Apologetics geared towards pagans/wiccans/heathens?


#1

I’ve been looking at apologetics materials and nt finding what I need. All of them are refuting protestants. However, when dealing with non-christians, they really couldn’t care less whether your faith can be backed up by scripture they don’t believe in.


So does anyone know of an apologetics sourse geared to explaining things to non-christians?


#2

C.S. Lewis has a good book “Mere Christianity” that is pretty good on explaining why there is a god and why Christianity.


#3

Hi Martha,
I wish I could say there is a foolproof way to evangelize to pagans and such. My ex decided to pursue pagan worship and wicca after our marriage. I tried many things to bring him back, including comparing his rituals to Catholic rituals like lighting candles, prayers for intentions, etc. I failed miserably. The Bible isn’t important to them, you are right about that. They also seem to be more concerned about the supposed power they attain from their religion, i.e. money spells, power rituals, etc. To tell them that power such as they are seeking is reserved for God just doesn’t cut it. I have found the only way to help is to pray for them… just my experience, but until they experience the emptiness of pagan religions, they think they are more enlightened than us stupid Christians (not my belief, theirs). Sorry I can’t offer more.


#4

I would suggest approaching most of them in the same way you’d talk to atheists, as most don’t believe in the literal existence of pagan gods. As for the Wiccans, well you’re on your own there. I once had the pleasure of having the magical value of ingesting menstural blood explained to me, I nearly vomitted.


#5

:eek: Oh my!!! I didn’t know Wiccans believed in that sort of thing! :eek:

Martha - I don’t know of any apologetics, either, for pagans… I just pray for them, and limit conversation on the topic of their religion. :shrug:


#6

Do you realize that Catholics are implored to ingest the blood (literal, not symbolic) blood of Christ? Not merely His spirit, but his blood?

Perhaps now you can understand how that can seem “odd” or “disgusting” to people of a different faith.

cheddar


#7

As a member of the Orthodox Church I also believe I am eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ. However, there’s quite a bit of difference between eating and drinking bread and wine transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit into the blood and body of God in the flesh and drinking down some of your own menstural blood.


#8

They believe that the blood has power in it. The difference is you believe what you believe, and they believe what they believe.

You believe in the power your faith teaches you, and they believe in the power their faith teaches them.

This is good to remember when speaking to people of other faiths.

Speaking to them as if your beliefs make perfect sense and theirs are ridiculous and disgusting will get you nowhere. Especially when you do so in matters where the beliefs are essentially parallel.

Catholics who enjoy the help of Saints intercession to find lost items, sell a home, etc…sometimes mock pagan who believe that there are spirits, sprites, etc who help in certain areas.

For people who believe the Divine is in all natural things, the idea of drinking blood is no more bizarre than you drinking the blood of your savior.

Try to understand that they take their faith just as seriously, and it means just as much to them, as yours does to you. Even if you can’t understand how or why.

cheddar


#9

You might try Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Pensees by Peter Kreeft.

I haven’t read it and I hesitate to recommend a book that I haven’t read. But I have read several other books written by Peter Kreeft and think they are excellent.


#10

Many Neo-Pagans and Wiccans might reject the supernatural and, thus, essentially believe as atheists, but I would say most actually believe in the supernatural and in the Divine – while also seeing the supernatural and Divine as just as much within the person, as outside the person.


#11

Regarding drinking of menstrual blood: hey, you spent 9 months doing it, why stop now?:smiley:


#12

I was thinking about this thread at work today.

One hurdle with pagans is that so many of them were at one time Christian or nominally Christian. A large percentage converted to paganism, and have already made a decision against Christianity. They are likely to have a “been there, done that, didn’t do it for me” mentality.

On the other hand, of the many forms of Christianity, Catholicism has a better chance because it has many things that many pagan trads emphasize…ritual, incense, mysticism, rich symbolism and sensualism (as in involving all the senses in practice). So that can be an “ice breaker”.

Personally, I think the best way to share one’s faith is to talk about how it affects your own life. Don’t try to prove anyone else wrong, show that your faith has transformed your own life. Get them so interested in what you have that they ask you for more information…

When you attack another’s beliefs, they did their feet in and go on the defensive. When you talk about your own, you have at least a ghosts chance of being “seen”.


#13

Here is an excellent article by Jimmy Akin about this exact topic, Martha.

Anti-Neo-Pagan Apologetics

Also, you might check out Lee Strobel’s “The Case for” series. You can read about them here:

The Case for Christ
The Case for Faith
The Case for a Creator


#14

What I believe is correct, what they believe is not. You sound rather like you’ve embraced universialism. I haven’t.

You believe in the power your faith teaches you, and they believe in the power their faith teaches them.

I do not believe the Eucharst endows me with magical powers.

Speaking to them as if your beliefs make perfect sense and theirs are ridiculous and disgusting will get you nowhere. Especially when you do so in matters where the beliefs are essentially parallel.

No, my beliefs have nothing in common with slurping menstural blood because one believe it will give them magical powers. Nor do I believe that this ideology of female superiority is a valid belief system.

Catholics who enjoy the help of Saints intercession to find lost items, sell a home, etc…sometimes mock pagan who believe that there are spirits, sprites, etc who help in certain areas.

I consider those beliefs to be an incorrect and superstitious understanding of the communion of Saints.

For people who believe the Divine is in all natural things, the idea of drinking blood is no more bizarre than you drinking the blood of your savior.

Consuming menstural blood has nothing to do with pagan notions of the divine, it’s rooted in notions of female superiority, and no Christian believes that the Eucharst endows them with magical powers.

Try to understand that they take their faith just as seriously, and it means just as much to them, as yours does to you. Even if you can’t understand how or why.

cheddar

First, that doesn’t make drinking menstural blood any less gross. Second, for most of them Wicca is just part of the college ultra feminist phase. Third, Wicca is simply not a religion It’s a mish mash of modern liberalism and revisionist views on paganism as symbology. If someone wants to practice an ancient pagan religion, that would be a legit religious view. Redressing ancient gods to suit your political ideology is not a religion. Modern paganism, and Wicca especially, has absolutely no root in actual pagan religions as they were practiced by the ancient pagans. It’s not a serious religion, and it shouldn’t be regarded as one. Regarding silliness like Wicca as a religion is demeaning to actual faith.


#15

Hi there
I agree strongly with cheddarsox that telling a pagan they’ve got it all wrong is unlikely to accomplish much. I agree that the religions have more in common than they appear to at the surface. Most of all, Wicca is not a silly, stupid religion. It may not be the truth, but in many cases it is a genuine attempt to seek out the love of the Divine.
Most Wiccans recognize that the religion is only about 60 years old, but believe it has deeper ‘roots’.
While some Wiccans are caught up in fantasy role playing or believe they can cause people to fall in love or other such nonesense (and I’ve known my fair share of Wiccans like those!) for many, it is a serious faith and facet of spirituality. My fiance is one who is serious in his Wiccan faith.
Also, I have never known a Wiccan who consumed menstrual blood- my fiance certainly finds the very idea disgusting (and he also finds the idea of drinking the blood of Christ disgusting!)
but in all seriousness, Wiccans who actually drink menstrual blood and dance naked around campfires or dress in black clothing and believe dragons on astral planes are out to eat them or that fairies live in their rosebushes are not in the majority and are considered to be the ‘nutters’ of the pagan community (and as you know, all religions have their nutters)


#16

The discussion is about how to do apologetics with pagans. I am not arguing the validity of anyone’s beliefs or practices, just discussing some approaches that might be useful, and others that might defeat the point.

If you want to debate the beliefs and practices of another faith, it might be better to start a thread on the non-Catholic faiths forum.

cheddar


#17

What I believe is correct, what they believe is not.[/iQUOTE]

Collective sigh, anyone?


#18

#19

The “nanner, nanner, foo-foo” tactic isn’t the most effective?


#20

first I want to say I agree with this 100%. I was not a Wiccan, I was a Strega which is a pagan reconstruct of Old Italian Hereditary family tradition, and I was not of the American ‘Raven Grimassi’ brand. Mine was very much mixed with Catholicism similarly to Santeria or Vodoun I think. I was not a do-gooder or a white-lighter as Wiccans can be ridiculed by other shadowy left-hand paths. I cursed and blessed. I was very good at it. I had an occult background and demons were a part of my everyday life—which in most cases Wiccans do not even believe in. I think of Wicca as a New Age hippy kinda thing.
I have to say the only thing that took me out of the darkness was the less than satisfying sense of emptiness. The power was not as forth-coming as you might imagine. And no real purpose but to live life now and no future but to go to some sort of paradise temporarily until you decide to come back and try it all again…it was monotonous. There is alot of politicking and social climbing in pagan society and if you want to avoid it then you are pretty much left alone as a solitary and it gets, well…lonely. I was tired of being used and used up by others with less power or talent than myself and then just discarded in favor of the next best thing. The idea of a new fesh green earth friendly religion was attractive, but the grass was always greener in the other person’s circle and after a while it was just going from one Faire to the next and sleeping in tents and sitting in drumming circles and waiting for something special to happen that never did. It was not real.
If you can show pagans something with substance you might catch their attention. Reading lives of the Saints got me. especially the ones who somehow vanquished the local pagans…and St. Francis with his love of animals and nature made me realize that even tho the Mass is inside the Church, the sacredness of worship is there outside in the garden and the cemetery too. The Communion of Saints became what I yearned for from the pantheons of silent and forgotten gods who didn’t remember me either…
Many Wicans and pagans are running away from a patriarchal sciety, so focus on the Holy Spirit and the gifts and comfort He brings, of course we call God the Father and Son also, but in reality God is beyond gender. Show them the richness of the Church and her treasures and rituals and hymns and incense. Introduce them to angels. I can’t give you anything more, this is just what worked for me.
Ravyn


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