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Featured Witchcraft in the Church

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Natsumi Lam, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    No. She was not a David Copperfield who simply did tricks by man made illusions alone. The character may have started off as an illusionist, but the character operated by actual real magic or witchcraft (according to the fictional universe).

    I mean, I used to watch Young Justice (the cartoon series) and read the comics. So I know. Her power did not come from man made technology, but it was derived by some spiritual means (Not connected with the God of the Bible). But if you don't believe me, Wikipedia states: Zatanna makes her living as a stage illusionist prior to discovering her magical abilities while investigating the disappearance of her father.

    But this is a huge problem. Any form of miraculous power that is derived by a person that does not involve GOD is operating by the dark arts or witchcraft. They don't have to call themselves a witch or a sorcerer if they are operating by the dark arts. They are still a sorcerer none the less if they are operating by powers outside of God's power. Man made illusions is not the same thing as witchcraft. But the problem is that magicians are glorifying witchcraft as being okay because they think magic is just fantasy fun (When in reality, God killed those who were sorcerers in the OT).
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  2. Natsumi Lam

    Natsumi Lam Preparer of the Bride Supporter

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    I never said i was experiencing witchcraft at church. The enemy is behind witchcraft and the bible is specific as to his function.
     
  3. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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  4. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    Illusions, Jason. Tricks are for :banana:

    Arrested Development references aside, she does high magic using incantations and ceremonial magic due to a mix natural abilities and academic pursuits in alchemy, and not as a means of practicing self or higher power/spiritual understanding. That makes her a magician, wizard, or sorceress.

    If she did low magic or nature-based crafting with an end goal of religious understanding or enlightenment for self or the community, then she’d be a witch.

    She has natural gifts that she enhances with alchemy and ceremonial study of magic and no religious or spiritual structure, making her a magician, wizard, or sorceress.

    It’s basically the difference between a doctor and an herbalist.

    I mean, say what you want about the tenants of witchcraft, at least there’s an ethos.
     
  5. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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  6. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Ship of Fools Supporter

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    Belief in witches is a superstition that the Church suppressed in the middle ages and only resurfaced during the Reformation.

    There is no reason for Christians to believe witches are real, and it is quite dangerous to do so. People become hysterical when they believe in superstitions such as witchcraft.
     
  7. Bipolargirl

    Bipolargirl Wondering many things

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    There is a difference between blood magick and blood sacrifice.
    Those who do blood sacrafices are not considered Wiccan but are something the wiccans and pagans believe darker. Blood sacrafices falls into the categories of actual demon summoning. It’s controversial even in the Wiccan and pagan communities. Most sacrifices are animals, however.
     
  8. Bipolargirl

    Bipolargirl Wondering many things

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    Very well said.
     
  9. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    The Bible condemns people engaging in hackery--like spirit mediums, astrologers, potion-makers, etc--but at no point indicates that what they are doing is real.

    The Church, historically, understood that there is no such power as magick, and those who engaged in "magickal" practice were deluded and delusional. If the devil was involved at all, it was as the deceiver, deluding and deceiving the minds of such people.

    The Church has a word for such spiritual hackery, it's called superstitio (superstition) in Latin and deisidaimonia in Greek; in a positive sense deisidaimonia simply means "piety" or "religiously reverent"; but its use in a Christian context tended in use to refer to pagan religious reverence, a false piety, a false religiosity, a false spirituality toward false gods.

    In the middle ages as Christianity spread into northern Europe a major issue was the conversion of European pagans, such as when King Charles of the Franks (who would later be known as Charlemagne) conquered the Saxons, the Saxons were Germanic Pagans, and part of the conversion effort was to stamp out belief in superstitions. One of the superstitions among the Saxons was a belief in witches. As such the Frankish Council at Paderborn made witch-hunting a criminal offense (witch-hunting was a pagan thing, not a Christian one, as Pagans, not Christians, believed in witches and witchcraft).

    The Canon Episcopi is an old medieval document of uncertain origin that effectively addresses the errors of superstition, such as belief in witches and witchcraft. Assigning powers to anything other than God was a blasphemous heresy. Those who believed in magick, or believed the devil could create life or offer power to people were believing in heretical, blasphemous ideas by ascribing to people, false gods, or the devils powers which only could rightly belong to God.

    That was the precedent for most of Christian history until the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum in the 15th century which sought to overturn orthodox Christian opinion to insist that witches really do exist, and the devil really can work miracles and powers through witches, mediums, and so on and so forth. Which is why it is not until the early modern era that we begin to see public opinion in Western Europe change.

    This is why the Salem Witch Trials are not some vestigial ignorance held over from the middle ages, but a product of the modern age. Witch Trials were not a feature of the middle ages, they were a feature of the modern era, and often in Protestant, though sometimes in Catholic, lands. The Church of the middle ages knew better than to believe in pagan superstition such as witchcraft and magick and other such hokey hackery.

    And so the modern fear of witches that has persisted is likewise pagan superstition, and no Christian should entertain blasphemous and heretical notions such as this. Belief in the power of witches is a pagan belief, not a Christian one.

    So, no, the Bible does not teach us that there are people in the world that can perform feats of magick; because the Bible does not teach us that false gods have power, or that the devil can rival God. The devil is a mere creature, with no cosmic power; and false gods are nothing. That is why when the prophets of Ba'al called out to Ba'al nothing happened, but when Elijah called out to God fire came down out from heaven. The Bible is consistent: the gods of the nations are blind, deaf, lifeless idols that are nothing. The gods of the nations are not gods, they cannot hear, they cannot see, they cannot act.

    There's a good reason to tell Christians not to get involved in false spiritual practices and hackery, but the possibility of gaining or attaining some actual mystical power isn't one of them. False spirituality and hackery is harmful because it leads us away from the true spirituality that is found in Christ in His Church, the spirituality that comes from hearing the Gospel and receiving the gifts of God's Sacraments. Anything that is placed as an obstacle between us and the Gospel is an obstacle that needs to be removed.

    The best way to combat bad spiritual practices is to encourage good spiritual practices; we combat bad theology with good theology, we confess our faith with clarity in our churches. The truth is its own defense.


    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  10. Tropical Wilds

    Tropical Wilds Lord, beer me strength...

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    Rude. I’m literally right here.
     
  11. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    There is a great modern myth of the "Burning Times" that has been perpetuated in some Neo-Pagan circles, rooted in a common misconception about the middle ages. Actual scholarship on the subject however reveals that both the Church and the State of the Middle Ages regarded belief in witches to be superstitious nonsense and prohibited the hunting of witches as a crime. Under Charlemagne witch-hunting was punishable by death, because ya know--its murder. There were no widespread witch hunts or witch trials, and certainly not officially sanctioned ones, until the modern period, such as in the 17th century (c.f. the Salem Witch Trials).

    The modern myth is part of a larger and more widespread misconception about the middle ages that we have, a product of the Enlightenment to make modern man feel superior to those ignorant buffoons of earlier centuries. But it's a lie we've told ourselves out of pride and hubris. A lie that was largely shattered by the barbarism and cruelty of the early 20th century with the two world wars--but which for some reason we keep telling ourselves even today, refusing to learn.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  12. Zetetica

    Zetetica Active Member

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    As someone who once practiced magick, both lesser and greater, I know it to be real, dangerous, and entirely demonic. Argue if you like but I’d not have spent over 15 years in the LHP of the occult if it wasn’t real. Yes, it’s real and I have dozens of experiences which declared as much to me.
     
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  13. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Ship of Fools Supporter

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    What VC said is correct. During the Middle Ages, the Church was often the voice of reason in a world dominated by pagan fears.

    There is one medieval French tale of travellers or sailors that came to the French town of Lyon in 815 from a land beyond the sky called Magonia. The locals wanted to kill them as witches, as there was a popular belief that beings from the sky could cause famine and pestilence on the earth, but the local bishop, Agobard, intervened and told the people they were believing in superstition, and that the travellers should not be harmed. Agobard was an idealist and a rationalist, like many educated people of his day.

    Who knows, maybe Agobard saved some extra-terrestrials lives. At any rate, the explanation is more authentically Christian than believing there are powers in the universe that are not subject to God's providence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  14. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Ship of Fools Supporter

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    Much of the Church has been deluded by the errors of the Pentecostal and charismatic movement, and drawn back into a superstitious worldview.

    I am not saying that demons could not have convinced you that you were engaged in magick or drawn you into a delusion, but the magical power is not real. As Mr. Rogers said, wishing does not make things so. There is a good God in charge of the universe and things do not happen by magic. A sparrow does not fall that God does not know about it.
     
  15. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Uh, you didn't just say what I think you said?! Supporter

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    How do I believe witchcraft can impact the church?

    .....truthfully? Well, I've never really thought about it since I'm kind of on the side of the guys here who see 'sorcery' as a phenomena that, if not fictional, then it is of a minor note in the keys of Power. The way I figure it, as we saw in the case of Balaam in the O.T., if the people of God are doing what they should be doing, then God has it covered. But if the people of God are just messing around and milling about in and out of idolatry, then we might have to wonder what those minor powers are up to ... :cool:

     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  16. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    And here's the thing, if every person's experience is true then we have tons of conflicting evidence about the world. I don't believe that Hinduism is true, even though there are hundreds of millions of Hindus and many of them have all sorts of experiences they could share. The same with people from literally every religious or spiritual tradition. New Agers, tribal shamanism, Buddhists, Neo-Pagans, Wiccans, Spiritualists, Muslims, and Christians.

    I'm not denying that you experienced something, but I have no reason to believe that all personal experiences are of supernatural origin and activity. I don't believe in ghosts, yet there are millions of people with first-hand ghost story experiences. I don't believe aliens have ever visited earth, but there are thousands of people with experiences they claim of abductions, sightings, and so on.

    I need a whole lot more than the say-so of someone in order to believe something that is antithetical to the Christian faith. If someone tells me that Odin answered their prayers, I'm not going to believe in Odin. If someone tells me that crystals cured their headache I'm not going to believe in magical crystal woo. Because my religious beliefs are not based on mere hearsay, but two thousand years of consistent Christian confession and teaching that goes back to Jesus Christ and His Apostles. St. Jude tells me to earnestly contend for the faith delivered to all the saints; I'm not going to just throw that away because someone claims to have experienced things. And I don't have to believe people are lying to me about their experiences either. There are mundane, rational explanations that usually account for a lot of experiences.

    An example would be infrasound and its association with ghost encounters. Infrasound can produce visual and auditory hallucinations and create a sense of discomfort and unease. A famous case of this was in a science lab where people were hearing and seeing things that weren't there, the haunted lab. As it turns out the fan was old and producing an infrasound hum, too low to be audible to human hearing but still affecting human sensory input. When the fan was fixed or replaced (I forget which), all those ghostly experiences also stopped. Because there were no ghosts, no spirits, nothing supernatural about it--it was just the brain doing weird brain things. Because the brain often does weird brain things because it is a highly complex piece of bio-chemical machinery that we are still learning about all the time.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  17. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Bingo. The devil's game is deception, obfuscation, and subterfuge.

    Here's an excerpt from the Canon Episcopi,

    "It is also not to be omitted that some unconstrained women, perverted by Satan, seduced by illusions and phantasms of demons, believe and openly profess that, in the dead of night, they ride upon certain beasts with the pagan goddess Diana, with a countless horde of women, and in the silence of the dead of the night to fly over vast tracts of country, and to obey her commands as their mistress, and to be summoned to her service on other nights. But it were well if they alone perished in their infidelity and did not draw so many others into the pit of their faithlessness. For an innumberable multitude, deceived by this false opinion, believe this to be true and, so believing, wander from the right faith and relapse into pagan errors when they think that there is any divinity or power except the one God."

    That the devil, who is the father of lies, would delude people into believing things and experiencing things that are false wasn't ignored; but what was rejected was the idea that any of this was actually happening, and thus relapsing into Pagan superstition by ascribing divinity and power to anything other than God.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  18. mindlight

    mindlight See in the dark Supporter

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    Interesting thread. People seem to be in 2 main camps. Those who believe witchcraft is real and those who do not. For the former the churches role is a combative one with an assurance of victory over the powers of evil. For the later the churches role is one of debunking wild claims and superstition and seeking to gain a heavenly perspective on all these things.

    I once ran a university discussion group. We usually got 8-12 people along most weeks on various worthy topics appealing to Christians and non Christians. But one week when we did witchcraft and the occult we got about 25. People are obviously fascinated about this sort of stuff. But the bible still out sells Harry Potter so I guess people do need to get this in proper perspective.

    It seems clear from the bible that witchcraft was a real thing characterised by a poisonous rebellion against the things of God. But a lot of people who claim to be witches today are clearly in some kind of delusion and have no real powers. I believe that witchcraft can be harmful to Christians who are ton he edge of the church as a means to distract them to sin. The woman who uses witchcraft to seduce a man who already has a problem with lust for instance.

    So probably the best perspective is a healthy scepticism of peoples claims, a focus on what Jesus would do in response, an attempt to live holy lives (an undeserved curse does not come to rest) and when confronted with real demon inspired examples of witchcraft a simple call on Christs authority. His blood has conquered sin and his sacrifice is sufficient and no demon can undo that. People should find witchcraft disappointing after having experienced Christ. Error , delusion and small scale demon powers are nothing compared to the Light of the World and to Almighty God.
     
  19. Zetetica

    Zetetica Active Member

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    It was real enough, others noticed it and believed. It was real enough, the morning after a ritual, my room was full of ants, creeping on me as well. It was real enough and it was demonic. Do you dare declare that demons aren’t real? They are and thinking otherwise is a dangerous road to walk.

    Was it power? No and it wasn’t controllable; that was the delusion. I was deceived to think I had some level of authority over it all. It was a dangerous obsession where I was convinced that I had control and was using this stuff, rather than the truth; it was using me.
     
  20. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Uh, you didn't just say what I think you said?! Supporter

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    That's what I'm wondering. But, these days it not always clear as to why some people do the things they do....in a Christian Church, as in the following:



    (eeeeeew! :confused:) :cool:
     
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