Bruce Meyer left the following comment on a post that wasn't about this subject, so I thought it might better occupy its own post:
Recently Jeremy and I have been talking about reaching out to neognostics and pagans. After we talked, I realized that the guy with expertise in this area is in my own town (where I teach) of Salem, Massachusetts, Pastor Phil Wyman. So on Halloween I stopped by his church to catch up, and found their outreach at work. Also found that they were on the front page of the Salem News and The Wall Street Journal. The problem is that they were reaching out to pagans. Oops. Waddya know. Here are some links. BTW, I'm quite proud of my friend Pastor Phil.
Befriending witches is a problem in Salem, Mass
Let's Not Get Too Cozy with Pagans? Foursquare Church and The Gathering
The Missional Journey of Phil Wyman
Church severs tie with Salem branch:The Gathering chastised for getting too close to witches
I have to say I like the following quote from the first article:
"Sure, he wants to convert people," he says about Mr. Wyman. "But he does it in a way that respects you."
It's also worth noting how much some of his critics sound like Jesus' critics:
Mr. Wyman appeared "too familiar, too cozy, too amicable with that community," said the Rev. Kenneth Steigler, a United Methodist Church pastor.
Then there's this one:
Mr. Wyman, his associate pastor, Jeff Menasco, and their wives were summoned to a hearing in October last year at Mr. Hatcher's church in Weymouth, Mass., before several Foursquare leaders. They grilled the two couples as to how a Christian could be friends with witches.
The first article doesn't include his response after mentioning that. The fourth article and the blog post at the second link does. He said, "We live in Salem. How could you not?" One of the commenters on the post at the second link sums up my first thoughts on this:
These people are NOT the enemy! We do not struggle against flesh and blood.
I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with linking to a website that has pagan content. After all, doesn't it depend entirely on the context for those links? Nothing in the criticism offers any sense of how the context of those links implies endorsement of everything said on those sites.
I've seen similar resistance from Christians who want to reach out to the gay community. It seems there are certain sins that amount to the same level in our day as how the Pharisees of Jesus' time viewed prostitution, tax collecting, and being a Gentile or Samaritan. Apparently being a pagan or Wiccan is up with being gay for many evangelicals today, far above most any other problematic group to the point where Christians shouldn't even think about hanging out with them for the sake of the gospel.