Once upon a time there were gods aplenty for every facet of the world we know, from the cool breeze one feels to the thunder and lightning storms that rip across the sky now and again. People from all around the world had their own religions and deities that they worshiped and gave praise to for the world they knew. And yet for so many that differed in their religions and their ways, there was often more peace among world religions than there ever was upon the coming of Christianity and other various religions that sought to debunk several world religions.
Human beings develop their beliefs to coincide with the world around them.
The theological differences between individual religions is often quite great and yet at the core they do share some principles. There are always those that rule and those that serve. Within Christianity those that serve as the disciples of God are those that are supposedly pious, highly spiritual, and possessed of a humility that is greater than most. Yes, go ahead and laugh at this as the religious leaders of today aren’t always the best example. They weren’t back in the day either, but then neither Christianity or older religions are perfect when it comes to their deities.
Each ruling force in any religion demands a great deal from those that choose to worship. For the old gods, devotion and obeisance was mandatory if their followers wanted to see their blessings, and even then their involvement in the realm of mortals wasn’t guaranteed. The old gods were said to be benevolent, but they were also quite cruel. Christianity however cannot part itself from this aspect as the wrath of God and the many things that have been done in His name and supposedly with His approval are written in the same book that His followers tout so often.
The old gods were not perfect.
In many ways people gave attributes to the gods that were quite human in many respects, and it’s been deemed that while we can’t possibly know the mind of a god due to being mortal, we are still able to see what they want us to see. In this way gods and God are quite complex but also simple. Take this thought for instance, if something great happens in this day and age it’s God’s will and He meant for it to happen. Yet if something happens that we don’t understand and didn’t want, then His ways are mysterious. To some it’s enough to accept this and move on, but to others it feels like a massive cop out, a way to say that since we can’t understand it we shouldn’t try.
The old gods were no better, but they’re ways were far more attributable to humanity than that of God, and thus they were easier to deal with and handle as deities. God seems to be the purveyor of everything, able to do whatever is needed, to forgive all, to do anything that is required, and yet for many this line of thinking is erroneous when one takes into account the amount of suffering that humanity puts itself through. This argument is one that has been brought to the fore many times, but as of yet there is no satisfactory answer to anyone’s questions.
Gods do not share.
Religion is a matter of popularity and how people want to believe. To date many would and have defended Christianity to their own ruination. They’ve become martyrs for a faith that takes much and supposedly gives everything upon release from this mortal coil. How then is it different from the old religions? How is believing in God any different than believing in Odin, or Zeus, or any other prime deity that ruled over their respective pantheon? Many people have sought that place after life where their god, or gods, rule supreme and welcome their servants upon the end of their existence.
Yet gods do not share it would seem, since the ideas of Valhalla, Olympus, and many other places have fallen by the wayside to the idea of a centralized heaven where one may enter if they follow the rules of a faith that requires so much to get in. Some would say that no matter what you’ve done in life God will forgive if you but ask and give praise to Him. How is that different from any other religion that’s ever come along?
In truth, Christianity, while acceptable to many and one of the largest, most expansive religions in the world, all but killed off the old gods out of little more than necessity. Once people turned away from the old gods, Christianity was free to move forward as one of the prominent religions of the world.