by James Clement Taylor
I am a Christian and not a Wiccan. A Christian is one who has been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and who has made a personal, free-will decision to commit himself and all his or her life to our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Both of these things are true of me. I am a Greek Orthodox Christian, a member of St. Mary's Eastern Orthodox Church, Calhan, Colorado. In this paper, I am not speaking as agent for any church, but I am, entirely on my own responsibility, speaking the truth in love, as we Christian are supposed to do.
A situation of Strife and Shame:
There are many Christians today who believe that anyone who is not Christian is doomed to an eternity of suffering in hell. Any decent person, believing this, would be compelled to try to save as many people from this fate as possible. But is this belief correct? Jesus Christ, having noted the faith and righteousness of a Roman centurion, a Pagan, proclaimed:
"Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:10-12)
If we accept these words as true, and surely we should, then it is clear that heaven will contain many who are not Christian, and hell will contain many who are! Clearly, throughout the Gospels, Jesus Christ sets forth the criteria for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, and those criteria include love, kindness, forgiveness, and a refusal to judge others:
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15)
"For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Matthew 7:2)
"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'" (Matthew 9:13)
"Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judge. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:36-38)
Is it not clear? Anyone who fails in these things, will calling himself a Christian save him? Anyone who obeys God in these things, will being unbaptized condemn him?
Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord,Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)
In addition to these words from the Gospel, let us look at the words of Micah the Prophet, centuries earlier, who wrote:
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:6-8)
Where, in any of this, does it say what doctrines one is to believe, or whose teachings concerning reality one must accept? All these things speak on how one ACTS, how one lives one's life, the kind of person one's actions gradually bring into being.
Yet it is not by good works that we earn our way into heaven, because there is no way we can earn the free gift of God's mercy and grace, which alone can save us. But it is clear that it is not by faith, in the sense of sharing the Christian faith, that we are saved, either. The faith which saves us is not faith in the goodness of our works, nor faith that we have the right theology and/or belong to the right church. Rather, it is faith in God, and in His mercy:
"So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy." (Romans 9:16)
But the Wiccans, you will say, do not have faith in God. Yet by their own theology, they certainly do. Those who call them Satan-worshippers are entirely wrong. They do not worship Satan, or even believe that Satan exists. Instead, they worship a Goddess and a God whom they understand as manifestation of a higher and unknown Deity.
Now if you are a Christian, this will sound familiar to you, and it should. In the Bible we find the following:
"Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, 'Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you" (Acts 17:22-23)
The Wiccans worship the Unknown God, as manifested to them in the form of a Goddess and a God. Therefore, our Bible tells us they worship the same God we do; and if they do not know this, we should know it!
For those of us who are unable to simply stand on God's Word, and must prove to themselves the truth of what it proclaims the holy Apostle John has given us the method for doing this. You have only to attend any public Wiccan ceremony, and test the spirits which are there, to see "whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1).
You will find that, while you may perceive the power manifested there as less than what you have experienced as a Christian, that power is clearly the power of God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 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, and God will hold us accountable for this, you may be sure, for He has said, "Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40)
Let us, from this point onward, repent of our
misdeeds and declare that henceforth we shall obey Christ our
God, and not judge others or condemn them, so that He will not
have to judge and condemn us for our sins.
published in the Jan 95 newsletter (paper):
Pagan For Peace
Clearbrook, BC, V2T 3X8, CANADA
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