Pagan Rituals in Episcipal Church

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Marcia, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    For those who thought having a gay bishop was a problem, now we have pagan rituals suggested, written out, and endorsed by the Epsicopal Church. Of course, they don't call them Pagan, but that is what they are.

    [Moderators: Not sure if I should have posted this on "News that affects Baptists Worldwide" thread or here. Feel free to move it if needed.]

    I've had to cut this story into parts as it would not let post the whole thing at once. Why, I don't know. :confused:

    I'm going to try to post this -- it's not letting me post anything!
     
  2. Marcia

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    Okay, will have to see what I can post here.

     
  3. Marcia

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    Now for the rest (I hope). . .
     
  4. HankD

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    The Church of England has always had one foot in Pagan Rome and one in England.

    It vascillated back and forth in an identity crisis between "protestant" and Catholic complete with bloodbaths after Henry 8th depending upon who was on the throne.

    Now (21st century) as then (16th century) Anglo-Catholics of the Church of England are still offering "mass".

    HankD
     
  5. Marcia

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    I'm surprised no one seems shocked by this. This has nothing to do with a mass or anything else. These are real Pagan rituals to false gods being done in a church, however liberal or off the mark it is. By "Pagan," I mean like rituals done in modern day Wicca and Witchraft and other Neo-Pagan religions. Maybe no one here realizes what these rituals are and are therefore not concerned. If it had been the Unitarian church, no surprise there, but Unitarians are not historically or actually Christian.

    And if we are seeing it in the Epsicopal church, we will see it in other churches in the future. They are offering cakes to the "Queen of Heaven," the same goddess as in the Bible that was worshipped.
     
  6. HankD

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    No one (at least myself) is shocked Marcia, because the Anglican Church has always in one degree or another mimicked their parent Church the Church of Rome. Which church is as we speak offering cakes all over the world to the "queen of heaven" and her heavenly host otherwise known as the sacrifice of the "mass".

    HankD
     
  7. Matt Black

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    ECUSA recommences Astarte-worship.

    In 1974, the sociologist Peter Berger wrote what has come to be a well-known piece on the secularization of society, and the loss of the sacred. He argues that from this repression of a natural need, we generate strange and false gods. His key examplar in this is the fertility-cult of Astarte/Ishtar/Ashtaroth etc. in the middle east, and the reasons why Judah absolutely had to reject it, which were as much ethical as cultic.

    However, I imagine that even Peter Berger would have been startled by how prescient it was. ECUSA has just officially published a new Astarte-worship liturgy.

    The essay is very useful in highlighting exactly why such a thing should occur in a comfortable, worldly, rich and powerful context.

    But now what? The timing is presumably deliberate. There is simply no way that a church that claims to be Trinitarian Christian can accomodate such a thing; we're not just talking about whether Catholicism is a valid form of Christianity, Hank; this goes way beyond that. Is this the sound of colours being nailed to the mast?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  8. HankD

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    I agree Matt, my contention is that the real face has always been there and now the mask is finally coming off.

    HankD
     
  9. Matt Black

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    BTW, there's something of a disclaimer issued by ECUSA on thier website:-

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This resource section is intended to provide a space for women to share their voices with one another. It is a work-in-progress and its shape will continue to emerge as we move forward. These are not official liturgies of the Episcopal Church – rather, they are a gathering of voices. Our hope with this section is to simply begin a conversation around women and our liturgical tradition as it is now. Please use them for study, dialogue, questions, ponderings, and gathering communities of worship.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So it is not and never was an official liturgy.

    Doesn't make it right though...

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  10. rsr

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    The Women's Resource Ministry has withdrawn the ritual with an explanation that doesn't satisfy conservative Episcopalians:


    MORE ON THE WEBLOG
     
  11. HankD

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    As I said, the connection to paganism has always been there and goes deep into the history of the Church of England via it's umbilical cord to Rome.

    HankD
     
  12. Ben W

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    How many churches encourage the celebration of Christmas and Easter? Both being Pagan?

    I discovered only recently that Wedding Rings are a Pagan Symbol also.

    The question is do we do those things in a Pagan Manner or do we reinterpret them in a Christian context?
     
  13. Marcia

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    The pagan origins of something is one thing; actually worshipping a pagan deity or performing a pagan ritual is quite another. These rituals are real - they are done by modern Neo-pagans. They do invoke gods, pray to them, etc.

    If one is honoring Christ on Easter or Christmas, it is not Pagan even though the origin of these days is. The Church chose to cover up the pagan Yule holiday with Christmas; I personally do not agree with this but it's too late to change it now.

    Christians need to stop worrying about the pagan origin of things and need to focus on the growth of Neo-pagan religions today. I started talking about Wicca in 1995 because teens in youth groups where I spoke were seeing Wiccans in their schools. Christian adults had no idea this was going on, and I think many of them did not even believe me or thought I was overreacting. I said that this was not a trend and would not be going away anytime soon. Well, it hasn't. Yet I find an incredible ignorance or apathy among Christians about this.

    But our reaction should not be one of accusation or ignoring these people - it should be to respond with the love and truth and hope we have in Jesus Christ. We should remember that the early church was started in a culture soaking in the cults, rituals, and worship of pagan deities. Just as they went forth into this culture with the truth and with love, so must we.
     
  14. Ben W

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    Good points Marcia, What I am noticing is not so much an emphasis on Wicca, but one that is all about Greenpeace relating to Mother Earth and then it seems like things like Druidry are becoming popular from that.
     
  15. stevec

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    I'm surprised that you're surprised. Coming out of the Episcopal Church, this doesn't shock me in the least.
     
  16. LorrieGrace

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    Marcia,

    You are SO right. I think a lot of times people don't want to know about it and hope it will go away. I, myself, at times seem to be an ostrich.

    We were stationed on a base overseas in the late 1990s and Wicca was BIG. And the some of the people involved had jobs in HIGH places. There was even a set of twins at the high school that were members. That was the first time I had EVER heard about this and I was in my 40s.

    On our return home, I started back to school at night to finish my BA and by day worked at a bookstore. Just coming back to the States was overwelming after being on a VERY small base. Just the volume of choices in grocery stores freaked me out!!! LOL

    Back to the bookstore, though. I would say that 90% (and I am not exagerating) of teens flocked to the New Age aisle. They would sit there for hours reading the different books. I did a LOT of praying in that store!!!
     
  17. Marcia

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    LorrieGrace, thanks for your post. Glad to know you prayed for those teens in the New Age aisle and didn't just sit there and fume over it!

    Tomrrow, Oct 31 (my birthday and my son's birthday, btw), is the pagan holiday of Samhain (Sow-heen), which has Celtic pagan origins. It is a good day for Christians for those lost in Paganism. Pagans will be doing rituals and some will be honoring and/or contacting the dead (esp. in England where that is more prevalent amongs witches there). So, as part of my ministry, I encourage believers to pray for these lost Pagans on Halloween! Thank you!
     

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