Can You Be Christian and Pagan?
You Can't Follow Two Religions?
Most people will say you cannot be both Christian and Pagan. They are two opposite religions, in many cases one blaming the other for all of the world's problems. Christians say Pagans are devil-worshipers and are corrupting the souls of the world. Pagans say Christians are dogmatic and closed-minded and are bringing us down. But what if the truth is somewhere in the middle? What if the truth is something that isn't discussed a whole lot? What if I told you being Christian and Pagan is a possibility?
I know what you're thinking. She's crazy. And I used to believe that a person could not be more than one religion, especially if those religions seem in opposition to one another. But I've grown up, not only physically and mentally but spiritually. I've studied world religions for many years and have found that they aren't as different as we've been taught. Society might try to sway us one way or another, but if you are anything like me and like to make your own way in this world...read on.
Christianity is Paganism At Its Core
First we must address this idea of division between Christianity and Paganism. Yes, there are fundamental and extremist Christians and Pagans that will tell you there is a division. That these religions are too distinct and different to blend together. But here's the thing - these people aren't seeing past the dogma that's been ingrained in them from other very dogmatic, closed-minded individuals.
If we examine Christianity at its core, at its roots, we will start to see things that remind us very much of Paganism. Traditions and beliefs that echo ancient pagan traditions and beliefs. The major modern "Christian" holidays such as Easter, Christmas, and even Valentine's Day were once major pagan holidays before the rise of the Church. Don't believe me? Research the origins of each holiday and you'll discover a whole new outlook. Christmas follows ancient celebrations of the winter solstice, Easter follows the Spring Equinox and is named for an ancient germanic goddess (Eostre/Ostara), and Valentine's Day is the day before an ancient Roman fertility festival called Saturnalia. There are more holidays with the same story - the Church found it easier to convert pagans if they adopted their holidays. Many of the ancient pagan customs for these holidays still survive today, too (yule log, christmas tree, easter eggs, easter bunny, Santa Claus, etc).
So, the holidays were once pagan, but that doesn't make Christianity paganism. Right? Well, if we look at the basic Christian beliefs we see the belief in an all-powerful God who "gave his only son" so that we may have eternal life. With this belief comes into play the concept of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). We are told over and over again that Christianity believes in One God, but at its core the Holy Trinity is three gods in one. Technically anyone could argue that this is still polytheism, which is often a core belief of paganism (belief in more than one god). The Son of God (Jesus Christ) has close connections with some of the most ancient pagan belief systems in that there were goddesses before Mary who bore sons of the gods. Start with looking up Isis, the Egyptian Mother Goddess of Horus. A statue of Isis suckling Horus as a baby looks an awful lot like the images of Mary holding Jesus at her breast. This motif of holy mother and child is not new and is not singly Christian - it spans space and time and can be found in nearly every culture all around the world. In many cases the goddess is even a virgin!
In addition, the worship of the "Son" of God reflects dozens of pagan cults from ancient times who worshiped "Sun" Gods. Is it a coincidence that most Christian churches hold Sunday as the day of rest and as the sabbath? Christians honor the Son of God on Sun-day. The more you dive into the scholarly aspect of religious studies, the more you will see connections and reflections. Bottom line - Christianity and Paganism have similar roots and can be mixed to fit your unique spiritual path.
Syncretism: Why You Can Be Two Religions
For the fundamental pagans and Christians, they will still argue that you can't "mix" two religions - particularly two religions that have been at war for thousands of years. The fact is that most religions have fought one another at some point in history, and often different branches within the same religions fight one another. An example of this is the Protestants versus the Catholics. Do you think they differed in opinions and split from each other peacefully? No. It was bloody. It was violent. It was wrong and inhuman, but it happened. How about the different sects of Buddhism that fight one another? Or the different branches of Islam that fight one another? We can't blame religion for our human faults and differences, we can only blame ourselves - our fear and hatred and ignorance. So the argument of two religions being "at odds" with one another is not a legitimate argument.
If you are a person who believes any religion could be "right" and no one is exactly "wrong", then you are a person who might want to blend different religions like Christianity and Paganism. This is what some call Syncretism, which is defined as the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought. People will tell you this is wrong. People might even say you are being racist or culturally appropriating. In the end, it is up to you to study, practice, and show respect for whatever spiritual practices you decide to blend for your own enlightenment. If you decide to go to church on Sunday but then also believe in multiple gods, who is it really hurting? If you allow others to choose in what they believe, why can't you believe what you want to believe? If you show a respect for others' beliefs, then you are more than entitled to believe what you want to believe even if that is blending pagan customs with Christian ones.
I've heard so many people say "you can't be Buddhist and Christian" or "you can't be this and that at the same time". Why not? Most religions are a blend of various belief systems that have come together over a course of hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, some are even newer than that. When people tell you you can't do something when it comes to religion, they are merely trying to control you. Don't let them.
Please Watch This Video on Dual Faith:
Following Your Own Path to Enlightenment
I've found that people who are more likely to blend two religions to make their own spiritual path are the people who are the most open-minded and caring souls. These are the people who respect everyone else's beliefs and customs, and sometimes hide their own from the world because they fear judgment and criticism. If these kind, open-minded seekers show the respect to others that they deserve, why can't they get that same respect in return?
If you find yourself following a spiritual path that is unique to you, then you are NOT in the wrong. You are on your own path to spiritual progress and enlightenment. If someone tells you that you can't mix Christianity and Paganism together, simply bid them farewell and do what you feel is right in your heart anyway. It is when we start pushing our beliefs on others that we lose sight of true connection to the Divine (God/Universe/Etc). When we focus our time and energy on what other people are believing, we lose ourselves in the process. If everyone spent more time on their own selves, their own souls, the world would be a much better place!
So, do what you feel is right in your heart. Follow your intuition. Follow your own beautiful, sun-kissed path to spiritual enlightenment wherever it may lead - be it to Christianity, Paganism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, or whatever!
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© 2018 Nicole Canfield