Ghosts, Ghouls and God–Witchcraft

Posted: October 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

There are not a lot of scholarly works on wicca or witchcraft out there, so I had to go to the source and read the Wicca Bible.  It hit me sometime last week that I was reading the Wicca Bible in a former tattoo parlor in preparation for a sermon.  I wonder how many times in history that has happened?

Well, here is what I learned.  Wicca does not have a set of doctrine or rules and there are at least 6 different major variations.  So, describing Wicca is a little like nailing Jello to the wall.

 Yet, the majority of wiccans do venerate nature.  The introduction to “The Wicca Bible” states, “Wicca is a nature religion.  Wiccans see the divine in nature, both within us and around us.”

 But is nature worth worshipping? Writer Annie Dillard revised her view of nature after an afternoon of meditation by a creek in which she viewed how violent and cruel the natural world can be.  Ever watch Animal Planet? See much love, tolerance and understanding in the wilds of Africa?  None of us would want to live in such a brutal world, so it is a fair question to ask if we really want to worship it!

Well, what does the Bible say? First of all, the Bible is clear that God created the universe we live in, it isn’t a part of Him.  In other words, nature is not God any more than my wife and I are our son.  Nature and God are distinct.  So, to worship nature is to worship the creature rather than the creator.

 Moreover, look at Leviticus 19:26 where God expressly forbids the tenants of witchcraft or Revelation 9:21 and 21:8, where those who practice magic are clearly condemned.

 It’s not just in these few passages either.  Again and again the Bible forbids, “sorcery” or “necromancy” or “divination.”

 What does all of that mean?

The Hebrew word translated as “sorcery” means “to cut” from the act of cutting roots for charms and spells.

 “Necromancy” means attempts to contact the dead (see last week’s notes on ghosts)

 The Hebrew word for “divination” means to predict the future.

 Why does God forbid these things?

 The New Bible Dictionary article on magic & witchcraft reads:

“…magic and sorcery are always condemned in Scripture. Magic is a rival to true religion, though it can be practiced in conjunction with false religious ideas. True religion centers in the personal experience of the one God, with an attempt to live a life that is conformable to his will. The believer walks humbly with his God, prays to him, and is prepared to accept the circumstances of life as the sphere in which to glorify him. Magic, on the other hand, deals with lower supernatural beings, or attempts to force issues by using psychic forces, irrespective of whether the issues are for the glory of God.”

In other words, witchcraft attempts to rob God of His rightful place as creation’s sovereign Lord.  If we have a problem then we go to creation’s king.  It is an insult to elsewhere. Witchcraft deals exclusively with the forces of nature or spirits, which must be demonic for spiritual servants of God would not seek to take His rightful place.

Also, any activity that seeks to control the present or know the future is inherently sinful because it seeks to control our present and future instead of trusting God.

 You cannot have faith in God without trust in God.  Trust in God is a central tenet of all of Scripture!  From Genesis 3 to the persecution predicted by Revelation, a core question of Scripture is, “Will you trust God no matter what?” 

 Look at James 4:13-17,

13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

 Like Joseph in prison or Daniel or in the service of a pagan king, we must trust God no matter where we are.  We must serve Him to His honor and glory no matter what situation we found ourselves in.  In short, we must stop spending so much time staring out on the horizon and scheming and plotting for a better tomorrow when God has laid so many opportunities of eternal consequence before us today.

We must trust. 

It was trust in the Father and Spirit that led Jesus to face temptation, it was that same trust that led him to the cross and to the grave.  It was this trust that saves us.  We who follow Jesus will live eternally because he took our sins upon himself on the cross and granted us his perfect life, so that we are not judged by our own lives but by our King’s.  The only appropriate response is grateful love and trust.

Jesus placed his trust in the Father to raise Him from the dead for all of us and insure a perfect future.  Now we need to trust and fall into Him as well.   There is no need to consult the darkness about today or tomorrow for the one who loves us so much that he died for us, holds it all in his hand.


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