Greek mythology tells a tale of the god Dionysus, and a lesson he taught to a greedy king named Midas.
The story goes that King Midas treated a drunken Dionysus well. To repay the kindness, Dionysus granted the king one wish. King Midas wished for everything he touched to turn to gold. He soon found that the gift became a curse, however, as he was unable to eat or drink, because his food and wine turned to gold when he touched it. His hasty request reached its tragic conclusion when King Midas accidentally killed his daughter by turning her to gold.
We recognize this as just a story. But how often do Christians and Messianics superimpose the personality of Dionysus onto the God of the Bible? We hear (or say?), “Be careful what you pray for. God might give it to you.” Or “Be careful how you pronounce names, how you decorate, and which days you observe. You might be following false gods without even knowing it!”
The fear of unintentional Pagan worship reaches fever pitch around Christmas time. In the ultimate irony, followers of God accuse their brothers and sisters who celebrate Christmas of Paganism because of such superficialities as decorating with Christmas trees and holly wreaths. All the while, they’re replacing the basic attributes of the one true God with the traits of the Pagan Dionysus.
- Do you really believe the God of the Universe hears our thoughts, speaks our language, has the ability and the desire to respond to our prayers—but does not know or care what we really mean?
- Do you think you confuse God if you don’t speak carefully, if you say the “wrong” words, or celebrate the “wrong” days?
- Do you think God is so petty and cruel that he pounces on opportunities to twist our words, disregard our intentions and cause us pain?
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3, NIV