19 August 2012


I do not identify as Christo-Pagan. In my experience I’m too Christian for the Pagans (this always cracks me up) and I’m way too Pagan for the Christians (not surprising, but disappointing.) 

But, I do identify with those who want to have a relationship with Christ, or those who love aspects of Christianity, church and the bible. My heart breaks with theirs, though, when they go seeking something beyond orthodox and traditional ideas of Christianity and/or Paganism and are only met with rejection and ridicule from other religious communities.

Christianity and Paganism are completely compatible, and there’s no reason that the Christians and the Pagans (and everyone else, for that matter) can’t get together for a meal, a beer, community and prayer.

Christianity has its roots not only in Judaism (which has a rich mystic tradition) but Mediterranean and Egyptian mystery cults. Sure, a literalist interpretation of Christianity has been going strong for two thousand years, but that does not mean that this tradition is void of mysticism or even Paganism - far from it! My advice to those who think that Christianity and Paganism are incompatible – read some history.

Try to understand who the God of the bible is, read his words closely and think about the motives of his commandments. Think about what this would mean to people two thousand years ago, one thousand years ago, and now. Learn the history and the politics of the world two thousand years ago.

Look at the formation of the Catholic church, per-Constantine. Read about the life of Jesus, and then read about the Christ. (Yes, they are different.) Study the creation of the bible as we have it today. Read the Nag Hammadi, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostic texts and those other books that were left out of the bible, and study why they were left out of the bible.

Study Judaism, in particular the mystical traditions, the Kabbalah, and the elements of Goddess worship. Read the Old Testament. Read Plato and Neo-Platonist writers, and read The Golden Ass and the Homeric Hymns. Study Egyptian and Hellenistic mystery traditions and life/death cults.

Christianity and Paganism have been growing side-by-side for over two thousand years. This relationship has been… well, you know how it’s been. But it’s still there. After two thousand years of human civilization, you literally cannot separate Christianity from Paganism, or Paganism from Christianity. Sure, we can try, but two thousand years of tradition is hard to deny.

Even if you practice what you consider to be pre-Christian traditions, we’re in a post-Christian world looking at things with Post-Christian eyes. The influence is there. Now, I’m not saying every single Pagan practice is Christian, or that every single Christian practice is Pagan. I’m saying that nothing exists in a vacuum, and these things influence and inspire one another.

But, in the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or Pagan (or anything else!) If you’re Christian, be Christian. If you’re Pagan, be Pagan. And if you’re neither or both, then, by all means, follow your heart and intuition and worship in the way that works best for you.

It doesn’t matter, really. Just don’t make blanket statements or pre-emptive judgment calls. Read, think, learn, pray. Stop hating and judging. It’s okay if a witch prays to Jesus. It’s okay if a Christian performs a spell. There are no real contradictions - not after you study and build a frame of reference and a context.

And if you happen to find stuff that seems contradictory, well, that’s life and that’s okay, too. We’re modern people trying to interpret an ancient world, trying to put together pieces of a huge puzzle we’ll never really understand.

Life is full of contradictions, why should religion be exempt? That’s just part of the fun, fulfillment and magic.


  1. What cracks me up as a Heathen is the amount of time spent pouring over accounts looking for things prohibited by the church around the time of conversion to try and figure out what to do. OMG -they said don't leave an animal unbranded because it's evil!! IT must be dedicated to the gods!! And then everyone's cocker spaniel is dedicated to Frigg.

  2. Hahahah! I can understand why Heathens/Pagans do that. I mean, it seems like we're always looking for something "authentic". But really, at this point, we're just speculating! I mean, even the copies of the Eddas we have were written down and preserved by Christian monks. At this point I think we should just be happy that people are trying to live fulfilling religious lives. Who cares what name they call god or how they worship?

  3. "Who cares...?" Because from Christians' perspective, if you worship the wrong way, you're damned. Being damned is bad, so let us help you discover the truth.

    You call for people to study the Old and New Testaments to see how Christianity and paganism are compatible. How do you view the biblical passages that vilify and label as sin witchcraft, calling upon spirits, etc.? See: Saul, Samuel, and the witch; and various laws in the OT that outlaw witchcraft.

    Whose Christianity do you think could function side-by-side with paganism? If the relationship between P and C has been rocky (to say the least) for two thousand years, how can you flip 180 degrees and claim that reading a little history will fix all that? That history is going to be from the past two thousand years, which you admitted to not being so favorable. How do you suggest we ignore the context of the Church condemning magic since the Church's inception in order to conclude "there are no real contradictions"?

    And it's a pretty big cop-out to say at the end that contradictions are a-ok and that's life. It completely invalidates your whole post. It's disappointing.

  4. Anon -

    You're right. From the perspective of some Christians, if you worship the wrong way, you're damned. But that's not the only way to be a Christian. There are different types of Christianity, and not all of them are believe in sin the same ways. Not all Christians believe in damnation.

    And as far as discovering the truth... there are many truths. And there are many paths to The One Truth.

    As far as the bible passages that vilify witchcraft, there are a few different ways to interpret these, depending on which passages you're looking at. Without pointing to specifics, it's a matter of translation and context.

    There's a lot the bible tells us not to do, and there's a whole lot that Christians are doing despite laws set forth in the bible.

    Non-literalist Christianity sits very well with Paganism. There are an infinite ways to interpret the bible, and no one person interprets it the same way. Even different denominations of Christianity interpret the bible different ways. And modern examples of Christianity that would be accepting of Pagans and Christo-Pagans would be Unitarians, Universalists. Methodists, Quakers, liberal Catholics, and the Independent Episcopal Churches, just to name a few.

    I'm not saying that reading history will FIX anything. I'm saying that reading history gives context and knowledge, and knowledge sheds light. Certainly reading and thinking can't hurt this situation! It doesn't hurt people to study history, to read the bible, Homer or any of the other things I suggested. Since when does it hurt to read and learn?

    I'm not saying to ignore the context of the Church, just to understand it more. Especially understand that the traditions of the church are founded in magic and mysticism - from the Greeks, Egyptians and Jews, just to name a few spheres of influence.

    Yes, there are contradictions. No, there are not contradictions. Both of these statements are true! There are contradictions when we get bogged down in literalism, when we don't have knowledge. But if we can get beyond dogma, we can see past the contradictions and get a more clear glimpse of The Truth, and not just "a truth" that some people decided on two thousand years ago.

    And it's not a cop-out to say that there are contradictions, because there are! Are you going to deny that contradictions happens? Life is absurd and FULL of contradictions. That's just life! But getting bogged down in contradictions is what keeps Christians, Pagans and Christo-Pagans, and others from ever growing in a true meaningful way as a community, and as individuals.

  5. I think the point of the post was that people should learn how to adapt and accept each other.

    "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven" - Luke 6:37

    And yet I see it happen on a daily basis, by people who supposedly embrace every facet of life that the Bible has to offer.

    If those certain Christians want to offer a new lifestyle that they think will save the non-believer's eternal soul, great! Sounds like a very worthy goal. Should they condemn non-believers or shove religion into the faces of people who otherwise live happy and fulfilled lives? I don't think it is their place to judge. Nor should the non-believers try to pick apart Christianity. Yes, it has holes. Nothing is perfect. But the idea is sound.

    When I was young, I was taught to be kind to others because it makes the world a better place. Now it seems that many others (not all, many) are nice to others so they earn their place in Heaven. It may seem like a trivial difference to some, but to me it speaks volumes. Do the ends really justify the means?

    Anon said "If the relationship between P and C has been rocky (to say the least) for two thousand years, how can you flip 180 degrees and claim that reading a little history will fix all that?"

    It has been historically accepted that, when compared to modern times, that people of yore were a little...fanatical or extreme at times. I think that reading the history of both and learning to understand the other is EXACTLY what is needed to fix those last 2000 anon spoke of.

    Well, now I am just rambling. But basically, I again submit that the initial post was about acceptance and understanding. I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And my opinion is that the 'cop-out' here was anon's claim that the two cannot co-exist, and not give solid reasons. Very nice post, Ms. Morris.

  6. P.S. - I forgot to mention in the prev post (anon 2) is that there is a large difference in (A) people of different religions, as Ms. Morris stated co-existing peacefully, and (B) Religions mixing together as anon1 stated. Yeah, the ideas may not mesh, but that doesn't mean you can't be friends!