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What are the roots of Christianity and paganism?

The roots of Christianity are interlaced with ancient pagan traditions and elements, mainly because the Church gained power through conversion. In order to convert the people of Europe (and the world) from their pagan beliefs, the Church felt they had to turn them against their beliefs by fear or adopt the pagan beliefs into the Christian religion.

Does the Catholic Church deny the pagan origin of its beliefs?

Of course the Roman Catholic Church denies the pagan origin of its beliefs and practices. The Catholic Church disguises its pagan beliefs under layers of complicated theology. The Catholic Church excuses and denies its pagan origin beneath the mask of “church tradition.”

Why did the Catholic Church replace Roman paganism with the Saints?

Roman sailors were often worshippers of Neptune, the god of the oceans. When the Catholic Church absorbed Roman paganism, it simply replaced the pantheon of gods with the saints.

Was Constantine’s Church a mixture of Christianity and paganism?

Just as Constantine refused to fully embrace the Christian faith, but continued many of his pagan beliefs and practices, so the Christian church that Constantine promoted was a mixture of true Christianity and Roman paganism.

Why did the Druids celebrate Christmas?

They believed it was the high point of an annual battle between an ice giant, representing death, and the sun god, representing life. They built large bonfires to cheer on and assist their champion, the sun.

Why do people wear Jack-o-lanterns?

The Druids (a sort of pagan priesthood) believed that at this time of year the barriers between our world and the supernatural weakened and broke down.

What did the Babylonian veneration of the mother and child influence?

The Babylonian veneration of both the mother and child influenced later versions of Christianity that deified Jesus’ mother Mary as much as Jesus Himself (Sir James Frazer, The Golden Bough, 1993, p. 326). This stands in contrast to Scripture, which honors Mary, but reveres no ordinary human being—only Christ.

Why is Easter called Easter?

Even Easter, which many assume was instituted to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus , is steeped in connections to paganism. The name "Easter" ultimately derives from the name of an ancient Chaldean goddess Astarte, who was known as the "Queen of Heaven." Her Babylonian name was "Ishtar." Since most languages pronounce "I" as ee, it’s not hard to see how eesh-tar and its linguistic variants could eventually become Easter (see Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, New Testament Section, p. 192, "Easter").

What was the role of the Roman Catholic missionaries in the Middle Ages?

In the Middle Ages, this ritual of paganism persisted and was eventually adapted and given a Christian label, as Roman Catholic missionaries worked to convince people to worship the Son of God rather than the sun god.

What did the Egyptians conclude?

The Egyptians concluded that if he could do this, then human beings could follow ( Lewis Browne, This Believing World, pp. 83-84). This heavenly reward was a central teaching of several ancient mystery religions—but not the religion of the Hebrews or early Christians.

What did the Greeks teach about the soul?

The Greeks likewise taught that at death the soul would separate from the physical body ( Jewish Encyclopedia, 1941, Vol. 6, pp. 564, 566, "Immortality of the Soul"). That idea was merged into Christianity from Greek philosophy. It did not come from inspired Scripture.

What is paganism in religion?

Paganism has different definitions, depending on the person you ask. Some say paganism is any religion that isn’t one of the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity , or Judaism), while others say paganism is a religion that follows a polytheistic view and seeks to revive the old ways of our ancestors. Paganism is an umbrella term, meaning it …

Why were Catholic churches built on pagan sites?

The idea being that it would make it easier for the pagans to convert if they could still worship at their sacred sites. Some of these pagan statues and symbols can still be seen in the oldest of Churches (i.e. Gargoyles, Mermaids, the Green Man, Sheela-na-gig).

Why is Christianity interlaced with ancient pagan traditions and elements?

The roots of Christianity are interlaced with ancient pagan traditions and elements, mainly because the Church gained power through conversion. In order to convert the people of Europe (and the world) from their pagan beliefs, the Church felt they had to turn them against their beliefs by fear or adopt the pagan beliefs into the Christian religion. Next, we will dive into these traditions.

What are the branches of Christianity?

Christianity is also an umbrella term in that there are hundreds of branches of Christianity, including: Catholicism, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Greek Orthodox, 7th Day Adventist, Episcopal, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Pentecostal, and more. Depending on the branch of Christianity, certain books and sections of the Holy Bible are followed …

What is the name of God in the Bible?

The first name of God in the book of Genesis is “Elohim” and is used the most throughout the Old Testament. Following, God is called “El” which many claim is just a shortened version of Elohim. These are not the only two, as the name YHVH (said to be pronounced Yah-weh) is also found within the pages of the Old Testament.

Is Christianity a pagan religion?

Most people see Christianity and Paganism as two very separate, different religions. Paganism predates Christianity by millions of years. Christianity is the largest religion in the world today, boasting over 2 billion in 2012, alongside of Islam with over 1 billion followers in 2012. In the past five years, those numbers have surely increased. The third largest religion statistically speaking is listed as “secular/agnostic/atheist”, which could also include pagans; however, Neopaganism ranked as number 18 on the list of largest religions, but followed Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shinto which to some are also a part of the Pagan umbrella.

How many gods are there in the Holy Trinity?

After some dispute, they settled on calling Christ the “son of God” and other writers outside of the Holy Bible made mention of the “Holy Trinity” being made up of Father God, the Son of God (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost (Spirit). THREE gods.

How many sacraments did Mithraism have?

Mithraism also had seven “sacraments,” making the similarities between Mithraism and Roman Catholicism too many to ignore. Constantine and his successors found an easy substitute for the sacrificial meal of Mithraism in the concept of the Lord’s Supper/Christian communion.

What was the key feature of Mithraism?

One of the key features of Mithraism was a sacrificial meal, which involved eating the flesh and drinking the blood of a bull. Mithras, the god of Mithraism, was “present” in the flesh and blood of the bull, and when consumed, granted salvation to those who partook of the sacrificial meal (this is known as theophagy, the eating of one’s god).

What did Constantine envision for Christianity?

Constantine envisioned Christianity as a religion that could unite the Roman Empire, which at that time was beginning to fragment and divide. While this may have seemed to be a positive development for the Christian church, the results were anything but positive.

What was the Romanization of the Lord’s Supper?

The Romanization of the Lord’s Supper made the transition to a sacrificial consumption of Jesus Christ, now known as the Catholic Mass/Eucharist, complete. (3) Most Roman emperors (and citizens) were henotheists.

Why was Mary important to the Christian faith?

Mary was given an exalted role in the Christian faith, far beyond what the Bible ascribes to her, in order to attract Isis worshippers to a faith they would not otherwise embrace. Many temples to Isis were, in fact, converted into temples dedicated to Mary.

What are some examples of cults?

Some clear examples of this are as follows: (1) The Cult of Isis, an Egyptian mother-goddess religion, was absorbed into Christianity by replacing Isis with Mary. Many of the titles that were used for Isis , such as “Queen of Heaven,” “Mother of God,” and theotokos (“God-bearer”) were attached to Mary.

Was Mithraism a religion?

It was very popular among the Romans, especially among Roman soldiers, and was possibly the religion of several Roman emperors. While Mithraism was never given “official” status in the Roman Empire, it was the de facto official religion until Constantine and succeeding Roman emperors replaced Mithraism with Christianity.

What is the Celtic holiday called?

Halloween may be a secular affair today, dominated by candy, costumes and trick-or-treating, but the holiday is rooted in an annual Celtic pagan festival called Samhain (pronounced "SAH- wane") that was then appropriated by …

Why did the Celts gather their harvests?

The Celts believed in gathering all their harvests by Samhain, “so that it would not be damaged by the evil or mischievous spirits who could return on the first evening of the dark half of the year,” Suppe says. “Token offerings of the harvested food should be offered to the spirits to placate them.”

What is the ritual of the Celts?

One of the rituals adopted from the Celts was pumpkin carving, which held religious significance. “The jack-o-lantern custom consists of placing fire—which imitates the good magic of the sun—inside a hollowed out vegetable, representing the harvest,” Suppe says.

Where did trick or treating originate?

Similarly, “the practice of trick-or-treating originates in the Celtic custom of giving token bits of the harvest to spirits wandering outside of houses on the evening of Samhain, to placate them and prevent them from doing destructive things to the harvest or to homes,” Suppe says.

What was the first woman to lead a major U.S. political party?

Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination, becoming first woman to lead a major U.S. political party. So the Church mixed the traditions involving Celtic spirits and Catholic saints. In the 800s, the Church designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day.

Why do people use vegetable lanterns?

Later, in Ireland and Scotland, people developed the custom of using similarly-carved vegetable lanterns to scare off the mythical character of Stingy Jack, who wandered the Earth because the devil wouldn’t let him into hell. READ MORE: How Jack O’Lanterns Originated in Irish Myth.

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What is the source of the culture wars?

Smith sees in these two orientations the source of our “culture wars,” most notably in religious-liberty debates that serve as a microcosm of “the current and perennial struggle between transcendent and immanent religiosities.” He believes there are serious attempts to “roll back” the Christian revolution of the fourth century (303) and return to an immanent religion, while maintaining the fruit left behind by Christianity’s emphasis on the transcendent.

Why is Smith’s analysis important?

Smith’s analysis helps us see why so many struggles in the culture wars of the United States resemble Matthew Arnold’ s image ofignorant armies clashing by night.” Citizens may be confused, often making judgment calls based on different instincts (not always coherent and consistent) because of the nature of the philosophical struggle under the surface of current debates. Even the Supreme Court’s decisions in the past hundred years or so betray the signs of this struggle, sometimes coming down on one side , but more recently demonstrating a commitment to immanence as necessary or definitional for secular society.

What was the Christian Revolution?

The Christian revolution involved a new understanding of the human person, as well as a pronounced and pointed sexual ethic in stark contrast to the laxity of the Roman world. But most fundamental of all were the transcendent claims of Christianity. Smith writes:

Who is Trevin wax?

Trevin Wax is vice president of research and resource development at the North American Mission Board and a visiting professor at Wheaton College. A former missionary to Romania, Trevin is a regular columnist at The Gospel Coalition and has contributed to The Washington Post, Religion News Service, World, and Christianity Today, which named him one of 33 millennials shaping the next generation of evangelicals. He has served as general editor of The Gospel Project. He is the author of multiple books, including The Multi-Directional Leader, Rethink Your Self, This Is Our Time, Eschatological Discipleship, and Gospel Centered Teaching. He and his wife Corina have three children. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or receive his columns via email.

Did Christianity overtake paganism?

Even though Christianity’s revolution overtook ancient paganism, the latter was never banished from Western civilization, even if many of its religious trappings and rituals disappeared. Paganism’s orientation to life in the world remained under the surface, occasionally sparring with Christianity under different circumstances. But today it has clearly re-emerged in our cultural conflicts.

Is the world sufficient unto itself?

In this view, however, the world is not sufficient unto itself. Rather, its blessed qualities of beauty and sublimity are reflective of a more transcendent Reality, and they point beyond themselves to a beatified existence. . . .

Who predicted the future of Western societies?

Pagans and Christians in the City picks up on a prediction made by T. S. Eliot in The Idea of a Christian Society — that “the future of Western societies would be determined by a contest between Christianity and a rival that Eliot described as ‘modern paganism’” (8). What did Eliot mean? What is modern paganism? How does it differ from ancient paganism? How do these visions differ from Christianity?

What happens if you eat goose on Michaelmas Day?

If you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will not be short of money all year round.

Why do people eat goose at Michaelmas?

Everyone ate goose at Michaelmas to bring prosperity, and many farmers included “a goose fit for the lord’s dinner” with their rent payments. Great market fairs occurred just before the feast day, and the large crowds these attracted made it convenient to hold elections at this time. Michaelmas is also a “Quarter Day.”

What is the meaning of the Michaelmas pie with ring?

Also, the concept of a Michaelmas Pie with ring, according to this legend, the lucky recipient will be engaged by Christmas and marry by Easter. Variations on these themes occur at Christmas and possibly at Thanksgiving.

What does "curfew" mean in French?

The local church bell sounded each night from Michaelmas until lent. Curfew is derived from the French phrase ‘courve feu’, which means to cover, or to dowse a fire.

What do tenants bring to pay quarter rent?

When tenants came to pay their quarter’s rent, they bring a fowl at Midsummer, a dish of fish in Lent, a capon at Christmas, and on Michaelmas Day, a goose.

What are the foods that are traditionally eaten during Michaelmas?

Foods traditional for Michaelmas include new wine; goose; cakes of oats, barley, and rye; and carrots. Some groups in the United States, such as the Pennsylvania Dutch, have kept Michaelmas, or “Harvest Home,” traditions alive.

What is the significance of September 29th?

September 29th is a medieval holiday which the Church Christianized under the label of “Michaelmas,” a feast in honor of the Archangel Michael. It is thought that the Roman Catholic Church at some point considered assigning the quarter dates to the four Archangels, since they had assigned the cross quarters to the four gospel-writers.