Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by scget5, Oct 24, 2019.

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  1. scget5

    scget5 Puritan Board Freshman

    How do you define Paganism?
    Based on that definition how what is the problems with Paganism, and how common is Paganism in American Christianity?
  2. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Person who believes in more then naturalism, but base their view on reality as not holding to the true God.
  3. RJ Spencer

    RJ Spencer Puritan Board Freshman

    The word 'pagan' is very similar to the word 'heretic' to me. A pagan is someone that worships a God or gods other than the Sovereign God of the Bible. Pagans place more emphasis on man rather than on the sovereignty of God. One could even use the term 'christian paganism' to describe Roman Catholics, pelagianism/semi-pelagianism, and Charismatics. I would say that Paganism is more common in American Christianity than real Christianity is. All Pagans are heretics, but not quite all heretics are pagan. Man centered religion (paganism) is antichrist.
  4. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Paganism is generally defined as a religious system outside one of the main world religions. (I don't necessarily agree with that defintion.) It is often used in a derogatory sense.

    Heresy, on the other hand, is a deviation from a received orthodoxy within a religion.

    Of course there is overlap, especially when religions syncretize (which happens a lot), but, for the sake of clarity, the terms are best kept at some distance from each other.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  5. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Think paganism is what Paul described to us in Romans 1.
  6. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    That's a very good place to start.
  7. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Paganism generally operates within a closed system -- manipulate one thing within the created order to affect another. Even if a god or spirit is mentioned, it offers no relationship and no revelation apart from visions induced by manipulating the natural order.

    Within Christianity, paganism has become an issue when some manifestation of the church encounters a pagan culture but does not eliminate the practices when people enter the church. You still see this in Mexico and other Latin American nations. (Wanna celebrate Dia de muertous anyone?) For that matter, "Luck of the Irish" and wearing costumes to ward off ghosts are hardly theistic in origin.
  8. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    I think the pagan definition for Paganism will align itself with that of Wikipedia, but the biblical term is (as David mentioned above) used by Paul in Romans.
    Paganism in American Christianity? Are you wondering about professing Christians that also partake in Pagan (or pagan) practices/beliefs?

    PS: Where's your signature? Check the signature requirements. Hey! Now I feel like a Mod!:banana:
  9. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    It's like when the Catholic Church allows for occultic practices, animal and Shaman activity in say island nations they sent priests to convert.
  10. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    In terms of describing paganism in the modern American context, I think the 1987 Dragnet movie offers us a helpful acrostic: People Against Goodness And Normalcy.

    When I think of the modern freak parade to which we're exposed, I routinely think of that movie and that acrostic.
  11. Andrew35

    Andrew35 Puritan Board Freshman

    Utterly irrelevant, but the word always makes me think of Henry Percy ("Hotspur") in Shakespeare's Henry IV: Part 1 when he calls a lord who won't join his planned rebellion against King Henry IV a "pagan rascal."

    Nearly as memorable as when Friederich Reck, in his WW2-era diary on contemporary events, refers to Hitler as a "middle-class antichrist."
  12. EuphratesRiver

    EuphratesRiver Puritan Board Freshman

    I define it (and use the term) as the religion of the heathen, usually those who worship nature, manufactured idols, and/or believe in polytheism. I suppose it has a more refined definition, but this is how I relate the term in my mind.
    It is opposed to God and true religion. I believe it is more (or becoming more) common than we realize right now.
  13. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    I very much like the definition provided by The Oxford English Dictionary:

    Pagan: One of a nation or community that does not hold the true religion, or does not worship the true God; a heathen. († In earlier use practically = non-Christian, and so including Muslims and, sometimes Jews.)

    Paganism: The religious beleif and practices of pagans; the condition of being a pagan; heathenism.
  14. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    Exactly. I think what we are seeing around us: the transgender hysteria, the sodomite agenda, "climate change" derangement, and just the general depravity is pure paganism. It is to replace the Creator with the creature and to substitute the Truth with a lie.
  15. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    The Roman Catholic Church in Korea expressly permits the local custom of ancestor worship.
  16. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I think we should be careful about confusing terms here. "Paganism" refers to religious systems; it is not the same as godlessness in general.
  17. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    That would be actually Humanism.
  18. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

  19. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would agree but it doesn't have to be an organised system of religion/belief.
  20. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Of course. I didn't say it had to be.
  21. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    I didn't say you did. I was just clarifying.
  22. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Well, I didn't say you did say I did. Or did I? :D
  23. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I personally knew a few pagans in my past. These were people who worshipped multiple gods. The gods were the typical gods like Zeus, Aphrodite, etc. sometimes people mix them up with atheists (using the term pagan to describe an atheist). They had specific worship rituals and alters. They were always scared of angering a god and if they felt they had they said they would turn around and threaten that god or completely ignore them. It’s a scary way to live I’m sure.

    How does the Church fall into paganism? When we have idols in our hearts that we worship. A correct definition of worship helps us to see how often we practice paganism that we need to repent of. Also bringing into church services things that God has not instructed us to bring in is a form of paganism.
  24. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

  25. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    It sounds like you're desctibing neo-paganism, which is an idiotic revival of dead pagan religions. Norse paganism seems to be particularly popular, but Greek-based neo-paganism has its followers as well. Neo-paganism is a Western phenomenon. I figure it's mostly people with crises of identity and, perhaps, spiritual longing.

    You'll find that neo-pagans are nothing at all like their ancient counterparts. An obvious example is the absence of animal sacrifice; sacrifice, animal and human, is central to authentic paganism. Also, these neo-pagans' sexual ethics are likely to be far more relaxed than actual historic pagans' (though at times the Greeks might make even moderns blush).
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