. Caveat: .
This article does not seek to malign, diminish, ridicule, or degrade
the Pagan faith, beliefs, customs, or understanding of existence. .
Instead, it seeks to protect, further, uphold, and encourage the
Christian faith, beliefs, customs, and understanding of existence. .
While the issue of witchcraft is an area of conflict between Pagans
and Christians, I trust that you will remember that this article is
written to a Christian audience, and will thus understand that it
does not offer an unbiased evaluation of both faiths, but instead
expect that it seeks to aid Christian parents to raise Christian
. Halloween and Beyond
. The discussion of Halloween in Christian circles is a clear
indicator of a certain amount of helplessness among parents when it
comes to protecting children from the lure of Paganism. . As we
discussed in the . last
Halloween article . , if you and your children can view
Halloween as harmless fun consisting of dressing up in appropriate
costumes, going door to door asking for candy without being tempted
to play tricks on those who do not give out any, all the while
refraining from activities that may glorify the occult with its
trappings of witchcraft, evil, divination, etc., then your Halloween
experience is truly geared more to the dress-up and playing-pretend
aspects of childhood, and is therefore . not . inappropriate
in light of the Scriptures. . Nonetheless, many a Christian parent
is uncomfortable with celebrating Halloween simply because of the
occult trappings it presents. . Many of the same parents are also
very aware of the current set of television fare, some of which is
contrary to Christian values.
. Television...the Root of all
kinds of Evil?
. Whether the old show Bewitched, depicting a nose-twitching
Elizabeth Montgomery, or the more modern depictions of witches such
as teenaged Sabrina (a cartoon, no less!), or the gals from Charmed,
network television is rife with depictions of witchcraft. . It is
immaterial if these shows depict witches accurately. . The very fact
that they have found their ways into Christian living rooms gives
some room for wonderment.
. While the individual Christian is able to simply turn off the
television when this kind of programming comes on, s/he will not
have the same power over his/her offsprings friends. . Hence, it
behooves the Christian parent to be able to deal with the influence
of witchcraft, since sooner or later her/his child will come in
contact with someone who fancies her/himself a witch.
. The Lure of Witchcraft
. One of the many aspects of witchcraft that make it very
enticing is the lure of power. . Whether depicted accurately or
being simply figments of the screenwriters imaginations, witchcraft
is portrayed as a source of power on television. . Children who are
desperately trying to find their places in society and within the
strict pecking order of the peer group, are easy prey for the
promises of power and control, even if it is only the notion of such
attributes. . Considering also that Christianity by its very
definition is the abdication of personal power and control,
witchcraft with its secrecy, spells, etc. . is undoubtedly
. While it would be wonderful to simply excuse away such behavior
in our children as a phase, Christian parents must remember that
there is a vast difference between junior coming home with a head of
dyed jet-black hair spiked in every direction, humming the tunes to
Lucretia My Reflection and junior exchanging the worship of God for
the worship of created things and deities of a variety of Pagan
pantheons. . The former is most definitely a phase (although
affection for the music of the Sisters of Mercy is said to last a
lifetime) while the latter is a paradigm shift, which may very well
result in a childs losing her/his love for and faith in God.
. One of the reasons why witchcraft is a dangerous philosophy for
the Christian child is its very denial of evil as personified in the
figure of Satan. . By denying the very existence of the devil and
thus not acknowledging the power he holds and seeks to bring to our
lives, a child will become easy prey for his schemes. .
Additionally, such a mindset propels the child into the center of
her/his universe (instead of God being at the center), since now
s/he gets to decide what is moral, and what is not. . This gives
rise to self-justification, rationalization, and shifting values.
. The second danger the Christian parent must be aware of is the
high-wire act of divination, with the Ouija board on one side, and
the reliance on spirit guides on the other. . While some parents
simply shrug their shoulders at the dangers of the Ouija board, it
is worthwhile to remember that demons, demonic possession, and the
conjuring of spirits are all real-life events, all of which are very
clearly described in the Bible. . The Bible is also very clear that
such activities must be avoided. . While many a child dabbling with
witchcraft would like to believe that the spirits s/he conjures are
benign, harmless and actually helpful, the very denial of evil, and
Satan as the father of lies, will leave the child as a quick and
easy target for the destructive powers the spirits hold. . Christian
parents will do well to remember that Satan can easily masquerade as
an angel of light!
. So whats the Christian Parent to do?
. If you realize that some of your childs friends are beginning
to dabble with witchcraft and its trappings, gently redirect your
child to make new friends. . Otherwise, your childs friends will
either succeed in luring her/him to dabble with the occult as well,
or, in the alternative, your childs stand in favor of Christ will
quickly lead to ugly scenes between those who feel judged by your
childs refusal to join in their fun and your child who is simply
refusing to give in to idolatry.
. If your child has already fallen under the spell of witchcraft,
seek to find out which aspects of her/his life s/he feels the most
powerless in. . Attempt to give your child the tools s/he needs to
excel in these areas without resorting to manipulation of the
situation via witchcraft.
. Be prepared to listen to your child. . Dont simply dismiss
her/his new-found beliefs; instead, keep the doors of communication
open. . Allow your child to explain to you the new-found beliefs
s/he is embracing. . Sooner or later s/he will come to the crux of
the self-centeredness and self-reliance s/he has come to put her/his
hope in. . At this time, review with your child the power of God
versus her/his limited human power. . God made the world. . The
child...well, you get the idea.
. In closing, while a childs being lured by the power of
witchcraft is nothing new, for the Christian parent it should be an
alarming reality, which, with prayer, faith and open communication,
may be averted or redirected.
. Portions of this article were previously published at
Suite101's Christian Parenting Topic.