The Celtic Church

Tim Wallace, the British author of Hidden Wisdom; Secrets of the Western Esoteric Tradition wrote that the beliefs, rituals and practices of the Celts had much in common with the recorded practices of the prophets and “certain esoteric groups in biblical Israel.” Read Nazarenes and Essenes here. He goes on to say that there is a theory which links the early Druids with the Hebrew esoteric group known as the Kabeiri – a word I have seen variants of such as Kabirim, Kerub, and Cherub and Cherubim. He relates that they worshiped the pagan pantheons such as Apollo, Mars, Jupiter and Mercury. Just a reminder here, the worship of these deity figures would have been the exoteric worship. The Druids themselves would have been worshiping the one true God. The author also said that the Celts believed that the world they inhabited was permeated and controlled by the spiritual world and they believed the Druids were the mediators between the two. He wrote;

“Druidism, shamanism and the Brahmanism of the Hindus have all been described as close variants on an identical theme. Diogenes Laertes equates the Druids with the Persian Magi. …According to Cassiodorus the druids knew the course of the twelve signs of the zodiac and traced the planets as they passed through them. Their priestly role among the Celtic tribes was also highly dependent upon their gifts of prophecy. Druids were more than mere priests however they were also the sacred custodians of their culture, teachers, lawgivers, judges, bards and interpreters of the divine.”

In the book Celt, Druid and Culdee by Isabel Hill Elder, the author quotes Dudley Wright;

‘It is established by the most unquestionable authority that the Celts were the original inhabitants of Europe, that the Celtic language was a dialect of the primary language of Asia, and that the Celtae had among them from the remote antiquity an Order of Literati called Druids, to whom the Greeks and Romans ascribed a degree of philosophic celebrity, inferior to none of the sages of the past. The spiritual character of Druidical teaching is illustrated in the following Triads: The three foundations of Druidism: Peace, Love, and Justice.’

The following is from that same book – which is in the public domain. The author relates that Druidism was;

“The center and source from which radiated the whole system of organized civil and ecclesiastical knowledge and practice of the country. The Order constituted its church and parliament; its courts of law, its colleges of physicians and surgeons, its magistracy and clergy. The members of the Order were its statesmen, legislators, priests, physicians, lawyers, teachers and poets. The truth about the Druids, to be found amongst fragments of literature and in folk-memory, is that they were men of culture, well-educated, equitable and impartial in the administration of justice. These ancient leaders of thought and instruction in our islands had lofty beliefs as to the character of the one God, Creator and Preserver, and of man’s high origin and destiny. There is reason to believe that this doctrine included the need for atonement for sin and the resurrection of the body. To reverence the Deity, abstain from evil and behave valiantly were, according to Laertes, the three grand articles enjoined by the Druids. In Druidism the British nation had a high standard of religion, justice and patriotism presented to it, and a code of moral teaching that has never ceased to influence national character.”

“The educational system adopted by the Druids is traced to about 1800 BC when Hu Gadarn Hysicion (Isaacson), or Hu the Mighty, led the first colony of Cymri into Britain from Defreobane, where Constantinople now stands. In the justly celebrated Welsh Triads, Hu Gadarn is said to have mnemonically systematized the wisdom of the ancients of these people whom he led west from the Summerland. He was regarded as the personification of intellectual culture and is commemorated in Welsh archaeology for having made poetry the vehicle of memory, and to have been the inventor of the Triads. To him is attributed the founding of Stonehenge, and the introduction of several arts including glass-making and writing in Ogham characters.”

“It required twenty years to master the complete circle of Druidic knowledge. Natural philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, geometry, medicine, jurisprudence, poetry and oratory were all proposed and taught-natural philosophy and astronomy with severe exactitude. Caesar says of the Druids:  “They hold aloof from war and do not pay war taxes; they are excused from military service and exempt from all liabilities.”

“The theological students were given a particularly long course of training, and no Druidic priest could be ordained until he had passed three examinations in three successive years before the Druidic college of his tribe. The head of the clan possessed a veto on every ordination. By very stringent laws the number of priests was regulated in proportion to the population; and none could be a candidate for the priesthood who could not in the previous May Congress of the tribe prove his descent from nine successive generations of free forefathers. Genealogies, therefore, were guarded with the greatest care. This barrier to promiscuous admission had the effect of closing the Order almost entirely to all but the Blaenorion or aristocracy, making it literally a “Royal Priesthood”. Druidic physicians were skilled in the treatment of the sick; their practice was far removed from the medicine-man cult, so unfairly ascribed to them by their contemporary enemies, and lightly followed ever since. They prayed to God to grant a blessing on His gifts, conscious that it should always be remembered that no medicine could be effective nor any physician successful without Divine help.”

“The primitive religion of Britain associated in so many minds with the worship of the heavenly bodies, was the worship of the ‘Lord of Hosts’, the Creator of the Great Lights, the sun and moon, not the worship of the heavenly bodies themselves. The Universe was the Bible of the ancients the only revelation of the Deity vouchsafed them. The wonders of nature were to them as the voice of the All-Father, and by the movement of the heavenly bodies they ordered their lives, fixed religious festivals and all agricultural proceedings. The way to Christianity for the early inhabitants of Britain was traced by Nature herself, and from Nature to Nature’s God. St. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, writes, “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”

“The stories that are told and believed of human sacrifice by the Druids are pure inventions of the Romans to cover their own cruelty and to excuse it. The Druids sacrificed sheep, oxen, deer and goats; charred remains of these have been found at Avebury, Stonehenge and in the vicinity of St. Paul’s Cathedral. No trace of human sacrifice has been discovered in Britain.”

“It is very generally believed that the Celts were nature worshippers, that they gave Divine honors to rivers, mountains and woods. It is entirely a mistake to believe that they did so. They were nature lovers – never nature worshippers; neither had they a multitude of gods and goddesses, as is often affirmed. The gods and goddesses were mere mascots, and even to their descendants mascots and charms have lost none of their popularity. Other nations never obtained a proper comprehension of Druidism of Britain, blending with it religions less pure. It is recorded by Caesar that those in Gaul who wished to be perfectly instructed in Druidism crossed the sea to what they believed to be its birthplace. In the Christian era St. Patrick used the shamrock to instruct the people in the doctrine of the Trinity, and in earlier days the Druids used the oak for the same purpose. They sought a tree having two principal arms springing laterally from the upright stem, roughly in the form of a cross. Upon the right branch they cut the name Hesus; upon the middle or upright stem Taranis; upon the left branch Belenis; over this they cut the name of God-Thau. The Hebrew prophets, it will be noted, referred to their expected Messiah as ‘The Branch.’

In the ancient British tongue Jesus had never assumed its Greek, Latin or Hebrew form, but remains the pure Druidic Yesu. It is singular that the ancient Briton never changed the name of the God he and his forefathers worshipped, nor has he ever worshipped but one God. In the Cornish folk-lore whole sentences were treasured up, and when written down were found to be pure Hebrew. Three of these rendered into English are: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in”: “Who is this King of Glory?” “The Lord Yesu, He is the king of Glory.”

“Druidism with its self-evident Old Covenant origin, which later was, indeed, the great ‘oral secret’ transmitted by Druid sages from generation to generation, its doctrine of the Trinity, worship entirely free from idolatry, furtherance of peace and contribution to the settling of disputes among the laity, high moral tone, and insistence on the liberty and rights of the subject, was a perfect preparation for the reception of Christianity. Upon the introduction of Christianity the Druids were called upon, not so much to reverse their ancient faith, as to ‘lay it down for a fuller and more perfect revelation’. No country can show a more rapid, natural merging of a native religion into Christianity than that which was witnessed in Britain in the first century A.D. The readiness with which the Druids accepted Christianity, the facilities with which their places of worship and colleges were turned to Christian uses, the willingness of the people to accept the new religion are facts which the modern historian had either overlook or ignored.”

“The word ‘Magi’-the Latin equivalent for ‘Druids’ – was used by early Irish writers and frequently by the Welsh; their synonymity in the modern mind appears to be almost entirely lost. The term ‘Magi’ conjures up a sacred meaning indicative of the exact opposite to that which we have been led to believe about the Druids. The Druids were, in Celtic Hagiology constantly termed Magi.”

“From ‘Ecclesiastical Antiquities’ of the Cymry we learn that the Silurian Druids embraced Christianity on its first promulgation in these islands, and that in right of their office they were exclusively elected as Christian ministers, though their claims to national privileges as such were not finally sanctioned until the reign ls Lles ap Coel (Lucius), A.D. 156. The Christian king Lucius, third in descent from Caradoc and grandson of Pudens and Claudia, built the first monastery on the site of a Druidic Cor at Winchester and at a National Council held there in A.D. 156 established Christianity the national religion as the natural successor to Druidism, when the Christian ministry was induced into all the rights of the Druidic hierarchy, tithes included.”

“Moreover there are documents of no small credit, which have been discovered in certain places, to the following effect: No other hands than those of the disciples of Christ erected the Church at Glastonbury…for if Phillip the Apostle preached to the Gauls, as Freculphus relates in the fourth chapter of his second book, it may be believed that he also planted the word on the hither side of the channel. The first converts of the Culdees were Druids. The Druids of Britain, in embracing Christianity, found no difficulty in reconciling the teaching of the Culdees, or ‘Judean refuges’, with their own teaching of the resurrection and inheritance of eternal life. Numerous writers have commented upon the remarkable coincidence which exists between the two systems.”

“From ‘Ecclesiastical Antiquities’ of the Cymry we learn that the Silurian Druids embraced Christianity on its first promulgation in these islands, and that in right of their office they were exclusively elected as Christian ministers, though their claims to national privileges as such were not finally sanctioned until the reign ls Lles ap Coel (Lucius), A.D. 156. The Christian king Lucius, third in descent from Caradoc and grandson of Pudens and Claudia, built the first monastery on the site of a Druidic Cor at Winchester and at a National Council held there in A.D. 156 established Christianity the national religion as the natural successor to Druidism, when the Christian ministry was induced into all the rights of the Druidic hierarchy, tithes included.”

Early in my research, I found that the Welsh and Hebrew languages were from the same source. In Cornish folk lore, ancient writings were kept that were later found to be pure Hebrew. The Welsh people call the Irish Iddew and the country Iddewan – which means Jewsland! St. Columba made the famous statement, “Christ is my Druid”.

“The British historian Gildas, writing in A.D. 542, wrote: “We certainly know that Christ, the True Sun, afforded His light, the knowledge of His precepts, to our Island in the last year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, A.D. 37.  Sir Henry Spelman states, “We have abundant evidence that this Britain of ours received the Faith, and that from the disciples of Christ Himself soon after the Crucifixion.”, and Polydore Vergil observes that “Britain was of all kingdoms the first that received the Gospel.”

The author of Rule by Secrecy tells us;

“In 190 Tertullian of Carthage wrote; ‘The extremities of Spain, the various parts of Gaul, the regions of Britain never penetrated by Roman arms, have received the religion of Christ.’ Sabellius the heretic said in 230 AD ‘Christianity was privately expressed elsewhere, but the first nation that proclaimed it as their religion was Britain.’ Origen (185-254) Greek founding-father of the early church, said ‘The power of the Lord is with those in Britain.’ In 300 Dorotheus bishop of Tyre, said that the Aristobulus of St. Paul’s epistle was bishop here – a statement confirmed by Greek martyrology and by old Welsh records who knew him as Arwystli….these eminent theologians confirm the very early, even apostolic mission to Britain….whoever came here brought an Asian, Gnostic brand of the faith; he used the Phoenician trade-route and was probably employed by the Romans when they annexed British metal-mines, and was on friendly business terms, perhaps even related to, the British Silurian royal family who worked them, and who certainly had Phoenician ties of blood. Joseph, the wealthy man of the Gospels, may well have been a Phoenician tin-trader. He may well have been the ‘noble Decurion’ as Jerome calls him – an officer, we are told, often put in charge of mines.”

In the following is evidence of the early connection of Celtic Christianity with the Welsh/Britannic royal family. These are Welsh royalty I found I am a direct descendant of. The author of The Holy Kingdom; the Quest for the Real King Arthur has this to say about them;

“King Caradoc (aka Caractacus) and his family are justly famous in the Welsh records not only for their war record, but also for welcoming the apostolic mission into Britain and helping the Culdee church to become established here shortly after the Crucifixion. The Welsh triads, and the equally neglected lists of the ‘Lives of the Saints’, contain clear and accurate accounts. They describe the arrival in Britain of Christian missionaries, led by St. Ilid (Joseph of Arimathea), and how they came at the behest of Caradoc’s saintly daughter, Eurgain, who is credited with being the first British convert to the new religion…..St. Ilid had originally come to Britain at the bidding of Eurgain, the daughter of Caradoc, and that he was the chief instructor of the Khymry in the Christian faith. She had established a Cor of twelve saints, which St. Ilid systematized.

Caradog (Caradoc/Caractacus) built a palace, after the manner of the Romans, at abergwerydwry, called now Llandunwyd Major, or St. Donats. His daughter, Eurgain, married a Roman chieftain, who accompanied her to Cambria. This chieftain had been converted to Christianity, as well as his wife Eurgain, who first introduced the faith among the Cambro-Britons, and sent for Ilid (a native of the land of Israel) from Rome to Britain. This Ilid is called in the service of his commemoration, St. Joseph of Arimathea. He became the principal teacher of Christianity to the Cambro-Britons, and introduced good order into the choir of Eurgain, which she had established for twelve saints near the place now called Llantwit; but which was burnt in the time of King Edgar. After this arrangement, Ilid went to Ynys Afallen in Gwlad yr haf (The land of plenty) where he died and was buried.”

According to George Jowett, author of a book called The Drama of the Lost Disciples;

“Aulus Plautius, the Roman commander stationed in Britain following the Claudian invasion, married Caradoc’s sister Gwladys. Like her niece Eurgain, Caradoc’s daughter, Gwladys was a Christian, but in deference to Roman customs, on her marriage she took the name Pomponia. She was a highly gifted and educated lady, who could speak fluent Greek. On account of this she was given the epithet “Graecina”, so her full Roman name became Pomponia Graecina Plautius. Her Christian father caused waves in Rome: in his Annals, Tacitus tells the story of how she was tried for ‘foreign superstition’ a charge used by writers at that time in Rome specifically to designate Christianity. Fortunately the presiding magistrate was her husband and she was acquitted.

It was probably also during the time of truce that another extra-ordinary connection was made between the families of the Roman Caesars and the Khymric royal family, when the Emperor Claudius adopted as his own, Caradoc’s youngest daughter, also called Gwladys. This story adds to the evidence showing the spread of Christianity in the early Roman Empire. She changed her name to Claudia and later married a relative of the Emperor called Aulus Rufus Pudens Pudentius. He had earlier served in Britain under Aulus Plautius and they were married at the Palatium Britannicum, the home of Caradoc and his family of exiles whilst they were held hostage in Rome. After Caradoc was set free and allowed to return home to Britain, he gave the Palatium Britannicum as a bridal gift to Claudia and her husband Pudens.

At this time there were two Christian congregations in Rome, one Jewish and the other Gentile. The question of whether or not it was necessary to be circumcised in order to become a Christian was a matter of intense debate and it was not until later, when the matter had been resolved, that the two communities merged. Both Claudia, who is said to have been baptized as a child by Joseph of Arimathea himself, and Pudens who may also have been converted in Britain, were Christians of the Gentile church. Accordingly, their house became one of the most important centers of Christian worship in Rome, which was of course pagan at the time. A frequent house guest of theirs seems to have been St. Paul, who sends their greetings at the end of his second Letter to Timothy.

What is equally certain is that Linus, also mentioned in the Epistles of St. Paul, was Claudia’s brother. He was consecrated by Paul and became the first Bishop of Rome. This is confirmed in the Apostolic Constitutions, where St. Peter is recorded as writing that Linus set up the first church in Rome in AD 58 and ‘Of the church of Rome, Linus, brother of Claudia, was first ordained by Paul, and after Linus’ death, Clemens, the second ordained by me Peter.’”

The back story to Caradoc/Caractacus and his family being held hostage in Rome is interesting. Caradoc successfully resisted a Roman invasion of Britain for years. In fact, Rome never defeated Caradoc and his army, but Caradoc was betrayed by someone inside Britain. Caradoc and his family were paraded through Rome in chains before their scheduled deaths. However, Caradoc was given the chance to speak before the Roman Senate. His speech was so eloquent – and as he pointed out, he hadn’t been defeated by the Romans, so the Romans ended up granting him a huge estate and holding him ‘hostage’ in Rome, eventually releasing him.

I find the following information from Celt, Druid & Culdee very interesting. To begin with, I once made the statement that I believed my ancestor Edward Mashborne likely descended from a King Edward. It was not a statement I had put any thought or research into. At the time, I had no idea if there ever was a King Edward! I haven’t been able to link the Mashburn’s up with him yet, but other family lines do link up to him/them – there was more than one king Edward. The author tells us;

“Edward III may be said to have forged another link in the chain of resistance to Rome’s claim to supremacy which culminated in the final secession under Henry VIII two hundred years later. The revival of the Arthurian traditions by Edward III along with the establishment of the British Order of the Goodly Fellowship of Chivalry had, as its founder, King Arthur, the first of the Knights. It is recorded how ‘Edward, king of England, at this time resolved to rebuild the great castle of Window formerly built and founded by King Arthur; and where first was set up and established the noble Round Table from which so many men have issued forth to perform feats of arms and prowess throughout the world.

King Arthur, it is said, modeled his Round Table Fellowship on the Table of the Last Supper. As a descendant of Joseph of Arimathea, who led a company of persecuted Christians-Judean refugees, or Culdees – to our shores, the details of those early days would be, to Arthur, family history, for most, if not all of his knights, were of the family of Joseph. The Round Table, which now hangs on the wall of Winchester Great Hall, is a reminder to the nation of the sacred nature of the foundation upon which the ‘Round Table Fellowship’ rests. Henry VIII, on the occasion of the visit of Charles V, had the table taken down and re-painted green and white, the liveries of the British Order and the rose of St. George in the center.

The names of the Companions of the Goodly Fellowship inscribed on the margin by the Tudor monarch have been identified, with but one exception, as owners of castles and estates in Monmouth shire, South Wales and Cornwall. We have thus, through Arthurian history, a link with the early British or Culdee Church and a very definite link with Palestine, a link which no other country holds in its historical records.”

Barry Dunford in his book The Johannine Celtic Church informs us that;

“During the 1st century A.D. Alexandria was the founding center of the Christian Coptic Church (principally based in Egypt, Syria and Ethiopia) which, although traditionally founded by St. Mark, had leanings towards the Johannine corpus mystica. The Copts monastic counterpart in Western Europe, effectively the Celtic Church of Britain and Gaul, claimed its religious tenets were directly derived from the mystical teaching of St. John the Apostle. In Britain these Celtic monks were known as Culdees, from the Gaelic Culdich, which has been translated as “certain strangers”. They were also known by the Latin name Coli Dei (servants of God). The Celto-Coptic connection is noted by Mary Caine who says: ‘For Copt and Celtic Christian, Christ restated the ancient Mysteries. And though the later Church suppressed this belief, the monks of Glastonbury secretly perpetuated it.’ The term ‘Culdee’ stems from the word ‘Chaldean’. Abraham was from ‘Ur of the Chaldees’. The Celtic Culdee connection with the Middle East is commented on by the French oriental scholar, Henry Corbin, in The Imago Templi in Confrontation (1974) who wrote;

“The primitive Celtic Church, prior to Romanization, is represented by groups of monks known as Culdees….The groups of companions called by this name seem, moreover, to have played a much larger role in Scotland than in Ireland….these autonomous groups of hermit brothers correspond to what we know of the original structure of the Celtic Church….these Coli Dei [Culdees] had a role to play on the Celtic side analogous to the role attributed on the eastern side. …The Coli Dei are also included in the spiritual line of descent from the builders of the Temple of Solomon, the line of the Essenes, the Gnostics, even the Manichaean’s and the Ismail’s. They were established at York in England, at Iona in Scotland, in Wales, and in Ireland; their favorite symbol was the dove, the feminine symbol of the Holy Spirit. In this context, it is not surprising to find Druidism intermingled with their tradition and the poems of Taliesin integrated to their corpus. The epic of the Round Table and the Quest of the Holy Grail have likewise been interpreted as referring to the rites of the Coli Dei. It was, moreover, to the time of the Coli Dei that is assigned the formation of the Scottish knighthood whose seat is typified by the mysterious sanctuary of Kilwinning, under the shadow of Mount Heredom in the extreme north of Scotland.”

Next is an interesting essay that shows a link between Christianity and Paganism from a modern day adherent of the English Folk Church – the descendant of the Celtic Church;

From:  www.englishfolkchurch.com/articles/serpent.htm

“The title Christos has its origins in Greek paganism and not Jewish Messianism.  The classical Greek word, Cristos, predates both the New Testament and the Septuagint by centuries.  It is thought to derive from a proto Indo-European root ‘ghrei’ which means ‘to rub’.  For instance, Homer uses the word ‘Christos’ to refer to rubbing one’s body with oil after bathing.  However, the classical meaning of Christos has another dimension to it.  There is a prophecy of the Erythrean Sybil which states, “Iesous Chreistos Theou Huios Soter Staurus”.  This literally means “Iesus, Christos, God, Son, Savior, Cross.

This is quite weird when you think that it was made by a Pagan oracle several hundred years before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth!  It is thought to refer to the coming down to Earth of the Spirit of Truth (the Christos) who will usher in a golden age in which God is revealed to humankind.  However, this blessed condition is only reached through a process of crucifixion of the flesh, which probably refers to a process of asceticism in which the worldly matter of the flesh is subordinated to the spirit.

In the mystery religions of ancient Greece, the act of anointing with oil was a symbol of initiation. It was an outward sign of a person having achieved spiritual enlightenment or union with the inner dwelling Spirit of Truth – the Christos. The person thus became a Christos following a long period of study and ascetic practice. We could say that a Christos is someone who has obtained Gnosis, knowledge of God and of themselves – spiritual enlightenment. A Christos is therefore someone who has fully joined with the Spirit of Truth. In esoteric Christian terms this can be seen as an expression of the human Jesus being fully united with the Spirit of God.  Through Jesus, God came amongst us (Emmanuel).

….. The title Chrestos was also used to refer to gods themselves.  There is, for example, evidence that the Egyptian sun god Osiris was called Chrestos, whilst the word Chrestos can be seen on a Mithraic relief in the Vatican. Mithras was a sun god popular in Rome around the time of Jesus, many aspects of whose cult (including his birthday of 25 December) were absorbed into Roman Christianity. In this sense, the title Chrestos was linked to the god as a savior figure or Soter.  This is reflected in the prophecy of the Erythrean Sybil mentioned above (“IESOUS Chreistos Theou Huios Soter Staurus”). It is also evident in the name Jesus itself, rescued or saved by God.  Jesus is in effect a title as much as Christ.

God’s spirit resides within all created beings – more strongly within the folk gods and goddesses than us humans as they were the first created.  It is through the Spirit that we are connected to God and to our folk gods and goddesses. The ancient Greeks referred to God’s spirit as the Christos or ‘Spirit of Truth’.

Jesus of Nazareth was born into our world.  He was a real human who was born to real human parents; Mary and Joseph.  The English Folk Church does not teach the literal truth of the virgin birth, which is a powerful myth to emphasize that in Jesus the Spirit of God (the Christos) and the mind of God (the Logos) dwelt amongst us in human form. The English Folk Church does not seek to define precisely how this occurred and it has been the subject of a great deal of essentially fruitless debate and speculation over the years. The important point is not how God was manifest in the person of Jesus, but that God was manifest in Him.  The English Folk Church believes that a great deal of myth has grown up around the historical Jesus. So much that it is no longer possible to discern historical fact from myth. But myth is not fiction.  It is a story that tells of deep underlying truth. It is often through myth that we can better appreciate the underlying importance of things.

God has created a great many spirit beings that permeate the natural world around us.  These are our folk gods and goddesses, the Ælfe (or Elfs) and the land and water wights.  Although sometimes confused with angels in the popular mind, they are not angels as such as they have free will.  All peoples share a common humanity through the universal God.  But at the same time, all peoples have a unique relationship with their ancestral folk gods and goddesses who have shaped them physically, culturally and spiritually. Our folk gods and goddesses are assigned specifically to the native people of North Western Europe and our kin around the world. Similar beings are assigned to other peoples of the world.

The English Folk Church does not see Jesus as the Jewish Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament and anticipated by the Jews of his day. The Old Testament itself is mainly the story of the Israelite people and of little direct relevance to the English or Saxon Folk Christian. The title Christos is simply a reference to the fact that in Jesus, the spirit of God came amongst us. It is the spirit of God we revere rather than the human Jesus.  Interestingly, some early Jewish Christians, such as the Ebionite’s, interpreted Jesus as Messiah in the sense of God amongst us because he was anointed by the Spirit of God.

The resurrection story is part of the birth, death, rebirth cycle that forms the basis of our pre-Christian folk religion.  It tells us of how in God we will be raised out of death and be reborn into life.  But it also tells of how we will be raised up – perfected and made whole with God and in God.  Whilst the human Jesus died on the cross, his physical body was transformed and raised up into heaven, one with God.

The natural law of God (Orlog) is embodied in the Holy Runes.  It is through the Runes that we come to a meaningful understanding both of ourselves and of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  This understanding, or Gnosis, leads us to a union with the Spirit of Truth (or Christos) so that we too become as one with Christ.  It is this Gnosis that Woden searches for in mythology and which he finds in the Runes.

Humankind is made in the image of God.  This image is not our earthly bodies we see and touch, but our spiritual selves that lies within us and is part of us.  It is this spark of the divine energies (the Christos) that connects us to and seeks unity with God.  Our folk gods, through the power of the Logos, breathed the spirit of God into us.  Upon death, the soul separates from the material body and is reborn and perfected through the grace of God to dwell eternally in heaven.  Humankind is not born into a state of original sin, but rather a state of imperfection reflecting the imperfection and incompleteness of creation as a whole.  This condition is perfected through the teaching, healing and knowledge of the Christos that gently draws us closer to God.  By leading positive lives we can move towards a higher level of spiritual evolution and perfection until we finally achieve wholeness in God.  For most people, this process continues beyond our mortal earthly lives.

The English Folk Church does not accept the doctrine of atonement through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the sins of humankind.  We are not inherently sinful and God did not need to die on the cross to redeem us from that sin.  Neither is salvation or union with God achieved simply through faith that Christ is God or simply through carrying out good deeds.  God came amongst us in the form of Jesus to teach us how to evolve spiritually so that we can achieve that goal.

The crucifixion and resurrection stories are about earthly death and the promise of rebirth in God.  We are invited to travel a journey of spiritual evolution towards wholeness in God.  This is part of the unfolding and perfecting of creation.  But God helps us on this journey and ultimately will ensure that we succeed.  Eternal life is at the end of the day a gift of God – the doctrine of Divine Grace.  The ‘blood of Christ’ we share in the holy Eucharist is God’s spirit or life force, freely offered to us to share in the divine energies.”

From The Messianic Legacy;

“The evidence of Irish contact with Egypt is too extensive to review in detail. …The liturgy of the Celtic church contained discernible Egyptian and Syrian elements. Episodes in an Irish ‘Lives of the Saints’ derive directly from an Alexandrian source. Masses and prayers from apocryphal works used in Egypt were also used in Ireland. The Celtic Church celebrated the feast days of the Virgin at the same time as the Egyptian Church rather than at the time decreed by Rome.

…In its organization, then, in its use of certain texts, in many of its outward aspects, the Celtic Church circumvented the Church of Rome and functioned as a repository for elements of Nazorean tradition transmitted from Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor.

In 664 the Synod of Whitby effectively dissolved the Celtic church and Ireland was brought into the Roman fold.

 

 

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