Oh horrors no. not that.
This is something that has bugged me for a while on several fronts.
It involves symbolism, art, literature, and uneducated superstitious Christians.
Mind you - not all Christians are this lame. Plenty of them - most of them I'd like to think, are fine people. the ones who give them the bad name are just the loudest, and often, the stupidest.
Stupid people come in ever color imaginable. I have no problem with variation among people. Just ignorant ones.
I'm addressing the type of Christians who think that if every single word out of your mouth, picture you draw, or book you read isn't a literal repitition of Jesus that you must be the devil's drinking buddy. I've heard them rail against Harry Potter, and Narnia, and all kinds of other music and literature that is perfectly valid as art not to mention having a positive moral message - yet they feel that because there is symbolism that is not acutely Christian, it is automatically evil.
I blew my fuse while looking for some symbols online through google, and came across some asshats page about the band POD(and they are Christian, mind you), and how they must be satanic because of their symbolism on the CD inlays. t shirts, hamsters, etc.
I knew I should have turned back to begin with when they started in about the band logo - which is a symbol of the trinity (father son and holy ghost. It's a catholic thing that I many people don't get. Think GOD in three aspects, like how water can be liquid, solid and gas at different temperatures)
The trinity symbol more or less looks like 3 intersecting ovals with a triangle at the center. This is a christian symbol, naturally, but also a very ancient one. Three has always been an important number because it encompasses such ideas as the stages of life. The triquetra also is featured in celtic art, and the symbol of three is also evident in (GASP) PAGAN art. Oooooohhh. Spooky.
Why? because I think that people, down through time have grasped the significance of this symbol as some kind of spiritual truth no matter what setting it is in.
But this ass hat, goes on in his bible thumping uneducated way to say:
But there's one problem with representing the Trinity, or the Godhead with symbols — it's CLEARY FORBIDDEN in the Bible!
Acts 17:29, clearly FORBIDS such symbology: ". . . we ought NOT to think that the Godhead [the Trinity] is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, GRAVEN BY ART [symbols, icons, etc.] and man's device."
Me:(You obviously have no understanding of how symbols work. AT ALL.)
That could NOT POSSIBLY be any clearer!
To represent the Trinity or God as a "symbol" or "image", etc. is strictly forbidden. All throughout the Old Testament the use of graven images are strictly forbidden! The very FIRST of the ten commandments forbids such symbolism!
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
There are many other verses in both the Old and New Testament agains the use of symbols, images, etc. to represent God or any false god.
Not surprising, since symbols are strictly forbidden by the Lord God, symbols are highly esteemed in witchcraft and the occult.
Alright then Mr Sassy Pants, explain to me why the Christian Church - specifically the Catholic Church which was the oldest and original form is SO rich in symbolism?
Are we to do away with all these GRAVEN IMAGES such as icons of saints and IMAGES OF JESUS? If you're the type of Christian I think you are, you've got Jesus everywhere and if you are implying that making ANY images of God is forbidden, then JC has gotta go too.
In fact, according to what you are saying, why stop there? ART is the making of graven images. Is ART forbidden? How can we possibly follow the BIBLE if we have people running around with paintbrushes and making trees and ducks appear on canvas? Won't they eventually fall in with Satan and paint some devil ducks levitating above some esoteric formula for cheerios?!!
I will note, that Muslim religion forbids the depiction of Graven images also - but in the form of people, animals, (living creatures) etc. Instead, they use decorative geometric patterns and their own script. The images are beautiful and complex...but according to you this is probably also blasphemy. There is an arabic symbol for God/Allah as well which they feature prominently. Is this another trespass against your God? (ah yes, they aren't deliberately Christian. Of Course)
Let's see what the dictionaries define as a graven image:
graven image: an object of worship usually carved of wood or stone: idol
Graven: alt pp of grave 2
grave 2: 1. to sculpture 2. to impress sharply
So basically, anything that is a sculpture that can be worshipped can be a graven image. If I start worshipping someone's lawn jockey, will the artist be struck down by God? Or will I, for being such a retard as to place that much value on a single object?
Also by this, the author of the article might as well go from church to church and round up all the wooden Jesi for a BBQ.
to impress sharply (like Engrave)....wouldn't that mean basically ANYTHING can be a graven image? Even writing? What about the word GOD? What if we just started worshipping that instead? would we have to do away with the alphabet?
We are visual beings. Sight is one of our primary physical senses. We use symbols and images every day in order to communicate. We use art to express ourselves. It would be impossible for us NOT to have some representation of GOD in whatever form we believe GOD exists in. We have no idea what GOD actually looks like (it's more complex than that anyway), but we do have visual clues to remind us of our faith and belief. we do not "worship" these symbols, we use them as guides to heighten our awareness and thereby reach GOD.
take that, dork cheese. but, oh wait, you're not finished being a dipshit.
This guy goes on to trace three 6's in the trinity symbol (oh wait, the POD symbol as he calls it) Clearly, now we can see how satanic this symbol is. This is exactly the type of uniformed stuper-stitious bullshit that happens with a lot of other things like Harry Potter. Some one has their SATAN goggles welded onto their head, and are deliberately looking for the negative in everything. It's the equivalent of dorks finding da vinci code symbolism in places where there isn't any. it's like seeing Elvis in a bowl of porridge. You see him because you want to.
The amount of tripe on one page is staggering. This guy goes on and on against POD, pointing fingers at symbolism that he does not understand and labels as OCCULT, or ESOTERIC.
OCCULT: 1. hidden 2. secret 3. mysterious 4.of mystic arts such as magic, astrology, etc.
ESOTERIC: Meant for or understood by only a chosen few
So, looking at these two words, the primary definitions are that any symbol which falls under these as a descriptor, has a mysterious meaning that not everyone is going to get.
Being a guy who obviously must read the bible everywhere including on the toilet, you'd think he'd realize just how much of that book IS esoteric... how much of Christian symbolism had hidden multiple meanings that the average person wouldn't discern readily without PERSONAL RESEARCH.
yeah sure. This guy is quoting this and that book with definitions about what these symbols mean, but he still doesn't comprehend them and he makes disjointed comparisons that really have no relevance, beyond that he feels they are serving to make his point. For example - we see a picture of Anton La Vey, a Satanic Mass, a "satanic Salute" cropped out of it's original context somewhere on one of POD's albums.....and then the american sign language symbol for I love you? HUH? I see where he's trying to go, but using a skateboard with cookies for wheels won't get you to Paris. Dumbass.
I guess I won't tell anyone I love them in sign language. God hates sign language.
Of course we also have accusations of preoccupation with Death the "cursed" number 13. Ah, one of the loud Christian's most potent tools, fear and superstition.
This guy really thinks he's telling the truth, but anyone who uses tactics like this, is doing anything but and doesn't understand what they're talking about.
The Narnia Chronicles were attacked in their time for the same reasons - the use of "magic" and "mystical symbols" as well as mention of "witchcraft" made people get their crucifixes in a knot. Harry Potter has done the same in our time.
What the critics of these literary works or bands or "esoteric" symbols don't get is that they are not looking beyond the surface. They are stuck in the idea of the literal - and the fact that they want to see literal evil means they can and will see it everywhere. They have no concept of metaphor - that something can stand for something else and still retain the same meaning plus having a literal meaning. Another word for metaphor is Parable - something that JESUS used frequently in explaining things to his followers. Why? Because sometimes it's easier to understand a practical or symbolic example than it is to just be told straight. (odd as that seems)
Symbol and metaphor are simply a different language than the literal words we use everyday. If was was to write a sentence using nothing but images of vegetables, few people could understand unless they knew what the symbols stood for. Some people, because they couldn't understand it, would be frightened or annoyed because of the potential of what it could mean. They are the ones who are most likely to take a knee jerk stance and say - this is negative.
It is not the fault of the artist, writer, or creator of a symbol that someone's limited comprehension doesn't allow them instant access to meaning. You cannot take everything at face value. Everything - especially humans- are composed of myriad layers and are very complex. Any good symbol is complex and has numerous meanings - some which are intrinsic, and some that are esoteric.
Why must some things be hidden then?
Here's the most bible thumping i will ever do, because it is relevant. Jesus is quoted as saying at one point "Cast not pearls before swine."HUH?
Well what happens when you throw pearls at a pig? They'll either eat it or step
on it.(Hell, they'll eat bacon if offered)they have no concept of how precious or important the pearls are, because their intelligence and comprehension is limited.
So, don't give the really good stuff to the stupid. Seems rather unJesus-like until you realize why this is true.
If you were to tell the bare assed truth, the mystery behind the symbols, glory and all to a guy like the one I've been berating, they won't believe you, or they won't understand you because the truth is not what they are seeking. They'll accuse you of lying, being crazy, dangerous, or even satanic because what you have said has challenged their beliefs and they were unprepared for the news. Pearls + swine equals fear and loathing.
this is why so many LOUD CHRISTIANS are so self righteous and so damn annoying. They are convinced they are right, hell bent on SAVING everyone, when they don't have the knowledge at hand to effectively make any sense in plain english.
Asshat goes on in his article to demonize things like tarot cards, meditation, listening to your subconscious, blah blah you're full of shit blah.
tarot cards , when CORRECTLY used, are a way of communicating with your higher self through symbols. They are not "fortune telling", although that's how most people use them, and many become dependent. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Once again, tarot is packed with symbols - many of which are SO ancient...and some even -GASP- Christian. oops.
I read tarot. I read only for myself, and not very often at all. Only when I need to clarify a situation that has been troubling me, or when I've hit some kind of mental block. Often the cards reaffirm what I've been going through and define a plan of right action.
Using tarot is a form of meditation. Meditation is a way to connect with your subconscious. there's a lot of shit floating around in your subconscious that you aren't even aware is there. maybe more than any of us really expects. The point is, that the subconscious exists as a valid part of us, and does not communicate in the same language our conscious mind does. Anyone who has ever remembered a dream knows this. the subconscious speaks to us with symbols, images, sounds,and sometimes broken words. These elements can sometimes be literal, but they always have another deeper meaning. Figuring out these meanings means going inside yourself to figure out just what the specific images mean to you. the meanings are not going to be the same for everyone.
Self knowledge is key to understanding just about anything. it's about how you relate to others, what you believe, and how you choose to act.
ok, more bible strumming, but only a little. it won't hurt.
Jesus said "the kingdom of God is within you"
Ahem. Note above paragraphs.
If you want to even attempt to know God or understand the world, you gotta know yourself. the knowledge is already there inside you - in the symbols you relate to, in the dreams you remember. The symbols are merely reminders of something bigger. They are not to be feared because of lack of understanding.
You don't know if it's a cookie jar until you look inside, and you don't know what flavor the cookies are until you taste them.
Mr Asshat and others like him would scoff at what I've said, especially since I'm being "esoteric". I think I'll use that word more often in conversation. "my, your dress is looking very esoteric today." " What an occult sofa you have!"
Or maybe I'll just start talking a in language that Mr Asshat wouldn't understand - like spanish, and maybe he'll think that's satanic too. Vaya con queso.
I'm basically sick of people taking everything literally all the time. I am not the most literal person, as I'm very visual and conceptual, and often find actual words to be a difficult medium to speak with. I am often misunderstood as a result. I'm sick of self righteous people whether their agenda be political, racial, religious, made out of crayons, etc. trying to bend the ears and wills of people by being the loudest one to spew incoherent tripe. I have to be forced onto my soapbox by anger, (namely this blog) and i don't like the idea of harping at people to change themselves. that's not my job. I choose to live by example. People bother me less that way.
I wish that the minority and their asshaberdashery would stop ruining the joy we can get out of certain books and music. I'm sure they understand the symbolism behind my middle finger. What bothers me most is that they assume they are SOOOOOO right and that no one else must even be capable of thinking for themselves, therefore they take it upon themselves to do shoddy research and bend it to their self esteem lifting agenda. I feel for the people who actually listen to these bastards.
here's the link to this guy's page, and from taking a brief glance at his site, it's all about hunting witches and saving the righteous.It's called the Dial the Truth Ministries (Like naming a place "Friendly Auto parts" where the staff are all assholes) and it's a tract ministry place. Doesn't that about say it all?
At least Jack Chick tracts are funny and have cartoons.
Jesus Christ this guy is a dork.