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Vol. VI • 1983

Biblical Creation and Occultism
Gary North

The most important passages in the Bible concerning occultism are not those that refer to angels, demons, visions, magic, and witchcraft. The truly crucial passages are those that tell us about God and His stance toward the creation, for it is God who is central, not Satan and his host. The universe is theocentric. If men would acknowledge this fact and conform their activities to it, there would be no necessity of dwelling on biblical passages dealing with occult phenomena..

Creation is the starling point, both philosophically and revelationally. The Bible opens with this announcement: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). By the fiat and absolutely authoritative command of God's word, all that exists was created out of nothing creatio ex nihilo. Matter-energy was not co-extensive and co-eternal with God, as Aristotle taught (Physics. VIII) and as the pagan cosmologies of the ancient world taught. God did not bring the world into existence by struggling with some ultimate chaotic matter in order to produce order. God commanded the light, and there was light (Genesis 1:3). We cannot explain this fiat act, nor need we. . All we know is what we are told by the One who was there at the time.

Because God created the universe, there is a permanent, unbridgeable gap between the ultimate being of God and the derivative being of creatures. There is a Creator-creature distinction. Though men are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), they do not partake of God's being.

The Creator- creature distinction is vital.

They are like God, but they are not of the same  substance as God. No other doctrine is more fundamental than this one. Significantly, in every form of occultism this principle is denied, sometimes implicitly but usually explicitly. Satan's old temptation to man hinges on his denial and man's denial of the Creator-creature distinction. "For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods" (Psalm 97:9). He is not some impersonal force, but a sovereign, utterly personal God: "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: (dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isaiah 57:15). God is not an evolved man: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8,9). Close to the man with the contrite heart, yet infinitely removed from the rebellious creature: here is the God of creation.

God is sovereign, man is responsible.

Because God created the universe by the power of His word, He also sustains it. This is the doctrine of providence, the corollary of the doctrine of creation. All things come to pass within the overall plan of God (Isaiah 45:5-12), despite the fact that He is not responsible for sin.. . . The Christian system presents a God who is sovereign and man who is responsible. All other existing systems  rest on the presupposition of a chance universe: chance out of chance returning into chance.

Occult systems teach "monism."

In direct contrast to the biblical view of man and God, the occult systems, from the magical sects of the East to the Onostics of the early church period, and from them to today's preachers of cosmic evolution and irresistible karma, are marked by one salient theme: monism. There is no Creator-creature distinction. We are all gods in the making. Out of One  has proceeded the many, and back into One are the  many traveling. Eastern mystics, philosophical Hegelians, and followers of the overrated Teilhard de Chardin all agree on the reality of ultimate monism. It is such a convenient doctrine, for it denies any eternal separation of God and His creation, and therefore it denies any eternal separation of saved and lost. It denies any ultimate distinction between good and evil, past and present, structure and change...

... in opposition, to the Bible's Creator- creature distinction.

The other non-Christian philosophy is dualism, which holds that good and evil are in eternal tension, and that neither can triumph. It undergirded many of the medieval revolutionary sects that turned, in some instances, to magic and occultism. It argues that God is not sovereign, for He did not actually create all things; the evil god created matter and is sovereign over it. Like monism, this philosophy leads to an attempt to escape the control of matter over the soul, either by radical asceticism or by a radical immersion in perversion (to deny its relevance). What monism and dualism have in common is the denial of the sovereignty of a personal God, for in neither system is there a  Creator-creature distinction. Each leads to rampant immorality, and each leads to a dismissal of earthly  affairs and earthly responsibility. The result in each case is moral nihilism.

Gary North, None Dare Call It Witchcraft, pp. 26, 27, 28-29

EDITOR'S NOTE We believe that the foregoing excerpts from Chapter 2 of Gary North's important work None Dare Call It Witchcraft (Arlington House Publishers, New Rochelle. NY., 1976) are basic both for a proper approach to the occult/cosmic evolutionist movements of our time, and for the proper understanding of biblical creation as the foundation of all other Christian doctrine and practice.

"Biblical Creation and Occultism"
CSSHS • Creation Social Science & Humanities Society • Quarterly Journal

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