USA - Witchcraft Becomes Mainstream

Arno Froese

Witchcraft is thriving in the US, with an estimated 1.5 million Americans now identifying as witches—more than the total number of Presbyterians. As Christianity declines across the country, paganism has swung to the mainstream, with witchcraft paraphernalia for sale on every high street and practices normalized across popular culture. 

Millennials, says Dakota Bracciale, are looking for spiritualism outside traditional religion. “The hex centers on the notion that we live in a universe of chaos, entropy, destruction, death, decay with a final ending of oblivion—scientists are telling us. So the witch does everything for themselves—there is no other help in this universe of decay and chaos. If you don’t get in the driver’s seat things will just get worse,” the witch said.

That growth trend was confirmed by the Pew Research Center in 2014, whose surveys reported that more Americans identify as Wiccan, a form of modern paganism created in England, or pagan than as Presbyterian. At the time of the surveys, there were 1.4 million American Presbyterians and about 1.5 million Wiccans.

All occult practitioners are not witches. Ellen Bourn has worked in the medium and psychic arena for forty years. She says she became aware of her ability to communicate with spirits at age eight and joined a spiritualist church when she was at college.

“I joined a Spiritualist church while attending college and began training with their spiritual development classes,” she said. “We were taught both mediumship and spiritual healing. One of the beliefs of the religion of spiritualism is that communication with all planes of reality is possible. I also read some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s material on the same subject. I later elected to become a psychiatric nurse to further allow me to study more about neurology in an attempt to study mediumship from both a religious and scientific perspective.”

The psychic services industry in which Ms. Bourn works has grown steadily over the past five years with a 2018 projected US market value of $2.2 billion, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.

The growth of witchcraft among millennials, aged 22 to 37 in 2018, coincides with a decline in Christianity in the US. Some Christian commentators and clergy have expressed alarm at how occult activity and symbols are now mainstreamed into US popular culture and considered morally neutral. But there is agreement that witchcraft and other occult practices seem to provide a spiritual experience for people no longer drawn to religion. 

In an interview with the Christian Post, Wanda Alger, a pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Winchester, Virginia, said:

“The sad thing is that these millennials who are exploring the dark side of the supernatural have more faith and belief than most Christians. Because they are open and spiritually hungry, the spirit realm responds. The biggest hindrance to understanding the realities of the Spirit realm is unbelief.”

-sg.news.yahoo.com, 21 December 2018

Arno's commentary

Witchcraft is old as humanity itself. In many countries throughout the ages, it was prohibited by law to practice witchcraft. In the United States, in 1985, Dettmer v. Landon (617 F. Supp. 592) the District Court of Virginia ruled that witchcraft is a legitimate religion and falls within a recognized religious category. 

What does the Bible say? The first time we read the word “witchcraft” is in 1 Samuel 15:23: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” That simply means, opposing God’s will places the person under the jurisdiction of the god of this world, Satan, and hence the person pursues Satan’s will. For that reason, the apostle Paul warns seriously: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

In contrast to the works of the flesh, we read in the next two verses: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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