Musings of a Kitchen Witch had listed a set of questions in an article about Pagan Apologetics that Pagans should be able to answer in depth in response to inquiry. These are my responses.
1.) Do the Gods/Goddess/Lord and Lady love their followers?
I believe that some may while others may not. There are some Gods and Goddess that I hope never love me, for their love scares me to my bones. I feel that is it personal to each deity in question. As I do not give honour to all deities, my perspective is as an outsider. I feel that some Gods are indifferent, others are scornful, that the range of what the divine feels for their followers cross a broad range of human understand and emotions be it positive or negative.
2.) Why do you believe in unspecified Gods as Creators of the world, as opposed to the singular Creator proposed by the Bible?
For myself, I draw my religious belief from a wide variety of sources, one of which being the science of how the universe was created and I try to find what makes sense to me. I believe that our universe was created by at least Two, which became Many from which the stars were born and died and life began and has continued to this present day.
3.) Are the Gods immanent only, or immanent and transcendent?
Yes, no and maybe so. I see no reason why they can not be all that at the same time or that way one at a time. I dislike adding limitations to what the divine can do.
4.) Is it possible to reconcile Christianity with a Pagan path?
Reconcile means to settle, to resolve, to accept, account for. I feel that Christianity has already reconciled with Classic Paganism in the appropriation of traditions and holy sites. Is it possible for Christianity to reconcile with Modern Paganism, perhaps. There seams to be a yearning for a feminist spiritually expressed with devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus, the exploration of Sophia, the feminine aspect of YHWH and wisdom and with more women in the roles of spiritual authority as priests and preachers.
5.) What happens to non-Pagans after death?
Religiously, spiritually, it depends on the person and their belief system. Generally speaking, Paganism does not concern itself with non believers. Unlike most monotheistic religions, there is no place that non-Pagans are sent to after death if they do not follow one of the many paths to the divine.
6.) What happens to people who have done bad things after death?
It depends on that person’s beliefs. If that person was Pagan, it varies. Some believe in reincarnation, others believe this is the only life.
7.) What does honor mean, and how do you live an honorable life?
Honour. Most Pagan religions have some form of a code of conduct that dictates what it means to live an honourable life. Fore me, living an honourable life means doing my duty and doing what is right, just and loving.
8.) How do the Gods control natural phenomena outside of the country in which their worship originated? (e.g. Why does a Heathen in the US believe that if they pray to Thor to change the weather that he can do that when he was originally worshipped in Scandinavia?)
I do not believe in the divine being limited to a single place and time. I do not view the Gods as being part of a divine switchboard that we may call in our material requests. We may beg and plead with our Gods but the world operates on a well know set of laws which science is still discovering. If the Gods choose to make such a change, who’s to say that all of the divine did not work together, or even a part of the divine working to make such a change happen?
9.) Do you believe that the Christian God Yahweh exists?
Yes I do.
10.) Do you believe every religion has truth in it? If so, how do you reconcile your religion as truthful with others that contradict it?
No, I do not. I have found that there are some religions that as their core, their seed from which it’s doctrines and beliefs grow, are false and harmful. Not every religion is like that. I mostly view other religions as having a different take on the nature of the divine, much like having different eye witness accounts of a single event seen at the same time.
11.) Do you believe we evolved, or that there is Intelligent Design?
I believe in evolution as I understand it.
12.) Are the Gods real entities, faces of a single God and Goddess, or merely symbols through which you focus magical energies?
Yes, no, maybe so, all of the above and none. I really do not like putting limits on the divine. I rather deal with their own self expressed limits and my own limitations in understanding while accepting that limits are much like labels as they define a thing and in doing so, also restrict.
13.) If the Gods love you, why didn’t they die for you like Jesus did?
The matter of divine love is not an issue for Pagans as some Gods have died but not for the reasoning’s that Jesus did. Several come to mind, Dionysus who’s death is a part of his mystery, Odin who’s return to life brought the wisdom of the runes, The Oak and Holly Kings who’s death is part of the cycle of seasons, and nameless Gods who’s body in death gave birth to the world.