Recently, over at wiccantogether.com there has been a massive influx of newer members claiming to be followers of Christian Witchcraft. It's obvious to all of you here that Christian Wicca cannot possibly exist, but some of these members (who shall remain nameless so no one goes off the deep end by simply seeing their names) claim that merging Christianity and witchcraft, there is no real harm to the witchcraft community, and our strong "meanie, poo poo head" rants about their Epic failing is rude and insensitive...

...Except it isn't. You cannot be a Christian witch. I repeat, you cannot IN NO WAY OR FASHION be a Christian WITCH. Sorry to quickly brandish the capital letters there gang, but I, like many of us here, are super, duper tired of these Jesus loving DERPS trying to drag the word "witch" through the body and blood of Christ. I'm kinda over it and Jesus is too. For reals.

So why the hell is this in a DRW discussion page? Well, I will tell you why, first and foremost I felt that one of the easiest ways for me to really think more about DRW and its impact on the pagan community was to cross examine it in a sense with other paths of witchcraft, even other paths that really aren't true other witchcraft paths. This way, when I am thinking about what makes DRW, well, DRW I am able to have examples readily available for you all to understand where my odd little witchy head is at. Cools? Okay, let's go.

First and foremost, one of the reasons why Aislynn (who is awesome) and I came up with DRW was to try and find a way to explain that witchcraft can be religious. This means that there are deity forms that a witch can work with and worship, there are holidays we follow (granted they are totally 'colored' by the pantheon we work with, like Aislynn works with Celtic deities and I with the Norse), and other things that as DRW's we follow, and we always followed before we really put it in the witchcraft category. For us DRW's, we also follow what is commonly known as outer court Wiccan materials, i.e all of the information that was published by some BTW's and other trads. that has made its way to the massive over exposure point that the blessed internet gives us today. DRW's find value with the Wiccan rede (the correct interpretation...I personally never got the whole "harm none" over abuse even back in my fluffier days) and with other elements that some follow, like the 13 goals of a witch, elemental balance when casting a circle, etc.

With our very name claiming that Witchcraft is religious, its very painful for me to see some tools on another site claiming that they can chuck in Jesus, wear a cross and a pentacle, and give the Goddess her proverbial booting all over again. Christian witches seem to operate under the idea that witchcraft is just spell work, and in some circumstances it is. For example, in parts of Mexico, there are those who are known as Brujas and Brujos ( the masculine form of the title) who are totally fine with hexing you a new one and do not always have a moral code like more European forms of witchcraft (i.e BTW Wica, DRW, and some CIW/TIW's) to stop them from doing this. There isn't a deity that governs or implications that a deity of any kind would intermediate in this hexing. This is witchcraft in the simple form of spell casting, hexing, the pure magical aspect of witchcraft. Feel free to totally correct that last paragraph, and make some arguments.

Christian witches take witchcraft, assume its completely devoid of any religion, and bring Jesus into it. Some feel that there is no need for gender balance in their witchcraft tradition, and if they are trying to interject Christianity into religious witchcraft, they are wrong because in all of my few years being a DRW, I've never met a witch, heck a Pagan for that matter who did not find gender balance a necessity. Sure, there are some who do not feel the need to have the God or the Goddess present there all the time, but on sabbats and other key holidays they follow, most that I know have a masculine and a feminine deity they work with. This is the first fatal flaw of Christian witchcraft; the gender balance needed in religious witchcraft is ripped out and tossed aside like a golden calf. *clunk*

The next fatal flaw of CW, the assumption that their said deity would LIKE to be worshiped in this fashion. God, the Christian one, would NEVER want to be worshiped in a circle in some 16 year old's bedroom as she dances around skyclad and sings kumbaya. Okay, horrid imagery, sorry gang, but that's what is going on. God likes churches, that's why there are so many of them! He loves the pomp and circumstance of mass, service, whatever denomination x,y, or z calls it. He likes the formality of it, the kneeling in prayer of his converts, and the old school way he is honored and (arguably) feared, so why mess with it in a small and sad little circle at 10pm while your parents watch Matlock? It makes no sense.

Other flaws include but are not limited to:

1. Herbal healing is witchcraft, so I can do witchcraft without all of that nasty sacrificing, blood rites, and all of the other "evil pagan" stuff, so even if I do completely biff up with this stuff, I can go to heaven and say "but it was herbal healing St. Peter...scout's honor. Using herbs by themselves, or growing them and using them is herbalism, not witchcraft, you have to utilize them in witchcraft via a spell to make it magical...how is that so hard to understand?

2. Jesus was a witch: Yeah, no I don't think so. Jesus was the son of GOD...you know, the one of the cross! Oh, and this includes Jesus as a magi, magician, or a gnostic as well. Jesus was Jesus and I'd kick ass to hear his side of the story with regards to all this BS floating around about him.

3.God is a girl, and her name is Sophia: Wrong again CW's, Sophia is the name of God's feminine side, his female aligned wisdom if you will. In no way did Christianity as we know it now EVER have a female deity. If it did, I almost would have stayed a part of the church for a half second longer. Lillith was a badass woman, and because her story have been cut out of all versions of the Bible I am aware of, to use it in reference to the modern form of Christianity to even justify a female deity is heresy in any denomination of Christianity. Sorry gang, but they weren't too found of women who thought for themselves back in the day. :S

4. Gnotisicism is Christian witchcraft!: No, Gnosticism is its own wonderful and beautiful thing. Sure, it and Christianity have some common roots, but hiding behind the "mysterious and esoteric" Christianity cousin annoys me. If you are going to call yourself an Esoteric Christian, then call yourself an Esoteric Christian...what does witchcraft have to do with that?! Seriously?!

In Conclusion, Christian witchcraft uses a half assed, under read and poorly learned definitions of Christianity and Gnotisicism which causes harm to both paths, which then gets merged into a religious witchcraft path and is all justified under the fluffy mentality of acceptance and love and all that unicorn poo. Even if one was to be Christian and claim to use a form of witchcraft without any deity in it, Jesus is not gonna just let you mess up his dad's house, especially when said holy father is all powerful and hates you dancing around skyclad in your bedroom in your "circle" you cast from your $RW witch kit *shakes fist*. It cannot, and will never work. The last thing the Pagan community wants is to deal with this massive influx of common sense failing that cannot even be remotely validated by someone (read me) who hasn't even been a Catholic for the last 8 years. I'm totally fine with admitting I am not completely will versed in all denominations of Christianity, but when someone like myself who has been out of the loop finds big honkin' holes in your religion, you sir have an issue.

*lightsaber sheathed* I hope you enjoyed this little walk and talk with me. BB, Yarrowsage.

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Replies to This Discussion

 I wouldn't worry too much about collapse, it isn't going to happen

 

If it is still around in 20 years or so,I think it will have a good go of lasting. But case in point, DRW is largely intended to replace Neo-Wicca as a religion, and Neo-Wicca didn't even hit the 20 year mark. I'd like to see it last, which is why I'm willing to put time and energy into a path I will never follow.

It seems the confusion is in the ortho-praxic nature of it, rather than the ortho-doxic approach

See, that's interesting to me... because I was under the assumption that DRW is orthodoxic because the only thing I've been able to see consensus on is that you use the same types of written material for DRW. With the exception of dedicating one's self to deity, there hasn't been a lot of discussion about what one does, but a lot of thought given to what one believes or what set of sacred texts one must follow. Could another thread be started on here that talks specifically about what is required orthopraxy to be DRW?

Choose (or be chosen, or however it is that you see deity worship coming to fruition) a deity to dedicate oneself to, and therefor you have chosen a pantheon, chosen a core mythology to work with,

Hmm..is that true for DRW that when you are involved with a deity that you work with the pantheon and with that pantheon's core mythology? In that case, DRWs don't work with the 8 neopagan sabbats primarily? Like I mentioned above, this might be a good reason to have a thread about what is practiced...I just figured that you guys were in the 8 sabbat crowd, but most pantheons don't work with the 8 sabbats.

Put out too much information, and people don't care to be associated or even bother to read it, put out too little and its not "defined" enough for it to be recognized by other religions.

Would putting out a lot of information and having fewer "followers" be a bad thing? Isn't the most important part about this being able to find a place for yourselves and others like you and not making it a religion of the masses?

I personally went over all the information that Aislynn and Yarrow have gathered on the subject, most of it posted in the WT thread admittedly,

I'm not a member of WT, so I can't read over that. Could it be moved over here?

If you want something exact, ask an exact question and you will be given an answer.

 
I've had a couple questions not yet answered, but here's a few for starters based just on the definition of religion:

What is the required DRW belief of the purpose of the universe?

What is the required DRW belief about the creation of the universe and/or myth about how the universe was created?

What is the ethical core that all DRWs are required to follow?

What are the required practices of DRW?

What are the required holy days for DRW and how are they required to be honored/celebrated/observed?

What is the perceived role of humanity in the DRW religion?

What is the role of deity and how is deity interpreted within DRW?

What source material is used for study of DRW that is incorporated into its practices?

What groups would automatically qualify as DRW (for instance, what I'm hearing here would mean that Correllians are by default DRW even if they don't know it, but Jewish witches would not be?)? What group is automatically disqualified from being DRW and why?

What is the canon of DRW?

Just a few to get things started...

 

omg i love it been an issue for me the newage meatloaf syndrom i call it smooshing ways together and calling it factual history......and hense i dont agree or fit in anywhere in this new age meatloaf age i call it such as athiest pagan? what?! i was attacked by like 12 people on a site when i said well its controversil putting 2 opposite ways one belives energy and the other dosent or even nonexistant of divinity or energy................well all in all i was informed im uneducated and iggnorant and on and on and it was on a quite pop newagey neopagan everthing it seemed site it was a horrible experiance...................some even makeup patheons lolol really!? so anyway it was a depressing experiance a witch almost 20 years and was informed of my idiosy saying it nicely.............nontheless i agree and appreciate this veiw very much ty
I have a serious issue with any sort of 'blending' of mutually exclusive belief systems. I would be just as upset were someone to attempt to blend Witchcraft with Zoroastrianism as I am with the attempted reconciliation of Witchcraft as a religious path with Christianity, and that's not just because the majority of Christians I know would experience pulmonary thrombosis at the slightest mention of the 'synthesis'.

There are so many references made to the diabolical nature of any occult art in both the Old and New Testaments that it surprises me that anyone would even want to mesh the two. Besides, Yahweh, YHVH, Heavenly Father, whatever you want to call 'im, pretty much set down very concrete rules for the methods and means by which he wants to be worshiped by his followers. Making any alterations to that is a very big no-no as far as Christian holy scriptures and the word of Christ are concerned...

Um, talk about lack of terminology comprehension. You can work magic as a Christian, true. For instance, in the US, many hoodoos were Christians. However, calling one's self a witch while Christian, is confessing that you sin before the Lord. Witchcraft is a SIN in most (if not all) denominations of Christianity. Some would say that "it's just semantics! They are witches, they simply don't call themselves that because they're trying to justify themselves and avoid sinning!"; I say that those who think along those lines have ZERO understanding of Christianity, witchcraft and the power of names.

Also, Christian Day? Seriously? The warlock dude? *headdesk*

Not all who do magic are witches. Witchcraft is only a single type of a system of practices that employs magic. Using magic does not make you a witch.

What Jesus did was perform miracles because he already WAS a God. He wasn't turned into one. He did not perform magic. Claiming otherwise is to spit at the face of Christianity, ignore a religion's (and any system's) right to choose what applies to it and what doesn't, by using a term said system *abhors*.

Witchcraft in its most *basic* form is a craft. However, it is not ONLY that and it has many forms, more complicated than a simple craft. Wicca, among many other systems, is a form of religious Witchcraft.

Spouting crap and then accusing everyone on this thread that they have no valid points at all (even though they have made countless valid points throughout the course of this discussion) is arrogant, ignorant and reeks of stupidity. Mind your tongue and brain before attacking people who know better than you, because others can play your game too.

BastAmun said:

You can be a Christian witch, sorry to burst your bubble. Witchcraft is a craft not a religion. It never will be a religion because witchcraft can't be a religion. As for Jesus. People that practice Penn Dutch Powwow do view Jesus as the founder of their tradition because of what he did. The Penn Dutch are Christian and do magic. Also Christian Day who wrote 'The Witches Book of the Dead' stated that while Jesus didn't fit into all of the qualities of a witch he could be view as a witch because he preformed miracles and magic, and was later turned into a god. His book is really good if you want to learn about spirit work.

Also while I agree that you can't be a Christian Wiccan you can, and I will repeat this one last time, you can be a Christian witch. You can be a Buddist witch, a Jewish witch, any kind of witch and still go to church, temple, whatever. I'm a witch, not religious, and I do light and dark magic and I'm learning how to work with spirits. Your argument has no valid points at all.

Ah, you're the one previously known as Hermione M. Volino. Feel free to ignore my previous reply. Had I known whom I replied to, I wouldn't have bothered.

I understand this is old, but I just feel like I have to say something about this.

I'm a neither a DRW nor a Christopagan, but I'd like to say first, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, before you unsheathe anything and decide it's your duty to protect both Christianity and Paganism from the "heresy" which is Christopaganism you first do some serious research on Early Christianity, Early Judaism and various forms of contemporary Christianity."  My major pet peeve with the pagan critics of Christopaganism is their willingness to discount Christopagans as new age fluffiness without developing any real understanding of Christianity outside of the very narrow view of Christianity they were raised in.

 

Although I am not currently a Christopagan, I did start my pagan path as one.  I practiced Christopaganism for about a year before I came to the realization that Jesus just didn't do it for me.  Jesus just didn't do it for me in any form, not the Jesus of orthodox (mainstream) Christianity, not the Gnostic Jesus, and not Jesus as a wisdom teacher.  But anyways as someone who spent a year practicing the path, and as someone who studied it off and one for a few years before that, I understand it more than most pagans.  I would summarize Christopaganism as a diverse group of folks who combine (usually) a generic neopagan path with elements of mainstream Christianity, Gnostic CHRISTIANITY (more on this later), Christian Mysticism, Christian Folk Magic and contemporary Alternative Christianity. Some Christopagans may add more elements of certain things over others, depending on the individual and their preference.  Christopagans usually honor both the masculine and the feminine in the Divine.  Depending on the Christopagan they may do so in different ways.  Some honor a monotheistic god that is both masculine and feminine.  They might embrace the Holy Spirit as a feminine aspect, or they might honor the Shekhinah.  If they are more influenced by Gnostic Christianity, they might embrace a more polytheistic angle and embrace Sophia as the feminine face of the Divine.  And then there are those who will honor the Virgin Mary or Mary Magdalene as a Goddess (obviously this is not Orthodox Christianity, but is something that comes from modern Alternative Christianity.)

 

I have found that in Christopaganism it's that not they have a lack of understanding of Christianity, but it's more so that they have a lack of respect for Orthodoxy for the sake of Orthodoxy, especially if they come across information that brings questions to the validity of that Orthodoxy.  Most if not all of these people are come from Orthodox Christian backgrounds, and fully understand what Orthodox Christianity has to say about the use of magic, the worship of other gods, the nature of Jesus, etc.  They just don't agree with it.  Let’s not think that Christopagans are unique in this. I have notice it's a growing trend within Christianity.  As others have brought to your attention, not every Christian (or Christian sect) believe the Bible to be literally unquestionable truth.  As the word spreads about non canonical early Christian writings, many Christians are starting to question what they are being told by orthodox Christianity.  Some of these Christians have started to study these texts themselves and are coming up with different views on Jesus, his purpose and his message.  One of these groups I have had the luck to come across recently are the Contemplative Christians.  They are really quite interesting.  They focus on Jesus not as a way to avoid hell, but as a Wisdom Teacher.  Instead of centering their practice on the Death of Jesus, they center their practice on his teachings.  They use not only the official Christian Bible in their practice but also the (Gnostic) Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the (Gnostic) Gospel of Thomas.

 

Christopagans, just like many other neopagans put a lot of study into their beliefs.  Just because a Christopagan brings an idea to your attention that does not fit well into your (orthodox) understanding of Christianity does not make it new age nonsense.  A Christopagan saying that they believe Yahweh has a wife and her name is Asherah, might sound odd to you.  And if your only understanding on the Judeo-Christian god is from the Bible, it would be easy to discount this.  But chances are the Christopagan got this idea not from some poorly researched book with a crescent moon on its spine, but probably from a well researched scholarly book.  There are a few scholarly books I can suggest on this topic alone, which should make any thinking person question the origins and nature of the Judeo-Christian God.  One that influenced my Christopaganism at the time was “The Hebrew Goddess.”  Another I haven't personally read, but have heard good things about is “Did God have a Wife.”  Both explore the theory that Judaism wasn't originally monotheistic, but had monotheism push on the populous by a small group of powerful Yawehists.  As I have mentioned these books were written by scholars, do not discount these controversial theories as new age nonsense (as pagan critics of Christopaganism seem to love to do).  This is just one example of the types of books Christopagans read.  It is my experience that Christopagans do not lack knowledge of Christianity, but have a better understanding of the religion, its history and its development than most Christians or Pagans.

 

Oh and I said I would get to Gnostic Christianity, so I'll do that now.

"Gnotisicism is Christian witchcraft!: No, Gnosticism is its own wonderful and beautiful thing. Sure, it and Christianity have some common roots, but hiding behind the "mysterious and esoteric" Christianity cousin annoys me."

Now I will agree that Gnostic Christianity isn't witchcraft.  It's a form of Christianity, where witchcraft is a practice.  What I'm wondering is where you're coming up with the idea that it's not Christianity?  While I am not expert of Early Christianity, it is a subject that I find incredibly interesting and something I research from time to time.  And I have never some across anything scholarly that's ever presented Gnostic Christianity as anything other than an Early Form of Christianity.  I really couldn't see any scholar on Early Christianity ever saying anything like, "Well Gnosticism has a lot in common with Christianity, and it shares roots with Christianity, but it's something completely different.  It's so not Christianity," honestly.  That would show incredible bias towards the idea that modern Christianity is the only true form of Christianity.  While scholars are human and will always carry some bias, scholars are in the business of discovering the truth as evidence shows it to be, not keeping the status quo.

 

A lot of Christians and Pagans alike believe a sort of fairy tale version of the history of Christianity that goes something like this: Jesus existed, said some cool stuff, did cool stuff and then he was crucified.  (If one is an orthodox Christian, then one believes after this Jesus rose from the dead).  Then the apostles all sharing the same understanding of what they experienced, went out and spread a uniform message.  Then Paul having a bout of UPG joined the Christian movement and began teaching the true form of Christianity.  (Note: even though he never met Jesus himself, he was able to magically know exactly what Jesus taught and wasn't influenced by the paganism at the time at all, oh no, not at all.  Nor did his Greek culture influence any of it either).  The Christian community gladly embraced Paul, his message and all Christian agreed with what he taught.  Then the Catholic Church happened.  Then the Protestants happen, and it wasn't until this point Christian belief diversified.  Also somewhere along the way the Bible as Christians know it pop up from nowhere magically from God himself.  This Bible is the scriptures that all Christians have always recognized ALWAYS.

 

Sorry for the snark, I'm just sick and tired of this stupid myth.

 

The truth about early Christianity is that it was a mishmash of several different groups of people.  These groups of Christians often believe completely different things that often conflicted with the beliefs of other Christian groups.  One of these many groups and forms of Christians were the Gnostic Christians.  These people while having a very different slant on Christianity than we know today, were just as much a part of the early Christian movement as any other group of Christians.  At the same time, many scriptures floated around in the Christian movement, these like the Christians that wrote them held many differencing and conflicting views on the Jesus story, his nature and his teachings.  It wasn’t until the Council of Nicaea in 325 that an idea of Orthodox Christianity was formed, and the Christian Bible we know today was put together.  After this point all forms of Christianity that did not fit in the new Orthodoxy, and all Christian Scriptures not included in the official cannon were considered heretical.  And eventually efforts were put in place to destroy these sects and scriptures. 

 

This is the Early Christianity I have discovered since I started looking outside the Christian Bible.  Again I must state I have never come across anything scholarly that ever described Gnostic Christianity as not Christian.  I've only see stuff like that come out of the mouths of fundamentalist Christians and Neopagans that have something against Christopagans.  As I stated earlier I'm not an expert on Early Christianity, so I could be wrong.  If you have a scholarly source that supports your idea that Gnostic is the "cousin" of Christianity, but not Christian itself I'd love to see it.

 

Now I will show you my sources that support my opinion that Gnostic Christianity is a form of Christianity.

 

From my copy of the Nag Nammadi Library edited by James M. Robins. These quotes are from the introduction which gives brief info on the Gnostic Christians and the history behind the discovery of the library.

 

“Those who collected this library (meaning the Nag Hammadi Library) were Christians, and many of the essays were originally composed by Christian authors.  In a sense this should not be surprising, since primitive Christianity was itself a radical movement.” Page 3

“But since the early Christian heresy-hunters clearly identified Gnostics as Christians, through of course heretical Christians, the concept of Christian Gnosticism is firmly established.” Page 6.

 

You should also check out these websites which also describe Gnostic Christianity as a form of Christianity.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/pagels...

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/first/divers...

I would suggest you thumb through everything honestly.   It’s info like this that many Christopagans are getting their views.  I know it influenced my beliefs when I was a Christopagan.

 

http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhlintro.html

This link also mentions the fact that the word Gnostic can be used to describe groups that are both Christian and non-Christian as does my copy of the Nag Hammadi Library.  This book actually suggests there might have been Gnostic Jews and Gnostic forms of paganism. (Maybe this is where your confusion came from?).  I should also mention that this website contains HTML versions of many Gnostic scriptures, if you're interested.

Now, with that all said. DRW is your tradition, and you can exclude whoever from your trad as you please.  If you don't want Christopagans, or Jewitches, of Mystic Muslims or whatever in your trad that's your right.  But I must say I think you need to learn a lot more about Christianity outside of what you were raised to believe before you go out into the world and expect others to conform to your point of view, especially folks how have put a lot more time, thought and research into a topic than you have.  Not trying to be mean here, just saying....

Research is appreciated in RealPagan. I have some things to say though, as a theologian-in-training who studies religion, specifically Christianity, as an undergraduate student.

Gnosticism is a different thing from Christianity. Yes, early Christianity was a mishmash of different groups of people but that ceased to be rather quickly. I understand it's hard to accept the use of a term only by specific groups but when it comes to ridig dogma, specific theology and the notion of orthodoxy, there's no other way to go.

Christianity refers only to select groups: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Coptic, Protestant, a bunch of smaller denominations (like Evangelicalism, Baptist, Anglicanism, Methodism, Lutheranism, Calvinism etc) and some controversial denominations such as the Latter Day Saint movement, Jehovah's Witnesses etc. Christianity is, for CENTURIES, by definition, only applied to those groups that accept the canonical writings (which vary in details but usually include the New and Old Testament as well as the writings of the founding fathers - variations exist in specific books within those categories, in rare cases including non-canonical writings).

Gnosticism is a movement contemporary of Christianity and was influenced a lot by it. It is not, however, Christianity. There is a limit in how much a religion can change before it stops being able to bear the same name as its parent. This is the reason Christianity is not "Judeo-Hellenism", Buddhism is not "Neo-Hinduism" and Wicca is not "Folk-Thelemic-NeoPagan-CeltoHellenism".

To be precise, yes, some early Christian groups and leaders were Gnostics, agreed. That is similar to how a Wiccan, a Buddhist, a Hindu etc can also be Thelemites. It's a spiritual addendum to some Christian expressions of the first centuries C.E, not a Christian denomination.

I'm sorry if this offends you but "a year in the path" and "a few years studying it" might give you some excellent knowledge and information on practices but that doesn't substitute centuries of defining and specification in the field of religious studies. Orthodox Christianity IS the only type of Christianity because one of the most core characteristics of this huge religion with its many denominations is, precisely, its focus on belief. It is for this reason that Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are still Christianity, despite the variations in practice and theology. It's because the characteristic of Christian Orthodoxy and dogma is still prevalent in both.

To not accept a religion's own definitions is to miss its point completely. If I decide that I don't care how Wicca defines itself and will apply the term however I wish, I'm missed the point.

Anyway, my problem with Christopagans is that the term is completely at odds with itself. Paganism is, by definition, non-Christian. Christianism does have Pagan roots (I mean, who doesn't know this) but it's *not* Paganism. Roots, early history etc are just that. A basis, a beginning. Just because Gnosticism was a fairly non-Christian body of belief and practice employed by important Christian figures some 16 centuries ago does not mean Christopaganism is viable as a term.

Want to incorporate Jesus, Jehovah, Asherah or Shekinah, the Tanakh, Gnosticism and who knows how many other hereseis and denominations into your Pagan practice? Be my guest, if it works, more power to you. Find a better name for it though, because Christopaganism is, essentially, the same as saying "Liquidsolid". The one is the opposite of the other.


The Goddessian said:

I understand this is old, but I just feel like I have to say something about this.

I'm a neither a DRW nor a Christopagan, but I'd like to say first, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, before you unsheathe anything and decide it's your duty to protect both Christianity and Paganism from the "heresy" which is Christopaganism you first do some serious research on Early Christianity, Early Judaism and various forms of contemporary Christianity."  My major pet peeve with the pagan critics of Christopaganism is their willingness to discount Christopagans as new age fluffiness without developing any real understanding of Christianity outside of the very narrow view of Christianity they were raised in.

 

Although I am not currently a Christopagan, I did start my pagan path as one.  I practiced Christopaganism for about a year before I came to the realization that Jesus just didn't do it for me.  Jesus just didn't do it for me in any form, not the Jesus of orthodox (mainstream) Christianity, not the Gnostic Jesus, and not Jesus as a wisdom teacher.  But anyways as someone who spent a year practicing the path, and as someone who studied it off and one for a few years before that, I understand it more than most pagans.  I would summarize Christopaganism as a diverse group of folks who combine (usually) a generic neopagan path with elements of mainstream Christianity, Gnostic CHRISTIANITY (more on this later), Christian Mysticism, Christian Folk Magic and contemporary Alternative Christianity. Some Christopagans may add more elements of certain things over others, depending on the individual and their preference.  Christopagans usually honor both the masculine and the feminine in the Divine.  Depending on the Christopagan they may do so in different ways.  Some honor a monotheistic god that is both masculine and feminine.  They might embrace the Holy Spirit as a feminine aspect, or they might honor the Shekhinah.  If they are more influenced by Gnostic Christianity, they might embrace a more polytheistic angle and embrace Sophia as the feminine face of the Divine.  And then there are those who will honor the Virgin Mary or Mary Magdalene as a Goddess (obviously this is not Orthodox Christianity, but is something that comes from modern Alternative Christianity.)

 

I have found that in Christopaganism it's that not they have a lack of understanding of Christianity, but it's more so that they have a lack of respect for Orthodoxy for the sake of Orthodoxy, especially if they come across information that brings questions to the validity of that Orthodoxy.  Most if not all of these people are come from Orthodox Christian backgrounds, and fully understand what Orthodox Christianity has to say about the use of magic, the worship of other gods, the nature of Jesus, etc.  They just don't agree with it.  Let’s not think that Christopagans are unique in this. I have notice it's a growing trend within Christianity.  As others have brought to your attention, not every Christian (or Christian sect) believe the Bible to be literally unquestionable truth.  As the word spreads about non canonical early Christian writings, many Christians are starting to question what they are being told by orthodox Christianity.  Some of these Christians have started to study these texts themselves and are coming up with different views on Jesus, his purpose and his message.  One of these groups I have had the luck to come across recently are the Contemplative Christians.  They are really quite interesting.  They focus on Jesus not as a way to avoid hell, but as a Wisdom Teacher.  Instead of centering their practice on the Death of Jesus, they center their practice on his teachings.  They use not only the official Christian Bible in their practice but also the (Gnostic) Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the (Gnostic) Gospel of Thomas.

 

Christopagans, just like many other neopagans put a lot of study into their beliefs.  Just because a Christopagan brings an idea to your attention that does not fit well into your (orthodox) understanding of Christianity does not make it new age nonsense.  A Christopagan saying that they believe Yahweh has a wife and her name is Asherah, might sound odd to you.  And if your only understanding on the Judeo-Christian god is from the Bible, it would be easy to discount this.  But chances are the Christopagan got this idea not from some poorly researched book with a crescent moon on its spine, but probably from a well researched scholarly book.  There are a few scholarly books I can suggest on this topic alone, which should make any thinking person question the origins and nature of the Judeo-Christian God.  One that influenced my Christopaganism at the time was “The Hebrew Goddess.”  Another I haven't personally read, but have heard good things about is “Did God have a Wife.”  Both explore the theory that Judaism wasn't originally monotheistic, but had monotheism push on the populous by a small group of powerful Yawehists.  As I have mentioned these books were written by scholars, do not discount these controversial theories as new age nonsense (as pagan critics of Christopaganism seem to love to do).  This is just one example of the types of books Christopagans read.  It is my experience that Christopagans do not lack knowledge of Christianity, but have a better understanding of the religion, its history and its development than most Christians or Pagans.

 

Oh and I said I would get to Gnostic Christianity, so I'll do that now.

"Gnotisicism is Christian witchcraft!: No, Gnosticism is its own wonderful and beautiful thing. Sure, it and Christianity have some common roots, but hiding behind the "mysterious and esoteric" Christianity cousin annoys me."

Now I will agree that Gnostic Christianity isn't witchcraft.  It's a form of Christianity, where witchcraft is a practice.  What I'm wondering is where you're coming up with the idea that it's not Christianity?  While I am not expert of Early Christianity, it is a subject that I find incredibly interesting and something I research from time to time.  And I have never some across anything scholarly that's ever presented Gnostic Christianity as anything other than an Early Form of Christianity.  I really couldn't see any scholar on Early Christianity ever saying anything like, "Well Gnosticism has a lot in common with Christianity, and it shares roots with Christianity, but it's something completely different.  It's so not Christianity," honestly.  That would show incredible bias towards the idea that modern Christianity is the only true form of Christianity.  While scholars are human and will always carry some bias, scholars are in the business of discovering the truth as evidence shows it to be, not keeping the status quo.

 

A lot of Christians and Pagans alike believe a sort of fairy tale version of the history of Christianity that goes something like this: Jesus existed, said some cool stuff, did cool stuff and then he was crucified.  (If one is an orthodox Christian, then one believes after this Jesus rose from the dead).  Then the apostles all sharing the same understanding of what they experienced, went out and spread a uniform message.  Then Paul having a bout of UPG joined the Christian movement and began teaching the true form of Christianity.  (Note: even though he never met Jesus himself, he was able to magically know exactly what Jesus taught and wasn't influenced by the paganism at the time at all, oh no, not at all.  Nor did his Greek culture influence any of it either).  The Christian community gladly embraced Paul, his message and all Christian agreed with what he taught.  Then the Catholic Church happened.  Then the Protestants happen, and it wasn't until this point Christian belief diversified.  Also somewhere along the way the Bible as Christians know it pop up from nowhere magically from God himself.  This Bible is the scriptures that all Christians have always recognized ALWAYS.

 

Sorry for the snark, I'm just sick and tired of this stupid myth.

 

The truth about early Christianity is that it was a mishmash of several different groups of people.  These groups of Christians often believe completely different things that often conflicted with the beliefs of other Christian groups.  One of these many groups and forms of Christians were the Gnostic Christians.  These people while having a very different slant on Christianity than we know today, were just as much a part of the early Christian movement as any other group of Christians.  At the same time, many scriptures floated around in the Christian movement, these like the Christians that wrote them held many differencing and conflicting views on the Jesus story, his nature and his teachings.  It wasn’t until the Council of Nicaea in 325 that an idea of Orthodox Christianity was formed, and the Christian Bible we know today was put together.  After this point all forms of Christianity that did not fit in the new Orthodoxy, and all Christian Scriptures not included in the official cannon were considered heretical.  And eventually efforts were put in place to destroy these sects and scriptures. 

 

This is the Early Christianity I have discovered since I started looking outside the Christian Bible.  Again I must state I have never come across anything scholarly that ever described Gnostic Christianity as not Christian.  I've only see stuff like that come out of the mouths of fundamentalist Christians and Neopagans that have something against Christopagans.  As I stated earlier I'm not an expert on Early Christianity, so I could be wrong.  If you have a scholarly source that supports your idea that Gnostic is the "cousin" of Christianity, but not Christian itself I'd love to see it.

 

Now I will show you my sources that support my opinion that Gnostic Christianity is a form of Christianity.

 

From my copy of the Nag Nammadi Library edited by James M. Robins. These quotes are from the introduction which gives brief info on the Gnostic Christians and the history behind the discovery of the library.

 

“Those who collected this library (meaning the Nag Hammadi Library) were Christians, and many of the essays were originally composed by Christian authors.  In a sense this should not be surprising, since primitive Christianity was itself a radical movement.” Page 3

“But since the early Christian heresy-hunters clearly identified Gnostics as Christians, through of course heretical Christians, the concept of Christian Gnosticism is firmly established.” Page 6.

 

You should also check out these websites which also describe Gnostic Christianity as a form of Christianity.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/pagels...

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/first/divers...

I would suggest you thumb through everything honestly.   It’s info like this that many Christopagans are getting their views.  I know it influenced my beliefs when I was a Christopagan.

 

http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhlintro.html

This link also mentions the fact that the word Gnostic can be used to describe groups that are both Christian and non-Christian as does my copy of the Nag Hammadi Library.  This book actually suggests there might have been Gnostic Jews and Gnostic forms of paganism. (Maybe this is where your confusion came from?).  I should also mention that this website contains HTML versions of many Gnostic scriptures, if you're interested.

Now, with that all said. DRW is your tradition, and you can exclude whoever from your trad as you please.  If you don't want Christopagans, or Jewitches, of Mystic Muslims or whatever in your trad that's your right.  But I must say I think you need to learn a lot more about Christianity outside of what you were raised to believe before you go out into the world and expect others to conform to your point of view, especially folks how have put a lot more time, thought and research into a topic than you have.  Not trying to be mean here, just saying....

I totally agree with you; although spending all of my childhood and most of my adult life as a "Christian" I've had to do a lot of research to be able to even try to find any common ground. For whatever reason; be that I have always as a child had gifts that were not accepted by the tradional church, or my longing for the knowledge that I feel has been passed down
The 2 cannot be combined; its a mockery of both religions!
Thank you for defining that whole subject in a very real way! also for your total respect for Christianity; while I agree that one cannot be both Christian and Witch at the same time; I'm tired of anyone bashing their beliefs for the sake of proving their point! I was a loving and powerful Christian for most of my life, and learned a lot of the best lessons in life there! Now my hope is to bring the best out while walking my path and being grateful and not defensive! *BB*

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