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If a Christian wears a Pentagram does that make it a Christian Symbol?

I brought this up in another question and I wanted all your thoughts.

Christians are usually very clear in their attitude about pagans and pagan symbolism. Yet, the Church has adapted many of it's traditions from those of the pagans. And given them "Christian Meanings." But does that make them truly Christian?

IF a Christian woman wears a pentagram necklace and claims that it represents the the five wounds of Christ is it still a pagan symbol?

In the middle ages the Catholic Church used the Pentagram for that reason. Prior to that the Ancient Jews used it as a representation of the Pentateuch. Today we all know it as a symbol of Wiccan and Pagan faiths.

What are your feelings? Is the adaptation of another religions symbols and traditions okay, if you give them a new meaning? Or are they still a representation of the other religion? IMO, you can't have it both ways!

Answer Question
 
SabrinaMBowen

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 10:12 AM on Apr. 1, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • Christians also use the pentagram to represent the Christmas star (the star the shepherds followed to the baby Jesus).

    Personally, I think a star is a star, LOL. And I think the meanings of such symbols are personal and relative to the wearer.

    Like the Ankh, for example. An Ankh means a completely different thing to a Pagan than to a Christian. In fact, most Christians see the Ankh as another cross, and know nothing about the pagan symbolism behind it.
    jennijune_21

    Answer by jennijune_21 at 10:17 AM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • I agree, you can't have it both ways... I don't think a symbol (or anything in general) that has the same meaning for yrs, even centuries should be taken/adapted or used by another and given a new meaning... We all know that historically it has happen, but it's wrong (MO)... Ok here's one, the swastika, we all know that it was a symbol to use for hate, murder and other horrid things and is still used by the Klan, do we take that symbol and turn it into a meaning of good and expect people to accept it? Why not? Bc it represented hate? but it's ok to take or adapt other symbols and change their meanings to benefit the mass. JMO- but I don't think so...

    gmasboy

    Answer by gmasboy at 10:31 AM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • Thanks gmasboy... Had I thought of the Swastika I would have used it instead... I couldn't imagine a Jewish person wearing one today, no matter what they were told it now means! Great example!

    JenniJune_21... There is a bit of a difference between the star on the top of your tree and a pentagram around the neck... The meaning is very different. And do I again need to discuss where the Christmas tree (including the start) comes from? That's what I'm talking about!
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:09 AM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • SabrinaMBowen

    I really hope you didn't take what I was saying wrong. What I was trying to say was that Christians have taken MANY Pagan symbols and adopted them as their own. In fact, that would be 99.9% of Pagan symbols . . .
    jennijune_21

    Answer by jennijune_21 at 11:16 AM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • i can see both sides. on one side you have that some symbols mean different things to different ppl...things that are basic like the moon or a circle have different meanings to different cultures. on the other hand you have that some symbols are widely known to be symbols for specific beliefs. the star of David is widely seen as a sign of the Jewish faith, so if i were to wear it ppl would assume im Jewish. if i see someone wearing a Pentagram i assume they are Pagan. so if a Christian wears a Pentagram i would bet the majority of ppl who see them would assume they are Pagan.

    so to me certain symbols have obvious ties; the cross, the star of David, & the Pentagram. these symbols have specific meanings today & thats what they should be used for.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 11:21 AM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • Actually, the swastika started off as a good symbol, a symbol of good fortune in Tibet! Hitler simply rotated it and turned it into what we know today. But I agree, nobody is ever going to think of it as something good.

    As to the pentegram, I know if I see someone wearing one, I will assume they are a pagan. It may be wrong of me to assume so, but I was one, and I can honestly say I've never seen a christian wearing one. I wouldn't necessarily dispute it, but it would seem odd to me. Sort of like if I wore a cross, and told everyone that the cross was made from wood which comes from trees, and I love trees, so I'm wearing a cross. It would make sense... but it wouldn't seem "normal" to most people.
    Koukla12905

    Answer by Koukla12905 at 11:52 AM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • I agree Sabrina, that it really shouldn't go both ways, for a few reasons IMO: It takes away from others heritage/beliefs to "recycle" symbols with new meanings. It waters down tradition & on the whole I view that as a very bad thing. People often take great pride in thier relgious/cultural history & I think it's important to honor that history for the preservations of those various customs & traditions. But, that's not the case as I see it; I see the original purpose & meanings of symbols & traditions discarded in favor of "new" traditions with no homage or acknowledgment to thier origins. So, no you can't have it both ways but, I don't think Christians are willing to share Pagan symbols with thier original meanings in tact.

    BubbaLuva

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 12:09 PM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • It's all relative. IF a Christian wears it to represent the five wounds of Christ, then its a Christian symbol. Same with anyone else who uses it that has a different take on it. The symbols itself isn't whats changing, it's just the ideas about that symbol that changes. So it's not really a Christian symbol anymore than it's a Pagan symbol. Its a symbol that has both Pagan, Christian and Jewish meanings ascribed to it.

    Just for arugements sake, nobody knows what the first proscribed meanings to any symbols was. How far back do you go? And if you stop at a point in history, how is that the correct meaning of the symbol when other older means exist? How a society views symbols change over time. What was once a common view becomes outdated and outmoded and people prefer the new and modern. Change is going to occure.

    If anything, someone using a symbol outside of social norms is using such, esoterically.
    isabellalecour

    Answer by isabellalecour at 12:42 PM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • You can call it whatever you want, but that doesnt change the origin of it. To understand the meaning or symbolism of ANYTHING, then you go back to the origin of the person who created it and the spirit in which it was created. Thats where you find your meaning. So, if I wanted to go sit in the garage, I could eventually call myself a Lincoln? No, it doesnt work like that.
    momofsaee

    Answer by momofsaee at 1:17 PM on Apr. 1, 2009

  • Thank you Koukla12905 I did not know that...

    Symbols to people are what reminds us of something of importance to each of us... wither it's the pentagram, cross, star of David, etc... but I think what is wrong is how these symbols are now protrayed to mean (per-say) and that the orignal orgins on the most part are never disclosed...
    I would bet that a good many CM members did not know the true orgins of many traditional holiday symbols until reading thru these threads... but by learning of them doesn't mean it has to change what that symbol represents to them, it just lets them know that is has history to it... a deeper meaning to others...
    (JMO)
    gmasboy

    Answer by gmasboy at 1:37 PM on Apr. 1, 2009

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