Have you heard of the song entitled “Heathens”? The first line says, “All my friends are heathens, take it slow.”
Now, you may wonder what does the word heathens mean?
In the song, heathens refer to people who are non-religious, particularly non-Christians and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.
These people are considered uncivilized and lack moral or cultural principles. The song is directed at Christians to encourage them to respect people who have no religion or whose religion is different from Christianity.
Before it gets confusing, let’s get back to the meaning of heathens. Generally, heathens are people who do not belong to any of the widely held religions such as Christianism, Islam or Judaism.
However, some people confuse heathens, atheists, and agnostics.
Atheists don’t believe in any gods.
Agnostics believe that God can exist but knowing God is beyond human’s capability. Heathens are people who practice the pre-Christian religion of the ancient Germanic people.
Heathens are closely related to pagans, and in fact, in many dictionaries they are considered synonyms, but there are differences between them.
On one hand, pagans are those who follow polytheistic non-Abrahamic religions and their common beliefs include polytheism, animism, (believing that animals, plants, and objects have a spiritual essence), and pantheism (believing that nature and divinity are the same).
Heathens, on the other hand, worship Germanic and Norse gods and goddess.
Heathens believe in multiple deities. They strongly believe each god and goddess is distinct from each other. They believe in local gods, ancestral spirits and some sort of misfortune. For them, understanding and reading one’s heritage is very important, and they take their religion very seriously.
Heathens also believe in afterlife. They believe that the soul is made up of many parts that are passed down through generations, all of which come together in a certain place and time to form a unique person.
One more thing that makes Heathens different from Christianity, Islam and Judaism is that they believe that there is no absolute concept of one’s fate.
They have a notion that they make their own destiny by the actions they take in life. While certain fate may come to pass, they believe they can make other choices to change it. They don’t believe in asking for forgiveness or forgiving someone. If someone made a mistake, they should take actions to make amends and set what is wrong right.
All in all, heathens should not be viewed as bad, barbaric, or savage people as they have their own faith and beliefs.