What started me on the path to polytheism? What made me turn my back on monotheism? Well, to tell you the truth, it was the Bible.
I have been a Protestant Christian my entire life. I have been a music “minister”. I have been a youth “pastor”. I even preached on occasion. My last position was Sunday School teacher at my Presbyterian (PCA) Church. I was the youngest in the class in my fifties. Most in the class were in their sixties and seventies. About five of them would take turns teaching with my Mother-in-law being one of them and she was one of the oldest. Of course over time, she got to where, because of declining health, she just couldn’t make it to Church. One day she asked if I would substitute for her. I said I would and a whole lot of Bible study began.
I had read and studied the Bible my entire life. I wasn’t that worried about it. However, if I was going to teach a bunch of SS teachers, I had better know what I was talking about. It went pretty well. I would study in the evenings after work starting about Thursday and would have to come up with something to sing because I was already the soloist (“special music” as the Baptist would call it). One of the ways I studied was to compare other religions (false ones, right?) until one day I had a revelation. Wait! All these different religions were telling basically the same stories! All had giants, floods, a Creation story, etc., and I just sat there dumbfounded. More intense studies began. Then I bought a book by Dr Michael Heiser entitled, “The Unseen Realm”. The book claimed it could get you into the ancient Hebrew mindset. Then he talked about Psalm 82: 1 God (Elohim) presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”(Elohim). Elohim in the Hebrew is the word for “God/s”. Wait! What? He explains that the Bible has never denied the existence of other Gods and the ancient Hebrews knew there were other Gods but their god was the greatest or as Abraham called him, “God Most High”. Surely though, The New Testament set this straight? Nope. I Corinthians 8:5 (this will take a little unpacking) “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),” 1. The phrase “so called” is not in the original Greek. They stuck it in there to make a Theological point. 2. Paul is acknowledging the existence of other Gods.
Needless to say, I was shell shocked. Then I thought, wait, “If there are other Gods, why am I worshiping one from the Middle East”? I’m from Europe. What Gods did they worship? More intense study began! I found what I was looking for in the Germanic/Norse pantheon. There were my Gods. There was the religion of MY ancestors in the frosty North; not the dry desert. There I found the mighty Gods patiently waiting for me to come home.
Anyway, I have had to start over in study and learn a whole new way to approach the Gods but I’m home. I’m right where I belong. These days if someone ask me why I’m a polytheist, I just look them in the eye and say, “The Bible tells me so”.
Bobby G -Crusty Old Smoke