What is Goth?

Adapted by Jack Danyá Kemplin, from an article originally written by Josiah Schmidt for GothsForJesus.com on September 23rd 2003.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”

Isaiah 9:2

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple millenia, you probably know what Christians are, and you probably know what Goths are. But perhaps what you think you know about Goths is only based on what you have heard on the TV, which is often inaccurate and based on false stereotypes.

First, let’s establish a couple of things:

  • Goth is not a religion, and there is no one faith that all Goths believe in.
  • Goth is an amoral (neither right nor wrong) culture that is compatible with any major world religion.
  • Being depressed or suicidal does not make one a goth. The true spirit of gothicism is simply finding the beauty in life–including the parts that most people don’t want to find beauty in (i.e. death, pain, etc).

Yes, I know of atheist, agnostic, pagan, and Satanic goths, but they represent a minority of “gothdom.” I also know goths who are Jewish, Catholic / Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc. Goths can still dress in black, write poetry, and listen to gothic music while retaining their personal beliefs.

There is nothing immoral or wicked about being a goth, although Goths have been stereotyped as being immoral or wicked because of man’s carnal fears of death and the dark. In fact, Christian Goths are often amongst the most Gothic, because they focus on the intellectual aspect of Gothicism.

A fellow Goth provided a list of what it means to be a Goth, which might help give you a better understanding of what the term “Goth” means:

  • You feel the need to spend a lot of time creating things such as music, art, poetry, philosophies, and stories.You like museums and cultural centres.
  • You understand and even enjoy reading Shakespeare, Shelley, Byron, Brontë, Browning, and other similar writings.
  • You really, truly enjoy music of many kinds.
  • You are a very sensual person (aware of colour, texture, sound, taste and scent).
  • You don’t understand why the people around you spend so much time watching TV.
  • You feel comfortable just being yourself, even if no one else around is anything like you.
  • You wonder “why” a lot, and enjoy exploring for the answers. You are not afraid of the unknown, you are not afraid of the dark.
  • You don’t just reject something because you don’t understand it.
  • You base your opinions of people on who they are and what they do, rather than what they look like.

I pray this article has helped in giving you a better appreciation of the Gothic culture and what it means to be both a Christian and a Goth.

Love in the blood of Christ,
Your brother

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