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Mixed-Faith Homes

Post  WynnDark on Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:55 pm

While I would gladly open this up to any discussion of mixed faith household issues, my particular 'issue' is that I'm of the habit of making incense offerings to the Gods of the Household. This feels right and appropriate to do, but I'm curious what other's opinions might be on the matter since my better half is a staunch Christ follower (she doesn't typically hold well with mainstream Christianity and would be condemned as a heretic by most). She also has no trouble with me holding my beliefs though we occasionally have, interesting, conversations on the matter, we're both very open about our beliefs with one another.
Anyway, when making such offerings in a mix-faith household it seems disingenuous to suggest that the household gods don't include the god(s) of one partner or the other. Thoughts?

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Re: Mixed-Faith Homes

Post  Erodius on Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:16 pm

The Roman emperor Alexander Severus kept a shrine to Orpheus, Abraham, Moses, Apollonius Tyaneus, and Jesus.

I consider that all gods are either persons of the Gods, or are other sorts of daimones of various levels, including Yahweh, whom I, per personal contemplation and the suggestion of Plutarch and some Orpheo-Pythagorean conceptions, consider to be a certain form of Bacchus and/or Sabus-Sabazius, and Jesus as a prophet or embodiment of this god, in the same manner as Pythagoras of Apollon, and Apollonius of Asclepius.

Many ancient Christianities, especially those that came to be condemned as heretical, were often quite compatible and overlapped heavily with Hellenistic and Imperial-era cults.

I'm sure I'll get a torch-bearing mob chasing me for saying this, but I don't feel there is anything at all impious about revering Christ and Yahweh as a sage and as one of the Gods, respectively.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Mixed-Faith Homes

Post  Callisto on Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:32 pm

@ WynnDark - Is the Christian god one of the gods of your household, as in actively worshipped by your SO and thus a part of your domicile? If so, then I see no problem with inclusion in the incense offering as a sign of respect. I don't see that as quite the same as adding said deity as a(n integral) part of your personal worship, which is unnecessary if you are not personally drawn to such a connection.

If it's more that your SO self-identifies as Christian but is not particularly or proactively religious, then I don't see it as necessary. If it was me and my SO was actively religious (whether part of a mainstream church or not), and unless he voiced any opposition, I would include his god in the offering. The offering and type of incense in both religions is similar, so it's not anything that would be inappropriate, incongruous or offensive.

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Re: Mixed-Faith Homes

Post  Linda on Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:46 pm

I don't know, my husband is a non-believer and he considers my 'little hobby' curious but he sees that it benefits me so he's fine with it.

But I'm not sure how I would do, actually, if he returned home and had found salvation elsewhere. But I'd probably would not include that god, because it would feel strange and out of place for me to do it. Probably I'd suggest that we would keep 'paralel faith' he keep to his and I to mine.

I came across a couple who were mixing once, she was confessing to the Earth Mother faith and he was calling himself a polytheistic Christian. That meant that he was confessing to the Christian god but accepted the existence of other gods out there. Before meals for instance they gave thanks to 'All the gods'. A very interesting solution if you ask me.
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Re: Mixed-Faith Homes

Post  WynnDark on Wed May 01, 2013 11:08 am

Whether or not the "Christian God" is actually a part of the household or not is, questionable, I question whether or not the Christians really have one god or not but that is neither here nor there. My better half, while not a church-goer, does indeed worship and while I've no intention to make her god an integral part of my worship I would show my respects and have on rare occasion said a prayer to him usually in thanks for watching over her during a particularly brutal shift.

Thank you all for your responses, I think any trace of awkwardness I was feeling when making an offering to the Household Gods will be over with now.

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Re: Mixed-Faith Homes

Post  xxChella21xx on Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:56 pm

I Have A Question concerning Faith of Households.

Recently I have discovered my new found faith, while I never really knew how to word what I was, My boyfriend was always a believer of supernatural things & in Christianity.

I'm a little worried about coming out to him about my new religion, I don't think he wouldn't approve of some of the ritual involved,much less setting up a shrine in the room.
I am Not about to give up my faith...and I don't want to give up him either.
But if He doesn't accept me for me, then I see no other choice...
-Most of my Family is Christian and most likely would NOT Approve (ESPECIALLY my Grandmother,who is a 'Truly' Devout Christian), and though they would not condone it, they would probably still accept & love me despite it. Apart from my mother who never really named her belief, though to me it strongly resembles Spiritualism And A Belief in Cosmic Life.

I'm just concerned.
I'd like to know if Anyone here has had a similar situation concerning their spouse or loved one,
Or if there is anything I could do to make the transition easier for them to understand?

Sincerely
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Re: Mixed-Faith Homes

Post  Erodius on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:16 pm

Well, Christianity is a Hellenistic religion. It has some Jewish roots, but is, theologically, almost totally Hellenistic, and, if you mean Nicene Christianity (which most Christian churches are) that form of Christian religion developed almost entirely in the Graeco-Roman world among Graeco-Roman people. 

The ideas of a sacrificed and resurrected deity, of holy communion, of deification/canonization of holy people, and of a divinity manifest as a trinity of a divine force (the Father), a spirit emanation from that divine force (the Holy Spirit), and the progeny begotten by the power of the divine force and the spirit (the Son/Christ) all come from certain streams of Hellenistic religion. 

Why not venerate Christ amid the other exalted sages? The emperor Alexander Severus venerated Orpheus, Alexander the Great, Apollonius of Tyana, Moses, Abraham and Jesus at his household's shrine. The sage Celsus, I believe, wrote that 'the Gods have proclaimed Christ to be most pious – but the Christians themselves are a confused lot.' 

Veneration of the God of Israel was not unknown in Hellenistic religion either. Often he is recognized as a mystical form of Bacchus, or sometimes considered the same as Sabazius, a Phrygian form of Jove, through the similarity of names Iahve-Sabaoth vs. Iovis-Sabazius. A group called the Hypsistarians venerated primarily Jove as Hypsistus (meaning "the Highest"), the ultimate deity of the universe, and otherwise followed Graeco-Roman customs. 

It is, at least, plenty to think about when considering whether the separation between Christianity and Graeco-Roman religion is really that large. However, I have to add the disclaimer that many (probably nearly all) Christians are unaware of any of this, and would balk at any suggestion that Christianity is anything other than derived from Jesus himself. 

Ultimately, you'll have to wait and see how things play out. Also, take your time. Don't nose dive into a new religion (even though it's very tempting to – it's usually that way with any new converts to a religion). Take the time to read and ponder and ask and read some more. One one hand, you may find that your interest fades (that really does happen, actually reasonably often, even with people who were super into it at the beginning) and if it does, then you haven't rooted yourself too deeply, and on the other, if it doesn't, then you are that much better versed and familiar with the subject, and better equipped to talk people with and answer questions – sometimes difficult or antagonistic questions – and not lose confidence.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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