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WITCHCRAFT IN TODAY'S CHURCH.

Discussion in 'The Church Forum' started by Truman, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member

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    "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." Taken from 1 Samuel 15:23 KJV
    When we pray for someone, we need to take care that we pray according to the nature of God. If I inject my will into the prayer by asking God to do something against the person's will, this is poising my will against another's free will. It stems from the carnal nature and never carries out God's plan for the person. This, in a nutshell, is witchcraft.
    Manipulation is an attempt to sway another against their will. Our society is corroded with this.
    If a worship leader sees the people are struggling to get into it, he may say something like, "Come on, people, God deserves better." While this is true, trying to use pressure to achieve a result is a subtle attempt to manipulate others. Or he might say, "Come on, give the Lord a hand." Are you clapping in response to God or are you doing it because it's expected?
    We are supposed to be led, not coerced into doing something. You may think I'm splitting hairs, but this is a very serious topic. Using manipulation is what the enemy does and when this is used by Christians, we are opening up others and perhaps ourselves to being oppressed by the enemy.
    God highly values our free will and seldom interferes with it. Your thoughts?
     
  2. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    It's important to pray according to God's will as revealed by God's Word and/or the Holy Spirit. This is not witchcraft, which uses spells in order to control people and circumstances. Praying to God and casting spells are two completely different things.

    1 John 5:14-15--This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

    Paul said to "pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

    I know that people prayed for my salvation--even when I didn't want to have anything to do with God, and I thank God they did! This was NOT witchcraft!

    Edit: Here are some a couple more scriptures about witchcraft.

    Galatians 5:19-21 Now the actions of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, rivalry, jealously, outbursts of anger, quarrels, conflicts, factions, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild partying, and things like that. I am telling you now, as I have told you in the past, that people who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Revelation 21:8But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral,
    those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars–their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”


    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  3. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member

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    Hi. As long as we are praying God's will, then it's all good. Peace.
     
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  4. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Yes, peace.

    I'm just concerned about your idea that praying for something against a person's will is witchcraft.
     
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  5. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this reminds me how Jesus asked some people if they were willing to be made whole before healing them. It may sound weird but sometimes people want to be sick.
     
  6. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Manipulation is not exactly witchcraft, so you need to be careful in how you define witchcraft. In the Bible witchcraft is sorcery. And sorcery is not practiced in Christian churches (even in the liberal ones).

    כָּשַׁף kâshaph, kaw-shaf'; a primitive root; properly, to whisper a spell, i.e. to inchant or practise magic:—sorcerer, (use) witch(-craft).
     
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  7. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member

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    Poising one's will against another is one manifestation of witchcraft. The Lord taught me a painful lesson regarding this. Trying to push others to get into worship is what He told me was witchcraft. Peace.
     
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  8. Stumpmaster

    Stumpmaster Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ron. You are right to warn against witchcraft. It is a nasty business both in and out of Christian networks. Some may doubt it is being practiced but those of us who have encountered it know it happens. Fortunately we have our spiritual armour to protect us and enable us to nullify all that the principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world bring against us.

    I have benefited much from the ministries of those called of God to move in the area of spiritual warfare and I never doubt for a moment that there is spiritual wickedness in high places intent on corrupting, deceiving, and exploiting God's People by means of camouflage, espionage, sabotage, and bondage.
     
  9. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right. People can fall into practicing witchcraft mistakenly believing they're doing something good. But if we resist the fact that God gave people free will, we are resisting both God and our fellow man. It opens a door that is better left shut.

    Sin has its unpleasant consequences. When people suffer, it can motivate them to take a second look at the decisions they've made. Sometimes it takes suffering for people to change. Sometimes a little suffering won't work -- sad to say, some people need to suffer more before they are willing to admit being wrong. Let it go.

    There is another danger in opposing the free will of others: Instinctively they know you are interfering with them -- and sometimes that makes them want to prove you wrong -- so they refuse to change their minds just to show you you can't control them.

    The situation is different if someone is interfering the free will of others. In that case, you do have the right to intercede on behalf of his victims. He broke the law of free will and is no longer protected the way sinners are if they sin among themselves.

    Remember Sodom? They could have sinned day and night without much happening to them if they had sinned among themselves. They chose to sin against the innocent. Remember Pharaoh who had children killed? Surely we can pray for God to do something to the people who violate the rights of others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  10. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    On this basis, people can make anything mean anything else. Witchcraft is serious business, not simply trying to push others to go in a certain direction.

    In the New Testament the word "sorcery" occurs, and here is its meaning:
    STRONGS NT 3096: μαγεύω (mageuo)
    μαγεύω; (μάγος); to be a magician; to practise magical arts: Acts 8:9. (Euripides, Iph. 1338; Plutarch, Artax. 3, 6, and in other authors.)

    Since the Bible tells Christians to resist Satan and he will flee from you, you are falsely accusing others of witchcraft and sorcery, just because they wanted you to attend a certain service, in a certain group, or whatever. All you had to do is say "Thanks, but no thanks". Christians are barred from making false accusations.
     
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  11. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    There is a big difference between presenting someone with a choice and putting the screws on him to do what you want. It's one thing to invite someone to your church or your house and quite another to hound him about it. Presenting others with choices is not a violation of their free will.
     
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  12. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Praise God Almighty! I'm so glad someone is posting this. I have led worship in churches several times, and also been a part of numerous worship teams, and that business of telling people they need to worship has always kind of sickened me. Thankfully it did not occur on teams I was on, maybe because they were good enough that they facilitated worship and the people didn't have to be somehow told to.

    But I have seen this approach in some Hispanic churches, and boy does it rub me the wrong way. It strikes me as compounding an already bad problem and making it far, far worse.

    Very good post, and glad you shared this. Maybe if more people did we wouldn't have the phenomenon of being somehow coerced into worshipping God "from the heart." :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  13. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Witchcraft or sorcery (φαρμακεία in the Greek) was originally simply a means of using physical substances like roots and plants to manipulate people in various ways, such as thorough the use of aphrodisiacs (i.e potions and such). Thus, it is using fleshly means to try and manipulate people into doing what you want them to. In this sense, the term applies and is accurate.
     
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  14. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. And such kind of pressure is totally unacceptable. It is akin to coercion (without a gun to the head). But when all is said and done that is not the same as witchcraft or sorcery, which is a whole different level of action involving evil spirits and Satan.
     
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  15. Stumpmaster

    Stumpmaster Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Agreed. If you are the focus of someone's attention for their personal gain or elevation this is a work of the flesh akin to witchcraft as mentioned here:
    Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
     
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  16. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    I know what we refer to as witchcraft is not what the Bible means by it; so I wouldn't call it witchcraft myself, but I don't what I would call it. I can see why Ron called it that. At the moment, I forget what the Hebrew word for witch suggests it was -- if the "experts" can be depended on, I'm not sure they all agree on exactly what was meant. Maybe if I have time, I research it.

    I know the Greek word for sorcery in the New Testament is related to our word for pharmaceutical. It had something to do with drugs as Hidden in Him pointed out. It's not 100% clear to me what it means. It could mean poisoners. It could mean people who used drugs to contact spirits. It could be people who used mind-altering drugs on others to influence them. (It could be people who use drugs to put others into a daze so they can have sex with them.) That raises an interesting question: Is the widespread use of legal mind-altering drugs an attempt from the Dark Side to enslave men and women so they can't think for themselves?
     
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  17. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Yes. When I viewed witchcraft as only a form of spirituality, I could not understand why Paul would refer to it in the passage above as "a work of the flesh." But when I understood the term in its context as also involving the manipulation of earthly matter, suddenly "works of the flesh" made more sense.
     
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  18. Brakelite

    Brakelite Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest that in some churches the music itself is designed and used as a means to hypnotise and place people in a state euphemistically called 'in the spirit'.
    If that ain't witchcraft I don't know what is.
    I don't expect to make many friends with that statement. You're all welcome to convince me otherwise, in fact I'll be glad if you can convince me otherwise.
     
  19. Candidus

    Candidus Well-Known Member

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    Human guilt manipulation in Churches is sometimes overt, and sometimes subtle. When I see it or hear it, I tune out.

    During the offering: "Our love for God should reflect our generosity and love for God".... true.

    Then he got desperate.... "If you don't love God, don't put anything in the offering plate!" That's where I tuned out, and looked the usher in the eye as I gave him his empty plate back!

    Altar calls become manipulated by human guilt through suggestion and auto-suggestion. Some people always respond to an altar call, not because they have need, but that they think that they are doing God a favor by "priming the pump."

    Suggestion: "If you need God, come up and pray; if you don't think you need God, stay in the pew!" (I heard that one, and my wife and I were the only one's not to come forward. Even though I felt isolated, and publicly shamed, I knew that I would be a hypocrite if I went forward because of human guilt manipulation and not of Godly conviction.

    Auto-suggestion: Unstated public pressure to come forward by being the only one that doesn't. People looking back at you and muttering something to point you out to others. The auto-suggestion is something that is implied that "If you come forward, you are spiritual; if you do not come forward, you are lost."

    Christians are sometimes gullible and cannot differentiate between the manipulation of men, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. There is no spiritual reward or real benefit for responding to the guilt manipulation of man.
     
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  20. Mayflower

    Mayflower Well-Known Member

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    I was convicted this morning on this exact thing. My husband is a very private man and went to a Quaker church growing up. He sits and hardly moves a muscle during the music. (And I dont know if this is how Quaker churches are, it is how I imagine it is).

    But we were singing "Come now is the time to worship, come, just as you are to worship Him." And I thought about this convo I have been quiet on, and just had to pray to God about it. I was raised in a Baptist church where it was pretty strange to even lift your arms a little. Now I am all out freely worshipping, and am on praise team, but sometimes look into the congregation and think "what is wrong with everyone." Mostly standing with hands glued to the pew. And I think now, I used to be the same way, but the Holy Spirit was moving greatly in me. Though I feel more free now, it doesnt mean I should be thinking someone else's heart is in the wrong place. So yes, I get what you are saying. And instead of praying for people to worship the way I want them too, I need to be praying, that people will feel complete freedom to worship God just as they are. For me as well with my heart solely focused on Him.
     
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