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4 Dangers of Making the Occult Popular

Representations of the occult are prevalent in the media. Shows, movies, music, and books are all areas where people can find depictions of occultic practices or the paranormal. There is danger, though, in making the occult and demonic popular.

Contributing Writer
Published Oct 12, 2023
4 Dangers of Making the Occult Popular

During the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, rapper and songwriter Doja Cat performed the song “Demons” surrounded by dancers painted blood-red. The music video for the song also features demonic figures and references to classic horror movies. As much as these depictions are unsettling, Doja Cat’s performance is nothing new.

Earlier this year, during the 2023 Grammy Awards, Kim Petras and Sam Smith performed their song “Unholy” dressed in devilish costumes. Satan and the occult are popular in culture today.

Many Christians shake their heads at such performances, recognizing that the world promotes ungodliness. What do we expect from the media? As Scripture teaches, Satan is the “god” of the worldly system and wants to blind people to the truth of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4).

However, there is danger in making the occult popular in culture. Not only is it dangerous for nonbelievers, but also for believers.

1. The Occult Becomes Enticing

The occult is trendy in the modern day. We can find Quija boards, tarot cards, and books on topics like astrology and Wicca at local bookstores. Also, demonic depictions are popular in the music industry, as well as in shows and movies.

As people invest more time in the media that depicts the occult, they can find themselves becoming enticed by the paranormal (i.e., demons).

An individual may start with a casual interest in the spiritual realm. As the occult becomes more popular though, they may find that they get entangled in spiritually harmful practices.

If a person regularly sees a celebration of the demonic or watches a movie that depicts witchcraft or communication with ghosts, they can develop an unhealthy interest in the occult.

As time passes, they may even find themselves partaking in the occult, such as consulting mediums and horoscopes or trying to contact dead loved ones.

Instead of turning to Jesus, who is the only One who can satisfy an interest in spiritual matters, people become distracted by popular media and enticed by the occult.

As “harmless” as a song, performance, movie, show, or book may seem, making the occult popular can lead to people becoming interested in the wrong things. Soon, the interest changes into active participation.

What we allow our eyes to see and our ears to hear enters our minds and influences us. Believers need to guard their hearts and minds and help others see the spiritual dangers of occultic practices (Proverbs 4:23; 2 Corinthians 10:5).

2. Opening Doors for Demonic Attacks

When the occult is popular, and people start practicing it out of interest, they open themselves up to spiritual attack.

Although those who partake in demonic representations in the media might not believe in Satan or the spiritual world, they are promoting the occult. The spiritual realm is not fictional.

Scripture discusses demons and their activity as a reality. According to the Bible, demons can:

Individuals who become obsessed with the paranormal or with occult practices are opening themselves up to spiritual attack. The same is true of those who seek to manipulate events through sorcery and spells.

Having power or special knowledge might seem like a compelling reason to engage in the occult, but Satan and his demons want to harm people and keep them from placing faith in Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:4).

The same risk is present when believers are tempted to dabble in the occult or get involved with the paranormal.

The Lord has clearly stated that sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, divination, and other areas of the occult are harmful and forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). Satan and his demons desire to keep believers unfruitful (1 Peter 5:8). They also love to tempt Christians into disobeying God.

In the early church, practitioners of the occult burned their scrolls once they placed faith in Jesus (Acts 19:19). The scrolls were worth a great deal of money, but the new believers no longer wanted to be identified with sorcery and demons.

Like those in the early church, believers today should want nothing to do with the harmful and sinful practices of demons.

Those who have already become entangled in the occult or fascinated with the spiritual realm can still find freedom from their bondage. In Jesus, there is true freedom (John 8:36). He has defeated the powers of darkness (Colossians 2:15).

3. Underestimating Satan

Another danger of making the occult popular is that people begin to underestimate Satan. The media depicts Satan and demons as horned, typically red, beings who are blatant in their ungodly actions. Although the devil delights in people behaving immorally, he is also crafty in his deceptions.

Scripture explains that Satan is not always blatant in his attempts to ensnare people. Satan often “masquerades as an angel of light,” appearing to be good and right (2 Corinthians 11:14). For example, when the devil tempted Adam and Eve, he tried to make disobedience to God seem wise and good (Genesis 3:4-5).

Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because Satan convinced her that “the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” (Genesis 3:6). The devil made sin appear desirable, even though Adam and Eve knew that eating the fruit was in direct violation of God’s command and would bring death.

As believers, we need to be alert to the devil’s schemes and not underestimate our enemy (2 Corinthians 2:11). He is a deceiver and a liar (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9).

Instead of basing our knowledge of Satan and his demons on what the world tells us he is like (an imaginary, horned entity), we need to gain our information from Scripture.

Satan does encourage people to engage in immorality, but he is also subtle in his attacks. We need to wield the weapon that can fight against the devil’s schemes: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

4. Seared Consciences

In addition to the dangers of practicing the occult, experiencing a spiritual attack, and underestimating Satan, there is also the danger of tolerating evil. Engaging in the occult and with demonic forces can leave people with seared consciences.

Scripture compares those with seared or dead consciences to someone who has received the mark of a hot iron or brand (1 Timothy 4:2). The result of a seared conscience is moral desensitization — a person’s sense of right and wrong becomes deadened.

Deadened consciences cause individuals to descend further into sin. In Paul’s epistle to the Romans, he uses the example of people who unrepentantly sin to the point that God gives them over to their depraved minds (Romans 1:28).

These individuals know what God says about sin but do not repent. Instead, they continue to practice sin and approve of others doing the same (Romans 1:32).

As the media makes the occult popular, society will become more tolerant of sin. There is the danger of people developing seared consciences, especially as they continue to engage in the occult. The danger is real for nonbelievers and believers.

Remembering to Make the Most of Opportunities

Although there are multiple dangers in making the occult popular, there are also opportunities to share the gospel. Believers who have heard about a well-known song or movie could use that example as a starting point when talking to nonbelievers.

The increasing interest in media depicting the occult shows that people want to know about spiritual matters.

Like Paul, who used a shrine to an unknown god as a basis for talking about the true and living God, Christians can use popular media as a starting point for talking about Christ (Acts 17:23).

Using a show or book, believers can talk about the dangers of practicing the occult while also telling nonbelievers about the One who can truly satisfy their interest in spiritual matters — Jesus Christ. We should make the most of every opportunity (Colossians 4:5).

Representations of the occult are prevalent in the media. Shows, movies, music, and books are all areas where people can find depictions of occultic practices or the paranormal. There is danger, though, in making the occult and demonic popular.

People can become interested in occultic practices and begin participating in them, which can lead to spiritual attacks. Also, individuals could underestimate Satan, forgetting his craftiness and choice of disguise as an angel of light.

Finally, as people continually engage with depictions of the occult, they risk developing a seared conscience.

Although we cannot control what is popular or trendy, we can decide what we engage with in culture. Let us make our decisions with the intent of glorifying God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

For further reading:

What Is the Meaning and Beliefs of the Occult?

Why Are More People Celebrating Samhain?

What Should Christians Know about the Religion of Wicca?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/VeraPetruk

Sophia Bricker is a freelance writer who enjoys researching and writing articles on biblical and theological topics. In addition to contributing articles about biblical questions as a contract writer, she has also written for Unlocked devotional. She holds a BA in Ministry, a MA in Ministry, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing to develop her writing craft. As someone who is passionate about the Bible and faith in Jesus, her mission is to help others learn about Christ and glorify Him in her writing. When she isn’t busy studying or writing, Sophia enjoys spending time with family, reading, drawing, and gardening. 

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