First, Jessica--thanks for your passionate voicemail. I realize it must be difficult to hear someone on the radio describing what you practice as a "neopagan, occultic new religion." But I cannot honor your request to stop characterizing it such. To do so would--first--be a lie. And in my values system, not sharing the truth would be akin to watching you step in the path of a speeding train, and doing nothing to warn you.
You take issue with our referring to your wiccan belief as a "new religion;" you argue that the practice pre-dates Christianity. You're partly right. Part of the challenge we face is verbiage. Wicca is, by its own practitioners' definition (at wicca.com), a neopagan, modern religion that existed before the practice of Christianity. It did not exist before Christ...Who has always been, and shall always be...but wicca, witchcraft, and earth worship did exist before the Christian faith was first practiced here on earth. Of course, all kinds of behavior have been around longer than Christianity...but that doesn't make such practices healthy or correct, either.
"Neopaganism" and "new religion" are, by the way, accurate terms in this case, as they reflect the syncretism, the fusion of different beliefs that is now loosely termed as "wicca." I wouldn't call Ron Rhodes' technically-accurate description of your belief "slander," however. Comparing wicca unfavorably to Christianity is a matter of personal opinion. I would agree that I'm "discriminating" in favor of my faith, because I'm called to do so, by my Savior's Great Commission. In fact, more people should be "discriminating" about their faith, really...because the stakes are very, very high. So you have the right, Jessica, to close your browser window right now, and you will no longer suffer from such discrimination.
But if you're still reading this...please pay close attention...because you need to hear what I’m about to say. And if you're really listening, its truth will resonate deep inside your heart...because the One Who created you, placed within you a need that can be fulfilled in no other way.
Yes, Jessica, you are a created being. You didn't climb out from under a rock, or evolve from a glob of protoplasm. You were CREATED by Someone Who loves you passionately...and wants to have a relationship with you that will last for all eternity...long after the rocks and trees, animals and stars you now worship have faded away. For those things, too, are mere creations. They did not exist before time, and will not always be. They have no power to love, and they are not your brothers and sisters. Nature and the earth exist only for the joy and pleasure of the Creator. This creation was placed here to sustain you and me, for we are not like the beasts and hills and oceans. We are created in the very image of God--and that makes us special. The beauty around us is here to point us toward the Creator...to inspire us to worship Him...not the creation itself. For His Word says that, "The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech... there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”*
Yes, Jessica--when the rocks and streams speak to you, it is the language of God’s love you hear. He is calling your name, with a still, small voice you can discern...if only you would listen. For, thousands of years ago--when He created the first humans--they turned from Him, just as you are now. They willfully broke off their relationship with God. This is called "sin," and you and I are just as guilty--as their descendants--as were the first man and woman. When those created beings fell, all creation fell with them. That's why we have what science calls the second law of thermodynamics, and entropy. Earth and sky continue to decay all around us, and are--therefore--unworthy of our worship.
But God provided a "second Adam"--the one called Jesus Christ--and through Him, gives us an opportunity to repair that broken relationship with Him. We can escape a second, spiritual death that will follow our physical death. And the good news is, you can do so right now. You can turn from worshipping a broken, dying creation...and find new, eternal life...worshipping the Creator. Simply do this--right from your heart. Recognize that you, indeed, have no relationship with the Creator God--that makes you a sinner. Ask Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life; let Him know that you want to follow Him, not just today, but forever. Tell Him that you want to turn from all the things you know to be wrong, and instead, make His Word--the Bible--the standard for your behavior, and your beliefs. Receive His free gift of eternal life, and turn away from the punishment that is eternal death: separation from God, with no hope of rescue. You can choose life right now, Jessica. Please do so! Then you may securely, and forever, pray in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen. And maranatha!
Thanks for listening, Jessica. Your heavenly Father awaits your response.
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About Mark Daniels
Mark Daniels is a broadcasting veteran of more than 30 years, and currently serves as the Programming and Marketing Manager of WFIL/WNTP in Philadelphia. His daily talk show and On the Mark commentaries have consistently won top honors from the PA Association of Broadcasters, as well as past awards from the Philadelphia Press Association, Excellence in Media, and others. Daniels serves as host of the nationally-syndicated Christian ministry program, The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Montgomery Boice. He is a church elder and Bible conference president. Mark Daniels can be heard weekdays at 4pm ET on www.wfil.com, and The Mark Daniels Show can be seen weekly on WBPH-TV 60 (WBPH.org).
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