Archive for October 29, 2015

Christian-Pagan syncretisms: the Why

One recent search term that brought up this blog was “Is Christo-Paganism safe?” I’m guessing that was in reference to concerns about the use of magic, or possible punishment by YHWH or other Gods who may not get along with him. I’m going to take a step back from this first-

Why do you want to combine Christianity and Paganism? What is your understanding (not your parents/guardians, teachers or ministers- but yours) of Christianity, its teachings, how the Bible should be interpreted, the nature of Jesus and so forth?

What is your understanding of Paganism? Don’t worry at this point how broadly, or narrowly Paganism should be defined- after all, I’m a longtime Pagan, and I’m not really sure on that either! What aspects of Paganism interest you? Are they things that also can be found within Christianity?

I’m not asking any of these questions because I want to get you to stay “within the fold” of Christianity, become a full-fledged Pagan (however defined) or combine them in some way. But I have met a lot of folks over the years who became Pagan that had a rather narrow understanding of Christianity based on their upbringing. In order to see the Divine as feminine as well as masculine, find social/spiritual gender equality, view sexuality and the body as positive, or view nature or the Earth as sacred or divine, they felt they needed to become Pagan. Many of them remained Pagans, and lived happily ever after. For a few others I’ve known, Paganism was a sort of gateway that led to more options- liberal/feminist/ecological Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, atheism. Others I know have a Pagan practice that includes elements of Christianity.

Now, since I’m not a Christian, I am not going to tell this or that belief or practice is theologically and Biblically OK or not OK. There’s a zillion individual personal and institutional interpretations. You’ll have to decide for yourself what and who is a trustworthy authority about these questions.

More questions you might have- (assuming you are an independent adult who is free to make these choices) I may write something more specifically for teenagers, with the understanding that I cannot directly advise you via e-mail or in person without parental or guardian permission.

Should I still go to church if I’m exploring other religions? If you feel comfortable doing so, then sure. Depending on what church it is, there may come a time when you need to decide if some forms of participation are still appropriate- such as reciting the Apostle’s or Nicene Creed or taking Communion (particularly if you are Roman Catholic or Orthodox)

OK, I’m stopping this for now because I realize my answer to every question is “it depends on the church”! To be continued…


October 29, 2015 at 3:19 am Leave a comment


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