a long time I had an issue as to whether or not to tell my brother and his wife (Calvary Chapel Christians) that I had become
Pagan after 22 years of being a Christian. (I became Pagan 7 years ago.) They still don't know. I wanted to tell them, but
I had a run in with a Christian friend who became very vicious after I told her I had become Pagan. This is not the first
time I've been subjected to this kind of treatment in this capacity. I'm sorry, but it taught me some things. Number one,
don't answer anyone's questions about Paganism unless they are really and truly searching, or questioning their belief system
and are really and truly curious about yours. If all they want to do is start an argument or try to blast your beliefs and
condemn you for them, walk away and leave them to their mind set. This was not a pretty exchange, and I found myself getting
defensive and lashing back. Not a good thing. It was time to end it and I did so. She got even more vicious in her attacking
my beliefs, and putting the attack under the banner of 'God's love'. Sorry. Found that one hard to swallow. Again, it wasn't
the first time I'd been attacked for this. So, if anything, my 'need' to tell my brother and his wife has officially been
killed off. I'm hiding my pentacle around them and keeping my beliefs to myself. I've pretty much had it in that area. The
second thing I learned from this was very liberating. I was trying to defend my beliefs to her, when I really didn't need
to. Her arguments did nothing to change my mind back to her way of thinking. What she said, what she believed did nothing
to cause a detriment to my beliefs. I still believe we are all one, still heading for the same destination but by different
routes and paths. Her beliefs are necessary for her and that is fine. I just had a problem with how she was attacking me and
making fun of my beliefs, but...I've done the same to Christians, not to their face, but in my heart and to other Pagans.
(Believing that I had come from the Christian path, I had earned the right to say what I wanted and how.) With this last argument,
I was sort of reaping what I've sown within me. It all was a heavy and much needed reality check and in a way I'm glad it
happened, for that reason if nothing else. I learned a lot from it. I wish her health and wellness and blessings, but unfortunately
that bridge has been burned, from her end, although I could have lit a few sparks from mine, too. There just didn't seem to
be a point in pursuing it. Plus, she and I haven't talked in over ten years, so this was really nothing lost here, only the
potential for a rekindled friendship.
All in all the Universe gave me a good ass-whupin' and told me to get my head
on straight about this sort of thing. I had no choice but to heed the call.
friend of mine passed away on December 19th. She and I had not talked in 6 years since her moving to South Carolina. She never knew I had become Pagan. She was moving and I didn't see the need to tell her. She was already distancing
herself from me because of my stand on Gay rights. The news that I had completely walked away from something she and I shared
as 'Christian sisters' would have driven the nail in the coffin of our slowly dying friendship. Back then I was just a new
born Pagan, had no real course in my direction, moving with the wind, sampling many philosophies, trying to find the one that
resonated within me(Wicca ulitmately picked up the gauntlet, especially Celtic and Egyptian themes.) And so I began to study,
research, sought out the Bible and found what ended up getting me to walk away from the church and the Bible. I have no problem
with Jesus the Christ or the Holy Spirit, just how the church represents them. Sorry, but there it is.
to the memorial service yesterday...at a Calvary Chapel. My old stomping grounds. It was a nice service,
focusing on my friend's leaving her earthly body for her home in heaven at the Lord's feet. But...everyone in her family seemed
to be Christian and they wanted everyone to know again and again and again that if they didn't know Christ they better make
it right with God soon or they could die in their sins. Again...and again...and again. Granted, my friend would probably have
wanted it that way, but all I could think was, "If one more person comes up and says one more thing about accepting Christ..."
And of course they did, and of course I sat there and bit my tongue. Ok...now that I've got many of you angry, let me continue
with what lesson this experience taught me and let's see if the anger can't subside from both of us long enough to see some
peaceful resolution here, okee-dokie?
So, there I was listening to the testimonies, listening to the worship songs,
hearing the pastor turn the service into an altar call, and me biting my tongue through it all. But, she was my friend (Yes,
I did wear my pentacle outside my shirt, if they blinked they didn't say anything) and I did want to be there for the sake
of a very long Christian friendship we shared.
So, what was the lesson? It came to me this morning. After my experience
with Christians in the past and how they deal with me, I realized something last time with the attack I received, and
There's a song by Laura Powers: "Shine Love" It has a line..."Fighting shadows only makes them grow."
In a sense it's like the roots of the tree that Harry Potter and his crew in Sorcerer's Stone had to combat. If they relaxed
they eased through the roots. If they fought back they would be defeated. It's tough to relax. It's tough to not stand up
and defend your stance. It's tough to know that others still fight shadows they don't understand. I didn't understand, even
after I became Pagan. I didn't understand until just this past year. I'm starting to.
The roots and shadows are slipping
away as a result. If what I believe is what I believe, then I must remember to allow myself to believe it. My friend from
my other post, the one who argued with me, my realization was that nothing she said had made any dent in my beliefs. Her arguments
could not turn my head or my feet from the path I've chosen. And what are these paths? These are simply structures of belief
that help get us through the day, the night, the weeks, months, years and our lives. They give us peace, hope, and love. For
a long time I did not have love for Christians. For a very long time I was angry and felt betrayed by what I had been taught.
That was my shadow, my roots that I had to stop fighting back before I could slip through them and come to peace. This is
not saying I'm some saint, far from it. What I am saying is that after yesterday's reliving of my past Christian walk, I came
to realize my insights even faster. Their beliefs are theirs. Their beliefs get them through their life. It got my friend
through hers. It makes them happy and joyful. I think that they are wrong in trying to make others believe the same way they
do, but then I'm wrong to try and make them see my point of view. We are one. All of us. It doesn't matter what name we give
ourselves as far as our spiritual path. It doesn't matter to whom we serve. My opinion is that we serve the same God-Force.
The same creative energy and spirit that moved matter into being via sound, is the same God that Christians pray to and that
I pray to. I just call him and her a different name, look at them differently, but in the end the driving point is still the
same...love. Unconditional love and peace and hope for eternity. Christians will tell me that I believe in a false God. That's
all right. They can say that, it's what they're taught to believe. I believe differently. I chose to question. I chose to
doubt, because at that point in my life there was no other choice for me.
If a Christian comes to me and preaches,
I will say to them very peacefully: "I know things that you do not know. I cannot tell you why I chose to walk away from Christianity
and the Bible because you're not really wanting to know why. You want to try and save me from this path. And that's all right.
I appreciate your concern. But...I know things. I studied. I questioned and I studied some more. I learned things. I saw things.
I experienced things. If you could come to me sincerely questioning what you have been taught to believe, I can tell you,
then. But it is not my duty or right to throw rocks in front of you on your path to try and stumble you and make you crash
face first into the ground. I transitioned between beliefs very smoothly because I was ready to question. I had doubts and
the doubts were voiced and the Holy Spirit led me to where I'm at now (Many would say I just blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Again,
that is ok for them to believe that, too. In which case there is no need to pray for me because I just damned myself without
any hope of salvation in their eyes.) My words to you would be simple. Your beliefs are yours. And like my friend who passed
away, she treasured her beliefs, her joy in Jesus the Christ was sincere and real to her. She lived a life of joy and peace
and love. My lesson was this...your beliefs are yours and are to be treasured. My beliefs are mine and I treasure them just
as much. I will not answer your questions to me unless you are searching through your own transition. There is no need to
argue, no need to hate. No need to be angry. Live...and let live. Be it unto your God, or be it unto my God and Goddess. Unconditional
love is just that...unconditional.