The early pagans thought when they sinned or broke the law; they needed to atone for their sins by self mutilation. This practice is considered a sin to Christians. Unlike the pagans, God gave Christians the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love to help them. The pagans could have gotten these if they had believed in God and were baptized. With the theological virtues and Christ’s crucifixion it makes it possible for Christians to confront the horrors of their sins and not perform the sin of self mutilation.
Oedipus was a man who was next in line to rule his fathers’ kingdom. His parents were given a prophecy that said a son of royalty would kill his father, then marry his mother, and rule with her. Oedipus thought this meant himself, so he left because he feared the prophecy. The king came looking for Oedipus to try to convince him to come home, king Laius disguised himself because he did not want Oedipus to know it was him. When the king started talking to his son he accidentally offended his son. So Oedipus, not knowing it was his father, killed him. When Oedipus’ mother found out about this she hung herself, because she did not want to marry her son. When Oedipus found her body, he took the pins from her gown and used them to gouge out his eyes to punish himself. After this Oedipus exiled himself and left the kingdom, he inherited, to his two sons.
The way the pagans showed faith in their gods was by listening to the oracles, since the gods rarely came down to earth. The pagans thought they could tell when the prophecies would happen. They also thought they could control the outcome of them, as Oedipus tried to do. If someone interfered with what the oracle predicted, it would change the effect of the prophecy. When this happened, usually it made the lives of the affected much worse. For the Christians though, if you heard a prophecy, then let your life be affected by that prophecy, it is a sin. They may not be called prophecies in today’s time; however, Horoscopes, Ouija boards, and fortune telling could have the same impression on your life, so they should be avoided. If you do not avoid them they could open you up to evil and ruin your life, just like Oedipus.
When Jesus died on the cross for us, he did not just take away the sins of the world, he also gave us hope and the hope of getting to Heaven and being with God in eternal glory. Oedipus’ mother did not have this hope when she found out that her husband was killed by her son and she killed herself. If she had not killed herself she would have found out that Oedipus did not want to marry her and they both would have gone on living the rest of their lives. Suicide is a sin against hope. Those who commit suicide often feel there is no hope to their situation, and then this leads to despair. If Oedipus’ mother had known God she would not have despaired because God would have helped her through her predicament if He was asked.
Oedipus went into self induced exile and he showed love to his sons by leaving his kingdom for them to rule. Later he found out that all they did was fight over who should rule the kingdom. This made Oedipus very distraught. His sons tried to make him favor one of them and help kill the other brother. God always offers his love to us. When some people abuse this He gets upset, just like Oedipus. When someone shows you love it is hoped that you would show love in return. Sometimes people do not return Gods love to him. This can lead them away from God. People also show love to each other and like Oedipus it is ignored and not returned. If this happens to a person they need to be prayed for so they will become a better person.
If the pagans had known the one True God, Christ’s crucifixion, and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love, they would not have been in this predicament. They could have spent their lives worshiping God. They also would have done more fulfilling things with their lives. This would have been because of God, not of self inspiration. If the pagans of today’s time could learn to know God the world would be a better place, and everybody would worship the one True God.