When Society Erects Statues In Honor Of Itself

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Throughout the centuries from the Egyptians to a world that calls itself modern, humans have erected statues of themselves. If the person alive such as a monarch or other isn’t responsible for it, the secular culture they leave behind are the ones to take action and erect such ugly worldly eyesores.

I can see why some secular statues can be beneficial for the local population. Take for example those statues of people who contributed to the abolition of slavery. The statue itself becomes a nice reminder for the world of how one should order their lives. It’s the closest thing to blessed statues by the Church that depict and honor the lives of Saints.

This whole post was inspired by one of my favourite Saints and homilists, St.John Chrysostom and his friend Olympias the deaconess. Last night as I watched a documentary on Olympias, it included Johns story of being exiled by the Empress Eudoxia for preaching sermons that unsettled her. He had many enemies that included a high ranking Bishop and Empress Eudoxia. I suppose you could say that he managed to irritate not only Church officials but political ones too.

You sit back and think to yourself, “Now, that’s what it means to be a Christian. If you’re not irritating the highest authority in the land and Church, are you even a Christian at all?” I have such admiration for John that I’ve pitched the idea to my local Orthodox priest to be Chrismated on his feast day. If it’s Gods will, it will happen.

Back to the documentary. What caught my attention was the mentioning of Eudoxia erecting a silver statue of herself and I laughed out loud. Where is that statue now? Apart from the Greeks interested in Church history does anyone in the world even remember or care for Eudoxia 1700 years later? I know Saint Paul tells us to “honor the emporer” in his letters and so we should.

However, it doesn’t mean we hold back on political figure heads when they decide to lead lives unworthy of the Gospel. While the other Bishops fawned over and enjoyed the politicians and Empresses favor, St.John did not. He was a small voice in a sea of miscreants. In fact, I like to say he was a small instrument that boomed the larger voice of God throughout the assemblies. He preached to an audience whose voice was really the small one in the grand scheme of things.

This leads me onto my next point. Emperors, presidents, Politicians and Bishops who enjoy such higher ranks among the faith assume themselves to be a large presence and voice in their communities. They erect statues of themselves as a means to exert this apparent intelligence and power they have over the lower classes of society.

Maybe that is how they appear to themselves and the world, but not to the King of Kings who laughs at such nonsense. Tell me, how are you honouring a dead man even if he did lead a worthy life? HE’S DEAD. . . of what use is it to him? Only prayer and the offering of Divine Liturgies for the repose of his soul from Hades can be of any use now.

I can only imagine how the souls of those who enjoyed major titles feel when they look on only to see people honoring them with statues and not with prayer. Right now they suffer separation from God because of their sins and part of their torment is to see the legacy they left behind that is of no use them in the life hereafter.

I know how I’d feel. I’d be devastated. My soul would be in worse anguish than it already is from the torment of being in hades away from complete union with the Lord. I’m being generous here and not talking about the eternal fires of Hell. To add even further to the torment they must observe how their sons and daughters walk in their sinful footsteps headed straight for the same ruinous outcome as themselves. Not having the ability to warn them torments them even more.

There’s no preaching to the subjects and family of a person like this who leaves behind such relatives who adored their father in life. Have you not read the story of the rich man and Lazarus? Upon the realization he’s suffering Hell, he asks Abraham to go tell his relatives about this place because they’re headed for the same place. Abraham tells him that they have Moses and the prophets and that they should listen to them. However, the rich man assumes that if they get some supernatural apparition they’ll listen to sense and change their ways.

Then Abraham says something very unsettling to the soul and sobering at the same time. He explains that not even if someone should rise from the dead would they believe. Do you see how men’s hearts are so stubborn even unto the bitter end? Seeing is not always believing, Why? Because when the souls faculty of the will has been weakened and the intellect darkened by forgetfulness of God, not even if God Himself stand before us would we believe that is how stubborn the heart can be. A lesson for those atheists who fool themselves by seeking visible proof as a condition for believing.

Times may change on the earth. Humans may change back and forth between conservative and liberal societies. However, God. . . he does not change. The nature of what happens to us after our short life has expired does not change. Humans who constantly fall into the same traps over and over of erecting statues of themselves do not change. The only thing that changes is who they’re erecting statues of.

A man said to me yesterday, “Why should I bother with religion? We no longer live in the time of the Aztecs and have moved on”. Hahahaha. Moved on? From what? You’re still the same today as you were yesterday. In fact, you’re more ancient than the Aztecs who aborted their children and sacrificed them to their gods. Today you sacrifice them to the Devil in their millions on a grand global scale.

We live in societies now that allow same sex unions and celebrate a global porn industry. We are no different to the ancient heathen societies that went before us. All we’ve done is outperformed them in their evils. Humans have not moved forward but gone backward. They’ve gone forward in evil and backward in the formation of their heathen culture. Todays world make Sodom and Gomorrah look like the Vatican City (not that it’s any more virtuous than the world these days).

Never mind your stupid statue made of the finest silver. Forget about your gravestone. Order your financial affairs if you must among your children, but do NOT forget the Lord for forgetfulness of God is no legacy to be leaving behind. The statue and icons you want left behind of your children’s children should be found in Churches, not the city hall. That’s how you know you’ve done something right.

I read a quote the other day. “When you’re dead, your dead. All the pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you’re stupid”. Don’t be stupid, adore the Lord.

God bless.

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