Since we last discussed the question of Christ's divinity, I've come across a rather enigmatic web film which attempts to tackle the issue of global societal control vis-à-vis a trifecta of machinations: Economy, Terrorism & Religion. While each branch of this triad has the weight of tens of thousands of years of history behind its claim, the web film manages to, in about two hours, outline their interpretation for your consideration. Today, I'd like to focus on that last part of this trefoil - religion.
Just so we're all starting on the same baseline, during out last discussion there were no disagreements on the fact that Christianity is based upon pagan religions and minsters ordained by an accredited seminary are versed in this history, and the elaborate reasons behind why its okay (generally accepted that in bringing people to Christ the end justifies the means). There's no arguing the pagan origins of Christmas and Easter, for example - this is well documented and not necessary to rehash in this forum. We ended with the question could Christ be pagan as well?
The religion portion of the web film alone (Part I: The Greatest Story Ever Told) contains 197 entries in its bibliography; some of which I'm familiar with, and others I'm following up on. Fascinating discoveries for me. And while I'm knowledgeable concerning pagan symbolism in Christianity, I am completely ignorant when it comes to astrology - this is a notable deficit as pagan rituals are based upon astrology. So I must ask myself how much do I actually know, and will the theories this film draws support, or disprove my own conclusions? As it turns out, it managed to do both. I'll start with by paraphrasing the film's transcript:
As far back as 10 thousand B.C. history is abundant with carvings and writings reflecting people's respect and adoration for the sun, as every morning it would rise, bringing vision, warmth, and security, saving man from the cold, blind, predator-filled darkness of night. Without it, the cultures understood, the crops would not grow, and life on the planet would not survive. These realities made the sun the most adored object of all time. Also being aware of the stars, and learning to track them in anticipation of events and the cyclic nature of the earth over time, they cataloged celestial groups into what we know today as constellations and conceptualized and personified them by way of the zodiac.
I was brought up to believe the zodiac was a tool of the devil - akin to an Ouija board. I now understand it to be nothing more than a kind of ancient "Farmer's Almanac" as it simply displays the months of the year in order, and the demarcation of the four seasons.
But how does any of this relate to Jesus? Three thousand years before Christ, the Egyptians worshiped this son of god, a deity who was born of a virgin on December 25th indicated by a star in the East followed by three kings, was able to perform miracles such as walking on water and turning water into wine. He also had 12 disciples. Later betrayed, he was then crucified and buried and after three days, resurrected. 3000 years before Christ. His name was Horus. The Lamb of God. The Shepherd. He was considered the center of the zodiac - the sun, and because of the sun's life-giving power, he was worshiped as we now worship the 'light' of Christ.
Attis of Phyrigia, Krishna of India, Dionysus of Greece and Mithra of Persia also share these similarities. With such overwhelming evidentiary proof of ancient pagan gods being nearly identical to what we've been taught to believe as our savior, aren't you the least bit curious why? Or do you think it an influence of Satan trying to test our faith by planting doubt, easily dismissed by the righteous? I used to believe this. No matter the evidence, I knew that God's word was true.
Howerver, the commonalities in these dieties, with the obvious inclusion of Christ, appears entirely astrological. Quoting directly now, from the transcript (underlined text mine):
The star in the east is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which, on December 24th, aligns with the 3 brightest stars in Orion's Belt. These 3 bright stars are called today what they were called in ancient times: The Three Kings. The Three Kings and the brightest star, Sirius, all point to the place of the sunrise on December 25th. This is why the Three Kings "follow" the star in the east, in order to locate the sunrise -- the birth of the sun (son) Horus.
There is another very interesting phenomenon that occurs around December 25th, or the winter solstice. From the summer solstice to the winter solstice, the days become shorter and colder. From the perspective of the northern hemisphere, the sun appears to move south and get smaller and more scarce. The shortening of the days and the expiration of the crops when approaching the winter solstice symbolized the process of death to the ancients. It was the death of the Sun. By December 22nd, the Sun's demise was fully realized, for the Sun, having moved south continually for 6 months, makes it to it's lowest point in the sky. Here a curious thing occurs: the Sun stops moving south, at least conceivably, for 3 days. During this 3 day pause, the Sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross, or Crux, constellation. And after this time on December 25th, the Sun moves 1 degree, this time north, foreshadowing longer days, warmth, and Spring. And thus it was said: the Sun died on the cross, was dead for 3 days, only to be resurrected or born again. This is why Jesus and numerous other Sun Gods share the crucifixion, 3-day death, and resurrection concept. It is the Sun's transition period before it shifts its direction back into the Northern Hemisphere, bringing Spring, and thus salvation
Personally, none of this strikes me as mere coincidence. I mean sure its possible to come up with many scenarios for why Jesus is not Christ, but this looks like more. Much more. Christians who have seen this web film have begun several 'debunking' sites, some of which I've read over, and I find their logic circular in nature. By calling the divinity of Christ into question, I'm also forced to discredit its vehicle - the bible. Ergo, quoting the bible - the words of Jesus as proof against my suggestion that its false, contradicts this defense. If I were trying to get people to believe I was divine by handing you documented proof, you can be damn sure I'm going to include clauses within it which state my proof shall never be questioned, and that there will be those who will try to dissuade you from believing it!
On other issues, the debunking sites appear to succeed in discrediting by reciting historically more accurate data (the true physical birth of a man named Jesus likely being sometime during the fall harvest (which theologians understand as being more likely based on timelines hinted at in the bible)) but these do nothing to logically deconstruct the film as a whole. In other words, they're focusing on the wrong things. Surely you have to process all available information to understand why you believe what you believe. If you don't question your own beliefs, how can you defend them? Faith? How do you know what you know? That's a fairly straight-forward question.
When others have come to me in the past with astrologically-based assumptions I've ignored them for several good reasons -
- Myth There are no 'facts' surrounding the horoscope in your gossip magazine, and every once in a while, they're sure to come true because the nature of their vague predictions. That's all the zodiac is, horoscopes, right? Besides, I don't believe in that stuff. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.
- Faith If you know in your heart that God created the heavens and earth, the rest of this is just new age bullshit. Its not important to hear blasphemous pagan theories, because its simply a waste of time and you don't have to prove yourself to anyone - not even yourself. Besides, Jesus told you to turn away from witchcraft, which this surely is.
- Belief You don't know how exactly, but the entire world is going to hell and you're not, because you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. All the religions of all the people in all the world from the beginning of time are wrong. They'll have their chance for redemption when Jesus returns.
Oversimplified sure - but so is faith. Faith is easy. It allows you to ignore anything you choose to, including facts.
Finally, word on the ages. Completely new information for me, and I find it fascinating in the context we're discussing today. For some of you scholars out there (or new-age types) this may be old hat. As for me, I'm finding that the more I know, the more I discover I don't know.
Now, of the many astrological-astronomical metaphors in the Bible, one of the most important has to do with the ages. Throughout the scripture there are numerous references to the "Age." In order to understand this, we need to be familiar with the phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes. The ancient Egyptians along with cultures long before them recognized that approximately every 2150 years the sunrise on the morning of the spring equinox would occur at a different sign of the Zodiac. This has to do with a slow angular wobble that the Earth maintains as it rotates on it's axis.It is called a precession because the constellations go backwards, rather than through the normal yearly cycle. The amount of time that it takes for the precession to go through all 12 signs is roughly 25,765 years. This is also called the "Great Year," and ancient societies were very aware of this. They referred to each 2150 year period as an "age." From 4300 B.C. to 2150 B.C, it was the Age of Taurus, the Bull. From 2150 B.C. to 1 A.D., it was the Age of Aries, the Ram, and from 1 A.D. to 2150 A.D it is the Age of Pisces, the age we are still in to this day, and in and around 2150, we will enter the new age: the Age of Aquarius.
I'm not suggesting we return to pagan beliefs and start worshiping the sun, rather that we attempt to understand the basis for which ancient man began to understand their surrounding - an early application of applied mathmatics through discovery and testing of theory. Hell, I can't prove now that the Earth rotates around the sun. Everything we do today simply plays off of past discoveries.
Now, the Bible reflects, broadly speaking, a symbolic movement through 3 ages, while foreshadowing a 4th. In the Old Testament when Moses comes down Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments, he is very upset to see his people worshiping a golden bull calf. In fact, he shattered the stone tablets and instructed his people to kill each other in order to purify themselves. Most Biblical scholars would attribute this anger to the fact that the Israelites were worshiping a false idol, or something to that effect. The reality is that the golden bull is Taurus the Bull, and Moses represents the new Age of Aries the Ram. This is why Jews even today still blow the Ram's horn. Moses represents the new Age of Aries, and upon the new age, everyone must shed the old age. Other deities mark these transitions as well, a pre-Christian god who kills the bull, in the same symbology.
"Tell a person that you're the Metatron and they stare at you blankly. Mention something out of a Charlton Heston movie and suddenly everybody is a theology scholar." The more reading I do, the more I find a consensus that bible stories weren't based on *actual* events as I was raised to believe, instead being told for their aniconic properties - Aesop's Fables of their time. Stories for the purpose of moral lessons. Examples.
Which brings me back to my foreshadowing of things in this film which ended up disproving one of my conclusions - the belief that the Old Testament was infallible - not subject to the same pagan manipulation as the New Testament. I discovered that each of the various sun-gods mentioned above (Attis, Krishna, Dionysus and Mithra, among others) all have their own Moses-story, nearly identical to his. Those who know me know what a blow this is, as I've been able to let go of a lot of what I was taught, holding on to the only thing I had left, the Old Testament.
Now Jesus is the figure who ushers in the age following Aries, the Age of Pisces the Two Fish. Fish symbolism is very abundant in the New Testament. Jesus feeds 5000 people with bread and "2 fish." When he begins his ministry walking along Galilei, he befriends 2 fisherman, who follow him. And I think we've all seen the Jesus-fish on the backs of people's cars. Little do they know what it actually means. It is a Pagan astrological symbolism for the Sun's Kingdom during the Age of Pisces. Also, Jesus' assumed birth date is essentially the start of this age.
At Luke 22:10 when Jesus is asked by his disciples where the next passover will be, Jesus replied: "Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water... follow him into the house where he entereth in." This scripture is by far one of the most revealing of all the astrological references. The man bearing a pitcher of water is Aquarius, the water-bearer, who is always pictured as a man pouring out a pitcher of water. [S119] He represents the age after Pisces, and when the Sun (God's Sun) leaves the Age of Pisces (Jesus), it will go into the House of Aquarius, as Aquarius follows Pisces in the precession of the equinoxes. Also Jesus is saying is that after the Age of Pisces will come the Age of Aquarius.
I can only assume that this is but one of many examples of religion's beginnings. In reading the book Sex Worship I found another - entirely logical, but without the extensive bibliography. If there are too many, does that diminish the one example I've provided here? Other than playing the Flying Spaghetti Monster/Invisible Pink Unicorn game of belief critique, this study actually tries to prove the basic tenants of theology.
Are there other theories you're aware of that you can share?
And for those of you - like myself - who are reading this for the very first time, do you still believe that Jesus is the Son of God? And if so...why?