Theosis of Man vs. The Apotheosis

As an American Christian, I am influenced by two sets of values: the teachings of Christ and the claims of ‘the greatest nation on earth.’  There is a contrast in notions of kingdom, greatness, wealth, goodness, peace, and power.  The parables of Christ offer an image, however metaphorical they may be, of a godly kingdom. America’s mythology offers its own view of life on earth and in its own realized eschatology.  Consider the following and contemplate the differing values of greatness and heavenly rewards:

Luke 16:19-31                                                     The Apotheosis of

Lazarus and the Richman                             George Washington

Apotheosis of George Washington

There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumpt-uously every day.  But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’  But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.  ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’  Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, ‘for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’  Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’  But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ 

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