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Lefebvre

Christian views on Paganism and the Religio

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Hi. :redface:

Within the pagan community we often hear a lot of horror stories like the New Apostolic Reformation movement, or death threats being issued towards Wiccans. But we rarely hear what the average Christian feels about people like us. Within my faith community specifically, we hear very little too. So my question is first: What does your denomination think about paganism? And second, what do you yourself think about the Religio Romana? Please take the time to research the modern pagan religions before answering if you are not familiar.

Info on the RR:

http://www.novaroma.org/religio_romana/

Blog of a practitioner:

http://aedessidus.wordpress.com/

Thanks! :redface:

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A lot of the Wiccans I know about are great people, I respect them a lot. They seem to do a lot of research and study things more than the average christian does. Plus a lot of them actually practice what they preach.

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"All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion.* These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons.* Wearing charms is also reprehensible.* Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it.* Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of anothers credulity."

-----The Catechism of the Catholic Church

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I don't know any personally, but I would treat paganism the same as any other false religion such as Islam, Hinduism, etc.

That's rather harsh.

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"All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion.* These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons.* Wearing charms is also reprehensible.* Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it.* Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of anothers credulity."

-----The Catechism of the Catholic Church

And those of us who do not practice witchcraft?

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What do you want us to say Iuppiter? Of course Christians do not have any good feelings towards Pagans. Scriptures warn time and time again against this practice because our God does not tolerate people worshiping things besides him. Here's various scripture referring to it:

I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

— Exodus 20:2-6

Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

— Matthew 4:10

…the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

— 1 Corinthians 10:18-22

And those of us who do not practice witchcraft?

This comes straight from the Catechism as well:

The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion. Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.(Matthew 23:16-22) The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."(Psalms 115:4-5, Jeremiah 10:1-16) God, however, is the "living God"(Joshua 3:10, Psalms 42:3) who gives life and intervenes in history. Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."(Matthew 6:4)

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Guest JAG

I have nothing against pagans, but a lot against paganism. A careful study of the rise and fall of paganism reveals unsettling trends. Two types emerge--those gods that practice what I'm going to call "white magic" and those that practice "black magic." Most of the gods that arose out of olympus and greek mythology were the ones who practice "white magic" who were generally good fellows with interesting tales. I use the term 'generally' losely because these same gods raped mortal women and exhibeted all sorts of evil behavior. They themselves were considered created beings - for even Zeus was born out of the head of Chronos.

The paganism that revolved around "black magic" gods came out of the tribes of Africa and early Middle Eastern peoples. These gods were great horrors like Ba'al whom people sacrificed their children to. Such paganism is still prominent is African nations like Liberia where 'priests' still offer human sacrifice. In the Americas we find the Aztec nation occupying this sect of paganism while other Native tribes veered towards the "white magic" paganism of worshiping nature.

Eventually people get tired of pretending a tree is a dryad though, and over time all forms of paganism took a nasty turn towards the demonic and sensual. The pagan wave culminated in grandeur at the height of the Roman Empire where it met a fateful end at the hands of Christianity.

All peoples have an innate desire to reach the divine. Most people (it is a modern phenomenon that an individual can call themselves blameless) believed they had angered the divine in some way--thus they sacrificed in order to appease (some very well meaning cultures even sacrificed in order to atone). When Jesus was born roughly 3 percent of everyone who has ever lived had already walked the Earth. The importance of Jesus' decent is that the Divine finally came down to man, and with Him came knowledge. Where as all peoples once worshiped in ignorance (for people can't help but worship something) they now knew who it was they should worship - the singular Creator of the universe. This knowledge was very important and consequently snuffed out any true forms of paganism (i.e. not modern fads teenagers undergo in order to rebel for one reason or another).

Thats the brief history of paganism for ya. Yes, Christianity is opposed to it, and that is extremely apparent in the fact that Christianity utterly demolished the pagan foothold that once lived on the Earth. If you want a much better overview try reading a book called The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton.

- James

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Saying "false" religion just sounds a pretty harsh way to put it.

Well I'm not going to hide that I think it is a false religion. I didn't mean that to be mean. Don't get me wrong, I love people of all false religions, but that doesn't change the fact that their religion is false. As a person, I would treat them the same as anyone else. Religion really shouldn't matter in the way we treat people. But I have no problem calling it a false religion.

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