Tuesday, January 31, 2012


So, is it possible to be a Christo-Pagan?

It depends on what kind of Christianity and what kind of Paganism you are trying to merge.

One approach to Christo-Paganism emphasises that Yahweh had a consort, the goddess Asherah. Another way to do it might be to regard Jesus as a dying and resurrecting god along the same lines as Attis, Adonis, Dumuzi, Tammuz, etc. Or you could be a henotheist who worships Yahweh and family whilst acknowledging the existence of other deities.

Certain kinds of Christianity are not compatible with Paganism. The type of Christianity that says we are all inherently sinful and fallen, and need an atoning sacrifice to save us, seems to me to be completely antithetical to Paganism.

But the kind of Christianity that emphasises compassion and forgiveness does seem compatible with Paganism. These virtues were extolled by ancient Roman polytheism.

I'm not sure if Gnosticism is compatible with Paganism, because Gnosticism was world-denying and Paganism is world-affirming - but I know people who identify as both. It's certainly possible to believe in gnosis alongside earth spirituality.

Personally, I could never call myself a Christian because too many people have been murdered in the name of Christianity, and because I do not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the only "anointed one" - but others feel that the name can be reclaimed. Good for them.

It could also be pointed out that ancient pagans (in the form of Roman state religion) murdered a lot of Christians. But Christianity's record of genocide is considerably larger in both geographical scope and historical duration.

It's certainly possible to be a Unitarian and a Pagan - but then not all Unitarians are Christians. Even the ones who identify as Christian don't believe in vicarious atonement (Jesus dying for your sins) or Jesus being part of the godhead. They also respect other religions.

(Just in case you were disappointed that the previous post wasn't about Christo-Pagans.)

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