- Religion and Philosophy
Christianity and Paganism
A Short Review Of Each Religion
For years Christianity and Paganism has been defined by their differences. Each religion, though very contrasting, also has comparisons. A lot of people tend to judge before knowing all aspects. Although these are two separate religions, the point of this article will be to discover not just the differences but similarities. Perhaps after reading you will see all religions in a different way. This is in no way trying to convert anyone or bash anybody’s personal beliefs. In these days when religious differences tend to matter a lot, I think it would be crucial to our world if everyone was a little more willing to learn about new things.
Christianity is a religion of hope and light. All who truly dwell within its beliefs have faith that everything will be alright. The ruler of this religion is one God who created everything. He is also known as The Lord, YHWH, Jehovah, El Shaddaui, Elohim, I Am, and El Elyon, from many different biblical passages. He also has his only begotten son named Jesus Christ who gave himself for humanities sins. To sin means to do anything that goes against God. The bible teaches that all humanity was born into sin due to Adam and Eve (the first man and woman) who ate from the tree of knowledge which God told them not to do. To grow spiritually one must pray. Through prayers enlightenment, knowing and love grows from within. Christians believe that when one dies they get sent to either Heaven or Hell. If one is a true believer in Jesus Christ they get to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven forever. However, if one commits sins and does not repent and accept Jesus into their hearts so their sins can be forgiven, their eternity is Hell (Eternal separation from God). There are different denominations in Christianity, but each one believes that God is the one true creator of all, and that Jesus was given as the ultimate sacrifice for humanities sins.
Paganism is a religion based around nature. Pagans believe that everything has a soul or spirit. Everything on earth from rivers, plants, trees, and every living being has their own unique spirit. All who believe in this religion tend to embrace the earth. There are many Gods and Goddesses to be praised in Paganism, but each Pagan can worship a different God and/or Goddess. Some even worship God and refer to themselves as a Christian Witch or Christo-Pagan. But most Pagans do not believe the Devil exists. To become closer with the Gods and Goddesses and to embrace your inner self one must use chants and spells. A chant is like a prayer, and can aid in spiritual practice. A spell can be a set of words, or different ingredients put together. It can be as simple as whispering a set of words into the wind, or as complicated as a daily devotion of different practices to achieve the spell that is to be done. Pagans generally believe that when one dies they get reincarnated back on earth, but it is different with each person. Some may believe in a form of Heaven, some type of existence after death, or coming back to earth in another form. The punishment for doing wrong is the threefold law. A few very important Pagan laws are to not harm anybody, no interfering with free will, and to not bind or put a spell on anyone without their consent. Ultimately their belief is, whatever a person gives out will come back to them either worse or good depending on what they've done.
A Review Of Differences
Obviously these two religions have many differences. Some people can name the big differences without even thinking about it first. The Holy Bible warns Christians against practicing witchcraft and participating in Pagan traditions. Pagan’s believe in more than one God, and the bible clearly states that there is only one God. Christian’s believe that the Devil is real and is in Hell where all sinners go. Pagan’s generally do not believe in the devil or hell. They believe that Hell and Satan was made up by the religious leaders in Christianity. In Paganism life after death is kind of open for each person, but all believe that your spirit lives on in some form after death. In Paganism death is just a transformation. Many have the belief that there is a heaven-like place called the Summerland which is a place of eternal rest and enjoyment. But others believe that it’s a place to rest while in between lives. Reincarnation is a big belief among many Pagans’. But Christian’s generally believe that we only have one life to live here on earth, and only one chance to get it right before we pass on to Heaven or Hell. Another difference is Karma, which plays a big role is Paganism. Some Christians may believe in Karma, but mainly the belief is that you will pay for your sins, (the wrongs you’ve done) in death on the judgment day in front of God.
Spells are another big difference between these religions. Casting spells is something Christianity severely advises against. The bible specifically speaks against divination and telling fortunes. But this is a large part of Paganism. Pagan’s recite chants to aid in meditation, spells, and other rituals, but Christians generally do not use chants.
The differences between Christians and Pagans often are often the “make or break” in friendships. Many Pagan’s feel severely judged by Christians. Some Christians will approach Pagans as sinners and the worshippers of the devil, often they may feel fear, be nervous, and not want to associate with someone who is a Pagan. But there are people out there who are Christians and Pagans co-existing as friends. It doesn’t have to be a divider. There is no need to be hateful and scared of one another.
A Review Of Similarities
Although these religions seem different in a lot of ways that doesn't mean that similarities cannot be found. In Christianity and Paganism there are a lot of good aspects. However as we have learned, if you do wrong (or sin) there are punishments that will be held. So in both religions consequences to one’s actions is an important thing to remember in daily life. Both religions also feel that the earth is important and should be cared for. Many original Christian beliefs taught that only humans has a soul (or spirit), but now days environmentally conscious Christians share the belief with Pagans that all forms of life has a soul (or spirit). In addition, Christianity and Paganism are religions that can be dated back to ancient times. Another similarity is the tools. An alter is used in many Pagan and Christian practices. It is an old element of both religions. The alter contains sacred objects that is used through the spiritual process. These objects can include chalices, incense, bowls, sacred books (the bible), candles, or wine. Both Christians and Pagans, depending on denominations, can use these tools. Each religion assigns different meanings to each object. Ultimately, both Christians and Pagans live their lives trying to be good people. Both religions promote love, and denounce evil, both believe in a deity, and both have sacred spiritual practices.
In conclusion, Christianity and Paganism though different in many ways also have some similarities. All religions have things to compare and contrast. As told above they are different religions; originating in different ways. However, if one understands all the details there doesn't have to be arguments. The point of this essay was to enlighten people on not just seeing the differences. We must always look at what is similar.
What inspired me for this topic were a few controversial conversations I have witnessed between a Christian and a Pagan that I know. Many people hate/dislike others based on religious preferences, but most religions promote love and forgiveness. My goal in writing this was not to convince anybody of anything, except to listen. Everybody has something to say, as well as religions. Before you judge one, try to understand. There should be no need for hatred. I actually may do a few more hubs on understanding Christianity, and Understanding Paganism. Until next time, follow the path that has been set out in front of you. Be aware of those who may cross, and understand your surroundings so you don't get lost. Stay in the light of Goodness everyone!
What religion do you associate yourself with?
Do you enjoy learning about new religions for knowledge purposes?
© 2014 Melody Wilson