Jehovah God warned his ancient people, the Israelites, against copying some of the traditional practices of nearby nations. He said: “There should not be found in you anyone who . . . employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell.” Regarding those who followed these customs, the Bible says: “Everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.”—Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
Therefore, when considering customs prevalent in your area, consider the following questions: Does the custom encourage a belief in omens? Does it attribute magical protective powers to inanimate objects? Does it involve the casting of or protection from spells? Will it involve an act of submission to a spirit other than Jehovah or his appointed representative, Jesus?—Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:9, 10.
It is vital that you reject any customs that encourage such practices. Why? The apostle Paul was inspired to write: “You cannot be partaking of ‘the table of Jehovah’ and the table of demons.” He warned that those who tried to please both God and other spirits would be “inciting Jehovah to jealousy.” (1 Corinthians 10:20-22) Jehovah God demands and deserves exclusive devotion.—Exodus 20:4, 5.
Consider, too, this question: Does the custom promote the idea that a person is not responsible for his or her own actions? For example, adultery and sex before marriage are frowned upon in many communities and are condemned in the Bible. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) However, in some Pacific cultures, such practices might become acceptable if the girl claims that she has been “green leafed,” that is, she says that she has been impelled to have sex because of a spell placed on her.
The Bible, however, teaches that we are responsible for our actions. (Romans 14:12; Galatians 6:7) For instance, the first woman, Eve, felt that she was deceived by Satan to participate in disobeying God, saying: “The serpent—it deceived me and so I ate.” However, Jehovah held Eve accountable for her actions. (Genesis 3:13, 16, 19) He also holds us accountable for our conduct.—Hebrews 4:13.