The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Let It Flow

Christmas was cancelled by the gubmint this year, if you haven’t heard.

Gatherings are banned. Its a sign of the impending Apocalypse. Go home, hug your wife and children, and prepare for The End.

And that’s just the start of it, right? The godless “Festivus” has perverted our celebration. Secularist celebrations have become a bastion of rebellion for disaffected, unapologetic sinners and unbelievers. Pandering to all of these are the thieves of body and soul – cultural consumerism and greedy opportunists of every kind. The Spirit of Christmas is under a full-time assault.

This war against Christmas is, itself, a pandemic threatening to ruin us all. The early church compromised to integrate with pagan traditions to ingratiate itself to the ruling gentiles (Something about a dislike of being fed to lions). A materialistic society has institutionalized the annual fleecing of we, their consumers. Through these our Christmas Spirit has been infected and threatened for nearly two millennia. And it is taking a toll. Evil has infected everything. It would seem perhaps to the devoted Christian that we should be mourning, not celebrating. There is no hope for mankind.

Or! is there? The way I read all my holy books, and see no command from the One I serve to celebrate his birthday. I see no institutionalized prescription for “putting Christ in Christmas”. Indeed, nowhere in his recorded words did he tell us to keep throwing a birthday party for him every year, let alone how to do it.

What Jesus, the basis for Judaism and the foundation of the Christianity, did say, over and over, was “love your neighbor”. He only had to say it, because we already weren’t doing it. “Love your enemies”, because we had amassed a lot of them, and weren’t managing them well.

“Love one another”. He said it over and over. Its like he was planting an ear worm.

There were, long before Christ‘s time, liars and cheaters of every kind. There were systemic abusers from the very top of society and government on down. Murderers of body and soul flourished, and He landed in an obscure country to the reigning Empire, to as humble a beginning as can be imagined, to tell us to love each other. Many and vocal are those who insist it WAS imagined. Why would a God do that? How is love going to fix what clearly requires power to control others?

But yet, every year starting in the late fall, something magical happens. The entire world changes from its usual business, if only a little in some places. Strangers greet each other in a small but different way. Children learn how good it is to receive, and this grows into an empathetic adult tradition. It grows over the course of a month or two to a crescendo, until it is heard around the world. These children, so often the focus of our holiday, are taught how good it can be to receive joy, and become parents and aunts and uncles and! well, sometimes just friends, who give because they remember the inherent love they received. Commerce pauses – if no other time of year, than at least this one day. People spend time and effort to look around for joy, and to make some of their own, taking blessing from the imparted happiness to others. Through masks, and distance, through health-driven ordinances and isolation, people have found a way this year to love each other. On battlefields, soldiers have paused to celebrate life. In hospitals, in prisons, in the dark alleys and slums of society where suffering is rampant, the glow of what we call humanity is found. But what is “humanity” if not love?

It seems to me the Spirit of Christmas IS an infection. We may guard our bodies from death with masks, gloves, and distance. But rather than nitpick over the human failures of spirit, let’s spend a day rejoicing over the pandemic invasion of Love, regardless of what name we know it by. Spread it by whatever means you find available. Be infectious with love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

This is the Spirit of Christmas. If you call it by another name, so be it. It still is what it is, infectious goodness

Let it flow. Let it flow. Let it flow.

The Modern Blaspheme

I‘d like to say this about that: 

Tonight‘s Viking Sacrifice:

Moral Superiority.  It can come from many sources.  We think of it most often when we are reminded and enjoined to bask in our own by pointing out the same frailty in others.  You don‘t need the name ofcacreligiin or deity to be guilty.  But stay with me here, I think you‘ll understand better if I just dive in.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

– Exodus 20:7

If your Religion makes you feel safe in this world – you may be practicing the wrong religion.

If you use your Religion past forgiveness and salvation, and right on through to moral superiority, you‘ve gotten on the wrong theological bus.

If your Religion is what brings you to political empowerment – to force others to accept your vision of morality or holiness, you are neither with God, nor with free men.

If you practice your Religion to attain wealth and blessing, you are both climbing the wrong mountain, and using gear not supplied by the God who‘s banner you claim to represent.

If your wear your Religion to be fashionably hip, you are throwing pearls into the pig-pen.

If you cover yourself in the mantle of Religion to be accepted, you are still a wolf, and you look ridiculous wearing sheep‘s clothing.

– Religion is a weapon of war for a battle waged beyond the physical realm.  It loses its power here, it lacks Essence. And without it‘s Essence, it loses its righteousness .

– Religion is a vehicle to a higher plane. Not only does it not travel well on the roads of this world, it‘s fuel source cannot be found here.  Consider this: if you‘re going somewhere here, you‘re not running on spiritual fuel.  You are not riding in a spiritual vehicle.

– Politics and Religion do not combine.  You cannot serve God and money/power.  We are not one in spirit if we are practicing political gamesmanship. The very core of politics produces division and a quest for dominion over others.  If one is not a free man, none are.

– The path to God is a narrow path, fraught with road hazards requiring a vessel of rigorous, specialized design.  It is of no use on the highways of society.   Choose your vehicle, and drive it to the destination for which it‘s made.

– The clothes of godliness do not call attention to ourselves, and thus serve no fashion purpose in this world.  They are utilitarian garments, for an environment in which vanity offers no protection.  And since their purpose is to glorify God, and not ourselves, the world sees them as ugly.

– And by the same token, if the Christianity you are wearing serves to make you acceptable to others, it is not authentic Christianity.  It is a disguise.  There is no godly use for disguise.

“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…

 …And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

If your religion is about anything else than this, maybe Religion isn‘t what you wanted.

Exodus 20:7 (“The Voice” translation)- “You are not to use My name for your own idle purposes, for the Eternal will punish anyone who treats His name as anything less than sacred.”