Do you believe in flying unicorns?
How about a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
Perhaps you’re convinced mermaids to exist?
How about the concept of karma?
Maybe you associate superstition as a single magpie, opening umbrellas indoors, walking under ladders, breaking a mirror, knocking on wood, beginner’s luck, crossing your fingers, making a wish on a wishbone, keeping away from black cats or perhaps Friday the 13th? But have you ever considered that Christianity could be superstitious? Not Christianity in and of itself, but perhaps your Christianity. Yes, your personal faith?
Is that too far-fetched?
Superstitions and old wives tales can be found in different cultures around the world. Many Christian people believe in karma in the most generic of terms, but don’t even know where the word actually derives from.
Religion and superstition are often connected because of the mystical, unknowable character of the supernatural as superstitions are thought to alter luck, for good or bad. There are also fear-inducing superstitions which are probably misinterpretations of the events surrounding a tragedy, but most are so old, we don’t know exactly where they came from. Notwithstanding one of the handiest words, the skeptic can throw at a Christian person is superstitious. Here’s why!
“A recent surveys show that superstition is alive and well in the Western world. One survey reported that 20 percent of Americans think it’s unlucky to walk under a ladder and 13 percent think a black cat crossing their path will bring bad luck. A survey in Britain found that 77% of those in the UK admit to being “at least a little superstitious” and 42% say that they are very or somewhat superstitious.”
HUMAN BEINGS ARE HARD-WIRED TO SEARCH FOR MEANING AND PURPOSE AND SUPERSTITION IS AN ATTEMPT TO MANIPULATE THAT PART OF OUR LIVES THAT IS BEYOND OUR PERSONAL CONTROL.
Often, without even meaning to, some Christians behave in a superstitious way. For example, if $6.66 pops up on a cash register while buying groceries, some Christians freak out and ask to pay another price or add another item to the shopping list? is that you?
2. Using prayers to manipulate God
Many of us use our prayers to manipulate God. We want Him to adjust the weather to our liking. Or to change our bosses’ attitude or to help us win the lottery. We seek to advise God as to what we think is best for us. Rather than trust that He in His omnipotence and all powerful position knows best. Instead, we seek to guide Him, to control Him, to use Him.
However, a genuine Christian must work toward the spiritual maturity to truly pray, “Not my will, but yours be done”.
3. Our theological knowledge will save us
Our “deep and precise theological knowledge” can serve as a talisman, “giving Christians false assurance while they avoid grappling with the living and personal God who requires real repentance and faith.”
“We can turn anything into pious superstition, even church attendance and participation. If you just show up doe chruch or join the right ministry team, God will bless your life. Others might even join the church’s leadership, hoping that being a professional Christian will better ensure the blessings of God. None of these activities is bad. In fact, they’re quite excellent and beneficial–unless they’re approached as acts of pious superstition.”
5. Children raised in Christian homes will keep the faith
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a God-approved “5-step program” that would make it so no son or daughter would stray from his or her childhood faith? No so. Even godly parents and especially Pastors sometimes see their children wander off. Perhaps the perfect example is Adam and Eve — despite being “parented” by God, they sinned.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”, however, this verse is meant as a general truth, not an absolute guarantee.
Superstition is based on the ignorant faith of an object having magical powers. Another word for superstition is “idolatry.”
So, who or what do you place your faith, hope, and trust in?
CHRISTIAN FAITH AT ITS BEST IS NOT AN ATTEMPT TO USE GOD, BUT A WILLINGNESS TO SURRENDER CONTROL OF OUR LIVES TO GOD.IF WE PLACE OUR TRUST IN THE LORD, WE WON’T FIND OURSELVES DISCOURAGED WHEN THE GOOD LUCK “SIGNS” THAT ONCE APPEARED IN ABUNDANCE SEEM TO VANISH. IF WE TRUST THAT ALL BLESSING COMES ULTIMATELY FROM HIS SON, WE’LL BE LESS PRONE TO ALLOW CHURCH ATTENDANCE, THEOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE, OR FAITH RITUALS STEER OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
Pray that God would reveal areas where you’re trusting in superstition rather than in Christ for spiritual power.
So, there you go — five “superstitions” we could finally put to rest. These barely skim the surface of what Christians often, erroneously, believe. Do you have any superstitions that you need to renounce?
How will you respond in love next time you hear another “don’t stand in the draft” or “don’t visit the zoo while pregnant?” Let us know in the comments.