ancestorsCould one be a christian and also believe in ancestors?

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This is a strange question, but I don't know offhand if "ancestors" has a different meaning in religion than in everyday use. Like #3, I don't associate the word "ancestors" with anything other than my parents, grandparents, their parents, etc. It's not something you have to believe it, it's something that is verifiable. I don't see how any religious belief would preclude belief in your parents.

Well, I never saw this before. Something to think about.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Ancestors don't have to have any mythical power.  In most religions, the people who die before you go to some kind of afterlife and are waiting for you.  Although some people believe they can intervene in your life or send you messages, in most cases it's just comforting to think of them being there.

wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

When I think of ancestors, I think of the people who came before me in my family. Generally, I think of my great grandparents or those further back. I don't think belief in Christianity excludes the belief in ancestors. Knowing who our ancestors are can help us understand who we are. I realize that some religions and cultures worship ancestors. Christian religions usually emphasis that we shouldn't worship anyone or anything other than God. As post 2 points out, some Christian religions believe in saints and other entities, but they do not worship these saints in the same way they worship God. There is a big difference between worshiping and having a reverence for. I think, for the most part, a belief in Christianity and a belief in ancestors should be compatible.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think it would fit okay with Catholicism at least.  If you understand the ancestors not as gods but rather as saints, then you are okay.  Catholicism holds that saints can intercede with God to help the living.  If a person thinks of ancestors in this way, it would not be that much of a problem.

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