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The Champion

Puritans and Witches

By Jay Rogers
Published April 26, 2008

A historical comparison to today’s revival of witchcraft

One of the great accusations leveled against Christians who oppose witchcraft is that we want to bring back “the burning times” (i.e., the Salem witch trials). Yet Salem is misunderstood. Most believe that it was the Christians of the Puritan colony who got together one day and decided to hang some witches. That is simply not true.

While I was an English teacher at a high school in Beverly, Massachusetts (the town just north of Salem), I noticed that many of the teachers did units right around Hallowe’en on witches. I thought it was more than a little unfair that Christian teachers were not allowed call their holiday “Christmas” and to teach units on the birth of the King of Kings. But those sympathetic to witches could present their pagan holiday.

As a part of these teaching units, the Puritans were often portrayed as being stuffy, overly-intellectual, anti-sentimental and intolerant. Nothing could be further from the truth! There was more real love in the Puritan community than we have today in our churches. Read the accounts of the Plymouth and Boston settlements and you’ll see what I mean! For instance, William Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation portrays the toils and great sacrifices these people made for each other. These were people who had often been literally bloodied for their faith. They experienced persecution first hand. Yet they still loved Jesus and their fellow man.


The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

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The Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded by the Puritans in the 1630s with Salem being one of its principle port towns. It had become evident by the 1670s, however, that most of the citizens of the colony were not Puritans (or “born-again Christians” in today’s vernacular). By the 1690s, when the Salem Witch hysteria took place, the Puritan era had pretty much waned. By this time, the Puritans were the minority.

The prevailing idea today is that it was the Puritans who killed witches in Salem. Actually, the situation was that some innocent people were accused of withcraft by people who were not genuinely converted at all. The only real witchcraft going on was practiced by a servant of the town pastor! But because she confessed her sin and repented the townspeople, as a whole, forgave her. The resulting problem of the Salem witch trials was that you had superstitious, unconverted people using extra-biblical, unorthodox criteria by which to judge witches.

A pastor in Salem stirred up the original problem with irresponsible preaching and false accusations. But then he had to deflect guilt, because the witch hysteria was found to be eminating from his own household! The townspeople began accusing others and the hysteria spread. The civil court had plenty of nonsense to draw from, written mainly by Anglican pastors from England. These men argued that traditional, extra-biblical accounts of the occult were acceptable as information on the nature of the occult, and this side won the debate (with an enormous amount of bogus evidence).

It is untrue to say that the Puritans or “born-again Christians” were responsible for the deaths of innocent people. In fact, the Salem witchcraft trials were stopped by a Puritan pastor from Beverly, Massachusetts. He charged that none of the evidence met biblical criteria. So it was a true minister of the gospel who stopped the state from executing witches in Salem. The minister who brought the charges was dismissed from his pastorate due to his role in the affair.

What should be our response to witchcraft today?

As Christians, we have two avenues of resistance to witchcraft: ecclesiastical and civil.

It is the role of the Church to oppose witchcraft with all our might, even to the point of publicly condemning certain witches (if they refuse to repent) through imprecatory prayer proclamations. Sorcery is condemned throughout the Bible [see Ex. 7:11; 8:7,18; Isa. 47:9,12]. Sanctions are imposed on sorcerers who refuse to repent [see Acts 13:6,8; Gal. 5:20; Rev. 9:21;18:23]. As the Church, our correct response is to condemn the practice of witchcraft and to preach salvation to those who would repent.

A more controversial issue is whether or not witchcraft should be made illegal by our civil government. My view is that since the civil government in our country is not a church-state ecclesiocracy, the state should not try witches. Our local community governments would be correct, however, in enforcing ordinances against private house meetings of religious groups in order to stop the undesirable effects of wiccan rituals on the surrounding community (noise, parking violations, etc.).

The city of Palm Bay was correct and acted within biblical principles and the U.S. Constitution when they enforced an ordinance against Jacque Zaleski’s wiccan meetings held at her home. There was no “state persecution of witches,” as they have charged. In fact, Ms. Zaleski also met for teaching seminars at a rented facility during this same time and was allowed freely to do so. The state here was not promoting a certain religion over another religion. If witches believe that their religion has enough popularity to sustain itself as a viable religious organization, then let them be subject to ordinances of the city in which they reside. Yet I doubt that it is possible for witchcraft can survive in a community together with Christians who oppose them without having special privileges granted by the state.

Witchcraft is sufficiently unpopular in our community that it won’t flourish in public. It must begin in secret and then be given special legal protection in order to grow. And that is why the witches of Palm Bay are hysterical. They know that the only way they can survive is to portray themselves victims of intolerance and bigotry and then qualify for special privileges granted by the state.

Witchcraft is a problem today, because witches are gaining special rights status by claiming that they are a persecuted minority. The danger lies not in church or state persecuting witches. The real danger is when either oversteps its God-given authority, or when one tries to be the other. That is what leads to tyranny and oppression. Witches certainly can hold their beliefs and practices in private. There can be no civil law against that as long as it doesn’t interfere with public sphere of life. Private faith is an issue of the conscience. The state of the human soul is something which only God himself can judge.

From another perspective, the problem of witchcraft is rooted in the deep spiritual decline of our churches. Jacque Zaleski was raised in a Christian home, but she now worships a “nature goddess.” Our response as the Church should be to pray for her salvation. This is the only way that Jacque Zaleski can be changed. We cannot enforce inner righteousness from the top down. Righteousness begins with personal regeneration.

Yet we should not neglect our duty as Christians in the civil sphere to enforce outward morality – to enact laws against anything immoral, i.e., abortion, child sacrifice, public nudity, which is being promoted through witchcraft. We must do everything within biblical and Constitutional law to stop the immoral influences of witchcraft from spreading in our community.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A special issue of The Champion containing articles dealing with the relationship of witchcraft and abortion, plus information pertaining to the proliferation of witchcraft in our communities and even our churches, is available at:

The Champion

See also: The Boston Awakening


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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

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