Recently my husband and I attended this year’s Unity Christian Music Festival, and on August 13 (a Friday, of all days!), I attended a seminar presented by author and speaker Kristine McGuire at the Unity X-Change tent. During this seminar she shared her personal story of leaving her Christian faith and becoming involved in occult activities for a period of eight years, before returning once again to her Christian roots.
Kristine grew up in the church and became a Christian—a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ—at the tender young age of six. Throughout her youth and early adulthood she was very active in the church and various ministries, and was well-versed in Bible teaching. However, she also had a fascination with the occult, beginning in childhood.
Kristine related some of the occult-inspired games she and her childhood friends would play (and that many kids toy with as they grow up; I myself remember similar activities at slumber parties), all in innocent fun without realizing how dangerous it really was from a spiritual perspective—games such as playing “crystal ball” or reading palms in order to foretell the future, conducting “séances,” or attempting to levitate each other. She also mentioned the Ouija board later in her presentation; I remember seeing this “game” even in school for kids to play around with. (According to Kristine, even those deeply involved in the occult will not mess around with the Ouija board, and if they do, they make sure they go through whatever steps they deem necessary to protect themselves from the spirit world; they know it is a dangerous thing and is not child’s play.)
She was well aware that the Bible teaches that God’s people are not to take part in occult practices. Deuteronomy 18:10-13 prohibits divination, sorcery, casting of spells, consulting the dead, interpreting omens, and consulting mediums. 1 Samuel 15:23 says that “rebellion is like the sin of divination.” Galatians 5:20 prohibits idolatry and witchcraft. There are many other Biblical passages that speak of occult practices as being an abomination to God as well. Leviticus 19:31 and 20:27 forbid contacting mediums and commands that those who are mediums should be put to death. The book of Jeremiah in chapters 23 and 29 speaks of God’s anger against false prophets who mislead His people. In the book of Revelation, chapter 21, verse 8 includes those who practice the magic arts as among those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire; again in chapter 22, verse 15, Jesus says that those who practice magic arts are among those who will not be allowed into the Holy City of God. Kristine knew all these things, yet her fascination with the occult still tempted her, and eventually she gave in to temptation.
In her Christian walk, Kristine became entangled in legalistic thinking. She and her husband were going through financial and marital struggles at the time, and the idea that Christians had to be perfect and should not have any problems in their lives brought her to frustration and anger toward God and the church, as did the hypocrisy she saw in the lives of other Christians who supposedly had it all together. She became disillusioned with God and all she had believed regarding His Word and His promises. Of course, Christians are not perfect, and God never told us that life would be easy and problem-free if we decided to follow His ways. Jesus told His disciples flat out that this world is full of trouble and that His followers would suffer. Being entangled in a legalistic type of belief system took its toll on Kristine, however, and opened the door to her fulfilling her interest in the occult.
She began reading books on philosophy and other religions. At one point she came across a book about “Goddess Magick” which included a workbook and exercises to practice. She read the book and decided to try the exercises in the workbook, and it “worked” for her. Her Christian husband, however, was less than enthused with her interest in such things and protested, so she once again pushed her interest in the occult back down inside.
Her husband eventually came to the point in his own life where he was disillusioned with his own faith. When her husband became frustrated in his own spiritual life, Kristine decided to get into Wicca, which is a polytheistic, nature-based religion. After some time, however, she decided Wicca was not for her, and decided to get into witchcraft instead.
Kristine began developing her psychic abilities and got involved in practicing divination, or foretelling the future. She became a medium, and had five “spirit guides” whom she turned to for help in various situations. During this time she was told by the “Goddess” to leave her husband, since things were not going well, so Kristine took their two children and left. She also got into ghost hunting, hooking up with several others in a team to investigate paranormal incidents.
All the while she was following her inclinations toward the occult, she still felt the Holy Spirit of God nudging her and prodding her conscience, convicting her that what she was doing was wrong and not pleasing to God. She vacillated back and forth between her Christian beliefs and her occult interests, and in trying to reach a compromise, decided she would become a “Christian witch.” She followed Jesus’ teachings and whatever else in the Bible she personally found appealing. She also discovered, amongst her many online searches for groups she could join, that many other professing Christians were buying the idea they could somehow be obedient Christians and yet be involved in similar activities; she found many sites for “Christian witches” and “Christian ghost hunters.”
Eventually her husband was restored to his Christian faith and they reunited, even though Kristine made it clear to him that she was going to continue to be a “Christian witch” and ghost hunter. He said, “O.K.” and immediately began to pray for her spiritual restoration.
Her involvement in the occult continued until a certain event happened during a ghost hunting investigation. Kristine was involved in a ghost hunting team made up of other professing Christians at the time, and they had gone to a house to try and figure out what was behind the occurrences there. They used different kinds of audio and visual recording equipment to try and find the answers to these questions.
Kristine was in her car waiting to go into the house, and suddenly she was impressed very strongly that what was happening in the house was in fact due to a demonic presence. She felt strongly compelled to pray that this demonic presence be driven out. When she went into the house, she did something she had never done before on a ghost hunt, and it took even her Christian teammates by surprise: she told the demon to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.
Her teammates were incredulous and thought she was crazy. However, a few days later she got the audio file from them with a message emphatically stating, “Listen to this!” She listened to the audio and was totally blown away by what she heard. She actually heard a demonic scream, which nobody at the house had heard, after she told the demon to leave in the name of Jesus. She listened to it several times before asking her husband, who had professional experience with recording, to listen to it. His response was that he did not know what it was, but the audio file had not been tampered with in any way.
After this incident she repented before God totally of her involvement in the occult, and returned to her Christian roots. She has been wholeheartedly serving God ever since, and she and her husband have both founded ministries to reach out to other people. Kristine has written a book called Out of the Cauldron to raise awareness among Christians of the dangers of dabbling in the occult; it is available on Amazon.com. She is very concerned about the prevalence of occult themes in entertainment and society today and believes that Christians need to be better informed as to what the Bible teaches regarding the occult.
Some other things Kristine discussed in her presentation were the fact that God forbids His people to be involved in occult practices; it all amounts to idolatry and rebellion against Him, Who is the only true God. She also brought up the fact that Christians have authority over demonic forces, to drive them out when confronted by them. We are never, however, to try and initiate contact with them. Another thing she discussed was that the Bible teaches that when people die, they either go to Heaven to be with the Lord, or they end up separated from God in Hell. People do not come back as ghosts and cannot communicate with those still alive; see Luke 16:19-31. See also 2 Corinthians 5:8.
For more information on Kristine and her ministry, check out her website at www.kristinemcguire.com. Her husband, Thom McGuire, also has founded Big Fish Ministries, an outreach ministry; go to www.bigfishministries.com for more information. Both Kristine and her husband are available for speaking engagements.
Resources: First-hand account of presentation by Kristine McGuire at the Unity Christian Music Festival, August 2010. Scripture references are from the Holy Bible, New International Version.