Do Pagans Believe In God?

Monty Python GodThe answer to this question depends upon your meaning of the word “God”. If you’re referring to the narrow definition of “god” to mean solely the Christian concept of “God”, then perhaps the answer to your question is “no”. Pagans are not Christians. However, it’s not that simple. Many Pagans, myself included, believe that there is only one god, and that all religions on Earth reach out to this god in their own way. So, using that definition, thinking of “God” in a larger sense, as a entity or force than cannot be bound by narrow human conceptions, the answer to your question would most definitely be “yes”.

Many Pagans realize that the nature of “God” or the Divine is something that cannot be described by our limited human perceptions. So we make up whatever concepts we need in an attempt to explain that which cannot be explained. This is religion. Many human beings fail to realize that The Divine is not the same thing as religion. I’ve met many Christians whom I would contend do not worship God at all, but worship Christianity itself. As I have Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and, yes, Pagans. It is too easy for us to believe that our way is the only way. To concede that other religions might just be as valid as ours contradicts everything we believe in. So therefore, if someone belongs to another religion and they do not believe what we believe, and we are the one, true way and the only path to God, then we contend that those who follow those other religions cannot possibly believe in God.

This is not true.

To understand what Pagans believe, you must first acknowledge the concept that for a Pagan the concepts of the “Goddess” and the “God” are simply metaphors to help define and shape our understanding what the duality of The Divine, the feminine and masculine aspects that exist in all species. Few Pagans think of the Goddess and the God as literal, sentient beings, as many Christians think of their God sitting on a throne in a city in the sky where the roads are paved with gold. To us, these are metaphors which help foster our understanding of the dualistic nature of The Divine, just as that wise, benevolent being sitting on a throne is a metaphor that helps Christians conceptualize their relationship with The Divine. You see, to us, it’s entirely possible that both Pagans and Christians are correct in their basic concepts. We both reach out to the same Universal energy. Christians call in God or Jesus. Wiccans call it The Goddess and The God. Pagans call it by many names.

So, if you can accept that our concept of “God” is different from yours, and that perhaps we’re both worshiping the same thing, then one would have to concede that Pagans most definitely believe in God. We just describe it differently.

~ Claire Mulkieran

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Joy
Joy
10 years ago

Very, very interesting. I had no idea. Thank you for sharing. I’ve only known a few Pagans and Wiccans in my life but I have found them very similar to many Christians in that they tried to force their beliefs on others.

Can you answer a question for me? Where do your beliefs come from? We (Christians) have the Bible. Do you have a book as well or is it more based on historical knowledge.

Do you have meeting places like we have churches? Or is it more of a solitary belief system?

Just curious.

Thanks!

Xander Folmer
Xander Folmer
7 years ago
Reply to  Joy

“Do you have a book as well or is it more based on historical knowledge?”

A bit of both.
a lot of Pagan traditions are pieced together from archaeological discoveries, folklore, and some have old texts with religious lore. The Heathen community often uses the Eddas and the Sagas as religious texts.

JMac
JMac
5 years ago
Reply to  Joy

A lot of Pagan lore comes from stories. If anything was written down, it was destroyed by the violent onslaught of medieval Christianity. Before anyone kicks off, there is a huge difference between modern and medieval Christianity. Like nowadays you wouldn’t find torture a method of conversion.

Saying this, a lot of Pagan culture has actually survived through modern Christian celebrations. Such as bringing a tree into the house over Xmas (Winter Solstice), or Easter (Ostara, goddess of fertility and rebirth).

Personally I would never compare a modern Christian with those of 300 – 400 years ago. Thankfully we live in a more enlightened age where people will actually ask questions rather than accept what they’re told. 😀

danny
danny
8 years ago

Some pagan beliefs require animal and human sacrifices. I guess that distinguishes it from the one God in the bible. Can be quite dangerous when powerful or influential people start following these things.

power + money + supporter of blood sacrifices = devils in action.

Cory Miller
Cory Miller
7 years ago
Reply to  danny

We all say we believe in god. What sets us all apart is how we think we receive salvation how we enter heaven christians believe ask jesus into your hear pray for grace have faith and believe and repent

Xander Folmer
Xander Folmer
7 years ago
Reply to  danny

Early Christian beliefs require animal sacrifice as well. Read the old testament.

To the best of my knowledge, no modern Pagan belief systems endorse human sacrifice.

“Can be quite dangerous when powerful or influential people start following these things.”
-No more or less than when powerful or influential people start following Christianity. Christians were not known for being peaceful or tolerant rulers, historically speaking.

Lora K
Lora K
7 years ago
Reply to  danny

What about the Christian God asking Abraham to kill his son Isaac to prove he has faith? What about the Christian God killing all the other babies to avoid them killing Jesus? What about the Christian God in the Old Testament asking for burnt animal sacrifices from Cain and Abel and others in the other books of the Old Testament? What about the referral of Jesus as the Lamb of God, as the ‘sacrificial lamb’ for everyone on the cross?

Ashley
Ashley
7 years ago
Reply to  danny

I don’t believe in animal or human sacrifices. It’s pretty rare to find a pagan in an industrialized nation who does.

Jon
Jon
6 years ago
Reply to  danny

I am born Christian then I went pagan path but its not like you can forget the knowledge of Jesus Christ I just don’t believe that one man can save us cause its the son of god not god son of god and he died good people that what I see it. The way I think about it why would I go to heaven and retire there when we all go to purgatory first? There are ways to reincarnation to stay on earth to fight darkness why not everything is possible the way I see it. yes some pagan do human sacrifice or animal that is the concept of Neo pagan whitch I see as the dark gods depending what Neopagan path you take Aries and other concept of gods. But its the human mind chooses not always a demon or a devil that taking over yourself. It would be pointless to just believe you die and you retire, god does not give a free cookie its your own mind that chooses in decision which your own wisdom chooses what is right and what is wrong. Does have lots of Demons and devils on earth I would say yes why not cause I believe everything is possible. Who chooses your destiny God or you. Its your question to ask. And the Christian way isn’t to believe that the end of the world its not even that movies are brainwashing people been long time its a world government people will start relize it when you know you figure that money does not really exist and we live in lies.

nomad
nomad
7 years ago

what do I have to do to change from Christian to pagan?

Dee
Dee
7 years ago

Just curious… why are Pagan’s linked with Wiccan’s? Do they do or believe the same things? I have found that I just don’t fit in one of those nice religious “boxes”. I think outside of most religions. Just trying to find where I fit in….

Wicasta Lovelace
7 years ago
Reply to  Dee

I think it’s fair to say that all Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. Kind of like saying that all Baptists are Christians, but not all Christians are Baptists. While the differences between the paths that fall under the Pagan umbrella vary much more wildly than the denominations of Christianity, it’s a decent comparison. In the end, I wouldn’t worry about the box or the categories. Go where your heart leads you. For me, that meant not joining in with any particular group (I’m practically allergic to organized religion of any kind). I think of myself as “Pagan” because it’s such a broad term, and I’m probably closer to that than any other label. But I certainly don’t think many of the people who fall under the various categories of Paganism would recognize me as one of their own. Do your thang, and don’t worry about it. Your journey is unique to you. I sometimes tell people that I don’t fit in anywhere, and just consider myself to be Wicastan. Maybe you’re a Dee-ist. 😉 Just do what feels right, and don’t fret the specifics.

concerned
7 years ago

You say you believe in the same god, just in different ways. I get that. But then you say you don’t believe in them being real? I don’t get that.

Brandon
Brandon
5 years ago
Reply to  Claire

This has to be the most genius answer I’ve ever read. Well done.

Megan
Megan
4 years ago
Reply to  Claire

I love this article. I think your response is brilliant.
I love the costumes part ,it’s so right. Thank you 😊.

Scott
Scott
4 years ago
Reply to  Claire

Bingo!

Andrew
Andrew
7 years ago

The ancient paganism seems quite similar to ancient vedic religion consisting of hymes, rituals, Polytheism, and sacrifices. Also see Druids and Druhyus

Amanda
Amanda
7 years ago

Iser believe in God or higher power, i feel very connected with the world and everything is energy from the higher power,God or the one great energy force.i also believe that God has many names and we all religion want to be right but we really don’t know. I feel if your leading a life of spirituality and trying to become closer to your higher power no matter what name you put on him,her or both then that is right, atleast for me. I think that church is where you fellowship with others, but i also think just with one or two you can get very close to your higher power. When i am walking in the spirit it’s the best feeling not something you can find on earth. I don’t want to put a label on myself. I just want to get closer to the energy that gives me the best high ever. I love and want to help people. I also feel being opened minded is hard for some and my opinion is if we all could be more open minded we would realize we all come from one and the same.no matter what i ride for those who want good for each other those who are working on oneself those who want good for the earth and those that are open minded, and i don’t want to roll with those that hate. I thought God wanted us to break traditions. I love my God and wish all of you peace and love.

bheith
bheith
6 years ago

I do not agree on the articles complete view of pagan, it sounds solely wiccan. Many pagans are atheist, believing the concepts of god/godesses are metaphors. Some believe in many gods, polytheist. Some are christian pagans. Others nature worshippers with or without any divine. As pagans we need to be cautious explaining our ideals to others as fact, since they are but our own perception on our own path and may not be near suited to those who we offer advice to. If someone feels a god calling, they must find the path they need to achieve their own end result and the most we should do is share experience but not influence or guide another in our way. Doing this will get them lost on their path instead of providing growth.

mike
mike
5 years ago
Reply to  bheith

First off to be atheist is to not believe in a creator and that we are here by chance so to say pagan atheist as a whole is a contradiction and as for God well I believe he is like a tree and all the branches and leaves are the different names we call God but all goes back to the roots same God different names

AtheistMOB
5 years ago
Reply to  mike

Um… No. Atheism means a disbelief in a God. Not necessarily A Creator and certainly not by chance. You really need to learn definitions of words before you talk about them.

Zara
Zara
5 years ago
Reply to  bheith

Pagans believe in God. You could read about paganism during pre-islamic times. Islam however, wants the pagans to believe in one god (the universal energy).

Chrissa
Chrissa
4 years ago
Reply to  bheith

Lovely words. I myself am an Irish witch who for some reason feel chosen by the god of Abraham for something that takes place in my current incarnation. The Bible itself admits that there is more than one God. Goddess provides wisdom and protection in my life. Humanity has prostituted religion to a point that Jews Christians and Muslims each believe that they worship the one true God and don’t see they all worship the same father. Magik is a term not always understood. Isn’t a spiritual healing just as much magik as the mirror on my door. As a spiritual person who refuses a religious title it is my belief that each of us must choose whom to serve and to attain a personal relationship with the divine.

JMac
JMac
5 years ago

I remember the day I became full Pagan. The day the Tsunami hit Asian and Jews, Christian’s and Muslims all died in the wake. The only people who survived were the indigeonus Pagans. They read the signs given to them and managed to move to higher ground. I was on Exercise with the Army at the time. That very morning I ended up sharing my breakfast with a Robin. what got me the most in that moment was……..nature doesn’t care a tiny bit about us…….she is a mistress who cares more about the world we live in. I’ve not read one thing from any monotheistic texts that suggest we should look after this world. Without this world, we die, without us, this world lives. There are no God’s or Goddesses, only those that came before us. They try and teach us, but there are few that listen. And if it doesn’t conform to some God of Abraham view on the world, it must be mumbo jumbo and rubbish.

Theodore Lloyd
Theodore Lloyd
5 years ago
Reply to  JMac

you have a very valid point, I’m not pagans I’m not Christian or Muslim I’m not Hindu or Buddhist I am a spiritually conscious being. You are absolutely right without world we do not exist we will not live but without us this world will continue to live. There is no god or goddess that can save us from that, that my friend is reality..

Chuck
Chuck
4 years ago

can I be a pagan and worship one divine, both male and female. This is what I believe. there is ONE and that one is both male and female and ALL!

Chuck
Chuck
4 years ago
Reply to  Chuck

Thank You For This Answer!! This helps Me More Than You Think. My Dad just died and I have been asking myself many questions regarding what I believe. I set up an alter to him in my own way. I set it up my Own way. I was raised southern Baptist in the south. People do not know what is to be raised southern Baptist and believe different from what is taught. I cannot thank You enough.!! I welcome anyone else raised this way to say what ever they think to me please.

Ian
Ian
4 years ago

Thank you for this article, i have long believed that all people are worshipping the same God, they just use different names and imagery.
I also hold the personal view that God can be found in many things, and any time spent in nature just reaffirms that belief. my problem is that i have never been comfortable with conventional religions, love churches but have never been comfortable attending there is just something hollow about the worship that takes place there. i find my God among the trees and rivers and that is where i go to commune with God. i have never thought of myself as pagan, and to be honest i know little about paganism but i am at a stage in life where i feel i want to belong and have been searching various faiths none of which seem right, i always seem to find an area of conflict with the belief systems. i am now going to do more research into paganism maybe it is what i have been searching for.

RaveWolf
RaveWolf
2 years ago

Wow, this is by far the best explanation I have ever seen… This article is so old! I have no idea why I have never come across it.

This is my view exactly.