Sunday, January 17, 2016

THE APPEAL OF POLYTHEISM/PAGANISM





Apologist Douglas Groothuis writes that polytheism had been discredited in the modern world:

·       "Polytheism had been suppressed and then presumed dead in the modern world." (Christian Research Journal)

However, it has revived in the last few decades. Why? The late Margot Adler, a self-proclaimed pagan, explained:

·       “They had become Pagans because they could be themselves and act as they chose, without what they felt were medieval notions of sin and guilt. Others wanted to participate in rituals rather than observe themselves.” (Drawing Down the Moon)

Pagans/polytheists find a single monotheistic God too imperialistic or coercive. Such a God, a Creator, requires us to live by His requirements. Hence, the sin and guilt when we refuse.

In contrast, paganism allows us to pick-and-choose among many different God's or spirits. It also gives us the freedom to believe what we want. This puts us in the driver's seat:

·       “Polytheism is…characterized by plurality…and is eternally in unresolvable conflict with social monotheism, which in its worst form is fascism and in its less destructive forms is imperialism, capitalism, feudalism and monarchy.”

Monotheism deprives us of our autonomy. Therefore, it defies the spirit of our age where everything is permissible. This is the world of moral relativism, in which polytheism exerts its appeal. But is it true? Truth is also imperialistic and has little appeal in such a world:

·       "It seems like a contradiction to say that I have a certain subjective truth; I have experienced the Goddess, and this is my total reality. And yet I do not believe that I have the one, true, right, and only way. Many people cannot understand how I find Her a part of my reality and accept the fact that your reality might be something else. But for me, this is in no way a contradiction, because I am aware that my reality and my conclusions are a result of my unique genetic structure, my life experience and my subjective feelings…This recognition that everyone has different experiences is a fundamental keystone to Paganism; it’s the fundamental premise that whatever is going on out there is infinitely more complex than I can ever understand. And that makes me feel very good.” (Adler affirmatively quoting a pagan priestess)

Why should this perplexing world make her "feel very good?" Well, in this truth-less pagan world, no one can tell her that she's wrong. No place for guilt or sin.

But won't this lead to social chaos and disintegration? Can a world where everyone has their own "truth" lead to community and punitive sanctions against crime? Absolutely not!

Polytheism is now alive and well, but the West is disintegrating and polarizing. A shared truth had been the glue, but it is now dissolving. God help us!

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