As mentioned previously my grandfather was a United Methodist Minister. My entire family is Christian. With the exception of my brother who is not really anything and my cousin who is also Pagan. Let’s start with my definition of Christian and also the definition of Pagan. (Also take note I claim to be Pagan–not Wiccan.)
A Christian: A follower of Christ. In my mind while this may be the definition literally it does not encompass the complete picture of a Christian. To follow Christ (bare with my liberal interpretation) means to give to charity, help those who do not have as much as you, visit the sick and downtrodden, the prisoners in jail. It means to follow a tradition. Jesus was after all a devout Jewish man. So those who follow Christ should be an outstanding example for others upholding the traditions of their faith. While standing up for their principles they do not seek out a fight, nor do they attack the enemy with slander or violence. Compassion for others is the key to being a follower of Christ.
Now if these tenets were the only requirements to being a Christian then everyone should and would be. Even atheists have morals and many work tirelessly to make the world a better place. This is where the actual piece of being a Christian, the important piece comes in–one must whole-heartedly believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, born human, and come to Earth. That this man walked the Earth to teach and then to be a sacrifice for the people he taught and all other peoples to forgive their Sins. Then he triumphed over death by rising on the third day. A side note here: You will find many in the mainstream Christian Church who believe another part of being a “True” Christian is to believe in the Holy Trinity. Father, Son, Holy Ghost (or Spirit). This then excludes many religions, including some sects of Mormonism, who do not believe in the Holy Trinity but do believe Jesus Christ died for their sins and conquered death. I have no such prerequisites for being a Christian. The simple, bare bones definition: Someone who follows the teachings of Christ and believes that Christ was born, taught, died for their sins and conquered death. Dying for their sins being the most important part in my opinion.
Before I get into Paganism I will say these last three blog posts have not been about writing which is what the entire theme of this blog and website is supposed to reflect. Yet, in away it is about writing. Because our beliefs and understanding of the beliefs of others allow us to write passionately. The idea of “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” starts with understanding where they are coming from and their most cherished ideas. This allows for better character development in the long run for fictional writers and it allows for better comprehension of any given topic for nonfiction writers.
So–Paganism. Bare bones of its definition: A religion based on Nature and the Natural World, without necessarily a specific God or Goddess, and most often without a written or book doctrine. This is not to be confused with Polytheism (example Hinduism). A practicing Pagan does not have to have a God or Goddess at all if they choose.
Given these definitions which I empathize are the majority of my own opinion and observation I will move on to how I found my own path. This post, however, has become a bit long so I will finish up on the next post.
If in the meantime would you like to find other ramblings of my in works of fiction please check out Current Publications.