Friday, February 21, 2014

What the Rise of Paganism says about the State of Christanity

“But we by the mention of Christ crucified put all demons to flight, whom you fear as if they were gods. Where the sign of the Cross is , magic is weak and witchcraft has no strength.

Tell us therefore where your oracles are now? Where are the charms of the Egyptians? Where the delusions of the magicians? When did all these things cease and grow weak except when the Cross of Christ arose? Is It then a fit subject for mockery, and not rather the things brought to nought by it, and convicted of weakness?”  St Anthony of the Desert, Against Proud Philosphers

It is a very important thing for Christians not to forget that we do not have a monopoly on the spiritual world.  People do not pray to idols, perform strange rituals or offer direct worship to false gods because they do not get anything out of it; they just don’t get anything good out of it.  

Illusions, false consolation, spirits of lust, pride, worldly power or any of the thing that the prince of the world can offer is often times enough for people to sign up their name on the dotted line to become a full blown practicing pagan or devil worshiper.

It appears that many people are signing up. The US Air force academy built a Pagan worship circle somewhat recently   The “Church of England” wants to paganize things up a little bit and not convert the pagans, but allow the pagans to convert the "church of England" .

And I could provide examples from my own life of the growth of paganism.  Next to the University of Riverside, CA there is a large witchcraft store that not only sells wares for all your pagan needs, but teaches both in-store and online classes on how to practice magic. On there are 3 (2 relatively large) groups for pagan meetups within 5 minutes of riverside and only 2 for the Bible (and of those two one is for singles and the other is for homeschoolers and they are much smaller than the 2 largest pagan groups).

According to some Poll numbers there are now over 1 million pagans in the US  Based on the most recent survey by the Pew Forum on religion, there are over one million Pagans estimated to be living in the United States.  Step back for a minute and consider how many devout Catholics there are in America?

Yet we know that wherever the Kingdom of God  is idols lose their strength, demons are cast out, sorcery is confounded and the such like and the weakness of demons is truly revealed, so how can their be this growth and what does the spread of paganism say about the state of Christianity?

For one it says that there is a lack of saints.  Luke 17:20 tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. The incarnation of God as Man and us becoming adopted children of God has made even our very breath a means of expelling demons.  The very mention of the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (which can only be done by the Spirit) demands immediate reverence and respect from every being.  There is more to the anti-Christianity of the pagan world than an irritation with the superficiality of  so much that is presented as Christian.

“We however make our proof  not in the persuasive words of Greek wisdom as our teacher has it, but we persuade by the faith which manifestly precedes argumentative proof” St Anthony of the Desert

Our Holy Religion is the most consistent, reasonable and logical religion but yet, without a living faith preceding its manifestation throughout society it will fail to win converts through persuasion. It will fail to break through the strangle holds of the works of the flesh made manifest.

Before becoming distraught though over the idea that to confound pagan worship we would need to be the greatest Saints, I wish to assure you that common but faithful Christians are enough to confound demons and put them to flight.  However, it is a faith that must be visible so that God have Glory through his mocking of demons

“But when, as my fine fellow proceeded in the rites, the frightful things assailed him, unearthly noises, as they say, and unpleasant odors, and fiery apparitions, and other fables and nonsense of the sort, being terror-struck at the novelty (for he was yet a novice in these matters), he flies for help to the Cross, his old remedy, and makes the sign thereof against his terrors, and makes an ally of Him whom he persecuted. And what follows is yet more horrible.
The Seal prevailed: the demons are worsted, the terrors are allayed. And then what follows? The wickedness revives, he takes courage again; the attempt is repeated, the same terrors return; again the sign of the Cross, and the vanishing demons; the neophyte in despair.”  St Gregory Nazianzens Section 55-56 First Invective against Julian the Apostate.

Notice here that Julian the Apostate who is being initiated into diabolic rites having already turned his back on his Christian faith, makes a sign of the Cross out of habit when in fear at the manifestation of a demon, and the demon is immediately put to flight.

There is very little doubt that Julian at this stage is not in friendship with God, and yet a little sign of the cross still confounds the demons.  Imagine the power that the Sign of the Cross has from a faithful Christian!

My friends, there is a reason why certain policies wish to forbid the wearing of Catholic sacramentals at work, ban the mentioning of the Holy Name of Jesus, strip crucifixes out of every building and why the devil assails weak Christians to not make visible signs of the cross when among other companions.

God, through these Holy gifts confounds the demons and confuses their plots and wickedness.  Consider the great promises just to families who enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus?  Be assured that when God allows himself to become dethroned visibly by the taking down of Signs of Faith, by the passing of obscene and evil laws, or the persecution of the faithful that he is making manifest that protections and blessings are being removed.

So what is the state of Christianity with the rise of paganism?  My dear friends, it is better already if you resolve today to live an authentic Catholic life and do all that you can within your authority to honor God. Enthrone the Sacred Heart in your house, wear a crucifix in public, make bold signs of the Cross everywhere and constantly say the Holy Name of Jesus with great reverence.  The Pagan world did not stand a chance against the power of God that was with the 12 apostles, so let God arise and let his enemies be scattered!


Anonymous said...

Hello, I'd like to add an observation of why Paganism is reemerging.

Christianity use to take into account the culture of people in each unique country and recognize all nations are different. Today, many, many churches ignore the fact that culture of a nation's people is real and, in it's stead, force a "one-size-fits all" approach.

What made churches in the middle ages so successful is how they incorporated previous traditions as folklore. Very few traditional churches with that methodology remain, causing some church goers to defect to paganism where they feel a connection to their past and history.

It's sad to see what many churches have become; more akin to a business than a connection to God.

Anonymous said...

I was a Christian once and pagan now. Should you hear my words without moderation, you might learn something of wisdom in this regard. I sought, for quite a while, the church (body of Christ) as it must surely be beyond alteration and perversion. Yet, it is said, “be perfect as I am perfect,” I found only excuse to why worldly ways must make us succumb to some desire. As I read, “take up your cross,” I saw only those who sought comfort and longevity for their own.

I found that my principles and beliefs had died long ago in the church, yet Odin had not lost his grip on the world. I visited the Vatican. What did I see? Idols. I saw Zeus standing before me. I saw every manner of corruption brought forth from a pagan past. Still further, as I studied and learned, I found that Odin was in fact the basis for much of the faith. What stood before this merging of two cultures cannot be said, yet it was this disjointed faith that could not exist.

One god told me to forsake myself and this world, yet the other to be my best and protect this world. One god asked me to shield my eyes from knowledge or deeper search, the other to seek truth and wisdom above all else. Further, one god stood confident and said chose the god you wish, for each person has their own need and ability. Oddly, it is viewed that Christians are inferior, so there is no conversion or mission toward them. They are left to be sheep in the world, as they might never stand to face the world with conviction or wholeness.

I came to see that it was not myself that was led from the church astray. It was the church that had followed some false shepherd far from the path and deep into some strange forest. For a long time my prayers went without answer, yet once they had been productive and with a sense of closeness. As I woke from my sleep, I heard the voice again of my god. Stand proudly, do not kneel and beg before me, as he laughed at me. I realized that he did not listen or speak to me out of shame, not because I had somehow fallen from his favor in some other regard.

Now, my god answers these things. Here is how to reach toward perfection. Here is how to be brave and proud, while carrying your own cross. Here is how to accept and defeat death. Here is the way of live and there was the way of corruption and dying. As much as you would wish otherwise, it is the church that has become the “pagan.” Many who are pagan are united by one god, who truly does hold dominion and truth above all others. He simply has no fear that they might overshadow him or steal from his power, since his power is without question.

Noah Moerbeek said...


Odin was worshipped through human sacrifice. You say that he presents a way of perfection free from fear, and yet he and his followers had to offer the blood of human beings to appease him.

You have also presented a false dilemma, you said:

"One god told me to forsake myself and this world, yet the other to be my best and protect this world. One god asked me to shield my eyes from knowledge or deeper search, the other to seek truth and wisdom above all else."

Yet if this was your understanding of the religion of Christanity and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then it is was not correct.

It was Christ who said:
"the truth will set you free" John 8:32
"be perfect" Matthew 5:48

The Apostle James explicitly states to seek the wisdom that is from above and that faith is not enough but that we must relieve those who need food and clothing if we are to have a living faith.

What has Odin taught? What has Odin done? It sounds like to me that you have fallen in love with the idea of pagan and have blended it with Christian ideas to sweeten it. In the end it will not bring any peace or salvation though, only anxiety now and hell in the future.

Anonymous said...

I love how people bring up human sacrifice in Odin ' s name but mention nothing of how long ago this was done and how uneducated people were then as compared to our modern society. If you want to go that route then let's remember the Inquisition of the Dark Ages and the Spanish Inquisition. Blood offered to the Christ idol.

Josh said...

To the one who worships Odin, that is a false equivalency. Christ never demanded that heretics be persecuted. In fact He commanded us to love them and how them we are Christians by our love.
Odin on the other hand did demand blood sacrifices. He prizes battle, for only death in battle will get you to Valhalla.
I don't know how familiar you are with Early Medieval history, but let us now consider how a pagan priest counselled Edwin when Edwin asked if he should convert from faith in Odin to Christ: The present life of man upon earth, O King, seems to me in
comparison with that time which is unknown to us like the
swift flight of a sparrow through mead-hall where you sit
at supper in winter, with your Ealdormen and thanes,
while the fire blazes in the midst and the hall is warmed,
but the wintry storms of rain or snow are raging abroad.
The sparrow, flying in at one door and immediately out
at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry
tempest, but after a short space of fair weather, he im-
mediately vanishes out of your sight, passing from winter
to winter again. So this life of man appears for a
little while, but of what is to follow or what went before
we know nothing at all. If, therefore, this new doctrine
tells us something more certain, it seems
justly to be followed in our kingdom.

This is from a priest intimately familiar with Odin and Odin's desires.

Come back to Christ, the being claiming to be Odin you're worshipping is lying to you. Only in Christ can you be fulfilled.