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?