Pagan Christianity, Pt. 2

Scripture: Jeremiah 8:2, Exodus 22:18
There are growing numbers of people becoming interested in witchcraft and the Wicca religion. The popularity of books, like the Harry Potter series, shows a trend of making witchcraft popular and acceptable. What does the Bible say about witchcraft, worshiping the earth, or communicating with the dead?
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible to deepen our understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. My name is John Bradshaw.

Gary Gibbs: And I'm Gary Gibbs.

John: We're delighted that you've taken the time to be with us today. Listen carefully over the next few minutes because you'll be blessed as we continue the discussion that we have been having here on Bible Talk about witchcraft and paganism in the Church. Gary, the shocking fact is it is there. We mentioned Harry Potter last time and how... Don't get me wrong, not too many pastors are preaching sermons out of Harry Potter books, but a lot of Church members are feeding to their children and reading themselves, the older ones, the Harry Potter stories which contain witchcraft. Certainly something that God has told us in no uncertain terms we ought to keep away from.

Gary: It's a phenomenal trend that's happening today around the world. This type of witchcraft is different than the type of witches that I grew up with.

John: I grew up looking at the witches on TV, you know, and the Wizard of Oz, the wart-faced evil wicked witch. The witch of today in Hollywood is somebody who's young, a lot of women as well, beautiful, sexy, has a lot of appeal, smart, uses their powers for good. It's not the wart-faced woman anymore.

John: And they win all the time. Not like the one who comes off second best.

Gary: That's right. This brand of witchcraft as depicted in Harry Potter and Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, this is called Wicca witchcraft. This is a new phenomenon that I wasn't aware of. But Wicca is growing by leaps and bounds 16 hundred percent between 1990 and 2001. By 2012, it could be the largest religious group in the USA behind Christianity and Judaism. That's a huge growth for it to get to that level.

John: It's growing in leaps and bounds. Teenagers particularly are diving into this thing. It's become kind of popular. In high schools, particularly, kids are just being drawn right into this. They read about it. They watch it. They say this can't be so bad. They're very, very open to it and they get led down this pathway.

Gary: I've never heard of Wicca before until I went out to dinner with a friend of mine. I had not seen him in years. He was a Christian when he and I worked together, but then he left the faith. He left Christianity. We went out together to eat and he invited another friend to come along, one of his friends. As we're talking, I was asking his friend what does he do. He said "I'm a witch." I said, "Oh really, you're a witch?" He smiled and said "Yes, I'm a Wicca witch. Do you know anything about Wicca?" I said, "No. Tell me a little about it." I wanted to know who I was eating with.

He explained Wicca to me, that they believe that there are natural powers, supernatural powers in the earth, and they have this earth worship where they worship the earth and they do good things with their supernatural powers. That's how I was first introduced to Wicca witchcraft. It was by eating with a real live witch.

John: Good evening. I'm a witch. No warts on the nose and no broomstick, huh?

Gary: Nice looking fellow, but I couldn't help but think about what the Bible says about witchcraft.

John: And this is the thing. We wouldn't talk about this like this is a personal matter you have to dislike or hate or start crusading against people who don't think like you. The end of the day though, the Christian comes back to what the Bible says. And when it comes to these things, the Bible is explicit, the very good reason that this is the very thing that Christians ought to have absolutely nothing to do with. There are such particularly Christian parents ought to be closing every avenue against this thing that they can to protect not only themselves, but their children as well.

Gary: The witches of the Bible include I believe Wicca witchcraft because look at Jeremiah eight verse two. It's referring to the sorcery where they worship the moon and the sun and says all the host of heaven whom they've loved and whom they've served after whom they've sought and walked and whom they have sought and whom they have worshiped. It's talking about this witchcraft and this worship of the heavenly bodies and the things of the earth. That definitely would include something like Wicca witchcraft.

John: As far as witchcraft goes, you've got the wicked business. But it also goes into the realm of spiritualism. At least in the Bible, in First Samuel Chapter 28, you've got the story of the Witch of Endor. King Saul was not being communicated with by God. He'd essentially committed the unpardonable sin. He was right in his way of doing that. He was in the midst of doing that. He wants to get wisdom, he goes to a witch. He is disguised. "Bring me up Samuel."

The woman was a spiritualist medium. It's what she was. And then she says he is what he looks like, he is the fellow that I see and the witch says it's Samuel to King Saul. He receives messages from the other side.

Spiritualism is deadly and it's dangerous. It's more prevalent today than more people start to realize. We got to have nothing to do with this because this is simply communication from the devil himself.

Gary: Now Saul actually had he not put to death or run off all the witches prior to this time?

John: Yes, God had commanded "You take those witches and put them to death." In fact that is why the witch of Endor said, "You're jeopardizing my life. The king has commanded that all the witches be put to death. You could get me in trouble."

Gary: The command of God was all he was following. You find that in Exodus 22:18. But when he goes to this witch, he is disguised, as you said, and you said that the witch calls up Samuel. Here's a lady who has real powers. Who is this? Is this really Samuel that she calls up?

John: We know it was not really Samuel because Samuel was really dead and was really gray. He wasn't going to be popping up and appearing in anybody's gray dusk.

Gary: How do you know that? Because this Samuel that came up at the bequest of the witch of Endor actually gave a prophecy that came true. It said that Saul would die in the same battle.

John: I don't believe that was the first time nor the last time devil has communicated with the human. There is no question that the devil can utter prophecies or cause them to be uttered and then cause them to be fulfilled when a person has cut himself off from communion with and the protection of Almighty God. When you're on your own, you basically turn yourself over to the devil to allow him to do with you what he will. Saul had excommunicated himself. Now he was at the mercy of the devil.

I want to take a moment to mention that we've got a free offer for you. Contact us. We'll give you our phone number and address and email address at the end of this program. Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter.

You want to get that Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter. It's free. Contact us. We'll get it to you. It's going to cover a lot of this information. It's information that every Christian needs to know.

Gary: When I was a boy, we used to have all these fairs we'd put on for muscular dystrophy. In those fairs, we would have different little side shows. This is all kid stuff. If you order this from the muscular dystrophy foundation, you would get this kit and one of the things that you would do, the other kids would come in to pay you money for was you do fortune-telling.

John: Oh, shoot.

Gary: I used to love doing that, the fortune-telling, reading the tea leaves, reading the palm, because they'd come in and I would act like I was a smart person. I would actually go and do a little homework before these kids would come in, go around, ask a couple of questions about them, get their name and all. They'd come in not knowing me and then I would take their palm, read their palm and say your name is John Bradshaw and you're from New Zealand. You went to this school. I found that out from some other means, and the kids would sit there and their eyes would get really big.

We made a lot of money for muscular dystrophy through that little means. Is fortune-telling really of the devil or is it of God or is it just fakery, like what I had experienced?

John: It certainly isn't of God. Some of it is fakery. All of it is of the devil. Let me tell you why I believe that. If it's not of God, anything that is not of faith is sin according to the Bible. When you start directing people away from the source of wisdom, away from the source of direction and away from Jesus Christ, you are discouraging them from having faith in Him. The Lord Jesus is not going to masquerade in such a way to cause you to take your sight off Him and put it somewhere else. This isn't harmless. Tarot cards are not harmless. Ouija boards are not harmless. These things are the playground of the devil himself. You got to just keep right away from this.

The Bible is very, very clear. Now you may say "You're being just too stiff and rigid and hard." But there are some things where the Bible speaks clearly. You don't want to dishonor God by going behind His back and sullying your spiritual life with this kind of stuff.

Gary: When I was in my teens, my older sisters were into watching horror movies. The horror movies at that time were not anything like what they are now. They're a million times worse, but they were bad enough. We got into Ouija boards as kids. I remember being spooked. I didn't really get into that much, but I watched my sisters get into this. My oldest sister and then her best friend was really into the Ouija board. It wasn't long before spooky things started happening, hearing footsteps coming down the hall when nobody else was in the house, doors opening and closing.

There is a real black supernatural force out there and if we open the door to it to communicate with the dead, the devil will walk right through that door and start taking advantage of it to deceive us and to frighten us and scare us.

John: No question about it. Here's what's dangerous, this business about communicating with the dead. It's starting to seep into Christianity. There are well-known Christian leaders who have gone on record saying that they have communicated with the dead and they have spoken to the departed and they are encouraging this sort of thing right in the Church.

Gary: They are and that's extremely dangerous. They think they're doing good, but they're not. It's bizarre. The Bible condemns any of this sorcery, any of this witchcraft, any of this communicating with the dead, but we also need to think, John, there may be people listening to us today and I'm sure there are people listening to this program who may be into Wicca. And I've gone online. I've read some of the websites where Wicca has been studied. Wiccans write and say "What do you mean you're telling people we're of the devil? We're not. We're good people. We're good solid people in the community." I don't doubt that there are good people involved in Wicca witchcraft.

John: Absolutely.

Gary: But that doesn't mean that's something that's healthy for them. You know the Bible talks about people involved in sorcery in Acts eight verse nine, Acts Chapter 13 verse eight does it. Some of these people were involved in this and some of the people were actually converted. They became Christians and they found a higher power, a better power that was a blessing to them.

John: What is one of the insidious dangers of all of this? It's not so much that you get involved in this and you become a bad person, but you see, your faith must be in Jesus Christ if you're going to have your sins forgiven because He's the only one who has died for you and has power to forgive you and cleanse you through His shed blood. When you fail to have faith in Jesus Christ and your religious practice leads you in another direction, then you're veering away from Christ, the source of light and peace and salvation. It does not make eternal life any closer for you. Your faith is elsewhere. The Christian's faith is always ought to be solely in Jesus Christ.

Gary: And what might start out as a nice experience for you, you feel better about yourselves, you're realizing that you have more power to cope with life, what might look innocent in the beginning can actually turn out to be very detrimental and terrible to you later. I have met people who started dabbling with this stuff through movies, Ouija boards, simple, innocent child's play. And later it takes over in their life and it controls them to the point where I've actually heard demonic voices coming out of them, where they're totally out of control of themselves. Their life is a wreck and they're asking for deliverance. You don't want that to happen to your friend so you want to stay away from all of these gateway avenues to witchcraft.

John: God through His Son, Jesus Christ, offers us eternal life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Let's covenant with God that through His grace our life would be ordered correctly and be given to Jesus Christ fully, completely and we'd receive from Him eternal life. Thanks for joining us. See you next time on Bible Talk. [music]

John: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible Study Guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we just discussed and expands on the subject including information you want to know. To receive this free, informative Bible Study Guide, simply call, write or email and ask for Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter. The toll-free number is 866-BIBLE-SAYS. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678 or email us at Bible Talk is being produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of Life Talk Radio.

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