As we begin to prepare for our November ’22 Digging Deep Israel tour, I want to continue, occasionally, to revisit stops on our last tour. You can see the details for registering for the trip here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2022-Digging-Deep-Bible-Land-Passages-Tour-Brochure-Israel-and-Rome.pdf
Today’s stop: The Grotto of Pan
Sadly, in our world today, it’s becoming increasingly popular for middle-school children to identify themselves as being pansexual. They explain this by saying, “I’m sexually attracted to any and all. There are no limits to my desire to experience sexuality with any partner of any gender.” Pan, today, means all or whole. (Think pandemic, panacea, pandemonium, panic.)
Rolling Stone defines pansexuality this way: someone who is attracted – either emotionally, physically or both – to all genders. This includes cisgender, transgender, agender and gender nonconforming individuals. The prefix was chosen because it comes from the Greek root “pan,” meaning “all.” (rollingstone.com).
The Grotto of Pan can, at least in philosophical terms, be considered an ancient point of “anything goes” sexuality. The cave’s waters fed the Jordan and were so plentiful that the center of the cave was considered a bottomless pit into which the Greeks would throw their sacrifices to this half-man-half-goat god. If the sacrifices disappeared in the water, then they were thought to be accepted by the god. If they failed to disappear, the worship was rejected by the goat-god Pan. Nudity, sexual orgies and carnal freedom were all centerpieces of the worship of Pan. Thus, his connection to modern pansexuality in America.
I want to pause here for a parent parenthesis: Parents should notice, in this context, to whom our children are looking as role models, heroes and heroines in the culture wars of 2021. Miley Cyrus, Jazz Jennings, Kesha, Joe Lycett and many other celebrities who are touted in magazines and websites that attract teens (…like Teen Vogue…Never let your teens near Teen Vogue) are very vocal about the joys and beauty of pansexuality. Their message is being heard in Huntsville, Alabama and it’s likely being “followed” on Instagram by teens that you know.
Peering into the Cave of Pan at Caesarea-Philippi (more on Caesarea next time) was stirring. It was known as the pagan gate of Hades—the doorway to the underworld. When people move from devotion to Jehovah to idol worship of any kind, they pass through a foreboding gate to an encompassing and destructive chasm from which it is very difficult to return.
As I listened just yesterday to a friend relate the stories of three children in my geographical area who have embraced for themselves the name “pansexual,” I thought of this grotto in Caesarea. This morning I am spending a few minutes in prayer for my grandchildren who will pass by the metaphorical door of the Cave of Pan as they grow up in a world in which exposure to the holiness, beauty and blessings of the great I AM, for the super-majority of youth in America, has been replaced by exposure to the underworld—to icons of carnality, destined to rob them of happiness and eternity with God. May my grandchildren see clearly the eternal tragedy of throwing offerings into this world’s deep and unholy chasm of self-destruction.