Home / News / Pastor of California Church sponsoring interfaith dialogue with Wiccans teaches tolerance to "concerned citizen": Wiccans covered by God's grace
Pastor of California Church sponsoring interfaith dialogue with Wiccans teaches tolerance to "concerned citizen":  Wiccans covered by God's grace

Pastor of California Church sponsoring interfaith dialogue with Wiccans teaches tolerance to "concerned citizen": Wiccans covered by God's grace

The pastor of Fairview Community Church has taken a leaf out of Pope Francis' book concerning grace--if God's grace covers everyone, including atheists and non-Christians, it covers Wiccans too.   Wicca is a federally recognized religion in America.  Its members either practice in groups (covens), or are solitary.   It is a nature centered religion that recognizes Deity as both male and female–God and Goddess, and from there Wiccans and Pagans follow their own chosen pantheons, or in the case of this one, simply God and Goddess. Besides being a grossly misunderstood religion–Wiccans and Pagans are often characterized as Satan worshippers who sacrifice animals even though there is no Satan in the Wiccan faith–and animals are considered to be as sacred as humans–the truth is Wiccans believe Satan to be a human created Christian construct and thus, not a part of their religion.  Some Wiccans don't like to be called witches, others are proud to reclaim the name from centuries of smear tactics by the Catholic church whose militaristic arm, the Inquisition, burned thousands at the stake for being different, non-Catholic, or who practiced herbalism, or healed people when male physicians could not–a person in Europe could be killed for being a witch for nearly any reason.  The European witchcraft hysteria was a disease that was spread to  early colonial America and erupted in 1692.  Christian magistrates responded to the witchcraft hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts, by sentencing innocent women and a man, some  young, some elderly, to be hanged (the man was pressed to death) as witches based on spectral evidence, European methods of witchfinding, and the hearsay and wild accusations of "devout" Christian neighbors.   (To experience what this would have been like had you been accused, you can experience it here courtesy of National Geographic).

Because of this negative perception of Wicca, Wiccans  as a minority faith in a nation of Christians who serve in the military had to fight for over ten years to get the right to put their religious symbol, a pentacle, on military gravestones when killed in action.  "The Wild Hunt" at Patheos.com explains:

In April of 2007 the Bush Administration agreed to a settlement that paved the way for approval of the Wiccan pentacle to be engraved on government-issued headstones and markers, bringing to an end a campaign that lasted a decade, one that saw casual anti-Pagan demagoguery morph into government policy. Nearly five years after that historic settlement, the number of grave markers with the pentacle emblem, according to iPad-formatted news magazine The Daily, has risen dramatically.

They do not tend to proselytize, or try to convert anyone to their religion. Yet in a nation that prides itself on religious freedom, the average Wiccan or Pagan, depending on the area in which they live and how inclusive their areas are, dare not walk down the street wearing their pentacle openly for fear of being fired from their jobs, and/or being discriminated against, and this antipathy against Wicca, fed by hundreds of years of superstition, fantasy and misinformation, has precluded meaningful national dialogue amongst Christians, Pagans and Wiccans.

Reverend Sarah Halverson has taken a step that no other pastor we at GodDiscussion know of has seemed to take–interfaith dialogue with Wiccans to learn more about Wiccan and Pagan traditions and beliefs.  When a "concerned citizen" expressed what was politely noted in the Costa Mesa Daily Pilot as "concern" (it was probably more like horror and outrage) over Wiccans being in a Christian church, Reverend Halverson didn't beat around the bush.  She printed the below letter in response:

Dear Concerned Christian Neighbor,

I want to genuinely thank you for your care and prayers for our church. I'm glad our sign caught your attention and made you stop and think.

I am not worried about your fears of me leading my church down the wrong path. We obviously have different beliefs about God.

That said, we believe that there is power in knowledge. We believe that our faith cannot be destroyed by learning about the faith of another. And ultimately, we believe that God and Jesus call us to be open, loving and tolerant (if not affirming!).

We also don't believe we'll go to hell because we have a Wiccan in our sanctuary and have a conversation about her faith.

And while we may seem incredibly radical to you, we're actually in line with a major Christian denomination: the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis just reminded us that Jesus challenged the disciples' intolerance of those who were different.

"Jesus broadens the horizon," the pope affirms. "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us … not just Catholics. Everyone! … Even the atheists! Everyone!"

So, you see, even the pope knows that God loves us and redeems us all. Therefore, the most important path is the path of righteousness: doing good deeds, caring for the poor, seeking justice and living peace.

If he's not worried, neither am I. But thank you for your concern and prayers.

I will reciprocate and pray for you. I'll pray that we might live in a community that values our differences and seeks to find our commonalities, that we will refuse to let our own ignorance cause us to live in fear of the other, and that we Christians can follow in Jesus' example.

Finally, perhaps you, like me, know very little about Wicca. If that is the case, I invite you to join us on Sunday morning for our Interfaith Dialogue Day to learn more about the tradition. I think that all of us will leave more enlightened than when we came in.

Sincerely,

A follower of that radical peacemaker, bridge-builder, justice seeker and bearer of love: Jesus, our brother and teacher

 

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • Diane Yoder

    I love that people keep downvoting this article because they don't like the message.

    • Kukye

      What that pagans and Wicked, er Wiccans don't like God?

  • disqus_uGeOR26rhH

    I think this is one of the best articles Ive read regarding Wicca

    • Sueychop

      Witches are under the control of Satan whether they admit it or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.w.morehead John W. Morehead

    This is a good faith effort on the church's part and I wish them well in their relationships and conversations with their Pagan neighbors in the way of Christ. I recommend two resources to help with this. The first is the book Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue (Lion, 2008), and the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy (www.religious-diplomacy.org/evangelichapter). Keep up the good work.

  • Jeanette Marrese

    And so the delusion begins . . .

    • Sueychop

      Yes it does. Spiritual Babylon, the whore of Babylon. The harlot that rides the beast.

  • Susan Borden

    Mat_7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    • Diane Yoder

      Well, since Wiccans are a minority, it seems Christians, who are the majority, would be going in the broad gate, and Wiccans the "strait" narrow gate. But that's just me.

      • Sueychop

        nah.

      • Jimbob

        Repent

      • Kukye

        The straight gate, OK? The Wicked, er Wiccans are entering the broad gate. Nothing about a narrow gate.

        • Diane Yoder

          The narrow gate is narrow because not everybody is entering it, moron. When floods of Christians turn into Wiccans, we'll have this conversation again.

  • Celtic Faery

    the only thing that I regret is the word wiccan. not all pagans are wiccan. not all witches are wiccan. that is the falacy. Wicca is a branch of paganism. much like methodist is a branch of Christianity. but it is the most well know path of witches because so much has had to be hidden due to bigotry and fear and persecution .

    I am a witch, I am a pagan, but I am not wiccan. I am celtic faery. it would be like combining all of the native american beliefs into one group. there are Cherokee, Navahjo, Lakota etc.

    But it is a start. the people who are down voting this article just do not want to admit or see that they do not have a special place with GOD. or a special way in. it is almost like when the second baby comes to a household. the oldest can get jealous. the only thing is,is that some of these faiths are far older than Christianity (wicca is not it is actually kinda young), but the example works.

    the pagan gods and goddesses were demonised when one culture decided to make theirs more important. and for some odd reason, that culture, although it never was a great culture seems to have been the one chosen. But there were many cultures who KNEW GOD by different names and ways.

    Do no mean to be preaching, just explaining. and I am so glad to see this dialogue. I donot hide what I am. but some have to to keep their jobs, family, homes . You have no idea of the bigotry and persecution out there in this civilized world that still exists, even here in America. kinda sad.

    • Tanya

      I appreciate where you're coming from, but the article is about Wicca specifically, not all Pagan religions.

    • Sueychop

      good luck in the near future.

    • Kukye

      Wow! Now I know the end is near…… So many people hating God coming out now. Just like in Sodomy & Gonorrhea times.

      • Diane Yoder

        Yes, because all people who are not Christians hate God. *rolls eyes* I guess magic is only confined and okay when your Jesus turns water into wine and magically makes bread and fish feed 5,000. I guess divination is only okay when your Israelites use the Urim and Thummin stones to determine God's will in things. (the Christian runes). I guess psychic ability is only okay when your prophets use it to speak for God. And I quote "Your children shall dream dreams, and have visions…"http://bible.org/question/how-did-urim-and-thummim-function

    • Jesus Rocks

      first. Methodist is an organizational designation that spun off from the chatholic church.
      As a follower of Jesus, we don't admit we don't have a special place with God…because we do…He tells us we do…OFTEN>>>
      We do have a very special way in… Jesus Says…"I am the way, the truth, and the life, No man comes to the Father but through Me" **Is that not a special way in? you can't get there through your wiccaness
      God adopts us as his own, but only when we goes through the Son, Jesus.
      We aren't jealous or your religion. We merely recognize the futility and inate "Ungodliness" of it, and want you to repent and have the same promise we have.
      Every follower of Jesus (don't let my smart mouth make you think I am not) wants you to be saved like they are…because if you aren't, you will be left behind, and it's sad…
      Personally, I say *sorry about your bac luck, we tried to tell you*.
      The second baby? C"MON!!!!! Your words trivialize what we believe because you are acting like a little brat for not getting the attention you want..
      As for faiths older than Christianity, the only one is Judaism…Where do you get this stuff??????
      As a follower of Jesus, i don't persecute you. I don't even exclude you based on your beliefs or lifestlye… GOD DOES!!!!! He says you can come to the party, but you have to RSVP through Jesus.
      We are merely being obedient by separating ourselves from those who would attempt to marginalize our God (like you just did) and our faith.
      The female pastor who is allowing a wiccan a voice in her church is either confused due to deception, or attempting to deceive others on purpose. Either way it's unacceptable.
      You can't take part of the bible you like, and toss away the rest, keeping only what you are comfortable with… you have to take the whole thing, or nothing.
      any other way kinda just makes the whole Idea of an all knowing God seem ridiculous, because then you would know better than God, right?
      Sure, invite the witch to church…to learn and have a chance to repent and know Jesus…Just don't give her the puplit.
      Just a few thoughts I have

      • Diane Yoder

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz *blinks sleepily" Longest comment ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lonni-Norton/886145315 Lonni Norton

    "Interfaith Religion"…the apostate "church" of the end of the age.
    Contrary to O'Leary's summation, that people are reacting in "fear", the truth is people know that the Wiccan religion doesn't worship God as God nor Jesus as the Lord and Savior. Their non-belief in the reality of satan, in effect, calls God a Liar. What else is there to know? And that goes for other self-proclained religions who do the same. Why cosy up to someone with whom you have nothing in common regarding spiritual matters? Jesus said "come out from among them and be ye separate". That isn't "fear", it's obedience to the Word of God. And…..the Pope is wrong too. What we are to do in our "conversations" with non-believers is share the gospel with them. If they refuse then we are to walk away. It is written.

    • Diane Yoder

      Why are all people supposed to worship the Christian God? There are seven major world religions, and no one says a word about the other religions besides Christianity. I think you and people like yourself need to get used to the idea that Christianity is not the only religion in the world.

      • Sueychop

        There is only one God, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.You need to get used to the idea that you have a very short amount of time left. The judgement is coming. First on the Church, and then on everyone else, including you.

        • Peter

          Sueychop: Jesus was not a Christian and he was a failed Messiah. Jesus an observant Jew who worshipped one god not your 3=1 fantasy. His mission was reforming Judaism not starting a new religion. And in the unlikely event he ever returns he would consider it blasphemy that anyone used his name to start a religion. Besides, Christ isn’t a proper name as many Christians think, as in Jesus Christ; it’s simply a title meaning, “anointed one.” Paul invented Christianity and most factions use his dogma like his diatribes about women and give lip service to anything Jesus said or taught. So perhaps we should call your faith Paulianity.

          • Joseph James

            failed messiah? how so? oh thats right your one of those new age tools of satan

          • Kukye

            Ewwww, another Peterist Religion. They seem to be popping up like weeds all over.

          • karenisaacson

            Peter, you might find this book interesting:

            Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are by Bart Ehrman.

            Paul was actually pretty egalitarian; after all, he's the one who wrote 'in Christ Jesus there is neither slave nor free, male nor female, Jew nor Greek'. It's other authors who wrote Ephesians and Titus, two letters often used to beat women into submission.

          • ron

            "well aren't you just a dummy???!!!!

            All Jesus did was fulfill every prophecy about him in the old testament.

            Can you think of any other reason why so many Jews in the world are now accepting Jesus as the Son of God and claiming Christianity?

            Paul was called on to start Jesus' Church on earth.

            as for the term "Christian"… I prefer "Follower of Jesus". c

            BUT LET ME ASK YOU THIS????!!!

            What makes you think you know what Jesus would think if (your words, as moronic as they are) ***in the unlikely event he ever returns he would consider it blasphemy that anyone used his name to start a religion. ***
            That's just a little bit arrogant of you to even imagine you could guess a Man's thoughts or heart, much less Jesus'.
            You're a moronic idiot, who only gets play by saying stupid things and only heard by those who are…well…stupid.
            But you may be right…Jesus wasn't a Christian…That came for all after Him who saw the light and followed.
            But for a failed Messiah???
            Think about this….Every night when you lay down to sleep, either God or satan says to you "good day of work faithfull servant"…
            Who do you think talks to you like that with the ridiculous posting you put up here?
            I know where my bet would be

        • Diane Yoder

          ooooh boogedy, boogedy, Won't it be funny if you're the one who ends up being judged?

        • Diane Yoder

          Yes and all the major world religions worship that one God, but call him different names.

      • Robert

        Doctrines of demons. Those who want the truth will discover through research…..start with Genesis 3:15 (enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman – the serpent has offspring!); then Genesis 6, when the "sons of God" had children with the daughters of men, bringing forth the nephilim (giants). The old testament is full of references to them (Numbers 13 Anakim; Zamzummim, Emim, Rephaim, etc.). Steve Quayle has written an excellent expose detailing archaeological remains discovered all over the world as well as legends from dozens of cultures (Genesis 6 Giants, or visit the website of the same name for a general overview). Then there was the flood (Genesis 6 – Noah was perfect in his generations; i.e. – his dna was not contaminated with nephilim dna). When the giants died in the flood, their spirits remain bound to the earth (demons). They often refer to themselves as "the old ones" (excellent teachings from G.Craige Lewis at EX Ministries). Then read about all the false god worship beginning with Nimrod at the tower of Babel (Genesis 10 & 11). Then learn of Aleister Crowley (he called himself 666 the beast) who was visited by a demon (who incidentally looked exactly like renderings of "alien greys"), and wrote a book detailing the information given him by this entity. And that's just scratching the surface……..

        The truth is just like the bible says —- Jesus is the name that's above every name; that at the name of Jesus, every knee must bow; those above the earth, those in the earth, and those under the earth.

        The eternity of our souls and of those we love is too important to not search for the truth….

        • Mark

          The Nephilim myth is just that, a myth, but Jesus is still the Lord.

      • blueyedqueennyc

        You said it yourself… "religions". Religions are man made and are not from God. Jesus Christ is still living and sitting on the right hand of God, the Father.

        • ron

          hear hear Blue…
          I think the biggest challenge for people is fear of what they don't know. It's easier to think there is nothing more, or that you have to choose to follow.
          But we all must choose.
          I pray at least some people would open their hearts enough to experience God's spirit and be touched. Once you are, there is no turning back.
          It's like the kid who hasn't done his homework and tries to bluff through a test…you're gonna fail and regret when it really matters.
          The good here? ***In the places where evil is the thickest, and ignorance reigns, is where we find the largest measure of faith, because We call for God's strength, and Hes of course gives it***
          Faithfull He is…

      • Ron

        7 major world religions? really?

        and they all say something about other religions..

        Muslims are supposed to kill Christians and Jews (really, they are the same)…
        Jews tried to kill Jesus as a false prophet, but the Romans beat them to it.
        but get this…Everyone has free will to worship as they please.
        The problem with this action is that it affirms (her words) a faith other than Christian, which goes directly against God's (and Jesus') commandments.
        Wiccas don't believe in a satan, and have a God and Godess of the earth, but apparently no heaven.
        It's fundamentally different and contrary to the teaching of the Word we believe is true. Poor Sarah doesn't get this.
        and Diane, We Christians know there are other religions.. no doubt.
        But for a so called "Christian" Pastor to "Affirm" wiccan is as one comment above put so succinctly…calls God a liar.
        but hey, just so y'all know, If you decide that Jesus isn't the only way, you will just be fulfilling the prophecy of the bible.
        The gate is wide to wickedness.
        The path of the righteous is narrow.
        Please…please…please read the bible and understand it before making silly comments about things/OR DON"T and leave us more room in heaven…your choice
        Jesus said…"I am the way, the truth, and the life. Noone comes to the Father but through Me.

        • Diane Yoder

          Your entire post shows your ignorance of all of the religions you just named. Wiccans do have a heaven called the Summerland. And unlike what you may think, Jesus didn't write the Bible–it was cobbled together by a bunch of men who decided what went in and what stayed out. You seem to worship the book more than the one who supposedly died for you.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Reverend Sarah Halverson, Sweetie, have you even read the whole Bible? It's not about hate, nor is it about intolerance. It is simply the Creator's message of salvation to any and all who would "receive" the free gift of redemption through His only begotten Son. You are correct about one thing–anyone can be saved; however you are missing the key to this salvation–belief in Jesus as one's Lord and Savior. Without this, one is hopelessly doomed because of the sin we brought on ourselves. Don't you understand that "There is none righteous, no not one" and that sin cannot dwell in the presence of a holy God? This is the very reason He sent His only begotten Son to become human (cf. John 1) and to take on our sins at the cross. He died in our place so that we would not have to die. All He asks is that we place our faith in His Son. Thus, please don't lead more people down the wrong path by not understanding this simple truth. Certainly, being a minister, you've heard of John 3:16? If not, PLEASE go look it up and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into His truth.

    • Sueychop

      Don't try to reason with her. She's a practicing satanist. Deception is her marker.
      Deceived by the Deceiver and deceiving the sheep of God. As Jesus said, at the judgement for these people, it would be better to have an anchor tied to them and flung into the deep than to endure what's coming.

    • JCW

      I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

      John 8:24

      (The Words of our Lord Jesus)

      • Diane Yoder

        Who you see fit to quote when it suits you, but when it comes to morality, you forget all about him in favor of the draconian Old Testament laws, which even Paul said fell under the sin of legalism.

        • JCW

          You have no idea what you are talking about do you? Sorry but I don't argue scripture with Apostates or Non-Believers.

          Go pound sand crazy lady…

          • Diane Yoder

            I am a theologian, and have studied with the world's foremost theologians. I love how you connect women with craziness when we present arguments to you that do not adhere to your worldview. Funny thing is, you can't possibly hope to debate theology with me when you clearly do not have a coherent argument that doesn't go past ad hominem attacks.

            • JCW

              I have read your posts and you are an Apostate!

              • Diane Yoder

                *screams* The horror! The horror!

  • Sueychop

    She's not a real Christian. She's a practicing satanist who is in the church for a reason: to bring it under the control of Satan.

    • Diane Yoder

      Halloween must be fun for you.

  • Bwhhaaa hhaaa hhaaaa

    If the members of this church don't immediately throw this so called pastor out of their pulpit, and I mean grab her and throw her out the door and into the street, then they are just as guilty as her, of allowing Satan to openly infiltrate their church.

  • Barn Cat

    Hey Wiccans, your spirit guides are demons who hate you. Just read your Bible and they will show themselves in all their ugly evil hatred. Your spirits will threaten to kill you. When that happens, ask God for protection. God is always there. A good book to read is "The Beautiful Side of Evil" by Johanna Michaelsen. Her spirit guides turned on her too.

  • Barn Cat

    The minister teaches universal salvation for everyone regardless of who they are or what they believe. She's a servant of Satan whether she knows it or not.

  • Joseph James

    seducing spirits…look no wonder, a FEMALE is the "head" of the church…tisk tisk

  • blueyedqueennyc

    The only "dialogue" that this Pastor should be having with this witch/wiccan is one of repentance. Scripture admonishes Christians that we are to be in the world but not of it.

  • Kukye

    This is not a Christian church. Christians do not allow female preachers to preach to the congregation.

    This is a Sarah Halverston Religion and she makes it up all she wants it to be. If she says animals will be worshipped, they will be worshipped.

    But please do not associate her with any Christian organization. Again, it is a Sarah Halverston religion or church, or belief or whatever….

  • Colleen G

    While I may not fully agree with the pastor's methods definitely see the need after reading the comments from "Christians" here.
    Attention followers of Jesus. He died for everyone regardless of their sins. Why do you then obsess sin into categories of "tolerated, ok to socialize with" and "icky get away from me"? Jesus was accused by the religious elite of having a dinner party with the socially undesirable of His time. Go and do likewise, maybe then more people will listen to your message.
    At least this pastor is trying to build bridges instead of exclude the people who need the message of Jesus the most.

    • ron

      Colleen, The key to the problem in this letter ls'

      "She hopes to affirm their belief"

      Jesus spent time with sinners, saved them and sent them off with these 3 simple words that change everything **SIN NO MORE**

      I've been to a church that had *Dialogue Events* with Orthodox Jewish Rabbis (they still think Jesus was a flase prophet), Muslim Imams (sorry, but the quran says they should kill us), and Liberal "gay affirming" preachers. All this does is confuse your congregation…
      God said are the only real words we should pay attention to;
      If you invite someone to your church, it's can't be to give them an open forum to promote their beleifs that are *now get this* DIRECTLY AGAINST GOD'S COMMANDEMENTS.
      You don't build bridges to other faiths unless there is a large box on their end of the bridge where they can leave theirs when they enter Jesus' house. If they reject Jesus, they can pick it back up when they leave….
      DON'T GIVE THE DEVIL A TOEHOLD!!!!!!!!
      sheesh, don't they teach you people anything?????

    • Joseph James

      dif between a sinner and saved…is repentance, so your sins are acted upon no more, your not a christian if you think its ok to KEEP sinning…thus no repentance. Dont give the devil acess, by confirming a seducing spirit, a jezebell spirit a dililah spirit….

      • Diane Yoder

        I was so distracted by your poor grammar and spelling I completely missed your message.

  • jesus rocks

    SHEESH…
    Leave your religion on the curb before you enter the church where I worship God,Jesus and the Holy Spirit with my little part of the Body of Christ. If you still want it when you leave, it'll still be there.
    Somebody point out to dear Sarah that God says women don't hold positions of authority in the Body (just look what she's doing and you may understnad why).
    Affirming another's religion is just…well…DUMB as a Christian. It's kinda the same as letting a practicing homosexual claim God said it was ok for him…DOH!!!!
    Why would you even want to give anybody who's religion states they don't believe yours and voice in your church…again….JUST DUMB~~~~~.
    Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father BUT THROUGH ME"
    This is what we need to affirm…
    SHEESH….

    • Diane Yoder

      Wrong, wrong wrong. Women held positions of authority all over the Bible, or have you forgotten about the prophetesses of God? Phoebe was a minister of a church in Cuchrea, and Paul admonished all to honor her and receive her. Your ignorance of your own faith and holy book is absolutely appalling.

  • Me

    The Roman Catholic Church is not christian.

  • Samuel Maynes

    If you are interested in some new ideas on religious pluralism and the
    Trinity, please check out my website at http://www.religiouspluralism.ca, and give me
    your thoughts on improving content and presentation.

    My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be
    Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic
    theology.

    In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan
    Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute
    Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the
    Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned
    Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their
    variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas
    reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept
    of the Holy Trinity.

    The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:

    1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the
    first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known
    as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other
    names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.

    2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or "Universal” Absolute
    Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna;
    represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of
    souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the "body of Christ" (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or
    Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus
    Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.

    3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute
    Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected
    to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being –
    represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas,
    Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.

    Other strains of religion seem to be psychological
    variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of
    the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the
    Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two
    insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions
    of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.

    * The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.

    ** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit
    is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme,
    so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a
    synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe
    Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned
    Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit
    Synthesis of Source and Synthesis – the metaphysical Destiny
    Consummator of All That Is.

    After the Hindu and Buddhist conceptions, perhaps the most subtle expression and comprehensive symbol of the 3rd person of the Trinity is the Tao; involving the harmonization of “yin and yang” (great opposing ideas indentified in positive and negative, or otherwise contrasting terms). In the Taoist icon of yin and yang, the s-shaped line separating the black and white spaces may be interpreted as the Unconditioned “Middle Path” between condition and conditioned opposites, while the circle that encompasses them both suggests their synthesis in the Spirit of the “Great Way” or Tao of All That Is.

    If the small black and white circles or “eyes” are taken to represent a nucleus of truth in both yin and yang, then the metaphysics of this symbolism fits nicely with the paradoxical mystery of the Christian Holy
    Ghost; who is neither the spirit of the one nor the spirit of the other,
    but the Glorified Spirit proceeding
    from both, taken altogether – as one entity – personally distinct from his
    co-equal, co-eternal and fully coordinate co-sponsors, who differentiate from
    him, as well as mingle and meld in him.

    For more details, please see: http://www.religiouspluralism.ca

    Samuel Stuart Maynes

  • Nightphilly

    I am saddened to see that this beautiful article about a church who is trying to understand other religions and be loving and inclusive of their fellow human beings is being tainted by rude remarks, ignorance, and hatred. Let me tell the so called "Christians" in here a fact about their own religion. Not only is it against your own beliefs to hate other people whom YOU BELIEVE are your God's creatures (which in essence would be to hate your God), it is part of your own religion to believe in a being of absolute evil. According to your bible, your God created everything, including absolute evil. Satan is not a separate deity from the Christian God, he is an extension of the Christian God. So, by worshiping your God, you would in fact be worshiping the Devil, thus being a satan worshiper. Wiccans are no different in the fact that they believe that Wicca is Truth; yet these supposed servants of satan do not go around spreading hatred, fear, and oppress the freedoms of others in the name of the God and Goddess. There is no satan nor a being of absolute evil in Wicca, nor do we want to be associated with people who do because nothing is absolute and imbalanced in that way. We believe in The Lord and The Lady, the Sun and the Moon, the Earth and the Sky, Life/Death/andRebirth. If you all would set aside your fear and hate in order to better yourself by understanding your fellow spiritual people like this church did, you will find the Love of your God. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR and stop being hypocritical bigots because the negativity needs to end.

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