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Can a person be both a Christian and a Wiccan?

Resolving the deity questions


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Resolving the deity questions:

Christianity teaches the existence of a single God. 1 But most Christian denominations teach that God has a different internal structure. Their God is a Trinity, composed of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This was established by a majority vote of the bishops at the Council of Nicea in 325 CE and some subsequent councils.

Many Wiccans (perhaps most) also believe that there is a single ultimate deity which/who is unknowable. A common Wiccan saying is that "All Gods are the ONE GOD." This deity is sometimes referred to as "The All" or "The One" and is often visualized as having two aspects: a male facet who is called the God and a female component, the Goddess.  

  • About the male aspect of deity: There were about 40 gospels and dozens of letters and essays written by the early Christian church. However, only four gospels and various letters were accepted into the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). Those four tell of a partly unified early Christian movement circa 70 to 100 CE whose members regarded Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) to be the Son of God. Other documents from the primitive Christian movement -- which never made it into the official canon -- describe a divided Christian movement. They explain that, after Jesus was executed by the Roman Army, (circa 30 CE) and a few  years before Paul returned to organize his churches (circa 37 CE), Jesus' disciples organized a reformed Jewish movement that is normally referred to today as the Jewish Christians. They regarded Jehovah, as described in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), to be a single, indivisible God. They regarded Jesus as fully human, and a Jewish Messiah -- a combination religious, political, and military leader. Details are lacking, but some early Christians may well have regarded Wisdom as a type of female supernatural presence who was with God at the creation of the world - a type of Goddess. A Wiccan might consider these non-canonical gospels and writings to be accurate and adopt beliefs similar to those of the early Jewish Christian movement. Wiccans might thus associate Jesus with the male aspect of "The One."
  • About the female aspect of deity: Some Wiccans and liberal Christians believe that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. The marriage ritual at Cana described in the Gospel of John may have referred to their marriage. They honor Mary as the Goddess of Christianity -- as representing the female aspect of "The One." Others substitute or include:
    • Miriam, the mother of Jesus;
    • Sophia, the Goddess of wisdom who is described in a number of places in the Hebrew Scriptures as a separate, female personality;
    • Mother Earth; and/or
    • Asherath, a Goddess worshiped by many ancient Hebrews. 2

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Considering Jesus as a wise teacher:

Throughout the past 2 millennia, there have been many beliefs among Christians about the nature of Jesus of Nazareth. He has been considered by various Christian and secular groups as:

  • A religious King,
  • A God,
  • A Lord,
  • An itinerant rabbi in Palestine during the first century CE,
  • A native healer,
  • A gifted prophet,
  • A spirit being who only appeared to be a human, and
  • various combinations of the above.

This diversity of thought continues today:

  • Some progressive Christians believe that Jesus was the greatest of all of the Jewish prophets, but not the Son of God, and not a person within a Trinity.
  • Muslims believe that he was a great Prophet and teacher, second in stature only to Muhammed.
  • Most modern conservative and mainline Christians believe that he was God, one of three components of the Trinity (along with God and the Holy Spirit).

Many Wiccans view Jesus as a great teacher and prophet. So, one could be a Wiccan, believe that Jesus was a great teacher, and be in accordance with many believers in the early Jewish Christian movement, and with some progressive Christians today. Their deity could then be "The One" with a male and female aspect.


References

  1. J.C. Taylor, "A Christian Speaks on the faith and path of Wicca," See: www.paganpride.org/
  2. "The Cauldron and the Cross," at: http://www.thewhitemoon.com/ This site is apparently off line.

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Copyright © 1999 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update and review: 2008-NOV-12
Author: B.A. Robinson
Links updated: 2008-JAN-09

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