I've read so many comments on this forum by 'believers' that they possess supernatural abilities. Everything from getting advice from God on a car purchase, to personally performing miracles, to saying the name of God a certain number of ways a certain number of times to have your wishes granted.
I'll be honest. I don't believe any of it. If anyone could do any of that, I honestly believe we'd have some documented evidence, somewhere. No one would be able to keep something like this quiet if they could actually do it.
But, I'm willing to accept the fact that believers do consider the statements of other believers to be facts. I don't see any difference in your claims and the threads on witchcraft I've read.
Is that one of the things about religion that appeals to you? Believing you might be able to 'move mountains' if you find the right spell?
Nice. The Gospels seem to indicate that followers of Christ should be able to do ANYTHING and Jesus sends out his disciples to raise the dead, heal the sick, etc. How often do you see those sorts of miracles performed today? Oh sure we get anecdotes about how someone prayed for someone's Mom when they got cancer and it receded but where's the hard evidence? So if this God guy is real and answers prayers shouldn't millions of miracles be performed not just every day but every few hours?
Now I know full well that religion, magic and witchcraft aren't exactly the same thing but when someone acts as if the right combination of words and faith can cause supernatural things to happen it sure SOUNDS like superstitious nonsense.
Ex occult members testimonies-
Part 1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaYmhftbgZI
Part 2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCl6foduVqc
What Does The Bible Say About: The Occult & Sin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0N8PCfw … r_embedded
To answer the question "What's the Difference Between Religion and Witchcraft?" It's like asking "What's the Difference Between a Poodle and Dog? Witchraft, aka Wicca, IS a religion. It's one of the oldest known religions and have been around way before Christianity.
"What Does The Bible Say About: The Occult & Sin"
Well generally it says that sorcerers and mediums are to be put to death, that's in the Old Testament. Also anyone worshiping a God other than Yahweh was to be killed especially if they tried to lead others into another religion. The God of the Bible also plans on brutally burning all magicians/sorcerer in a lake of fire for eternity according to Revelations 21:8.
So God hates magic, is planning on burning people for eternity and is against freedom of religion.
The point is that what we generally term magic and what's depicted in the Bible as miracles seem quite similar, minus a few chalk lines and candles perhaps but every bit as absurd.
I've just come across this thread. God point of argument.
I once asked my born again Christian friends, 'how do you know it's God you're talking to and not...you know... the other?' I do get suspicious of grand claims, but perhaps that is a fault of mine.
A lot of the imagery people give to witchcraft comes from the distortion of Catholicism from the Puritan period. The costumes we wear to depict witches still have Puritan elements, eg: the black hat with the buckle etc. The Catholic Mass is still viewed with great suspicion in that respect. You have to take these things on the chin I guess.
A catholic priest once told me that a miracle wasn't to be seen as something impossible or magic, but rather something very unlikely occurring that we can't yet explain. Some Catholics don't want explanations because they like the excitement of the mystery. Others see no threat in finding the mechanisms behind some unexplained event. It takes all sorts.
I think the thing is, witchcraft intentionally invokes the devil, whereas Christians are at least attempting to follow a God of love.
That's a good answer. Interesting point about the classic witch's costume.I never thought about it.
I hadn't really thought about the devil angle. I always thought witches claimed to pull from natural forces. Not evil ones.
But, the reason for the question was that many appear to view their religion as a way toward personal gain, outside of the bounds of spiritual growth. I wondered if it was true and that was one of the draws toward religion.
Not that I see witchcraft in that light, but a practitioner certainly would have the means.
Yes I would say that some people definately use religion as a way towards personal gain and that we need to watch out for the vulnerable in those cases. Mostly, I think people get carried away when they are in a religion which gives no parameters. Left to their own devices in regards to religion some people are lead towards fanaticism, which I think comes about through a fear of doubt among other things. Explosive and definate gestures makes them feel more secure I suppose.
I have a friend who calls herself a white witch and yes, it does all seem to be about channeling natural forces.
I think one of the problems might be how simple it is to become an ordained minister. You can order a certificate or whatever they have to have online. Any yokel can set up a church and gather a flock around any crazy theory.
I'm not advocating regulation of religion by the government, but you'd think they would at least monitor themselves.
If you were to ask what the difference between Christianity and Wicca was, you might get an intelligent debate. But since you are baiting and wanting to make yet another thread that does nothing but be offensive and cause hard feelings-- congrats on a job well done.
Actually Melissa, I'm not baiting. I am curious..I've read your posts. You are an intelligent Christian that views your religion in a modern manner. I think. I simply have no idea why anyone makes the claims some make here. I'd like to hear them explain themselves.
But, hey. Thanks for your judgmental post.
Witchcraft is any displaced religion, when the new "one true religion" rolls into town it demonises every preceding religion and burns the practitioners. Unfortunately the last time around - when christianity rolled out - it was all the doctors and scientists who got burned which is why such mind-boggling ignorance has ruled for so long.
I think that your topic is very interesting as there is a big difference between religion and witchcraft.
Ok then, then the terminology probably should be correct.
Witchcraft is a separate religion that falls under the broad heading of Paganism and the more specific heading of Wicca. It is a nature based religion that believes, among other things (there are several different sects of the religion), that knowledge can be obtained by meditation and astral projection.
On a purely psychological/rational scale, there is actually some validity to this, as meditation clears the mind-allowing uncluttered thought. Therefore--even applied using completely rational standards--the act of meditation could indeed allow an individual insight on which car to purchase. Even if it is just by allowing a proper environment in which to think clearly.
On a spiritual side, wiccan often pray to God or deities that are closely associated with traits that they wish to emulate. They wish to draw those characteristics into themselves.
This also has a base in psychology under the heading of "positive affirmations"
So, regardless of spiritual validity, or mental conditioning some of the tenants of witchcraft actually work. I think that is probably more important than the process.
The same can be true of miracles performed in Gods name. Sometimes faith and positive affirmations have a strong enough mental suggestion to at least provide a "placebo effect" and in some cases actually aid in real healing of the body. This is a rational explanation of healing miracles. This does not disprove the presence of a God or Gods.
Once again, does it really matter what caused it? If it was based on faith, why would someone want to interject reality and undo any benefit?
I'm not sure what you are talking about with the say the name of God a certain number of times... In many sects of wiccanism 3 is considered to be an important number so many incantations are repeated that many times. In Christianity, the only thing I can think of with repetitious prayer is penance. Which is meant as a cleansing exercise to clear the soul... Either way both are also reminiscent of meditation/self hypnosis- and to the same ends. Religiously, these repetitions are seen as a way to clear the mind of distractions and allow deeper thought..
Does that help?
Yes. Your post was informative.
But the saying God's name to get a wish was posted by a Muslim. I haven't seen a Christian lay claim to that.
I'm not talking about healing our own bodies though, when I say people lay claim to miracles. I do believe our ability to heal through positive thought is possible. And, I'm with you. Chalk it up to whatever you want. It's still 'miraculous'.
But there are claims made here that are outside of the boundaries of believable. I would like to know if the hope of performing miracles is what draws some to religion.
I imagine that the Muslim faith has its own set of parameters concerning prayer that are not any more far fetched than a million traditions that people all over the world share within cultures. I have read an English version of the Koran and haven't come across this particular phenomenon, nor have I seen it in practice among the-admittedly few-Muslims I know. Going out on a limb, I would probably say it was related in purpose to the other two examples.
If we are talking about the truly supernatural--levitation, ghosts, etc. Then that falls under the category of paranormal studies--which is a pseudoscience not a religion. Believers in those events tend to span across all religions and non-religions. I'll not question the validity of the claims but I don't really think that they are truly connected to any established religion.
You obviously haven't read the same posts I have. These are claims made, under the blanket of christianity. But, there are as many ideas as to what christianity is, as there are people who claim the faith. I'm interested in hearing from the ones who claim to be mystical.
Emile R, honestly if you are looking for serious enlightening debate on theology from zealots, you really are baiting. You will never get answers from zealots in any sect-from non-belief to fundamental Christianity.
To put a fine point on it, I'll use a secular comparison from the Great Philosopher Jeff Foxworthy. In interviews from the rural South, reporters will always seek out the most illiterate and ill-hygienic subjects. It makes for sensationalism and helps to dismiss an entire group based on their most objectionable members.
This is what this debate is heading towards. I, as a Christian, cannot be held responsible for every member of my religion. I do object to those who specifically try to slam it by calling out it's most irrational members as evidence of the wrongness of the whole.
Wow. I think I was wrong in my initial assessment. You're across the board judgmental.
How so? I wasn't meaning to be judgmental, I just see certain patterns repeating and am pointing them out.
I would absolutely love to have conversations about religion and science. Unfortunately, on the forums that often turns into cyber screams and shouts and name-calling.
You must have known that comparing witchcraft (which has a general negative association, especially to Christians) with religion would set a certain tone for the discussion. Then you assigned claims that are not representative of the experiences of the majority of religious individuals, but are tantalizing enough to cast a bad light. Then you ask for explanations of these beliefs, which are outside of the realm of most religious philosophy, but happen to be stated by individuals that associate with certain religions and ask them to defend their positions rationally.
If a Muslim saw bigfoot, would you then believe that all Muslims regularly see bigfoot? Even if that Muslim said he saw it specifically because he was a Muslim?
I don't see how I am being judgmental in my statements. I am just saying how the situation looks to me, and the eventual path I see it going.
I had no idea the word witchcraft would conjure up more negative feelings than any other word. I chose not to use magic since that seems to be used as an insult here when compared to religion.
I didn't take offense when you jumped to conclusions about me. The first time. I have no problem now. I was simply pointing out that you are not only prematurely judging me, but you are looking at anyone that doesn't agree with your notions in a negative light.
I was honest when I said I don't believe people can perform miracles. I also said I accept the fact that others do. I don't care what you believe. I asked a simple question. Looking for an answer. I wasn't expecting one christian to come in pointing out that they think other christians are ignorant. Although, in retrospect, I'm not surprised.
My problem is not with the way you believe, but the way you choose to argue. In beliefs, especially about certain supernatural events, I also have a great deal of skepticism. You didn't ask why people believed they had supernatural powers though, you asked why religion was like witchcraft. The two questions are as unrelated as "Why do some people, who happen to be redheads, believe in Unicorns" and "Why is the difference between redheads and psychopaths?"
If your intention wasn't to bait, then 1. You chose poor language and examples and 2. You probably shouldn't have specifically asked for individuals that believed in the supernatural to defend themselves when a nice, reasonable conversation was already in progress that addressed the actual question posed by the title.
I never said Christians or anyone else was ignorant. My point, in a nutshell, was that any group was going to have members that portray the entire group in a bad light. If you are specifically seeking those members out to prove a point about the group as a whole, you are guilty of inflammatory and emotional debate that serves no purpose but to attempt to prove the arguers superiority.
Twisting words to corrupt meaning is also an example of poor debating, and is often used by individuals that are desperate to appeal to base human emotion rather than reasonable conversation.
Well, I suppose attempting to insult me is your idea of the proper way to handle this.
You reference debating skills. I am not here to debate. This is a discussion forum, and that is the way I prefer to interact. I'm not attempting to win an argument. I want to discuss an issue.
You took something personally that was not meant that way. I understand. You got upset and over reacted. It happens.
I didn't attempt to insult you at all and I have taken nothing personally. I'm not upset and I don't believe I over reacted.
But other than that, um... okay.
Don't mistake my liking for a good debate for argumentativeness. If I felt strongly enough to truly argue about something it would most likely be with someone in my real life. Religion to me is an evolving thing, and I love different viewpoints and discussions (Its one of those things that makes a UU a UU) but I am also secure enough in my own beliefs to not really take internet forums too seriously. I was, however, disappointed--as I too often am--at the loss of a potentially interesting discussion to unproductive debate tactics.
My step mother is Wiccan and her "God" figure is Pan. I am not so sure that not too many Wiccans recognize our God. If so that's news to me. That would be great!
Actually, some wiccans do recognize the Christian pantheon. The Christian Trinity, after all, is very similar to the Wiccan Goddess Trinity, with the obvious differences in gender.
God/Jesus is considered on the same playing field as all the other deities.
Interesting... I guess I have only ever encountered the ones who look to Pan.
I have encountered very few wiccans with the same patron deity. Even within the religion, followers of Pan would be statistically small as there are hundreds of Gods to choose to emulate although covens tend to chose a representative God for rituals.
There are Wiccan followers who have the "Christian" Jesus as their "god" of choice.
Slight correction here (and also for another commenter who also said that Witchcraft = Wicca).
The word Witchcraft has been, and continues to be, used in many ways. When a word has many definitions, it's helpful to use modifiers to further define what you mean.
One definition of Witchcraft is "the religion of Wicca." But it's not the only definition. Let's use the modifier "Pagan," and say that Pagan Witchcraft is Wicca.
Within Wicca, the practical, spell-casting side of the religion is referred to as witchcraft, whereas the spiritual side is not. There are also people practicing exactly this sort of spell-casting who aren't religious or Pagan, so this is Practical witchcraft.
The word witchcraft, though, predates Wicca. In many, folk religions worldwide, "witchcraft" is defined roughly as doing negative magic (such as curses). Such religions would usually define some other thing as positive magic. Let's call that Folk witchcraft. Right now, there are still problems with witchcraft persecution in various parts of the world, with people being killed for witchcraft because they supposedly cast curses.
During the Inquisitions, the Church took the radical step of defining any magic, positive or negative, as witchcraft. You could be charged with witchcraft for healing the sick or practicing midwifery. This is Medieval witchcraft.
Later on in the Inquisitions, witches were accused of worshiping the Devil and making a pact with Satan. This is Gothic witchcraft.
Finally, there's fictional witchcraft, like on Bewitched or Sabrina, where witches are supernatural beings, not human or mortal. This is supernatural witchcraft.
I know this is kind of long-winded but I hope it helps clarify the discussion!
I think it clarifies quite a bit. It sounds to me that, by your detailed explanation, witchcraft was a good term to use when asking the question; since it is all encompassing of any type of 'magic'.
I'm not sure what, other than religious prejudice for the term itself, might have caused the problem.
Not quite. The most widespread meaning of the word in most cultures remains "negative magic." It would be typical to have a culture (there are many examples), in which a "cunning person" does good magic (healing, fertility, crop success) while a witch does evil magic (curses, infertility, crop failture).
In Europe during the Inquisition, the Church pointedly changed the definition, saying that any magic, good or evil, is witchcraft. But for thousands of years before that, and even today in a non-Christian context, many areas of Africa and Asia will refer to witchcraft, meaning evil magic.
Now, a Wiccan doesn't use that definition of witchcraft, and performs only positive magic. There is complicated history behind that which I could go into some other time.
But witchcraft is only one way of performing magic, and because the word is associated with evil, many people will not use the word.
For example, if you are Norse and use a simple rune to heal a wound, you are performing a kind of folk magic that is still common today, but it is not referred to as witchcraft in Norway.
If you are a Ceremonial Magician, practicing Enochian, Angelic, Chaos, or Goetic magic, you would certainly not refer to your magic as witchcraft.
Witchcraft, even if you remove the negative AND the religious from the definition, is a specific subset of magic.
OK. This is very confusing. So, if I want to refer to ancient magic in general, not a specific subset; and I don't want to use the word magic, since that elicits an emotional response in Christians, what specific word would encompass the idea of the ancient and modern practitioners manipulating the natural world through supernatural means?
The correct term really is magic. You're asking for a euphemism so as not to offend some Christians, which is odd as the word "witchcraft" is much more emotional for most people. But there is not euphemism. You might say "folk magic" but that would exclude the learned and erudite systems that would not properly be called "folk."
I think my problem is I don't believe in any of it and never really thought about it. Witchcraft, to me, is movie stuff. I've seen people use the word magic here in comparison, which appeared to upset people, so I threw the word witchcraft in instead. My mistake.
I'm Christian (oh wait! I've got to cover my head before I get an insulting blow!) and I have a wiccan friend of who I don't really care what she does. She's a nice person and says she casts good spells to help her mom with her arthritis. Yeah...and you have again generalized by saying "and I don't want to use the word magic, since that elicits an emotional response in Christians"
So I suppose you have no emotions, to have none would be like a robot! I don't think that's possible!! Like I said, I have no problem with my friend being wiccan.
It just shows how unbelievable you are; who are you?!
Who am I? Interesting question.
Call me someone who has no problem with superstitious nonsense, until everyone starts getting insulted by the use of a simple word.
Call me someones who had no idea anyone could equate the word witchcraft with evil, in this day and age.
Call be disappointed at how, instead of accepting an honest mistake, the religious search for imaginary reasons to be offended.
First of all, anyone at all has the power within thmselves to move mountains. And no spell needed. You simply need to truly allow the mountains to move. That has to do with a power that is within each of us and it is a power that simply needs to be accessed. The power of creation is within each of us.
As for witchcraft, I dont consider it a religion. The compostion and placements of alchemical properties into certain frequency settings to acheive a dark result (dark meaning not in touch with the natural order or opposed to individual free will),has nothing to do with religion. Rather, I should say, it has nothing to do with spirituality.
Religion, on the other hand, is very much like a spell used in witchcraft, in that it acheives a clearly directed dark result. That dark result being that humans under this spell have no acceptance of the power of God/Creation within themselves and therefore pay tribute to a seemingly higher authority that is not God at all.
Which brings me to the people who say they pray for carloans and get them because 'God' said they would grant their wish. Really?! You just ask for gratifications from the material world and you think it's God who gives them to you?! That doesnt sound like Divine Intervention, to me. If you were really truly granted a car or told what car to buy by some 'higher' spirit rather than finding that ability within yourself, then I would have to guess that that would be Diabolic Intervention.
To claim modern paganism as a religion is trite rubbish - all of todays new-age stuff is a cobbled together mish-mash of mostly forgotten religions revamped to give a its practitioners some kind of illusory power in an age of powerlessness.
Most commentators in these threads know almost nothing about their own religion and yet they spout on and on confusing bits of this with bits of that to make yet more confusion.
As far as the base definition of religion, I must disagree. Although I agree that paganism of today barely resembles the druidism that it came from, I honestly believe that it is quite organized enough and has enough followers to be called a religious system
And as far as the not knowing about one's religion, I also agree and disagree. While many, myself included, may not know every bit of history about our religion or have our religious tomes memorized, I think that no one is more qualified to speak on his or her own beliefs than the individual that has those beliefs.
I cannot agree that either the new-age pagans or the new-age christians are in any way a 'religion' as they have little idea of where they come from and consist mainly of confused people clinging to half formed ideas as they blow past them. A religion would seem to require a baisis for its existence beyond people making a few dollars from it or as a crutch for their own fragile self worth. I might go along with you if you said sect.
This is not borne out by the discussions in these threads. It is clear that the blindness of tunnel vision is responsible for most beliefs that are expounded endlessly. Few of the commentators on either side are able to take any kind of balanced view, and even less have any idea of their chosen religion's history or tenets - especially those who make it up as they go along.
I cannot agree that either the new-age pagans or the new-age christians are in any way a 'religion'
Okay, so you have a definition of "religion" by which you judge others and find them lacking. What, precisely, is that definition?
You can have the definition from a real expert if you like -
"To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name." [Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, 1885]
And it is my opinion, not judgement, that very few posters in this thread or the religion threads generally are anything to do with the 'religion' they claim, but only use it to justify their particular vice. Others such as our ridiculous 'christian teacher' have no idea what they are talking about and grasp at any passing idea without any understanding of what it is or where it came from or how the differing belief systems imbue each word with its own specific purpose that cannot be plugged into any other random parts like dressing a barbie doll.
recommend, that's not a definition, it's another opinion, devaluing a religious philosophy of syncretism. That Pope Leo said in the 19th Century that a certain religious philosophy was without value doesn't define religion, and certainly the Catholic Church has a long history of saying that things aren't religion when others, equally authoritative, strongly disagree.
Religious Tolerance has an excellent discussion on defining what is, and is not, religion, as well as a collection of definitions: http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_defn.htm
Harvard School of Law also talks about the difficult of defining religion, calling it "misguided": http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/org … gunn.shtml
Overall, your blanket statement that anyone you think is ignorant is not practicing a religion is unsupported by the weight of academic study, legal practice, or serious theology.
As you say - defining it is a problem it seems, so the opinion of a practicing expert would seem to be the closest you are going to get.
I have no idea what you are saying here - if you re-wrote the English it might help. You appear to be quoting me but then change what I say to suit yourself.
recommend1, you seem to be saying that ignorant people cannot be practicing their stated religion. This is clearly not true. There is no academic expert on religion who agrees with that.
Leo XIII is not, in Immortael Dei, speaking as an expert on religion, but as the head of a specific religion. His opinion is therefore meant only to address the position of that religion. It has no bearing on Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, et al.
Not at all - I am saying that in my opinion, very few of the posters to these threads have any idea about their professed religion. Especially those who mix and match unrelated parts of differing religions in total ignorance of what they are saying or doing. If this makes most of them ignorant then so be it.
Do you think they are always ignorant of the fact? I would think that's what the fundamentalists disdainfully label 'a la carte' spirituality; which I respect more than the dogmatic approach to religion. That approach tells me the person is reading material outside of their professed faith and developing their own unique spirituality. They may identify with a higher percentage of the ideals of a particular group, but don't accept that one particular religion blindly.
I could see a problem if they are representing themselves as an authority on a particular religion, which some christians tend to do; but who's an authority here?
I would agree that, more often than not, those who lay claim to being more learned in their particular religion than the other practitioners always show their ignorance early on.
Here's a direct quote:
"cannot agree that either the new-age pagans or the new-age christians are in any way a 'religion' as they have little idea of where they come from and consist mainly of confused people clinging to half formed ideas as they blow past them."
Your sentence structure is a little confusing but I read it to mean that if people have "little idea of where they come from" then they're not "in any way a 'religion.'"
Now, what I would say is simply that every religion, from the most established to the newest, from the most conventional to the most unusual, will have some adherents who are extremely well-informed and some who are not. In fact, I'd say that since most religions intend to be with large populations throughout the life cycle, then they have to accommodate both the erudite and the ignorant.
If a religion is only for smart people, it's just not going to do well in the numbers, is it?
Trite rubbish, huh pandaman?
First of all, if by 'new age' you mean astrology, talismans, ouiji boards and such, I may be inclined to agree.
But I would have to take issue if you are referring to the emerging theories in universal physics and their spiritual implications in relation to gestalt psychology and other disciplines.
Here's the difference between Witchcraft/Magic and Miracles-bear in mind this is a scholarly "Believer's point of view. Non-Believers/Christians are not going to subscribe to it, nor would I expect them to.
Witchcraft, first of all, is a misused word. It comes from the same root from which we derive Wicca or Wisdom. Altruistically, it may not work "magic" at all, but practice focused meditation, herbology, natural healing, and derive it's "theology" from ancient Pagan beliefs.
The real "magic" I will make the comparison to, derives from Demonology, the use of demonic spirits, knowingly, and as often as not, in ignorance of the source of the power being focused.
Demons are a religious misinterpretation. Paul, in Ephesians refers to them as "Powers" Principalities, and "Angelic" Majesties", yet in the nature of his description, as well as the cautionary verses in Jude, that make reference to defying Angelic Majesties, we may conclude that "demons" are Angels with an attitude problem, but as God/Yah'weh, speaking of Himself, says He does not "repent of His gifts..."
These beings have been, not only around, but in Authority over nations since time began.
When Daniel prayed, waiting three weeks until Gabriel came, had that Angel-who was a Messenger, tell him, he'd been en route , dispatched with the answer immediately,but had fought with "The Prince of Persia" until freed by the Archangel Michael. The Prince of Persia, was not a human, but one of these unseen/invisible to the human eye, powers.
There are also different orders of these beings, ranging from the lesser Cherubs to the Seraphs, who were not likely anything resembling human at all. Seraph/Seraphim comes from the root of what became Aramaic, meaning "Flying Fiery Serpent". Lucifer is therefore likely a Seraph, as he's called the original "serpent". This may lend a different dynamic, altogether to the "Covering Angel" of Creation who, as the "Serpent" in the Garden, conversed with Eve in a context of familiarity.
With that as the basis, then, False Miracles can have a variety of outcomes, some of which can look "Good" or "Righteous/Positive". The problem is to manifest such power, there must be source material. Dark force is not particular what forces or materials are used to manifest the work in question...I.E. "The end justifies the means..."
A Miracle assumes that responsibility, and must operate in the manner of "peace", a word that is from the Aramaic root from whence comes Shalom or A salaam, meaning altruistically "Nothing Missing-Nothing Broken".
The most misread example occurred during the time of the Judge Joshua/Yah'shu'ah when during a prolonged battle, he, concerned with the impending night asked God to make the Sun and the Moon stand still.
All these millenia later, science in a comparative study of the stars in the ascension or great year, noting the positions recorded in ancient times by the Sumerians and Egyptians ahve discovered the entire movement of all these stars...is one day off.
That happened, yet other than time itself being stopped, nothing was missing or broken. A miracle will never manifest at the expense of someone or something else.
Dark Magic couldn't care less.
That would be truly astounding, if true. Is there somewhere you can point me to where you read about this?
It will take me some time to put that together, as what you ask would be a Doctoral Thesis for a Philosophy or Divinity.
The Scriptural references are easy, in and of themselves-it's the cross-referencing where it gets a little trickier. Then you would have to delve into the Archaeological Linguistics of Sumeria, Egypt, AND, oddly enough, Ugartic, Hindu Scripture and History, as well as that of China and Pre-Colombian America.
Heady stuff all.
In addition to that, at various times in my life, I've played positions on both teams. For me research is not especially challenging. I read 2100 words a minute, and can track down threads on the internet in a spectacularly fast fashion.
Once, I managed a branch of a Mortgage Banking firm in a mall. I became friends with a couple who had a specialty lighting store. They had acquired a stock of etched and imprinted glass lamps. They had the money and desire to make their own, but after several months of searching, had been unable to find the equipment, new or used to be able to do so.
It took me about twenty minutes to find three with used and two new sources. I also do pattern analysis, which is likely why I can do that so fast. I didn't learn that...I was gifted/cursed with it from birth.
I'll see if I can find links that will flesh out most of it, but as I have a couple of other irons in the fire, it may take a little time, after which, I will post the results, if this hub is still here, or message them to you, if not.
So, keep in touch. R.
Thank you, I feared I was mucking about in definitions. I am curious though, most wiccans I know don't really pay heed to demonics... etc. They view them as a construct of Christianity and point out...quite readily... that satanism is a subbranch of Christianity. Its a point of contention that I was eventually forced to concede on. Was I/am I missing something somewhere? If so, could you explain... I am honestly curious
There are light and dark aspects of all concepts and consciousnesses. The idea is understanding or at least perceiving the differences in the energies. To me a demon is an entity that feeds from the negativity of all experience. So people who say they attain material wants because they pray to god . . . well, quite frankly I'm convinced they are praying to something else.
God is all knowing all encompassing oneness. Why would It need our prayers? So, if you're praying to something and it IS INDEED answering back, it may not have your best interests at heart.
Wiccans are Pagans.
As such, they not only do not practice demonology or Satanism, but readily avoid those who do. While most Pagan pantheons include gods who are capricious, tricky, or licentious, these are more analogous of human emotions and motivations, and are regarded as such. the closest Wicca will come to the "Good/Evil" construct would be "Positive/Negative", which they would more readily regard as simply balancing universal forces.
@ Emilie R.
*Shrugs* I see it differently. If that is how you see it though, so be it.
Ok, I go along with your definition of sect. I can see where the term can be applied. And I also agree there are a fair amount of posers that claim to be wiccan to rebel or because they cling onto one definition or another. There are also some very well-read historians that specialize in druidic lore and celtic history that become wiccans based on their studies. I think wicca is different in that it really isn't organized enough to fall into the financial schemes aspect of organized religion. Most practitioners are either solitary or exist in small covens so the actual financial side of wiccanism is pretty undeveloped.
In addition, the herb lore and knowledge that comes from wiccan herbalists is surpassed in many cases only by the Oriental Traditional Medicines. Acquiring that amount of knowledge implies some understanding of the basic principles of druidism/paganism at least as far as healing goes.
As for the self esteem thing, other than the exceptions listed above, the wiccans I have met tended to be quite strong and creative individuals that could probably survive quite well without any form of belief system but their own.
Those that "make it up" as they go along fall into one of two categories in my experience. The first group bends the religon to fit themselves and the second group bends the religion to fit the world. One group is dangerous, the other progressive.
Really is discouraging to see a great topic for potential interpretation and debate get completely muddled by the imaginary argumentativeness of ego vs. ego. Not trying to say I've never engaged in it myself, but it sure is FFFing boring. If I wanted to watch two women whine at each other I'd go to the Gender/Relationhips forum.
When it comes to witchcraft I have noticed that everything that the true living God does, promises and etc- that witchcraft has a counterfeit version of the same. I have not and will not study much on witchcraft because it does invite demons and attacks from my experience. I will give some examples that I can remember:
In acts 19 God shows us that spirits travel through cloth (example prayer cloths)- well witchcraft has a counterfeit to this and curses and or sends spells on cloth items for there own gain or evil desires/divination- to communicate with demons or gods as they say.
I had read in a book once by a Jewish Christian said that Jesus had crystals sown in His clothes- don't know if it's true but if so- witchcraft has the counterfeit to it also.
Witchcraft generally goes against all of the ways we are to gain/receive the gifts of God. Christians are to trust God, obey God, listen to Him- not listen to false pagan gods.
I've even heard that some witchcraft initiations involve the renouncing of Jesus by breaking the arms of the cross.
Witchcraft even in it's most mild form of practice is still turning from the true living God and sitting at the table of demons.
My bible doesn't teach me to chant- but to confess and believe the word of God- but still this isn't a guarantee for God to answer- it just helps us get the word in our hearts and also God's angels that were/ are sent for the heirs of salvation act and respond to the word of God. God words are powerful- most powerful.
Also we pray in Jesus name and trust God- no magic potions. Waiting, patience, trusting, drawing closer to God through praise and worship and obeying God because we love Him is the key to answered prayers and victory.Even battles in the bible were won through prayer and praising God- praise is also proving you trust God and will not trust yourself, or your own ways.
In order to receive anything from God we have to have faith and believe no matter what is seen with our eyes that God is faithful and faithful to do as He promised. Now with witchcraft you still have to operate in faith- believe what you don't see in order for anything to happen- but when satan baits in people like this he also turns on them and they end up in deep bondage and possessed by demons- they get many illnesses.
When God answers our prayers and sees our hearts our right he will never turn around and trick us, or lead us into a trap- He would never turn around and fill us up with demons but instead gives us life, restoration. Now I know some will say they have heard of healing done in witchcraft but it's different than that which Jesus gives- He who the son of God sets free is free indeed- for sure if you have been healed, freed by Jesus it isn't a trick or deception. Now remember satans put sickness on people- through curses, sin, open doors and etc. So that means satan can also remove the sickness for his own agenda to be performed. Remember satan comes as an angel of light and is able to perform miracles to deceive many. We must know the voice of God so we are not led a stray.
In Job 38:31 as God was answering Job- God was declaring that He has all power to do anything and He has the power to bind/stop and also to loose bands & cords from all works of darkness including witchcraft. "Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion (Greek Mythology/Hellenism/ witchcraft)?
God DECLARES False Religion Worthless
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message:
“‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.
“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury,burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.> Jer 7:1-11
As with all sin and that too of idol worship we must repent and turn from it or it will destroy us. God's wrath is against all these practices and is calling us all out to receive His mercy and grace before destruction comes to take those to the death eternal separation in hell- where their will be no more repentance available for anyone.
This is why God was against Jezebels ways to suduce the people away from God to serve idol worthless gods that can do nothing other than curse ones life from turning away from the true source of life, the one and only God that can sustain, that can restore, and forgive through Jesus. God compared Jezebel and her works to the depths of hell in Rev 2:24.
More on worshiping false gods>
IS 44, IS 48:13,IS 8:10, PROV 26:2, 2 Cor 2:10,IS 54:17
For the record we can have a relationship with God through Christ- a real relationship where God communicates and leads us.
Religion puts God in a box and stops God's spirit from moving freely because of unbelief. It's about seeking God for love, empowerment and protection. Not our enemy satan disguised so well they don't all know who's agenda and plan they are truly following until it's too late in a lot of cases.
I have 3-4 pages on the occult by the way.
We seek God because he loves us and has proved it by redeeming us through Jesus- and God than turns around and fills us with His spirit in order to go and help others- to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ which is life to all who receive Him as there Lord. This life that Jesus gives affects us now and for eternity.
Another thought there's also blood sacrifices in witchcraft which is a direct counterfeit against the blood of Christ. Covenants start with/ by the shedding of blood- So witchcraft isn't entering a covenant with God so there's only one other answer on who they have a covenant with- regardless of there arguments.
So I hope someone understands and gets something from all this.
This is a nice change from goddunnit to satandunnit, Keeps thinks simple really.
Not unless you're arguing that Satan and the 'god' of the OT are one in the same.
I got your point Jonathan and had ended it and tried to get back to topic before you even said anything. Consider me chastised. I really wish you wouldn't have brought gender into it though.
Sorry I couldnt resist.
I was just disappointed to find very little actual metaphysical/spiritual discussion which was what I was originally looking for in this topic.
There is little of a metaphysical or spiritual nature in either religion or witchcraft. They both seek to find answers outside when none exist - all the answers are within ourselves and until mankind stops creating other things to blame its own failings on - and starts to develop human methods - nothing will change and we will continue in ignorance and fear.
Sorry, pandaman, I was making that point a while back and nobody cared. But you seconded my point beautifully by additionally correalating religion and witchcraft as both being distortions of reality of our own making.
I have to say, I'm confused. Your initial point was that we all have magic, but it isn't tied to religion. I don't get that as the point of recommend 1's post.
And, again; I will add that I don't have any problem with your belief. I am only trying to understand if the desire for magical abilities is one of the draws of religion.
My original point Emile was that, yes, as intelectual evolving beings we have the power to create within all of us. The comparison between witchcraft and religion was one of contrasting the previous one, in that both are examples of controlling doctrines that teach one to seek such power from only a 'higher' authority rather than from within. For instance, the original teachings of Jesus, the Gnosis, was abandoned by the formation of the Church, looking to the ascendeded Christ as an authority of power rather than accepting the actual teachings that all have the power of divination within them. Religion exists only to create dispowerment.
That was the point of the question. It all looks like the same claims to me. The magic is good, if it's mine, kind of thing. I don't get it.
I'm going to give up trying to understand, I guess. People are either insulted by the question, or make it clear they believe in the magic and go on to'explain' why their belief is acceptable.
What I was looking for was not to hear belief, but some concrete examples from those that keep harping about it on other threads. I can't fathom why they can't see that no one can believe these claims they make.
I'm sorry the christians are embarrassed of the way their religion is practiced by others, and think theirs is the only'truth'. It gets in the way of conversation on the topic of religion.
I don't get it either, but sadly I did get it for a while when I was a born again christian many years ago.
The indoctrination is like brain rot. All logical processes have to be suspended to believe the la la stuff, and it is anti intellectual in the extreme.
Mankind needs no gods or demons, he has his own internal ones to deal with.
Since we discovered what psychosis looks like, we have no use for any of the abusive tomes as we know that they are both psychotic and controlling.
The sons of one Sceva tried to do the works of God without knowing Jesus:
Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
12So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
Her posts attempting to upset, and offend have gone too far as this isn't the first one. I would suspect it will be locked soon as it has been sent to the HP admins. Good day to you all, and
Sir. If you are referencing me I am at a loss. I attempted to be as courteous as possible when I asked this question. Other than having been informed that the word witchcraft is offensive (of which I was not aware) I have no idea what bounds I have crossed.
If you would be so kind as to tell me what I have done to raise your ire, I would appreciate it.
Is this a christian trying to censor a thread ?
It looks to me as though the objection is that the magic they claim, such as changing water to wine, faith healing, etc., is different to the magic such as rain dancing, love potions etc ?
If this is so it pretty much answers the OP question - there is no difference !
Blessed be is a wiccan greeting/closing. Just saying.
That's funny. I irritated the christians and the wiccans both by using a simple word like witchcraft. I guess I'll chalk that up to all the religious are just a little too touchy about their religions. I hope you all realize it's an innocent word to the rest of us.
Emile, contrary to what some might think, I think your question was quite well-reasoned and a delightfully interesting subject. I'm glad you asked it.
I'll speak from my own meager experience with such things as miracles, faith and religion.
HERE THERE BE MAGIC
Such magic or miracles are in themselves unimportant. Anyone who finds such ability, whether temporary or permanent, chronic or intermittent, the danger is in becoming lost in the ego that such power attracts. This is one reason why monks retreat to the wilderness, so they won't be distracted by all of the ego: others clamoring for proof, or magical favors, or themselves being tempted by their own ego.
You think there is no documentation of such things, but there is. Perhaps not the rigorous scientific documentation that most who clamor for proof demand. And there is a very good reason for this. I take it you don't allow documentation of anecdotal events, no matter how detailed. That may be all you'll ever get, not because (as the skeptics hope) such things are impossible, but because there are other mechanics at play which make such proof unlikely and, more importantly, that such proof is less than useful for the best possible purpose behind gaining such abilities.
I certainly don't believe every tale I hear, but I reserve judgement on them if and until I receive something more substantial. Sometimes, though a thorough description of the event can prove beneficial for understanding the possible mechanisms behind such an ability. This is what I look for: more understanding of what works, when it works.
INCANTATIONS & CHARMS
Incantations, lucky charms and the like are likely only valuable for arriving at the proper state of mind. Each such "trick" is otherwise utterly nonsense. It is the state of mind and spirit which makes such things possible, not the charm or the words. An athlete may rub a pendant before a gymnastic event in order to get in "the zone" -- the state of mind that transcends mere training and muscle toning.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?
Such abilities are impossible for a Homo sapiens. There! Don't you like the simplicity of that?
The only way that such a thing would be possible is for some agency exterior to the mechanics of physical reality to act upon those mechanics -- suspending or redirecting them in an isolated space. That agency is spirit -- the true self or "soul" or child of God, within. For most Homo sapiens, their attached "soul" is sound asleep, leaving reality to run on its own without any interruption. The status quo. Skeptics really like this. And this is why scientists working on paranormal projects typically fail -- skepticism is a creation, too. Do the math.
Achieving the proper state of mind is frequently difficult, at least for someone in whom doubt and uncertainty are so well-practiced -- and that's likely 99.99999% of the planet's population. I've had small success with miracles, having achieved that rare state of mind only a few dozen times this lifetime. Demanding proof from me is interesting, but fruitless, because I don't have it perfected, yet. And since my goal is to get rid of ego, I won't be proving it to you, because ego would really love that. And I'm not about to give in to that kind of self-stroking activity.
Some skeptics feel that is a cop-out. Fine! Let them believe whatever they want. At the end of this lifetime, I'd like not be caught dead with my ego still intact.
Most believers don't know jack. They have strange interpretations that don't hold logical water. Something like the Bible is a complex work with multiple layers of meaning. My own small research effort from nearly 60 years of work has only scratched the surface, but produced some very interesting results.
In Genesis, we now have a biblical timeline compatible with those of science, an explanation for the seemingly outrageous longevity of the early patriarchs and much more. Surprisingly, 30 years after discovering the mechanics of creation, I find the template for these mechanics right in Genesis. It had been there all along. I write about this in greater depth elsewhere, otherwise my comment will become a book.
WITCHES AND THINGS THAT GO BUMP
I don't know a lot about witchcraft or even Wicca, but I do feel strongly that everyone has these abilities, untapped. If you've ever been outside your physical body and seen your surroundings without the aid of Homo sapiens eyeballs, then you'll understand. My most vivid such occurrence involved no drugs or trauma induced hallucination. It only lasted a few moments, but the memory of it still takes my breath away, 40 years later.
Can these abilities be used for selfish purposes? Possibly, though it becomes far harder to achieve and maintain the proper state of mind with ego involved.
THE CHALLENGE OF EGO
Such power appeals strongly to ego, and ego is likely the trap that snared these children of God in the so-called "Garden" incident. I believe strongly that all of us combined are the "Adam and Eve" of that story. And those two died on that day, but only spiritually. Likely all of the physical trappings of the story were metaphor, for Adam did not die physically in the Garden.
What appeals more to me is not "moving mountains" or even entire galaxies, and being an astronomer and mathematician I can appreciate the sheer size of these things. What appeals to me is waking up the sleeping immortal. That doesn't benefit the mortal me -- the Homo sapiens me. And it's the death knell to the ego.
But contrary to what many Christians believe, everlasting life is not about resurrecting their physical body, but resurrecting the sleeping immortal spirit. This is what being "born again" is all about -- washing away the dichotomies of the forbidden fruit (that non-physical matrix of fears and desires), which has kept us locked in this physical realm for so long.
Again, Emile. An outstanding question. Thanks for allowing my long-winded answer.
I'm so happy you didn't take offense since you were a primary poster that I've seen make comments about miracles.
I'm so glad you took the time to respond at such length. Very interesting post.
I admit I'm skeptical, but also always hopeful. And I think you're right. I would think if anyone found the ability within themselves to perform any astounding feat outside of the bounds of what we believe to be possible, it would be fleeting due to ego. I like the fact that you attribute it to our potential abilities.
I'd be less skeptical if I'd ever met someone in real life who could somehow show the ability, or I had seen anything out of the ordinary enough to believe it was possible. There's a wide ravine between wanting to believe and believing for me.
Looks like the admins are still letting us post. Havent been locked out of this topic yet.
Witchcraft comes down to a simple action.
Change your mind and you can change the world.
Religion is completely separate and will change with each individual practitioner. Some may be atheist and still believe in Majick.
Religion = superstition = witchcraft.
These are just different names for the same basic phenomenon, different manifestations of the same underlying phenomenon. The underlying phenomenon is using something known as "the supernatural" to explain, understand and predict the world. In the absence of the supernatural world (the world of God, ghosts, demons, ancestor spirits, angels, etc), we have only the natural world.
Thus we see the fundamental difference between supernaturalism (which is what witchcraft, superstition and religion are based on) and naturalism (which is what modern science and most of modern thinking is based on).
Anybody who buys into a supernaturalist worldview will see their specific beliefs as a "religion" (i.e. meaning more official and normal and reasonable) and other people's as a "superstition" or "witchcraft" (i.e. meaning kooky and hilarious and irrational).
It's like a football fan saying ping pong is not a sport--even though it matches all the definitions of a sport. Only the activities I approve of or am interested in are sports.
Another common tactic used by Christians nowadays is to say that theirs is not a "religion" at all, but rather something yet more official and reasonable--a "relationship" with Christ for instance. This of course stems from the fact that "religion" is more and more carrying a negative, irrational connotation in the modern colloquial and so they need to distance themselves from it. Everybody else has a religion except me.
What's the Difference Between Religion and Witchcraft?
Witchcraft is just superstition while truthful religion is based on revelation.
The behaviour in these hubs really amazes me!
The pure hatred and open scoffing of anyone believing in God...wow! And I thought this country encouraged freedom of religion...not some people apparently! Any country without freedom is not free!
Anyways it's typical, I mean years ago, men thought women couldn't hold jobs or think, so why wouldn't "some" claim others can't think? Let's see...If I couldn't think I think I'd be dead or in a coma...
Silly silly silly prejudiced is all that can be said! Again, unbelieveable!
There is a whole big world on here apart from "this country" and some of us didn't get poisoned by the kool aid of religion and nationalistic fervour or assume their country is the whole world.
it drives some people crazy that some succeed where others have failed.
The difference is very simple... One doesn't try to recruit members, the other one worries more about teaching God's message than acting on God's intentions.
I'm not sure about that, I dated a guy for over 5 years who did everything he could to get me to not believe in God, which seems to me to be trying to convert me to not believe in God=atheist.
And just by the way many talk in these posts, it seems to me that they want people like me to agree with them as they spend countless hours upon hours trying to prove their points...it seems like evangelizing to me (from an atheist) view.
That's true, but the comparison was between witchcraft and religion. People who practice witchcraft do believe in a higher power. They do not try to convert anyone though.
In answer to the OP
What is the diference between Religion and witchcraft?
Can you tell me what is the diference between a wallnut and a watermellon seed ?
I you can anwer that? then you have found your answer.
witchcraft is a selfish practice. With the practioner using it for personal gain
Christianity is the opposite. God gets the glory
Unlike the multi millionaire televangelists I suppose!
Why would you drag this there. Witchraft is a selfish practice and those who follow the gospels intended way go the opposite to selfishness. Witchcrafts intention is to be self oriented, christianity is not.
again, its context that stumps ya and i am believing to think something else
I assume that you are well versed then on the practice of witchcraft. I also assume that you have interviewed ever christian in the world to determine his/her reasons for choosing the religion?
Herbology then, which is common in "witchcraft" is selfish how then? Oh, and why did I choose Christianity?
That statement is not correct. Intent lies with the individual not with a label applied to the person.
Surely you are not implying that there are no self-oriented Christians?
In the ideal world, yes... God would get the glory. There are, however, a lot of preachers driving brand new mercedes and cadillacs, and all they do is preach.
People often think that any pagan belief is witchcraft and it's black magic and voodoo. I'm not a practitioner myself, but I do know that there are a lot of people that use ancient beliefs and practices to help others. You won't see a witch collecting profits from her followers so she can exchange her broom for a brand new Audi, I can guarantee that!
There isn't much difference between priestcraft and witchcraft. They are both pretty dark and rely on superstition and magic. Most belief systems are plagued with superstition and magic.
We do understand that the "DEVIL" or "SATAN" is a christian figure correct? Most of the people that I know that claim to be a "witch" don't hold to the belief of a devil or satan, other than it being a "god/persona" of the christian faith. And the few that do believe in a "devil", hold it as an evil force in the world and avoid it like the plague. They don't evoke it or worship it in any shape or form.
The majority of people that I hear that claim the "Devil/Satan" have any influence in their life, are those that claim to be christian. Most who claim to be christian say they don't worship "satan/devil", but they sure attribute a vast amount of bad/evil things of this world to "him/it"
Correct in that satan/devil to a witch would simply be seen as an archetype.
That was my assumption when I posted the question. There is obviously disagreement on that point; but I always assumed witchcraft had to do with attempting to manipulate the world in a supernatural manner. Whereas religion expects the supernatural to step in and manipulate it for them. Both expecting supernatural gain by the practice of their belief.
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