Witchcraft and Satanism: Are they one and the same?

Most modern witches deny that they are followers of Satan and claim that their pagan concept of diverse gods does not match the Christian concept of the devil. Although Wiccans deny their association with the devil, they readily admit that they worship "a Horned God named Pan." It is an inescapable fact that Pan is the universal symbol for Satan. Half-human and half-goat, Pan remains one of the most enduring and compelling symbols for the anti-Christ. Instead of God incarnate in man, as with Jesus, we see man joined to animal - one that is historically representative of the basest of animal and sexual passions.

The ancient cult of Pan involved rites of passage. In the Rites of Pan, music and sometimes drugs were used to entice spirits to possess the ritual's participants. Possession by Pan, from which we get the word "panic," often results in an obsession with sex and a need for immediate gratification. We see the sociological manifestations of this anti-Christ spirit everywhere in today's society.

The universal law of witchcraft is similar to Satanism: "An' ye harm none, Do what thou wilt." Another way this philosophy is expressed is in the satanic theology of Aleister Crowley, the most infamous Satanist of our modern age - "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law." This is Crowley's most well-known and enduring proverb.

This philosophy may seem right to those who have "been made spiritually blind by the god of this age" (2 Cor. 4:4). Yet this blinding deception obscures one of life's most elementary truths - that ultimately there are two kingdoms and two types of people; those in God's kingdom who have been redeemed by God and those in Satan's who are trying to redeem themselves.

In the same way that the Kingdom of God holds to one supreme commandment, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength" (Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:30), so witchcraft can also be reduced to one essential law, "An' ye harm none, Do what thou wilt." and, in the case of Satanism, simply, "Do what thou wilt." Contrary to the deceptive stereotype, no black masses or wild sex rituals are necessary to be a follower of Satan - simply deny the love and the authority of God by living your life the way you want to. You can even be religious, attend church regularly, tithe, perform good works. If it's a religion based upon your own terms, you are still comfortably fulfilling the dictates of Satan's most primary law: "Do what thou wilt."

How ironic that witches and Satanists should understand better than most Christians the true root of sin and the essential duality that divides asunder the whole of mankind. Each of us is ultimately given a choice upon which hangs the weight of eternity. We can go our own way and remain forever lost - or we can reach out to the One who is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6).

Eric Holmerg, Hells Bell's, Reel to Real Ministries, P.O. Box 4145 Gainesville, FL 32602.