At the Threshold received this response to last week’s email. The thoughtful reply compares Christianity and paganism, and examines ways in which Christians still adhere to pagan ways of violence and thought. We’d like to know if you have anything insightful or interesting to add to the conversation. Do you agree or disagree that Christian leaders use fear and guilt to gain conformity and obedience? Does God choose certain people to provide special blessings of power, wealth and status? Read the response below and then add your insight and intelligence. These are important issues that need deep discussion to better the Christian church and people. Respond here.
We accept the challenge that was issued in last week’s email message. It was founded on the assertion that there is an unfortunate and on-going tie between Christianity and the paganism of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Mayans – of all of the great civilizations that emerged from tribal society, some of them becoming empires. The point being made is that Christianity has to be on constant guard against sliding back into pagan religious assumptions and pagan ways – and that it does so all too easily and all too often.
The challenge was to examine the comparisons made between the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition and paganism as presented in the introductions to each of the sacred Old Testament stories during the recent Easter Vigil of The Society of St. Polycarp. (We are confident in our comparison of Christianity to paganism because we have read Bishop Doss’ book, The Songs of the Mothers, and especially his section on justice. Even so, we can do no more than suggest the distinctions.)
Paganism: No one is created equal.
This discrimination applies even to the gods, and certainly to human beings. It is seen straightaway in the various pagan myths of creation. The gods are unequal and operate within a strict pecking-order – a view of reality often depicted by the pyramid. They, as well as all creatures “below” (as viewed in the pagan cosmology), get treated accordingly by those whose positions in the respective social pyramids of heaven and earth are “above them.” Read More…