THE SPIRITUAL WAR IS ON THE RISE
By Berit Kjos
"Feminist proponents of Wicca, or modern-day witchcraft, now can be found within the clergy promoting the cult of the Goddess in many mainline Christian denominations."
"Harry [Potter] is far from being a devil or a witch. Rather, says the Presbyterian minister... he actually is a Christ-like figure.... [He calls the books] 'a modern interpretation of the gospel.'"
"The Complete Witches' Handbook. Everything you need to know....Initiation Rites; Consecration Rites; Spells....Over 200,000 sold!"
"Villages...are gripped by fear. In playgrounds and on the roadside are posters warning of the danger of abduction by witch doctors for the purpose of child sacrifice. The ritual...was almost unheard of in [Uganda] until about three years ago, but it has re-emerged."
"There shall not be found among you anyone who... practices witchcraft... or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium..." Deut. 18:10-12
While researching the "green movement" back in the early nineties, I was hiking through a beautiful forest with a young environmental activist. She had just told me that she was a witch, a lesbian, and an elementary school teacher. She wanted to help build a "better" world -- one that reflected her quest for "good, not evil" power.
"If you love nature so much, how can you be a Christian?" asked Tracy as we headed up a trail.
"Why does that surprise you?" I asked.
"Your God separated people from the earth. We believe in oneness with nature."
I prayed for words that would speak to her heart. "Tracy, I know the God who created all this beauty," I began. "He loves it, and He fills me with His love for His creation...."
Silently we listened to the whispers of the wind in the treetops. They reminded me of the kindness of my Creator and I felt a surge of joy.
"Tracy, I pray and thank God for the wonders of His creation," I said. "Do you pray to the goddess?"
"No," she answered. "We don't pray. We call it 'doing magic'."
"Doing magic?" That's the opposite of trusting God! “Doing magic” implies that people command occult forces to fulfill their own human will. In the process, they become virtual slaves to those forces. But prayer involves trusting God and seeking His will, strength and guidance. Struck by the immensity of the spiritual chasm between us, I glanced at Tracy. We both wanted to do what was "good," but her good was the opposite of mine. As God warned us long ago:
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness." Isaiah 5:20-21
WITCHCRAFT DURING THE NINETIES
Lori's high school teacher had encouraged her to explore various spiritual traditions -- even create her own religion. Fascinated with Medicine Woman and Lynn Andrews' blend of Native American shamanism and goddess spirituality, Lori ordered a Native American tipi from a catalog, set it up in her backyard, and used it for candle-lit rituals inspired by her growing library of Wiccan books. Like most young pagans, she had learned to mix various traditions into a personal expression that fit her own quest for power and "wisdom from within." Her Christian parents were deeply troubled!
Beth, an education and philosophy major, had read my book on earth-centered spirituality and wanted to discuss it with me. She invited me to lunch at her campus cafeteria.
"Who introduced you to witchcraft?" I asked after she described her beliefs.
"Two of my high school teachers," she answered.
I wasn't surprised. By then I knew that an inordinate number of pagan women have chosen the classroom as their platform for spreading their faith and transforming our culture.
While Beth talked, I glanced at her jewelry. The golden pentagram and voluptuous little goddess dangling from a chain around her neck spoke volumes about her values. So did her earrings: two large pink triangles pointing down, an ancient symbol of the goddess as well as a modern symbol of lesbianism.
"What about your jewelry?" I asked. "Do people know what the pentagram and triangles symbolize? Do they criticize you for wearing the little goddess?"
She smiled. "No. Everybody here is supposed to be tolerant of each other's lifestyles. Nobody would dare say anything."
I pondered her statement. What does it mean to be tolerant -- or intolerant -- these days? If intolerance were merely a self-righteous attitude that hated people with "different" values, it would be wrong. Jesus demonstrated love and compassion toward the excluded and hurting women of His times. But what happens in cultures that prompt students to tolerate everything -- except God's Truth and guidelines?
One result is obvious. The last two decades have produced an unprecedented openness to what used to be forbidden realms. Long before the advent of Harry Potter and other new, enticing doorways to the occult, its snares had spread from the secret chambers of trained occultists to our nation's classrooms, environmental programs, Girl Scout camps, and emerging churches.
Feminist theologians no longer hide their spiritual preference. "The deconstruction of patriarchal religion -- in bland terms, the assisted suicide of God the Father -- left many of us bereft of divinity," explains theologian Mary Hunt. "But the human hunger for meaning and value...finds new expression in goddess worship."
The growing trend is compromise, not Biblical conviction. The darkness is spreading fast!
THE SEDUCTIVE SWAY OF HARRY POTTER
By April 2011, J.K. Rowling had "sold about 450 million copies of the Harry Potter books worldwide." Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- the final installment in the seven-book series -- "became the fastest-selling book in history, with more than 11 million copies sold during the first 24 hours..." Rowling's interactive website, scheduled to open this October, will offer electronic versions of all seven books. Are we facing a global revival of the occult?
Nine years earlier, the article, "'Potter Readers More Occultic,' warned us that "Teen-agers who have read Harry Potter books or have seen the movie were more likely to have experimented with psychic or occult activities than those teens who had not."
A 2002 study found that "41 percent of teens have either seen the Potter film or have read one or more of the Potter books. ...To see how many teen-agers were dabbling in psychic-occult experimentation, researchers...asked teens which ones they had participated in. The list included: palm reading, fortune telling, going to a spiritual medium, calling or visiting a psychic."
The much awaited movie-series began with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 2001. A revealing scene shows Harry and his friends rushing into the night to find the...legendary, life-giving "philosopher's stone"...
Harry's friend Neville senses danger and warns the threesome that this is not a good time to break more rules. So Harry lies to his friend and Hermione lifts her wand and casts a spell on him. Stiff as a board, Neville falls flat on the floor. The three heroes rush away -- and the audience bursts into laughter.
Why the laughter? Neville was just trying to be helpful. But forget traditional kindness. The crowd has been mesmerized by the plot and is, for the moment, oblivious to home-taught values. The attentive gathering has learned to flow with the brilliant story that makes Ms. Rowling's values seem right and Christian caution seem wrong. The audience can feel their heroes' urgency, so their minds justify the unkind tactics and share a communal relief over a conflict resolved.
When the film ends, the images will remain in the viewer's memory, ready to influence future moral choices. As Harvard Professor Chris Dede, a global leader in the development of education technology programs, writes, "Sensory immersion helps learners grasp [a new] reality through illusion."
This involuntary and unconscious process is part of a century-old plan for change. Professor Raymond Houghton described the vision in his 1970 book titled, To Nurture Humaneness, published by the curriculum arm of the National Education Association. He wrote,
"...absolute behavior control is imminent....Man will...never self-consciously know that it has happened."
Now ponder these steps to mental and spiritual transformation:
1. As the movie screen sends a fast-moving stream of occult ideas and supernatural images, the mind begins to switch from the old mental filter based on God's Word to a pagan perspective. Viewers who have identified with the aspiring wizard are learning to see the world through his eyes.
2. The mind seeks a way to reconcile the conflict between old and new values. The resolution involves the dialectic (consensus) process. Trained by schools to seek 'common ground' and conform to the group consensus, the student simply relieves the tension through moral compromise. This is part of the century-old plan for global solidarity.
3. The "new" knowledge to be assimilated includes all the practices banned by God but idealized in the Harry Potter series. Many justify his occultism by believing that Harry and his magic are "good" in contrast to Voldemort's evil magic. But both kinds of witchcraft illustrate the tactics of Satan. Both are totally incompatible with Biblical Christianity!
4. The new "insights" are imprinted in the fans' collective memory. Many who refuse compromise are mocked. But God tells us,
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:11-12
CHILD SACRIFICE, THE ULTIMATE "CRAFT"
Spells and curses have always been used to oppress people in the world's pagan cultures. Not until the Christian missionaries brought God's message of hope to Uganda in the 19th century did child sacrifice vanish from sight in Uganda. But three years ago, these practices -- along with the notion that this bloody ritual brings prosperity -- returned with a vengeance.
In many villages, parents and teachers are "gripped by fear" for their children. Local police refuse to help. Are they paid for their silence? Or do they fear the witchdoctors' curse?
An article by Chris Rogers titled "Where Child Sacrifice Is A Business," gives us a glimpse into this timeless terror.
"In playgrounds and on the roadside are posters warning of the danger of abduction by witch doctors for the purpose of child sacrifice. The ritual...was almost unheard of in the country until three years ago.... The mutilated bodies of children have been discovered at roadsides, the victims of an apparently growing belief in the power of human sacrifice....
"Tepenensi led me to a field near her home where she found the body of her six-year-old grandson Stephen, dumped in the reeds. She trembled as she pointed out the spot where she found his decapitated body.... 'They offered me money to keep quiet,' she says. 'I refused the offer.'"
GOD WARNED US LONG AGO
Is America more innocent than Uganda? Do we, as a nation, deserve more of God's protection from the forces of darkness? Or are we, too, headed for disaster rarely anticipated in this land of the "free"? These Scriptures suggest the latter:
"...when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them... when your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God. ...you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’... Then it shall be, if you... forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods... you shall surely perish." Deut. 8:12-20
Our sovereign Lord welcomes into His family all who trust Him, follow His ways and resist the forces of evil. They will find a fellowship in Him that surpasses all the trials ahead.
"....we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day..." Eph. 6:10-18
1. Catherine Edwards, Wicca Infiltrates the Churches, Insight Magazine Online, Vol. 15, No. 45, December 6, 1999, www.insightmag.com or www.confessingumc.org/news-events/items-of-general-interest/wicca-infiltrates-the-churches/
2. Potter called Christ-like, WorldNetDaily, March 4, 2003.
3. A Witches' Bible: The Complete Witches' Handbook at www.amazon.com/Witches-Bible-Complete-Handbook/dp/0919345921 [Please don't read it. I only post this data as a warning!]
4. Chris Rogers, "Where Child Sacrifice Is A Business," BBC News, October 11, 2011, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15255357
5. Mary Hunt is co-director of WATER (Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual) in Silver Springs, MD. "Mary Hunt: Goddess Equals diversity, Pluralism," Religious News Service, July 16, 1993.
6. "Rowling Looking Into Harry Potter E-Books," London, April 4, 2011(AP), http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=13292040
7."Harry Potter," New York Times, Updated October 21, 2011, http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/complete_coverage/harry_potter/index.html
8. Chris Dede, "The Transformation of Distance Education to Distributed Learning. While this and other papers by Professor Chris Dede focus on education technology, this paper emphasizes the value of sensory immersion into synthetic environments as a tool to mold minds by instilling a programmed perception of "reality." www.gsu.edu/~wwwitr/docs/distlearn/index.html
9. Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness, ASCD (The Curriculum arm of the NEA), 1970.