Magic Spell Jesus

A few weeks back, I was looking through my traffic logs and found someone who came across my article “The Power of Christ Compels You” via the following Google search:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=applying+the+blood+of+jesus+against+evil+people

I’m guessing my article wasn’t what this person was looking for, so I ran the search myself and found the following essay: How to Plead the Blood of Jesus for Deliverance and Protection.

This remarkable essay is founded on a deep belief in what I can only call Christian magic. It claims that “pleading the blood of Jesus”, a specific type of prayer which it explains precisely how to conduct, will create supernatural protection for the life and possessions of the claimant against real-world disasters. It helpfully lists the basic things that a Christian can invoke the blood of Jesus to magically protect: your house (“will help protect you against fires, break-ins, burglaries, natural catastrophes or any type of bad accidents”), your car (“will help prevent you from getting into any serious auto accidents, along with helping to prevent any break-ins or theft of your car”), your finances (“will help protect you from all of the scammers and con artists that are out there trying to scam and steal all of your hard earned money”), your children (“will help protect them from any possible abductions, serious accidents or life-threatening illnesses”), and yourself, to personally protect you against all of these catastrophes. Unbelievably, the site even claims that this spell will protect against earthquakes, tornadoes, lawsuits, and plane crashes!

The site insists that, like any good magic spell, the words must be spoken precisely and specifically:

You will have to Plead the Blood on each of the above six items to get God’s full protection on it. You have to be very specific on the things that you will want covered and protected under His Blood.

Evidently, despite being omniscient and presumably knowing what people need, God parses all prayers like a lawyer does a contract, only granting the exact boons the believer asks for.

It even adds the specific magical gestures that help the believer’s spell work most effectively:

The other thing that you can do is to hold out your right hand, palm facing forward when actually Pleading the Blood. The Bible tells us that the right hand of God is His hand of power and deliverance. When you Plead the Blood, you are going on the offensive. By holding out your right hand when Pleading the Blood on the basics, you are showing God that you mean serious business with Him, and that you have every intention of pulling down His divine supernatural protection to cover you on all of the basics that you are Pleading the Blood of His Son on.

as well as how long the magical protection lasts:

I have personally found out the hard way that if I want God’s full protection on all of the above items – that I have to Plead the Blood on the night before the beginning of the next month. In other words, if I want God’s protection for the month of May, then I have to Plead the Blood on all of the above on the last day of April.

I’d suggest to the authors of this site that they try testing their magical powers in a controlled fashion to see if they have any effect whatsoever distinguishable from chance, but I suspect few theists’ beliefs are as blissfully uncontaminated by evidence as the writer of this essay. As with all believers in magic, Christians who use these spells will remember the hits and forget the misses, attributing the inevitable failures of prayer to some sin in their lives or simply to a change in God’s unknowable will. The terminally superstitious may use these magical beliefs as a crutch to help them get through their daily lives, but it is a crutch that is only hobbling them further, when they would do far better to stand and walk on their own two feet.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Marty

    Don’t forget the eye of Newt!

  • Marty

    2nd thought: this prayer will supposedly “will help protect you from all of the scammers and con artists”. Well, all but the perpetrator of this scam.

  • http://dominicself.co.uk Dominic Self

    I have personally found out the hard way that if I want God’s full protection on all of the above items – that I have to Plead the Blood on the night before the beginning of the next month. In other words, if I want God’s protection for the month of May, then I have to Plead the Blood on all of the above on the last day of April.

    A tip for the discerning consumer: making the request on the last night of January (in a non-leap year) will only get you 28 days worth of protection, whereas the last night of February would give you 31 days. Remember, God is asking to ‘fully surrender… your body, your soul, your spirit and your eternal life’, so make sure you get the very best deal possible on your investment. And if things do go very wrong, make sure you have a copy of your contract to hand when entering the next life in order to seek compensation.

  • Jim Baerg

    This reminded me of “Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet” http://www.gavinbryars.com/Pages/jesus_blood_never_failed_m.html
    Apparently it’s quite an old hymn, so this sort of belief goes back a long way. It also strikes me as both ironic & to be expected that the hymn is sung by someone who has had a very rough life, ie: everything, including Jesus Blood has failed him.

  • An Atheist

    It is quite amusing that they “personally found out the hard way” that it only lasts a month. It could have been any length of time. It is interesting that after they performed this ritual, one month later something happened bad enough to quality for God not protecting them, and then they decided that you have to repeat it every month. I wonder how many things would have to happen for them to pronounce that this is not effective. Probably infinite for they would say they did something wrong.

    I also have to wonder how they came up with this. They must have made it up as they went, and when nothing happened, they declared it effective. Or did something happen so they added “By holding out your right hand when Pleading the Blood on the basics, you are showing God that you mean serious business?” I suppose belief in something with no basis allows you to add anything you want, as long as it has just as much basis.

    I am sure they also believe God has a plan, which of course goes against this and has many, many other problems. It still amazes me that Christians can’t see the blaring problems with the God has a plan pitch. I suppose they never even come close to examining it.

  • http://inthenuts.blogspot.com King Aardvark

    Wow, that explains a lot. My wife prays like that every night but because she’s speaking quickly, I could never tell what exactly she was saying (“plead”), and I never really wanted to find out.

    My wife exhibits this kind of magical/contractual thinking in other prayers as well.

  • hb531

    @An Atheist

    It still amazes me that Christians can’t see the blaring problems with the God has a plan pitch. I suppose they never even come close to examining it.

    This gets to the heart of their belief system (not just xians, btw). It’s fairly obvious, now that I can see it: to the believers, the very act of ‘examining’ (let alone doubting) their beliefs is probably deemed sinful. Imagine for a moment that you believe (I know, it’s hard) and the thought of doubt enters your mind. Now, the omniscient god is monitoring you, so it must be frightening to think that he knows of your doubts. QUICK, think of something else! Otherwise you may be 1 step closer to eternal damnation!The very thought of doubt reinforces their irrational belief through fear.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommy

    Makes me thing of the Ghost Dance movement that spread among the Plains Indians in the late 1880′s. They believed that if they did the dance, it would cause the white man to disappear and they would be able to go back to their traditional ways of living. Of course, we all know how that turned out at Wounded Knee in 1890.

  • terrence

    “What’s the point of being God if any run-down schmuck with a two-dollar prayer book can come along and fuck up your plan?”

    – George Carlin

  • mikespeir

    I grew up in a Pentecostal church. I heard this taught every now and again, but I don’t recall that much stress being put on in. Frankly, I think most people found it a little embarrassing. I know I did, even as a believer. In the first place, it’s not in the Bible, unless you read between the lines. (Bibles, by the way, are something like quintuple-spaced.) Secondly, it does sound a bit too much like sorcery. I would say that, thirdly, it doesn’t work; but that never stopped anybody, as has been pointed out here. If you got swept away by that flood anyway, you just weren’t holding your mouth right or something. It’s always your fault.

  • http://thechapel.wordpress.com the chaplain

    Thanks for a great belly-busting laugh. Even as a believer, I knew this kind of stuff was garbage. I wonder if this guy gets much traffic at his blog?

  • http://redmolly.typepad.com RedMolly

    So the power of Jesus’ blood only lasts a month? Hmmm… is it some form of Holy Menstruation? Methinks they need to get Jesus on the pill, and then his protection will show up with admirable regularity.

  • Alex Weaver
  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    But of course, modern theology understands that prayer isn’t like a magical spell or a cosmic shopping list. That sort of thinking went out long ago. It’s a straw man. It’s ridiculous to argue against it. Nobody takes that sort of thinking seriously these days.

    Sigh.

    Whenever I hear the theologians trot out the “modern sophisticated theology” number about how atheists are fighting a straw man and nobody really believes that “interventionist God who answers prayers” stuff anymore, I want to grab them by the scruff of the neck and forcibly point them to sites like these.

  • Karen

    Imagine for a moment that you believe (I know, it’s hard) and the thought of doubt enters your mind. Now, the omniscient god is monitoring you, so it must be frightening to think that he knows of your doubts. QUICK, think of something else! Otherwise you may be 1 step closer to eternal damnation!

    Not only is it frightening to entertain doubts, but many Christians believe that it is Satan himself who introduces doubt into your mind. So if you entertain that doubt, you are siding with the devil. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” was a frequently recommended prayer of rebuke in the fundy churches I attended, because we were trained to see Satan at work all around us, particularly in our “wayward thoughts.”

  • Thumpalumpacus

    Indeed, Karen. I was taught that to entertain doubt is to league with the devil. The fear aroused in my ten-year-old mind was pretty bad.

  • TEP

    The really amusing thing about this is that they’re breaking the third commandment – ‘do not take the Lord’s name in vain’. The original meaning of this commandment came from the widespread superstition that knowing somebody’s true name gave you power over them, and the ability to command them. This idea was best exemplified in the myth in which Isis poisoned Ra, and refused to cure him unless he told her his true name, which gave her the power to banish him to the sky and let Osiris rule in his place. Because of this belief, it was common at the time to use the names of deities as a means of casting spells – by using their name, the deity would be compelled to create whatever effect the spellcaster wished. The third commandment was specifically created to counter this practice, because allowing it would not be terribly good for Yahweh’s image – after all, what sort of omnipotent being can be bossed around by mortals? So by engaging in this magic, these Christians are blaspheming Jesus by attempting to use his name to command him.

  • goyo

    Excellent post and comments.
    I also have participated in “magic ceremonies” in various churches. I remember one of my friends laying hands on a coke machine, trying to cast out satan, because it wouldn’t give him his coke.
    I was watching a protestant religious show last weekend called “Camp Meeting”. There was a guest evangelist from Dallas who was selling Jewish Talits, claiming that if the person praying would wrap themselves in the talit, they would be protected from the minions of demons that continually plague the believer’s connection to god, hence, better answers to prayer. Of course, he had testimonies, etc,…
    It seems that if you can participate physically, and touch something, you are just in better connection with your deity.

  • http://thegreenbelt.blogspot.com The Ridger

    This reminds me of something in a book I was reading this week on the power of prayer. The narrator was remembering a police sergeant who “prayed for the whole city” every time she went on duty, “and the city had never had a murder during her shift”.

    I couldn’t help thinking why didn’t this powerfully pious sergeant pray for the city a bit more often, and also picturing God watching a clock – Okay, Sgt Jones is off duty: murders commence!

  • KShep

    I gave it a try yesterday….no luck. Bush still president.

  • DamienSansBlog

    You just didn’t have enough faith, KShep. Or maybe you didn’t have enough people praying with you. Or maybe God answered your prayer in a way incomprehensible to the mortal mind.

    Whatever you do, don’t stop praying! As a matter of fact, I…I feel the Spirit coming upon me…I prophecy that President Bush will be cast out of the White House before January 21st, 2009! So, you see, KShep? Your prayers will be answered!

  • Aspentroll

    I should get my fundie neighbor to use this spell to win the
    local lotery. Then we could split it and live happily ever after.
    I could use a new Mercedes, a nice black one would go well with
    the black sweat suit I’m wearing. I know he wouldn’t mind
    doing this for me. He firmly believes that he should “love his
    neighbor”.

  • mikespeir

    Alas, Aspentroll, being a fundy he’s probably also opposed to the lottery on the grounds that it’s gambling.

  • Christopher

    I know that most of you find this funny (and typically I would too), but mos tof my family buys into this bullshit – and it’s no laughing matter when the “spells” cast go unfulfilled: my parents even got divorced over this when I was a kid! Magical thinking, especially when taken to he extreme, can really fuck your life up.

  • velkyn

    Any kind of prayer is like this more, shall we say, theatrical nonsense. I’ve asked so many Christians just what they think they are getting when praying. I mean, do they think they are reminding God to do something? are they commanding God to do something? Most just ignore the question. I’ve only had one that said “It makes me feel better.” At least they were somewhat honest.

    oh, and many kudos for the D&D references :)

  • Alice Baum

    And to think I believed this way for many years…what the hell was I thinking? The answer is I wasn’t thinking. I just being like all the other lemmings who have fallen for this kind of tripe.