Friday, 2 March 2012

Witchcraft in the Church?

Not again. In London 2 people have just been found guilty of killing Kristy Bamu because they believed he had an evil spirit. They took it upon themselves to exorcise this 15 year old boy and murdered him in the process. This is not an isolated case, more and more children are being tortured in this country and abused under the name of Jesus. Why is this happening in our christian churches?

Where are all the Pastors, Preachers, Bishops and Apostles? In their ivory towers? What are they going to do about this?

London has a vast amount of churches, including independent ones that could and should comment on this. It seems they have gone into hiding.
In my own personal view, (and I am definitely not bible bashing) if there was an evil spirit, why didn't they speak to it and cast it out like the bible says?  I don't remember Jesus physically getting in a scrap with a person or torturing anyone to death because he couldn't get the demon out, or am I wrong?

Very few men of the cloth have come forward to condemn this witchcraft abuse, despite it being a major media issue at present. Nobody will come forward and remove themselves from the safety of the the church building and explain about demon possession and what should be done about it according to the bible. I can assure you all that the next 'praise night/gospel extravaganza' will be packed with people singing and dancing without a thought for the lost outside.

I don't have anything against Christianity despite what I say when I express my concerns and personal experiences, but it totally overwhelms me that it has become so insular at times, daring not to speak out on matters that affect us all. It exasperates me when issues are being openly debated on TV, radio, newspapers and the public truly want an answer but those leaders are reluctant to give a view, give an opinion, answer an invite whenever the opportunity arises or even just simply say 'I don't know or have an answer'.

It doesn't matter what you call it, whether a demon, evil spirit, duppy, gin, voodoo, or plain witchcraft. I also don't believe it is just in the African/Caribbean cultures but is something that effects every culture throughout this world.

You cannot control someone's belief but you should be able to control what they do when they use such violence. Who is really the witch? The person being tortured or the one doing the torturing?

As a community, let's be vigilant, don't be afraid to enquire when you hear the shouts and screams of your neighbour, don't be fooled when you can clearly see that a child has evidence of marks and bruises. If you do call the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (or whatever it is called in your country) don't be afraid to follow up that call to find out what they did about it.  You may be wrong in what you thought,  but what if you were RIGHT?

Please come forward with suggestions as to how our communities can tackle this.


  1. Lets address the key issues at play in this appalling act of pure wickedness.
    First the responsibility of the Church in the aftermath of the killing and sentence of Kristy Bamu and others. I agree with you that the church needs to make it very clear right now that this in no way represents Christianity. However, I am certain that as Christianity has many denominations, some will share the view that physical action need to be taken against suspects of Witchcraft. The African Christian community is being vilified right now in the press but lets be clear all communities have problems i.e Pedophilia, Physiological abuse... Right now what we need to see is universal condemnation of wickedness in churches by its leaders.

    The next point is a lot of the pastors using those traditions from Africa may have been into voodoo or witchcraft them self, needing a new flock to lead. This is what was the topic of discussion on LBC yesterday and it made it very clear that so called Christian Pastors doing this are not actually Christian in their heart, but simply adapting Witchcraft and voodoo for modern day Britain. It is very important to make it very clear that regardless of the motive, nowhere in the Bible does it talk about casting out devils physically. The point I am making is that leaders need to make it clear what Christianity stands for, a standard. It therefore make it very easy for people to identify what is right from wrong.

    The final point is that once the condemnation and the segregation takes place it is easy for everyone to understand that Witchcraft in true Christianity is not possible. My fear is that as time goes on, condemnation and segregation will not take place and the pathway to Christ is blocked by negativity. When really these actions was by wolfs in sheeps clothing or at the very least the blind.

    1. Marcus
      I agree with your comments and also share the fear that because many christian leaders are not challenging when things go wrong in the church, many people will be either drawn away or will not want to believe in God.
      Thanks for your response.

  2. Not really sure how I feel about you equating witchcraft to violence and superstition. Is this not just continuing the same negativity of anything non- Christian as bad, and kind of what you are supposed to be against?

    1. Jamie
      Accusing people of being possessed by evil spirits is a very real and common fact in a number of London churches. Casting demons out by calling upon the name of Jesus is one thing, but beating/torturing someone as a way of casting out these 'so called' demons sometimes to the point of death, is pure wickedness and violence to me and I oppose it.

      I assure you that everything non-christian is not bad and everything the church does is not always good.

      I have seen on many occasions how easy it is to label someone as having an 'evil, rebellious or jezebel' type spirit that needs casting out just because you dare to disagree, challenge or genuinely question a church leader's point of view. Not good. Thanks for commenting Jamie.

    2. I get the total evilness if what is being done, but calling it "witchcraft" , which it is NOT simply vilifies other religions. The fact is, it is an ugly side to the Christian faith and has NOTHING to do with witchcraft at all. Especially since eople who practice witchcraft do not believe in demons, therefore would have nothing to do with casting them out. Witches (most anyway) have very strict morals and faith that bind them to the harm of none.

    3. Jamie
      Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that everyone who calls themselves a witch is involved in child sacrifice.

      What I was doing was bouncing back the label used to stigmatise these children onto the people who are using it as a justification for abusing them. Saying to them "if that's what you equate as being evil then how about what you're doing? - aren't you the real witches?"

      Some people claiming to be witches do the airy fairy stuff which is neither here nor there. But there are some people that are into the demonic side who do see it as part of their remit to abuse and murder children.

      Just one example would be the case here in London a while back of 'Adam' - a boy's torso found floating in the Thames. The police investigation concluded that he had been the victim of a muti killing - a form of African witchcraft. This stuff does happen.

      This is something reported in secular newpapers:
      Thanks for commenting Jamie.

    4. I am not denying it does happen, I am pointing out, poorly perhaps, that it is NOT "witchcraft" or voodoo or anything other than christianity at work in this instance. I find calling it something other than what it is : torture under a guise oh Christianity, especially while linking other religions to it negatively shows a lack of accountability from the Christian community.

  3. In my opinion, Christianity was born with a philosophy that got warped in time, first with the adding from Pharisaic beliefs, then after Constantin, with wealth, and finally with the adding of most European thinkers, old or modern!

    So, from the original "Love each other", we got the pantheistic syncretism that we call Christianity nowadays.

    So, many of the things we see, Voodoo, African, European, Asian, etc. and other local taboos, are a mixture of beliefs far away from what was intended to reach us.

    If you add the Hollywood additions, the new witch-crafting beliefs, the old Thelema founder: Aleister Crowley and all those devilish abider of the Demonic Pantheon of the world we can find some explanation to this aberration.

    The mention in the Bible about the exorcising demons by Jesus may be true, but it was done by somebody with authority if you think he was God. It cannot be done by anyone with some prayers and pseudo-commands, always in the belief that there is a possessor in the victim and not other more... say normal problem, as maybe a psychotic disorder.

    In any case this is, in my viewpoint, seriously dangerous for everybody involved, frocked or not, educated or not, but not because of an occult danger but because a very open human mistake.

    1. Untony
      A warm welcome and thank you for also commenting today on a number of my previous posts which I will fully read and respond to in due course.

      I feel it is dangerous when people who are part of a church clearly (in my opinion) do not understood what the scripture has said and what they should be doing. Leadership in the church is a big responsibility as it implies in a sense, that you are representing God. The events I'm discussing here clearly show the tragic consequences of what can happen when things go wrong.

  4. sweetie, once those priests and whatnot here the word evil spirit, they run like hell. I think it is absolutely disgusting that children die because of incompetence. I dont think they will ever know what an evil spirit looks like, even if they step on it. Maybe it will b a great idea if you send this post, as is, to all those who keep them selves so holy. A good wake up call, if u ask me.

    1. Berlina
      Thanks for the comment and a great idea :)
      The media is giving them a good wake up call at the moment, but they don't really seem to want to deal with this issue.

  5. @ Rum-Punch Drunk
    Are you so sure it's the church leaders who are reluctant to speak out?

    Let's not forget the editorial function of the media. There is enormous power in being the one who chooses who is allowed a platform and who is denied a voice.

    Public opionion can easily be manipulated through engineered consent.

    Let me give an example:
    I say choose which colour you want, red, blue or yellow. I create the illusion of giving you choice, whilst denying you the full range of options - black, white, green, purple...

    The media discussion I have seen so far has been split along the lines of either/or:
    - Either - you don't believe in withcraft, the bible, exorcims etc.
    - Or - you do and therefore ALSO believe in torturing people who are possessed.

    Is there really no church leader who is willing to say, as Marcus has, that yes, actually Jesus did do exorcisms, but without ever getting physical?

    I see a lot of anti-Christian bias in the media and think it is possible that this may be yet another example of this.

    You asked for suggestions on what to do. Perhaps one thing, for those of us who believe along these lines, could be adding this third option to the discussions we participate in... ?

    1. Shiloh
      You have a very good point here, many times the media has taken sides and not fairly portrayed the voice of opposition. Although I do agree with you, what I would say is that, whenever I have watched or listened to live debates on various contentious christian issues the voice of the church seems reluctant to say what it really means, even when pushed by the presenter to be frank.
      I think it is a fear of what the public would say or do in some cases. Thanks Shiloh.

    2. Funny I always find media is overly Christian-friendly.

    3. Hi Jamie

      I can only speak for myself and my perceptions, which are based upon consuming a cross-section of the mainstream media across the political spectrum, including BBC, Channel 4 and Sky on the TV and reading the Independent, Guardian, Telegraph and... huh... erm... Metro & Evening Standard (coughs to try and muffle pronunciation the last two...)

      Whilst I would never go so far as to claim they are actually hostile, I do notice a sarcastic tinge at times, a tendency to caricature at others and a frequent propensity to completely ignore.

      Apropos, can I ask, Jamie, if you live in the UK or elsewhere? I only enquire because it might have some bearing on this. It may be that we are both right but accessing different media.

    4. It may indeed Shiloh, I'm Canadian and a lot of our television and news coverage is American.

  6. @ Untony
    Yes, the evolution of the Christianity of Jesus to the 'majority churchianity' of today was nothing short of a revolution.

    - First being made palatable to the graeco-roman world by adapting istelf to greek through-forms, particularly those of the neo-platonic school.
    - Next with just one of those already bastardised versions of it becoming the state-sanctioned religion of that empire under Constantine.
    - Lastly, under the emperor Theodosius with the banishment not only of every other religion but also every other version of Christianity on pain of severe legal sanctions (ironically, overturning the edict of Milan which advocated tolerance).

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    The result is that a lot of people who don't take the time to read the new testament for themselves often reject Jesus without ever really knowing what he really said or did.

    I would disagree with you that the new testament documents present a Jesus who has power because he was God.

    A careful reading presents a human who is at pains to show that he does what he does because he has been invested with authority from God because of his faithfulness to the message and calling he has been given. He then went on to pass that authority on to the community he left behind - the 'ekklesia' meaning called out ones, which was subsequently transliterated into the word 'church' - often thought of as a building as opposed to a people.

    As such I see no reason why a person who believes they are being oppressed by an evil spirit shouldn't seek prayer in the name of Jesus to be freed. If it works, then good. If it doesn't, no harm done, surely?

    1. Hi Shiloh!

      You are stating one of the deepest truth on Earth!

      Many people will accept they belong to this or other church not knowing the basics about their Religion. They may stay there because of tradition, or because they feel comfortable.

      On the issue of Jesus's divinity you'll find that most people agree with Paulus of Tarsus, which can be true or not, I have heard lately that there is a trend to prove that he, Jesus, didn't die on the cross.

      The Gospels may be right, or they may not be, it is the same with all the Sacred Scripts written by human hands (and I do not mean offense of any kind, just stating a possibility due to the long time they were written, the many translations they underwent, and the heavy manipulation they received in all that time); but that is not important.

      I may seem a bit light on this subject, I mean Religion, but I still sustain that it is more important the way we behave than the things we believe, sometimes a lot more, it is clear when we see the way churches opt to behave sometimes.

      I am not against the person that believes being oppressed by an evil spirit and seeks help in prayer, but maybe it would be a good idea to look on the scientific field, too, if it works, good, if not, no harm done either. Don't you think so?

    2. Hi Untony

      Just saw this. Sorry for the delay!

      You're making quite a few points here... hope I manage to respond to them all...

      "not knowing the basics about their Religion"
      a) Yes, much religion is habit, tradition and comfort. Which, when you consider the importance attached to it by those who claim to believe, this is, frankly, amazing!

      "On the issue of Jesus's divinity"
      b) My understanding of Paulus of Tarsus is that he unequivocally advocated a human Jesus.
      For example when he says "there is one God, and one mediator between men and God, the MAN Christ Jesus" (1Tim 2:5).

      Yet the majority church claims he is 'homoousios' ie. of the same divine substance as God - importing a term found nowhere in the bible, but which won the political battle of the church councils instigated by Constantine through it's champion, the gangster, Athanasius.

      "the Sacred Scripts written by human hands"
      c) Yes, this subject, translations etc. is HUGE. No offense taken. In fact, it is my opinion that believers gloss or fudge this issue to their own detriment.

      "it is more important the way we behave than the things we believe"
      d) True. What a person believes is very important to other believers. The rest of the world seems to care more about how one behaves. Are you an honest person? Are you pleasant, forgiving, polite, humble? Do I enjoy your company? Are you selfish or giving? etc.

      "it would be a good idea to look on the scientific field, too"
      e) Yes, yes, yes! Yes I do think so. Any leadership which would force people to choose between faith and science/reason is self-indulgent and self-serving control freakery that shies away from any form of accountability outside their own select group of acolytes and yes-men.

    3. Hi Shiloh!

      It seems we agree in the main issues, or some of them, I am not sure which issue is main and which one is not.

      Thank you so much for your answers!

  7. I am an evangelist but will not like to discuss much on this. Nevertheless the act of torturing people that may eventually lead to death is weaked and unbiblical. Mere suspection is never enough to kill someone, even when the person is comfirmed it is still not enough. When the adultrous woman in the bible was cought, they wanted to stone her to teach but jesus refused, if so how much more a mere suspection of witchcraft. Well we all need to be careful on who we look unto as christians. Thanks remaim blessed, good posting any way

    1. Israel
      Thanks for replying to this post. I am glad that as an evangelist you took the time to point out that this is 'wicked and unbiblical'. And yes, I do remember about the woman caught in adultery, and you are right.

      I wish more people would really take a look at who they are following as christians these days.

      I really appreciate your input on this. Thanks.

  8. Witchcraft in Church..... i would prefer to call it Witchcraft in buildings., they are people who attend a building they call church! Within life we come across people who call themselves specific titles which they have no qualification, gift or idea about. How many of us know managers who are far from that? Artists - who are not? Singers..who are cannot? Parents - who are simply people who had children? Siblings - individuals who came from the same parents or at least one parent?

    Any so called Christian who can smash someone's teeth with a hammer - needs help (and i am put it politely).

    Any so called Sibling who can torture their own brother to death...needs help - do they have a demon..maybe?

    Any one who attacks a child to that extent be kept away from others until they can and definately are rehabilitated and that this is tested!!!!

    Wiches may be offended but Christians are offended too. Real Christians that is. Fake ones need not apply or comment. (or is that an unchristian thing to say?)

    1. Anonymous
      It took place outside of the church building but was done by 2 people who claimed to be christians and was part of a 'so called' christian community , as a result of teachings by a church leader claiming to be christian. There's no getting around this.

      I get your point about people calling themselves things they are not, but my concern is that when there is a serious incident there is no clear christian voice to condemn this (yes, I note the media issue) but being an active member in my community and area, I know that this is not being done from where I stand.

      In the area where I live, muslims have become very active indeed. If this witchcraft case had been committed by an Imam, rest assured that regardless to the media, they would have been swamped with muslims coming forth declaring what the koran states and informing all that is was not in Islam to do this. Thanks anonymous.

    2. @ Anonymous

      From one anonymous to another...

      Yes, I agree with Rum-Punch Drunk. There's no wriggling out of this.

      The people who did this thing did so serving Jesus - in their own minds. How can you persuade them that they are not? They would simply say that you are lightweight on the demons if you don't beat them and have no spirit power.

      Everyone thinks that they are the real Christians. How do you prove to them that you are real and they are fake?

      I don't say this to provoke an argument but to sound out your thinking, if it is shallow or has all 3 dimensions.

    3. RPD & Anonymous 2 - I am sorry if i was not clear enough for you (this is my last response on this subject - as I'm not wanting to get into chain messages) but my reply was based on the outcry as mentioned in RPD response to me. This murderous couple were not Christian leaders unlike the Imam cited in RPD example.

      Note: There is usually silence when Honour Killings take place (or am i mistaken?).

      Anon - If my thinking seems shallow in your is your right to have opinion.

      Anon - please do not 'hide' behind what you deem others would say. Do you really mean..YOU are saying 'i am lightweight on the demons etc'? is your right to have an opinion.

      Choosing to respond or not is my right.


    4. And no, not all "honour killings" are met with silence. Our most recent horrifying brush with "honour killings" (In Canada) had a very loud response from the Muslim community crying its outrage, lest people actually think such a thing was condoned in the Muslim faith.

    5. Hi Anonymous... er... no 1

      Please don't take this person's comments the wrong way.

      A bit of healthy dialogue and disagreement is good for the soul!

      And when you look at the celebrities and politicians who surround themselves with yes-men, we see the opposite effect. The tendency of the human species is prone to self-delusion. We need those who disagree with us to keep it in check.

      The Athenian Pericles, one of the wisest rulers of the ancient world, once allowed a man to follow him for an entire day who did nothing but cover him with the heavyest insults. He ordered his personal cohort of bodyguards (you can imagine how they must have been itching to deal with the guy) to leave him alone. At nightfall he even ordered a servant to accompany the man with a light so he could finish off what he had to say!

      He understood that the things we don't want to hear about ourselves or our opinions are often precisely what we NEED to hear!

      For a more modern example, how about Martin Luther King Jnr? He deliberately made sure he had people of opposing views in his team. He would table a proposal, watch them debate it to death and pronounce his decision at the end, after having heard both sides of the argument. He didn't choose those who would agree with him a-priori, to create a monolythic, strong but brittle team, but people who could offer him the contrast he needed. Only then would he reach his decision. He had a broad and robust enough mind to encompass differing views and modify his own in line with what was best.

      For that reason alone, I don't believe that when he shook the hand of Malcolm X it was a publicity stunt.

      Just a thought... hey, you don't have to agree with it, just stay in the mix, especially when it gets uncomfortable!

  9. I am hoping that someone would enlighten myself and anyone who wants to know, as to any reference to a scripture about exorcism or casting out demons (Chapter and verse only). This would help aid me when dealing with folk who disagree.

    1. Does anyone actually disagree that people should not be murdered in casting out beings that there is no proof of existence? Demons have been blamed for everything from epilepsy, mental illness, drug dependency. Even on the bible the word demon walks hand in hand with illness.

    2. Hi Jamie

      No, I'd be very surprised too if anyone here actually defended this sort of abuse. I think what Rum-Punch Drunk is trying to do is explore the best way to engage with the kind of people who do. And there are a great many, even if the cases rarely end so tragically as this one.

      (And for a very long time social services (in the UK) have been slower to tackle this abuse in the African community out of a misguided sense of 'cultural sensitivity'. The tragic paradox that has resulted is that a great number of children of African parentage have been denied the safeguards enjoyed by children from other backgrounds. Yet another manifestation of the law of unintended consequences.)

      The fact is, the people who do these pseudo-exorcisms DO believe in demons, so saying demons don't exist may not be the most effective approach with them.

      I would agree with Rum-Punch (if I've understood him/her... have I, RPD?) that a better approach may be to tackle the issue in a way that is consistent with their own framework, ie. the bible, and attempt to show them what is so glaringly obvious to the vast majority of believers already.

      I'd be interested to hear what you think of this, from an atheistic perspective.

    3. I wrote this before but:Someone with enough faith in their beliefs to watch a child die of starvation is never going to be moved by your words. That is crazy. I thought you were talking about arguing with others who believed them in the right. I would probably classify them in the same category. The problem is in dealing with matter of faith, it is faith. It is not based on fact. It is not based on the bible. It is based on what they believe period. People put aside facts that shake the foundations of their belief system.

      Not long ago we had 4 women killed in "honour killings" in our muslim community. Right away the muslim community cried out in outrage. Did it have any impact on those few that agreed with the three murderers? Of course not. In matters of faith like that the only voice they listen to is their own. Their belief that their faith is more important than laws, more important than the lives of others.
      I give kicks up to the Muslim community that spoke out and did not try to deflect blame from their religion. They spoke out about it, showing why this dark side is not right.

    4. Oh my days, Jamie! A bleak vision! I just hope you're wrong. I hate to relegate anyone to being beyond reach. But I know what you mean.

      I prefer to think of faith in terms of 'reason and persuasion' but I can see this other dynamic at work. Blind faith, I suppose you could call it. Abdicating the capacity to critically consider whether a propsition is correct or incorrect, right or wrong to a prophet, charismatic leader, political ideology or religious doctrine, adherence to a group, what have you... Sadly, there is a depressing wealth of evidence to support your position here.

      Let's hope people of reason, tolerance, dialogue and humanity can somehow bridge our ideological divides and create a culture that cultivates people and supports them in coming to a full and mature expression of what it means to be a human being.

      Yea, I know, I know... I'm just going to go out and hug this tree now...

  10. Jamie
    My understanding is that the perpetrators of these crimes actually believe they are starving, beating etc etc ..the demon or evil spirit which is supposed to be inside the victim. So, the physical abuse is not being aimed at the human person but rather at the spirit inside of that person. (hope I explained this properly).

    Today one person (the victim's sister) who committed this crimes was sentenced to imprisonment of 25 years and her partner got 30 years.

    1. Someone with enough faith in their beliefs to watch a child die of starvation is never going to be moved by your words. That is crazy. I thought you were talking about arguing with others who believed them in the right. I would probably classify them in the same category. The problem is in dealing with matter of faith, it is faith. It is not based on fact. It is not based on the bible. It is based on what they believe period. People put aside facts that shake the foundations of their belief system.

  11. Throughout times people have been killing and hurting each others in the name of religion and their different beliefs. Also in the name of christian faith.
    I don't have anything against intrinsically the christianity, I think the bible even has many wise and truthful proverbs and some wise thoughts, but acts like killing and torturing other people in the name of any religion or religious beliefs about demons inside the victim is very twisted.
    I can not accept or understand how can people be brainwashed to do something so sick in the name of religion.
    From my pointwiew no sane and mentally health person can do something like watch a child die of starvation with clean conscience.

    And what should be done to this issue? It's hard to tell, as the grim, ugly and twisted problematic situations like this one tend not to have any easy or nice solutions...

    1. Hi Amethyst

      Just to speak out in defence of the religious folks...

      The atheist regimes that gave us the French Revolution's Terror, Stalin's purges and Pol Pot's killing fields (to name a few of the more salient examples) clearly show us that the forces of ignorance, manipulation, brainwashing, fanaticism... call it what you will... are equally potent when God is removed from the equasion. We need to look beyond the labels and aks what it is that is intrinsic to us as humans that causes all this.

      Only then can we sidestep the 'them and us' and get a handle on the real situation here.

    2. I would just like to say Atheism is a belief system, like any other, so of course prone to perversion of its true ideals, which are humanistic. Anyone who can separate any one belief as incorruptible is delusional.

  12. I am actually shocked that this is still going on (with the exception of the middle east, referring to fundamentalist Islam). You don't really hear this going on too often in the US. In any case, no matter what you call it, abuse is abuse, and it's disgusting.

  13. Hello Shiloh

    True, that any kind of fanaticism with any ideology prones to cause sick things happening, that are unbelievably wrong towards the victims, not only religious fanatcism and brainwashing.... I just approached the topic through religious fanatiscism as the post is about murdering and torturing other people in the name of religion =) :) That I really can not understand what is it that is intricic to us as humans that causes all this happening no matter was it in the name of religion or any other ideology...

  14. That's the big question Amethyst!
    Answers on a postcard, please :)

    But I do think we take a significant step forward when we look beyond the labels and begin to judge behaviours without recourse to the systemic contexts which frame them. This is what the parable of the good Samaritan is about. I must be willing both to commend a good action by an atheist and condemn a bad one by a fellow believer.

    From the enlightenment on through to the 20th Century the consensus seems to have been that if people could just find the right doctrine and pursue it rigorously (ruthlessly) enough they could create their utopia (one free of Jews/bourgeoisie/Armenians/commies/heretics/subversives/what have you). Ideology was supreme and human beings expendable.

    This has patently failed. I guess the search is still on for the big solution. I have my hopes pinned on the Kingdom of God and steadfastly refuse to do anyone harm while I await it's arrival.


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