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Author Topic: Blending Christian concepts into Paganism, My approach  (Read 210 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 »

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