Two or Three (.net)

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Jesus

3.04.2005

Atheism flounders, paganism flourishes

by Aaron Earls [+/-] show/hide

Here is another example where Christians need to be aware of global trends in order to be relevant in the marketplace of ideas.

The Washington Times is reporting on the growing trend away from atheism and toward "spirituality" or paganism, especially in Europe.

The new spirituallity movement is one that seeks to embrace different beliefs from different religions to form a new religion that suits who you are personally and how you view life and the universe as a whole. It is one that seeks to find perceived truth anywhere. [Ed. - Comment referencing an individual was removed]

Christians need to be prepared for the type of discussion and debates that this type of belief system will provoke. I am afraid like in virtually every other previous debate, Christians will be out in the culture decrying the evils of atheism when there are only a handful of them left and we will be ill-prepared for the new culture.

Hat Tip: World Mag Blog

5 Comments:

  • Good-bye, Aaron.

    By Blogger Louis, at 3/04/2005 2:07 PM  

  • KNow what is fueling this and making it so palatable?

    PUBLIC EDUCATION!

    I address this on my blog. Today's lingo for paganism/syncretism is "multiculturalism." It is all over textbooks. Parents, beware.

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 3/04/2005 4:55 PM  

  • Louis, I hope you did not take offense at that. I purposely did not call you a "pagan" because of the negative image that words has.

    I only used you as an illustration, since you comment here regularly. You have spoken about how you are seeking spirituality outside of organized religion. You have spoken about how you have accept some parts of Christianity along with Buddhism.

    That is all that was meant by my comments, I hope they were not taken as offensive. If they were I apologize.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 3/08/2005 7:30 AM  

  • Your apology is irrelevant.

    To explain: you hold up this new movement which should replace your old enemy, atheism (which you speak of as an "evil"). You then define it as a kind of paganism, which you admit has negative connotations. Then, instead of just analysing it, you hold me up as an example; in effect, calling me a pagan while NOT calling me a pagan (see how that works?). I am therefore the new enemy, the opponent who must be defeated, part of the new evil.

    What really irks me is how you distort me and what I think. I don't have a "belief system" (as you do); instead, I seek Truth, wherever it may lead. If it leads to some aspects and practices of Buddhism, I am not ashamed of following it there. If it leads to some aspects of Christianity, then so be it. It is not some kind of craze or fad or nutty California religion; rather, it is a well-worn path first followed (as far a written records go) by Socrates and trod by untold numbers since. The important thing is following Truth as best as I can. It is a quest for authenticity and a real connection with Ultimate Reality (or God, if you will). You just refuse to recognize that. You believe we should hew to the line of a particular organization no matter how repugnant we may find parts of it. You also believe we should oppose other belief systems no matter how much good we may find in them. You are a true believer, and don't seem to be able to get your head around the possibility that someone else might think differently from you (gasp!). Thus, I find YOUR belief systems to be narrow-minded and self-righteous - unfortunately so.

    I really tried to be open to conversation with evangelicals/fundamentalists. However, the experiment was bound to fail. Our ways of seeing the world are just too different. No wonder so many people feel threatened by you (as you, no doubt, feel threatened by us). It's really too bad that we couldn't agree that the important thing is the pursuit of Truth, not the defense of a particular belief system.

    Thus, good-bye.

    By Blogger Louis, at 3/08/2005 1:55 PM  

  • Can I offer you a chance to better explain what you belive if I have misinterpreted it?

    I do not see you as a pagan. That would has been used wrongly and redefined, so I don't feel you fit the description that most people would call a pagan. But from what I have gathered, you do fit in with the new form of spirituallity (if you will) that is spreading across Europe and America.

    As you say, you embrace what you see as truth where ever you find it, in whatever religious connotation you may see it in. I do not see it as a fad or California craze either. I also realize it is a very old path that is becoming more popular in the place that atheism once stood.

    More and more people are seeing the possibility and probability of a god or higher being, they are going away from atheism and toward some type of spirituality.

    I gave you as an example since you comment here regularly and many here have discussed things with you and know somewhat your beliefs. In hindsight that was probably a mistake, because it could be taken the wrong way.

    I acknowledge that people think differently than me, I don't have a problem with that. I simply believe that, though nothing of myself, I have been blessed with something that is beyond words I only wish that everyone could share in this joy with me. I do not wish to beat somebody with it, but I do want to be able to enter into debates and discussions on relevant topics and display the relevance of my faith that has given me so much joy and purpose.

    I do not feel threatened by you or anyone else. I enjoy our conversations. I go out of my way to talk to people who have different beliefs than I do. But I do view belief systems that are not in line with what I believe to be God's revealed path to Him as being on the "other side." I don't think the people who don't believe as me are the enemy, "evil" or anything else like that. I see them as just like me before I found God's way.

    I do hope this explanation helps to smooth things over. I honestly love having you here and getting your input and thoughts on issues. If you would like I will let you have another Open Door to better explain your belief system. If this is not sufficient, please email me and I will try to better explain my motives and reasons.

    Again, I always enjoy your comments and thoughts, and I do hope you decide to hang around at least until the next time I make you mad. :)

    By Blogger Aaron, at 3/09/2005 11:07 AM  

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