Mission America

Christian Commentary on the Culture

Paganism, Witchcraft or Christ?

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO CONSIDER.

More and more people today are fearlessly exploring witchcraft or paganism, and many of these are young people. Regardless of the age of the person, these beliefs stand in direct opposition to Christianity. Those who start to walk down that road need to know the territory they are entering. Parents especially need to be fully informed. And we say this because there is a lot of common misinformation today about both witchcraft and Christianity.

There is no "hate" in what we are about to say. We know what our attitude is, and hate is not part of it. Those accusations are an artificial barrier thrown up by people who don't want to talk, and don't want you to learn about the real issues either. Witchcraft is a belief system that can change. There are ex-witches who are now Christians. So, this is an idea exchange. Accusations of a "witch hunt" don't fit either; who has to hunt anymore?

There are many reasons Christianity is incompatible with witchcraft. To start with, it's a violation of the first of the Ten Commandments: "I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:2) You don't get any more basic than that. Christianity believes there is one truth, and it is embodied in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We have a lot more about this in other articles on this site, so we aren't going to get into all of it here.

Jesus was God on earth, the Messiah sent to be born into humanity. He came to save us from sin-- not to affirm our every whim. As part of the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Christ was and is fully God. He was also fully human, and His purpose was both to embody the reality of God, and to show us a way to be reconciled to God. He died on the cross for our sins, then rose again from death to demonstrate His power over death and sin. When we believe in Him and Him alone, we can be forgiven and can receive the Holy Spirit into our lives.

Christianity does not teach that each of us has "God" or divinity inside us automatically. This is a common witchcraft/pagan belief, but it is not a part of Christianity. The Holy Spirit who lives in the heart of every believer (and does not reside with non-believers) is a separate all-powerful Being from humans. It's an unbelievable blessing to have the Holy Spirit dwell within, but He enters our beings after we make a decision to believe in Christ. God does give each human some natural gifts that may make us want a relationship with him, including common sense and our own human spiritual yearning, but these are not divinity. He has simply planted a seed of longing within each of us, hoping we will choose Him. We can act on that longing--coming to him as a "little child," as Scripture says (Mark 10: 15) to be "born again" (John 3:3) -- or we can become jaded, selfish and worldly, and suppress or distort that longing.

The gift of free will was given by God to each person, starting in the Garden of Eden. And Scripture clearly teaches that not everyone will choose Christ. Many will reject the gift of His love, forgiveness and truth, preferring to make their own way. This rejection is usually because the person wants to hold onto his or her sin. In the case of witchcraft, it starts with spiritual rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23), the sin of believing a lie, and choosing to continue believing that lie. The lie is that a goddess or another god-figure is real and will bring happiness and even a type of salvation. It isn't true. (For a lot more detail about what this spiritual deception entails, read the articles under "Witchcraft/Neopaganism" elsewhere on this site.)

Many churches today are teaching that other faiths are compatible as a blend with Christianity, but that isn't what the Bible says. The Bible teaches that belief in Christ is the only road to eternal salvation (John 3:16; John 14:6 and elsewhere). Jesus was not just a nice teacher who tolerated everything. That's a very recent spin that doesn't fit what was written about Him in the Bible, and it doesn't even make logical sense.

No one tolerates "everything." This view of Jesus is one constructed to attract people to certain churches, and to allow people to be able to do pretty much "whatever" and then to hurl "Judge not!" (taken out of context) at anyone who might raise a caution or two. It's the wishful thinking of children, but is ultimately empty and useless as a spiritual belief.

We bring this up because the "no truth" approach is very common among witches or wiccans. In fact, this is why so many are being drawn to witchcraft. Modern witchcraft seems to attract the person who has allowed him or herself to be shaped and formed by contemporary culture. Far from being independent thinkers, they frequently adopt cookie-cutter beliefs, a little drawn from this web site or modern book, or that modern song, and so on-- all molded around very human needs and wishes, some good, some not so good. (We say this not to look down on anyone, but because we can relate. The founder of this web site had a belief system along these lines for many years).

The bottom line is, what is the truth? What is real and what is the deception of our own hearts? Scripture tells us, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?"(Jeremiah 17:9) As humans we are continually drawn to things that satisfy selfish needs like pride, vanity, etc. Step back for a moment and think about the last time you did something truly sacrificial for another person, with no reward expected. It's even more sacrificial if it was someone you aren't particularly in "sync" with or for whom it was an inconvenience and didn't satisfy another selfish need: weeding the garden for your grandma--or telling your mom you'll take care of the laundry this week-- or helping your dad with raking leaves -- or running to the store for an annoying neighbor-- or babysitting for free for a temperamental toddler. That's the kind of thing that Christians find themselves inspired to do more and more as they grow in faith.

Until we come to grips with our own tendencies to lie to ourselves and put a good spin on our wicked ways, we will never understand anything about ourselves. This is the reality of human nature. And it sounds terrible, right? The amazing thing about Christianity is that it's the only faith that tells the truth about what humans are really like--and then provides the most uplifting and inspiring way out of our humanness. Having a partnership with the Holy Spirit is an option for anyone--no one is excluded who wants Him-- and it's the most creative, loving, energizing, good, true and noble experience anyone can have.

Christ embodied and taught sacrificial love, without sin. Witchcraft and other false beliefs tend to emphasize self-indulgence and sin. By thinking one can control spiritual forces or elements, the person is simply finding another way to be selfish-- I want this, therefore I'll make it happen and it must be right. In Christianity, the goal is seeking and doing God's will by knowing Scripture, having the Holy Spirit in your heart, and walking with God every day in prayer and godly choices. God is in charge, we aren't. And once we learn to trust Him, it's amazing to find out how good that is.

What we have tried to communicate here is what Scripture teaches. These aren't our ideas, but those communicated through God's word. It's available to anyone, at anytime in his or her life. God is more than willing to forgive and forget and show us a better way.