Christian Witchcraft ~
As I grew up in what would be considered a fairly conservative family, church was always present in the schedule of our household. There was Sunday School where I argued with my teacher over the length of the days in Creation. Church services where I watched the church split one Easter Sunday morning.
But often there was the prayer meeting/Bible Study night. which was very interesting to me growing up in the 40’s – 60’s. There were the ladies that looked as if they hadn’t smiled in 20 years – much less laughed – announcing that they were so glad they had the JOY down in their hearts. There was gossip disguised in request form to make it legal ~ “Let’s pray for Sister Thomas to have strength as her husband has been seen with another woman.” As I was somewhat young to really understand this, it was later in my own struggles with what I would believe that I came to these realizations. And it was late in the struggle that I came to understand the last of these ~ Christian Witchcraft. “And let Sister Abigail’s husband be stricken with a disease that will keep him from drinking every again. Let any mouthful of alcohol make him deathly sick.” “Do what it takes to turn Sam around – be it disease or even death.”
Later I was to realize the audacity of those kind of statements. The sheer impertenance of the approach and the fact it was simply practicing witchcraft ~ of a Christian kind. This was moving beyond asking God to do something FOR someone and into asking God to do something TO someone. And it was a minister who labeled that Christian Witchcraft.
Recently – Stuart Shepard, who produces videos for Focus on the Family and hosts a video segment titled Stoplight, –> released a video <– asking people to pray. Not a bad thing in my opinion, but it was WHAT was being asked that really bothered me. He is asking for everyone to pray for rain the night that Barack Obama speaks outdoors at the Democratic National Convention.
We’re not just talking a little rain either. This man would have us ask for a torrential, flooding downpour. Something of epic proportions . . . that would, of course, destroy the theatrics of the evening. Talk about asking God to do something TO someone. So, somehow, we are being asked to perform a rain-dance prayer of some kind in order to ruin someone’s time in the limelight?
Regardless of what you believe, the Bible is quite firm ~ that kind of behavior is a real no-no. And in the Old Testament (and the Torah) the penalty for it and participating is rather profound and life-ending. (Of course, tacking Christian in front of it makes it perfectly acceptable right?)
Before the e-mails start coming, let me say this – I am NOT against prayer ~ I am not against prayer. What I am against, is using it as a weapon to hurt or damage someone. I know all the theological arguments, and I’ve used some of them. But, in this case and using prayer this way I am saying is wrong – wrong – wrong. What I am against, is using prayer as some kind of weapon against someone who is innocent or has not wronged in any way.
So often, we barge into the Throne Room with our demands in hand, often based on very shaky ground to demand from the Creator something we feel we have a right to or should have . . . handing the Almighty (of any religion) a contract that has neither been signed nor seen.
Mr. Shepard tried to pass off his video as “boyish humor” – but it seems to me that both he and Fred Phelps have forgotten on of the major tenants of the New Testament mainly ~
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45
–thus endeth the 2nd rant