Reconciling Pagan Practices with Christianity

Or Can we “Sanctify” Acts or Ideas belonging to False Religious Systems to Make Them Suitable for Worship of the Lord God or a Part of Christian Life Practice? 

Throughout Scripture, God commands His people to be ‘holy’, separate from the world and sin. False teachings and false practices have plagued the church since the beginning, evidenced in the letters from Paul, Peter, John, and Jude, so it is not unique to today. The Holy Spirit ensured we would have no reason to question what response might be appropriate to the inclusion of pagan practices or philosophies in Christian life and worship. God admonished the Israelites frequently that they were to absolutely reject everything originating from pagan practice, incorporating none of it in their lives or the worship of Almighty God. The Apostles commanded equally clearly the complete abstention from everything produced by false religion and everything produced by ‘the flesh’. At no time did God make room for His people under either covenant to ‘sanctify’ or make holy the practices they observed in the world around them in order to incorporate them into their own lives. Whenever they were guilty of violating God’s clear command, judgement was executed on Israel. The apostles make clear that judgement will also be executed on those called Christians who practice ‘idolatry’ or ‘sorcery’. 

God’s word itself is sufficient to man for all teaching. Anything we might need to know about God, ourselves, life, and salvation we will find contained in His written word to us. (2Tim 3:16-17) Christ defined his disciples as those who ‘abide in” His word, and declared that it is God’s word which sets us apart as He has called us to be. (Jn 8:31; Jn 17:17) 

In order to establish beyond argument God’s expectation that we completely refrain from any activities or ideas about reality that generate from pagan belief and practice, we will extensively examine Old and New Testaments for God’s instructions. It is important to remember that while the Law given to Israel is not given to the church (the purpose of this article is not to discuss the role of the Law, so this will not be addressed at this time), God’s moral standards have not changed since the beginning of time. They are based upon His nature, character, and purposes, which never change. Consequently, a moral pronouncement included in the Law continues to be relevant to us, not because it was contained in the Jewish law, but because it is God’s declaration of what is right. 

Moreover, it is imperative to understand and remember that false religious ideas are all lies of Satan, set up against the Living and True God, in an attempt to rob Him of His glory and turn men away from Him. Any results obtained by following Satan’s lies are fool’s bait – snares to keep men adhered to the lie. Any power evidenced in the practices Satan has invented is Satan’s power, which we must never attempt to appropriate for our own perceived benefit. As Paul instructs, we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph 5:11.

Or Can we “Sanctify” Acts or Ideas belonging to False Religious Systems to Make Them Suitable for Worship of the Lord God or a Part of Christian Life Practice? 

Psalm 1 “Blessed is he who walks not after the counsel of the ungodly….” 

Ephesians 5:11 “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” 

Leviticus 18:3 & 4 “After the doings of the land of Egypt, in which you dwelt, shall you not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan into which I bring you, you shall not do, neither shall you walk in their ordinances. You shall do my judgments and keep mine ordinances to walk therein; I am the Lord Your God.” 

Vv 6 – 23 list sexual sins of all types 

Lev. 18:24-30 “Defile not yourselves in any of these things, for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you, and the land is defiled. Therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomits out her inhabitants. You shall therefore keep my statues and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, not any of your own nation nor any stranger that sojourns among you, (for all these abominations have the men of the land done which were before you, and the land is defiled) that the land not spew you out also when you defile it, as it spewed out the nations that were before you, for whosoever shall commit any of these abominations … shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall you keep mine ordinance, that you not commit these abominable customs … that you defile not yourselves therein. I am the Lord your God.” 

The specific detail in this chapter is sexual sin, however the principle articulated in vv 24-30 is a general principle that appears many times throughout the OT. 

Lev 19:2 [the Lord said] “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy”. 

Lev 19:31 “Regard not those who have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards to be defiled by them…” 

Eastern meditation is a vehicle used to open the mind to communication from familiar spirits. It cannot be incorporated into Christian practice without the same risk. Further discussion of Biblical meditation will follow. 

Lev 20:2-7 “…whosoever of the children of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel who gives of his seed unto Molech, he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set My face against that man and cut him off from among his people because he has given of his seed unto Molech to defile My sanctuary and profane My holy name. “And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man when he gives of his seed unto Molech, and do not kill him, then I will set My face against that man and against his family, and will cut him off and all that go a-whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people. And the soul that turns after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards to go a-whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul and will cut him off from among his people. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.” 

-a further list of offenses in vv 9 – 21, mostly sexual 

Lev 20:23 “And you shall not walk in the manner of the nation which I cast out before you, for they committed all these things and therefore I abhorred them.” 

Because the specific lists immediately around the instructions to not ‘walk after the manner of the nations’ are predominantly sexual sins, some might argue that the instruction to abstain from following their practices relates only to sexual sins. This is not supported by the structure of the book, as the Lord continues His examples before and after these abstention commands, including commands regarding offering children to “Molech”, and rejecting those with familiar spirits and wizards (“knowing ones”, or “conjurers”), judgements against those who curse their parents. In other words, God was commanding them about their conduct in general, and specifically prohibiting their following the life or religious practices of the nations He was driving out from before them, specifically because they were an abomination to Him. 

Cf Numbers 15:30-31 “The soul that does presumptuously, whether he is born in the land or a stranger, the same reproaches the Lord and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord and has broken His commandment, that soul shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.” 

Vv 22-29 discuss people who sin through ignorance, and the provision for them under the law for atonement. Then v 30 qualifies that someone who does what is wrong “with a high hand” as the Hebrew literally translates, has no provision for atonement; he is cut off from his people and remains guilty. The Lord says the guilty party has done so “because he has despised the word of the Lord”. The principle extends to us, in that God has spoken and declared many activities sinful. If we choose to redefine the terms to suit ourselves, we too are despising God’s word to us, and are therefore guilty. 

Deuteronomy 4:2 “You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” 

Cf Deut 6:14-15 “You shall not go after other gods of the gods of the people which are round about you, (for the Lord your God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you and destroy you from off the face of the earth…” 

Cf: Deut 9:5 “Not for your righteousness, or for the uprightness of your heart do you go to possess their land, but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God does drive them out from before you, and that He may perform the word which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 

Cf Deut 11:18 “Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” 

In this passage, the Lord emphasises to Israel the pre-eminence of His word in their lives. It is to be their constant point of reference, and constant guide in all things. 

Deut 12, esp. v4 v. 2: they were to ‘utterly destroy all the places in which the nations…served their gods…” 

v. 3 Destroy all the apparatus with which those nations performed their worship. 

v. 4 “You shall not do so unto the Lord your God.” – in reference to the form of worship. This was in reference to places, images and the ‘names’ of their gods. 

Deut 12:30 – 32 ** “When the Lord your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go to possess them, and you succeed them, and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you not be snared by following them after they are destroyed from before you, and that you inquire not after their gods, saying ‘How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise.’ You shall not do so unto the Lord your God, for every abomination to the Lord which He hates have they done unto their gods, for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it, you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” 

Any argument that the previous instructions to not incorporate practices from other religions into the worship of God were practice-specific is set aside by Deuteronomy 12. The Deuteronomy passage is not practice-specific, but a general prohibition against including pagan practices in the worship of the Lord God. 

Notice that God has identified these religious practices as abomination to Him. This is a moral statement, and is unalterable by time or context. He told the nation of Israel what He considers acceptable in the performance of religious observance, and they were to remain within His instructions with no deviations of any kind, no addition of things which might seem ‘good’ to them.

Cf Deut 13:1-13 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass of which he spoke unto you, saying ‘let us go after other gods’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them’, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet….” 

The principle to consider from this particular passage is that the message of the ‘prophet’ ‘came true’. The test of this prophet was not whether his words bore up experientially, but that he was leading them away from the true God. The extension of the principle into the context of our present discussion is that we cannot measure ‘validity’ of some practice or idea on the basis of its success at achieving the goal for which it was intended. The only measurement of its validity is based upon its consistency with God. “It works” is not the criterion for rightness. Only Truth can test belief or practice. 

Further into ch. 13 of Deuteronomy, God commands Israel to ‘put the evil away from the midst of you’ in reference to those seeking to lead them away from God. In vv 6 – 9, God tells them if even their brother, or child, or their wife or their dearest friend entices them to follow other gods, “namely the gods of the people which are round about you, near to you, or far off from you, from the end of the earth to the other end of the earth” they were not to “consent to him, nor listen to him, nor pity him, nor spare him, nor hide him”, but they were to “surely kill him” with their hand being first against him. God made no provisions even for their most beloved to be tolerated in this sin, and He did not qualify the command based upon the success of the effort. The death penalty was assigned for those who would lead God’s people away from Him. We must appreciate how serious an offense God considers this action. Had the Israelites obeyed this command, they would never have been expelled from the land of promise, nor suffered the atrocities heaped upon them by their enemies. Christians are not under the law for judicial matters, so we are not called to put people to death for their sins. The point here is that idolatry was a capital offense under the law; idolatry and occultism were supremely offensive to God. Neither God nor the nature and source of the sins have changed. 

In Deut 13:17-18, God forbade the taking of spoil during war against these pagan lands, commanding Israel to gather it all into the midst of the city street and burn the entire city to ashes, taking nothing for themselves. They were not allowed even to keep what was ‘good’ belonging to these enemies of God, but were to destroy it all. Later in their history, King Saul violated the same explicit command reiterated by God concerning the battle of Agag, forfeiting his kingdom. Saul’s justification for keeping the booty was that they had kept the best of the livestock etc. to offer to the Lord. God did not accept his excuse; the command was clear – destroy it all, keep nothing. “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, stubbornness as iniquity and idolatry.”[1] Our example from this is equally clear; we have no need to bring things belonging to pagans into our worship of God. God has provided us all that we need in order to worship Him acceptably. His resources are sufficient for our use and His pleasure. 

Deut 18:9-14: “When you are come into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you one who makes his son or daughter to pass through the first or that uses 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 your God drives them out from before you. You shall be perfect with the Lord your God. For these nations, which you shall possess listened to observers of times, and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not suffered you so to do.” 

In this passage, God specifically forbids Israel to learn to do the abominations of the nations into which they will be led, declaring all who do those things to be an abomination to Him. While the instruction was to the nation of Israel, the fact of abomination to the Lord is an absolute; what was abomination to Him in 1800 BC is abomination today. 

It is worthwhile to note how frequently God specifies His reason for dispossessing these peoples and destroying as being their practise of these abominations. Because they did these things, He drove them off the land they occupied and gave it to a people who said they would serve only Him. Because they did these abominable things, He ultimately destroyed them altogether; they would not repent, therefore they forfeited mercy. 

We need to understand that occult practices were devised by demons to lead men away from God, to entice men to rely on power and authority other than God’s. The ideas belong to the devil; the effects are achieved through demonic power. All the practices listed in Deuteronomy 18 invite interaction with demons, and invoke their power. Any apparently positive effects of the practices are at best coincidental, and at worst an outworking of demonic power in response to the individual’s invitation. Demons are in rebellion against God; they are abomination to Him. For Christians to invite their influence into our lives for any reason is a rebellious affront to the grace of God extended in Christ for our sins. 

Brothers and sisters, Christ died for our sins. Each time we are selfish, stubborn, wilful, prideful, lustful, unfaithful, or in any other way ungodly, our lives join the voices of those who cried “Crucify Him!” Christ died to free us from the power of our enemies: sin, death, and the devil himself. Demons are His enemies and ours; they hate our Lord and they hate His church. How could anything devised by demons be pleasing to the God they hate? 

[1] 1 Samuel 15:22-23

It is important to pause here for a moment and define some of the terms used in the previous passages to see what God has forbidden. Following are the terms from the list in Deut 18, with definitions and some examples the reader will likely recognize:

Old Testament:

Divination – seeking/telling the unknown, esp. future; the means by which it is discovered (ie: tarot; palm reading; Ouija board, I Ching)

“observer of times” – soothsayer – similar to divination – (ie: horoscope)

enchanter – one who works magic by spells; or a charmer (ie: hypnosis; feng shui)

witch – worker of magic; one who casts spells

charmer – someone who influences the reality of someone else (includes guided imagery, and other hypnotic processes) (can include using potions etc.)

consulter with familiar spirits – one who communicates with the spirit world – (ie: mediums; channeling, automatic writing)

necromancer – one who communicates with the dead

wizard – a “knowing one”; a conjurer ( ie: ESP, clairvoyance)

New Testament occult terms:

Sorcery/Sorcerer (Acts) – mageia/mageuo/magos – magic; from Oriental scientist. – broad application to many practical aspects of philosophy and practice of occult

(Rev) – pharmakeia/keus/kon/kos – use of/maker of potions, drugs; substances

witchcraft (Gal) pharmakeia

The majority of these practices include communication with other ‘beings’, whether deliberately as in necromancy, or not necessarily so, as in wizardry, divination, soothsaying. Those practicing the ‘knowing arts’ do not necessarily realize or even believe that there are other entities feeding their thoughts. They may not believe in spiritual beings – not a personal God, nor angels nor demons; they believe they have some hidden knowledge within themselves that various practices will help to release. But the human mind is finite; we have no ‘hidden knowledge’ within ourselves. All knowledge must be learned or revealed; Satan and his agents are completely willing to reveal whatever will steal God’s place in men’s lives.

Old and New Testaments both teach clearly that we are not to be united with that which opposes God. There are no exceptions; we are not to take the ‘good’ of pagan things to add to what God has given us. We are perfect – complete – in Christ Jesus. We have received all His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, being made joint heirs with Christ of all that belongs to the Father. If we have all things, why do we seek those things which are not – idolatrous vehicles that lead to death.

Deut 20:16-18 “But of the cities of these people which the Lord thy God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord your God has commanded you, that they not teach you to do after all their abominations which they have done unto their gods; so should you sin against the Lord your God.”

It would be sin for Israel to do those things which the pagans God was driving out from before them had done in their idolatrous worship.

Deut 23:9 “When the host goes forth against your enemies, then keep yourselves from every wicked thing.”

Deut 5:9; 32-33: “Oh that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them and with their children forever.” “You shall observe to do therefore as the Lord you God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you that you may live, and that It may be well with you, and you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.”

Deut 7:2 “and when the Lord your God shall deliver them before you, you shall smite them, and utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy unto them, neither shall you make marriages with them….for they shall turn away your son from following me…”

When we unite ourselves with those opposed to God, they lead us away from Him. As soon as we are considering their religious observances a something we might do, we have already been turned away from following God.

Isaiah 2:6 “Therefore You have forsaken your people the house of Jacob, because they are replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers….and they worship the work of their own hands.” Israel filled herself with the spiritual dross of Babylon, Edom, Midian, and their other God-rejecting neighbours. God sent prophets over several hundred years to call them to repentance, but they persisted in their unfaithfulness, and were therefore forsaken as a people.

John 8:31-32 “Then Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him, “If you continue in my word, you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

John 14:21, 23-4 “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me; and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him…If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He who does not love me does not keep my sayings; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.”

Romans 1:21, 23-25 “Because, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened….they…changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonour their own bodies between themselves, who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”

2 Cor 11:4 “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him…for such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.”

Early human inventors of false religions all knew the truth of God. Seth’s great-grandson Cainan was alive when Noah was alive, although he died before the birth of Noah’s sons. Noah lived until Abram’s father Terah was 30 years old. The idolatrous wickedness of Noah’s day developed among those who lived with God’s direct testimony to men. Abram was born into a pagan environment; the religious idolatry of Sumer was well-established when the living and true God revealed himself to Abram. In fact, Noah’s son Shem, witness to the flood, was alive when Abram’s father was a young man. But despite the presence of men and women who had heard the voice of God, and seen the hand of God, their society embraced demonic lies, and fell into abominable practices which God hated, and for which He ultimately destroyed the unrepentant. It is from these roots that practices like divination, soothsaying, altered consciousness, spells, ‘enchantments’, channelling, and other occult practices were developed, and for which God has condemned all of them as abominable. There can be no reconciling of that which uses demonic power or lifts up demonic ideas or entities with the worship of the holy and righteous God.

2 Cor 6:14-17 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he who believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, and “touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you….”

Eph 5:11 “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” 1 Thess 5:21 “Test all things, hold fast that which is good.”

2 Tim 3:15-17 “”…the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

James 4:4 `”You adulterers and adulteresses; know ye not that friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

1 John 2: 15 “Love not the world, neither the things in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but of the world.” 

Christ commanded John to write letters to seven Asian churches, which are recorded in the book of Revelation. The letter to he congregation in Thyatira addresses this issue very strongly.

Revelation 2:18-29, esp. 20 

“And unto the angel of the church of Thyatira write, “These things says the Son of God, who has His eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass. ‘I know your works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works, and the last more than the first. Notwithstanding, I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 

I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not. Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts, and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, l and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak, I will put upon you no other burden. But that which you have, hold fast till I come. And he who overcomes and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as I received of my father. And I will give him the morning star. 

He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.” 

Historical Jezebel is found in 1 Kings chapters 16, 18, 19, 21, and 2 Kings 9:37. She was the wife of Ahab, wicked king of Israel, the daughter of the high priest of Baal, and a witch. When Ahab ruled Israel, Jezebel ruled the priests of Baal, making her high priestess. The woman was a demon-worshipper and occultist. The reference to Jezebel in Christ’s letter is a symbolic representation to occultism and demon-worship. Notice that He condemns the congregation in Thyatira for tolerating “Jezebel” teaching Christ’s servants to ‘commit fornication and eat foods sacrificed to idols’. Some have mistakenly chosen to believe the passage refers to a contemporary woman in that group teaching Christians to have sex outside of marriage and participate in idolatrous meals, this does not fit with the rest of the passage, and is not consistent with the reference in the immediately-previous letter to Pergamos about those who adhere to the ‘doctrines of Balaam”. We know without question that Balaam refers to the historical man from Numbers 24. In the same way that Balaam was not alive teaching the Pergamos congregation his deceptions, the reference to Jezebel is historical and symbolic. I will include a deeper study of the letters in Revelation in a later post. 

The “Jezebel” of Christ’s letter was teaching and ‘seducing’ Christ’s servants – Christians. “Seduce” means to ‘entice, or lure into something. Enticement is the use of appealing argument or ‘sales pitch’ to persuade someone that something is beneficial. Satan ‘seduced’ Eve into eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. 

Just as Balaam manipulated and misused his role as prophet and God’s own words for Balaam’s agenda and personal gain, Jezebel practised sorcery as a way of life, and to advance her goals and personal circumstances. 

The Scripture uses ‘fornication’ frequently in reference to those who unite themselves with false gods. Eating foods sacrificed to idols depicts the gaining of sustenance from those things devoted to or set apart for idols, which necessarily opposes God. Any practice of occultism is spiritual fornication, uniting the practitioner with demons. The main purpose for using occult practices is personal gain – whether health, or ‘spirituality’, or self-improvement, or material gain, sustaining the imagery of ‘eating foods sacrificed to idols.” Christ condemned those who ‘tolerate’ someone teaching His children to live this way. It is the same idolatry to the body of Christ that it was to Israel of old, because it is the same sin against the same God Who does not change. 

The condemnation is sure and the consequences are severe. Those who ‘commit adultery with her’ shall be “cast…into great tribulation unless they repent of their deeds.” Christ will ‘kill her children with death, and all the churches will know that [He] is Who searches the minds and hearts …” In other words, there are no secrets hidden from Him; nothing He does not know or see. 

Galatians 5:19 – 20 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are ….idolatry, witchcraft….they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” 

Revelation 22:14-15 “Blessed are they who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For outside are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.” 

I have demonstrated from Scripture that God condemns all pagan religious practice, all occult practice regardless of its source or intended purpose by the practitioner. I have shown His clear and repeated prohibitions to His people Israel from incorporating pagan practices into their worship of Him. I have shown that the New Testament writers also recognized the imperative for the church to refrain from any “works of darkness” or worldly practices, but to be separated unto God alone. In view of the abundance of teaching on this issue in the body of Scripture, it is impossible to come to any other conclusion than that the incorporation of practices which originated in pagan religions for religious observance or spiritual practice into Christian life or worship is strictly forbidden, being abomination and affront to God. All meditative, contemplative, spell-casting, divination, or spirit-seeking activities that have become common-place in some ostensibly christian circles are doctrines of demons forbidden by God. Those who practice them are under judgement, and must repent if they are to escape the tribulation Christ warned would come to those who do not. 

If this generates questions, please feel free to ask. I also encourage you to be as the Bereans, and search the Scriptures diligently to see for yourself what God has said about His church.