About

God of Green Hope is the title given to the Jesus Christ in the Message version of the Bible – See Romans 15:13*

I love this title given to Jesus, who is omnipresent, permeating the very fabric of this entire universe, upholding it and sustaining its very existence moment by moment. The universe isn’t the Eternal One, aka God to Christians, but is encompassed within the very “womb” of the I Am, who both transcends the universe, and yet is intimately immanent within it. The Eternal One does not owe existence to the universe, but the universe does owe its existence to the Eternal One, being created by the Divine Creator, Jesus (the second person within the Trinity). This is called Christian panentheism (not pantheism – the two are very different things).

Matt @ Glastonbury Tor
Matt @ Glastonbury Tor

This blog is my attempt at discovering and exploring the infusing presence of the Eternal One within the creation itself; an exploration of the more spiritual aspects of the landscape I inhabit and the creation I am a part of. Along the way you will discover that there is a heavy Pagan influence within this, as I journey with Pagans attempting to discern the voice of the Eternal Spirit speaking to and through them and to myself. It is a path involving love for human beings made in the image of the Divine One, deep respect and participation with the earth in the worship of the Maker. It involves deep listening, questioning and learning, being a blessing and being blessed, as well as making peace and reconciliation for the past wrongs done in the name of Jesus. The path has incredible joys, wonderful brothers and sisters along life’s journey, spiritual encounters of the positive and on the odd occasion not so positive, life, laughter and love. This is my journey, this is my calling and my choice to follow the Wild Goose’s leading. It’s not for everyone to like or approve. I only ask that if you disagree with me then pray for me. If you agree with me, pray for me. Either way, I’d value your prayers for wisdom and discernment.

In my pioneering ministry roles I have been a facilitator for East Midlands Forest Church, co-facilitator of Pleasley Forest Church, Chair of the Friends of Pleasley Community Orchard, co-leader of The Bridge – what was the UK’s first physical Pagan-Christian moot, meeting at a local pub on a monthly basis, and leader of The Dice Church, a board gaming church which met in the local village pub.

My interests lie in the paranormal (particularly haunting phenomena) and its interplay within the biblical texts (Old and New Testaments), Second Temple Jewish literature (such as the book of 1 Enoch) and the Hellenistic understandings of this which pervaded early Christian understandings of things such as the demonic and ghosts. My Masters dissertation, “Paranormal Hauntings and Applications in Deliverance Ministry: A Critical Investigation” (which received a whopping 82% and was called “a monumental piece of work” by one of the markers) began to be formed from my work on the blog post The Psychic Jesus. This was going to be a series, but I had to put it on the back burner in order to not put online material which comprises part of the dissertation and thus fall foul of potentially self-plagarisation. I’ve since decided that this post will eventually be moved onto another website in order to delineate the God in Nature material on God of Green Hope and the paranormal material which whilst having some overlaps, is best suited on a website dedicated to Christian understandings of the paranormal (and hopefully a book will ensue before then!). This can now be found at GhostsGhoulsAndGod.co.uk (please head over there if you want to see what a thinking Christian can do with attempting to understand the paranormal, rather than a knee-jerk reaction which demonises everything).

I enjoy writing and seek to practice the presence of the Eternal One in my life, whether spoken or unspoken, and in the words of the paranormal play of Shakespeare, Hamlet: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth than in our philosophies’.

Blessed be.

Matt Arnold

* This verse caused quite a stir amongst some Christians who saw it as an attempt to insert pagan / new age thinking into the Bible. Sadly they don’t seem to get the context of the verse, which is linked to verse 12, “There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse, breaking through the earth and growing tree tall, tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!” – a reference to Jesus Christ, thus the God of Green Hope is appropriate.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. I am (was?) a Christian that has had unexpected Pagan spiritual experiences over the past few years. I have seen that Cernunnos and Jesus are one and the same: The Horned (Thorned?) god. I had hoped to reconcile Paganism with Christianity and spiritually practice (or at least honour) the two side-by-side. However, I have realised that such a thing is an impossibility that is forcing me to choose one over the other. In my case, I am choosing Paganism.

    The impossibility is rendered by Christianity itself, still stuck firmly under the dark, thick blanket of Victorian sentimental religiosity and lumbered with a very narrow mindset as a result. Its downright refusal to accept, nevermind embrace, its Pagan roots will ensure it is swept away in the coming years. Indeed, that process has already begun with Covid-19. Christianity will also never accept that all religions are one, so speaking as one who has had spiritual experiences which confirm that truth, all I can do is walk away from it. But I admire you for attempting to bridge the chasm.

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    1. Hi Paul,

      Sorry you have had such negative experiences about Christianity. I too have been badly burned by Churchianity in the past, losing a lot in the process. However, I have chosen to not give up on following Jesus, but follow in the path set out for me (and no-one else, my path is my path, with Christ before, behind, above, beneath, to the left and right, and within me).

      I disagree with your blanket assertion that Christianity as a whole is stuck in the 1800s. Certainly there are parts which haven’t moved on since then, but there are parts which have.

      As regards embracing “Pagan roots”… I’m assuming you mean “pagan roots” as the capitalised Pagan is also known as neo-Paganism, which is an invention of the 20th century, based in the works of Gerald Gardner, Ross Nicholson and others. If you mean “pagan” roots, then I believe you should do some research into the Celtic church which was in this land since before the Synod of Whitby brought its Romanised top-down model of Christianity to these fair lands. The Celtic church included saints such as “Columba” who said of the druids Christ was his “arch druid”. If Columba thought the druids were evil people, then he wouldn’t have associated his Christ figure with them whatsoever.

      A lot of “pagan” roots stuff tends to be romanticised reinventions of folklore like Margaret Murray or Iolo Morganwg.

      You’re best source for “pagan roots” stuff is the work of Pagan academic, Prof. Ronald Hutton, a lovely chap, who cuts the fluff away from a lot of romanticised stuff which has come into Pagan understanding about the past.

      No religion will accept that all “religions are one”, simply because to do so would mean losing one’s own identity. I wouldn’t expect a Pagan to say that their belief system is at one with Christianity. It would strip them of their own religious identity.

      I can only apologise for any hurt you have experienced at the hands of culturally abusive Christians, and pray that as you journey, the songs of the Deep Green man will inspire you to dig beyond human constructs and find the One you’re looking for, May Churchianity indeed be swept away, and the true followers of the One (in whatever tribe, people group or belief system) who delivered the Sermon on the Mount be revealed, for the sake of this groaning planet.

      There are many of us who are building bridges, from both banks of the river. It’s the only way to be in these times of vile hatred and division amongst people created to be imagers of our Creator.

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