Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Opus 2013-146: New Terms: Pagan and Heathen

A couple of words used to be common but have fallen out of use in everyday conversation.  One is pagan; the other, heathen. 

Pagans are people who believe in more than one God.  It is not a term of derision, or at least it shouldn’t be.  Plato, Marcus Aurelius and Confucius were pagans.   They are recognized by all as being giants of history.  They were still pagans.

Heathen is a more relative term, open to being pejorative.    We tend to use it to refer to anyone who is not a Christian.  Thus, while Saladin was not a pagan, he was a heathen.  We need to understand that heathen is like beauty, it is in the eyes of the beholder.  Thus, Saladin would think of Christians as being heathen.  Actually it means someone that does not share your religious and cultural beliefs.

Understand the words and use them, or not, correctly.

homo unius libri


  1. I heard of some folks who are offended by the term "heathen," saying that it originally meant those who live out on the heath. Their point was that people who live there are no worse than people who live elsewhere, and that King James' translators were using a slur of the time to descibe non-Christians. Of course the ones complaining happened to be pagans, so take it for what it's worth to you. ;-)

    1. That seems to be the root of the word. The Hebrew is the word for gentile and the Greek is "ethnos". The NASB does not use "heathen." Since we all approve of people who are like us and have trouble with those who are different, it is hard to use any of them without a bit of attitude.

      I guess we could talk about people of the heath.

      Grace and peace


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.