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?