Why I Changed From Christianity To Paganism
Today I wanted to talk to you about a little personal journey of mine and that’s how I went from being a born-again Christian to being what I am now, which is a pagan witch (author’s video at end of the article).
I’m aware that I’ve gone from one end of the spectrum to the other and so I think a lot of people might be curious as to why I made such a drastic change. I want to specify first of all though that it’s not a phase. I have now been pagan for longer than I was Christian. I was a Christian for 9 years and I’ve now been pagan for 10. I want to specify also that I don’t think that this is necessarily the path for everyone. I’m not saying that one thing is better than the other. I’m just saying that this is what was right for me. It might be what’s right for you or it might be the opposite of what’s right for you and either way it’s okay. This is just my journey. So basically I wasn’t raised in a religious household. When I was a teenager though I had been going through a difficult period and I also was always a very curious person.
I was always looking for answers. I look back at myself when I was about 12 or 13 and I see that I was myself, I was becoming my own self and I was very much into astrology and palmistry and things like that. That was the real me. I’ve always been spiritual. I’ve always wanted to have this element in my life very strongly. But I was looking for truth and I was very vulnerable, because I’d gone through, you know, the usual adolescent crap that we all go through. We all go through it and it’s awful for basically all of us so yeah, I was very low and I was looking for a way out and someone came along and said, “Hey, try this” and I tried it and so I was a Christian for a long period of time. In that period of time I did a lot of my volunteer work. I hate the word missionary but that really was what I was for a long period of time and that is definitely what I was when I was last living in Thailand in 2005 and 2006. Obviously now I would never do something like that, I don’t believe that it’s right to change anyone’s faith at all, but at the time I thought I was doing the right thing.
I think another reason why I ran so strongly towards Christianity is I didn’t understand what was happening to me in terms of my spirituality. It was around this time that I became really keenly aware of the presence of my spirit guides but at the time I didn’t know that’s what they were. I thought that they were ghosts or demons or something evil, like I didn’t understand. And of course when I became a Christian, well everyone told me that these people around me, they were demons. Now there was nothing really about my spirit guides that would lead me to think that they were sinister, but like I said I was scared and the people around me affirmed that they were bad and that they were just trying to trick me and so naturally I believed what I was told. There was something else though that I always felt intuitively and that was the need to look after the planet.
Christianity in the way that it was presented to me did not seem to have much regard for the planet. Now, I know that that’s probably a reflection on the church that I went to, not on Christianity as a spiritual path, because I do know how many people who are incredibly responsible and mindful of their impact on the planet whilst following Jesus’ teachings; however, at the time, I was told things like, “Don’t worry about the Earth, we’re only here, you know, for 70 years and then we go and be in Heaven, so who cares what happens here”.
I even used to hear it preached, like in actual church, people would preach – they would say things like, “Well, if the planet’s dying, doesn’t that indicate that Jesus is coming soon?” “Doesn’t that tell you that God’s getting ready to wrap things up here?” “Don’t worry about the planet, God only cares about you”. This never sat right with me and I just never understood why the people around me were so okay with just acting as though they were the top of the pyramid.
I guess they were told they were top of the pyramid but it just never sat right with me that no-one seemed to give a shit. And I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, okay. The people at my church were nice people and the pastor of my church was a lovely man. I still, if I ran into him now, I’d probably still go up and give him a hug. He was lovely and he truly did his best to help everyone be the best version of themselves. The problem was the dogma that was growing up around this beautiful message of love that we were supposedly all following. There were many aspects of life that were controlled by things that didn’t even come from the Bible.
But anyway, getting back to the relationship between Christianity and the environment. I felt like I was an island in this church. There was maybe one or two other people who cares as much as I cared about recycling and animal welfare and things like that. I remember taking a course through the church and there was a scripture that we were studying and it was referring to stewardship. So stewardship means that you are a caretaker of something for somebody. You are looking after something for somebody else. And we were learning all about how we were stewards of the Earth for God. And the person taking the class, he actually said to us, “Yeah, we’re stewards of the Earth and for this reasons, Christians should be the greatest environmentalists”. It floored me. I was like, “Wow, you’re so right, this just confirms everything that I’ve ever believed. This is so spot-on”. But I looked around the room and nobody else had had the same reaction as me. Nobody else had even seemed to hear it. It just seemed like it had zero impact on them.
So as you can see, I was looking for a way that I could be spiritual and practice my spirituality in a way that honored the planet. I was not keen to remain on a spiritual path where I got told that I was the pinnacle of creation and that the whole entire planet was here to serve me. It just did not resonate at all and I was really looking for other people who felt the same way that I did. Anyway, flash forward a few years and I lived in Thailand. I came back. While I was in Thailand it was an amazing experience, although it was difficult because I did learn how to be okay with myself. Because I’d gotten away from some people, it gave me the chance to really be alone a bit more and work out what it was that I enjoyed, what it was that I took pleasure in, and do not have anybody around me saying don’t do this or don’t do that. It was in this time that I actually took up belly dancing, and I also had a few experiences regarding the animals that were within our care that made me really think, “Yeah, I’m not okay with the status quo, I’ve gotta live a bit differently”.
I came back. Because I’d fallen in love with belly dancing, I started taking classes and I connected with an amazing group of women. We were a tribal belly dance troupe and every Saturday we would dance together with our teacher, and then we would go down the street and we would sit in a café for hours and hours drinking chai and talking. And we had some of the best chats during this time, and they were just an amazing group of girls. And they were all so diverse. A few of them were pagan but the majority of them were just simply open-hearted, open-minded beautiful souls and they were so respectful to me.
Prior to that, most of the people in my life had fallen into two camps. They either told me that I should be a Christian or they told me that I should NOT be a Christian. But these girls were just simply accepting of what I believe and they didn’t try to change me and as a result, I happily listened to them when they shared about their beliefs. And I started realizing that there was nothing wrong with the stuff that they were believing and I began opening my heart too. At first, I simply adopted some of their practices. But over time I realized that more and more I wanted to pursue the things that we had discussed on those lovely afternoons. And I wanted to go to church less and less. Now, there was a time in my life where this statement that I just made, that would have scared me. It would have been like, “Oh my god, you’re backsliding!” If that’s what you wanna describe my journey as, fine, but I’d describe it as growth.
Because I never actually decided that I no longer believed in Jesus. To this day I still believe in him, it’s just that I’ve changed my thoughts on some of the things that I’ve been told about him. He’s an amazing, loving being but there are other amazing, loving being out there as well, and the thing is, we can access all of them. They’re all there to help us and we don’t have to limit ourselves by choosing to talk to only one person. I also shed my belief that there was only one way into the afterlife. Now obviously I don’t do things in my day-to-day life in the hope of lining up merit for myself or, you know, with an idea of what my afterlife’s going to be. But what I’m saying is, when I was a Christian I was repeatedly told the scripture about the narrow gate and about there being only one way into Heaven.
And I was literally taught that the only way to avoid hell was to believe only in Jesus, and I realized that that statement is just completely based in fear. I now believe that we live in a universe of love and I think that we come here to learn. But I don’t want to get bogged down in, you know, what’s better, Christianity of paganism.
What I’m trying to say here is this was the right choice for me. Now my spiritual path is so much more open. I feel empowered when I honor nature. I mentioned in my video about paganism that we believe that nature is a representation of the divine, so when I treat nature well, to me, I’m treating the divine well. Whereas when I was a Christian there was a much more limited way of showing my appreciation and my worship for the divine. I also feel much more plugged in with this planet that we’re on. I definitely did not like being dismissive of the planet before.
I did not like viewing the planet as just like a holding pen for this wonderful eternity that we had no proof even existed. As I said, this was just the right thing for me. For some of you, what I did is NOT going to be the right thing for you. For you the right thing is something else and that is totally cool. But this is what’s right for me, and this is also my way of telling you how I ended up being basically who I am now.
It was a really transformative time in my life when I went from Christianity to paganism. It was very scary. Unfortunately, I lost almost every friend that I had made as a Christian. Now, I think that says more about them than it does about Christianity, but the point is I changed my life up and I lost almost everyone. So when you do something where there is the chance of losing so many people, it’s terrifying, particularly when your identity is wrapped up in you being something. Where, you know, if there’s a label that you’ve put on yourself and you’re like, “This is me, this is who I am”, and then you rip that label off, it can be a really scary moment. But ultimately we must, we absolutely must, break free of fear and live according to our own intuition. So with that said, I know that there are a lot of you there who are Christians who, you have been able to set yourself free of fear without becoming something other than Christian.
And you know, if you’ve found happiness doing that, that’s flipping awesome. So anyway, that’s my journey. I would love to hear what you guys think about it, if you’ve got any thoughts or opinions or anything like that. If you’ve gone through something similar yourself I would love to hear, so please comment below and let me know. If you liked this video hit the thumbs up button and also hit the subscribe button, because I am planning to talk about my spiritual path a bit more, and I’d like to answer any questions that people might have as well, so yeah hit the subscribe button so that you don’t miss out on any of that. Apart from that, have a wonderful day.
As found on Youtube