The Prevalence of Christian-tru in Heathenism
Many people who take more of a rigid and highly dogmatic approach to Asatru and Heathenism, are not actually practicing Asatru at all, they are practicing Christian-tru; the dogmatic dualistic mindset (I am right, you are wrong thinking) of Christianity, with Norse Heathen trappings thrown on top of it. Sadly these Christian-tru types are the louder more preachy sorts (just as is typical of Christians) and thus their ideas tend to get more distributed into the Heathen/Asatru community because of this. To truly practice Heathenism, we need to get back to the mindset of the ancient Heathens. Just simply imitating the ritual practices of the ancient Heathens, hardly makes us Heathen. It is the thinking patterns of a group of people that is the heart of who they are.
The outer practices of all Heathens were never universal, since Heathens were a variety of people scattered around a large area, mostly living in small groups isolated from one another, without the modern level of global communications, so most traditions and practices would have been more local based. Every clan probably had their own family traditions that had been passed down for generations. People did not use books to learn things, all knowledge was passed down orally. It is the Christians that brought book based culture to Europe, and book based culture introduces standardization of ways of thinking.
The whole only one God is valid concept creates a whole different way of thinking, since if only one God is valid then only one way to be is valid, according to this monotheistic approach to spirituality. The whole concept of “religion” only exists within monotheistic religions. It was the spread of the monotheistic religions that created the idea of religions.
Pagan/Heathen religions are polytheistic, thus many Gods/Goddesses, which translates to there being many valid approaches to things in terms of thinking.
This is why the monotheistic religions were able to convert most polytheistic religions, since Pagans/Heathens didn’t see the God of the monotheistic religion as being the one only God, just another God. Thus at first when converting Pagans/Heathens the monotheistic preacher would use this difference to get people to start to worship their God and over time work on making them understand the monotheistic way of thinking. This did not happen overnight. For a long period of time people would just continue to be polytheistic but add the new God from the monotheistic faith into the list of deities they were worshiping.
Most people who take more of a Christian-tru approach to being Asatru or Heathen, came directly from a monotheistic Christian background, and didn’t yet learn to actually think like a polytheist. It can take time for a person to learn a totally different way of thinking. The other side of this is people that came to Asatru or Heathenism from the background of having first been either Wiccan or Neo-Pagan. They tend to have an easier time understanding polytheistic thinking. But often times the Christian-tru person is jealous of people who were Wiccan or Neo-Pagan before coming to Asatru or Heathenism, thus why the common insult of calling people Wicca-tru within the community. I can almost guarantee the vast majority of those acting this way are Christian-tru, people who came from a monotheistic Christian background, and didn’t learn to stop thinking like a judgemental dogmatic monotheistic Christian yet.
To better understand the difference between the Heathen and Christian mindset in regards to the idea of spirituality and “religion” here is a good video that explains more about this.: