Wicca: Part 1 – Rise of the Witches
The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Jefferson, Iowa. What do they all have in common? Give up? They all have witches in them. The only difference is that the first three are fictional stories set in a make-believe world with actors and actresses playing out imaginary lives . The fourth example, which happens to be my hometown, is not a fabrication. It is a real place with real witches living real lives. Shocking? It shouldn’t be. Statistics as well as experience, say that witchcraft is on the rise.
Some of those statistics claim that Wicca (modern witchcraft that claims its origins in ancient paganism) is the fastest growing religion in America. In fact, religious studies are boldly predicting that by early in the 21st century (think 2012), Wicca will become (has become?) the third largest belief system in America, after Christianity and Islam. http://www.christianpost.com/news/wicca-experts-encourage-christians-to-engage-america-s-fastest-growing-religion-34408/ Although it is somewhat outdated, wikipedia also reports that between 1990 and 2001 Wicca experienced a 143% growth rate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_of_religion#Wicca
While the presence of witches in a small town community like ours can be shocking to a rural farming community, as a whole, those who adhere to the religion of Wicca as their answer for the absence of God in their hearts, the presence of sin in their lives, and the struggle of living in a fallen world is gaining momentum.
In fact, Wicca is only one of many pagan (broad group of false religions claiming numerous gods) beliefs that have resurfaced and are being popularized in our society. This resurgence of paganism is called by scholars, neopaganism, which simply means “new paganism.” Some examples would be druidism, occultism, vampirism, Hinduism and Zen Buddhism (although these are ancient religions they have seen a revival in our country through practices such as yoga), and yes, Wicca, the art of witchcraft. These neopagan practices can be further defined by the term New Age Religions.
So, if you are like me, I have a lot of questions. But not only am I curious, I also have a desire to reach those in bondage to false religions with the gospel of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of the Father. So I seek to be informed.
Some may argue that a series of posts focused around a demonic, cultic, and pagan religion would draw too much attention to the darkness, thereby, glorifying Satan and his schemes. Instead, it could be well argued, we should focus on the truth of Christ. To this I say, amen, because “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” But this in no way states that as we grow in our knowledge of the truth that we need to remain completely ignorant of the false. Secondly, it is not my attempt to glorify the false but rather to reach those stuck in the false. A working knowledge gives us the advantage of being more practical in our defense of the faith and more focused in our prayers as we snatch those who are perishing from the fire. So a cursory study of witches and their beliefs will prove to be beneficial in this regards. Thirdly, as we peel back the beliefs of this system, I think you will respond as I have as I was researching this topic – compassion for those who have believed the lies of the enemy. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been given the responsibility and the privilege of being the vessel of hope for those imprisoned in the enemy’s camp as we point them to the Lord.
This post will be the first of five that I have planned. After this introductory post, the next (Wicca: Part 2 – The Craft Explained) will deal with some terminology and history of witchcraft. Following will be a third post (Wicca: Part 3 – Practices, Rituals, and Ceremonies) outlining the practices of Wiccans. Fourth, we will put those beliefs and what we have learned to the test of scripture. Finally, I will present some practical ways we can reach our next door neighbors, the witches. I appreciate your prayers as I write about this demonic topic.
While I am not an expert of Wicca or the occult, there was a time when my life exalted the forces of darkness. Apart from Christ, I was ignorantly a pagan who heartily gave my energy to serve a false god. I’m grateful beyond words for the rescue mission of the Lord through His Son, Jesus by His shed blood. His redemption and salvation is precious to me. While I may not be an expert on answering all of the nuances concerning what Wicca is all about, I have every right to write about this topic because I have experienced the answer to the core problem of those deceived by Wicca.
His name is Jesus Christ.
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – Jesus of Nazareth
I am looking forward to the exploration of this topic. No apologies, either!
Thank you Denise! It should be an interesting journey!
You can’t claim that their beliefs are false anymore than they can claim yours are. The two belief systems are equally likely to be false as neither is actually based on evidence and neither can face up to scrutiny of any kind. You should leave other people alone to believe whatever they want to make their lives feel complete. You can’t claim to have all the answers with jesus because you can’t possibly know for certain. You have no tangible evidence. All you have is your personal feelings based on things someone else told you and the reinforcement of those feelings by others around you. It is not your place or your business to tell others what to believe and what is right for them. You should have more respect for others than this. All you are doing is creating a spirit of persecution of others in people who share your belief system and allowing them to justify that persecution.
Dear anonymous –
I appreciate your concerns and for taking the time to voice those to me. Let me respectfully address those.
First, your opening statement saying that I can’t claim their beliefs are false. Actually I can make that claim based on simple logic. Two premises, in this case two belief systems, that contradict each other cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. Therefore, as Wicca claims there are multiples of gods that can be manipulated and controlled, it stands in direct contradiction to Christianity which says there is One true God who transcends manipulation and control. Both cannot be true.
But just because they contradict each other proving that at least one is false doesn’t necessarily prove that the other is true, which brings me to your second statement that neither is actually based on evidence and neither can stand up to scrutiny. As you will see in future posts in this series that you are right concerning Wicca. The evidence falls short of truth. But as for Christianity, there is much evidence that accurately proves the reality of a God who created the heavens and the earth, is the wrathful judge of all sinfulness, and has given us the means of escaping that wrath in the revelation of Himself through the crucified and risen Son, Jesus Christ.
For instance, archaeology and secular history (apart from Christian history) confirms the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus along with many other events. Our own existence is also proof of a Creator in whose image we have been created, as well as our desire and longing for the things of eternity that He placed within us. We can also see the remnants of morality in humans, the innate sense of right and wrong which points to a benevolent Creator. And we can also simply look around at nature and find ourselves without excuse as we argue against the existence of God. Everything from a butterfly to an oak tree stands in confirmation of the God who created them. All of this apart from the evidence of the holy bible. I assumed this is the one piece of evidence that people argue against so I left it out so you could see there is ample evidence given for the existence of God and Christianity apart from the bible.
Your statement suggesting that I should leave other people alone to believe whatever they want is where I completely and respectfully disagree. You claim that I should have more respect for others. I assure you it is with the utmost highest respect and regard for others that inspires me. Let me ask you a question, if you saw a house on fire and noticed there were people trapped inside, wouldn’t you do whatever possible to rescue those people? My friend, those who are without Christ in their lives are trapped in a house that is being consumed by flames. Even worse, unless they are rescued there is coming a judgment by which they will face an eternity where the flames are never quenched and the worm of their torment never dies.
Finally, you brought up persecution. It is not my intent to inspire a spirit of persecution nor give ammunition to those who would hurt or harm others. Those who call themselves Christian and would do such should be ashamed and may want to check whether they have experienced the cross of Christ.
Also, interestingly, it would seem to me that aren’t you in your accusation against me and my faith inspiring a spirit of persecution?
Once again, I thank you for your concerns and comments. Blessings!
This is very informative and well-thought out. Thank you!