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Tassiecelt 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 04:16 PM
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I don't have any real answers, but I have over the last few years attempted to find out how this is defined.

Even the history of early celtic believers is somewhat sketchy since little survives in terms of writings.

Patrick of Ireland seems a really interesting man, according to the book "The Celtic Church in Britain" by Leslie Hardinge, Patrick was a very solid believer and was not trained in Rome as many were after him.

Later on after Patrick the celtic church seems to have been compromised theologically and the lines between true believers and superstition become a little blurred.

I've tried to find what modern celtic Christianity means today. On the net at least it seems very linked with Roman Catholicism, which is hardly surprising given the links there that had stood for centuries.

What do you think of my assessment?
What have you discovered?
Does it matter?

I welcome your thoughts.


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Aaediwen 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 05:14 PM
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I can't say I'm well versed in details on this subject, but this is one area where my 'issues' with the early Catholic church relax a little bit. For the most part, I despise the old Catholic churches methods on how they forced their religon on people in so many cases. Patrick, however, from what I've heard was just trying to spread Christ's teachings, not trying to force his beliefs on everyone he came across. In this he used a great many Pagan refrences to help explain his views and the new Christian faith. A true Christian with a true heart from what I gather. Different from these people who are ready to condemn you to Hell if you don't believe how they do.


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Ceciliastar1 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 09:37 PM
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You know, I may be catholic but a lot of what you say is true. It stinks really. Catholics can be so judging and all! There are a lot of theological thing swith the Catholic Church I believe in (ex. Mary, etc.) but there are a lot of traditions or attitudes I don't agree with. I think that it is wrong that peope think that my mind or my actions are evil because I like things like dragons, harry potter, etc. I agree and I too despise how Catholics force their religion onto people even peopl of their "kind". It is gross and makes anyone want to turn from their faith. When you mentione St. Patrick using pagan refernces to teach the faith, I like to think back to Jesus Christ who told simple stories that taught the faith. He did not teach us to hate if you don't follow, he lived with sinners and non-believers for crying out loud! I am Catholic/Christain because I was baptised into the faith and by my choice through the sacrament of Confirmation. It is by my choice that I am Catholic and if I tend to like things that you (as in other catholics) don't like well sc*** you! Argh! I'm just tired of "Holier than thou" Christains and Catholics. It is frustrating to me to know that so many do not believe but you know what after living on a Catholic College campus for 5 years I don't blame anyone for not believing! I hope I didn't offend anyone in my ranting. I'm just going through a hard religious time. Having doubts...again...


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There's a dear little plant that grows in our Isle
Twas St . Patrick himself, sure, that set it;
And the sun of his labour with pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye often wet it.
It grows through the bog, through the brake, through the
Mireland, and they call it the dear little shamrock of Ireland.
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Shadows 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 09:54 PM
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I have said this elsewhere in these forums and will say it here again...

Most Christian holidays are the absorption of Pagan holidays. The symbols and trappings were used to bring the "heathens" into the flock. So you can almost bet that Celtic Christianity was not much different then what they were practicing, just with a different but similar message.

I come from a Catholic background, even have priests in my family, but I was turned off at an early age and have never looked back... there is so much more to life then they allow.


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Am fear nach gleidh na h–airm san t–sith, cha bhi iad aige ’n am a’ chogaidh.
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Tassiecelt 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 11:10 PM
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Shadows, I think you and would agree on a lot of things. What yu say about pagan festivals within christianity is true, and that is why our church as well as many others choose to follow only those celebrations endorsed by the Bible (God's Word).

Ceciliastar1, I tried to word my post referring to history and without necessarily criticising catholicism. It is true that in Patricks' time the scattered celtic churches were swallowed up by Rome, either willingly or otherwise.

I agree that Patrick and the early celtic church took the best of the celts, such as their love of nature, creativity and artistic skills, and added the knowledge of the Living God by teaching the people to worship the Creator and not the created.

My interest is in how those celtic values and attribute can be included in our worship today.

(replacing the church organ with Uilleann Pipes would be a great start!!) smile.gif
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MacAibhistin 
Posted: 14-Sep-2004, 11:45 PM
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Great discussion, Tassie! Unfortunately, there seems to be at least two problems with coming to grips with celtic Christianity. 1. The Gaels did not keep written records, and were known throughout Europe as "the secret people." This makes it tough to learn about our ancestors! 2. When the monks began to keep records of the practises of the Celts, they often either demonised their Celtic pagan ways, or they glorified their efforts to conform to the Roman standards (eg. Bede's history of Britain).

There were some early big debates amongst the early missionaries in Britain and Ireland about theological issues which lead to an almost complete Romanisation of the Christian practises here within a century of Patrick and Columba (Calum Cille). From what I have read, by the 7 th century Celtic Christianity was probably very similar to that practised on the continent, however, it is safe to say that many pagan traditions survived outright, or were Christianised (eg. Hallowe'en). I remember reading a fair bit about this when I was in university, however, I seem to forget more than I retained.

Rory
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Tassiecelt 
Posted: 15-Sep-2004, 04:03 AM
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Rory, what you say fits pretty well with what i have read.

There is "The "Confessio" of Saint Patrick" but it reveals little more than the story of his life. Bede, as you say is good, if a little biased maybe.

I'd love to talk with Moya Brennan (Enya's older sister), she is apparently quite an expert on the subject.
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DesertRose 
Posted: 15-Sep-2004, 02:20 PM
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Very interesting topic, Tassie! I am really enjoying this and what all others have to share. I am a protestant Christian and I have the same problems as the Catholics. I like Celtic music, which some would say is New Age, I wear a Celtic cross around my neck, which some would say is pagan and I study handwriting analysis which some would say is of the occult! So where do you draw the line? Well I believe it is the fact that God knows your heart and just because you like Harry Potter or other seemingly pagan things so called by the church, does not make you less of a Christian. I would like to know more about Celtic Christianity. St Patrick used pagan beliefs that the Celts of that day could relate to and he compared it with Christianity. Such as the origination of the Celtic cross. The ancient Celts worshiped the sun and St Patrick took the sun worship and put a cross in the middle of it to symbolize new faith in Christ who made the sun and not in the sun itself....... hence, the Celtic cross. In other words he taught worship towards the creator and not the creation. However, I feel that we are to honor and protect the creation that Christ has so generously given us. I hope this makes sense. unsure.gif


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Elly 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 02:30 AM
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It`s a very interesting subject you have brought up Tassie biggrin.gif

Columba and Ninian both played a big part in bringing christianity to Scotland, in today`s world, I just don`t know, a lot not just in Scotland are going back to what is called `paganism` not sure I totally agree with that name, I suppose at the end of the day, some of us have to believe it something and others well, don`t. wink.gif

Like a lot of scots I like to think that the Celts did believe and all the old monuments and stones etc do mean something but at the end of the day we don`t know, as they didn`t leave us any clues wink.gif why they did build these monuments, and that is something I suppose we`ll never know, in our lifetime anyway. wink.gif

I`ve never heard before that the Celts worshipped the Sun, but suppose it could be right enough, when you think about it, could be very true, must have seemed a not very often visitor in Scotland biggrin.gif

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Ceciliastar1 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE (Tassiecelt @ 14-Sep-2004, 11:10 PM)


Ceciliastar1, I tried to word my post referring to history and without necessarily criticising catholicism. It is true that in Patricks' time the scattered celtic churches were swallowed up by Rome, either willingly or otherwise.

(replacing the church organ with Uilleann Pipes would be a great start!!) smile.gif

Haha! I'm sorry I know you weren't criticising Catholicism...I was..haha!

I love your idea of the uilean pipes!!!!!
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DesertRose 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 04:51 PM
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Elly, I had heard this on an Irish program that the Celts had worshipped the sun and that is why St Patrick used that as a reference as to worship the creator and not the creation in his attempt to bring Christianity to the people. smile.gif
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Shadows 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 05:43 PM
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I am I the only one to see the Irony in the worship of the son and the worship of the sun... ? It is all word play.

And by the way Jesus called himself the son of man and god his ( our ) father.
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Tassiecelt 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 06:54 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 17-Sep-2004, 08:43 AM)
I am I the only one to see the Irony in the worship of the son and the worship of the sun... ? It is all word play.

And by the way Jesus called himself the son of man and god his ( our ) father.

I see it, but I don't believe it's ironic in any way, they are just two unrelated words with totally different concepts.

One or two exceptions tho' (there always is) of the 152 occurences of the word "sun" only a couple relate to Jesus Christ.
QUOTE
Mal 4:2  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.


and


QUOTE
Psa 84:11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.


The sun gives light, warmth, beauty, to the creation; so God is the source of light, joy, happiness, to the soul.

But this is no way endorses the heathen practice of worshipping the sun.
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Shadows 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 07:08 PM
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But you do not address the fact that your Jesus called himself " the son of man" . Your quote of Mal:4.2 is a proof of my original question.
Is it Sun or Son? Jesus used the old testiment to his advantage, he quoted many OT passages to his point that he was what was predicted.
There is proof that during his "missing time" that he studied under the teachers of the East and much of what he taught at that time was based on what is now called "Eastern Religion"; a far cry from the norm of the day.

Do not get me wrong, I am not disrespecting your beliefs, but trying to open your eyes to a greater understanding of the whole concept of the spiritual world.
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Shadows 
Posted: 16-Sep-2004, 07:31 PM
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I would like to add to my above reply:

Evolution is not only physical but also mental and spiritual!
The stature of the average human has changed just in our life time, the mental challenges and answers have also jumped by bounds, and the spiritual additions to all our beliefs has changed dramacticly from that of the times before. Each generation adds and subtracts to that which is important to their time, that is why we can not hold anything as , I use the words, "Gospel Truth". It has been revised and manipulated to fit the times and beliefs of the common " church/s" . I have studied religions for almost all my life and my mother is a "minister of god's word". I hear comming from her lips that the books of the bible are only stories for the people of those times...this is what is being taught in your seminaries...!
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