Birmingham, Alabama. It’s in the middle of the Bible belt, but on a trip there, I heard about this massive iron statue that is an iconic symbol of the city. It’s a statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of volcanoes and/or metal working.
As I saw the massive statue I contemplated, what would drive an artist to construct such a massive iron work? Was it a compulsion, eccentricity, a grand idea that got out of hand, or was it far more, perhaps worship of an image, an idea, or a celebration of good times?
However I envisioned it I kept coming back to why a statue of a Roman god of this magnitude would be so significant to the people of Alabama in the center of the Bible belt even if there was a large population of steel and iron workers in the era when it was built?
Though curious, the thought really isn’t so strange. I remembered a couple of movie/television scenes that represent what I perceived society believes worship is all about. The craziest scene is the one from the original “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”.
It seemed to me that the producers were making fun of churches from that era in 1970, but I found it interesting that the view of worship is something that’s done in a church with singing, people gathered, showing their true selves to their god and chanting. The fact that this was done in a cave, in a dark underground place out of the public adds a sense of mysticism and intrigue to the whole thing and a sense of mockery.
The other movie scene that comes to mind is Joe vs. The Volcano when Joe and Patricia are meeting with the chief to discuss making the ultimate sacrifice to the “Big Woo”. All the people are gathered together in a celebration that the volcano god will be appeased and not destroy the people of the island.
These scenes while entertaining shed light on a secular view of religion and worship of a god. In a cinematic way they try to explain, or perhaps in a way lead us to interpret, man’s perception of a relationship with God. In “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”, the god being worshiped was a nuclear warhead, but the scene was modeled after churches of that period. The scenes shows crazy religious people bent on destroying the world. They wear masks to cover up their appearances and their beliefs bring doom to the planet. In Joe vs The Volcano, the Big Woo is bringing destruction on mankind and needs to be appeased with sacrifice.
A few days ago I read an article, ‘Humans will worship AI MESSIAH’ God Robot religion expected to boom posted in the Daily Star by Rachel O’Donoghue about a new religion founded by Anthony Levandowski. Mr. Levandowski was quoted as saying:
“What is going to be created will effectively be a god.
“It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lighting or causes hurricanes.
“But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it.”
For me, this is not at all how I understand our relationship with God and I find it saddening that so many misunderstand God’s true nature.
God is not something man-made. He’s not a statue, a bomb or a volcano. He’s certainly not a figment of imagination and he’s not just an intelligence, though superior to us that views things only in black and white. Can any of these man made gods create, love, show undeserved grace, instill hope, or give meaning and purpose to our lives?
God is real. There is irrefutable evidence that he exists, yes, even in scientific evidence. Skeptics dismiss it and try to explain away everything with reason and enlightenment, but it is God who is the source of all reason and enlightenment. To deny him is to deny our very existence, reject his order of things and loose hope and purpose for our existence. Continue reading “The Modern Day god”