Dead Gods and Dead People

Basket of Figs, April, 2004

Bud Powell




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4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:

6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.  –Psalm 115:4-8


Dead people worship dead gods with dead faith, all the while doing dead works.  They are promoted by dead prophets, who are as dead as they people they preach to, aiding and abetting the deadness all around.


Dead gods have very lively religious rites.  The prophets of the dead danced around the golden calves and the altars to Baal.  People image that if the music is loud, the latte is good, and they weep at the images of dead gods, all will be well and no will notice that the gods are dead.  But loud music and energetic rites will not make dead gods live.


The energy is supplied by the dead people.  Dead gods are given artificial life by the people who make and worship them, for idolaters worship themselves most of all and use the idols as a projection of themselves, because they do not want to be thought of as self-worshippers.  When Israel danced around the golden calf they pretended to be worshipping the God who had brought them out of Egypt.


The worshippers of dead gods tell themselves that success is all in the mind; that they can think positively; that they can be anything they imagine themselves to be.  But sooner or later reality will catch up, and the party will be over.  Promises, promises, promises:  men who follow the empty promises of dead gods sooner or later turn with fury upon them.


19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for him to worship, to the moles and to the bats;

21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?  --Isaiah 2:19-22



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