Thinking About – Christian Druids

Celtic_cross_beside_the_SWC_path_-_geograph.org.uk_-_912844Following on from yesterday’s post about the Forest of Druidry I’ve seen a number of posts on Facebook, including a comment on my page post, asking how there can be such a thing as a Christian Druid. I started to reply on the Facebook thread, but the post became a little long, and I wanted to say more, so I thought I’d do a blog post instead. Obviously this is all from my discussions with the Christian Druids I know, and this might not apply to all Christians who also call themselves Druids.

The attitudes towards this topic within the Druid community seem to vary with peoples’ upbringing, where they live, who their friends are, their experiences of Christianity etc. To understand Christian Druids you really need to forget all of your experiences, understanding, and prejudice of what Christianity is. Christianity is almost as open a description at Paganism these days. There are so many forms that it’s more accurate to calls them ‘Paganisms’ and ‘Christianities’.

We need to back before Christianity became a form of control, before it became a political tool. Here you will find the Gnostics, the Celtic Christians, the followers of Palagius. This is before the Synod of Whitby and before Augustine declared the existence of ‘Original Sin‘. These later concepts that have been accepted as Christian ‘Truth’ are in fact the additions of political control, individual opinion, and interpretation.

The Christian Druids I know look back beyond this, to the Christian Mystic.

They weren’t the Smoke and Brimstone preachers of later times, they had no concept of Original Sin (it hadn’t been invented yet). Theirs was not the style of Christianity we often see now, it is not the Bible thumping version seen in the Bible-belt of the USA. Instead it is a celebration of this world as being truly sacred. Seeing the world around them as the ultimate creation of their God. How could such a creation be seen as a place from which to escape? How can the very creation of God be the dominion of evil and sin? It doesn’t make any sense.

If you look at early Celtic Christianity, Gnosticism and the teachings of Palagius, you will find a very different religion. It was at the Synod of Whitby, where priests made the decision about which form of Christianty would become the dominant form, and we can trace many of the big changes that followed to that decision. Imagine if they had chosen the Celtic Church instead of Catholicism. Would we be living in a different world?Β Who knows.

So it is to the older Celtic version of Christianity, a nature-based form, that many of the Christian Druids I know turn their gaze. Not the more modern forms of evangelism, strict regimes and guilt.

That obviously works for many people, but not to Christian Druids.

You can hear a very interesting discussion about this on DruidCast 78 between myself and Mark Townsend embedded below.

13 Comments

  1. Linda January 7, 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

    AWEN/AMEN!!! Thank-you from the bible-thumping Midwest of the USA!!! Wonderfully said, and much appreciated! There is too much in this world today that tears us apart when we should be all pulling together. Well put. xxx

  2. Orbb January 7, 2015 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Very eloquent, I always look forward to your posts. You are a very open, understanding & tolerant, something that seems all too rare these days. <3

  3. Embody January 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Hello. Interesting read. I’m sorry to have personally met with unfriendliness and close-mindedness (just what Christians are accused of) exploring this topic. I think this on Forest Church is relevant from Philip Carr-Gomm http://www.philipcarr-gomm.com/essays/conundrums-connections/

  4. Jeremiah Myer January 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    as always very nicely said! I did not know there was a different type of Christian church a whole different branch. I have always had Christian friends that I love but they were always a little on the “outs” with their church. I’ll tell them about the Celtic Christian church. I’ll tell them about it. Thanks

  5. Lexie Devine January 7, 2015 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I had to laugh. I have recently started attending a Christian Spiritualist church. The decor there is a combination of Christian and Ancient Egyptian (they do charity work in Egypt), and the members are really open and welcoming. I was struggling to explain how I can be a Druid but also accept Jesus as a Holy Man (and Buddha, Mohammad, etc etc), and that, for me the paths don’t have to clash, and then I saw a book recommended: Jesus Through Pagan Eyes, written by Mark Townsend. I’ve been reading that, nodding and smiling as I go, and now you post this blog, including the Druidcast where you are talking to the very same man! I really, REALLY love synchronicity. πŸ™‚
    Hugs,
    Lexie xxx

    • mark townsend January 8, 2015 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Lexie,

      Sooooo delighted that you enjoyed my book.
      BIG blessings to you for 2015 and beyond.

      Mark /+\

  6. Michelle bryant January 7, 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    So many similaritys anyways…
    Paganism is spiritual faith….

  7. Alexa January 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Having been on religion discussion boards (briefly) and experiencing the closed minds and dogmatic ‘one true way’ comments, it is so refreshing to read intelligent text that points out similarities of faith, rather than differences. An excellent post.

  8. Cloudberry January 7, 2015 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    Which Saint was it that was reputed to have said ‘Christ is my Druid’? Columba?
    Damh, you’ve managed to sum it up beautifully again! And for anybody interested in Christian type Druidry I can recommend the Forest Church – all the members I have met have been lovely people! πŸ™‚

  9. Marcus January 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful interview Dave! Anytime I speak to anyone having difficulty on Pagan/Druid/Christian perspectives, I’ll suggest they listent to Druidcast 78 with Mark Townsend. There is so much hope here, thank you so much. Mx

  10. Eltjo de Vries January 8, 2015 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Another beautiful piece to read and think about. My wife is a christian, whist I would be labelled an animist. Yet both of us accept and respect our individual paths, teaching our children that it is what is the truth in one’s heart and how you try to lead a respectful and loving life that is important, not dogma or names.

  11. Mark Hover January 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    EXACTLY Damh ! Perfectly put Sir !!! Very happy (Celtic) Christian Druid ! Blessings !

  12. Shawn April 7, 2015 at 5:31 am - Reply

    Greeting from across the pond Damh! Thanks for your reflections on this. I’m a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, education and training officer for our diocese, and “out of the broom closet” as a Christian druid. Just published a book called “Christian Animism” with JHP, and so far no burning stakes on my front lawn! Actually, the church is changing, slowly but surely. Really important to distinguish between mainstream and fundamentalist versions of Christianity … they are almost 2 different religions!
    Love your show (Druidcast) … keep up the great work!

Leave A Comment