“Living in a pre-Christian age”

An interesting story from the website Catholic online regarding Paganism in our modern society. While the rhetoric talks of converting a Pagan to Christianity some of the more subtle items in the article are of note.

Written by Deacon Keith Fournier the article describes this era in society as a time in which the Christian churches must win over the hearts and minds of others- particularly mentioned was Pagan (exact meaning not stated) believers. He admitted that the Christian church could no longer simply expect people to follow their faith.

Another interesting item was the description of the conversion of Justin- an individual who moved from Paganism to Christianity. The article describes how Justin did much searching for his belief system: studying Greek philosophers, investigating various religious beliefs, and openly listening to the views of others. Eventually, according to the article, Justin converted to Christianity.

The moral I think is important for this forum is the fact that individuals like Justin actively search out their path, instead of simply accepting blindly the views of others. It is easy to follow the spiritual path of those around you- for acceptance is a core societal goal. However, for those of us who feel that the ‘mainstream’ faiths do not fit we have the courage to travel our own path. I do not object to others holding firm Christian faiths- I do object to those individuals not feeling it necessary to accept mine.

Until next time,

Garrettlonewolfe

Link to the story: http://www.catholic.org/homily/yearoffaith/story.php?id=51198

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2 thoughts on ““Living in a pre-Christian age”

  1. The story of Justin, Martyr’s conversion from Paganism to Christianity is common in Catholicism, but fails to make a critical distinction: Justin’s status as a Pagan, at that time, was probably more societal than religious. In his writings, when he disparaged any former beliefs, he spoke to Greek “customs” far more than religious beliefs. To call it a “conversion” may be a little bit of a stretch. Also, Deacon Fournier fails to elaborate on some of the known reasons that Justin’s “…hunger for truth was not satisfied.” From Justin’s own writings, we know that he found one teacher was more interested in collecting his fees than teaching philosophies, and another would have required he learn music and geometry before focusing on philosophy (which was his primary interest).

    So, as you say, the article you reference has, whether intended or not, has extolled the practice of considering multiple sources in order to best select a personal philosophy.

  2. Thank you Druweid. As we are often made aware that, either consciously or unconsciously, those who choose to use such stories as evidence often leave out very relevant facts and take things ‘out of context’ to suit their needs. There are many in the world of spirituality who would look to mislead, therefore we must gather information from multiple sources before making a decision.

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