Modifying a prayer, hymns, or rituals, to suit the occasion, or to try and avoid open offence, is nothing more than deception in the clear mould of the 'New World Order' being promoted by all other religions under the large umbrella of Rome which seeks unity at all costs without thought for the absolute truth which lies in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ alone (John 14:6: 'Jesus said, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'). Does Williams really believe that he can be involved in prayers and hymns shared in the praise of other 'gods' - against whom the God of the Bible has already executed judgement (Exodus 20:3: 'You shall have no other gods before Me').
The initiation in a Gorsedd is said to be simple, consisting of an invocation of the 'Awen', or `flowing spirit' of the British bardic tradition, which they claim is 'likened by medieval writers to the Christian Holy Spirit and by more recent commentators to Shakti, the feminine creative spirit of Hindu tradition'. Isaac Bonewits makes the following definitions:
'The Mesopagan Druids have as their most common symbol the 'Awen' or 'three bars of light,' shown here (right) in the simplest form. The word 'awen' means 'inspiration' in Middle Welsh, and in Mesopagan Druidism it represents the primal sound and light caused by 'the' Supreme Being pronouncing 'His' name to create the universe. Mesopagan Druids have a great deal of metaphysical theory based on this and related triplicities - most of it coming from the early Unitarian preacher and prolific forger of ancient manuscripts, Iolo Morganwyg (who pretty much created Mesopagan Druidry to begin with). The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids places the Awen inside a set of three circles (right), representing Iolo's three 'stages of existence.' As you can see, some people use the Awen with and some without the three dots symbolizing the Supreme Being (and some with a single dot).
'Mesopaganism' or 'Meso-Paganism' is a general term for a variety of movements both organized and nonorganized, started as attempts to recreate, revive or continue what their founders thought were the best aspects of the Paleopagan ways of their ancestors (or predecessors), but which were heavily influenced (accidentally, deliberately and/or involuntarily) by concepts and practices from the monotheistic, dualistic, or nontheistic worldviews of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or early Buddhism. Examples of Mesopagan belief systems would include Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism,Theosophy, Spiritualism, etc., as well as those forms of Druidism influenced by those movements, the many Afro-Diasporatic faiths (such as Voudoun, Santeria, Candomble, etc.), Sikhism, several sects of Hinduism that have been influenced by Islam and Christianity, Mahayana Buddhism, Aleister Crowley's religion/philosophy of Thelema, Odinism (most Norse Paganism), most 'Family Traditions' of Witchcraft (those that aren't completely fake), and most orthodox (aka 'British Traditionalist') denominations of Wicca.
Also included as Mesopagans would be the so-called 'Christo-Pagans,' those who call themselves 'monotheist Pagans,' and perhaps those Satanists who worship the Egyptian deity Set, if there really are any. The Satanists who insist that they don't worship anything other than themselves but who like to use the name Satan because it's 'scary,' are simply Christian heretics, along with the Secular Humanists and other Western atheists, because the God and Devil they don't believe in are the ones defined by Christian doctrine. Some Mesopagan belief systems may be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. There are at least a billion Mesopagans living and worshiping their deities today.'
This should be clear enough warning to Christians to avoid such ceremonies at all costs. The Gorsedd blessing is followed by prayer and the oath of peace:
'We swear by peace and love to stand Heart to heart and hand in hand. Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now, Confirming this, our sacred vow.'
The Bible is clear that the only spiritual 'peace' to be had on this earth comes through the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6). What kind of peace is Williams hoping for by sharing in this druidic 'peace ceremony'? This is not just the celebration of the 'cycle of the seasons through drama, ritual, story and song, drawing on folk tradition and mythology appropriate to the time and place . . .[in] which bards and others attending are encouraged to contribute poetry, music, stories and songs. Other Gorsedd will openly admit that they 'share bread and mead within the sacred circle, in honour of our gods and ancestors, in honour of the earth and each other.'
Proponents of the British Druid Order see clear links with the 'Welsh Gorsedd of Bards' and are proud that their own meetings are 'multi-faith, welcoming Druids, Witches, Heathens, non-aligned pagans, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, Bah'ai or whoever else wishes to come'. Indeed, Druids 'Greywolf' and 'Bobcat' (of 'The Gorsedd of Bards of the Isles of Britain') admit that 'these folk meet together in the sacred space created by contemporary Druidry, much of which is pagan, as I am, but which maintains friendly relations with folk of many other faiths . . .' They admit that they use an 'amended version of the Gorsedd Prayer in our own rites', and that they 'encourage people to substitute 'God and Goddess,' or 'Spirits(s),' or some other term in keeping with their own spirituality'. They seek an excuse for Williams by saying that the 'BDO Gorseddau are not recognized by the Welsh Gorsedd, who have never even replied to letters . . . sent them. They are extremely careful to distance themselves from anything to do with paganism'. But the clear 'spirituality' of the Welsh Gorsedd meetings means that Williams will, unknowingly or not, be 'unequally yoked' with those of other faiths. Where do you draw a line when you go down this road? If you can attend such a ceremony, without knowledge of the beliefs of those who participate with you, is it possible that you share in the 'doctrines of demons' (1 Timothy 4:1)? Who knows, but God, that a man or woman fellowshipping with you in such circumstances is not a Satanist? We know for sure that the short list of religions that participate in the BDO ceremonies are anti-Christ!
Does the 'exclusiveness' of the Welsh Gorsedd put them outside of the other Gorsedd ceremonies which are open to all and attended by folk from all over Britain and from many other countries coming from many different spiritual traditions? Does the 'multiplicity of faiths being recognised as equal and expressing their own spirituality within the Gorsedd circle' make these gatherings acceptable from an orthodox viewpoint? Can a Christian be present at a ritual in which the 'gathering begins with a call for peace, after which representatives of the different traditions call to the four cardinal directions, each in their own way so that there might be a Christian prayer offered at the east, a shamanic chant at the south, a Wiccan call to the West and a prayer to Odin and Freya in the north.' The other Gorsedd claim that this is to 'express the essential unity that weaves together in one circle those who seek the spiritual in their lives.' The exclusiveness of Christianity means that a true believer cannot fellowship with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18):
'Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. 17 "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty.'
And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them (Ephesians 5:11)
These other druidic groups see the importance of the Gorsedd in that it 'brings together those of different spiritual traditions while offering the opportunity for many pagans to celebrate their faith openly and in public, making the old traditions significantly more accessible'. Druid 'Greywolf' openly admits that 'as open, family events, they have given to the public and the media a fresh, clear and honest face of Druidry and Paganism, allowing their reputation to emerge out of the occult and into wider acceptance.' In the same way the Welsh Gorsedd in which Rowan Williams participated will present the same front to the world - for do you really think a society which sees no difference between orthodox Christianity and the Roman Catholic cult is going to see a difference between the Welsh version of Druidism and all the others which are openly pagan? If you were trying to persuade a member of a Christian congregation to relinquish his or her connections with, for example, Freemasonry, and they knew that you attended such a Gorsedd, do you really believe that you could convince them to separate themselves from such rituals? Clearly not! The apostle Paul gives another relevant admonition (1 Corinthians 8:9-13):
9 But take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And thus, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, that I might not cause my brother to stumble.
While the BDO may claim that Williams and the Welsh Druids do not partake in pagan ceremonies, there are many other factors that make the link irrefutable, e.g.:
In the Druid tradition the role of the bard is to mediate spirit through the word, whether spoken, chanted, sung or written on the printed page, through music and other creative arts such as painting, dance or sculpture.Gorsedd of Bards (a Gorsedd is a gathering of Bards) takes its name from the high seat (Gorsedd means literally `high seat'). The term originally referred to prehistoric sacred mounds, often with single trees growing on them, which were places of assembly for festival celebration, law-giving, and the inauguration of kings who were wedded to the female spirit of the land in ancient times. In later times, the assemblies themselves came to be known as Gorseddau after the mounds on which they were held.
Although Iolo Morganwg (the Bardic name of itinerant stonemason Edward Williams) claimed to have derived his 1792 ceremony from an ancient Welsh manuscript, he had actually made it up himself. Isaac Bonewits comments:
'Iolo . . . declared that the Glamorganshire Bards had an unbroken line of Bardic-Druidic tradition going back to the Ancient Druids, and that his ceremony was part of it. He said that the ancient Druids had been monotheists and, by an amazing coincidence, Unitarians! He then proceeded (almost all scholars agree) to translate, mistranslate and occasionally forge various documents and 'ancient' manuscripts, in order to 'prove' these and his subsequent claims. Many people feel that he muddled genuine Welsh scholarship for over a hundred years. It was Iolo who promoted the use of the awen symbol, even though it would have been far more appropriate for trinitarian than unitarian Druids to use. [TCE note: it is application of such symbolism that is so eagerly seized on by cults - the Jehovah's Witnesses in particular - to prove that Christianity came to a belief in the Triune God through pagan ideas and symbolism. Rowan Williams should be aware of the dangers of encouraging such ideas].
The effects of Iolo's work did not stop there however, for later writers such as Lewis Spence, Robert Graves (in The White Goddess) and Gerald Gardner apparently took Iolo's dubious 'scholarship' at face value and proceeded to put forward theories that have launched dozens of occult and mystical organizations (most of them having little if anything to do with authentic Paleopagan Druidism).
Throughout the 19th Century, art, music, drama and poetry were using these fanciful Druids as characters and sources of inspiration. Various eccentrics, many of them devout (if unorthodox) Christians, claimed to be Druids and made colorful headlines. Wealthy people built miniature Stonehenges in their gardens and hired fake Druids to scare their guests. Mystically oriented individuals drifted from Masonic groups to Rosicrucian lodges to Druid groves, and hardly anyone, then or now, could tell the difference. Ecumenicalism was the order of the day and in 1878, at the Pontypridd Eisteddfod, the Archdruid presiding over the Gorsedd ceremony inserted a prayer to Mother Kali of India! This might have been magically quite sensible, and was certainly in keeping with traditional Pagan attitudes of religious eclecticism, except for the fact that the British attitude towards Indian culture and religion was not exactly the most cordial at the time.'
As noted earlier, the three-shafted Gorsedd emblem is based on the effect of the sun at different seasons of the year, showing 'God' as creator, sustainer and destroyer [a ceremony which relates the attributes of the Christian God to the power of the sun is built on sand].
In Wales, the rowan tree is considered sacred and thought to possess magical and mystical qualities - since it is also linked with the ceremony it likewise places a pagan spirituality on the ceremony.
One of the contemporary excuses used to try and allow Christians to partake in these rituals is the claim that 'the main functions of the Gorseddau of Wales (and Brittany, Cornwall, and others) are cultural rather than spiritual and they do much to preserve and promote the history, language and culture of their respective regions'. However, we believe the evidence speaks for itself and the Anglican church is bound for more weak and vacillating leadership that steers it nearer to Rome and the soon coming world-wide religion that has no biblical absolutes but accepts all truth as God's truth - as if the Word of God was never given to remove the scales from their eyes.
Can we sit back and quietly allow such leadership to go without comment and unchallenged? Paul, again, gives inspired counsel (2 Thessalonians 3:16):
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.
While we can all hope and pray that God will shake up the Anglican leadership so that they return once more to a clear declaration of the Biblical gospel, we see no present evidence that the man who, as 'a precocious Oxford don . . . wrote a 400-page work on Arius' (Arius was responsible for the origination of the Arian heresy, now promulgated by the Jehovah's witnesses cult, that the Lord Jesus Christ is a created 'god' inferior to the Father) is going to imitate the apostles as they imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2:14; Hebrews 6:12; 1 Timothy 5:19-22). He is more likely to be led by the skirts of his wife, Jane, a theologian who teaches at the evangelical Trinity College, Bristol, and 'also writes a column in the Church Times which is so popular - and used by scores of vicars to prepare their own sermons - that the newspaper publishes it three days early on its website to give the clergy time to crib from it.' That Anglican clergy are lazy enough - and dull enough - to have stooped to being taught by a woman in contradiction of Scripture (1 Timothy 2:8-15), shows everything about the gathering Apostasy led by such men - and speaks volumes about a supposed leader who allows such actions.
Bishop Barry Morgan (whose unbelief is perhaps best summed up by his statement some years ago that 'the disciples were good propagandists' i.e., he believes they made up the gospel accounts as necessary to promote the faith of others!) may have written a suitable epitaph for Rowan:
"He has the spirituality of Michael Ramsey with the social conscience of William Temple," . . . "He is a great man."
This might seem good to some - until we remember that, tellingly, Morgan holds a similar view about the heretical, former Bishop of Durham, David Jenkins!
Unfortunately, 'great men' do not always make 'great leaders' - especially when they don't put their Almighty God first!