To Be Christian, Or Not To Be Christian
The Regia Member's Handbook states that you would believe implicitly in the existence of God, or if you were 'one of the dwindling number of pagans' Gods. This rather rambling discussion is an attempt to show where the two sets of Viking beliefs merged. I am not trying to imply that both are ultimately one; rather I'm thinking of the reaction of a pagan Viking when faced with a proselytising preacher.
"Our God Does That Too!"
Preacher: Our God is one, and yet has three aspects.
Viking: You don't say? funny, our god Oðin comes in three forms too, Oðin, Villi and Ve. Sometimes they're brothers and sometimes they're one person.
Preacher: Ah, but our God made a great sacrifice for us.
Preacher: He was crucified...
Preacher: Hung on a cross - the tree of redemption. He even suffered the indignity of a spear thrust though his side.
Viking: Strange you should say that. Oðin hanged himself on a tree with a spear in his side.
Preacher: Yeah? Well, I bet he didn't come back to life again.
Viking: Of course he did. Why would we call him a god if he were dead?
Preacher: I can see I'm not getting through here. Let me tell you what will happen in the last days of earth. A horn will sound...
Viking: It's not called Gjallerhorn, is it?
Preacher: I hadn't finished. A horn will sound and the Lord of Hosts will lead multitudes against the hordes of Hell who are released to join battle.
Viking: I know that. And they'll all die...
Preacher: Hah! But not us! The elect will survive and a new world will arise where we will live in peace for ever.
Viking: I hadn't finished either. That new world will be called Gimli and men and gods shall live in peace.
Preacher: [sigh] Not if you're not a Christian, you won't. The unrighteous will burn in everlasting Hell. The righteous shall sit with God and sing hymns of splendour.
Viking: They'll be lucky. Christians are not allowed to fight. If they're not allowed to fight they won't be getting very far.
Preacher: Fight? We are allowed to fight. If it is a just cause we must fight.
Viking: Just cause, eh? Hmm...
Preacher [getting carried away]: Of course! With the armour of righteousness, and the breastplate of ....
Viking: Whoa, whoa, stop! What's that? Do all Christians get them?
Preacher: Of course. We are assured so by St. Paul. They are the rightful inheritance of all true followers of Christ.
Viking: Do they protect against these new winged spears? Nasty things they are. And my armour's getting a bit worn.
Preacher [expansively]: They protect against everything!
Viking [waking up]: They do? Where do I sign?
Original article by Telsa "Hobbit" Gwynne 1994