Tomorrow’s Guest Blog will be written by my friend, Holli Emore, who is a Pagan.

ImageBy Pagan, I don’t mean, as I once did when I used the word, someone who is not a Christian and who misbehaves a lot.  Though Holli grew up as a Christian, she nowadays identifies her faith as Paganism, and as far as I know, she doesn’t misbehave any more than the rest of us.  I like Holli, who is very good writer, and am proud to call her a friend.

 

For most of my adult life, I have been an Ecumenical sort of person.  Ecumenism is a semi-technical word describing conversation and interaction among those within the household of the Christian faith.  So Baptists, Quakers, Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Pentecostals, Methodists and Presbyterians are all Trinitarian Christian denominations.  When we worship together, that is called Ecumenical worship.

 

Interfaith conversations have always stretched me.  Hindus believe in many gods.  Unitarians believe, well, I’m not sure yet what they believe.  Jews and Muslims believe in One God, and say that Christians believe in Three Gods.  Mormons believe a lot of what Christians believe, then add on to their faith system an even Newer Testament, the Book of Mormon.  There are a lot of different faith systems in our world.  They can be overwhelming and confusing.

 

My purpose, in this blog, is not to explain other faith systems.  In fact, you could read Holli’s blog tomorrow and not have a clue she is a Pagan.  She chose to write about the Hmong people in North Carolina. 

 

But I wanted to say, up front and without apology, that my life the past forty years has become more and more inclusive about other people and their faith.  I no longer feel the need to be a guardian of orthodoxy.  I know what I believe, but I have learned to listen to other people.  Everybody I know, including me, is wrong is some of what they believe and what they do.  Lifelong growth is my goal. Learning from people with different life experiences is vital.

 

Holli Emore can teach me a lot.  So, thanks to Holli for her friendship and for adding to the variety and color of our lives.  Aren’t you glad we don’t all look alike and think alike?

 

Categories: Faith/Spirituality, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Tomorrow’s Guest Blog will be written by my friend, Holli Emore, who is a Pagan.

  1. I’ve come to consider myself both pagan and heathen.

    That understanding is based on the pre-christian meanings of those terms. Pagan is from the Latin “paganus” and merely meant “rural villager” or “country dweller.” Later, the Roman empire used the power of the church to condemn those who lived farther than most out in the country on the fringes beyond the reach of the empire. Those far flung country people didn’t pay much attention to the rules of the far away political forces interested in controlling their lives and the interest of the emperors in condemning the rural “pagans” had nothing to do with religion. The interest of any empire is always political subjugation — religion was merely the tool they used in this case. The lingering result is the tarnishing of a word that just meant “country folk.”

    A similar story for “heathen.” It referred to those unruly Scots who lived in the unsettled areas known as “heath.” These “heathens” were generally poor country folk who were considered wild country people by the empirical forces of an earlier day.

    By faith I am Christian. By conviction I tend to side with the plight of poor folk and country folk. Culturally I am both pagan and heathen. Those who know much at all about the little Galilean backwater known as Nazareth will realize that Jesus (the one who tended to affirm truth and goodness wherever he found them) was too.

    I eagerly await Holli’s contribution!

  2. Orey Gracey

    Isn’t real Christianity, basic Christianity as Pagan and Heathen as Holli says. Its the organized Church that has lost sight of Jesus in order to have a Christ with all the rubrics. Orey Gracey

    • Orey, Holli didn’t mention Paganism. I did in my introduction of her the previous day, and Don Durham mentioned it in his comment, but Holli’s blog was about the Hmong people, unless I missed something.

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