Again, the Wall Street Journal comes through with a fascinating article. On today's (10/31/06) front page, the Halloween-themed feature is about Rev. Phil Wyman, a minister in Salem, Mass -- yes, of witch fame. Salem, of course is a large wiccan-New Age hotspot, and Wyman set out to engage in "friendship evangelism" with this community, who seemed to respect and appreciate his approach, which included a confession of the church's past sins and a tongue-in-cheek "Psalm Reading" booth at a local Halloween gathering.
The response from the community was positive, including on e wiccan who is quoted as saying, "Sure, he wants to convert you. But he does it in a way that respects you." That seems a powerful testimony to me.
Unfortunately, his denomination did not see things that way. One is quoted as saying that Wyman was "too familiar, too cozy, too amicable with that community." He was brought up on charges on being "abberant," and was removed from his pastorate.
We need to engage culture, and not in a "we versus them" mentality. There are probably details I don't know, but the handling of this case disappoints me.