Planting Pagan Churches.

There is growth of paganism in at least some parts of England.  It’s ironic that 2000 some years after Christians defeated paganism, it lives on.

I know almost nothing about paganism, but my impression is the pagan experience is light hearted and fun.  Like Native American faiths, it is earth based and features rythmic drums.

While one can’t say paganism represents a threat to Christianity, the big numbers are still with the Christians, we can speculate about what Christians need to do about it.  I’d suggest they need to find a new “Paul”.

Paul of the Bible was a marketing genius.  That is, he was able to change the Jewish faith in a way that made it more marketable to pagans.

There are evangelists in the U. S. who are operating like Paul.  They are taking the heavy lifting parts of Christianity, sin and hell, and setting them on the shelf to be ignored.

An example is Joel Osteen whose sermons skip over sin and hell and focus on success.  It could be that sin and hell are like the circumcision of Old Testiment times.  People didn’t like it.

But, the Osteen approach may not be enough.  My theory is the oldest and most enduring religious messages are nature and earth based.   I think the reference to gods in the sky is merely a temporary blip in hundreds of thousands of years of religious thinking.

Maybe that is why pagans are retuning and again planting churches.

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=40825

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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10 Responses to Planting Pagan Churches.

  1. Michael Ross says:

    “While one can’t say paganism represents a threat to Christianity”

    Right you are Jon.

    “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”(Matthew 16: 18)

    • Wolfy32 says:

      Hate to say this Michael but, hell is a concept from “pagan” terminology… Well, more like Roman God’s / terminology. But, it’s a concept stolen from other non-christian, aka Pagan, traditions.

      You may also know it as Hades. There are some Scholars that believe that Dante’s release of Dante’s Inferno had a huge impact, and that the Fire and Brimstone sermons were concepts stolen because of people’s interests and obsessions over Dante’s writing at the time. They saw Dante as competition to Christianity and so how would we say it.. Oh yeah stepped up their game to guilt people into being Christians.

      Pagan’s for the most part aren’t trying to convert people to the best of my knowledge, nor are they guilting people and telling them to feel miserable about themselves because being human is evil.

      • Michael Ross says:

        I think even you can get the message wolfy. That is that Christ’s Kingdom will prevail against, evil, paganism, darkness, and Satan himself.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Michael Ross; Re. your 2:32: I can agree with your statement as far as it goes. There are however those that ascribe, and presume, much more to Matt. 16:18, (and 19). See R. C. H. Lenski’s Commentary on the New Testament, pages 624 through 632, among others. Peace.

        • Wolfy32 says:

          Why do all Christians think that everything is competing with Christianity?

          I see it this way.. What if the entire world swore allegiance to Christianity? What would Christians have left to do? they would most likely descend much like the puritans and quakers, into judging each other for who knows what.

          I don’t see paganism as something to prevail against. Or Islam, or hinduism. God created all peoples, cultures, and religions. I believe he can be found in a bit of them all. Native americans in North America thousands and thousands of years ago before Christianity was even a thought… Were unsaved and damned to hell? Because they didn’t know about Christianity? What about all the innocents still having no clue about Christianity, people in the remote and poor areas of Africa, Russia, China, etc.

          They’re dieing every day without ever knowing of the Christian God… They’re all sentenced to hell forever just for being born where and when they were?

          I believe God is in all religions, races, and creeds. That’s why we’re so diverse in the first place.

          Who am I though… Just a person that would hate to see billions of innocent people judged to go to hell, because they were born in the wrong era and the wrong place.

  2. Beau Weber says:

    2 Timothy 4:3 (ESV)

    3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

  3. Avatar of realist realist says:

    I don’t agree with your characterization of paganism as light-hearted and fun. That’s a bit condescending. The term itself was defined as a negative; “not Christian” or in some circles, “heathen”. Prior to the movement of Christianity through Europe with it’s excesses and bloodshed, the common folk were living their lives organically within their environments using natural features of the earth as symbols for their beliefs. It was serious business when events occurred that those early people took to be signals from nature. Today’s neopaganism is far different version of what the belief system was in those early times. Much of the activity, drums etc. is superfluous showmanship that doesn’t really match the sensibility of those early people. Some parts of especially northern Europe still have remnants of the original nature-based rituals that made up life during those times. Rural Finland, for example, has many artifacts from that time that are now customs that are explained not as religious acts, but as cultural ones. I don’t thing it is possible for people to truly be “pagan” in the original use of that word. Our world has changed in such a radical way that what you have described as “paganism” is really more of a new-age belief system that copies a few symbols but is forging it’s own path.

  4. Beau Weber says:

    “In his 1934 book, The Kingdom of God in America, H. Richard Niebuhr depicted the creed of liberal Protestant theology, which was called “modernism” in those days, in these famous words: “A God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”"

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/07/no-squishy-love?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_content=5575&utm_campaign=0

  5. entech says:

    And why not the old British religions, druids and so on were there a long time before Christianity was invented.

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