Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Liberation is Not Deliverance

When I did my "Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll" post I spent a lot of time reading about the Greek gods during the time of the new testament. Most specifically the gods Eros{Cupid} and Dionysis{Bacchus}. Eros being the god of erotic love and Dionysis the god of wine and ecstasy. Both were given the title Eleutherios meaning 'the liberator'. The same Greek word is used several time in the new testament; most often translated as 'freedom'.

So often I found both of these gods described as the ones that could free a person from their natural self. They were the ones that would help you 'let loose' or 'let it all hang out'. Release your inhibitions and be who you have always wanted to be. A no holds bar approach to sexuality and intoxication. Isn't this what people still fall into today? The thought that pushing beyond moral constraint will bring freedom. Trying to find their true self. In that desperate search they push beyond all bounds and truth.

So let's take a look at Eros the Greek god of sexual love. There are four ancient Greek words for love and eros is one of them. Interesting that the word eros is found no where in the new testament. I think I can show you why. According to mythology Eros was born of an extra marital affair between Ares, god of blood lust and Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, sex and fertility. Being that his mother was the goddess of sex in general, Eros became more specifically associated with the erotic side of sex. Meaning infidelity, lust, and excess. He was also the patron of male lust. It seems in reading that I found Eros to never be satisfied. That lust drove him in a perpetual search that was never fulfilled. So in that same spirit he would inflict mortals with insatiable appetite.

"Eros with ill-timed magic urges the girl to betray her coming marriage." The Ancreontea, Frag.59

"Once again Eros drives me on, that loosener of limbs, bittersweet creature against which nothing can be done." Sappho

"A woman{Aphrodite}hurls the fire that maddens men for women; but Eros himself sways the passion for males." Mousa Paidike, 86


Dionysis was born of the extra marital affair of Zeus and a mortal, Semele. Another version is that he is the son of Persephone, goddess of the underworld. Zeus tried to hid him from his wife by handing him over to Athamas to raise him as a girl. Dionysis was at first glance the god of wine and pleasure. Seemingly innocent. But as you dig deeper you find the ritual madness that he caused all who followed him. In the quest for an altered state of reality followers of Dionysis found addiction and bondage. Seemingly innocent ecstasy turned to violent devouring of flesh, literally. Madness took over the mind. Much like Eros insatiable appetites led to violent lust and ritual sex of all natures. There seems to be a breakdown of intimacy with Dionysis. Everything is out in public for all to see. Nothing left to the imagination.

"Remember thy youth and relax thy spirit; go out o'nights, raising the festal torch; let Dionysis unburden thy weighty cares." Seneca-Phaedra 344

"Such gifts as Dionysos gave to men, a joy and a sorrow both. Who ever drinks to fullness, in him wine becomes violent and binds together his hands and feet, his tongue also and his wits with fetters unspeakable: and soft sleep embraces him." - Hesiod, Catalogues of Women Frag 87

"Eros drove Dionysos mad for the girl [Aura] with the delicious wound of his arrow, then curving his wings flew lightly to Olympos. And the god roamed over the hills scourged with a greater fire... but Eros burnt him more and more with the mind bewitching fire to win mad obstinate Aura at last."..."When fiery Eros beheld Aura stumbling heavyknee [in drunkenness], he leapt down from heaven... `Are you for a hunt, Dionysos? Virgin Aura awaits you!’ With these words, he made haste away to Olympos flapping his wings, but first he had inscribed on the spring petals--`Bridegroom, complete your marriage while the maiden is still asleep; and let us be silent that sleep may not leave the maiden.'" Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48. 470 ff , 593ff


So I think you are starting to get the picture. The classic case of sexuality and intoxication being the vehicle to free one from one's self. WOW, what role models huh? These guys were not about free love and liberation! They did nothing more than hurl people into bondage and deception. They destroyed things that were suppose to be intimate and private. They themselves wandered from one partner to the other. From one "good time" to the other. Never satisfied. That is not love and that is not freedom. The same trick the devil plays today. In the quest for meaning so many are deceived into searching outside the bounds of God's truth. They believe that if they push beyond moral constraint they will find freedom of self. You will never find your true identity in sinning. Because sin is not who you are.

"Liberation is not deliverance." is a quote from Les Miserable by Victor Hugo. I am using it here to say that liberation from the truth of God will never bring you freedom. That is a trick of the enemy to get you to slander against the image of God in you. So accepting a lie does not make it the truth. People who are in deception regarding their identity are people that have perpetually given positive reinforcement to a false identity. So in their false liberation they think themselves to be free. But their spirit is bound and unfulfilled.

So am I saying that liberation is wrong? No. My hope is that everyone come to a place of self acceptance. I am thrilled at the progress we have made in reference to gender and sex. I think it is wonderful that a little girl isn't expected by default to be a Suzie homemaker or something "feminine". That she can be whom ever she wants to be...a welder, a doctor, a astronaut etc. I am thrilled that little boys aren't expected by default to be Mike the mechanic or something "masculine". That he can be an interior designer, a florist, a wedding consultant. Girls can wear pants, boys can wear pink. Girls can have short hair. Boys can have long hair. Girls can be out spoken. Boys can be quiet and shy. So on and so on. But that has been liberation from the stereotypes that man has created not God.

There are no stereotypes with God other than the fact that you are 100% male or 100% female. Quite simple really. You don't have to be a certain type of male or female. Nothing that you do or say or wear needs to determine your identity or sexuality. Nothing anyone else does or says to you needs to determine your identity or sexuality either. Be who you are and be proud of that. But don't confuse character weakness with identity. Being a drunk is not the truth of your identity. Being a strong willed person shouldn't make you an abusive person. Your identity must be checked against the truth of who created you; that is God. If aspects of your identity are against the truth and principles of God than that is not your identity that is sin.

The media today is flooded with images of what determines a male or female. Somehow people have gotten confused who they are suppose to be. Well if you are one of those confused people do this---go stand in front of a mirror naked...you will only see one of two things! Male or Female. That's it. God did not make a mistake. There is no liberation that is going to change who God created you to be. Therefore your liberation should come from being who God created you to be! And don't believe the lie of the devil that being anyone other that who God created you to be will bring any freedom. The devil wants to destroy the unique image of God in you. Don't let him do it. Let God join with you to testify who you are and who you were created to be. That is your liberation. That is your freedom.

"If I alone testify about myself. My testimony is not true. There is another {God} who testifies of me, and I know that the testimony which he gives about me is true." John 5:31-32

More to come in the next post...


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