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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

                         by James Clement Taylor
 I am a Christian and not a Wiccan.  A Christian is one who has been
 baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and who has
 made a personal, free-will decision to commit himself and all his or her
 life to our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Both of these things
 are true of me.  I am a member of St. Mary's Eastern Orthodox Church,
 Calhan, Colorado.  In this paper, I am not speaking as agent for any
 church, but I am, entirely on my own responsibility, speaking the truth
 in love, as we Christians are supposed to do.
 A Situation of Strife and Shame:
 There are many Christians today who believe that anyone who is not a
 Christian is doomed to an eternity of suffering in hell.  Any decent
 person, believing this, would be compelled to try to save as many people
 from this fate as possible.  But is this belief correct?  Jesus Christ,
 having noted the faith and righteousness of a Roman centurion, a Pagan,
        "Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith,
         not even in Israel!  And I say to you that many will come
         from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and
         Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the sons of the king-
         dom will be cast out into outer darkness.  There will be
         weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:10-12)
 If we accept these words as true, and surely we should, then it is clear
 that heaven will contain many who are not Christians, and hell will
 contain many who are!  Clearly, throughout the Gospels, Jesus Christ
 sets forth the criteria for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, and
 those criteria include love, kindness, forgiveness, and a refusal to
 judge others:
         "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly
          Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive
          men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive
          your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15)
         "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and
          with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to
          you." (Matthew 7:2)
         "But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy and not
          sacrifice.'" (Matthew 9:13)
         "Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
          Judge not, and you shall not be judged.  Condemn not, and
          you shall not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be for-
          given." (Luke 6:36-38)
 Is it not clear?  Anyone who fails in these things, will calling himself
 a Christian save him?  Anyone who obeys God in these things, will being
 unbaptized condemn him?  Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me,
 `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the
 will of My Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)
 Yet it is not by good works that we earn our way into heaven, because
 there is no way we can earn the free gift of God's mercy and grace,
 which alone can save us.  But it is clear that it is not by faith, in
 the sense of sharing the Christian faith, that we are saved, either. 
 The faith which saves us is not faith in the goodness of our works, nor
 faith that we have the right theology and/or belong to the right church.
 Rather, it is faith in God, and in His mercy:
        "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs,
         but of God who has mercy."  (Romans 9:16)
 But the Wiccans, you will say, do not have faith in God.  Yet by their
 own theology, they certainly do.  Those who call them Satan-worshippers
 are entirely wrong.  They do not worship Satan, or even believe that
 Satan exists.  Instead, they worship a Goddess and a God whom they
 understand as manifestations of a higher and unknown Deity.
 Now if you are a Christian, this will sound familiar to you, and it
 should.  In the Bible we find the following:
        "Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said,
         `Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are
         very religious; for as I was passing through and con-
         sidering the objects of your worship, I even found an
         altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
         Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing,
         Him I proclaim to you" (Acts 17:22-23)
 The Wiccans worship the Unknown God, as manifested to them in the form
 of a Goddess and a God.  Therefore, our Bible tells us they worship the
 same God we do; and if they do not know this, we should know it!
 For those of us who are unable to simply stand on God's Word, and must
 prove to themselves the truth of what it proclaims the holy Apostle John
 has given us the method for doing this.  You have only to attend any
 public Wiccan ceremony, and test the spirits which are there, to see
 "whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1).  You will find that, while the
 power manifested there may be less than what you have experienced as a
 Christian, that power is clearly the power of God.
 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, these people of Wicca have been
 terribly slandered by us.  They have lost jobs, and homes, and places of
 business because we have assured others that they worship Satan, which
 they do not.  We have persecuted them, and God will hold us accountable
 for this, you may be sure, for He has said, "Assuredly I say to you,
 inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did
 it to Me." (Matthew 25:40)
 Let us, from this point onward, repent of our misdeeds and declare that
 henceforth we shall obey Christ our God, and not judge others or condemn
 them, so that He will not have to judge and condemn us for our sins.

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