According to U.S. News & World Report, a group of witches has descended on New York City to protest the Republican Convention. When I heard the news, I thought it might be an urban legend, but the witches have their own website, www.pagancluster.org. They are planning a "private ritual" tonight in order to tap into all the "potent energy" from both the Republicans and the protestors, making it an ideal time for magic, casting spells, and so on. They hope by doing whatever they are going to do tonight, to tap into enough energy to ensure President Bush's defeat in November. According to their website, they are planning some nonviolent civil disobedience this evening that they are calling a "True Security action." The rest of the website contains information about such topics as "The Green Word-magickal action for A31," "heart(h) magic for the RNC," and "Spellworking for the RNC." The front page of the website offers this explanation: "The Pagan Cluster is a loose affiliation of individuals and affinity groups who bring an earth-based spirituality to actions for global justice and peace. In our actions we incorporate art, music, drums, ritual, myth, humor and magic: the art of changing consciousness at will. We make most of our strategic decisions by divination, read Tarot cards obsessively and go into trance frequently."

A few comments are in order:

1) The witches who put together this website know something about public relations. Gone is the stereotype of the "Wicked Witch of the West," the ugly hag riding a broomstick. These women present a friendlier face to the world.

2) To their credit, they are upfront about their spirituality. They are pagans and proud of it. They share little or nothing in common with Christianity.

3) They adamantly oppose George W. Bush, no doubt motivated by his open expression of his faith in Jesus Christ.

4) It would be easy to dismiss them as a fringe group of no importance, but that would be a mistake. The Bible repeatedly warns us against the dangers of the occult, and against dabbling in any form of witchcraft  (Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 1 Samuel 15:23; Isaiah 2:6; Galatians 5:19-21).

5) The greatest battles are never the ones we can see around us. Even though many of us feel that this election is the most crucial in our lifetime, an even greater battle rages in the spiritual realm. Again to their credit, the pagans seem to understand this better than we do. That's why they have gathered in New York this week, and that's why they hope to cast a spell tonight to defeat George W. Bush. They understand that it's not just an election to determine who will occupy the White House for the next four years; it's really a clash of worldviews. The choice between John Kerry and George Bush leads in two entirely different directions. If I have any criticism of the fine speeches by Rudy Giuliani and John McCain last night, it would be that they tried to downplay the significant differences between the two parties. Why are so many Democrats so angry? It's about a lot more than what happened in Florida in 2000. They know that George Bush and John Kerry stand for two different visions for America that are ultimately incompatible. George Bush represents traditional values and biblical morality in a way that John Kerry does not. The witches understand this also.

6) I do not think we need to be alarmed or afraid. We ought to take this seriously, and unleash our most powerful weapon--the weapon of prayer. Tonight the witches plan to pray and cast spells against George W. Bush. If that be the case, then let every Christian who reads my words, pause right now and pray for our President. Pray that he would be protected from all spiritual attack. Pray that the angels of God would turn back the assault of witchcraft in New York City. Pray that many of the witches will be convicted of their sin, and will leave the darkness to walk in the light of the Lord. And before you pray, read Ephesians 6:10-18, the passage about putting on the whole armor of God. Better yet, read it out loud. Better yet, stand up wherever you are right now and read it aloud. Why not? Why shouldn't we be as bold for the light as others are for the darkness?

7) Finally, remember that this is a spiritual battle first and foremost. It's not about the Republicans or the Democrats. We wrestle not against flesh about blood, but against all the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. God calls his people to advance into battle having put on the whole armor of God. If we do that, we can trust him for the result, knowing that having done all, we will still be standing at the end of the day.


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