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What are we to think of the old gods? - Printable Version

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What are we to think of the old gods? - Unum Sint - 11-11-2010

I have always been fascinated with the idea of the old gods the pagans such as many of our mythologies come from, and continue to this day in the case of Shintoism and Hinduism and how they relate to the true God.

In other words what are we to make of them? Were they always none existent were they simply expressions of God that were misinterpreted by the pagans? Were they angels that were mistaken for gods?

Of course I am talking about from the perspective of what they are or were not, I am not asking as to the mind of the pagans as that has always been clear to me.


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - Vetus Ordo - 11-11-2010

"The gods of the heathens are demons", so Scripture says (not verbatim).

I guess they were in part a corruption of the original revelation to Adam and in other respects sheer demonical worship.


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - mike6240 - 11-11-2010

(11-11-2010, 01:49 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: "The gods of the heathens are demons", so Scripture says (not verbatim).

I guess they were in part a corruption of the original revelation to Adam and in other respects sheer demonical worship.

From what I've been taught, The True God was known to Adam and Eve.  But due to their sin of disobedience, this knowledge of the True God was veiled in the hearts of their descendants.  And thus the sin of idolatry was practiced and indulged in.  God chose the Hebrews as the Chosen People because they were the closest of the human race to know the True God and through them,  redemption from the sin of Adam would manifest itself in the Person of Jesus Christ. 


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - salus - 11-11-2010

THere is only one GOD and that GOD left his authority to the patriarchs beginning with ADAM and going on to NOAH whose's family repopulated the World after the Worldwide Flood.  After that GOD chose ABRAHAM as his representative to the world and from him Moses and the Jews who were always (even when they sinned and some distorted) to hold to the reality of there being ONE GOD THE CREATOR, meanwhile the other peoples dispures at Babel throughout the World started worshipping the CREATION instead of the CREATOR, thats why the pagan greeks had gods for different parts of nature such as Zeus, Poseidon, etc etc etc. The Jews were persecuted because they refused to worshiop Emperors who figured if the natural elements could be gods so could they. Eventually as he foretold to Adam the Savior JESUS would arrive, the Jews though who had held to the one GOD creator despite the rest of mankind falling in idolatry hence Hinduism, Buddism, Taoism, Ancestor Worship etc etc etc. The Jews rejected JESUS and they lost the privilege of announcing him to the world, JESUS founded his CATHOLIC CHURCH till the end of time. So you see there was always ONE TRUE RELIGION in the WORLD and the CATHOLIC CHURCH is it till JUDGEMENT DAY when the world as we know it ends.


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - SCG - 11-11-2010

(11-11-2010, 02:00 PM)mike6240 Wrote: From what I've been taught, The True God was known to Adam and Eve.  But due to their sin of disobedience, this knowledge of the True God was veiled in the hearts of their descendants.   And thus the sin of idolatry was practiced and indulged in.  God chose the Hebrews as the Chosen People because they were the closest of the human race to know the True God and through them,  redemption from the sin of Adam would manifest itself in the Person of Jesus Christ. 

To expand on this: God chose Abraham because he came from the line of Noah's son SHEM (the Semites), whom Noah blessed (see Genesis 9: 26). God revealed Himself to Abraham as He did to no other man before that time, and made a covenant with him. Through Abraham's line came the knowledge of the true God, the Law and the prophets, and finally the Messiah. If God had not intervened by way of Abraham, the Semites might have gone the same path as the pagans.

The old gods are not real, of course.. although demons make false religions seem attractive. The myths are based on something real in the collective memory of man. But I don't think that the very learned people of ancient times put much faith in the reality of their gods. St. Paul implies this when he tells the Corinthians that it is permissible to eat the meat sacrificed to idols. And also when in his speech in Athens, he said: "I found also an altar with this inscription, To AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you."

My understanding is that man is created to worship. It is written in his heart to do so. God designed him that way. If he doesn't know the truth due to ignorance, it's not because of direct demonic activity, but indirectly, due to man's fallen nature, like you said, and the fact that our original parents did directly deal with the serpent. In all religions is a common thread, a seedling of truth, that has been distorted due to the Fall. Their hearts are veiled, like you said.


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - SaintSebastian - 11-11-2010

Those who have or continue to worship creatures (ie contingent beings that either have existed or are imaginary) have been deceived by the Evil One, becoming vain in their reasonings and exchanging the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. There's no excuse to adore creatures rather than the one Creator (whereas there may be excuse to not know of certain revealed truths) as it is a matter that can discerned with reason alone.

"Romans I: [19] Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. [20] For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable. [21] Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. [23] And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. [24] Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

As an aside, it bears pointing out that St. Thomas, in his commentary on this passage, says that while direct knowledge of the Persons of the Trinity is not possible apart from revelation, he does say They can be known through appropriation: "invisible things" = Father, "eternal power" = Son, and "divinity" = Holy Spirit. He also says these three are known through three reasonable ways of knowing God: "invisible things" by way of negation, "eternal power" by way of causality, and "divinity" by way excellence.

Also, it seems that even in various idolatorous cultures there have been some individuals and sects who have rejected idolatry to serve the one Creator.


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - dark lancer - 11-11-2010

Psalms 134:

[15] The idols of the Gentiles are silver and gold, the works of men's hands. [16] They have a mouth, but they speak not: they have eyes, but they see not. [17] They have ears, but they hear not: neither is there any breath in their mouths.


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - Ravenonthecross - 11-11-2010

"For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens."
-Psalm 95:4-5


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - Historian - 11-11-2010

(11-11-2010, 01:40 PM)Unum Sint Wrote: I have always been fascinated with the idea of the old gods the pagans such as many of our mythologies come from, and continue to this day in the case of Shintoism and Hinduism and how they relate to the true God.

In other words what are we to make of them? Were they always none existent were they simply expressions of God that were misinterpreted by the pagans? Were they angels that were mistaken for gods?

Of course I am talking about from the perspective of what they are or were not, I am not asking as to the mind of the pagans as that has always been clear to me.

Assuming no access to revelation, they were the product of man's mind. God had mercy on those who were ignorant during those times. In fact, people were not held to a very high standard at all (read Judges 17 for instance, a man openly has an idol made of silver, but the person is not condemned in scripture. It is a story concerning the time when there were no leaders from God and people were more or less doing their own thing).

So, I would avoid any idea that they were actually related to God, but I would not condemn them for being the product of man's unguided reason. A person without revelation is capable of understanding some things. Many of the false religions have their basis in natural virtue, and then social influence takes effect.

For those who knew anything concerning Truth, they would be demons. They were be prayers and offerings knowingly directed to something besides God as God was revealed.


Re: What are we to think of the old gods? - Gerard - 11-11-2010

I will admit I am looking forward to the "Thor" movie coming out from Marvel Entertainment in 2011.