Iceland is reportedly building the first temple to Norse gods since the time of the Vikings. The Guardian reports, “Worship of the gods in Scandinavia gave way to Christianity around 1,000 years ago, but a modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in Iceland.” Apparently this new temple will allow followers to “publicly worship at the shrine of Thor, Odin, and Frigg.” Reportedly the high priest of this Norse cult said, “I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet. . . . We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.” This temple will “host ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. The group will also confer names to children and initiate teenagers, similar to other religious communities.”
This sad story shows the continuing spiritual decline in Europe. Despite its strong Christian heritage in the past, Europe is now certainly post-Christian and America is quickly going in the same direction. Instead of acknowledging the truth of God’s Word and the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ, people are choosing to embrace ancient Norse paganism! How sad!
Well, these worshippers are actually being quite inconsistent. According to the website of a group that promotes faith in these Norse gods, these people are basing their beliefs on their ancient heritage and culture.* Yet the original Viking heritage involved raping, pillaging, and plundering others. Of course, these neopagans don’t want or promote a return to that. But it was the Christian influence that put an end to these actions! So why are they rejecting Christianity and bringing back part of their religious heritage but maintaining Christian—not Norse—principles of morality? Well, because these neopagans are being utterly inconsistent! But it is also a reminder that everyone has a moral conscience that God has placed in us:
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.” (Romans 2:14–15)People are desperately searching for answers and for something to believe in because they know that there is a God:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18–20)Sadly, these people will not find what they are looking for at the shrine of Thor, Odin, or Frigg. All they are doing is ignoring the plain truth that God exists (Romans 1:19).
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:20–23)Yes, they have “become futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21). They will find what they are looking for only in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
This is why it is so important for us to stand on the authority of God’s Word in our rapidly declining western cultures. We need to proclaim the truth of Scripture and the life-changing message of the gospel to a world that so desperately needs to hear it. That’s why we at Answers in Genesis have put so much effort into getting the truth of God’s Word and the gospel out through books, DVDs, curricula, websites, the Creation Museum, and the coming Ark Encounter.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
*The website is in Icelandic and, since no official English translation was available, this information is from a translation of the original source using Google translate. We cannot vouch for its accuracy.