Musical Worship - Priests - Soothsayers - Musicians - Prostitutes

Musical Worship - Priests - Soothsayers - Musicians - Prostitutes: The first clergy system began in Babylon and consisted of priests, soothsayers, musicians and prostitutes. These, often sexually and emotionally abnormal people had the "talent" to rant, rave, play music, dance and fall into charismatic fits. They claimed that they had contact with the gods who said for you to pay them big time "seed money."

Chalal (h2490) khaw-lal'; a prim. root [comp. 2470]; prop. to bore, i. e. (by impl.) to wound, to dissolve; fig. to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); denom. (from 2485) to play (the flute): - begin (* men began), defile, * break, defile, * eat (as common things), * first, * gather the grape thereof, * take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.

You will have to decide how this fits into the often commercial religion in the battle for crowds and money. My interest is simply to find the information to recognize ancient patterns when I see them.

"The rectangular central shrine of the temple, known as a 'cella,' had a brick altar or offering table in front of a statue of the temple's deity. The cella was lined on its long ends by many rooms for priests and priestesses. These mud-brick buildings were decorated with cone geometrical mosaics, and the occasional fresco with human and animal figures. These temple complexes eventually evolved into towering ziggurats.

"The temple was staffed by priests, priestesses, musicians, singers, castrates and hierodules. Various public rituals, food sacrifices, and libations took place there on a daily basis. There were monthly feasts and annual, New Year celebrations. During the later, the king would be married to Inanna as the resurrected fertility god Dumuzi..." - Christopher Siren, "Sumerian Mythology

It was common for performers who worshiped for the spectators to believe that God gave them some spiritual talent. "If He did not want it used in church then why did He give it to me?" The implication, inherent in a common Hebrew word for "praise," was that my self-boast, even if it seems unnatural, has more power than the unity-creating unison, Word filled, teaching of the "audience."

These talents--speaking, singing, attractiveness--has always been part of the mysteries imposed upon the ignorant for the honor of the talented:

"The flash of insight that enabled an individual to achieve an original act of creation, whether in art or in technology, was always mysterious, and for early mankind it could be due only to the intervention of a god. Long after the advent of civilization, in fact, poets continued to believe that they wrote from divine dictation; inventors attributed their discoveries to divine aid." (Parkes, Henry Bamford, Gods and Men, p. 34).

People still believe that their songs and books are equal to God's revelation. This is why there is little connection between these songs and the literal Spirit-breathed Word.

"What primative men... wanted from the gods was health and strength, riches and long life, and they hoped to attain these things chiefly by ritual and sacrifice rather than by good conduct. The methods of early religion always remained largely magical, and its motivations thoroughly materialistic." (Parkes, p. 36).

At the same time, Parkes notes that these skilled ecstasy-producers were often emotionally and sexually abnormal. After all, (in the movies) didn't the American Indians kill the medical doctor and worship his drooling, rolling and falling, insane-jesturing, and incessantly jabbering sidekick?

In time, these abnormal men and women found that they could build a pyramidal marketing plan. If they hired ten more "gifted" people they could expand the "ministry" and get a "cut of the take." Even today, "attendance building" demands a bigger cut. Then, if he is going to contact the gods for you to keep them from harming you, or to bring you into contact with the gods, it is important to build a temple-state. All surplus energy is devoted to the "institution" and if you got a spare moment he could, because he was idle, plan a new "program" to make the "involvement minister" look good. This exactly describe ancient religion which sought to control all thought, action and money through the pyramid which ended with the king-priest at the top nearest the gods.

The "anxiety from religious ritual" was the burden these professionals placed on you as "pack animals." Therefore, the highest goal of Jesus was to "get them off your back" by removing the "middle man" so that you could contact God yourself without getting zapped. Those "lading" the people down were priests and the Judas episode hints that some Jews were acting as soothsayers along with their usurped task of being temple musicians.

However, there is always a new "tele-marketer" at the other end of your telephone:

"Conquering tribes of herdsmen established themselves as ruling aristocracies and then decayed, each of them in turn bringing new languages and new religious beliefs; urban merchants and money-lenders devised methods of exploiting the food-producers and tried to impose their own rationalistic modes of thinking."

Don't get fooled because:

Nothing is clearer in history than the adoption by successful rebels of the methods they were accustomed to condemn in the forces they deposed.

--Will and Ariel Durant

A symptom of the revival of Babylonian idolatry is the felt-need to rush to another new model of the church hoping for the magic to kick in and solve your problems. The fact is that these rituals are often idolatry and the effect is to create such anxiety that you rush from the building and do not know why you are trying to escape.

Jesus would say, "Come aside and find that your prayers work just as well taking a walk in the woods and I will not impose a temple tax and insist that you must not ask questions." Jesus loves those who ask "why?"

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