This post has risen out of a variety of sources including reading The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee and a few conversations I’ve had with people recently. A bit of background is necessary. I was a child Christian from the ages of 5-13 (roughly), an agnostic from the ages of 14-16 roughly, and a Wiccan/Pagan from the ages of 17-19, while possibly being Christian from the age of 20 to now. Throughout my life, I have had a very strong intuition that has informed me both general feelings (meant to walk a different path, meant for both great pain and great joy, etc.) and a more specific sense of rightness or wrongness of actions as I am taking them or considering taking them–this intuition was impossible to ignore. This intuition has been perhaps the only thing that has remained constant regardless of what stage of belief I’ve been at, and I’m inclined to think that if it hasn’t left me yet, it’s never going to. I believe, echoing Dr. Wayne Dyer that this intuition has been God’s main form of communicating with me. However, there was a moment when I consciously chose to let God in. It was just after my first year of university and I had been through a very, rough dark year. Prior to that year I had considered myself Wiccan, but I had not yet felt ready to perform a Wiccan declaration ritual which can take many forms but is essentially an introducing of oneself to the Goddess and a declaration of intent to follow the Wiccan path. That first year of university was the straw that broke the camel’s back as it were, and that summer I performed a Wiccan declaration (though I had shifted to calling myself Pagan at that point, Wicca and Paganism were essentially different variations on the same thing so I performed the declaration anyway). After that declaration my life changed–slowly, gradually I grew both closer to God and more confident, and I have no doubt the two are related. In second year of university I slowly began to get involved in a Christian group on campus called Guelph Campus Ministry, and in third year that rapidly picked up and took on a life of its own. I did not join GCM on purpose, but I was open to hanging out with Christians and learning what they could offer, and my particular brand of Wiccan practice had a fairly heavy overlap with Christianity, informed no doubt by my childhood experiences. This does however lead me to my current conundrum. I have no doubt that I am meant to walk the Christian path for a time–what I do not know is whether I can truly call myself Christian and indeed, I am uncomfortable calling myself so. I thought that the simplest way to address this would be to do a series of Q & A with me providing both sides so that a general overview of my beliefs could be unraveled. I welcome your opinions on which one I am, though I do reserve to myself the right to remain uncertain or decide on one or the other. So let’s get to it shall we:
Do I believe in a single, omnipotent God/Goddess who embodies true justice and true love? Yes.
Do I believe that Christianity is the only path to God? No, but neither do I believe all religions are equally true. I would say, that to be true, a religion must encourage selflessness above all else and believe in something that is both truly just and truly loving.
Do I believe Jesus Christ had enormous power on earth and returned from the dead? Yes, but I don’t believe he was the only one. An obvious other example is the Taoist Immortals.
Do I believe that Jesus Christ was God in human form? Yes, and I am inclined to believe he was the only one to have that to his name.
Do I believe that the Bible is literally true? No, but I do believe the Old Testament provides a look at the essentials of the nature of God, the nature of humankind, and Jewish culture at the time, and that the New Testament is correct in the essentials of both Jesus Christ’s life, teachings, and nature, that the Pauline letters were essentially authentic, and that the Book of Revelations was inspired by a God-given vision.
Do I believe in the energy as conceptualized by Wicca, both for psychic applications and for magic? Yes. Admittedly there are variations on this within in Wicca, so to be specific I agree with Thea Sabin’s conceptions on the subject, which were my first introduction to Wicca.
Do I believe that it is okay to practice the various applications of the energy? Yes. I do it on a regular basis, and it’s a great asset.
Do I believe in the Wiccan Rede and The Threefold Law which are two essential components of Wicca? Yes, but again, since there are some different interpretations of the Wiccan Rede, I tend to agree with Thea Sabin’s conception.
Do I believe nature is divine in essence and to be respected? Yes. Most definitely.
What do I believe when it comes to human sexuality? I know, unpleasant topic, but I’ve got to deal with it since it is a relatively important part of both Wicca and Christianity. I believe that sex is natural and sacred, and I’ve got no problem in theory with sex before marriage. I do believe that sex should only be done between people who are honestly in love, and have some history together, but I’m not prepared to say you’re damned for a random hook-up. I am against affairs in general, but I also believe that out of affairs good can come, and that redemption is certainly possible even if you do have an affair.
Do I believe that humans are inherently selfish/broken/less than they could be? Yes. I believe that all human beings must strive to overcome their base nature to become something greater, and that this is a constant struggle, and absolutely essential in God’s eyes.
What do I believe is the difference between good and evil? Selflessness is good, selfishness is evil, pure and simple. Selflessness to others is good, selflessness to God is the best.
What do I believe on the matter of free will vs. determinism? I believe in free will, and that God didn’t want automatons as servants.
Since we’re on the matter, what about creation? I’m one of those guys who tries to reconcile science and faith. To that end, I believe God existed before the Big Bang, and started the universe and also carefully guided evolution so that human beings would emerge. But the universe as we know it is indeed traceable back to the Big Bang, and evolution did happen, which means we did come from little primitive mammals. Sorry folks, but science is what it is and we’ve got to work with it.
Alright, I’m getting tired and thus running out of ideas for questions to answer. Hopefully this gives us all enough to work with. I’ve got two conclusions of my own from this that I’ll share now. Either I’m a Wiccan who’s been guided by the Goddess towards the Christian path for a time, or I’m a Christian who has been guided by the Holy Spirit slowly but surely with Wicca being used as an entry point into Christian belief to overcome my childhood despair and disillusion. And I have a funny feeling that only time is going to tell me which it is…