From Abracadabra to Zombies | View All
'Pagan' is the term Christians use to designate all those who don't accept Abraham's god. Jews after Jesus, as well as all Muslims, are not pagans, but infidels, according to Christians. Jews before Jesus are not really pagans, but they're not infidels either. But they were more like pagans than infidels. Infidels are destined to go to Hell. Good pagans such as Socrates, along with good Jews such as Moses, couldn't go to Heaven, but they shouldn't go to Hell, either. At some point in Christian mythology, "limbo" was invented to place these good souls who had not received Jesus. Limbo has gone the way of St. Christopher, however, and has been declared by the Church not to exist.
The word 'pagan' is derived from the Latin word for country dweller. The pagans were the Greek and Roman polytheists who followed the cults of Mithra, Venus, Apollo, Demeter, etc. Today, however, Christians generally reserve the appellation for those who belong to no religion or who belong to one of the New Age nature religions or anti-Christian cults.