Macleod Wayne - Christianity examined

Author : Macleod Wayne
Title : Christianity examined
Year : 2006

Link download :

And there is salvation through no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4: 12). From quotations like the above, the Christian has been led for centuries to believe that his/her faith is unique, the one true light given for mankind's salvation, and that all non-Christian religions are the purest folly. To the Christian, knowledge of God was the gift of Abraham and the Jewish prophets to a fallen world, which culminated in the teachings of a one-and-only Savior who died so we might live eternally in paradise. Armed with the arrogance of the ideologue and confident of doing "God's work," the Christian has ventured into the outer darkness of the world's pagan religions with all the fervor and missionary zeal which only the righteous can muster, for to such believers all else is depravity and devil-worship. It should be of no little concern to the believing Christian, then, to find that the teachings of Christ are not particular to Christianity, and that the development of his/her faith can be traced to the very paganism he/she condemns. Far from being a unique religion, Christianity was merely the last and most successful of numerous god-man savior cults to appear in the Mediterranean world, which had the ground work for its acceptance prepared by thousands of years of very similar mysteries. By accepting Christianity the pagans of that time were not undergoing a radical transformation of belief habits; on the contrary, those beliefs had been evolving for millennia and were common throughout the area. To this day, regardless of all the zealots, missions, Crusades and colonial conquests, Christianity remains predominantly Western; even the Jews rejected it. Under colonial rule it never became a force in India, not to mention China and Japan regardless of earnest attempts. In areas where Christianity was firmly planted outside European culture, this was done by the Spanish sword, or it has survived meaningfully by incorporating and tolerating the local beliefs which continue side-by-side with the Church to this day. Why it became the religion of the West is owing to the specific development of religion in the West. That development was pagan, and has been clearly outlined by theological historians. The roots of Christianity go back over five thousand years,1 not to the land of the "..Chaldean Ur" (Gen. 11: 31), but to Egypt, when invaders from Mesopotamia overran that country and imposed the worship of Osiris, a religion which over the centuries absorbed the attributes associated with the indigenous gods. According to that myth, Osiris was a benevolent king of Egypt killed by his evil brother, Set, represented by a serpent, but was resurrected by his wife and sister, Isis. By breathing into his nostrils, Isis brought Osiris to eternal life, whereby he went to rule the land of immortals and judge the dead. After a war with the evil Set, Horus, the son of Isis, crushed the serpent's head and the gods condemned Set to destruction by fire. Just as Isis and Horus became the prototypes for Madonna and Child, Osiris was the "first fruits of them that slept" to the Egyptians. Everyone lived and toiled in hope of obtaining the same immortality as their god. Upon death, provided one's physical body were preserved, it was believed the person who had lived a moral life, who had not committed robbery, violence, murder, adultery, sodomy, falsehood, who was not guilty of irreverence, insolence, deceit or causing an unjust increase in wealth, entered paradise to live forever, or if unworthy his heart and soul were devoured and his body burned in the Lake of Fire. But even if he were "clean of mouth and hand" he could not enter paradise without the mercy of Osiris at judgment. Integral to the Egyptian belief in immortality was eating bread which represented the flesh of Osiris, and drinking barley ale to represent his blood. Without partaking in this Eucharist no one could achieve eternal life. This Osirian sacrament had its origin in cannibalism practiced by the original inhabitants of the Nile valley, and became refined under the conquering invaders who substituted wheat and beer for actual flesh. Savages around the world commonly believe that the qualities of people eaten become their own, and this notion was transplanted into the Osiris doctrine, where the quality sought was the immortality of the god-man. Subsequently, Osiris came to be associated with a divine seed to give life to humanity, and emotional passion plays were enacted depicting the life, death and resurrection of the godman. The influences of Egyptian civilization were not confined to Egypt; they spread widely along trade routes and the same themes of Osiris-worship recurred throughout the ancient world, under the god-heads of Bromius, Sabazius, Attis, Adonis, Zalmoxis, Corybas and Serapis. Prevalent everywhere was belief in a god-man dying to give salvation, usually associated with a sacrament. The cult of Dionysus was originally introduced into Greece from Egypt by a priest named Melampus, then again from Thrace around 1200 B.C. Dionysus was the son of Zeus and human Semele, a Savior born from the union of god and mortal; the similarity to Christ as "the Son of God" born from the human Mary is to be noted. His veneration among barbarians was originally associated with eating raw flesh, either of a cow or child, in order that his worshippers become immortal "Bacchoi". Dionysus' worshippers mourned his death with savage pain, while his resurrection was celebrated with ecstatic orgies. The cult was phallic. Eventually it was reformed by Orphism, the first reform being the substitution of bread and wine for flesh as a sacrament. Orphism taught original sin, judgment after death, reward and punishment in an afterlife, and the notion of Dionysus as a Savior who died for mankind. A popular cult of the ancient Mediterranean, found from Asian Phrygia to Spain, and which possibly dated as far back as 1800 B.C., was that of Attis and his mother Cybele: an amalgam of Osirisworship with Semitic religion. This cult did not have a sacrament but offered immortality and escape from sin through castration and repudiation of sex, which was not a drastic innovation since the Osirian priests were celibates. In addition to forsaking erotic desire, devotees whipped, beat, slashed and otherwise mutilated themselves. In Phrygia, the effigy of Attis during the annual festival of Cybele would be impaled upon the trunk of a pine tree and carried into the temple. After two days of frenzied, demented public mourning and sacrifice of virility, priests removed the effigy and laid it in a tomb. The next day, March 25th, the tomb would be opened and found to be empty, indicating that the god, Attis, had been resurrected to eternal life. The cult also had a blood baptism, using the blood of a bull to give the inductee a symbolic rebirth. ...

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