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Thread: The big difference between Paganism and Christianity?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladybug1258 View Post
    The one steady characteristic that remains obvious as the difference between Christians and Pagans is tolerance.
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  2. #12
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    There are so many pagan religions, that I think it's nearly impossible to find something that they all share, that is different from Christianity. Now if you are talking "neo-pagan" and I know some people don't like that term, but if we use it to denote the resurrection of old traditions by people in Western cultures most of whom have little direct ancestral connection to the traditions they now follow...then you can probably take a poke or two at answering this.

    Because many of us do have some similar tendencies in the way we understand or practice our traditions that very well might not have been inherent in the trads of our ancestors. (though I can't know for sure)

    What I am saying is that generally some Western liberal ethics tend to be associated with the modern pagan movement. I think they have less to do with the ancient aspects of our faiths than they do with the personalities of people who chose to practice pagan faiths.

    When I was practicing Christianity, I supported most of the same issues I do now, and I find that to be true in many pagans I know. We were always more open to certain things, always more in touch with nature...and then found a faith that was a better fit, and had more people in it that shared our views on these things.

    I don't know that ancient Druids, or Egyptians or Animists were comfortable with homosexuality, equality for the genders, or had tendencies toward vegetarianism for humane reasons, but those things tend to be associated with modern Western paganism. Not that the trads teach those things, but because the people attracted to paganism tend to support those things.

    When people think "pagan" they get an image in their minds. A sorta 21st century hippie.

    Most pagans don't really fit the image, but it's how we are imagined in people's minds. Most Christians don't fit the image of them that is stereotyped either. I mean...except when I actually was a Christian, no one has ever told me I am going to hell for my behavior. 20 years of paganism and no one has ever said that to me personally.

    So, if we compare stereotypes, yes, we can find a main difference between the two groups, but if we compare realities, it's going to be hard to draw a straight dividing line.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynamic_solstice View Post
    Any views on this???
    It's not the main difference, IMO. I've met several pantheist and panentheist Christians and Jews. They believe that god is equally inside and outside everything, but in a Judeo-Christian theological setting.

    The major difference between (neo)paganism and Christianity is the concept of salvation. Christianity holds that salvation from a sinful world and life is necessary and the only way through this is their God. OTOH, most neopagans believe that sin is non-existent, and thus salvation is a moot idea as there is nothing to be saved from, since all the world is viewed as sacred. Note: this sanctity of nature idea often goes hand-in-hand with a panentheist or pantheist view of nature, which doesn't necessarily apply to all neopagan religions.
    Last edited by Louisvillian; May 23rd, 2008 at 12:17 PM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia View Post
    The biggest difference I've noticed?

    Pagans generally don't worship Jesus.
    Quite right.

    I wonder what bible thumpers think of christian witches?
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louisvillian View Post
    most neopagans believe that sin is non-existent
    I must not be a neopagan then. I might not consider the same actions sinful as a Christian, but I do consider some actions sinful. Killing someone, for instance, when not as an act of defense, I find sinful and punishable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louisvillian View Post
    and thus salvation is a moot idea as there is nothing to be saved from
    Agreeing with this, but for different reasons than the claimed lack of sin.

    Note: this sanctity of nature idea often goes hand-in-hand with a panentheist or pantheist view of nature, which doesn't necessarily apply to all neopagan religions.
    And I happen to consider myself a pantheist...
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  6. #16
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    The biggest difference in my opinion is that the way the christian religions are set up, there is no direct link to god. The way to God must be through a church, a sacrament or a priest whereas in paganism God, Goddess is everywhere, in leaves and trees and most importantly, within.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xentor View Post
    I must not be a neopagan then. I might not consider the same actions sinful as a Christian, but I do consider some actions sinful. Killing someone, for instance, when not as an act of defense, I find sinful and punishable.
    I guess it depends on how one defines the word "sin". By "sin" I meant the Judeo-Christian idea of some act being in itself offensive to an omnipotent God, not simply something that is a bad thing to do.

    And, keep in mind, I said "most". Not "all".
    Last edited by Louisvillian; May 23rd, 2008 at 10:32 PM.

  8. #18
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    Generally,

    Most modern Christians are what I call "Contract Christians." The crucial point for them is not following the teachings of Christ, (which are for the most part very Pagan), it is pledging allegiance to Christ, much in the same way a Knight would pledge fealty to a feudal Lord or a King. Moral behaviour is considered secondary, since even the most vile sin is forgivable by this contract. In other words, if Hitler accepted Jesus at the last moment, sincerely, he would be in Heaven alongside all the other Christians.

    IMHO, most modern Pagans believe in Karma and the evolution of the soul through countless incarnations on Earth. Most Pagans are curious, open to, and often explore paths from different cultures. Witchcraft, Zen Meditation, Hatha Yoga, and Shamanism are often practiced as disciplines together in perfect harmony. A Pagan can see the Divine, and then see the different ways that humans approach it as harmonious.

    For the Christian, everyone else's god is their Devil.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thyrsos View Post
    For the Christian, everyone else's god is their Devil.
    For some Christians this is true, maybe even the majority, but not for all..


  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by daibanjo View Post
    There are a couple of differences;
    Pagans do not believe in a Judgement day. There may be Karma or cause and effect following our actions but no big courthouse in the sky when you die.
    That depends on the type of Pagan. As far as I know (and my knowledge on Egyptian mythology is a bit limited), the Egyptians believed that you were judged when you died.

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