Okay, now you have a better understanding, as you switch from Christian to Wicca, of what's going on.
Just knowing the reasons makes it better, doesn't it?
But there's more you can do, to get through the doubts and fears of this transition. Here's what I recommend...
Put Your God-Given Gift of Reason to Work
You can use the power of your mind to help yourself.
If you are from an extreme fundamentalist background, even the idea of thinking rationally about God smacks of blasphemy.
But God created us in His/Her own image, true? That must include intelligence. It certainly can't just be a physical resemblance, considering that God isn't physical in the first place!
So if God gave you the gift of reason, it seems extremely rude to refuse to use it.
Even ugly and useless gifts from your aunt get displayed when she's in the neighbourhood. And since God is always in the neighbourhood....
There are 2 main ways to use the power of your mind to overcome any lingering doubts.
The Authorities Don't Have a Monopoly on the Truth
Remind yourself -- as often as necessary! -- that no one has all the answers.
And no one can speak for God directly.
As much as some religious authorities like to tell you they -- and they alone! -- know what God wants, it's impossible for a human to even comprehend something like that.
It helps if you remind yourself that no one has the direct line to God.
No one can say for sure what God thinks. Even the most enlightened person, even with the best of intentions and honesty, still filters their intuition through their own perspective and bias.
So all those judgemental Christians and other fundamentalists could be wrong!
Wouldn't that be a good joke? ; )
(In fact, I think it's true. There's a good case to be made that most Christians are today worshipping the "anti-Christ" -- that is, a religion that claims to be speaking for Christ, but in fact is leading people absolutely the opposite way.)
And the Bible, which is pointed to as an infallible authority, is anything but the unchanged, direct word from God.
There was never only one version of "the truth," or of "Christianity."
Elaine Pagels, in her groundbreaking examination of how politics and religion collided in the formation of the orthodox Church, The Gnostic Gospels writes,
We now begin to see that what we call Christianity--and what we identify as Christian tradition--actually represents only a small selection of specific sources, chosen from among dozens of others. Who made that selection, and for what reasons? Why were these other writings excluded and banned as "heresy"? What made them so dangerous? -- p. xxxviii
What is more, we learn from Origen himself [one of the founding fathers of Christianity] that as late as the early third century, there were different versions of Matthew's Gospel in circulation. Jerome, at the end of the fourth century, says the very same thing -- he even says that there were as many different texts as there were manuscripts of the Latin version! - p 142 [Emphasis mine]
...it is particularly important to remember that the Bible books were never "written" in any normal, modern sense.
… once written, they became subject to the usual human proclivities of tampering, altering, and religious skullduggery of many kinds. The fact that they met with this treatment not only is admitted by historians of Christianity in its early stages, as we have seen, but is boasted of by the scribes and some of the Church Fathers, who thus resorted to unholy means to achieve holy ends. - p 181 - 2 [Emphasis mine]
So what is being passed off as the absolute and singular truth, is a mishmash of ...
ancient pagan mythology,
spiritual mysteries, and
with just a dash of something that may or may not be historically factual.
[Jesus] did not exalt himself, not even above the animals. He did not claim to speak on behalf of God or represent the only source of divine wisdom. … And he did not claim to possess a monopoly on the truth. - p 238
If Jesus himself did not claim this, how can we believe anyone else who does? Remind yourself of human fallibility, particularly when it comes to matters of divinity.
What Kind of God Is God?
Another thing that helps overcome the fear is a dose of good ol' common sense.
If God was as petty, vindictive, and tyrannical as the fundamentalists make Him out to be, He wouldn't be much of a supreme being, would He?
He'd be more like, well, Hitler!
This is especially true when you take into consideration the reality (discussed above) that no one can know for certain what God wants. When everyone who claims to know the rules differs from everyone else's rules, how could poor limited humans ever discern the Truth?
How could we be judged and punished, if we don’t even know the rules? Not fairly nor compassionately, that's for certain.
Could it really be true that the Supreme Divine Creator of All is no better than the worst of humanity?
It just doesn't make sense, when you think about it.
Plus, it doesn't add up.
Why would such a small-hearted God create everything with such beauty, in such abundance? Why the Earth, which gives us everything we need and everything that makes our hearts sing?
These are the acts of a generous, loving deity. The kind of God Jesus always talked about.
As Rex Weyler writes in The Jesus Sayings: A Quest for His Authentic Message,
What we learn about Jesus' idea of god in this prayer [the Lord's Prayer] is that a sacred god, like a compassionate parent, will provide necessities, help the honest seeker find the kingdom, and forgive shortcomings, especially for those who do likewise. - p 225 - 6
This is God, Abba, the loving Father, of Jesus.
Many Christians today claim to follow Jesus, but follow the Old Testament version God -- jealous, vindictive, dictatorial, blood-thirsty.
Those who know the Divine best aver that God is infinite love, bliss, peace. Nowhere in that kind of person, let alone deity, is there room for the fury of an "offended God."
Think about it for yourself. What makes sense?
What does the God in your heart feel like?
As you become more familiar with the Divine who lives at the altar of your Heart, the fear of a vengeful deity will evaporate.
Let Jesus Guide You
As much as I'm skeptical of Christianism, many Wiccans do honour Jesus. Is that surprising? When we get down to the root of what Jesus really has to teach us, he's a wonderful guide.
The trick is to get down to the root of it.
What Would Jesus Do?
It can make a world of difference, when you ask yourself, What would Jesus do? The real Jesus, not the Biblical one with all the lies put into his mouth.
In other words, if you're worried about offending Jesus/God by following a different religion, explore for yourself what Jesus really taught, and what Christianity was supposed to be about.
There are a lot of books these days, digging for the truth of Jesus' message, underneath all the manipulations of ecclesiastical authorities. One of the best is The Jesus Sayings: A Quest for His Authentic Message by Rex Weyler.
In it, Weyler digs through the layers of misinterpretations, poor translations, and outright fabrications that the Bible has gone through, to determine what Jesus is likely to have really said.
And what is the authentic message of Jesus? According to the research of what can be actually attributed to Jesus, it's fairly simple:
Reject spiritual rule-makers and find the light within you.
Go out and help others.
If this is the case, you have nothing to fear by leaving the priests and their false doctrine. As Jesus said, by your fruits you shall be known.
These teachings are inherent in any true spiritual path, including Wicca Spirituality. There is no truly spiritual person who could deny that these are universal commandments for humanity. Ironically, by following Wicca Spirituality, you could be a better Christian than the Christians who would judge you as "fallen"!
The Divine judges not by what you profess to believe, what rules you adhere to, or what rituals you participate in. The Divine knows you by how you live and how you treat others. If you live a good and moral life and seek to know the Divine within your own heart, God is satisfied.
With that as your guide, no matter what religion you follow, you can't go wrong.
Even Jesus said as much.
Read The Pagan Christ
This book is a must-read for Christians and ex-Christians who want more than empty ritual and blind faith.
And that's what brings a lot of people from the established religions over to Wicca: that crying out of the soul for something...
deeper and more meaningful,
that is expressed in every aspect of life, not just a weekly religious meeting,
that creates personal experience and relationship with the Divine, rather than mere belief or academic, intellectual "relationship,"
that honours nature, life, and the feminine as well.
Tom Harpur's The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light explores the spirituality underneath the doctrine, which is a revelation on its own.
Perhaps even more relevant to Christians becoming Wiccan, though, he shows that the roots of Christianity are Pagan.
And the only reason Pagans are maligned by the Church is to cover up this fact. The Pagan Christ goes a long way toward healing the gulf between Christianity and other religions. And as Harpur states, we will never have peace on earth until this happens.
The Pagan Christ points out the value of nature-based religions, and spirituality that honours the divine spark in every being (rather than, say, the deification of one man, at the expense of everyone else's divinity).
In other words, as he states bluntly and repeatedly, Paganism is the original foundation of everything taught in the Bible.
I wish I'd had this book to read when I was just "coming out" as a Witch. It would have made my transition a lot smoother. It would have inspired me with confidence.
I think this would be an excellent starting point for anyone interested in Christian Wicca.
It removes the problem of "switching religions" entirely!
Get to Know God Yourself
Regardless of your fears and doubts, wholeheartedly pursue God in whatever form works for you! As your relationship with the Divine builds, you will come closer to seeing with God's perspective. Then it will all be made clear.
Fear can't live in the same place as wisdom, any more than darkness can persist when you turn on the light.
As you begin to perceive the Divine for yourself, those fears will naturally evaporate. When you know the Divine personally, you don't need to fear that She is vengeful or bloodthirsty.
You will know that Her love for you is infinite and independent of anything you might do.
Keep turning to the Divine. Even offer all your fears and uncertainties and everything else to the Divine.
S/He gave you the ability to feel those things, and even though it may not feel like it, they are actually gifts. So you can offer them on the altar of your heart.
And pray for greater ability to perceive truth.
Now you can see why Christianity and Wicca can be practiced at the same time.
There are many people -- a growing number, it seems -- who practice what they call Christian Wicca. You can honour and even follow Jesus, and still be Wiccan. Most Witches I know do respect Jesus' teachings. I hope you can see this shining through these articles.
In case I'm not being clear, my point is this...
Far from putting your soul in peril, by practicing Wicca Spirituality, you are actually following Jesus' teachings more closely than the vast majority of Christians.
I have every confidence that if Jesus were alive today, he would agree with most, if not all, of Wicca Spirituality. Perhaps not the old Wiccan religion, but certainly the spiritual practice of Wicca as described in this website and by many great Wiccans and Witches.
And I also have no doubt that he would be aghast at those who claim to follow his teachings, while doing the opposite of what he taught.
If you could ask him, I think Jesus would say Wicca is closer to his truth than what much of what currently passes for Christianity.
Part 3 of this article shows why.
With Bright Blessings,