Christianity Vs Polytheism Essay, Research Paper
Christianity Vs Polytheism
In the novel, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Polytheism is violently introduced to Christianity. Even though the tribe?s religion of polytheism accepts the Christian?s beliefs, and the Christians come in peace, they were bound to have a dispute because of their religious differences. This is because of the major clashes in the two religions. Even though there are similarities, the differences between the two religions make it impossible for them to co-exist peacefully. The evidence being shown will be the few similarities between Christianity and Polytheism. Having little in common religion wise they are very friendly to each other at first. The second will be the differences in each other?s religions, in which will lead into the third paragraph about the way their differences made it impossible not to have a dispute.
Polytheism and Christianity are similar in the way that they both fulfill orders from their God or gods. They will do what ever it takes to fulfill an order from their God/gods. For example, when the oracle says that it is necessary to kill Ikemefuna. ?My father, they have killed me?! As he ran towards him. Dazed with fear, Okonkwo drew his machete and cut him down. He was afraid of being thought weak?(69). No matter how much Okonkwo and the tribe liked Ikemefuna, they carried out the orders of their gods by killing him. Okonkwo did not want to be looked upon as someone that did not fallow what the Oracle commanded. Polytheism and Christianity both have a type of personal spirit or guide that is assigned to each individual. The Christians have a guardian angel, and the Tribal religion has a chi. Both religions have good intentions. Neither one is evil, and the reason for the religion is to prove that you are not evil. They both believe in some sort of after life, in which your spirit lives on.
There are many differences between the two religions that set them apart from one another. The first one and biggest of all is that Polytheism is the belief of many different gods that make up this world, some male some female. In contrast, Christianity is the belief of one God, who is our savior and is a male. Another difference is that the Christianity leaves no room for any other religion to be accepted, where as Polytheism is tolerant of the Christian?s beliefs. The Tribal religion and the Christians have different beliefs in home life. For example, ?Each of his three wives had her own hut, which together formed a half moon behind the obi?(14). This shows that the tribe believes in polygamy in their way of life. However Christianity believes in having only one wife. Christians believe that their religion is the only right one and they travel the world spreading the word of Jesus Christ. They do not care about any other religions and will not let anyone else believe differently. The tribal religion does not try to spread the word of Polytheism and does not care if the world does not believe in what they believe in.
All of the major differences in the two religions lead to a major battle that changes the tribe. When the white men come spreading the word of Jesus Christ, the Tribe does not mind at first and is okay with the white man?s beliefs. Then when the Oracle tells the tribe that there is going to be a dispute with the white men, things start to change. The tribe does the first killing by killing a white man on a bicycle trying to spread the word of Jesus Christ. ?They killed him and tied up his iron horse?(139). The tribe kills a white man because the Oracle told them there would be trouble with them, and the tribe was trying to prevent a war from happening by killing the white man. The white men took this personally, and they retaliated in violence. When the tribe did not totally convert to Christianity, it started some anger from the white men toward the tribe. They dared to go against the Christian?s beliefs, therefore creating hatred towards the tribe. This is because of the strict religion that Christianity is. They can not let the tribe go on without believing in Christianity. When these two religions realize that the other is totally different, they look at the other as the ?evil? one. They both believe that by killing the other, they are doing the right thing, because both of their God or gods commands to do this. Another factor that made this impossible to not have a war, was when some of the tribe was converted to Christianity. Doing this created almost a civil war, fathers and sons would not believe in the same religion, and would turn on each other.
In conclusion, there are just too many critical differences that make Christianity and Polytheism totally incompatible. Christianity can not accept Polytheism, and will not let the tribe live their life believing in Polytheism. The tribe is afraid of the white men and does not want to give up everything they believe in for the white men, so they fight back trying to keep their culture alive. Religion is a powerful thing, and it can make a person hate or love anything or anyone. In this case, it caused a conflict that was impossible to avoid.