My Gods Saved Me - My Experience as a Pagan Growing Up In a "Christian" Culture

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Maro

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I converted to Wicca from my family-based Christianity when I was 10, but later embraced Paganism. When I was very young, age 5, I loved angels, and God, and Jesus. I idolized my parents, until I was about 7. My mom took me to various churches at a young age. I remember being at a Christian preschool/daycare. My hair was a pixie cut. Those children made fun of me, taunting me, saying I was a boy, looked like a boy, when I was definitely a girl (and woman today). The girls watching us seperated me, put me in a corner, and talked about how to handle it. Nothing came of it. Then, the pieces fell apart in the perception of my family. I recognized that my dad was abusive to us and our mother. My mother was neglectful, and slept all day, leaving me to mostly raise my siblings myself. I became very disillusioned. I felt like my culture had not revealed the truth of what was out there. So I did my own research. I discovered gods that had existed before Jesus and the God of Christianity. I also felt abandoned by God. I remember yelling up to him, in my effort to mow a 10-acre property using a small push-mower, and yelling at him, saying he'd abandoned me by placing me with abusive/neglectful parents, and surrounded by a hypocritical Christian culture that only cared to show compassion to them and theirs, and literally to hell with anyone else.

God didn't save me from suicide when I was 14. Athena did. When I was curled on the floor, sobbing, she very distinctly said, "Get off the floor. Get up." It was her presence, her voice, in my mind. Sekhmet protected me from those who would cause me harm, and she healed my soul. Arianrhod helped me conceive my son a month after prayer, when my husband and I had tried for several months. Hermes helped me develop my communication skills, so that I could form relationships with people I otherwise would not have, considering my upbringing.

I read the Bible from time to time... the only people I see not trying to repent for being sinful humans are the hypocritical Christians themselves - and the ones who do repent refuse to call out their brethren. They enable them through their silence, instead of reminding them of their true mission, as Jesus would have done.

And believe it or not - I also have a relationship with Jesus. I am no longer upset with his God, however Jesus knows I do my best to be a good person, as all of my Pagan gods know as well. Of course, I'm not perfect. No one is. I believe in a hell. However, it is the arrogant person, judging me and those like me - all "outsiders" - arrogantly believing they have a guaranteed spot in heaven without repentance- telling me I and those like me (note: anyone different, and outside of their small bubble) that we will go to hell...

Where we go in the afterlife is determined by the Gods. Or, God, for Christianity. How pompous and arrogant does one have to be, to think they have the right to judge?

Jesus sat and communed with outsiders, and railed heavily against the pharisees. And that's all we got these days, preaching from pulpits are pharisees. Perhaps the outsiders are the ones Jesus is actually looking to protect and save... and not just from the bowels of hell.

But it's not my place to judge the perspective and lifestyle of another. I mind the business of myself and my family, and do my best to help those I come across, regardless of religion, gender, race, or any identifying factor.

I would think that, in this age, Jesus would be horrified by what Christianity has become. I know I am. And they wonder why people are leaving the church. Maybe it's not the people leaving the church that you have to fear. Perhaps, it's the people who are pushing people away, active people left in the church, with their judgemental hatred, that you have to fear.

But, I am just a Pagan. What do I know about humanity and divinity, right?

I am open to replies and perspectives, of course. I just needed a place, full of self-proclaimed Christians, to understand what I and many others have dealt with, in regard to the Christian community, for several years. I still shake my head when they act confused about why people are leaving the church. Perhaps if they opened a non-judgmental dialogue with them, they'd find out why. But they're too afraid or wilfully ignorant to do it, I guess. I don't know. You tell me.
 
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Matthias

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Welcome to the forum.

You mentioned that you have a relationship with Jesus. What, if anything, has Jesus told you about his view on, his relationship with, pagan gods?
 
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Maro

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Welcome to the forum.

You mentioned that you have a relationship with Jesus. What, if anything, has Jesus told you about his view on, his relationship with, pagan gods?
When "speaking" with him, I guess you could say, I got the overwhelming advice to "Be patient." Calm and compassion. He has control and knowledge of fate. He asks me to forgive those who have separated themselves from the divine to chase money and prestige in this life, who mislead his sheep to commit wrongdoing and espouse hatred; to forgive them, but not stay silent. He feels, to me, like a divine friend, and a calm, guiding hand. It did not feel like he was concerned with my reverence of pagan gods, but I don't know what his intentions are with that, or how or where the Gods, and Jesus, intend to guide me. I remain humble in that regard. From my understanding, God is an unknowable God, while on Earth, and uses what makes sense to us to fulfill his will. Any who claim to understand everything about him are essentially putting an "image" or "idol" before him, who is truly unknowable to us. I hope you understand my perspective, even if you may not agree.
 
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Matthias

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When "speaking" with him, I guess you could say, I got the overwhelming advice to "Be patient." Calm and compassion. He has control and knowledge of fate. He asks me to forgive those who have separated themselves from the divine to chase money and prestige in this life, who mislead his sheep to commit wrongdoing and espouse hatred; to forgive them, but not stay silent. He feels, to me, like a divine friend, and a calm, guiding hand. It did not feel like he was concerned with my reverence of pagan gods, but I don't know what his intentions are with that, or how or where the Gods, and Jesus, intend to guide me. I remain humble in that regard. From my understanding, God is an unknowable God, while on Earth, and uses what makes sense to us to fulfill his will. Any who claim to understand everything about him are essentially putting an "image" or "idol" before him, who is truly unknowable to us. I hope you understand my perspective, even if you may not agree.

Thank you for sharing your perspective.

Jesus is a Jew. He doesn’t believe in the existence of any other God besides his own. He has no relationship with any God besides his own, believing that the pagan gods are nothing but idols.

You commented in your first post that you are no longer upset with his God. His God is a jealous God and his response to idolatry is severe. He will destroy them and those who will not turn away from them.

His God is patient, and he is like his God. If Jesus is speaking to you about being patient it will not be for the purpose of having you remain a worshipper of pagan gods.

When you speak with him again, please ask him about this. I’d like to hear what he says to you about it.
 
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Maro

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Thank you for replying and speaking with me. Please understand, I genuinely feel that if not for my Gods, I would not be here today, speaking with you and sharing what I've experienced. Whether my experience is a way that your God has tried to reach me, or not, is not for me to determine. And I dare say for no one else to determine, either. No one mortal, at least.

I don't believe your God is jealous. I understand your scripture states it, especially according to a Jewish viewpoint, and people can believe what they want, of course. Jesus is not jealous, either.

Jealousy denotes a weak, human, covetous emotion, which assigns an image or idol to God, comparing him to our limited understanding of his nature by reducing him to an angry, jealous, yet dually compassionate figure. I cannot imagine that is an accurate way to represent him, and if it were indeed accurate, I would feel, then, as if I were worshipping/revering a weak God, who is influenced by human-like emotions. But then, all the Pagan gods are the same way, aren't they? Portrayed as beings influenced by human emotions... It might be blasphemous to you, but I cannot respect a jealous god. That denotes he feels threatened. I cannot imagine that to be the case. Can you?

However, that's what makes me Pagan and not Christian. I don't put stock in every word of the Bible. Most Pagans I know put no stock in it, at all. I believe the bible was divinely inspired, yet written by humans, who are flawed. I don't intend to say this to convince you. It is how I see it.

I don't push or pressure my Gods, or Jesus, for answers. They reveal how they feel and where they want to guide, in their own due time, to me. Perhaps, despite maintaining a relationship with Jesus, as long as I maintain relationships with my pagan gods, there will be plenty who will tell me I am destined for hell and will be destroyed. But if that were indeed true, then I should have went there that night before a pagan goddess spoke to me and saved me from darkness that night. So, perhaps, my time was delayed for no reason whatsoever, or perhaps, there was a reason. And perhaps I am being influenced to speak out against hatred based on rigid belief systems, and after a time, I will go to hell, too. But, I would rather go to hell than let hypocritical Christians continue using their own purported faith to terrorize, harrass, and attack those not of faith, using their God as the excuse and scapegoat. You think they would stay silent if Pagans did the same? No. Of course not. And they would be right to also condemn that. I cannot imagine your God sanctions or approves of this horrible behavior, but it seems anytime I speak with them, they are either silent about it or rooting for it. And the ones who don't know I'm Pagan are outspoken about it the most, revealing to me what is actually influencing their souls. It is the worst in the southern US. People here are brazenly, openly hateful when they believe they are surrounded by others like them. And if you are not like them, it's shame, shame, thoughts, prayers, hope you are saved by Jesus and don't go to hell, all the while doing their best to stomp out any dissident thought or action, or even encourage violence against those who don't fit their mold. Jesus has saved me already, and my Pagan gods have, as well. Whether his God decides to send me to hell for maintaining those relationships depends on how threatened he feels by that, I guess.

It is sometimes difficult for me to have productive discourse with Christians due to wildly diverging viewpoints, so I apologize if this reply comes across as rough. However, until they begin speaking up themselves, to their own community, about cleaning their own house full of souls through their prophet, Jesus, and his message (not a caricature of his message, his actual message), I cannot in good conscience join the rigid and unnaccepting and unforgiving culture they have created.

But, for your good conscience, I will maintain my relationship with Jesus. If there comes a time for me to change course, I'm sure the communication will come.

But you know what? Even though we see things differently, I really do appreciate you taking the time out to reply to me. It shows you care, even though there are things we will disagree on. Thank you for that.
 
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Matthias

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Thank you for replying and speaking with me. Please understand, I genuinely feel that if not for my Gods, I would not be here today, speaking with you and sharing what I've experienced. Whether my experience is a way that your God has tried to reach me, or not, is not for me to determine. And I dare say for no one else to determine, either. No one mortal, at least.

I don't believe your God is jealous. I understand your scripture states it, especially according to a Jewish viewpoint, and people can believe what they want, of course. Jesus is not jealous, either.

Jealousy denotes a weak, human, covetous emotion, which assigns an image or idol to God, comparing him to our limited understanding of his nature by reducing him to an angry, jealous, yet dually compassionate figure. I cannot imagine that is an accurate way to represent him, and if it were indeed accurate, I would feel, then, as if I were worshipping/revering a weak God, who is influenced by human-like emotions. But then, all the Pagan gods are the same way, aren't they? Portrayed as beings influenced by human emotions... It might be blasphemous to you, but I cannot respect a jealous god. That denotes he feels threatened. I cannot imagine that to be the case. Can you?

However, that's what makes me Pagan and not Christian. I don't put stock in every word of the Bible. Most Pagans I know put no stock in it, at all. I believe the bible was divinely inspired, yet written by humans, who are flawed. I don't intend to say this to convince you. It is how I see it.

I don't push or pressure my Gods, or Jesus, for answers. They reveal how they feel and where they want to guide, in their own due time, to me. Perhaps, despite maintaining a relationship with Jesus, as long as I maintain relationships with my pagan gods, there will be plenty who will tell me I am destined for hell and will be destroyed. But if that were indeed true, then I should have went there that night before a pagan goddess spoke to me and saved me from darkness that night. So, perhaps, my time was delayed for no reason whatsoever, or perhaps, there was a reason. And perhaps I am being influenced to speak out against hatred based on rigid belief systems, and after a time, I will go to hell, too. But, I would rather go to hell than let hypocritical Christians continue using their own purported faith to terrorize, harrass, and attack those not of faith, using their God as the excuse and scapegoat. You think they would stay silent if Pagans did the same? No. Of course not. And they would be right to also condemn that. I cannot imagine your God sanctions or approves of this horrible behavior, but it seems anytime I speak with them, they are either silent about it or rooting for it. And the ones who don't know I'm Pagan are outspoken about it the most, revealing to me what is actually influencing their souls. It is the worst in the southern US. People here are brazenly, openly hateful when they believe they are surrounded by others like them. And if you are not like them, it's shame, shame, thoughts, prayers, hope you are saved by Jesus and don't go to hell, all the while doing their best to stomp out any dissident thought or action, or even encourage violence against those who don't fit their mold. Jesus has saved me already, and my Pagan gods have, as well. Whether his God decides to send me to hell for maintaining those relationships depends on how threatened he feels by that, I guess.

It is sometimes difficult for me to have productive discourse with Christians due to wildly diverging viewpoints, so I apologize if this reply comes across as rough. However, until they begin speaking up themselves, to their own community, about cleaning their own house full of souls through their prophet, Jesus, and his message (not a caricature of his message, his actual message), I cannot in good conscience join the rigid and unnaccepting and unforgiving culture they have created.

But, for your good conscience, I will maintain my relationship with Jesus. If there comes a time for me to change course, I'm sure the communication will come.

But you know what? Even though we see things differently, I really do appreciate you taking the time out to reply to me. It shows you care, even though there are things we will disagree on. Thank you for that.

You mentioned that you believe the Bible is divinely inspired - which comes as a pleasant surprise to me - but you didn’t say by whom you believe it is inspired. I believe it is inspired too, by the one whom Jesus calls both his God and his Father.

You say that you don’t put stock in every word written in the Bible. Jesus does.

You say you don’t believe everything that is written about his God in the Bible. Jesus does.

This is a gulf between you and Jesus. You seem to be comfortable with it but Jesus isn’t. He is the way to his God, not the way to the pagan gods.

You remind me of Mahatma Ghandi, who reportedly said “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

His is a harsh criticism but not a completely unfair one. Many Christians are like Christ; many Christians are not like Christ. Jesus will deal with those who aren’t like him when the time comes for him to do so.
 

Matthias

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I converted to Wicca from my family-based Christianity when I was 10, but later embraced Paganism. When I was very young, age 5, I loved angels, and God, and Jesus. I idolized my parents, until I was about 7. My mom took me to various churches at a young age. I remember being at a Christian preschool/daycare. My hair was a pixie cut. Those children made fun of me, taunting me, saying I was a boy, looked like a boy, when I was definitely a girl (and woman today). The girls watching us seperated me, put me in a corner, and talked about how to handle it. Nothing came of it. Then, the pieces fell apart in the perception of my family. I recognized that my dad was abusive to us and our mother. My mother was neglectful, and slept all day, leaving me to mostly raise my siblings myself. I became very disillusioned. I felt like my culture had not revealed the truth of what was out there. So I did my own research. I discovered gods that had existed before Jesus and the God of Christianity. I also felt abandoned by God. I remember yelling up to him, in my effort to mow a 10-acre property using a small push-mower, and yelling at him, saying he'd abandoned me by placing me with abusive/neglectful parents, and surrounded by a hypocritical Christian culture that only cared to show compassion to them and theirs, and literally to hell with anyone else.

God didn't save me from suicide when I was 14. Athena did. When I was curled on the floor, sobbing, she very distinctly said, "Get off the floor. Get up." It was her presence, her voice, in my mind. Sekhmet protected me from those who would cause me harm, and she healed my soul. Arianrhod helped me conceive my son a month after prayer, when my husband and I had tried for several months. Hermes helped me develop my communication skills, so that I could form relationships with people I otherwise would not have, considering my upbringing.

I read the Bible from time to time... the only people I see not trying to repent for being sinful humans are the hypocritical Christians themselves - and the ones who do repent refuse to call out their brethren. They enable them through their silence, instead of reminding them of their true mission, as Jesus would have done.

And believe it or not - I also have a relationship with Jesus. I am no longer upset with his God, however Jesus knows I do my best to be a good person, as all of my Pagan gods know as well. Of course, I'm not perfect. No one is. I believe in a hell. However, it is the arrogant person, judging me and those like me - all "outsiders" - arrogantly believing they have a guaranteed spot in heaven without repentance- telling me I and those like me (note: anyone different, and outside of their small bubble) that we will go to hell...

Where we go in the afterlife is determined by the Gods. Or, God, for Christianity. How pompous and arrogant does one have to be, to think they have the right to judge?

Jesus sat and communed with outsiders, and railed heavily against the pharisees. And that's all we got these days, preaching from pulpits are pharisees. Perhaps the outsiders are the ones Jesus is actually looking to protect and save... and not just from the bowels of hell.

But it's not my place to judge the perspective and lifestyle of another. I mind the business of myself and my family, and do my best to help those I come across, regardless of religion, gender, race, or any identifying factor.

I would think that, in this age, Jesus would be horrified by what Christianity has become. I know I am. And they wonder why people are leaving the church. Maybe it's not the people leaving the church that you have to fear. Perhaps, it's the people who are pushing people away, active people left in the church, with their judgemental hatred, that you have to fear.

But, I am just a Pagan. What do I know about humanity and divinity, right?

I am open to replies and perspectives, of course. I just needed a place, full of self-proclaimed Christians, to understand what I and many others have dealt with, in regard to the Christian community, for several years. I still shake my head when they act confused about why people are leaving the church. Perhaps if they opened a non-judgmental dialogue with them, they'd find out why. But they're too afraid or wilfully ignorant to do it, I guess. I don't know. You tell me.

Is Wicca incompatible with your paganism?

I’ve only spoken with two Wiccans. They were both females. Their personal stories were similar to yours (both had been raised Christian, but I don’t recall any mention of neglect). Like you, they were very pleasant and easy to speak with. They told me that they practiced “white magic” and harbored no desire or intent to harm anyone. They spoke, as best I recall now, about paganism and Christianity in a positive way.

What is your personal view on the devil?
 
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amigo de christo

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Is Wicca incompatible with your paganism?

I’ve only spoken with two Wiccans. They were both females. Their personal stories were similar to yours (both had been raised Christian, but I don’t recall any mention of neglect). Like you, they were very pleasant and easy to speak with. They told me that they practiced “white magic” and harbored no desire or intent to harm anyone. They spoke, as best I recall now, about paganism and Christianity in a positive way.

What is your personal view on the devil?
a more important reminder is that man needs to beware big time . He is following another jesus .
That jesus cannot save . We must learn our bibles well . it sounds like a new age all inclusive many path jesus .
And that aint JESUS . Satan knows how to use the name of jesus but gives another image of jesus .
We need to know WHAT JESUS we follow cause another jesus aint saving squat .
 

The Learner

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Thank you for replying and speaking with me. Please understand, I genuinely feel that if not for my Gods, I would not be here today, speaking with you and sharing what I've experienced. Whether my experience is a way that your God has tried to reach me, or not, is not for me to determine. And I dare say for no one else to determine, either. No one mortal, at least.

I don't believe your God is jealous. I understand your scripture states it, especially according to a Jewish viewpoint, and people can believe what they want, of course. Jesus is not jealous, either.

Jealousy denotes a weak, human, covetous emotion, which assigns an image or idol to God, comparing him to our limited understanding of his nature by reducing him to an angry, jealous, yet dually compassionate figure. I cannot imagine that is an accurate way to represent him, and if it were indeed accurate, I would feel, then, as if I were worshipping/revering a weak God, who is influenced by human-like emotions. But then, all the Pagan gods are the same way, aren't they? Portrayed as beings influenced by human emotions... It might be blasphemous to you, but I cannot respect a jealous god. That denotes he feels threatened. I cannot imagine that to be the case. Can you?

However, that's what makes me Pagan and not Christian. I don't put stock in every word of the Bible. Most Pagans I know put no stock in it, at all. I believe the bible was divinely inspired, yet written by humans, who are flawed. I don't intend to say this to convince you. It is how I see it.

I don't push or pressure my Gods, or Jesus, for answers. They reveal how they feel and where they want to guide, in their own due time, to me. Perhaps, despite maintaining a relationship with Jesus, as long as I maintain relationships with my pagan gods, there will be plenty who will tell me I am destined for hell and will be destroyed. But if that were indeed true, then I should have went there that night before a pagan goddess spoke to me and saved me from darkness that night. So, perhaps, my time was delayed for no reason whatsoever, or perhaps, there was a reason. And perhaps I am being influenced to speak out against hatred based on rigid belief systems, and after a time, I will go to hell, too. But, I would rather go to hell than let hypocritical Christians continue using their own purported faith to terrorize, harrass, and attack those not of faith, using their God as the excuse and scapegoat. You think they would stay silent if Pagans did the same? No. Of course not. And they would be right to also condemn that. I cannot imagine your God sanctions or approves of this horrible behavior, but it seems anytime I speak with them, they are either silent about it or rooting for it. And the ones who don't know I'm Pagan are outspoken about it the most, revealing to me what is actually influencing their souls. It is the worst in the southern US. People here are brazenly, openly hateful when they believe they are surrounded by others like them. And if you are not like them, it's shame, shame, thoughts, prayers, hope you are saved by Jesus and don't go to hell, all the while doing their best to stomp out any dissident thought or action, or even encourage violence against those who don't fit their mold. Jesus has saved me already, and my Pagan gods have, as well. Whether his God decides to send me to hell for maintaining those relationships depends on how threatened he feels by that, I guess.

It is sometimes difficult for me to have productive discourse with Christians due to wildly diverging viewpoints, so I apologize if this reply comes across as rough. However, until they begin speaking up themselves, to their own community, about cleaning their own house full of souls through their prophet, Jesus, and his message (not a caricature of his message, his actual message), I cannot in good conscience join the rigid and unnaccepting and unforgiving culture they have created.

But, for your good conscience, I will maintain my relationship with Jesus. If there comes a time for me to change course, I'm sure the communication will come.

But you know what? Even though we see things differently, I really do appreciate you taking the time out to reply to me. It shows you care, even though there are things we will disagree on. Thank you for that.
Please consider,

John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
 

amigo de christo

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Please consider,

John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Let the glorious LORD be praised . He is the way , the truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through Him .
He who believes shall be saved , but he who believes not shall be damned . For he believes not the testimony
that GOD gave of His son . POINT TO CHRIST MY FRIEND till the last and final breath .
 

Matthias

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I composed a children’s song about adonai and adoni. If I ever run across it in my files, I’ll share it with my readers.

Adoni points his disciples to adonai.
 
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