“Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16 KJV)
There is an old saying that “actions speak louder than words,” and the actions of Jesus speak quite loudly. He healed the sick, and fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. He walked on water, and changed water into wine. He even raised the dead. Regardless of whether one prefers to call Him witch or wizard, sorcerer or shaman, or simply mage, Jesus performed feats of magic that are a hard act to follow.
I have heard some people say that Jesus didn’t perform magic; He performed miracles! At best, this can only be characterized as a petty game of semantics. The reported acts of Jesus invoked supernatural power attributed to a beneficent God, and therefore, qualify as magic. These acts of magic were so amazing that He not only qualifies as a witch, but as an adept. Let there be no doubt that any modern Witch, Wizard, or Wiccan would be thrilled to perform the acts of Jesus. This may have even played a role in why He was crucified.
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18 KJV)
When Jesus healed a demon possessed man, the Pharisees were reported as saying, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons” (Matt 12:24 NIV). In the next line, Jesus responds “If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself” which establishes the connection between Beelzebul and Satan. The religious leaders (Pharisees) of the time were declaring Jesus to be in league with the Devil.
Complicity with the Devil was a common characterization of witchcraft throughout the middle ages, the Inquisition, and in the Malleus Maleficarum, through more recent history with the Salem Witch Trials, and even into modern times. Today, in the United States, there are religious factions that claim groups other than themselves are in league with the Devil, or deceived by him. Many were executed in those witch hunts, many are persecuted today, but Jesus was crucified before them all.
”That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6 KJV)
One religious leader, a Pharisee named Nicodemus went to inquire of Jesus by night, for it would not have been good for others to see him with Jesus. It was in this famous conversation that Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 KJV) Naturally, Nicodemus was confused by such a statement and asked for clarification. Jesus clarified,”Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5 KJV). He further clarifies in the next line, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6 KJV).
There is an obvious allusion here to the breaking of a mother’s water just prior to birth in the flesh, or birth into the material world. Then a person must be born again of the spirit, or into the spiritual world, in order to see the kingdom of God, and to enter the kingdom of God. Spirituality is essential to sight and salvation, not religion.
Jesus didn’t usually keep company with religious leaders because He isn’t religious, He is spiritual. The difference between religion and spirituality seems best defined by Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation ( p. 6):
My teacher, an old Indian man from the high Andes, once said to me… ‘Religions are simple concepts of spirituality: values, standards, truths, principles communicated in the form of a story that uses poetry and metaphor to illustrate its wisdom.’ These stories have been told and retold until even their embellishments acquire profound meaning and the figurative is taken literally and the lessons are lost.
Coincidentally, the Wiccan Charge of the Goddess states, “And thou who thinkest to seek Her, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest the mystery; that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, then thou wilt never find it without thee.” Do you understand the mystery about finding the spirit within? Perhaps it would be more accurate to characterize Jesus as a Wiccan because of the developing pattern.
The religious leader sneaks to see Him undercover of darkness because Jesus was generally in opposition to the religious structure of that time. Jesus explains spirituality to the religious leader in the previously mentioned passages. The words and deeds of Jesus define Him as spiritual, not religious.
“There shall not be found among you… a witch… a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer” (Deut 18:10-11 KJV)
One definition for necromancy is “conjuring up the dead, especially for prophesying.” Another defining act of Jesus’ is called the transfiguration in Luke 9:28-33 (NIV):
About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ (He did not know what he was saying.)
Clearly, the spirits of two long dead prophets appeared for Jesus to speak with about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment. Clearly, this was a discussion about future events. Clearly, Jesus was engaged in a powerful spiritual activity, and it was an activity that fits the profile of a witch, wizard, Wiccan, etc.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 KJV)
The passages referenced earlier that are the foundation for the Born Again doctrine (John 3:1-8), ironically, also undermines the basic principle of Christian fundamentalism that the Holy Scriptures mean exactly what they say. While this principle is not wholly untrue, strict adherence to this idea ignores the variables inherent with translation, which is evident by the number of translations. Strict adherence ignores the number of times Jesus spoke in parables. Strict adherence misses the need to read the Scriptures with an eye born of spirit in order to “see the kingdom of God.”
“The Word was made flesh…” (John 1:14 KJV) and emphasized the importance of spirituality, but many believe they understand God by words read simply with physical eyes? An excellent example can be found in the beginning, Gen 2:16-17 (NIV) :
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has long been considered the apple. In recent times, “scholars” have suggested that the pomegranate might be more appropriate. However, the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil is much more obvious if we read the Scriptures with spiritual eyes.
The Word was “in the beginning” of the Old Testament, and later “The Word was made flesh” in the New Testament. The Word tells us in the New Testament, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt 7:1 ASV). The obvious fruit of the knowledge of good and evil is judgment, and all too often judgment results in killing a persons spirit, if not the physical body. There is a weaving finer than intricate lace throughout the Christian Scriptures that seems lost upon most “Christians” since judgment is one thing they seem the most prolific at.
The judgments and finger-pointing of some Christian factions in modern America have not gone unnoticed by American Pagans. The rhetoric of some Christian leaders have raised concern over the security of everyone’s religious freedom under the First Amendment if these factions are successful in carrying out their political agendas in the upcoming presidential election year of 2012.
“So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matt 22:21 NIV)
Jesus actually established a separation between church and state centuries before the U.S. Constitution was written. If you read this verse in context (Matt 22:15-22), the Pharisees sent their agents to trap Jesus in his own words. This is a common practice in politics. Jesus’ view on these practices is made quite clear in Matt 22:18 (NIV), “But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, ‘You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?’ “
Modern Christian factions in the U.S. do not hide their engagement with politicians, or their political agendas. One Christian faction intends to reclaim seven spiritual mountains through prayer and political action – they have revealed their favor. Some politicians favor American Christians simply because they comprise the dominant religion in the U.S., even though, if elected, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution will prohibit any actions to respect [show favor] to that establishment of religion. It seems ironic (again) when these factions become disappointed in politicians because they do not live up to their expectations.
There is an emerging profile of Jesus being non-religious, non-political, and acting more in character with Paganism. When we start delving into the character of the Christian religion in the U.S., and its political activities, the emerging profile is far from being “Christ-like.” In fact, the political activity suggests that faith as been placed in something other than Christ. “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD” (Jer 17:5 NIV)
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt 7:15 KJV)
It is quite common for charlatans from many walks of life to prey upon the weak in troublesome times. This passage warns of these kinds of people. It is here that Jesus reveals how to recognize such people with, “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16 KJV). They prey upon fear during troublesome and uncertain times because “inwardly they are ravening wolves” seeking money and power. Money is power, and political alliances provide power, and the weakness of their prey makes it so easy. The pattern is tried and true, old and worn.
First the fear is magnified by words like “these troubles are upon us as a nation because we have fell out of God’s grace, we have lost His blessing.” Secondly, a scape-goat is needed so the congregation will not be totally alienated or fall so deep into despair that they become unresponsive, so the problem is blamed on one, some, or all non-Christian (unholy) groups – the element of judgment. Next, a little guilt is thrown in like, “But God is displeased by our acceptance of the unclean in our midst because, through them, we have become unholy to Him.” The preacher’s self-inclusion through the use of pronouns like us, our, and we helps create a more intimate bond with the congregation: it helps build trust. Trust is important in any confidence scheme.
Encouraging people to vote a certain way helps strengthen political alliances, but monetary contributions truly enhance the political alliance because campaigns are fueled by money. It may seem astounding that people suffering from a disastrous economy would contribute money to such things, but there are desperate people looking for any hope to cling to. Their fear also blinds them to poorly woven “sheep’s clothing.”
The “wolves” magnify fear, rather than give comfort. They preach judgment, not forgiveness. They also bear false witness.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16 KJV)
Christianity is and has been the dominant religion in the U.S. for quite some time. However, the judgment has been passed and the fingers are pointed to minority religions as the cause of the troubled times we live in. The insinuations and accusations have been made that some are (once again) in league with Satan. As one who once was Christian, but is now Pagan, I know this to be a false accusation. As one who has sought wisdom by investigating several paths, I know this to be a false accusation. I know this to be a false accusation because the Bible tells me so in Proverbs 8: 1-2 (ASV):
“Doth not wisdom cry, And understanding put forth her voice? On the top of high places by the way, Where the paths meet, she standeth…”
She (Wisdom) stands at a pinnacle where paths meet. There is more than one path to this high place, but some religious leaders make their defamatory remarks anyway. However, what kind of testimony concerning the nature of God are these “leaders” offering?
Does the God of the Jews and Christians punish the general population for the sins of minorities? This concept is contrary to the nature of God as it is revealed in Genesis 18, where God agreed to spare Sodom if ten righteous people could be found there. No, it is the character of God to punish because of the majority, and show leniency because of a minority.
Perhaps it is time to consider the chastisement of “Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matt 7:5 ASV), particularly if one is going to bear false witness against God himself. If Americans currently suffer because they lost God’s blessing, it is probably due to the sins of the majority who call themselves by God’s name (Christian or Christ-like?), not the minorities. It is written, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7 KJV).
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?” (Matt 7:22 ASV)
The patterns of religion were old, worn, and very recognizable even two thousand years ago. In the next line Jesus says, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:23 ASV). The Christianity manifest in the U.S. today is a religion that has lost its lessons; its spirituality. Jesus was and is very spiritual. It is significant that when the holy lamb of God, who was sacrificed upon the cross for the sins of the world, gave up His spirit “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom“ (Matt 27:51 NIV). The holiest place is not reserved just for priests anymore, but you must be born of the Spirit to see and enter the kingdom of God.
I set out to show the character of Jesus revealed by His words and deeds, as recorded in the venerated Christian Holy Bible, is that of a witch. His standards would probably limit Him more to the profile of a Wiccan. However, when He was made flesh (incarnate in the material world,) He seems to have had one foot in this world and the other foot in the spiritual world, which would more accurately place Him in the profile of a shaman. Actually, I suspect shaman may be the appropriate classification for all the Old Testament prophets. However, I am certain that such differentiation means little to the average “Christian.”
There has been great concern within the Pagan community as the Republican candidates for president appear out of the woodwork and pseudo-Christian movements, like the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), attempt to gain momentum. The NAR is simply the latest in a long line of pseudo-Christian movements and it will suffer the same fate as its predecessors. Such movements lack magic; the ability to invoke the supernatural power of a God who never knew them.
The nature of Christ is so very different from many of those claiming to be Christ-like, or Christian, today. I have attempted to provide the evidence of patterns which anyone could recognize. It would be a great injustice, though, to characterize all Christians by the public spectacle provided by some. I personally have known Christians of excellent character who I would break bread with even now. However, like Pagans, these Christians are only human and are just as susceptible to making mistakes as anyone else. I am not concerned about the power of the intent behind unscrupulous prayers, but I am very concerned about what this might cost the innocent and unwary in difficult economic times, when there appears to be no shepherds tending these flocks and guiding them away from the wolves. Perhaps it is the silence and inaction of Christian shepherds that should concern everyone.
There may be some truth to Christian America losing the blessing of their God, which may be creating troublesome times for all of us. In parting, I offer one last passage from the Old Testament, Jer 23:9-12 (NIV):
“Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the LORD and his holy words. The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. ‘Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,’ declares the LORD. ‘Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,’ declares the LORD.“
May the Lord of Light shine upon all!