Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spiritual Prostitution

I have to admit, I dont like the title of this blog post. I do like the word 'spiritual', but I do not like the word 'prostitution'. In fact, just the thought of that word elicits thoughts of terrible sorrow, pain, shame and sin. It is a word that is filled with sadness, disgust, disturbing thoughts and shattered lives.

As disturbing as it may be, this term can be found in the Bible.

In Leviticus 20:6, the Lord is talking to Moses about the life instructions that he should communicate to the Israelites on behalf of the Lord. In this verse, the Lords says, "I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community."

One of the things He specifically forbid them to worship was Molech, an awful pagan god, worshipped by many people who fell away from the sovereign God of all time. This god required horrible sacrifices, and the brainwashing that people experienced as a result of following this satanic practice, caused them to do terrible things that they would surely never have done if they were in their right heart and mind.

But what I also thought was interesting in this verse, is that the Lord also warned about "putting their trust in mediums". Now if you have ever seen those television shows about houses being haunted, you may think a "medium" is only someone who seems to think they can talk to ghosts and spirits from the other side (an obviously fictional show, even though they try to say they are real-life stories).

But in todays culture, it is easy to fall into the habit of expecting other people, or things, to be able to tell us about the future, the dead, and anything that seems out of the scope of our human knowledge. And anything that we look to for information about life, besides Gods Word, would fall into the category of "medium".

I found several definitions of a "medium", which included: an intervening agency; channels of general communication; a person through whom the spirits of the dead are alleged to be able to contact the living; a filtering substance; of or pertaining to the human soul or mind; of or pertaining to some apparently nonphysical force or agency.

One popular "medium" that many people fall prey to is reading horoscopes. Personally I have always steered clear from horoscopes for several reasons - 1) because they are usually silly and dont even apply to my life, and 2) because I have always thought that worshipping the stars, or consulting with anyone who thinks they posses the same power as God, is not something I wanted to be involved with.

The basic purpose of a horoscope is to gain insight into a person’s character based on their birth date, and foretell their future. Horoscopes are supposedly based on the basic belief in astrology, that planets and stars exert an influence upon our lives.

Lets put this in perspective - horoscopes are created by people who think they have special knowledge, such as astrologers, mediums, fortune tellers, palm readers, psychics - under the belief that they really do have the power to predict events in a person’s life.

As far as I am concerned, I think it is a little disturbing that most major newspapers have a horoscope column. It is also amazing how many websites there are dedicated to this practice. I never cease to be amazed at how many Christians read these things regularly, and sometimes, even believe them, and seriously count on what is said to become a reality in their life.

I think if we are not careful, even as Christians, we can become consumed with checking out our horoscope each day, "just to see". We tell ourselves that we dont really believe in them, but just want to see if it somehow does seem relevant.

But after a while, even though it is a seemingly innocent habit, it can become a "medium" that we begin to believe has some truth to it, and is relevant in our actual lives. We may see similarities in the horoscope to what actually happens to us, which slowly, quietly, and inadvertently changes our minds into thinking, "hmmm, maybe there is something to this star worship stuff; maybe it really can tell the future".

That is when horoscope reading becomes scary, and would begin to fall under the umbrella of spiritual prostitution.

I know there will probably be some people who think I am blowing this horoscope thing way out of proportion, and maybe some people who just think I am being overly 'religious', and turning something that is just "fun and interesting" into a seemingly ridiculous idol worship.... but for some reason, it has really been on my mind lately.

My take on this is simply based on the fact that the Bible has a lot to say about this subject, and that is the source I go to when I need some insight I can count on.

Aside from the verse above in Leviticus, we read in Deuteronomy 18:10-14, that God expressly forbids divination, sorcery, and hidden arts, and any source of guidance or information about the future, outside of Gods Word and prayer, is to be rejected completely:

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering (note: which is one of the things that Molech worshippers did).And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.

Our trust about the past, present and future should be in Gods hands only, and He should be the only One to whom we look to to guide our paths. Faith in anything besides God is skewed, transfers our thoughts, and is actually detestable in Gods eyes. This instruction that God is to be our only guife in life is reiterated in Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take.

So if we consider the real meaning of just these two verses alone, astrology is the polar opposite of Gods commands to His children, and goes strictly against the Bible.

Horoscopes not only advocate and encourage us to have faith in something other than God, it can also be considered a form of divination, which means 'the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means; or prophecy.' In other words, spiritual prostitution. That is a little scary if you ask me. Just sayin.

We cannot determine God's will for our lives through reading horoscopes, and trying to do so, is a direct violation of the covenant we made with God when we accepted Him as the Only Way.

As Christians, we are called to read the Bible, believe the Bible, love the Lord, and give Him the responsibility of being our only guiding Light. We are to pray to Him only in order to gain wisdom, guidance and hope for our future. We are not to look to any other 'medium' for that type of information, and when we do, we are setting ourselves for trouble.

Consulting anyone, or anything, about the future of our lives is a violation of Gods instructions, and can soon become a barrier to us hearing Gods voice when He does speak to us.

I dont know about you, but I certainly dont want the word "prostitute" beside my name in the book of Heaven! And I most definitely do not want to be cut off from the community of God. And lastly, I dont want to be brainwashed, or have my idea of truth swayed at all, allowing myself to be slowly, and unknowingly pulled away from God, and into the hands of something or someone that will cause me to lose sight of the real Truth.

If you are interested, do some research on Molech. What you will find will not only be disturbing, but you will see the mangnitude of sorrow and sin that occurred in the lives of formerly God-fearing people because they slowly began to believe in something other than God.

On Tuesday I wrote about the importance of caring for our temples - this post goes right along with that. One of the most important things we have in our temples, is our heart. Guarding our heart against anything that is not of God, will keep our Temples holy and pure so that God can dwell there, just as He has promised to do.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

(due to some recent spam problems on my blog, I am having to moderate all comments for a while. I will approve your comments for posting throughout the day, so dont get worried if your comment does not post immediately. Thanks for your patience!)

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JazzyTurtle said...

Tracie, I agree with what you have written this morning. I have to admit that I used to read horoscopes "just to see" what they might say. I wouldn't only read mine, but the ones for my family as well. I don't remember a special moment when I said I will never read these again, but I just stopped reading them. We need to lead our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" If you are not leading your heart ask yourself who is? That verse is one that I have to keep reminding myself about and asking myself that same question.

Just a few days past I had posted that my husband and I had celebrated 6 years together and that I was pregnant again. I have sad news that I started to miscarry again on Tuesday.

I had gone through your marriage challenge and seen results in just those few days. Thank you again for those posts and letting God speak through you. My husband and I have been praying together for the past week now and he has had courage to pray with me and for me like I have not seen. My heart is broken over loosing our second baby, but at the same time I see this change in my husband that is so wonderful and all God, that I can't help but be excited at the same time for other changes that are going to happen in our lives. I know that those changes will be good.

Peace, Love, and God Bless,

Mel C said...

Interesting thoughts... I know I will think twice before checking my horoscope 'for fun' again!! Thanks!

Lynda said...

I gave up reading horoscopes as a teenager (a loooong time ago!), and don't like people asking me what my star sign is.
I agree with your comments about the TV programs, there seem to be so many of them now, and it also concerns me that a lot of 'health' magazines have whole sections on astrology and the like. Certainly something to pray about....

Victoria said...

I think you are absolutely right on target. I see a lot of people I care about with their horoscope posted on the FB page, and it bothers me, because only the Lord knows our today and tomorrow. God bless!

Lisa V. said...

Oh sure I think we've all come across people that say they read their horoscopes for fun and they don't take it seriously. But if we care to admit it or not we're looking for nugget of truth or hope or whatever. I've been guilty of it myself. Now I just steer clear of it all together. I don't want answers from anyone but my Lord. And He sure ain't telling me it through a horoscope. I know I need to rest my mind and thoughts on those things that are pure and good. Thanks Tracie, I think this is a well needed to reminder to Christians and non-Christians alike.

Becca said...

I want to say THANK YOU for standing firm in your faith, and through some doubt and possible fear that it may be perceived the wrong way, writing your thoughts on a issue that's been heavy on your heart.

Lelia Chealey said...

This is so good and so true! I have never got caught up in that stuff before and even throw away the fortune cookies when we get Chinese. That may be overboard, but better to be safe than sorry. I want to encourage my kids to look to God for all the answers they seek throughout their lives.
Great post Tracie!

LuvtheWord said...

I'm on your page, Tracie. My daughter is reading Randy Alcorn's
"Ishbane Conspiracy" right now, and this is exactly the kind of subtle way that Satan uses to get us comfortable with allowing other spiritual influences to impact our thinking.

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Your title really caught my attention. :-)

I haven't read horoscopes in forever. When I was in my teens, I would read them as part of reading the newspaper. I agree that we shouldn't focus on horoscopes to determine our future. We don't need horoscopes, psychics or palm readers to tell us our future. The bible has great direction for us if we seek wisdom from it.

Kelly said...

"And lastly, I dont want to be brainwashed, or have my idea of truth swayed at all, allowing myself to be slowly, and unknowingly pulled away from God, and into the hands of something or someone that will cause me to lose sight of the real Truth." I think many people are not even aware that this can happen. Very insightful blog. Thank you, as always, for sharing.

Joyful said...

Tracie, there is so much wisdom here. I think even Christians have to be cautious not to use God's Word as a "horoscope". I know of people who look ahead in their devotionals on certain days to see what's coming up and treat God's Word the same way.

Oh Lord, may we long to know You more than anything else.
Seeking Him,

Anonymous said...

Tracie, Thank you for your post. I am preparing to teach a SS Lifeway lesson this week from the book of Leviticus titled "Stay Away from Perverted Practices", I am amazed by the number of ladies in our SS who post horoscopes or psychic applications on their FB pages. I hope to deal with this subject lovingly yet firmly. God says "No". Do you trust Him? Do you love Him? Is He your Lord? That should settle it for all believers. I know some folks are terrfied of being labeled fundamentalist or bigotted but a gentle, compassionate speaking of the truth in love is called for. The Bible tells us God does consider that adultery or "prostitution". I am having my class go through passages in the Bible and underline some of the strong verbs used to describe God's feelings toward paganistic practices. It matters to Him and so it matters to me. It is my heart's desire to love, honor, glorify and be faithful to my Savior. Thank you again for your post, Margie Johnson

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