christianity and pagans use the same things?


#1

this thread was started because of what somebody said and im sorry if i took it wrong way and if so i’ll delete this thread…true that wiccans and actually pagans in all use pendants with several symbols or for vodun the chicken’s foot around the neck, and we use words to call the divine but i ask you to think about this…dont christians do the same thing?

the cross
prayers
holidays
mass

if you want to bombard me with replies good or bad, im not trying to get you to convert or even question your faith as some people have said…

the cross is the christian tailisman (sry if i speled it wrong)
prayers are the words that pagans speak to call the devine
holidays for a religion are jst like christmas and easter
mass is just like the gathering of people for a religion to practice together, right?


#2

I agree that it is a mistake to use the symbols and “liturgical practices” of a religion to judge the religion (assuming there is nothing that is clearly immoral involved). As you say, Christianity has its sacred buildings, sacred books, sacred prayers, sacred rites. And pagan religions, and other monotheistic religions have their own versions of all of these things as well. The fact is, we are human, and there are only so many ways that humans can worship.

If this sounds like some sort of support of religious relativism or indifferentism, it isn’t. As a firmly-believing Catholic I would argue that the reason all human worship tends to have similar aspects is that God has made us to worship, and when we do not have the proper object of worship (God) in sight, we “transfer” this built-in need and desire to man-made objects (gods, etc). So Catholicism is not just another version of a human need to worship, but rather all other forms and objects of worship are substitutes for the true God, worshipped and understood through His true Church. This idea is reflected in G.K. Chesterton’s comment that “paganism was the largest thing in the world, and Christianity came along and it was larger still, and everything that has followed has been relatively small”. Paganism was humanity’s instinctive need and desire to worship before the object and form of worship was revealed. Judaism is the preparation for that revelation, and Christianity is the completion of that revelation.

reborn_pagan, I sense that we may have some interesting discussions on these topics, and I look forward to them. You appear to be a serious representative of a movement that we Catholics must address seriously. I have no doubt that the Catholic faith can do so.


#3

okay forgive me but im abit slow i havnt gotten a goodnights sleep in awhile, but for the religious indifferentism and relativism i’ll answer another day sorry, and im just wondering when you said " you appear to be a serious representative of a movment that we catholics must take seriously" what did you mean by that cause i can take it a good way or a bad way


#4

Take it in a good way. “Paganism”, in whatever forms, is having a resurgence in the West, and it does no good to just call it or its practicioners names. Instead, the Catholic Church and individual Catholics must offer a serious and charitable rebuttal to the new paganism, and an explanation why Catholicism is “even larger”, which is to say, even more true, fully and completely true.


#5

CA did a brief treatment for witnessing to neo-pagans: catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0305bt.asp

They are right about the wait-and-see method. I, and I think many people have had a brief flirtation with occult/paganism and gotten over it after the fascination with the spurious glitter wore off.

Scott


#6

yeah scott i agree alot of people who started wicca because they’ve seen movies like the craft, or watched buffy or charmed and quickly lose the desire, as i’ve said this word in abunch of posts of mine the people who try to bend the elements to there own wishing is just a bunch of “witchcrap”…which is why my friend who practices voodoo doens’t like watching some zombie movies cause of the negative sterotype that voodoo has with to do with it. when in reality voodoo practices balance with everything…so dont worry no voovdoo zombies or evil voodoo dolls exist


#7

If anyone is interested there was an extensive thread in response to this (somewhere over 250 responses) that I believe currently resides in the Apologetics forum, the thread is called “Neopagan Apologetics.” It started as a point by point discussion of some of the issues with the original article, from a Neopagan point of view. I would highly recommend anyone interested in witnessing to Neopagans read that thread (skipping over some of the early invective by some of the Catholic responders). You will have a better chance to get someone to listen to you if you have a more accurate idea of what they believe than is shown in the original article.


#8

Just wanted to correct what appears to be a common misunderstanding that may be alluded to here (my apologies if I am incorrect). “Worshipping statues” is a common criticism of both our religions. As a Classical Hellenic Neopagan I no more “worship man-made objects” than Catholics do. Neopagans (and those in ancient times) are just as capable of understanding the difference between symbol and referrent as any Christian.


#9

I understand your comments, but when I said “man-made objects” I was not thinking of statues but of gods invented by human imagination. If monotheism is true then all pagan gods are human inventions.


#10

Fair enough, given your basic premise. Personally, I find polytheism to be a much better fit with the world as I experience it and as the gods have chosen to interact with me.

I do want to thank you for having the courtesy to be willing to enter into a serious and civil discussion, unlike many that I have encountered in my brief acquaintance with these boards.


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