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Switch to Forum Live View Whats the difference between Christianity and Celtic Christianity?
5 years ago  ::  May 12, 2010 - 1:29PM #21
Stephen
Posts: 148

Greetings, Marty,


 


I am halfway through Thomas Cahill's DESIRE, and have John O'Donohus's Anam Cara on hand. My starting point in seeking spiritual truth was primarily the freedom that I trust comes from "knowing the truth." But, freedom for me has changed from "freedom from" to "freedom to." Early on, the good life was a matter of a rich sequence of good experiences, with as little shame, gulit, pain etc. as possible. But, as I learned more about eternal life, and the possibility of suffering in the service of overcoming evil with good (i.e. helping others have "better" lives), my goals changed.


Evil, I have learned, is healed by the true gospel, and prevented by the true church. Sin, rightly divided, I define as all that is involved in causing evil, meaningless death, pain, etc. The presence historically and socially of so much I wish were not so (in empathy with those experiencing it), gives this definition substance.


My bottom line is, no hypocrisy. This standard, applied to various past teachings, causes me to dismiss most of what has been argued, including "original sin." But, application of things like the Brehan laws, and the resultant reduction of social chaos, gets my attention.


I am determined to learn what made Celtic Christianity so successful, and why it eventually gave way to the Roman distortion, and paled in it's positive influence on history. We are in complete agreement that true evangelism "eats what is set before it," recognizing that the Lord was working with those being evangelized before you got there, and wants you to work with Him, to find out what He was doing, and join in. Also, the Celtic revelation that external domination is a perversion of authority, despicable. But, alas, a consequence of the abdication of personal "self-control," denying the presence of God within, always there with true authority.


So, thanks for being handy with encouragement and insight in this search. May we proceed in this inquiry with all the wisdom the Celts left us for such: bards, beer, birds, and battles.


More to come.


Steohen

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5 years ago  ::  May 13, 2010 - 10:49AM #22
Amaia
Posts: 55

Hello,


I was wondering if there was any communities of Celtic Christians, or any other sources on the internet to communicate with others who follow the same sort of path?


Thank you,


Amaia

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5 years ago  ::  May 13, 2010 - 12:50PM #23
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237

Dia anseo isteach!


God to all here!


Greetings and Welcome Amaia,


There are resources a-plenty on the internet.  I've even seen Celtic Christianity sections in some online book stores.(a few)  There are many diverse types of fellowships and even churches in certain areas.  About 20 years ago, none of this existed!!  CC was an unknown / forgotten part of Church History.


The truth of the matter is simple, Celtic Churches were forced to surrender their properties to the Roman Church after the Council of Whitby in 664 A.D.  It was a gradual process and took even longer in Ireland, being the furthest from the seat on Rome.  However, CC doesn't need a church in order to exist!  It is a way of life!!  It remained within the celtic peoples up to this day.  If anything, it is a way of seeing God in all things/places/people/ times.  Many have chosen to remain in their previous fellowships for the sake of convention and for a place of 'belonging'.  Some churches have converted their forms of worship to include Celtic prayers or music.  That doesn't make them a Celtic Church, they merely appreciate the Celtic heritage and I'm glad for them.


On the net you will find each of the three main sects of Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant) claiming that CC was their idea!  Again, the truth is simple, CC existed before there were sects!  The information they offer, however, is worth your time and study.  Just be aware that each will want you to see things there way.  What might be a good approach for you is to study independently so you can find your footing before you enter the jungle of information the net offers.  I'd recommend starting with J.Philp Newell's 'Listening for the heartbeat of God' and Cindy Thomson's 'Celtic Wisdom' to start with.  There are many other books available that are good also but start with these.


As for internet communities, well... most have died off over the years!  Yahoo Groups at one time had quite a few of them but eventually they lost interest and are now inactive. (I moderate most of them now)  I also have a site on Quick Topic called Celtic Christian Spirituality ( www.quicktopic.com/31/H/ACD32UG6jYw ) and its a lovely group of diverse people.  Please feel free to stop bye and give us a greeting.  Newbie's are always welcomed and no question is too innocent.  There may be a few others around but I'm not sure of their status!  Most had a particular bent due to their origins.  Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholic, Orthodox and a few others are out there as well.  I've even seen 'Green Monks' from a Baptist Church down South!!  May God bless you and grant you wisdom in your journey..!!


If you have any questions or topics, I'd be only too glad to help you in your Celtic Way.  CC is about submitting your daily walk to Christ rather than attending a church weekly.  It is an active choice to serve Christ in all you do and to engage life in all its aspects as being a reflection (icon) of him.  Thanks again for your interest here...


Slan,


Marty

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4 years ago  ::  May 01, 2011 - 11:52PM #24
Heartseeker
Posts: 2

Apr 5, 2010 -- 5:36PM, mfjfarrell wrote:

Dia anseo isteach!


God to all here!


Greetings Stephen,


While St Patrick usually gets the credit for bringing Christianity to the Irish, the truth is it was there before his mission.  He did do a great deal of work in the North and should be given credit for what he did do.  Another thing that isn't often understood, he was a Roman Christian!  While he attempted to structure his brand of Christianity on the diocesan system, it just wasn't what they Celts there were used to.  All their lives they lived by the 'tuatha', or clan system.  That concept gave birth to the Abby structure rather than dioceses and parishes.  They were people of the land, not people of the city as in Roman society!  While Patrick was a strong impetus for Christianity there, it grew in a way familiar to most Celts.


I've read a few of the 'Sister Fidelma' stories and found them interesting.  Of course, its fiction but they are well researched.  Rather than reading novels, perhaps the works of John O'Donohue, J. Philp Newell or Esther de Wall might be more pointed in giving light on the mindset of CC.  My all time favorite history of Celtic Christianity is "Christianity and the Celts", by Ted Olsen.  It compiled so many other books into a single volume and has an even handed approach to CC.  A friend of mine, Cindy Thomson, has a new book out that is excellent for a very good overview of as well.  Its entitled "Celtic Wisdom - treasure from Ireland" which I think you'll enjoy as well.


As for Cahill's work, while he is most well known for his "How the Irish saved Civilization"I was actually more challenged in my commitment to Christ by the third book in his series, "Desire of the Everlasting Hills".  I hope you'll consider reading as many of the books that are available now!  Years ago, there weren't quite so many and you had to wade your way through the 'touchy / feely' mysticism that has nothing to do with CC.  I keep a list of books up on my site a Quick Topic - Celtic Christian Spirituality or I can post it here as well if you like.  The Celtic Christians were known for being scholars and we continue that tradition today!


Thanks for your interest in CC, may the Lord of Light and Wisdom guide you on your journey.  Let me know if I can help in any way...


Your comment that St Patrick was a Roman christian was interesting. I know his father was a roman official and I believe a deacon but there are many that believe that St Patrick who is actually not an official saint of the RC church was an independent like the Celtic Christians. Of course Christianity was spread by the Roman legions and maybe that is what you meant?


Another thought. Do you think there is any truth in the Arimethea/Glastonbury story?


Thanks! Robin

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4 years ago  ::  May 02, 2011 - 8:14AM #25
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237

Dia anseo isteach!


God to all here!


Greetings Robin,


My comment about St. Patrick means simply that he is the one saint honored as bringing Christianity to Ireland.  However, as you mentioned, it was spreading prior to his arrival there for ministry in the North (Armagh)  At this period in history Rome was still aligned with the other 4 church patriarchates (administrative centers) and they would get the credit for sending Patrick there after he received his training and ordination.  So, technically, at this point in time, the British Isles were under the governing body of Rome.  However, there was no Eastern vs. Western churches yet, it was still the unified Early Church.


What Patrick did do that was worth praise was his approach to the Celts.  They already had a deep understanding of nature and appreciation for the harmony of all things.  He used those understandings to explain the gospel as a fulfillment of all they had believed before.  When the Celts converted to Christianity, however, they held onto those ways of seeing Christ in all things, all around them and in the people who populated their world.  So, Patrick may be credited with founding 'Celtic Evangelism'! (preaching by example - shoulder to shoulder)  That is still the form of spreading the Gospel used today.  "Preach the Gospel... use words if necessary"!!


As for Joseph and Glastonbury Tor, the Eastern Orthodox use some references in the writings of Eastern saints that may or may not be accurate.  There is nothing factual to either prove it nor disprove his presence in Southern England.  Its tradition!  If Brigid can be the  wet nurse of Jesus, then why not Joseph of Arimethea building the first church at Glastonbury?!!  Hagiography didn't always need to be as 'factual' then as we are used to today.


Thanks again for joining us here, it has been a bit slow for the past year.  Feel free to bring and questions or concerns about CC to the table for discussion...


Slan,


Marty

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2011 - 8:05AM #26
heydrich
Posts: 4

I have read some of the posts here... so you say there is no original sin,which means were are not born into sin?  It also sounds as though celtic christians worship nature...is that even biblical?

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2011 - 7:28AM #27
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237

Dia anseo isteach!


God to all here!


Greetings Heydrich,


Welcome to the Celtic section of Christianity.  As you can see Celts hold some views that may be slightly different from your own but still hold plainly to the Scriptures we both depend upon to know and appreciate our Father God.


Allow me to ask you to search for the term 'original sin' in your Bible.  I think you will find that it is not there.  Yes, original sin is NOT scriptural!  However, that does not mean that mankind was designed free of our inherent human flaws!  While we are all created in the Father's image we do not share in his essence, he is divine, we are NOT... yet.  That's the journey we are on here on earth, to become like him.  Now let's take a look at the word for 'sin' in the Bible, harmatia.  As you know, in many 'bible believing' churches, this word is often used to justify the concept of the 'corruption and depravity of mankind'.  However, its not the meaning of the word, its a modern, Calvinist interpretation that has been widely accepted as 'gospel'. (how that can be good news I can never understand)  If you trace the history of Calvin you will see he often quotes an Early Church Father named St. Augustine.  Augustine was a gnostic (world is evil - spirit is good) and is always the founder of the modern understanding of 'original sin'.  At the time there was a problem for the Roman Church because people were being 'saved' but not attending church.  Augustine came up with this idea from his gnostic background to start a new teaching that the Church was the means of mankind's redemption rather than a personal relationship with Christ.  Even in those early years of the Church, the Celts opposed this whole thing but were eventually silenced (under threat of expulsion) and the new doctrine was accepted by the Church in the West (not the East - not the Celts)  As you also know, Protestantism has its roots in Roman theology!  You hold to it as well as all other Evangelicals!  So? Which is a more Scriptural view in light of history?


As for Celts being 'tree huggers', we get that alot! (hehehe)  While most of us are environmentalists in our regular lives, there is a basic difference between worshiping trees and worshiping the God who makes the trees!  Its a cheap shot at us that often comes from a missing preposition 'in'.  We worship the God who is 'in' all Life! He is the Creator and He is the Source of all Life!  Even Fundamentalists will concede that point in one breath and then bemoan the 'godlessness' of creation in the next! (confused people!!)  Often we are attacked for being 'pantheists', but the proper term for our beliefs and the beliefs of the Eastern Church would be 'pan en theists' - God within.  Actually, we look at Creation as the First Book of his Revelation, the Bible came later.  Study what is around you, rather than dismissing it as 'corrupt and fallen', and you will find the Face of God everywhere!


Well, I hope this helps clarify your misconceptions about CC but if not, please feel free to pose more questions...


Slan,


Marty

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 29, 2011 - 10:55AM #28
Stephen
Posts: 148

Marty and Heydrich,


Good questions and useful thoughts.


Knowledge of bad news is good news, because we perish for lack of knowledge. Paul's "It is not I who sin, but sin in me." invites an separation of sin and us. As a celt might think about it, from studying nature to better understand theology, it is not the rabid dog that bites the hand that feeds it, or fears water, but the virus inside of the dog manipulating the dog's brain.


Or, closer to home, consider the crack baby born with an addiction to crack because it's mother was a user. Such a baby is "born in addiction." Similar to being "born in sin."


Getting a clear understanding of the truth about these matters, including the truth about actual demonic presenses we might be born with, and actual physical impulses and desires that we might be inheriting from the "sins of our fathers," is the first step towards getting these "works of the devil" undone in our lives and the lives of those we love. Jesus made such cleansing, deliverance, and healing possible, if we receive the gospel with such understanding.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 7:33AM #29
mfjfarrell
Posts: 237

Dia anseo isteach!


God to all here!


Welcome back Stephen,


While I understand the examples (models) that you used about the rabid dog and the baby born to crack, I believe they only work if you use the Calvinist / Augustinian understanding of 'sin' as 'corruption'.  That isn't what the word means yet, I also understand that this interpretation is so ingrained in Western Theology that it is very difficult to break with that perception.  The West is so dominated by Roman and Evangelical considerations of mankind's inherent corruption that the meaning of 'harmatia' is forever lost when discussing sin.  Perhaps a study on the word would help shed light on that word and its meaning would help?


Sin is a reference to our 'failings and faults', this may seem like a small point often missed by those who prefer Calvin's theology but it really does make a big difference when it comes down to the Scriptures!  The Celts were scholars, they new the meaning of sin and therefore rejected Augustine's 'original sin' premise along with the Eastern Church.  Falling short of God's perfection is what the word sin references.  That is our 'humanity'!!  God never sees us as corrupt, He designed us to be like Him as we live this Journey here.  So your analogy of a viral infection 'misses the mark' because sin is inherent with our human nature, we are not perfect .. yet!


This theology allows us to approach all who come into our lives each day as brothers and sisters, rather than 'saved and unsaved'.  God was never separated from us, we should never place ourselves apart from 'ALL' our brothers and sisters in Creation.  Yet, in the West, the theology teaches that anyone not 'in the church' should be shunned and avoided because they are going to hell.  This is why the Celts were so successful in Evangelizing Europe and sharing the GOOD news (not the bad news of damnation) by working beside those they encountered.


Thanks again for your post, its always nice to see some activity here...


Slan,


Marty

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 30, 2011 - 8:18AM #30
heydrich
Posts: 4

The theology that allows us to approach everyone as brothers and sisters rather than "saved or unsaved", how can that be?  I have always equated "the world" which we are to not be a part of although in "the world" with those who are not saved.  Not that we are to not deal with the unsaved but we are not to be a part of them.  I think one reason we are told this is that many people would be enticed by "sinful" activities and thoughts and you would never know if they were Christian or not.  I have heard many people talk about the hypocrisy of Christians because they are doing the very things they are!  It seems many times people who are not Christian and don't have a real knowledge of the Bible seem to know inherently what's wrong and what's right and a Christian doing what they are doing stands out like a sore thumb! It seems to destroy the Christians witness if there was one, and makes a mockery of what Jesus taught.

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