As Halloween approaches, a few news outlets have published stories about a social media trend among teens and young adults: WitchTok.
The name comes from TikTok — a social media platform where users share videos of themselves.
Videos labeled “WitchTok” on the platform primarily seem to be focused on the practice of witchcraft and the occult. As University of Cambridge professor Rebekah King recently noted in an article at The Conversation, videos labeled “WitchTok” have garnered an astounding 18.7 billion views.
WitchTok is just the latest example of young adults warming to the occult.
In October of 2017 the news outlet MarketWatch ran a story titled “Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology.” The article highlighted growing interest in the occult among young adults.
Psychic services — which include everything from palm reading to horoscopes — are now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Popular phone apps offer advice based on the zodiac.
Something once relegated to tabloids and the back pages of newspapers is now mainstream.
The growing interest in the occult arguably is a symptom of spiritual restlessness. The phrase “spiritual but not religious” is popular among young adults who are reluctant to commit to a faith. As St. Augustine said long ago, our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God. The growing fascination with the occult may be a result of that restlessness.
Christians need to remember three things.
First, that the Bible soundly condemns witchcraft. There is no question about that.
Second, Christianity was birthed in a time when paganism and witchcraft were commonplace. The early apostles encountered the occult on several occasions. — such as Acts chapters 17 and 19. If Christianity could overcome those cultures, Christianity can overcome the present one as well.
And third, only the gospel can give people the spiritual rest they seek. Amid bondage and uncertainty, scripture promises believers freedom and hope.
“WitchTok” can’t give people what they are looking for, but Christ can.