Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Christians And The Pagans Sat Together At The Table

"So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses."
Dar Williams - The Christians and The Pagans

Circle of Mom's is having a contest for it's Top 25 Faith Blogs. What a great way to put moms who blog about their faith (among other things) together to be easily found and appreciated.

Unfortunately, one of the bloggers on the list is upset that she, a Christian, should have to compete with Pagans and Witches in the "Faith" category. I'm not sure what she thinks she knows about the beliefs held by Pagans and Witches, but it's a shame she didn't use the opportunity to learn sometihng as opposed to getting angry and becoming disrespectful toward other people of faith. From an outside perspective, it doesn't look very Christian.

Christians and Pagans don't see Deity in exactly the same way. Certianly the way we choose to reach out and touch the Divine is done differently even among Christians and Pagans themselves. But in focusing on our differences, we miss so much that we share.
  • Both Christians and Pagans are taught to do good, and to harm none.
  • We're both taught to find the beauty of the Divine in th mundane, the everyday, and the world around us.
  • We're both taught to be good stewards of the natural resources and the gifts we've been given.
  • We both want to use our faith to bring positive change to the world.
  • We both want to protect our children, help them to grow up safe and nurtured, so that they can go out into the world as responsible and prepared adults.
  • We both look to our faith as a source of strength, comfort, and as a way to bring peace and balance to our lives.
I don't think it's enough that we learn to tolerate one another.  Instead I'd like to see us show each other the respect due any human being.  Whether they worship ancient Gods and Goddesses, or no God at all.

For some Pagans, I think this is one of those times when it's easy to remember what about Christianity may have made them angry in the past.  After all, many Pagans have come from Christian backgrounds.  But the faith at the core of Christianity  focuses on kindness to others, loving one's neighbor, peace, forgiveness, and charity.  And there are Christians who know and attempt to live that.  

For some Christians I think it's important to remember stories Jesus loved to tell of who was really Godly.  There are many times that Jesus spoke to and listened to those who would have been considered hopeless to the "Righteous".  I don't think it compromises Christian beliefs to show others kindness and respect, even when they disagree on matters of faith.  

Faith is something that connects us, whether our faith is in a God and Goddess who's love we see reflected in every living thing around us, and whom we worship in accordance with the cycles of the Moon or our faith is in the Triune God who's love is reflected in every act of kindness done by the hands of those who follow him, and in the world He created.

 I hope that those of us who write Mommy Blogs, especially those of us who openly share our faith, can continue to discuss how to reach out in love to those who believe differently than we do.  Or at least acknowledge that a faith we don't understand is no less a faith.  

"And it was Jane who spoke, she said, "It's true, your cousin's not a Christian,"
"But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere.""


  1. As you well know, I've gotten "in trouble" for associating with "unacceptable people" before. I'm not about to stop that now. Jesus was known for having dinners with "unacceptable" people. People who were the "wrong" race, the "wrong" religion, the "wrong" profession.

    It makes me sad when people who claim to be His followers side with those who criticized Him, rather than following His example.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry for the delete- should have read the comment over before posting...

    "It makes me sad when people who claim to be His followers side with those who criticized Him, rather than following His example."

    I think that'a a great statement. I think Christians often have a common misconception that tolerance equals relativism- in this case, that remaining in a contest next to pagans (gasp!) would mean she was giving some kind of legitimacy to the religion.

    And that is exactly what the Pharisees thought of Jesus. He ate with prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners and I'm fairly certain he wasn't saying "Hey, its okay to be a prostitute! And yo, tax collectors- keep stealing from people, its alright..."

    No! The opposite- he was saying that God's love extends to everyone, even the people whom society had thrown away. While Jesus undoubtedly encouraged those people to change their ways and to follow Him, He didn't judge them or reject them.

    I use that example, not to put down paganism or to equate it with an unseemly lifestyle, but to illustrate that Jesus, who Himself claimed to be the only way to the Father, did not reject the "unacceptable people." He rejected those who judged hearts and those who looked down their noses on people who didn't live as they did. I hope this ,is a fair comparison. I do not intend in any way to put anyone down. My bestie, MuseMama, is a pagan, so obviously, while I may disagree with her on a great many things, being a pagan is not a deal breaker for me...

    Please tell me I made sense....

  4. You did. Though, you've also been my friend for over 20 years, so I usually know what you mean. ;-)

    It's just always fascinating to me when I think that Jesus would be more likely to sit down and eat with me than someone who is a practicing Christian. It makes me wonder if they're reading the words, but missing the big picture.

    There are amazing Christians, and I'm blessed to know a number of them. And this issue is not solely related to Christianity, It happens with Pagans, too. But wherever it happens, I think it's important to point out that kindness and respect are central ideas to all Peaceful religions.

  5. I love that song! It's gotten stuck in my head everytime I go vote for blogs at Circle Of Moms.

  6. Nice post. All faiths, when represented and acted upon in Compassion by those who practice them - by whatever name - are true and valid. Sadly, bad apples show up in all Walks … yet I'm glad there are still so many of us who can walk together.

    Thanks for this post. It's sad what's going on in a silly ol' *blog contest.*


  7. I agree. Thank you for sharing this. One of the things I love about my freedom to worship is that I am free to love everyone. We left a legalistic church where we were told 'love your neighbor' in one breath, and in the next, "don't be friends with them." Yet Jesus reached out to all those that the self righteous people would have nothing to do with. Sometimes people get caught up in what they think is right, that they forget how to love no matter what. In this drama, I never saw any pagans attack any Christians. I'm thankful for those who have said "not all Christians act like that". I believe in Jesus and in my belief in him, I have freedom to love and befriend anyone my heart is drawn to. I look for friends who love, give grace, and who inspire me as a wife, a mom, and as part of creation. And the apostles said to avoid people who try to steal your freedom. :)


I love comments!