Conquer and combat is the language of this god, similar to Ares in the Greek pantheon of gods. Mars was seen as the father of the Roman people. Though he symbolized war and destruction, through all of his destabilizing work, it is he who promised peace because he was the patron of the Roman military and all of its might. One story from Homer’s Iliad tells of Zeus’ irritation with Ares stating “Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar. To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympus. Forever quarrelling is dear to your heart, wars and battles.” Considering Zeus was Ares’ father, one can imagine Ares’ disposition. At the end of the day, we may not think that we are power-mongers like Mars or Ares, but under the surface of our hopes often lurks a desire to be strong because this strength is believed to bring our soul’s peace. “Peace through superior firepower” and “mutual assured destruction” were mantras of the cold war and often remain the crutch of our hearts. Of course, strength is not a bad thing, but wielded as a weapon it can bludgeon those too close to the battlefront. Let’s face it, power can sour relationships. It could be a desire for acclaim or simply to be perceived better than a coworker. This kind of comparative war game always finds a way of building one’s self up at the expense of another, and at the first sign of defeat it will express itself in rage, passive aggressive manipulation, or collapse into self-loathing. We know that our gospel is powerful, but does it wield power like Mars?
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Kevin Kurzenknabe is the Discipleship Pastor and an Elder at SVCC. Before coming on staff in 2016, he had been working with SVCC for years while working his normal career. His passion is to challenge people into living out the Gospel. He has lived in Gilroy for over 16 years with Michelle, his wife of over 20 years, and his two children.