The Long Island Medium airs on the cable station TLC. This year’s October debut was cable’s number one ranked show in its timeslot and was the network’s best social media night ever. A lot of people, especially women, are tuning in to see Theresa Caputo receive messages from the dead and then reveal those thoughts and wishes to their family members and friends. If someone asks you whether or not they should watch this show, what would you say?
For those that are busy with holiday shopping, the short answer is, “No. Christians should not watch the Long Island Medium.” For those that want to know why the answer is “no” – here is the biblical reasoning:
- The Bible takes a clear position on the subject of occult practices like astrology, witchcraft, divination and mediums. Scripture describes these practices as part of what Satan does in the world to deceive people and lead them astray. God told Isaiah, “When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness” (Isaiah 8:19-22). There is nothing of lasting good that can come from following the words or advice of a medium.
- Often those who practice in the occult are simply practicing with illusion and magic. They cause people to believe they have power when the truth is they simply have the ability to trick people. On the other hand, the occult can be a manifestation of demonic power. A female slave followed Paul and Silas shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” Paul became annoyed by her shouts and told the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” When the evil spirit left the slave woman she was no longer able to make money for her owners by fortune-telling. The owners were irate at the loss of income and had Paul and Silas thrown in jail. Later that night, there was a violent earthquake, the chains fell off the imprisoned disciples and the jailer and his family came to faith in Christ (Acts 16). Paul recognized the woman was demon possessed because he knew her abilities did not stem from the Holy Spirit’s power.
- God made it clear that he did not want his people involved in the occult. If an Israelite were to become a medium, the punishment was death (Leviticus 20:27). The Israelites were told not to look for signs or omens to direct their lives. Scripture called that an “abomination” and foolishness (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
- It is a mistake to believe in the powers of the occult but at the same time, it is a mistake to ignore the fact that there is power in the occult. Paul warns Christians, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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 (Ephesians 6:11-12). There is real power in the forces of evil, but: “you, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
I have seen excerpts from the program Long Island Medium and I have to say, Theresa Caputo seems like a very kind woman who wants to help those who are hurting. Only God knows her motivations and only God knows whether her powers are pretended or the product of something darker. Christians need to live with a higher standard than popularity or pretense. Peter taught the early Christians, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Jesus told the disciples, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
Shows like The Long Island Medium are not innocuous television. But Satan would love for us to think so.