Baal, Ashtoreth, and Dagon, the old staples of ancient paganism repudiated by the prophets in the Word of God, never enjoyed the public relations opportunities post-modern idolatry boasts. Every couple of years an international worship service opens with praise music celebrating the apotheosis and reincarnation of ancient heathenism. Oblivious Christians complicity cheer and participate right alongside their Canaanite neighbors in this God mockery. You may recognize the religious festival I’m referring to by its more popular name, the Olympics.
A simple, yet often unapplied Biblical truth is foundational to this discussion. If Jesus Christ is Lord of all, then everything is inescapably religious. Everything stands as witness to Christ’s glory or as testimony of its own judgement worthiness. I submit to you the Olympics are unambiguously in the second category.
Imagine you are visiting a friend you haven’t seen in years and he invites you to his “temple”. With some reservations, not knowing where he stands spiritually, you agree to tag along. How would you feel about the proceedings if they opened with the following hymn?
“Immortal spirit of antiquity
Father of the true, beautiful and good
Descend, appear, shed over us thy light
Upon this ground and under this sky
Which has first witnessed thy unperishable fame
Give life and animation to these noble games!
Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors
In the race and in the strife
Create in our breasts, hearts of steel!
In thy light, plains, mountains and seas
Shine in a roseate hue and form a vast temple
To which all nations throng to adore thee
Oh immortal spirit of antiquity!”
This worship song written by Samaras and Palamas was first used in ceremonies in the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. This element of liturgy was eventually declared the official Olympic Anthem by the International Olympic Committee in 1958. The more popular version in English ascribes immortality to the Olympic torch with the final verse proclaiming:
“Oh flame, eternal in your firmament so bright
Illuminate us with your everlasting light
That grace and beauty and magnificence,
Shine like the sun
Bestow on us your honor, truth and love”
My guess is most everyone, Christian and nonChristian alike, would be uncomfortable in a “church” where blatant blasphemy of this magnitude was routinely practiced. Nothing less then God Himself is a worthy object of this kind of praise and worship, yet these songs are not directed to Him. They are offered up in the spirit of the Babel rebuilding fraternity of mankind as millions gather to the television to behold the torch lighting each opening ceremony. The Olympic flame continually burns as incense offered on the altar of humanism during the course the ensuing rites and rituals.
I find it entirely unsurprising these games were resurrected in our modern age of western apostasy where the most popular dish has been the vomit of ancient cults. We’ve rallied behind our high priest Darwin to grant us philosophical permission for a barbaric regression. With Dagon, the half man/half fish deity, reassembled in the cathedral of original sin, we make believe there is something new under the sun. A glorious path to progress and peace is purportedly paved by renouncing the Heavenly Father and enshrining the achievements of man. It took 1500 years, but we eventually forgot that the Olympics were the gurgling gasp of an ancient culture decomposing from the inside out with the maggots of self worship.
Even the Wikipedia record of the ancient Olympic Games recognizes their religious nature in the article’s first sentence: “The Ancient Olympic Games were religious and athletic festivals held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece.” Somehow today we consider events like this “secular” or neutral innocent displays of laudable internationalism. This is deception of a hypnotic magnitude. The Olympics are every bit as religious today as they ever were and they do not exist to glorify the one true God of scripture.
Centuries ago emperor Theodosius decreed that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated in 393 AD. Since the ancient Olympics are clearly understood as belonging to this category, it is generally accepted by historians that this date was also the end of the Olympics as the old world knew them. My guess is the church of Jesus Christ at that time was far more ready to bid good riddance to the games having been thrown to the gladiators themselves. Today its only the glory of God that is thrown to the lions and we are much more tolerant of that casualty.
II Corinthians 6:17-18 “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Soli Deo Gloria