The population of self-identiﬁed witches has risen dramatically in the United States in recent decades, as interest in astrology and witchcraft practices has become increasingly mainstream.
Pew Research Center studied the issue in 2014, discovering that 0.4 percent of Americans, approximately 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan, meaning their ranks continue to experience signiﬁcant growth. Radio host and author Carmen LaBerge said, “As mainline Protestantism continues its devolution, the U.S. witch population is rising astronomically. There may now be more Americans who identify as practicing witches, 1.5 mil than there are members of mainline Presbyterianism (PCUSA) at 1.4 mil.”
The rapid rise is not a surprise to some given philosophical and spiritual trends in culture. “It makes sense that witchcraft and the occult would rise as society becomes increasingly postmodern. The rejection of Christianity has left a void that people, as inherently spiritual beings, will seek to ﬁll,” said author Julie Roys. “Plus, Wicca has effectively repackaged witchcraft for millennial consumption. No longer is witchcraft and paganism satanic and demonic,” she said, “it’s a ‘pre-Christian tradition’ that promotes ‘free thought’ and ‘understanding of earth and nature.’”
Yet such repackaging is deceptive, Roys added, “but one that a generation with little or no biblical understanding is prone to accept … It’s tragic, and a reminder of how badly we need a spiritual revival in this country, and also that ‘our struggle is not against ﬂesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world,’” she said, referencing Ephesians 6:12.
The “Reverend” Valerie Love, who describes herself as a practicing Christian witch and an ordained minister of spiritual consciousness, insists that there is nothing wrong with Christians being witches and has recently launched a school to help Christians tap into magic. She said, “Stop thinking you can tell people how to worship. Stop thinking you can tell people how to connect with the divine. I could tell you how many people have told me, ‘You can’t be a Christian witch’ but here I am. See, you can’t tell me how to worship. You cannot tell me how to connect with the divine. That’s between me and God. You cannot tell me how to pray.”
While Love may be deﬁant against someone telling her what to do, the Bible clearly speaks against witchcraft, both in the Old Testament (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:9-14; 1 Samuel 15:23; 28:3, 9; 2 Kings 9:22; 23:24; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4) and the New Testament (Acts 8:9, 11; 19:18-19; Galatians 5:20; Revelation 9:20-21; 18:23; 21:8; 22:15).
Anything related to witchcraft is a “work of the ﬂesh” and Christians should not have any contact with it, not because there is any power in a seance, ouija board, or black magic, but because it is a successful tool of the devil in drawing one away from God. Resist the devil and draw near to God (James 4:7-10).