Snapshot: Wicca and Witchcraft

When someone uses the word “witchcraft” what comes to your mind? The TV show “Bewitched”? Broomhilda? Silly Halloween decorations? Witch doctors in Africa? Worshippers of Satan? Obviously the word has many connotations and is used in a variety of ways. And sometimes the various ways can be very confusing.

Take for instance the matter of Wicca. Wicca is a modern form of witchcraft. Although it claims to be the “Old Religion” and its adherents believe that their belief system can be traced to prehistoric times, in fact Wicca was basically created by a few individuals in the 20th century—Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders among them. What they created is a pagan, occult religious system came to be called Wicca. But often Wiccans will refer to their beliefs and practices as “witchcraft.” And this is what causes confusion.

For the Christian witchcraft usually means worshipping the devil. And we tend to lump all forms of “witchcraft” together, whether it is Africa juju, Haitian Voodoo, Native American “medicine” or Tibetan Buddhist occultism. And while from a biblical perspective it cannot be denied that all forms of witchcraft are indeed occultic and demonic, saying that Wicca is a form of Satanism is somewhat misleading. And it can be a barrier to understanding Wiccan belief, and inhibit attempts to evangelize Wiccans with the Gospel.

Technically, Satanism is the willful and knowing worship of the Devil. Satanism is basically an anti-Christian religion that reverses Christian beliefs, morals and rituals in a rebellious rejection of the Bible, God and Christ. Satanism may be practiced by individuals or autonomous groups. Or it may be found in very organized and structured ecclesiastical forms, such as the Church of Satan or the Temple of Set. But it is different from Wicca.

So what is Wicca? Essentially Wicca is a pagan, polytheistic religion. Wiccans generally acknowledge two deities—a god and a goddess. These deities take many forms. The god may be worshipped as Baal, Cernunnos, Pan, Odin, or Osiris. The goddess may be Freya, Isis, Ishtar, Diana or Morrigan. Often Wiccans from a particular ethnicity or culture will worship the god or goddess from their family background. But generally most Wiccans think the names for the deities matter little. The important thing is to respect and acknowledge the dual forces of nature represented by these deities.

Some common characteristics of most Wiccans include the dual nature of the divine beings, the inherent divinity of all persons, a purposeful appreciation of nature and natural things, the law of karma, and the practice of the occult arts such as magic, divination, casting spells, etc. Many Wiccans have been influenced by Eastern religious practices, and believe in reincarnation, the law of karma, chakras, yoga, mystical meditation and the like.

So what are Christians to make of Wicca. We must see Wiccans as practitioners of a pagan religion. They are basically no different than the ancient worshippers of Apollo or Baal, Venus or Isis. And as the Christians of ancient times encountered these pagans, they loved them and shared with them the truth of the Gospel. Are Wiccans involved in the occult? In witchcraft? Yes, definitely. Does that mean we should shun them, or be afraid of them. No! They are lost souls who need the Savior, just as you and I did before we met the Lord. So if God gives you an opportunity to meet a witch, take advantage of the opportunity. Tell them about the Lord Jesus, who loved them and shed His blood for their eternal salvation. You might be surprised at what God does with your witness.

Summary of Beliefs

God: There are many gods and goddesses, all representations of the dual nature of divinity.
Jesus: Mostly disregarded. May have been a good man and moral teacher.
Salvation: Based on doing good, and achieving a higher spiritual level.
Human nature: Man is basically good. We are divine beings with limitless potential.
Sin: There is no such thing as original sin. Nothing is inherently sinful, unless it harms another.
Afterlife: There may be an afterlife, or not. Many Wiccans believe in reincarnation, but not all.
Scripture: No standard authority. Writings of many occultists are revered.
Truth: Relative to the individual person or group.

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