Witchcraft vs. Christianity – Le National
By FRANK SENGE KOLMA
IN a country totally under the rule of Christianity, why is witchcraft pointing its head so aggressively in Papua New Guinea?
On a superficial level Christianity and witchcraft seem diametrically opposed, one being the antithesis of the other.
The rise of one should subjugate the other or at least one might think so.
In fact, this reasoning is wrong.
It is imperfect because the very existence of Christianity unwittingly lends credibility and sustenance to witchcraft as well.
Like the Stoics, followers of a branch of philosophy developed by a man named Zeno around 300 BC. there was light, therefore the existence of good necessitates that of evil.
Likewise, Witchcraft, known by many other names, is projected within us by Christianity because they represent the exact opposite of each other.
Christianity preaches witchcraft as an outside influence or manifestation of the devil.
Christianity and all its devotees and witchcraft and its equally devout practitioners are earthly manifestations, we believe, of the endless struggle between good and evil, between the armies of Heaven and the hordes of Hell, between God and Satan.
Both sides derive their legitimacy from the same realm of the spiritual unknown.
As knowledge of God unwittingly produces knowledge of Satan’s existence, Christian churches give legitimacy to the existence of witchcraft, preaching the existence of the devil in its various manifestations in demonic possessions, in voodoo and witchcraft.
Witchcraft prohibited in the early church
“In the early Christian church, witchcraft of all kinds was prohibited, either because of the emptiness of the practice or because of its positive ungodliness and trading with the devil,” says the Christian Cyclopedia.
“The early church established special rules of penance for those convicted of witchcraft.
At the beginning of the 13th century, when the Inquisition was introduced, the use of magic and witchcraft was everywhere suspected and stigmatized as a desertion from God for the service of evil spirits.
In 1231, Pope Gregory IX invoked the use of civil punishment against any form of heresy linked to witchcraft.
“Around the 15th century, the provisions which placed witches under the power of the Inquisition were broadened, so that witchcraft trials became very common.
Witch lawsuits have spread to France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and have involved Catholic and Protestant churches over the 15, 16, 17 and 18 centuries.
The number of people killed has been estimated at several thousand. Some of the tortures and ordeals resorted to when interrogating those suspected of witchcraft were almost diabolical in nature. – Christian cyclopedia.
Murders, kangaroo courts, torture and murder associated with witchcraft are not exclusive to PNG and other tribal societies.
Medieval European history, as we have seen, is filled with witchcraft and witch hunts that reached new heights during the Inquisition that defy belief.
“In the early Christian church, witchcraft of all kinds was prohibited, either because of the emptiness of the practice or because of its positive ungodliness and trading with the devil.
Massive hangings, arson and horrific torture have been carried out under the seal of the Church of God on a scale that would bring shame on what is happening today in PNG.
Evil done there in the name of God is something that has to be reconciled by a tribunal in a different kingdom because there is no tribunal that can do it here on earth.
Europe is today freed from this frightening practice, aided there by enlightenment and knowledge.
The witch hunt and its dire consequences for those accused of practicing it followed Europeans to America in 1692, as is established in the famous case of Salem in the great Puritan state of Massachusetts.
Fighting witchcraft today is an uphill battle because Christian churches believe in it and preach it that way.
While overt violence has been silenced for its evil nature in Europe through education, the spiritual struggle against it continues there as it does here.
It is at the heart of our Christian faith.
And this is the real question, the burning question that needs to be considered.
Witchcraft and the violent reaction it elicits cannot be erased until its roots, which are inextricably linked to matters of our faith, are exposed, cleansed, separated and then torn apart – with the full knowledge and assent of believers. of the Christian faith, of which the public the number one enemy is being examined here.
In the same way that the unwelcome presence of Satan in the life of man is made manifest by the welcome presence of God, the Christian churches give faith in witchcraft as a spiritual reality.
Seen in this light, witchcraft is difficult to root out.
Look at it this way. The true church postulates that there is a spiritual world where the forces of good exist under the command of God and his angels who constantly fight the forces of evil under the command of the devil and his demons.
Witchcraft exists today as the work of the devil and therefore only God can extinguish evil.
This makes any attempt to isolate witchcraft as a crime all the more difficult in faith-united communities and would count for most communities in PNG where government presence and influence is absent.
Spiritual matters reign unfettered while temporal welfare, including the law, is largely remote and neglected.
Seen in this light, removing witchcraft from society as a meaningless invention of the wild man’s imagination that has no place in modern society is impossible because it is now part of the whole. of modern faith.
Witchcraft is satanic and it requires faith in Jesus Christ to extinguish or diminish its influence.
Scourge of the Savage Past
In reality, witchcraft killings are the bane of modern Papua New Guinea, a bane of the savage past that has come to haunt us.
Witchcraft claims innocent victims in a country rushing into the internet age with its face firmly turned to fear of the unknown that unleashes frightening and senseless trends.
Its eradication will require a response from the whole of society and it will start with education.
It will take time, the time it takes to come to terms with spiritual matters, questions of our beliefs and our faith.
Witchcraft lurks in the dark places of our minds and feeds on our innermost fears. Extracting it requires a fair amount of serious education and an even greater reexamination of how we deal with matters of faith.
- Frank S Kolma is a former editor of The National and commentator on national affairs. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of this document.