I’ve decided to focus my blog posts around a central theme; something that spurs my imagination: Myths, Legends and Fantasy. Before I proceed, I feel it necessary to add a few important disclaimers – or half disclaimers, depending on the post. These disclaimers are specifically for the evangelical Christians in my social circle.
1.) I believe in a creator God. I believe that the teachings of Jesus Christ are true to the nature of God, and I strive to honour those teachings, despite my flawed nature. I do have reservations about some of the influences effecting the evolution of Christianity, but I attempt to avoid offending those who might feel my questions are equivalent to pulling a loose thread on a ravelling garment. If you’ve spent your whole life believing and dedicating yourself to a specific doctrine, it can be a bit like stripping flesh from bone when someone introduces conflicting ideas. I have no intention of meddling with your faith, and if I post something that makes you feel as if I am meddling with your faith, be assured that it is nothing more than a feeling.
2.) I do not give legitimacy to any of the topics I am going to present, except this: Some of them – but not all – are very closely related to the Hebrew stories, which most of the world now views as mythology; I do not. Because I do not, it is going to seem a gross insult to those who recognise the link. You may feel that I am trying to rewrite your sacred story. Again, I assure you, that is not the case. I am merely presenting you with the stories of other cultures, of legends, of fantasy creatures that emerge from the ancient past. Your story is your story. Their story is their story. Try to keep them separate.
3.) I do not see the study of ancient stories or ancient texts as a trespass. Some of you do. For those of you who feel deeply offended by the stories of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Norsemen, Irish, Scots, Greeks and Romans, you have two choices: You can either keep an open mind or you can give the posts a miss. JK Rowling, a confessed Christian, has been branded “evil” by American Christians for a story that is, in summary, a tale of good and evil. Those who refused to follow the dictate have been branded along with her by those who have never taken the time to read and evaluate the story. That brings me to the fourth point . . .
4.) I do not succumb to guilt trips from people whose primary addiction to religious fervour is the power to control others. I believe in God, because I genuinely do believe. I attempt to live according to the teachings of Christ because, in my search for clarity, I have found nothing in his life or words that would lend itself to doubt. I am a believer who is often judged and condemned by other believers, not only for the genuine trespasses I have committed, but because I prefer to think for myself and make up my own mind. While most of us have been taught not to question – just to follow, the people we follow are fallible. JO has a following of over 50,000 people who support his ministry, but I have yet to see him TEACH from the scriptures he waves in the air amid one of his warm, fuzzy motivational speeches. I met an Australian once who told me that his wife wasn’t saved because she couldn’t speak in tongues. He genuinely believed the poor cow was condemned, and I imagine he’s told her this enough times that she now believes it herself. That’s soul destroying. I heard a pastor preach to his congregation once that if they had a drink, danced, smoked, wore the wrong clothes, listened to the wrong media, missed church even when they were sick . . . They would burn in the eternal fires of hell. That same pastor called me up after I left a brutally abusive spouse to inform me that if I did not return to him immediately, I was condemned for all time. When I told him what the man did, the pastor said, “I do not care. The bible forbids divorce”. The problem is that there is no room for humanity and grace and forgiveness and redemption in the “God’s gonna get you” mentality. One person says you are damned if you do – the other says you are damned if you don’t. So, while it is critical to be open to teaching and guidance, it is equally critical to be discerning – to know when to put the brakes on – to seek wisdom from a source that surpasses human understanding.
But, I digress . . .
Nothing I wish to post here is likely to guide you on that journey. Perhaps it has given me food for thought, and perhaps it will give you food for thought, but whether it has or does or will, these are merely the twisted tales of the ages, and are in no way designed to lead you from your true path.