Christian polytheism?

Funny thing happened yesterday and today. I was writing a post about something I came across yesterday which reminded me of another site that I came across months ago. I was attempting to put it all together but was getting rather confused. And wanted to be sure about this one particular site as it seemed to me to be rather off.

Then today I open my Moriel Newsletter and in the section called “Your Letters and Comments” something was addressed that related to my attempted post yesterday, which I actually deleted without ever publishing it.

So here is a second attempt at this post with what little time I have while my lovely Grandson has his day time sleep.

Yesterday I came across something about the emergent church and a new name that I was unaware of. The guys name is George Elerick. George Elerick has written about a very unusual topic. That topic is about Elohim and the sons of God and the Hebrew language used in certain scriptures.

Let’s look at his mishandling of certain scriptures and see if you have red flags waving in light of today’s spirituality and interfaith moves across the globe.

Ehad [sic] is the Hebrew phrase for one. It is defined as several components or parts coming together to be one.  Typically, this is spoken of in terms of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (the three in one); Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. However, if you look at this information historically, this could also be referring to the ancient pantheon of Gods that were  borrowed by the Jews from the neighbouring/warring Canaanites. The Elohim (“we”) refers to El who is the God of Gods, or sometimes referred to in the Torah (Old Testament) as the “Lord of Lords”. Yahweh was one of the gods along with Baal who were situated under the rule of El. So, the idea of Ehad [sic] being the word used for Jesus’ claim for unity with God comes from the same idea of God (El) claiming unity with the Divine Council. Ehad [sic] is the idea of pluralism becoming one, all the while maintaining its pluralistic identity. Something I think we could learn to do better. [Emphasis Added]

The above quote was pulled from a post called “Emergent Polytheism?” and in that post the author systematically goes through why George Elerick is wrong. Please read that post before going on with the next part of my post.

Now I move onto a key phrase here; The Divine Council. This triggered off something that I remember reading about awhile ago. And luckily I had saved a few pdf files from a site called “The Divine Council” and it was from those files that I was able to find this site again.

Just read this and see what you think…

"[The divine council is] the heavenly host, the pantheon of divine beings who administer the affairs of the cosmos. All ancient Mediterranean cultures had some conception of a divine council. The divine council of Israelite religion, known primarily through the psalms, was distinct in important ways."

Michael S. Heiser, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry, & Writings; ed. Tremper Longman and Peter Enns; InterVarsity Press, 2008

Mike Heiser is the author of the book “The Facade” which is about Aliens and he is the web owner of “The Divine Council”. He has reviewed many books on such topics. One such review was of Gary Bates book “Alien Intrusion” in which he says has many pros and cons.

From my understanding Mike Heiser says that there is a pantheon of gods/elohim that existed before mankind were created who answer to the One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. From what I have learnt, Heiser believes in some sort of gap theory. He speaks about the passage in Psalm 82 which reads:

Psa 82:1  A Psalm of Asaph God stands in the assembly of the mighty; He judges in the midst of the gods.
Psa 82:2  Until when will you judge unjustly, and lift up the faces of the wicked? Selah.
Psa 82:3  Judge the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Psa 82:4  Deliver the poor and needy; save out of the hand of the wicked.
Psa 82:5  They neither know nor will understand; they walk in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
Psa 82:6  I have said, You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High.
Psa 82:7  But you shall die as men, and fall like one of the rulers.
Psa 82:8  Rise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit in all the nations.

Mike Heiser says this Psalm speaks about God sitting in the midst of Divine beings (Shining supernatural beings). He challenges the theory that this Psalm is speaking about God sitting in the midst of magistrates, judges and other people who hold positions of authority over other human beings. The newsletter that I spoke about before addresses a Mormon question and uses Psalm 82 as an example. It says… that the use of the word ‘gods’ to refer to humans is rare, but it is found elsewhere in the OT. eg: God sent Moses to Pharaoh, He said “See I have made you like God to Pharaoh” Exodus 7:1. This simply means that Moses, as the messenger of God, was speaking God’s words and would therefore be God’s representative to the King. The word elohim is translated “judges” in Ex 21:6 and 22:8, 9 and 28.

The whole point of Psalm 82 is that earthly judges must act with impartiality and true justice, because even judges must stand someday before the Judge. Verses 6 and 7 warn human magistrates that they, too, must be judged: “I said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler”. This passage is saying that God has appointed men to positions of authority in which they are considered as gods among the people. They are to remember that, even though they are representing God in the world, they are mortal and must eventually give an account to God for how they used that authority.

Heiser says that the divine council is made up of divine beings all being elohim which he says is a word that only means spiritual divine beings who inhabit the spiritual realm. He uses many other ancient myths and texts and the Hebrew language to come up with this theory. See this PDF file on the subject of Psalm 82.

His two sites are extensive. From my understanding, these supernatural, shining divine beings that sit in the Divine Council are the ones that have misled humanity into thinking that they are gods that are to be worshipped. And I have a sneaky suspicion that these same beings are the ones that are coming from another dimension and fooling people into believing the Alien Gospel.

Creation Ministries says of Heiser…

A more recent idea to allow for ETs arose out of a perceived need to protect Christianity in the event of a real alien visitation to Earth. Michael S. Heiser is an influential Christian UFOlogist/speaker with a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages. He claims that the arguments put forward earlier might not apply to God-created aliens. Because they are not descendants of Adam they have not inherited his sin nature, and thus, are not morally guilty before God. Just like ‘bunny rabbits’ on the earth, they do not need salvation—even though they will die, they are going to neither heaven nor hell.

On the surface this seems a compelling argument; after all, fallen angels are intelligent but are beyond salvation (Hebrews 2:16). However, angels are immortal and not of our corporeal dimension. And Heiser’s ETs in spaceships require a level of intelligence not found in rabbits. This acutely highlights the injustice of their suffering the effects of the Curse, including death and ultimately extinction when the heavens are ‘rolled up like a scroll’ (Revelation 6:14). It also seems bizarre to assign no moral responsibility for the actions of highly intelligent beings.

Heiser also claims that vastly intelligent ETs would not displace mankind’s position as being made in the image of God because ‘image’ just means humans have been placed as God’s representatives on the earth.

However, the Bible says we are made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). Man was immediately created a fully intelligent being about 6,000 years ago and was involved in craftsmanship shortly thereafter (Genesis 4:22). Since that time, even we have not been able to develop technologies advanced enough to travel to other star systems. If aliens were capable of developing incredible faster-than-light spaceships needed to get here, one would presume they must have been created with vastly superior intellect to ours—which would make them even more in God’s likeness in that sense than we are. Or, their creation is much older than the 6,000 years of the biblical six-day timeframe; the aliens were created before man and had sufficient time to develop their technologies. However, God created Earth on Day 1 and later the heavenly bodies on Day 4.

Influenced from outside the Bible

Although Heiser does not promote theistic evolution, he is sympathetic to a universe billions of years old, as proposed by the progressive creationist Dr Hugh Ross.5 In theory, this could allow the time necessary for any unseen ETs to develop the almost science-fiction-like technologies required to get here. But, this is circular reasoning.

However, there is a huge problem for the Gospel in these long ages. First, it’s important to understand that long ages derived from the belief that sedimentary rock layers on Earth represent eons of time.6 This in turn derived from the dogmatic assumption that there were no special acts of creation or a global Flood, so that Earth’s features must be explained by processes seen to be happening now.7 This philosophy of uniformitarianism seems to amply fulfil the Apostle Peter’s prophecy recorded in 2 Peter 3:3–7.

The conflict with the Gospel is that these very same rock layers contain fossils—a record of dead things showing evidence of violence, disease and suffering. Thus, taking a millions-of-years view, even without evolution, places death and suffering long before the Fall of Adam. This undermines the Gospel and the very reasons that Christ came to the earth—such as reversing the effects of the Curse.

Ranking the created order

Psalm 8:5 says that man was made a little lower than the angels and crowned with glory and honour. Heiser has said that salvation is based upon ranking, not intelligence. If so, where would ET sit in this pecking order (which omits to mention them)? Would they be higher than man, and lower than angels, for example? If these advanced ETs were capable of visiting the earth, mankind would now be subject to their dominion. (Even if the ETs were friendly, potentially they would be much more powerful due to their intelligence and technology.) This would be in direct contravention to God’s ordained authority structure when he ordered mankind to ‘subdue’ the earth—also known as the dominion mandate (Genesis 1:28). [source]

I have to say, that I feel uneasy about the implications of this. When I first read about Heiser’s view on the Divine Council it reminded me of Zeus and his pantheon of gods and that he was the leader of them. It reminded me of Mormonism and where they get their ideas from.  It also reminded me of the mythos behind the current zeitgeist movement, where people have said that the bible is 100% true, but not 100% factual and it used stories from surrounding cultures and societies to tell of a bigger truth. I am just left thoroughly confused by it all.

What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Christian polytheism?

  1. Whoooah. This is nuts! Emerging Mormons.

    I’m usually just a lurker but this hit a nerve.

    Not Heiser. I believe he’s right. BUT these emergent folks are teaching mormon theology! Check this out Vee. It’s 49 pages, but the mormon view of the divine councel is not Heiser’s view nor this emerging view and it ain’t the zeitgeist view either. Infact, this paper written by Heiser destroys the theology of those movements. You need to read this critique from Heiser on what is exactly wrong with the Mormon theology…seriously seriously. The things in this article can also be applied to many other religions including ufology. These folks are saying that we can be gods and are using twisted “scriptural” reasoning to do it. Cleaver. Very cleaver. Glen Beck meets emerging church? And ET is our brother according to the Vatican…hmmmm.

    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu//publications/pdf/review/440310681-19-1.pdf

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  2. Whoops, what I meant to say is Heiser’s view is not the mormon view, the emerging view or the zeitgeist view. It destroys all of them.

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  3. When I first started reading this post I thought the same thing you did. Zues and all the mythical gods stuff. Hmmmm… *scratches head*

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    • That was my thought too. I think that the implications of this is far reaching. One thing that Heiser says is that where in scripture it says … Let us make man in our image, that is not referring to the trinity, but rather to the divine council. Heiser is a trinitarian though, but he wouldn’t use that scripture to back up the doctrine of the trinity.

      If he is right, the implications of God talking to the other elohim about making man in their image doesn’t that mean that we have more than one creator?

      I have a feeling that he believes that the other elohim are the ones posing as aliens today. I am still not sure on this because I haven’t the time to pick through this with a fine tooth comb. I know that…

      According to Heiser’s research on passages like Deuteronomy 32:8-9, after the Tower of Babel incident, the Earth was divided into seventy sectors, each ruled by some of these divinities, doled out to council members as a curse from God towards humanity for idolatry, it is assumed that these 70 are successionists who joined Helel), and that there is a strong possibility of the myths throughout the world being at least partially factual.

      Also from what I have read, he believes that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an elohim but the only one who has all the omni traits that are biblically outlined.

      One has to wonder if he is interpreting the bible and ancient Hebrew looking through the lens of ancient myth? This is why I thought of the Zeitgeist movement and that move which combines ancient myth with the bible.

      It’s a bit confusing to me. No, make that a lot confusing 🙂

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