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Ask a Christian Witch: What Sin Is, Whether God Loves Us, and Why the Bible's So Full of Contradictions | Sara's Witchy Advice Column

Oh boy, do we have some good questions this week. Let's get into it.


Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry, Discernment, Church, Solomonic Magic, Occult, Left Hand Path, Demonolatry, Demonology, Corinthians, Paul

Another month, another round of questions! It's always good to see what people are thinking about when it comes to their religious curiosities—and I know that as someone currently diving into all kinds of religious learning that's outside my comfort zone right now, the questions seem never ending at times. (Let's be real: all the time.)


Remember: if you have any questions, all you have to do is check out this Google Form right here and fill it out with your question!



We've got some fun ones this week, so let's dive right in!


Which Way Should I Pray?

"When speaking with God, do we have to speak out loud? Or can we just talk inside our mind with the intention that the words I'm speaking are meant for him." —Anonymous


You can do whatever makes you comfortable! This question makes me think of the story of the mother of the prophet Samuel, Hannah, who was mouthing her prayer to God. A priest named Eli thought she was drunk, but it turns out that wasn't the case. Look at 1 Samuel 1:9-17:


9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”


12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”


15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”


17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”


It seems praying internally works just fine, if this passage is any indication! God can hear what's in your heart and hears you call out to Him, even when you don't use your physical voice.



What Spell Books Should Christian Witches Use?

"Hello there! I just found you and I'm so happy I did! I wanted to start exploring Christian Witchcraft but I don't know where to start. I just ordered your new book but I was also wondering if you had any spell book recommendations or anything along those lines. Thanks so much! 💜" —Anonymous


Ah, you know—there's some witchy wisdom about spell books. A lot of seasoned mages call them cookbooks: as in, they're full of someone else's spells that maybe you can replicate, but you'll still likely have to tweak to truly make your own and make fit your tastes. After all, how many of us have cookbooks that just collect dust because the recipes inside seem a little too involved or not what we'd like to eat? It's much better to learn about correspondences so that you can better create your own spells.


That said, though, if you know what things like onions and mint and amethyst are associated with, but have no idea how to start putting them into spells, then I do have some spell books that are really interesting for getting some inspiration:



The last one, you may wanna read critically. Judika Illes is a more Wiccan author that just kind of throws stuff around, but her encyclopedias are cranking with good inspo nonetheless. The others cover some pretty common bases; the first is written by a nun, the second is a solid book for anyone that lives in a house, the third and forth are actually the books Catholic and Episcopal clergy use for their rituals/blessings/etc., which can be really good for building the incantation part of a spell you wanna do, and the fifth is a good spellbook that draws a lot on Catholic folk magic.


I hope this helps!


What Do I Do if God is Rejecting Me?

"God has clearly, loudly rejected my attempts to work with him for over a decade, nor has he graced my petitions as to what I could do differently to mend our relationship, whether by symbols, signs, tarot, meditation, journaling, you name it. Can one call themselves a Christian witch, and commune with the Christian pantheon, but work with the Universe as their version of God?" —Anonymous


I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble connecting to God! However, if it's any consolation, you're certainly not the first to have this kind of problem. I saw the rest of your question and your example, too, and all I can say is that while the reasons God would reject someone are pretty exhaustive, the bottom line is this: rejection is redirection.


God is a pretty mysterious figure. He's particular, picky, and He wants what He wants from people. It's much easier for many people, whether Christian or not, to approach God via His Son, as Jesus is much more open to all. If you follow a Trinitarian philosophy, Jesus is God, just in a different form/structure (the Son vs. the Father), and that still counts as working with God if you go through Jesus! He's there for a reason: He's here to help us transition from pure humanity to pure Divinity and be that bridge!


If you believe in the message of Jesus, and you follow Him closely, then yes, you can still call yourself a Christian. In the meantime, rather than trying to get to God who's clearly trying to spin you in a different direction, focus on the other parts of the Christian religion that help you connect to Divinity. It'll be easier to go where you're directed rather than keep pushing the issue and ignoring the closed door you keep running into.


That door may open in the future, but for now, focus on Jesus! He'll help you figure out what you need right now and what to do.


What Was Jesus Talking About in Luke 17:7-10?

"In verses 7 to 10, Jesus is talking about how a slave is not thanked for doing their job as it is their job, and the master should not treat the slave as a guest but as a slave, which in the literal way of course seems out of character for Jesus, so I am guessing the slave in question in this parable is about something that us humans of faith are in charge of/in control of and that can serve us. What do you think?" —Anonymous


I can see how this might be confusing, especially from our modern lens. But the reality is that slavery existed in the time of Jesus, and there were specific social codes around slavery that Jesus was speaking to in order to get His disciples to understand what they were to act and think like. Let's look at this passage together!


7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”


See that last line? That's important. Jesus isn't talking about how to treat slaves. He's using the example of how slaves are treated in that time, and how was sensible for them to be treated, in order to tell the Apostles that, likewise, they are not to be thanked or treated like heroes for doing their lot. If I had to rewrite Jesus's words here to match a modern audience, I might say:


"Suppose one of you went to the store and spilled a drink, then called for an employee to help clean it up. Once he did, would you then say, 'Oh, you're so amazing! Come sit down and let me buy you a coffee so you can rest for a bit!' Wouldn't you rather just say, 'thank you,' and move on? Will you make a big fuss about what the employee did and treat him like a savior just for doing his job? Likewise, when you go out and do what you're told to do, don't let it get to your head; whoever sings your praises, you tell them, 'we're simply employees of the Lord; we're just doing our jobs.'"


This is what Jesus is really getting at. Lots of people want to be preachers and pastors for the sake of the glory it can bring them, as if they're supposed to do that. In a world where people get awfully parasocial with folks online, too, that issue only grows. Even I have to check myself and remember that I'm just a figurehead, a mouthpiece, for a much greater power than myself! I also need to remind myself that I'm just doing my job as a modern mystic!


So don't get too stuck on the term "slave." It's an ugly part of the history of this religion, and that's a whole blog post in itself honestly, but it's not the point of this passage right here.


Where Can I Find a Mother Goddess in Christianity?

"I deeply loved the Wiccan idea of a Goddess focused on Mother Earth and the moon, despite not being Wiccan at all, and realizing Wicca and “witchcraft” are not synonymous. Years later, I still haven’t figured out how to meld all of that. I guess my question is, where would you suggest I start with finding an earth-centered, motherly “goddess” figure in Christian Witchcraft? Is it even feasible?" —Turner Keith


Hey, Turner!


I hear you. While I'm not personally a big Divine Feminine girly myself (I like the rough-and-tumble vibe God and Michael bring!), that doesn't mean there aren't feminine energies that are available to balance out that Big Masculine Vibe™. Truth be told, there are several figures, both as parts of God and as Saints, goddesses, or other holy figures, that might match what you're looking for.


The first one that comes to mind is actually the Holy Spirit. You might've heard people refer to God's Spirit as "He," but in truth, early Christians viewed the Holy Spirit as feminine. It used to be "God the Father, Son, and Mother," not Father/Son/Spirit, and we can also see other titles of the Holy Spirit that take on that feminine language: Lady Wisdom, Shekinah, or Chokhmah. God's Spirit is a feminine counterpart to His masculine presence.


Another is from old popular Israelite religion, which, before that, was Canaanite religion: Asherah. Asherah is a goddess of the sea, fertility, and power that was considered the consort of God before the reforms of King Josiah, where the religion got centralized to Jerusalem and the Asherah poles were removed from God's temples. People would worship her alongside God, as well as in sacred groves, and she's still around, but hidden to those who don't want to acknowledge that maybe the history of this religion isn't as cut and dry as the Bible makes it seem from page one.


Some of those figures include Mother Mary (who shares some of Asherah's old titles: Queen of Heaven, Star of the Sea, etc.) and Mary Magdalene (who many are viewing from a much more mystical viewpoint these days, and many consider to be a hidden bride of Christ while He walked the earth). These two are extremely powerful feminine forces in the religion that have been attacked by the patriarchal forces of the Church for a long time, but they persist, appearing to women and children and revealing wild mystic secrets.


Take your pick of any of them, and enjoy!


Does God Love and Accept Me?

"Some people say you have to go to church to have a relationship with God, but I always felt closer doing my own thing. I guess my question is, Does God truly accept me? I get religious guilt and I can't hear him properly, I feel so guilty that I think He might hate me." —Anonymous


Listen: God doesn't hate people. He's far above whatever human pettiness we might ascribe to Him when we're out there stewing in our own worries and fears. And I'll tell you right now: I didn't go to church for literally over 10 years, and it was in that time, doing my own thing as a Christian Witch, that I became closer to God and felt His love more than ever. I have a church I can call home now, but it took my many years of sitting with God personally to get there.


Don't let that religious guilt whisper lies in your ear. In fact, erase that guilt right off of you. Where is it even coming from? God? Or the pressures of people who have a very narrow idea of who God is and what He's like? Approach God boldly and speak with confidence; ask Him to help you break down the walls you didn't realize you were putting up.


He does not hate you. He's here for you! Reach out and dare to let Him love you!


How Do We Reconcile Contradictions in Abrahamic Religions?

"I’ve been looking into the history of the Jewish Scriptures and New Testament and the contradictions between them and historical fact or even each other about what happened. How does one find God in this despite the contradictions and myths of his many peoples?" —Silas


Hey, Silas!


Tell me about it, right? There are so many things, also, that the evidence we've been able to dig up just doesn't verify. In fact, there's an awful lack of evidence of some of the major components of the religion, like the entire story of Exodus! However, like I've told my mom every time I've gone over and ended up ranting about religion somehow: things can be true without having literally happened.


We gotta remember that the Bible isn't a book. In the words of Dr. Justin Sledge of Esoterica, the Bible is a library of books, written by many different people over the span of thousands of years. It was also then edited, codified, and made into what we now understand as the Bible by means of creating a Canon of books (in which a bunch of scholars and theologians came together to decide what books were Inspired™ and what books were not). Naturally, a few things are going to happen:


  • Narratives in the Bible will be socially, politically, and theologically motivated as the writers posit themselves as Correct and everyone else Incorrect.

    • This will cause certain events to be downplayed, others to be overplayed, and many to be downright warped because of how they're written through a religious lens that always has some divine explanation.

  • Stories won't line up because they're being told by multiple sources before being written down. This is the case for Genesis's two accounts of Adam and Eve and the Gospel narrative, which was written down after their writers heard multiple versions of the story and tried to make them make sense at all.

  • Lots of perfectly good pieces of God's character we could've been studying all this time will have been thrown away because the people deciding the Canon didn't like how they depicted God (like early Christian poem, The Thunder: Perfect Mind or the apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla).


In short, one has to read with discernment when all this mess is apparent. You gotta not just read these stories, but read them with God, and understand that these stories reflect how humanity has understood the character of God over the ages. God is infinite and impossible to pin down, but these stories, even if they're not 100% factually accurate, give us little shards of what and who God is and how we might approach HIm.


I hope this helps!


Is the Holy Spirit Okay with Christopaganism?

"Hey Sara! I'm a baby witch in her year of learning that has been following you for a while (and I truly believe that God sent me your way because you were pivotal to my deconstruction) and I had a question for you. What is your thoughts on Christopaganism and does The Holy Trinity approve of it as long as they're put first?" Luna


As far as we're concerned in the Christian Witch community, the first priority is God. If you have God as your top deity, above all others, and give Him your attention, love, and devotion first, and listen to Him above all others, then it may be possible to work with other deities (granted that God allows it; you have to ask Him, and by extension His Son and Spirit).


My thoughts are that christopaganism is really cool, but not for me. While I do work with Slavic deities on occasion for the sake of ancestor work and better understanding my physical roots, I don't feel the need to give any spirit or deity any of what I give God, because to me, worship is much more than just putting down offerings or praying. Worship is full and total devotion, and only God is worthy of that to me, so I don't bother with christopaganism.


Others think differently, though, and that's okay! My friend Hannah (@spirituali.tea) is a great resource for christopaganism.


How Do I Know This is My Path?

"How I do know that I really make the right choices when I think about God? Or I in the right path?" —Iara


Hi, Iara!


Honestly, this isn't something I can answer. You have to ask God. But some general things to ask yourself as you go along this path are:


  • Is this helping you become a better person (in how you treat people, engage with the world, etc.)?

  • Are you doing these witchy things because you like power or want things, or because you're genuinely trying to connect to the Divine?

  • How do you feel about the idea that your power is dependent on and from God? Does it make you uncomfortable to think that your true strength comes from a higher power rather than you building it yourself?

  • What does it mean to you to be a Christian Witch?

  • Can you achieve what you're looking for without magic?

  • Are you still easily frightened by the thought of ghosts, demons, or the unknown, if you ever were?


There are many things that make a successful Christian Witch, and it starts with faith in God: that there's no power for you to gain, only power for you to rediscover that belongs to God.


I hope this helps!


Should I Tell My Extremely Evangelical Parents I'm a Christian Witch?

"I guess, my question is, is it better to practice in quiet and not tell my parents that I'm a Christian Witch, or be fully open about my beliefs, despite breaking their hearts? Everyone in my life besides them knows who i am and what i believe. if i do let them know, what is the best way to go about it?" Neka


Hi, Neka!


Oh, boy. It sounds like, based on your whole question, that it wouldn't end that well if you did. Ultimately, it's up to you, but you also have to ask yourself what you're willing to accept as the consequences of telling them. What's the best case scenario? What's the worst? Even in my church, my priest said it was entirely up to me whether to let people know about the witchy stuff I do, and I haven't bothered opening that can of worms with other random people in there yet. Don't know if I ever will, because there's not really a reason to bring it up unless people really push for it or find my social media and get curious.


At the end of the day, you gotta put you first, though. If you'lre going to stress yourself out more by speaking, don't. If you're gonna stress yourself out more staying silent, don't! Either way, there will be some pros and cons, and it's up to you to decide what's worth it.


What is Sin?

"What is sin?" —Anonymous


Well, this is a fun idea to end on! Sin is a loaded thing. People act like sins are the end of the world, or that we can avoid ever doing it, when we're told again and again that all of us screw up and get it wrong sometimes. And in the end, that's all that sin really is: messing up. Or, as some translations say, "missing the mark."


One spot where sin is discussed that really speaks to me is in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. A lot of people say this writing isn't legitimate, that it's a Gnostic gospel, and maybe they're right—but also, maybe there's some truth to it. Nonetheless, this is what Mary Magdalene's Gospel reports Jesus saying about sin:


25) Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?


26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.


27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.


28) Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.


29) He who has a mind to understand, let him understand.


30) Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in its whole body.


31) That is why I said to you, Be of good courage, and if you are discouraged be encouraged in the presence of the different forms of nature.


32) He who has ears to hear, let him hear.


In essence: sin is what happens when we act out of alignment with our true selves, which is a soul. As souls, we get all twisted up and blinded to how powerful, bright, and divinely made we are. It takes all our lives to remember it, and along the way, we do some really icky things that hurt our soul (hurting others, being selfish, overconsuming, etc.). We gotta stop doing that and start remembering how to act as divine beings.


I hope this helps!


Ask Your Questions!


Remember, all your questions can go to this Google form, so don't hesitate to reach out! I'm looking forward to seeing what questions people have in the future, and I hope this has been a helpful read! Thank you everyone who participated!


—Sara


 

Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry

Sara Raztresen is a Slovene-American writer, screenwriter, and Christian witch. Her fantasy works draw heavily on the wisdom she gathers from her own personal and spiritual experience, and her s


piritual practice borrows much of the whimsy and wonder that modern society has relegated to fairy-and-folktale. Her goal is to help people regain their spiritual footing and discover


God through a new (yet old) lens of mysticism.



Follow Sara on Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, and explore her fiction writing here.


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