A Hard Conversation with the Witch Next Door

Have you ever learned a lesson about your own faith from someone opposed to it?

God taught me a significant life lesson through an encounter with a warlock.

Fresh out of Christian college, I had energy to burn and invested it all in the residents of an inner-city runaway shelter in Providence, RI. Not sure how my parents survived their first glimpse at this place. It was not a great neighborhood. But I was idealistic and confident of God’s eye on me. All I saw was opportunity for kingdom building.

Except that initially, it was all about me.

“Look what I’m doing for God.” “Look at what I’m risking for Jesus.” “I was the blinded by the glare of my own shining light until I ran smack into actual darkness.

It appeared one day on the doorstep. Darkness, that is. A man dressed in black. His hair slicked back and accented with a single white streak. Right out of central wizard casting standing on the steps of the shelter.

Something within me recognized the darkness within this man but at the time, I had no name for it – just a sense in my spirit that the veil between the worlds had suddenly grown thin.

He asked if I was the Christian taking “Mike” to church on Sundays and talking with him about Jesus. I was.

He explained that Mike was his “apprentice,” a young man he was mentoring in his local coven, of which he was head. A warlock. A practitioner of the “dark arts,” he explained, as casually as if he was telling me Mike was apprenticing in an electrician’s guild. Certainly, he continued, I could respect that and not interfere by talking with Mike about Jesus.

I remember standing on there thinking some truly stupid thoughts. Like, Why does this guy care about so much about Mike? To my shame.

Mike wouldn’t describe himself as a runaway, but as a “throw-away.” His mother was an addict, his father unknown, and Mike just a boy running from state care until he was found again and recycled through the system like a plastic bag.

My un-Christlike thoughts continued: Surely, this guy isn’t going to battle me over this one kid? What’s the big deal? There must be a hundred other kids like Mike within a needle-squirt of this doorstep. One kid! C’mon. You can’t seriously be taking me on over one soul.

Shameful thoughts until a light came on within me. Not a light of my own making, but illumination from Jesus. Suddenly I understood something this warlock already knew – the value of a single soul.

Whatever either of us saw in Mike, none of that mattered. What truly mattered was what Jesus saw in Mike. Jesus saw a lost sheep. A child He loves and bled and died to save. Not a throw-away, not a street kid, not a nothing, not a project for a self-involved young college grad, not an apprentice in the dark arts – a lost soul, deeply loved and sought after – a soul worth fighting for, a single soul worthy of a battle.

The evil one, too, saw the value of this single soul. Not because he loves or values Mike but because every soul has value to God and the evil one seeks every opportunity to capture and destroy what God values.

In that moment, I saw it, too. For the first time, but not for the last.

I cut my teeth on that spiritual battle. I wasn’t accustomed to my weapons nor to my armor. I wasn’t engaged with a knowledgeable unit of fellow warriors. It wasn’t pretty. It doesn’t have a happy ending. There were casualties. But I remember the lesson that landed on that doorstep like a smart bomb, like a dispatch from headquarters, like an all-points bulletin, like an actual emergency on the emergency broadcast system- every single soul is worth the battle.

As big as God is, as vast as the heavens, as infinite as the cosmos, it all comes down to His love for every single soul. Even if those of us who enlist in His army are too blinded by the glare of our new armor to see it – He never forgets what this is all about.

Mike’s soul. My soul. The soul of that warlock. Your soul, too.

No one falls off God’s radar. And to Him, we aren’t “blips” on a screen, but amazing works of living art, His creation intimately known by Him and sought after with a passion and zeal it would probably destroy us to completely comprehend.

The value of a single soul – this is what God taught me through a warlock and his interest in the unwanted child of a heroin-seeking woman of the night. God also taught me the reality of the spiritual realm and the battle that rages there, although the victory for Christ is certain.

We live in times where there is an unprecedented rise in Wicca and practitioners of magick. There is even a rise in those who claim themselves to be Christian witches.

We are unwise if we just dismiss all these souls with a click of our teeth and a shake of our heads. They are vocal, proselytizing purveyors of a false matrix of the Christian faith. If we don’t encounter them, our children will or the people we’re trying to reach with truth, will, so we must be wise and ready.

How do we prepare for hard conversations with or about “Christian” witches?

First, live and speak authentically for Jesus without apology. Our greatest downfalls are not our beliefs, but our “near-beliefs.” We confidently discuss those things of which we’re certain. When we stumble, it’s a sign that we “nearly” believe that truth, but likely need to dig deeper into God’s Word or press deeper into Jesus in order to discuss it with Christ-informed confidence.

Second, do not be afraid of these misguided souls nor spread this fear to others. There is an active spiritual realm and there are people who dabble in dangerous spiritual practices, but God calls us to live free of fear because He is with us. Don’t elevate these practitioners by imagining their powers are any match for the One that lives within you – Jesus.

Third, understand that those deceived by these false teachings are looking for things that we can relate to – a sense of belonging in a world that tells them they don’t belong, power and control over their lives and circumstances, a faith that honors the magnificence of creation, a sense of their own beauty, and a way to make sense or meaning of their lives. The better able we are to articulate how those things are best found in Jesus and the more perfectly we live that out in Christian community, the better able we are to dialog with those at risk of entering greater deceit.

Fourth, it’s not hard, when listening to their videos or reading writings by self-proclaimed “Christian” witches, to find the false teachings in what they proclaim. If we listen without fear and with confidence in Christ, we can easily hear and refute the lies (or at least go to the Christian leader or teacher in our lives with intelligent questions for support.)

Fifth, many of the most vocal witches and wizards are spiritual bullies. Don’t fall prey to their methods and don’t resort to mimicking their methods because that’s not the way of Christ. A calm, steady, unrelenting presentation of the truth can be delivered without hatred, mocking, anger, name-calling, judgment, or violence.

Sixth, there is nothing new under the sun. The heresy and false teaching of these “new age” peddlers of “ancient truth” is as old as the prince of lies himself – it’s part Wiccan, part Gnosticism, part Hollywood, and all wrong. He has no powers of creativity, so they’re not even innovative in their deception. Evil isn’t interesting – it’s as boring as the dirt from which we came. Light and life captivate and fascinate the truly seeking soul and these are only found in Jesus.

Seventh, let this rise in opposition spur us on to love and good deeds, to prayer, to God’s Word, and to a renewed obedience to Christ. If not now, when? When will we live and speak and love from the great heart of Him who died for us, if not now?

I know this is a long post. Some of you don’t even know what I’m talking about. But come April, there’s a conference of “Christian” witches coming to Salem, MA, and the rise of this false teaching is actively at work trying to discredit our faith through every venue of social media. If you haven’t encountered them yet, you will. We must live wisely and embedded in God’s Word in these times – full of love, free from fear, speaking truth. Are you ready?

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    The Conversation

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is one powerful post, dear one! Truth! Thank God for you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Last comment from LaTan Murphy

  3. Sherry Carter says:

    Wow! I would have been scared to death by this guy. Your message that each soul is precious to God, no matter how society might class them, is so needed. We Christians tend to sit in our ivory-tower churches and cluck our teeth at these lies when God wants us to be fighting for the souls being trapped by them.

  4. Marge says:

    Thank you for your post. God definitely is shining His light on this deceiving topic.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this column. I love this line and wrote it down: “A calm, steady, unrelentless presentation of the truth can be delivered without hatred, mocking, anger, name-calling, judgment, or violence.” That is so what we need today. (The editor in me has to point out, though, that “unrelentless” is not a word). Not being ugly, your writings are awesome and I would want someone to point it out to me.

    Thanks for your always thought provoking columns.