With all the sudden and sometimes sweeping interest in the game ‘Charlie Charlie’, all Christians need to register the peril for our young or, anyone for that matter, of indulging in this spiritist, occultist game.
It is not a harmless, amusing or innocent game but a spiritually dangerous and morally damaging indulgence which can bring real harm to those getting into it.
All pastors, teachers and parents need particularly to warn their pupils, young people, and our children that they should at all costs avoid this so-called ‘game’, and not participate in it in any way, shape or form.
Forbidden by Bible
Both Old and New Testaments are totally hostile to any form of spiritism or occultic practice and this definitely falls within that category.
Sometimes spiritism is engaged in by people wanting to connect to the departed. An understandable desire.
Needless to say one is not seeking to deny comfort to the bereaved or confused, nor impugn the integrity, sincerity and goodness of many who get involved in this activity. But one is seeking to warn in the strongest terms, for the attitude of both Old and New Testaments to spiritualism or anything resembling it (e.g. fortune telling, palmistry, astrology, glassy-glassy, etc.) is uncompromisingly hostile.
One should also register that in the Bible there is no attempt to deny the reality of spirit phenomena, but the warnings against tampering with them are set forth in the strongest terms. Comfort for the bereaved is to be found in Jesus and His Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) alone, not in supposed contact with the spirits of the departed.
Spiritualism claims to be a system of communication with departed spirits of the unseen world. Answers are sought through “mediums” in visions, voices, automatic writing, trances, planchettes, etc.
Most serious and objective investigators of spiritualist and psycho phenomena reject much of it as fraudulent, or naturally explicable, but admit an obstinate and significant percentage as real. With this conclusion the Bible would concur.
We therefore consider the real not the counterfeit: It should first be noted that spirits consulted give divergent answers on spiritual truth and are only agreed on the reality of the after-life. Almost unanimously they deny the deity of Jesus Christ, His bodily Resurrection, and most particularly His atoning death on the Cross, though His humanity and ethics are respected.
It has therefore to be faced that spirits may deceive the living and impersonate the dead. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a champion of spiritualism, acknowledged that a “naughty spirit” could deceive and impersonate. Often people think they have connected to a departed person, but I believe Evil and Demonic Spirits are masters of impersonation and deceit. They pretend to be a departed person, but are not.
Thus St Paul can speak of “seducing spirits” (1 Timothy 4:1), and also of the reality and deceptiveness of demonic powers (Ephesians 6:12). When confronted at Philippi with a medium, the Apostle cured her, thus putting an end to both her clairvoyance and the commercialism around it (Acts 16:16-19).
In the Old Testament, reactions are similar. God said to Moses: “If a person turns to mediums and wizards, playing the harlot after them, I will set my face against that person…” (Leviticus 20:6). This is very serious. Similarly, in Exodus 18:10-11: “There shall not be found among you any one…who practises divination…, or a medium, or a wizard or a necromancer.” Manasseh, one of the kings of Israel, is thus condemned because “he dealt with mediums and with wizards” (2 Kings 21:6). Isaiah’s denunciation is equally strong (Isaiah 8:19-20).
Likewise young people light-heartedly seeking amusement in a game like ‘Charlie Charlie’ need to grasp that they are connecting not to an innocent, fun, or a benevolent spirit, but to a demon whose only aim is to deceive them, do spiritual damage to them, and lead them away from the Living God in Christ.
The classic Old Testament example appears in 1 Samuel 28:3-25. In open rebellion against God, King Saul resorts to the medium (not witch) at Endor for comfort, since God no longer spoke to him. To the dismay of both medium and king, God interrupted the séance and caused the appearance not of an impersonating spirit, but of Samuel, the prophet, in person.
The prophet, sovereignly permitted by God to return, then pronounces a divine judgement on Saul for this and other sins. Comments the historian: “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness: he was unfaithful to the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance, and did not seek guidance from the Lord” (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
In the light of such warnings, the bereaved and broken-hearted should seek comfort not in spirits, but in the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him alone, for He and only He “has abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).
I once indulged in spiritism as a teenager, and though I had not yet come into relationship with Christ, I quickly realised I was connecting to real Evil and to Evil powers. It was very frightening. And I resolved never ever again to tamper with this area of spiritism and the occult.
There is one Spirit to whom we all need to be connected and that is the Holy Spirit of the Trinitarian God. He alone brings us nothing but good as He is allowed to indwell us when we give our lives to Christ.
And what He brings into our hearts is truly wonderful. Says the Apostle: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
So no calling on the demonic ‘Charlie Charlie’, but only on the divine Jesus, Jesus!