Q: What does the church think about
December night, my friend Father Mark went out to sing Christmas
carols. When he went to the first house and began singing, an
elderly man came to the door and tears began to roll down his
face. Father Mark, seeing that the man was moved to tears, asked
“Are you remembering happy childhood memories?” “No,” the man
sniffed, wiping a tear. “Iâ€™m a musician.”
A: OK, these are three totally different things, so first, letâ€™s define
each one and then look at what they purport to do from a
First, letâ€™s look at Ouija boards. According to Princetonâ€™s
Wordnet, they are boards with the alphabet on it; used with a
planchette to spell out supernatural messages.
Apparently, the name comes from combining the French word for
“Yes” (Oui) and the German word for “Yes” (Ja).
In terms of crystals, I assume you are asking about the way some
people claim to use crystals for spiritual protection or
channeling, or in any religious way.
The enneagram is a nine-sided shape that is used as a model for
different things; the most common being its use as a personality
assessment tool. This assessment tool focuses on the imbalance
present in each person - their “hidden self.” Integration is
essential in this model, and each personality type is shown the
way to integration through the use of arrows.
OK, weâ€™ve got them now; letâ€™s take it one at a time.
The Ouija board was introduced as a board game, and was intended
to be used as a way to contact the spirits of angels, demons, or
the dead. This is a dangerous practice. People have approached
me about this and expressed their concern over my “hard-line
stance on a board game,” but that is precisely one of the big
problems here: disguising a fundamentally evil spiritual
practice into a game for kids is, in my mind, the definition of
Take a look at this passage:
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter
in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets
omens, 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. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12a)
The Scripture is clear, and many exorcists in the Catholic
Church speak very strongly against the Ouija board. Whether we
intend it for “fun” or not is irrelevant; itâ€™s a loaded
spiritual gun and we should destroy any of these things that are
in our home.
Crystals are a little harder to nail down, as they are used in
so many ways. However, the simple answer is this: I canâ€™t find
any circumstance under which a person can or should “use
crystals” for a spiritual purpose. Again, its purpose seems
quite clearly against the Scripture passage that I cited above.
The easiest way to look at these things is to remember the story
of Babel and the story of Adam and Eve. In both cases, what the
people wanted was right, but they wanted to do it in their own
way and not in the way God calls us to. The desire to have
contact with the divine is holy and good, but we must do it in
the way God invites us to. The problem is when we act as if our
actions can somehow “force Godâ€™s hand” or as if the Scriptures
and the guidance of the church arenâ€™t sufficient.
There are tons of fights on the Internet about the enneagram.
Some people see them as helpful tools, others see them as an
evil New Age practice. It appears that in this case, itâ€™s best
to avoid working with this model. Why?
First, because of its roots. The roots of this practice appear
to come from the Sufis, who seem to combine Islam and paganism
in their worship.
Second, this model is a problem because of its focus on
self-improvement through purely human means. In the mind of the
church, it is essential that we base all of our efforts for
“self improvement” on the person of Jesus Christ and the power
of the Holy Spirit. One source I read indicated that Jesus calls
us to “die to self,” while this model calls us to an almost
obsessive focus on the self.
Remember, brothers and sisters, Jesus has given us all we need
to come to him. As he said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the
truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
Enjoy another day in Godâ€™s presence!