Anyway, one of the things that Dr. Scott Johnson, the preacher who gave this sermon, went over was some quotes about why kids loved Harry Potter. Much of what the kids said went along these lines... "if I could go to Wizard School and be like Harry Potter, I could make my friends, parents, and teachers do what I wanted to do."
The whole sermon, along with another sermon my pastor gave the week after I listened to this one, got me thinking. Why do people practice witchcraft? I'm not a witch, nor did I conduct a poll of witches to get accurate scientific data, but from observation, it seems like people practice witchcraft because they want to have some control over their surroundings. It may be for good reasons... maybe they want good luck or want to find love. I'm willing to guess that most practicing witches do so with good intentions.
Another word that I thought about that I find to be related is manipulation. People practice witchcraft because they want to manipulate their environment. They want to manipulate the man of their dreams to love them. They want to manipulate their surroundings to achieve their objectives. Rather than wait on the Lord, seek out his will, whatever it may be, and be content with the answer.
Most Christians know that God forbids witchcraft.
As far as I know, he doesn't forbid any of the following like he does witchcraft. But I wonder if our attitudes towards these ideas may add to the general acceptance of witchcraft.
- Self-help and other modern psychological practices. "How To Win Friends And Influence People". The other day I was listening to somebody say that you can get your husband to do stuff like taking out the garbage by flattering him into it... or in other words, manipulating them into it. A lot of parenting is done this way nowadays. Get your child to eat their peas by turning them into a pea boat. Get your kids to behave at the grocery store by bribing them with treats if they're good. In other words, manipulation.
- Word Of Faith, Name-It-And-Claim-It preaching. Just have enough faith and your bank account will be full in no time. If you have enough faith, you'll always be healthy and nothing bad will ever happen to you. If you say a prayer the right way with enough faith, and maybe send the preacher some "seed money" God will bless you out your ears. So does that mean that Chinese Christians lack faith? What about Job? While God often answers prayers, he also has a perfect will and sometimes his will forces you to go through trials. Word Of Faith, I'm afraid, seems to me to be a way of trying to manipulate God into doing what you want him to do, rather than what he wants to do.
- The Secret. If you just think good thoughts, just think about the life you want, you will attract the good things that you want. Isn't this just another form of manipulation?
God has a will and it will be done. I'm not sure if manipulating anybody is really necessary.