Any Real Pagans?
The below item is part of my "Conversations" series.
A mother reading her child a book about mythology
Mom: “In the temple, he prayed to Hera that —”
Mom: Come on now. We’re only half way through, so no interrupting.
Peyton: But I don’t understand something.
Mom: What’s that?
Peyton: Did people back then really have temples and statues of gods?
Mom: Yes. This was before Jesus, and the people had fallen away, so they didn’t know the true God.
Peyton: They really prayed and made sacrifices to statues?
Mom: Well, they didn’t call them statues; they called them gods.
Peyton: But those gods aren’t real.
Mom: Of course not. It’s just stories. Are these bothering you? We could read something else and leave these until you’re older.
Peyton: No, they don’t bother me. I like them. I was worried that if these people believed in gods but it turned out that the gods aren’t real, how could they be so wrong about everything? If they were that wrong when they believed in their hearts, then maybe we’ll find out that we’re wrong about Jesus, too?
Mom: Banish the thought! It’s not the same thing at all. The Greeks had stories they told, but they knew they were just stories. And although they built temples and statues, they knew that their gods weren’t real, flesh-and-blood creatures, but just representations of parts of nature that they weren’t able to understand. They didn’t have the deep love for their made-up gods that we have for the one true God, or the knowledge burning in them that their gods were real like we do.
Peyton: So they knew they were just play acting?
Mom: It was just a part of their culture, like how you might talk about good and evil by telling a story about Star Wars even though you don’t think that Star Wars is true.
Peyton: That’s good. It seemed weird.
Rebekah: All right. Now let’s see what happens to Jason, and no more interruptions.
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