Because this forum is so predominantly Christian, and since Halloween is less than a week away, I'm wondering what you know, if anything, about paganism and everything that falls under the umbrella term "witchcraft" and what your opinions of them are. I'd also appreciate any factual, historical and practical answers you can muster to the question in the title, as opposed to logical fallacies such as: "because believing in Jesus is the only way to salvation". For example, do you think the Romans (and Charlemagne, etc.) were right to kill everyone who didn't convert to Christianity for the sake of a unified empire? Can you argue that this benefited Europe? etc.
I don't think praying to one source, as opposed to another, is superior in any way. I would think your vision of what the source represents is the point. I'm not going to go into that further, because my expectations of what a universal power might be are not the discussion and shouldn't be argued as better. They are better to me.
I do think that Christianity benefited Europe. Christianity unified the continent to repel impending invasion from the south. European countries eventually became dominant world powers because religion unified them in some ways, and separated them in others. If you think Christianity is so evil, as opposed to other religions of the time, I'd be curious what you think of the mutilated bodies found in the peat bogs (attributed to the druids), Mayan ritual sacrifice, Muslim sharia laws of that era...among other historical traditions and religions.
Oh, I never said that pre-Christian peoples didn't spill blood and sacrifice animals and other humans, I just think it's funny that so many Christians and other religious fundamentalists are still so hostile toward paganism even though they (the hostile ones) tend to know nothing about most other religions or neo-paganism today. They just automatically equate it with Devil worship and dismiss it, and I find the rising anti-intellectualistic sentiment within the U.S. today very disturbing.
It'd be a bit trite to start cataloging the atrocities of ancient peoples and especially those of Christians and Muslims, so to make it short, I don't think organised religion as a ubiquitous governing force has a place in the postmodern world, whether it be in the form of a theocracy or as the ultimate source of morality. If people didn't take their beliefs so seriously and use them as an excuse to further their own ends, society would be much further along. I think that all beliefs should be tolerated so long as they don't hurt anyone, but none should be established or official.
The differences are only in the way that one perceives them to be different. Nothing wrong with witchcraft or Christianity. It is perception that makes them either right or wrong.
The difference to me (ignoring all of the other opinions, or I'd spiral into a debate, is force verses submission. Im not saying Christian VS. pagan, but spells verses prayers, no matter what anyones faith is. A prayer is a request but not a shift in the energy of the universe around you, and destiny works with your request and what is ultimately best for everyone, a spell (which I have experience with) and if you have cast a spell and are sensitive or empathic, you feel the shift in nature, an unbalanced shift.... you just tried to outplay and out maneuver God as well as every angel and spirit that knows way more than you do about what you need in destiny or anyone else, even a binding spell with good intentions still shifts things out of balance and all of nature and supernatural energy will come full circle and hit you back in the face to get that balance back, so no matter how much good you think you are doing for someone, you will ultimately cause more pain because you do not have all the answers. A prayer, by a gentle spirit gives, submits and receives from God and all natural and supernatural energy in a way that makes the humble more self aware and able to see into the past, future and all the between because only submission to the greater destiny will open your mind and heart to receive everything you were meant to become.
I have good argument about this. Save the endangered species but kill and abort babies or kill humans...Doesn't this sound like paganism? Help me discuss this issue. Thanks. God bless you all!
There are too many damn humans, but not enough pandas.
Not... really. I can't say I know any neo-pagans who murder people or sacrifice babies, and in pre-Roman times, endangered species were hardly an issue.
"For example, do you think the Romans (and Charlemagne, etc.) were right to kill everyone who didn't convert to Christianity for the sake of a unified empire? Can you argue that this benefited Europe?"
No, of course not.
Conversion is a choice,and should always remain that way.
If that's the case, why are people so aggressive about converting or saving others and so frequently hostile toward those who believe something else? Even tolerant Christians want to get non-believers to believe, but I've never met a neo-pagan who does that or even talks about their supernatural beliefs very often. Don't you think that rewarding believers with the promise of eternal life and condemning everyone else is an extremely successful recruitment tool, and that passive religions are much less prolific specifically because of these attitudes?
I don't know why other people are aggressive about converting others.
I only feel frustrated because I can't seem to make people understand what I feel is true. I have glimpsed evil, I know it is real. I didn't really think it was before these things started happening to me. There really is a spiritual war going on. God will win, but souls of those sitting on the fence are at stake. Satan is very real,and will do anything to get people away from God.
It terrifies me.
These realisations I've been asking you about are truly very interesting to me, but if this spiritual war were so very important, why wouldn't we all be made aware of it? And like I said before, what is a soul anyway?
I don't know why everyone isn't aware of it. I think we all will be very soon. But I'm also open to the idea that I'm just projecting my inner turmoil on the world at large.
I don't know what a soul is. I have guesses, but nothing concrete.
One could easily conclude that your inner turmoil is the reason for your sudden strong belief in something that gives billions of people hope and purpose. Perhaps studying as many different beliefs as you can and learning more about the universe at large through Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and others would help quell your crisis of faith.
Others may be frustrated, too, that you aren't seeking professional help. The more you attempt to make us understand, the more we feel you need to find help.
I don't know much about paganism or witchcraft.
Think about it though. If you're just messing around with it, without knowing what you're doing, then what is it really that you ARE doing? What if you really are affecting things? Should you really mess with powers that are beyond what you know? (I'm useing "you" in a general sense.)
I suspect that magic is real, using ritual and symbols to manipulate people and events and forces. I can't see how that could be a good thing. I suspect it's Satanic, or Satanically influenced.
Should -you- really mess with powers that are beyond what you know? You claim to have been made acutely aware of God and Satan, but can anyone prove that there is life after death? I'm open to the idea that some aspect of the human consciousness could possibly continue to exist after death, but that doesn't really mean anything.
And no, "pagan" originally meant something like "countryman" and very broadly refers to pre-Christian polytheists, which includes everyone from Native Americans to the Greeks to the Egyptians. Many pagans and Wiccans believed or do believe, though, in one dominant God or universal force. Some people are malevolent in their use of witchcraft, but mostly pre-Christian beliefs center around worshiping the Earth, reverence of ancestors, and the use of medicinal herbs and divination to heal, bless and predict the future.
Like I said, I don't know much about witchcraft (or paganism) so I will refrain from putting in my opinion anymore.
Praying to God or Goddess helps a lot of people. I personally do not care who people pray too. I do not choose to pray to a God, such as Jesus, who uses human behavior that is beneath me. I would never punish and send my child to hell for having a different belief then me. I cant follow any God or Goddess who acts like a bully.
Now pagans have some Gods and Goddess who have traits too that might be consider human. Jealousy is one of them. I think many people created Gods/Goddess in the image of mankind.
The Cosmic Source that I believe in does not carry human emotional traits. My reason for this, is we are here to learn to overcome the negative traits, so why follow any god/goddess of lesser human emotional traits? To me God is Love. God teaches Love. So why would God send a person to hell for believing in some other diety. It does not add up. Too much human obsession in that for my liking.
Yes, this forum tends to be very Christian, however that is their right. I just ignore them.
I agree that it's everyone's right to believe what they choose, but I also think that beliefs taken too seriously are harmful, and that they can also be easily manipulated to justify an individual's personal ends.
A universal force that does not have petty human emotions makes a lot more sense to me than one that gets jealous and smites.
Renee, this sounds much more acceptable to me. Having glanced through your Hub titles, I can see you have a much deeper and wider view of the world than many people in this forum. It feels like I don't need to agree with you on any or every part of your opinions, yet it's very easy to accept you. This is the way of opening my "being" to new revelation and does not depend upon unintelligent appraisal of a man-written book. I can learn from what you write regardless.
It is not.
Evoking names, gods -be they good or evil- are identical aspects of the duality called Reason. Concurring, sorcery, witchcraft is simply incorrect expressions of the transfer of power between Creator and the human. It shows plainly an inept attitude toward what they were created to be.
There are no spirits to concur, not even the "Holy" Spirit used by some sects of the believing. There is no spiritual war, because there can only be one spirit -if the text is accurate. Not so coincidentally, in the mid 14th century, when the canonized text came together, so also came the first documents regarding demonology. In early Europe, the clans had been practicing what is termed witchcraft, just as the American Indians, South Americans, Islanders, Africans, etc. This was considered "evil" or "demonic" by the church -just like in Rome. Thus, such practices were outlawed and those caught practicing such rituals were deviously tortured, maimed, killed, etc. The connection between The Día de los Muertos and All Hallows Eve is just remarkable.
As for the connection to Rome, thousands upon thousands of rituals, actions, etc -especially animal or human sacrifice -or blood spilling- were so common, Constantine decided they needed to be controlled or abolished. The only means of doing so as to make such practices unlawful. The only theology able to sustain "why" these practices would be forbidden was dubbed Christianity.
Christians have a duty to their religion to convert people. I might be wrong, but I do believe it is the only religion that does this. Sad and pathic actions to me, but I do understand it is a must with them. I try to stay away from them, because they have no other choice.
This will not be a popular post, but Christianity is pagan. Historically, it mimics earlier pagan belief systems, like Zoroastrianism, and others, where a half-man/half-god took on the sins of the wicked and suffered in the underworld before rising in a symbolic show of good over evil.
Early pagan religions demanded that the god/man be born of a virgin and very often the god/man was cannibalized after death. In Christianity the cannibalism is symbolic - communion...take this bread...drink this wine.... the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation claims that the bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of Jesus in the tummies of the faithful.
Jesus birth was set on Dec 25. So was Mithra's and that's the time when the "Light" comes back into the world. Light meaning the "son of god" as well as longer days after the Winter Solstice.
Easter was originally a pagan fertility holiday, hence the bunnies and eggs.
The bottom line is that every person should follow what he or she feels offers comfort and guidance.
In the long run - it won't matter.
Absolutely agree with all you wrote @Howard. The only original theme in Christianity is the Devil and Hell. They needed to make the God Pan into a horrible creature.
Thanks for posting all this, since I was way too lazy to type any of it this morning. But then, answering on one cup of coffee takes me a lot of focus:)
From George Ryley Scott's book, "Phallic Worship," Copyright 1930, Luxor Press, London, Chaptor 14,II page 205: (An extract from Payne Knight's work of 1786)
The male organs of generation are sometimes found represented by signs which might properly be called the symbols of symbols. One of the most remarkable of these is a cross, in the form of the letter T, which thus served as the emblem of creation and generation, before the church adopted it as the sign of salvation; a lucky coincidence of ideas, which, without doubt, facilitated the reception of it among the faithful. To the representative of the male organs was sometimes added a human head which gives it the exact appearance of a crucifix.
There is so much in history that can throw a light on christianity, which would be unacceptable in the closed minds of many christians.
Oh, you typed it all out for me - thanks! The idea that various aspects of the story of Jesus were created to directly replace or out-do those of Dionysus is also becoming increasingly popular.
witchcraft is basically like thanking luck that you won a lottery or like praising co-incidence that such and such event happened.
When people do dead things nothing happens
to save further commenting i would like to say, just deal with it.
I'm interested in your view brotheryochanan. I'm not sure how a witch who is casting a spell (or focusing on what she wants to happen) is much different than a Christian praying (and the bible tells the faithful to focus on what they want to happen during prayer).
One might be asking assistance of water/fire/whatever spirits or entities, while the other is asking assistance of a singular spirit. Is that really so different?
I could insist that divination and communicating with spirits are just as real as or more real than God, and neither of us would be able to definitively prove what we believe. Your summation of witchcraft is pretty badly lacking in background knowledge and poorly expressed.
I am a pagan. My belief are very spiritual. I do not comprehend the concept of witchcraft is like winning a lotto ticket. Is this the same as saying God is on my side because I am a good Christian?
Everything I do is a springboard from my own deep sense of spirit and my act of surrender to the God/Goddess that I follow. It is interesting that people who cannot accept paganism have referred to me as a good Christian, and better than most who are Christian. They say this because of the way I live my life. There is nothing Christian about me, never had to be a part of that religion.
Dealing with people who are not able to accept others' beliefs has been an ongoing process for me. I deal with it fine. I see no need to put them down, nor convert them. I do see need to honor Gaia (Mother Earth) and all who live here. Dealing with life has challenges, but I walk with the Goddess and I am blessed.
That's an interesting interpretation, and definitely much better than debating with others who have already posted. Both prayers and spells tend to be very selfish in nature, though, because people are and always will be primarily self-serving, regardless of what they believe. How is a spell to speed the healing of another person or to have a solution to a great problem revealed to you in a dream or something different from prayers for the same types of things?
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