A new book by a local Christian teacher and researcher says the religion of Wicca has a broad appeal and those who are aware of it have a number of misconceptions.
“Many will be surprised to find it is an official religion,” said Dillon Burroughs, the co-author of “Generation Hex: Understanding the Subtle Dangers of Wicca,” “and it should be treated as such.”
He said it should not be mistaken for satanism, nor do all its followers dress in black. He said most of its adherents are “kind and gentle people,” are “spiritually sensitive” and are open to spiritual discussions.
Mr. Burroughs, a writer for Ankerberg Theological Research Institute and instructor at Tennessee Temple University, said what should concern Christians about the religion is its foundational belief that as long as something does not harm someone else it’s all right to do.
“There’s some people who are Christians, or involved in churches, who also dabble in witchcraft,” he said, “and they don’t see the inconsistencies between the two.”
However, Mr. Burroughs said, on foundational issues Christianity and Wicca “are far different, and it’s illogical and inconsistent to say you believe both, or follow both, at the same time.”
The God of Christians is the trinitarian Father, Son and Holy Spirit, he said, while Wiccans worship a God and Goddess who exist together.
Wiccans also hold a love of the environment because they worship creation as part of their system of belief, Mr. Burroughs said.
“As Christians, we’ve had this stereotype of not caring for creation well,” he said, “so those who care very deeply for environmental issues who are not part of either system are going to look at the two and say Wicca more closely reflects my beliefs and values.”
Parents, according to Mr. Burroughs, should be aware that everyone who is involved in Wicca is involved in some form of using magic and spells.
“If you’re concerned about your children or teenagers being involved in communicating with the spirits of the dead, this is something that should concern you,” he said.
In general, Mr. Burroughs said, people should not fear Wicca, especially if they already have a belief in an all-powerful Christ.
Instead, he said, Christians need “to be proactive in building relationships (with Wiccans) and showing love so, if you really believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, you can show it by your lifestyle and be appealing to that person if they are open to a change.”
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...