Paganism vs. Christianity

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Paganism vs. Christianity
Laura Roberts
Student ID: 22970754
September 14, 2009
Liberty University Lynchburg, VA

Laura Roberts
Dr. Kenneth Hood
PHIL 104
14 September 2009
Paganism vs. Christianity
Just like any religion or tradition, there are many branches to each. According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, there are over 33,820 denominations of Christianity. (, 2009) Paganism is defines as any religions other than Christianity or Judaism or Islamism. (WordNet) With so many branches for both it would be difficult to compare all of them. For the purpose of this paper, we will look at the compare and contrast of Orthodox Christianity and Odinism. The birth of Christianity began 2000 years ago in Judea with the ministries of Jesus Christ. (AllAboutReligon.Org). While revolutionary, his teachings brought together his twelve disciples. Through the teachings of Jesus, society learned that salvation and humanity would come from God through him. This salvation would come about through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. In Christianity it is believed Jesus must die for our sins so humanity does not have to. While Christianity began in Israel, Odinism is the religious faith of the Scandinavian and of the Norse. It is an old religion with roots prior to Christianity. With the coming of Christianity, Odinism endured a period of dual faith; following both Odinism and Christianity, and then eventually breaking away from Christianity standing on its own merits. (The Odinic Rite) Christianity is a monotheist religion in which, they believe in only one true god. Throughout the Bible, this belief has been revisited several times. In Deuteronomy 32:39 it says, “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me" and in Isaiah 46:9, "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me". In Isaiah 46 it also says that false Gods are useless which is evident in Isaiah 46:1, “Bel and Nebo bow down. Their idols are carried by animals. The statues are only heavy loads that must be carried; they only make people tired.” On the opposite side of the scale is Odinism with the polytheist belief; more than one God. Odinist not only believes in multiple Gods but also multiple Goddesses. There are fifteen deities; Odin (chief of the Gods), Frigga (wife of Odin and patroness of the hearth and home), Frey (one of the Vanir given to the Aesir to end the war between the two and the patron of wealth and fertility), Freya (Frey’s sister and patroness of female fertility and prosperity), Thor (wields a hammer defending the Asgard and men), Heimdall (watches the Asgard’s gate and blows the Gjallar horn to warn the Aesir), Tyr (patron of honor, courage, and justice), Ull ( kenning for Odin), Loki ( trickster god married to Sygni), Bragi ( poet of the gods), Baldur (Bright one slain by Hodur who rest in Hel until he returns to rule the Earth), Hodur (struck Baldur with a dart made of mistletoe), Skadhi ( father killed by the Aesir and was offered a husband as compensation), Njord (a Vanir and father to Frey and Freya), and Mimir (Giant who owns the well of wisdom). (Shelter, p48-p51) Each God and Goddess contributes to the Odinist path. Christians believe that at Mt. Sinai God gave a set of laws to form a covenant. These set of laws are called The Ten Commandments and are as follows: “ You must not have any other gods except me, you shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain,...
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