Mediums are more familiar to Americans than ever, thanks in part to shows like “Long Island Medium” and “Hollywood Medium” that many watch right in their living rooms. According to Baylor University sociologist Christopher Bader, two-thirds of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Many people watching these shows or seek mediums out wonder if they can truly connect with deceased loved ones. Given these mediums often appear to be coming from a positive place, trying to connect people with those they’ve lost, many think how bad can talking to them be. Is it wrong for Christians to turn to mediums? We can turn to the Bible for answers.
Scripture is clear that channeling and attempting to contact the dead are wrong. Seeking advice from mediums, necromancers and fortune-tellers is forbidden. Leviticus 19:31 addresses this issue: “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 20:6 says, “I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.” Deuteronomy 18:12 says that consulting mediums or channeling the dead is detestable. We can see from Scripture that God sees these practices as not only sinful, but also without benefit.
One example of channeling in the Bible we see is with Saul, a powerful king of Israel. He had finally reached his big separation point from God when he involved himself in channeling. When God didn’t provide Saul with the answers he wanted, he turned to a medium instead. In Samuel 28:6-20, Saul asks a psychic to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel. His error is mentioned later in 1 Chronicles 10:13-14, which stresses that Saul’s involvement in witchcraft was wrong: “He [Saul] was unfaithful to the Lord, he did not keep the word of the Lord, and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord.”
The apostle Paul was once also met with a psychic medium. Luke records what happened to him, Paul, and Silas in the pagan city of Philippi.
"Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.' And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities” (Acts 16:16-19).
We see hear that the spirit of the slave girl that was giving her the ability to do fortune-telling was an evil spirit, a demon, which Paul was able to cast out. It’s important to remember here that demons don’t have trouble telling some of the truth to hide their deception. This demon could acknowledge Paul as serving God and teaching the truth.
God calls on us to seek answers to our questions from Him, not from mediums. Channeling or praying to anyone outside of God is idolatry. Idolatry, or the worship of false idols is extremely dangerous because it creates a space where we choose possessions, desires and works of the flesh over God. While the Word warns us of these idols, many of us aren’t even aware we’re worshiping them. Luckily, in this case, the Bible is clear on this matter. We should not be seeking them out. If we choose to, we are choosing to believe in a force outside of God.
Instead of turning to mediums in trouble times, we should turn to God and trust Him in every moment. God wants us to trust Him in every moment of our lives. No matter what your circumstances are, remember, you can’t control life. Jesus offers a more effective way to live, not a life without trouble or pain but one that shows us how to trust God in every moment. In that trust comes true life.
Talking to God is like talking to a friend on the telephone. You may not see Him on the other end, but You know that He is listening. Every time you speak, God is listening to you, including your concerns and needs. Even when you doubt that God is listening, He always proves that He is. He doesn’t have a dial that he turns up and down when He feels like not tuning in. Sometimes, you need to turn the volume of the world down to hear God’s voice. When life gets hard, allow His voice to speak over your fears.
When you need, God knows, when you ask God listens, and when you believe, God works. When life gets hard, trust that God is on your side and that He has a plan bigger for you than you have for yourself. He will never leave or forsake you. As Christians, we should always seek God’s answers to our questions.