On January 25, 2020 was the first anniversary of Celtic Heart for Christ Ministries. In another month I will be celebrating my first anniversary of being ordained as a Minister of Christ through the Celtic Anabaptist Communion. I have heard a couple of concerns involving both events in my life. One was that the ordination was a bucket list fulfillment and the other I was heading into some sort of paganized Christian belief. I do not believe either is true regarding me.
This time last year I had a strong desire to become ordained for ministry. In researching an avenue for ordination, the Lord led me to the Celtic Anabaptist Communion. My biblical studies in the Fellows Program of the C. S. Lewis Institute, helped qualify me for ordination with the CAC. Reading their Tenants of Faith, I discovered a ministry organization whose faith values and views aligned with mine. Thus, I applied and was ordained on February, 28, 2019.
Now the question of the relationship between the Celts and the Anabaptists. The Celts are strongly associated with the British Isles and the Anabaptist have their founding in Switzerland and Germany, so what is the relationship? From my research over the past year what I have come to understand, (other historians may have a different perspective), the Anabaptist emerged in 1525, the early days of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptist’s founders felt the Reformation was not radical enough. They believed the Christian church should return to its early roots of smaller home fellowships in a community of believers seeking the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. Jesus’ teachings of the Sermon on the Mount would be their doctrinal structure. They also did not believe in State government having any say in their faith practices nor did they believe the reformed established institutional church should dictate their doctrines as well. Their beliefs put them in a position of being outlaws in Christendom. Over the next couple of hundred years, thousands of Anabaptist were imprisoned and executed, however, in that same time period thousands of people came to Christ for salvation.
So, what of the Celts? Were they not pagan druids? Yes, they were. Some researchers place the arrival of Christianity in Roman controlled Britain as early as the mid to late first century. The first arrivals may have been Christian Jews escaping Jewish persecution. However the journey to Britain, Christianity did arrive. The Gospel message of Jesus Christ found fertile ground in which to be planted. I personally feel that the people receiving Christ as savior saw it as a completion to their druidic beliefs that their pagan beliefs lacked. Coming to know the God of all creation gave more meaning to their cultural spirituality.
The Celts were a people with a heart of hope; they went from worshiping nature to worshiping the creator and saw Him in His creation and their need to properly care for it; all of life and life’s actions are sacred and that the spiritual and physical are connected and interactive; they loved and valued the arts as a creative gift from God and as part of His image imparted into us at creation; they saw God as the divine mystery, forever to be sought and who will never be understood. The advantage of the development of Celtic Christianity was that they had minimal interaction with Christian institutional dogmas developing in Western Europe and the Mediterranean basin for the first 600 years. As the Christian church grew those bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ ministered to the common people residing in villages and towns. The love of Jesus was shared to build the people up in their faith not to dictate compliance.
My ancestral lineage is Scot, Irish, and English. The heart of the Celt beats within me. My desire is that I might share the heart of Jesus Christ and His salvation with the same passion of my Celtic ancestors. Not as Christianized paganism, but to be a completed soul in Jesus Christ.