Holiness Spelled with a ‘W’

Christianity is about both wholeness and holiness. It is with this indictment of the Church that we begin our exploration of Celtic Christianity, for Celtic Christianity, if she does nothing else, calls the Church back to wholeness with the emphasis on the “h.”

In defense, some Christians claim that Celtic Christianity is infused with paganism and therefore cannot be trusted to convey “true Christianity.” However, the real problem is not that Celtic Christianity is infused with paganism, but that Celtic Christianity rattles the status quo by demanding that we look at Christianity differently! And herein lies the problem…

We have looked through the filters of “mainstream” Christianity for so long that we confuse what we see with biblical Christianity. Celtic Christianity, if nothing else, demands that we remove our dogmatic filters and take a long, hard look at what we call “Christianity.” However, it seems that the filter has become fused to the eye, and we know not where one stops and the other starts. And herein lies our second problem.

Frankly, we have confused dogmatics with Christianity and religious systems with Truth, so much so, that one has become the other. Celtic Christianity offers a “fresh” way to reexamine what we call “Christianity” in that much of its “theology” stands in stark contrast to that of modern-day Christian thought. Celtic Christianity is a mystical faith where our experience with God determines how we live by faith, not a dogmatic faith wherein our doctrine determines how we experience God. Most significantly, Celtic Christianity is about wholeness. She knows nothing about ”sacred” and “secular” or about a “soul” that exists independent of the physical. Perhaps, most telling of all, are the words of the Celtic “theologian” John Scotus Eriugena who suggested that it is more proper to say that God “recreated himself in Creation,” rather than created Creation external to himself. The beauty of Celtic Christianity is that all of Creation is wholly charged with the divine image.


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