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Wicca, Witchcraft and Popular Paganism

See also Feminist Spirituality

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Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth? 

Harry Potter Lures Kids to Witchcraft - with praise from Christian leaders

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Anomymous: Dear Close-minded Christians,
      I have been pagan for going on six years now and we in no way follow the devil. You should really do more homework before posting idiotic b@#$% on a site. You not only will offend the pagan community but christian friends of pagans. Satanists are not evil they do not eat babies and all that stupid close-minded christian made up babble. THERE IS NO DEVIL IN THE CRAFT YOU BELIEVE IN HIM NOT US, PAGANS WERE AROUND
LONG BEFORE CHRISTIANS. Try reading a book once in a while and you will learn that wiccans and all pagans warship the earth not a made up guy with horns. Hell, not even Satanists believe in the devil, they use him as a symbol of sorts, if you read on and open your pretty little mind, you might learn something. The only people that will recieve this page are other pagans and you will have a .... load of problems on you hands. By the way, the statement 'Do what thou wilt' is incomplete it is "And harm NONE, do what thou wilt.' There are no orgies or animal sacrafice of any kind. Open a book CHRISTIAN and read something because we don't condemn those who put their own savior on the cross. That's all I have to say, thank you and have a nice day.

Where did I say the things about Satanism that you attribute to me? 

As for history -- yes, pagan religions existed long before the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. But nothing preceded our sovereign God and His eternal truths. Jesus, who is God, didn't begin to exist when He took the form of man and was born in a stable 2000 years ago. He was one with the Father even before He created the universe.

Again and again, His faithful Old Testament prophets foretold His coming salvation, and every promise pertaining to His time on earth came true. In other words, the Old and New Testament tell one continuous history will will never end. God's reign began long before pagan religions were conceived and will continue long after this earth life has ended.

You may want to read chapter 4 in my book A Twist of Faith.

From Nicholas: I live in Louisiana im 22 and a wiccan, my cousin whos 18 (and a christian) showed me this site and i was upset that you would compare my religion to a little kids book like harry potter which im not to fond of myself but my cousin likes em so I decided to email you about it. do you know how insulting it is to have your religion compared to that?? what if i was to compare christianity to lets say barney dont like the sound of that do you. as for harry potter "casting spells" thats a load. we dont use wands to shoot big balls of light at people and what is this ___ about kids becoming wiccan over harry potter? i mean a little kid isnt going to be able to comprehend the religion of wicca and also on the subject of dungeons and dragons its a fairly stupid game and first off its pretend and if you take any of this stuff seriously to start with your pretty messed up anyways and i couldnt help you. And it looks to me like you seem to twist those verses around to your anti- anything unknown mind (and yes wiccans are capable of owning a bible) but its like you people seem so ignorant wow you looked at a few peoples opinions and suddenly your some freaken expert?

yeesh you can go ahead and condemn kids books to hell i dont care just dont compare them to other peoples religions and also my cousin wishes to insert a little of his philosophy " the verse in the Bible Amos 5:14 "Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the Lord God of Hosts be with you, Just as you have said!" seems to support my theory that most things if not all things have an intricate balance there is good and evil in everything.

another verse seems to fit "Matthew 7:7: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" so i feel that if you seek out good you will find good if you seek out evil thats exactly what youll find because the human mind will almost always find the information it wants if you were to look for it you could find evil in the Bible itself, not that it is evil its because your looking for something to make it evil." Thats my cousins opinion which i (even though im not christian) do see his point. but anyways to wrap this up please have some freaken respect for other peoples religion! anyways thanks for your time and i hope you got the point of this email. goodbye.

Actually, the verse you quoted from the book of Amos has nothing to do with any balance between good and evil. The prophet is warning the people that they cannot expect to enjoy the safety of God's protection unless they "seek good" (what is good in the eyes of God, not according to their feelings or imagination) and avoid "evil" (in other words, what God calls evil) Through Moses, He had warned them to worship no other gods, nor participate in the pagan practices of their neighboring nations. But the people forgot His guidelines and ignored His warnings -- just as we do today. 

In Matthew 7:7, Jesus is speaking. He is inviting His followers to "ask" and "seek" from God. Seven verses earlier, He gave them the context in which they should pray and seek. He said, " first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things."  Matthew 6:33-34

These days, lots of people are interpreting the Bible in ways that totally contradict the message God has given us. They will never find God that way. Nor will they know the wonders of His love unless they are willing to hear and heed His actual message. Those who replace His truth with their own contrary interpretations will never find Him or receive His blessings.

From Anne: I had an experience at a restaurant that vividly illustrates the practical impact that fiction can have on how people think. My waiter was a college student who called himself a Christian, was raised in a Christian home, and went to church. I was eating at a time when there were few customers, and we got talking. He kept saying New Age things. Every time I replied with Christian truth, he would answer, "But the Alchemist said..." It turned out that he had read a book called "The Alchemist." I told him that "alchemist" is a medieval term for a sorcerer, but that had no impact on him. He still kept treating the statements of this fictional man as if they were authoritative.

I found that book at a local book store. The Alchemist is the hero, the "wise man" who helps people with his wisdom. Throughout the book, he speaks to people (and therefore to the reader) like a teacher, a wise teacher. The book was in the "required reading" section of the store, so evidently schools were using it. That means that many students were exposed to the teachings of this "wise" (New Age) man. And judging by my waiter, this book is undermining the faith of a lot of Christian students.

What is happening to Christian students who read Harry Potter, where occultism is taught by fictional school teachers? When those fictional teachers teach their fictional students, in the process they also teach their real-live readers. Like the Alchemist, these fictional teachers can impact the thinking of intelligent Christians.

Yes, Anne, and it's happening all the time. To make it worse, Christian bookstores now promote books such as Seeking God in Harry Potter.  (See "Using Alchemy to Teach Christianity")

From Lisa:  So sad that tolerance is not in the Chrisitian vocabulary. Such a beautiful religion marred by narrow-mindedness and drowning in fear.

Blessed be!

From Priestess Blackhawk: I ran across your website through a search, purely by accident. I do not want to be rude in anyway, however, I feel that I need to point out that as a follower of the Ancient Ones, your website and its relaying articles relating to witchcraft, holistic medicine and the likes is
insulting. To critize one's spiritual belief, which you clearly do not understand is rude.

To say that witches are satan worshippers, just because "your" Bible, which in many people's beliefs is not the word of true Spirit, but of power hungry "followers", who wish to spread their "religion", and wrong those who follow a different, simplier path is in one sense of the word "barbaric". To "damn witches to hell", is like saying Jews should burn on the cross.

In my opinion (and that all it is one person's opinion), to force a religion down our children's throats and not let them make their own choices is teaching them that they are not capable of making them and we are holding them to back.

Thank you for taking the time to view my e-mail and thank you for respecting one witches opinon.
Blessed Be'

I am sorry our website offended you so much. I don't believe I ever said that "witches are satan worshippers," but it may have sounded that way. I have walked and talked with many witches -- including a Wiccan high priest, with whom I met several times. We had many long friendly talks together.

While we can show care and concern for each other, I don't agree that we must always respect all opinions and beliefs. I grew up in Norway, but I have little respect for the violent animist beliefs and myths of the ancient Vikings. All the more, I have appreciated living in America where people can freely discuss our differences and kindly evaluate our beliefs together. 

From RedDarius: I am a polytheistic pagan, and a practitioner of folk-magic and pre-Christian witchcraft.  I was surfing the net for several reasons, most irrelevant to this email, when I came across your website.  The first article I read was entitled "The Allure of the Goddess" and when I had finished reading it, I became more furious than I have been in almost a decade.  I myself have been a practitioner of Goddess worship for quite some time, this set of beliefs being taken on after leaving Christianity willingly and intentionally.  I also read the article "Symbols and their meanings", which also greatly offended me.  I have been a practitioner of traditional witchcraft and folk magic for many years.  I do not worship, venerate, or pay homage to Satan or any evil or malevolent spirit, and I firmly and patiently explain so to anyone who accuses me of such.  I truly do not appreciate statements that attempt to belittle or falsely depict my beliefs.
    Let me drop the huge tone of officiality and level with you here.  It disgusts me that Christians can't openly accept other faiths and just understand that some people, myself included, cannot live happily as Christians.  It disturbs me that so many Christians also feel it necessary to constantly refer to other religions as satanic religions, the worship of false idols, and for some to even go so far as calling them primitive, savage, or uncivilized.  Why do you do this?  Why do you bash other people's religious beliefs?  Is it because of a book that states things that were most probably written in response to the cultures in which they were needed about two millennia ago?  Mostly referring to the Old Testament with that last statement, by the way. 
    It is an insult to my faith and my person to portray my Gods as demons in any public forum, Internet included.  It is patronizing and a further insult to portray me as someone "deceived by Satan" or misconstrue my legitimate and dedicated beliefs and practices in any similar fashion.  I fully understand what the bible says about other Gods and "false idols", but that certainly does not condone you and others like you preaching such statements of persecution, prejudice, and immense intolerance on the Internet or anywhere else.  I would greatly appreciate it of you kept those particular facets of your beliefs to yourself and asked other Christians you know to do so as well.  Calling a self-acknowledged Satanist a Satanist is perfectly reasonable.  Calling anyone else a Satanist is ignorant to say the least.
    A side note, Much of Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Paul’s Letters (Corinthians, Thessalonians, etc.) I memorized under my parent's tutelage as a child from age 4 to age 11, at which point I truly realized what they meant and never spoke them again, disgusted with what I had been repeating.  How does a supposedly loving God sentence so many people to death?  Another question, considering the book of Exodus, Chapter 21, how does a loving and compassionate God condone slavery???  Let alone set out rules for it!  And then there's the thought of a slave being worth thirty shekels of silver and the execution of the offending ox if he's gored to death.  That just disturbs me.  If you could explain to me how this particular section of scripture could be beneficial in any way, shape, or form, to the current Christians, the early Christians, or to the Hebrews whom it originally addressed, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am sorry our website upset you so much. But I wish you would see that I don’t have any hostility toward pagans or goddess-worshippers. My observations and concerns are directed at beliefs and philosophies, not the people who follow it. There’s a big difference.

The pain, struggles and injustices of this world stem from human choices, not God's will. He has always offered His people peace and security if they would trust Him and follow His ways. But when they rebelled against Him and sought other deities -- along with the child sacrifice and sexual rituals that eventually became central to the Hittites, Canaan, Assyrian and Babylonian cultures -- God left them to face the consequences of choosing their own way. As He sadly said to His rebellious people:

“My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God...."  John 1:10-13

“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
'In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'
But you would not..." Isaiah 30:15-16

From Whystara:  Your website is full of rubbish! The reasons you cite for children not to read books like Harry Potter, or play games like Neopets are ludicrous. I can't fathom a world in which the lord would create such wonderful things in it for all to enjoy, and learn from, where he would let them be created if they were bad in the first place.

What I think is this, you enjoy the safety of never stepping into your own control, never allowing yourself to make choices. You follow a book that was written by man, where no proof whatsoever exists that what is written is the one and only true way. Yet you cast away all that can be so very good in things like nature religions, like appreciating the earth. So here's what I'm imagining in my minds eye... the two of you watching evangelists on TV eating your over fattening meals, using Styrofoam, not recycling, requesting money for "his work," and being sheep.

Wake up, not everything is evil, there are criminals in prison who molest children and claim to repent, and so what now they're good? There are corporations making donations to nonprofit churches who are poisoning the publics view on their products that kill crops, cost people jobs and promote the horrible politicians in our government, and those things are supposed to be better than pagans? Pagans who revere nature, who go out and plant trees to try to help mend the ozone layer, people who learn natural healing methods who heal our friends and neighbors. Who take positive stands on our freedom and our rights as humans. What you offer on your website is laughable, and quite frankly.. just plain crap. I know there are many like you out there who are bent in the head enough to follow what you believe, but someday each one of you will be faced to think long and hard about reality, and finally realize just how ignorant your views really are.

There's a whole world of religion out there, yours won't be the one on top for long, and you better learn acceptance and tolerance now. Lest you wind up really crazy and wind up kidnapping pagans and torturing them by singing gospel and making them pray to your God. Kinda like the KKK lynching's hey? Oh wait... the catholic church already did that didn't they.... and funny.. it didn't work way back then either. Pagans still prevailed. Blessed Be and good luck to you.

Actually, Whystara, I don't like to watch TV. We never watch "TV evangelists," and the few times I do watch something, it's because Andy finds something especially interesting -- usually on the History channel.

As for caring for nature, please tell me one pagan nation in the last century that has actually tried to clean up its air and rivers. Such concerns were first initiated by United States and other nations influenced by actual Biblical values. While "multicultural" and "global education" gave birth to countless idealistic myths about earth-centered cultures, reality refutes those lofty claims. Please read  Chapters 1 and 3 in Under the Spell of Mother Earth.

We do recycle. We even "feed" our orange peels to bushes and tomato plants. I do want to help care for God's creation, though I have little appreciation for the ways the UN is using pseudo-science to speed its global agenda. See "Local Agenda 21- The U.N. Plan for Your Community"

I have had numerous friendly discussions about witchcraft and environmentalism with both men and women who call themselves pagan. Please read  Chapters 1 and 3 in Under the Spell of Mother Earth and Chapter 4 in A Twist of Faith

From Devon (15 yrs old): Subject: Twelve reasons not to see Harry Potter movies: Good day to you, and any person whom this letter may concern. In this letter, I will not respond through rampaging, as that would be childish and lower myself to other people who can't act mature. I'm going to give you counter-reasons for your reasons. Some will be shortened however, as the email would grow too long. Please just here me out. And remember, I'm not a stupid adolescent.

In your 1st reason: You say He hates those practices because they blind us to His loving ways, then turn our hearts to a deceptive quest for self-empowerment and deadly thrills. In truth, if you've ever read the bible, it says that God hates noone, nothing, and not even the Devil. Though he might dislike something to an extreme point, he doesn't hate.

Devon, if you would do an Bible search, you will find that there are many things, activities  and -- yes,  people -- that God hates. I will list some here, not to win an argument, but to show you that God's standard for goodness is not like the world's standard.  He takes sin and rebellion far more seriously than we do, and we had better learn His guidelines. The good news is that He forgives and justifies -- cancels His judgment against those who repent and trust in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished for us through the cross.

 "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 
 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [a ritual offering to Moloch], or practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out..." Deuteronomy 18:10-12

“I have loved you,” says the Lord. ...  "Jacob I have loved;
But Esau I have hated, and claid waste his mountains and his heritage"  Malachi 1:2

 "As it is written, Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.'”  Romans 9:13

"Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger." 2 Chronicles 33:6

"I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, 'Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!' But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out..."  Jeremiah 44:4

"...I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house;
I will love them no more." Hosea 9:15

“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies.
Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them."  Amos 5:21-22

The 3rd reason: You say Each occult image and enticing suggestion prompts the audience to feel more at home in the dark, paranormal setting. when actually, you don't know how people feel, not even the best psychologist in the world, because your not inside the conscience of the person. Psychologists only have an idea.

You are right; I don't know how a particular person feels. But those who study cultural influences, the power of marketing, and the consequent social changes know that repeated suggestions -- whether through words or images -- breaks down moral or Christian resistance and produces increasing interest in -- and familiarity with -- the forbidden topic. See "Toying with Death" and "The Power of Suggestion."

Same for the 4th & 5th reason. You don't know that its desensitizing they're mind to God's love. You only have an idea.

Reason No. 6: Now let's take this another way shall we. I haven't seen you write an article saying, "12 reasons not to play with barbie". This one, you might have to think more about. Barbie (Barbara Millicent Roberts), you could say has a bad influence on children, because there are sexual inuendos that the producers put into it.

Reason 7: How does this clash??? If this clashes, then I could say that talking to someone who had gotten into an accident (about the accident), would also clash against peace and security. How is getting hit by a drunk guy in a semi secure? (scenerio)

Reason 8: See No.'s 3, 4, and 5.

Reason 9: Pagan...Who in the movies or books said anything about them being Pagan? All they call it is witchcraft. Pagan/Celtic Religion Started in the Eastern Hemisphere of earth (europe/asia). The spanish Aztecs believed in some forms of witchcraft (not saying I believe in it at this time). How do you know that this witchcraft is Pagan. The place in which this story takes place, good clue, but there isn't any evidence that there is any Pagan religion in there, so please, stop insulting the Pagans/Celtics.

Most of the friendly witches and neopagans I have met would consider witchcraft or Wicca a form of paganism or Neopaganism. Believe it or not, I have interviewed, or hiked with, or eaten lunch with more than a dozen men and women who would identify themselves as witches or pagans. See the first and fourth chapters of A Twist of Faith.

Reason 10: I agree with you on that God tells us to "train up a child in the way He should go. But, do you realize that if you train your child to know the difference between fantasy and real life, that this would meerly be a form of entertainment?

Devon, parents need to "train up" their children in God's ways, so they will follow Him. That means teaching them the truths about God, His view of right and wrong, His wonderful guidelines for life, His way to victory in spiritual battles. They need to love what God loves and hate what God hates.  Remember, Romans 12:9: "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another...." Romans 12:9-12

Reason 11: How do you know what this series is supposed to resemble? Did you write the books? I don't think so, so I don't think you'd know exactly what its meant for. You only have an idea of what it could be.

Reason 12: My sister is a Pagan/Wiccan follower. She does however believe in God, and she is a very loving/caring person. She wouldn't hurt a flea. She even has very religious friends.

All the pagans I have met have seemed loving and caring too, Devon. Part of the reason may be that I was very friendly to them. I wanted to show them God's love. But your statement about your sister also makes me wonder which or what kind of God she loves. Could you describe Him to me?

By the way you have written your article, I'd say that you, not God hates people, and you should find you faith once again, for it is a sin, YES A SIN, to be self centered and selfish. Wanting everyone to be the same, is impossible, and most of all, uncaring.

I hope you read this full letter, as I really meant what I said. True, I could've called you bad names, but I hope you realize that I'm more civilized than that, being 15 and all. Well, I bid you adieu. From a fellow Music Composer/Book Writer, Good Day.

Anomymous:  What the ___ is wrong with you people?!?!?!?!  Didn't your religion also teach you tolerance of others?  I will never understand hateful people like yourselves.  It's people like you that are giving the children of the next generation the idea that it's okay to be prejudiced.  Witchcraft is not EVIL!  Did witches ever persecute other people?  No!  Do witches ever tell other people that their beliefs are wrong and that the others are evil?  No!  Witches are the most tolerant, and spiritual and generous and forgiving of others!  Don't you dare use your ignorance to say anything bad about others!  The only reason your religion says that it is evil is because you don't understand it and you haven't taken the time to.  I hope you ____ idiots realixe what you're doing to society! ____ you!

Please read chapter 4 in A Twist of Faith. Notice that I distinguish between the Wiccan women I have known who love God's amazing creation (as I do) and the darkly occult practitioners of witchcraft and shamanism in Africa, North and South America and elsewhere. Although both draw supernatural strength from occult powers, many in the first category want to live peaceably with both humans and animals. Some turned to witchcraft because they had been hurt by unfriendly people who call themselves "Christians."

While many would fit between the two extremes, the second group would include those who are proficient in curses and spells casting intended to revenge an offense and cause pain to specific enemies. Their services became an integral part of community life in many animistic cultures around the world. See African Witchcraft and Wiccan symbols

Today, as people mix and match their own beliefs, you might find both forms of occultism in a local high school: those who want to live in peace and hurt no one, and those who want supernatural power to control others.
Churches through the ages have demonstrated a similar gap: those who truly love and follow Jesus – and those who use their position to rule over others. The latter group show the universality of human nature untamed by the Holy Spirit. They probably were never "born again" -- transformed by the Holy Spirit. See
Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

From Donna: It is sad to know that there is intelligent life out there being wasted in the swamps of prejudice. Those that are good will receive good...those that choose to cause chaos, misery and judge shall receive the same in return. Have you ever been dead? None of us have. Not even those that write books about it! So...who are you to say your way is the only way? It is one thing to have faith in your beliefs, but when you use them to tell others they are wrong...then you are wrong. We all have our books...ancient prophecies and what not. I have faith in a Higher Being. I treat others as I would like to be treated and raise my children the same. Our beliefs are our own, and I do not impose mine on others or criticize others for theirs. Who are you to think you know God better than those of other faiths? You are part of the problem in this world...not part of the answer.
Blessed Be...and May You Find Tolerance,
A Wiccan High Priestess and Proud To Be So

Donna, would you like me to post your letter so that others can read and see your point of view? You can explain it better to our visitors than I can. And I do want to show the different points of view. While I will see your beliefs from my own perspective -- and you see my Christian beliefs from your Wiccan perspective -- we still benefit from understanding and caring about each other as human beings. If you had a need and if I could help you in some way, I would want to do that.

Second letter from Donna: Yes I would like it posted. I can respect a different point of view, but while reading your notations next to the 'Symbols" section of your website...some of your remarks such as "Don't believe it," makes you appear as though, because it's not the Christian cross the symbol has no meaning. To you it may not, but part of tolerance is the understanding that to some those symbols do carry power. My best friend, and the mother of my two beautiful step-daughters is a Born Again Christian. Although we worship differently, and with that difference comes different symbolisms, we understand that we both worship the same Ultimate Being.

Now, as far as Satanism goes, I believe those that worship what is evil in the World are simply crying out for help. I believe that Satanism is an extremist attempt, by those who practice, to shun the Catholic view in the most radical way possible. Hurting other beings or yourself is never the right way to do things. I believe we are all born with an inert sense of right and wrong, and those that practice Satanism as a way of life, are struggling to attain their goals at the expense of others and their own souls. They perceive power to be joy.

True Witchcraft is not about Satanism. Although many perceive it as one in the same they could not be more polar opposites. Many of our Symbols are abused by those that choose a dark path. Fear bred a long time ago cast Witches in a very poor light. I won't play the blame game as to which religion was responsible, because what is important is that knowledge is power. Regardless of your path I have found that the study of other religions teaches respect and tolerance when viewed with an open mind. Understanding and respecting another's ways helps us to all get along and spread light throughout the world.

I personally find faith in general a miracle, and regardless of which faith it is...if it is done with no harm to another or yourself, if that faith teaches tolerance and respect for others, and if it helps to spread joy and not prejudice, it matters not what it is called.

Please be more aware that what gives a symbol it's power is faith, regardless of what that faith is. If the person behind the symbol is good, than the intent is good, and if it works for them to spread that goodness, or they believe it to protect them from harm...than what is the harm?  At this point in our world all that matters is that we have faith regardless of the path chosen. Together, with respect we can all face the evils. Secluding ourselves from others because they worship differently makes the good fight weak.

From Betty: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the “Magic Tree House” series of books. These are something that my daughter was encouraged to read and take computerized tests on at school. She owns one or two so one night I read one. The children in the book were awakened by an owl who was a “sign” sent from their “enchantress librarian” and snuck off in the middle of the night (with no word to Mom and Dad) to the “Magic Tree House” where they were magically whisked away to their destination where they go off with a strange man. They receive scrolls and the girl character “Annie” can “understand what animals are saying”. In this book, they “thank the polar bear spirits”. The boy character described “feeling the tingly warmth of his magic library card”. The children solve riddles in hopes of becoming “Master Librarians”.

My daughter was encouraged to read these books by the school. I’ve told her not to read any more of them. People will say “What’s wrong with them? They’re just pretend.” But God says not to mess with the occult, that’s what’s wrong! He doesn’t care what innocent form it appears to be in.

We’re in the process of moving them to parochial for next year, but even that is not necessarily completely ideal. I visited the 2nd grade class at this new school and I saw “Magic Tree House” books in that classroom as well. This is a Lutheran school and I wonder if the teachers there have actually read these books and can say that they (the books) agree with the Bible’s teachings. For now, though it is the lesser-damaging option of a limited number of choices. They were at least teaching traditional math and are not afraid to mention the name Jesus.

I very much appreciate that you are gutsy enough to write what you believe. Many won’t do that for fear of “offending” people. I enjoy your articles – it’s refreshing to read something by a person who obviously thinks and can spot these things as well with the help of the Lord and I’m grateful that He’s shown me all that He has.

This is real spiritual warfare, isn't it, Betty? Yet, the majority of "Christian" parents seem blind to the battles that rage for the minds and hearts of our children.  I so appreciate your insights and commitment to truth. 

It really is spiritual warfare - to a huge degree - and it's going on in multiple areas of life. The entertainment industry and media subtly package it as something so appealing to kids (and even their parents) and I didn't catch on until much damage had been already done and my children exhibited rude, angry, "Who are you to tell me what to do?!" behavior. I can only credit "seeing" to our Father, for He showed me what was going on and I'm very thankful to Him for doing so.

I was out shopping last night and I saw such a plethora of "SpongeBob" merchandise. This was everywhere, even marketed on adult and household items. This is another show I'd banned with the others after I watched an episode in where, among other things, Patrick (a character) was ridiculed in a classroom setting by the teacher, because he was scared at being in front of the class and gave a wrong answer from nervousness. What a lousy message to send to children. The scary thing running in tandem with this is the mass merchandising run amok wherein we can't escape being bombarded by this stuff, right down to our groceries. "Fairly OddParents" shaped macaroni & cheese, for example, which you can choose not to buy; however I've seen the "Fairly OddParents" plastered on regular macaroni & cheese as well.

We did actually cancel our satellite a little over a week ago and we have not missed it. The kids just find something else to do, go outside to play, etc., they don't even ask about the TV.

From Peter M. O'Leary:  ...I was particularly impressed by the firm stand you took for Biblical values in your articles on the Harry Potter series. Please let me suggest that you examine another fantasy book series aimed at the youth of today's world with, in my opinion, an even more threatening message.

I read atheist Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy and was appalled by its implications. Aimed at a vulnerable teenage audience, the series goes beyond supporting paganism as the Harry Potter books do; it launches an open and direct attack on the Christian religion. The series describes a senile God ("Authority"), demonizes the actions of the Church, and supports a human rebellion against His alleged tyranny and lies. Idealizing necromancy, sexual relations between the hero and heroine of the novels (at the age of twelve), and the acts of witches, the final novel states directly, "The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all."

Compared to other books and series attempting to mold the minds of our youth, this series is even more dangerous than most. If you have time, please look into its frightening message and potential threat to the faith of millions of children and teens.

Thank you for the suggestion and helpful information, Peter. I will try to look into it as soon as I can.

From RB:  Man was split at the tower of Babble into different tribes. Different tounges. And, in as much, different fundamental understandings of the realities that he has inherited. As such, you all have a different view of the divine. Be he called Allah, Budda, Yahweh, Jehova, Gaia, Horus....the base concept is the same regardless. "Love yourself. Love your neighbor. Love each other and live in the love of your lives." :::Sigh.::: This is all. That's it. The other bells and whistles are drivel to punctuate the point.

But your point is not the point God makes in the Bible -- especially not in Genesis 11. The people had rejected God and embraced various other gods. They were seeking power and oneness on their own terms, not by coming to God.

By dividing people into different language groups, He stopped their arrogant attempt to build a tower reaching up to heaven. He did not divide them into different religious groups. That process had already begun. When people turn their backs to God, it doesn't take long before they seek alternative ways to spiritual power.

Remember, the first of the Ten Commandments is: "You shall have no other god beside Me." In other words, our Creator -- the almighty Lord and King of the universe -- warns us to follow only Him and His guidelines (as written in the Bible), not the popular man-made religions of the world.

...sheesh...most Christians can't see the "Thou shall not kill," and not add a "but, and or unless,' to it. "But what if I'm defending myself?" Bah. If you really had faith then why would you bother? At worst you shall be one again with God.

I pity you. I pity all of you. The message is SO clear...and yet you and yours have to focus on the side notes. (I swear the bible has Cliff-notes for the clergy.)

Harry Potter is the devil....blah blah blah. inane.

I never said that, RB.

Your Messiah had the understanding. We all have different ways of viewing creation. We NEED those differences. We were CURSED with those in that way.

My wife is a Wicca. I'm proud of her for that. She follows a peaceful way. A harmonious way. She seeks love and protection, compassion and understanding.

If your god would send her to hell for that, then he may as well send me....he would be unworthy to stand before ME.

Be careful to how you guide them friend. A dark force WILL come to this world. A darkness that YOU will EMBRACE, for from his tounge will come the lies and twisting of the path you have chosen. He has already changed your book around...little here, little there. Over the years....but it has been changed. Seek the truth from within yourself and then you will set the truth free.

A dark force is already in this world, RB:

"...the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." (1 John 5:19)

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)

Only by God's grace can we resist that force of lawlessness (rejection of God's moral laws) and walk in peace with Him.

I beg of you to again restudy the book with your OWN eyes. Not how it was fed to you. Read with your heart. Not what you have been taught, but again with fresh eyes. See into the passages the truth. Ferrit the lies. You will know them.

From RXG: I am writing to you to express my extreme displeasure with your treatment of Wiccans and Pagans in general. You obviously need to attend some classes in ethnic diversity appreciation. I have forwarded your web page to the groups that monitor such hate mongering sites.

I truly feel sorry for you and your organization that it is so small minded and petty. I know many Wiccans
and Pagans and find them all to be normal, healthy, well adjusted member of the community. Those that I
frequently socialize with have been charming. I have no fear letting my children play with there's.

Just as I have no fear letting my children visit there Jewish Uncle, Mormon, Methodist, Catholic, or Dutch
Reformed cousins. My hindu neighbors are a wonderful family. Thanks.

Are you referring to the kind of diversity classes that would conform Christians to your way of thinking?

Don't forget, genuine Christians have gone into pagan cultures since the days when Jesus sent us out to the world to share His love. When have Wiccans or witches left the comforts of civilization to build hospitals and schools for the poor and illiterate children of the world? See Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

Melissa Ann S.:  In one of your articles you say that God say's magick is evil and everything that has to do with magick is evil. Even the movie Harry Potter, but why do you say that? Movies like Harry Potter help children to see through the barriers of the real world and the creative fantasy that they have in their minds. It helps them see and learn that they themselves are apart of fantasy for they make it up in there minds. Children who are younger do believe in the magick that they think is real but as they grow they learn and think differently.

Many of the members in my family are Christian, my own older brother is Christian. He himself loves to watch Harry Potter, but believes that only God is real. But did God every describe why magick was evil, why pagans and everything to do with magick was evil? That would make even him evil, for it would have been magick that gave him the ability to create everything, if he had no such power and created the whole universe then he could not have existed.

I have many times read different religions and different thoughts that people make and some people find only happiness in the belief that magick does exist. Many of my friends are Christian, most of them accually, and have no problem with the fact that Pagans and Wiccans (even thought are they one in the same) are real!

I am myself a Pagan, and only 16 years old but I have been a pagan for over 4 years. Thats before I ever heard of Harry Potter and the books! Ever! One book changed me because it made me think. Now its the belief that keeps people like me going, when we have lost faith everywhere else.

Pagans however DO NOT worship the Devil, Satan has done just about as much as God has for us, nothing at all. That is what I have thought, before I became Pagan I prayed everyday that my father would get better, that god would help my family! Nothing, absolutely nothing happened, and now my father is going in for brain surgery! Where was god when my father almost died, when my family fell apart, he like satan did nothing to save, and I believed in god so much. That faith is gone, and everyday now I call upon the Earth! The Earth itself to help my father recover from everything, and he has, he has!

This world that we live in is not a perfect place, Melissa Ann. There is sin and confusion everywhere, because the precious people God created rebelled against Him. However, to say that He has not shown himself and that He is not present is like saying that there is no such thing as wind. We cannot actually see wind, but we cannot deny that it exists when we see it blow over a tree. Just take a look around you. Everything you see is proof of God's existence.

Where did this incredibly complex world come from? No one would ever look at a simple object such as a painting, and think that it had come from nothing. When you see a creation you assume a creator. How more complex and miraculous is a human eye or the way a bee pollinates. These are creations that prove a Creator. God shows himself everywhere.

I am sorry about your father's health. But in this fallen and sinful world, we are all surrounded by wickedness, disease, sickness, confusion, false religions..... Part of living in this world is learning to trust God and receive strength from Him as we persevere through the hard things in life.

God does promise to watch over us and care for us, but that doesn't mean that He will always do what we ask. Sometimes He will heal us. Other times He tells us to trust Him and draw on His strength to see us through the difficulty.

I always need to remember that when I pray to God asking Him to do something for me, He does NOT serve me or do MY will. I serve Him and do HIS will. So many times I think people have this misconception when they pray. God doesn't always give you what you want when you want it. He knows best.

Your father was eventually healed, though. Wasn't he? At the right time. Not because you prayed to the earth. The earth is only a creation. It does not hold any power. It isn't God, it isn't magical, it did not create itself. That is like calling upon the painting to create another painting. Of course no one would ever think that. Only the artist or the creator has any power.

You mentioned that neither God or satan has ever helped you. Satan is a creation and is in no way anywhere equal to God or at all capable of helping you. He cannot even be compared to God at all. His only intent is to confuse you, deceive you, and keep you as far from the truth as he possibly can. He will pose as truth and happiness, but he is the ultimate deceiver. His ways always end in death. See The Nature and Tactics of Satan

God usually doesn't stop human beings from imagining and pursuing other religions. We are not robots. He gave us a measure of  free will to choose, but He also lets us to face the consequences. 

God didn't create other religions. We self-centered humans did. By creating our own gods, religions and values, we could justify living our lives exactly the way we wanted to. Humans could wield supernatural power according to their own will -- or rather, according to the capricious intentions of the demonic rulers in the invisible spirit realm -- rather than by God's wise, all-knowing will. For "the whole world is under the sway of the wicked one." 1 John 5:19

So, yes, there are other options and other ways to live, but they deceive us and do not lead to eternal life with God.

I don't understand what god means when he thinks and says magick is evil?! When the earth itself is magickal, everyone on this planet has a magickal spirit, on gods name he is magickal also! Because its his being that is magickal and gives the faith to all that are like you.

No, Melissa. Neither God nor the earth is magical. He is God!  He is the Creator and the source of all Life, all power, all wisdom... everything. Nothing is impossible for Him. And His vast, unbounded power can't even be compared to what people call magick.

Shamans, witchdoctors and other occult practitioners through history have used some fairly standard formulas for contacting the spirit world for help, healing, strength -- and yes, power to "do magic." And the demonic spirits are often willing to comply with the request or command -- for a season. But the practicioners who solicit favors from demons will eventually pay a devastating price.

But what about the rest of us? Ones who have lost their faith because he was never there to help, never there to show that he even exists. Nowhere! And it pains me to think that i believed that he would help me save those of my family from death. People think that we are evil because god said, so if god told everyone that you HAD to, no MUST kill yourself before age 30 lets say and would you?

God doesn't tell us to do things that would contradict His Word and His ways. 

I love the religion I chose because it gave me FAITH. Something that I have seen that gave me something to believe in. Not all children and I believe that none of the children that watched Harry Potter would ever turn to magick for anything, they only wish to believe in what they know might not be real for them. But for the other children already exsposed to Paganism, if they wish and that is their choice wish to become a Pagan then it is there choice.

Yes, they can follow their feelings and be driven by their own nature. But they will miss out on all the wonders that God promises those who seek Him with all their hearts.

And that is my concern, Melissa. Because I care about you, I want to warn you. But the choice is yours, and I can't stop you. 

Second letter from Melissa Ann S.: If god wanted all of humanity to worship only him, then why create other religions? Why create other gods? Why? Lifes answers only come to those who understand all that needs understanding. If paganism is so evil why is its number one rule "An ye harm NONE, do what ye will!" It says harm none, harm none! That means the world, others, animals, plants, or yourself. That everything from the smallest molicule to the planet itself should never be hurt. Emotionally, Spiritually or Physically.

This neopagan ideal sounds noble, but apart from God, none of us can live by our own ideals. Our human nature will still crave personal satisfactions that will cause pain or hurt to someone else. How many actually carry out their New Year's resolutions?  

Witchcraft in most tribal or animist cultures around the world has been a source of incredible fear and oppression. Please see African Witchcraft and Occult News.

 I may only be 16 but some of the best lessons are learned by those who know so little and/ or are so young. When I was raised I was taught to believe that god does exist and is everywhere by my aunt and other family. My father does not believe in god or satan and my mother believes in god. She once told me that it will be my choice to chose where my heart lies and it once lied in gods hand, but now it lies in the energy of the spirits and the hand of belief of magick.

I only wish that everyone, everyone does not try to change people like me, I wish for everyone to accept Pagans as equal. The thought that a divine being created us all is in everyone. Just the name has been changed. Have you ever looked at another religion and notice they talk and discuss a divine being, that OH MY is remarkably like your god!

Everyone and everything points towards the same light but everyone has a different say in it, it is the way we believe is the way towards that light. You think that you MUST believe in god and follow his ways. Well I say good, that is your hope and belief, Im happy for you, and I hope you get to your god, your light! But my belief and many other pagan belief is that you must earn it, but protecting every spiritual entity, the Earth, your spirit, my spirit, the spirit of that rock someone kicked, or the spirit of the tree that your house is made of, or that my home is made of. The thought of spiritually hoping and wishing for the magickal energy to fill you and have it with you to give you energy to become one with the entity of the light, is like your belief in god. God is your light to him, he is the becon that helps you see throught the dark forest back to your loved one. Everything magickal, spiritual, and alive is the becon to my light, to the light of ever Pagan, it will bring the pagans to their entity which is the gods and goddess that in the end end up in the same god as you speak of. In the end, are we really that different?

Please, please I ask you, for your god write me back and tell me what you think and why. Everyone should be allowed to follow there own path. We are what pagans say is the hanged man at the beginning of a Tarot Deck, we walk the path to the light at the end. Like a joker trying to walk the path to the end of a card deck.

If your wonder if my parents approve of me being pagan, I did ask for their consent before changing my way of life, they said it was alright and have faith in me, because to them their children, my brothers, sister and I are there becon their light.

Melissa, would you please read Romans 1:22-32 and America's Spiritual Slide. Together, they explain the downward spiral in a person and in a culture that chooses to follow "other gods."  This process is evident in our society today.

Pease also read  Harry Potter and the Power of Suggestion, Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth? and Deliver us from evil. The last two are the first and eight chapters of A Twist of Faith. I would love to send you the books as gift if you would read it.

You say that other divine beings are "remarkably like your god." But they are not at all like my God, Melissa. I have tried to describe His amazing grace, His personal love and His omnipotent power in this section of our website: The Names of God. Please go to this index and learn more about Him. You may search for the name that would mean most to you today. But don't ignore His love and mercy and blessings for all who seek and find Him.

From Carolyn Davison:  I have just read 'Wicca Casts Spells Over College Students', and it brought to mind an article I read in the Evangelical Times (December issue). Unfortunately the publishers haven't updated their site so there is no link, but I thought you may be interested in reading a part of it!


"This year the value of fireworks sold for bonfire night has, for the first time, been overtaken by spending on Hallowe'en. Sales of fireworks are worth up to £70 million a year in Britain, with well over £60 million generated by bonfire night. The fireworks industry is still growing but its expansion is dwarfed by that of the Hallowe'en 'industry'.

"The modern interest in Hallowe'en has largely been imported from the USA, although its roots are in pagan religion and the occult. Christians are concerned that children and adults are being innocently drawn into activities that have strong occult connections."

I believe the Harry Potter books  books have a lot to do with this surge in interest for the occult.

          I agree, Carolyn. The rest of your letter is posted on this page: Christmas

Second letter from Vince Nolan:  Thank you. I read what you wrote and posted on the site.
 I must admit that you did pose a good question to me about where my beliefs stem from and I'm still pondering my answer.
 I have made God a very important part of my day-to-day life and my beliefs about what He, in all of His divine wisdom, espouses come more  from my own interpretation of a Lord I feel comfortable having a relationship with, but I also realize that I cannot quote scripture to back any of that up.
I have internalized and translated the teachings I had as a young parishoner and incorporated them into a framework for living that, by some standards, may not be pious, or even Biblically accurate, but that allow me to have a faith that works for me.
Once again, thanks for your interest in my views and the respect you  have obviously shown me for them.

I so appreciate your thoughtfulness, Vince. And I am so sorry your painful childhood -- and the suffering at the hands of those who claimed to be Christians -- have pushed you away from the true Church of the followers of Jesus. But I know He can heal those scars.

From Vince Nolan: You seem to make the same mistake that most devout people defending their beliefs make, that is, you focus on how pop culture entities, such as Harry Potter, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and even the harmless Teletubbies tear down religious belief systems rather than focus on what is probably more to blame--the state of religion today and the lack of new and interesting ways to keep it pertinent and significant for a younger generation who do not follow the same rules we did as children. Pop culture has learned to change with the times to hold young people's interests. Shouldn't religion be sage enough to try and do the same?

I am a good person who believes in a God that thankfully is more enlightened and less hypocritical than all of the members of my former parish. I also believe in a God that is free from insecurity and sees in human beings a natural need to create. Some do it with poems, some with songs, and others with literary characters that are only FICTITIOUS and do not EVER speak out against the Lord or any religious sect. The Lord is not threatened by Harry Potter, or Sabrina the Teenage Witch or the simple minded Teletubbies. Why are you?

No, God isn't threatened by anything we do. He is well aware of our capricious human nature, so nothing surprises Him. See John 2:24-25 and John 3:19. By the way, my source of knowing God is His Word. What us your source?

In Psalm 50:21, God warns us against attributing the nature of humanity to Him. He rebukes those who imagine that He -- the eternal Creator and sovereign King of the universe -- might be like mere man. He doesn't think or act like us.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55:8-9

I know a good deal about the Wiccan sect and if you don't, I will enlighten you. Wiccans espouse using all of God's natural gifts in positive ways. There is no hocus pocus, there is no omnipotence. There is only the desire to tap into the things of nature, God's creations, to achieve a positive end. The Wiccans also warn that using God's gifts for dark purposes will bring about a dark result. This is the idea of karma and even the Bible believes in that. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Right?

I think you are displacing the causes and the blame for people backing away from organized religion. In an age where the Church tells us it is a sin to have an abortion (even if the poor woman was raped into pregnancy) while church officials are covering up the salacious crimes of pedophiliac priests, I think that your Web site is misinformed, overzealously jumping to the wrong conclusions and wrongly affixing the blame on the shoulders of people and the characters they create to make us forget how horrible and cruel the world can be.

I do not mean to be sarcastic, but, c'mon, lay the blame where it is deserved, not where you see a tiny infraction or a secular disconnect to the world of religion. We may not all believe in the same God, but I would wager that we all want the same thing: to peaceable coexist in a world where all positive and moral beliefs are tolerated and respected.

From Mike Adams: I looked at your site and found your blind acceptance of things like witchcraft with mere ancedotal evidence very disturbing. It is time you woke up to the scientific age instead of living in fear and superstition.

Why don't you check out some library books on anthropology and history, Mike. Or look up "witchcraft" (in Africa, America, Asia, Europe, etc.) in an encyclopedia. You will find that I have more than "anecdotal evidence."

From Slamm:  Witchcraft and Wizardry is no different than prayer. Jesus tried to teach the world to love one another not in spite of their differences, but because of them. The Popes during The Crusades were not very Christian and obviously you are not either if you can not accept other peoples beliefs. Thank you for your time.

Jesus did tell His followers to "love one another" -- so that those who were not part of their caring fellowship would want to come to Him.  “A new commandment I give to you," He told His disciples, "that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

But those who wouldn't come to Jesus could not be part of that fellowship. They didn't understand His message. Nor could they receive His assurance of peace, grace and eternal life with Him.

Instead, many resented the Christians for the uncompromising faith and fellowship they shared with each other. That's why Jesus warned His disciples, 

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... If they persecuted Me they will persecute you... for they do not know the One who sent Me."  John 15:19-21

From Philip: I was involved in wicca, and would like for you to add some facts about wicca to your page since all the younger people I've met lately are wiccans (probabaly 90 percent new age and 75 percent wiccan, almost all, even in the church have played with the wiccan spells and tarot reading, ect). It's as if literally all of them have become wiccan, in a small town in TN!  Wicca has really taken over., and as I used to be one I do know what the real issues that destroy the basis in wicca are:

1) Wicca says 'do what thou will, and harm none.' It revolves around spell casting that wiccans believe is akin to 'prayers.' There is a big difference in between spell casting and praying. Casting spells is forcing ones will on other people, manipulating them and their circumstances, and controlling other people and their circumstances, for their own good. They are literally forcing their will to happen in the circumstances.

This is opposite of what Jesus said in the Lord's prayer, "Father Thy will be done." Jesus said to pray the Fathers' will to be done, since God is the only being that is everywhere all the time, and all knowing. God is the only one that can know what is best for everyone in the circumstances!

2) Many wiccans use the excuse that 'we don't do evil with out power,' and 'well, that's black witches that do that stuff, were into white witchcraft.'
The issue here is this, any spell is controlling another person or situation to bring forth our own, will as opposed to God's will for us. Wiccans will admit to love spells controlling other people, yet will justify casting spells for things such as an apartment that they are wanting, or the like... not considering that there may be a rapist living next door to that apartment, or some other unexpected bad thing. This happens because humans are not all knowing and therefore we should ask for the Fathers' will to be done as in what Jesus said to pray, and not force our own our will to be done.

3) When wiccans say that 'we don't do evil with our power,' what they are really saying is that they could do evil if they so chose. Their answer to that is that if they do evil that it will come back on them three fold... and that is the only deterrent for 'getting even,' or doing black witchcraft.

The real issue here is why would anyone serve a deity that would allow them to do evil if they so chose to. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob says that He will turn His face from us if we do evil. This God, the God of the Jews, does not empower anyone to do evil. In order to do evil one has to go over to the enemies side.

In wicca, why does their goddess and god, give them the power to do evil if they chose to do it. Would an all knowing being give the lesser intelligent creation the power to do anything that they chose, good or evil? No, an all knowing being would not. It would be like giving a 5 year old a gun and telling them to not harm anyone!
The God of the Jews allows us to do evil, as he does not force His will on us, but he NEVER empowers us to do it!!!

Many wiccans seem to think that the goddess has kind of a duel nature. Some believe that the creators (goddess and god) had to have created evil also since it exists.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not 'create,' evil. Evil is simply anything that is outside of His will. He is not duel in nature, 'there is no shadow in His turning,' as He never sins and has NO evil in him. Evil was the result of not doing His will, or rebellion against His will. He gave us the laws of Moses to know what His will was, and if man committed any of the forbidden acts, it was then considered evil since it was not God's will for it to happen.

Thank you, Phillip, for sharing your insights.

 Only by the life and strength of Jesus Christ can we recognize and resist all the subtle forces of the occult in our culture today. Please see What it means to be a Christian and Armor of God

From Anthony: i seen on your web site that you are telling people that witchcraft is not good and not the way of god and all.. I can understand that its not the way of god but that dose not mean its not good.
-Are way is not evil.
-We dont warship satin
-We dont judge people because there diffrent.

I have another question..
People that Beleave in God are always saying we are evil...
Do you beleave Mother Nature is evil?
if not.. that how can you call us bad people or evil or (Damned) when we "Warship" Her?

Im just saying Please Dont Think bad stuff about are People..
Harry potter is not real but its also tv.. (Just Tv)
Thanks for Listining. If any questions please email back.

God tells us not to have anything to do with "other gods," Anthony -- even your Mother Nature. Keep in mind, nature itself is a cruel battlefield, and the spirit you trust has shown herself to be a heartless ruler.

In contrast, the God of the Bible reaches out to people around the world with His compassionate love. To those who will trust Him, He promises strength in our weakness and peace in the midst of turmoil. And every day an adventure when we follow Him.

Please know that although I can't accept witchcraft as good, I can still care about you.

From fireyprincess:  i'd hate to sound rude, but you guys take religion waay to far. you know what, forget i said that, it was rude and prejeduiced of me. i just wanna argue some of your opinions like normal people. and please don't spam me with christian newsletters like the last people!

you keep saying that harry potter is evil and of the devil. that circles on the fact that you hate "witchcraft". please know that wicca and other neo-pagan religious don't consist of sucking the blood of cats and what not. they're real religions with real beliefs!

Of course they are. Everyone believes in something - even atheists. But what counts is the object of your faith or beliefs -- what you view as truth.

Please read some chapters in my book, A Twist of Faith. You would see that I do not see contemporary Western pagans as blood suckers. I have met many myself, and they seem both nice and normal. What happens in Africa and in medieval Europe is a different matter. Here are two news reports from earlier this year:

Satanists on attempted murder charges: "Authorities in Germany have charged two members of a satanic cult with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a man repeatedly to drink his blood. The superior court in the eastern German town of Neubrandenburg have remanded a 19-year-old woman and 21-year-old man in custody as suspects in the stabbing of a 40-year-old man. ...the pair said they'd been inspired by another German couple who killed a colleague in Satan's name in July 2001 in a macabre ritual." Occult violence


Human Sacrifice in London?  "The body discovered in the Thames River on Sept. 21... belonged to a boy, aged 5 to 7 years old, of Afro-Caribbean descent, and it was missing its head, arms and legs. ....

       "This month, a South African expert in ritualistic killings performed a second autopsy on the body of the boy, and pronounced what many people had feared. The discovery of the body, the nature of the wounds, and the way the boy was killed 'are consistent with those of a ritual homicide as practiced in Africa'.... 'Muti' is a South African word that means traditional medicine.... It is always based on the idea of taking energy from another living thing for your own....

       "And children, it is believed, have the most powerful energy... Most of the body parts taken for medicine correspond directly with the powers desired, experts said. For example, using eyeballs in a potion would be expected to increase foresight, brains would be expected to aid wisdom, and a heart — courage or sympathy... But the most gruesome part of muti is that the body parts are usually taken while the victim is alive, because death is believed to reduce the potency of the medicine. In an alleged muti murder case that took place in South Africa last October, a gang was accused of removing the facial skin, genitalia, breasts, hands and feet of a young mother while she was still alive....

       "Growing up in Africa, Benjamin Ola Akande said it wasn't uncommon to read about as many as a dozen muti murders in a year. 'It's such a common practice the [newspapers] don't write about it anymore,' said Akande." See African Witchcraft and remember Romans 1:22-32

some wiccans don't even practice witchcraft, they just pray to god and godess. pleae keep an open mind, most people aren't christian. the vast majority are muslim. that fact might disturb you, but it really isn't the point.

I didn't know that. But, if true, it doesn't surprise me. So many Muslims have also embraced "Folk Islam," a cultural and spiritual blend of monotheism and animism. See Four Faces of Islam

harry potter is a BOOK. written by a person just like you. it's a fantasy novel about a boy who learns he is a wizard and goes to hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry. there's nothing evil about it. in fact, harry battles evil regularly. the book teaches morals about standing for what's right and studying hard. sometimes people may get carried away with the books, but that happens with pretty much anything. people get obsessed with star wars, card games, ect ect. some people even get obsessed with the bible..ehem...

anyway, even the characters teach lessons to kids in their subtle way. for example, studious hermione teaches girls that they can excell in skool and don't have to be useless housewives. you see? not everything's as bad as you make it out to seem. and one more thing - remember that harry potter is a book and nothing more. it's fiction. it's not real. besdies, did you know that many students reading abilities have gone up from reading harry potter? it's better than having them play some bloody video game.

please write back, i'm trying to practice for debate team! ^.^   (P.S.: if ur a parody site i'm very sorry.)

From Diana York: Your article on these books quite definitely clarifies your position in this matter, but may I say something?

You are panicking. While you should stand up for your beliefs, and defend them when you are being persecuted, what you have written, and the statements you and those like you are making is fueling the same thing that caused the DISGUSTING CHRISTIAN ERA OF THE WITCH HUNTS!!! Be confident in your own right, but do not push it onto others. If your children are not happy with your religion, do not blame that which makes them question, find out why they feel that is their path. Let them learn, learn yourselves. It never hurts to know all you can about other religions, I've found it REAFFIRMS my faith, while opening me to greater tolerance.

This is not a solely Christian world, and that does not have to be a bad thing. Urge your followers to learn more about their faith, the history, the good and bad, while learning about others as well. Urge them to be tolerant - Love thy neighbor, for your neighbor loves you...I do.

I love you, I care, I worry for your existence, I worry where your people are going, I worry about your hate. Just because God says not to do it, does not give you the right to be judge to those whose do not follow him.

This neighbor loves you, and she is Wiccan.  Thank You for your time. Blessed be.

Thank you for your thoughtful letter, Lori. But please remember, as I have stated several times on our website, this website was started as a way to answer questions and encourage Christian families. We welcome everyone and want to share God's love with all we meet, but we cannot compromise our faith or conform to other religions.
Please read our book, A Twist of Faith, and you will see that I am very familiar with other religions and have had many friendly encounters with pagans. In fact, after many interesting conversations, a former Wiccan high priest and priestess invited me to come and visit them in another state. We had spoken to each other from different points of view, saw each other's beliefs from our own frames of reference, yet enjoyed friendly debates about history, culture and co-existence.  
Would you like me to post your letter?

To be honest I didn't expect a reply. It is good to know that my original impression of the document was mistaken. I should explain my letter more clearly.

I encountered your letter through a random search while looking for things for my little brother, and the letter struck my harshly. I go to a school where discrimination is common, so I am very touchy about things on intolerance matters. At school there was a large group of teachers and house parents - I go to a boarding school (Milton Hershey) - who, with the uprising of this Potter series, would put out flyers and negative messages that made the lives of the non Judeo-Christian community on campus very awkward. I apologies for my assumption.

It is very true that conformity is something no one should have to do with religion, that is what I defend for myself everyday. I think my apprehension is more toward the idea of forcing the ideals onto others. I'm sure that you can agree when I say there are radicals for every idea out there, and they stir up the worst in us.

I apologize once again for my haste in judgment, I guess I need to remember there is more than one kind of opposing side, and not all of them are harmful.

Blessed be

Second letter from Lori:  I would like to apolagize for my last two letters. I was very angry, and I still am. I do beleive in god, but i do not beleive he is a man or woman. God is everywhere. You don't have to go to a church to for god to hear you.

I agree with that, Lori.  I can talk with my Lord wherever I go. He is always with me.

I also belive there is no hell. Everybody goes to heaven, or if they have not done a good job on earth, they willl be rencarnated. But these are just my beleifs and plz don't insult them.

Yes, you have the right to choose and define your own beliefs.

Now about wicca, Wicca is feminine spirituallity. In wicca we pray to the Goddess and GOD, but the goddess is more power than the man (god). And ladys, that is something good, lol! Feminine religion is nothing bad and that is all pagan and wicca is. Back in the time when they used to kill witches, u were considered a witch if u worked with herbs and helped people. The people were frightend of the witches because they could work with herbs. Thank you,

Would you be interested in reading my book, A Twist of Faith, on this topic, Lori? You may be especially interested in chapters 1 and 4. They are on-line, but if you would like to read the whole book, I would be happy to send you a copy as a gift.

First letter from Lori:  I just read over some of the things you wrote about the Harry Potter series. No let me say one thing that is important you should KEEP YOUR OPIONONS TO YOUR SELF! Just because you beleive that way about the book you don't have to BRAINWASH people out of liking them. And just because you don't like them doesn't mean people have to hate them to. And therre are copyright laws so you can get into trouble for taking the harry potter quotes with out permission.

I'm wiccan and it doesn't mean that i am a bad person it means i have a more magikal side then most people, and it wasn't the harry potter books that made me wiccan it was another series and i'm not going to tell you it either because you probably will make comment about them too and I don't want that to happen.

No don't say you pitty me because i pitty you, you for taking harmless little things and making big issues about it it just isn't right. I'm 12 and have loved the harry potter series and so has my mom. I had a catholic teacher and christian teacher and loved the books, they said it was unpredictable and funny. They thought the series was one of the best books the've ever read. So i suggest that you take down all the harry potter stuff and lord of the rings stuff and ne thing that has to do with wicca or magick. or legal action will be taken into consideration.

Lori, you seem to be saying that "another series" of books made you a wiccan. You do agree with me, then, that books can present a vivid enough imagined reality to sway children and youth toward the beliefs they promote?

That's what I have tried to tell Christian families. And I have done so well within our "legal" rights. We are all free to quote a reasonable number of words from books as long as we give proper credit and don't use the quotes for commercial purposes.

From Mike:  It seems that you are just like every other psuedoscientist. You make grand claims and have very little evidence to back it up. You site ancedotal claims, but do not have a shred of hard proof. You also refuse to respond when people who are aware of human falubility chalange your beliefs.

Have you counted the many times I have responded to you, Mike?  I didn't post your challenge earlier because you don't accept or believe any of my answers. Nor have I had the time to study this subject in the kind of depth you seem to demand in your steady stream of letters.

Where is the evidence for witchcraft you claim to have. All you have shown has been ancedotal stories. You don't acknowledge my call for proof but you claim to be dedicated to science and reason. Well, if the evidence does exist, it needs to be available for every grouchy skeptic to look over...and that includes me. So where is it? If you have hard evidence present it, if not you should post a retraction.

Again I can only give you what I have at the moment. As I have told you numerous times, I simply don't have time to check and verify other data and sources of information. Here are some of the links I suggest you read: 

African Witchcraft, Zimbabwe, the true story at the beginning of A Twist of Faith, chapter 3, the true story near the end of Chapter 6 and all of Chapter 8.

Witch doctor link to boy's ritual killing: "Police have turned their attention to sub-Sahara Africa's dark world of human sacrifice in their search for the killer of a boy whose torso was found in the Thames. ... Scotland Yard says it has evidence that the unidentified child, named Adam by detectives anxious to give him some dignity, may have died in a ritualistic killing. If so, 'Adam' could be Britain's first known victim of a muti killing, practised by witch doctors in South Africa and the Ivory Coast. This involves human sacrifice to produce medicine or good-luck potions." [, 26/01/02]   See America's Spiritual Slide and Chapter 8 of A Twist of Faith

The meticulous scribes who document Old Testament events and messages mention witchcraft or sorcery repeatedly. Go to witchcraft in our Scripture topics section and see some of the verses. If witchcraft and occult practices didn't exist, there would be no need for such warnings.  Here are the first five:

"...nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying." 2 Kings 9:22

"There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer [see Crystal Ball in Symbols] or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer..."
Deuteronomy 18:10

"For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you."
Deuteronomy 18:14

"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king."
1 Samuel 15:23

"Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger."
2 Kings 21:6

Here is a statement from "The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft" by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, pp 225-227. As you read it, keep in mind that a few centuries ago, shamanic shape-shifting was a common part of pagan cultures in Europe and Africa as well as among Native Americans. Psychodelic drugs such as Peyote were used to alter consciousness and enter a trance state.

      "In the Middle Ages and renaissance, many believed that witches could assume the shape of an animal. 'One of the most feared metamorphoses was that of wolf. Man-eating wolves who terrorized villages were sometimes said to be witches. The man-wolf condition known as LYCATHropy, is not the same as metamorphosis, since it is involuntary....

     "A woman imprisoned on suspicion of witchcraft 'claimed to be able to transform herself into a wolf. The magistrate promised not to have her executed, in case she would turn into a wolf before him. The witch rubbed her head, neck and armpits with an ointment and fell into a deep sleep for three hours. She could not be roused by 'noises or blows.' When she awakened, she claimed that she had turned into a wolf, gone a few miles away and killed a sheep and a cow. The magistrate investigated and discovered that a sheep and cow in the location described by the witch had indeed been killed. It was evident that the Devil 'did that mischief' and that the witch had merely experienced the dreams and delusions created by Satan."

From S: I do not understand why you are both so against Harry Potter books and movies. After all, they are just fantasy - are you really going to runnabout complaining about every fantasy book in the world? No, I don't think so. The only reason you complain about Harry Potter is because it's famous. Can you not deal with the fact that some people want a little imagination in their lives? And if they did choose that their religion was witchcraft in their hearts (Witchcraft is a valid religion now days - we are not in the dark ages any more you know) you will have to deal with that because you need to except that people are now allowed to choose their own religion freely and not have to follow you.

I agree with you, S., that all Americans can choose and express the beliefs of their choice. Why then, are you so angry when I express what God has shown me through His Word?

I, myself, am I Christian (well, sort of, I cut my hair lots ... which I supposedly souldn't) but I find harry Potter fine - it's fantasy. Kids just want to have fun. Leave them be please, life is fun, it's too short to be forced into anything. Also, if they're told they're not allowed to see Harry Potter or read it, well face it, it will be like forbidden fruit - they'll want it.

Those who love God and want to follow His ways appreciate His guidelines. I don't post all their letters, for they tend to be more personal.

If I were you, I would be far more concerned about the suggestions and images you plant in your mind than about cutting your hair. Your heart is far more important to your relationship with Jesus Christ than your hair.

From Adam Miller: Hey, since you have biblical versus cultural Christianity shouldn't there be true vs cultural paganism? You don't make a differenciation there do you? The first law that true pagans follow is "Do no harm", therefore anyone who commits those crimes you attribute to pagans, WASN'T A TRUE PAGAN!!!!! You make the distinction between you and other Christians why don't you make the distinctions between pagans?

Weeks later: You never answered my letter on my definition that a true pagan is one who follows the Law, "First, do no harm" Anyone claiming to be a Pagan but does not follow that law is not a True Pagan. Do you understand?

I understand, but I can't agree, Adam. The dictionary definition of paganism is far broader than your definition. Its traditional use includes all kinds of occult practices as well as today's "white magic" and benevolent earth-centered spirituality.

But, like many Biblical words, the word "pagan" is being changed to fit the new global culture. Perhaps, in a few years, a new politically correct dictionary will confirm your definition.

Adam's response: True, but if I look up the word Christian in the dictionary I get a very different definition from
you. at we see 1 a : one who professes belief in the teachings of
Jesus Christ b (1) : DISCIPLE 2 (2) : a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the
Disciples of Christ in 1906 (3) : a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the
United Church of Christ concluded in 1961.

This would put in people of the Inquisition and Crusades and many others. In fact myself since I think that many of Christ's teachings are valid and useful. However, your definition, like mine, is much more limiting.

Good point, Adam. That's why we posted the chart showing how Christians -- those whose hearts are set to trust and follow Jesus no matter what -- differ from those who might call themselves by the name of Christ, not because they believed the gospel and loved Jesus, but because they happened to live in a so-called "Christian" nation.

- Which brings us back to where we started. It might be fair to say that Christians would write the more accurate definition of Christianity (as it was taught by Jesus) than can unbelievers. Unlike pagan communities, we do have a written record, written by meticulous scribes who documented the specific messages from God and the words of His people through the centuries. History, archeology, the cycles of global cooling and warning as witnessed by tree rings and the historical records on famines and wars.... all testify to the accuracy and reality of God's Word.

But common usage has changed and trivialized many of the old meanings.

The words "Christian" and "pagan" were both chosen and first used by Christians. Since the latter was used to  identify all who did not believe in Christ, it had a very broad meaning -- including all who were not Christian.

I've talked with many pagans - nice, friendly ones who chose to reject materialism and try to live simple lives, causing harm to none. They told me they like to use the word "pagan" in order to give it a new, more positive meaning. They also wanted to reclaim that word in such a way that it would only refer to pagans who follow their new social standard. 

From Atty: I just have a little something to say, here. You wrote, “Doing magic” through imaging, chanting, ritual celebrations, and altered consciousness can produce captivating results: dramatic mind-over-body feats, an intoxicating sense of empowerment, heightened self-esteem, and an illusion of interconnectedness with “Mother Earth and her spirits.” But at what cost? Like Pinnochio’s donkey-eared playmates on Treasure Island, gullible seekers pay for Satan’s enticing favors with their freedom and their lives."

First of all, I find it offensive that you call us gullible. We are practicing something that predates Christianity by bounds, and we're the gullible ones? Also, this is not an illusion of interconnectedness. We use the Earth, therefore we are connected with Her. We are free people. I don't see how we are losing any freedom with "Satan"'s enticing favors. I found being forced into Christianity to be much less of a freedom. Please, explain how we are not free.

I appreciate your questions, Atty. I will try to answer them tonight.

From John: I was, by your definition, a witch. At one point I was able to read minds, predict the future and even cure people of disease. At least this is what I claimed to be able to do, and many people believed me. I was a fraud, even though I did everything from reading minds to curing cancer, it was all simple tricks. I advertised myself as a healer, everyone who came to me felt better afterwards. All I did was press my hands on them and mutter a few words of Latin, usually something about how gulible my "patient" was.

In spite of this, I have 27 ex-patients who are convince that I cured their cancer, 101 people who think I relieved their arthritis, 1 person who recovered his hearing because of me. The truth is I conned these people, what they called being cured was all in their heads. However, if you talk to them, they believe that I cured them.

I eventually stopped when I relized that I was hurting people by not sending them to get the propper medical treatment, I admitted that I was a fraud to everyone who I treated, but many still believe taht I cured them. Take this to heart before you say that witches exist, I am living proof of how easy it is to trick people.

John, there are many frauds out there. But your admission doesn't prove the absence of the real thing. Please read chapters Chapter 3 and Chapter 6 in "A Twist of Faith." Even if you refuse to believe that Satan can do "signs and wonders" through his subjects, there is no doubt that the spiritual oppression that follows the apparent triumphs are alarmingly real. And there is no reason why he couldn't have used you while you disbelieved in his alotted power. Remember, the Bible calls him a liar, deceiver and murderer -- who masquerades as an "angel of light." See The Nature and Tactics of Satan

From Perrin:  I was looking at this site and I noticed something. In "Answers to Pokemon Mail," you take a quote from Starhawk that says aspiring witch must learn to visualize or something of that sort. Did you know that before a tornement, Olympic athletes visualize what they want to happen? Would that make them Pagans? Well? Can you answer that?

No, that alone does not make them pagan. But shamanism, animism, witchcraft and other pagan practices around the world do use visualization -- often in an altered state of consciousness -- to manipulate spiritual forces and summon supernatural powers and spirits that -- from a Christian perspective -- would be part of the demonic realm.

In other words, not everyone that has sought power and proficiency through visualization is a pagan. But most if not all practicing pagans use visualization to accomplish their goals. It's a little like saying "all roses are flowers, but all flowers are not roses."

Also, you seem to take our cards and do the reverse trick. Let me tell you this way: We think you have a very conservetive perspective. We think you are promoting, although maybe unconsuisly, censorship, free expression, (i.e. free speech), things of that sort. We think you feel free to condemm, hate, preach against, and ban things that you label "pagan" or things against God's word.

You do the reverse trick on us. We try to ban you. We condemm, hate, preach against, and ban conservetive people like you, and you take advantage of that.

Thank you, Perrin, for being honest about your aims. At least you are willing to admit that you would like to ban our views and others that might offend you or violate your comfort zone.

However, you are wrong about our aims. We don't try to ban Pokemon, change the world or purify its values. When America's culture and churches began the shift away from a firm stand on Biblical truth, our nation began to cast away anything that would anchor its common values to Biblical values. Now that process of corruption is fast accelerating. Even if we tried, we couldn't stop the world from the spreading corruption. But we don't even try.

Our goal is simply to warn and encourage those whose love our God. We don't condemn anyone, even though we criticize certain ideas and ideologies. If others, like you, choose to visit us, you are free to listen and change your ways -- but no one here is forcing you to read or banning your favorite activities. We don't expect the world system to embrace our beliefs.

From Amy: You said, "Those who live in countries where shamanism and witchcraft still rules
tribal people, spells and curses are all too real. In the last centuries, many who were trapped in occult oppression were set free through the faith of caring Christian missionaries. Please read African Witchcraft."

I did read your article. However, I have also done reserach there. You know what? They are frauds, a semi-skilled
magician can pull off the same stunts without using witchcraft. So if they are doing it by magic, they are doing it the hard way. Bring me someone that can cast a curse and I'll be happy to test tham. Everyone I have tested has FAILED. Doesn't that say anything about it? Granted if I throw 1,000 reindeer of a building and the all crash, that doesn't prove they CAN'T fly, but in order for you to prove to me they CAN fly, you need to show me one that can. Until then I will continue to believe that reindeer can not fly and magic is a mixture between self-trickery and outright fraud. Thanks for you time.

There are two main kinds of magicians: today's popular illusionists and those who actually tap into the spiritual forces and accomplish supernatural feats. The first group, of course, use tricks. Their "magic" only looks impossible.

The second group, which engage the participation of demonic spirits, will defy your tests and research. The fact that these spirits refuse to perform at your command doesn't disprove their existence. You can't erase the evidence that has been documented in the history of mankind. See The Nature and Tactics of Satan

From Viv (An answer has been added)I'm a Harry Potter fan and I just wanted to make the following comments after reading your page. You mention many times in your website that "white" magic is just as bad as "black" magic:

"2. Like pagan cultures around the world, Harry fights dark magic with what might seem to be white magic. Both represent the occult forces of the evil one -- the demonic realm -- and are forbidden in the Bible."

I find this an interesting contradiction for Christians. The bible states that when Christ was born, three wise men, or Magi in the earlier texts (a translation of the Persian word for Magician), came to worship him as the true messiah. Great stock is placed in these Magi recognising Christ as the "true" messiah, rather than one of the "false" messiah's who preached in abundance at the same time as Christ. ("After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." Matthew 2:1-2)

Magi is a form of the word "magician". These three "magicians" followed a star to find Jesus, so they were obviously also astrologers, following an astronomical phenomenon which they believed to have a spiritual significance.

So tell me, were the Magi also "evil"? (keeping in mind your own comments that there is no such thing as "good" magic) I'll be interested to see how you manage to talk through this problem!

Can you also explain why for Christ and his apostles, performing magic ("miracles") is ok, but anyone else doing this is evil?

"There shall not be found among you anyone who... practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord...." Deuteronomy 18:10-13

How then can it possibly be ok for Christ to change water into wine (conjuring a spell), raise Lazarus from the grave (calling up the dead) or for those three Magi to follow the star to reach Christ (interpreting omens - the star being the omen of Christ's birth)?    (NB this question is not intended to be offensive, I really want to know!)

You are not offensive at all, Viv. In fact, you ask very good questions.

Miracles and magic may look the same on the surface, but are totally different in source and purpose. Both were defined in our early American dictionaries. These, like U.S. law, education and moral values were founded on Biblical truth. That doesn't mean that everyone believed in Jesus Christ for salvation, but it does mean that the Bible set standards for how we would live together. It defined miracles according to the Bible: they referred to God's supernatural intervention in the lives of His people as well as in the rest of the world -- according to His ultimate plans. God, not humans, accomplished these miracles, but  we could appeal to Him for His miraculous intervention in any situation.

In contrast, magic has traditionally referred to supernatural feats accomplished by human (and according to the human will) through various occult practices and formulas which have been remarkably similar around the world and throughout time. These formulas invoke the help and participation of spiritual forces that God warns us to avoid. Their spiritual hierarchy is outlined in Ephesians 6:12:

"For 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, and having done all, to stand...." Eph 6:10-18

Our sovereign God can use both good and evil to accomplish His purpose. He can put a longing for Himself and His truth into the hearts of people caught up in any of the world's religions, then lead those people to the true answer to life, death and eternal salvation. I believe this is what He did with the three "Magi."

They traveled the long distance with their gifts because they longed to find and worship "He who has been born King of the Jews." They must have searched God's Scriptures and found the Old Testament promises.

Those Scriptures had been brought to Persia and other Middle Eastern nations during the time of the Babylonian exile -- the captivity and resettlement of most of God's people. Strange as it might seem to some people today, God allowed and directed this time of judgment and discipline, because His precious people had turned from Him to pagan gods.

Now, by hindsight, we also see how the witness of God's love and plan for salvation was carried to distant land through that devastating time of destruction and exile. As He tells us in Romans 8:28: "...all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." The three Magi were called to such a purpose, and we are blessed because of their obedience.

From "an Atheist":  Having stumbled across your page when actually looking for "Harry Potter"-Information, I was really worried that such things as your opinion still exist in our modern world.

First of all, please define "pagan" without insulting anybody not sharing the believe in your version of god or not adhering to "christian" standards. You insult more than half of the world by the word, which is coming a second close after "heretic" IMO. I haven't seen it own your page but I would not have been surprised to find it there.

I have discussed paganism with countless neopagans, witches and a Wiccan high priest. These have been friendly discussions -- over lunch, a cup of coffee, a hike in the forest, etc. I have tried to get to know each one and to share God's love with them. As far as I know, I offended none of them. They understood that I was a friendly Christian, and they shared their faith with me.

Interestingly, they all described a slightly different belief system. That makes sense, since pagan and neopagan spirituality, unlike Biblical Christianity, can be interpreted and practiced according to each person's imagination and preference. For example, some blended their contemporary Wiccan beliefs with the chakras of Kundalini Yoga and the sweat lodges of Native American spirituality. In other words, any person can mix and match elements from different religions these days.  That makes it more difficult to define the exact beliefs of any contemporary pagan.

I have tried to show these differences in several of my books. You can find explanations and broad definitions in chapters 1, 2 and 4 in  A Twist of Faith  and chapters 1, 3, 4 and 6 in Under the Spell of Mother Earth. In chapters 1 and 4 of  Brave New Schools, I show these religions within the context of the global spirituality envisioned by the United Nations and by leading U.S. educators.

From Michael Hughes:  I was reading about Harry Potter and was disturbed about your comments on the interest in Paganism. Shouldn't people be as free to practice paganism or Islam, as they are free to practice Christianity? I mean, the same freedom you have to read the Bible, allows others to practice the religion of their choice, right?

Of course, they should, Michael. When did I ever say anything to the contrary. All I am doing is warning Christian parents that today's popular pagan images and suggestions will alter their children's faith and understanding of God. Like you and others, Christians also have the right to warn each other about spiritual challenges to their own faith. Don't you agree?

Hasn't Christianity taught enough hate already, with the burning of witches, etc.? Christianity is supposed to be peaceful, but it seems that most of the Christians I know, "Hate gays, hate Jews and people of other religions, hate people who look different (purple hair, etc.) I know the Bible says being gay is wrong, but does it say to hate them? Why do people tell me I am going to burn in hell because they don't like my hair style or the color of it?

Read some of the letters and comments we have received, Michael. Then consider the source of the hateful messages. Most are coming from those who hate uncompromising Christians like us -- including so-called Christians who have embraced the world's politically correct ideology and hate anyone who differs.

So Michael, it may be that even if you are pagan and I am a Christian, neither you nor I fit into today's world which demands conformity -- or rather, a universal consensus that agrees with their own conclusions. I tend to think that in the end, this changing world will be more ready to accept you rather than me.

When Christianity became the accepted religion in the West, multitudes of people called themselves Christian even though they didn't really know or follow God. Many became church leaders who brought shame to the name of Jesus.

But the God I love calls His people to demonstrate His love wherever we go. He tells us that we are a letter to the world from Him -- and we dishonor Him when we demonstrate our human nature rather than His compassionate life in us. See  2 Cor 2:14.

Notice in the above passage that the world system (and the spirit behind it) hates God and His people. Today this hate is best demonstrated by the persecution in Islamic countries where thousands of poor, despised Christian "infidels" are being tortured, enslaved, and murdered.

Though strangely foreign to the West, slavery was the norm around the world until -- in America and on the British Isles -- genuine Christians began to fight this horror. Until the last century, only Christians would give their lives to bring schools, medical supplies and God's truth and hope to the world's oppressed pagan people. The true Christian will demonstrate sacrificial love, not hate.

As for the many injustices committed during the Middle Ages, they were the product of an institutionolized church that no longer followed Biblical guidelines for love and justice. See Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

You are aware the Bible has been changed, right? Most Christian Scholars will agree that the Bible has been changed throughout time, during different church councils and even the Catholics admit that books have been taken out.

God's Word doesn't change. See Heb 13:8. The new archeological discoveries (for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls) have served to validate the earlier Scriptures translated into English long ago.

Of course, the New Testament letters and gospels had to be added to the Old Testament record. With prayer and diligent research, Christian leaders exercised the discernment needed to determine which of the old writings were authentic and which were not.

Keep in mind, most of the documents validated each other. The many witnesses to God's miracles and Jesus' teachings would describe the same events from their own perspective. Some would differ in the words they heard or in the actions emphasized, yet -- as witnesses in a legal court -- they told facts that fit together and confirmed the overall message.

Isn't it true that Witchcraft wasn't a big deal with he church until around the 1200's, which is when everything in the Bible about witchcraft "appeared," after witches were blamed for diseases and bad crops?

How can you bash Paganism, when much of Christianity, as it is today, has been modeled after it? Even Christian Holidays were set on Pagan holidays, and most of what "is" these holidays are pagan; christmas tree, Santa (I don't see anything on your site about Santa. He's magical, right?), the Easter bunny, wearing new clothes on Easter, etc. Even Catholic Saints were, at one time, Pagan gods and goddesses. Throwing rice at weddings, etc, I could go on and on.

This is not meant to bash you, I just wanted to clear up a few questions that came up while visiting your site. I have asked local preachers these questions, and no one seems to have an answer. I await your reply.

I agree that Christians, throughout the Middle Ages, would blend Biblical truth with pagan practices. This unbiblical synthesis distorted God's truth, quenched the work of the Holy Spirit, and destroyed the life of the Church. That's why corruption and unbiblical expressions were linked to Christianity and brought shame to the Church.  But these injustices were committed by a counterfeit church, not by the true people of God. If you haven't already, please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity and What it means to be a Christian.

For the record, I was, at one time, a Christian. Because of the people I knew in church(s), because of how they acted, because of the questions that could never be answered, because of feelingless, simplified, "changed to fit whatever opinion the preacher had" messages that I heard every Sunday, I gave it up. I became pagan. Not because of a T.V. show, or book or magazine, or because someone converted me. I wanted something more spiritual. If Christianity is going to survive, I think it must stop the scare tactics, the money raising agendas, the hate teaching, the intolerance for those who look or think different.

Michael, here are two prayers reflecting the hearts of God's faithful servants both in the OLd and New Testament. They are also the prayers of my heart - for our land, for all who seek to know God, for myself... Nehemiah 1:3-10 and Paul's prayer for the Colossians.

From Third letter from Trevor Childs: I was in no way offended by your response, I certainly didn't expect you to give a response devoid of your beleifs (this would hardly be a meaningful debate if that were the case). I understand you beleive in your God strongly, and I am touched by the sentiment of your statements concerning your care for myself. The love and caring for all people is something shared by both Christianity and Wicca.

There is, however, one thing still bothering me about your response and articles. Before I say this I feel it is important for me to note that I realize you are not looking for censorship or the banning of the Harry Potter books. I fully understand that you are addressing Christian parents concerning these matters.

You refer to these matters as a spiritual war over the hearts and loyalties of children. Spirituality in children must not be approached this way. First, because children are not ready to make such an important decision, and second because nobody should make that decision for them.

I agree entirely with Christian parents teaching their children about Christianity and the Bible, but you can't dictate your children's religion. While raising your children you should try to teach them about what you believe, the important lessons of the Bible, and the values you hold. However, religion is nothing without faith, and faith can not be taught. I in no way accuse you of it, but trying to teach faith can only be accomplished through brainwashing.

I want to respond to this on Monday, Trevor.

In my youth, my parents took me to church (I was even baptized as Presbyterian). Being so young, I had no concept of faith. When I got older I was able to understand the concepts behind religion, and what I am now is fully based on what I truly beleive. Just as I didn't understand the dogma behind Christianity, children who want to be wizards are not making decisions about faith and religion, they are having fun in a fantasy. I would not be concerned with this kind of play, just as I do not feel threatened by children being in christmas plays. The children who like to play at being witches are no more Wiccan, than I was Christian.

There should be no spiritual warfare. There should be education, freedom, acceptance, and love.

If your children, when they are mature and understand the situation, have faith in Jesus then they will be Christian. If your mature children have faith in something else, then they should practice what they beleive. The latter case should not be seen as a failure though, since your moral teachings (aside from your religious teachings) will be as intact as they would be if your child were Christian, and your child is being true to him/herself. With respect,

Second letter from Trevor Childs: It's refreshing to hear back from you in such a positive way. I occasionally write letters like the one I sent to you, and the usual response is: You will burn eternally in the Lake of Fire! It's nice to meet someone who is actually interested in intelligent debate.

I would be honoured if you posted my letter. I am also interested in your response, and would appreciate you letting me know where I can view it. In my mind, the only way to discuss such ideas is in a friendly way. If everyone who disagreed simply yelled at each other, nothing would ever be acomplished (aside from the alienation of one side from the other). As I said in my original letter, it's hard (and in my mind impossible) to debate who is right or wrong, but that in no way means that we shouldn't try to understand each other.

From Trevor Childs: By now I'm sure you are tired of hearing moronic flames from the small, idiotic minority of the people who frequent _____. I always hate it when Lowtax puts up a link for the purposes of amusement, and some people take it a step too far. I just want to let you know that the people who e-mail you because they think it's cool to rip on someone simply because others are, do not represent the majority of readers at SA. Most of us simply find his site amusing, not a way of life.

Having said that, I'd like to offer an opinion of mine in relation to your site. I started reading several of your witchcraft related pages, and I stopped halfway through each one I attempted to read. I think your argument structure is valid, but one of your premises is not. Yes, the Bible does warn against witchcraft, but the link between Wicca and Satan is incorrect. The flaw in your logic comes in assuming that the practitioners of Wicca (note: I speak only for Wicca, and not other forms of witchcraft) believe in the dogma of the Bible.

Actually, I don't expect practitioners of Wicca to believe the Bible. I don't even expect most people who identify with post-modern Christianity to take its truth seriously. Both young and old -- inside and outside Biblical churches --have learned to conform God's word to politically correct thinking, which changes both its meaning and its validity. Barna's polls [see Statistics for the Changing Church] show us that relatively few so-called Christians actually know and trust God's Word.

To be allied with the forces of your biblical evil, one must not only participate in those actions, but also believe in the link to Satan. I can tell you that I am a Wiccan, and I certainly do not believe in Satan. I do not take the Bible as fact (though I would like to mention that if it is regarded as mythical, not truth, it still holds the same moral teachings and lessons. Just so you don't think I'm slagging on it).

I can't agree with the first sentence, Trevor. Truth and facts are valid and effectual, whether people believe and participate in them or not. When God tells us not to have anything to do with "other gods," He is referring to all spiritual forces, sources, deities, unbiblical angels... whether they are personified gods or simply impersonal cosmic energies. He tells us that behind all the mythical names and contemporary spirits, there is only one source of deception. And he doesn't cease to exist when people refuse to believe in his existence. 

This must sound very offensive to you since you have embraced Wicca, and I never like to offend people. But neither can I contradict the truth I trust -- nor deny the God I love. Please remember, though I cannot accept Wicca as good, I can still care about you. And, from a Biblical perspective, that means sharing the truth whether it is comfortable or not.

The only religion I know of that practices a form of witchcraft, and believes in the Bible, is Satanism. This is what separates Satanism from Wicca, Satanists believe in the Bible, and choose to worship Satan. Wiccans do not believe in the Bible, but rather an entirely separate system. Trying to argue against Wicca in terms of Christianity can go no further than simply saying that they do not believe the correct things (from the Christian point of view of course, the Wiccan point of view would say the same about Christians).

That's right, Trevor. You and I have each taken our stand on two opposite sides of reality. You see from your perspective and I do from mine. I see your perspective through the filter of the Bible, and you see my beliefs through the filter of your own faith. We cannot agree unless one of us is willing to change. I can't compromise my faith, and I don't ask you to change yours. But we can still be kind and helpful to each other.  That's the freedom that has made America so treasured to the persecuted people of the world. 

In my group of friends there is myself, a Wiccan, a few Christians, one Satanist that I know of, a couple Buddhists, Atheists, Jews, Muslims, and probably others who I don't know of because it never came up in conversation. We rarely debate spiritual matters, because we all realize that the dogmas connected to our different religions are just that, different. The only way we could all argue the virtues of our ways, is if we were all arguing different interpretations of the same system. Ok, through all this longworded, and anecdotal argument I, hope my main point has come across. While you may not like that people are Wiccan, they are not in league with Satan, simply because to be in league with someone, you must recognize their existence.

Trevor, most my articles are written in response to questions raised by Christians. I usually write about those cultural and spiritual influences that confuse and undermine Biblical faith -- especially in children. My battle is not against people who walk on different paths that I do. Nor am I fighting against our culture or entertainment industry. In today's postmodern climate, I certaintly don't expect my small voice to change either one. My goal is to alert Christian parents so that they will be equipped to guide their children into the truth that will keep them close to Jesus -- and lead lives that please the God who cares for us.

From Dream Walker, Hopi medicine man: You go on and on about the UN's agenda for world domination. But that's exactly the end you Christians have in mind with your "Great Commission". If you had all the power of the UN, would things really be so different? Not a chance.

I can see it all now. You'd start by outlawing the practice of all other religions and institute compulsory observance of yours. Anyone suspected of professing another faith or even failing to attend church on Sunday is arrested and executed. Anyone who even criticizes you or questions the Bible is shot on the spot. You'd take our children away and place them in boarding schools where you'd ensure their future as followers of your one world theocracy.

When it comes to abuse of power and corruption, the followers of Jesus Christ have a rap sheet 10 miles long. This I know all too well.

Thank you, Dream Walker, for sharing your frustration with Christianity. But would you consider the possibility that most of the evils attributed to Jesus Christ and His followers may be caused by those who only are Christians in name only? Please read Biblical versus Cultural Christianity. I think you will see appreciate the difference.

I truly believe that people from all religions can live together in America in peace and civility. But I also believe that each group should continue to be free to express what they believe among themselves. The United Nations would take this right from us -- from you as well as from me -- if our own expressions clash with their vision of a global spirituality.

 I don't know why so many non-Christians come to this Christian site. I didn't want to impose my values on you or anyone else -- just wanted to answer questions for Christian parents. But welcome anyone who chooses to visit us.

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