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Switch to Forum Live View Q&A for the Celtic Way!
10 years ago  ::  May 04, 2008 - 7:59AM #21
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings Sisk22,

And welcome to our little 'pocket' of Belief net.  I understand what you mean about your 'tendency' toward earth religions.  I think there is something inherent in our genes that causes modern Celts to still appreciate Nature and seek a closer affinity with it.  Yet we come from all walks of life and even different ethnicity, so, please feel right at home amongst this mixed bag of nuts!

Many look at Celtic Christianity as though it were separated from, more distinctive, than the other sects and denominations.  Yet, in actuality, many of us still worship or are members at the churches we've always attended.  CC is not about 'separation' from others, it focuses more on engagement of others.  Its beliefs are totally centered on Christ as the Source of all Life.  It is more a call to a deeper commitment to serving Him wherever He leads you than it is about being 'different' from others!  Its not about 'us' or 'them'... its about Him!

There are a few differences, however, from both Eastern and Western practices and theology.  The Celts rejected Augustinian 'original sin' as the foundation for worshiping God.  We still see Creation as inherently good, yet flawed by our selfishness.  Learning to die to that flawed self brings you into greater Harmony with your Creator and enables you to serve Him better in every aspect of your daily life.  Then you become that 'true self' He designed us to be!

If this is something you think you can handle and growth right where you are in Catholicism, then consider yourself as on the Celtic Way of Spirituality.  Its a great journey of adventure in discovering Him in everything and everyone around you.  Ta failte, mo chara!  Go n-eiri an bothar leat!

Slan,
Marty
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 1:16AM #22
john1512
Posts: 8
I've been reading about CC here and on some other web sites and in Newell's "Listening for the Heartbeat of God" and I have a couple of questions about CC practice.

Many parts of CC line up pretty closely with my own beliefs; its reverence for nature and creation, its grounding in Christianity rather than polytheism, and Pelagius' rejection of Augustine's doctrine of original sin. 

I've read that CC can be practiced in Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches.  Do any CC's practice it without belonging to a formal traditional church?  I don't think I've ever felt the presence of God in a church.  But I have felt His presence while in nature, and even when I don't, I still feel much closer to Him when I'm surrounded by His creation and handiwork rather than man's.  Do any other CC's feel similarly or would I be the only one?

               John
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 9:16AM #23
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings John,

And welcome to this quiet corner of the CC world!  Its always great to meet another on the Celtic Way of Spirituality.  Its principles resonate with many nowadays!

To get to your questions, "its reverence for nature and creation", actually, we reverence Christ's presence in all His Creation, both mankind and nature.  Without Christ, there is no life but we need to use our 'spiritual eyes' in order see this world around us.  That takes becoming in Harmony with Him within us!

Sometimes we are called the people of Two Books, the Bible and Creation.  Both are needed to reveal Him in His fullest revelation.  One without the other tends to leave our lives a little 'off-balanced'!

As for "Pelagius' rejection of Augustine's doctrine of original sin", yes, we hold that Creation is still inherently good!  Flawed.. but still good!  This was the attitude of the Early Church and is the same as the Church in the East today.  We also reject the 'dualism' of the Western Church that permits a separation between secular and sacred.  Everything is a manifestation of His presence.  He is still present within all whose lives have gone astray.

On the net you will see that the Big Three (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant) Christian groups all claim CC as their own.  Most of those groups who practice CC do so with their particular tradition as their basis still.  Unfortunately, some still hold onto the theology of those traditions as well!  While CC is a reflection of the Early Church and has some similarities to the others, its theology diverges at certain points.  Usually, most people attend a traditional Western Church (maybe the one their spouse favors) and keeps the Celtic Ways to themselves.  Its more a personal journey anyway!  It can be lived inside as well as outside a church!

Many of us don't feel comfortable in Churches either, so we just live our lives according to the beliefs we hold and minister as the Lord leads us through our days.  As for feeling His presence in Nature, we tend to think of Nature as His 'Church without walls'!  Among the Celts, it was common to 'listen to the trees' when they wanted to understand the world around them.  Most of us still do that, even if we're not aware its part of being a Celt!

Well, feel free to bring any future questions here or to those other sites you mentioned.  There is 'wisdom in a multitude of counselors'!  Thanks again for sharing your journey with us...

Slan,
Marty
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 1:09AM #24
john1512
Posts: 8
Thanks for the welcome and reply Marty, that helps clarify a number of things for me.

Your description of "Christ's presence in all His Creation" almost sounds panentheistic, but it's not, right?  Is it closer to (or the same as) the description of the Orthodox viewpoint on the Wikipedia page for Panentheism (pardon the long quote, I hope it will be easier to read than a link to the page):

In Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, creation is not considered to be "part of" God, and the Godhead is distinct from creation. There is, in other words, an eternal difference between the uncreated (ie, God) and the created (ie, everything else). This does not mean, however, that the creation is wholly separated from God, because the creation exists by and in the Divine energies. These energies are the operations of God and are God, but the created is not God in the Divine essence. God creates the world by the Divine will. It is not an "emanation" of God, an outworking or effulgence of the Divine, or any other process which implies that creation is part of or necessary to God in God's essence. Thus, to speak of panentheism as part of Orthodox theology and doctrine is problematic at best.

In the theology of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, God is not merely creator of the universe; his active presence is necessary in some way for every bit of creation, from smallest to greatest, to continue to exist at all. That is, God's energies (that is, activities) maintain all things and all beings, even if those beings have explicitly rejected him. His love of creation is such that he will not withdraw his presence, which would be the ultimate form of slaughter, not merely imposing death but ending existence, altogether. By this token, the entirety of creation is good in its being and is not innately evil either in whole or in part. This does not deny the existence of evil in a fallen universe, only that it is not an innate property of creation. Evil results from the will of creatures, not from their nature per se (see the problem of evil).

I'm glad to hear that CC "can be lived inside as well as outside a church" and even in my favorite church, the "Church without walls" :-).  Many Christians seem to completely ignore that church and the "other Book", Creation, but It seems to me that even Christ Himself was frequently going out to the desert or mountains to pray.

Thanks for shedding some light on this path!

        John
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 6:45AM #25
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Good Morning John,

I'm glad I was able to help show some Light on the Celtic path for you.  While its a personal journey we all make, its nice to know others are on the same path!  Regarding Wikipedia, I'm not a real fan of that site!!  In the past, we have used the term 'panentheism' to explain our beliefs but given that definition there it has led to confusion.  Thank you for sharing the Orthodox explanation, it was excellent. (where did you get it?)  I would disagree with the author's use of the word 'slaughter' and substitute 'annihilation' (sudden non-existence) to express our dependence on God's presence.

The Orthodox are very good at expressing themselves clearly.  I appreciate that about them and the theology they hold.  It is very similar in many ways to Celtic understandings (we never really got into theology) because our heritages were the same, the Early Church.  As I mentioned, we do differ at a few points with them (women in ministry) but most other things we hold in common with them.  Speaking of Wikipedia errors, try looking up the Orthodox expression of 'theosis', you'll see they completely 'miss the mark' there! (more confusion!)

Another thing you might be interested in is something that came up in a discussion on another board I moderate, CCS.  One of the members had brought up the 'Green Bible'.  It actually exists!!!  You can find it at this site http://greenletterbible.com/index.php .  Its an RSV translation but with passages relating to God in Creation highlighted in Green.  I thought it worth the modest price even if its not my favorite translation!

As for Christ in the wilderness, I think his humanity needed it as much as ours!  Thanks again for joining us here and participating.  Without participants, even opponents, a discussion board dies...

Slan,
Marty
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 06, 2009 - 11:39AM #26
seekerdrd
Posts: 98

john1512 wrote:

I've been reading about CC here and on some other web sites and in Newell's "Listening for the Heartbeat of God" and I have a couple of questions about CC practice.

Many parts of CC line up pretty closely with my own beliefs; its reverence for nature and creation, its grounding in Christianity rather than polytheism, and Pelagius' rejection of Augustine's doctrine of original sin. 

I've read that CC can be practiced in Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches.  Do any CC's practice it without belonging to a formal traditional church?  I don't think I've ever felt the presence of God in a church.  But I have felt His presence while in nature, and even when I don't, I still feel much closer to Him when I'm surrounded by His creation and handiwork rather than man's.  Do any other CC's feel similarly or would I be the only one?

               John


Hello, John, and welcome.

I do not belong to a formal traditional church. What I do is spend time in nature as often as possible, carry on an ongoing dialogue with God, and for myself, I have found it helpful to have a mderate "rule of life" similar to the monastic style. For that purpose, I choose to utilize the book Celtic Daily Prayer, put out by the Northumbria Community:  http://www.northumbriacommunity.org.

Peace,
David

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9 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2009 - 1:36AM #27
john1512
Posts: 8
Yes, Marty, it is nice to know others are on the same path!  That Orthodox explanation actually came from the Wikipedia page for panentheism.  I'm not sure how to make this a working link, but here is the URL:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheis … ristianity
It looks like someone from the Orthodox tradition made sure that part of the entry was correct ;-).  Kudos to CC for being so far ahead of its time with women in ministry!   

I've been reading CCS for a little while and it seems like a nice community and more active than the board here.  I thought a lot of the discussion there was a little more "advanced" so I figured I'd start here on BN with my complete novice questions before posting over there.  But now that I'm a little farther down the path I'll try to get more involved over on CCS.

That green Bible sounds interesting and I kind of like the language in the RSV.   To me it sounds like "proper" English from the 50's, as if it had been translated by Ward Cleaver or Ozzie and Harriet ;-).  I like the added inclusiveness of NRSV but the flow of the language seemed to suffer a bit.

Thank you for the welcome, David, it's real nice to hear I'm not the only one without a formal church!  That's an interesting idea of following a moderate rule, I'll have to check out that book and web site.

                           John
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2009 - 7:44AM #28
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Hey John,

"That Orthodox explanation actually came from the Wikipedia" - Will wonders never cease!?  Yes, the Orthodox are clear and thorough about explaining their theology, more so than the Romans!  Thanks for the link I'm going to 'bookmark' it for future usage.

"a nice community and more active " - Yes, definitely a nice community!  We define ourselves as a 'mixed bag of nuts'!  Many traditions are represented there (even fundies) but we function well as a family.  As for activity on the site, it has its moments.  What I do appreciate is the Harmony from such diversity.  As for the 'advanced' level of the group, not so, we are only experts in our own opinions!  Some resist growth, preferring to remain at the start of their journey because it is 'safer' there.  Others, as I'm sure you've noticed, are more open and actually seeking.  Jump in any time you like, life is never an interruption!  We also appreciate meeting new travelers on the Way.

The 'Cleavers' and the 'Nelsons'!!  Wow! what a time-traveling flash-back!!  I wonder how much of the population here remembers them?

David - I know I've invited you to CCS before, let me renew my invitation to again, as well as any others here.  I have the Northumbria's 'Celtic Daily Prayer' and it is good.  As for daily devotionals, I prefer, however, Newell's 'Celtic Benediction' and 'Sounds of the Eternal' for their Celtic rather than Anglican format of prayers.  They are closer in style to the Carmina Gadelica'.  He's captured the Celtic heart of wonder and mystery better, I think.

Thanks again to you both for your participation here.  At least the record of your posts may be of help to future seekers...

Slan,
Marty
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2009 - 12:50AM #29
john1512
Posts: 8
Glad to participate here :-).  Is all of BN this quiet?  I know all of the forums I've been lurking in for the past year or so (Unitarian-Universalist, Progressive Christianity, Contemplative Spirituality, etc.) have all been very quiet, but maybe are discussions raging on in more "popular" forums?  Even without a lot of active discussion I have found a number of helpful things in the old posts here, such as a thread where you mentioned Newell's "Listening for the Heartbeat of God". 

    John
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2009 - 7:05AM #30
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237
Dia annseo isteach!
God to all here!

Greetings John,

I'm sure there are sites where discussions are raging over some minute point or another.  I don't really visit the other departments/beliefs here on Beliefnet.  Over the past 4-5 years, the other CC sites have seem a marked decrease of activity.  All the Celtic Christian sites on Yahoo are there but quiet, MSN died long before those and the ones listed on Celtic Christian Ring (http://q.webring.com/hub?sid=&ring=celticihs&id=&hub) also have been rather quiet.  My take on it is simple, CC is more about a lifestyle for living not so much about debating issues.  I've found that in some religious traditions verbal affirmation helps them hold onto their beliefs   I've lurked/participated at both Fundamentalist Christian and Orthodox Christian sites and it seems they stay pretty consistent with topics for discussion.  My own site on Quick Topic goes through periods where a question is raised and various people present their point of view and then everything settles down again!  Consequently, I'm very glad for questions same as here.

I'm glad you're enjoying the previous posts here as well, please don't hesitate to bring them up again for discussion.  The Celtic Path is a journey, we are on it as the Lord calls us.  While its a personal journey, it does help to meet others and share what we've learned or to simply ask directions as needed.  Thanks again for yours...

Slan,
Marty
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