Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Exodus 22:18
I don’t know how you study your Bible, but some might call my current method “strange.” I’ve done it many different ways. There was the time when I felt I had to cover 10 chapters a day. I’ve tried the “Bible in a year” technique. Somehow that never worked for me. Then there was the time I tried to read it in chronological order…with no help from any of the Bibles that are written that way. Still have my notes on that one. The Bible study I attend is currently in the book of Daniel. It is a study that works its way through the Bible only hitting certain stories.
I have read many versions of the Bible. My favorite has always been the NASB. I know it has its critics like everything else, but I like it. At the same time I know there are some issues with the NASB and I’ve been reading it and the KJV lately.
Currently, I am reading my way straight through the King James Version for the first time in my life. It may take me 10 years (if Jesus tarries) to do so, but I’m not in a hurry.
To be honest, I feel more than ever that I have only scratched the surface of God’s Word. His Word is so deep and powerful that I may make it through a few chapters a day or I might stop at a verse and ponder.
I am just starting into the many laws that were given to the Hebrews on that dusty trek through the wilderness. Do I understand why God gave certain laws to the people? Definitely not. Do I believe that God’s ways are higher than my ways? Yes. “Who are we to know the mind of the Lord?”
I got to Exodus 22:18 yesterday (that was awhile ago…I’m now in chapter 37) and read, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” A question went through my mind. How prevalent is witchcraft in America today? My studies are rarely exhaustive, but I am curious.
It didn’t even cross my mind that Halloween is not far away (today) until I had already started researching.
Before I begin to share what I have found, let it be known that I don’t think we should identify witches today and put them to death. Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” I believe the law still stands and that it identifies how far short of the glory of God we fall. According to the laws of the O.T., a witch was to be put to death. At the same time, I don’t feel we need to be conducting our own modern Salem Witch Trials. God knows each person’s heart and whom they serve. At this point in history, I’ll leave it to Him to deal with each person in His own way.
That doesn’t mean that I cannot make a judgment concerning something (witchcraft) that is contrary to God’s Word.
Thus, the study began.
I found that there is a special school established for the study of Wicca in New Bern, North Carolina. Although there is no one central organization for witches, Wicca is recognized as a religion by the IRS. Many Wiccan covens enjoy tax-exempt status. And there are some 3,000 covens in the United States.
As far as I can tell, there are close to 1 million who consider themselves witches in the U.S. Witches argue amongst themselves (like Christians do) about who is doing it the “right” way.
It was very difficult for me to find an exact number. There is not a great deal of information on the internet where I looked.
One of the best articles that I found is here. It was written about 10 years ago by Linda P. Harvey. If things were like that 10 years ago, how bad are things today?
You can get a taste from this article about “A new worldwide network that will support new age, witchcraft, spiritual, pagan and other alternative lifestyles.”