The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Thursday, January 09, 2020

The God Theory, or, The Theory of God

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,
 being understood by the things that are made,
Romans 1:20b

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or [e]principalities or [f]powers. 
All things were created through Him and for Him.
Colossians 1:16 

Not having studied the Holy Books of any other culture so thoroughly as I have the Bible, being that I was brought up to be a Christian; to my limited knowledge, the Hebrew & Greek Scriptures, of all other Scriptures, may have the most to say about the Creator. Or so it would seem. Other Scriptures may introduce us to a veritable pantheon of Gods, or Creators, each of whom is responsible for breathing Life into one or several certain aspects of what we call 'the Creation'. Take J.R.R. Tolkien's fantastic world, for example. Reading the first number of pages in 'The Silmarillian', one can see where the author basically mixes his own version of Christian ( Roman Catholic ) theology with a sort of Greek/Norse mythology. We do not see such a reference, except among the 'Heathen' ( Egyptian, Canaanite, Syrian, Greek, etc. ) in either the Greek or Hebrew Scriptures, but we do find Elohim, 'God, in our English Bibles telling the Earth & Sea to 'bring forth' & 'abound with' ( Genesis 1:11 & 20 ( 24 ). In fact, one might note that this is much the same as we find later, where 'He' tells Adam & Eve to 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth' ( Genesis 1:26 ) 

All that said, however, it must be noted that the context of the quotes above demands a slightly deeper, if not different meaning, more of a literary, as opposed to a literal one, to be precise. More of a covenantal meaning. The notion that Genesis 1 & 2, as we've discussed before, are not about the birth of the Universe, or even our solar System, but about the formation, by this 'Elohim', of a certain people, peculiar to 'Him' alone cannot be ignored. Although this does tend to affect a more scientific understanding of cosmology, depending on how one perceives the information, it should be clear, from the manifold evidence available, that there is a Divine Designer of the Universe & all that is. Coupled together with the fact that mere human beings ( Jesus claimed ( not in so many words to be 'God' ) were 'elohim' as well ( Psalm 82:6, John 10:34 ), it should not be too difficult to gather that, while there is One Supreme Source of All, this Source was & is not alone in the act of 'Creation'. 

'Why bring that up? you ask; 'the Bible tells us as much!' Yes, the Bible tells us so ( if one reads with a halfway open mind, anyway ). It also tells us a unique ( 'peculiar' ) Story about how this 'Elohim' not only created this special ( covenant ) bond with a specific tribal people in the Ancient Near East; It also tells how 'He', in due time, became human so that 'He' might save 'His' people from their sins, committed in direct disobedience of 'His' Law. Whether or not this is a literally historical account or not ( 'mythological' is more like it ) may be questionable, but that It describes historical events has been proven in most areas. Is this to say that 'God', as most Christians know 'Him', is simply a tribal deity?! Well, again, 'Yes' & 'No'! 'He', as 'Elohim', was the God ( or god ) of the Hebrews, according to the Bible, as corroborated by this Wikipedia article. As discussed in at least one other of my blogposts, 'Elohim', or 'YHWH', was also how the Hebrews & later, the Christians, perceived the Divine Source of All. So is 'God' SIMPLY a tribal deity?! No; simply put, It's not that simple!

'God', therefore, is not simply a theory, although there are many theories floating around out there about 'Who' this Supreme Deity is! What if we've got it all wrong, though; what if every culture, with their different mythologies & Holy Books has created 'God' in their own image?! What if the 'God' we all know & love ( some hate 'Him', to be honest ) has so many human characteristics because 'He' was created by humans?! There are certainly many Universal Truths that we can read about 'God' in the Bible, but there are certain attributes that are definitely, in context, only applicable to a tribal deity, for example, much of what we read about 'Him' in the Hebrew Scriptures, the so-called 'Old Testament'. 

The arguments for Intelligent Design have multiplied over the past several decades. Darwinian Evolution had up till then ( still is in many areas ) been the accepted explanation for the Theory of Everything. This is not the case anymore. Although they are still in the minority, many scientists have found the evidence for some sort of Intelligent Design to be both irrefutable & overwhelming. Knowing what we know then, or at least perceive about the movement & makeup of the Universe, most would have a very difficult, if not totally impossible time refuting this theory. As I've said before, concerning several things; 'It is what It is'! Just because we perceive the Universe to be expanding, doesn't mean that It is. Just because we perceive the Source of All to be the 'God' of the Hebrews, doesn't mean 'He' is. For one thing, how can we be certain that 'God' IS a 'Who', much less a 'He'? These terms imply a person; is 'God' a person?! Was Joan Osborne correct in asking 'What If God Was One of Us'? According to most theologians, 'God' IS a Person ( or three persons ); this actually makes a lot of sense, especially as we read some of the 'hairier' parts of what we call 'the Old Testament'!

As a Pagan, to whatever extent, it is understood that there is a Divine Source, a Creator, if you will. One look at the natural world around us should immediately make clear to us that there is an Intelligent Designer behind it all. A closer look will reveal to us the sanctity of all Life in its Divinity. The Pagan world, which 'spawned' much of what we know as 'Christianity, while not denying this One Divine Source, also worshiped & yet worships a veritable pantheon of 'Gods' ( or 'gods' ) who mediate for the 'natural' world ( one of these being 'Mother Nature' ). Not so different maybe, from the Biblical Story as quoted above, in the beginning paragraph!

Charles Haddon Shank

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