Last night us High Priests of the Church of Sods had a lengthy and near dramatic discussion of the Book of Revelation. This was perhaps our most well-educated stream, as h.P Anthony and I had both read the entirety of Revelation and indeed read some analysis on it.
It became immediately clear that there was, in fact, a great rift between us on this book. While h.P Anthony believed strongly in both it’s historical validity as well as it’s validity as a component of the New Testament. I, however, took the stance that the book had several quite dubious features that didn’t sit right with me. I noted that the book’s unknown and controversial authorship was a problem for its validity, while h.P Anthony took the strong stance that Revelation was indeed written by John the Apostle. It is still my position that the modicum of evidence and even theological corroboration from the likes of the Catholic Church support my belief that this was not the apostle John. However, I should take responsibility for the fact that this is relatively unimportant in the context of our Church; I believe that my insistence upon this point is more of an immature “fundy ownage” than it is useful to the discussion.
The Church of Sods has never been explicitly Christian and was not founded to simply be some small restoration or personal reclamation of Christianity. Rather, the Church was intended to form its own theology as a sum of all parts from both living and historical religious beliefs. An avid viewer, however, may be surprised to see this – as while the Church is not explicitly Christian, it often appears to be implicitly.
I think it is important that we stick to our original goals. I also believe Christianity to be a very strong foundation, and indeed believe there is an immense value to both the old and new testaments. Still, I urge my colleagues to consider what the Church of Sods has always represented – a religion that despite its fundamental and basic requirement that one believe in a higher power, values freedom from dogma and expansive theological discussion. I do not think any of my colleagues have undermined this basic fact, but I do worry we stray to close to a sort of debated Christian absolutism, and this is my doing in equal part as all else in the clergy.
As for the Book of Revelation – it is intensely dogmatic. It is often the primary driver of the most regrettable sects of Christianity – particularly in America. HOWEVER, I do think it has a place in the Church of Sods.
Firstly, and most truly, it deserves every minute of discussion or argument it shall ever get. If we bar discussion of something because it has been discussed once, we are no better than any other ecclesiastically mediated dogma.
Secondly, its symbology is clearly important. It represents the darkness that was lacked in the fantastical heart of St. William Blake. We value St. William Blake greatly for his immensely valuable almost Jungian dive in to the symbology and imagery of Man’s relationship with God. Revelation does the same, but represents what William Blake only rarely described but often painted – Man’s relationship with Evil. To shun the uncomfortable description of this inarguable truth is to deny one’s own guilt and responsibility. Revelation, to me, represents the pit we shall fall in if our virtue is forgotten.
And this is where I lie with revelations. This is indeed very close to the Catholic interpretation, and I believe the Catholic interpretation to be deeply compelling. Revelation is a study in the chasm which lies below us and the jungle which lies behind us as we climb St. Nietzsche’s rope toward the light of the Ubermensch. Its symbology should be an item of study likely forevermore, and its historicity in the future or otherwise remains unknown. When we see the book in this light, it is stripped of the sort of features which entirely unsavory branches of Christianity use to intimidate both their followers, as well as their supposed apostates.
I urge my colleagues to consider this as Sods. It is attractive to be a fervent Revelation absolutist, but I think this truly has no value. When one takes ANY book in the bible at face value and absolute prophecy or history, they are at the very least foolish. The bible itself is a book intentionally full of grand allegory and metaphor. It seems that there is a sort of double standard upon the book of Revelation whereupon the book is either entirely rejected or accepted of some time to come with a 7 headed dragon with 10 horns.
However, when we examine the book in it’s metaphoric light (as we would to some extent or another for any other book in the bible) there is much more truth revealed. One learns about himself, the evils he is capable of, and the fire beneath his feet that should propel him to virtue rather than sin.
Moreover, as the Catholic interpretation points out – it specifically gives hope to those that are in the midst of a seemingly insurmountable evil – that in the end God takes us all, and judges us accordingly no matter how powerful or powerless we were in life.
Thank you for your time, and until the next
High Priest Andrew