- Christian Wicca
Christian Wicca is a
syncretismof Christianityand Wicca. Christian Wiccans adhere to the polytheistic nature religion known as Wiccaand profess belief in the teachings of Jesus. Christian Wicca is a particular denomination of the system of beliefs known as Christo-paganism. Common elements transplanted from Wicca include reincarnationand fertility; however, the key points of the divinity of Jehovah, Christ, and the Holy Spiritare retained from Christianity, often with a renewed emphasis on the latter two. [Nancy Chandler Pittman, [http://www.christianwicca.org/ "Christian Wicca: Trinitarian Tradition"] Accessed 3 February 2008.] [B.A. Robinson (2008), [http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcr5.htm "Can a person be both Christian and Wiccan?"] . ReligiousTolerance.org website.] The combination of two religions traditionally considered at odds with each other is frequently criticized by those who are members of only one. [ [http://wicca.timerift.net/christianwicca.shtml "The Problem with Christian Wicca"] (Wiccan perspective)] [ [http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usva&c=words&id=10439 Why 'Christian Wicca' is a Misnomer ] (Wiccan perspective)] [ [http://www.acts17-11.com/witchcraft.html Spiritual adultery series: "Witchcraft" ] (Christian perspective)]
A significant set of issues within Christian Wicca, and between Christian Wiccans and other Christians, are the details of
Christology, interpretation of the Bibleand the nature of the Trinity. According to historic Christian doctrine, held by the majority of Christian movements and churches, God is personified as one indivisible God in a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even so, God is referred to as a "Seven-Fold Spirit" in the book of Revelations, alluding to other, yet-unknown aspects of God. For some, Mother Earthwas commonly viewed as the Goddessof common Wicca in past eras, however this is changing as more Christian Wiccans become aware that Christ himself called the Church to be his Bride, and therefore His Goddess. Because of this, Christo-Wiccans see themselves as The Goddess, while other Wiccans worship a Goddess outside themselves.
Because of their Goddess status, Christo-Wiccans believe they have great responsibility toward Christ their Bridegroom, one another, the people of the earth, and the natural world, because as Goddess beneath their God, it is the duty of Christo-Wiccans to serve and care for the creation given to them by their Bridegroom God while awaiting the consummation of what Wiccans refer to as
The Great Marriage, and Traditional Christians term " The Marriage Supper of the Lamb- a future wedding festival specifically set for believers in Christ and Christ himself - or the uniting of God and Goddess in eternity. The earth is seen by Christo-Wiccans as the temporary home which Christ has given to his Bride and Goddess to care for the spiritual children that are born into the family of Christ, which is cared for by his Bride. Spiritual Children are created whenever a an individual embraces Faith in Christ, and this is an especially important event in Christo-Wicca.
In Christian Wicca the Holy Spirit is feminine, and thus may be regarded as the Great Mother Goddess, as spoken of in traditional Christian thought. Many even take it farther, saying the Holy Spirit was embodied in the person of the
Virgin Mary. Other Biblical passages believed to refer to the Holy Spirit as Goddess include the "Wisdom" character of the Book of Proverbs(see also the Gnosticconcept of " Sophia"), the Bride of the Song of Solomon, and the female figures depicted in the Book of Revelation.
Other Christian Wiccans dispense with complex Trinitarian arguments, and simply believe that Mother Earth and God are one and the same. This is a controversial concept in Christianity. (
Leonardo Boffis a Roman Catholic theologianwho has argued for the divine nature of the Earth, and was summarily dismissed from the priesthood.) Some worship the holy Goddess as Shekinah, or the radiance of God, an originally Jewish concept. A related concept used as a name for the Goddess is Matronit. Another of her names is the Greek goddess-name Sophia(literally meaning 'wisdom') or the Latin equivalent Sapienta. These beliefs depend on how closely the individual reads, studies and interprets the Biblical Scriptures, and what they gain from studying the original languages from which modern translations are derived.
Another Christian Wiccan position is to embrace Mary as a goddess-figure, and
Jesus Christas their god-figure. Sometimes this 'Mary' is not the Virgin Mary of the Bible, and mother of Jesus, but Mary Magdaleneor Mary of Bethany. According to traditions recounted in the book " Holy Blood, Holy Grail", one of these women was said to be the wife of Jesus. Many also see evidence of a romantic link between Mary Magdalene and Jesus in the Nag Hammâdi Gnostic Scriptures. This is, however, not obvious. (There is no direct reference to her being his wife, for instance; also the scripture that reads that Jesus "loved to kiss her on the..." is missing a portion of the document, and therefore does not designate where Jesus kissed Mary - one could assume that he kissed her in a romantic way, but more likely, he kissed her on the cheek, a common way to kiss a disciple in antiquity, and a means which had no romantic innuendo whatsoever. This type of kiss is mentioned in the New Testament as "a Holy Kiss".) Another common practice of not only Christian Wiccans but simply Christian mystics is to embrace the idea of a Holy Quaternity. Most of the time this will include the God-the-Father and feminine Holy Spirit, but also will include Jesus as their Son God and Mary Magdalene or the Gnostic Sophia as their Daughter Goddess, or a worship of both a male and female trinity (Holy Trinity and Trinosophia).
Interpretation of Biblical injunctions
The most common objection to Christian Wicca are the direct objections to witchcraft found in the
Old Testament, particularly in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. A common counter argument is that the term "witch" is a loose translation of the terminology used in the original Hebrew, which was more specific in its implications. As with other aspects of Christian Wicca, wide disparities exist in the arguments used to reconcile these injunctions with Wiccan practice. [ [http://members.aol.com/RawnaMoon/bible.html Doesn't the Bible forbid Witchcraft?] ] [ [http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/sufferawitch/ About.com: Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live?] ] However, common elements generally agreed upon include:
* The ancient Hebrew and Greek v.s. modern definitions of "witch" do not coincide - for example the Greek word "pharmakiah"-meaning pharmaceuticals- is translated as witchcraft in the English Bible; on the other hand, the term "witch" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon "wicca" and literally means "to bend or twist in conformity with will", and may allude to supernatural occurrences, as well as deliberate changes in the human psyche or in the world at large.
* Some elements of modern Witchcraft, such as divination and meditation, are clearly endorsed by the Bible, such as
lot casting, dream interpretation, healing, exorcisms, visions, signs, and miraculous/supernatural events
* The prohibitions in the Bible forbid particular "practices" of witchcraft, including:
** necromancy, or calling up the spirit of the deceased, and commanding ghosts and spirits (see
Witch of Endor). If the deceased makes visitation upon a human being, there is no commandment against that however, for Moses, who was clearly listed as deceased at the end of the Book of Deuteronomy, appears with Jesus at the Transfigurationbefore Jesus' disciples.
** poisoning, or misuse of drugs to harm others or the self (at one time pharmaceuticals were unregulated, and people could be hired to concoct poisonous herbal concoctions to bring death to their enemies, hence witchcraft was associated with this type of evil)
** compulsion or deception through magical means
** use of polytheistic rites to deny the Biblical God
** use of magic in rebellion against God, or for selfish purposes
Egyptian Magicand religion may be the basis of Jewish and Christian religious doctrines and forms a commonality between the ancient world, Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Christianity, and Wicca; This is important as a cross-over between Wicca and Christianity because in Wiccan High Ritual Magic (the Basis for some Wiccan beliefs) the use of Egyptian Magic is extremely important. For example, some common elements between Wicca, Egyptian Magic and Christian Magic include belief in a Pharaoh, a representative of God on earth, who wields magical powers: the Prophet Mosesis now equated with the Pharaoh Akhenaten/Amenhotep IV, the first Pharaoh to institute monotheism, according to Ahmed Osman, Egyptologist, [http://ahmedosman.com/home.html] . As an Egyptian Pharaoh, Moses would have been considered God on earth, mediator between God and man, as well as prophet, priest and king/political ruler of his Egyptian Kingdom and people. According to Osman, both the Biblical Moses and Akhenaten left Egypt for the Sinai Desert with a large group of people and formed a new culture and a strictly monotheistic faith. An Old Testament prophecy about Moses suggests that "one like him (Moses)" will come in the future, and Christianity believes that Jesus Christ is this foretold replacement for Moses. Therefore Jesus' function as a resurrected King and therefore Pharaoh fits the "job description" of an Egyptian Pharaoh, a position held by Moses many centuries prior. Traditional Christian doctrine holds that Jesus is God on earth, Mediator between God and mankind, Prophet, Priest, and King of an eternal/spiritual Kingdom. This is the same description of an Egyptian Pharaoh of antiquity, an ancient belief system held sacred by many forerunners to modern Wicca. Jesus Christ also fulfilled the greatest pinnacle of Egyptian expectation which was resurrection; in Egyptian magic a series of spells leading up to resurrection is the "big picture" theme of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a writing misnamed by archaeologists. The Book was titled by the Egyptians themselves as the "Book of the Dawn" (inferring physical and spiritual resurrection), and resurrection is therefore the greatest result of casting spells in Ancient Egypt. The result of Egyptian Resurrection stems from a series of spells in that text, with instructions for making it through the tests of the afterlife so that one could be awarded resurrectionfrom the grave - the pinnacle of Egyptian Magic. As such, "The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead", is the oldest known written scripture in any religion as well as on magic, and one of the most important Egyptian scriptures known in the ancient Egyptian world.
Resurrection, is the highest goal of Egyptian Religion and the purpose for which the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead was written; This event is considered the highest demonstration of Egyptian Magic and also the pinnacle of Christian Miracle. This theme carries over into modern Wicca, because Neo-Pagan magick and the term "wicca" itself literally means 'change'; change, normal or miraculous, is what constitutes magic, and is the very meaning of the term. Therefore resurrection from any standpoint is a supernatural type of change occurring over body and/or soul. This ancient text includes supernatural spells which bring a faithful soul resurrection and eternal existence. The spells focus on repentance from wrong/sin and erasing the wrongs done in life by a series of "negative confessions" which function to determine the true intent of the individual's heart (the changed heart), even though he or she may have physically done the wrong deed (a changed heart results in a changed intention regarding past deeds); the weighing of the heart/intentions against one's own inner truth/desires; and safe passage into eternal life through forgiveness from Osiris, who is similar to Jesus in function. Hence both faiths focus on repentance from wrong deeds based on the true desire of the individual's heart to do right and the act of contrition or sorrow before the highest God in order to receive forgiveness for that wrong. In Neo-Pagan Wicca this theme is repeated in the axiom "Do what you will, but harm none" - to carry this "commandment" of Wicca out, one must change their inner intentions before they carry out a deed, whether natural or magical, to bring change. The "The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead" by Ani has many parallels and themes that coordinate with the Jewish and Christian Scriptures while its magical theme corelates with Wicca; this text includes a moral code similar to the 10 commandments, the similarity between Osiris/Horus and Father-God/Jesus-the Son, and Isis/The Virgin Mary, and a beautiful and worshipful style of writing. These ideals are further reflected in brief in the Wiccan Rede. Christianity's greatest miracle is the Resurrection of Jesus, the "New Pharaoh" who was predicted to replace Moses; and Resurrection is the pinnacle in both Egyptian Magic and Christian Expectation for all faithful followers. While modern Wicca is not known to embrace the concept of resurrection, it certainly does not deny it and the theme of supernatural change through resurrection fits quite well the supernatural expectation of wiccan magic - because Wicca does embrace supernatural change, resurrection could well be counted as an acceptable concept inside the modern faith of Wicca. Further, many stories and movies, such as "Practical Magic"demonstrate witches who have the capability on some level to resurrect the dead, therefore demonstrating that some Wiccans at some point in history, have believed in it one way or another, and that theme is known in folk and pop-culture alike to belong to witches as well as Egyptians, Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Further, there is strong evidence in Christian and Jewish scholarship, that in antiquity, Christians and Jews were known to practice magic as a means to their religion. Coptic texts written in very early Christianity, discussed in such books as "Ancient Christian Magic: Coptic Texts of Ritual Power" by Marvin W. Meyer and Richard Smith- [http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Christian-Magic-Marvin-Meyer/dp/0691004587] , demonstrate that early Christians were very knowledgable in using magic as part of medical and prayer type therapies. The Ancient Jews were also known to practice magic as part of their religion, as studied in and written about in books right out of highly honored Universities, such as Cambridge. See "Ancient Jewish Magic - A History" by Gideon Bohak, Cambridge University Press - [http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521874572] . These forms of magic were not heretical to the religion in question. These religions later ceased from using such disciplines which were once part of the faith, because later religious leaders interpreted the term witchcraft differently than earlier scholars of the faith had.
More controversial arguments used against the anti-witch provisions include:
* The prohibitions against witchcraft are part of the Jewish Law, and are inapplicable to Christians, who are freed from the Law (Romans); Even so, much magic is part of the Old Testament, such as testing a woman for adultery by asking a priest to write something on a parchment and after soaking the parchment in water, asking the woman to drink it. Another version is that altar dust was mixed in to the water, the result is that a guilty woman dies, and a non-guilty woman remains unharmed; and Joshua marching around the city of Jerico seven times in order to make the walls fall down miraculously, which has literary counterparts in other oriental magical literature of the same era; or clay pots which had things written upon them broken in a potters field to demonstrate bringing harm or a curse to someone; and the Jewish tradition of writing the name of the evil King upon their shoe sole to tread evil upon him was considered an act of evil magic against an enemy in the near-east centuries ago - this Jewish tradition is part of the Jewish Festival of Purim as told in the Old Testament Book of Esther, and has counterparts in ancient oriental magic of non-Jewish origin
* The legislations against witchcraft were primarily intended to prevent conversion to foreign polytheisms, and are now obsolete
* These portions of the Scriptures have only limited relevance
One symbol used in Christian Wicca is the
Crucifixwith the word God across the horizontal 'beam' and the word goddess down the vertical. Another common motif is a Celtic cross, with the pentagramof Wicca inscribed in the circle about the cross.
Another symbol is the Egyptian Ankh, which is a cross-shaped symbol that means resurrection and life. The same meaning applies to the Christian crucifix where Christ died and was resurrected.
The pentagram or five pointed star was once used as a symbol for the crucified Christ, whose head, hands and feet received puncture wounds from his crucifixion. When crucifixion was a mode of execution in the First Century, individuals related to the deceased often kept the nails from the execution as powerful magical amulets, if the Romans did not get to them first and recycle them for another execution - this explains why few nails from the Crucifixion era exist; the Pentagram symbol also decorates modern Christmas Trees and is symbolic of the traditional Christmas Star of Bethlehem leading the Pagan-Zoroastrian Priest/astrologers to visit the baby Jesus. In the New Testament the number five is usually affiliated with the concepta of Grace - an undeserved gift from God to mankind.
A common practice in Christian Wicca is to associate
archangelswith the elements and/or the called quarters. Four, five, or seven archangels are used; the names they are given vary, but include the names mentioned in the Scriptures and the Apocrypha: Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael and or Uriel. Many of these associations were later used by associations teaching Christian Kabballah and Christian ceremonial magic, such as how the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawnassociated Gabriel with water, Michael with fire, Raphael with air, and Auriel with earth. All symbols on the Wiccan Altar have Christian meaning, for example - the double edged sword or athema is described in the Bible as God's word of Scripture - this symbol is depicted in the Book of Revelation as coming out of the mouth of Jesus when he returns as a Warrior against all evil; The chalice of wine and bread/cakes are a common communion symbol in Christian churches and represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ, while in Wicca they represent the coming together of the Goddess and the God. Because Jesus Christ has called his Church of Believers his Bride, the Wiccan symbolism ties in well with Christianity: While Wiccans insert the athema into the Chalice to represent the coming together of the Goddess and God, Christianity may embrace and build on this theme using the sword/athema to represent Christ's word, which is expected to enter the believer-Bride/Goddess of Christ; The blood of Christ represented by the Chalice, is taken into the body and soul of a Christian as is the bread representing his body. Christ's word and his blood and body are therefore inside the believer, represented by the Chalice. In Christianity, the purpose for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God in the believer is to symbolically "empregnate" the believer with immortality via God's word and his immortal blood, and assist them in sharing this immortality and new life/birth with other potential believers. The Virgin Mary is a symbol of this concept because the Holy Spirit "overshadowed" her and she became miraculously pregnant with the body of the Messiah who was God incarnate on the earth. Therefore the sexual innuendos of Wicca are transcended in Christianity and Christo-Wicca to a higher spirituality where the spirit is born through a coming together of Jesus the God, and his Goddess-Bride - the believer - to yield new and immortal life in a new believer. The five elements on the alter of Wicca may also have Christian and Christo-Wiccan meanings - salt is mentioned in the Bible as a ritual purifier; Water represents new birth; Fire represents the spirit of God upon a believer; earth represents what mankind is made from and to which he will return; and air represents the breath of God that animates all living things such as when God breathed life into Adam. Almost all Wiccan Symbols have Biblical counterparts. Further many Wiccans have explained that their feelings of "Drawing Down the Moon- (a term that means to bring into the Wiccan the spirit of the Highest Divine/Goddess), is similar to what Christians describe as the "Indwelling of the Holy Spirit"- a time when Christians feel that the Spirit of the Highest Divine is within them. In Christo-Wicca the themes from the two religions combine beautifully so that Drawing down the Highest Divine (God) causes the believer to literally 'become' the Goddess-Bride of Christ and absorb that divinity and immortality from him - a process called Theosisin the early church and a doctrine still taught in Orthodox Christianity. Most Christo-Wiccan home groups function much like a Wiccan Coven or a Christian Bible Study Home Group - there is a time for worship, a time when prayers/spells are requested, and a time when the worship service is concluded and attendees enjoy light refreshments. Christo-Wiccans may cast a circle of sacred space, protect it by calling Biblical angels or personages to protect the circle, teach and pray inside the circle and then close the circle by taking the power of Christ with them, for example by reciting St. Patrick's Breastplateat the closing of the circle. Christo-Wiccans may keep both holiday cycles, and even add in the seven Hebraic Festivals celebrated by Jesus Christ in first century Israel [http://www.hebroots.org/chap1.html] . In this way, Christo-Wiccans have more opportunity to meet than do Traditional Christians or Wiccans. There is no one set correct way to "be" a Christo-Wiccan, even though many web sights now purport that their method is the only correct way, and that adherents are not Christ-Wiccan unless they believe or do certain things. The main and most simplistic focus for Christo-Wicca is to adhere to the Bible as God's inerrant word, and teach it using the organizational framework of a Wiccan meeting, such as casting and closing a circle to begin and end a meeting, calling quarters to protect the meeting, celebrating on Solstices and Equinoxes, and/or Esbats (full/new moons) for study and fellowship. In Christo-Wicca the Celtic or European heritage is emphasized as a culture, the organization of the meetings is done in Wiccan Style, but the teachings focus largely on Judeo-Christian belief and interpretation, and anything studied or learned must first and foremost agree with the Bible on some level. Christo-Wiccans do not worship deities, they descend from them through Noah, as explained in the Genesis 5-8 account, which is further explained in the Book of Enoch, a book that has been relegated to Gnosticism but was embraced by Jesus and many other New Testament writers. Therefore deities from any pantheon are viewed as equals by Christo-Wiccans who are part of that pantheon, not subserviant to it. They are ancestors and as such, may be allowed by God to help us or pray for us, but are not worshipped by human beings. As such all who worship Christ will be made "a little higher than the angels" when believers eventually are "deified" (currently called "glorified" in many churches) through theosis.
Pagans in the Bible
Many pagans appear in the pages of the Bible, and are called supernaturally to serve the Biblical God. They do not resist but instead are drawn to the supreme power of the Highest Divine, and do as they are asked; Examples include:
Enochfor whom the Book of Enoch is written. In it the fall of Lucifer with his angel-followers is described - they become the "Watchers" or demons. The other Angels remain in their position as Sons of God. The Watchers intermarry mankind and produce a demonic race of mankind leading up to the flood. God permits certain of his Sons of God to correct this by intermarrying with mankind to give man back his desire for God - and mankind is effected genetically toward good by these Sons of God. The end of the Book of Enoch describes Noah's birth as an cross-breed between the good Angels and good mortals - he becomes the ancestor of all other human beings on earth. As Noah's descendents divide over the earth, only the sons of Shem (the Semites) record their history and experiences with God in the Bible. The descendents of the other sons can not do so for they are far removed from the Semitic Peoples, but their experiences with Christ-like deities are recorded in what has been relegated to "pagan myth". The New Testament teaches that "Christ did so many things that if written down the whole world could not contain all the books". This verse is used to demonstrate that Christ must have appeared to many ancient cultures around the world. So Christ-Wiccans study mythology for it's spiritual history, seeking Christ's appearance in all cultures; Noah- a pagan who heard God's voice and did as instructed, building a huge ship even though his Pagan community mocked him for doing so; Abraham- a pagan from Babylon who left behind Idol worship to receive God's blessings; Moses- a baby believed by the Egyptians to be given to an Egyptian Princess by the Nile River God, making his "birth" a type of virgin birth to that Princess from a god of Egypt, and his Egyptian birth story mimics the Egyptian story of Isis, Osirusand Horus, as well as containing elements that are similar to the story of Jesus' birth, death and Resurrection. Moseswas regarded by the Hebrewsas their kin, and through a voice that came from a burning bush, Moses was called to serve the Biblical God and leave behind his position of power as a Pharaohin Egypt. Many believe that Moses may have been Akhenaten, the first Ruler in Egypt to institute monotheism, and who eventually left Egypt with his followers to dwell in the Sinai Desertafter facing opposition; The Three Kings- they were really ZorastrianPriests who used astrologyand dream interpretationamong other forms of knowledge to locate and visit Christ. They are currently buried at the Cathedral in Cologne, Germany; Luke a New Testament Writer is often thought to be a Greek Pagan physician who converted to Christianity and wrote one of the most important books in the faith, the Gospel of Luke. Some of the first Christian Churches built in Europe were in response to British Druids who recognized foundational aspects of their own faith inside the new message of Christianity - an ancient text reflects a Druid Prophecy about the coming of the tonsured-headed priests to Britain with this new faith, and therefore they accepted it and made quick change of their meeting houses into Christian Churches.
Christianity is therefore a religion that calls upon the Pagan community through supernatural means; Pagans respond to the message of God because they take the supernatural seriously. Therefore Christianity is a fluid social group and religion that sees people of many religious origins come into the faith in order to do the will of the Highest Divine. By demonstrating that Pagans have a position of great importance to the God of the Bible in Jewish and Christian scripture, the Pagan world is invited to make their spiritual home inside Christian faith and practice - Christo-Wicca is a perfect place for them today, offering a transition which is natural for them and deeply spiritual. In antiquity, the Pagans who dared to heed the call of God did not have set doctrines to follow - instead they listened to the supernatural voice of God and did as they were directed without changing their lifestyle except as God directed them. Christian Wicca therefore could be viewed as the oldest religion where the Biblical God calls Pagans forth in order to obey God and receive supernatural abilities as given to them by God.
Prayer and Witchcraft
Many Christian Wiccans consider
prayerand witchcraftto be two similar or identical practices because prayer may be a form of sympathetic magic, where a request is made after a physical model is designed in the physical form in order to display to the divine what is wanted by the asker. Others believe that priests are actually performing witchcraft when they are in service, but that their actions are called by another term. There have been comparisons made between the Christian method of prayer and the Wiccan tradition of magic (prayer being defined as "passive magic" and spells as "active magic"). the only problem with the term "spell" is that it is Norse in origin, and as such, literally means "curse". However, when most Wiccans, Christian or otherwise, use a spell, it is to heal, bless, or fix a problem of some kind. However, Christianity is full of Patriarchs who both bless and curse, depending on the commandments of God, and do so by extending their hand outward towards their target, just as wizards do.
When one looks at the
Carmina Gadelica(collected by Alexander Carmmichael), this is rooted in a Christian background, but mixes prayers, blessings and invocations and charms together - more than likely from European and Celtic influences - and includes, for example, a Beltaneblessing. This is because as the faith of Christianity spread through Europe, it absorbed the other ideas of other communities that were similar to itself. These things are not necessarily in conflict with Traditional Christianity or to Christian Wicca.
Proverbs 16:33 states, "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord." This verse, combined with Ex. 28: 30 ("And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually.) demonstrates that Lot casting was used as a most holy means of hearing God's voice in Jewish antiquity. Therefore, this, combined with other positive verses on Lot casting demonstrating that when used for Divination, it is acceptable as a means to hear or divine God's will, but not the will of any other being. The entire book of Esther and the Jewish celebration of Purim or Lot Casting, celebrates the freedom of the Jewish People of God from an evil King who desires to destroy them as a nation. Jesus himself would have understood this form of divination which was not only used during the festival of Purim, but also during Chanukkah, when the
dreydelor spinning top is used for a type of gambling and may have also been used for lot casting of some kind. After Jesus ascended into heaven, his disciples used a form of lot casting to select a replacement for Judas Iscariot by "drawing straws". The person who received the longest straw was selected "by lot". In the final book of the Bible - Revelation - all souls who belong to God will be given a white stone upon which a new name is written. This alludes to lot casting of a sort, where people entering heaven will select their new heavenly name "by lot" when they select a stone by chance upon which their new heavenly name is written.
Healing, Distance Healing (Reiki) and Healing Herbs
The Bible Scriptures give mankind the means to heal both spiritual and physical sicknesses using the miraculous healing power of Jesus Christ and also by the use of herbs. This means that herbs may be used both as medication for wellness via tinctures, salves, etc., as well as symbolically for spiritually healing, by being burned in incense censors, as described in the Book of Revelation of St. John. Jesus himself used mud and spit to heal a man of blindness: Distance Healing/Healing Touch - Luke 9: 2, 6, 11, 422 And he (Jesus) sent them (His Disciples) to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. 11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. 42 And as he (Jesus) was yet a coming, the devil threw him (a demon possessed person) down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
Distance Healing/Healing Touch - Matt. 8: 7-8, 13, 167 And Jesus saith unto him (a Roman Soldier), I will come and heal him (the Soldier's child). 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. 16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Distance Healing/Healing Touch - Luke 6: 7, 17-197 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; 18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
Distance Healing/Healing Touch - Luke 8: 2, 36, 43, 472 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, 36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, (and Jesus healed her without his knowledge)47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
Use of Herbs for health and healing - Genesis 1: 29 - 30 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for ameat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for ameat: and it was so.
Herbs used to help in the spiritual and physical life of humanity - Isa. 26: 1919 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Herbs and leaves are for healing of large social problems as well as for individual problems - Rev. 22: 22 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Herbs are used in incense when offering prayers by Angels - Rev 8:3-4 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
Water/spit and earth/minerals used to heal physical problems previously incurable - John 9: 66 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay..." (and the blind man was subsequently healed by this action).
Jesus shares his power to heal and give eternal life with his disciples, who in turn, share it with other believers - Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the twelve (disciples) together he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and cure diseases, and sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick."
Many Christians today are "observers of times" because Jesus himself instructed believers to watch for signs in the heavens in regard to his return. The Three Kings used
astrologyto locate Jesus as an infant. The New Testament specifically predicts that special things will occur in the heavens before the return of Christ. Therefore, Christian-Wiccans are no less interested in the signs in the heavens than are either Christians or Wiccans. Biblical scriptures advocating such practices are:
* Luke 21: 2525 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
* 1 Cor. 15: 4141 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
Many Christian sites use the "signs in the heavens" to help them determine events leading to the End of the World as predicted in the
Book of Revelation. [http://watcherslamp.blogspot.com/2007/10/signs-in-heavens.html] [http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/signheav.htm] [http://www.direct.ca/trinity/eagle.html] [http://witnessnbr1.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!6540C844C7DB5892!118.entry?wa=wsignin1.0]
Worship and Holidays
Christian Wiccans may celebrate the faith based on a combination of both Christianity and Wicca, or emphasize one more heavily than the other. Most will consider their own home as a place where their own spiritual sacred space is recognized, and will perform worship of God by any number of formal or informal rituals, depending on the background from which they came, as well as what appeals to them, and also through application of what they have learned and read. Christo-Wiccans see no problem forming a spiritual circle of protection around their worship space, and believe that it represents the endlessness of God, who has no beginning and no ending. [Emily Alexandra (2003) [http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usva&c=words&id=7541 "Christian Wicca"] Witchvox website, accessed
3 February 2008.] Christo-Wiccans may cast a circle of sacred space representing God's endlessness, "call quarters" - asking three, four or more guardians listed in the Biblical Scriptures to protect the circle (such as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, any description of Biblical Angels, prophets, saints, or even the horsemen of the Apocalypse to protect the circle. A Christo-Wiccan Altar contains symbolic objects that have meaning in both the Bible and Wicca - for example salt is mentioned in the Bible as something used for purification. Light represents the Holy Spirit, earth represents man's body, incense carries prayer into the presence of God via Spirit, and so forth. An Athema, or double-edged sword is mentioned in the Bible specifically as God's word, the scriptures, and also indicates Jesus, the "Word made flesh". Herbs are used for the "healing of the nations", water represents water immersion - a sign of repentance, and lot casting was used in the Bible since the time of the Tabernacle in the Desert when the "urim and thummim" a lot casting system, was used by the priests to determine God's will for the Tribes. The simplest Christo-Wiccan circle includes casting the circle, calling for Biblical Guardians to protect it, drawing down the moon - the Holy Spirit - into the group and the leader, listening to a reading from the Bible, a lesson about the reading, active and passive prayer (prayer crafting and casting which is equivalent to spell crafting and casting), and drawing in the protection of the circle so the members can take that protection with them during the week or month. A social including food follows. Some groups wear normal clothing, while others ask for a designated attire, such as long white robes indicating the priesthood of the believer.
Concepts drawn from Wicca
Many Christian Wiccans hold beliefs remarkably similar to other Wiccans or Pagans. They may embrace reincarnation of spiritually important individuals because Jesus' cousin
John the Baptistis believed to have once been Elijahreturned to finish his mission, part of which was to introduce the Messiah. Reincarnationremains an uncommon topic in mainstream Christian thought, but the Bible supports reincarnation of unsaved/non-believers in Christ so that they may return to have another chance to believe in Jesus and be saved. This explains why so many people in the non-Christian world and some Christians report past-life memories. Those who do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah may receive another chance to live and believe. This is referenced in verses that teach that "the Lord is longsuffering/patient so that none will be lost" (2 Pet. 3: 9, 15) (emphasis on 'none' indicates that no one will be separated from God); Biblical timing which states that in the eyes of God "a day is as a thousand years" (2 Pet. 3: 8), meaning that one lifetime for man is not even one day for God, yet mankind is given many "days" by God (Job 14: 1, 14), or lifetimes; and the Biblical teaching that the "Second Death" (Rev. 20: 6, 14) or death of the soul has not yet occurred. These scriptures and many like them help bring understanding to those who feel they have lived a past life, and they also give a reason for the past life - to not only learn from their mistakes, but more importantly to avoid the biggest mistake - rejecting the Biblical God and his Messiah through an act of repentance. Therefore reincarnation is a vehicle God uses to bring those who have rejected him in a past life or past lives into the grace of Salvation, allowing them extra lives to realize that God and his message given through the Bible are true. Each life an unsaved person lives brings them ever closer to embracing Jesus before the Second Death, the death of the Soul, finally occurs and no chances are left. Those who come to faith in Christ break free from the recycling process and cease to be reincarnated - they become immortal through the doctrine of theosis. Those wishing to return to earth after their immortality do so in the manner of Elijah the Prophet when he returned as John the Baptist - to selflessly work for God to bring others to a knowledge of his Messiah and salvation. The belief in reincarnation usually includes a stop at the Summerlands, associated either with Purgatory- a place to be cleansed of wrong, or Heaven- a place of rest and peace. It may also include a belief in such magical and spiritual beings as fairies, elves, dragons, Elementals, ascended masters, or others - all spiritual teachers. These beings are equal to Biblical angels (or even demons for those who have rejected Christ), and are mentioned in the Book of Enoch(a gnostic text once held as part of the New Testament by first century Christians, but thrown out by later denominations). In the Book of Enoch, fallen angelswho followed Luciferin rebellion against God are referred to as The Watchersor "Children of Heaven", while the term " Sons of God" refers to the angels who kept their "first estate" or position before God in obedience to him. All mankind is invited to become one of the Sons of God beneath Jesus the Messiah (John 1: 12, 18, 34, 49, 51). The Bible, in many places refers to the Sons of God as angels and divinized human beings who are "a little higher than the angels" (I Corinthians 6:2-3, we read: "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels?") and never uses the term "Sons of God" to refer to evil beings. Instead, evil spiritual entities and negative energy is referred to as devils and demons, or "The Watchers". Occasionally, individuals who have experienced death and were brought back from consciousness report that they were pulled into or tricked into following dark spirits into Hell, but reported that calling out for Jesus Christ helped them to narrowly escape the clutches of such evil and discomfort.
New Agebelief, that every human being has a divine sparkin their soul or spirit, can be matched up with the Biblical story of Noah, who is believed by many Christo-Wiccans, to have an angelic genealogy, for Genesis 5-8 states that the "Sons of God" (Good Angels) saw the women of earth were beautiful and married them...their offspring became the "Heroes of Old, the Men of Renown". These Good Angels may have been permitted to do this to combat Lucifer's instructions to "The Watchers" - the Fallen Angels - to intermarry with mankind in order to instill within man a genetic desire for sin and wrong, called by the church the "Sin Nature". Noah was and is a man who was descended from the "Sons of God" because scripture tells us that the offspring of the "Sons of God" and the women of earth became "Heroes of Old/Men of Renown" and Noah was just such a man, a hero of old and a man of renown. Therefore, the narrative tells us in an indirect way that Noah is a product of angelic heritage. Because of his divine heritage and the fact that we all descend from Noah, Christo-Wiccans believe that all of humanity has this same good angelic heritage, and therefore have access to supernatural and divine powers, which are 'turned on' by faith in Christ, who promised that his followers would be endowed with supernatural spiritual gifts, and have similar powers to what he displayed while he was on earth. His apostlesdisplay examples of such supernatural powers in the Book of Acts, and much of the New Testament encourages the development and use of Spiritual Giftsand the Fruits of the Spirit. Ancestor worshipand a divine pantheonis a Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Wiccan belief that also finds an explanation in the Bible in the story of Noah, who had a wife, sons and daughters-in-law - all who lived on a mountaintop with the Ark as their temple-home, and who all purportedly had supernatural powers based on the experience defined in the Biblical story. When their offspring eventually resided in the valley beneath, no doubt these individuals would have remembered Noah and his family, worshiping them as a pantheon of gods and goddesses in order to remain connected to Noah. After the languages were divided in the Tower of Babelstory, Noah's descendants forgot that they were descendants of these gods and goddesses and therefore their equals, who were invited to worship God with them instead of worshiping them as divinely above mankind. Some angels depicted in the New Testament refuse worship from those they visit. When the languages changed, the original pantheon of Noah's family naturally took on different names, but their duties remained similar - hence pantheon systems world wide have similar deities who have different names. Most pantheon systems depict a father and mother deity, several son and daughter deities, as well as memorializing the times when angelic-type beings produced offspring with mankind. Pantheon systems around the world also display the pantheon residing in a temple on either a mountain top or an island, both reflecting different portions of Noah's flood history, and many offer a story about a rainbow, and an ideal society - all which can be traced back to the Noahide history. This is the Christo-Wiccan reasoning behind the Pantheon system. Therefore Christo-Wiccans do not worship a pantheon of divinities, but consider themselves one of them, descendants of them and co-worshipers of God with them. In this way, these divinities in all their forms, function much like saints, however they have more supernatural powers, and are allowed to use them to help mankind with God's permission.
Reasons for belief in Christian Wicca
Many individuals feel lost in large religions or denominations and their inner spiritual needs are not being met, even in small Christian home groups that are spin-offs of extremely large churches. Many people feel that giving money and sitting on the side lines is not very spiritual, and more and more churches are hiring things done professionally in every aspect instead of utilizing the lesser-talents of the congregation. Other churches are creating "franchise" churches where films of the minister's sermon is shown movie theatre style, or in less-wealthy congregations, ministers spend most of their time marketing the church, and use congregation funds to purchase "canned" sermons that show up in churches nation wise as well as on television and radio. Many do not feel led to get out of bed for a sermon they can "watch" or hear through other means, especially when the minister has not invested his heart into the teaching, only purchasing it, or recording himself to be shown film-style later on. None of this was the original intention of Jesus or the early church, who met together in small home groups and worshipped together in sincerity. In fact, Jesus might be disappointed by the "business" of church today, just as he was when he tipped over the merchandizing tables in the Temple of his own era. For an example of how large and impersonal some Christian churches have become, refer to an article in "The Wall Street Journal", Friday June 13, 2008, Section W, page 1 titled- "INSPIRED BY STARBUCKS: Charismatic pastors grow new flocks overseas, using satellites, DVDs and franchise marketing to spread their own brand of religion" by Alexandra Alter. Many Christians feel that while the New Testament Book of Hebrews teaches that a believer is entitled to his or her
Priesthoodstatus through faith in Christ, the church does nothing to make this status feel official, even though there are numerous volunteer positions available. Most churches expect hours of volunteer work and large financial donations from members but never bestow upon them the office of Priest or Priestess beneath Christ, even though it is Biblical to do so. Because churches are large and must teach multitudes of people, many church sermons and studies are kept to a level far to simple for the educated person in today's world - hence people continue to search for spiritual meaning that goes beyond what they may be receiving in a church study. While some individuals feel no connection to their Christian faith and leave for another religion altogether, others remain spiritually connected to the basic concepts of Christianity, and can not revoke their hearts from the core doctrines of the faith. Instead they maintain Traditional Christian beliefs and values, while instituting other activities that have no bearing on Christian salvation, such as prayer-format, meeting place or style, or the belief that ancestors become divine and helpful to the living, an ancient Orthodox doctrine called theosiswhich has long since been abandoned by more modern Christian-Protestant movements. Further the Pew Forum, [http://pewforum.org/] has recently reported on a new trend called churn, [http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=15044] , a social trend where many people of many faith groups make drastic religious changes approximately every three years, going not from denomination to denomination, but from one faith to a drastically different faith in search of inner truth. According to recent reports, church growth reports are greatly minimized by the statistics of their losses to other denominations or faiths, who actively report where their new members came from: the percentage of new converts into one faith group, for example Baptist, reflect an equal and opposite loss from another, say Catholic, or even much farther from that faith, say - Hindu, or, as reflected in this article, Wicca. Therefore there is a static flow of the same number of people who float between one denomination or religion to the next but never settle in permanently. Many unhappy with their church experience have implemented "Chriso-Wicca" as their response to a modern Christianity that is not authentic to the scriptures. The steadiest permanent religious retention has yet to be determined by statistics.
* Browne, Sylvia (2004) "Mother God", Hay House, ISBN 1-401-90309-6
* Browne, Sylvia (2006) "Father God: Co-creator to Mother God", Hay House, ISBN 1-401-90533-1
* Carmichael, Alexander, "
* Gibbons, Eric "Christian Voodoo: A guide to luck, omens, recipes for homemade miracles and exorcism"
* Jennings, Victoria (2003) "God as Mother"
* Moltmann-Wendel, Elisabeth "A Land Flowing With Milk and Honey: perspectives on feminist"
* Pearson, Joanne (2007) "Wicca and the Christian Heritage", Routledge.
* Pittman, Nancy Chandler (2003) "Christian Wicca: The Trinitarian Tradition" 1st Books Library, , ISBN 1-410-75347-6
* Tovey, Phillip "Praying to God as Mother", Grove Books
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