Paganism

Heathens hold religious services rooted in Norse paganism. False Religion, Part Eight in a Series.

Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:

Yes, you can be saved in the terrible times that will occur on the earth.

The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)

A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.

. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).

B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.

. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).

. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).

. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).

. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).

. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).

. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).

. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).

. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).

. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

 

Heathens hold religious services rooted in Norse paganism. False Religion, Part Eight in a Series.

By: J.D. Simkins . 01/08/2019. Navy Times.

Heathenry is experiencing a resurgence.

The polytheistic religion, one that traces its origin to Norse myths that tell of the universe’s creation and prophesy its destructive end, was at one time stifled following the end of the Viking Age and the subsequent spread of Christianity.

One such collections of myths, “The Prose Edda” — authored by Icelandic historian, poet and politician Snorri Sturluson sometime around the year 1220 — provides much of what the modern world knows about Norse mythology: Yggdrasil, Asgard and the Aesir, a tribe of gods and goddesses with familiar names like Odin, Thor, Loki, Frigg and Idun.

Now, nearly 800 years after Sturluson’s “Edda,” a small group of sailors aboard the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis has adopted these deities as the pillars of their religion, according to a Navy release.

The chapel onboard Stennis is where Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wood, a once-Roman Catholic sailor from Eagle River, Alaska, fills the duties of Heathenry lay leader, a position of religious leadership that must be appointed by a unit’s commanding officer.

As the most senior practitioner of Heathenry — he has been observant for five years now — Wood is tasked with leading a small group of sailors devoted to the Norse gods and goddesses in weekly services that are even advertised on the ship’s one-main circuit.

‘OPENED MY EYES’

Wood was just in high school when he enrolled in a mythology class that he says “opened my eyes to the Nordic Gods.” From there, he examined the famous Eddas, like Sturluson’s, to learn more, eventually coming to the realization that he identified with the polytheistic faith in a way he never had with Catholicism.

It didn’t take long before the sailor discovered a group of like-minded Heathens in his hometown of San Diego, one that helped cement his perception of his newfound faith and his place in its community.

“They are my surrogate family,” Wood said in the release. “They helped me understand the religion, and with their help, I transitioned from someone who was merely interested in the religion to someone who is well-versed enough to lead others in prayer. I went through them to get certified to lead services on the ship.”

With his acquired knowledge, Wood has encouraged other sailors with inquisitiveness of Heathenry to attend a sumbel, a ceremony traditionally consisting of toasting and reciting poems or songs.

Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Joshua Shaikoski attended one of these ceremonies led by Wood.

“Just like Wood, I was not born a Heathen,” said Shaikoski, who was born in Norway and raised in Minnesota. “I went to Lutheran services with my parents when I was growing up, but it always felt forced. I never felt like I connected with anything spiritual until I visited Norway and discovered a group of Heathens who opened my eyes to their religion.”

Despite their newfound religious clarity, much of what Heathens like Wood and Shaikoski observe remains a mystery to those on the periphery of the faith’s beliefs and practices.

Rumors surround the religion and its followers — like Shaikoski, who said he’s fielded inquiries about everything from whether they perform ritualistic animal sacrifices to whether they’re racial supremacists.

“Not only is it the farthest from the truth, but it is hurtful,” he said.

No matter the chasmic disconnect between Heathenry followers and those oblivious to its tenets, there is no denying that the religion has gained a foothold — however small — in the U.S. military.

Just last April, a soldier from the 795th Military Police Battalion was granted an accommodation to grow facial hair as part of his pagan faith.

“In observance of your Heathen, Norse Pagan faith, you may wear a beard, in accordance with Army uniform and grooming standards for soldiers with approved religious accommodations,” the soldier’s commander, Col. Curtis Shroeder, wrote in the memo approving the soldier’s request.

And in 2013, the image of Mjölnir, commonly known as the Hammer of Thor, was added to the list of symbols that can be used on veteran headstones, such as those at Arlington National Cemetery.

Such strides of religious freedoms should help dispel outlandish myths like those disputed by Shaikoski.

“Heathenry is a religion of peace and community,” he said. “[It] helped me connect with people on the ship that I would have just passed by.”

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