Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Opus 2012-329, Religion and Culture: Prophecy

How does religion effect the culture around it?  I continue to look at examples of that.

One of the elements of religion is revealed truth.  People believe that the divine, however they understand it, has left indications of how we should be living today and in the future.  I am calling this “prophecy.”  This can take many forms and have different effects but a belief in prophecy can effect a culture either overtly or subtly.

Lets take what I consider a silly example, but one which has consumed the world recently:  The Mayan Calendar Apocalypse.  I am sure you have heard all the doom sayers and read of the panic about how the world was coming to an end.  We are past that date and we are still here.  Oh, well.

For most of us this was entertainment on the level of a good zombie movie, if there is such a thing as a good zombie movie.  If I am to believe the headlines, millions of people around the world were in terror that the end was here.  I am still trying to figure out why they were stocking up on candles if the world was going to be destroyed, but I guess it is consistent.  If you are gullible to believe something that even the Maya didn’t believe, you are foolish enough to have extra candles on hand for use after the extinction of all life.

Lets look at another example that worked to destroy a civilization.  Again we are dealing with Meso-American culture, this time the Aztecs.  It seems that the Aztec legends had a type of prophecy that said their main god would return some day from the east.  The key elements of this prophecy for our purposes were:  Quatzequatel would have light skin, hair on his face, come on clouds, from the east. 

Shades of Cortez.  What I read says that Montezuma thought Cortez was Quatzequatel returning.  Since he was a god, doing what the prophecy said that god would do, he was greeted with gifts and celebration.  By the time the mistake was admitted, the Aztec were doomed. 

Most of the time believing what prophecy reveals has a leavening effect and does not destroy a culture.  The influence can be good or bad depending on the eye of the beholder.  It does makes a difference.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.