The oldest, most popular, yet least recognized religion in
Each person in
In simplest terms, Olympianity is the religion of power. By power, I mean the ability to control. With power we can determine, in big ways or small, the behavior of people, the processes of groups, and the outcome of events.
Olympianity is the religion of power because almost all of us, almost all of the time, believe its gods are the real sources of power. Its gods alone justify all we must do to gain and maintain power. Its gods alone require us to measure the meaning of our lives in terms of power. Its gods alone enable us to feel much more important than people with less power.
Like the air we breathe, we would all be completely unaware of our devotion to the six conventional Olympian gods except for one thing: the existence of another, radically different, god.
This other god is the very odd god of freedom and not power. Jesus Christ, this different god, interferes constantly here and there, now and again, in this way and that way, in our otherwise unquestioned lives and cultures. Every so often, Jesus Christ even inspires us to commit acts of freedom: bold, unexpected, risky, and life-giving.
So, as we look at the history of Olympianity, we can settle down for a long winter's nap. We can know, from beginning to end, that it is mostly a story about people gaining, maintaining, and losing power. Dull but constant and very long.
Or we can be mischievous, playful but also irritating, and look at the history of Olympia from the point of view of Jesus Christ. We will remain aware of the broader, duller, history of power, but we will emphasize and celebrate those odd people and events through which the freedom of Christ bursts forth anew and in doing so renews life.
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