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Celtic Christianity: What is it? - Part Two

Celts and non-Celts are turning to the ancient Celtic Church for a fresh start. We invite you to read about its aims.

The Celtic Church has difficulties with what we consider to be the unbiblical Augustinian doctrine, which most 'mainstream' churches seem to follow in one form or another, that mankind is born inherently evil and deprived of God's Grace and further that only the 'elect' are saved. It sees Original Sin as the result of Adam's failure to be an adequate federal head of the human race.

That failure produced a wounding in the nature of man which weakened his will but did not disable it. Because of Christ, all people are able to respond to the call of God's grace to salvation and virtue. We are not born guilty and cut off from God. What mother can look at her newborn and honestly believe "This child is damned to hell!"? We do however believe that there comes and age of accountability.

Celtic Christianity tends to produce a love for nature. Celtic Christianity does not see God as separate from His creation and finds the Incarnation of Christ as proof of that view. Celtic theology teaches that the universe is like a body. God is the head and the cosmos is His body. Being one with the creation does not erase the Creator/creature distinction, no more so than it is possible for the finger to do the work of the brain. What it means is that God shares in the joys and sufferings of His creation. And Jesus Christ is the symbol of that unity.

Celtic Christianity rejects cosmic dualism, whether pagan or Christian. It does not believe in two competing gods. Likewise, it views Satan as a fallen member of the angelic host and not as a rival god. It is solidly Trinitarian.
Celtic Christianity also teaches that the Godhead contains feminine attributes as well as masculine attributes. Because Augustinianism held a dim view of women, traditional Christianity sought to create an exclusively masculine God. The spiritual void left by that view of God drove the Church to Mary worship. Celtic theology teaches that the Holy Spirit is the representative of God's femininity. Celtic theology views Mary as a woman who had other children besides Jesus. And it teaches that Jesus was truly a man as well as God.

The Celtic Church developed differently from the Roman Catholic Church and was more like the Eastern Orthodox churches in its dating of the church calendar and its view of women’s place within the church hierarchy. In addition, Celtic monks wore a tonsure that was distinctively different from that of their Roman brethren. Celibacy was not part of Celtic teaching or tradition; therefore, men and women could marry and live in double houses or conhospitae in abbeys and monastic foundations to raise their children together and remain in Christ’s service. Most surprisingly, women were ordained priests and bishops in the Celtic Church.

Celtic Christians have always gravitated toward localism as a form of government. Historically, they dislike the modern notion of the nation-state. The tribe, clan, and kinship group, within the context of the village, are the forms of government which Celtic peoples prefer. Celtic Christianity recognizes the ethnic character of the Church. According to Bible prophecy (e.g. Psalms 2), the Messianic kingdom consists of ethnic churches which form the constituent members of the Body of Christ. It disagrees with the Latin and Byzantine versions of Christianity, inherited from the Roman Imperial model, which attempt to force everyone into the same mold. Many of the doctrinal and liturgical disputes in Church history have come because of the language barrier, which, of course, is ethnic in orientation and Divinely ordained (Genesis 11). These differences ought to be respected with a gracious spirit.

Find out more about our related ministries at www.celticcommunion.org
Quoted through Cildara Ministries

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