Monday, April 21, 2008

Pagan elements in Christianity

The Christian faith regularly blends pagan ideas and practices in their beliefs. There are many advantages as well as disadvantages in this blending of elements.

One of the advantages to blending pagan elements into the Christian faith is the audience that can be reached. Back when Christianity was developed, most people were pagan. In order to make them understand the religion, the early Christians had to tie in elements of the Pagan religions. It would be ridiculously difficult for the people to understand a completely new religion. They had to mix their beliefs in with the beliefs of the common people. Most people don’t enjoy a new religion being thrown in their face. Mixing up the religion, making it more casual, reaches more people. Think about it: who would you rather tell you how to live a good life? A stuffy priest in a cloak, or a down-to-earth preacher in blue jeans? The latter is one that most people can relate to, the common guy next door.

The main disadvantage of this would be that mixing in too many of the pagan practices can dilute the religion and make it difficult for the religion to be pure. It shies away from what the early Christians believed. The more you dilute down the beliefs, the more different types of denominations will develop, which is exactly what has happened today. Nobody really knows what the true religion really is, everyone just has their own idea.

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