Portraits of Superstition: 7 Common Superstitions Christian Women Need to DitchThis seven article series paints seven portraits of superstition — common superstitions that have infiltrated our culture and even our Christianity. Some of these portraits are autobiographical. All of them are worthy of self-reflection.
To read Portrait One: The Obnoxious Knocker click here.
To read Portrait Two: The Pagan Prayer Warrior click here.
To read Portrait Three: The Deal-Maker click here.
To read Portrait Four: The Devious Twins click here.
To read Portrait Five: The Girl With The Lamp click here.
Portrait Six: The Princess Charming
A day in the charmed life of this princess: It’s the morning of her job interview. She wakes up early, and as she blinks awake and adjusts her eyes to the light she focuses her gaze on the beautiful bohemian dream catcher hanging above her bed, all crochet and lace and ribbons. It looks just like the expensive ones you can purchase at Anthropologie, but she made this one herself from a tutorial found on Pinterest. Once awake, she slides on her lucky socks, turns on her Himalayan salt rock lamp, and places the crystals on her table. She has a Buddha statue sitting cross-legged on her bookshelf and she rubs his belly for luck. After her breakfast, she puts on her Alex and Ani charm bracelets– the four-leaf clover, the wishbone, the anchor, the horseshoe… All lucky! Once dressed and ready, she rubs that Buddha belly one more time before darting out the door. She hops into her car and winks at the guardian angel hanging from her rearview mirror– her mother gave it to her to protect her from car accidents. She’s ready for her day, confident that all these charms will help her along the way.
Now, I admit, this is all kind of silly and extreme. As Christian women, maybe we can’t really relate to this charming princess. Or maybe this portrait smarts just a little. Or perhaps I’ve set you up on your haunches a bit in defense. Well, take heart, this was me! I certainly was this princess charming at one point in my life. But I want to be super careful here. And I want to put you at ease. It is not my goal, with this article, to be legalistic and burden you with an extrabiblical yoke. There is nothing inherently wrong with these objects. They are just things, after all. And if you love your cute little angel hanging from your rearview mirror there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If that shamrock reminds you of your Irish heritage, or if it is a display of your enthusiastic support of the Boston Celtics, then by all means, wear it! (Go Celtics!) That is not at all what I am talking about here. What I am talking about is idolatry in its most tangible from– superstitious faith and trust in man-made objects. And we see in Scripture what God has to say about this type of idolatry, the forming and worshiping of actual real, tangible, man-made idols instead of God.
As I share these verses, I want you to think on how much stock you are genuinely putting into various types of “lucky charms” or idols in your life. Maybe none. Maybe just a little. Think on what it is in which you are putting your faith and trust.
Revelation 9:20 states, “The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands. They did not stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk.”
I know this verse is talking about statues, but it struck me to think of the men who were actually smelting and carving these gods, these men who were making money off of the backs of the fearful and ignorant. When I think on the money that is made today off of these types of things, not just statues, but jewelry and decor, it is quite unsettling.
Even in Ephesus, some of Paul’s greatest resistance and persecution came at the hands of men whose fingers were fashioning the idols for the people of the city. Paul was a severe threat to their industry and they were enraged (Acts 19:23-41). “They worship the work of their hands, that which their fingers have made” (Isaiah 2:8).
You see, it feels kind of silly to discuss the worship of these tangible idols, because we technologically advanced, highly educated, modern day people view this sort of thing as crude and ignorant- a practice in which those foolish people of the past were engaged. But Solomon reminds us there is nothing new under the sun, and when we stop and open our eyes, we see this is much more pervasive in our society than we ever realized.
Think on how much of these idols and charms have infiltrated our culture. Take some time to hop on Pinterest and see for yourself how all sorts of this stuff is finding its way even into our decor. If you look up “boho style,” “boho decor,” or simply scan the shelves of Home Goods or Pier 1 you’ll find elements from all kinds of religions… geodes and crystals, talismans and dream catchers… elephants and felines and Buddhas (Oh my!)
Horseshoes, wishbones, amulets and crystals, four-leaf clovers and shamrocks are all dangling from our necks, wrists, and rearview mirrors– all evidences of pagan belief structures and superstitions that have been absorbed into our everyday lives. And we as women, we are feeding the industry. We welcome it with naive smiles on our faces, like it doesn’t mean anything, like it’s cute. We brush it off as just trendy… and I know most of it is that benign. I know we, as Christian women, aren’t putting much stock (if any) into these pretty little things. But it begs to be asked, What is to be our biblical response to all of this?
- Are we propagating these tiny seeds of Babylon? Or are we demolishing them, these arguments and lofty opinions raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5)?
- Are we taking our thoughts regarding these things captive in obedience to Christ? Or are we letting our thoughts wander free and wild toward all of these superstitious trends?
- And this last question is a trigger for me, personally. Are we voting with our dollars to support industries that take advantage of the weak and vulnerable?
We need to consider our biblical response as we are called to glorify God in all things. I’m not going to try to convince you, on the principle of the matter, that you should toss out that lucky rabbits foot or burn those lucky socks. I’m not asking you to trash your family heirlooms. And I’m not even going to tell you not to purchase items that have an outward appearance of “superstition.” If I were to bind your conscience on this matter with my own “woulds” and “shoulds” then I’m teaching nothing of Christian conscience, nothing of discernment, and only saddling your back with a legalistic yoke. This is on you, sweet sister. Research the history of that wishbone that’s dangling from your neck, or that dream catcher that’s hanging above your bed. Think on them in light of the Scriptures. Reflect on the influence these objects have in your life and practice. The rest is up to you. Keep them as decoration, if that’s all they are to you. Keep them if they hold a sentimental value. Or toss them to avoid slipping back into the sin of superstition. It’s your conscience. It’s your call. As it should be.
Godspeed sweet sisters.
Stay tuned for the next and last article, “Portrait 7: The Christian Neapolitan.” You won’t want to miss this series wrap-up.