How should I respond as a Christian to a close family member who practices wicca? I don't want to ignore this person; however I can't deny Christ. I can't compromise my faith in God. I am afraid of getting too involved. I am praying for this person.
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First off, being a Christian means standing for the truth even if it means death. If you are a believer and confessor of Christ, then there is no danger of you compromising your faith by telling the family member about the dangers of the occult. Your salvation is safe in Christ. In what way are you afraid of getting involved? Do you participate in the family member's religion? A Christian is to be a light shining the truth of God's word to the dark world around him. Are you doing this? Or are you being nice and politically correct? You have to be an example in love of the truth of Christ. You must stand separate from the world and it's deception. Use scripture (the New Testament) and show the family member that God is not happy with them and their choice of religions. You will meet resistance, perhaps violence...but make your stand and do not waver one inch and God will be glorified. Don't compromise and allow yourself to be moved by the currents of the world...or you will be just like the salt that has lost its savor.
I think the first response to your family member is grace. That's how Jesus would have responded. You are not agreeing with them but you are not judging or condemning them either. And that's the tricky part because people know by our body language and manner if we say one thing but judge and condemn them. You don't have to ignore them but you can love them without spending a lot of the with them or even trying to 'convert' them. Ask God to help you love them if you are finding it difficult. He is, after all, the definition of love and said if we lack anything to ask him for it. You do not have to be afraid of this person or what they are involved in because the one in you is far greater than the one in them - but maybe you need a revelation of that for yourself. Again, ask God to help you there. You do not need to be involved with them more than you want to. It is totally up to you and do not allow them or anyone else to push you into anything you do not want. And finally, by taking an uncompromising love stand, covered by grace, you are representing Jesus and not denying him.
God has been showing me, though I'm often a slow learner, that Jesus was a Master at questioning people. It is I understand, a rabbinical style - questioning, then probing the responses. I feel that too often we act as though God needs our defence, and we almost throw everything at people, justifying it by the fact that it is the truth. We frequently encounter folk living a life or belief system out which concerns us - but it should draw out of us another aspect of Christ's life - "Jesus with COMPASSION... prayed". Where are these folk headed? I have wondered if in fact we cannot pray with compassion, we might as well not bother... but I am sure if we do at least pray, asking Him to develop compassion in us, we will by grace become much more effective. Questioning, or engaging in dialogue with, people who have taken another direction, in an interested, respectful way, often draws out the underlying reason for their antagonism to Christianity - or, more often, to "church". It is often true that "religion" has let people down, whereas true relationship with Christ - which many have never realised is possible - will not. There may be serious issues which they would like to discuss if we give them a chance. It also enables them to question themselves, and like those whom Jesus questioned (eg Matt 21:25, 16:13-17), to come to conviction borne more of the Holy Spirit than of our persuading. We can learn something from a good salesman - find out the needs before getting too proud that we can "sell sand to the Arabs!...or, in more Christian speech "give them the whole Gospel". I believe we should be looking for their trust and an open door to return with Christ, or even for Him to get through without us. If there are vulnerable people who are being drawn by them into a damaging way of life, we may reach the point of having to consider more direct speech, but only as God directs. Finally, relax, God is the One in control; once we get too uptight, we will not succeed in conveying this wonderful message, evangelism should reflect the sharing of our hearts' desires for a needy world to find the Saviour and especially our loving care for the individual to whom we are speaking. How long did it take for us to hear Him ourselves?
"How do I respond?" What do you have to respond to? The fact that you say the family member is "immediate" must pose an issue of some kind for you. If I had an immediate family member who is wiccan and wants to recruit me or others in my family to take part in that belief system, I would do just as I do when a person who is "catholic" or of another "religion" I perceive to be false. I would tell them what I believe and would make it plain to them that I'm not changing. If you're not being harangued about their religion then don't lecture them about yours. And even if you are being harassed it won't help for you to return "evil for evil." We don't really "lead anyone" to Christ. "No one can come to [Christ] unless the Father who [sends Him] draws [them]" (John 6:44). Prayer for Him to "send and draw" is essential and is our best effort to be involved in someone "coming" to Christ. There's this belief in some christian circles that says 'if you're not telling others about Jesus you're disobeying the "command" christians were given in Matt 28.' Many of the christians I know, know what they believe, but are not able to teach christian doctrine. Their attitude is their best or worst testimony. The person allowing Jesus to live through them arms themselves with the mind of Christ, His way of thinking (1 Pet 4:1). That speaks louder than anything you can say. Quoting scripture is one thing; living the word is what will attract attention. Quoting the word and not living it will attract twice as much. Man shall (must) not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mt 4:4). How do you respond? Live the word. I don't mean memorize and quote scripture. We live what we think. "Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:5) That means we are to have a spirit of humility. To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted; (not plant) a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to keep silence and a time to speak... Eccl 3 We need to ask the Lord to help us to discern the times.
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