Today I had an incident on my personal Facebook page in which a well meaning Christian woman befriended me, and tried to send me a message from her God. Now there was a time I would have gone totally ballistic and raked her across the coals for daring to try and send me a message from her God. But, because I am truly trying to be a Peaceful Rainbow Warrior whose words do not inspire anger or hatred, I pulled my Pagan horns in and actually managed to tell her very polititely, but also very firmly that although I respected her path, I had a different one, did not accept messages from the Christian God, and did not consider myself one of his people.
I realize that Christians are taught from a very early age that converting others to Christianity is part of what they are suppose to do as Christians. What the Christians have to understand is that the path I follow has the exact opposite attitude when it comes to converting others. I am not one who believes in Sin. But, to me, trying to convert another person from the spiritual path that feels best for them is the closest thing to a Sin there is for me. Therefore, in many respects, Christians and I are always going to be at odds when it comes to the issue of converting others. However, as I try to go gracefully into my Crone Phase, I am seeing that doesn't have to be something that makes it impossible for us to still get along with each other.
I can, as I did today remain polite but firm when it comes to Christians trying to convert me. If the Christian backs off, and accepts that converting me is not an option, and that I do not consider myself one of the Christian God's people, then there is no reason we can't get along, and even be friends on and/or off Facebook or any other social media site. If the Christian will not back off and show me the same respect I am trying to show her or him, then I will gracefully walk away from them.
Those that can hang with me will find that although I am purely Pagan, I am not an evil or bad person. If they can hang with me on social media sites they will see all kinds of Wiccan, Pagan, and Native American stuff. Along with some funny, and yes at times, downright salacious stuff. The one thing they won't see me doing on or off the web is trying to convert them, or anybody else to my path.
I have several Christian friends that sometimes put up stuff that makes me wince. The way I figure it, that's okay because some of what I put up is probably making them wince as well. But you see that's what this whole thing about getting along is really all about. It's not about just getting along with people who share your views and spiritual beliefs. Hell, getting along with someone like that is easy. The hard part is about getting along with those whose views are radically different from yours. That's the part that sometimes challenges us the most. It is my desire to become someone who rises to that challenge, and hopefully gently encourages others to do the same.
Blessed Be to ALL reading these words.
I was recently told I needed "Get Right" with God because he was the only One True God, and there are only two kinds of people in the world, those who are of God, those who are of the Devil. Now before those words were said to me I cared a great deal for the person who said them. Unfortunately, anyone telling this Proud Pagan things like that is bound to destroy any friendship whatsoever between us because I find it that insulting to be preached to in such a manner. No, I do not follow the Christian path. But, that does NOT make me of the Devil, or even a bad person. And I now find myself wondering how many of the other Christians I know, and consider friends secretly feel I am of the Devil because I have chosen a different path than them. If this is how you really feel about me, that I am something evil and of the Devil, then please, unfriend me on FB, unfollow me on Pinterest and Twitter, step out of my life, and go your Christian way in peace. My Purely Pagan Heart harbors no evil, I don't kiss the Devil's ass, or belong to him in ANY way shape or form.
The spiritual path I follow absolutely positively forbids any attempt at converting anyone to this path I have chosen. It also teaches me not to insult someone by telling them they are of the Devil because they don't follow my path. I understand if you are a Christian your bible teaches you these words. It also tells you suffer a witch not live. However, since most of my Christian friends don't seem terribly eager to burn, hang, or otherwise kill me, I am assuming they have somehow managed to overcome those words, and allow me to live in peace. I wish those of you reading this who are Christians would somehow find in your hearts to overcome the urge to quote other words from the bible that by their very nature are inclined to cause hurt, heartache, and separation from others who do not follow your faith.
We are not living in Old Testament times. We are ALL living in a world where people of many religions often find themselves interacting with others not of their faith. I understand the One True God religions stress theirs in the only path to heaven. But, please understand I do not believe in the Christian version of Heaven, or any version of it. I'm not trying to get to a heaven I don't believe in here. What I'm trying to do is help change the world enough so ALL those upon this earth can live peacefully and lovingly with each other. If we can do that, then people, no matter what your religion, that would truly be heaven on earth.
Blessed Be To All