Saturday, May 11, 2013

Myth and Deception

Myth is a lie told to reveal a truth.
Deception is a truth told to conceal a lie.

I love Christianity as mythology, like St. George the dragon slayer, but not only the fanciful stories of the saints, but also the stories directly from the Bible.

When you drop the does-this-make-sense, does-this-contradict-anything, and is-killing-everyone-with-an-epic-flood-a-good-use-of-divine-power questioning attitude and just look at the stories themselves; the characters, their choices, their emotions, etc., often they speak to different aspects of our lives that we can relate to, even thousands of years later.

Perhaps that's why I still enjoy a good sermon.  To me, a good sermon tells a good story, and provokes some self-reflection.

But one of my biggest gripes with Christianity is that it is not written like Mythology.  Although there are mystics and progressive Christians which would like to suggest otherwise, the Gospels are written as though they are literal truth.  Yet comparing one Gospel to another reveals them to be false, or, at the very least, not completely true.

And that's one of the big reasons why I have a gripe with Christianity.  It is told as truth when it clearly is not.  While I love the mythology, I despise the deception, because it is this deception of truth which emboldens people to act like the southern half of a north-bound horse towards their neighbors when they don't happen to believe the same things, and it is this deception which claims the lives and resources of the pious prematurely and disproportionately. 

Keep the Myth.  Keep the self-reflection and stories.  But let's ditch the false truth. that that's settled, how do we go about getting people to do that?  ;-)


  1. "act like the southern half of a north-bound horse"

    I've never heard that phrase before. I love it!

  2. Thanks Haus. I wish I could claim it, but it's adapted from phrases I've heard a few times... and really enjoyed. ;-)

  3. Yep, but even wonderful Greek myths were written to be true, don't you think? Likewise Hindu and others. Almost all myths were once written to be true, no?

  4. That is a good point, Sabio, but I think it is a different kind of "truth". For example, in Greek Myth, you don't have people claiming to be eye-witnesses of what happened, which inherently suggests an extra degree of the appearance of truth (ex. Luke 24:46-49, John 21:24).

  5. Did the NT have witness claims where as the OT did not. DIdn't Homer write in OT times or ... I forgot. Maybe it was an ERA thing, and not a Christian thing.

  6. @Sabio
    There are no claims in the OT of anyone "witnessing" a particular event in the same way that you find the NT claims.

    The "era" aspect may be critical in understanding too. Good point! I certainly can't speak with authority as to whether or not the telling of Myths in general evolved in the NT era to the inclusion of eye-witness accounts. That is quite possible. I may be in the wrong here.

  7. Exactly, that is my point. The witness thing might just have been a more recent literary tool. Greek crazy myths were also taught as truth too. Check out this quote I just found:

    "Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them."
    - Hypatia of Alexandria (370–415 AD)

    You can find this quote all over the web. But I took 20 minutes to verify and ....

    Sounds like it might be fabricated by Elbert Hubbard in 1908. Check it out:


  8. This is what bothers me about Christianity. There are so many good lessons to be taken from the bible, but also a lot of really weird stories like in Greek mythology/ Norse mythology.

    The problem is that Christians believe they have to take everything that the bible says to be true....well except for the whole shellfish thing.

  9. Thanks for the comment Christian.

    Exactly, there are many great stories with excellent lessons in pretty much all mythology. That's why I have mixed emotions regarding progressive Christianity. It is making great strides to morph Christianity into what it should be... a lot less literal. But it is still tied to the text, no matter how much they want to escape it, making it difficult to completely be effective.

    It's also hard to escape the selfish drive, no matter what your belief. :-)