- Ancient Paganism teaches the existence of one Supreme Being: multiple gods exist under the authority of this one Being (henotheism); demons exist separately from these gods.
- Jesus is one powerful god among many gods.
- Modern Paganism believes in the divine principle, male and female; many gods may or may not exist within this principle.
- Jesus was a good man who exhibited the divinity present in all humanity.
- Nature is a manifestation of divinity, not a "fallen" creation of deity.(1)
- Humanity's basic nature is good; salvation may or may not be needed, but reparation for bad behavior can be achieved through good deeds.
In order to understand the faiths of today, we must carefully explore the faiths of yesterday. The roots of Pagan religions run deep and strong in the history of mankind, influencing almost every aspect of human society. These faiths are legion, and it would be impossible to examine all with any shred of accuracy within the limited scope of this work. In view of this fact, the civilizations of Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Persia have been chosen based on their global influence, both ancient and modern, as well as their involvement in the occult.
Archaeological evidence reveals that man has always worshiped, always reached to a power he considered greater than human power-a power outside himself. The ruins of the world stand as monuments to these ceremonies, and ancient writings provide valuable details supporting the fact that religious faith was an integral part of man's history, uniquely rooted in realities both inside and outside himself: his spiritual nature, as evidenced by words and deeds, and the physical existence of the Divine, as evidenced by revelation and eyewitness testimony.(2)
In support of the biblical record, Wilhelm Schmidt maintained that all ancient cultures throughout the world originally contained the belief in a Supreme Being. He details the progression of ancient religious beliefs in his Origin and Growth of Religion:
- The Supreme Being is generally acknowledged as creator and called Father in every primitive culture where He is addressed. He lives somewhere above the earth.
- He is a being, so his physical form cannot be accurately represented. He is described as invisible, like the wind, or like fire.
- He is eternal: He existed before any other being, and He will not die.
- He is all powerful and all knowing.
- He is good, and all good comes from Him, including moral law. He is unalterably righteous.
- He despises evil, and it must be kept far from Him.
- He is the just Judge. Human beings are separated from Him by past offenses, and they abandoned Him for lesser, more accessible gods; yet primitive religions retain His memory as the Sky-God.(3)
History details the progression of mankind's rebellion against the Father, his fateful choice to follow his own wisdom and that offered by anything or anyone other than God. From the first revolt in the garden of Eden, man wandered from the worship of the one true God, Elohiym.(4) The result of this rebellion was Paganism, with its inherent idolatry.
- Jones and Pennick. A History of Pagan Europe, 2.
- For more detailed information on these civilizations, including personal stories of life in the ancient world see Fordham University's Internet Ancient History Sourcebook, http://www.fordham.edu/
- Adapted from Schmidt, The Origin and Growth of Religion, 264-273.
- Genesis 1:1 OT:430 plural of OT:433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God. New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary, Biblesoft.