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Featured How did Christianity kill longstanding paganism in Europe?

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by Jonathan Bailey, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Two quick points;
    1) True enough, but that doesn't mean he saw himself as a non-Christian
    2) My point was purely around which pagan Gods he would have made sacrifices to primarily...if any.
     
  2. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    You're right of course. None of us can judge Constantine's heart.
     
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  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    The concept of deity develops in Greece and probably in other places, too, as does the idea of monotheism. The Greek pantheon shows that it is abstract. Creation is derived from Chaos in stages, and this is described as the lineage of the gods: time, essence which is mythic rather than literal. I am sure many people of these ancient pagans understand that this is an abstraction for things they don't understand. Greeks come up with the concept of deity and the word for it long before Jews or Babylonians. I understand that many Greeks are also superstitious about their gods, but I think they are not obsessed about things being absolutely in a particular religious order except when it comes to wars and politics. Then each side insists that they have the support of a god, but its just a bunch of political talk with no funding. They inquire by killing a goat, and if the god says not to fight they just kill another goat until the god says to fight. The gods are philosophical items except when its politics trying to piggyback on philosophy.

    The Babylonians in Mesopotamia discover monotheism with Malek, a god of war. They then probably introduce it to Judaism (when they conquer Israel and take many slaves who then eventually send a convoy of exiles back to Israel) which recreates the evil Malek as benevolent, much like it recreates violent Gilgamesh in the form of non-violent Noah and his sons. The concept of deity and of monotheism is not difficult for the pagans or for people in general. What's difficult is the vision of world peace when the world is busily at war.

    This vision of peace is probably forged in Canaan as a small group of people are repeatedly attacked over the centuries -- like Latvia is. They manage to cling together by means of a covenant which is tempered and improved over time, part of a vibrant culture that adopts all comers and slaves from all around. They all are fused together with this covenant, a rag tag pack of nobodies. Little do the Judeans know that their little precious covenant is being polished for use in a wider sense, but when they encounter the Babylonians and Malek there is created a perfect storm. Malek loses to Yahweh who wages a siege war by peaceful means. If Yahweh eats any gods it is by that method only. The unification of Canaan could not have come about otherwise and been anything but a warlike culture, and I know it was a passive culture which appeared in that region with a philosophical dislike both for wars and for kings. It considered war an embarrassment and eventually spread that idea, so that today war is considered shameful instead of glorious except by rare political proponents of reverse culture. Today war is a taint and a problem to be solved, and this is the result of the harnessing of the concepts associated with fertility. Someone built a system that would revive their peaceful ideas even after they were dead, and it triumphed over the other systems which were focused on success in the present and which could not withstand the rigors of time.

    The way I see this is that Mesopotamia is at first unified imperfectly through political force and stratification of social classes, and it is enabled through agriculture. It borrows ideas from nearby successful Egypt, with of course the hope of being better than any other country. These ideas though horrific do lead to a strong military and religiously backed sovereigns. That in turn brings the stability necessary for the improvement of the arts and so forth. Its similar to the effect of the Shoguns of Japan when their military might creates the possibility of stability and trade. People do benefit despite the horror. Its analogous to the plagues which so benefit medieval European society and lead to the enlightenment period. This eventually leads to the adoration of Marduk that great God whose warlike nature while anathema to the covenants of the Judeans nevertheless contains a very interesting idea of global peace and prosperity. They even tell kindly stories with enlightened versions of the Babylonian and Persian monarchs.

    "Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: 'May you prosper greatly!...' " Daniel 6:25 What are the odds that this king actually would say this? What a real king would say is what we see written on every stele of the period. "I killed THIS MANY. Fear me!" Not "May you prosper greatly."


    Fertility: that hidden principle by which life continues in spite of death. These days we understand the biological process though we are yet unable to supplant it with immortality. The ancients don't understand it, but oh boy do the ancients study it and obsess over it.

    They knew somehow the seeds were the key, and they also believed that humans must have some kind of seed somewhere in our bodies. Mesopotamian culture contrived that it was the sacral bone, since it was near to the womb. I think much later this idea also found its way in the the Koran. (How it got in there no one knows, but I assume it was an errant scribe.) Fertility is that mystery by which a tree dies and yet lives. It is fertility that every king hopes to harness for his own greatness. Today we know it as DNA, although we cannot yet surpass it. It still both kills us and makes us alive and confines us to this planet. Now just like then it fills our symbolism, and everybody talks about it.

    People knew that fertility was a process that was not understood going back perhaps forever into the past into the unknown, although they styled this as chaos or in other ways indicated that they expected there was a beginning. It wasn't all superstition, and they derived abstract concepts like deity much like people do even now using philosophy. Of course this abstract thought led them to think philosophically sometimes and of the hidden relationships between all things which were philosophically divine, surpassing perhaps the powers of gods. They developed terminology to discuss it. Many cultures did from the Vedics to the Greeks. Even some Egyptians did. Chinese developed the Tao. What I note is that the pagans were not purely pagan nor purely polytheists.

    It is also fertility which festoons Judean religious relics, appears in their ancient writings. The golden eternal lampstand is a one piece casting designed as a plant. The tabernacle is decorated with pomegranates. The garden of Eden contains the tree of eternal life, which one eats, taking into themselves the principle of fertility by which all things live. The idea that Abraham is given in his vision is one of a worldwide family. Its a fertility based idea to take that mysterious principle in seeds and use it to create a worldwide kingdom based on peace instead of war. Its an audacious and advanced idea which appears in these texts, and its compatible with monotheism or polytheism provided you allow for abstract hidden relationships in the world around you.

    This, then, provides a basis for Christianity to adore and incorporate concepts which, while seemingly pagan, may in fact contain divine wisdom. Thus we have the Trinity from Plato even though he is a lascivious and violent man. We have Easter even though it is named after a goddess. We have Halloween even though it is originally related to...whatever its related to originally. We take the good, collect it up, spread it around.
     
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  4. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Deeje, I always knew JW's had some good ideas.
     
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  5. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    Have you read Leviticus 20:13 ? If two men have sex they shall both be put to death. Maybe Jesus never personally mentioned it but it sounds pretty serious.
     
  6. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Love your posts, but don't you think that agriculture and settlement is older than Egypt or Greece?
     
  7. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    These were the sea people and they already had deities and a sophisticated culture.

    Some Sea Peoples appear in four of the Ugaritic texts, the last three of which seem to foreshadow the destruction of the city around 1180 BCE. The letters are therefore dated to the early 12th century.


    The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands which flourished from c. 2700 to c. 1450 BC, before a late period of decline, finally ending around 1100 BC.

    It represents the first advanced civilization in Europe, left behind massive building complexes, tools, stunning artwork, writing systems, and a massive network of trade
     
  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Such flattery. I'm bound to say something stupid.

    I can't answer the ultimate question of who starts this horrible culture of the glorification of war, because I am at the edge of what I know. Yes, agriculture is even older than Egypt; but Egypt has that nice predictable Nile flooding carrying enriched mountain soil. A professor of Egyptology notes that this allows ancient Egypt to field a huge army when other regions are merely subsisting. To me that makes it a likely suspect.

    Greece is an example of a region that is impressed by Egypt's accomplishments and corrupted by its influence. Greece adopts Egyptian technology, medicine, magic, its politics and its gods in an altered form. Later in Greek History the fame of Egypt draws Alexander the Great's interest, and he wants to be a god like Egypt's pharoahs are. He goes about slaughtering and spreading Egyptian (care of Greece) culture and politics, full circle conquering Egypt. Then he up and dies at the age of 30, a useless piece of crap. His massive holdings are instantly split up by his own generals who are just as useless if not worse. When I read about the culture in Babylon that wrote Gilgamesh and all that other war propaganda I just can't help thinking its due to the influence and bragging of Egypt, but maybe its not. Maybe since Mesopotamia is older it was the inventor of this sick war culture, so I would have to inquire about that from someone else. I do think Greece gets it from Egypt. I mean, sure, they could have come up with it on their own but early on they copied Egypt in almost all other aspects.

    Short of that I think Narmer unites upper and lower Egypt about 3000 BC, starts all of this stuff about the glory of war. Egyptians for thousands of years live to fight and give goods to the priest class and buy themselves comfort + honor in life and then the afterlife. They're killing, pillaging and kidnapping so everyone around them suffers, and then they spread their ideas around like a political disease by showing off their wealth. They build huge monuments, have big parties and lots of art but stomp on the necks of anyone else who might want to do the same. Ancient Egypt does nothing but steal and amass wealth only to dump it into graves! Its entire history is like a horror film behind a flowered curtain. All that oppression and misfortune lasted for thousands of years.

    Fortunately such things can't last forever because of some hidden force that puts an end to them. Maybe its God, but then it would be nice if God worked a little faster and didn't let such things drag on and on. I think rather than an anthropological God its more likely that principles in us eventually have put an end to this, and those principles are what matter when speaking about God. Lots of people today think that is atheism, but lots of people today are also clueless about history, about where God comes into all of this. They think that I'm arguing that people invented God. I'm in no way suggesting that. I'm suggesting God is discovered through intangible processes, hence justifying why we say that God is invisible and intangible. Demand prayers make little or no sense to me, anymore. "God do this. God do that." In Christianity we have such an invisible and intangible God, and nobody can say we don't. It is those who insist upon an anthropological God and who focus upon the afterlife who may find they are on the wrong side of History. If they read History they may find that they are allying themselves with the old pagan religions which give way, Historically, to Christianity; and why is that? Its because Christianity introduces forgiveness instead of revenge and focuses attention upon this world rather than an afterlife -- or at least it used to I suspect and imply somewhat energetically.

    Its difficult demonstrating that Christianity is not all about the afterlife. That is, its not only difficult to be interested in the subject but also to dig through and figure things out. It may in fact be that Jesus has removed his lampstands, too. We have to consider that possibility, unless we think he's joking in Revelation chapter 1. After all the LORD says he can start over without Israel, and Jesus says rocks can replace sons of Abraham. Does not Paul also warn that Christianity is a graft which can be removed and the original branches put back? Who is to say that Christianity is still viable today and has not been displaced by some rocks? There sure are signs of terrible corruption everywhere and what I consider an obscene focus upon the afterlife, an (I think) obscene tendency to pay teachers to speak to us week after week, an obscene willingness to wait for God to come and change the things we are not willing to. Its interesting that there is a resurgence in paganism, in atheism and in other things. I wonder what it means.
     
  9. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    I'll have to think about it. Note that all the successful early cultures grew up around rivers. Most of the TV preachers I see should be run out of town... and so many of them are Dispensationalists or Dominionists. Yipe. Look at the futurists just on this board.
     
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  10. Jonathan Bailey

    Jonathan Bailey Active Member

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    Considering getting back into the fold: coming home to Jesus in an Affirmed Church this time.
    Whoever wrote this book was no doubt a homophobe. If it were that serious then God would have had a commandment against it to Moses. Furthermore, if God were such a homophobe, he, with his infinite creative power, would have so fashioned the human brain to be strictly repelled by the same sex and never to be attracted to it. Anybody can forge any words into the bible as they see fit over the years.The bible is the most counterfeit written work of man ever.

    I would prefer that America and the western world be a pagan society and not a Judeo-Christian one but I still have to respect the First Amendment. Paganism indeed seems more in tune with Mother Nature as the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the gods sprang into existence from natural objects as rocks, wild animals and whatnot. I have a more natural view of the world than a "divine" one. Mother Nature is the true Creatrix.The deities are mere creations as is mortal man.
     
    #30 Jonathan Bailey, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  11. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    To each his own. If the US was a true Judeo-Christian society you probably would not be allowed to hold the beliefs you do. Think about it.
     
  12. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The same principle applies to all. If, as Christians, we worship the same God, then he has the same rules for all. Jesus reiterated them.....the 'law of love' that he espoused meant that no hands that have innocent blood on them, raised in prayer, will be heard by God.

    Christendom's hands are covered in blood because she actively supports the bloodshed of her governments. None of that warfare is righteous....it is politically motivated. It is part of the world that Jesus told us to avoid because it is in opposition to his Kingdom. (John 18:36)

    The apostle Paul confirms the fact that a Christian cannot take up carnal weapons....

    "3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage warfare according to what we are in the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things. 5 For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ". (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

    The only warfare a Christian can participate in is spiritual. Our only weapons are spiritual also. There can be no blood on our hands.
     
  13. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Yes. I know that, but we are discussing Isaiah's prophesy.
     
  14. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The one thing that we can be sure of, is that in Catholicism, they actually turned Zeus into Jesus Christ.
    Depictions of Christ with long hair is a dead giveaway. Although Jewish males often had long beards, they did not have long hair.

    At 1 Cor 11:14 the apostle Paul says "Does not nature itself teach you that long hair is a dishonor to a man"...

    Only those who had taken Nazarite vows had long hair to show their status among other Jewish males.

    upload_2019-4-8_8-44-7.jpeg upload_2019-4-8_8-52-33.jpeg

    The Romans, like other cultures, were polytheists so Zeus was not their only god.

    Sol Invictus was held in high esteem as we can clearly see in Catholicism even today. There is an obelisk in the middle of a Babylonian sun wheel right there in St Peter's Square in the Vatican.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The obelisk was transported from Egypt where it was a representation of the sun god Ra.

    It is not hard to see sun worship everywhere in Catholic worship.

    [​IMG]
    The nimbus or halo is a relic of sun worship.

    [​IMG]
    The Monstrance.

    [​IMG]
    The shape of the wafer.

    And then there is the changing of the weekly 'holy day' to Sunday...the day the Romans honored the sun god.

    Its all hiding in plain sight if you know what you're looking at.
     
  15. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    The Bible has laws and principles.....this is a principle.....God doesn't change. If a person's hands have innocent blood on them, God will not hear their prayers.
     
    #35 Deeje, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  16. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Prophesy is not vague..
     
  17. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

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    Yep.

    You get some interesting crossover points where pre-existing Pagan beliefs were gradually absorbed into Christianity. "Fairy" for example could refer to a nature spirit, a ghost, a demon or some mix of the three in much the same way that the Eastern European vampires, witches and werewolves could all be more or less interchangeable.
     
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  18. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    No, but sometimes your responses are....what on earth are you talking about?
     
  19. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    Three ways/reasons:
    1. Because people wanted to become Christian. (Individual intent.)
    2. Forcing people to drop indigenous practices by law or by crusade. (Cultural genocide.)
    3. For political, economic or military reasons, or royal families marrying into each other. (For early power.)

    Each of those were used at different times and areas.
     
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  20. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    This is the opinion of those who haven't taken the time to read primary source documents from the true Christians who were living during these times, yes. Sadly for many American Christians following movements which originated in the 1800's and 1900's, the real story is very different.
     
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