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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Can you be Christian AND a Witch?

**Article Disclaimer: I am NOT a Christo-Witch or any version there of. I am an Eclectic Pagan and do pull some spiritual beliefs from this history and myths surrounding Christianity. Because of this, this article is being written with some help from a Christo-Witch friend of mine and is not meant to be taken as black and white fact or fiction about these beliefs, it is simply a way to get the information out there for YOU to think about.

Can you really be a Christian Witch? Is there really a such possibility?

Simply put: YES. However, as with subjects such as this there are rarely ever Simple answers. Many people see the combination of Christianity and Witchcraft as a complete oxymoron. Yet there are thousands of Christo-Witches, Christo-Eclectics and Christo-Pagans out there... All in all it depends on how one views the definitions of terms such as Witch, Christian and Pagan... And as it stands, Religion is a man-made institution, so it seems appropriate that each person gets to define "religion" in the way that most closely fits them.

Buddah said:
“In theory there is but one religion, in practice, there are as many religions as there are people.”

While many people aren't big on labels, others see them as a necessity, a security of sorts... For those who use terms like Christian Witch, the label is simply a way to clarify a concept within their own mind rather than something which needs to be agreed upon at large. But what does that mean? Well, in general it means that if you ask 12 different Christian Witches what that label means, you're going to get 13 different answers - AT LEAST!

For those who are new to the world of Christo-Paganism, or those outside the belief system it may seem like the two don't mix. Many times you'll hear people: "You can't be Christian AND Pagan at the same time." And in many ways they are correct, however nothing is ever black and white! Generally the issue is how those people view the definitions of terms like Christian and Pagan. When people hear the term Christian they tend to think "fundamental," King James Bible believing, Church Going Christian. These same people tend to define Pagan as "Non-Christian."  And it does make sense for the majority that you can't be BOTH Christian and Non-Christian at the same time. However, NEITHER of these definitions are incorrect, however, both are very conservative, black & white answers, in a world full of liberals and shades of gray.

It's because of this that confusion tends to come about. It's easy to understand that you can't be a fundamental, KJV Bible devoted Christian AND a Witch or Pagan... The confusion between the two would be enough to drive anyone insane! So it's no wonder that outsiders don't understand and tend to view Christo-Witches and Christo-Pagans as a bit neurotic and indecisive...  If those were the only definitions of Christian and Pagan, I would have to agree with these opinions... Thankfully, for the Thousands of Christo-Eclectics, Christo-Witches and Christo-Pagans these are NOT the only definitions.

While I can NOT give you a fully covered definition of terms such as Christo-Pagan, Christo-Witch & Christo-Eclectic, what I can do is give you a better definition of the major terms involved. Now, why can't I just tell you what these paths believe? Well, as I covered earlier, there are just to many beliefs summed up by these paths to possibly give you an understandable and complete definition or description.

Now, before I go in to more liberal and seemingly accurate (for the purposes of this article) meanings of the terms, I am going to cover the generally "understood" meanings FIRST, simply so it's easier to see the contrast.

Christian:  When heard by most non-Christians and Christians alike they think of the "fundie Christian" with conservative views and beliefs backed up by their great belief that the King James Version Bible is without question the written word of God... Because, although it's unfortunate, these are the Christians we hear from most through media exposure and the like.

Witch:  Among non-Witches, who have a very limited, or no understanding of Witches beyond what they have heard in passing or been taught by their religious order, there are two general definitions:
1.) Devil-worshipper, evil
2.) Nature Loving, Tree Hugging, Hippie Wiccan

Witchcraft, in and of itself is NOT a religion. While there are many religions which welcome the practice of witchcraft, it is in fact a PRACTICE and not a belief.  You can be a witch and be ANY religion. Just like you can practice Yoga and be any religion. Not all Yogis are Hindu.

Now, after covering the overly accepted meanings, I'm laying out my own definitions here, however if you are considering this spiritual path...you will have to lay out your definitions too. The only way you can combine any two paths, or incorporate a seemingly "controversial" practice into your spiritual life is if you get your definitions straight first. Because as I have stated, there is no straight forward teaching for these paths...

My definitions:

Christian: To me, being a Christian means believing in the following things:

* A belief in One God - Which can include a belief in a Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
* Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior.
* Salvation by Grace and Faith in Christ.
* A personal relationship with God.
* The bible as an inspired source for spiritual wisdom.

Witch: To me, being a witch means the following things:

* Having a connection to nature and natural energies.
* Respecting all life and taking care of the earth and helping people.
* Someone who believes in and uses ritual and magick to bring about needed change.

 In the end the only "problem" is the concept of "magick." It seems at face value that the bible prohibits magickal practice and or witchcraft. BUT, if one looks closely with an open mind it's easy to see that this is in actuality far from the case.

The in depth study of what the bible says or doesn't say on this matter is going to have to wait for a second article... It just simply does not fit within the scope of this initial article.

However, common sense would tell you that what is prohibited in the bible is hurting others or manipulating others, or accessing unnatural or "otherworldly" energies. The Christian God, the God of the New Testament, is not supposed to be a manipulator, nor is he supposed to interfere with the free will of his followers. IF, one chooses to follow him, then this is the example that should be followed.
The other common argument against magick is that you aren't supposed to use it if you are a Christian because you are supposed to rely fully on God. And while this is a commonly accepted belief among Christians and Christo-Pagans alike... there is also some basic common sense that needs to be considered here. IF you believe that all things in nature are created by God, and IF you believe magick to be natural (which it is) then it stands to reason that it was put here by God for his followers to use. Just as God isn't going to pay your bills if you don't go to work, it stands to reason that he isn't going to take care of the little hiccups in your life unless you take action to change them first! SO, we were given a number of options when things come up...  1.) Take non-magickal action - which should always be done prior to magickal options. 2.) Magickal actions - use the energies Given By God, to our advantage and make a change needed OR 3.) Pray and hope God has the will to get involved, even if we aren't willing to do things for ourselves.

IF this is a path which you are interested in following, the important part is that it's the right path for YOU, and not what others do or don't think about your beliefs or the beliefs of others on similar paths. As with all spiritual paths, your connection to self and spirit are the most important aspects...


Originally posted on my blog "One Witch's Wonderland" on Sunday, August 15, 2010
(C) on article ONLY. Please do not reproduce without permission.
I make NO claim to the included artwork. If it belongs to you, and you wish it removed, please contact me!

Find MORE information & resources at my newest blog post - More Resources for the Christian Witch

1 comment:

  1. There's also another possibility. Historically, some persecuted witches/pagans/heathens were forced to develop occult symbolism *within* Christianity. For example, a rite, word, phrase, or symbol which appears "Christian," but has hidden elements of their native spiritual tradition "hidden in plain sight."


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