Who do Wiccans worship?

PentacleThere’s an interesting item in today’s Washington Post about a soldier killed in Afghanistan who was a Wiccan. The fact that a veteran’s cemetary is not letting his widow put a pentacle (a pagan symbol, pictured right) on his memorial is a controversy in itself.

But what jumped off the page to me in the Post article was it’s description of Wicca:

Wiccans still suffer, however, from the misconception that they are devil worshipers. Some Wiccans call themselves witches, pagans or neopagans. Most of their rituals revolve around the cycles of nature, such as equinoxes and phases of the moon. Wiccans often pick and choose among religious traditions, blending belief in reincarnation and feminine gods with ritual dancing, chanting and herbal medicine (source).

As I read the Post’s characterization of this neo-pagan religion, it sounded very familiar. Actually, it sounded just like Dan Brown’s attempt to rehabilitate paganism in The DaVinci Code. Here’s the pertinent section from Chapter 6 of The DaVinci Code:

Langdon said. “Primarily, the pentacle is a pagan religious symbol.”
Fache nodded. “Devil worship.”
“No,” Langdon corrected, immediately realizing his choice of vocabulary should have been clearer.
Nowadays, the term pagan had become almost synonymous with devil worship—a gross misconception . . . the pentacle’s true origins were actually quite godly. (The DaVinci Code, Chapter 6).

What should we make of the claims by the Washington Post, Dan Brown, and many others who are trying to rehabilitate paganism by disassociating it from Satan worship?

We must recognize, first of all, that the Wiccans probably don’t think they are worshipping Satan. I’m sure that they think of Satan as a figure in the Christian tradition with which they want nothing to do. In this sense, the Post and Brown are accurate.

Nevertheless, paganism is not new, and the Bible has a definitive word concerning what it is that the Wiccans are worshipping.

In the apostle Paul’s day, he warned the Corinthian Christians against participating in pagan religious ceremonies. Paul told them that when people gave sacrifices to any of the deities of the Greco-Roman pantheon of gods, they were actually sacrificing to “demons” (1 Cor 10:20).

It’s not that Corinthian pagans were consciously worshipping demons, it’s just that demonic powers were actually behind the purported Greco-Roman gods, whether the pagans knew it or not. Make no mistake, as with every other brand of paganism that has ever existed, the Wiccans serve demonic powers whether they realize it or not.

Dan Brown and the Washington Post, however, are not operating from a biblical worldview when they try to separate paganism from the worship of Demons. They are merely reflecting the twisted conscience of a culture that has long since jettisoned a Judeo-Christian view of such things.

The good news is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for pagans too. Just as the Lord was pleased to save pagan Corinthians from their vices (1 Cor 6:11), so He is strong to save neo-pagan Americans even today. Let’s pray that the Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and raised for pagans will be lifted up and heralded in our own day. It is this Christ who is our only hope in a world that is increasingly enthralled with the doctrines of demons (1 Tim 4:1).

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14 thoughts on “Who do Wiccans worship?”

  1. You are truly blessed to have such a stong conviction to your faith. But not all Americans are Christian.
    The point is freedon of religion not whether your religion or mine are better. Remember:
    The First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Linda. No disagreements there. I affirm the freedom of Wiccans to be Wiccans under the U.S. Constitution.

    All I’m saying is that there is a higher accountability that we all must answer to. The crucified and resurrected Christ is the King over every earthly and demonic power, and He requires the obedience of the nations. At the judgment, an appeal to the U.S. Constitution will not be an excuse for anyone who spurns their true and rightful King.

  3. “The crucified and resurrected Christ is the King over every earthly and demonic power…”

    Sorry, I don’t believe in your belief. And the Constitution nor the Dept. of Veterans Affairs can make me. I am not a pagan or wiccan either.

    Do you truly believe in demonic power? Do you believe that Satan lives in the center of the earth and burns sinners eternally?

    I would much rather believe in a positive energy that flows through the earth, sky, wind, and sea. It is much more beautiful than a vengeful god who floods the world, sends plagues, and sends bad people to hell.

    Interestingly, you referenced Wikipedia for the pentacle symbol. If you would also have referenced it for a definition of Wicca, you would find no mentions of demonic or satanic workship, other than one sentence that says an upsidedown pentacle is what satanists use as their symbol. Wicca is about life and the earth. Not about satanism.

  4. Sorry for the multiple posts. I somehow missed this on the first read, but Wikipedia (see link above) has this to say about the confustion between Wicca and satanism:

    “In modern times, Wiccans have been incorrectly associated with black magic and Satanism…”

    “The conservative Christian James Clement Taylor has commented on the subject of persecution of Wiccans that ‘these people of Wicca have been terribly slandered by us. They have lost jobs, and homes, and places of business because we have assured others that they worship Satan, which they do not. We have persecuted them…'”

  5. Johnny,

    Thank you for your spirited interaction. You wrote: “I would much rather believe in a positive energy that flows through the earth, sky, wind, and sea. It is much more beautiful than a vengeful god who floods the world, sends plagues, and sends bad people to hell.”

    Probably at the root of our differences is a disagreement about how we know about what we know about God. At the end of the day, God isn’t who we imagine Him to be, but who He has revealed Himself to be. Thus I cannot choose what I want God to be. He is who He is, quite apart from what anyone might want or wish for Him to be.

    The question is, how do we come to know God as He truly is and not as we would have Him to be? I have found the answer to that question in the Holy Scriptures which claim to be the written revelation of God to man. As it turns out, God is not playing hide and seek, but He has revealed Himself to us in the Scripture. And there we find that written testimony of Jesus Christ, who is the Redeemer and ultimate revelation of God to man: “1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in [His] Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

    What is clear in Scripture, is that God has chosen to give all judgment over to His Son Jesus Christ (John 5:27) and that one day there will be a separation of the righteous from the wicked (John 5:29; Revelation 20:11-15).

    To answer your question, “Do you believe that Satan lives in the center of the earth and burns sinners eternally?” The answer is no. I don’t believe that, nor is that what Christianity teaches (despite what medieval and renaissance art might suggest). Biblically speaking, hell is not a place where Satan rules and tortures sinners. Satan himself will be punished in hell (Revelation 20:10). According to the Bible, Hell is a scary place (wherever it is, though I agree that it’s not subterranean) not because Satan is there but because God’s wrath is there forever and ever.

    The good news is that God has made a way so that sinners don’t have to endure the due punishment for their sin and suffer the wrath of God forever. God sent His Son Jesus to die in place of sinners, such that when Jesus died on the cross He absorbed the wrath of God on behalf of sinners. Moreover, when Jesus was raised bodily from the grave, His resurrection gives assurance to anyone who believes in Him that they too will be resurrected in the age to come and will live forever with Him in a new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-8).

    This is historic orthodox Christianity. We who believe in Christ have assurance of forgiveness of our sins in the present, and we are indwelled by His Spirit as we wait for the day when He will come again and make all things new.

    I hope you will consider this Jesus, the One spoken of in the Scriptures. His offer of salvation is for every sinner, and that includes both me and you.

    Thanks so much.

    Sincerely,
    Denny

  6. I’ve been a Christian all my life. I was baptized as an infant into the Roman Catholic Church 67 years ago. In the past 30 years I’ve become less and less a believer. I’m especially disbelieving of those who believe in the inerancy(sp) of the Bible. It is a book, after all, which is claimed to be what it is by itself. That in itself seems to be suspect. I’m also especially disturbed by those who call themselves “Conservative Christians” and who seek to have the government do their bidding.

    I would ask you one question: Do you believe that creation happened as it is written in the Bible? And do you believe that it should be taught in schools either as a 7 day happening or as “Intelligent Design”.

    You may say that this has no bearing on this discussion. If so, I would say that it has a bearing on all your blogs as you constantly bring up quotes from the Bible to support your arguements. I think all who read you should know where you stand on one of the primary claims of the bible.

    Charlie

  7. Charlie,

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, I believe the Bible’s depiction of a 7 day creation. Do I think the secular state can advocate Christianity’s teachings in public schools? No.

    But even in answering your question in the way that I have, that is not to say anything about Intelligent Design (ID). ID is not a distinctly Christian teaching nor does it hold that the world was created in 7 days. ID should not be confused with creationism.

    Thanks again,
    Denny

  8. I have just two brief points

    1. You say: “It’s not that Corinthian pagans were consciously worshipping demons, it’s just that demonic powers were actually behind the purported Greco-Roman gods, whether the pagans knew it or not.”

    How can any christian be sure that exactly the same is not true of themselves? That the God which they worship is not in fact some inscrutable authoritarian ‘demonic’ power masquerading as the God with which you are familiar?

    I would argue that the only way one can be sure is through one’s own faith.

    Of course, in any case both of our arguments hang on the interpretation of the word ‘Demon’. I would suggest that we both probably share some very strong connotations about what a ‘demon’ is, but can we be sure that Paul was using the word in the same way?

    I would be interested if you know of original Hebrew or Greek word which was translated into ‘demon’.

    2. On another point of language, there are many interpretations of the word ‘Pagan’, which should not be confused: for example, I am sure that at some points in history, the word has been loosely used to describe any non-christian form of worship, and under some modern definitions, Hinduism for example would fall clearly into the definition of paganism, despite its obvious parallels with Christian theology.

    The word ‘pagan’ comes from the latin meaning ‘rustic’, and therefore was presumably originally used to refer to the indigenous religious practices of Any rural communities.

    Whereas Paul talks about ‘paganism’ (again, I would be very interested to know what the associations of the original greek/hebrew words were), as (I would hazard) a polytheistic, sacrifice-based form of worship, such as was practiced all over the Mediterranian at the time, by contrast, many modern individuals who label themselves ‘Pagan’ tend towards Monotheistic belief in a Primal Mother figure. I cannot imagine that the Bible has anything specific to say about such forms of worship, unless one makes the rash mistake of lumping all non-abrahamic beliefs in together.

    I would be very interested to hear your comments on these points.

    Leveret

  9. Here’s my take…

    1) Let people be buried how they want to be buried. The Bible says that we should share the Gospel with others and split if they don’t heed the Good News. It does not say that we should deny them their folly. This guy more than likely has it bad enough now that he is in God’s hands to be judged. At least let his family have what he would have wanted while he was alive here.

    2) Since the ID debate was brought up, I only have this to say: Time is an abstract concept in The Bible many times. “40 days and 40 nights” was a Hebrew turn of phrase to say, “longer than anyone knew.” God Himself says that a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. So, why is it that we’re expected to understand the creation of the universe as a six day event? I have no problem with the idea that God’s fingerprints are all over the universe.

    3) If there are still people upset over Denny’s treatment of paganism, Christianity and the happy spirits that flow, please read on for a second.

    Do yourselves a favor. Strip your mind of all of the stupidity done in the name of Christianity in the past 2000 years. Then forget that Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker, Benny Hinn, Tom DeLay, The Shrub, Ralph Reed or any of these other nincompoops ever existed.

    Just for fun, go kick any “Christian” that tells you that God likes tax cuts for the rich. Do likewise for those same “Christians” that tell you that welfare breeds sin (I’ve heard this), that refuse to tip at least 20% or that tithe at their super-rich church but refuse to give to inner city missions that really need the cash. Good.

    Now go back and read about the life of Jesus. Go back and read the parables, read about the people healed and the lives saved.

    Read the epistles of Paul, and READ BETWEEN THE LINES. Understand that this stuff was written 1900-2000 years ago, and relax when you get to the verses about women keeping silent all the time. Take comfort in the fact that Paul wasn’t taking money for his ministry, unlike the Joel Osteens and other “God wants you to be rich!” types. Take comfort in the fact that Paul was saying that there is freedom to goof up in the love of Christ.

    Try finding that freedom in any of the other religions of the world. You won’t find it. It is that freedom which is the product of true love. Like a father has for his child. No matter how much we may mess up, our Father still loves us, and as long as we seek His blessing and His forgiveness, we will receive it.

    In Hinduism, in order to be blessed, you must be of the right caste. In Islam, in order to be blessed, you must be in constant struggle. In Buddhism, you must constantly follow the eightfold path. In Christianity, you need only ask, and ask sincerely for Christ’s redemption that was brought through His blood on the Cross.

    In the end, for those who are questioning, feel free to question. And most certainly, question the sanity of “Christians” in the last 20 years who have put politics above Christ and His ideals, or who think that one party is intrinsically linked to Christianity. But when you get straight down to the ideas put out there by Christ, and not by Man, you will find that Christianity is the right, the true and the only path.

  10. Denny,

    Knowing that you think the Earth and all creatures in it happened in 7 days as the Bible says it does tells me that we have no basis for any discussion.

    I leave knowing that you are not worth talking to.

    Have a good life,

    Charlie

  11. If you read slowly and carefully, you’ll discover that he did it 6 days. That said, how long should it take for God to create and fill the heavens and the earth?

    Rafe

  12. “No matter how much we may mess up, our Father still loves us, and as long as we seek His blessing and His forgiveness, we will receive it”

    Paul, I think the Catholics would disagree with you somewheat. Some things, you’re just gonna Burn for. Old school hardcore catholicism denies the right of anybody to be happy on the basis that everyone is a sinner, and even if you’re really really pious, you still bear original sin so you’re screwed anyway.

  13. Incidentally, a brief lesson in symbolism:

    The 5 pointed star made up of crossing lines is the pentacle or the ‘pentalpha’ (since it appears to be made of 5 overlapping Runic A’s). When it enclosed in a circle, it is called a pentagram.

    The pentacle has at various times been used to represent the five wounds of christ on the cross, and the holy trinity (since it can be made up of three identical overlapping isoscoles triangles).

    When turned upside down it has connotations of devil worship since the shape of the inverted pentagram strongly implies the head of a horned goat.

    But compare this to the use of the inverted Christian cross by satanists: just because the form of the symbol is the same, doesn’t mean that the useage is the same.

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