We must not be negligent in these areas.  While paganism generally implies polytheism, the primary distinction between classical pagans and Christians was not one of monotheism versus polytheism. Pagan is as pagan does; we worship what we pour our lives into, no matter what it looks like. This is just what the Apostle Paul wrote about, over 2,000 years ago, where “they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,” (Rom 1:25), meaning man is worshiping the creation, even himself in some cases. Hua, Yih-Fen. As such, throughout history it was generally used in a derogatory sense. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. The term pagan is derived from Late Latin paganus, revived during the Renaissance. Yes, they may practice the pagan religion, but where they are now, is where we were once. “Transcendental Visions – Other-Worldliness – and Its Transformations: Some More Comments on L. Dumont. In the Latin-speaking Western Roman Empire of the newly Christianizing Roman Empire, Koine Greek became associated with the traditional polytheistic religion of Ancient Greece, and regarded as a foreign language (lingua peregrina) in the west. Itself deriving from classical Latin pagus which originally meant 'region delimited by markers', paganus had also come to mean 'of or relating to the countryside', 'country dweller', 'villager'; by extension, 'rustic', 'unlearned', 'yokel', 'bumpkin'; in Roman military jargon, 'non-combatant', 'civilian', 'unskilled soldier'.  The scene in The Bacchae wherein Dionysus appears before King Pentheus on charges of claiming divinity is compared to the New Testament scene of Jesus being interrogated by Pontius Pilate. Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Paul’s point is that even the pagan’s or unbelievers know better than to do what this man was doing, so we shouldn’t be too hard on non-believers. Makes it easier for you to be cruel to anyone who doesn’t follow your religion, I guess, to think that anyone who doesn’t follow your dogma is automatically evil. And Paul doesn’t seem to use the word pagan in an insulting manner. Paganism (from classical Latin pāgānus "rural, rustic," later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. Ein Beitrag zur Kontextualisierung des Johannesevangeliums", Tafsir Ibn Kathir Juz' 2 (Part 2): Al-Baqarah 142 to Al-Baqarah 252 2nd Edition, "Pagan beliefs: nature, druids and witches", "Defining Paganism: Paleo-, Meso-, and Neo-", Statistics >> Population >> Religious organisations, http://www.sehepunkte.de/2013/05/21410.html, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Paganism&oldid=990422998, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles containing Old Norse-language text, Articles containing Armenian-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. They might make it seem attractive because they focus on those who are highly dissatisfied with life and may have been in trouble for something. The notion of paganism, as it is generally understood today, was created by the early Christian Church. “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us"- Augustine, Copyright © 2010-2020 Telling Ministries LLC. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Jew, etc., so that each pagan tradition is also a national tradition. Eternal life or wrath.  It retained that meaning for roughly the first millennium of Christianity. We must be alert to watch for signs that a child or children may be under their influence. Some of these have been around for thousands of years, while most of the others are recent human inventions. This usage is recorded in the New Testament. “We’re only a part of the cosmos.” Everyone alive is considered part of “Mother Nature.” Pleasure is “a natural thing,” so don’t suppress it.  Similarly, classical pagans would have found it peculiar to distinguish groups by the number of deities followers venerate.  The long-established use of Greek both in and around the Eastern Roman Empire as a lingua franca ironically allowed it to instead become central in enabling the spread of Christianity—as indicated for example by the use of Greek for the Epistles of Paul. And sit down with them face to face and ask them, “What’s going on,” but with care and concern, in love. Following the sack of Rome by the Visigoths just over fifteen years after the Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I, murmurs began to spread that the old gods had taken greater care of the city than the Christian God.
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