by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
(Feb. 27, 2008) A combination of post-modernism, New Age spirituality and the glamorization of witchcraft in teen fiction has created the “perfect storm” for youth who are turning in ever increasing numbers to Wicca rather than the Christian faith of their upbringing.
A recent article appearing in the Southern Baptist’s Religion Journal said youth pastors in that church are becoming increasing concerned about large numbers of evangelicals who are taking part in Wicca, a religion that involves nature worship, stresses moral autonomy, and includes remedies and spells.
Janice Crouse, a senior fellow with Concerned Women for America, said during a recent radio broadcast that “Some people think this goes back to the books that were so popular, and so many video games and television programs that feature witchcraft and magic and fairy tales that have a dimension to it where if you just pull out some kind of spell and you can make anything happen.
This has really become quite entrenched in many young people, their groups, and evangelicals in particular.”
Already a concern in some of the more liberal mainline churches, Crouse said the problem is now growing among the nation’s largest denomination, evangelical Christians.
She cited several reasons why Wicca is attractive, particularly to youth.
“First, Wiccans believe in moral autonomy, that no one can tell you what to do. That’s very appealing to Generation X and Y. They don’t want the church telling them there are boundaries and things they can’t do.
“Another reason is that Wiccans don’t believe in having authority beyond human constructs. They believe that the individual has the ability to shape their own beliefs. There’s no evil beyond that. Evil lies within the earth and God doesn’t have any control over it. It’s all controlled by the earth.”
Wiccans also believe in sexual freedom, that nothing is taboo, and believe very strongly in the modern idea of “tolerance.” “Anyone who is judgmental is frowned upon,” Crouse explained.
The goddess-centered belief system of Wicca is also very appealing to women. “Wiccans have rituals that are particularly appealing to women because they celebrate the cycles women go through, their emotions, pivotal events in their lives. That is a very strong drawing card for young women,” Crouse said.
Belief in the spirituality of every living thing is also very alluring. “People who are soft hearted, who love animals and value the earth are deeply attracted to that kind of view from the Wiccans.”
The problem is that many people get caught up in Wicca before realizing that they are departing from a biblical world view.
“These things have nothing to do with Christian principles,” Crouse said.
And because Wiccan beliefs dove-tail so neatly with the kind of secular humanism being promoted in most public schools today, many young people see nothing wrong with it.
“When you have all these people in the church who are looking at things from a New Age and a post-modern perspective, and you have a whole culture that is attracted to these practices, no wonder we’re seeing this become so much more popular among young people today.”
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