Tell the Christian

Discussions of all things pagan and neo-pagan.
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daibanjo
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Post by daibanjo » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:26 am

Graver seems to think I'm wrong about him having all the answers when what I said was that he is the only one on this board to claim absolute truth. And that's the truth.
An obvious example is Ragnar, he follows the Nordic path of Asatru. I follow the Celtic path of Druidry. But never has there been a mention of one path being more true or even better than the other. We do not claim any superior blessings. We simply note that we follow different paths and continue. Christians cannot accept that. They must adhere to the first commandment. "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me" Actually it's taken to mean no gods beside me, behind me or in the same universe as me. Jehovah is IT.
Also, to the christian everything in the bible is literally true and actually happened. It doesn't matter that the story of Ruth, the midianite woman who married a Jew and became more valuable than seven sons, was a work of fiction written as a counterpoint to the tub-thumping racism of Ezekiel. It doesn't matter that some fifty years after the Maccabean revolt, Jewish aristocracy was again being influenced by the Hellenic faith surrounding them. So an anonymous author wrote the story of Daniel. With all it's historic innacurracies and despite the fact that Judaism does not include it as holy writ. Still christians insist it actually happened.
Compare this to a story from Nordic legend;
Sif, the wife of Odin, had breathtakingly beautiful long blond hair. Loki, the trickster, caused her hair to be shaved off so Sif was bald. In her shame and embarrassment Sif wore a white cloak and kept the hood over her head so none could see what had been done. When Thor, the God of thunder and son of Odin and Sif, saw this he was enraged. He took Loki by the throat and shook him and promised terrible things would happen if Loki did not restore Sif to her former glory. Loki descended deep into the earth and made a deal with the Dwarves and, through magic they spun the finest gold and it was restored to Sif's head where she was even more glorious than before.
If we were like the christians we would be saying that this is a true story that really happened just as it says. And we would miss the point.
This is the tale of the wheel of the year. Sif is the earth, mother to us all, she grows the golden corn a staple for northern europe. In the fall it is harvested, then comes the snow, the white mantle, then towards the end of winter the storms rage and the earth is soaked. Then the magic occurs and from deep within the earth spring arrives and the corn once again starts to grow and cover the head of our mother.
This is where we search, in the ancient stories, not for literal meanings but for the truth and wisdom that lies within them.
It seems to me that christians who insist that everything in the bible is literally true miss the point of the stories.
I repeat, only one person on this board misses the point.
But cheer up. You're not as disliked as you think you are.
It'll be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

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Post by Graver » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:33 pm

Ah, yes. I do claim that my faith has absolute truth.

So one pagan path is no metter from another? No religion better than another? Because I have to say, if Christianity is just as valid as any other religion, then you guys certainly don't act like it. I mean, in this post, you claim that Daniel, and book that Christians hold as sacred, was a work of fiction. That's not being very respectful or tolerant of Christianity. And anytime I talk about my beliefs, I'm criticized for it. That's definitely not tolerant, and doesn't speak well for ay sort of belief in religious equality.
(No disrespect intended, but I can understand if this is offensive. No one likes it when people imply that there is any sort of hypocrisy related to them or their beliefs. I should know, as a Christian, everyone calls you a hypocrit).

Also, you're wrong. Daniel is included in the Jewish Scriptures in the Nevi'im. You might be thinking of the Apocrypha, which is a collection of writings that include later-written additions to Daniel, which is only accepted by the Catholic Church, and is part of the reason Martin Luther broke away from the Church. I don't know who's teaching you these factual inaccuracies, but if you open the Nevi'im, you'll find it as the 6th book featured there.

*shakes his head* Loki would be so mad if he heard you talk like that! Also, I'm not sure how they knew about corn, seeing as how corn is native to the Americas, making it hard for the ancient Norse to find it. Unless the Viking explorers brought back tales of it... I suppose that's possible.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm not as disliked as I think I am. Its certainly better than being less liked than I think I am.

THIS form of discussion is great. Its when people become hostile that it makes it difficult to enjoy. I hope what I've said isn't offensive. If any of it is, please do point it out to me so I can be sure not to make the same mistake again.
Maybe not?

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:55 pm

Graver wrote:Ah, yes. I do claim that my faith has absolute truth.......
you claim that Daniel, and book that Christians hold as sacred, was a work of fiction.
I think it's time for you to take a big leap (of faith?):

There is no such thing as "absolute truth".
and
Just because something is fiction does not mean it is not true.

Non-Christians/Moslems tend to get on reasonably well amongst each other because they accept that there are countless manifestations of the divine.

However, when you get people (Christians and Moslems) proclaiming: "I am right and you are wrong (and you are going to roast in hell forever)" it is natural that one does not take too kindly to that sort of thing.

Question: Why are you associating with Pagans and Heathens?

To learn more about Paganism/Heathendom because you feel it in your soul that Christianity does not fulfill your spiritual needs?

I doubt it. It's more likely to be: In order to convert them (or others like them) to your particular religious views.

Spare yourself the trouble. Those of us who have come from there don't want to go back - and those of us who have never been there have no wish to go there.
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Post by Graver » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:53 pm

I think it's time for you to take a big leap (of faith?):

There is no such thing as "absolute truth".

It's more likely to be: In order to convert them (or others like them) to your particular religious views.
Wait, I'm sorry. I'm confused. It would appear that one of us is trying to convert the other. But I'm very, very uncertain that it is me. I've told you what I believe and asked what you believe. You've told me that I shouldn't believe what I believe. I'm pretty sure that put you in the converting attempt, not I.

For me to do the things that you've suggested would take a big leap ( of faithlessness).
Question: Why are you associating with Pagans and Heathens?

To learn more about Paganism/Heathendom because you feel it in your soul that Christianity does not fulfill your spiritual needs?

I doubt it. It's more likely to be: In order to convert them (or others like them) to your particular religious views.
No to both. I don't need to know more than I already do to evangelize, and I've had personal experiences in my life that would make me turning to another religion into nothing but pure rebellion and a farce to myself. I'm doing this because paganism is a form of religion, and one that I know little about. I've been studying other religions in addition to my own since I was 13 (7 years. I'm now 20) and have always found it fascinating. One of the unfortunate truths that I've found is that the Christian "experts" on other religions usually get their "knowledge" second hand, and usually from those who've converted to Christianity from the other religion. And I've always noticed that when people from the other religions read what we think they believe, they're generally upset that we have the misperceptions that we do.

I came to the conclusion that I can't trust a Christian to give an unbiased view of their former religion. Also, the aforementioned "experts" mostly focus on what the religions teach, as opposed to what the practitioners believe (it might seem academic, but it has a whole world of difference). THAT is why I ask individuals what they believe, rather than relying on books, articles, essays, and the like. Those are all great resources, but its essentially one person's beliefs with an implication of wide-reaching, if not universal adherence.

I've been absolutely loving my new job, because I work with a Buddhist, a Muslim, and a Catholic!
Maybe not?

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:17 pm

Graver wrote: I've been absolutely loving my new job, because I work with a Buddhist, a Muslim, and a Catholic!
Does this imply that you don't class Catholics amongst the Christians?
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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:20 pm

Graver wrote:You've told me that I shouldn't believe what I believe.
I have done no such thing.

I have told you that absolute truth does not exist. I have not told you to believe that absolute truth does not exist.

Two entirely different things.
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Post by BornoftheEarth » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:41 pm

Graver wrote:*shakes his head* Loki would be so mad if he heard you talk like that!
What the heck does that mean? What would you know of Loki and his dealings? Loki is mischief incarnate, the great Lie-Smith, a trickster and a con-man, living in both the world of shadow and the world of light. I doubt he would care much if we told stories of him. He might even enjoy us lying and making up stories about him to unsuspecting christians such as yourself. Dealing with chaos usually means, anything goes.
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Post by Kitsune » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:24 pm

Guys, honestly.

We're saying that nobody has the Ultimate truth, because what is good for one person is not good for another. No one path is better than another. Christianity is just as valid a path. Our resistance to it comes from people saying that it is the only ultimate truth.

Honestly Graver, Beliefs are not like vegatables "Every one is good for you and should be taken in at least 5-8 servings a day!" Some people may be alergic to those tomatoes that you so adore, while you may have trouble with the broccoli that we are having with our diet.

:lol:
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Post by Graver » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:45 pm

RFM:
I do categorize Catholics with Christians. But I also categorize Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and all of the Eastern churches (such as Greek Orthodox) as Christian. Just because they're all Christian doesn't mean they're similar. Just like with paganism, Christianity has many different faces, each with its own quirks and faults (not to imply that paganism has faults, but to imply that Christians do).

Well, you're right. You've haven't told me that I shouldn't believe what I believe, you've told me that what I believe is wholly and entirely untrue... which suggests that you view that particular belief as an absolute truth ;) I know, that's not what you meant. I don't want to split words about that, I just found it humorous and slightly ironic.

BotE:
What does it mean? It means I was making a joke! daibanjo told a story concerning Loki, then suggested that people shouldn't take the story literally, but figuratively. That was in response. An attempt at humor at the sake of both Paganism and Christianity.

Kitsune:
Broccoli gives you gas... :)
That's a good analogy, though I'm not sure it matches up with other implications, I'm glad that it matches up with your own.
Maybe not?

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Post by BornoftheEarth » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:25 pm

Graver wrote: BotE:
What does it mean? It means I was making a joke! daibanjo told a story concerning Loki, then suggested that people shouldn't take the story literally, but figuratively. That was in response. An attempt at humor at the sake of both Paganism and Christianity.
Oh, sorry about that. From my experiences on other boards, in threads such as this, during what I'll call heated debates, when someone makes a joke, its usually followed up with some sort of smiley face to show that the statement was to cause no grief and was merely an act of playing around. I didnt see anything such, and thus, assumed it was not a jest. It's often hard to relate true emotion over such a impersonal media such as the internet. I apologize.
Odin, guide our ships,
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Guide us through storms that whip
and in brutal war!

-Amon Amarth-

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daibanjo
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Post by daibanjo » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:50 pm

Graver, please. I get my information from respected Rabbis and respected literature. In the Jewish canon Daniel is not found amongst the prophets it is found among the writings. lets use english words so it doesn't sound other than what it is. The writings are inspirational stories and not included as holy scripture in the way that the prophets are held. In fact Daniel is probably the last written of the Jewish canon and may date from as late as 165 BC. A few decades later and it would have been in the Apocrypha where many scholars believe it belongs.
And what's all this about corn. I do refer to corn. it grows in a similar form as wheat and has always been a staple of european diet. America introduced us to Maize, or what we europeans call "corn on the cob" a very different thing.
I was referring to a Norse legend as a way to demonstrate that the meaning behind a story is what gives it worth not some argument over it's historical accuracy. Our stories are sacred for what they give to us. This is a very different perspective to the way the bible is viewed.
Why is it disrespectful to say that biblical stories, as with all teachings of ancient people are fictional accounts written to teach valid lessons. This is exactly what i say of the legends of all people. In the days when few could read or write the way to teach was with story.
Finally, how can you possibly speak of religious equality when you begin your post by saying "My faith has absolute truth"?
It'll be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

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Post by Rain ForestMoon » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:59 pm

Graver wrote: .....you've told me that what I believe is wholly and entirely untrue.....

I did not say that what you believe is wholly and entirely untrue.

What I did say was that absolute truth does not exist.

You need to be a more careful when making claims about what I said. This is the second time in a row that you have bent the facts.
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Post by Ragnar » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:26 am

Graver wrote: *shakes his head* Loki would be so mad if he heard you talk like that! Also, I'm not sure how they knew about corn, seeing as how corn is native to the Americas, making it hard for the ancient Norse to find it.
You make a very common error. In all Germanic languages Corn is a generic word for any grain crop.

Korn in Swedish/Norwegian/German/Danish/Dutch/Icelandic. It is only the English which, understandably, got confused and applied it only to one crop, maize. Which is actualy a fruit and NOT a grain.

So we are talking of two totaly seperate things.

And Daibanjo is spot on with the story and meaning of Sif.
Graver wrote:*shakes his head* Loki would be so mad if he heard you talk like that!
As you are such an expert. Would you care to tell me what Loki is?

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Post by katsu » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:47 am

Graver wrote: I mean, in this post, you claim that Daniel, and book that Christians hold as sacred, was a work of fiction.
Why would you talk about the book of Daniël? The OT was done with when Jesuha came, wasnt it? Or am I reading wrong (Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Mat.5:17).)

Once again,
yours from underneath the Great Oak
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Post by Kitsune » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:28 am

Just as a question for little ol' me...

Why the argument about which type of corn they meant?

After all, the Norse were sailing the seas much earlier than anyone else and it is generally accepted that they discovered the beautiful americas nearly a thousand years before the Europeans.

Elsewise, we wouldn't have found those blond "indians" speaking a bastardized version of Norse when we came, right?
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

http://www.bamatthews.comThe Writings and Musings of B.A. Matthews

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