Updated: Nov 11
In our last issue of The Monthly Tea, we talked a little bit about the importance of safety.
The significance of the work that we do is not just the merging of mental health and faith, but also the merging of a safe and sound understanding of humanity and divinity. For clarity's sake, there is a difference between divinity and divination.
Divinity can be defined by the state or quality of being divine, related to the study of religion; and theology. Some definitions relate the term divinity to all that pertains to God and that which is holy, however, not everything that claims to be divine is holy - hence divination.
Divination, sorcery, witchcraft, spiritism, occultism, soothsaying... are all forms of godliness. The elements of magic, spirituality, and power are part of what makes the lines appear to be blurred and it is the reason why not everything spiritual is safe.
Here, both mental and spiritual safety is top priority with the understanding that mental health is hardly separable from a spiritual worldview. Pursuing a mental health journey allows you to explore and take hold of what you are truly in control of within the scope of your lived experiences. As people of faith, we differ from the secular world because of the knowledge of our limitations. Namely, we have accepted the idea that we are not in control -- God is.
With that being the case, we understand that God, through Jesus has given those who submit themselves to God a powerful identity and realms of authority whereby we can manifest Heavenly agendas here on earth.
Do you see a pattern in the words being used? Control, power, and manifest are all words that frequent the waves of spirituality that are common in New Ageism.
Does that make these terms bad? Absolutely not. At best, they are neutral terms and at the very worst, they are abused.
The difference between Christian spirituality and spirituality that lends itself to witchcraft or divination can be narrowed down to 4 ideas:
1. Witchcraft is the method of forcing or manipulating people and outcomes through a power source that is not The Lord; or God.
What this looks like in practice is a rejection of the Word of God and the application of spiritual principles outside of their legal use. This is where the effort to control, influence, and force people or things to manifest a certain way is truly leveraging strategies and methods to be effective in doing so.
The Kingdom of God is invisible, but when the laws and principles of the Kingdom are implemented on earth, we see the impacts of it. Spiritual laws can change what we see in the earthly realm, and both Heaven and Hell know this.
The books of Ephesians and Colossians explain that there are indeed principalities, powers, and rulers which all exist to show the preeminence of God (1 Colossians 1:15-20). The existence of wickedness is not the problem. It's the fact that people often don't know the truth, so they become seduced by the powers that be.
2. The power of witchcraft is about both the intent and the source.
A lot of what we call witchcraft these days is not witchcraft. Nevertheless, a lot of things that we embrace as common and acceptable are indeed witchcraft because of what is at the source of the things we entertain and because of the reasons why people may use them.
Someone can say something that appears harmless, but it would take the revelation of the heart's intent to know why they said it and what outcome it was supposed to yield. In the same way, someone can say something with the intent to communicate one thing, but because of the way it sounds we might be quick to call witchcraft on something that is ignorance.
Ignorance can still be leveraged for the works of Hell. But this is why everyone needs a community loaded with accountability, counsel, teaching, and encouragement so that the intentions of the heart can be revealed, transformed, and conformed to the image of Christ.
3. Witchcraft is power that has not been subjected to the will or the way of the Lord.
What this looks like in practice is rebellion against authority, order, and ultimately the will of God for a person, place, thing, or organization.
On one hand, we can find ourselves obsessed with the Will of God, which is something that we still need a lot of education on - but in this case, what we find is a disregard for or a strong wrestle with the will of GOD.
This one is very common to mankind because it intersects with the discipline of submitting oneself to God and resisting the devil (especially when you find that the devil is speaking your language and promising the things you desire).
We all have been given a measure of ability, influence, and control to live our lives as unto the Lord. When we use that ability, influence, or control to create realities without regard or curiousity of the Will of the Lord, we often will begin striving for an outcome that hasn't been authorized by Heaven. Thus, lack of authorization is a performance based on power, not permission.
Everyone knows someone who has issues with control, rebellion/submission, and obedience. As extreme as it may sound, these things are ingredients for witchcraft.
“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
1 Samuel 15:23
4. Proposes self-enlightenment and seeking self through “self” generated power and perversion of spiritual gifts from God.
What happens when you have rejected the Word of God, the Will of God, the boundaries of God, and the source of wisdom which is the Holy Spirit?
Well, all you're left with is self.
There's a difference between selfishness and selfhood. Self-reliance creates a false sense of power and control.
We're all hardwired with God-given abilities that were designed to be used for co-laboring with God and manifesting His will. The danger is in the type of self-exploration that encourages a person to "know thyself" as a person isolated from God's word, will, and way.
As you can see, witchcraft, divination, New Ageism, (and all the things that we are warned to stay away from) start from a very practical place and people can operate in them at very low levels. The only problem with that is that anything that one operates in at a low level can be lured into operating in it at higher levels.
The sin of manipulation, rebellion, arrogance, and idolatry are only a few things that operate as doors to the occult. No one who becomes deeply involved in occultic practices starts out thinking that there is any serious harm or risk in the way that they solve problems and see the world ...but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed James 1:14
How does this relate to spiritual safety?
Well, in short, truth is the dividing line between spiritual harm and spiritual safety. Learning about spirituality and even "Christian" spirituality without objective, biblical truth becomes very dangerous. Frequenting spaces that are branded for "mental health" and "self-empowerment" can become dangerous when there is sold a sense off:
one's ability to control outcomes versus their own responsibility to practice self-control themselves.
one's ability to change others versus their own responsibility to commit to being sanctified.
one's ability to manipulate others versus their own responsibility to set and hold boundaries.
one's ability to gain their selfish desires versus their own responsibility to operate in healthy selfhood.
Healing is a responsibility and our walk in faith comes with responsibilities that govern a Holy Kingdom of a good GOD.
Your spiritual self ultimately craves sound agreement with God ...and yet we have so many questions.
I could go on, but I'll save the rest for another day.
Anyway, what do you think? Leave a comment