The Rise of Witchcraft
Dorval L. McClister
Possibly few people are aware of the widespread practice of witchcraft in the United States. I have before me a series of articles recently published in the Chicago Today newspaper which provides some interesting insights upon this subject. Notice the first quotation: "Knowledgeable sources estimate there are 200,000 witches in America. Of these, some 6,000 are in Chicago." Would you have believed there were 6,000 witches in Chicago? The article goes on to state that thousands of middleclass adults, some with university degrees, are becoming practicing witches.
Before we advance further, let me inform you that these witches are not phonies in any sense. And we are not discussing a fairy tale version of witches, but rather the same old evil of centuries past. Witches of our day believe and practice the very same things they did in Old Testament days. They claim to have supernatural powers by which they can induce illness, misfortune or even happiness upon others. They practice divination, healing, palm reading and predicting the future. They believe in Satanic powers, plot vengeance and even commit murder (the seven murders recently committed by Charles Manson and "his family" in California are attributed to this evil). They worship pagan deities, practice, voodoo and believe in the reincarnation of spirits. Their rituals are conducted at night where lambs are slain and the blood is sprinkled on the floor. These rituals are held at midnight in the forest preserves in the summer time. At such rituals all participants perform in the nude. They practice and propagate the idea of free sex, communal living and every other immoral act.
The witch described herein is exactly the same old witch as is mentioned in the Bible. God's commandments to Israel were specific concerning witches-"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Ex. 22:18). Their messages were lies (Jer. 27:9-10). Such were to be stoned to death (Lev. 20:27). Witchcraft is not only a subject of the Old Testament but also of the New Testament. In listing the works of the flesh, Paul includes witchcraft (Gal. 5:20-21) and concludes "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
Manifestations of witchcraft are seen in every direction. The church of Satan was established in San Francisco in 1966, by a former Chicagoian, Anton LaVey. This church (?) claims 10,000 members. The members of this church worship Satan and practice every facet of witchcraft from sex to murder. LaVey denies any connections between his church and the murders in that area; but his creed dictates a police state in which the unwanted are weeded out. This organization is a hotbed of witchcraft-the work of Satan. Witches have always propagated their beliefs as a 'super religion' with black magic and the doctrine of reincarnation of spirits. I was amazed recently to find that within the past ten years there have been forty books written and published which teach the doctrine of reincarnation. A poll was taken last year which revealed that 37 percent of those interviewed believed the doctrine.
Belief in the occult has risen sharply during the past decade, and during this time we have also witnessed the drug bane. The experiments with LSD produced the desired mental distortions but also presented undesirable side effects. The fear of drugs turned many to the belief that there was another medium through which they could acquire this "power" without drugs. The stage was already set by the former doctrines of auto-suggestion, extrasensory perception or mental telepathy. It only needed a few more fires of witchcraft to set aflame the unstable minds of those seeking supernatural powers. Hence we have witnessed the phenomenal rise in spiritualism, visions, astrology, tongue speaking and miraculous healing. The newspaper article sets forth these -as being "the religion of the 70's."
There is no denying that Satan reveals himself "with all power and signs of false wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth" (2 Thess. 2:9-10). These "powers" claimed by those in our day are simply the works of Satan and to a great extent have their substance in witchcraft. Many would have us believe that all such powers result from the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is gross deception and is devised simply as a means to attach their satanic philosophies to that which bears the name of true religion. Satan's counterfeits have always arisen to challenge the powers of God and His Christ. Sorcery and divination have plagued God's people not only in Old Testament days but the apostles of Christ were confronted with the same old evil (Acts 8:9-11; 16:16-19).
200,000 witches in the United States! This is a shocking statement. And yet with a nation in rebellion against God, where minds are drunken in psychic delusions and the vain imaginations of men seek for the super natural-witchcraft will flourish and will deceive many even among the very elect. Brethren, be on guard against this evil. It is no fairy tale. It is real and active in our land.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 11, pp. 9-10