The biggest question I get as a pastor and priest, and a multi-faith person, is “How do you reconcile your Christianity with Wicca?” The quick and confusing answer is: I don’t. The more detailed and hopefully less confusing answer is this: When I was in seminary, I came to a point where I realized that […]
When I started to train for open water swimming again a couple of years ago, I decided it would be in my best interest to become a US Masters Swimming (USMS) member. This was mostly because a lot of open water events are only open to USMS members (for liability/insurance reasons), but there are a […]
Monday, 21 November 2016 (in response to this post)
I can honestly say that I’m not “just” Christian. That I can answer right away and with certainty. So, I can say that I am a Christo-Pagan if by “Christo” one means a person whose religious practice includes doing my best to adhere to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the one also known as Christ, and if by “Pagan” one means a person who worships or is devoted to other, non-Abrahamic gods.
I am a devotee of Antinoüs, the deified lover of Emperor Hadrian. Additionally, I’m cultivating a relationship with the Tetrad++, a six-being group deity that transcends gender. I’ve had experiences with the Morrighan, though I’m uncertain if it’s right for me to say at this point that I’m a devotee of hers or that she is my matron.
My formal Pagan practice is Wiccan in format. That said, I’m also a practitioner of chaos magick. So, there are times when my worship is highly unritualized and seemingly casual. Forms of prayer that I’ve seen used by the Ekklesía Antínoou also move me. So though I’m an ordained Wiccan priest, it could be argued that I’m somewhat of an eclectic Pagan.
Then, there’s the seemingly most significant challenge to my status as a Christian: the fact that I’m a borderline Satanist (my second-born scoffs at the qualifier “borderline”). I have had many positive and beneficial interactions with The Adversary, so much so that I don’t see him as adversarial toward me. I’m certainly an adversarial theologian. In fact, I had developed such a reputation at my former seminary for being an adversarial theologian that when I told one of my cohort that I had borrowed The Satanic Bible from the seminary library he asked in all seriousness, “Oh! Are you reading it devotionally?”
But, back to identifying as Christian. Do I believe that Jesus was the Son of God? Yes, but I believe all people are the beloved children of God. That said, I don’t believe in substitutionary atonement, that in three hours on a cross Jesus somehow atoned for all the sins of humanity. And I know I’m not alone among Christians, even among Christian clergy, who reject this particular belief. So, that alone doesn’t interfere with my call to Christian ministry. For me, it’s more Jesus’ teachings about love and kindness and mercy and justice (especially social justice) that are important. I’m not concerned for my immortal soul. I’m much more concerned about suffering here in this life. I want to help alleviate the suffering of others, if I can.
And, there’s nothing that says the only way I can help alleviate that suffering through Christian ministry. That said, I have encountered other trans and queer persons who want to be a part of Christian community. Why shouldn’t I be a priest for Christ so that I help can bring Christian ministry into my own marginalized communities?
This past Sunday at Grace North Church, Rev. John Maybry mentioned in his sermon that the Messiah was a “proprietary” part of Judaism. This is one of the reasons why it was so odd that the Gentiles were proclaiming Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah. Why would those who were not Jews be so […]
It’s Sunday, 3 January, and I’m looking back at the previous year. A lot has happened this past year. In January, I got down on one knee in a dog park in San Mateo to present Anne with a “ring” of beads on elastic string, asking her to marry me. The following month, the two […]
In this episode we talk to Elly Hadaway who is a musician, Druid, and Quaker, who is disabled. We talk about the intersections between Druidism and Quakerism, accessibility and sometimes lack thereof, in the pagan community, and her recently released EP “Tell Me Where the Ocean Went” (which you can buy through the BandCamp link below). […]
In the last few days I’ve seen a lot people in several forums say things like “you can’t call yourself a Christian and practice witchcraft” or “you can’t call yourself a Christian and practice traditions from other religion’s holidays.” The typical reason given is that it’s somehow evil if you do. I’ve heard similar things from […]
In this episode we talk to Matthew Becker who used to be a minister in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), a conservative denomination of the Lutheran church that does not ordain women. We talk about Matt’s personal growth in the LCMS, how he came to question the more conservative doctrines of the denomination (specifically […]
It’s a little before 9:00 PM, Pacific Time, and I’m listening to music at my computer using YouTube. I’d thought of doing some more work on the third draft of my second novel, when the enormity of the Transgender Day of Remembrance suddenly hit me. I feel so fucking powerless in this world where the […]
I normally invite the Divine into my rituals, giving the deities and spirits the option to refuse if they don’t want to work with me. I never command them. Until this morning, as I stood in the ICU next to the bed my wife was still in. Facing roughly to the north, I silently went […]