Witchcraft is a difficult subject to broach in Christian circles. Many people are so uncomfortable with it, they don’t even want to discuss it, and don’t believe it is real.
Witchcraft is real. Very real. As a Christian parent, having an understanding of the inherent dangers can help you have those difficult, but vital, conversations with your children. It can help you know how to navigate questions that come up and ask questions that could reveal some surprising influences that your child might not have even recognized.
Let’s spend some time unpacking this subject together.
The Scriptures clearly teach us that there are two kingdoms available for mankind; the kingdom of heaven and the domain of darkness. Paul tells us in Colossians 1:13 “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
It’s why we rejoice at salvation! That word “domain” literally means “authority” so when we live in the domain of darkness, we are under the authority of the enemy.
The Bible also teaches many things about this very real enemy. Paul gives repeated warnings about not giving him an advantage (2 Cor. 2:11) and not falling for his schemes (Eph. 6:11). Peter cautions us to, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8)
The enemy doesn’t stop trying to lure us, and our families, back into the darkness because we have chosen Christ. So it should come as no surprise that we must be prepared to face an enemy that wants to harm us.
He does this in many different ways; through lying, temptations, and yes, even witchcraft.
He hasn’t changed his tactics since the Garden of Eden. He’s still trying to convince mankind that God is withholding something good from them and that they can be “like God.”
This idea is one of the core temptations with witchcraft.
It tries to convince people of the lie that they can access wisdom, power, and connection with the spiritual world apart from God. It says “You can be your own god.”
What is Witchcraft?
Witchcraft is simply a practice that falls within the larger umbrella of paganism.
But paganism itself is very broad and undefined, precisely because those that identify as pagans don’t want to limit what they choose to do. Pagans can be polytheistic (worship multiple gods or goddesses), they can have spiritual beliefs that are more rooted in nature, or they can be a mixture of anything they choose to connect with.
Not all pagans practice witchcraft, but many do.
The word “witchcraft” can include many rituals and magical practices as well as communication with spirits. While you may have heard of Wicca, it is simply one particular form of witchcraft that is more specifically defined. The Bible mentions both witchcraft and divination but the two are closely linked and both are categorically renounced.
Paul lists “sorcery” in Galatians 5 when he shares the “deeds of the flesh” and this word is the Greek word Pharmakeia which is typically translated as sorcery or witchcraft.
Divination is more frequently used in the Old Testament, but we see it used in Acts 16 when the slave-girl followed Paul around.
We will consider divination, which does allude to seeking wisdom about the future through the use of spells and other methods, more specifically later.
It’s not really necessary to understand all of the nuances of each word because everything falls under the broader term of witchcraft.
The Bible tells us that there is a very real supernatural world, and that world is either on God’s side or the enemy’s side.
The secular world, and pagans, don’t see it that way. Many believe that there is a supernatural world that is neutral–neither good or evil. Witchcraft falsely teaches that you can engage with this neutral world to gain wisdom, power, and a spiritual identity. It does not present itself in a way that seems evil. Instead it presents as innocent, and even seem good.
Think about it like drugs.
A drug dealer doesn’t just walk up to a group of girls at the mall and offers them drugs expecting them to buy. They are much smarter than that. They look for targets that are a bit more isolated–perhaps, feeling lost, or lonely.
At first, they offer it for free. One pill here, another pill there, until they are in too deep and become addicted.
Then the dealer has them hooked.
The world of witchcraft is similar because there is a very real seduction that takes place. Maybe it starts with things that are often seen as fun and games. Reading your horoscopes. Playing with a Ouija board at a party. Participating in a TikTok trend that is really just a spell in disguise.
Please understand, it’s everywhere. It’s at the local mall or in your local Barnes & Noble. It is all over social media. And the enemy isn’t dumb. He makes his lies very appealing. Especially to young people.
Offers (False) Knowledge:
Let’s be honest. As Christians, we don’t always get clear answers from God as easily as we would like. Learning to fully trust God requires a lot of patience and seeking.
Witchcraft lies and says that you don’t have to wait. You can get the answers now. And you can get them yourself.
Ask your kids:
- How do we know how to make decisions?
- How do we find wisdom if we don’t know what to do?
Offers (false) Community:
The witchcraft community is very welcoming and open, embracing anyone who seeks to join them. There are robust online communities and this sense of belonging is something young people crave and seek. We all do.
Ask your kids:
- How do you fit into our church community?
- Do you feel supported?
- Do you feel seen?
Offers (false) Power
As Christians, we recognize that God is all-powerful, and accept the truth that we are not.
In fact, we are utterly powerless apart from Him. But that doesn’t stop the enemy from sharing some of his very real (but limited) power to convince young people that they don’t have to submit to anyone to have that power for themselves.
Ask your kids:
- Where does power come from?
- Where do you see power around you?
Offers (false) Identity
Identity is huge. We live in a culture that tells young people they can choose to be anything they feel like. “Witch” is an easy and accessible identity to claim and it one that makes them feel special and part of something.
Ask your kids:
- What makes you unique?
- Who do you think God says you are?
Why Girls are More Susceptible
Witchcraft can be a particular draw for young women because of its focus on the power and identity it offers them.
We live in a culture that is extremely keen to see women have a voice and to be empowered. Young women are told that the church (in general) is patriarchal and that such systems crush women and their voices.
It’s critical for parents and spiritual leaders to help young women understand how unique and beautiful they are, and inspire them to discover who God created them to be.
In his Gen Z report, George Barna stated that only 4% of Gen Z (those born between 1999 and 2015) held a Biblical worldview. That, my friends, is a staggering statistic, and it is an area that Christian parents can tackle with gusto.
There are a thousand lies floating around kids all day, every day, of their lives. It’s impossible to warn them about each of them. The good news is, we don’t need to. Training them in the truth can help them learn to tell the truth from the lie. That is what arms them against the lies of the enemy. We have to help our kids really know, and deeply understand, the Scriptures and who they are created to be.
How can we do that?
We have to model reading and studying the Word of God. Talking about it with our spouses. Sharing insights that we see. Being excited about it. If we don’t lead the way, they have no one to follow.
I know this sounds old-fashioned, but memorizing Scriptures is a valuable practice. The more truth we have stored up inside of us, the faster it bubbles to the surface right when we need it.
Make it more meaningful by identifying an area of struggle and finding Scriptures that speak precisely to that issue.
Let’s dig in and really begin helping our kids to recognize what the world is communicating to them and to be armed with enough truth to be battle ready for the world they face.
©2023 by Sarah Anne Sumpolec. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.