With 'Charlie Charlie' Challenge Rising, Billy Graham Tackles Occult Questions

Charlie Charlie
Charlie Charlie (Courtesy/BGEA)

The "Charlie Charlie Challenge" is growing in popularity as teens upload videos to social media of them trying to call on an evil spirit. The trend involves putting two pencils in a cross position on top of a sheet of paper with "yes" and "no" written on it. In an effort to "summon" a Mexican demon said to be named Charlie, participants then say, "Charlie, Charlie, are you here?" and wait for the pencils to move.

Curiosity about ghosts and demonic spirits is no new phenomenon. From horror movies like Candy Man to Ouija boards and the folklore legend of Bloody Mary—generations have experimented with occult practices and it doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. But are people playing with fire? Does this open the door for actual demonic forces to enter someone's life? These answers from Billy Graham help make sense of the issue.

You aren't being narrow-minded to worry about the issue; you are wise to protect your children from anything that might bring them into contact with occult spiritual forces that do not come from God, and are even opposed to God.

I realize not everyone will agree with this; many today dismiss the reality of occult forces that may wish us harm. But the Bible takes the occult and the demonic very seriously, including any attempt on our part to reach out to occult spiritual forces that promise to predict the future or give us supernatural advice. One of the most tragic men in the Bible was King Saul, who as an old man turned away from God and sought advice instead from occult powers (see 1 Sam. 28). The Bible warns, "Let no one be found among you ... who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens ... or who consults the dead" (Deut. 18:10-11).

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Instead, encourage your children to participate in wholesome games and activities, and not to get involved in things that might influence them in a wrong way. (I believe this includes games and programs that glorify violence and killing.)

In addition, pray for them, and take time to read the Bible with them; your local Christian bookstore can suggest a good children's Bible storybook. Most of all, make Christ the center of your life and your family, and ask Him to help you and your spouse become examples to them of Christ's goodness and love.

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