Summary: Explanation and evaluation of Wicca in light of clear teaching of Scripture. Includes ways to witness to a Wiccan.
What Jesus Would Say to a Wiccan
Rev. Brian Bill
I talked to a PBC person a week ago who told me that she had a conversation with some people in the community about our sermon series. One person said something like this: “I don’t think your pastor should be speaking on other religions. That’s really none of his business.” I was happy to hear how the PBC member responded, “Actually it is his business because the Bible has a lot to say about this.”
Actually, I’ve done a lot of thinking about this and I think I do need to apologize…for not doing this series sooner!
Last week we tackled Islam because it’s almost always in the news and on our national and international radar. Our topic today, “What God Would Say to a Wiccan” has some national significance as well. Do you remember when a U.S. Senate candidate admitted that she had dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager? Have you heard that thanks to the Pagan Pride Project, pagan symbols are now allowed on tombstones of our U.S. soldiers who are Wiccan? Pastor Jeff passed along a story this week about some Wiccans in Cleveland who put a hex on LeBron James as he got ready to play his first game with the Miami Heat. This is what they chanted live on a radio station: “Tie a knot against the king. May he die without a ring.”
But my choice of this topic is closer to home because of the inroads of Wicca in our county, our community, in our schools and in our homes. I came across a book title written by a former youth pastor that shows how this belief has gone main stream among teens today. One could make the case that this generation is the first to grow up with witchcraft as an accepted part of the culture. His book is called: Generation Hex.
In 2006, researcher George Barna came out with the top 12 most significant or surprising faith findings for that year. Coming in second was this report: “Three out of every four teenagers have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity. Among the most common of those endeavors are using a Ouija board, reading books about witchcraft or Wicca, playing games involving sorcery or witchcraft…Conversely, during the past year fewer than three out of every ten churched teenagers had received any teaching from their church about elements of the supernatural” (www.barna.org).
I was told this week by one of my Wiccan friends that when he holds classes on Wicca here in Pontiac, many of those who come are members of area churches, including this one. When I asked him why this is, he said something like this: “They’re obviously not getting what they’re looking for in churches or they wouldn’t be coming to my classes.” I could only think of one response. All I could say was, “Ouch.”
I repeat what I said last week. Parents and grandparents, this series is really important because our children and grandchildren are growing up in a totally tolerant and accepting postmodern atmosphere, with no regard for what is true or what is false. In fact, we could say that our culture is tolerant of everything except for the exclusive truth claims of Christianity. Our children must hear biblical truth from our church and from the church that meets in our homes.
And this topic is especially relevant for parents of older adolescents because the demographic group that is most attracted to Wicca is teenage girls. Influenced by “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and “Charmed,” along with an openness to Wicca spun by the Harry Potter franchise, many teens are experimenting with the occult. There’s even a “Secret Spells Barbie.” When I looked into it, this is what I found on the web: “Hey girls! There’s a new Barbie in town! Wiccan Barbie! Now you and Barbie can hold rituals and cast spells just like a real Witch! Instructions are included for all the major Sabbats, casting a circle, love spells and more. Form your own coven with your friends.” An episode of the Simpson’s even dealt with this topic as Lisa considered joining a coven.
Danny Aguirre, who runs a Christian hot line at the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, has noticed something, “In the last six months, I have received more inquiries about Wicca than any other religion in the 10 years I have worked here.” The demographics of the callers? “All teen-age girls,” says Aguirre.
I want to make three points right at the beginning.
1. Its OK to write in your Bible. Last week I made the argument that in witnessing to Muslims, we should be careful to not use a Bible that we’ve written in. While that’s good advice when talking to a follower of Islam, it’s important to underline, jot down notes in the margin and anything else you can do to get the Word in your head, your heart and out into your hands as you live it out on a daily basis. Friends, we need to know the truth of the Bible if we’re ever going to spot error. I’m told that when bank tellers are trained to recognize counterfeit money, they simply are given genuine money and told to familiarize themselves with it. That way, when a counterfeit bill shows up, they are quick to spot it.