Q. What about emails asking me to forward something to 10 friends? These emails usually tell me that if I do this, I will have good luck and if I don't forward the email, something bad will happen to me.
These types of emails are reminiscent of the old chain letters which
asked that you send copies of a letter to so many friends and you would
receive good luck in return. Dire warnings were given about tragedy
ahead if you did not send the letter on.
The idea of luck goes back to the belief in pagan gods and the efforts people made to placate them and thereby earn the favor of the gods. "Maybe the gods will smile on me" some would think as they tried various things to get good fortune from these gods. Conversely, one would try to avoid doing anything to offend the gods and bring bad fortune on one's head.
Believing in luck is like relying on the vagaries of what are called chance and fate. Perhaps if you do x, y, or z, this will be your lucky day and fate will smile on you. But chance and fate are impersonal; there is no intelligence or will in them. In fact, chance and fate are based on beliefs that some kind of force exists which you can manipulate through your actions.
Or you might carry a good-luck charm. Reliance on a charm means that you think the charm will attract good fortune (chance) to you. Keeping or wearing a charm for luck is a belief from witchcraft than an object can attract beneficial forces in the universe to you or that the object can protect you from bad fortune. Forwarding an email to bring good luck is the same idea: it is using the act of forwarding the email as a charm that will supposedly attract good circumstances into your life.
One should stop and think about this. How does forwarding an email bring good luck? Who is watching to see if you forward the email and who will pass on this luck and how will they give you this good fortune? Who will punish you if you don't forward the email and why? Would God go along with this? No God worthy of believing would stoop to such shenanigans.
Only the true God knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). There is no such thing as "luck" or a force you can manipulate, although fallen angels, eager to make you interested in anything that takes away from God, may respond to such manipulations to get you to believe you are in charge. God allows things in our life, both good and bad, for His purposes. If one has trusted in Christ, then that person is being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) and God will allow conditions in the person's life to bring this about, whether good or bad. Christians are told that God disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:7-10; Revelation 3:19) and also blesses them (John 20:29; Galatians 3:14; Ephesians 1:3). When you are trusting in God through faith in Jesus Christ, then you should have no fear of what might happen (2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15); instead you are relying on the Lord for His provision and for what He determines is best from an eternal perspective.
If you have not believed in Christ, believing in luck is not going to bring good things nor protect from bad things. This is like building your hopes on sand. Jesus said that when the rains and wind come, a house built on sand will fall down, whereas the house build on rock will stand (Matthew 7:24-29). Jesus is the rock (1 Corinthians 10:4), the bread of life (John 6:35), and the one who paid the penalty for sins on the cross. It is by God's grace that we can repent, be forgiven for our sins, and have eternal life through faith in Christ (Matthew 26:28; Mark 1:15; Luke 5:24, 24:47; John 8:24, 14:6; Acts 3: 19, 4:12, 10:43, 20:21, 26:18; Romans 3:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:13, 14; Hebrews 2:17, 9:28, 10:12; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18).
True peace results from faith in Jesus, and brings assurance that God is watching out for us and working in our lives for the best, no matter what circumstances we see around us. Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful," John 14:27.
"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins," Acts 10:43.
Q. Is it okay to use a power bracelet? Do they work?.
Power bracelets that claim to heal, "balance energy," bring calmness, or
bring clarity are sold in many places, and are abundant on the Internet.
The idea that power can come from an object is an occult idea rooted in
animism, the belief that spirits or powers reside in objects.
There is nothing in the Bible that teaches to use objects for healing. Some people refer to the handkerchiefs of Paul that healed people. However, this was a unique situation based on Paul being an apostle and the healing being a sign (miracle) to indicate the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to both believers and pagans.
Furthermore, the Bible states that the power was clearly from God; Acts 19:11, 12: "God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out". The handkerchiefs or aprons themselves had no power; the power was from God.
Moreover, we should not use narrative as prescriptive unless other Bible passages indicate it is. That is, we cannot say that because God used Paul's handkerchief 2,000 years ago, we can accept any claim that comes along that an object has healing (or other) power, or that such power is from God.
There is no medical basis for any of the effects from these types of power bracelets, whether they are New Age, occult, or Eastern. Some of the pain alleviation may come from the placebo effect, which accounts for about 1/3 of all effects of "feeling better" in healing. Other "healing" may be occultic; that is, demonic. There are many cases of people feeling better when in actuality, they are not better nor are they cured.
A relevant passage for this is Deuteronomy 13:1-3 where God states that the criteria for a prophet whose dreams or prophecies come true is whether or not he calls you to follow other gods. In other words, the dream or prophecy may come true -- something may work or seem to work -- but if it is attributed to an impersonal force or power rooted in a non-Christian religion, or honors a god other than the biblical God, then it is to be rejected. The person who decides to access this power or accept it is essentially honoring that false belief and power.
Furthermore, a person may open themselves to demonic influences when using an object that is connected to occult or New Age beliefs. This is not because there are demons residing in the object itself, but because the person is open to the idea that the power coming from or through the object may heal them. This means they are agreeing with the influence or power for which the object is the medium. The so-called power in these cases is actually the influence and presence of demons.
"Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, 'Come, let us worship other gods' -- gods you have not known before -- do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul." Deut. 13:1-3 NLT