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Friday, December 26, 2014

Ouija

The fascination with the occult in our society has prompted Hollywood to produce another  horror/thriller supernatural flick about the Ouija board. It was no surprise to see that this new rendition was number one at the box office this past weekend. To date, Internet Movie Database lists over 30 plus titles using the word Ouija, a clear indication that big money continues to be made off these types of stories.

I’ll confess that I haven’t seen the movie and don’t plan on watching it—ever. And I don’t recommend anyone else see it either. To some, that might seem unprofessional to critique a film I haven’t viewed, so let me just say, in all fairness, the script may be wonderfully crafted, the acting superb, and the directing and production quality top notch. In actuality, this isn’t a review per se, but more of a commentary on the dangers of the occult and a warning to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. My first-hand experience with the Ouija board is a testimony that something as seemingly benign as a board game can be very dangerous.

To many of us who grew up in the 70s, the Ouija board was a staple in most families, being one of many forms of entertainment before cable and Internet. It consists of a typical game board with letters and numbers, a few words, like “yes” and “no,” and a plastic dial called a planchette. To “play,” two or more people rest their fingers on the planchette and allow the spirits of the dead to move the dial around the board, spelling out answers to questions.

In all my years growing up, I never knew anyone who could get the thing to work. I remember sitting in darkened rooms, calling for the spirits of JFK and Abraham Lincoln to come and speak to us, but nothing ever happened. After a few tries, the box was put away and ended up on the bottom of the game stack until it was eventually thrown out. Most of the people in my sphere of existence, including my parents, minister, and fellow church-goers, were skeptics regarding the spirit world and all things supernatural. They believed in God and Jesus and maybe angels, but the devil and demons were considered poppycock. That never made sense to me, since the devil and demons are mentioned in both the Old and New Testament. Interestingly enough, those were the days of such movies as The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Omen, all of which scared the daylights out of most of us. And yet we still didn’t believe in the supernatural. Sometimes we church people can be so thickheaded!

Well, all that changed for me in 1988. I was in my late twenties and was very happy, leading a normal, agnostic life, when I was confronted face to face with the dark side of the supernatural. My extended family was home for Christmas, and one member presented us with an old Ouija board she had found in the house she had been renting. After dusting it off, she and her friends had goofed around on it a bit, and lo and behold, a “friendly spirit” appeared on the board, sending the planchette figuratively flying all over the place, communicating mysteries and secrets that no human would know. Pretty soon, strange things started happening in her home—pots rattled in the kitchen and a spirit entity tried to push one of her friends down a flight of stairs. As expected, the friend immediately departed and never returned.

Like this family member, I was thrilled to learn that there really was a supernatural realm as espoused in the Bible even if it was inhabited by temperamental spirits. Before long, we had the whole family (other than my dad) gathered around the Ouija board, asking the spirits questions about our lives. The planchette moved on its own (our fingers were on the planchette, but no one claimed to be pushing) and answers were given that were very personal in nature. I remember my skin tingling at the notion that I was really communicating with a spirit from the other side who knew things about me that no one else could have ever known! My agnostic views slowly slipped away and my belief in the supernatural came alive.

But then confusion descended. The spirit told me to break up with my would-be-husband (who I was dating at the time) and renew a relationship with my old boyfriend. At that moment, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this spirit was not friendly. I knew God would never want me reunited with such a person. But the nail in the coffin was yet to come. My sweet mother got on the board with me and the planchette began spelling vile, curse words. I knew I wasn’t pushing the dial, and I knew my dear, Southern-belle mom would never use such language. The only conclusion was that there really was a spirit on the board and it was horribly demonic in nature. The games stopped, and my father ordered us to bed.

But I couldn’t sleep. I was freaked out and really afraid. The devil is really real, I thought to myself. And then I heard these words in my mind, “Yes. And if the devil is real, then God must be real too!” At that moment, I made a decision to begin a quest to discover who God truly was and to learn as much as I could about Jesus and the Bible. It is interesting how the Lord can use an occult game to draw someone in, even though this method is NOT recommended. But what was even more interesting, is that I was the only one in my family who got this revelation. To date, some of my family members are convinced that either I or my mom pushed the planchette that night.

“What’s the big deal with getting a little spooked on a harmless game?” many may ask. “Yes, the Old Testament forbids divination,” some Christians may say, “but we’re now under grace. And besides, I don’t believe in any of that stuff anyway!” Well, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in the dark forces of the supernatural or not, they are there, and they are subject to supernatural laws. Supernatural laws dictate that if a spiritual door is opened, these spirits will usher themselves into your life and wreak havoc.

Upon looking back, I can see that, after that night, a dark cloud of depression began to grow over me. It started out small, but then it expanded to a point where I felt the physical pressure of spiritual warfare, especially when I was asleep. During the day, my interests leaned toward occultic movies and books and the darkness grew like a storm cloud. Finally, after giving my life to the Lord, I was miraculously delivered in a dream by the Lord Jesus Himself. In one night, I was freed from the stronghold of depression and slowly made my way out. Through intense Bible Study and prayer, I began to get a revelation of what had happened to me. What started as an innocent infatuation could have turned into a potentially deadly situation.

I share this as a warning to denominational Christians in particular who are ignorant of the power of the occult even in what may seem like a benign setting. In the right situation, movies, television shows, games, and books can be the gateway for demonic forces to negatively affect our lives and the lives of our children. Just turn on the news and you can see how dark our nation and the world has grown in just one generation. This is not a surprise, considering the occultic entertainment that many of us feed upon, night after night. Our spirits and souls need God’s Word and the glory of His goodness, not the devil’s trash.

It takes effort to find wholesome entertainment in this day and age. I know, because I have the privilege of writing this column every month, and many times the Christian-friendly movies are slim pickings, as we say in the South. But God is faithful. Let’s stay away from this movie, Ouija, and keep praying that He will raise up more Christians in the industry who will make wonderful, high quality, Godly films that make Him proud!

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