A myth, as I see it, is an organization of meaning. Everyone has her myth, the constellation of ideas that informs his life (and determines her activity and the way she spends her time). There are many Christian myths:
There are two chief myths with respect to the identity of Jesus:
1. The conventional religious myth in our culture, emanating from the crystallization of orthodox Christian theology, especially at and around the Council of Nicea. The distinctive thing about this myth is that Jesus is God.
2. Going back to the early days of Christianity perhaps the chief alternative to this myth was that of Arianism. The orthodox and the arians contended for centuries, often with great bloodshed. Two of the spiritual descendants of Arianism have been Unitarianism and Jehovah's Witnesses.
With regard to the matter of spiritual authority we might list some other myths:
1. The Church and its authorized delegates provides the chief spiritual authority for the believer.
2. The Bible (usually considered inerrant) provides the chief spiritual authority. (This myth became prominent with the Protestant Reformation, when the Bible was thought by many to have replaced the authority of the Church.
3. Spiritual authority resides in the conscience of the individual.
All of these myths have had their believers over the history of Christianity. Of particular interest in regard to the third are the
Gnostics, the Bogomils, the Cathari, the Anabaptists,and the Quakers (and a host of others).
What is your myth? If might be golf; it might be cars; 'success'?; a needle? Whatever is most important to us, that's what our myth of meaning centers around.
In 1956 my myth was changing: as a research chemist I had decided to go far a higher degree, and I took as my teacher a man at the lab who seemed like a high priest of science. Sitting in his class it came to me that for all his brilliance in math and physical chemistry his emotional and social development lacked a great deal.
Mulling over this it occured to me that if I was going to follow a high priest, the best thing would be the one who worshipped the highest God. Early next year I changed from graduate school to a seminary. Never regretted it!!!