Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 22 Number 5 May 2020
Page 10

Cybele and the Colossians

Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorterThe Gentile population of Colossae had several false gods and goddesses that they worshipped. One of the goddesses was Cybele.

Cybele was the Phrygian goddess of fertility. She represented the principle of life and reproduction. She was considered by many as the Mother of the Gods. Her crown was a miniature city wall. She was worshipped with cries and shouts associated with clashing cymbals and drums.

The Romans introduced an interesting rite to her worship. An initiate was placed in a pit beneath a wooden floor. A bull was sacrificed on the wooden floor. The blood would run through gaps in the floor and drench the initiate. This was thought to cleanse the initiate of sins and signified a rebirth. Cybele became associated with the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth due to having been involved with resurrecting her lover Attis.

While Paul did not name any false gods in the letter to the Colossians, some of what he wrote does address false beliefs. In 3:16, Paul gave the proper musical worship toward God. In 1:4-6, Paul made the point that the faith, love and hope of Christ and His church is what produces spiritual fruit. In 1:9-10, he stated that it is the knowledge and wisdom of Christ’s will that makes one fruitful.

In 1:14, Paul taught that it is Christ’s blood which gives forgiveness of sins. In 1:16, he said that Christ created the world, and in 1:17, by Christ all things stay together. In 2:12-13, Paul told that it is in baptism in which one is raised from the dead and made alive.

The Bible is amazing. God gave us enough information by which any false religion or belief can be answered. Study your Bible. Learn all you can, and then obey God. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Propaganda and Programming

Donald R. Fox

Donald R. FoxI turned eighteen years old in November 1950. The 1930’s and 1940’s were my growing up period for rearing that included ethical and moral instruction. No generation is free of sin and social nonsense. With that said, I have pondered and wondered about the changes in the way average Americans view morality. Older folks can see a considerable change in our society. I am sure I will simplify many of the workings of why we have changed, and you may find me judgmental. However, I am trying to explain the changes from my generation to the present.

I believe it is the programming via propaganda—brainwashing of the masses—since the early 1960’s that is responsible for the changes in society we see today. From the 1960’s, movies, TV and general entertainment began to become vulgar and in your face. A type of bohemianism developed. Old standards of morality, dress and appearance changed. For example, men’s haircuts went from the traditional neat, short cut to girlish long hair. Many men now have an unshaven, scruffy look. Recently, I saw tattoos on a guy’s baldhead. May I ask, why the abundance of body piercing? How do they eat or talk properly with a pierced tongue? Neatness in dress has almost vanished. Remember the idiom, “Sunday go to meeting clothes”? Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see boys and young men come to worship on Sundays in T-Shirts or similar clothing. Since I am a Christian gentleman, I will refrain from any comments concerning female gender clothing. My fear is that this type of bohemianism has or will become normal.

The change of longstanding conventional appearance and conduct is manifold. In my judgment, the changing came through programming our youth. This propaganda is more noticeable in the entertainment world. The movies, TV and the like have desensitized us. Even music and musicians had a different style about them. Maybe we can remember the entertainers prior to the change. If we can, we will appreciate the great transformation. At one time, you could bring the smallest child to the movies without fear of seeing nakedness and hearing vulgar speech. Television sitcoms are nasty and sexually orientated. We could expand on this point, but why? You all know what we mean. However, some do not have the foggiest notion what we are alluding to or discussing.

It is our observation that propaganda has deceived younger people for years, and it has reached its peak. As an example, we ask, “Is evolution a proven fact?” No, it is not a tested fact. In the February 19, 2012 edition of The Mini Page, which was written for elementary-aged children, four pages were dedicated to showing evolution as a fact. The title of this edition was, “Meet Our Long-Lost Relatives—Who Were the Neanderthals?” Everything in this four-page edition was written as a fact (http://www.theminipage.com/).

(I struggled with the wording of this essay because I feared that younger individuals would misjudge my motive. My reason for making comparisons between different generations is to show or illustrate how all of us can change in the passing of time.) Charles Dickens captured the feel of all generations when he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” in his masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities. Manmade laws and morality will change. It is my goal to attest that there is but one fixed and true everlasting standard, and that is the Word of God.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7 KJV). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). “Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33 ASV).

Propaganda is a systematic manipulation. Webster’s definition of propaganda, in part, is, “any organization or movement working for the propagation of particular ideas, doctrines, practices, etc.; the ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. spread in this way; any systematic, widespread, deliberate indoctrination or plan for such indoctrination: now often used in a derogatory sense, connoting deception or distortion.”

There is a need to return to Christian conduct. Youngsters need ethical and moral programming and training. Proper programming will build stable, strong character. This training and programming will instill within youngsters a need to accept responsibility and obligations. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 KJV). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise… And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1, 4).

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