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Author Topic: An Orthodox Christian Discusses Wicca and Paganism  (Read 3527 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: September 18, 2005, 03:04:47 AM »

I know this article may seem a little out there, but I found it interesting especially coming from a fellow Orthodox Christian:

http://www.wicca.com/celtic/wicca/christian.htm

Peace.
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2005, 04:17:22 AM »

I can see where this thread is going and more and more "celtic" mythology in modern form.  What about all those time-honored deities in the Slavic pantheon that many of our ancestors maybe worshipped in the old days and maybe still do in some customs.  Maybe we Slavs could teach the "wiccans" a thing or two.  Forgive me for wanting to be "cuturally diverse" in my attitude towards "celtic" paganism which I have seen used by feminists and others at home - "mother earth" or "mati syra zemlya"

1. Mokos
Goddess of the earth worshipped by the ancient Slavs; one of the most primeval deities in the pagan Slavic pantheon. Mokos is most likely a later and more strongly personified variant of the Slavs' elder earth goddess, 'Damp Mother Earth,' or Mati s...
2. Mati Syra Zemlya
The chthonic mother goddess of the ancient Slavs; a vague personification of the earth (literally, 'Damp Mother Earth'). Perhaps the Slavs' oldest pagan deity, her identity later blended into that of Mokos.
3. Chors
A sun-god of the eastern Slavs, called upon by hunters and against diseases. He is depicted with a dog's head and horns.
4. Lascowiec
A Slavic wood-spirit that protects wild animals. He is called 'master of wolves' by the eastern and southern Slavs. He is portrayed as a wolf, or a stag riding on a wolf. The Czech call him Borowiec.
5. Byelobog
In Slavic mythology (western Slavs) Byelobog ('white god') is a deity of the sun and of fortune. He is mentioned by the medieval historian Gelmold in his 'Slavonic chronicles'. Gelmold says that Byelobog stands in opposition to Chyernobog ('black god...
6. Perun
Storm god in the pre-Christian Slavic pantheon. Venerated particularly by the Eastern Slavs, especially the Russians. A clear counterpart to the Latvian Perkons and Lithuanian Perkunas, Perun ('striker,' from the Indo-European root perk-/...
7. Srat
A domestic demon of the West Slavs which can fly and which appears as a fiery figure. The name is Germanic in origin (cf. Old High German scrato, 'forest spirit').
 8. Ovinnik
East Slavic spirit of the threshing house (ovin). Russian and Ukrainian threshing houses tended to be two-story buildings, heated by a furnace; containing highly flammable grain, they were horribly vulnerable to outbreaks of fire. Consequent...
9. Dazsbog
In Slavic mythology (Russia, Ukraine) Dazsbog is the god of sun and bearer of goods, son of Svarog and Dennitsa (dawn). Dazsbog is the creative, impregnating power of nature, 'whose rays give nature a possibility to produce...' (A. Afanasyev).
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2005, 05:25:01 AM »

Forgive me for wanting to be "cuturally diverse" in my attitude towards "celtic" paganism which I have seen used by feminists and others at home - "mother earth" or "mati syra zemlya"

For quite some time I've felt that religious tolerance is a fundamental tenant of the Gospel. I could be mistaken but that is at least how I feel.

Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2005, 05:56:53 AM »

I would simply observe that Wicca is witchcraft.

I would also observe that paganism is idolatry.

I would further observe that both are strictly forbidden by the Gospel because both are sins.  The former is seeking powers from demons (explicitly or by being duped by them); the latter is giving worship to things or to demons instead of to God. 

At best, some pagan philosophy (such as Platonism, Hinduism's Vedanta, etc.) can be seen as an anticipation of the Gospel by those who had not yet received Divine revelation. 

Yet, Jesus Christ completes, corrects and perfects all truths because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

Jesus Christ does so through His life, death and resurrection.  Thereby, He defeated the demons and their witchcraft, and He eliminated pagan worship.  He replaces these with His own life, the life in Christ and the particiaption in the life of the Trinity.
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2005, 09:21:36 AM »

I know this article may seem a little out there, but I found it interesting especially coming from a fellow Orthodox Christian:

http://www.wicca.com/celtic/wicca/christian.htm

While I tend to agree with the soteriology (though I believe the concept of Salvation after death needs to be added, but that's another discussion), the conclusions are way off base. Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa were universalists and St. Clement of Alexandria and St. Gregory the Theologian had very open views of Soteriology, encompassing both Christians and Pagans, BUT all of them insisted that the Pagans were wrong and for pastoral reasons should be condemned accordingly. Regardless of our Soteriology the Church has had throught history, and yet has, the moral and pastoral responsibility to Judge and Condemn all Schismatics, Heretics, and Infidels inorder that She may maintain, and the Faithful may know, the Truth in its fullest manifestation.
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2005, 02:45:17 PM »

Regardless of our Soteriology the Church has had throught history, and yet has, the moral and pastoral responsibility to Judge and Condemn all Schismatics, Heretics, and Infidels inorder that She may maintain, and the Faithful may know, the Truth in its fullest manifestation.

"For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Matthew 7:2)

"But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'" (Matthew 9:13)

"Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:36-38)

I respectfully beg to differ.

Peace.
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2005, 09:19:13 AM »

Quote
"For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Matthew 7:2)

"Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:36-38)

There is no contradiction between these verses and what GiC has stated. When the Church judges and condemns those foreign to Her — the heretics and schismatics — she judges with a “righteous judgment” (John 7:24) on the basis of their beliefs and practices which are contrary to the fullness of truth embodied by the Church, and not the value of their persons or their salvation. Your quotation of the above verses sets up a false dichotomy based on your implicit interpretation of them as abdicating all forms of judgment, which is simply misguided and irresponsible. Furthermore, I don’t find this open blanket interpretation of the text supported by the Fathers:

St Ephrem the Syrian re-iterates the Biblical principle that it is unrighteous condemnation/judgment motivated by vengeance and/or injustice that these verses speak out against(Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron 6.18b). Furthermore, St Cyril of Alexandria elaborates upon the criterion of legitimate judgement, stating that it is those who judge and condemn, “having no authority to do so” that will be condemned. (Commentary on Luke, Homily 29) - you do believe, as an Orthodox Christian, in the authority of the Church, don't you?

Quote
Peace.

You’re cramping my style Wink

Peace.
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2005, 09:22:48 AM »

Well EA, you just beat me to a response, and it was far more complete than I was intending...but I thought if we were just quoting bible verses, I'd throw these in Wink

'Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.' -- I John iv. 1

'And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' -- Matthew xviii. 17-18

'Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.' -- John xx. 23
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 12:59:17 PM »

Well EA, you just beat me to a response, and it was far more complete than I was intending...but I thought if we were just quoting bible verses, I'd throw these in Wink

[....]

'And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' -- Matthew xviii. 17-18

Um, not relevant; the verse is about disputes within the community, not about heresies outside the church. But anyway.....

Way too much hot air is spent theorizing about non-Christians and their fate. And while I'm at it: Paganism is not idolatry, though Wicca and witchcraft are, as terms, synonymous. If we are to speak as if we had knowledge, it helps to actually have that knowledge. To be strictly terminological, in the taxonomy of religion "paganism" is usually taken to refer to systems of gods/spirits which rules over/are present in various natural domains and categories. Greco-Roman religion and Shinto are pagan; Buddhism and Islam are not. Hinduism is generally pagan in practice, though not necessarily in theory. Modern Wicca is a sort of ersatz paganism.

Surely we should condemn the theories of these other religions, at least insofar as they contradict basic Christian beliefs. The syncretism that seems to be part and parcel of fringy "celtic" Christianity (as opposed to the real celtic stuff, which is resolutely anti-pagan) is intellectually and spritually bankrupt, and ought to be denounced. The problem I see is that these denunciations tend to get out of hand. All too quickly the need to condemn overwhelms any concern for accuracy, and pretty soon the Christian cause is being hurt because inaccuracy in the defense of the faith ceases to be a vice.
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2005, 01:32:07 PM »

Um, not relevant; the verse is about disputes within the community, not about heresies outside the church. But anyway.....

Though the case immediately at hand is within the Church it is relevant because it expresses the authority of the Apostles and their Successors over all of Creation. The authority of our Episcopacy is not only over those souls of those who acknowledge their authority but over all men; and they, collectively, have the responsibility to sit in judgement over all men and all creeds.

Quote
Way too much hot air is spent theorizing about non-Christians and their fate.

Too much theorizing? Seems like a contradiction in terms to me.

Quote
And while I'm at it: Paganism is not idolatry, though Wicca and witchcraft are, as terms, synonymous. If we are to speak as if we had knowledge, it helps to actually have that knowledge. To be strictly terminological, in the taxonomy of religion "paganism" is usually taken to refer to systems of gods/spirits which rules over/are present in various natural domains and categories.

Paganism is not just a primitive religion of nature worship. Though it may have started out as animism by the time of Christ it was far more developed thanks to the Pre-Socratics, Platonists, Stoics, et cetera. The gods and goddesses would have been regarded as demigods of a sort by the pagan intellectuals, with the unknowable One being the pre-eternal and eternal source of being. Thus Hinduism, in both theory and practice, is quite pagan. A more relevant question may be whether animists could be properly regarded as pagans, or if their religion is too primitive to be comprable to the religion of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2005, 02:11:09 PM »

Surely we should condemn the theories of these other religions, at least insofar as they contradict basic Christian beliefs.

In a society of religious pluralism, how much are we able to condemn? We should not tolerate neo-pagan beliefs within the Church itself but outside, in secular society, people have the right to exercise their freedom of religion.
Did Jesus Christ condemn the Samaritan woman? Did he not say to a Pharisee, "The Kingdom of God is within you"?
Did Christ condemn the pagan soldier or did he commend what faith the soldier did have?

Peace.

 
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2005, 03:17:11 PM »

It should be noted that Dcn Nikolai (a poster here and head of euphrosynoscafe.com) contacted the priest of that parish who denies this fellow is even a member of his congregation.

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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2005, 03:39:30 PM »

It should be noted that Dcn Nikolai (a poster here and head of euphrosynoscafe.com) contacted the priest of that parish who denies this fellow is even a member of his congregation.

Anastasios

Even if that were true, I believe the message of the article would still be valid.

Peace.
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2005, 04:11:27 PM »

Though the case immediately at hand is within the Church it is relevant because it expresses the authority of the Apostles and their Successors over all of Creation. The authority of our Episcopacy is not only over those souls of those who acknowledge their authority but over all men; and they, collectively, have the responsibility to sit in judgement over all men and all creeds.

I think you can only get there through the utterly circular argument that the church authorities can have the passage mean that.

Quote
Too much theorizing? Seems like a contradiction in terms to me.

Well you're just wrong in saying that.  Tongue

Quote
Paganism is not just a primitive religion of nature worship.

Nor did I say that. It seems a constant issue in your replies that you restate what I say to be what is convenient for me to have said.

It's more than a little obscure what Socrates actually believed, but as far as Platonism is concerned, it fits into paganism in somewhat the same way that intellectualized Hinduism fits into it. Taxonomy is never a certain thing-- unless, of course, you are a Platonist  Wink -- and if you are a "splitter' you might consider Hinduism and Platonism to be separate from pagan religion (because of the presence of systematic theology in both). Or you might consider Platonism to be fundamentally non-religious, and Hinduism to be pagan with a veneer of theology. Maybe you think of Platonism as a sort of unitarian pagan religion. Or if you are a lumper you might consider both of them to be variations within pagan religion. The important thing is to respect the actual characteristics of the religions. Shinto has no idols per se, but it is in every other respect like a pagan religion.
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2005, 05:17:06 PM »

I do not feel able to intellectually debate exactly what paganism is and what it is not, nor which ancient Greek philosophers were or were not pagans. etc.

I do agree that in much of what regards itself as Christianity today there are signs of syncretism which should have no place in the lives of Christians.

In secular societies were people are free to chose within acceptable boundaries what they do or don't do, I would not seek to limit the choice of others.

But to follow Him and to indulge in the 'folksy' celtic practices of some, wicca and paganism are not possible. Christ promised to come with a sword, to seperate Truth from untruth. Paganism or pseudo paganism, wicca, and American Indian 'wisdom' all appear very popular in some circles. And tomorrow it will be some other 'fashion'. I have had magic 'crystals', mushroom and countless other fads and fancies pushed at me over the decades. A Christian needs none of these, surely?
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2005, 10:58:15 PM »

I have had magic 'crystals', mushroom and countless other fads and fancies pushed at me over the decades. A Christian needs none of these, surely?

Not even any of those little blue "evil eye" penadants?   Tongue
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2005, 11:04:15 PM »

I know this may seem a little strange but I don't think this is something we should joke too much about. My ladyfriend is Wiccan, raised in a Wiccan family and she is a very kind-hearted, caring and loving person.

Peace.
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2005, 04:42:58 AM »

I know this may seem a little strange but I don't think this is something we should joke too much about. My ladyfriend is Wiccan, raised in a Wiccan family and she is a very kind-hearted, caring and loving person.

Peace.


I'm not joking. 

I don't know your friend.  I hope she is a kind hearted, caring and loving woman. 

That is not the issue.

The issue is the nature of Wicca.

It is a witchcraft.  It seeks to enable its adherents to gain powers over themselves and the world through psychological and psychic and magickal techniques.  Right there is a problem.  It directs the person to seek power and control --often for the best of intentions (healing, etc.)-- by relying on themselves or universal "energy" or spirits.   It does not point people to God nor recognizing the sovereignty of God nor recognizing our reliance on God.  This is pride, no matter how charitably intended, and pride is the root of all sin.  Furthermore, especially by relying on magick and its associated techniques, it clouds the nous and open the mind to the influences of entities who also do not want to recognize the sovereignty of God: the demons.  Yes, man does have some residual spiritual abilities from before the Fall of Adam; yes, some of these can be accessed and developed by certain psychological, psychic and magical techniques.  But, it is the same lie that seduced Adam: reliance on ourselves and forces that are not God.  What Adam had before the Fall was only because he was in a state of union (illumination) with God.  By preferring his own will to God's will, he lost that state of union, illumination, and all the extra-normal gifts that were associated with it.  The solution is not to replicate the very same mistake that Adam made.  The solution is to seek God and union with God and illumination by the uncreated light of God that can only come from living in union with Him, through Jesus Christ.  Then, it will be seen, known and experienced that all things are possible in God -- not because of us but because of His will.  The whole idea of witchcraft is that we are in control -- that we just have to learn the right techniques to access our powers.  The whole idea of Christianity is that God is in control and we are out of control until we submit ourselves entirely to Him through Jesus Christ.  A person cannot mix witchcraft and Christianity; they are ultimately diametrically opposed to each other.

Wicca is also paganism.  The Wiccans make that expressly clear.  And, they make clear that paganism is pretty much anything except the three monotheistic religions.  Yes, some forms of paganism have developed an advanced degree of philosophy:  Buddhism, Vedanta, Platonism, etc.  Yet, ultimately, these philosophies are monism --all is one-- in some form or another.  None of these are true monotheism.   Some paganism can develop theistic monism (Krishna worship in Hinduism) or personality monism (Mahayana Buddhism), but it all ultimately monism.  Monism, ultimately, is the idea that everything is one, great, indefinable Is-ness; and the rest of existence is infinity manifesting in finitude (like the infinite points of a sphere which manifest the sphere).  Monism, advanced as it is, is ultimately a form of idolatry -- not because it worships idols made of stone, wood, or metal (which it ultimately does not).  Instead, monism is ultimately a form of idolatry because it reaches the end of human reason --reasoning to infinity-- and it stops there, and it calls that God.  It is an idol of our own human limitation in the realization of Truth.  Now, some monists are humble and recognize that Infinity is just a label for what is absolutely beyond us, and they show That reverence and worship, and that is closer to the Truth.  Some monists really are reaching toward God.  Yet, here is the issue:  God has revealed Himself to mankind.  God revealed Himself and named Himself to the prophet Moses and since then.  Thus, it is a sin for those who know better to reject this revelation.  There are many people who truly do not know God by name, but they recognize Him in the loving kindness and morality of their lives.  God bless them.  Yet, that is not enough when God reveals Himself and His will for mankind.  When God does so to a person, the person has a choice and a duty to respond affirmatively to God.  It is like when St. Peter was sent to the house of Cornelius.  Cornelius was a pagan, but he was a God-fearing pagan.  St. Peter saw this and realized that God truly does love everyone.  But, St. Peter did not stop with that.  Then, St. Peter taught this Godly pagan about Jesus.  A person cannot be pagan and Christian at the same time.  Pagans believe in an ultimately impersonal reality that manifests (or is perceived as) finite reality: including gods, goddesses, spirits, us, and so on.  Christians believe in an Ultimate Personal Being, GOD, who is one and who is absolutely distinct from the rest of reality, which He created and which He sustains and, in Jesus Christ, which He redeems.  Paganism is monism; Christianity is monotheism, and these are diametrically opposed to each other. 

Avoid Wicca.  It is a made-up religion.  Its founder, Gerald Gardner, cobbled together its basic tenets and practices from Western European ceremonial (occult) magick, Malaysian pagan magick (Gardener was a civil servant of the British Empire stationed in Malaysia), British folklore, a smattering of left-handed Tantric Hinduism, and nudism.  See "Triumph of the Moon" by British history professor Ronald Hutton (who is not a Wiccan) for a history of its origins and development.  Gardner was a liar, and his religion is based on his lies -- no matter how sincerely later Wiccans believe in his religion.  Of course, Wicca is (as Hutton correctly observes) protean.  Thus, much of Wicca has little directly in common with the Wicca that Gardener invented.  Yet, consider what *has* remained constant since Gardner:  the pentacle; the "Goddess and the God;" sex magick; causing altered states of consciousness through alcohol, drugs, trance-work; developing psychic powers; calling up and "working with" elemental spirits; following the natural course of seasons as the basis of life and religion; etc.   Worst of all, the basis of Wiccan "morals" has been (since Gardner) the "Wiccan Rede":  "An it harm ye none, do what thou wilt."  Well, that phrase has a double problem.  First and most obvious, it is a prescription for doing what people want to do or what feels good so long as it doesn't (seem) to harm others.  This is completely opposite of Christian morality, which seeks to do what God wills.  Thereby, Christians are supposed to curb their passions by prayer, asceticism and almsgiving.  That is the complete opposite of a code which encourages people to do what they want.  Wiccan "morality" leads to a sensuality that tries not to offend or hurt others but which is otherwise self-indulgent.  Christian morality leads to dispassion, in which people are no longer governed by their passions or senses but live only for what is the will of God.  The second problem with Wiccan "morality" is the source of its moral imperative of "do what thou wilt."  Its source is not a prophet.  It is not Jesus Christ.  It is Aleister Crowley who came up with the "do what thou wilt," and Gardner either borrowed or stole the idea.  As I am sure you know, Aleister Crowley was the greatest evil wizard of modern times.  And so on.  Wicca appears to be a benign nature religion which (in contrast to those fussy Christians) seems to celebrate life in a simple and loving and uncomplicated way.  But, its founder was a liar and its basic tenets are lies.  Nature isn't God; God is God.  God isn't some vast, impersonal energy force of cosmic Is-ness; God is GOD:  one, personal ultimate Being; and He has revealed Himself through the prophets and in His only Son, Jesus Christ.  Human beings  cannot "do what thou wilt" so long as it doesn't seem to harm others, because leads to sensuality and selfishness.  Human beings must curb and then quell their passions by grace through prayer and asceticism in order to not be ruled by their passions.  Magick is not miracles; magick is the corruption of God's power through demons.  Miracles are God's powers.  The Cross is not the Tree of Odin or the World Tree, from which shaman hang themselves to cause enlightenment; the Cross is the atonement of man and God, by the God-Man, Jesus Christ, and it is the gateway to eternal life because it is the cure to the sickness of selfishness.  Etc.  Avoid Wicca if you are a Christian because it is in reality the opposite of the Gospel.  Otherwise, it will seduce you with its fun and its seeming similarity of emphasis on kindness till you overlook (or, perhaps, celebrate) how very different and opposite from Christianity it is.

Jesus Christ is the basis of Christianity.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  He is His own proof.  Stay focused on Him if you are attracted to Wicca.  You cannot be a Christian witch.  You can be a Christian or, God have mercy on your soul, you can be a witch.  You cannot be a Christian pagan.  You can be a Christian or you can be a pagan; you cannot be both. 

And if you are attracted to a pagan woman, you are in danger of becoming a pagan yourself. 

And an honest pagan will acknowledge most of what I posted here -- at least the part that paganism and Christianity are opposites and they cannot be combined. 
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« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2005, 06:36:12 AM »

To the above fine explanation I would addone very small but telling correction. "Do what thou wilt" didn't come from nowhere. It the mutilated remains of a remark attributed to St. Augustine, summarizing the law: "Have charity, and then do what you will." We should all readily understand the significance of removing "Have charity", should we not?
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2005, 12:24:45 PM »

To the above fine explanation I would addone very small but telling correction. "Do what thou wilt" didn't come from nowhere. It the mutilated remains of a remark attributed to St. Augustine, summarizing the law: "Have charity, and then do what you will." We should all readily understand the significance of removing "Have charity", should we not?


The Wiccan oath is " An it harm none, do what thou wilt."" which one could say bears the same meaning of Augustine's words.
This should not be confused with Crowley's abbreviated, or one could say bastardized version.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiccan_Rede

Peace.
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2005, 12:29:01 PM »

And if you are attracted to a pagan woman, you are in danger of becoming a pagan yourself.

One of the most important qualities of every relationship is empathy. Just as I would not attempt to change her religious persuasion, she affords the same respect for me.

Peace.
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2005, 01:00:31 PM »

One of the most important qualities of every relationship is empathy. Just as I would not attempt to change her religious persuasion, she affords the same respect for me.

Peace.

I think you should attempt to change her religious persuasion, that is if you believe in Jesus Christ.

Anastasios
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2005, 01:05:31 PM »

For a Christian marriage the most important thing is that the two assist and help each other toward salvation. That empathy of which you write is a wondrous thing, but your posts suggest you may be susceptible to a syncretic of religion. Indeed that empathy of which you write would also suggest, perhaps, that one or both of you may influence the other. That you cannot see see the contradiction between "Wicca" and Christianity itself raises questions about your grasp.

I do not write this in order to best you in some pseudo intellectual or pseudo theological debate, but out of concern. Too many appear to think following Him is about being nice, as if niceness = Christianity. The Apostle Paul was a considerable speaker and debater but he never appears to have been concerned with 'niceness', and yet he was an articulate winner of souls.
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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2005, 01:07:28 PM »

The Wiccan oath is " An it harm none, do what thou wilt."" which one could say bears the same meaning of Augustine's words.

One could, but one would be wrong. Indeed, one might say that a lot of the difference between wiccan and Christian moral praxis is contained in the difference between the command to do no harm and the command to love. Love does not harm, but that is not the end of what love does. Love laid down its life for mankind; this is so far beyond "no harm" as to be a new thing entirely-- a new commandment, as it were.

And besides, false religion is harm. Behind the wiccan precept is a lot of teaching about the moral neutrality of very, very many acts, and particularly those of worship.
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« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2005, 01:21:07 PM »

I think you should attempt to change her religious persuasion, that is if you believe in Jesus Christ.
Anastasios

It's not like we are getting married right now. If one intends to convert an individual to the Christian faith, time would be better spent in prayer than attempting to force faith into someone's heart.
If faith is a gift of God, it is not my responsibility to force another human being to have it.
Imagine, what if the shoe were on the other foot? I am happy that she respects my faith in the Orthodox Church and therefore, I should afford her the same respect.

I hope that I have not disturbed a hornet's nest by mentioning my love life in this forum. If so then I would prefer this thread to please be closed.

Peace.
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2005, 01:25:09 PM »

That you cannot see see the contradiction between "Wicca" and Christianity itself raises questions about your grasp.

I see a major contradiction between Christian monotheism and pagan polytheism. I have no intention to believe in Wicca nor accept its tenants. Dating someone who belongs to a particular religion does not mean I intend to convert.
True love is to love someone not for who they are but despite who they are. If this be true, then an attempt to force change on another human being should not be considered. The empathy I speak of is affording the same respect for her faith that she has of mine in not attempting to force conversion on the other.

Peace.ÂÂ  
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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2005, 02:17:56 PM »

Dating is for finding someone to marry. I see it as a huge problem if you date someone who you could not marry (last I checked, Orthodox are not allowed to marry non-Christians).

Now if you two want to be friends and you want to do this slow praying for her and see what happens regimen, that's fine.

Anastasios
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« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2005, 02:22:41 PM »

Dating is for finding someone to marry.

I would have to agree.

I see it as a huge problem if you date someone who you could not marry

Agreed.

last I checked, Orthodox are not allowed to marry non-Christians

Please provide evidence for this claim.

Now if you two want to be friends and you want to do this slow praying for her and see what happens regimen, that's fine.

We've got something special going on. No woman has ever given me the love, interest and consideration that she gives. Sure, it helps that she is very beautiful but what matters even more is her kindness. Being just friends does not sound like a sensible option.

We will probably not come to an agreement on this and if this is going to turn into a heated debate over someone I love, then I would prefer for this thread to please be closed.

Peace.
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« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2005, 08:53:53 PM »

Well... My attempt at interfaith dating did not work out, perhaps for the best. She was afraid that I felt ashamed of her faith. I am not at all hurt but I am a little confused. However, this feeling of bewilderment is at least better than excommunication. All I can do now is pray for her.
As for what has been said about interfaith marriage, I've agreed with you all along. I request that this thread please be closed.
Peace.
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