What is a druid?
Question: "What is a druid?"
Answer: Druids are followers of druidism, an ancient religion prevalent among the Celts before the arrival of Christianity. Classical druids were priests of sorts who specialized in the pursuit of wisdom through mystical means. They were teachers, philosophers, counselors, magicians, astrologers, and fortune-tellers.
Modern druidism, or neo-druidry, is similar to the New Age movement in its lack of established doctrine. It is universalistic in its inclusiveness and acceptance of other belief systems and thus takes many different forms, from Druidcraft (a fusion of Wicca and druidism) to Christian Druidism with anything and everything in between. Druids can be monotheistic, duotheistic, polytheistic, animistic, pantheistic, etc., depending on what spiritual path the individual decides to pursue.
Despite druidism’s not having an official doctrine, there are a number of foundational elements that all druids subscribe to. First is the sacredness of all life. According to druidic philosophy, all life—humans, plants, and animals—is equal in value and importance in the interconnected web of life. Druids revere the earth, the human body, and the rest of the physical world as part of the spiritual Divine. Nature is seen as sacred, though how it directly corresponds to the Divine differs among druids. Some see nature as God, while others see nature as just a soothing balm to ease the stress of everyday life.
There are many druids who wish to reconcile neo-druidry and Christianity as mutually beneficial; however, at their core these faiths are incompatible. While neo-druidry holds to the universalistic approach of all spiritual paths leading to God, Jesus preaches the opposite message in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” The Christian gospel is exclusive: the only way to God is through Jesus Christ.
The second issue to consider in neo-druidry is their regard for all life as equal. While we have been given responsibility to care for our planet (Genesis 1:28), as creatures made in God’s image, we have been placed in a position of authority over the earth and all that is in it (Genesis 1:26–28; Psalm 8:6–8). Additionally, while mankind has been created with an immortal soul (Genesis 2:7), the rest of creation is destined to fade away (Matthew 24:35).
Third, Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” James 3:15 refers to a different brand of wisdom that is “earthly, natural and demonic.” Druids have a deep desire to acquire wisdom, but, instead of turning to the God of true wisdom, druids turn to mystical practices such as divination and shamanism for enlightenment. Throughout the Old Testament, God repeatedly condemns all manner of sorcery, including divination and communing with spirits (2 Chronicles 33:6; Leviticus 18:21; 20:2; Isaiah 57:5). In the New Testament, Paul encounters a slave girl with the power of divination (Acts 16:16); however, verse 18 shows her power came not from a good and holy source, but from a demon.
On the surface, there are many aspects of neo-druidry that seem wholesome and in harmony with Christianity. We are to be good stewards of the earth, we are to pursue wisdom, we are to embrace a loving attitude toward our fellow man, and we should utilize our God-given creativity for His glory. However, upon deeper examination, neo-druidry covers up salvation-issue truths in pretty wrapping paper. First Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” and 2 Corinthians 11:14 warns us that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” No matter how nice something looks on the outside, it is critical to examine each detail in light of Scripture. We must “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).
Recommended Resource: Wicca’s Charm: Understanding the Spiritual Hunger Behind the Rise of Modern Witchcraft by Catherine Sanders
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