This just came across my facebook feed. It’s almost perfect. I’m going argue some of it’s points.
“The term Pagan applies to any faith other than: Christianity, Judaism or Muslim. Paganism is the largest and oldest faith in the world.”
Well, I would argue there are also other not so dogmatic faiths in the world besides the Abrahamic faiths mentioned. Among them I would add Buddhism, Hindu, Sikh, Druid, Ba’hai, Deism.
“Pagans can be monotheistic (believing in one divine begin) or polytheistic (believing in multiple divine beings). There is no right or wrong belief system. All paths lead to the same destination; the divine.”
“Pagans are often solitary practitioners. It is not necessary to join a group, grove, coven or church. Practicing with others is a personal choice. The divine is not found in a book or building. It is all around you all the time.”
I agree with the statement that the divine is not found in a book or a building. The reference is to the Torah, Bible, and the Q’uran and churches. However, most pagans build an altar of some form or another. It may not be permanent, but usually there is one. The church building, Mosque, Synagogue, Temple is a place to gather for worship, whatever form that may be. The divine is not found there, just worshiped there. As for the book (at least from my Christian training), the book is a collection of moralistic stories inspired by the divine. It’s ancient, it’s incomplete, altered and poorly translated from it’s original language. I would argue that all of the ancient writings have been altered. Even ancient Arabic does not translate to modern Arabic that well.
As whatever I am of Christian training, I don’t feel it’s necessary to join a group or practice with others. I would go as far to say that anyone of a real faith in the divine would say the same, even if they believe in Jehovah, Yeshua or Mohammed. And I believe the realm of heaven is with in me, it’s with you and it’s within Mother Earth, the trees, the rocks, the flowers, the creepy-crawlies, the birds, and the 4 legged. The divine is truly all around.
“An eclectic Pagan is a person who follows parts of multiple faith systems to honor the divine. This very common and widely accepted. Faith and belief is as individual as DNA or Fingerprints. One size does not fit all.”
Faith maybe, but not belief. Beliefs are learned and indicate dogma. Faith and belief are two different things. What I believe is very different from holding to a belief. Faith, on the other hand, is flexible, open, fluid and ever changing.
“Pagans do not try to convert others. Faith and belief is something you are born with. They cannot be forced upon anyone. Each person must look inside themselves to find the path that leads them to their divine being.”
The next paragraph, however, attempts the opposite what this paragraph says.
“Do not believe anything that does not feel right to you. Many people believe their religious faith system and they (sic.) way they practice it, are the only way to be religious or spiritual. They are wrong. All belief systems are rooted in the practice of doing good and being good. As long as your faith harms no one and nothing, you are honoring yourself, your world, and your divine.”
Well, that paragraph is loaded. Telling people what they believe or how they believe it is wrong, is wrong. If that paragragh lost the 2nd and 3rd sentences, it would be OK.
“Do not hate or discriminate another person for their faith. Do not hate or discriminate another faith system. Get to know people as individuals. Try to understand even if you don’t agree. Coexist.’
That one is perfect.
All of that said, there are parts of Christianity that I like. I also feel that Christianity has lost its way in its dogmas. It’s lost its spiritual roots. It forgets that the laying on of hands comes from the practice of Reiki or that burning incense is a way of smudging the space clearing it of energy. All of the ancient cathedrals and churges didn’t have one altar, they had many, many altars. Each family would worship individually at one of the altars. Much of what Christianity, especially fundamentalist Christianity, has today has become a twisted and toxic shadow of what it once was. It’s why I call myself a Paganistic-Christian.