Here's What The Bible Really Says About Magic

As you are likely aware, books in the "Harry Potter" series frequently turn up on the American Library Association's list of most-challenged and most-banned books. That's because, as the group notes, many parents have expressed concerns about the book's purported glorifying of the occult and magic. As Biblical question-and-answer website Got Questions notes, "Christians should have some concerns and need to use careful discernment in deciding whether or not to allow their children to immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter."

People of faith around the world rely on the Bible for their faith, doctrine and practice. And in the Bible, there is little to no ambiguity about "magic," "sorcery" and the like. Of course, whether or not the Bible's teachings on the subject mean that a modern-day Christian should eschew enjoying magic-related fiction is a personal decision that need not be rehashed here. But make no mistake: the Bible is absolutely against magic and the like in every instance where it's mentioned.

The Bible is unambiguous about magic

The magic in question here deals with invoking the occult, and not, say, sleight of hand, or Penn and Teller's illusions. The Old Testament comes right out of the gate in condemning practices associated with magic, bringing it up in the third of its books, Leviticus. Specifically, Leviticus 19:26 says, "Do not practice divination or seek omens." A few pages later, in Deuteronomy 18:10-11, it's even more specific: "Let no one be found among you who ... practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells." And over in the New Testament, in Acts 13:10, the Apostle Paul calls a certain sorcerer "a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!"

In the totality of scripture, writes Got Questions, at no point is the mention of magic, sorcery, divination, or similar activities presented in a positive light. "Scripture says that God hates all magic, whether it is white magic or some other kind. Why? Because it doesn't come from God," the writer concludes.