Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wiccans: Questions and Answers with Marni Arnold


 
Q1: What was so alluring about Paganism/Wicca that enticed you to leave your Jewish roots to follow that path?

What was alluring to me was the control I was led to believe I had; to find the answers I never could get from any family, friends or respected teachers or Rabbi's about God, His ways, or the many "why's" of life. If no one else, even God Himself, wasn't going to answer me - I was going to find the answers on my own. I also deeply desired to find myself, felt that since Judaism wasn't providing me with the tools to help- and the books I was picking up on Wicca and Witchcraft were providing such answers - it was easy for me to embrace it as truth.

Q2: What was your first Halloween like as a practicing Wiccan?

My first Halloween, or Samhain (sow-en, is how it's pronounced - as it is Gaelic for "summers end"), was celebrated with a small coven (group of Pagans who practice together exclusively) that I had helped develop. We had a typical Halloween party for all kinds of people who attended - even those who weren't Pagan - but, in a back room of the house was a room set up for a particular ritual in which people could choose to participate in if they so wished (it wasn't forced upon them). It was a ritual that at first deeply spooked me, but then I found myself becoming comfortable with it because I didn't want to be afraid - even though I was.
  Q3: Did you worship Satan at all in your time as a Pagan?
No. The majority of Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches don't embrace the concept of a devil, or even Satan himself. However, in working with the side of life that God demands we stay away from, for it is very real; it has great potential to lure people into a life that works with a more negative, dark side that can easily lead one down the path that literally rides the border of hell itself. It has a lot to do with intent and motive.

{The reason God desires for us to be as far away from this part of life is because our human natures aren't designed to handle the spirit realm in this capacity}.

Q4: You mentioned in our private interview that Wiccans typically desire to dispel negativity, but did you find the lifestyle you ended up leading to be a lifestyle free of strife? In your experience, what was the personality culture within the various groups you were engaged with?

Very good question, Jessica - and the answer is a profound no.

For the most part, most Pagans strive to live as far from negativity as they possibly can. They don't welcome it into their lives willingly - however, it doesn't mean that negativity never finds it's way in at times. In my case, however, I constantly seemed to run into people who had deep power control issues that caused great negativity, and therefore it caused great strife in my life which kept feeding my desire to control my environment and discovery for answers even more.
 
Q5: Tell us about the illness you mentioned in your testimony, the week you decided to give up working with the Pagan public a year prior to your salvation?

I was violently sick to my stomach for five days due to the deep negativity that pierced through me while in the last public ritual I was in as a Pagan. My husband and I chalked it up as a spiritual attack, because it was the only reasonable explanation due to the fact our doctor couldn't even pinpoint why I was so sick.
 
Q6: At what point after you left the coven that night did you accept Christ?

One year, to the date. Dec. 21, 2002 - I left the ritual as sick, and burdened, as I could be in my life. And unbeknownst to me, I found myself at a Christmas Cantata on Dec. 21, 2003 in a Church accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Q7: I want to run some global statistics by you. What is your gut reaction to this fascination with Witchcraft in our world?
1,000,000 monthly searches for the term "Wicca" via Google.
40,500 monthly searches for the term "Wiccan spells" via Google.
3,350,000 monthly searches for the term "Witchcraft" via Google.
7,480,000 monthly searches for the phrase "How to be a Witch" via Google.

Honestly, it doesn't shock me at all. The reason is because of the immersion I was a part of with this life. I lived this life for six years, and I met many people who you would never think would be practicing Pagans - even right here in the Bible Belt, where I live.

The allure of control, positivity, finding what works just for yourself, and making a religion that works within your own life view is very attractive. With a world that seeks to always control people, that is filled with negativity, and religions that seem (on the surface) to be extremely restrictive - it's easy for the human mind and heart to wander into ways that offer a seemingly easier way to live which already matched the ideals we hold within our minds and hearts. Paganism holds that kind of attraction to a good majority of people - Christian and non-Christian alike.
 

Q9: What advice would you give anyone interested in the supernatural world?

That with as much light, positive, beautiful and fantastic ideals that promise a life that is easier than the one you live now - question it highly, and don't accept it as truth.

Life has a great amount of darkness in this world, and it comes at us from all different angles and avenues trying to break us down to the points our absolute breaking points. Yet, it's in these breaking point moments where we have an absolute decision to make - do we rely on ourselves to make our lives right, or do we turn our lives over to the only One who can make them right; Jesus Christ?

Q10: What has God shown you since you left Paganism and became a Christian?

That a life lived without Him is no life at all. It's merely a facade of a life...an idea of what we think it can or is supposed to be.

Life is only found in Christ, for in our creation by our Father's hands, there is only life found in the creator of our lives; not the natural state of this world. Certainly, we are born (naturally) into this world, but our bodies...minds...hearts (physical, beating ones)...they aren't what (or even who) we are. Our true identity, our seeking out of who God truly is and the answers we so desperately want to know about Him and so much more, are only found in one place...Christ.

Q11: If there is anyone reading this today, who was where you were then, what would you say to them?

Know you are not alone. Though the Church at times can be a cold place for those redeemed of a life of Paganism, due to so many just being undereducated (or not even educated at all) within the Church, your life...your testimony...your voice in telling your testimony...it all matters. God deeply desires for you to "come out of the closet" again to reveal His glory in your life, to offer hope to others who are either dabbling with, or deep in practice of, the Pagan ways. It's our job to help educate those in your community and beyond about the realities of Paganism and Witchcraft, and why it needs to be avoided.
 
"Marni Arnold is a happily married wife, and stay-at-home-mom to one son - whom she home schools - in Charlotte, NC. Attending Liberty University Online for her Bachelor's of Science in Religion, she is also an author whom is working on her first book and blogs at RelevantBrokenness.com. Her professional background is in EMS/Fire, and comes from a very diverse spiritual background as well. Marni enjoys reading, meeting with people over coffee, music, movies, autumn days filled with leaf tossing and laughter, as well as art, science and historical museums."

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