Gods are in the details.

DikeAs the year moves towards the end it’s only natural to become a little reflective. Before we create our resolution we must first understand what needs to change and the underlying reasons for not changing so far. So we become like Janus standing at the gate of the New Year, looking back at what has passed and trying to peer into the gloom of the oncoming storm.
I confess I love the old gods, especially those of the Mediterranean. They had a purpose and a reason for being; they explained the world for man and allowed him to feel that he was not alone. Without Vulcan, the god of the smithy, we wouldn’t have the word ‘volcano’, without Apollo and Hermes there would be no sun, Aphrodite was responsible for love, and Hades explained what happened once we died. It’s easy to put them down as childish stories or even worse list them as heretic gods but they served the purpose needed by the dominant culture of the age. They were adaptations or adoptions from preceding cultures but there was worth in them. Like Elpis who chose to remain in Pandora’s Box they gave man hope for the future, that even though the world was confusing and dangerous there was the possibility that we would be ok and make it through the night.
When we chose monotheism we had to bundle all those qualities into one deity. We looked at the world and still did not understand how it worked so needed a god who would say everything was all right, that we were somehow protected. That’s why every religion with only one god talks about its followers as God’s children. It becomes a club where everyone who isn’t a member is cast into a negative role. It is based on the ancient fear of the stranger in our midst who might invade or take us over, just on a grander scale and with the justification that they don’t believe what we do.
It’s why a simple fact is not preached across the land in every church. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is still repeatedly used as evidence of why homosexuality is wrong, the trouble is it has nothing to do with being gay and everything about how we treat strangers. That’s not just my interpretation but the result of years of research and translation by eminent bible scholars. It is the result of men of god sitting down and rereading and getting back to the original texts rather than just accepting a mistranslation and calling it a fact.
So when we look at the story in this light it becomes very embarrassing for the church. The mistreatment of strangers is a sin and one that our own God punishes very harshly. The exclusion of the outsider is totally unacceptable, the person who is different is to be welcomed and treated with honor rather than being abused. The racial purity of a village and its autonomy isn’t protected by God but instead the village is destroyed. So how does that stand with a church that degrades, abuses, and seeks to destroy those who don’t fit in their “village” mentality? Could it be that brimstone and fire await those who try to protect the church from change and seek to exclude rather than include everyone?
How much more guilty is the modern church? Not only do we have the Old Testament but the New Testament too! We have Christ and his teachings. He as the true head of the Christian church gives a very different direction than the church wants and so it ties his words up in sermons and drowns them in the communion chalice. Nowhere does Christ teach us to exclude. Instead he was the one who sat down and befriended those that the “righteous church leaders” would have stoned. Doesn’t that make you wonder how homosexuals would be treated if Christ was truly the head of the church?
I suspect there would be a lot less repression and destruction of lives and a lot more people filling the pews. Instead we have turned the cross into a pillory for those who dare to be different, we turn the chalice into a cup of poison for those who don’t dare question what is preached on their behalf, and our altars become like the ancient ones, a place to sacrifice Christ again and again in an attempt to increase power and wealth on earth. The church is sick and it needs the only healer that can save it. That healer is Christ with his love for all men, women, and children.
In the parting words of the Greek goddess of justice, Dike, as she left men to the world they had perverted “Behold what manner of race the fathers of the Golden Age left behind them! Far meaner than themselves! but you will breed a viler progeny! Verily wars and cruel bloodshed shall be unto men and grievous woe shall be laid upon them.” We have and the church is dying because of them. So make a resolution to bring Christ back into your chapels, temples, and churches. But be lie Janus look backwards and forward, and recognize that by letting men control your faith, you yourselves turn away from those who are blameless in the eyes of God.


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