Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Corn King

Yesterday's post
on Halloween provoked several thoughts from good friends. Here's one of them that deals with a topic that I actually considered writing about but figured it would be way too long. He does a great job of distilling the arguments.

A number of years ago, my pastor at the time dismissed objections to Halloween on the basis that the dressing up as ghosts and goblins was, in the recent Christian milieu, meant as mockery of the Celtic religion and beliefs. In some sense, this could, however, be taken as a more "scientific" than "Christian" attitude, but could also be perceived as the reasonable attitude of the modern Christian.

The other ideas, related to death, are a couple of quotes from C.S. Lewis, Miracles (NY: Macmillan, 1947):

First, about Christ as the "dying god" of nature religions (including the Celtic): The records, in fact, show us a Person who enacts the part of the dying God, but whose thoughts and words remain quite outside the circle of religious ideas to which the dying God belongs. The very thing which the Nature-religions are all about seems to really have happened once: but it happened in a circle where no trace of Nature-religion was present. (p. 118)

About the Christian doctrine of Death, after talking about religions who believe death to be meaningless because of reincarnation and religions who believe death is critical to escape an illusory life: Christianity countenances neither. Its doctrine [of Death] is subtler. On the one hand Death is the triumph of Satan, the punishment of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more. On the other hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptized into the death of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. (p. 130.)

While we celebrate the martyrdom of those saints who were persecuted until death, we also see Death less the threat because Jesus has conquered it. It is now the gate through which we must pass on our way to our reward. That does not make it attractive, but it does make it something we can consider without fear, even with a humorous approach, at times. It may be, as Lewis says, the final enemy, but it no longer has the final word.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

Mailing List