On dealing with past gods: good and evil

One of the core differences between Wicca and Christianity is their views on good and bad. Christianity’s view at first appears straight-forward: all good deeds are like rags and are not worth anything before the lord. But the religion’s stand on good and evil actions is deeper than that. It’s commonly held that an individual who has not been saved is somehow intrinsically a bad person because of that lack of faith; they are seen in black and white by believers. Any good deeds done by such un-saved individuals are merely god trying to enlighten the person. Once someone has been saved, all good deeds are attributed to Jesus’ positive influence.

My upbringing included two polar opposites that I found reflected in the religious community around me. All good comes from Jesus while all bad comes from the devil.  A common question often put to me and my peers was: Do others see Jesus in you? We were taught to let this god shine through us, and that our actions were directly related to him.

This idea of a deity being the ultimate source of good isn’t necessarily bad. However, the more subtle messages within this practice can be harmful. For the time I was agnostic, I struggled with this idea that I, by myself, could not do good, that even having separated myself from god and Christianity, I was still being influenced and controlled by god. I viewed myself as a good person, but my upbringing of indoctrination made me ask an uncomfortable question: Can I, having been a Christian at one time, do good without that god’s influence?

It’s not that I wish to discredit or ignore this particular god. I think he and I have reached a point where we acknowledge each other, but we also leave each other alone. But breaking with the teachings that molded my life for the first thirteen years is difficult to do.

So the question, I put to you. Can you truly separate out past gods’ influence on you, or do you feel they have some credit to your actions?

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About Ayslyn'sCorner

I am an eclectic Pagan bordering on atheist who has made her way through a number of different spiritual spaces. You might wonder what a person self-identifying as an atheist has to discuss in a religion/spiritual context – and, well, so do I. That’s one of the things I aim to explore on Ayslyn's Corner. Check out Ayslyn's Corner at http://www.ayslynscorner.wordpress.com Check out Invisible Ink Blog at http://www.whitneycarter.wordpress.com Check out wombs in rebellion at http://wombsinrebellion.wordpress.com/
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2 Responses to On dealing with past gods: good and evil

  1. Carlette says:

    Having gone to Catholic school and later attended AM churches, I can honestly say that I am totally removed from Christian teaching and they in no way affect or combine with my current craft practices. It is my opinion that Christianity does more harm than good (as reflected in your very post) and that is a mind-controlling, manipulative practice which enables oppression and guilt. Any truly loving god would not condone such methods to gain followers. I cringe whenever Christians assume I Christian and start spouting off what god told them and the blessings and will of god did bla bla bla. They automatically assume that I believe the same or that I am a pathetic lost soul condemned to hell if I don’t. They are the only pantheon that does this sort of mind bending. I do believe Jesus existed – as a revolutionary who was silenced because of his radical charismatic messages. Beyond that, he was just a nice guy. Am I going to hell for saying that? Probably, but I was most likely going anyway.

    • Carlette,

      Thank you for your comments. Reading through what you said, I got a very strong sense of anger, so I feel that Christianity does still figure into your thoughts, even if it is only a anti to what you now believe. It is difficult to remove oneself completely from something as all-encompassing as faith, and that anger is something I still struggle with. It was the reason behind this post. Separation is not always so clear cut as choosing to believe something different.

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