Goth made the news again. The wife of high profile lawyer Daniel Horowitz was found murdered last month at their beautiful estate. The suspect? A 16-year old boy known for wearing dark clothing and who reportedly read the book of Satan. Although this is an extreme case – and the truth has yet to be fully sorted out – parents across America have found themselves once again concerned about the occult and its influence on our kids.

And rightly so. Teen expert Steve Russo has had the privilege of working with tens of thousands of today’s teens through his career as a writer, speaker, musician, and radio show host. In the past few years, Russo has noticed a disturbing upswing in teens’ fascination with Wicca and the occult -- even among Christian youth. In response, Russo has written an in-depth guide for parents titled, Protecting Your Teen from Today’s Witchcraft (Bethany House). Join us as Steve sheds some light on the truth about Wicca and advises parents on how to deal with this growing form of spirituality.

Crosswalk: First, can you explain some of the key differences between Wicca and Christianity? Why is this form of spirituality so dangerous for believers?

Russo: If you start closely examining the beliefs you will see that their essential concepts – God, truth, reality, the basic problem of humanity and the solution - are very different. By looking at the following brief comparison, you will see why this type of spirituality is so dangerous to believers. That’s why God warns us in His Word to stay away from Wicca and witchcraft.

• Most Wiccans believe in some form of reincarnation. For witches, reincarnation is different from what a Buddhist or Hindu believes. Instead of an endless ‘karma’ witches view reincarnation as something positive that takes the soul upward in its advancement towards godhood. The Bible is very clear when it says we die only once and then we are judged (Hebrews 9:26-28; 2 Peter 2:9).

• The Wiccan view of salvation can be summed up with this statement: "We can open new eyes and see that there is nothing to be saved from; no struggle of life against the universe, no God outside the world to be feared and obeyed." Christians believe that we are all born with a spiritual terminal disease called sin that causes us to disobey God and go our own willful way. The remedy was Christ’s death on the cross (Romans 3:23, 6:23; Isaiah 59:2; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 3:18).

• Wiccans believe that experience is a more important revelation than any code of belief. Christians believe that the most important revelation of truth is the Bible (Psalm 119:47, 72, 97; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12).

• Wiccans worship the Earth and creation. Christians believe in worshipping the Creator, not the creation (Deuteronomy 4:39; Romans 1:25; Jude 25).

• Wiccans do not believe that Jesus was God in the flesh or creator of the universe. They view Jesus as "a great white witch who knew the Coven of Thirteen." The key principle that sets Christianity apart from any other religion is the belief that Jesus is God. (Matthew 1:21-23; John 1:1, 14, 18, 8:24; Philippians 2:5,6).

Crosswalk: In the introduction to your book you say that Wicca is "the fastest growing religion today among high school and college students." In what ways have you seen Wicca and occult influences on the rise in our culture? Why do you think it appeals to today’s teens?

Russo: Wicca is huge! It’s everywhere – thanks to an extreme makeover that’s happened in the media with witchcraft. Images of witches with pointy noses and flying on broomsticks are gone. Instead we’ve got Sabrina, Buffy and the Halliwell sisters. Witches have been interviewed on the Oprah Winfrey Show, cable news shows on Fox, CNN and MSNBC. There’s a whole new respect for witches today.