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Wicca and Christianity.....

Today's discussion topic is about Wicca/Paganism and Christianity and my thoughts on both.

Though Christianity, Wicca and Paganism are all very old-even ancient-religions, Christianity, or at least some sects of Christianity, are fairly new. The same goes for some Wiccan sects. My belief, and correct me if I am wrong, is that most Wiccan and/or Pagan sects are much older than Christianity, even dating all the way back to the very early beginnings of Humanity itself.

Though Wiccans, Pagans and Christians share some of the same values-or at least some Christians claim to share some Wiccan and/or Pagan values and claim them as their own-I have found that there are more Christians practicing intolerance and persecution toward other faiths/religions than many of the other faiths/religions I have studied or learned about/and or practiced. But that's not to say Wiccans and/or Pagans aren't guilty of it as well, because to never admit wrongdoing is foolish and folly. Many Christians today have forgotten their religion's most basic principles.

Wiccans and/or Pagans-or at least many sects of them-follow Nature-based Paths and worship the All-Mother and the All-Father, or the Lord and Lady, or the Egyptian, Hindu, Greek, Roman or other ancient/current civilization's pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. However, not all follow a Nature Path or even the Wiccan Rede. The Rede, like the Christian Scriptures, is simply a set of guidelines to live by. Many Christians have forgotten that their scriptures are just that-guidelines for living-instead of Black and White laws set in stone. The King James versions of the Christian Bible is guilty of that.

Christianity-or some sects at least-was based upon love and religious tolerance. Their basic principles dwelled on that and have even adopted some Wiccan and/or Pagan holidays. However, not to be confused with the Wiccan/Pagan holidays and to avoid confusion, Christians twisted them around and changed their names and dates for their own ends. Christians, though their praying is similar to casting a Spell, do not believe in Magic. In fact, what they do not realize is that their most famous figure in their New Testament and founder, Jesus, practiced a form of White Magic and was actually considered a Healer. The King James Bible twisted him and his story around to make him the Son of their God and to make the Christian religion look better (my opinion).

Like Christianity, there are many sects and subsects of Wicca and Paganism. So many, in fact that, to name them all would have to be in a separate post all together.

Well that's it for now! Hope you find this informational or, at least entertaining.

Sincerely,

Rebecca M.
me

Dear Grammy and Pop-Pop.

Dear Grammy (Grandmother) and Pop-Pop (Grandfather),

You have both taught me so much. You both taught me to have great respect for all life on Earth, be it Human or otherwise. You both taught me the Ancient Ways of Wicca and Witchcraft. You taught me to respect and about the way the life energies that surround us and bind us together work and their uses. You taught me patience and tolerance for others, even if they don't treat me in the same manner. You also taught me how to love, yet be tough at the same time.

Grammy, you showed me how to honor Mother Earth and all of her children, human and otherwise. Grammy, you showed me the secrets to having a successful flower garden as well as a fairy garden. You also showed me and taught me about birds and their individual names and habits. You, Grammy, treated them the same way you treated your Human children. You also taught me about flowers and their individual names and habits, as well as their likes and dislikes and also treated them as if they were your children. Grammy, you also taught me the basic core values I have now and about Karma and its workings. You and Pop-Pop were the first ones to teach and show me unconditional and undying love.

Pop-Pop, you taught me to respect, or at least be tolerant of, those that follow other paths and/or religions, even if they do not show me the same respect and/or tolerance. You also showed me how to plant a successful vegetable garden. You, Pop-Pop, showed me all of your secrets to growing huge, tasty tomatoes and having the biggest, juiciest watermelons. You also showed me the secrets to cooking the finest snap beans and pole beans ever. Pop-Pop, you disciplined me and taught me everything I know nowadays with nothing but love in your heart. Even when I acted in a deplorable manner, you and Grammy disciplined me and set me straight in a gentle, loving, non-threatening manner. You and Grammy never yelled at me nor did you strike and/or spank me. And you both treated me like an adult in my later years-even supporting me in, and guiding me in, my individual Wiccan/Pagan path.

To both of you: I love and miss you both. Even though death may keep us apart physically, you are both still with me in Spirit, Heart, Mind and Soul. One day we will meet in Summerland. But not today. You both are still loved and missed, if not by your children, then by your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

With Love,
Your Wiccan/Pagan granddaughter
me

What Wicca and Paganism mean to me.

What do Wicca and Paganism mean to me? To me, Paganism is the worship of the many Old World Gods and Goddesses, such as Egyptian or Greek Gods and Goddesses, in addition to the worship of nature. Just as there are many sects of Christianity or Islam, there are many sects or branches of Paganism. In addition events or even rituals are a part of Paganism. Magick or Magic is another, minor part of Paganism and so is the worship of the magickal creatures.


However, Wicca is a little more clouded and mysterious to me than Paganism. To me, Wicca is the worship of nature, but can also encompass the worship of many Gods and Goddesses or just one God and Goddess. Wccans also worship magick or magic and the creatures involved. Although similar to Paganism, Wicca is also very different. Wiccans, even though they too have different sects, participate in events and rituals, also practice their craft on their own and/or in a small group called covens.

However, as with any religion, both have many sects and sub-sects.

So this is up for polite discussion or polite debate. Please be gentle because I am still new to this and still learning my path. Thank you.
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Review of "A New History of Early Christianity"

A New History of Early Christianity by Charles Freeman

Review of "A New History of Early Christianity"
by Tom Bissell, The National April 2. 2010
"Jesus and his original followers spoke Aramaic. At some point the faith became predominantly Greek in its expression. “The difficulty here,” Freeman writes, “is that it is impossible to know what was lost, culturally and linguistically, in the process.” But some Greek speakers brought with them an esteemed philosophical tradition. The Platonists conceived God as being entirely separate from the world of matter and flesh. Forms and ideas existed outside of the material world, there for us to discover them, with God’s guidance. But how did God communicate with us? One answer was logos, or “word,” an incredibly complex idea in Greek, the literal translation of which “gives little of the breadth or philosophical depth of the Greek original,” in Freeman’s words. Logos became a kind of second divinity, the ambassador of God. These ideas, which greatly influenced the author of John’s gospel, would determine the course of Christian thinking by allowing an important philosophical reconciliation between pagan and Christian ideas.

Indeed, many early Christians conversant with pagan thinking were embarrassed by the primitive nature of Christian scripture. Origen once asked a fellow Christian to “apply the things that are useful from geometry and astronomy to the explanation of the Holy Scriptures”, as though in recognition that scripture alone was not intellectually filling. Clement of Alexandria regarded pagan philosophy as, in Freeman’s words, “a sort of preliminary discipline for those who lived before the coming of Christ.”

Clement and Origen represented the Christianity of Alexandria, where debate was initially encouraged, but Christian thinkers such as Tertullian and Augustine influenced the church to a far greater extent. Both emerged from the more hostile Christian milieu of Carthage, and this intellectually censorious, North African Christianity would help lay the foundations for later orthodoxy. “With our faith,” Tertullian wrote, “we desire no further belief ... [and] there is nothing which we ought to believe besides.”
[...]
As Christian thinking became more stable, the church, at least as we today understand the word, began to emerge. What was settled intellectually by this process? Several things: a new phase of history had been launched upon by God when he sent Jesus to the earth; the “Wisdom” referred to frequently in the Old Testament was Jesus himself; and Jesus had redeemed the sin of Adam by becoming human and taking on all the sins of the world. Only some of these beliefs were scriptural– and then barely – and others appeared to contradict scripture. But without the codification of these beliefs, it is hard to imagine Christianity ever becoming appealing enough for men like Constantine to throw the weight of empire behind it. Orthodoxy was, in Freeman’s words, a “model for survival” in which “a single truth” was passed on “within an institutional framework.”
[...]
After the doctrinal purgings of Theodosius, the attacks on pagan temples and synagogues began in earnest, many of them led by “roving bands of monks” who demolished anything they deemed insufficiently Christian. (Much of this shocked even Theodosius.) The freedom of pagan teachers to instruct freely was withdrawn, and Plato’s Academy was shuttered in 529. Thousands of important classical works were lost forever, and no one would be able to read Egyptian hieroglyphics again for 1,400 years. “What was lost for centuries,” Freeman writes, “was any form of restraint on the exploitation of credulity. The exploitation of the miraculous by both religious and secular elites acted as a major brake on intellectual progress.”

Christianity took the best minds of several generations and, if not destroyed them, certainly set them to counterproductive ends. That is the story of early Christianity. The authoritative theology many Christians believe can be located in the New Testament is not found there. New Testament theology had no authority, and so authority was brought to bear upon New Testament theology. This has nothing to do with whether or not Christianity is “true” but is a question of how it was understood through time – a process that destroyed centuries of human progress. Freeman says as much, but then adds, a page from the end of this fine book, that this is “too bleak a conclusion. The churches have fulfilled many needs.” It is not too bleak a conclusion, and the only reason the church fulfilled those needs was because it was the only institution the church itself had not helped destroy. Charles Freeman reminds us why understanding how this faith developed is the best way to ensure it will never again wield such unquestioned institutional power."