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eaglesbaby
November 29th, 2009, 01:55 AM
How does one go about honoring Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and Mary?

Do other Gods and Goddesses fit in?

I do realize this is a ridiculously open-ended question.

nannymouse
December 1st, 2009, 11:10 PM
I recall that in the old testiment, he said something like: I am the only one!
(or maybe it was: There may be others, but I'm first!)

Jesus, his son. Mary, his surrogate (?).

From there I think that you would need to look to individual angels, or maybe saints.

Yaweh don't roll with no Pantheon!

Erisek
December 9th, 2009, 08:41 PM
I agree. I once read a book which taught something to this effect: Christianity is the only religion where its starter is just as (or more) important than his teaching. Take Mohammed from Islam and you still have a religion. The same with Buddhism, you still have the 4 noble truths and the 8-fold path. But the Bible talks so much about the importance of finding God and not simply doing what He says, that to get rid of Jesus would mean there would effectively be no more religion. Jesus told the same to the Pharisees, who followed the small nuances of the Torah such as eating certain foods or washing their hands (and therefore thought they were pious) but neglected the big picture of God and His mercy, which is infinitely more important.

I think the same is also true about adding onto Christianity. The religion can stand on its own on a solid base (God, referred to as "The Rock"). There's no use or need to add anything else to the base, just as there is no need to add a 5th wheel to a car when it was designed for 4 :uhhuhuh:

Louisvillian
December 11th, 2009, 05:03 AM
Yahweh don't roll with no Pantheon!
This. Needed to be said.
Calling something "Christian Wicca" is a huge misnomer, as Christianity, in any form, is necessarily monotheistic. And Wicca, in all its forms, is necessarily polytheistic (see: Core Beliefs stickied thread in the Wicca paths subforum).
You can't be both. Their basic ideas are mutually exclusive.

Christian Witchcraft is another subject entirely. But, then, Wicca and Witchcraft are not synonyms. You can't use them interchangeably.

winter rose
December 11th, 2009, 01:20 PM
[quote=Louisvillian;4105882]This. Needed to be said.
Calling something "Christian Wicca" is a huge misnomer, as Christianity, in any form, is necessarily monotheistic. And Wicca, in all its forms, is necessarily polytheistic (see: Core Beliefs stickied thread in the Wicca paths subforum).
You can't be both. Their basic ideas are mutually exclusive.

quote]

I disagree. I think you can practice Wicca as a Christian if you see God as a masculine and feminine form. Thus you would be honoring Christ and Mary. While Mary is not God, some view Mary as a female, human form of God, since she is the mother of Christ.

To answer EaglesBaby's question, no, I don't think you can worshop other Gods and Goddesses. The Bible does clearly state that there is only one God. However, I do believe that you can honor and pray Saints to intercede your prayers and magic and increase it's power.

Hope that helped!

Cloaked Raven
December 11th, 2009, 02:41 PM
Saints can be classed as messengers between us mere mortals and God or Jesus. For example, when one prays to Saint Anthony to help them find something that's been lost, he will pass the message on to God and He will help you. :) Same with asking Our Lady of Lourdes to heal the sick.

Some on a Christo-pagan path do believe that Mary (mother of Christ) is the female aspect of God... Some believe the Holy Ghost/Spirit is female.

Technically, one on a Christo-Pagan path is not really supposed to have any other gods/goddesses outside of the Christian Holy Trinity. But that's up to the person on a Christo-Pagan path in my opinion at least. :)

I do believe there are other gods and goddesses out there, but I'm not on a path that follows their teachings, that's all. :)

Lunacie
December 11th, 2009, 02:46 PM
[quote=Louisvillian;4105882]This. Needed to be said.
Calling something "Christian Wicca" is a huge misnomer, as Christianity, in any form, is necessarily monotheistic. And Wicca, in all its forms, is necessarily polytheistic (see: Core Beliefs stickied thread in the Wicca paths subforum).
You can't be both. Their basic ideas are mutually exclusive.

quote]

I disagree. I think you can practice Wicca as a Christian if you see God as a masculine and feminine form. Thus you would be honoring Christ and Mary. While Mary is not God, some view Mary as a female, human form of God, since she is the mother of Christ.

To answer EaglesBaby's question, no, I don't think you can worshop other Gods and Goddesses. The Bible does clearly state that there is only one God. However, I do believe that you can honor and pray Saints to intercede your prayers and magic and increase it's power.

Hope that helped!

Depends on your personal interpretation of the bible. I've always thought that Jehovah told his followers that there are other gods but that he must be first in their hearts, and he should be the only one they worship. That would be workable. But those who go with the "There is only god" belief would be disrespecting either Christian beliefs or Wiccan beliefs if they mixed the two. But I really don't see how it's possible to be a Christian and honor other gods or goddesses.

Cloaked Raven
December 11th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Depends on your personal interpretation of the bible. I've always thought that Jehovah told his followers that there are other gods but that he must be first in their hearts, and he should be the only one they worship. That would be workable. But those who go with the "There is only god" belief would be disrespecting either Christian beliefs or Wiccan beliefs if they mixed the two. But I really don't see how it's possible to be a Christian and honor other gods or goddesses.
It is true that Jehovah did tell his followers that there are other gods out there. I believe it is stated in the First Commandment. :)

I don't honor other gods/goddesses outside of the ones within the Christian realm, although I do believe they exist and I do respect them and their teachings. :)

Louisvillian
December 12th, 2009, 02:51 AM
I disagree. I think you can practice Wicca as a Christian if you see God as a masculine and feminine form.
No, that's just viewing God as androgynous or not having a specific gender. A far cry from polytheism, which contradicts directly with Christianity and monotheism. You can't have it both ways.


It is true that Jehovah did tell his followers that there are other gods out there. I believe it is stated in the First Commandment.
You'd really have to twist the words around to get that kind of meaning out of it, especially in the context of Christianity. Perhaps that might be applicable in early Judaism. But Christianity, and Judaism ever since the iron age, for that matter, are monotheistic.

winter rose
December 12th, 2009, 11:10 AM
No, that's just viewing God as androgynous or not having a specific gender. A far cry from polytheism, which contradicts directly with Christianity and monotheism. You can't have it both ways.




As Wicca is individualistic, anyone who wants to practice it is free to interpret the worshiping of the God and Goddess in any form they want. The God and Goddess could be symbolic of the masculine and feminine form of God, or they could be outright worshiping Christ and Mary.

Traditional Wicca is polytheistic, but Wicca means different things to different people - it doesn't have to be if that's not what you believe.

Lunacie
December 12th, 2009, 12:00 PM
No, that's just viewing God as androgynous or not having a specific gender. A far cry from polytheism, which contradicts directly with Christianity and monotheism. You can't have it both ways.


You'd really have to twist the words around to get that kind of meaning out of it, especially in the context of Christianity. Perhaps that might be applicable in early Judaism. But Christianity, and Judaism ever since the iron age, for that matter, are monotheistic.

I'd have more trouble with making Jehovah be both god and goddess, both masculine and feminine, than in seeing that he acknowledged that there are other gods. He said he was a jealous god and wanted his followers to worship only him. There are several bible verses that support this, check out this web page. (http://bible.cc/exodus/20-3.htm)

Taken in a historical context where there is documentation that other people did indeed worship other gods, it would seem hard to argue with this, but nowadays some Christians believe these other gods were merely figments of someone's imagination, merely myths rather than actual divine beings. I would think that the first perspective would make it more logical to combine Christianity and Wicca - while the second perspective would make it practically impossible.

Cloaked Raven
December 12th, 2009, 01:17 PM
I'd have more trouble with making Jehovah be both god and goddess, both masculine and feminine, than in seeing that he acknowledged that there are other gods. He said he was a jealous god and wanted his followers to worship only him. There are several bible verses that support this, check out this web page. (http://bible.cc/exodus/20-3.htm)

Taken in a historical context where there is documentation that other people did indeed worship other gods, it would seem hard to argue with this, but nowadays some Christians believe these other gods were merely figments of someone's imagination, merely myths rather than actual divine beings. I would think that the first perspective would make it more logical to combine Christianity and Wicca - while the second perspective would make it practically impossible.
This.



You'd really have to twist the words around to get that kind of meaning out of it, especially in the context of Christianity. Perhaps that might be applicable in early Judaism. But Christianity, and Judaism ever since the iron age, for that matter, are monotheistic.

It's stated in the first commandment:


You shall have no other gods before me.From Here (http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/the-ten-commandments.html).

Louisvillian
December 12th, 2009, 02:52 PM
Again, you'd have to really twist the meaning of the words to get polytheism out of that. Judaism has been monotheistic for almost 3000 years. Christianity has been monotheistic for its entire existence. I can see maybe interpreting the first commandment to be henotheistic in regards to Judaism, where there at least was some history of that. But, Christianity is monotheistic. Period; that's how the religion is defined. You can't be a Christian and a polytheist; it simply does not work that way.

Lunacie
December 12th, 2009, 03:24 PM
Again, you'd have to really twist the meaning of the words to get polytheism out of that. Judaism has been monotheistic for almost 3000 years. Christianity has been monotheistic for its entire existence. I can see maybe interpreting the first commandment to be henotheistic in regards to Judaism, where there at least was some history of that. But, Christianity is monotheistic. Period; that's how the religion is defined. You can't be a Christian and a polytheist; it simply does not work that way.

I don't think so. Polytheism is generally defined as the belief in more than one god. You don't have to worship more than one god though.

From Exodus: "Who is like you among the gods, O Lord?"
From Deutronomy: "You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the people who surround you."
From 2nd Kings: "You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them."

It just doesn't sound to me like Jehovah was denying the existence of other gods, but he wanted his people to be faithful to him alone. This was not a belief that went over big in the church I grew up in of course. ;) Nor was my belief in reincarnation, although many of the early Christians did believe in it. The bible has been rewritten in more than one way over the years.

Louisvillian
December 12th, 2009, 08:26 PM
It doesn't matter if the text has been altered over the years, or if early Judaism was henotheistic, or what you think Yahweh said. Christianity, as part of its core definition, is monotheistic. This isn't something that is up for debate; it's one of the central tenets that define Christianity. I don't know why this is a hard concept to understand: A is A, regardless of whether or not you want it to be B.

If one wants to worship Yahweh and believe in other deities, that's fine. That could actually be a form of revivalism regarding pre-Judaic Hebrew beliefs. But it would not be Christianity or contemporary Judaism.

monsnoleedra
December 12th, 2009, 08:36 PM
I really am curious as to how one would combine them as the idea being expressed is one of the factor's that caused the rift in the early church. The idea of other gods or godlike beings caused some significant arguments.

The Cult of Mary arose for a period then was dropped pretty much, though Mary today is still venerated somewhat in the Catholic church. Granted to many the veneration of the saints was seen as a problem and was also a factor in the seperation of the Lutheran movement from Catholicism and more so from the Protestant factions.

I can see the possibility of a Christian Mystic, a Christian Witch or other similar folkish groups. Pow Wow magic comes to mind in this slant of Christian and Magical systems coupled.

Yet a Christian Wiccan is a coupling I just do not see as possible based upon the very core tennants of each practice.

Tobias
December 12th, 2009, 09:06 PM
What about the worship of the Catholic and Orthodox Saints? Wouldn't this be a form of polytheism?

Granted, the Catholic Church does not sanction the worship of the Saints. But for certain people have worshiped them over the years. Santeria is a religion that developed from people substituting their gods into the Catholic religion in the guise of Saints. How many more cultures and religions, also found a way to appease their Christian conquerors, while maintaining a form of their ancient religion by substituting their favorite gods in as saints?

Didn't some of this transpire right in the beginning, allowing the unwilling pagan converts to have certain Saints they could revere as equivalents to their gods?

Taking things back to "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me"; it seems that this would mean that, to many Christians in many places, no pagan god was allowed to be exalted above the Lord God. It didn't stop anybody from worshiping them too.

Brightshores
December 12th, 2009, 10:02 PM
I would think it's a lot easier to worship YHWH/Christ/Mary etc. in a Wiccan context, than to practice Wicca in a Christian context.

Personally, I am a big fan of syncretism, but most orthodox branches of Christianity emphatically are not.

winter rose
December 13th, 2009, 02:44 AM
What about the worship of the Catholic and Orthodox Saints? Wouldn't this be a form of polytheism?

Granted, the Catholic Church does not sanction the worship of the Saints. But for certain people have worshiped them over the years. Santeria is a religion that developed from people substituting their gods into the Catholic religion in the guise of Saints. How many more cultures and religions, also found a way to appease their Christian conquerors, while maintaining a form of their ancient religion by substituting their favorite gods in as saints?

Didn't some of this transpire right in the beginning, allowing the unwilling pagan converts to have certain Saints they could revere as equivalents to their gods?

Taking things back to "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me"; it seems that this would mean that, to many Christians in many places, no pagan god was allowed to be exalted above the Lord God. It didn't stop anybody from worshiping them too.

It's not polytheism because it's not worshipping other gods. It's communicating with a saint and asking him to pass your prayers along to God. To some people, communicating with a saint is more personal because they can make a connection with a saint based on his patronage.

Lunacie
December 13th, 2009, 10:39 AM
It doesn't matter if the text has been altered over the years, or if early Judaism was henotheistic, or what you think Yahweh said. Christianity, as part of its core definition, is monotheistic. This isn't something that is up for debate; it's one of the central tenets that define Christianity. I don't know why this is a hard concept to understand: A is A, regardless of whether or not you want it to be B.

If one wants to worship Yahweh and believe in other deities, that's fine. That could actually be a form of revivalism regarding pre-Judaic Hebrew beliefs. But it would not be Christianity or contemporary Judaism.

But apparently it is up for debate. It was debated in the early history of the Christian movement, and I think some Christians have questioned it all along. My questions were met with an attitude like yours and made it easier for me to leave the church when other attitudes drove me away. I think some people stay in the church and continue to question such a narrow worldview.

Tobias
December 13th, 2009, 05:36 PM
It's not polytheism because it's not worshipping other gods. It's communicating with a saint and asking him to pass your prayers along to God. To some people, communicating with a saint is more personal because they can make a connection with a saint based on his patronage.


I agree that this is the official Church sanctioned way to honor/work with the saints today. For centuries the Protestants have been accusing the Catholics of idol worship, and of worshiping the saints. I was raised Protestant, and therefore admit that my opinion of how saints are honored has been skewed for many years. :)

However, Santeria did come from certain people actually worshiping the saints. We know that the Catholic Church made many adjustments in the wake of the Reformation. If we are simply looking for examples of somebody somewhere who has developed a Christian pantheon besides the Holy Trinity, I think this might be a direction to search into.

Also consider, that many polytheistic pagans don't actually worship their gods. They revere them, idolize them, and turn to them for advice. Does that make them any less polytheistic? Are they atheists, with several gods and goddesses on the side to help see them through?

Catholics don't worship the saints in the same way they worship God. But how close does the honor they do give them compare to what some pagans might give to their deities?

Louisvillian
December 13th, 2009, 06:55 PM
Catholics (and Orthodox) don't worship the saints, period. They don't believe the saints have divine powers in and of themselves. They are people who died in god's grace and are asked to intercede. That's it.

Polytheism is the belief in multiple gods, regardless of worship afforded to them or not. Christians, let alone Catholics, do not believe in multiple gods. That is why "Christian Wicca" is an oxymoron: monotheism and polytheism are mutually exclusive concepts.

Lunacie
December 13th, 2009, 07:09 PM
Catholics (and Orthodox) don't worship the saints, period. They don't believe the saints have divine powers in and of themselves. They are people who died in god's grace and are asked to intercede. That's it.

Polytheism is the belief in multiple gods, regardless of worship afforded to them or not. Christians, let alone Catholics, do not believe in multiple gods. That is why "Christian Wicca" is an oxymoron: monotheism and polytheism are mutually exclusive concepts.


I seriously doubt that you have the expertise or the authority to speak on behalf of all Christians (of any and all denominations) as to what they do or do not believe. What you are expressing here is your opinion, not an undeniable fact. It is an opinion that I disagree with.

It could be argued that the basic premise of Christianity is that of believing there is only one god, but I think even that would be debatable.

Tiberias
December 13th, 2009, 07:20 PM
What you are expressing here is your opinion, not an undeniable fact. It is an opinion that I disagree with.

Actually, what he's expressing is the orthodox Christian theology of the past 1,700 years.

There seems to be a big stumbling block in this thread, namely that from the Christian perspective (in general) there is a certain weight given to notions of orthodoxy, even if personal belief...slips. From many pagan perspectives, orthodoxy is a foreign concept and everybody looks for individual spins on religious practice, even where there aren't necessarily any (at least any meaningful or widespread ones). The two opinions, in other words, are being expressed in entirely different vocabularies by people with entirely different understandings of how the world works.

firefairy86
December 13th, 2009, 08:33 PM
I thought that being a Christian simply means believing in Christ as your savior. The different sects of Christianity have their own interpretations of the bible and what is the right way to worship Christ. IMO I could see Christian Wicca working if your going on your own interpretation of the bible.

Tiberias
December 13th, 2009, 08:41 PM
Recognizing Christ as your savior is a fairly complex concept, though. It's not just saying, "I believe in Jesus as my savior, the rest is just detail!" I mean, what use is a savior without the whole arrangement of factors that necessitate salvation?

firefairy86
December 13th, 2009, 08:45 PM
When I was a kid, I was taught that Christ died for your sins or paid your "debt" so that you can enter the kingdom of heaven clean. I thought that this is the general belief in Christianity no matter what denomination you belong to.

Tiberias
December 13th, 2009, 08:56 PM
It's one of the general beliefs, yeah. I'm just saying that it goes a lot deeper than just believing in Jesus' sacrifice and getting into Heaven. There has to be a reason that the sacrifice is needed, for a start, not to mention some reason to believe that Jesus WAS the Messiah. Christianity is NOT just about accepting Jesus, there's a complex of fundamentally necessary beliefs that go along with that idea. Most people would say that one of those is monotheism.

Lunacie
December 13th, 2009, 10:14 PM
It's one of the general beliefs, yeah. I'm just saying that it goes a lot deeper than just believing in Jesus' sacrifice and getting into Heaven. There has to be a reason that the sacrifice is needed, for a start, not to mention some reason to believe that Jesus WAS the Messiah. Christianity is NOT just about accepting Jesus, there's a complex of fundamentally necessary beliefs that go along with that idea. Most people would say that one of those is monotheism.

And I would agree that most Christians would say one of the fundamental beliefs is monotheism - whether that is historically correct is another debate. However, MOST and ALL are not the same thing. I think there are some Christians who question what others find to be "fundamental."

Tiberias
December 13th, 2009, 11:14 PM
The question then becomes, if the vast majority of Group A believes that A, B, and C are necessary to be a member of Group A, is it really valid for Individual B to claim membership in Group A even though they believe that A and B are flat-out wrong? I'd say it's pretty clear that it isn't. It's just hijacking a popular/familiar name for a completely different set of beliefs. Might as well just call it Mercerism or Islam or Scientology at that point.

Tobias
December 14th, 2009, 02:01 AM
The question then becomes, if the vast majority of Group A believes that A, B, and C are necessary to be a member of Group A, is it really valid for Individual B to claim membership in Group A even though they believe that A and B are flat-out wrong? I'd say it's pretty clear that it isn't. It's just hijacking a popular/familiar name for a completely different set of beliefs. Might as well just call it Mercerism or Islam or Scientology at that point.

Good point. Except that in this case, we are already admitting that there is quite a bit of difference from the original religion, by saying it's a mixture between Christianity and Wicca. Obviously the two religions are quite different, and there will be significant variance from the originals to make it work.

Also there is another issue, where a person follows the traditions from a certain religion, except perhaps the few that are considered required for initiation. Like following everything from d-z of the Christian religion, while not seeing the need for the a,b, or c. While to the general public who wish to define things in neat little packages might say that this disqualifies said person from said religion; when it comes to associations this person will feel more at home in this religion than in any other. Following a particular religion 90% of the way should be acknowledged as such, whether or not the 10% involves the qualifying factors of the religion.

Louisvillian
December 14th, 2009, 03:12 AM
Good point. Except that in this case, we are already admitting that there is quite a bit of difference from the original religion, by saying it's a mixture between Christianity and Wicca.
Here's the thing, though. Unlike Wicca, Christianity is a religion defined by orthodoxy. If you stray enough out of that orthodoxy, then it simply is not Christianity anymore. Especially if one were to toss out one of Christianity's basic tenets, i.e. monotheism.

Nachtigall
December 14th, 2009, 04:41 AM
I thought that being a Christian simply means believing in Christ as your savior. The different sects of Christianity have their own interpretations of the bible and what is the right way to worship Christ. IMO I could see Christian Wicca working if your going on your own interpretation of the bible.


Which raises another question. How do Christian Wiccans reconcile the concepts of the original sin and the need for salvation with Wiccan theology? Do they believe that we are all born sinners because of Eve?

Lunacie
December 14th, 2009, 08:28 AM
Good point. Except that in this case, we are already admitting that there is quite a bit of difference from the original religion, by saying it's a mixture between Christianity and Wicca. Obviously the two religions are quite different, and there will be significant variance from the originals to make it work.

Also there is another issue, where a person follows the traditions from a certain religion, except perhaps the few that are considered required for initiation. Like following everything from d-z of the Christian religion, while not seeing the need for the a,b, or c. While to the general public who wish to define things in neat little packages might say that this disqualifies said person from said religion; when it comes to associations this person will feel more at home in this religion than in any other. Following a particular religion 90% of the way should be acknowledged as such, whether or not the 10% involves the qualifying factors of the religion.



Here's the thing, though. Unlike Wicca, Christianity is a religion defined by orthodoxy. If you stray enough out of that orthodoxy, then it simply is not Christianity anymore. Especially if one were to toss out one of Christianity's basic tenets, i.e. monotheism.

Well, I've certainly seen (and been a part of some) arguments over whether 90% is enough to consider someone a "true Wiccan." My opinion has generally been that I wouldn't necessarily say that what the person is practicing isn't authentic Wicca although it isn't traditional Gardnerian Wicca. I suppose the same is true for Christianity. They have certainly been arguing over issues of orthodoxy for a couple of thousand years and I doubt the arguing will end any time soon.

Christianity, perhaps Catholicism more than any denomination, is a herd mentality. People who have questions are often hushed. Which is one thing I admire about the Jewish faith. Those people love to ask questions and ponder mysteries. And although they are a much older religion than Christianity, they don't seem to have diverged into as many different sub-sets as Christianity, perhaps because they are able to discuss and debate rather than leaving one group because they question some of that groups beliefs.



Which raises another question. How do Christian Wiccans reconcile the concepts of the original sin and the need for salvation with Wiccan theology? Do they believe that we are all born sinners because of Eve?

Well, that takes things in a different direction eh? That was another belief that I questioned growing up in the Christian church. Why should I be held accountable for what someone else did thousands of years ago? Was that a test that was doomed to failure - you can eat everything on the dining room table except for the marshmallow - so of course all you can think about is what the marshmallow might taste like. Didn't god understand basic human nature any better than that? After all, he is credited with creating human beings.

The concept of personal responsibility is certainly one of the things I found in Wicca that most agreed with my own internal beliefs. I'm not responsible for what Eve did in the Garden of Eden, but I can't blame Satan for any bad choices I make in my own life either.

Tiberias
December 14th, 2009, 10:34 AM
Well, I've certainly seen (and been a part of some) arguments over whether 90% is enough to consider someone a "true Wiccan." My opinion has generally been that I wouldn't necessarily say that what the person is practicing isn't authentic Wicca although it isn't traditional Gardnerian Wicca. I suppose the same is true for Christianity. They have certainly been arguing over issues of orthodoxy for a couple of thousand years and I doubt the arguing will end any time soon.Right, but again, Wicca isn't Christianity, and they can't be equated in this way. They come from very, very different mindsets.


Christianity, perhaps Catholicism more than any denomination, is a herd mentality. People who have questions are often hushed. Which is one thing I admire about the Jewish faith. Those people love to ask questions and ponder mysteries. And although they are a much older religion than Christianity, they don't seem to have diverged into as many different sub-sets as Christianity, perhaps because they are able to discuss and debate rather than leaving one group because they question some of that groups beliefs.You must have had some very unfortunate experience with Catholicism. When I look at the Roman Church, I see 1,700 years of questioning and exploration. Bacon, Llull, Aquinas, Augustine, Duns Scotus, Albertus Magnus, Anselm, Alcuin and Abelard. Hardly unquestioning drones. It's especially ironic given that the current Pope is perhaps the most theologically-minded, scholastic Pope in recent memory.

Judaism has not formed as many sects as Christianity because there is no notion of apostolic succession and far fewer people involved, hence less hierarchy. I don't think it's a matter of allowing debate (which many Christian sects, including proper Catholicism, do anyway).


Which raises another question. How do Christian Wiccans reconcile the concepts of the original sin and the need for salvation with Wiccan theology? Do they believe that we are all born sinners because of Eve?

That's a very good question.

Tobias
December 14th, 2009, 01:19 PM
Well, I've certainly seen (and been a part of some) arguments over whether 90% is enough to consider someone a "true Wiccan."


Well, this is where it would be real nice if religious tolerance would set in. Why does a person who's only 90% Wiccan feel the need to be considered a "True Wiccan"? Unless of course, the "True Wiccans" are not very accepting of someone who has minor differences from them.

I thought this mostly applied to Christianity. If you miss a few key points (depending upon the denomination), you are definitely not one of them. I really thought that by getting away from that religion, we would see more tolerance for those who mix and match from different sources. But I guess Paganism still has it's share of religious purists.

What's wrong with acknowledging the fact that 70% of my religious orientation is still Christian? For the most part, I still act, talk, and look like a Christian to most people. If I'm not a Christian, then what the hell am I? Oh, I know, I'm 70% Christian...

People who left Christianity years ago still find vestiges of the old religion permeating their lifestyle and way of thinking. The correctly identify it as Christian, and deal with it accordingly. Many have said that Satanism is a Christian denomination, because they recognize most of the mentality and practice does not originate from any pagan religion, but from Christianity. If we can so readily recognize Christianity in so many places, how come we cannot be happy to accept that somebody's path is 50% Christian?

You can't strip a person from their religion simply because they don't follow a few key qualifying points. Christians do this all the time, and send people out the door because they don't fit in. They might be a homosexual, or simply cannot agree with all the doctrinal points. What then are these people to do? Do they then simply have to abandon all the rest of their faith, and find a suitable replacement religion, starting all over again at square one with their spiritual journey?

I know this has happened to many people here on this board. And I can only imagine the pain and spiritual anguish this kind of transformation can produce.

Some of us though, have chosen to let go of Christianity slowly, replacing the misguided concepts with "something better" whenever we find them. Parts of Christianity will probably stand the test of time, and will never have to be replaced. This wasn't the path I ever chose for myself. My God that I developed a relationship with in Christianity turns out to be several different Gods. oopps! But They chose to work with me in Christianity until the time was right, and actually, continue to do so. Why should I abandon what my Gods have taught me, simply to satisfy people who like to see people sorted in their neat little religious boxes?

Tiberias
December 14th, 2009, 04:12 PM
I don't think anybody's saying you should abandon your beliefs. We're saying your beliefs are no longer definable as Christianity. Christian-influenced, sure. But polytheism and Christianity just don't go together. As I've said elsewhere, I can call myself the Emperor of the Moon - that doesn't make it so, and I wouldn't expect everybody around me to agree with that label, making it kinda meaningless.

Louisvillian
December 15th, 2009, 03:20 AM
Quite. I never said anyone should cease believing and practising whatever it is they believe and practise.
I just want people to label it properly. It's not just semantics; proper usage of accepted definitions is the cornerstone of language itself.

Tobias
December 19th, 2009, 04:56 PM
Nice to know that I have your permission to continue on. :thumbsup:


So, just curious, how many pagan religions also have this same kind of exclusionary conditions? Druids I'm pretty sure would fall under this, as there is no way for modern day ones to be initiated the same way as the ones before (whatever those conditions were, we don't even know.)

What about Celts? Did you have to belong to the tribe, live in the region, drink from the sacred spring, etc? Or the Asatru, don't you have to be born in their lineage to be a *real* one? Didn't the Egyptians shave every inch of their bodies -- do you have to shave all your hair off to be a *real* worshiper of their gods?

The fact is, many of us take liberties with our beliefs and our practices. I'd like to think that is a positive thing, that we feel free enough to discard elements of our religion that do not ring true with us, or simply don't fit into our lifestyle in this century/millennium.

Age old exclusionary factors will never change for the fundamentalists, but for those of us that are a little more liberal we'd still like to identify with the religion that we pattern our lives after. It sure does simplify things when you can enter a conversation and simply say, "I'm a ________" without having to explain things like everyone you talk to is an extreme conservative. I'm not talking about being dishonest, just simply expecting people to understand that in our day people rarely follow anything in it's traditionally pure form.

perceval23
January 18th, 2010, 04:44 PM
Right, but again, Wicca isn't Christianity, and they can't be equated in this way. They come from very, very different mindsets.


Do they really, though? Both are built around Nature and her cycles. What many Neo-Pagans call Christianity lifting holiday customs from Pagans was actually just cases of various customs done in various places at times that were when a Christian festival took place continuing, and becoming, eventually, associated with the Christian festivals. The Celts were a bit of an exception, but Christianity's development with them was uniquely Celtic, which we'll be getting into in a bit.

Look at the theology of George MacDonald, mentor to Lewis Carroll, and the biggest influence on J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. Lewis said he never wrote a book that didn't quote MacDonald in some way. I'd go so far as to say MacDonald influenced Wicca. Take a look at some things he wrote...

http://www.macdonaldphillips.com/fromtheheart.html

For example...



IT IS THE TEMPLE OF NATURE and not the temple of the church, the things made by the hands of God and not the things made by the hands of men, that afford the truest of symbols of truth.
ALL NATURE SPEAKS, like the flower, messages from God, the Father of the universe.
EVERYWHERE IS GOD. The earth underneath us is his hand upholding us; the waters are in the hollow of it. Every spring-fountain of gladness about us is his making and his delight. He tends us and cares for us; he is close to us, breathing into our nostrils the breath of life, and breathing into our spirit thoughts that make us look up and recognize the love and care around us.
SEE THE FREEDOM OF GOD in his sunsets-never a second like one which is passed! See the freedom in his moons and skies, in the ever-changing solid earth!- all moving by no dead law, but in the harmony of the vital law of liberty.
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL is but a bit of love frozen.
EVERY FACT IN NATURE is a revelation of God.
ALL LOVELY SIGHTS tend to keep the soul pure, to lift the heart up to God.
THE MAN WHO, in harmony with nature, attempts the discovery of more of her meanings, is just searching out the things of God.


The Celtic Otherworld/Fairy was a major part of these Christian writers' system.


Here's the thing, though. Unlike Wicca, Christianity is a religion defined by orthodoxy. If you stray enough out of that orthodoxy, then it simply is not Christianity anymore. Especially if one were to toss out one of Christianity's basic tenets, i.e. monotheism.

What is "Orthodoxy" to a Catholic is different than what it is for a Baptist, which is different than what it is for a Mormon, and so on. The Methodist edition of the Bible, for example, teaches the Creation Myth as just that, a Myth. Methodists aren't to take it literally, but look for the higher truth the Myth represents.

Many Wiccans don't take their identities for their Gods and Goddesses literally. Most Christians just use the generic "God" as a simple term for the Divine, rather than the Jewish Yahweh. How many Christians do you see using the name "Yahweh"? While Christianity came from the Jewish religion, it isn't Jewish, and hasn't been since it stepped outside of it. Many Christians don't think of God as literally male, as in literally with a penis, though God can manifest as male. Many Christians view the various Gods and Goddesses of the world as simply aspects and personas of God as perceived by different peoples. A Nature Goddess, for example, would just be a persona of God as manifest through Nature. Note that most Christians refer to Nature as "she." They don't worry about semantics.

The Celts had no problem just adding Christianity to what they already had. This is reflected in the Myth of Brigid being the Midwife at Jesus's birth, placing three drops of water on the newborn's forehead to confer wisdom, and the baby's protector from Herod; as well as the Holy Grail being protected in the Fairyland of Avalon by the Nine Sisters.

Christian Alchemists had, as the climax of the Great Work, the union of Red King and White Queen, the Sacred Marriage of Sun and Moon. I can't overstress the debt the modern Craft owes to those Christian Alchemists. Alchemy was also a huge influence on the works of MacDonald, Carroll, Tolkien, and Lewis.

C. S. Lewis believed that Christ's purpose wasn't to replace the Old Religions, but to fufill them. That's why he could have Bachhus in Narnia. Unfortunately, both the BBC and Walden cut Bacchus from their film adaptations, but here's an overview for those who haven't read the books...

http://stefanie-bean.livejournal.com/124313.html

As with all things in Christianity (and Wicca, for that matter), it comes down to the individual, what works for that person. Personally, I find Christ a much more fufilling Sun God/White Stag symbol than Murray's Horned God. Christ is the only Stag figure, to my knowledge, that historically also represents the Sun. And, we have Christ's teachings, showing us how to live our lives.

I realize a lot of Christians and Wiccans are dogmatic, but I think that's a mistake, "getting lost in the metaphor" as Joseph Campbell put it. What's important, I think, is the higher meaning of these symbols and practices, what they represent, how they are a part of how we live our lives.

Kalioppee
January 16th, 2011, 04:25 PM
Many Wiccans don't take their identities for their Gods and Goddesses literally. Most Christians just use the generic "God" as a simple term for the Divine, rather than the Jewish Yahweh. How many Christians do you see using the name "Yahweh"? While Christianity came from the Jewish religion, it isn't Jewish, and hasn't been since it stepped outside of it. Many Christians don't think of God as literally male, as in literally with a penis, though God can manifest as male. Many Christians view the various Gods and Goddesses of the world as simply aspects and personas of God as perceived by different peoples. A Nature Goddess, for example, would just be a persona of God as manifest through Nature. Note that most Christians refer to Nature as "she." They don't worry about semantics.

When I was being taught Trad Wicca, it was just the God and Goddess or Lord and Lady.. no names were ever put to them nor was their a set culture.

Growing up in a Roman Catholic home, it was God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost and Mary, and some saints, as a child I prayed to all of them, and there was no difference. Was I as a child worshiping God, Jesus, Holy Ghost/Spirit, Mary and the Saints as if they were all different Gods??? Yes and No, why ? because as child I really did not know, and didn't know the difference of what is worshiping and what is honoring/venerating.

As for God my God has no gender, but at the same time God can be both male and female, as is the Holy Spirit for me, Jesus is God who came to Earth to become human and understand the human spirit and soul, he had to deal with everything we deal with and still be God too. I also believe that God chose male aspect because that is the only way the culture could even listen to Jesus - Jesus had to be a male or the message would never have been heard.. plus it was already written in the OT.

I also see nature as a She, and calls it Mother Nature, now I don't worship nature but I do my best to keep it in highest esteem.. it is what we need to live here, hurting nature will eventually hurt us, how could anyone not honor nature.

(I have more but need to come back to it later)
Kal

perceval23
January 18th, 2011, 04:55 PM
Nature and her cycles are the basis for the festivals of Christianity and Wicca, and every religion except Islam, as far as I know. As far as the use of Myth is concerned (and therefore the Divine and various concepts given names and personifications), many things are better expressed through Myth, poetry, stories, song, dance, and art than they are with just words. There's a popular theory that Shakespeare was involved with the English translation of the Bible, to keep some of the poetic parts poetic. There's a good basis for that theory, since they did bring a lot of people from several fields in for the project, and he was the leading poet of the time. Certainly, some poet worked on those parts.

You'll notice the classic Myths and archtypes work their way into our modern culture, often through our children's stories. These are wired into us that early. Harry Potter is full of Alchemical Mythic symbolism, just as Alice, Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Narnia were before it. Note all the Nature Goddess imagery in Disney heroines over the years (I'll have to do a post on that, alone). The purpose of Myth is to guide us, to help illustrate the Path.

Ritual and prayer are physical uses of Myth and archtypes. And, while one can keep the Divine generic as God and/or Goddess, I find nothing works better for something specific like Imbolc than the figure of Brigid.