Posts Tagged ‘gods

14
Dec
08

Modern Gods

moment-of-glory1So, I wasn’t planning on posting today. I mean, hey, it’s almost 11 p.m. Why bother, right? But I feel compelled. And I did have a thought leap to mind.

I’m reading a novel by Neil Gaiman called American Gods and it’s an interesting read. Not finished with it yet but I wanted to share a little something from the novel that made me think about some stuff. What I’ll be saying here really shouldn’t be any kind of spoiler, but if you’re concerned I might ruin anything for you and you’re planning to read the book, take this opportunity to move on and catch up with me again tomorrow.

Anyway, in this novel, we meet a great many gods. Yeah, the kind you read about in mythology stuff in high school or college, and a lot of others that your instructor probably didn’t teach you about. The concept is that these manifestations of ancient gods are here in the United States because people essentially brought them with them in their minds, and caused them to exist, and their faith and worship and sacrifices made them as real as the original gods were. But, as worshippers declined and the religions faded, some of these gods died off. Others maintained existences but as these kind of sorry-ass individuals. They have powers that we don’t, but their lives aren’t anything to covet, and they certainly don’t seem very godlike.

The core conflict of the novel is the fact that these old gods have been targetted by the new gods for destruction. Those new gods are who, you might wonder?

Television. Casinos. Freeways. Internet and so on. These gods have physical manifestations and they walk among us and influence things at times.

What struck me as particularly interesting is that while the old gods scrape for any faith or remembrance or any kind of sacrifice to keep them going, the new gods of America are flush with not just “worshippers” but also sacrifices.

Our time is sacrificed to the television. Our money to the casinos. Things like that.

And what it made me realize is that even though this novel is a work of fiction, there is an essential truth there. Think of the time and money and other valuable resources of our lives that we throw at things that don’t really matter.

How many of us, myself included, are willing to spend hours on the Internet, yet precious few minutes so much as volunteering for a non-profit organization or giving our children the time they want and need, or reading God’s word? How many of us purport to worship God and actually worship everything but Him?

I’m not suggesting we toss away our temporal lives and go into the wilderness like John the Baptist or leave our families to go on missionary treks the rest of our lives, but I do think we should all reassess how much time we are willing to give to the modern gods we have created and how much more we should be giving to the God who created us.

25
Nov
08

Two-fer Tuesday: Imagining God by Miz Pink

pinkhairlongIt freaks me out sometimes how easily people brush off the uniqueness of God and the Judeo-Christian history because people are sometimes really fast on the draw to say the Jews were better “myth makers” than anyone else before or since…and that the whole monotheistic faith that they spearheaded was simply great marketing. But is just doesn’t jive for me.

Why try to create a “better religious mousetrap” especially several thousand years ago? There was nothing “broken” in the multiple gods model that so many other folks were using. It suited humans well. And the early Jews were certainly not so durned brilliant as to foresee that we would unlock most of the secrets of nature and genetics and all that and knew “We just gotta create a God that can handle the new world order coming up in a few thousand years.”

I understand that so many gods were “imagined” by people to explain things we take for granted like rain and emotions and stuff. They were what passed for science before science came along but I don’t see why the kind of God that the Jews and I and even the Muslims worship is something ANYONE would WANT to create.

This wasn’t a God who wasn’t particularly keen on doling out a bunch of favors. He wasn’t easy to get ahold of. He expected a heck of a lot. He set high standards. He was not the kind of God that would appeal to the masses unlike most gods that were pretty much just messed up beings with a lot of power…they were just like humans except with cosmic bad-mama-jamma-ness. Gods that people could relate to. So why create the God known as Yahweh (and other things) Unless of course he was a god that actually existed, showed his power to his first chosen people, and set them on the path to reveal his glory and show the world what they needed to return to…which is his loving embrace and his eternal family.

Men and women didn’t “imagine God.” The did their part to reveal him, though, that’s for sure. And its a shame that so many people are willing to write that off and reduce God to merely being a better made myth.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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