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Although it is somewhat outdated, wikipedia also reports that between 1990 and 2001 Wicca experienced a 143% growth rate.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