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Quit Your Witchin’ – Why God Forbids Witchcraft

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Paul Joseph

Paul is a public school teacher with a wonderful wife and some pets. He attends Redeemer Covenant Church in Arlington, OH and is not nearly as funny as he thinks he is. Paul is an awkward individual trying (and often failing) to remember the Gospel daily and live according to it. Soli Deo Gloria.

In my last article, I discussed the uprising of ‘white-witches’ in the modern age. Those that fall into this category seek to use witchcraft for the sake of (what they perceive to be) good. In this article, I want to expand on the idea of why witchcraft is forbidden in the Christian religion regardless of motive. These reasons will also constitute some of the differences between spiritual practices that are permitted and spiritual practices that are condemned (i.e. prayer vs. magic).

Discussing differences is important because it is commonly said that the Bible both condemns and advocates for the use of magic. As an example of this, one article on discussing magic written by a skeptic equates magic and prayer as being the same thing:

When you pray, the words and thoughts are believed to achieve potential results. This is no different from a wizard or a pagan casting a spell.

It becomes easy to see where the confusion lies as the author continues:

 It is supernatural because the effect is not achieved through the physical laws of nature that can be investigated through science. Magic is simply a form of supernaturalism bought about via ritual or spoken words.1

Here, the author conflates supernaturalism and magic. It is rightly pointed out that magic is a form of supernaturalism, but then he continues through the work to equate the two, as though any supernaturalism is magic.

This is not a new charge and we see Christians objecting to it very early in history. Take St. Augustine’s defense against people claiming that Jesus Christ was a magician:

Moreover, let those who madly fancy that it was by the use of magical arts that He was able to do the great things which He did, and that it was by the practice of such rites that He made His name a sacred thing to the peoples who were to be converted to Him, give their attention to this question,—namely, whether by the exercise of magical arts, and before He was born on this earth, He could also have filled with the Holy Spirit those mighty prophets who aforetime declared those very things concerning Him as things destined to come to pass, which we can now read in their accomplishment in the gospel, and which we can see in their present realization in the world. For surely, even if it was by magical arts that He secured worship for Himself, and that, too, after His death, it is not the case that He was a magician before He was born. Nay, for the office of prophesying on the subject of His coming, one nation had been most specially deputed; and the entire administration of that commonwealth was ordained to be a prophecy of this King who was to come, and who was to found a heavenly state drawn out of all nations.2

Not all supernaturalism is the same and there is good reason to make distinctions. With some of these forms there are good reasons for them to be forbidden. We will look at two reasons below, source and a lack of submission.

I. Source

In some places in Scripture occultic practices seem to be mocked and derided as having no or little effect or being used by charlatans (Isaiah 47:12-14). Other times, however, these practices are acknowledged to have a kind of power and their reality is not disregarded. It is very true that much of what goes on in occultic circles is merely pseduo-science and self-deception. It is further true that frauds take advantage of desperate people in these ways. Sometimes, however, these practices do manifest real results and real power is drawn. In the Bible, we see real miracles done by some against God’s people and not done by His power (See: Exodus 7-8 & Acts 16:16-18).

It is important to note that  many have this pantheistic mindset underneath it all.

As I mentioned in the previous article, one of the big reasons for the prohibition by God against witchcraft is the source from which it draws. Below I will be going through a few ideas that witches have concerning their source of power and then following up with a Christian response.

Divine Energy

Paganism is by no means monolithic, and thus witchcraft itself is equally diverse. As the foundational interpretation of how the universe works, many take a pantheistic approach. Pantheism is defined as: ‘the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God’s personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.”3

In essence, we all derive from Source, or the Divine, or the Universal Oneness, or God. Not only are we derivatives, however, but we are God (or Source, or the Divine), in fact all things are God. We are connected to all other things because all other things are the same as we are, whether it be people, spirit beings, cats, trees, or the sun; we are all God. So say the Beatles: “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”

This Pantheistic approach is found most commonly in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and also makes its rounds as the foundation of New Age teaching (which is distinct yet related to paganism). As a result, nature itself is seen as sacred and is often the object of worship in these communities.

In discussing Neo-Paganism, one author writes:

Many Neo-Pagans are pantheistic.  They experience divinity not as something outside of us, but as something we are a part of. Neo-Pagans perceive a “deeper”…power, which is present in nature, in our own selves, and in the process of our lives. They seek to live in accordance with this deeper, sacred dimension.4

The vast majority of pagan practitioners claim to tap into the universal energy Source. By doing this they are able to affect change. Read what  pagan priestess Amanda Wilson has to say about this pervasive energy:

Illustration of a Chakra System.

Energy comprises everything you see, feel, and hear. When witches, mages, and all other magickal folk perform magick, they are using energy to manifest their will…Within your body, and around your body, is an energy body. I’m sure you’ve heard of an aura—this is like the skin of your energy body. Inside your aura are networks of energy centers and channels—your chakras and meridians. I’m sure you’ve heard of the seven chakras along the middle of your body—Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Brow, and Crown. These energy centers are wheels of energy, swirling in frequencies we identify by the color associated with the frequency. These are far from the only chakras in your body though—there are thousands!…Energy travels along meridians and through the chakras, like blood flows along veins and through organs and arteries. The way the energy flows is referred to as an energy circuit.5

Modern pagans differ on some of this, though this is typically the backdrop adopted when consulting the other sources mentioned below. Within nature, it is said, energy flows through all things. Through us, through others, through trees, the sun, the gods, and other spirits. In this mindset, it is this energy that is being tapped into in order to produce the desired results.

As we look briefly at a couple of examples on how practitioners of witchcraft approach magic, it is important to note that  many have this pantheistic mindset underneath it all. We will look at witches who seek out the dead or even deities, but even these beings for many are an outworking of this pantheistic, energy-current mentality.

A Christian Response

The Christian issue with this is much deeper than what the scope of this post will allow. There are many philosophical, logical, and scientific problems with this view of the universe which warrant special and focused attention. However it must be recognized that Christians come from a fundamentally different perspective on the way the universe works, or even what it is.

We reject pantheism as we see the necessity of a creature/Creator distinction as well as the command to see such a distinction by the Creator through his revealed word. There is a difference between God and man, an immense and infinite chasm and to confuse or conflate the two results in much error. That this is true at least from a Biblical perspective is clear:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. -Genesis 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. -John 1:1-3

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. -Colossians 1:16-17

God is the creator and sustainer of all things and confusing ourselves with him and seeking to put ourselves on his level is one of the most dangerous and oldest sins (Genesis 3:5; Isaiah 14:11-15).

Spirits of the Dead

Some occultic practices involve contacting the dead. Mediums and necromancers are prime examples of this. In an article in Spiral Current Magazine entitled Necromancy in the Digital Age, one necromancer gives some insight into modern necromancy:

A Magician by Edward Kelly

What we do is cultivate a working relationship with the death current. Some necromancers offer their services as mediums, while others relegate their practice to connecting with and honouring relatives who have passed and seek their assistance. An example of this would be taking graveyard dirt from a relative’s burial place to use in a sorcerous work. Some necromancers still practice the ancient art of throwing bones, which consists of tossing human and or animal bones onto a mat and deciphering their meaning.6

In line with the idea of pantheism is the ‘death current’ which the above author defines as: “The death current is the wavelength that is imbued with the residual and varying energies of the deceased. It is the direct line for the departed.” and goes on to say, “In order to connect with the dead one must be in tune with the death current.”

We see this kind of activity in religions like Voodoo or Santeria, and even certain holidays. Often people will seek out the dead in order to reconnect with loved ones they missed or get receive advice from someone who has passed who was formerly a wise adviser. The practice can also be done as a form of divination or assistance from those who are now deceased.

A Christian Response

In Scripture, we often find laments of God over the idolatry of his people in seeking out the dead for knowledge or power. Consider God’s words in Isaiah 8:19:

And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?

God is the infinite and all-knowing God, but the dead are neither.

Scripture is relatively silent on the ‘activity’ of the dead that are in Sheol/Hades and Christians are not in agreement as to what they can and cannot do. Do they roam the earth? Can they come through if summoned? Do they grow in intelligence? Do they follow world events? Do they have favorite football teams?

There is some indication that spirits are not free to roam about of their own accord (Luke 16:19-31) or if they could that they would be very much help (Ecclesiastes 9:10). However, there is one instance of such a thing with Saul and the Witch of Endor, though this is a special case and little solid information can be derived from it concerning these things as a whole.

Commenting on the Jewish conception of the intermediate state, C.S. Lewis writes:

From the earliest times the Jews, like many other nations, had believed that man possessed a “soul”or Nephesh separable from the body, which went at death into the shadowy world called Sheol: a land of forgetfulness and imbecility where none called upon Jehovah and more, a land half unreal and melancholy like the Hades of the Greeks or the Niflheim of the Norseman. From it shades could return and appear to the living, as Samuel’s shade had done at the command of the Witch of Endor.7

Uncertainty of the capabilities and freedom of the disembodied dead should be enough to deter us from occult practices that seek them out. Theoretically, even if we were to get a response from our call, there is no way to know if that spirit is who he/she claims to be. For those that are with the Lord, it is highly unlikely that he would permit them to go to a summons by forbidden means (with the exception of Samuel in order to cast judgment), and he has given no permitted means to contact them.

At best, mediums and necromancers are able to contact the dead. In this case they would likely have very little information to deliver. At worst, spirits that come to these people are not the human dead, but rather demons or other malevolent spirits who are masquerading as the dead in order to deceive.

Deities and Other Non-Human Spirits

Many witches pray to their gods or goddesses to gain what they desire. Some choose a god (or they are chosen by one) to sacrifice to, others convene with all gods from a particular pantheon, while still others take an eclectic approach and attempt contact and gain favor from any god in any pantheon (whether Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian, Celtic, Native American, etc.).

The Assembly of God’s Around Jupiter’s Throne by Giulio Romano

Conceptions of what the gods actually are is somewhat varied among pagans. Some regard them as real spiritual entities with personalities and powers, some believe them to be real but serve an archetypal function (being facets of the Divine), or instead being purely archetypal with no actual personality or being. Alongside deities, some witches will seek out other spiritual beings such as elementals, fairies, sprites, nymphs, or giants.

I feel that it is important to note at this point (and will be relevant later in this article) that not all prayer to pagan deities are in and of themselves witchcraft. There is a difference between prayer and magic and there are some pagans (generally Hellenists, though there are plenty of Hellenist witches) that do not perform magic as they feel it violates the desires of their gods.7 The communion with deities that I am speaking of in this section is that of gathering energy and pulling from that source or otherwise commanding a deity through some means of perceived force or compulsion.

A Christian Response

There is a great risk in contacting and partnering with other gods.8 On the meta-scale, God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). He alone is the rightful creator and perfectly true, so he alone is worthy of worship. Scripture makes clear that other gods are deceivers, created beings that are also in rebellion. They will undergo punishment just like men (Psalm 82:1,6-7; Jude 6).

As the Apostle Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 10:20:

…what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.

Dr. John MacArthur seconds this perspective saying:

I’m talking about the ability of Satan to work wonders in a supernatural realm through the power of his demons. That is known as magic in the true sense. The world of the occult. And it’s running rampant all over everywhere.9

As we saw in the last article, recognition of this is not exclusive to Christians as this is pointed out by Satanist Anton LaVey:

All magic is the realm of the Devil, no matter how righteously you dress it up.10

When we begin seeking other-wordly sources beyond God we open ourselves up to the demonic. These gods are concerned with you only insofar as they can offend the true God, draw people away from him, and hurt those people as well. They are not concerned with telling the truth or opening up to you who they truly are. This is noted again by the Apostle Paul in his first letter to Timothy:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

The simple fact is that only God is trustworthy. God does not lie and he does not change (Malachi 3:6). When we use occultic practices to seek out spirits, we open ourselves up to all kinds of demonic and lying entities and while God abhors it, he often allows us to indulge in our self-deception by permitting lying spirits to enter when we invite them. God is not obligated to intervene when we rebel against him and discard his warnings. When we worship or seek after the creature rather than the Creator, the Creator gives us over to our lusts (Romans 1:21-25). We should heed the words of Moses’ song as he lays out the transgression of God’s people in their idolatry:

“But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
then he forsook God who made him
and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
with abominations they provoked him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
whom your fathers had never dreaded.
You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
and you forgot the God who gave you birth.

-Deuteronomy 32:15-18

II. Submission

The second major reason for the prohibition of witchcraft is that it is an act of refusal to submit to God’s will. In her opening statement of an interview, one witch says:

I don’t want to wait for God to answer my prayers. That’s why I’m a witch.

She then closes her interview with this:

When I think of what witchcraft means to me, it does stem from this autonomous, female [idea]. Like a warrior who just lives by her own means, who takes care of herself by any means necessary and doesn’t ask anyone for permission.11

The desire for autonomy is clear here. The practitioner of witchcraft does as he/she does in an effort to grasp independence and self-reliance. These things are certainly not motives exclusively for witches, they extend to us all and manifest themselves in differing ways. The lengths of which some of us may go to achieve this (or at least to believe we have achieved it) are sometimes very great and very terrifying.

In this same vein, one of the key differences between something like prayer and a magic spell or incantation is in the posture of the one saying a prayer over the one saying  a spell. A witch going by the pseudonym Salgamma points out the difference well,

 In prayer, a person pleas with their deity for assistance. Energy wise, the person praying is asking that something be changed, and believes that the request will result in a change.

In magick, we use our inner energy, combined with earthly and elemental energy and Deity energy, and send this forth do[sic] accomplish the goal of our spell. I think it’s like “breaking” in the game of pool. We are controlling [the] stick (our spell), while we gather the energy to push the stick/spell. Our Cone Of Power is like the cue ball, and the racked balls are the target, which effects a change (breaks, or the goal of our spell) from the force of our energy…

I feel that a prayer works the opposite way. The prayer is a request to effect a change in the ambient energy and invoke God (using the Christian form).12

Here, the difference is that prayer is a request. One is appealing to God (or a ‘god’) to do something. Witchcraft, on the other hand, seeks to control what is happening. Divine energy is being gathered by the witch in order to affect or manifest a desired result through that power within the witch him/herself.

A Christian Response

God has a plan for us, a course for the world. But we humans are a fickle bunch and we often think we know better. When we pray and fast to God, we do so as citizens bringing their requests before a sovereign king. Too often, however, God gets painted as a genie who is bound by our requests when we make them.

When this fails to be true, when we make requests to God and his answer is ‘no’ or ‘not yet,’ we can be tempted to be angry with him and seek out other methods of getting what we want.

Enter, witchcraft.

Our natural state is one that seeks autonomy. We do not want God to be involved in our lives nor do we want to follow his rules. To wait on him and for him seems like utter misery so we puff ourselves up with an illusion of autonomy, forgetting that if we had our way and were able to be completely separated from God, the giver of life, the result would be death. This idea of ‘living by our own means’ fails when we consider that it is in God that we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Throughout our lives, we as Christians are to consider what the will of God is and be submissive to that will. Attempting to take the reigns ourselves without seeking  the counsel of God becomes an act of rebellion and boasting. Consider the words of James:

Come 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”—yet 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. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. -James 4:13-16

These are strange words to our modern ears. In Western culture, there is a tendency towards hyper-indivdualism and independence. We want to be islands, to make our own decisions as seems best to us and cast out anyone who objects. Even many non-witches could see the appeal of witchcraft based solely on the fact that it is an attempt to get things done ourselves.

But this is not how our world works and even our lives are not our own. God may allow people to rebel for a time, but this too will end. Rebellion will in no way inhibit his own plans to redeem his people and punish those who are not submissive to him. At the end of the day, every knee will bow (Romans 14:11).

Teachings such as this become less and less strange when we consider ourselves. Who has not looked up at the stars and seen the the depth of the universe (or at least what can be seen by the naked eye) and not felt a deep sense of foreboding and awe at their own smallness. When experiencing the sudden death of a loved one, who has not been shaken by the frailty of their own mortality?

 

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Humans have value and worth, but that worth comes from God in that he has made us bearers of his image. But rebelling against God makes us poor image bearers of him by not reflecting his character and representing him properly. And if we do not bear the image of God well and accept his son then we reject the very part of us that does give us value.

I don't want to wait for God to answer my prayers. That's why I'm a witch.

The attempt at controlling the supernatural is misguided and shows a great deal of hubris. It can certainly be argued that Christians have the authority through Christ to cast out the demonic, but we have no reason to believe that this means we can bend them to do our will or that we have power in and of ourselves to affect things. In his work Of God and His People, St. Thomas Aquinas comments on this very thing:

It is not the way of a rightly ordered intelligence, supposing it to be a superior being, to take orders from an inferior; or, supposing it to be an inferior, to suffer itself to be entreated as though it were a superior being. But magicians invoke those whose assistance they use, with supplication, as though they were superior beings; and then, when they have come, they command them as though they were inferiors.13

This is even more so when the supernatural thing we are trying to control is God. We must approach him with meekness and humility with the understanding that God will work His will and that He knows what is best. We cannot force God to do our bidding, nor can we assume what His will is. We should let our requests be made known to Him trusting that He will do what is best for our good and His glory.

As Christians, when we request something from God we need to do so with the recognition that God might say "no" or "not yet" (2 Corinthians 12:6-10). This matter is one of importance today with many 'name-and-claim-it' teachers espousing a dangerous view of the function of prayer.

Jared C. Wilson comments on this saying:

Prayer isn’t magic, because we have no power in and of ourselves. Prayer is expressed helplessness. But also, prayer isn’t magic, because God isn’t helpless without our moving him or unleashing him or activating him in some way...So in prayer, you are not commanding the Spirit or summoning the Spirit like he’s a cosmic butler. In prayer, you are not in the place of control but in the place of submission.14

A Brief Word on the Temptation of Witchcraft

If witchcraft is on the rise (and I believe that the demographics indicate it is) then we need to have an answer for those that are in those practices to show them how we differ and why we consider their practice dangerous. We also need to guard ourselves and those we lead (whether it be our churches or our children) that God is sovereign over all and that His will and His timing is best. There is danger in witchcraft, but in times of desperation there is also appeal - especially when it is culturally accepted.

The second of my two reasons for the prohibition against witchcraft was that it disregarded submission to God's will. This certainly something that we all struggle with, Christian or not. In times of difficulty we think to ourselves "Where is God? Why won't he hear my prayers?" and in our frustration we entertain ideas of going against his commands and abandoning the faith.

Grief and despair can move people to drastic actions and risks. We should have grace and patience with those who are hurting.

Many are tempted to go this route out of sheer desperation. Some do not have rebellion specifically in mind, but they are heart-broken and in need, confused and in despair. Oftentimes, these people subjugate themselves to deception and are taken advantage of by charlatans, while others open themselves up to many spiritual dangers.

Because of how beneath-the-surface witchcraft has been and the mis-characterization of it, many readers may simply not understand such an appeal because it is difficult for many of us to grasp the weight and reality of something that has, in large part, been consider a joke in our time. But temptation is real for some and as these practices spread it will only be more difficult for those in the Church to accept that God has his own decrees and plans that we are called to submit to.

You may not find witchcraft the least bit tempting. Good! Praise God! But keep in mind that for others trusting God is difficult and in desperate trials the idea of trying magic to alleviate pain may be very compelling.

Conclusion: Ordained Spiritual Practice

We may find initial frustration at reading accounts in the Bible of these magnificent miracles and wonder why we cannot do these things ourselves. Why can't we call down fire from the heavens or part large bodies of water? The answer is that the Lord does not exist in order to act as our performing monkey. Even miracles in the Scripture are few and far between when we consider the long history the narrative spans.

God has a specific purpose and intends to communicate specific things when we see miracles in Scripture. These are the exception to the human experience not the rule. With this said, we are not commanded to ignore the spiritual realm, merely to approach it with caution. We do this by approaching it in the ways that are ordained in Scripture and given to us to continue.

Today, we have several means that are prescribed to us to help us access the spiritual realm in a way that is honoring to God. All of these, first and foremost, are directly between us and God, not to any other being in that realm. In terms of ordinances, we have Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

The former connects us with Christ, in his death and his resurrection.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. -Romans 6:3-10

having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. -Colossians 2:12

Similarly, the Lord's Supper helps us to remember Christ's death for us, but it also allows us to commune with Him. To eat and drink with the Lord and with all the saints, those living and those in the heavenly places.

Prayer is a powerful and acceptable way for us to enter into the supernatural and commune with God.

Furthermore, we have prayer. This is the most direct and (should be) the most frequent act of entering into the spiritual realm. But so often we view it as mundane - I am guilty of this daily. Prayer ought to be an exciting thing for us where we recognize what is happening beyond what we can see and we speak with the God that made it all.

After quoting Hebrews 4:16, Donald Whitney comments in his book The Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life:

We can be prayer pessimists and see the expectation to pray merely as an obligation, or we can be optimists who view the command to pray as an opportunity to receive the mercy and grace of God.15

Many other examples could be given such as hearing the Word preached or reading the Word yourself, meditating, worship, fasting, etc. The fact is that the Lord has given us an abundance of methods to enter into the spiritual realm, but he seeks to protect us from the dangers that occur from communing with demons as well as the danger that occurs from disobedience to him.

God is a God of love and protection, but he is also a just judge that does not let sin go unpunished. He is holy and good and though we are sinners, he has provided a way for us to seek him, to be with him. When we pray, do we realize what we are doing? Do we recognize that our spirits are connecting with the Spirit, to give thanks and to make requests; to grow in a right relationship with him. And it is with him alone that our access into this realm should occur, anything else leads to danger.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. -Romans 5:1-2

God has given us means to approach him in the spiritual realm and he has likewise given us certain prohibitions in this regard. In practicing witchcraft we rebel against God. Beyond this, we open ourselves up to attack and deception (whether by humans or by spirits). We should be careful in how we approach God, not coming to him as though he must do as we say, but by making our requests known with humble, submissive, and thankful hearts.

We should also be excited about the means God has given us to connect with him. I struggle with this on a daily basis, and I'm sure many of you do too. So often it feels like we are begrudgingly uttering some words to our ceiling because it is something we think we should do. But it is more than that. God, the God who created and sustains all things has offered us ways to speak with him, to make requests to him, and to give thanks to him. If we can stare out at the stars and wonder at our smallness, then how much smaller and more thankful should we be to speak with the One who made them?

References:

 

  1. Crabtree, Vexen. "Prayer is Magic, and Prayers are Spells." Human Religions, http://www.humanreligions.info/prayer_is_magic.html. Accessed July 13, 2019.
  2. St. Augustine of Hippo. The Harmony of the Gospels. Accessed online, https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf106.vi.iv.xi.html. Accessed July 16, 2019.
  3. "Pantheism." Dictonary, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/pantheistic. Accessed July 6, 2019.
  4. Halstead, John. "We're Not All Witches: An Introduction to Neo-Paganism." Huffpost, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/were-not-all-witches-an-i_b_8228434
  5. https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/The-Witches-Power-Energy-Sources-Circuits-and-Transfers. Accessed July 13, 2019.
  6. Dolley, Larry Love. "Necromancy in the Digital Age. Spiral Nature Magazine, August 20, 2019. https://www.spiralnature.com/magick/necromancy-digital-age/ Accessed July 9, 2019.
  7. Lewis, C.S. Miracles. 1947. Macmillan Publishing Co. 1960. p. 145.
  8. This is a good article explaining this perspective from a pagan perspective.
  9. Some may be confused with my choice of words here or the way I discuss 'gods.' I use the term 'gods' broadly to refer to various divine beings that accept worship as gods and are involved in spiritual activity. This is not meant to equate God (YHWH) with other 'gods,' there is a clear ontological distinction (which I believe I make clear).
  10. MacArthur, John. "Demons and Magic." Grace to You, https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/1218/demons-and-magic. Accessed July 6, 2019.
  11. Johnson, Bob. "Dinner With the Devil: An evening with Anton Szandor LaVey, the High Priest of the Church of Satan." High Society Magazine. Aug. 1994.
    https://www.churchofsatan.com/interview-high-society. Accessed May 2, 2019. As a word of caution for brothers and sisters in Christ, this is a Satanic website and it does contain graphic content.
  12. "Brooklyn Witch Answers Questions and Debunks Myths About Magic." Youtube, uploaded by Refinery 29, June 14,2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYrm9YZBeqs.
  13. Salgamma. "Magick vs. Prayer." Pagan Library, https://www.paganlibrary.com/introductory/magick_vs_prayer.php. Accessed July 13,2019.
  14. Aquinas, Thomas. Of God and His Creatures. Accessed online https://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/gentiles.vi.lxxxiv.html. Accessed July 16, 2019.
  15. Wilson, Jared C. "Prayer Isn't Magic." Gospel Coalition, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/jared-c-wilson/prayer-isnt-magic/. Accessed July 13, 2019.
  16. Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. 1991. NavPress, 2014. p. 82.

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Paul Joseph

Paul is a public school teacher with a wonderful wife and some pets. He attends Redeemer Covenant Church in Arlington, OH and is not nearly as funny as he thinks he is. Paul is an awkward individual trying (and often failing) to remember the Gospel daily and live according to it. Soli Deo Gloria.

1 Comment

  1. The statement by the witch “I don’t want to wait for God to answer my prayers. That’s why I’m a witch.” is telling and sad. It’s tantamount foolishness to trade in the greatest power for lesser powers that require such a great cost (one’s soul) just because of impatience. Christians must wait on God for an answer, like a child would a parent. This is a loving kindness from God to us and it should be instructive: we are not mature enough about the spiritual realm to have direct access to power. A child should not have autonomy in a household, let alone an entire Kingdom, to do whatever they please.

    This is one reason why Jesus says “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” If we see ourselves rightly, we will see ourselves children of the King, with limited access to power, but this doesn’t remove our ability to make the appeal “Do you know who my Dad is?” like a child would. 

    The witch’s impatient use of occult power is like a stray child who appeals to the neighborhood troubled teenager who breaks into the rich family’s house, steals the the children’s clothes & toys, the man’s car keys, alcohol, and whatever else, then drives the child around to do whatever pleases the child as well as encouraging the child into more trouble than they bargained for. The teenager is the player who is really in control and eventually the man of the house will come home and there will be a reckoning for both.

    I imagine that as we mature in Christ and eventually inherit the Kingdom, in full in the next life, we could be more akin to adult children who operate within the Kingdom with greater access to God’s power. We will rule with Christ and judge the angels after all.

    Though there’s an open invitation to be adopted as the rich man’s daughter, this witch would rather throw away everything the rich man has to offer because she knows he would tell her no from time to time.

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