We believe in one God who is the Ultimate Reality, Truth, Wisdom and Eternal Law. God is pure spirit; eternal essence and uncreated energies; a single entity without division. God’s eternal essence transcends the created cosmos and exists outside of time and space as we know it. But the uncreated energies are immanent in the created world, existing within and throughout all matter. In this, the EFC is Panentheistic.
We understand God as a Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; the head and source of which is the Father. We do not see God as specifically male or female; but rather the dynamic unity of both.
The Second ‘Person’ of the Trinity is called the Logos; which is God’s inner voice of thought, reason and logic. It is the underlying nature of God, made up of attributes such as love, order and creativity. It is literally God’s Law, the natural law, which is whispered to our souls by the Spirit and through our God given ability to reason. Our ancestors called this, Wyrd or Orlog, which literally means the primal law. The way we interact with it affects the unfolding of creation, both positively and negatively. In this way, our past actions collectively and individually affect our present and future. It is our spiritual and moral duty to align ourselves with God’s nature to lead positive lives and to help the positive evolution of creation.
The Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead’s uncreated energies that permeate this world; the divine force that animates all life. It is this force that spoke to our ancient ancestors, even before the birth of Jesus. The Greeks called God’s word the Christos or ‘Spirit of Truth’, who spoke to the ancient seers and prophets. God’s spirit is the divine animating force that is active within our world and permeates all of creation. In Greek mythology, the Spirit is depicted as ‘Sophia’ the embodiment of Wisdom. It can also be seen in terms of the Indian concept of Prana which is the life-force or cosmic energy that permeates everything. In the 19th Century, Baron Karl von Reichenbach equated this force or spiritual energy with Odin and referred to it as the ‘Odic Force’, representing both power and wisdom. In traditional Christian imagery, the Spirit is depicted as either a dove of peace or as fire to represent its power.
The EFC sees Jesus of Nazareth as the Logos (or Word of God) born into our human world. In this sense, we also refer to him as God’s Son. We believe that the historical Jesus was a real person and that He taught the true word of God, but that this must be understood in context and adapted to culture. We believe that the true Word of God was understood by many of the ancients, including the Brahmins of India, the Druids of Europe and the original Israelites.
Jesus’ mother’s family were descended from the Royal line of David. This means that he was a Hebrew and an Israelite, which we believe to have originally been an Aryan people. However, we do not consider him to have been Jewish, at least in the modern understanding of this term. Even in Jesus’ day, many people who called themselves Jews were in fact recent converts from other peoples, most notably the Edomites. True born Israelites did not acknowledge them as Israel. This is why the Gospels are so keen to establish that Jesus’ human line was from the Royal line of David – as true blue Israelite as you could get!
Jesus e taught the word of God and the laws that had been handed down to the Israelites. However, he frequently sparred with the Pharisees, who were to become the fore-runners of modern Rabbinical Judaism. He believed they had corrupted the law with their emphasis on literal interpretation and embellishment of meaning through the oral tradition which was to become the basis of the Talmud.
Our focus as Folk Christians is on the ever-present Logos, the cosmic Christ, who spoke to our ancestors before Jesus was born and who ascended into heaven and remains with us after Jesus died on the cross.
The EFC does not teach that a literal belief in the virgin birth is necessary to believe that God dwelt amongst us in Jesus. Two Gospels relate the story, two do not. Neither does Paul refer to it.
The EFC does teach that God, through Jesus, sacrificed himself on the cross and rose back to life to demonstrate his power over death and to atone for all sin forever and remove the need for any form of sacrificial offering to atone for sin. Instead, we celebrate His gift of grace in the Eucharist.
God has created a great many spirit beings, which can be either good, bad or even a bit of both. Judeao-Christianity teaches many different hierarchies of such beings, most of which are not part of our North European culture and were not known to our ancient ancestors. Instead, they knew other spirit beings who we now refer to as the ‘Norse Gods’, the Aelfe or Elfs, Giants, Dwarfs and Wights. These are the Guardians of our lands and our folk, whilst others embody principles of the created world such as renewal (Eostre) or Fertility (Ingeld). We do not worship these beings, as we only worship God. But we acknowledge them for the role they have been assigned to us by God and we dispute earlier notions that they are all demons and intrinsically evil. However, we do acknowledge that there are malevolent spirits, such as the Deorc Aelfe.
We believe that, whilst much of the Old Testament is the story of the ancient Israelites and not the Angelcyn, it does contain some insights into God’s will which are universally true and which Christ came to fulfil. It also contains divine revelation that transcends the relationship between the people of Israel and their God.
The holy scriptures of the New Testament contain divine wisdom and inspiration. However, they have been written down by the hands of men and cannot be seen as infallible, to be taken literally in every instance. In this sense, we are not fundamentalist and do not base our faith on a literal reading of the Bible in all cases. We teach that God’s Word is also to be found in the natural law and in our God given ability to reason. We also recognise the importance of our ancient mythology, the wisdom contained in poems such as Dream of the Rood and that ‘The Heliand’ was inspired by God as a ‘Saxon Gospel’.
Folk and Culture
We believe that God deliberately created different races of people and gave them different parts of the world to inhabit. In Genesis, we read: “And God created all things; each to its own kind”. In Deuteronomy, we read: “When the most High gave the nations each their heritage, when he partitioned out the human race, he assigned the boundaries of nations according to the number of the children of God (or Gods). Deut 32:8
Furthermore, he assigned homelands to each of the different races according to their Guardians. The Guardians of the north, and our folk of the north, reflect our northern climate, the woodlands and sea-faring culture required of us. Our culture emerges out of this; from the nature of our folk, our Guardians and our homelands.
Culture is not static. Most of us would not be comfortable with the precise culture that our ancestors, especially our pre-Christian ancestors, lived in. However, culture defines a people and we must never forget that it is the people that make the culture not the other way round. For this reason, whilst it may change to some degree, its underlying core remains the same. Attempts to force fundamental change to a people’s culture sets them adrift from their core identity and will lead to a crisis of identity. EFC strongly believes that there is an urgent need for us to reconnect to our core culture and that our Folk Christianity must be steeped in that culture and not attempt to force people into something else.
Our Christianity is one of ‘strength and compassion’. It is closer to the old Germanic or Saxon Christianity of our ancestors and not to be confused with modern Judaeo-Christianity. We reject the charge that Christianity is weak; meek and mild. That it encourages the invasion of our lands and the pollution of our folk soul with nonsensical ideas that weaken our identity and destroy our heritage. This may be true of much of modern Judaeo-Christianity – but it is not true of Folkish Germanic or Saxon Christianity.
But neither is our religion simply one of might is right. Germanic Christianity paved the way for the honourable tradition of the Knight, the strong man who fought for justice and what is right. Folkish Christianity certainly seeks what is good for the folk and rejects what is bad for the folk. But we believe that the true message of Christ is one of compassionate strength. That may mean fighting and defeating an enemy. It may mean killing someone in self-defence or in defence of one under your protection. But this is different to unnecessary cruelty and excessive violence. The aim of our Christianity is to live in peace and harmony with the world around us, but not at all costs and with the knowledge this sometimes has to be fought for.
The EFC recognises the importance of our ancient mythology, the wisdom contained in texts such as the Elder Edda. We believe that these myths were communicated to us through the Logos and Holy Spirit to explain the role of our folk and the conditions of that part of Middengeard into which we were placed and the divine beings assigned to us. We revere the Holy Runes as windows into the deepest secrets of creation and the divine order of things.
We do not teach the doctrine of original sin, but rather that we are born into a state of imperfection reflecting the 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, and responding to the Christos, 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.
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