A CLOSER LOOK AT: WITCHCRAFT AND PAGANS


Witches and Christians have a lot in common. It may seem surprising, but it's very true. Those involved in modern day Wiccan practices are concerned about family, community, drug abuse, gangs, enticements of mass media, environmental health - all of life. Wiccans desire to live in peace and harmony. They want to find answers for questions like, {Why am I alive" What will happen when I die? and, Why do bad things happen? Christians also have these concerns. But in spiritual matters, Witches and Christians differ dramatically. Wiccan is a clear example of those in Romans 1:25
"Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

Wiccans worship the creature (the goddess - nature) rather than the Creator.

The priority of the believer is to rightly divide the Word of truth (II Tim. 2:15). But it is also helpful to understand the pagan world view so that we might be more effective in witnessing. And it will help us discern a possible point of contact. Scripture isn't "magical" - it must be communicated in a meaningful way.

The Bible speaks of the gospel as a stumbling block to the Jews (they had the Old Testament background) but is foolishness to the Greeks (Gentiles, who had little or no knowledge of the Scriptures and the Creator). Paul preached Christ to the Jews (I Cor. 2:2), but to the Gentiles he first proclaimed God the Creator (Acts 17:16-34). Similarly, believers must find an opportunity to speak with the Wiccans, and then present Christ in a way that they understand the "big." They must be shown the reality of a Creator, the uniqueness of the claims of Christ, and the fallacies of their own beliefs. They must acknowledge their sin, repent, and come to worship the Creator, not the creation, in spirit and in truth.

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."John 4:23

Missionaries to tribal peoples are especially aware of the need to make a cultural connection in order to communicate the gospel effectively. In his video, Creation Evangelism, Ken Ham (www. answersingenesis.org) cites an example where, in one culture, friends call out when approaching a neighbor's hut; but thieves come quietly and knock on the door. To tell that tribe that Jesus stands at the door and knocks communicates to them that Jesus is a thief! (For further reading: Peace Child, Eternity in Their Hearts, and Lords of the Earth, each by Don Richardson; Materials from New Tribes Mission).

Christians must understand what Wiccans believe; not what we think they believe. In THE FAMILY WICCA BOOK, Tucson author Ashleen O'Gaea presents "The Craft for Parents and Children." It's "written specifically for pagan parents who want to introduce their children to the principles of Witchcraft." She explains that during our present "Aquarian Age" the mystical secrets of the past are being made public. Witchcraft is no longer robes and secret rites. It's "a love of nature and a love of the Goddess as well as respect for the Masculine Force...a religion that is personal, non-judgmental and non-institutional, natural and magical - that brings forth the experience of the sacredness of ALL life." Wicca is a religion of experience.

A few definitions from O'Gaea's book are helpful:

"WICCA: Traditional Anglo-European Witchcraft: pre-Christian, experiencing deity as a complimentary polarity; worshipping to the cycles of the Moon and Sun." Wiccan scripture is nature itself.

"WITCH: It comes from the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) wicce and wicca...feminine and masculine respectively. The root, wic, means "bend or shape," Witches being those who do the bending and shaping..refers to both men and women."

"PAGAN: It comes from the Latin pagani, which means "country dweller." It means non-Christian because country-dwellers were the last to be converted."

Wicca may be considered a New Age belief system, for Wiccans believe in the Occult: "It means "hidden." You know those hidden s puzzles the make for kids? That's kind of how Wiccans see the world..." Wiccans also believe in "Gaia: the Earth is a living organism of which all living things are a part." And they believe in "Reincarnation: the recycling of soul." Wiccans practice "Magic: Non-ordinary activity or experience...anything that amazes or delights you...there is "bad" magic - magic that is coercive or manipulative, but creative, growthful magic is much stronger, and much more common." Wiccans say they do not do "bad magic." Many claim to practice white magic, attempting to bring about goodness in the world. They often object to the practice of black magic. But God does not make a distinction between black and white magic. The nature of both is condemned:

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD... Deut. 18:10-12a

To Wiccans evil is "Bad vibes. Wiccans don't believe in any devil...The Wiccan understanding of "evil" is not supernatural." Scripture instructs us that dabbling in witchcraft is satanic. But calling Witches "Satan worshippers" is pointless and counterproductive. To do so may diminish the opportunity to interact with them and plant some spiritual seed for thought.

Wiccans also object to the characterization of witches as ugly women with warts on their nose, wearing a pointed black hat, and riding on a broom. We need not be "politically correct," but we ought to be sensitive and gracious when we speak about them.

Wiccans worship nature - they worship "The Goddess: A personification of an aspect of life's energy; the Wiccan image of what is generative and eternal; the principle by and through which becomes life again...Her awareness is the source of our humanity; we are the vehicle of Her awareness." Pagans see as part of the overall life cycle, and so they do not fear it. They also see the cycles of life as a form of reincarnation.

In Wicca the feminine is considered superior so Wiccans study Theaology: (not to be confused with theology): "The study of Goddess and the relationships between Goddess and humanity..." Their worship includes the celebration of Sabbats: solar holidays marking the Sun's course/the God's life through the year. Beltane is Mayday, one of two major Wiccan holidays, worshipping fertility. Another is Yule: The Winter's Solstice, when the Sun is reborn from the Womb of the earth. Halloween is celebrated as the Witch's new year.

Some pagans blame masculine influences for the problems in our world. It is true that there has been, and still is, corrupt male dominance in society. And Romans 5:12a says, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin... But our woes are due to the curse of humanity's sinfulness, which affects all people, both male and female.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one... Rom. 3:10

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God Rom. 3:23

...and so passed upon all men, for that all have sinned Rom. 5:12b

The Bible also tells us that it was the woman who was deceived in the original transgression, not the man (II Tim. 2:14). Neither masculine or feminine inherently superior. God created both according to His purposes.

To the Wiccan there is not "a God;" rather, there is a masculine force. "The God: A personification of an aspect of life's energy, the Wiccan image of that which dies and is reborn...Born from the womb of Mother Earth at Yule, he mates with the Goddess at Beltane, and enjoys his prime through the abundant summer, willingly dies in fall's various harvests, and rules the Underworld from Samhain until Yule."

Wiccans desire peace in the world. Their guiding principle is, "An ye harm none, do as ye will." Scripture says we Christians are to do all that we can to live in peace with all people (Rom. 12:18). But our duty is to proclaim and glorify God the Creator (Mt. 28:18-20; I Cor. 10:31). One opportunity for Christian contact with pagans is to identify with the concerns of pagan parents. O'Gaea says she is concerned that our children are growing up by themselves, guided by the barrage of media presence in our age - television, radio, movies, billboards, advertising, as well as technological marvels, environmental exploitation, crass commercialism, corruption and injustice. Christian share many of these same concerns, and can agree with here that we live in a "dizzying" world. But we cannot agree with her beliefs about the world and spiritual things.

Finally , Christians can learn something of the Wiccan perspective by considering what Wiccans believe about us:

"Fundamentalist (fundy, fundie): A politically right-wing religious conservative who believes that the whole and only truth about life, the universe, and everything is contained in the Christian Bible. Often aggressively evangelical, not interested in dialogue or other people's perspectives, and not much concerned with historical reality."

The Wiccan understanding of Christmas is rather accurate, in the first part of the definition (though Christians may personally be democrats, republicans or independent). But the matter of dialogue and respect for other's perspectives needs clarification. Gracious believers are certainly interested in meaningful conversation with others. But if "dialogue" and "other people's perspectives" means some form of compromising acceptance of non-biblical beliefs, then the Wiccans are rightly observant. Christians do not accept as valid any idea contrary to Scripture. We are to bring every thought captive to Jesus Christ (II Cor. 10:5). As for lacking concern about "historical reality" this matter needs further research. Perhaps it refers to the biblical rejection of history as defined by evolutionary theory.

Christians might also do well to take as food for thought from the pagans as to the importance of purifying our own faith (Titus 2:11-13). At Christians time O'Gaea is concerned about Christian influences in public schools, and encourages the singing of Pagan songs like, "Deck the Halls." Do we Christians honor God with our whole being if we include songs of paganism?

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you... II Cor. 6: 16, 17
Wiccans are all around us. They are our neighbors, perhaps even some are our "friends." The question is how do we relate to them? We can be aggressive and think ourselves to be persecuted for the sake of the gospel when, in fact, we're being personally obnoxious. Or we can try to understand the Wiccan frame of reference, and, being gracefully assertive, we can seek opportunity to show who their beliefs fail in light of reality, as supported by Scripture. In order for someone to come to faith in Christ they must first see that they are lost. Wiccans must see that they are in rebellion against a holy, righteous God. They are worshipping creation, not the Creator, and their sincerity is in error.

As peace loving as they may be, Wiccans, like all the lost, will experience God's holy wrath and judgment unless they repent and are redeemed.

For further reading see, A CLOSER LOOK AT HALLOWEEN.


A CLOSER LOOK AT HALLOWEEN

(underconstruction)

BACK TO HOME PAGE