Friday, April 17, 2009

John Shuck's questions to me about Wicca

I really need to get on with my series on Wicca, but not only have I stopped to put up a different subject but also John Shuck took such an interest in my Wicca article that he posted a silly posting on Witches, She's a Witch! (That video made me laugh) and allowed his followers to respond as though they were the crowd in the film and I the witch. But that’s okay because I would really like to respond. This is his comments and questions.

"Dear Viola,

Since I linked to your post on my blog, one of the commenters thought I should email you to check the facts.

So...Why are you making a series of posts on Wiccans?

Are you a Wiccan?

Do you want people to become Wiccan?

Why don't you direct them to a Wiccan website so folks can learn about Wicca from Wiccans?

Blessed Be."

“Why are you making a series of posts on Wiccans?”

The postings I am doing are from an article I wrote for a magazine TruthQuest Journal in 1998. The magazine no longer exists. I am placing the post here because I like to use my blog for all kinds of different information and hopefully help others as they relate to Jesus Christ. When I first began junior college the Wicca movement had just taken hold in the United States. It migrated here from England and combined with the new women’s movement. The two began changing each other.

I often sat at a lunch table with a group of Wiccans. I was very interested in them, and they in what I believed. They passed my Bible up and down the table reading from it. One of the sad things at that time, for me, was one woman who was the priestess of her coven who felt she could not attend Church because of what she was doing. I wanted to assure her that God loved her. Hopefully she is somewhere today save in the keeping of Jesus Christ. (That is a prayer)

At Sacramento State University, Sacramento, I had two experiences with Wicca. Neither of them very good. But God had a purpose in it. The first was with a student in one of my philosophy classes. He was a Warlock (a male witch) who was always the High Priest of his coven and very out spoken. I was later to receive the book he wrote to guide his coven. I received it from someone who had been his priestess and had converted to Jesus Christ. (This was when I was working at Apologetics Resource Center.) While this is not at all typical of Wicca, the fellow had made a rule that the priestess must always be young women. This particular coven practiced sex in their ritual circle.

The other Wiccan at college was my teacher for world religions. I was upset because the way she taught was decidedly from her goddess point of view and this was my most important class for my religious study degree. However, God meant it for good, because now I have so much more knowledge about the religious viewpoints of Wicca.


So I must say the most important reason to place my article here is so I can continue to interact either with Christians who want to know more about Wicca (The fastest growing neo-pagan group in the United States) or with those in Wicca who might be interested in what I have to say from a Christian perspective.

“Are you a Wiccan?”

No.

“Do you want people to become Wiccan?”

No!

“Why don't you direct them to a Wiccan website so folks can learn about Wicca from Wiccans?”

Some people who are Christians want to learn about other faiths from a Christian perspective. I do have training and experience in writing about religious subjects.

Having said that, I think it is a good idea to learn what other people believe from them. That is why I have used so many reference books written by Wicca people, and also those who believe in a goddess of some sort. What readers can do is look at the names of the authors of my endnote books and google them and their web sites. For instance I have used a book by Starhawk a very popular witch. Her web site is
Starhawk’s Tangled Web

An important part of writing for me is representing other’s faith traditions fairly and I have as much as I am able. I have had Wicca people e-mail me and thank me for presenting their faith correctly. Some Christians do not.

"Blessed be."

Blessed may you find your self John in the only way to the Father, Jesus Christ our Lord.

11 comments:

John Shuck said...

Thanks, Viola, for answering those questions. No, my post was not about you being a witch.

It was about witch hunting that I gathered from your posts. That has to do with linking Michael Adee and supporters of amendment B with neo-paganisim and Wicca.

I think you are doing a disservice to Michael Adee. I don't think Michael is a witch, but you could ask him.

I also think you are doing a disservice to the established religion of Wicca.

If people are curious about Wicca, it would seem a good idea to talk to Wiccans.

One doesn't have to agree with them or adopt their philosophies in order to seek to understand what they say about themselves.

wicca.com and its FAQs are helpful starting points.

Of course, if one wants to know Viola's beliefs about Wicca, then of course your blog is the place to go.

Again, those would be your beliefs (frankly misconceptions) as opposed to the beliefs of those who actually practice it.

Viola Larson said...

John,
I did not call Adee a Witch. But my biggest concern is that you are saying I don't know anything about what I wrote on Wicca. Did you even read it. Please tell me where I am wrong.

Viola Larson
Sacramento, Ca

John Shuck said...

Viola,

Yes I did read your article. I am no expert on Wicca, although your post did inspire me to check out one of the websites and read through the FAQs.

It is really the tone and the purpose of your posts that piqued my curiosity.

"The lonely shadows of witchcraft" doesn't sound like a positive statement.

From reading on their own website I don't gather that the person who wrote the FAQs is lonely at all.

You stated emphatically that you don't want people to become Wiccans, "No!"

It seems to me from your purpose and tone that Wicca is wrong and will make people lonely and sad. Am I wrong on that?

**They desire to embrace community and creativity. Their Pagan system, however, strangely ends in a world divorced of any kind of understanding that would bind those needs together and validate them.**

How do you know that? From reading the FAQs I didn't gather that at all.

In this post you wrote that a male witch is a Warlock. From the FAQs, the author says:

**A male Witch is simply called a Witch, never a warlock and it is considered an insult to call a male Witch "Warlock". The word "Warlock" actually means "oath breaker".** linkFrom my perspective, inter-faith dialogue is about getting to know people, learning from them, and gathering insights from them for our own walk as well as sharing our own insights with them.

It isn't, to me at least, gathering information in order to write articles that shows how wrong they are.

The other thing is the portrait you have painted of Michael Adee. You did not call him a witch.

Yet you write:

**Michael Adee, field organizer of MLP, reaches far outside of Scripture in his word to More Light Presbyterians. He, in fact, seems to linger on the edge of New Age ideology.**

And

**Not only does Adee continue to see homosexual sex as good, he embraces the divinity of humanity and encourages others to do so too.**

And

**It isn’t that Adee is denying the material world as Gnostics often do; he believes creation to be good. But, equating the idea of Jesus being human and divine with an understanding that humans are also divine, while at the same time embracing creation, is the basic world view of New Agers and Neo-Pagans.**

Does that mean he is witch-like?

I see in your writing an attempt to paint for your readers a portrait linking Michael Adee with your interpretation of Wicca and neo-paganism.

I think it does a disservice to Michael's theology and on the other end to people who embrace Wicca.

Blessed Be.
John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

reformedpastor said...

Sounds like John can't stand to have anyone write anything that might reflect badly, offer inconvenient information, or express disapproval of any faith other than Christianity.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Viola Larson said...

John, Thank you for the information on Warlock. The truth is Wicca is in constant movement and change. The man did call himself a warlock. And as I pointed out his coven was not typical. I only brought him up to point out that Wiccans can be badly misused because of some of their beliefs.

And still, no I did not call Adee a witch. But yes, I did say that believing that human's are divine and human while embracing a good creation was the basis of both new age and neo-pagan beliefs. And I am not wrong on that.

Also John you wrote what I said wrong in this posting, but what was I wrong about with the first posting on Wicca. That was my question.

Do I find something wrong with Wicca as a religion. Yes. I will say more in my next posting. I do find much that is good in Wicca. The love of nature and ritual for one thing. The way they turn thier rituals into celebrations and eating. I think we as Christians need to do more of that.

Pastor Bob said...

Oh good grief.

John, it is entirely possible to be New Agey and not be a Wiccan. All you have to do is hang out in CA for a while. For that matter you can find the right circles all over the US. (If you hang out in CA in the right places you can also learn how to say "Wow Dude!" with precisely the right intonation. Or at least you used to be able to. I don't remember ever hearing that in our circles in upstate NY, John, but then again we traveled in the wrong circles. I've never heard anyone say "Wow Dude!" at a presbytery meeting. Pity Of course there is very little at presbytery meetings about which one could say "Wow Dude!" Which is what's wrong with presbytery meetings. BTW you don't have to be stoned to say "Wow Dude.")

So Michael Adee wrote something that sounded New Agey to Viola. It could be heard that way. She and I both emailed Michael asking him what he meant. He didn't answer us. And in this age of instant communication we both decided to blog about it. Now anyone who cares what we think, (and too few of you care enough about what I think to come over and comment on my blog! (sniff! :)) can find out. Unfortunately none of us have found out what Michael thinks because he ain't talking, at least not to us. Maybe Michael has emailed some friends about us or maybe he just doesn't care or has more important things to do.

Anyway about Wiccans and Christians talking with and about Wiccans. It is entirely possible to have polite conversation with people you disagree with, even with people you think are entirely wrong about things. When I talk with people who are Wiccans, (no I didn't have to google it, I can find Wiccans nearby although I wouldn't call any of them friends, more like acquaintances), I can listen, understand what they say, and respond in a polite, loving way, making sure I understand them. I might even say, from a Christian perspective, that I think they are wrong. Isn't that what Viola is doing? She did the research, got it right and is responding from her perspective. And what wrong with that? After all, we all have our points of view.

One of the basics of life as a Christian, for me at least, is that I think Jesus is the only way. I think that goes along with the Lord and Savior stuff. Now John, I know you disagree with me. And we can be polite, can't we? So I believe a Christian who confesses that Jesus is Lord and Savior will say that Jesus loves people who are not Christians and wants them to come to him.

That doesn't mean I don't listen or love. It does mean that I think Jesus has a gift to give and sometimes he gives it through me. Sometimes not.

That's life. Or at least it is here in America today. It wasn't always and it isn't that way in most of the world. In most of the world you can get in big trouble by not going along with the party line. Just ask the Protestants in Greece about how they get treated by the Greek Orthodox. Or anyone who steps out of line a bit too far in China, like a lot of people in Tibet.

So for just a few minutes, before we all get defensive let's thank God that we can disagree and say exactly what we think, politely or not, here in America and no one is going to shut down our internet sites or bust down our doors and drag us away to prison.

Viola Larson said...

Oh so you know about California Bob:)

Thanks for your comments and praise the Lord for our freedoms.
I wondered if Adee answered you.

Maybe sometime I will introduce everyone to the Rainbow people and Mount Shasta, mainly because I have some wonderful pictures of Mount Shasta.

Also Telegraph Hill in Berkeley, there use to be a wonderful lady who wondered up and down the streets blowing bubbles with one of those bubble things kids use. I would live in Berkeley if I could, and I will probably die under one of the book shelves either in Moes or at Black Oak Books during an earthquake.
I use to go from Sacramento to Berkeley by train every Thursday to take a class from what was New College Berkeley. That was also from GTU. And would you believe Davis Batestone, who, at least was the Editor of Sojourners was the teacher that was a great class.
Now you have me reminiscing.

Pastor Bob said...

Viola

WOW DUDE!

LOL

BTW I just dropped something onto my blog about arguing ;)

And since I forgot it last time:

Bob Campbell
Sharon Hill, PA

John Shuck said...

Hey Viola and Bob,

I made my point. I won't beat this dead horse.

Peace be with you!
John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

Ashley Hinds said...

With all do respect to everyone involved...I am a Wiccan. It did seem you were slightly negative about the subject of Wicca. That usually comes with not truly understanding the religion in itself. We are loving and compassionate and respectful which many people today are not. We do not actively try to convert people because we believe that people must choose for themselves what they believe and we respect their decisions. I would like to clarify that I am not lonely or a dark person. I am a mother, daughter, friend, sister, and hard working american citizen. I was raised by two very Christian parents who did not agree with my religion of choice until they saw how happy I became and how my soul flourished. I strongly believe you would find more love and peace in the Wiccan community than in any other religious community. Us Wiccans have been misunderstood for so long that my coven and I even started a blog in order to clear up some misconceptions. Everyone is welcome http://thewiccantruths.webs.com. click on the blog. Again I mean no disrespect to anyone on here. Im Wiccan but I do respect you as a Christian. I just ask the same in return. Also for all involved there are many different types of Wicca but let me say something about mine. I believe in a God and a Goddess who rule in equal parts...just as catholics praise mother mary...I also do believe in Jesus but I think some have come to worship him as a God and he never claimed to be or asked to be worshipped in Gods stead. I hear more people today say praise jesus than praise God. I believe Jesus existed. I believe he was an advanced spiritual being with undying faith and that is to be admired but not worshipped. I have high levels of respect for him and he made dying for your faith very rememberable. Which was his goal after all. I implore anyone to find one section or verse in your Bible (which noone can prove has not been tampered with...still highest levels of respect) where Jesus said he was a God or that you should hate and kill anyone who did not believe as you do...you wont find it...I was forced to memorize the Bible as a child...its not there. Just please do not do God or Jesus the disservice of being hateful in their name. Its against your religion!...Also I do not support ammendment B and I am a Wiccan...With love and Peace...Ashlyn Sky

Viola Larson said...

Ashley ,
This is an interesting post to come back to. Last year my friend Bob went to be with the Lord. And John Shuck recently lost his son and is in deep grief. I pray for him constantly.

One of the things you might consider is the times that Jesus allowed others to worship him. Also after the resurrection when Thomas sees him and the place where the nails had pierced his hands he in the Greek states, "The God of me and the Lord of me." In my translation which is the New American Standard it says “My Lord and My God.” (John 20:29) Another thought and I won’t put too much because I haven’t had my full cup of coffee yet. But in all of the places in the gospel of John where Jesus says “I Am” he is referring back to the Old Testament where God says to Moses out of the burning bush, “I am that I am.”
Anyway, thank you so much for your comment.