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WITCHCRAFT ON THE HOME SHOPPING NETWORK?

 

By Marsha West

March 28, 2008

NewsWithViews.com

Last week I received an email from a pastor asking if I’d help inform the public of the Home Shopping Network’s participation in peddling witchcraft. Included in Dr. Greg Allen’s email was a letter addressed to HSN accusing the company of selling materials with spiritual principles that can be used to “teach their ‘power’ and promote New Age spirituality.” It seems HSN is marketing the Evolve with John Edward collection. Since I don’t watch HSN, I have no idea what products are being peddled to the public. So I needed to visit the website.

Sure enough, the Evolve with John Edward collection has an entire page [1] featuring Edward’s picture and several products. HSN’s “exceptional array of celebrities” includes Wolfgang Puck, Suzanne Somers, Jennifer Flavin-Stallone and Tori Spelling.

The description reads,

Hope, comfort and inspiration:
Discover the Evolve with John Edward Collection, an HSN exclusive featuring the comforting and hopeful message of this world-famous psychic medium, best-selling author and renowned motivational figure.

The collection includes,

7-Strand Beaded Chakra Bracelet -- “Each color representing one of the seven ‘chakras.’ Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘spinning wheel of energy.’"

Practical Praying Book with 2-Tone Glass Bead Rosary -- “Helps you learn about the power of prayer and how it can illuminate a path for each of us to follow. Also, learn to use this rosary as a tool to bring focused energy and creative thought into your everyday life.”

Handsigned Limited Edition Trilogy Book Set -- “Helps answer many of your lingering questions about the afterlife? Chronicle of personal transition - John deals head on with the controversial issues he has confronted on his voyage as a psychic medium ”

Proverbs 24:11says, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” By writing this article I’m hoping to rescue those who are being led into the occult [death] by John Edward.

What do we know about John Edward? Mr. Edward is best known for his syndicated TV show “Crossing Over” on the Sci-Fi channel. The superstar psychic engages in after-death communications and purports to receive messages from friends and family “on the other side.” He also claims to communicate with dead animals.

In her article “I See Dead People: A Look at After-death Communication [2]” Marcia Montenegro enlightens us on John Edward’s early years,

“He claims he astral traveled (traveled out of his body) from ages four to seven and had psychic abilities, which he thought were normal. An uncle who was involved in yoga and psychic practices and whose wife was a card reader, greatly influenced Edward, whose own mother ‘was constantly getting readings from psychics’ and often brought them to the house to do readings and séances for groups.

“At age 15 when Edward received an accurate reading from a psychic and was told he was psychically gifted, he was motivated to do research. He read ‘everything’ he could on topics such as psychic phenomena, spiritualism, and spirit guides. He studied tarot cards and other ‘metaphysical’ topics, eventually leading him to work at psychic fairs and seminars.

“At one of these psychic fairs, Edward had his first contact from what he believed was a dead person, which he claims was a ‘very different energy.’ These spirits continued to interrupt Edward’s readings, but they brought to him ‘a feeling of contentment, love, and peace,’ so he decided to learn about after-death communication.” (You can read more about John Edward here, or go to link 2 below)

Now back to Edward’s page on the HSN website. In the Customer Review section Donna from PA wrote, “Received the bracelet yesterday. I think it is very inspiring, 1 of my sons passed away, and the bracelet makes me feel close to him. I love watching John Edward and I have all his books. I am so glad he came to HSN. Look forward to seeing more of him. Would recommend his things anytime, I really believe him.”

Donna may believe Mr. Edward, yet skeptics who have investigated John Edward’s claims to receive messages from family and friends believe he’s a huckster who preys on those who have lost loved ones. Which brings to mind Terri Irwin, wife of deceased Croc Hunter Steve Irwin.

A few months ago the grieving widow arranged a “private reading” with John Edward. Translation: He held a séance. On January 6, 2008, Steve allegedly "spoke" to Terri and his father, Bob Irwin, through Edward. "There's no doubt that Steve was with us," Mr. Irwin said. "It's not black and white, it's gray, but there was a definite, unmistakable Steve energy [3]."

Terri, who says she’s a Christian, addressed the crowd of 5,000 who paid $90 a head hoping to “see” Steve at the Astralia Zoo. "If any of you are wondering why Steve didn't come through,” said is wife, “it's because look around you, he's everywhere."

One disgruntled Crock Hunter fan growled, “Steve Irwin spent a lifetime establishing a rock solid reputation of credibility and integrity. Terri has just shattered that rock with one blow. I wonder if John Edward will pass on Steve's thoughts about that?”

Amazing what extremes some people will go to get their names in the headlines.

Perhaps John Edward is a fraud and a brilliant con man. Then again, it’s entirely possible that he does, in fact, receive information from the spirit world. My question for those who believe he’s for real, and that he actually communicates with spirits of the dead, is this: What if the info that’s piped into the medium’s mind comes from another sort of spirit, a spirit not from a deceased loved one, but from a demonic spirit?

God’s Word tells us that there are dark powers lurking in the unseen world. One such spirit is the fallen angel, Lucifer, AKA Satan, also the Devil.

The Bible is the Christian’s ultimate authority. So naturally Christians want to know what it say about the dark forces of evil. In Ephesians 2:2 the Apostle Paul calls Satan "the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient."

For a glance into spiritual realm read Ephesians 6:10-20. Paul paints this vivid picture in verse 12,

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

When speaking about the Devil, Jesus Himself said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). In other words, the devil is a big fat liar! (1 Kings 22:20-23 tells about a “lying spirit” who offered his services.) Jesus also referred to Satan as "the ruler of this world" and "the prince of this world" (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11).

So, according to Jesus Christ, demons are real. What’s more, it’s impossible to make sense of Jesus and His ministry without acknowledging that demons exist. The spiritual forces of evil are ever present, waiting for humans to let their guard down. Dwelling on demons is never a good idea. But if Christ acknowledged that they exist, we can too! Yes, Satan and his minions are powerful, but they are created beings, fallen angels, who were defeated by Christ when he went to the cross. Satan is by no means God's equal!

To me it’s perfectly rational to assume that a psychic medium who channels spirits could be hearing from a demon, not a dead person! Now, some people will out and out reject the notion that spirits are demonic. Why? Because they choose to believe that the info the medium passes on to them comes directly from someone they know and trust. But what if it’s actually a knowledgeable demon, full of lies and treachery? In other words, a lying spirit!

There are many skeptics who believe that so-called psychic mediums are not in contact with the dead or even evil spirits. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

“The smoke and mirrors behind his [Edward’s] self-professed ability to communicate with the dead is a simple application of the laws of probability. Basically, if you keep trying something whose results are independent, your odds of getting your desired result increase.

“For example, the odds that you will roll a 3 on any one roll of a six-sided die are 1 in 6, about 17 percent. After six throws, the chance that you will have thrown at least one 3 has increased to about 67 percent. After 12 throws, it's nearly 90 percent.

“Lucky for Edward, most audience members on his television show are too hopeful and trusting to pull out a calculator and expose the charlatan behind the prophet [4].”

Sadly, Edward’s audience often includes Christians. Many Christians who involve themselves with psychics are unaware of what the Bible says about them. So allow me to clear things up once and for all. God opposes those who practice the magical arts! He says,

“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 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” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11).

Could God be any clearer than that?

The Greek term used for contacting the dead is “necromancy.” According to Wikipedia.com, “Necromancy is a form of divination in which the practitioner seeks to summon ‘operative spirits’ or ‘spirits of divination,’ for multiple reasons, from spiritual protection to wisdom. [S]ince thee Renaissance, necromancy has come to be associated more broadly with black magic and demon-summoning in general, sometimes losing its earlier, more specialized meaning.”

Now for the definition of witchcraft: “Witchcraft (from Old English wiccecræft "sorcery, necromancy"), in various historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the use of certain kinds of supernatural or magical powers.”

There you have it. Necromancy, which is what John Edward practices, falls into the category of witchcraft. So when Dr. Allen accused HSN of promoting witchcraft, he was dead right!

By promoting sorcery on their website it would appear that HSN has joined those who are looking to change society’s “conversation.” And “someone who has the capacity to change a society's conversation has the capacity to change the society,” said New Age guru Marianne Williamson. It is no secret that a cabal of New Agers, including Oprah Winfrey, is inviting people all over the globe from North America to South Africa, from Europee to Australia to involve themselves in New Age Spirituality or what some call Cosmic Humanism.

Evangelist Bill Keller goes so far as to accuse Oprah of pushing “spiritual crack.” Keller has been quoted in the national media as labeling Oprah a “New Age witch.”

Speaking of witches, John Edward has been a guest on Oprah’s daytime program. One would think that Oprah would use great caution when dealing with so-called psychics. Yet she just settles back in her chair and allows snake oil salesmen to push Eastern mysticism on a gullible audience. She claims she’s not trying to tell her fans how to think about anything.

That’s bunk! It doesn’t matter how Oprah tries to couch it, she provides an uncritical platform to both her TV viewers and XM Satellite radio listeners.

Last year I wrote a piece on Oprah’s endorsement of the self-help manifesto The Secret, “Is Oprah Peddling Snake Oil?” In it I said,

“Oprah Winfrey’s message comes straight from the pit of hell. Think about that for a moment. Who else but Satan would be behind such a diabolical movie? Why would any serious follower of Jesus Christ worth their salt waste his or her time watching Oprah’s show? Christians (wittingly or unwittingly) are entering into practices that are contrary to the Word of God. Whether they know it or not, their actions are counterproductive to the cause of Christ. My love and concern for them is what drives me to speak the truth in love [5].”

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I would like to suggest that HSN shoppers contact the execs and ask them why they’ve climbed in bed with occultist John Edward. Inquiring minds want to know!

You can Email HSN Customer Service by clicking here:

Write to HSN

Chief Executive:
Mindy Grossman, CEO, IAC Retailing
PO Box 9090
Clearwater, FL 33758
Phone HSN 800-284-3900

One last comment. HSN has a perfect right to sell whatever products they so desire, as long as what they’re selling is legal. Conversely, if HSN’s customers find what they’re selling objectionable, he or she should consider taking the high road and shop elsewhere.

“I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.” -- Micah 5:12

Footnotes:

1, Evolve With John Edward collection -- Home Shopping Network website
2, I See Dead People: A Look at After-death Communication By Marcia Montenegro
3, Irwins 'reunited' by controversial psychic By Lou Robson
4, Shooting crap: Alleged psychic John Edward actually gambles on hope and basic laws of statistics. By Shari Waxman
5, Is Oprah Peddling Snake Oil? By Marsha West

Additional Reading

1, Oprah Winfrey and Her Self-Help Saviors: Making the New Age Normal By Kate Maver
2, Oprah the Most Dangerous Woman in the World says Internet Evangelist, Bill Keller Christian News Wire

© 2008 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved

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Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com, Alainsnewsletter.com, CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.com, plus her commentaries appear in MichNews.com and bibleteacher.org.

Marsha is also designer and webmaster of a Christian apologetics website, On Solid Rock Resources. She is currently writing a series of children's books for homeschoolers. Marsha and her husband reside in historic Jacksonville Oregon.

E-mail: EMbrigade@aol.com

 


 

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Sadly, Edward’s audience often includes Christians. Many Christians who involve themselves with psychics are unaware of what the Bible says about them. So allow me to clear things up once and for all. God opposes those who practice the magical arts! He says...