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Interest In The Supernatural Should Be Exercised With Care
In The Supernatural Should Be Exercised With Care
parent's e-mail to me had an urgent tone. "When
our daughter and some of her Wiccan friends first began meeting in
our living room, there were more giggles and gossip than talk about
casting spells and gaining power. But what they are talking
about now has us very disturbed..."
In working with teens for over 15 years, this was certainly not the
first time I had heard from a parent upset about their child's
fascination with the occult. Increasingly, teens themselves
will voice concern over peers who are getting involved in Wicca and
pagan activities. When the aspiring sorcerers were overheard
talking about making a Halloween sacrifice, "...What
about some small animal? No- how about maybe a hamster?,"this
troubled mother's tolerance ran out. "Alex,
they are taking this stuff way too seriously. Please respond
ASAP, or at least recommend a good resource."
long for spiritual experiences- scholars call this transcendence
- and have a natural interest in things supernatural. But one
must use caution and exercise discernment when seeking spiritual
reality, meaning, and truth. Studies indicate
that interest in the paranormal is increasing,
especially so among young people. Parents should know that
their teens have almost certainly been exposed to the occult, at
least at some level.
and other occult activities promise power, spiritual fulfillment, and
frankly, a place to "fit in." The growing mainstream
acceptance of, for example, Wicca (an Anglo-Saxon word meaning, "to
bend, or shape")
is referenced by the presence of countless websites, increased
visibility in the media, and rising book sales. Along with the
quest for personal enrichment, Wiccans and neo-pagans seek to dispel
negative images associated with witchcraft, which they say are
products of fear and misunderstanding.
is no central theology behind Wicca, and specific beliefs vary from
group to group. The basic Wiccan view of the world includes
belief in an "Earth Spirit," (usually female, sometimes called "Gaia") which is the source of all life. Wicca has many
pantheistic tendencies, viewing the earth as an eternal and living
being, rather than as the product of a Divine Creator.
covens (of which many teens are a part) and individuals carry out
rituals, chants, and observe festivals in order to advance in "the
craft." Wiccan pursuits include the acquisition of secret
knowledge, personal power, and control over people and
circumstances. Many people assume that witches worship (or at
least acknowledge) Satan, but this is not necessarily the case.
Most Wiccans do not believe in the reality of evil, and fervently
deny the Christian concepts of Satan, sin, or hell. Like many
modern relativists, the Wiccan sees nothing as absolutely right or
wrong, evil, or sinful. Wiccans do not recognize any single
deity to whom they offer worship, nor a Divine judge before whom they
will ultimately give an accounting.
Bible clearly speaks out against occultic practices and all forms of
witchcraft. As a minister and Christian author, I am keenly
aware that many today dismiss the Bible as being outdated and
marginally relevant at best. But the Bible contains clear and
emphatic prohibitions against occult involvement in both Old and New
Testaments (e.g. Leviticus 19:26, 31; Deuteronomy 18:10-12, Galatians
5:19-21, Revelation 22:15). Why might this be so? A
complete study of Scripture reveals that God's intense interest in
correct belief and right behavior is motivated out of love. Scriptural
condemnation of the occult comes with warnings about evil spiritual
entities whose desires are to deceive and destroy. Could it
actually be that there is tangible danger in
opening oneself up to certain types of spiritual experiences?
According to the Bible, yes.
not the only holiday (or sabbat) observed by Wiccans, Halloween is
certainly the most prominent. Many of the common activities and
themes associated with Halloween provide opportunities for harmless
fun and togetherness. At this time of year churches often
capitalize on the spiritual openness of people, on children's
capacity for imagination, and the enthusiasm that Halloween
generates. But parents need to know that beneath the costumes
and make believe are spiritual realities that should be taken
America, Halloween has gradually become an almost
month-long annual experience. The approach of October 31 brings
with it many spiritual overtones. And- for me at least- an
annual increase in correspondence from parents concerned about their
kid's exposure to witchcraft and the occult. A child's or
teen's interest in spiritual things is normal, but the seeking of
answers in the wrong places can lead down dark and destructive
paths. My advice to the parent mention above (and to all
seekers who inquire about the observance once called "All Saint's
Day") is to point them to the God who offers a unique type of
spiritual power - a relationship with Himself.
Laurie, and Jean Mills. The
Witch In Every Woman. New
York, New York, Bantam / Doubleday, 1997.
(National Public Radio), May 13, 2004. All Things Considered, "Profile - Teen-age Wiccans."
and the Search For Power, by
Steve Russo, (c) 2001, Briomagazine
The Spell: The Hidden Traps of Wicca. Colorado
Springs, CO: Focus On The Family, 2001.
You Want To Be A Teenage Witch?,
Mulrine, Anna, U.S. News & World Report, 00415537, 03/01/99, Vol.
126, Issue 8.