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IBS | What are Witchcraft, Wicca, and Pagan? |Witchcraft In the Church | Week 1

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Welcome to Buttafleye Ministry Interactive Bible Study. Theme: Witchcraft in the Church. This study topic is "What are Witchcraft, Wicca, and pagan?". Please join this FREE study or other studies of interest. JOIN STUDY


Witchcraft


What is witchcraft?

Witchcraft, a perceived facility to summon evil spirits and demons to do harm to others, was linked to religion to the extent that the medieval Church had powers to punish those who dabbled in magic and sorcery. Its priests were able to exorcise those who had become possessed by malign spirits.


The concept of witchcraft as harmful is often treated as a cultural ideology providing a scapegoat for human misfortune. This was particularly the case in Early Modern Europe where witchcraft came to be seen as part of a vast diabolical conspiracy of individuals in league with the Devil undermining Christianity, eventually leading to large-scale witch-hunts, especially in Protestant Europe. Witch hunts continue to this day with tragic consequences. Since the mid-20th century Witchcraft has become the designation of a branch of contemporary Paganism, it is most notably practiced in the Wiccan traditions, some of whom claim to practice a revival of pre-Abrahamic spirituality.

 



Evil spirits During the 16th century, many people believed that witchcraft, rather than the workings of The Most High God's will, offered a more convincing explanation of sudden and unexpected ill fortune, such as the death of a child, bad harvests, or the death of cattle. Witch-hunting became an obsession in some parts of the country.

Witchcraft Act In 1542 Parliament passed the Witchcraft Act which defined witchcraft as a crime punishable by death. It was repealed five years later but restored by a new Act in 1562. A further law was passed in 1604 during the reign of James I who took a keen interest in demonology and even published a book on it. The 1562 and 1604 Acts transferred the trial of witches from the Church to the ordinary courts.


 

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free

John 8:32

 

The Background of Witchcraft



Witch-hunting

Formal accusations against witches – who were usually poor, elderly women – reached a peak in the late 16th century, particularly in southeast England.


513 witches were put on trial there between 1560 and 1700, though only 112 were executed. The last known execution took place in Devon in 1685.

The last trials were held in Leicester in 1717. Overall, some 500 people in England are believed to have been executed for witchcraft.



Magical powers

In 1736 Parliament passed an Act repealing the laws against witchcraft but imposing fines or imprisonment on people who claimed to be able to use magical powers.

When it was introduced in the Commons the Bill caused much laughter among MPs. Its promoter was John Conduit whose wife was the niece of Sir Isaac Newton, a father of modern science, although keenly interested in the occult.


The Act was repealed in 1951 by the Fraudulent Mediums Act which in turn was repealed in 2008. In 1824 Parliament passed the Vagrancy Act under which fortune-telling, astrology, and spiritualism became punishable offenses.




 

Witchcraft And The Church Background




Witchcraft in the 16th and 17th Centuries What distinguished witchcraft during this time from previous developments was the increased number of trials and executions of presumed witches.

More than 100,000 people were persecuted throughout Europe. As more and more people were brought to trial, the fear of witches as well as the fear of being accused of witchcraft escalated to frightening proportions. Larger cities were affected first, but the trials also spread to smaller towns and rural areas.



Wicca

What is Wicca?


Wicca, is the largest of the modern Pagan, or Neo-Pagan, religions. Its followers, who are called Wiccans, typically identify as witches and draw inspiration largely from the pre-Christian religions of Europe. Having publicly emerged in England during the 1950s, Wicca is now found primarily in Western countries, and the number of Wiccans is probably in the low hundreds of thousands. Followers often use the pentagram, or five-pointed star, as the main symbol of their religion.


Origins and development


Although there were precursors to the movement, the origins of modern Wicca can be traced to a retired British civil servant, Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884–1964). Gardner spent most of his career in Asia, where he became familiar with various indigenous religious traditions. He also read widely in Western esoteric literature, including the writings of the British occultist Aleister Crowley. Upon returning to Britain in the 1930s, Gardner became involved in the British occult community and claimed to have discovered a group of witches operating near England’s New Forest in 1939.


Other occultists drew on Gardner’s writings and on other texts about witchcraft to establish their own Wiccan traditions during the 1950s and ’60s. All typically claimed to be practicing a pre-Christian witchcraft religion that had clandestinely survived for centuries, although these claims were dismissed by historians following greater research into early modern witchcraft during the 1960s and ’70s.



Pagan

What is pagan or paganism?


Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism, includes reconstructed religions such as Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism, Hellenism, Slavic Native Faith, Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, or heathenry, as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Wicca and its many offshoots, Neo-Druidism, and Discordianism.


Paganism has its roots in the pre-Christian religions of Europe. Its re-emergence in Britain parallels that in other western countries, where it has been growing rapidly since the 1950s. The social infrastructure of paganism reflects the value the pagan community places on unity in diversity; it consists of a network of interrelated traditions and local groups served by several larger organizations. In Scotland, the Pagan Federation acts as an educational and representative body.



Pagans understand deity to be manifest within nature and recognize divinity as taking many forms, finding expression in goddesses as well as gods.


Goddess worship is central to paganism. Pagans believe that nature is sacred and that the natural cycles of birth, growth, and death observed in the world around us carry profoundly spiritual meanings. Human beings are seen as part of nature, along with other animals, trees, stones, plants, and everything else that is on this earth. Most pagans believe in some form of reincarnation, viewing death as a transition within a continuing process of existence.


Religions considered pagan



Wicca is the largest form of modern paganism, as well as the best-known and most extensively studied.

Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism, includes reconstructed religions such as Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism, Hellenism, Slavic Native Faith, Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, or heathenry, as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Wicca and its many offshoots, Neo-Druidism, and Discordianism.


New Age Many Christians also hold what are sometimes characterized as “New Age” beliefs – including belief in reincarnation, astrology, psychics, and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees. Many Americans who are religiously unaffiliated also have these beliefs.


Pagan worship Most pagans worship the old pre-Christian gods and goddesses through seasonal festivals and other ceremonies. Observance of these festivals is very important to pagans, and those in the hospital will generally wish to celebrate them in some form.

7 Pagan Festivals The Church Still Celebrates Today

  • Christmas.

  • New Year's Day.

  • Easter.

  • The Roman version of Halloween.

  • May 1st - Labor Day.

  • Epiphany or Three Kings Day.

  • Saint John's Eve.




 

What Does the Bible Say About Curses?

The Bible is full of cursing. The word "curse" appears almost 200 times; therefore, it is a significant issue for us to address.


The Bible begins with the Most High God doing a lot of cursing.

We don't read three chapters into Genesis before the Most High began to curse. He cursed Satan for tempting Adam and Eve into sin (Genesis 3:17). He indirectly cursed all mankind when He cursed the ground so that weeds would sprout and man would work hard and sweat profusely in order to make a living from the cursed earth (Genesis 3:17-19). In Genesis 4:10-12 the Most High placed a curse upon Cain for killing his brother. All of these curses were well deserved.


As we read through the Bible we quickly discover that the Most High provided blessings to those who obeyed Him and cursed those who disobeyed Him.


To curse is to wish that bad things happen to someone or something. The Most High God cursed only as a punishment for not obeying him.


On the other hand, to bless is to wish that good things happen to someone or to something. The Most High promised blessings to those who carefully followed His commands.






Laws prohibiting various forms of witchcraft and divination can be found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. These include the following (as translated in the King James Version): Exodus 22:18 – Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.


 


 


Can Christians Be Cursed?


One well-known theological construct guarantees Christians that they need not worry about curses and Satanic attacks because "...nothing can separate us from the Most High God's love" (Romans 8:37-39, and "greater is He that is in us (the Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world (Satan) (1 John 4:4). This theological construct assures us that the Most High God's love for us is never in doubt and that the Holy Spirit is greater than Satan; therefore, we need not concern ourselves with things like curses and spells and Satanic interference. Upon closer examination, however, what these verses don't declare is that we are free from all of Satan's attacks and demonic curses.


 

Interactive Bible Study - Class Videos

 

Answer the questions below.


Witchcraft Within The Church- by Derek Prince

Growing Number Of Black Women Leaving Churches for Witchcraft


Witchcraft in The Church- by David Wilkerson


 

Interactive Bible Study - Participation Questions

 

Instructions



  1. Sign up to become a Buttafleye Ministry member, and create your user password.

  2. Sign in using your password for class participation and certification.


When you are logged in:


  • Answer all questions in the "Question Section."

  • Comment your answers below.

  • Give your classmates personalized feedback on their answers to one or more questions.

  • Read or listen to the book of Enoch 5-10 and read all scriptures in this blog.



Questions Section:


Participation Questions


What is witchcraft?

What does the Bible say ( give a scripture)?

What does science or the world say?


Where did witchcraft originate from?

What does the Bible say ( give a scripture)?

What does science or the world say?


Who is the god of witchcraft?

What does the Bible say ( give a scripture)?

What does science or the world say?


What effect does witchcraft have on believers and none believers?

What does the Bible say ( give a scripture)?

What does science or the world say?


What is Wicca?

What does the Bible say ( give a scripture)?

What does science or the world say?


What is paganism?

What does the Bible say ( give a scripture)?

What does science or the world say?


When was witchcraft banned and who banned it?

What does the Bible say ( give a scripture)?

What does science or the world say?


Are drugs a form of witchcraft?


What is Sin?



Comment your answers below and don't forget to give your classmates your personalized feedback.



Extra Credit Question

What did you learn about witchcraft?






************************************************************************** Do You Have a confidential Prayer Request? Do You Have a Testimony You Would Like to Share? Do You have questions or feedback and would like to contact us?

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