YAHAVA Talk Episode 6

Produced by
Yeshuan Leader:

One comment

  1. Quality food for thought!

    Great points about idols, very well said. One judgement I found really important in particular is that idols that are religious in their nature aren’t per se better than godless ones. On the contrary, a letdown, a disillusionment with the former could even antagonize individuals and lastingly alienate them from hungry-for-God thoughts, I couldn’t agree more.
    By the way, I think I have reached a point where I have more worldly idols than pious ones and I definitely assess this state is in a way much healthier spiritually than the reverse.

    I liked when Grady pointed out the idolatrous inclinations to think of places as “God’s houses”. Of course these ones are often being equipped with various requisites, accessories and embellishments that represent, symbolize and highlight the religious function, augment the ambience, yada yada. Essentially, it is the application of the concept ‘spirit of the place’ (genius loci). I’ve read about the origins of the word ‘pagan’. Allegedly, in the first centuries AD the predominantly urban Christians labelled countrymen as ‘pagans’. It meant that they had strong local ties, practiced territorial rites, worshipped regional gods, and believed in ghosts of vicinity, so they couldn’t detach themselves from stick-in-the-mud tribal tendencies and reflexes. Now what about the state religions today? What about the pilgrimage sites, the shrines, the so-called holy places? Aren’t those simply totemic rituals decked out according to modern standards?
    It was so embarrassing reading the news about Catholic believers standing in line early in the morning to be the first to visit the sepulcher of Pope Benedict XVI and to pray right there. What’s the relevance of a close proximity, does it enhance the effect of the prayer? Do some of them think that the corpse radiates some magical power? (Even Socrates was clearly convinced that from the very first moment a dead body has nothing to do with the immortal soul.) What else is this than sheer paganism? Nay, don’t they say an intercessory prayer for the deceased? But I cease to speculate in bad faith…

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