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Are Christian doctrines alluded to within Pagan and New Age beliefs?

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posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 12:46 AM
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I will start by saying that I am a Christian, but not of the fundamentalist variety. About two years ago I left religious fundamentalism behind to explore other beliefs and ideas. I found this to be a necessary step in becoming a more spiritual person and ultimately...a better Christian.

So for the last two years I have spent a lot of time reading books by Pagan and New Age authors. I have read up on everything from Wicca to Shamanism and a lot of New Age/Metaphysical beliefs as well. In doing so, I found a few re-occuring themes that keep popping up.

One re-occuring theme I have noticed is the need within human kind to re-connect with God or "The Source". Prayer or meditation are often recomended for this purpose. But the constant need to re-connect still remains. Does this indicate a need for a messiah or saviour to ultimately bridge the gap between God and humans?

Another re-occuring theme I have noticed is the struggle between positive and negative energies and how the universe responds to them. Like attracts like. If you want fulfillment and good things in life, you have to think and feel positive. Unfortunately, human kind has proven itself to have a natural attraction for the negative. It takes a lot of effort to stay positive in our thoughts and emotions while negativity seems to creep in quite natually without much effort at all. Is this an indication that human kind is in a "fallen" state of being, and thus separated from God or "The Source"? And if so, does this indicate a need for a messiah or saviour to bridge that gap? If yes, then why? If not, then why not?

Please note that this is purely speculation on my part. Its just something that has been crossing my mind lately and I would very much like to hear some thoughts on this matter. I would prefer that this thread not be used for preaching and certainly NOT for anyone to bash someone else's religious beliefs. Thoughtful replies only please.

[edit on 1/28/2008 by Lightmare]




posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 01:02 AM
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I think you have just stumbled upon something that many people fail to realize, all religions have a lot in common. All religions have pretty much the same fundamental building blocks.

I believe that God represents himself in many religions and beliefs and there are many different paths to enlightenment with God, not just one.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by Lightmare
 


Please be careful when using the term "pagan." Your conclusions make sense from what I know of New Age religions(I'm hardly an expert, though); I'm not entirely sure I'd say it's "left-overs" from Christianity(specifically), but possibly from monotheism.

However, it's important to remember that the term pagan defines what a religion is NOT; and not what a religion is. All pagan means is "not Abrahamic." Therefore, to say that pagan religions exhibit these characteristics is incorrect because it's impossible to say that EVERY non-Abrahamic religion has these features.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 08:03 PM
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I think you have it backwards. Many themes from older religions show up in christianity. As christianity rose up, in many places the regional religion was absorbed by christianity and meanings were either embellished or changed to suit its needs.
This is not limited to christianity mind you. Religions since the beginning of the word have sprung up and evolved or changed completely. But usually by looking at the similarities you can trace a religion back to its origins.
Many ideas have just been recycled and reused as different religions grew.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 08:30 PM
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I have to saythat it is impossible to be christian and not believe he is the only saviour because he said so himself.. now its good to learn, but if your christian you have to believe in it...


Now as for paganism in Christianity... or vise versa. I would say that christianity is the continuation of the beggining of the OT and adam and even since Jesus is God....

But ultimately if you believe Christianity you have to believe that the foe Satan has put it into the min of man through temptation and so forth, for men to creat fictional faiths and religions that seem like the same as christianity but are not...


For instance many stories have the same as a virgin birth as many athiest bring up....

But the proof is in the spreading of chists church and the miracles and the continuation of the OT which was at the begginign.


Satan can creat similar faiths to throw people off, those faiths though have been proved by time and wont grow to large numbers, whereas God promised his church would grow througout the entire world which it has.....



and so.......

the similarities I believe are from diabolical sources...


peace.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by Lightmare
 


Eh speaking as a Pagan. Allow me to fill in some holes for you, at least as far as it pertains to me. With Neo-Paganism it's an example of you ask a different person you get a different answer. We don't really have one set of core beliefs.

1) I don't believe in good or evil. Which means I do not believe there is are fundamental forces of bad or good. I believe that good or evil is a human concept and only humanity is it to be found. That being said, I do not use this as an excuse for being an immoral person as I do believe that I will be called to account for what I do that is harmful.

2)

One re-occuring theme I have noticed is the need within human kind to re-connect with God or "The Source". Prayer or meditation are often recomended for this purpose. But the constant need to re-connect still remains. Does this indicate a need for a messiah or saviour to ultimately bridge the gap between God and humans?


No that is exactly what we don't want. We seek to personally connect with "the source" as you call it. A messianic figure would completely be out of context with what we do.
And it should be noted and please don't take this the wrong way.
We don't feel we need to be redeemed to a creator that made us as we are.
Most of us seem to feel that believing that you need to be redeemed to "the source" is just a good way of controlling someone by telling them they are damned if they do not listen to you.
Please don't take it personally just how alot of us feel.
Your welcome to believe what you want but everyone critiques everything when they are deciding what they are going to believe. It's just a question of whether or not they speak them. And well you did ask.

3) Well, in my view at least we all have "good" and "evil" in equal measure. Where we go from there is our choice. Balance is a major theme in nature which is what many of us look to for signs of the "divine".


[edit on 13-3-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 03:43 AM
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Originally posted by Lightmare
One re-occuring theme I have noticed is the need within human kind to re-connect with God or "The Source". Prayer or meditation are often recomended for this purpose. But the constant need to re-connect still remains. Does this indicate a need for a messiah or saviour to ultimately bridge the gap between God and humans?


Any feeling of inadequacy reveals the need to take action. A person can rely on another to save them or they can rely on themselves to save them. I speak merely from a gnostic perspective of Christianity, but it seems to be a state of limbo where you are undecided between what your salvation is and what it is not. It is a state where you either need a savior in Jesus or you become his brother and save your self. Those who can hear will understand this.



Another re-occuring theme I have noticed is the struggle between positive and negative energies and how the universe responds to them. Like attracts like. If you want fulfillment and good things in life, you have to think and feel positive. Unfortunately, human kind has proven itself to have a natural attraction for the negative. It takes a lot of effort to stay positive in our thoughts and emotions while negativity seems to creep in quite natually without much effort at all. Is this an indication that human kind is in a "fallen" state of being, and thus separated from God or "The Source"? And if so, does this indicate a need for a messiah or saviour to bridge that gap? If yes, then why? If not, then why not?


It does. Duality is in itself the division of wholeness. Whenever you see both good and bad existing you should know you are in a fallen state of existence. When you truly recognize this , you are beginning the path to get back to the one. The separation from God is the division, spiritually and physically. When the spirit becomes one again, the physical will lose the attribute of good and bad. As for the need of a messiah, read my previous response in the previous quote.


I would prefer that this thread not be used for preaching and certainly NOT for anyone to bash someone else's religious beliefs. Thoughtful replies only please.


Hope I didn't preach and hope I didn't bash. Just telling you from the gnostic perspective, which is self-knowing through faith in God.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 11:59 AM
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thanks, wraoth!

i know very little of paganism, but i never felt it was the "evil" that i was told it was growing up. thanks for sharing your perspective - a lot of what you said actually figts with my own beliefs. i consider myself religiously unaffiliated, but i generally believe there is a higher entity of some sort.

i think i understand why people need religion at all. it's hard for me to look around and see so many things working in harmony to create the reality that we inhabit that it almost seems naive to think that it all just happened by itself. in the end i'm still undecided, but i digress.

i just came here to say what was already mentioned by another poster - my understanding is that christianity actually borrowed a lot of aspects of older religions, paganism being one of them.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 01:11 PM
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Only one question. If 'paganism' precedes Christianity, who is borrowing from whom? Also, pagan is a term developed by, I'll put it politely, non-pagans. And I am sorry to say, it is meant as a derogatory term. Sort of like 'n-word' or chink. The power structure doesn't like to have people aware of how much they 'borrowed' from paganism to make their ideas acceptable.

If you are wondering about that, check historical sources on the birth date of the Christian Messiah. The early Church moved it so it more closely competed with the winter solstice. Ever wonder why Christian holy days so closely correspond with 'pagan' holy days?



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by medjhiesco
 


Ah yes it was a derogatory word but I think we rather sucessfully "took it back" so to speak. Really old words tend to lose their meanings and can be changed I think.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 01:56 PM
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Wraoth, (and where did you get that spelling) if you think pagan dosn't carry similar connotations today as in the past, well, I have some nice swampland in Florida to sell you. Cheap.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 02:30 PM
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i see it as , if i don't call them pagans, what should i call them? =)

i thought of that as i was typing my last post.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 02:33 PM
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might want to look at it as 'if I don't call them, 'n-word, chink, spik, polack...yada, yada, yada or any other derogatory term, maybe I just call them people.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 04:34 PM
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This is the only post I will make on this topic and on this site. The reasons for this is that I'd rather focus on truth than lies. I too explored a little bit in the area of new age reading materials. I had a nice little library of books on Shamanism, Astral Projection, Lucid Dreaming and Channeling. Most of them are long gone now, tossed in the trash where they belong. And yes, you will find many similarities between New Age and Bible Advice. I didn't even see it, I was so intent on believing the New Agers were being original. This is not true. Here are a few ideas the bible has put forward ...

Do your best. "Be ye perfect as I am perfect."

This material world means nothing. "Place your treasures in heaven."

Take nothing for granted. "Take nothing for granted."

Take responsibility for your actions. "Whatever a man sows that will he also reap."

And there is so much more. You see, if Satan is going to steal, why not steal from the best, that is God, and take credit for the best wisdom available to mankind.

Finally, I will introduce you to a really cool book.

A Magical Journey With Carlos Castenada by Margaret Runyan Castaneda

born in Charleston, W. Virginia on Nov. 14, 1921. Her marriage to CC lasted for 13 years from 1960-1973.

Difficult to find this book might be, but try the publisher

Millenia Press
1335-B Richardson Street
Victoria, B.C. Canada V8S 1P6

Internet email: millenia@islandnet.com
URL: www.islandnet.com...

Bear in mind, the site cannot be found, the publisher may be out of business. The book is also double-minded. Surely the editors encouraged the woman to write of her husband in some kind of good light. He was a fraud, he was magical, he was a fraud, he was magical, well, you get the idea. But the conclusion is, he was a big fat fraud - make no mistake about it. He may have known of the ways of Shamanism, because many of that ilk have come forward to say CC's knowledge is well known among them. But, be ye not deceived, God's ways are mocked in his books, doubt is poured upon the Bible by Don Juan himself, and these are all signs of an anti-Christian, anti-God spirit pervading his work.

Take care fellas, good luck, I am leaving this thread and shall not respond any more. The rest is up to you. God bless and give you wisdom. The Lord Jesus is coming. At this moment he sits at the right hand of God, and his father will soon make all of his enemies a footstool for his feet.

"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed." The Apostle Paul.

"Woe to the man who trusts in man." The Old Testament.

God have mercy. Christ have mercy.

Bye.



posted on Mar, 13 2008 @ 10:22 PM
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reply to post by medjhiesco
 


Mayhap if I cared what connotations it carries.
I like the word Pagan.
Alot of people agree with me. Which is a positive thing.
But hardly sways MY opinion.

I don't care if you call me tossed salad to be honest.
I like pagan.
Don't care about the old meanings.
I use it and care only what it means TO ME.

People want to be too damn touchy about every friggin thing.
To which I respond "My what fools we mortals be.".

If anyone wants to think me ignorant or stupid that's their problem and yes it does somewhat annoy me. But it is STILL their problem. Not mine.

[edit on 13-3-2008 by WraothAscendant]



posted on Mar, 14 2008 @ 02:30 PM
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i see it as , if i don't call them pagans, what should i call them? =)
i thought of that as i was typing my last post.



might want to look at it as 'if I don't call them, 'n-word, chink, spik, polack...yada, yada, yada or any other derogatory term, maybe I just call them people.


um, yeah. that's really not the same. the way i see it you're saying i should refer to them as "people" rather than "african american, chinese, hispanic, yada, yada, yada". if i need to use a specific descriptor then "people" just won't cut it. and i love how you didn't use the n-word but you were totally ok with using the other derogatory terms. =) Stop being overly PC and give me a better term to replace pagan if you have one. think of it this way:

if i have a group of friends and one of them is black, what would be the easiest way to refer to him?

person1: "Hey, I went to the store with Jack the other day."
person2: "Who's Jack?"
person1: "Oh, you met him before, let's see...He's the tall one."
person2: "All of your friends are pretty tall."
person1: "Ok, he's the one with dark hair and brown eyes."

this could go on and on when i could have just said "He's the black dude." I wouldn't be the least bit offended being referred to as "The white dude." in that type of situation.

there's nothing politically incorrect about that. it's just the most identifiable term you can use. so by referring to them as pagans, i fail to see how that's malicious or hurtful in any way unless it's A) regarded as inconsiderate by the subject or general populous and B) there's a more appropriate term to use.

anyway, thanks again Wraoth for the great post. you're a stand up guy.

[edit on 14-3-2008 by an0maly33]



posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 08:45 AM
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Actually, I did type out the n word but it was edited by the site. I find it both interesting and disheartening they only choose to edit one epithet but allow others. Nor was I using them as epithets, merely examples of how labels (words) are given negative connotations that have nothing to do with the particular collection of letters and sounds. Pagan is one of those words. Once upon a time the names of the various Protestant sects (as well as Protestant) did the same. And they were persecuted, even killed for daring to 'protest'.

Pagan is just fine as a word, its definition is what we make of it.

[edit on 15-3-2008 by medjhiesco]



posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by Lightmare
I found this to be a necessary step in becoming a more spiritual person and ultimately...a better Christian.


Define spiritual. What is spiritual to you?


Originally posted by Lightmare
One re-occuring theme I have noticed is the need within human kind to re-connect with God or "The Source". Prayer or meditation are often recomended for this purpose. But the constant need to re-connect still remains.


Yes it's what happened in the garden, after eating from the tree man was cut off from GOD and then man bear children who were cut off from GOD and the cycle continued.

You will notice at the very moment man was given sight from eating from the tree, they then saw their nakedness and attempted to cover it. Those fig leaf garments are called religion. Religion is man's pitiful attempt to make himself right with GOD.

So many when given sight, see what they are in light of GOD and instead of going to Jesus Christ for his righteousness they attempt to engineer their own. At that state a man would have been better off having never heard the truth if they continue that way.


Originally posted by Lightmare
Does this indicate a need for a messiah or saviour to ultimately bridge the gap between God and humans?


Jesus came to heal that state of being cut off from him. For those who will receive it. By his stripes we are healed as it's written.


Originally posted by Lightmare
Another re-occuring theme I have noticed is the struggle between positive and negative energies and how the universe responds to them.


It's satan's counterfeit of light and darkness, good and bad, righteousness and sin, etc, etc.


Originally posted by Lightmare
Is this an indication that human kind is in a "fallen" state of being, and thus separated from God or "The Source"? And if so, does this indicate a need for a messiah or saviour to bridge that gap? If yes, then why? If not, then why not?


Why? Because he designed it that way. The lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, even before Adam fell it was designed and done. Jesus fulfilled it.

By one man sin entered into the world and by one man it was fixed. For those who will receive it that is.


Originally posted by Lightmare
I would prefer that this thread not be used for preaching


To preach means to publish tidings (fetched that straight from the dictionary). Now if you are starting a topic on man's need for a messiah and expect one not to come preaching, there lies a problem.


Originally posted by Lightmare
and certainly NOT for anyone to bash someone else's religious beliefs.


This here is nearly an impossibility because the messiah himself bashed everything else but himself. That's why he got along so good with the religious crowd to begin with (sarcasm).



posted on Mar, 15 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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Lightmare, man has always sought connection with 'the source' mainly because we are the only creatures who are capable of pondering the question. Can we do it ourselves? Do we need an intermediary? These are things humans have asked since the dawn of time. At least when they had their bellies filled and a few minutes of leisure to do so.

My guess is the intermediary business really took off when political authorities realized it was a way to control their power. My understanding of pre-Christian (pagan) religions says they weren't quite as guilty of this but only because man was more amenable to the ideas of the supernatural. I'm not sure on that one but as knowledge grew, it was more difficult to accept 'magic'.

Bottom line is, if you keep the rubes believing they can't know things on their own, they have to rely on some outside source for the straight skinny. That is why Christianity has always co-opted prior beliefs. There is very little about it that is original, they just had good spin doctors.

[edit on 15-3-2008 by medjhiesco]



posted on Mar, 19 2008 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by Lightmare
 


Despite the fact you and I can have this conversation sitting at a table in the morning... I am going to post my answer here.

OK. First. Let me correct your title. Are Pagan and New Age beliefs alluded to within Christian doctrines.

With that said... yes.

However.... we do not believe that we need a Messiah/Saviour/Bridge... what have you. Why would we?

We are completely capable of speaking to, as you referred to it, The Source without such trappings. No mediator is needed.

The first Pagan belief that you see in the Christian doctrine is: Harm no one. We say "An ye harm none, do as ye will." Christians say "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Of course, we take it a bit farther than most christians do. When we say harm none, we mean harm no one, not even ourselves. Beside the point though.

The second pagan belief that is in christian doctrine is: manifestation. Meaning, thinking positively in order to bring positive into our lives. Of course, most christians do not know how to pray properly, nor do they understand the power of their words and thoughts. Something that should be learned.

The third pagan belief that is in christian doctrine: love everyone.
Easy to understand.

It is not surprising that the christian faith holds doctrines from the pagan faiths. Christianity is a mish-mosh of many different religions. As for the term "new age" ... please. It is practices and beliefs that have been around as long as humans... it is just being paid attention to more now that humans are starting to become enlightened.



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