Young adults in America are far less likely to identify themselves as "Christians" than previous generations of Americans, but that does not mean that they have given up on searching for spiritual meaning in their lives.
According to Wikipedia, one very popular form of witchcraft known as Wicca has been growing at a rate of more than 100 percent annually in recent years, and this has been happening at a time when Christianity has been in decline in the United States. Of course, other pagan and occult groups have been exploding in popularity as well, and as you will see below, one of the primary reasons for this is because many young adults are seeking ways to rebel against their conservative Christian upbringings.
I have written much about how young adults in this country are far more politically liberal than their parents and grandparents, and this enormous cultural shift in values has a spiritual dimension as well.
A recent Barna Group study found that only 4 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 have a biblical worldview.
Only 4 percent.
The shocking truth is that the values of most millennials fit much more easily fit into pagan spirituality than they do into most evangelical Christian churches.
If you want to sleep around with as many people as possible, that is OK in witchcraft. If you want to take drugs and get high every day, that is OK in witchcraft. If you want to be a radical pro-abortion feminist, that is OK in witchcraft. If you want to be a gay transsexual exhibitionist, that is OK in witchcraft.
Essentially, one of the great draws of witchcraft is that nobody holds you accountable for anything, and you can do so many of the things that the Bible commands you not to do.
So for those who wish to rebel against their conservative Christian upbringings, getting involved in witchcraft can seem quite natural:
Witchcraft in this context is a "counter spirituality to the religious conservatism that defined many [queer people's] childhoods," as game developer Aevee Bee puts it. The visual novel Bee co-created, We Know The Devil, explores what it means to embrace witchcraft through three queer teens who attend a Christian summer camp, where they spend a night in the woods awaiting the devil. "What [the protagonists] encounter in the woods they understand and perceive as the devil because that is what they have been taught to understand their desires, identity, and love as," Bee says. By embracing the devil, the protagonists find liberation from their religious upbringings, just as someone might by realizing it's acceptable to be queer.
Alex Mar is one prominent author who became deeply involved in the world of witchcraft, but she was not raised that way. In fact, Mar is very open about the fact that she was raised as a Christian:
I was born and raised in New York City, but my roots are more exotic: between my Cuban Catholic mother and my Greek Orthodox father, family religion involved the lushest, most high-drama strains of Christianity. The elaborate clerical robes, the incense and tiers of prayer candles, the stories of the martyrs cut into stained glass, the barely decipherable chants—as a child, these were embedded in my brain. To this day, despite my liberal feminist politics, I still imagine the world as overseen by a handsome, bearded young white man.
She says that once she learned "to think for myself", her liberal political views took her away from the church, and those same political views eventually sparked a curiosity about witchcraft:
Once I was old enough to think for myself, I broke with the church on issues of sexuality, marriage, the right to choose and the concept of "sin"; I also couldn't swallow the thin reasoning behind excluding women from the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox priesthoods. At the same time, however, I was haunted by the memory of high Mass, the sense that there are mysteries in the universe. When I learned that there was a living, growing American witchcraft movement—one that is radically inclusive, that views women as equals to men, and in which God is just as likely to be female—I was instantly curious.
This is why what we feed our minds with is so vitally important.
Our public schools have become liberal indoctrination centers that are teaching our young people to adopt an anti-Christian way of viewing the world, and all of that propaganda is being backed up by the thousands upon thousands of anti-Christian entertainment that our young people are constantly consuming.
So it is actually not a surprise when many of our "Christian young people" end up like this guy:
Dakota Hendrix, a non-binary trans witch based in New York—an identity Hendrix jokingly refers to as "goat femme," describing their combination of body hair, a smoky eye, and talons for nails—says the practice of witchcraft is a way to take control in a world that can be both metaphysically and mortally threatening.
It's a supernatural form of self-defense that Hendrix says includes amulets that fight off mis-gendering, rituals that provide protection when walking down the street, and paying honor to queer and trans ancestors who don't have descendants of their own paying homage. Not to mention—since, Hendrix says, contemporary witchcraft is connected to social justice work—a hex or two on the NYPD for good measure.
But while the rituals are plentiful, the rules are not, and Hendrix says being a witch is all about choosing one's own path: "Being a witch is being autonomous; that's the whole point. That's how we draw power. We are defying the patriarchy, we are defying the submissive norm."
Allowing our children to immerse themselves in popular culture is doing far more harm than most of us originally realized.
Popular culture is trying to take the next generation away from Christianity, and it is imperative that we start to understand this. And actually, many of the "stars" our young people idolize are actually into the occult themselves, and once in a while they even admit this openly:
"I'm really a witch," rapper Azealia Banks quipped last January, shortly before all hell broke loose on her Twitter account.
Banks is known for her online rants. She tends to share fairly dense ideas, spontaneously spun out in punchy lines liberally interspersed with curse words. I don't know a person on this earth who can agree with every one of them, but her opinions are smarter than she usually gets credit for.
Still, even by Banks' standards, the witch thing was weird. It came out in the middle of a run about black Americans and their relationship to Christianity:
I wonder if most of the black American Christians in the U.S. know WHY they are Christian. I wonder if they even consider for a SECOND that before their ancestors came to the Americas that they may have believed in something ELSE.
As a Christian, it deeply alarms me that we are losing an entire generation of Americans.
If we keep doing the same things we have been doing, we will continue to get similar results. That is one of the reasons I laid out a recipe for spiritual renewal in my latest book, entitled The Rapture Verdict, and my hope is that the church establishment will embrace what watchmen such as myself are saying instead of fighting it.
If we continue on with business as usual, the evangelical church in America will continue to shrink and multitudes of our young people will continue to seek out other outlets for their spirituality.
At the same time that interest in witchcraft is growing, interest in Satanism is skyrocketing as well. I recently wrote about how the Satanic Temple has experienced a huge surge in membership since Donald Trump's election victory in November, and at Clemson University students are reportedly going to hold a "lamb sacrifice" and a "Bible burning" to celebrate the opening of a new campus chapel:
The poster contains imagery associated with Satanism, like pentagrams and an illustration of the goat-headed Baphomet.
It goes on to state that a live lamb will be provided for sacrifice by "[their] friends" at the Clemson Collegiate Farm Bureau. A Bible-torching ceremony is listed as part of the proceedings, with a cash prize for the student who burns the most Bibles. Finally, attendees are invited partake in a pentagram completion event, where they will "help summon Baphomet to celebrate the new Clemson Chapel."
There was a time when it would have been unthinkable to put up a poster like that in America, but unfortunately those days are long gone.
Christianity is on the decline in this nation, and witchcraft and Satanism are on the rise.
We desperately need a major spiritual renewal, so my hope is that the church in America will wake up soon.
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