The EFC teaches that the people of North Western Europe originally practiced a religion which saw God as a single divine essence; the attributes or characteristics of which were manifest in our world through different Gods and Goddesses. This religion may have held universal truths, but was not a universal religion. It was the religion of the Druids of ancient Britain and their equivalents throughout northern Europe.
God is pure spirit; eternal essence and uncreated energies, a single entity without division. We call this divine essence and energies ‘All Father’. All Father 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. And the manifestation of these divine energies within our world as spirit and thought include the separate personas of Gods and Goddesses.
The underlying nature of God is made up of attributes such as love, order and creativity. We call God’s nature, Wyrd or Orlog, which literally means the primal law. It is the underlying nature of God which governs the cosmos. The way we interact with God’s nature 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 help the positive evolution of creation.
The process of creating order out of chaos is on-going, a continual and evolving ‘coming into being’. Imperfection exists and is inherent within and throughout our world, though it is essentially good. As creation evolves into unity with God, so imperfection will reduce and eventually cease.
This process of evolutionary creation is reflected in the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth. It can be seen in the pattern of day following night, summer following winter and the agricultural cycle. These patterns reflect God’s own creative energies and have been expressed mythologically as Sky Father impregnating Earth Mother to create the new life. It is also powerfully reflected in the Christian story of the nativity.
God has created a great many spirit beings that permeate the natural world around us. These are our folk Gods and Goddesses and the Ælfe (or Elfs); referred to in the Bible as part of Elohim or the Divine Council. These are immensely important spiritual beings assigned specifically to our folk group as tribal guardians or wardens. They also include the land and water wights – guardians of our holy places. Although sometimes confused with Angels in the popular mind, these spirit beings are not Angels as such as they have free will. Neither are they the ‘fallen angels’. We do not deny the existence of malign spiritual entities; our ancient tradition tells us of these too - the Deorc Aelfe for instance. But the EFC believes that dishonouring our ancient Gods as devils has been the greatest deceit the Church has forced on our folk.
God’s spirit resides within all created beings. It is through the Spirit that we are animated and connected to God and to our folk Gods and Goddesses. The Greeks called God’s spirit the Christos or ‘Spirit of Truth’. The mind of God, his ‘word’, is called the ‘Logos’. The spirit and mind of All Father God was revealed to our ancestors through the folk Gods and Goddesses and they are still with us now. In Jesus of Nazareth, God came amongst us as a human.
Jesus of Nazareth was born into our world. 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 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 new life.
The natural law of God (Orlog) is embodied in the ancient 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 leads us to a union with the Spirit of Truth (or Christos). It is this knowledge that Woden searches for in Mythology and which he finds in the Runes.
The holy scriptures of the Christian era contain divine wisdom and inspiration, but are not the complete and infallible word of God to be taken literally in every instance. Particular weight is given to the collection of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of Thomas, especially where these are corroborated in the canonical Gospels. The English Folk Church also recognises the importance of our ancient mythology and poems such as Dream of the Rood and the continental Saxon Gospel ‘The Heliand’. But it does not accept the writings of the Pharisee Paul or many Church doctrines based on these. The Old Testament is mainly the story of another people and not our story.
Humankind is not born into a state of original sin, but rather 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.
The myth of the Holy Grael is a powerful part of English folklore. Legend holds that Jesus accompanied his great uncle, St Joseph of Arimathea, to the south west of modern day England as a young boy. The EFC teaches that during this time He was instructed by Druids and that this ancient British religion – a close relation of ancient Germanic religion - formed the basis of His teachings and His altercations with the Pharisees. This is because the ancient religion of our people held truth that was reflected in the ancient religion of the Israelites but had become corrupted by the Pharisees of Jesus’ days.
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