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Are Witches Real?(Bet Your Bottom Dollar!)
National Catholic Register ^ | 10/28/08 | By Father Dwight Longenecker

Posted on 10/31/2008 9:54:16 AM PDT by GonzoII

Are witches real? Of course they are. Are they skinny old women with green skin, pointy chins and warts on their noses, who cackle over cauldrons? Of course not. Do they attend an academy called “Hogwarts,” play a form of hockey on their broomsticks and battle mythical beasts? Is “Samantha,” a pretty middle-class suburban wife with magical powers and a gaggle of kooky and spooky family members, a witch? Of course not. All of that is an attempt to make us believe that there are not really such things as witches.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Prayer; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: devil; occult; paganism; satan; satanism; sorcery; wicca; witchcraft; witches
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To: onedoug
'Seems more like demi-gods dreamed up by the human mind to detract from the One God.
Yes, that seems to be the general idea whether one believes in demons or not. I don't suppose that we can find any definitive answer on the existence of demons, but C.S. Lewis makes some interesting observations in the introduction to The Screwtape Letters:
The commonest question is whether I really "believe in the Devil."

Now, if by "the Devil" you mean a power opposite to God and, like God, self-existent from all eternity, the answer is certainly No. There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. No being could attain a "perfect badness" opposite to the perfect goodness of God; for when you have taken away every kind of good thing (intelligence, will, memory, energy, and existence itself) there would be none of him left.

The proper question is whether I believe in devils. I do. That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of these, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies to God and, as a corollary, to us. These we may call devils. They do not differ in nature from good angels, but their nature is depraved. Devil is the opposite of angel only as Bad Man is the opposite of Good Man. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.

I believe this not in the sense that it is part of my creed, but in the sense that it is one of my opinions. My religion would not be in ruins if this opinion were shown to be false. Till that happens--and proofs of a negative are hard to come by--I shall retain it. It seems to me to explain a good many facts. It agrees with the plain sense of Scripture, the tradition of Christendom, and the beliefs of most men at most times. And it conflicts with nothing that any of the sciences has shown to be true.

It should be (but it is not) unnecessary to add that a belief in angels, whether good or evil, does not mean a belief in either as they are represented in art and literature. Devils are depicted with bats' wings and good angels with birds' wings, not because anyone holds that moral deterioration would be likely to turn feathers into membrane, but because most men like birds better than bats. They are given wings at all in order to suggest the swiftness of unimpeded intellectual energy. They are given human form because man is the only rational creature we know. Creatures higher in the natural order than ourselves, either incorporeal or animating bodies of a sort we cannot experience, must be represented symbolically if they are to be represented at all.

These forms are not only symbolical but were always known to be symbolical by reflective people. The Greeks did not believe that the gods were really like the beautiful human shapes their sculptors gave them. In their poetry a god who wishes to "appear" to a mortal temporarily assumes the likeness of a man. Christian theology has nearly always explained the "appearance" of an angel in the same way. It is only the ignorant, said Dionysius in the fifth century, who dream that spirits are really winged men.

In the plastic arts these symbols have steadily degenerated. Fra Angelico's angels carry in their face and gesture the peace and authority of Heaven. Later come the chubby infantile nudes of Raphael; finally the soft, slim, girlish, and consolatory angels of nineteenth century art, shapes so feminine that they avoid being voluptuous only by their total insipidity--the frigid houris of a teatable paradise. They are a pernicious symbol. In Scripture the visitation of an angel is always alarming; it has to begin by saying "Fear not." The Victorian angel looks as if it were going to say, "There, there."

The literary symbols are more dangerous because they are not so easily recognised as symbolical. Those of Dante are the best. Before his angels we sink in awe. His devils, as Ruskin rightly remarked, in their rage, spite, and obscenity, are far more like what the reality must be than anything in Milton. Milton's devils, by their grandeur and high poetry, have done great harm, and his angels owe too much to Homer and Raphael. But the really pernicious image is Goethe's Mephistopheles. It is Faust, not he, who really exhibits the ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration upon self which is the mark of Hell. The humorous, civilised, sensible, adaptable Mephistopheles has helped to strengthen the illusion that evil is liberating.
And again, whether one believes in demons or not: For those of us who still dare to believe in the One God in the modern, secular, "enlightened" age; the following remarks by Screwtape (yes, of course Screwtape IS a fictional character!) in Letter VII ought to seem strikingly familiar:
My Dear Wormwood,

I wonder you should ask me whether it is essential to keep the patient in ignorance of your own existence. That question, at least for the present phase of the struggle, has been answered for us by the High Command. Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves. Of course this has not always been so. We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all the pleasing results of direct terrorism, and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics. At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, a belief in us (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The "Life Force," the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work--the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls "Forces" while denying the existence of "spirits"--then the end of the war will be in sight. But in the meantime we must obey our orders. I do not think you will have much difficulty in keeping the patient in the dark. The fact that "devils" are predominantly comic figures in the modern imagination will help you. If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in his mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing him) he therefore cannot believe in you.
Sorry about the digression. Are you still awake? :) OK, now about #28:
Not believing in the New Testament, I don't believe Jesus stole some pigs and cast them over a cliff.
Believing the New Testament, I don't believe that Jesus stole any pigs, either. They were His to begin with. What do you think about the ways that God used His creation in the Tanakh? Understand that if there are demons, then He created them as well.
Appeals to devils, witches, goblins and non-homosexual fairies arise only within the human mind while the universe in its goodness, tuned so that human life can manifest such nonsense, goes on.
Superstition only has power over us when we let it in. But where does it come from?
41 posted on 10/31/2008 8:46:27 PM PDT by Zero Sum (Liberalism: The damage ends up being a thousand times the benefit! (apologies to Rabbi Benny Lau))
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To: onedoug; BGHater; wyowolf; Perdogg; seemoAR; Zero Sum

Archbishop Sheen once said that God’s name is “I AM WHO AM”, while the devil mocks God by saying “I am who am not”.

Does the devil exist? Yes, he does. He is a pure spirit, who was once a good angel called Lucifer. However, his pride cost him his place in heaven. Jesus said that He saw satan fall like lightning from the sky, in Luke 10:18. Jesus also said that his mission on earth was “to defeat the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Satan has the advantage over us in that he is an invisible powerful spirit. One of his greatest tricks on us is to convince so many of us that he doesn’t even exist, truly a great wartime tactic. How powerful would Hitler have been if the Allies didn’t even know he existed?

42 posted on 11/01/2008 1:45:56 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: BGHater; Bertram3


Both the Old Testament and the New Testament warn us about the pure evil that is sorcery, divination, and witchcraft. A lot of twenty-first century intellectuals say that all of this is not real, and is just medieval superstition. But if the Bible, both the Old and the New Testament, warn against these practices, are they fake? Does the Bible condemn practices that are not real? Or does the Word of God warn us about sorcery, divination and witchcraft because they are real and can lead us all straight to hell? Recommend you think very hard before you play with a ouija board, dabble in horoscopes, or have your fortune told, and say a prayer to the Holy Spirit instead. God wants us to trust in Him, and only Him, with our entire mind, body, and soul. The future is His to know, and for us to only find out as we live through it. The book of Revelation compares sorcery to fornication, idolatry, and murder ! And Revelation 18:23 says that all nations were deceived by the sorcery of Babylon. From that, it’s hard to see how it could be imaginary, or be seen as harmless fun for kids and grownups.

God in His Bible condemns these evil practices as follows:

Leviticus 19:26: “You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not practice augury or witchcraft.

Leviticus 19:31: “Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 20:6: “If a person turns to mediums and wizards, playing the harlot after them, I will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.

Leviticus 6:27: “A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be upon them.”

Deuteronomy 18:10-11: There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

1 Samuel 28:7-20: Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a witch at Endor.” So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments, and went, he and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit, and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the wizards from the land. Why then are you laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?” But Saul swore to her by the LORD, “As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” The king said to her, “Have no fear; what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up; and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance. Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress; for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams; therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.” And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the LORD has turned from you and become your enemy? The LORD has done to you as he spoke by me; for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the LORD, and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the LORD has done this thing to you this day. Moreover the LORD will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me; the LORD will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.” Then Saul fell at once full length upon the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel; and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night.

2 Kings 17:17: And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings, and used divination and sorcery, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.

2 Chronicles 33:6: And he burned his sons as an offering in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and practiced soothsaying and augury and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.

Wisdom 12:4: thou didst hate for their detestable practices, their works of sorcery and unholy rites,

Malachi 3:5: “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.

Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 18:23: and the light of a lamp shall shine in thee no more; and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall be heard in thee no more; for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, and all nations were deceived by thy sorcery.

Revelation 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 22: 15: Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.


43 posted on 11/01/2008 2:15:02 AM PDT by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

Then, now, or in the future? ;0)

44 posted on 11/01/2008 5:50:00 AM PDT by seemoAR
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To: Zero Sum; GonzoII
The universe may be non-existent without Man. Then again, there may be other civilizations throughout the cosmos where God, being God, would be just as active and perhaps even known.

But looking out into space there seems no evidence of "evil". It's a harsh environment to be sure, but it contains the elements to form galaxies, stars, planets and obviously, life.

It seems that it takes life which can abstract information from its environment to actuate evil. Maybe that's God's way. But must it be?

It would seems "yes" at least in some stage of any intelligent creature's development to the point that might finally be subsumed and eliminated.

So perhaps evil is a natural phenomena in that sense. But good and evil do not seem to otherwise combat each other outside this sense lest we should live in a chaotic universe, which would likley seem impossible.

Best to You guys and Yours for making me try to clearly think so early.

45 posted on 11/01/2008 7:11:21 AM PDT by onedoug ( Barracuda!)
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To: GonzoII
It's true.

Ezekiel 28:11-19 [11] The word of the LORD came to me: [12] "Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "`You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. [13] You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. [14] You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. [15] You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. [16] Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. [17] Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. [18] By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. [19] All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.'"

46 posted on 11/01/2008 7:24:31 PM PDT by Zechariah11 (Yeah, sure, Barack. . . . And Billy Graham "led me" to embrace Islam.)
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To: Zechariah11

I’m glad you posted that!

Ezekiel 28:11-19 [11] “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “`You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

Ver. 12. Resemblance(model). The king of Tyre, by his dignity and his natural perfections, bore in himself a certain resemblance to God, by reason of which he might be called the seal of resemblance, &c. —(But what is here said to him is commonly understood of Lucifer, the king over all the children of pride)—. (Challoner) -— A seal is perfect when it represents things exactly. The prophet speaks ironically, to repress the king’s vanity.

Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Prv:16:18: (KJV)

47 posted on 11/02/2008 3:32:19 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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