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HomeStuff Christian View of What Wiccans Believe pt 2


Christian View of What Wiccans Believe pt 2

Other Author

<– continued from

*WHAT SAYS THE WORD?*

(I must make a digression here. It is true what this man says here. But remember that it is only true if YOU BELIEVE IN HIS RULES. By our very religion, we do not believe in any of this and never will, so who’s rules are we violating? A God whom we honor, but whom we don’t give homage to? An individual person? It does not matter what someone else’s religion says we are doing, because WE DON’T BELIEVE IT. So given that, none of this has any authority or power over us, only the Christians. This is a very important distinction since you will hear things like this thrown at you all the time by the Bible-thumpers. They will try to use their rules to force you to do as they say. It is analogous of obeying the laws of Angola while living in the USA and being an American citizen. And having an Angolan citizen try to force you to follow his country’s laws. It is ludicrous and beyond belief that anyone would apply their standards to you and me. But unfortunately, it happens far too often. Daven)

Since witches do not generally accept the teachings of the Bible, we will not spend much time on a biblical critique.[4] However, even a cursory review of Scripture is enough to demonstrate that the beliefs and practices of witches are utterly incompatible with the Bible. Witches who honestly examine the Scriptural testimony will have no choice but to admit that the Bible condemns their beliefs and practices.

In fact, Scripture gives a blanket condemnation of all forms of the occult — divination, sorcery, and spiritism – in diverse passages throughout the Old and New Testaments. For instance, in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 God’s view of occultism is expressed in the following warning: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD…”

If this were the only biblical passage dealing with this issue, it would be clear that all forms of the occult are denounced by God. (Then why did Kings in the Old Testament go to wise women and soothsayers and “a woman with a familiar spirit” <the witch of Endor> for counsel? Wasn’t it strictly condemned? See 1 Sam chapt 28 where Saul swears by God that no harm will come to her if she divines for him. Pretty hypocritical God if He lets a King get away with swearing in His name if He hates occult practitioners that much. Daven) Yet, this is only one of many condemnatory references (see, e.g., Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:6; 2 Kings 17:10-17; 21:1-6; 23:4-7, 24-25; 2 Chron. 33:6; Acts 13:6-12; 16:18; Gal. 5:20; Rev. 9:21).

Moreover, numerous forms of god and goddess worship are explicitly condemned in Scripture. There are, for example, a multitude of denunciatory references to worshipping or invoking the various gods and goddesses of the Near Eastern religions: the Assyrian and Babylonian Ishtar, the Ashtoreths of the Canaanites (e.g., the Sidonians and Phoenicians), and so forth (e.g., Deut. 16:21; Judg. 2:10-14; 10:6-16; 1 Sam. 7:3-4; 12:10; 1 Kings 11:33; 2 Kings 23:13-15). Ashtoreth is described in 2 Kings 23:13 as “the vile goddess of the Sidonians” (NIV), or — as the KJV and NASB translate it — “the abomination of the Sidonians.” The Bible speaks out not only against worshipping, invoking, and consulting pagan gods, but also against the idea that human beings — individually or collectively — are divine.

In one sense, witches are right about the antiquity of some of their beliefs and practices. The belief that human beings are or can become divine is a good example. In the first book of the Bible (Gen. 3:5) we find the original proposal — made by the serpent — of the idea that we could become “like God.” But Scripture emphatically states that there is only one being who is God (Deut. 6:4; 32:39; Isa. 43:10-11; 44:6-8; 45:5-6, 14, 22; 46:9; Jer. 10:10-11; Mark 12:29-31; 1 Tim. 2:5; James 2:19). Though there are many so-called gods or goddesses — in the sense that people worship entities conceived by their imaginations — there is only one God _by nature_ (1 Cor. 8:4-5; 10:20; Gal. 4:8). As one astute observer remarked:

“There are two foundational facts of human enlightenment: (1) There is a God; and (2) You are not He.” Humankind has not only demonstrated a great proclivity towards self-deification, it has also been strongly inclined to confuse God’s creation (or His creative process) for the Creator Himself (Rom. 1:21-25). This is certainly the case with those entangled in the teachings of modern witchcraft.

Some witches have actually tried to reconcile the above passages and others with their own practices. Nonetheless, the Bible — particularly in the original languages — renders any such maneuvering futile.[5] We therefore ask that witches at least acknowledge that the Bible in no sense condones their practices, but rather expressly condemns them. {So?}

*The Source of the Force*

Like a drunkard who continually returns to the bottle, so mankind’s bent toward self-deification and creation worship has been irrepressible, as has been its blindness towards its own deplorable predicament due to the ravaging effects of sin. To wit, witches are deceived _not only_ about the inherent falsity of their often sincerely held beliefs (see Prov. 14:12), but as well about the _source_ of their misguided belief system. Despite what witches claim, witchcraft originates from Satan – the “father of lies” and the “god of this world,” and from man’s corrupt nature. Thus, though witches do not acknowledge the Devil’s existence, they are nonetheless (all the more so) trapped in the talons of his tyrannical grip (2 Tim. 2:25-26).

To witches who believe that magic is a natural, neutral force or power, Christians reply that it is rather empowered by “the prince of the power of the air that now works in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).

As such, whether witches acknowledge it or not, _all_ occultism involves interaction and trafficking with demonic spirits (see Lev. 17:7; 20:6; Deut. 32:17; Ps. 106:36-39; 1 Cor. 10:20-21; Rev. 9:20-21). [6] As W. Foerster comments, “For Paul witchcraft is meddling with demons…. But there can also be intercourse with demons in the normal heathen cultus (1 C. 10:20f.)…. While idols are nothing…demons stand behind paganism.”[7] Or, as Bietenhard informs us, “Since dealing with demons lies behind sorcery…it is rejected (Gal. 5:20)…. Heathen worship brings men into contact with demons (1 Cor. 10:20f.), for demons stand behind paganism in general (Rev. 9:20).”[8]

This is why occultism in all its forms is condemned in the Bible. Occultists therefore fall under the judgment of God for participating in such inexcusable activities (Rom. 1:18-25; Eph. 4:18-19; Rev. 21:8; 22:15).

Since witches generally do not accept the Bible, and because there are other inherent weaknesses and failings in their worldview — metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical — we can and should critique witchcraft in these areas as well. This I shall do in the remainder of this article.

*METAPHYSICAL MALADIES*

In Part One I discussed the importance of polytheism as understood by witches and the related concept of an “open” metaphysic — that is, the position that there are multiple levels of and meanings to reality. This is expressed in the belief that there is “no one way or right religion for all,” and no “one truth.”[9] We are told by witches that all religions lead in the same direction; they simply take different paths to get there.

*Existential Essence*

Witches further believe that everything one experiences is in some sense real and therefore true. Since reality is multiple and diverse, and since the possible levels or planes of meaning are infinite, there is always more to experience. We should therefore remain open-minded and tolerant of differing views.[10]

Witches who think along these lines hold that everyone has a part of the truth, for every person operates from a limited subjective perspective of the world.[11] And since no one has an absolute knowledge or perspective of reality (ultimate reality is inaccessible to us), all views and experiences must be seen as equally valid. One view is as good or true as another (minimally, it is true for that individual). Reality, then, is a matter of perspective — and everyone has a different one.

*Romantic Rationalizations*

Christians certainly grant that witches have the right to believe whatever they choose, as much as we might disagree with their views. However, we reject that logic and reason should be ignored when we encounter two different views that are obviously incompatible.

We also grant that life is complicated and diverse, and that people can and do have an incalculable number of experiences. However, this does not prevent us from knowing many significant truths and facts about ultimate reality. We need to distinguish between knowing all about life or ultimate reality, which no human being is capable of, and knowing some true things about it. These are two different issues. Without this distinction, we could not make any meaningful statements about reality.

*Experience and Truth*

Many witches fail to recognize a key distinction regarding the validity of experiences. Over and over again, one finds a failure on the witches’ part to distinguish between real experiences that people actually have versus experiences that are true. For instance, a man could have an experience or sensation of falling. The feeling might be quite intense. Upon awakening from his sleep, however, he realizes that he was not falling at all but lying on his bed. Did he have the experience of feeling like he was falling? Yes. Was he really falling? No! The latter question is not “Did he have this experience?” but “was he really falling?” These are two entirely different issues. To confuse the two is to commit the fallacy of equivocation.

We do not dispute that witches have many experiences that may appear to support their religion, but we must ask: Do these experiences really prove their assertions or only prove that they had some type of experience? Appealing to experience only establishes that one might have had one, not that one’s world view is true.(The same argument could be used for YOUR religion bucko. Daven)

The idea that each world view is like one more flower in the garden of life is a nice sentiment, but it does not fit the real world. In fact, it is nothing short of metaphysical madness. To paraphrase and adapt a quip by Edgar Sheffield Brightman, “In a world where Christianity and witchcraft are both true, we do not have a universe, but a cosmic nut house!”

As we shall see presently, the metaphysical framework of the witches’ world has important implications in the realm of testing truth claims.

*EPISTEMOLOGY*

With their emphasis on experience and their belief in the intuitive and existential nature of truth, witches fall into diverse epistemological sinkholes on the road to truth. One finds a consistent appeal to “knowing” not by the intellect but by experience and “intuition.” One also finds an implicit or explicit depreciation or denial of the principles or laws of thought.

For example, Starhawk — a popularizer of the witchcraft/neopagan world view — disdains what she terms “any beliefs which would…deny the authority of experience…” thus reinforcing what she calls “the lie that there is only one truth.”[12] In the same way, Margot Adler — another popular neopagan writer — argues for the superiority of experience over dogma, and metaphor and myth over theology, doctrine, and creed.[13]

Although one often hears witches downplay or outright deny doctrines, dogma, and beliefs — still, they too vehemently champion their beliefs.[14] To say that experience and ritual are more important than doctrine is itself a doctrine. Besides, how is it possible to have rituals in the first place if there are no beliefs to give them meaning? In short: no beliefs, then no rituals. Additionally, one must assert doctrines or beliefs and use logic to even refute the idea of doctrine. (True and good point. We do have doctrine and beliefs, but we avoid dogma. Dogma is a blind following of the doctrine and beliefs. We teach the whys and wherefores so dogma is unnecessary. We are not perfect, we just try harder. Besides, we do have beliefs, they just vary from coven to coven and member to member. We do not force all of our members to believe the same thing, whether or not it is right for the member or not, just to have a “church” of all the same people. We do not rubber stamp people as “saved”. Daven)

*Is Logic Necessary?* (No. Daven)

Many people berate the use of logic and talk as if they could think and do without it. The fact is, however, that it is impossible not to use logic. Should a person attempt to refute logic, he or she must use logic in the very process of refuting it — thereby refuting his or her own argument. Let us be clear on this: one must use logic to disprove logic. For instance, suppose someone asserts that magic and experience are beyond logic and reason (i.e., logic does not apply to these realms). The person making this assertion has failed to note that this statement is itself predicated upon the use of logic — that is, logic had to be utilized to even formulate it. Logic therefore does apply.

Due to limited space, we will consider just one of the primary laws of thought — the law of non-contradiction.[15] This principle affirms that a statement cannot both be true and false (A cannot be non-A) at the same time and in the same sense. For example, it cannot be the case that one both can and cannot (at the same time and in the same manner) safely cross a busy street. It is one or the other, but not both. If one says it is both and attempts to keep his (or her) actions consistent with his words, he will end up being run over. When people fail to yield to logic, they will also end up being run over by their own arguments (i.e., they assert false, self-defeating, and/or meaningless statements).

Some (many?) witches try to avoid the anvil of logic, but to no avail.[16] A case in point is Stewart Farrar, who approvingly quoted C. G. Jung’s assertion that “everything human is relative.”[17] To which we respond: Is this statement relative too, since it was uttered by a human? If it is not relative, then the statement is not true. But if the statement itself is relative, that would mean there are times when it is not true — when some things human are _not_ relative, and are hence absolute. But this would contradict Jung’s original statement. Thus, it is both false and self-defeating. Clearly, the sword of logic cuts both ways. (Why are you trying to confuse the issue? Metaphysics and Religion are relative, in that it is only true for those who wish to believe it. Your belief is not mine, even if we are in the same sect.)

*Magical Immunity*

Witches often attempt to defend their magic castle from the battering rams of logic by erecting supposedly impenetrable walls.[18] Different explanations and rationalizations are offered to protect their views. These include the aforementioned depreciation, denial, or alleged inapplicability of logic and objective standards for discerning truth; postulating diverse planes or levels of reality and meaning; dichotomizing between emotions and the intellect, or between normal versus altered states of consciousness; and a number of other distinctions. To be fair, many of these attempts are simply sincere efforts to understand the mysterious world of the occult. Nonetheless, such attempts appear to be cases of special pleading and of employing double standards — resulting in an assumed immunity from the normal criteria of truth-testing used to verify or refute a world view.[19]

No matter what explanations and defenses are used, however, experience and intuitive feelings are often an essential element of the witches’ world view validation — “It feels right; I have truly experienced it.” Witches “know” via powerful spiritual and emotional experiences that their views are true. Therefore, they can at times affirm apparently contradictory assertions. (Just as you know that your Redeemer lives. Last time I checked, dead was dead. And they still don’t have a body, one way or another. Daven)

Again, regardless of which of the above distinctions are used to advance or protect the witches’ world view, the distinctions themselves are based upon the validity of logic. Try as they may, witches simply cannot not use logic. (Here’s some logic for you, use that same logic that you are slicing us with against your own beliefs and dogma. Tell me where YOUR ceremonies and ways came from, and then show me in the BIBLE proof that supports it. Daven)

Our pagan friends are, so to speak, “up the metaphysical creek,” without a trustworthy epistemological “paddle” — and are caught in a whirlpool of subjective circularity that makes one’s head spin. Witches cannot appeal to logic when it suits them and ignore it when it refutes them and still expect to be taken seriously. (… and you would know this from years of doing this yourself? Daven)

As we shall now see, the use of logic in the categories of “both/and” as opposed to “either/or” have implications not just for thinking but for ethics as well.

*ETHICS*

Witches do not believe in the concept of sin as defined by orthodox Christianity. Sin is viewed as an outdated concept that is “only a tool used to shackle the minds and actions of people.” The only “sin” or evil is that of being unbalanced and out of harmony or estranged from oneself, others, the varied life forms, and Mother Earth. As there is no sin or divine retribution to be saved from, “salvation” has only to do with attaining and maintaining harmony with the above.[20]

To their credit, many witches consistently appeal to their ethical code — the Wiccan Rede: “an it harm none, do what ye will.”[21] They further claim not to use their occultic abilities for malevolent purposes since they believe (1) that any evil done to another will come back upon the perpetrator threefold or more, and (2) in some form of reincarnation (and the moral law of karma which governs it). Some, such as Donald Frew, incorporate other guidelines to determine the rightness of an action, such as the general consensus of the witchcraft community, common sense, the laws of the state, science, and pragmatic considerations.[22] While the aforementioned is true, the Wiccan Rede is not consistent with — nor does it logically or ontologically follow from — the world views most commonly held by witches: pantheism and panentheism.[23] It must derive, then, from someone or something external to or independent of the universe or Goddess/God or Life Force itself. But how can this be? In both pantheism and panentheism, nothing is outside or independent of the One, and even death and evil are an intricate and necessary part of reality.[24] The witches’ ethical code is therefore inconsistent with their metaphysical world view.

This dilemma is reflected in the teachings of Starhawk. For example, though she does not think destruction is necessarily evil, she states: “The nature of the Goddess is never single…She is light and the darkness, the patroness of love and death, who makes all possibilities. She brings both comfort and pain.”[25] Elsewhere she says, “As Crone, She is the dark face of life, which demands death and sacrifice…In Witchcraft, the dark, waning aspect of the God is not evil — it is a vital part of the natural cycle.”[26] This aspect of the divine manifesting itself in polarities is echoed by almost all (if not all) witches. Erica Jong tells us that “Satanists…accept the Christian duality between good and evil; pagans do not…Pagans see good and evil as intimately allied, in fact, indivisible. They conceive of deities as having several aspects — creation, destruction, sustenance — rather than externalizing all destruction and destructiveness (‘evil’) in the form of devils.”[27] (And your problem with this would be…. What? It is about as straight forward as your “Trinity is One” doctrine that has been talked about for centuries. Daven)

*The Problems of Life*

Whether witches realize it or not, these views raise some very problematic ethical issues: (1) Where does the Wiccan Rede derive from? (From a moral code to do as little harm as possible to others.) (2) If there is “no one right religion, way, or truth for all,” then why is this rule (the Wiccan Rede) universal? How do we know that witches are not just trying to impose their rule on us to “shackle our minds and actions”? (Because we don’t scream that you are wrong if you choose not to believe it. It is a common belief in Wiccan communities, but not a common Pagan belief.) (3) How do witches account for the origin and existence of evil and suffering?(Purely human actions? Or the Will of the Gods in the world? How about the destruction that is the cleaning of the canvas of Life.)

Space forbids us from addressing each of these questions, but the third should — indeed must — be addressed.

*Evil*

In Dreaming the Dark, Starhawk attempts to grapple with ethical issues and the problem of evil: “Evil is a concept that cannot be separated from the stories of duality. Power-over, violence, coercion…are not evil in the sense of being part of a force in direct opposition to good. Instead, we can see them as mistakes, processes born of chance that spread because they have served their purposes…. The problem of evil is really a problem of randomness.”[28] Other witches appeal to reincarnation and the law of Karma to explain the existence of some evil and suffering. Raymond Buckland asserts, “For its own evolution, it is necessary that the soul experience all things in life. It seems the most sensible, most logical, [sic] explanation of much that is found in life…Why should one be born crippled, another fit and strong…if not because we must eventually experience all things”[29] (ellipses in original). Sybil Leek offers similar reasons for the existence and necessity of evil in the world.[30] (Sounds reasonable to me.)

*Naturalistic Fallacies*

The above two explanations create more problems than they solve. For instance, if one must experience all in life (as Buckland suggests), does this include being abused, tortured, and so forth?[31](Ultimately, yes.)

It logically follows from such a view that whatever is, ought to be. This is known in ethics as the naturalistic fallacy, as it confuses “the way things are” with how they morally should be. Hence, what about the child born with crippling birth defects who dies an agonizing death within two years? Should we respond, “Oh well, whatever is, ought to be” and thus just accept it as the way things are? No, even a witch could not consistently live by this approach. The witches world view logically and ontologically justifies any condition or conduct.

This results in an inability to morally distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. With such a naturalistic approach one can only describe the way things are (e.g., the drink is hot or cold). One cannot make a moral evaluation. If life and death, comfort and pain, joy and sorrow, are inherent to the very nature of the world, then how can one call any action morally wrong, including burning witches? It can’t be done. But witches do say some actions are wrong. Or are they simply saying that they do not prefer certain actions? Hardly! Intuitively, they/we know certain things are wrong — such as torturing witches, confiscating their property, abusing children, and so forth. They do not say these things are merely unpleasant or inconvenient; they insist that they are wrong.

Christians, then, have every reason to ask how witches answer the problem of the existence of evil. This is a perplexing problem, and merely dismissing it will not solve it.

(Interesting that this should be here. In a conversation with a Christian Minister, I asked him to explain these very questions to me. His answer was “It is God’s Will.” Which is what you are accusing us of. Besides, you are talking about two different kinds of Evil here. Manmade evil, and Celestial Evil. Manmade evil is tortures and burnings as well as child abuse, etc. Celestial Evil is evil from another extra-planar being. Manmade evil is wrong, and we will try to stop when we can. But, “The Devil made me do it” is a pretty flimsy excuse.)

*The Problem of Evil*

There are conspicuously few in-depth discussions of the problem of evil in Neopagan literature. Many witches seem ignorant of this issue, or — for a number of reasons — do not believe it applies to their particular worldview. For these, the existence of evil is not a problem, because they do not conceive of the Goddess/God or Life Force as being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. These witches explain the problem of evil in one of three ways: (1) they deny that evil exists; (2) they appeal to finite godism (or goddessism); or (3) they appeal to humankind’s free will. Let us briefly consider each of these.

Does evil exist? Is evil only an illusion? Or is evil not really evil but just unfortunate circumstances? These views are delusions.[32] To say evil does not exist is to be blind to reality, for evil not only exists — it is all around us. From cruelty, corruption, calamity, flood and famine, disease and drought, hatred, war, suffering, misery, pain, injustices, rape, murder, and on and on — evil exists. Evil is a fact of life. And it is not just a case of “unfortunate” circumstances or the “breaks of life.” It is unfortunate when one gets a flat tire at night on a country road in a rain storm. It is rank evil to kill six million Jews as Hitler did. The death of human beings is the epitome of evil and is not “natural” but is the greatest nemesis we face. The existence of evil delivers a debilitating blow to the witches’ world view.

But, some witches counter, the Goddess/God and/or Life Force is/are finite — that is, not omnibenevolent, omniscient, or omnipotent. Thus, they/it cannot be held responsible for evil. The defense of finite godism, however, is wishful thinking.[33] Even finite godism/goddessism must grapple with the existence of evil. If the Goddess and/or God are finite, this does not excuse the evil it/they have birthed. Do we hold a finite inflictor of suffering upon humanity — like a Hitler, Stalin, or Mao — any less culpable simply because they were not infinite in their abilities? Clearly, the finite godism appeal will not exonerate the Goddess and God.

At this point, some will answer that evil derives from humanity’s failure to live in harmony with nature and/or from exercising free will. But this cannot be the answer either. Since the Goddess/God or Life Force itself contains or causes both life and death, good and evil, how can it be said that one is not in harmony with them/it if one commits or causes suffering or death?

We acknowledge that free will might account for some of the evil in the world. At best, it might explain evil that derives from one human being forcing his or her will upon another. (Which if you look closely, would account for ALL evil in the world.) But it certainly cannot account for physical or natural evil. Where, then, does evil come from? What is its origin? According to the witch’s world view, it can derive logically and ontologically only from the Goddess/God or primal Life Force. Are not they (or it) the ultimate source of all? If they (or it) created everything, and everything is a part or manifestation of them, then they are the source and origin of evil. If one says that the Goddess/God are not ultimate, then where did they come from? Who created them or gave them their free will or nature?

Depending on whether a witch is a pantheist, panentheist, and/or polytheist, there are only so many possible explanations for the origin and existence of evil. The problems inherent in a polytheistic, pantheistic, or panentheistic perspective on the problem of evil are too numerous to list.[34] However, we will address some of the more significant ones.

In a pantheistic or panentheistic universe, witches must realize that, ontologically, evil emanates or flows naturally and necessarily from the very nature of the ultimate Life Force. Creation and the existence of evil are synonymous and simultaneous.[35] This entails that suffering, death, evil, and so forth are part of the Goddess/God’s very essence or nature. Good and evil are both aspects of the One. All is contained in, arises out of, or is a manifestation of the absolute universal Life Force or principle. Evil is ultimately and necessarily part of the One which is all. Therefore, in one sense or another, the universal Life Force is responsible for all the pain, suffering, and evil that has, does, or ever will exist.

In a polytheistic framework, the Goddess(es) and God(s) are no more praiseworthy. From a brief survey of history and the evidence around us, we would have to conclude that these divine beings are blithering, bungling idiots — sort of the Inspector Clouseaus of the cosmos. They are either unwilling or unable because of their limitations to eliminate evil. They should be held in contempt inasmuch as they are responsible for much of the evil of our world which they supposedly created. (Feel better for that cheep shot?  The God and Goddess are only long-lived.  They are the wise personifications of what we are.  They are us in a number of Eons.  They are Human, not perfect, just a lot better and wiser.)

Whether in a polytheistic, pantheistic, or panentheistic universe, we can have no assurance that the Goddess/God or Life Force can or wants to defeat evil. Nor can we be sure that this is even an appropriate question, since in the latter two worlds evil is part of the One’s very nature. Therefore, evil will no more cease to exist than these entities or the Life Force itself. In other words, evil is eternal — it will always be with us.[36] It is eternal because it is either an aspect of the very nature of the “divinity” which creates and composes all (pantheism, panentheism), or these deities are too limited to permanently accomplish the task (polytheism). Only an infinite and benevolent personal God could and will banish evil from the universe.[37]

This alleged Goddess/God or Life Force is not worthy of reverence but of our rage. It is responsible for all or nearly all the pain, suffering, and sorrow that has existed or ever will exist. Who would want to worship or admire such a Goddess/God? This is an affront to our moral sensibilities. The optimism of witches and neopagans is not justified; despair ought to be their response, and a longing for the death of this alleged Goddess and her tyrannical rule.

The problem of evil is an acute dilemma — indeed, an Achilles’ heel for witches and neopagans. In light of this issue — and the witches’ emphasis on the joyful celebration of life — we must ask: Do they simply ignore evil because it is not joyous? Remember, the goddess is not only mother and maiden, but crone as well.

*POSTSCRIPT FOR PAGANS*

The world is full of wonder, beauty, and joy. This same world, however, contains paralyzing heartache, agonizing pain, misery, and the stench of death. (Yes, it is… so why are you adding to it? We do not ignore pain and misery, we choose not to dwell on it exclusively. Unlike others.) Let us experience and appreciate the joys of life. But let us view the whole panorama of life and not just a postcard picture, nor turn a deaf ear or blind eye to the suffering of humanity and creation — which is bleeding to death from a fatal wound unless a divine physician can administer a healing touch and save us.

The witches’ world is fraught with problems, and we have attempted to point out just a few of the pitfalls in the interest of their finding life — and that more abundantly (John 10:10).

*Notes*

1 C. S. Lewis, _The Screwtape Letters_ (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1975), 33.

2 For striking examples of this, _see_ note 32 in Part One of this series, and T. M. Luhrmann, _Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft: Ritual Magic in Contemporary England_ (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), 202, 279-96.

3 _See_ Norman Geisler, _Signs and Wonders_ (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1988), 47-81; _See_ also Danny Korem and Paul Meier, _The Fakers_ (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1980); and Danny Korem, _Powers: Testing the Psychic and Supernatural_ (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988).

4 _See The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology_ (DNTT), ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1980), vol. 2., s.v. “Magic, Sorcery, Magi”; _The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,_ rev. ed., ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980), vol. 1, s.v. “Divination”; _Ibid.,_ (1986), vol. 3, s.v. “Magic, Magician”; _Ibid.,_ s.v. “Medium”; and _The New Bible Dictionary,_ ed. J. D. Douglas (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978), s.v. “Magic and Sorcery.”

5 These attempts and the arguments which counter them are available upon request.

6 _See_ the _DNTT,_ vol. 1, s.v. “Demon, Air, Cast Out.” For the definitive treatment, _see_ the _Theological Dictionary of the New Testament_ (TDNT), ed. Gerhard Kittel, trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978), vol. 2, s.v. “_daimon, daimonion…._”

7 TDNT, vol. 2, 17.

8 DNTT, s.v. “_daimonion,_” vol. 1, 452.

9 _See_ Margot Adler, _Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today,_ rev. and expanded ed. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986), 23-38, 169, 172, 299, 455; Raymond Buckland, _Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft_ (St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1988), 99; Scott Cunningham, _The Truth about Witchcraft Today_ (St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1988), 66-67; Sybil Leek, _Diary of a Witch_ (New York: Signet Books, 1969), 14; Starhawk, _Dreaming the Dark,_ new ed. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988), 37-38; Starhawk, _The Spiral Dance_ (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979), 188-89.

10 _See_, e.g., Adler, 172.

11 _See,_ e.g., Luhrmann, 290-93.

12 Starhawk, _Dreaming,_ 22, 41.

13 Adler, 27-36, 169-73, 441-42, 455.

14 _See,_ e.g., Starhawk, _Spiral,_ 190, 197; Adler, 20, 169-73.

15 Consult Irving Copi, _Introduction to Logic,_ seventh ed. (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1982), 306-8.

16 _See,_ e.g., Starhawk, _Spiral,_ 188-90.

17 Stewart Farrar, _What Witches Do: The Modern Coven Revealed_ (London: Sphere Books, 1971), 43.

18 _See,_ e.g., Adler, 36, 43, 86, 164-65, 169-73; Starhawk, _Spiral,_ 188-92; Luhrmann: 274-96, 301-3, 335-36.

19 For some good treatments on logic and adequate criteria to test truth claims, _see_ Edward J. Carnell, _Introduction to Christian Apologetics_ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976), 45-62; Norman Geisler, _Christian Apologetics_ (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), 141-47; and Norman Geisler and William Watkins, _Worlds Apart: A Handbook on World Views_ (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989), 105, 262-69.

20 _See,_ e.g., Starhawk, _Spiral,_ 11-12, 14.

21 Despite the claim that witches _never_ use their real or imagined abilities to harm another, there is ample evidence to the contrary. References are available on request.

22 B. Alexander and D. Frew, _Christian/Pagan Forum,_ audio cassette (A 010), (Berkeley: SCP, 1986), October, 19.

23 Space does not permit a thorough discussion of these points. However, they are discussed at length by Geisler and Watkins in _Worlds Apart,_ 75-146, 239-53, 255-69; and Geisler, _Christian Apologetics,_ 173-213.

24 _See_ note 22.

25 Starhawk, _Spiral,_ 80.

26 _Ibid.,_ 29.

27 Erica Jong, _Witches_ (New York: Harry N. Abrams Publishers, 1981), 52.

28 Starhawk, _Dreaming,_ 43.

29 Buckland, 17.

30 Sybil Leek, _The Complete Art of Witchcraft_ (New York: Signet Books, 1973), 146-47.

31 _See_ note 28 for the horrific results of this type of belief. For some critiques of reincarnation, consult Mark C. Albrecht, _Reincarnation: A Christian Critique of a New Age Doctrine_ (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989), 51-111, 127-30; and Norman Geisler and J. Yutaka Amano, _The Reincarnation Sensation_ (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1986), 57-86, 99-102, 107-9, 112.

32 _See,_ e.g., Norman Geisler and Winfried Corduan, _Philosophy of Religion,_ 2d. ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), 297-98.

33 _Ibid.,_ 299-300.

34 _See_ notes 22 and 35.

35 Albrecht, 106-9.

36 _See_ Albrecht, 106-9, and note 22.

37 For a full discussion of this issue, _see_ Norman Geisler, _The Roots of Evil_ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979); and Geisler and Corduan, _Philosophy of Religion,_ 293-385.

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Craig Hawkins is currently president of Apologetics Information Ministry (AIM, 921 South Birch, Santa Ana, CA 92701) and the author of two new books due out in early 1996: Goddess Worship, Witchcraft and Other Neopagan Movements from Zondervan (an introductory level work) and for an expanded treatment of the article contained in this file, Witchcraft: A New Look at an Old Religion from Baker Books.

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End of document, CRJ0069A.TXT (original CRI file name), “The Modern World of Witchcraft: Part Two” release A, October 2, 1995 R. Poll, CRI

(A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.)

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