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Author Topic: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach  (Read 2442 times)

Local Magpie

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Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« on: September 12, 2019, 08:19:25 pm »
Hello everyone! This is my current brainchild for my religious path (Which is constantly changing as I learn more). I've become very attached to the idea of blending Christian concepts and deities into my pagan path. Here are some thoughts (not terribly historical and very upg):

Mother Mary, God the Father and Jesus implanted in a wiccan? inspired mythology. It's not a perfect trinity as I think of the Holy Spirit as The All/One that flows through all. It's important to note that I believe their is a divine that flows through all and god/goddess are beings that have ascended closer to the divine but that because they probably care for us (and all things), They try to help us all become closer to that divine.
Jesus, to me, represents both the death, rebirth and eventually union with the Divine. His and Mary's suffering speak to me that God/Goddess suffer with us during times of duress and horror. Imo he wouldn't have died for our sins but to teach us that he suffers as much as we do (probably doesn't apply to historical n christian Christ though).

But when it comes to the more Wicc-ish things I struggle with my theory. I can easily see Mary as a 'neowiccan' (for lack of a better term) Goddess with her son Jesus, dying and being reborn through the sabbats. But I can hardly relate to God the Father at all, which makes me feel like I should drop this altogether before I start developing a practice. He just seems like a totally foreign concept to me. I've tried relating him to loving fathers in my life (such as my own Dad and my maternal Grandfather) but he just seems so distant. I've even considered replacing him with the more feminine/neutral Holy Spirit. But it seems wrong to just drop him (despite, you know, all the other things I've thrown out the window).   

Donal2018

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2019, 08:44:27 pm »
Hello everyone! This is my current brainchild for my religious path (Which is constantly changing as I learn more). I've become very attached to the idea of blending Christian concepts and deities into my pagan path. Here are some thoughts (not terribly historical and very upg):

I am a developing Christian Pagan myself. I don't think that I am prepared at this point to get too much into the topic publicly, since I also have a lot of UPG and stuff that I need to work through. I think that I need to study and contemplate more before I start making definite statements.

Still, I am working on it and I am glad to see someone here who is Christian and Pagan also. I am viewing this topic as a beginner's project for me at this point, but I hope to learn more as time goes on. I do appreciate with what you said in your post about Jesus, Mary, and God. I might write a response to that part at some later point.

So hopefully I will see you more here as this topic and project develop, and maybe we might find others who are interested in Christian Paganism as well. There is much more that could be said, but I will leave it there for the moment. 
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 08:47:13 pm by Donal2018 »

EclecticWheel

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2019, 03:07:49 pm »
Hello everyone! This is my current brainchild for my religious path (Which is constantly changing as I learn more). I've become very attached to the idea of blending Christian concepts and deities into my pagan path. Here are some thoughts (not terribly historical and very upg):

Mother Mary, God the Father and Jesus implanted in a wiccan? inspired mythology. It's not a perfect trinity as I think of the Holy Spirit as The All/One that flows through all. It's important to note that I believe their is a divine that flows through all and god/goddess are beings that have ascended closer to the divine but that because they probably care for us (and all things), They try to help us all become closer to that divine.
Jesus, to me, represents both the death, rebirth and eventually union with the Divine. His and Mary's suffering speak to me that God/Goddess suffer with us during times of duress and horror. Imo he wouldn't have died for our sins but to teach us that he suffers as much as we do (probably doesn't apply to historical n christian Christ though).

But when it comes to the more Wicc-ish things I struggle with my theory. I can easily see Mary as a 'neowiccan' (for lack of a better term) Goddess with her son Jesus, dying and being reborn through the sabbats. But I can hardly relate to God the Father at all, which makes me feel like I should drop this altogether before I start developing a practice. He just seems like a totally foreign concept to me. I've tried relating him to loving fathers in my life (such as my own Dad and my maternal Grandfather) but he just seems so distant. I've even considered replacing him with the more feminine/neutral Holy Spirit. But it seems wrong to just drop him (despite, you know, all the other things I've thrown out the window).

Gnosticism (or the religions classified as such) is very diverse, but at least in some accounts Jesus comes from the Pleroma as an aeon rather than being the son of Yahweh, so you will need to think about who Jesus is and where he comes from.

So there are differing accounts of the origins of Jesus, though gnosticism in the texts I've read is not matter or life affirming.  Nevertheless it demonstrates precedent for alternative theological contexts for Jesus and his origins.

Nicene orthodoxy itself took some time to develop and would be different from Jesus' Jewish context as well.

In some liberal brands of Christianity like Unitarianism, Jesus is unique in being an exemplar of humanity at its finest, but he is not divine.  We are all children of God in this view.

You might even explore Mormon beliefs in which men become gods.  As man is now, God once was.  As God is now, man may be.

If you have a theory of our origins or that of the cosmos you may ponder how Jesus fits into that.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Local Magpie

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 03:34:39 pm »
Still, I am working on it and I am glad to see someone here who is Christian and Pagan also. I am viewing this topic as a beginner's project for me at this point, but I hope to learn more as time goes on. I do appreciate with what you said in your post about Jesus, Mary, and God. I might write a response to that part at some later point.
Actually it was some of your posts on the forum that inspired me to look to Christian Paganism! I hope to hear more of your view points in the future.

Gnosticism (or the religions classified as such) is very diverse, but at least in some accounts Jesus comes from the Pleroma as an aeon rather than being the son of Yahweh, so you will need to think about who Jesus is and where he comes from.

So there are differing accounts of the origins of Jesus, though gnosticism in the texts I've read is not matter or life affirming.  Nevertheless it demonstrates precedent for alternative theological contexts for Jesus and his origins.

Nicene orthodoxy itself took some time to develop and would be different from Jesus' Jewish context as well.

In some liberal brands of Christianity like Unitarianism, Jesus is unique in being an exemplar of humanity at its finest, but he is not divine.  We are all children of God in this view.

You might even explore Mormon beliefs in which men become gods.  As man is now, God once was.  As God is now, man may be.

If you have a theory of our origins or that of the cosmos you may ponder how Jesus fits into that.
I will look into Gnostic ideas, but it definitely lacks the life-affirming element I'm looking for. Thanks!

Donal2018

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2019, 04:30:07 pm »
Actually it was some of your posts on the forum that inspired me to look to Christian Paganism! I hope to hear more of your view points in the future.

Oh, that's kind of nice. I look forward to future discussions on this topic with you and others. I am treating it as a project, which means to me more study and more posts over time. Glad that you have been inspired. It encourages me to see you here.

Quote
I will look into Gnostic ideas, but it definitely lacks the life-affirming element I'm looking for. Thanks!

Yeah, one thing that I am pretty certain of is that I do not subscribe much to Gnosticism. One thing that stops me there is the Gnostic idea that matter arose from consciousness. I strongly believe the opposite- that consciousness arises from matter. First matter, then bodies and brains, then consciousness. This is one reason that I am drawn to various Paganisms- a focus on Nature as the Source of Life, Consciousness, and Being.

Another thing that Gnosticism asserts is that Nature/Matter is evil or bad, for lack of another term. The Creator in that scheme- the Demiurge- is evil. Matter must be overcome and we must ascend back to Spirit. I do not subscribe to all of that. Even conventional Christianity asserts that we live in a Fallen World and that Humanity is afflicted with Original Sin. I reject all of that as well. I embrace a Paganism that asserts that Life, Nature, the Cosmos is basically good, beautiful, and whole. Yes, there is "bad stuff" and negativity in the World, but over all, Life and Nature are good things. This is what draws me towards Paganism and away from conventional Christianity as a theological or metaphysical scheme.

Still, I believe in Christ as a powerful god and compassionate healer and teacher. So I assert a form of Paganism as a Nature metaphysics. Then I add an idea of Jesus to that Paganism. This view denies the anti-life aspects of some (many) types of Christianity. The World is not evil or fallen, but rather a natural mix of good and bad things, but mainly the good. My idea of Jesus is in accord with that. So, a Christian Paganism without the doom, judgement, and evil of Gnosticism and some forms of Christianity. I will probably write more of this in the future, but those are some ideas that are basic to my brand of Christian Paganism- compassion and love without the guilt and doom, and a Natural (Pagan) metaphysics.

I would also note that my Christian Paganism is polytheistic, with Christ as a Prince amongst many other Gods and Goddesses. I will write more on that aspect of my Christian Paganism at some later point also.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 04:36:23 pm by Donal2018 »

EclecticWheel

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2019, 04:35:14 pm »
I will look into Gnostic ideas, but it definitely lacks the life-affirming element I'm looking for. Thanks!

It lacks that for me, too.  But it does give a precedent for alternative theologies and some different ideas to look into.  I like to think of Jesus as a liberator in general, although not in the sense of trying to escape the world or universe of matter.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Donal2018

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2019, 06:42:18 pm »
It lacks that for me, too.  But it does give a precedent for alternative theologies and some different ideas to look into.  I like to think of Jesus as a liberator in general, although not in the sense of trying to escape the world or universe of matter.

Yes, I remember studying Gnosticism many years ago and it is a really different perspective. It kind of turns things upside and shakes them up. So, it did get me out of complacency a bit, but I just can not subscribe to a metaphysics where the Creator, the Universe, and the Material World are explicitly evil.

Of course in Conventional Christianity God the Father is both Great and Good, but still the Material Universe is viewed as Fallen and in need of correction. I am not certain that I agree with that. I might accept an idea of a "Half Fallen" World, but I can not reject the clear evidence that there is so much good in the World. It seems to me that God or the Divine must be a Source of this goodness.

So, I reject the cosmology of Gnosticism and I am a bit skeptical of at least part of conventional Christian metaphysics. I do realize that I am generalizing somewhat, and there are a variety of types of Christian metaphysics. I just am skeptical of the main types. There are many other things about Christianity that I admire and incorporate into my views. The Social Gospel is a main example.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2019, 06:44:53 pm by Donal2018 »

Mandi_S

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2019, 11:25:17 am »
I am a developing Christian Pagan myself. I don't think that I am prepared at this point to get too much into the topic publicly, since I also have a lot of UPG and stuff that I need to work through. I think that I need to study and contemplate more before I start making definite statements.

Still, I am working on it and I am glad to see someone here who is Christian and Pagan also. I am viewing this topic as a beginner's project for me at this point, but I hope to learn more as time goes on. I do appreciate with what you said in your post about Jesus, Mary, and God. I might write a response to that part at some later point.

So hopefully I will see you more here as this topic and project develop, and maybe we might find others who are interested in Christian Paganism as well. There is much more that could be said, but I will leave it there for the moment.

I'm Chao-Christian.

Which essentially means I use my childhood system of belief as my ritual tools.

If we're talking raised energy, Catholicism ROCKS.  It's unwashed, it's rough but it's heady.

If I were to split hairs, Chaos is probably the dominant belief.

So when I choose an order, Catholicism is a pleasing order for me that is rich in energy for any purpose and purpose for any energy. 

One of my favorites is the Stations of The Cross.

On the surface you have to be like, oh ugh, but there are more people than just Christ in the Passion.

Doing the Stations as Mary is deep work.  Walking the road of watching your child meeting death, as a mother, knowing you cannot stop this and having the faith that it is meant to be. 

I usually do it during weekday midmorning so I have the place to myself to cry it off after at the front of the Church without anyone to try to be well meaningly nosy. 

I've got health issues so laying on the floor in random public places doesn't bother me.  It alarms others sometimes.

To lose so hard and deep without losing faith.  To be crushed and to get back up again speaking glory...

To break yourself and keep walking.  All the way to the edge.


Chaos says it doesn't need to make sense or that the sense it makes might not be immediately apparent or that the sense is in the individual.

It doesn't have to be a world view.  Just the lens on this eye for this moment.

I cannot declare the rightness of my perception with any meaning outside of myself.

For magical systems,  I don't bother with much of the Gnosis stuff.  What I do is mixed up in my other activities. 

Calling quarters for example would throw me off unless I had really put the time into desiring to work in that way.  That's going the scenic route.

Breaking the continuity of perception is how I get that altered state. 

Since I don't like people, a room full of them all trying to have a religious experience is like a wind tunnel full of screaming.  Puts my energy somewhere around the top of the room.  Lofts it.  If I stay mindful it's like being drugged.



Human interpretation will always be subject to human perception and belief.


It depends on what you're looking for in a belief system. 

I'm not trying to explain the existence of reality or humans.  Just surfing the waves.

Im not entirely sure the universe isn't a great animal and we are it's cells and one day it will scratch an itch and shed us.


« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 11:35:17 am by Mandi_S »

Sefiru

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2019, 08:30:12 pm »
To lose so hard and deep without losing faith.  To be crushed and to get back up again speaking glory...

To break yourself and keep walking.  All the way to the edge.

This is one of the aspects of the monotheistic religions that I admire the most (even if my own path goes in other directions).

ehbowen

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2019, 03:37:01 am »
This is one of the aspects of the monotheistic religions that I admire the most (even if my own path goes in other directions).

Attributed to A. W. Tozer (by Goodreads):

Quote
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply." God actually rises up storms of conflict in relationships at times in order to accomplish that deeper work in our character. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is graduate-level grace. Are you willing to enter this school? Are you willing to take the test? If you pass, you can expect to be elevated to a new level in the Kingdom. For He brings us through these tests as preparation for greater use in the Kingdom. You must pass the test first.”
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

Mandi_S

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2019, 10:22:16 am »
Attributed to A. W. Tozer (by Goodreads):

I like that.   

I think it unlocks a whole nother kind of energy work.  When Gods will is not in alignment with your own. 

But that's the point it requires Chaos.

There is nothing I can do or be that is salvation or damnation worthy outside of belief.

We're all looking through the mirror darkly.  I see in part.( Corinthians)






Sefiru

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2019, 07:08:47 pm »
Attributed to A. W. Tozer (by Goodreads):

The path of ordeal is one of many paths to the divine, nor is it suited to everyone.

arete

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2019, 01:50:01 pm »
But I can hardly relate to God the Father at all, which makes me feel like I should drop this altogether before I start developing a practice. He just seems like a totally foreign concept to me. I've tried relating him to loving fathers in my life (such as my own Dad and my maternal Grandfather) but he just seems so distant. I've even considered replacing him with the more feminine/neutral Holy Spirit. But it seems wrong to just drop him (despite, you know, all the other things I've thrown out the window).
Yes, this is difficult. I think, if you find the key role of God Father, everything will fall into place. In my opinion, don't abandon him. He must have a necessity. What is his role exactly?
I pray that religious animosity will end.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2019, 03:16:02 pm »
Chaos says it doesn't need to make sense or that the sense it makes might not be immediately apparent or that the sense is in the individual.

I can get on board with this kind of chaos - bits of my own path aren't yet making total sense to me, still piecing it all together (painstakingly slowly).

Though one thing I must confess is there's almost no Christianity in my path, personally speaking (despite being -unknowingly- raised by and still holding to the golden rule).

Mandi_S

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Re: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2019, 05:36:04 pm »
Yes, this is difficult. I think, if you find the key role of God Father, everything will fall into place. In my opinion, don't abandon him. He must have a necessity. What is his role exactly?

Hm.

I don't see "The Father" as the Church sees him in a parental role or in period garb or facial hair. 

I don't even see 'him' as gendered although I think he has a fabulous love affair with the earth.

I have some awful thoughts about the universe, that it's exists as a container inside an even greater universe, maybe one that we would perceive as an absence of being.  Existing as total energy.  Our universe as a planet in an even greater universe that is the body of God.

So for me, The Father is that pure energy state. 

The distinct natures of the Father and The Holy Spirit are a bit beyond me. 

Any with info on that would be good food for thought.

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