Monday, November 6, 2017

The Crisis of Olympian Leadership In the World and Our Churches

Olympian leadership is leadership consistent with Olympianity: the world’s oldest, most popular, yet least recognized religion. Olympianity is the religion of power. Olympians devote themselves to the six conventional yet false and destructive gods of power: (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, goddess of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. Olympianity’s greatest achievement is the Global Technological System (GTS): the powerful parasite that dominates the world’s societies, cultures, individuals, and ecosystems even as it parasitically drains them all of meaning and vitality. The GTS also dominates us inwardly, structuring the Olympian personality of every one of us so that we promptly and cheerfully serve its purposes and attack its most deadly rivals: Jesus Christ, Christians, and the Church.
Jesus Christ is the truth who sets us free to love and leads us into fullness of life. It is Jesus alone, the one unconventional yet true and creative god/man, who calls us to join him daily on the way of freedom. By so joining him, he enables us to participate in his truth, love, and vitality and to freely share them with others. He alone is the one who structures the Christian personality of every one of us so that we promptly and cheerfully serve his heavenly father and ours by witnessing to his already decisive victory over the Olympian gods and their minions.
The Olympian gods, and Satan who stands behind all six of them, drive our Olympian personality to be as self-centered as possible. To be self-centered means always to ask, “What’s in it for me?” It is to regard all others and everything else simply as means of benefiting ourselves. That’s why Satan, the Olympian gods, the GTS, and our own Olympian personality are parasitic: they all have no vitality of their own and so must get it from others who ultimately get it through Jesus alone.
Being self-centered, Olympian leaders are also arbitrary, corrupt, incompetent, and cowardly. Why should they care what destructive consequences their behavior has for others as long as they’re doing well or even better at no risk to themselves? We might summarize their character as bossy. They see themselves, and are treated by most of their followers, as bosses. They find life’s meaning in controlling others; that is, in doing what they want to do and being able to make others do what they want done.
There are three primary ways of being an Olympian follower. Conformists seek to increase their own power by going along with those of greater power. Rebels seek to increase their own power by challenging authorities. Outcasts, the disempowered and despairing—the largest and fastest-growing group of followers in the GTS—seek to escape their apparently definitive powerlessness in a variety of largely self-destructive ways. Rebels and outcasts, then, are just as Olympian as conformists and bosses.
In our increasingly painful Olympian GTS, we have the exercise of power being pushed to extremes. The elite minions of the gods and their GTS are ridiculously bossy. At the same time, their followers are increasingly conformist, rebellious, or despairing.
Sadly, these Olympian extremes increasingly characterize Christians and churches. That’s because both find themselves more inescapably bullied, bribed, and deceived by the GTS, its elite minions, and the corporate media. It’s also a result of that fact that even church-going Christians take with them their Olympian personality which, in our day, is too easily confused with a Christian personality.
Back in the old days, and for centuries, Christians and churches expressed their devotion to the Olympian gods through bossy leaders dominating their followers, preaching sermons stressing hellfire and damnation, and forcing their followers to carry everywhere a strong sense of guilt. Now, Christians and churches express their devotion to these same dreary Olympian gods through timid leaders dominated by a handful of bossy followers, forced to preach bland and entertaining sermons to avoid triggering intensely negative emotional outbursts, and carrying everywhere a sense of guilt for failing to keep everyone happy.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.