CW: Another common theme in Wicca is a real emphasis on promoting diversity and tolerance. Marla, you have a background working with intercultural marriages. Any thoughts on that?   

MA:  Well, that is a great question. It is interesting, because my husband is actually from Romania, which has kind of a legendary history of being involved in witchcraft, although the Transylvania image is pretty much just a myth -- it is nothing like the way it is portrayed in movies and books. 

I have seen our culture become more focused on diversity and acceptance, tolerance of all views and [the idea that] all ways lead to God. [These concepts] appeal to a lot of people. So, it is really endangering our position as the church if we embrace that too much because Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me" (John 14:6). We try to take an open position in the book, try to create open dialogue with Wiccans, but our theology is conservative. We believe the Bible. We believe in God. We believe Jesus is who the Bible says He is. There are limits then to what we can accept or tolerate just from a biblical standpoint.   

There is a difference between cultural diversity, which of course we support, and the diversity of just accepting every person's belief as being true. 

CW:  Definitely. Speaking of taking a clear stance on Biblical truth, I recently encountered a "Christian" website for young adults advocating goddess/saint worship. What's going on there?   

MA:  Well, there is actually a movement called Christian Wicca, in which elements of Christianity and elements of Wicca are combined. It is a syncretistic belief system, where it is taking both and linking {them] together. However, in order to do that, you really have to set aside a lot of what the Bible says because there are a lot of beliefs that are incompatible.   

For instance, in Christian Wicca, they believe in reincarnation. They believe that the Bride of Christ is the goddess of Christ. They care a lot about creation, which is a positive aspect of it.  They see the Holy Spirit, though, as being feminine. So, you can see how they are going the goddess route.   

I would say even aside from the Christian Wicca movement, we can see how Wicca, New Age and pagan philosophy are really finding their way into the church and into our culture. One great example is Oprah Winfrey. This year, she is having her Soul Series Webcast where she is introducing many New Age teachers. Many of the views she espouses show she does have a Christian spiritual background. Yet she is leading people away from that by bringing psychics, meditation teachers, people teaching New Age philosophy onto her show and espousing those beliefs.   

That is seeping into the church. In many contemporary Christian books, you will see [authors] combining Christian and biblical principles with New Age principles, and many of them don't even realize that they are doing that.   

CW:  So, one of the main reasons you did all this research was to help guide parents. Dillon, you have worked a lot with youth. What is it about Wicca that attracts youth, specifically?   

DB:  There are a couple of things. One is that it is being promoted in the media more than ever before as an acceptable lifestyle or practice. So, you read a Harry Potter book, you watch Supernatural, you see a film on witchcraft, and you go, "That looks interesting. I wonder if that is true or what that is about." So, you can hop online, type in a few words on Google, or you can go to your bookstore [where] there is an entire New Age section.