." 

I asked my little girl if I could hold the toy to inspect it closely.  I distracted her with her tea set and dolls.  She forgot about the Crazy 8 ball.  Later, I explained to my children that parents don't allow their children to play with certain toys, because they are dangerous and can cause physical wounds.  There are some toys that seem fun and entertaining, but the meaning behind them is against God's word.  These toys are deceptive and can cause spiritual wounds.

I am not sure they grasped fully what I was saying.  In their little minds, a toy is a toy.  As their parent, some toys are not just toys.  God's word says, "If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."  (Matthew 18:6)  As their mom, I certainly don't want them to stumble.  As parents, I hope we are alert to the toys which are against God's word and to those things that could cause our little ones to stumble.     

Do not practice divination or sorcery. ~Leviticus 19:26
Do not turn to mediums or seek spiritists, for you will be defiled by them.  I am the Lord your God.  ~Leviticus 19:31
I will turn my face against the person who turns to mediums.  ~Leviticus 20:6
Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name.  I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them.  They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries, and the delusions of their own minds."  Jeremiah 14:14
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.  Deuteronomy 18:10-12
Questions for my children
What are some other 'toys' that may have a hidden meaning against God's word? (Pokemon, several video games, etc..)
If it is 'just a game,' what is the harm in playing with such things?
What does God say about contacting the dead or inquiring of someone to tell the future?
What would you do if you were at a friend's house, and they wanted to play with a Ouija board or any of the other toys we have discussed?

Thank you for joining me for this 'Life Lesson' Sunday.

This topic always seems to stir up controversy.  Even among my christian friends, some feel this is a bit legalistic.  What are your thoughts?

Blessings to you!
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Mrs. Jones from the Circus said...

Thank you for writing these life lesson posts. I enjoy reading the scriptures attached to such everyday teaching and learning.

Karen said...

Christie, I appreciate your boldness in sharing such a controversial topic~
I sincerely agree, and if we allow these small things to be acceptable, there will be bigger issues to address ahead. Thank you for abiding in God's Word.

Lois' Laughlines said...


Love Being A Nonny said...

very very good post! thank you.

Darla P. said...

Our lives should conform to Scripture, so we must use it for our guide. I appreciate what you share, and I totally agree! Thanks

Anonymous said...

You are right. All your scriptures are a Amen to what you mentioned.

Parents beware for sure.

Look at Halloween. It has gone way too far. When it comes to having front yards with blood faces tied to a tree .
That is the devils work. I am sorry it is. We do not give into that kind of Halloween as Christians.

All Hallows' Even," the eve of All ...
Evil of all.

Anonymous said...

I think it shouldn't be a question of whether what you say is legalistic or not but as His children does this activity line up with sharing His image to others- Jesus said many times- I don't do or say but what the Father does through me- I can't see Jesus going through a means like this to hear from His Father.

Oh if our desire would be just to be like Jesus- so many questions would be answered!

bee blessed

Anonymous said...

People who think they are contacting the dead are surely contacting demons who strive to lure them away from looking to almighty God for answers. The Harry Potter phenomenon was a brilliant plan by the devil to intrique and draw children into thinking such things were wonderfully fun.

Unknown said...

I believe you speak the truth! We should look to God for guidance, not to men.

Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

Our responsibility as parents and grandparents is to teach God's truths...if we don't...they will learn from the world! God bless you as you continue your teaching to His little ones through His Word. I always look forward to what the Lord has layed upon your heart....thank you for the time you spend! ---Marti

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being bold enough to speak to this issue. I participated in an ouija board "game" while spending the night at the neighbors house as a youth. I was pretty sure that it was wrong but I participated anyhow. I don't know if dabbling in this evil game has affected my life today but it might explain some issues that I've had to deal with as an adult.

Suzy said...

Excellent post, Christie!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but I completely disagree. Even about Harry Potter - It was a well written story.

I appreciate your point of view but I no longer can read your blog with all of your "sermons".

Tonya said...

I totally agree with you. Just discovered your blog! Love it, you have a beautiful home and obviously a beautiful heart. God Bless you for speaking Truth. Tonya

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