The gods really existed. This is just a historical fact. We have historically reliable accounts of Caesars and Pharaohs. Christians don’t dispute this. If tomorrow, scientists discovered that it’s Thor or Zeus that’s responsible for thunder and lightning, this would not alter the Christian worldview. What marks Christianity apart, is not the existence of the gods, but how we should treat the gods. The Christian, believe it or not, is one liberated from worshipping of these tyrants.
The gods are simply beings with great power. Whether they have some kind of spiritual body, can transform, control the elements, or simply boss people about, and whether they are humans, spirits, animals or a combination, the only real requirement is possessing great power. Pharaoh was a god. Caesar was a god. But the gods still die.
The mark of pagan religion, was that in fear of the gods, the people had to offer sacrifice; essentially, a celestial protection racket. And the gods could be as selfish, egotistical, and petty as anyone. The gods are just like you or me, except that they have power, and I (in comparison) do not.
But the Christian God, YHWH, I am that I am, is not one of them. He is our Creator, the source of our entire existence. In no way does He stand against us, as there is nothing He lacks, and all we are and ever shall be is in fact His gift. He who gave us existence- gave us freedom- does not stand against our existence in any way.
This is the LORD, who liberated Israel from Pharaoh. He is the one, who hears the cry of the oppressed and answers. It is the one who gives us being, who sustains us in being, who truly wishes us to flourish in real freedom. He is the one who takes slaves and forms a nation of them.
This is the God who was born of the Virgin Mary. He brought good news to the poor, proclaimed liberty to captives, brought sight to the blind, and set the downtrodden free. By him, the lame walked, the deaf heard, the lepers were cleansed and the dead were raised. By him, divine life was brought to human death; the ultimate freedom to our most absolute bondage.
The Christian is free from all powers and dominions, because when they killed Jesus, he rose again. By the cross, he “disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them” (Col 2:15). Every threat is nullified, because the Christian will rise again, and every unjust punishment she receives, will only bring her greater glory in the resurrection.
The Christian knows that God is with him, that God is on his side, that He is lowly and humble, and that He is victorious. The Christian is free, because God Himself is our freedom.
For this reason Christians to this very day, refuse to bow down to any gods and powers, no matter how they are threatened or enticed. As St. Justin said, “You can kill us but you cannot do us any real harm.”
God bless you