Yesterday, I received an email from a young woman who is a Wiccan. As I was reading through the message, I thought she was making some excellent points.
Therefore, I thought I'd address those points on my blog (and with her permission) share some of this young woman's thoughts with you.
There are many Christians who are uncomfortable (or even afraid) of speaking to or being friends with people who practice Wicca, witchcraft, some other form of paganism, or have any connection with the occult.
Why? Well, according to the Bible anything that is not of God is of the enemy (Satan):
"Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother." 1 John 3:7-10 ESV
These are very hard words.
This means those with occult abilities (including mediums and psychics), and that which empowers those who practice witchcraft and magick (or any occult practice) along with all sin (including hating others) is demonic at its root. In fact, the Bible is quite clear regarding the worship of other gods and goddesses as in Wicca or other religions as sin:
"So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods,whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."
1 Corinthians 8:4-6 NIV
But this does not mean people who are involved in other religions such as Wicca or those involved in occult practices are evil or immoral. They are people seeking spiritual connection. Yes, God condemns idolatry, the practices of divination, witchcraft/sorcery, spiritualism, psychics, etc., as He does all forms of sin.
This is why God has provided a way of redemption. He loves us. God reached out to us with the answer. We are all in need of Jesus (even those who don't see, desire, or understand it that way).
Jesus wants us (as His disciples) to be salt and light to people so others can know this truth. If we (as Christians) are avoiding or pointing fingers at the world rather than sharing God's holiness, goodness, grace, and love how will they see or know who God truly is?
After all, didn't Paul when speaking to the Athenians, commend them for their desire for spiritual things?
"So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your[g] own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:22-31 NLT
There are people who come to Christ out of an occult past (including Wicca) who paint a very ugly picture of their experience. I'm not refuting those claims. However, a distorted picture of the people still involved in the occult can be gleaned from those accounts.
This fuels stereotypes.
It's been pointed out, I have done so myself while sharing my testimony. By implying all Wiccans or occultists harbor animosity toward Christians, I have supported a stereotype. This is not necessarily true of all who practice Wicca or witchcraft. Admittedly, this was my experience as a witch. But it could also have been my own anger toward the church (at the time) which was drawing me toward people with a similar attitude.
What this young woman pointed out to me in her email is such anger toward Christians hasn't been her experience as a Wiccan or those she knows:
"One last thing; you do make mention that many of us Wiccans/Pagans are angry or disillusioned with Christianity. While this may be true for some, I've not personally met any like this. Perhaps it is because I live in New York, rather than a "Bible Belt" state...but all of the Wiccans I know face to face are not upset with Christianity, at least in the way you describe. In fact, we greatly care for our Christian friends/family members, we have all just found that Wicca is the path for us. (Just so you know, about 85% of my friends are some form of Christian...but they are not the "converting" type!)
For example, I am now 26. As a youngster, I went to a Jewish preschool and kindergarten as per the request of my mom's grandmother. After that, I attended Catholic school for 5 yrs, and public school after that. I've had friends of many faiths, and thus had the chance to attend Jewish, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Baptist, Episcopal, Orthodox Catholic, Born Again and Lutheran places of worship. It was not until I was 14 that I met my first Wiccan friend...and everything clicked into place. It was the most tremendous feeling, one of sheer enlightenment and wonder. HERE was what my life was missing, what I did not find in any other path I learn of or practiced! I was finally spiritually fulfilled.
I just want your readers to know that not all of us Wiccans/Pagans are hurt or angry. True, I always found *some* aspects of the above religions to be...lacking...but I was never hurt or disillusioned with them. It would be like saying that, because I prefer apples, that I am "disillusioned" by pears! I only mention this because in my own experience it has caused some Christians (who were trying to convert me) to be overly wary of striking up a conversation. As I greatly enjoy religious discussion when done in a respectful manner, I thought it funny that *I* had to reassure *them* that I was not going to bite their heads off."
What I'm getting around to in this very long post is don't be afraid to talk to people whatever their background, religious beliefs, political persuasion, or the half a dozen other things which prevent us from being obedient to God's word of sharing the good news with people about our Savior. There is definitely no need for fear when it comes to Wiccans or anyone else for that matter.
Let there be peace among us.
As Christians, we need to be willing to understand where people of other faiths or spiritual practices are coming from as we share what Jesus has done for us. We do not compromise on sin but we do love those within our sphere of influence.
Let's look beyond the stereotypes which hinder us all, so we may see whom God loves underneath and respond accordingly.