collapse

Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: Is it possible to be both Christian and Pagan?  (Read 887 times)

SunnyTheSolarWitch

  • Jr. Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2020
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Considering/Unsure
  • Preferred Pronouns: She/Her & They/Them
Is it possible to be both Christian and Pagan?
« on: December 16, 2020, 04:17:02 pm »


☀ Hi everyone! ☀

I'm newly religious/spiritual and am having a hard time finding my true identity.

Right now, I am torn between being Christian and being Pagan. I have a genuine respect and interest in both religions (for different reasons). As this is a beginner friendly area of the message board, I was hoping more experienced people would be able to offer a hand of support as well as advice.

Is it possible to be a mixture of Christian and Pagan?

I'm unsure of what to call it? A Christian Witch? A Pagan with Christian interests? A Christian x Pagan?

I'd appreciate any insight and help you all would be able to offer.

Thank you!

- Sunny ☀

« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 04:22:57 pm by Jenett »

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3418
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 896
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Is it possible to be both Christian and Pagan?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2020, 04:30:46 pm »

Hi, Sunny -

Welcome to the Cauldron!

A Reminder:
I've edited your post to remove the font, colour, and size changes. One of our rules asks people to use the default for all those things for their posts. (It's rule #3 under our "Do" rules) This helps everyone be able to read and participate in the forum, especially those members with accessibility needs.

If you have questions about formatting on the board, you can ask them over in the Board Questions forum. Using bold and italics for emphasis are fine, however.


I've got some other things that need my time right now, but I hope to make it back to answer your actual question later today.
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

sevensons

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2017
  • Posts: 335
  • Country: gb
  • Total likes: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Is it possible to be both Christian and Pagan?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2020, 05:59:09 pm »

Right now, I am torn between being Christian and being Pagan. I have a genuine respect and interest in both religions
No its no problem to intertwine religion is for all types.
Awaken myself alive and well loving to start learning today ahead a challenge set by the Gods. Haven't

Instagram stevejomac

PerditaPickle

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: UK
  • Posts: 1557
  • Country: england
  • Total likes: 398
  • It's all metta - at least, I believe it should be
    • View Profile
    • Portrait of Perpetual Perplexity
  • Religion: Druidry-leaning learner
  • Preferred Pronouns: She/her/hers
Re: Is it possible to be both Christian and Pagan?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2020, 07:51:21 pm »
☀ Hi everyone! ☀

Hi Sunny -- Chistopagan is a term I believe I've heard (but not in my particular wheelhouse, so I'm afraid I can't add any more than that).

Welcome to TC, by the way   :)
“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.” – The Buddha
(From the Metta Sutta)

My Portrait of Perpetual Perplexity blog

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3418
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 896
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Is it possible to be both Christian and Pagan?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2020, 08:28:33 pm »
Is it possible to be a mixture of Christian and Pagan?

I'm unsure of what to call it? A Christian Witch? A Pagan with Christian interests? A Christian x Pagan?

So, before it's possible to make sense of this question, there's some definitional issues to sort out.

(This is not as long a post as it might be, I'm gesturing at a lot of different things you might want to think about more, both because I'm a bit short on time tonight and because I didn't want this post to be at least three times this long. Feel free to ask questions about specifics (please use the quote code and cut out everything but the bit you're replying to, since this is long!) if there's something you'd like to know more about.

A lot of people who start with this question have, in my experience, not really thought a lot about what they mean by being Christian, or by being Pagan. An awful lot of people haven't sat down to learn about the specific religious strands they're interested in, what their required beliefs, practices, teachings, theologies, etc. are - and how those things might conflict.

The people I know who have made it work for them over the years (and stuck with it for more than a shortish period of time) have put that work in, and figured out something that acknowledges the depth of tradition in all the relevant religions, then figured out a way to resolve or at least acknowledge the conflicts between worldviews. That's not a fast process, but in my observation and experience, it's a necessary one if you want long-term stability.

(I should probably note here: I was raised Episcopalian, converted to Catholicism in my early teens and was an active Catholic through the end of college, and have been a witch for um, 20 years this year, depending a bit how you count. I'm a high priestess and witch in a particular tiny initiatory religious witchcraft tradition. i have tremendous respect for a lot of things in Christianity but I also spent a lot of time in my early 20s putting serious thought into what I liked about it, what I wanted out of my religious life, and whether those things were compatible, before deciding that they weren't, at least not if i wanted to respect the traditions and religions I was claiming to care about.)

What do you mean by Christian?
Do you mean a member of a particular denomination? If so, what commitments do they ask for? What's their theology? How do they feel about magic or various aspects of Pagan religions? If you don't intend to be a part of a particular denomination/congregation/community, how do you intend to resolve the idea that some of the core rituals of Christianity depend on a group being gathered together? 

Do you think you need to be saved or redeemed, theologically speaking? This is a pretty key tenet of a lot of Christian faiths - and it is one that is utterly irrelevant to a lot of Pagan religions (and in a number of cases, actively in opposition to what those practices build and value.)

Do you want to follow the rules and guidelines set down in Christian texts? (Or at least a specific subset of them?)

If you're more about "Jesus as a teacher with useful ideas", how do you intend to resolve things like the question of his divinity? (One set of historical arguments about that here, there are many others.) Do you want to find a community of people who are at least okay with your ideas about this?

Most of all, have you thought about the fact that if you want to pursue both lines of practice, that you will be likely placing yourself in a position where you have to hide or obscure some of your beliefs, values, and practices to participate in many Christian communities/denominations/congregations? (Which, honestly, has long-term implications around integrity, personal spiritual growth, and being able to build strong connections to others in the community built on trust). There are some options here, but they're often not simple (keep reading down to the last section for that.)

Likewise, what do you mean by Pagan?
Paganism is a large group of religious, social, cultural, political, and other groupings that roughly fall under an umbrella, but with a whole lot of differences and distinctions and varied values/priorities/etc. (Darkhawk has an excellent discussion and mapping of some of the threads of what this means in a discussion of The Soup over in this thread.)

A lot of times when people are very new to Paganism at all, when they say Pagan, they mean a sort of soft-squishy-ill-defined thing that looks sort of Wiccanish, sort of seasonal, without a lot of theological underpinning, with some magic thrown in, not realising that a lot of Pagan religions and practices do have underlying structures, reasons, practices that do specific things a particular way for a desired result, and so on. So defining your terms here is going to matter a lot.

It might be possible to be Christian by most common understandings of "Christian" and also part of some Pagan religions - but there are plenty where that would be a problem.

To take just one example: my religious witchcraft tradition, the idea of needing to be saved or redeemed by a god is contrary to what we see our obligation to be (we are responsible for our actions and their consequences: we may get help from our Gods, but they don't save us in that sense. This is not uncommon in religious witchcraft paths, including a lot of strands of traditional Wicca.) We are an explicitly polytheist tradition: people who are a part of the tradition need to be okay working with, honouring, and making commitments and oaths in front of multiple different deities that do not include the Christian one(s). 

Do you want or need to be a polytheist? (That's going to cause some problems on the Christian side for most Christian denominations). Have you thought about the fact that if you're monotheist, focused on the Christian idea of God, it's going to be difficult to impossible to participate meaningfully in a lot of Pagan community events? (Because rituals and workshops and so on will probably ask at least acceptance of the deities, powers, and other beings being honoured/worked with/etc. Are you going to be okay having to do a lot of mental editing while you read and interact with people in Pagan communities and spaces, or books, or other resources?

The question of witchcraft
You ask if it's possible to be Christian and a witch - the answer to that one is much simpler, and is "Yes, but Christianity might have some objections." However, there are long traditions of people being both, especially if the witchcraft or folk magic is much more on the healing/beneficial end of the magical spectrum. But again, it depends a lot on what you mean by 'witchcraft' or 'magic' here.

Some options
There are two places people who ask this question sometimes find community that works for them, while still feeling like they have space to include Pagan aspects in their religious life to various degrees. I know some people who've found space with the Quakers (Society of Friends) to have a community that focuses on what the individual identifies as the source of Inward Light (as they'd put it).

The other option you'll see people mention are the Unitarian Universalists, about whom other people around here can speak much better than I can. Theologically, they have a series of tenets that are compatible with many forms of Pagan practice and belief, but most UU churches include some Christianity in what they do.

UU churches are - other than core things like the tenets and administrative stuff about what makes them in the same denomination - often fairly independent from each other, so you can have half a dozen UU churches within a modest drive in a city that have very different styles from each other. That also includes how explicitly welcoming to Pagan-leaning folk they are. (Some have CUUPS - Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans - groups supported by the church. Some are friendly and opening. Some are pretty firmly working from a Christian POV.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
2120 Views
Last post October 07, 2014, 04:14:06 pm
by Juniperberry
1 Replies
847 Views
Last post May 08, 2016, 08:46:05 pm
by Voren
4 Replies
2675 Views
Last post June 21, 2016, 08:12:40 am
by Soletaken
2 Replies
1238 Views
Last post October 27, 2016, 01:14:13 am
by Morag
10 Replies
1620 Views
Last post October 20, 2017, 04:37:43 pm
by Jainarayan

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 52
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 5
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal