Christianity is a pagan cult..
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19-06-2012, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2012 01:18 AM by Monk.)
Christianity is a pagan cult..
The Bible is demonstrably rooted in earlier pagan mythology. The god of Abraham is clearly derived from the High God of ancient Canaan, El Elyon--supreme ruler over the pantheon of Canaanite gods known as the Elohim. We even get a glimpse of El presiding over the divine assembly in Psalm 82. He's vividly depicted in combat with the seven-headed Canaanite sea dragon Lotan, for which we have the Hebrew cognate Leviathan, in Job 41. This Canaanite god of Abraham would later be assimilated with the god of Moses, Yahweh--possibly a volcano god of Midianite origin as conveyed by Exodus 13:21 and 19:12. The creation account in Genesis is a monotheistic rendition of polytheistic creation narratives from ancient Mesopotamia--the Sumerian Eridu Genesis and Babylonian Enuma Elish. The apocalyptic visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel are spiced up with elements of Zoroastrian eschatology (end times belief), a result of Jewish exposure to Persian religiosity after King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity in Babylon. The term "Pharisee" actually has etymological roots denoting "Persian"..

The divine conception of Jesus runs parallel to that of such historic figures as Alexander the Great, Plato, Pythagoras and Gautama Buddha, as well as mythic figures like Romulus, Krishna, Perseus, Attis, Dionysus and the Zoroastrian Saoshyant. Jesus' miraculous feats are merely echoes of the sort found in tales of Asclepius, Pythagoras and Heracles. His titles of divinity, "Savior" and "Son of God," reflect contemporary titles bestowed upon Caesar Augustus. The sacred star at his birth only counters earlier claims about a sacred star associated with Julius Caesar. His ascension in the gospel of Luke mirrors that of Romulus, Augustus, Heracles and Mithras. Romulus too parted ways with a Great Commission, just as Jesus does in Matthew's gospel.

The scenario by which Christ confers salvation and everlasting life through sacramental participation in his death and resurrection is adopted from ancient Greek and Egyptian mystery cults, featuring such dying and rising saviors as Osiris, Dionysus, Kore, Adonis, Zalmoxis and Attis. This mystical concept is explicit in Romans 6:3-5, Philippians 3:10-11, Colossians 2:12, etc., and its conceptual roots date back to the 3rd millennium BC according to Pyramidal texts on Osiris. It is significant that this religious expression reached a fever pitch during the Hellenistic Age from which Christianity emerged and, moreover, that syncretism was a widespread phenomenon during that era. Obviously, the New Testament is a product of its time and place, cut from the same cloth as contemporary cultic rites and mythemes.

Even the symbolic consumption of the savior's flesh and blood as a means to immortality (John 6:53-58) is preceded by the mystery religions, which Paul has in view when admonishing such practices in 1 Corinthians 10:16-21 for the sake of excluding all but the Christian eucharist. Paul's use of the term "Lord's Supper" stems from the Greek kuriakon deipnon, the same expression used in the mystery rites. Early church fathers like Justin Martyr and Firmicus Maternus attempted to write this off as diabolical mimicry, suggesting that Satan counterfeited the real thing in advance. For today's rationalists, this is pure comedy.

Second, there is the issue of scriptural contradictions and inconsistencies. There are so many, I can only take time to mention a few. Were animals created before man (Genesis 1) or was man created prior to animals (Genesis 2)? Did Jesus ascend on Easter evening (Luke 24) or did he stick around for 40 days (Acts 1:3)? Did Jesus rise in a fleshly body (Luke 24:39) or not (1 Corinthians 15:50)? Are we still under the Law (Matthew 5:18) or not (Romans 6:14)? Are good works integral for salvation (James 2:14-26) or not (Ephesians 2:8-9)? Does God condemn murder (Exodus 20:13) or condone it (Joshua 6:21-27 and 10:39-41, Deuteronomy 20:16-18, 1 Samuel 15:2-3)? The list could go on and on.

And don't bother insisting that Exodus 20:13 refers only to premeditated murder. The Hebrew word employed here, raw-tsakh, is an all-encompassing reference to unjust killing of any form. Slaying even women, the elderly and children for the sake of conquest is tantamount to mass murder and cannot be justified by any sensible person. Some evangelical scholars attempt to do so, but how can such a thing be justified when an all-powerful and loving God is at the helm? Are we really to believe, given his supposed omnipotence and omnibenevolence, that he was unable to provide any form of justice other than complete extermination? Not that I grant the historicity of these tales to begin with, but the attempt to justify genocide is absurd.

Third, the New Testament's doctrine of eternal damnation for non-Christians exceeds even the wickedness of the Old Testament. Most of us are a product of our cultural environment, and our beliefs tend to be molded as such. How could God possibly fault someone in Iran for being Muslim, or someone in India for being Hindu? Moreover, how could God even fault the nonbeliever in a predominantly Christian nation given the myriad of issues raised above? To consign someone to eternal torment based merely on what they believe, or disbelieve? What kind of brutish, cosmic dictator would implement so severe a penalty for thoughtcrime? And, given that homo sapiens have existed for roughly 200,000 years, what about the vast majority (99%) of people who lived before Christ? The apologetic plea for retroactive salvation is so contrived as to not even necessitate a rebuttal.

Fourth, there is the issue of the New Testament's utterly fallacious appeal to Old Testament prophecy. Once again, there is more territory to be covered here than one essay will permit. One can narrow the scope simply by addressing the incongruity of a dying and rising god with the Old Testament's prophetic view of the Messiah. The Jewish Messiah is prophesied in the Old Testament to be a revolutionary king who will, among other things, bring about peace and sovereignty for the nation of Israel (Isaiah 2:4, 9:6, 11:6-9, 65:19, 25, Zechariah 9:10, Micah 4:3, Hosea 2:18).

What the Old Testament certainly does not say is that the Messiah (or God incarnate) will have to suffer, die and rise again for the salvation of mankind. Christianity developed this belief partially via the influence of the Hellenistic mystery cults, which accounts for the New Testament's emphasis on eternal life--something with which the Old Testament is hardly concerned. Following Jesus' death, Old Testament passages were lifted out of context in order to reconcile the tragedy with an atonement doctrine. The most obvious example of this is Isaiah 53's suffering servant, written in the 6th century BC in order to express the hardship of the quintessential Israelite captive to Babylon, as well as his eventual vindication at the hands of Persian intercessors. The suffering is even presented in the past tense--not what we'd expect of a prophesy of things to come. The Babylonian Exile is in view in such passages as Psalm 22 and Zechariah 12, which are also fallaciously claimed messianic and prophetic. When one carefully examines these issues, the reasons for Christianity's split from its parent religion, Judaism, become exceedingly clear.

Fifth, there are no contemporaneous sources on Jesus, i.e., nothing written about him during the time he is said to have lived. Some take this to mean that a historical Jesus never existed, though such a conclusion is hardly justifiable. There are many, prominent historical figures whose lives go unattested until many years later, and we do not question their existence. What does strike me as incongruous is that Jesus is said to have worked fantastic miracles--halted tempests, healed the blind, cast out demons, raised the dead and, most importantly, conquered death himself--yet there's no contemporaneous evidence for this man? Granted not all historic figures are contemporaneously attested, there are indeed some--Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Socrates, Plato, etc. How could someone have done the things that Jesus is said to have done without making an indelible mark very early on? It just doesn't add up. However, if we consider that Jesus was merely a martyred messianic hopeful, later deified and mythologized as the years ensued, the evidence as we have it makes perfect sense.

Sixth, there is the issue of scientific inaccuracy with which the Bible is condemnably rife. Again, an entire shelf of books could be written on this topic, but I shall suffice to zero in on the apologetics of famed evangelical scholar, William Lane Craig. Craig attempts to prove the existence of God by appealing to Big Bang cosmology. What it really boils down to is this: we don't know what caused the Big Bang. We have no fully fleshed scientific explanation for the Universe bursting forth seemingly from nothing. It must have been the conscious choice of a supernatural agent of cosmic proportions, namely God.

This line of thinking represents a recurring pattern throughout human history. Wherever there is a current gap in knowledge, simply insert a god into the equation and, presto, the phenomenon is sufficiently explained. Or not. In actuality, this is the old god of the gaps fallacy. By arbitrarily selecting your favored deity as the explanation for something, you've prematurely bypassed an as yet undiscovered naturalistic explanation, and thus you've settled for explaining nothing. It is no different from some primitive ascribing storms to Baal or Dumuzi. Now that we understand the naturalistic processes behind weather--now that we've filled that gap in knowledge--a deity is an unnecessary and even laughable hypothesis. And so it is with the Big Bang. A naturalistic explanation likely awaits us, and the field of quantum physics seems promising in that regard.

It's great to see, however, that evangelicals like William Lane Craig accept the scientific validity of such models as the Big Bang. One must assume, if he's consistent with his application of astronomy, that he also accepts the model for our solar system's beginnings: that there was a massive nebular accretion disc which first formed the sun, subsequently forming planets as a solar by-product in the surrounding portions of cumulating mass. Thus, the formation of the sun had to take place prior to the formation of the earth. Are you with me on this, Craig? Great. Then you must know that Genesis is dead wrong from the get-go. God created the earth on Day 1 and the sun on Day 4? Uh oh. Which is it gonna be? Science or Genesis? The two don't mesh.

Lastly, there is the problem of suffering which pervades the world like a plague. The Christian attempts to brush this aside by pointing to the Fall of Man, insisting that we are the makers of our own misery. There is some truth to this. But it's not a fully sufficient explanation. There are many atrocities of which we are not the cause--tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. These are the so-called "acts of God," not that I actually posit a deity for whom to blame. I need only think of a story told to me about the tornado that hit Newburgh, Indiana. In the aftermath, a baby lie on the street with its head twisted 180 degrees. The mother clung to the child, devastated. Now, you cannot tell me that there's a loving God, one capable of divine intervention, in compatibility with that reality. The theist will no doubt answer such challenges with daft replies like, "Some things we're not meant to understand," or "God works in mysterious ways." Such pat answers are mere cop-outs, evangelical smokescreens designed for the purpose of cognitive dissonance. Granted we cannot explain everything, some explanations are far more rational than others, even if not desirable.

As Carl Sagan said, "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Per http://atheologica.wordpress.com/2010/12...christian/

Those barbaric Christians burned the Library of Alexandria so most of what else I suspect is true about Christianity, was lost. I kind of agree with everything above.
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19-06-2012, 08:32 PM
RE: Christianity is a pagan cult..
Seems like kind of an insult to the Pagans whose beliefs were stolen and bastardized by the church.

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19-06-2012, 08:46 PM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2012 01:02 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Christianity is a pagan cult..
(19-06-2012 08:13 PM)Monk Wrote:  The Bible is demonstrably rooted in earlier pagan mythology. The god of Abraham is clearly derived from the High God of ancient Canaan, El Elyon--supreme ruler over the pantheon of Canaanite gods known as the Elohim. We even get a glimpse of El presiding over the divine assembly in Psalm 82. He's vividly depicted in combat with the seven-headed Canaanite sea dragon Lotan, for which we have the Hebrew cognate Leviathan, in Job 41. This Canaanite god of Abraham would later be assimilated with the god of Moses, Yahweh--possibly a volcano god of Midianite origin as conveyed by Exodus 13:21 and 19:12. The creation account in Genesis is a monotheistic rendition of polytheistic creation narratives from ancient Mesopotamia--the Sumerian Eridu Genesis and Babylonian Enuma Elish. The apocalyptic visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel are spiced up with elements of Zoroastrian eschatology (end times belief), a result of Jewish exposure to Persian religiosity after King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity in Babylon. The term "Pharisee" actually has etymological roots denoting "Persian"..


Agree with much here. Except Genesis/Yahweh was "monolaterist", not monotheist. They believed in many gods, and not until Second Isaiah did they finally give them up, at his insistence. The God of Abraham was the god of the armies, (whom they agreed to worship for exclusive help in battle), and much later converged with the god of Moses. We were just talking last week about Zoroastrian dualism in the Essenes, (found in Qumran texts), and how it linked with Greek Gnosticism, (in John). The Flood myth is practically word for word from Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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20-06-2012, 12:59 AM
RE: Christianity is a pagan cult..
Perhaps I'm mistaken, but this reads like a c&p job, in which case it needs a source.

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20-06-2012, 01:21 AM
RE: Christianity is a pagan cult..
(20-06-2012 12:59 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Perhaps I'm mistaken, but this reads like a c&p job, in which case it needs a source.
I accidentally posted it without adding the links and other stuff (quotes and others). Most of it is from the link in the title. Sorry!
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20-06-2012, 07:42 AM
RE: Christianity is a pagan cult..
(19-06-2012 08:13 PM)Monk Wrote:  The Bible is demonstrably rooted in earlier pagan mythology.
I don't think the anachronistic term "pagan" is helpful when discussing ancient religions. It's a bullshit fourth century Christian word, used as part of their propaganda campaign to re-write history as an "us vs. them" struggle. Reducing all the world's religions down to one pejorative term gives an utterly false picture of the world, which of course is what Christianity has always specialized in.

Judaism c. 500 BC is a syncretizing of Canaanite and Babylonian myths. Christianity c.150 CE is a syncretizing of Israelite and Greek myths and religious models. Nothing is ever new, everything flows from what came before.

In the old days, the king was a demigod, so the religion was nationalistic. This broke down after foreign conquests destroyed nationalism. Religion, once all about God and the state, became instead focused on "God and me." This is where the mystery religions like the Adonis and Christ cults came in.
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