First of all, we do know Emerging Church Leader Samir Selmanovic Worships With Witches.

Even so, there doesn’t seem to be any truth to the rumor Selmanovic will chair this new pagan council.

Well, at least not yet; however, tis the season of Samhain. Ya never know.

Be that as it may, just a bit ago Apprising Ministries captures an interesting tweet from Patheos Pagan:

(Online source)

That link takes us to The Wild Hunt of Jason Pitzl-Waters and his post The Return of the American Council of Witches. If you didn’t know, Pitzl-Waters:

has become one of the leading voices for analysis and insight into how modern Pagan faiths are represented within the mainstream media.

In addition, “The Wild Hunt” has also conducted in-depth interviews with prominent figures within modern Paganism, academia, and religion journalism. (Online source)

Pitzl-Waters tells us about something that was known as “the American Council of Witches (aka the Council of American Witches),” which was put together in “1973 [by] Carl Llewellyn Weschcke” and a “Lady Sheba.”

According to Pitzl-Waters this was “shortly after” Weschcke was initiated “into the American Celtic tradition of Witchcraft.” He also informs us:

The group would convene and disband in 1974, partially due to internal divisions and debates, but before it did they published the Thirteen Principles of Belief (aka Principles of Wiccan Belief).

Meant as a general set of principles that all groups participating in at the time could agree with, that material was then incorporated into the 1978 edition of the Army’s military chaplain’s handbook thanks to Dr. J. Gordon Melton (the material was revised in the 1980s and 1990s, with input from groups like COG and Lady Liberty League). Now this group is attempting to rise from the ashes as the US American Council of Witches. (Online source)

Then according to US American Council of Witches today by The Pentacle Project:

(Online source)

Pitzl-Waters also goes on to bring out that he wanted to know a little bit more about this group so, “I contacted them, and spoke with Wiccan author and musician Kenny Klein, a member of the new Council.”

Following is a bit of their discussion:

Are there any links between this new ACW and the original body?

The new Council was organized primarily at a request from the U.S. Army to update the Army Chaplains Handbook, whose Wiccan/Pagan statement was written by the original council. Oberon Zell served on the original body, and will be involved with the current body. Isaac’s widow, Phaedra, has also had input. Other members of the original body may be contacted as well.

Who is organizing this effort? Who’s driving it? Have any Pagan organizations/religious institutions endorsed your plans?

The original effort was organized by Chicago area Witch Kaye Berry, who was handed the request from the U.S. Army (I believe from Oberon). Kaye began contacting Witches and Pagans whom she believed would make valuable contributions to the effort. I was contacted early on, and felt this was a worthy project. I have been helping to identify Witches who are leaders in the Pagan/Witch community who might be assets to the project.

Our current goal is to bring thirteen core members in as a board. Ultimately we will bring in a representative for each state in the U. S. Of this number, it is my own personal goal to see representation of the major traditions of Wicca and other Pagan practices, and also voices of less structured practices. (Online source)

After-all, it was but last year that Samir Selmanovic would tweet:

(Online source)

Briefly, “the other” is Liberalism 2.0-speak for their belief that God is at work within all other religions; these new school Gnostics of the neo-liberal cult within the Emerging Church believe they need to discover what God is supposedly doing in these other religions.

Selmanovic told us his views in an earlier book, which was edited by the dubious duo of the Emergent Church, Fuller Theological Cesspool Seminary professor Tony Jones and his pastor Doug Pagitt. Selmanovic mused this mythology:

Can it be that the teachings of the gospel are embedded and can be found in reality itself rather than being exclusively isolated in sacred texts and our interpretations of those texts? If the answer is yes, can it be that they are embedded in other stories, other peoples’ histories, and even other religions?…

God’s table is welcoming all who seek, and if any religion is to win, may it be the one that produces people who are the most loving, the most humble, the most Christlike. Whatever the meaning of “salvation” and “judgement,” we Christians are going to be saved by grace, like everyone else, and judged by our works, like everyone else…

For most critics of such open Christianity, the problem with inclusiveness is that it allows for truth to be found in other religions. To emerging Christians, that problem is sweet… Moreover, if non-Christians can know our God, then we want to benefit from their contribution to our faith. [1]

Quite obviously, none of this is genuine Christianity. That said, you need to come to understand this lunacy in the Lord’s Name has been pumped into your Young Adult and Youth ministries for years now; and further, it’s precisely where you end up with the pagan universalism in the Love Wins mythology of Rob Bell.

End notes

[1] Samir Selmanovic, “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness – Finding Our God in the Other,” in An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones editors [Grand Rapids: Baker,
2007], 192, 195, 196, emphasis mine.

See also: