Odinism is on the rise! Beware!
Malachi Pratt, my friend who is always in the know, enlightened me about this new disturbing societal trend last week ---apparently Odinism is catching on in prisons and the mean streets of the minds of angry white males once again. It is also gaining inroads in popular culture through the influence of the extremely successful "Thor" movies.
Odinism is the resurrection of the pagan barbaric world of the Norse god Odin and his heroic race the Teutons; the 'great race', the only hope of the world. William Shrirer, author of the "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", described it as he came across this belief in many of the minds of the rabid NAZI fanatics during the 1930's in Germany, as the, "belief in an irrational, heroic, mystic world, beset by treachery, overwhelmed by violence, drowned in blood, and culminating in the Goetterdaemmerung, the twilight of the gods, as Valhalla, set on fire by Wotan (aka: Odin) after his vicissitudes, goes up in an orgy of self-willed annihilation...These heroes, this primitive demonic world, were always, to ancient Nordic pagans, a fire 'in the people's soul.'" Adolph Hitler bought into this garbage, and so did some of the 19th century German philosophers who used the mystical world of Odin as a way to describe the coming hero, the Uber-man (superman):
Nietzsche, "The strong men, the masters, regain the pure conscience of a beast of prey; monsters filled with joy....a man capable of commanding, when he is by nature a 'Master'"
Hegel: "They may be called Heroes, inasmuch as they have derived their purposes and their vocation, not from the calm regular course of things, sanctioned by the existing order; but from a concealed fount, from that inner spirit, still hidden beneath the surface, which impinges on the outer world as on a shell and bursts it into pieces -- World-historical men, the Heroes of an epoch, the clear-sighted ones."
In other words, to the Odinist; we humans must break-free, through dominance, violence, self-will, our intellect and brilliance and become the gods we were always meant to become. It is our's for the taking...we just need to realize it and then go ahead and grab it. Another famous saying attributed to Nietzsche sums up the heart of the Odinist, "Might is right!"
In biblical language, Odinism is a new package of the ancient lie that was first uttered in Eden, "if you eat this fruit, you will be like God." Like God, hmmm...a god on earth? Sounds crazy, even blasphemous -- humans are the stuff of dirt and clay. A god?...c'mon, I feel more like a worm.
And then in my studies this week in John 10, I came across one of the most bizarre dialogues between the Jewish leaders and Jesus, and it deals with the concept of humans as 'gods'. The Jews doubted that Jesus' miracles were actually the works of God. So in defense of his works, Jesus makes this statement in John 10:34:
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'? If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came - and the Scripture cannot be broken - what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?"
I like what the commentator Frederick Bruner initially says about this verse, "Jesus' answer seems rather arbitrary." What does this have to do with anything? And even more than that, what does he mean by saying that we are 'gods'? Bible scholars are divided on how to answer this, (It could mean angels, prophets of old, demonic influences over pagan nations), and so many just choose to ignore the phrase 'gods' all-together. "Ehh, let's just ignore it? Too confusing and controversial."
But I can't...you see, I like to biblically tinker with deductive reasoning. Are you ready for it?
(1) This quote by Jesus comes from Psalm 82, where Jesus is talking about God presiding over the council of 'gods'. The Hebrew word is "Elohim" the term for God himself. So this term is probably not referring to lesser beings like angels, nor demons - - they are merely servants of one in authority. Elohim can also be rendered as 'judge'. (See Exodus 21:6, 22:8-9) My belief is that this is referring to people made in God's image who have been given the right to render judgement over other men. One commentator writes, "It is clear from the next three verses that the word “gods” refers to magistrates, judges, and other people who hold positions of authority and rule. Calling a human magistrate a 'god' indicates three things: 1) he has authority over other human beings, 2) the power he wields as a civil authority is to be feared, and 3) he derives his power and authority from God Himself, who is pictured as judging the whole earth in verse 8." A 'god' is a person of title, power, authority and importance. You know people like this. Our current political culture calls this noble quality as "GRAVITAS!"
(2) God chooses some men and women to speak on his behalf -- they are speaking his words and therefore they are representatives of his throne and rule. This is no light matter. Psalm 82:6-7 is saying that these representatives must be careful however; even though they are appointed to positions of authority ('gods' among the people) they must remember, they are still mortal and will be judged by God himself.
But this is as far as most commentators take this concept...I want to take it one step further, a lot further...
(3) In our redeemed state, we are going to be more incredible than you can ever imagine. We will really be like 'gods': beings of such beauty, power and brilliance that we would frighten ourselves if we actually were able to see firsthand who we are going to become. Think about it:
- "Sons & Daughters of the Most High" (Psalm 82:6 & Romans 8:19-23) -- 1 John says when Jesus appears we will be just like him. Our bodies groan because we want to be who we were meant to be. And who is that you ask? 1 Corinthians 15 says we are going to be beings that are "imperishable (42)", "glory filled (43)", & "powerful (43)." When you consider this, being compared to Thor and his abilities is not too far fetched at all. I am just not sure if we will be given a hammer? But who knows?
- "Judges Over Angels" (1 Corinthians 6:2-3) - - Yes, you heard me right! We are going to be presiding over cases involving fallen demons. We get to judge them. You don't believe me, read Isaiah 14:4, this is hinting that we will be taunting Satan when he is finally brought to judgment. Taunting means to throw out statements and ridiculing songs of defeat against your enemy. We are not yet permitted to do this (Jude 9), but we will be. And when I finally get to, I am going to "let him have it!"
- "Rulers over the Cities & Kingdoms of this World" (Luke 19:17) - - Oh sure, you work at McDonald's now; but if you play your cards right and serve Jesus faithfully down here in the shadows, when his kingdom of light comes, he will honor you by allowing you to serve with him. Romans 8:17 calls all true and suffering believers as co-heirs! Co-heirs, fellow rulers, princes and princesses, scepter wielding ambassadors of his kingdom of love. Being crowned like Aragorn son of Arathron on "Lord of the Rings"and his ilk, is no joke!This will be our reality.
The whole point of John 10:34 is this: If we are considered 'gods' who have received and believed the word of God, how much greater should we view the one who is the Word of God in the flesh, the actual and only begotten Son of God? (verses 34-36) Wow, he is one powerful, worship deserving dude! The Lord over all the lords, and God over all 'gods'!
Instead of buying into mystical lies and the make-believe of Odinism; why not accept the real thing? I love how Colossians 1:12-13 puts it:
"Give thanks to God the Father, who has QUALIFIED you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves!"
Honestly, God's truths are way better than any fairy tale we can dream up. And too bad most adults have turned the grand wonder of Christianity into a stale game of do's and don'ts: worry about wearing stuffy ties, sporting ugly old brown polyester sport coats, and listening to Lawrence Welk music. Christianity is so much more than that: it is an invitation to join the vast army of 'gods' and 'goddesses' that are part of the family of the Most High God himself!
Jesus Christ is the Hero, the Uber-man, the Master. But he does not need "Might to be Right" because his "Mercy has triumphed over Judgment!" What a guy...no, what a God! He is the one I will love and be loyal to until the day I die; the day when I finally become the 'god' I always was meant to be.
Blaspheme you say? I say Blessing!