PHOTO: Druids gathering at Stonehenge.(crystalinks.com)
When The Ides of March meet St. Patrick's Day...
Weird or scary druids usually bring a good laugh in today’s culture. To St. Patrick, they brought true heartache. He had to intellectually and spiritually fight that battle for the rest of his life in Ireland. But the saint had a great love for the people we would now term “new agers,” “spiritualists” or yes, even “pagans.”
Today, paganism wears an intellectual and respected face. You could watch most any television channel, stop by many farmer’s market’s booths, register for yoga seminars, attend countless universities and even go to some “churches” and find yourself in modern druidism.
Atheism and agnosticism are now cool. Whether dressed as folklore, nature-worship or a 385-page thesis, anti-theism-find-yourself-within sentiments have great impacts on a society.
Photo courtesy of scottshaw.org
But St. Patrick used his great, tender-tough intellect to counter paganism with direct metaphors or portals to heaven. For example, regarding sun worship, Patrick wrote:
“The sun which we see rising for us each day at his command, that sun will never reign nor will its splendour continue forever; and all those who adore that sun will come to a bad, miserable penalty. We, however, believe in and adore the true sun, that is, Christ, who will never perish. Nor will they perish who do his will but they will abide forever just as Christ will abide forever. He lives with God the Father almighty and with the Holy Spirit before the ages began, and now, and for all the ages of ages. Amen.”
Many Christians, myself included, find themselves complaining about the growing atheistic, agnostic, eastern mysticism and universalism movements emerging like leprechauns from the shadows.
Patrick borrowed the two sides of the shepherd’s staff from Christ – learning from his days as a literal shepherd in the hills of Ireland. One side is for prodding and the other for corralling.
Paganism, however ingloriously disguised, needs to be met with the same tough love that those two shepherds mastered.
PORTAL TO HEAVEN: There is not a greater portal to heaven than when disagreement and even hate is met with love and intellect – whether on the hills of Ireland or the hill of Calvary.
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty…When the army officer and the soldiers with him who were watching Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else that happened, they were terrified and said, ‘He really was the Son of God!’… When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
1 Peter 3:15 NIV, 2 Peter 1:16 NIV, Matthew 27:54 GNT, Luke 22:33,34 NIV