Walk Into the Lion's Den
By Susan Morton
It is a difficult thing to live outside one's comfort zone. As
Christians, we prefer to surround ourselves with like believers
in safe little Bible Study groups. I believe that fellowship
meetings, church attendance, small group sessions and other
activities are important. I also believe it is important to step
outside of one's comfort zone.
We read in Mark 16:15 that believers are called upon to share the Good News with "all creation". There is only one effective way to win people to Jesus Christ. You have to preach to people that are not already saved. If you only preach to groups of believers, you will help people grow spiritually by teaching God's Word. But you will not bring any new believers to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Now different people are going to have different burdens and gifts related to reaching different types of lost people. Some are good at sharing with homeless people. Others are good at sharing God's Word with a bunch of rowdy bikers or street gangs. Still others are talented at reaching the average lost soul. Few Christians feel comfortable sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a growing Pagan society.
I will admit it takes a special Christian to bring Jesus to the Pagan community of today. Most of them grew up in a Christian environment, so they know our Bible very well. A lot of them like to argue with you about issues. But they deserve to receive salvation just like anyone else. It is not too late and Christians should not give up on them.
I have heard all kinds of excuses for avoiding these people. I have heard all kinds of reasons for not even speaking to them. It is a shame that Pagans, for the most part, have grown to expect Christians not to show them love. If we can not show them God's love, how can we expect them to accept Jesus Christ?
It is possible to show a person love, while you disagree with their belief system. If you can learn to do that reaching an individual or group with God's Word is easier. It will mean different things in different situations. In one situation, it may mean learning to listen equally when you engage in conversation. You can agree to hear someone out even if you disagree on a topic. In another situation, it may mean showing God's love by lending a hand when everyone else is avoiding helping.
Unsaved people notice random acts of kindness on our part. In many cases, if we act in a decent and loving manner they will agree to engage in conversation. Christians need to realize that the unsaved...the lost of this world...are looking for authentic relationships. If we come across as "real" in our desire to be their friend, it will mean a lot more to them. They will be more likely to listen and possibly believe what we say.
There is a real power behind Paganism. Just as there is a real power behind Christianity. This is not some fad that Hollywood has cashed-in on to rake in entertainment funds. Therefore, new believers wishing to go share their faith should take an experienced Christian leader with them. Everyone going out to witness in the Pagan community should pray first. You are trying to win a lost soul for Jesus Christ and the Devil isn't going to just sit there and let you. There is the possibility that a simple conversation could turn into serious spiritual warfare. Its better to be over prepared then under prepared.
You are not going to be successful every time. I have been sharing things about the Bible with one young lady for five years. She always listens, but has not chosen to accept Jesus as Savior yet. Patience is a virtue.
The bottom line is that Christians can not safely sit in their churches ignoring the Pagans any longer. One branch of Paganism is called Wicca. It is developing a tradition within its structure called "Christian Wicca". Its goal is to convenience Christians that they can stay true to God's Word and engage in magical ceremonies too. I have examined the movement from both sides. I have some serious concerns.
My chief concern is that these people will learn to blend in and join our churches. You can not tell by looking at them that they are Wiccan. That is another misinformation stereotype. Although some fringe people (usually teens) enjoy shocking others with their looks. It would be easy with a basic knowledge of God's Word for "Christian Wiccans" to join mainstream churches. They could then change our style of worship from within the church. I believe this to be a spiritually dangerous risk.
So what do we do?
Well, the first thing to do is pray for God to protect our family, friends and churches from spiritual attack. Secondly, go out into the world and preach to the lost. Share the Gospel with as many people as possible. Once they accept Jesus as Savior, do not just hand them a Bible and suggest a beginner's class on the Christian faith. Take them under your wing and teach them from your own life experiences. Help that new convert to grow spiritually.
You would not throw a young child into a pool and say, "Congratulations, now you are a swimmer!" You would teach that child how to swim before letting them jump in alone. I think too many times, ministries are concerned with numbers. They get a bunch of people to accept Jesus. They hand them a Bible, a self-help book and suggest a class. End of story.
When a Pagan or Wiccan person accepts Jesus Christ, there are special circumstances. There are special counseling needs which must be dealt with in order for them to spiritually survive. Becoming Christian is a complete new way of belief and thinking. You can not simply have the new believer throw away their old stuff. There is a right way and wrong way to get rid of items previously used in magical ceremonies. I suggest that a seasoned Christian minister help with this bit of house cleaning. It will not be true in every case, but in some cases there may even be need of substance abuse counseling.
You need to realize changes will be gradual not over night. A strong new faith can be fanned into a bold passion from a tiny spark with the right attention.