After visiting a psychic to learn the future, the friend of a gracEmail subscriber wonders whether to adjust her life to fit the psychic’s reading. The gracEmail subscriber asks what the Bible says about fortune-tellers, whether a Christian should consult with them and, if so, what use to make of their pronouncements.
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Fortune-tellers have existed in most cultures throughout recorded history. Their presence evidences the universal human desire for supernatural knowledge of the future, in the hope that such foreknowledge will also bring the ability to control what lies ahead. Depending on their particular methods and means used to discern the future, these individuals have been known as diviners, necromancers, wizards, augurers, sorcerers, mediums, spiritualists, soothsayers, psychics, fortune-tellers and other terms. The Bible always views such practices as antagonistic to God — worthless at best and demonic at worst.
When God brought the descendants of Jacob out of Egypt, he instructed them to have nothing to do with such pagan practices, but to depend on God to reveal whatever he might wish through his own chosen prophets (Deut. 18:9-23). Centuries later, one of those prophets chastened his contemporaries for consulting mediums and wizards instead of hearing God’s word in the recorded Scriptures (Isa. 8:19-20). In the New Testament, the gospel is both opposed by and triumphs over sorcerers, as has been the case also through the centuries since (Acts 8:9ff; 13:6ff; 16:16ff; 19:19). Sorcery is listed as a work of the sinful nature forbidden for Christians (Gal. 5:20).
We who serve Jesus Christ are in the hands of a personal and faithful God who knows us intimately and who loves us beyond measure. He guides Christian believers through the Scriptures, Jesus Christ his incarnate Word, the Holy Spirit and, as it pleases him, through angels, dreams, providential encounters and circumstances as well as the properly-exercised gift of ordinary Christian prophecy. We are therefore liberated from dependence on horoscopes, tarot cards, ouija boards and fortune-tellers of all kinds. Because they are unnecessary and undermine our trust in God, they have no proper place in our lives.