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The occult is not harmless.
The occult is not harmless. (Public Domain)

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With Ouija boards populating movies, the dead coming back to life in television shows and wizardry books lining shelves, many people are asking: "What's the big deal?" 

The occult is a slippery slope. What may start as an innocent game could soon snap into a deadly trap.

"My brother really misses his wife, who died about six months ago. Now he's talking about going to someone who claims she can make contact with his wife's spirit. I think he'd just be wasting his money, but what should I tell him?" one reader asked Billy Graham.

There's a reason God warns us against this.

The evangelist responded

I hope you will strongly urge your brother not to have anything to do with this person, or anyone else who says they have the power to make contact with the dead. The Bible clearly states that occult activities like this are not from God but from the demonic powers of darkness. The psalmist declared, "A perverted heart shall be far from me; I will not know anything wicked" (Ps. 101:4).
Why does the Bible tell us to avoid them? One reason is because they're often fraudulent and deceptive, falsely claiming to have powers they don't really have—all for the sake of money. But the main reason is because occult practices like this may bring us into contact with spiritual powers that are not from God, but from Satan. The Bible bluntly says, "For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God will drive them out from before you" (Deut. 18:12).
I hope you will encourage your brother instead to find his peace and comfort in Jesus Christ. God knows the emptiness and grief your brother feels, and Christ wants to come into his life and take away those hurts. Jesus' promise is for him, and for all who experience the heartache of losing a loved one: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matt. 5:4).
Remember: For the Christian, death is not the end, because by His resurrection from the dead Christ conquered death and opened heaven's door for us. He alone can give us hope—and He will, as we open our hearts and lives to His love.

Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she went to Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.

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