This post is authored by Adam Gibson. Adam serves as one of our primary teaching pastors along with Jon Ludovina and also is a part of our vision team, overseeing the overall direction of our church. For more information on our leadership, visit our
Live Q&A sessions are always dangerous. Especially when the topic is Satan and Demons and the answers are being recorded! Yet, like gluttons for punishment, that’s exactly what Jon and I did during four Downtown church Gatherings a couple Sundays ago. The questions were thoughtful and overall it went pretty well I think. There was one answer that I gave, however, that I would like to request a “do-over.”
During one Gathering (maybe two?) we were asked about ouija boards and how Christians should think about them. Up until that point, to be honest, that’s a question that I had not given much thought to. I know that ouija boards “work” by having felt pads that glide easily on top of a very smooth surface, giving the appearance of moving without human effort. Because of this, I stated that it would be dangerous to use a ouija as a way to connect with the spiritual realm, but that it comes down to the motivation of the user.
I was not aware, however, that the very premise of using a ouija board is to ask spirits present in the room to present themselves and make contact. After receiving some helpful feedback from people who were concerned with my answer, I now want to answer a bit differently in the hopes that no one is misled by what I previously said. To do so, I thought I would just copy and paste a very helpful email I received from a woman in our church in regards to using ouija boards:
First off, I want to express how grateful I am to be a member of a church body that appropriately addresses the issue of heaven, hell, and the spiritual realm. Seeing as the Bible is explicit in acknowledging the truth of a spiritual battle, both seen and unseen, it is crucial that we, as believers, be aware of its existence and influence on our lives, and cling heartily to the truth that we can trust in Christ's victory over sin, death, and spiritual evil.
While I felt that both the sermon and written materials did a great job of illustrating both subtle and explicit spiritual warfare, I did have a serious objection to one of the topics addressed during the Q&A discussion. While you all acknowledged that ouija boards are a controversial topic, I do not agree that their admissibility lies in the motivation of the user. You both said that as long as you are appropriately in tune with the Holy Spirit that playing with a ouija board purely for entertainment purposes could be okay. I feel like this is in major conflict with how we as believers are called to interact with the spiritual realm.
The very premise of using a ouija board (even if you don't believe in its merit as a medium) is that you are asking spirits present in the room to reveal themselves and make contact. Though you were clear that their is no "grey area" in spirituality--that spirits are either holy and angelic, or evil and demonic (though they may mascaraed otherwise--2 Corinthians 11:14), any contact made could only be spiritually dark in nature.
If a message/revelation is heaven sent, God chooses the messenger and the means; it is not contingent upon our seeking it out via a medium to know God's will. As believers, we all are filled with his Holy Spirit through which he communicates, therefore any attempt to contact the spiritual realm, though it may by appearances seem as trivial as a board game, is equal to rejecting God's chosen means of revelation in exchange for some secret truth that is not of him. Because angels are obedient to God, they go where they are sent--they do not answer when we summon them. Any appearances of communication with an angel through a medium should be held in suspect, and is probably only a means of diverting the rightful worship of Jesus (i.e.--Joseph Smith's revelation by an "angel" following time spent dabbling in the occult).
Because Satan's purpose is to rob God of the glory that is rightly his, this "open invitation" allows demons to present themselves in whatever way they see most fit in order to frighten, possess or deceive. While my personal stumbling block didn't come directly from ouija boards, my seemingly benign (or at the very least neutral) contact with spirits/energies led me to begin to doubt that the Bible was telling the whole truth about the spiritual world. Because the energies I encountered very rarely showed themselves in their true form--as demons bent on thwarting God's plan, I began to believe that there must be something other than just angels and demons. For me, this led to a systematic investigation of other religions and apocryphal/gnostic gospels that in turn led me to reject Christ as the only means to gain salvation. After all--if the Bible failed to speak to something spiritual that I very clearly experienced, then how could I trust it in full?
Luckily, God reached into my life and removed the veil from my eyes, but it troubles my heart to think that we may be permitting a medium that the enemy uses as a foothold, even if we do so under innocent pretenses. Satan is a deceiver. Expecting anything good to come out of an interaction that invites his forces to speak freely is to doubt their nature as being true evil.
Thank you for taking the time to read through my concerns. Sorry it was so lengthy. Thanks for being a pastoral staff that I feel comfortable reaching out to, and for having the guts to tackle a difficult topic that is easier to just ignore.
Yep, that’s how I should’ve answered.