Sounds like a strange title, right? Believe me when I say this is a topic upon which novels could be written, so I may not be able to cover very much in a single post. Yet, after more than 20 years of research, I’m left with one question: Is Christianity monotheistic? In all of my work and research, I’ve always wondered: how did Christianity (or even Catholicism) literally take over the world overnight? Sure, many the gods of the multiple pantheons have literally always been cruel, callous beings who had little care for the ant-like people that got in their way, but did that make people stop believing? In some places in the world, the polytheistic gods, demigods, and demons are all still worshiped, making it clear that the gods of old are still present? Did the big bang (science) blow up the realm of magic (faith)? What was it about Christianity or the singular God concept that was so appealing that the rest of the world abandoned everything they knew? Is it possible that Catholicism and Christianity have never been monotheistic religions and therefore – easily fit within the paradigm of all the other pantheons?
God, Jehovah, Odin, Yaweh, Shaddai, Zeus, Allah – all of these are names, or titles, appointed to a supreme being which rules over all. In every pantheon (religion), there is a beginning, whereby the universe burst forth from the light into darkness. In almost every single religion there is a flood, or a disaster, and from that disaster emerges the refugees who would later become the people of the world today. Familiar with the mythos of the flood whereby God looked down upon the world, saw the corruption of humanity, decided to wipe out all beings and yet, one of them was asked to take his family, build an ark, and escape?
Sure you are.
But, which historical version are you most familiar with? In the Deucalion Myth of the Greek gods, Zeus saw humans committing cannibalism, decided that humanity was lost and should be destroyed, and Prometheus called upon his son to build an ark to avoid the disaster, thus saving humanity. Of course, unlike the Christian story that had a flood lasting 40 days and 40 nights, the Greek flood lasted only 9 days and 9 nights. Not too far from the point, the calendars back then were actually different and might lend a lot to that distinction, or perhaps it was a world flood with different lengths of time, but on that topic, I digress. What is interesting is that the Christians and Catholics believe that the same God who would destroy all of humanity in a wrathful vengeance would be the same God who would ask one of the supposedly most blessed humans (Noah), to escape (somehow believing that people would just … up and do better?). But – was it the same God?
Remember, the Catholic Bible is not a story passed down from Great, Grandpa Jo. It is a collection of works left behind by the ancient Sumerian peoples (abt 4500 BC – 2000 BC, give or take). It could have been their ancient myth or legend, or what happened to them in real time. We don’t know. And, the Dead Sea Scrolls (the origin of the Old Testament), were not in the best of shape. What was written in Greek may not have translated well in Sumerian and vice versa. When it was proposed that multiple gods existed who were out to get us, did it make more sense to convince the people that it was just one God, who had a dual nature (one that floods and one that gives construction designs for an ark to save), so they could feel all warm and fuzzy like forgiveness was in the air and not feel so terrible (hmmm… isn’t America trying to do that same thing in its culture, now?)? Is it possible that the flood story doesn’t even include the middle part of the world, but the entire world, with locations like the Mojave desert once being jungles 6,000 years ago, and the rain forests being only 4 – 6 thousand years old?
Rewriting history is the business of leaders. It lets them fit the world in their image. Scientists help by redefining what is as what they believe it to be, in order to provide rationale and sense. This is a normal human trait. It’s also utter laziness and the epitome of anti-evolution!
In the garden of Eden, God places Adam to watch over it. In his loneliness, Adam asks for a subservient wife (which apparently, in the Catholic/Christian stories, took two attempts). Adam names all of the animals in the Garden (in some versions, in others, he has to prove his divine nature by demonstrating he knows the names) and eventually, his wife, Eve, is tempted by a [supposedly] treacherous, talking snake (NO! Not Voldemort! But I’m pretty sure it did involve parsel tongue… and wizards!), to betray God’s command. The interesting part of this story is that the God of Eden demanded obedience without question and gave no mind to free will. The snake, on the other hand, taught Adam and Eve about free will, fathered their transformation into procreation, and jump-started the pre-mortal plan of existence that the same Catholic and Christian faiths believe, was supposed to happen anyway! In the Gnostic pantheon, it was Satan who headed up the garden of Eden. It was Christ who appeared as a snake and freed Adam and Eve. To the favor of the Gnostics, the appearance of God to man (which is supposedly impossible according to the same Christian Bible), makes more sense if Satan is a ‘god’ of sorts. And, it makes more sense that Christ would have taken the endeavor, based upon His Father’s command, to give free agency to mankind. Is it possible that mankind dubbed anything godlike, ‘god’? So – was there more than one God?
On Mount Sinai, Moses heads into the mountains to receive the word of God. He returns with a face glowing so brightly that his followers are sure he’s going to freak out the Jews and suggest he cover his face (to which, he does). We know there were more than 10 commandments, but in a temper tantrum, Moses destroys one of the tablets – so we can’t know for sure (and you would think the Christian God would just have him rewrite those or at the least, scold Moses, right? He did it for Joseph Smith with a second set of plates … right?!). But … at what point did God ever reveal Himself to man, or cause man’s face to become so radiated that it glowed like some big nuclear reactor core of a space ship with giant wings that created smoke in the atmosphere due to the condensation (hint, hint, wink, wink, say no more)? Was there more than one being represented (either mistakenly by man or at the whim of the being), as God?
In China, there is a mythos about the gods descending and ascending from Heaven via the belly of a dragon (spaceship dragon!). In the Islamic faith, Mohamed ascends and descends via a Pegasus (which was supposed to be Greek … hmmm). In Christianity, John witnesses angels climbing up and descending down ladders from an invisible opening in the sky (and assumes the shrooms he ate must have caused him to fall asleep and have some pretty tripped out dreams). Time and time again, there are significant references to ideas and concepts which transcended even the most comprehensive of human imaginations of the time and were fueled solely by the knowledge imparted from the gods. Thus, the distinction between an omnipotent, untouchable ruler beyond the transcendence of temporal existence at a super-powered entity over seeing the time of humanity, is skewed. Was there more than one being represented as God (whether a supreme being and a temporal one, or any combination thereof)? Did a very primitive mankind actually know how to properly describe what they were seeing?
Hercules, Jesus, Buddha, and other figures in history have been born of a supernatural half-origin, had a disciple-ship of the same number, and carried on quests of the same meaning and type with the same teachings. Some, like Hercules, were depicted with a harsh and unforgiving beginning while others, like Jesus, just had their beginnings conveniently left out. Either way, that many figures, as demigod sons of the singular, head god, who all brought the ultimate boon of saving humanity, has more than an ounce of comparability with one another and are more likely one in the same story. If it’s possible that the timeline of the Bible is not so limited as people would like to believe, could it be that the story of Christ arose out of a time long before, when humanity was together, or is it possible that there are multiple incarnations of the same being? After all, in the New Testament, John the baptist is asked if he was the Christ who had lived before and been predicted to come again? This IS reincarnation. I know Christians fight that tooth and nail – but it is what it is. So – is there more than one Jesus, or could there be multiple incarnations?
We may never know thanks to guys like Moses and the monk who traveled with Columbus and destroyed ancient Mayan tablets … although the similarity is uncanny and makes one wonder if there weren’t more gods or some clarity therein, for the Mayans (scaring the bejeebers outta the Catholics)?
But, the most interesting source of polytheism from Christianity comes in Exodus 20:3: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Of course, some argue that because it goes on to discuss not making graven images and bowing down to them, this was just a reference to the golden calf story. However, the golden calf wasn’t just an object – it was an alter-symbol for a god (and the Christian Bible does refer to gods such as Baal or Bel, Ashtaroth, and others – that were more than idols). And, it goes on to discuss the God of the old testament as a jealous god. Now, there has been a lot of discussion in the difference between the Old Testament wrathful God, and the New Testament loving God (although it’s clear that almost everyone was very quick and happy to adopt the New Testament version). Yet, the two waning and waxing gods, whether as separate beings, or two sides of a single entity, is not that much different than other pantheons. In all other religions, the gods of light have equivalent gods of darkness (not to be too confusing in using the extremes of light and dark – just using that for illustration). That is to say, the winter time gods and summer time gods. So – is there more than one and the lack of distinction just a fault of human ignorance, translation, or deception?
Still, the most compelling evidence of a potentially polytheistic Christianity lies in the name itself. Jesus the Christ is the son of God (whatever His name may be). Jesus was not put under God as a demigod or servant, but elevated to the stature of a God, in which the whole of the universe was put under His feet, giving Him reign and dominion as a God. Then, we can look to others, such as Satan, who reigns as the supreme head in purgatory. In the Bible, Shaddai is used more than 300 times and is the definition of a “sky” god, which is akin to the Egyptian “Ra“. Sabaoth, as Lord of Hosts, is the reigning supreme god. And, as Zeus and Odin were jealous gods with demands, so is the Christian God. And, like Ra, the Word was more than just power, as it says in Genesis that the Word was with God, and as the Egyptians believed: “To Thoth was ascribed the mental powers of Ra, and, indeed, the dicta of Ra seem to have come from his lips. He was the Divine Speech personified.” So – what’s the distinction? The Word is a separate and powerful entity. And, more to the point, don’t the elevation of beings like Jesus and the Word create a polytheistic pantheon?
That brings us to Job. I’m not talking the cut and edited Nicaea version that chose to leave out the whole story – but the whole story as it really was. Satan appears on Earth, and God, does not. Satan not only appears to cause direct disharmony and disruption to life, but commits epic-level egregious acts against Job and his family (and belongings), using a clearly divine magic (that we further know existed both in the hands of mortals and Gods in those days, as per Moses proving against the Egyptian Pharaoh that his milkshake was better than theirs … you know… with the staff and serpent, thing!). This was the same Satan that wanted a mortal demigod version of Christ to leap to His death. Who else but Satan would act in such a terrible way, right? Wrong. Across multitudes of pantheons is one god whose name does not even change: Tom Hiddleston! Oops … nope … sorry … got side tracked there by the Avengers pantheon …
I mean, in countless religions, one name does not change (and that is a significant clue), and is hated by all: Loki. Loki’s role is that of a god of chaotic disorder, the ultimate trickster, tempter, and driver of insanity. He tricks two farmers (once good friends), in Africa to quarrel. He leads Greeks and Egyptians astray. He torments the Vikings endlessly. Who else, but an exceedingly malevolent and manipulative character would try to cause so much harm? But, how many Loki’s could there be? Is it possible … that not even Satan in the Christian story went after Job, shaving off all of his wife’s hair for rotten bread, but Loki, trying to stoke the fires?
There are many questions we probably cannot answer in this lifetime. And, I make no effort to sway anyone’s opinion. Your faith is as strong, or as fragile, as you choose to let it be. What I do know is this: if you’re Christian or Catholic, God gave you free agency and expected you to use it. You not only had to decide between right and wrong, but think for yourself. Is the big bang any different than the Lord’s Word, saying “Let there be light”? Is the singular head entity any different than any other religion’s belief in a singular, head entity? Is it something that should weigh in on your faith? Or, is it more a matter of a better understanding that opens our minds to the greater possibility of a more widespread teaching from an omnipotent creator not given to any one group or person, but spread throughout the whole of the world and history? If that’s true, then we can benefit from learning everything we can from every faith, looking for those patterns of consistency and elements of truth that bring clarity, and in keeping that open mind, love one another exactly as Christ said, and accepting each other’s freedom to believe as they choose – so we can gain as much knowledge as possible. (Mind you – that takes a lot of work as humans have interjected a lot of negativity toward one another – even in their religious texts).
Maybe, seeing the polytheism present in Christianity gives us hope that the higher gods have taken over, Ragnarok has come and gone, and the ones left behind offer us something better. Maybe, seeing the true nature of the gods provides an understanding into the malevolent source of destruction that would encourage war, abortions, hatred, bigotry, manipulation, and violence. If we learned to turn away from those gods before … we can do it again.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed. Like I said – this could be an entire novel! Sorry for having to cut it so short.
Thanks for reading!
“I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.” – Joyce Meyer