Santa Clara, CA
| An Olympic moment|
A bit of history...
"...this little-known episode of Christian censorship is a cryptic remark that in a.d. 393, Roman emperor Theodosius banned the Games, along with other festivals, for being "too pagan." Under the emperor's direction, fanatical Christians closed and later tore down ancient wonders of the world, most notably the Temple of Zeus built in Olympia and the Temple of Serapis in Alexandria."
"Before the Games began, competitors processed to the village of Piera on the outskirts of Olympia. There, priests sacrificed a fat pig to Zeus, and the athletes participated in a ceremony of purification. Once the contestants had been confirmed, the priests repeated the ceremony, this time sacrificing a pig and sheep before the colossal statue of Zeus in Olympia. The athletes then swore allegiance to the Greek gods and fidelity to Zeus."
"...we moderns have revived the Games without all this mythological nonsense. Or have we? Consider our present-day Olympian anthem:
[i]"Ancient Immortal Spirit, chaste Father of all that is Beauty, Grandeur and Truth Descending appear with Thy presence Illumine Thine Earth and the Heavens. Shine upon noble endeavors wrought at the Games on Track and in the Field
To Thine Temple, to Thy Worship, come all. Oh! Ancient Eternal Spirit!"[/i]
| 2004/8/21 12:18||Profile|
Cape Town - South Africa
| Re: An Olympic moment|
I found this piece on the Olimpics and it stuck me how ininformed we are. The bible says that we are going under due to a lack of knowledge.
Ungrateful World & Church Reverts to Paganism
Just as in Norway in 1994 and Atlanta in 1996, pagan allegory rules at the Olympics. We should not be surprised, for the Olympic Games were not originally about athletic prowess nor competition, but a display of human expertise, bloodshed and sacrifice dedicated to the gods of Ancient Greece.
Having just watched the Opening Ceremony of the Athens 2004 Olympics, I can confirm that the theme of pagan worship continues unabated.
In a historic panorama of tableaux that portrayed 3000 years of Greek history, the only Person forgotten was God and his Son Jesus Christ. The gods on display were all those of Greek mythology, presided over by Eros (opposite) the "god of love" - in truth, the god of sexual arousal, promiscuity and hedonism now worshipped by all the world.
Beginning by "drumming up" the spiritual powers of the past, the Opening Ceremony continued its pagan theme to the end, when Eros finally presented the Games with a heavily-pregnant woman, whose belly shone like the sun-globe. To a background illustration of strands of DNA, the woman became one of the "thousand points of light" in the centre of the one EYE that dominated the Ceremony.
The single eye, which I am sure represents the "All-Seeing-Eye-of God" presiding over the Games, was an oval container which contained the millions of gallons of water that featured in the presentation, at first a lake for a "paper boat", then set on fire by a comet to display the five Olympic rings, and last - as I said - lit up by thousands of lights as if illuminated by man's dedication to the gods! These lights lit up not only the central "eye" but the stands with its audience of 75,000 people.
This gradual switching on of man's "illumination" to spirituality has been progressing for centuries, but has now reached full flower. It was the Theosophist Alice Bailey, co-founder of Lucis Trust and the Arcane School, who seems to have coined the phrase in her 1957 book The Externaliztion of the Hierarchy. There she explains what a Point of Light is. "...[T]he men who comprise the occult leadership group known as the New Group of World Servers." These individuals, she remarks, are in service to 'the work of the Brotherhood...the Forces of Light.' They are the ones who are to usher all of mankind from the darkness of outmoded Christianity and faded nationalism into the bright and shining ' New World Order.'" In her book, Discipleship in a New Age , Bailey tells her occult followers to repeat, "I am a point of light within a greater light...I am a spark of sacrificial Fire, focused within the fiery will of (the Sun) God."
The aim is to blend all the single "points of light" to create one massive wave of illumination that awakens civilisation to the "New Order" - the Age of the Spirit.
To mark the "birth of the New Age", the pregnant woman revealed that her unborn child was a "point of light", illuminated by the central satanic light of the "sun-god". I could not help but recall another Pregnant Woman - she of Revelation chapter 12 who is "waiting to give birth" and usher in an entirely different kind of New Age - one of God's judgement.
Just as Israel's rule was that of twelve tribes and twelve elders, under God on Mount Zion, so the new religion is that of the "Twelve Gods" of the Greek Pantheon on its Mount Olympus. Just as the twelve stars circle the head of Revelation's Woman, so we now have to display a flag containing twelve stars, suggesting that we are being overtaken by the New Rule of European gods.
The rule of TWELVE did not begin with Greece and Rome, however. It went back to the gods of Egypt and BABYLON. See for instance this page: http://www.geocities.com/elchasqui_2/ZSitchinh.html.
Olympics Paganism Grows
The Olympics have always exalted globalism and paganism. However, the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway took this to new heights. Prayers to Zeus and honor given to Vettas (spirits worshiped by Vikings) were given special prominence.
The opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta were replete with references to pagan gods, including ritualistic dances to "summon" the gods of the world's five major cultures to be present during the games. A replicated temple of Zeus was also included, with honor given the pagan ancient Olympic games which have served as the pattern for the modern Olympiad.
The original physical contests -- conducted in the nude to display the athletes' ideal bodies -- were sandwiched between processions, sacrifices, altar rituals and banquets. "There was no such thing as secular athletics," said David Gilman Romano, who has written extensively about Olympic origins. "Feats of prowess and agility were meant to please Zeus."
It was another kind of competition that put an end to Olympic Games in A.D. 393 after more than 1,000 years: Christianity vs. paganism. In a single edict, Holy Roman Emperor Theodosius, fearful of the continuing popularity of pagan festivals including the Olympics, abolished the games. Though some athletic competitions continued to exist, it would be 1,500 years before the the concept of the Olympics as a peaceful competition among all nations was resurrected.
In 1894, a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin promoted the reborn Olympics as "a new civil religion," replete with symbols, traditions, rites and ceremonies. (http://corinth.sas.upenn.edu/dgr/otherclips/olyreligion.html)
As if in confirmation of this new pagan ideal, some Greeks are in open rebellion against Christianity and are being "baptised" on Mount Olympus, and returning to the worship of the "Twelve Gods" headed by Zeus. [See this report and this.]
Certainly the Globalism was apparent right from the start, and the flourish that ended the 2004 Opening Ceremony was all about "world peace and unity". A huge representation of the Goddess Athena rose from the pupil of the eye of "god" and turned into a mountain topped by a sacred olive tree - said by the commentator to represent "the olive branch" that brings peace to the world. There are too many occult symbols here to speak of briefly, so I will pass on to other matters.
Bjork Inspired by Paganism
The Icelandic singer Bjork performed on the opening night of the Olympics. One website dedicated to her said that she was "inspired by paganism". In an interview she states: I started doing everything with my voice. Then suddenly I didn't want to work with any musicians, which is a bit weird. I only wanted to work with vocalists." She was inspired, she says, by paganism, and the rather esoteric idea of returning to a universe that is entirely human without tools or religion or nationalities.
Clearly she was a perfect choice for the opening ceremonies. I'm trying to write a song where the words don't say We Are the World,' or Ebony and Ivory,' she says with a laugh.
As it happens, the song she wrote and performed was strange to say the least. Appearing as a massive representation of Mother Ocean (which makes a change from Mother Earth at least) she squirmed around telling mankind that he'd come a long way since he had crawled out of her wet embrace, and "your sweat is salty, I am why".
Again, with the theme of pregnancy and birth, the Universal Woman and now the Ocean, the prophecies of Revelation (the beast rising from the Sea) came to mind. Is it now time to look for the Beast I wonder?
Believers Seduced by Paganism
All of the above is only to be expected in a world that denies God. But what of the Church (or, the supposed Church, because we need to think of another less biblical name for an organisation that is rapidly espousing every occult and spiritualist fantasy in the book).
The Church above all is reverting to the worship of other gods and false spirituality! This has been a continuing process over a number of years, to the point where it's sometimes impossible to "see the joins" between one religion and another, one belief system and another.
Back in 1994, it was pointed out that the laughter launched by men such as Rodney Howard Browne (which sparked off the modern day "revival") was no different to the yogic laughter classes designed to put people in touch with the Vedic Gods, summoned by the opening of the spirit to "drink the laughter cup" and chanting Ho Ho Ho.
Other practices have flooded in since then - beating the ground with sticks, chanting, frantic dancing and jumping, walking the labyrinth, summoning "angels", seeking spirit guides, engaging in "combat" with supernatural powers, prolonged fasting, astral projection, drumming, - and above all the psychic and demonic powers that are displayed by many leaders, as they "cast spells" over the meeting, cause men and women to fall down and exhibit strange manifestations, and "impart" spiritual power to their willing victims.
Much terminology is so close to that of the New Age that I am puzzled that those still in churches are prepared to accept what they are told. Are they heedless, foolish or just unconverted?
The Apostate Church is also looking to the Pregnant Woman and awaiting the "birth of the new age" according to some apostolic/prophetic literature. What, in essence, is the difference between the paganism of the Olympics and the paganism of the churches, even though it is dressed up in bible terminology and Christian symbols? Once again, the only Person being forgotten is the God of All, who made us and will call us to account.
Closer than we think?
Are we drawing near to the culmination of these things? The world and the church are sliding downhill at a very rapid pace. Such is the decline, that it is now unstoppable. Unless we learn to place our entire trust in GOD, we too may be sucked into the vortex of false worship, or else succumb to fear, doubt, confusion or the love of this world. Jesus warned that at the end it would not just be false teaching and persecution that would assault our faith, but "riches and the cares of this world" that would ensnare us.
Never has a people been so rich in worldly goods - technology, comforts, entertainment, transport - yet so poor, blind and naked! Never has it been so easy to "fall asleep" and miss the Coming of the Lord.
[size=medium]Ungrateful World & Church Reverts to Paganism[/size]
| 2004/8/23 5:50||Profile|
Cape Town - South Africa
| Re: An Olympic moment|
The Greek Olympics
The Greek Olympics
From mythical dreams to sobering realities
by Berit Kjos - 2004
"Athena, the goddess of wisdom, is the protector of this congested Olympic city ringed by mountains and haze. But she doesn't work alone anymore. ...The protection comes in the form of 70,000 troops, law enforcement personnel, an undetermined number of behind-the-scenes support people, seven nations including the United States, and NATO. ... There are at least 1,400 security cameras set up at key locations.... Near the Acropolis in the center of the city, military helicopters buzz overhead.... Patriot missiles are situated in the region." Don Walker, "Fortifying Olympics is toughest game of all"
"Immortal spirit of antiquity," sang the Olympic chorus during the long-awaited opening ceremony. "Father of the true, beautiful and good, descend, appear, shed over us thy light...." 
Like the mystical god of Huxley's Brave New World, the universal god described in the Olympic Hymn was designed to unify all people -- and offend none. But to the Greek hosts of the 2004 games, this illusion of truth and goodness must have sounded a bit hollow on opening day. Although they had built their magnificent structures dedicated to the dream of Olympic glory, worldwide peace and human perfection, their facade would soon be shattered. As USA Today wrote,
"Star sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were suspended Saturday from the Greek Olympic team for missing drug tests, a stunning blow to the host nation of the Summer Games. ...The case has shamed Greece and overshadowed the opening of what was supposed to be a triumphant showcase of national pride and achievement.
"Kenteris, the reigning 200-meter champion, is the country's most celebrated athlete and was its top hope for a gold medal in track. Thanou, the 100-meter silver medalist in Sydney four years ago, is his training partner. ... Kenteris and Thanou have a history of being hard to find for drug tests and rarely run in international competitions outside the games." 
The scandal was blanketed by the dramatic opening ceremony designed to bring the watching world on "an allegorical journey through the evolution of human consciousness."  This visual experience began with two drummers invoking a fireball that lit five Olympic rings rising from the water inside the arena -- an expansive indoor sea that represented the "mother of humanity." This mythical "mother" communicated her message to the world through a popular singer from Iceland. "You have done good for yourselves," sang Ms Bjork, "since you left my wet embrace and crawled ashore." 
The evolutionary extravaganza included a moving display of Greek gods and heroes such as Zeus, Athena, Hercules, Pegasus and Eros. A pair of playful lovers followed by some kind of a fertility goddess -- a woman with a protruding abdomen which lit up like a dome of light -- celebrated the magnificence of DNA and the blueprint of individual life. Apparently, evolution and the goddess -- certainly not the sovereign Creator -- was the power behind it all.
Finally, the Olympic torch was carried into the arena and up the final stairs to the huge, contemporary Olympic cauldron. A towering post bent down as if to receive the life-giving flame from the last torch bearer, Nikolaos Kaklamanakis. Meanwhile, the news media speculated that Kaklamanakis, a gold medal winner in the 1996 Olympic sailing race, was a last minute substitute for the discredited runner Kenteris.
No one mentioned that the worldwide torch relay has its origins in Germany's spectacular 1936 Olympics -- orchestrated under the arrogant hand of Hitler -- not in the ancient Greek games. [See The Olympic Flame]
Effusive sentiments quoted after the opening ceremony were posted in an audio message on the official Olympic website: "Bringing the world together.... Uniting the countries together, that's the most important thing.... Celebrating world peace... that is the main thing."
World peace, unity, the evolution of human consciousness.... It all sounds so good, doesn't it?
It's supposed to sound good! It's all part of the marketing message of the Olympics as well as the United Nations. The two work hand-in-hand. Their rousing words and visions are designed to stir hearts, fire the imagination, establish a unifying vision, transform our values, and build global citizens for a new world order. The official Olympic website summarizes it well:
"In the ancient Olympic Games, a truce was declared so that what is good and ennobling in humankind would prevail. The Games today are the greatest celebration of humanity, an event of joy and optimism to which the whole world is invited to compete peacefully. Every four years, humanity celebrates, embraces and honors sport, and the world realizes the Olympic ideals of culture and peace." 
An Associated Press story by Joseph Verrengia shows us another side. It compared the ancient games to a spirited blend of the Super Bowl, Woodstock, Mardi Gras and a sacred pilgrimage where sensuality and promiscuity reigned along with ambitious human schemes:
"The setting for the earliest Olympic Games some 3,000 years ago was both a sanctuary of soaring marble temples and a foul, drunken shantytown plagued by water shortages, campfire smoke and sewage. The athletes, glistening from olive oil, competed naked. Gymnasiums were restricted to keep the sex trade from overrunning events on the field....
"While the Olympics' 3,000-year history is dotted with the heroic champions... they also were plagued by cheating, scandal, gambling and outsize egos.
"'The ancient Greeks were not as idealistic as we represent them to be,' said David Gilman Romano...
"Sport, they believed, was a high tribute to the gods.... Before the games, athletes pledged their piety as they were paraded past a row of statues of gods and former champions that were paid for from the fines of disgraced cheaters. At the feet of a 40-foot statue of Zeus -- one of the Seven Wonders of the World -- they sacrificed oxen and boar and roasted hunks of the flesh in a sacred flame....
"The athletes would consult fortunetellers and magicians for victory charms and potions... as well as curses on their opponents to fail." 
In other words, human nature hasn't changed through the centuries. Today's athletes face the same temptations as the heroes of antiquity. Whether in America, Asia, Europe, Africa or the Middle East, the same tendencies to lie and cheat in order to win continue to erode man's most noble intentions.
The Bible presents a more sobering reality -- one that history has validated in cultures around the world:
"Professing to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man.... Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator...
"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men... men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased [depraved] mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness.
"They are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them." Rom 1:22-32
What, then, is the solution? If man's best intentions, loftiest visions and most far-reaching organizations can't bring global peace and unity, what's our hope?
Actually, if we set our hearts on a perfect world, we will always be disappointed -- as were many friends and followers of Jesus. They hoped He would free them from Rome and make them a powerful nation. Instead He offered heavenly strength for living triumphantly in a broken, hurting world. "These things I have spoken to you, that **in Me you may have peace," He told His disciples. "*In the world you **will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, **I have overcome the world.* John 16:33
His mission was focused on a heavenly -- not an earthly -- kingdom. *When questioned by Pontius Pilate whose faith in capricious gods and human prowess matched that of ancient Greece, Jesus answered, *My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36
While we can appreciate the commitment and achievements of many of the world's greatest athletes, it's good to remember that the pomp and presumptions of the global Olympic institution are contrary to God's way for His people. "Do not love the world or the things in the world," He tells us through John. "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. *For all that is in the worldthe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeis not of the Father but is of the world." 1 John 2:15-17
Instead, "our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior...." (Phil 3:20) He is our hope -- and the immeasurable glory ahead far surpasses the grandest visions of the world's utopian dreamers! So "beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Col 2:6-9
1. Don Walker, "Fortifying Olympics is toughest game of all," The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Aug. 15, 2004 at http://www.jsonline.com/sports/oly04/aug04/251359.asp
2. The Olympic Hymn at http://www.nodice.ca/olympicanadiana/hymn.html
3. Lisa Orkin, "Kenteris, Thanou suspended," USA Today, 8/13/2004 at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/athens/track/2004-08-13-greek-sprinters_x.htm
4. Michael Hiestand, "Athens Games begin with pageantry, drama, joy," USA Today, 8/13/2004 at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/athens/2004-08-13-opening-ceremonies_x.htm
5. Ibid., The significance of that sea was mentioned in the song, Oceania, sung by Icelandic pop singer, Bjork.
6. "The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games - Games of the XXVIII Olympiad" at http://www.athens2004.com/en/Values
7. Joseph B. Verrengia, "Joseph B. Verrengia, "Ancient Olympics were a mix of sacred, profane," Associated Press, July 25, 2004.
| 2004/8/23 5:53||Profile|