Can Christians be Friends with Witches?

Pam Hogeweide conducts an interview with Phil Wyman who is pastor of The Gathering.

Here is one quote to give you a sense of Wyman’s journey:

At first, Phil’s denomination-that-shall-not-be-named was all gaga about Phil’s unique and inventive outward reach to a group of people that most Christians won’t even eat dinner with. But over time, there came rumors and whisperings and a flurry of gossipy emails that raised questions about the wisdom of Phil’s modus operandi. He and the other leaders of his church found themselves subjected to an old-fashioned witch hunt where they were asked such questions as, ‘How can you be friends with witches?’ to which they replied, ‘How can we not?’

Would that we would all have such a missional heart that we would be compelled to make friends with those in need of the Kingdom, regardless of the cost.

Phil blogs at Square No More.

JJ at SmuloSpace also did an interview with Phil back in 2006. You can read them here and here.

And our good blogging friend Webb Kline relates his encounter with Phil here.

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15 Responses to “Can Christians be Friends with Witches?”

  1. Paul says:

    thanks rick – what’s the alternative, friends only with people who can prove that they are without any sin at all, ever???? ;)

  2. Adam G. says:

    Phil’s story is a painful one, but it has to be told. I’ve had him in my blogroll ever since first encountering him. Right now he’s setting up a conference for people who love God but not the church.

  3. brad grinnen says:


    i read about phyl over at john’s site. its important that stories like his are heard as often as can be heard.

    adam. i’ve heard about this conference and it looks interesting.


  4. Rick Meigs says:

    Paul: Not a good alternative is it, but in real life many of us come close to this very attitude, i.e., we only have friends who are part of our Christian culture and are careful not to be tainted by anything outside of that culture. And that is why so few of us ever see anyone enter the Kingdom.

  5. Rick Meigs says:

    Adam: I saw that conference. Sounds interesting.

  6. Rick Meigs says:

    Brad: Exactly why I posted it. We (I) need to be reminded.

  7. thanks rick for the link up of this article. i love phil’s story and wrote it to help amplify his voice for our off the map readership. he’s a great example of how to love people and see past the pentacle. thanks again for helping to get his story out.

  8. Shahshanked says:

    I’ve known the Y-man, as I call him, for almost 25 years and for just as many years I used to belong to the same organization he did. I think for him, everything hit the fan when he got his grant from the former organization. Some of the local pastors just couldn’t stand seeing a guy being funded to love witches. As I confronted the, so-called, leadership of that organization, none was able to clearly justify why Phil had to go except that he had gotten too close to the dark side.

  9. Rick Meigs says:

    Pam, my pleasure, and it is nice to see another Portlander blogging.

  10. Rick Meigs says:

    Hey Shahshanked, nice of you to drop in and sharing your personal knowledge of the situation.

  11. Matt Stone says:

    I dream of the day when mixing with witches is not seen as so unusual. I remember being at a Forge Conference featuring Brian McLaren about a year ago, where you would think people would be pretty open minded, but when I shared with another person at the table that I mixed among witches all the ol spiritual warfare paranoia came out. She couldn’t quite comprehend that this was one of the implications of the incarnational paradigm. It’s encouraging to see Phil’s story being appreciated by a wider crowd as he went though some pretty tough times for the sake of loving others.

  12. Rick Meigs says:

    I agree Matt. They are in need of the gospel message as much as anyone else. I don’t understand the fear. Did I read something in the Book about the gates of hell not standing against us?

  13. fyna ono says:

    If ever on the east coast, will definitely visit The Gathering. Thanks for that website link btw. Read that Thursdays are “lectio divina” – that is awesome! I feel more christians need to do such or similar. A good website to explain “lectio divina” (well IMHO that is)

    A lot of encouragement today through your website here. Some reminders Ive needed for myself ^^

  14. Shane says:

    I find it hard to imagine that people can think this way. In my job I often meet and work with people who desperately need to hear the good news about Jesus Christ and what He has to offer them in they’re lives. If I made a point of prejudging who could hear about Him, then I would have to ask, would anyone have ever told me??

  15. Mark A Moraniec says:

    Yes. I wouldn’t recommend that you reveil yourself to them.