Summary: Horoscopes, psychics and the like, may seem like harmless entertainment, but instead they are an invitation…and invitation for evil to enter your life because these “deceiving spirits” and “hypocritical liars” distract us from following Christ, and thereb

“Horoscopes & Psychics”

2003 Hot Topics Series

I Timothy 4:1-10, Deuteronomy 18:9-12

August 3, 2003

Purpose: Horoscopes, psychics and the like, may seem like harmless entertainment, but instead they are an invitation…and invitation for evil to enter your life because these “deceiving spirits” and “hypocritical liars” distract us from following Christ, and thereby distract us from “knowing the truth.”

I. Introduction – A discussion at Peacock Ridge…(a waitress asked me if Edwards was real or

not, and how I could tell. My answer to her was the three points under “How can we tell what is and isn’t?”)

- It’s become popular…1994 USA Today – CNN-Gallup Poll found that70 million

Americans believe in that’s its possible to talk to the dead.

- Our first ladies have practiced it…Nancy Reagan consulted astrologiers, Hillary Clinton

admitted to summoning the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt in her decision making.

- Millions upon millions pick up their newspapers each day to read their horoscopes.

- Others have spent hundreds on 900 numbers…

- Still others watch television and movies that glorify psychic ability, witchcraft, and other occult-like activities.

- People are asking, “What’s so wrong with it?”

II. What’s so wrong with “crossing over?”

- Psychics, horoscope writers, and all often prey upon the weakest people in their weakest moments.

- i.e. – those grieving the loss of a loved one, those who are searching to be loved, those who are struggling with their finances.

- “900” numbers make billions

ex. Do you remember Miss Cleo? – Her real name is Yoruee Cleomilli Harris –Currently four states, including New York are in the process of suing her for fraud and misrepresenting her product. Needless to say, we don’t see on TV much anymore.

- And if that weren’t enough, most of the time psychics are no where near telling the truth. ex. Miami - talking to a person who actually worked those 900 lines she said, “we tell them what they want to hear so they’ll call back or we can keep them on the line."

- according to a long-time skeptic and magician , James Randi, whose standing offer of $1 million to psychics who can independently verify their “magic” which has gone unclaimed for years, he says that even the current popular psychics like James Van Praagh and Jonathon Edward follow the same old pattern like the ones before them. (source:

- The pattern is called a “cold reading.” They tell the subjects nothing, but make guesses based on probability, put out suggestions, and ask questions. This is a very deceptive art, and the unwary observer may come away believing that unknown information was developed by some wondrous means. When, in reality, it’s a con.

- For example, 48 hours did a special on a Van Praagh reading that lasted 60 min.In that time, he asked 260 questions and made only 2 actual statements.

The first one he got right was the name “Jack” however, it took it 26 guesses of other men’s names before he got there!

The second thing he got right was about Jack’s death, but again he needed the subject, Jack’s wife, to help him with the answer. Listen to the actual transcript:

Van Praagh: “Now, Jack has passed correct?” (she had told him this previously.)

Subject: yes

Van Praagh: “Did your husband linger in the hospital or die quickly?”

Subject: “Oh, he died almost immediately.”

Van Praagh: “Yes, that’s right, because he’s saying to me that “I didn’t suffer, I was spared any pain.”

If Van Praagh had already heard from Jack, why did he need his wife’s confirmation? If you can speak to the dead why do you need verification from the living?

- According to Randi, most psychics have an accuracy rate of 13-15%

Even Edwards, who is the most well-known of this con, at his best can only get three correct answers, from 23 questions, according to Randi as he studied a 45 minute interrogation on one of Edward’s tapes

- Most psychics will claim that their powers are God-given linking God to their hoax.

- They claim to have “God-given” talents or go so far as to claim that God alone

has the power and they are just vessels of it.

- They may even go so far as to claim that the prophets were psychic or that even

Jesus himself was which was why he was able to help so many.

- To debuke this, we need to turn to Scripture.

III. What does the Bible say?

In addition to I Timothy 4, which we read today, there many other passages to which I’ll lift up few…

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 – “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omen, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices, the Lord your God will drive out these nations before you.”

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