During the course of a good conversation with a dear friend today, I was reminded that I do not regret the years I spent in witchcraft. On the contrary, I believe that one thing Wicca had then, which I’d not found prior, was a belief in and connection to the vitality which is Creation and the Creator who made it all.
I battled intensely through my 18th year of life, not really knowing what it was I was missing, with the truth of Scripture, my belief and my salvation. Call it a Luther-type period of wrestling. I did not know until years later that I was battling a christian upbringing that was practically dead; which denied the very truth about the means of God’s grace, His sacraments and even more, the truth about our spirits’ and bodies’ interconnectedness.
Needless to say, I am most grateful for the battle, the departure from mainstream evangelical baptist theology and even the years in witchcraft. Glory to God for how all his works, while mysterious, are good.
A short caveat so people don’t get the wrong idea: The Gospel was preached and the church was still the Church as I was growing up. The marks were there (Word, Sacrament, Fellowship, all that). The lack was most of all a deep love of the physical and mystical implications of Christianity. There was a weakness, a tiny, yet tidy, works-oriented, soul-denying process to salvation and the Christian life that I could not come to grips with. Roughly, it’s like not taking your kid to the doctor because you believe God will heal him.
Just a few of the horrible things I’ve learned in the past six or so years.
- Baptism is NOT a profession of faith.
- The Lord’s Supper is NOT a memorial.
- The Church is my mother.
- Theologians are good.
- Church Fathers are VERY GOOD.
- Sola Scriptura does NOT mean everything else is a false teacher.
- Prophets are on the pages of the Bible, not here with us today.
- Calvin’s Institutes, the Westminster Confession and Catechism and the Three Forms of Unity are NOT substitutes for Scripture, but if you argue with them, you’re on thin ice.
- Nobody, not NOBODY can say “don’t listen to those other guys – you gotta interpret the Bible for yourself!.” – See #6.
- Confession, The Confession of sins, corporately, and the absolution that follows is AWESOME!. One part of Roman Catholicism that should’ve survived.
- Body matters. Your posturing in worship, the Pastor’s animation, singing and being AWARE of the Body is essential.
- There are only 10 commandments. Movies, dating, beer, dancing and parties are NOT in the decalogue.
- A.D. 70 was prophesy. The coming rapture and tribulation are not. Jesus only comes back once. (Thank God I no longer tremble in fear when the house is empty, thinking maybe I missed the rapture).
- Church tradition is ESSENTIAL.
- If you write your own statement of faith for ordination (or for your church, for that matter), U R Doin’ it wrong. Somebody already did it for you. CREEDS and CONFESSIONS are ESSENTIAL.
- Young Earth Creationism is not a commandment. Nor is it a test of saving faith.
- My testimony is not a test of saving faith. Nor of the degree of my faith.
- Children’s church may be one of the worst modern inventions ever. It’s like divorce.
- Arminians don’t get a say about orthodoxy, sorry. Election is a fact. You don’t choose your Savior.
- Altar Calls are tantamount to Mom passively aggressively guilting you into eating your broccoli. Shameful.