Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, according to a study recently released by the Pew Research Center. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.
Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services — grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.
Story is here.
The occult is roaring back with a vengeance.
Prior to the seventeenth century, most people in society embraced aspects of the occult. Then the Age of Reason dealt a blow to the occult worldview. However, a vital tradition of occultism and metaphysical movements developed in the nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth.
The occult’s clearest religious expression is in its worldview. An occult/mystical worldview undergirds many cults that are presently active in America, especially those associated with Eastern religions, the New Age and human potential movements, and the many psychospiritual groups. Such expressions of the occult have taken the strongest hold during the last quarter of the twentieth century.
The rise in occultism comes at a time when exorcism is becoming more common. The Roman Catholic church does not have enough trained exorcists to cope with the demand. Karl Payne, evangelical author of “Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization and Deliverance,” argues America is becoming desensitized to images of evil promoted by the mass media. He says,
"The Third Reich of Nazism clearly demonstrated that if you tell a lie loud enough and often enough some people will believe it, even if that lie results in the justification of murdering millions of innocent people. I still think it is more than an irony that some of the same entertainment pundits that view evangelical Christianity as extreme, and conservative Christians akin to dangerous terrorists for their pro-God and pro-life convictions, view and promote occult baloney as harmless, healthy entertainment.”
The skyrocketing use of drugs is a key component to the resurgence of the occult. As I noted here in 2013,
The Greek word “pharmakia” literally signifies the use of medicine, drugs, and spells. It appears five times in the New Testament: in Gal 5:20, Rev 9:21, 18:23, 21:8, and 22:15. “Pharmakia” is usually translated in English Bible translations as either “witchcraft” or “sorceries”. It's noteworthy that the English word “pharmacy” derives from the Greek word “pharmakia”. Of course modern pharmaceutical drugs can provide wonderful relief and even much-needed cures. But drugs - both legal and illegal - are also one of the enemy's most potent weapons for destroying lives. Steadily refusing to even try time-tested methods for handling behavioral problems such as discipline, exercise, diet-modification, productive work or spiritual warfare, the church plays into the enemy's hands by dishing out powerful mind-altering drugs like candy, creating insanity. While there may be cases where the use of such powerful medication is beneficial, it should always be the last resort after alternative therapies have been tried and failed - not the first option.
Back in 2012, Christian News warned here of the worldwide increase in demonic manifestations and provided disturbing examples.
The sudden string of reports of cannibalism and other shocking violent crimes in the news is causing much discussion about the extreme demonic manifestations that are escalating worldwide.
.... The reports have been alarming for many, who wonder what possessed these individuals to behave in such a depraved and barbaric manner. While there is talk that the events are a precursor to a “zombie apocalypse,” others are convinced that demonic activity is taking place and are pointing to Biblical accounts as parallels.
Only the church is equipped to successfully combat the descending darkness and resurgence of the demonic. As I wrote here in 2015,
There is little question that demonic influence plays an increasing role in the rising mental illness afflicting our culture. Maturity, discernment and wisdom are crucial in confronting it. In cases of strong demonic influence, traditional methods of treatment (i.e., medication, psychotherapy, etc.) may successfully suppress the symptoms but are ultimately ineffective in removing the root cause. It is akin to putting a band-aid on melanoma. The only cure is the gospel.
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one (Eph 6:16, ESV)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Eph 6:10, ESV)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21, ESV)