What are your problems with Paganism if any, and what would you say to a witch if you met one?
This isn’t answering your question exactly, but they might be more open to listening to the Gospel and its claims (and God’s claim on us) than your resolute secularist/agnostic/atheistic/scientistic unbeliever, since they are already acknowledging the existence of the spiritual realm.
Following up on my last is that you could even complement them for recognizing the spiritual realm and maybe ask if they know about the claims of the Gospel, admitting readily, if necessary, that many churches and the churched have blown it. I like Tim Keller’s comment to the effect that Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a Person.
Some Christians get all up in arms about the pagan influence on Christian traditions. I am not one of them. I think these influences should be celebrated. On the other hand, I cannot approve of the influence of Gnosticism on Christianity which has people being saved by a knowledge of sound doctrine. Also there are many criticisms which Christianity makes of a number of pagan ideas and practices which I consider valid… and these criticisms can often apply to Christians themselves. One of the more important roles and functions I see in the established religions is to guard us against bad religious practices. Whether this really applies to modern paganism is different question.
I took my children to a Wiccan group for a little religious education. To hear what they had to say so they could judge for themselves.
My wife’s reaction was that this was a lot like old Japanese farmer religion.
That’s a good observation. If I wanted to have a spiritual conversation with someone who identified as a witch, I would probably start with asking questions about what they believe and why. From the little I’ve seen of paganism, there is spiritualism but it seems closely connected to nature. Maybe it would be interesting to see how someone with those views “reconciles” the biological and the spiritual, and that could be a place to find commonality.
I would ask a witch as much as I would ask a Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Hassidic Jew.
Everyone here seems to basically forget about the nonsence of the pagan religions. Do we have any at all historical accounts thor ,odin, zeus existed? Nope. Do we have historical accounts of the bible that certain people ,places etc etc existed? Yes many. So i dont get it. If Genesis is a problem that many YECERS interpet it that way then ohh boy i cant imagine how literacy is in those religions. My ancient greek religion speaks of a giant guy eating his kids and then spiting them out? And then a war happens to see if the titans or the gods prevail? And then Zeus come down having sexual relationships with other women creating demi gods like Hercules? And if someone tries to make the claim that any of these things is “symbolic” etc etc then i dont how 12 guys sitting ‘literaly’ on mount Olympus can be a symblism of any kind. As for the wican religions. Its a spin off basically of superstition of the middle ages. These people really think they are doing “magic”. I mean comon. I know this response might sound a bit harsh but…
Edit: Not to mention pagan teachings rule out scientific ideas like no other religion. Hinduism for example pase the idea that the universe was and is eternal. It was always there. Of course that is contradictory to the big bang
Nobody here has forgotten anything except your good self Nick.
Ill take that as a “we missed you” thank you very much😂
Our universe was preceded? Sorry not.
Of course it was. Otherwise it would be eternal.
I don’t think it’s on the rise really. Before christianity spread there was a lot more pagans , percentage wise of populations.
As for what I would say it depends on the variables of the interaction.
If the interaction was very aggressive and focused on true power and blah blah I would ask them the same things I say to Christians who claim to have special power. Prove it. I don’t believe in miracles like instantly healing the sick, placing hands on corpses and raising them up or for telling the future. I don’t believe that people can summon ghosts, or use supernatural means to curse you. I don’t believe in astral projection.
I believe just like with supernatural instant miracles, witchcraft use to exist because of demons snd the power of apostles. The chosen 13 with power, the 11, Matthias, and Paul are all dead and nkt laying hands on anyone and I believe satan is also already dead. I don’t believe he’s alive anymore. So I don’t believe in any connection between any of these things anymore exists. So I would ask them to or or it. Whatever magical ability they are claiming I would ask them to prove it. Again this is if the the encounter is like this.
So when I meet wiccans, usually young adults, who are not that educated about these things and they are scared at crystal shops, horror movie conventions, and so on I will address it. I have randomly met many people who has sleep paralysis and believes it’s spiritual. They will wake up, can’t move or talk and so they can’t pray out loud and it happens and they have their rooms blessed and nothing works and so they begin to look into things like crystals and sage burning and little idols. I’ll explain the science behind what’s happening and try to give them hope that it’s not evil. It’s like a dream. It’s not real.
As some may know I really like nature. I hike a lot. I’m about to leave to go on a 12 mile hike. Often while hiking I obviously meet other people wh really enjoy hiking. Sometimes I find geocaches with dates for wiccans to show up and celebrate a full moon or they hold ceremonies around the oldest or champion trees. So we will begin to talk about nature. Often they begin to give this impression that paganism is the most nature loving faiths. That they care about the planet and animals. They bring up that’s why the western diet, full of meet is found primarily in Christian nations. That’s why America, supposedly a Christian dominate country is raping the world of its natural resources, and that why the american lawn movement is booming and so on. They bring up how other faiths found in other nations and smaller tribes are not like that. ( I don’t necessarily agree or disagree but hear it a lot).
So in that kind of interaction I continue to talk about my love for nature. I bring up how the Bible is actually what really inspired me to be vegan, to add a ecological lens to everything I do because the one of the first commands was to be be good stewards of the earth and how genesis talks about leaving the fruits of the ground and other things for animals. It sets up a paradigm where humanity is considerate for nature including animals and that we should not take take take but use and manage and protect. That Christianity is a very nature focused faith. I go through how nature is used in poems of beauty, and how the fact that Jesus is a Nazarene plays back into him being a “stick/tree” person. The joke
Is always that Jesus is the tree of life that we are grafted into, and that he was raised up in the
Land of trees ( Nazarene ) a hebrew pun on sticks and wilderness and how he begin his ministry after isolating himself with animals in the wilderness, and how he was found in a garden and crucified to a tree on a hill. I’m talk about the Passion flowers and why they are called that. I’ll work on showing how Christianity is not anti nature at all.
I also like dark art and horror films. So often these things come up when talking about films. Many people often have tarot decks. I don’t believe in tarot decks but I have a collection of them. Some are very old and in climate storage. I’m friends with Patrick Valenza and have a few signed things from him including the deviant Moon tarot deck. Some of my tattoos are based off of his work. I have a very old stone dragon incense burner that belonged to a German cult. Or so that’s what they told me. My great grandmother had it when she was a child that her dad gave her and when I was about 10 she gave it to me because I liked dragons shortly before she passed away. So lots of time discussions are centered around talking about the art tied up into the occult.
What I don’t do is begin a dialogue centered around whose right and whose wrong typically. I don’t set up a conversation around “don’t suffer a witch to burn” or try to justify what those Jewish things. I don’t use fear mongering and damnation as a evangelical tool, especially as someone who believes in conditional immortality.
I’m afraid not, it’s you who did the forgetting, the ambiguities of language eh?
Can you explain then what you meant ? Thanks
You said this Nick:
And then went on to wrongly describe Hindu cosmology, which until recently described a respectable two-stroke cosmos.
Well I am pretty sure that paganism (including Wicca) is on the rise same as atheism and for a lot of the same reasons. Putting numbers to it is difficult because of persecution in some areas but what demographics we have can be read in Wikipedia. What I would be quite skeptical about is taking this to mean something like the demise of Christianity, which has always had periodic revivals.
This certainly does not have anything to do with devil worship but more to do with the very oldest practice of religion probably going back hundreds of thousands of years.
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