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What is the big deal about Religious symbols having pagan origins?

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posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 07:46 PM
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Symbolism is use of symbols as representations of concepts or objects and the relationships between them. Human society is full of symbols, even in normal signs used to help you while driving. A red light is a symbol for “Stop”, a green one is a symbol for the direction “Go”. Yet in Heraldry red is a color of courage, and green a color of growth and hope. The meanings of the colors in heraldry have very little meaning to those of us driving, especially when trying to obey stop lights.

Now we have people who dislike religion, and who take great zeal in finding the pagan origins to Religious symbols. Somehow showing how organized religion is nothing more then old pagan rituals with different dressings. I have heard many times how Christmas and Easter have found their origins with pagan rituals of rebirth, and fertility. Yet little do they realize the symbols of those pagan beliefs have now changed to Christian symbols, and most Christians pay no heed to the old pagan symbology that was originally used. Nor does the fact the origin of the symbol being pagan, mean Christianity is pagan to.

Christmas comes from the old English [I]Cristes mæsse which literally means “Christ’s Mass” and starts the Church Christmas season (Christmasstide) which lasts until the Epiphany season. This day in the church year is the observed holiday in which Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. Most Christians when asked would be the first to tell you that December 25th isn’t really Jesus’s birthday... which is more likely to
have been in the fall, or spring.

It is a time of rejoicing, rejoicing since the time the fall into sin when God promised to Eve that a man would crush the serpents head. A time in rejoicing that the son of David had come to save use, just as The Lord has promised for many years. A time to celebrate with family and share Good News.

To me it doesn’t matter that it originally there was the Roman festival of the Kalends where Romans gave gifts to the emperor. To me Christmas is about CHRIST and the gift God gave to us, that being salvation from sin, by the savior Jesus Christ. Take your pagan symbols and keep them to yourself, because the symbols I use in Christmas are wholly and completely Christian now, at least to me.

May God bless you all, and have a merry Christmas




posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 10:43 AM
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maybe when xians realize and admit that they are not the only chicken in the coop nor the only jewel in the crowne they will stop claiming it as "their" season.


Many faiths observe special days

Even before throwing in holiday parties, the days between Thanksgiving and the end of the Christmas season are crammed with dates to remember -- no matter what your religion.
Here are some of them:

THANKSGIVING: Though not a religious holiday, the day traditionally is a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, which yielded a feast. - Tom Van Dyke / Knight Ridder/Tribune


Thursday: Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, the ninth Sikh teacher. He was beheaded in 1675 for believing in freedom of religion and the right of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs to practice their own religions.
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day, a nonsectarian holiday celebrated in the United States.
Friday: Feast of Oya, Santerian mother of death and rebirth.
Nov. 26: Day of the Covenant, Baha'i celebration of the promise given in the last will and testament of Baha'u'llah, whom Baha'is consider one of the manifestations of God and the founder of the faith.
Nov. 27: First Sunday in Advent, first of four weeks of Christian preparation for observing the birth of Jesus Christ.
Nov. 28: Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i celebration of the rising of the spirit of Abdul'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah's son and chosen successor, to the heavenly dwelling.
Nov. 30: St. Andrew's Day, Catholic observance of the coming of Christianity to what is now known as Scotland. The martyrdom of Andrew, one of the 12 apostles, is remembered as Advent begins.
Dec. 1: Suijin-Matsuri, Shinto rite honoring the god of water.
Dec. 2-3: Remembrance day -- evening to evening -- for Khadijah, mother of Islam and its first convert, transcriber of the Quran, Prophet Muhammad's wife and partner, and businesswoman, who died in the seventh century.
Dec. 4: Feast of Shango, Santerian rite honoring the deity who defends against evil.
Dec. 6: St. Nicholas Day, in honor of the Catholic priest who lived in the fourth century in present-day Turkey. His legend evolved into Santa Claus.
Dec. 8: Bodhi Day, Buddhist celebration of the time about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gautama took his place under a bodhi tree in India, vowing to remain there until he attained supreme enlightenment.
Dec. 8: Death day of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Sufi saint who taught about unity of the soul with the one universal deity of 99 names and attributes. He died in 1111.
Dec. 8: Fast day for Maha Devi, the divine mother of the Hindu world.
Dec. 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, Catholic celebration of St. Anne's conception of Mary, mother of Jesus.
Dec. 11: Fast day for Vishnu, the Hindu god considered to be preserver of the universe.
Dec. 12: Feast of Masa'il, first day of the 15th month of the Baha'i calendar that focuses on mystery and questions.
Dec. 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day, in which Catholics honor the first appearance in 1531 of the mother of God at the former shrine of Aztec Moon Goddess Coatlicue in Mexico.
Dec. 13: St. Lucia's Day, in which Catholics honor a first-century Sicilian woman who blinded herself rather than marrying outside her Christian faith. For some pagans, the day is the Feast of the Light-bringer honoring Juno Lucina, the Roman goddess of light and childbirth.
Dec. 16-24: Las Posadas, a re-enactment in Mexico and some Mexican-American communities of Mary and Joseph's search for an inn in the days before the birth of Jesus.
Dec. 17: Feast of Babalu Aye, Santerian healer of deadly diseases.
Dec. 21: Yule, one of the Sabbats or holidays of the Wiccan calendar. It occurs on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and celebrates the rebirth of the sun god as light begins to return from this day forward.
Dec. 21-Jan. 9: Soyala, Hopi and Zuni new year festival of purification and renewal.
Dec. 22: Festival of Empress Mother Wang-Mu, Taoist festival honoring the mother of compassion and wisdom, and manifestation of the Tao.
Dec. 22: Tohji-Taisai, Shinto rite honoring Sun Goddess Amaterasu, who withdrew into a cave until she was enticed with music and dance after Storm God Susano-o angered her.
Dec. 23: Birthday of Joseph Smith, born in 1805, and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons.
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve, Christian celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
Dec. 25: Christmas Day, Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Dec. 26: St. Stephen's Day, Catholic remembrance of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Called Boxing Day in Canada and other British-influenced countries in part because churches opened their alms boxes on that day to distribute the money to the poor.
Dec. 26: Zarathosht Diso, Zoroastrian anniversary of the death of Prophet Zarathushtra about 3,500 years ago.
Dec. 26-Jan. 2: Hanukkah, Jewish Festival of Lights commemorating the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem in 165 B.C., after the Maccabees recaptured it from the Hellenist Syrians.
Dec. 26-Jan. 1: Kwanzaa, an African-American and Pan- African holiday celebrating family, community and culture. Many religions now observe Kwanzaa and its highlighting of seven life virtues.
Dec. 27: St. John's Day, Catholic remembrance of the only one of the 12 disciples who did not abandon Jesus during his crucifixion.
Dec. 28: Holy Innocents Day, honoring the memory of male children killed by King Herod in an attempt to destroy Jesus. Also called Holy Family Day.
Dec. 29: Fast day for Shiva, the Hindu god considered to be destroyer of the world.
Dec. 31: Feast of Sharaf, first day of the 16th month of the Baha'i calendar that focuses on honor.
Dec. 31: Feast of Yemaya, Santerian mother of the sun and moon.
Dec. 31: New Year's Eve.
Dec. 31: Omisoka, the final day before the new year. Buddhist and Shinto devotees perform the rite of Oharai to purify their houses and businesses. All that is old is thrown away; and debts, obligations and problems in relationships are settled.
Dec. 31: Watch Night, Christian occasion thanking God for bringing people safely through another year. Created by the U.S. blacks at the time of the emancipation of slaves in 1863.
Jan. 1-3: Shogatsu, Shinto new year festival observed with prayers for inner renewal, prosperity and health. Jan. 1 is known as Gantan-sai or Ganjitsu.
Jan. 1: Feast of St. Basil, Orthodox Christian commemoration of St. Basil the Great, who wrote a Eucharist liturgy that bears his name.
Jan. 1: Mary, Mother of God, Catholics' celebration of the mother of Jesus.
Jan. 1: New Year's Day.
Jan. 5: Twelfth Night, Christian celebration marking the end of Christmas festivities.
Jan. 6: Epiphany, Christian commemoration of the revelation of Jesus' divine nature to the gentiles when the magi paid homage to him with gifts. Also called Dia de los Reyes, Day of the Kings. Orthodox Christians call it the Feast of the Theophany, recalling the revelation of the Holy Trinity in the baptism of Jesus.
Jan. 7: Nativity of Christ, celebration of Jesus' birth for some Orthodox Christians.

Mod Edit: Reduced Excessive Bolding.

Mod Note: General ATS Discussion Etiquette – Please Review This Link.



[edit on 25/12/2005 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 07:10 PM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat

Symbolism is use of symbols as representations of concepts or objects and the relationships between them.

Take your pagan symbols and keep them to yourself, because the symbols I use in Christmas are wholly and completely Christian now, at least to me.

May God bless you all, and have a merry Christmas


symbolism, is essentially 'shorthand' for more complex thoughts/ideas

the Christmas you 'know' (internally/in your mind) is yours to keep...forever

but for the peoples from the end of the Ice Age (~12,600 BC)
the mystical/spiritual reality was explained thru Pagan-ism
for 12,000 years all the dates or/and annual significant events were incorporated into the pagan word-view.

then in human growth, the era from 600 BC-600 AD saw the foundation of today's 3 major-organized religions.

The Pagans/Heretics/Idol Worshipers, who once laid claim to ALLthese cyclical or annual points in time...had to bow to the superior organized church/religions/world views.

i would remind you (and anyone else) that 'Paganism', Nature/Mother Earth
have a 12,000 year history...
as opposed to a mere 2,600 year track record for either Buddhist-Christian-Mohammed....religions~philosophies

perhaps in some future time, our progeny will comment that their prominent
religion/world view...has undercurrents of being based on old-world Christanity themes/times



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by St Udio


i would remind you (and anyone else) that 'Paganism', Nature/Mother Earth have a 12,000 year history... as opposed to a mere 2,600 year track record for either Buddhist-Christian-Mohammed... religions~philosophies


Might want to check your numbers, but Judeo Christian religion has been around for about 7000 years, Muslim around 1000. And I have only heard it from nature worshippers that thier form of belief has been around for more then 10,000 years.. it is more like they can find similarities to Neo-pagenisum to anceint world pagens yet there is no clean line of succesion from one to the next.

Jsut becasue you adopt the practices used over 5000 years ago, does not make your religion that old. Unlike Judeo-Christians who can trace a line of belivers thruogh historical texts going back over 5000 years



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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Happy Hollidays jeho! GOOD POST!

I will interject, that I think 'THE BIG DEAL' here is how very zealous 'some' Christians can be toward damning Paganism, and toting how the way they believe is the ONLY true way.......So in turn other people like to point out to them the origons of theyre belief systems stronghold. They like to show the comparisans of the nature of MANY of the Christians die hard truths in they're
'only way' belief have come down through Pagan beliefs and rituals, and were not created solely by and for the Christian religion.

It would be a wonderful thing indeed....if people could embrace how MANY things we all hold as truth in common, instead of pointing fingers and saying they have ALL the answers. I admire the currant Dali Lama who laughs at people claiming HE HAS all the answers, and he tells people he is just a human seeking enlightenment. He is an example to us all in this manner.....
I fear the people who claim KNOW IT ALL..........and that they're way IS THE ONLY WAY........
I honestly think that is what ~THE BIG DEAL~ is........that people who do not know everything like to point out to those who claim to, the true origons of the belief system they claim is the only true thing. I am of the mind that to be wary of those who claim to have all the ansers is a wiser choice. But that is just me, I am allowed my thoughts just like all other people are allowed the thoughts that they have. We are many differant people and many differant ideas wich make up the human race.

Peace and love and light to ALL.....let underatanding, and tollerance reign supreme!



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat
Now we have people who dislike religion, and who take great zeal in finding the pagan origins to Religious symbols. Somehow showing how organized religion is nothing more then old pagan rituals with different dressings. I have heard many times how Christmas and Easter have found their origins with pagan rituals of rebirth, and fertility. Yet little do they realize the symbols of those pagan beliefs have now changed to Christian symbols, and most Christians pay no heed to the old pagan symbology that was originally used. Nor does the fact the origin of the symbol being pagan, mean Christianity is pagan to.


There really isn't a big deal to anyone that knows "stuff" such as yourself, but ignorance bothers people. It's not as much an attack on Christianity in my mind as simply Cliff Clavin syndrome. Ironic factoids simply seem to stick with people, and people take pleasure in sharing them.

And anyone that goes around saying the Three Wise Men sang Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer in the manger frankly deserves to be told they're an idiot.



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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Actually Josephat it just shows that Christianity per say is not an unique religion but a mix of believes that has been shared by other ancient civilizations through the centuries before it was born as Christianity.

If you are a believer as I know you are, it means nothing but the stronghold of your faith is base in abosolute christian believes.

But for people that like to research in historical facts just prove a point.

As long as do not interfere with your faith it should not bother you at all.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 01:13 PM
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I certainly don't hate religion even though I don't subscribe to one. I love the study of how humans have perceived G-d all through the ages - it's fascinating stuff!

Changes in the way humans have recognized and worshipped and besought and petitioned and etc. their dieties have occurred since well before recorded history. These changes rarely happen all at once or by decree though there have been many instances in many civilizations in which the ruling body made that attempt. If you only study religion from the point at which the Bible begins, you'll miss a very large portion of the story. Sure, the symbols and festivals and traditions have been adopted and adapted from one form of belief in greater beings to another. No one can deny that. It's equally true that the meaning of a certain symbol or concept to each individual does not necessarily imply a belief in that which this symbol originally meant.

It's false to deny the origins of these things but it's equally false to project the original meanings onto the current meanings. Take the swastika for instance - the meaning of that symbol is vastly different now than when it was first used. You can pick almost any religious symbol, icon, holiday, or form of worship and trace it's origins and find pure intellectual delight in the way it has been "recycled" through the ages. But, it's just mean-spirited to say that the symbols used by Christians of today prove that they are pagan worshippers. It's equally ridiculous for modern Christians to assert that these symbols were never used before the advent of Christianity.

Context, context, context is everything.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 04:14 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Actually Josephat it just shows that Christianity per say is not an unique religion but a mix of believes that has been shared by other ancient civilizations through the centuries before it was born as Christianity.


This is the kind of reasoning that really irks me. That you can trace back symbols to pagen origins thus making Christianity nothingmore then a re-worked pagen ruitual based soely on the abstract symbols used, and disregarding the meaning behind those symbols which would SHOW they are completly diffierant and only by making a comparison would you come up with such false assumptions.

Also not to mention sometimes symbols, like the swastika metioned earlier, can have multiple and independant origins. (native americans, used it as a tribe symbol, also as a "whirling log" in Eurasia it was often a symbol of luck). So, to see a chicken egg used in a pagen fertility ritual, then see an egg used in Easter celebrations to signify rebirth and trying to make a connection smacks of arrogance. WHEN THEY HAVE TWO COMPLELTY DIFFERANT MEANINGS for the same object



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 05:55 PM
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Obviously you do not want a meaningful debate but rather a good vs evil contest.

So I leave it to somebody else to get in the ring with you, I have not time for you spiteful remarks.

In not way I have said anything that should give such a bitter and all on opinions, remark as the one you did using my quote.

Have a nice holidays and I hope you find somebody to take your bait.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 06:26 PM
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i will on one point, nature worship among aboridgonal peoples in all parts of the world, but most notably in australia, can be traced back over ten thousand years and it is certainly present in pockets across all the inhabited continents.

another point is that the modern religions certainly grew out of ansestor worship, athiests believe from ever more inventive human minds, believers believe it happened through divine revelation, either way the idea that a religon should evolve does not mean it is false.

oh and the reason the christian festvals fall at simular times to other older festivals was because they were designed that way, the early church had a policy of christianising exhisting festivals. halloween and all souls day is a good example of this, well for catholics, it was simular to governments making popular festivals public holidays in a way.



posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 07:49 PM
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i think every one just needs to realize that all relgions are the same you all worship the same god even if you don't realize it you are worshipping the sun yes the sun not son many religions have the same story of a virgin giving birth to a son on or around december 25th and somthing about three kings which relates to the way three stars align with the sun around this time of the year and his 12 decipels relates to the 12 major constelations in which the sun falls into each one of these at different times of the year so who ever you choose to worship just remember that the other guy whos god might have a different name is just like you he chooses to worship his god because it makes him feel good and gives him somthing to look to in time of need so lets all stop this my god is better than your god because they are the same god.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 08:21 AM
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Nature worship was the first religion. The world has been here for millions of years. With humans already on the scene. Thats fact. We have proof. You can see it in any museum. Adam and Eve could only be the first man and woman if they were born much longer ago than your bible says. Perhaps they were the first man and woman and the dating is wrong. Or aleast some mens translations are wrong.

Now,those first peoples and tribes saw the sun and moon moving across the sky of stars. The relaized the warmth of the sun and the fall of rain (which we also have proof exsisted before the dates given to the flood) made the plants grow and nourished the land. They noticed the moon waxed and waned and related it a mother figure becuase of its 28 day cycle. Because in reality women are the birth of this world. They praised the sun as a god because to them it was. Male cannot exsist without female. And I did not come from a man rib.

in the bible God said Let us make them in OUR image. What do you think he meant? He wasn't talking to the angels. If he were then according to christain belief women would not exisit. Only beings that look like men and angels. I don't look like the christain version of an angel ,,,do you? No I look the woman I am.
Another thing that bothers me is that women are chopped up,,cut apart,stoned,etc. In your book.Mary Magdalene sure got a bad wrap. And no where does the bible say that the woman being stone was her. That is an assumtion. Some say Micheal Angelo knew what he was doing when he painter her into his famous painting"The Last Supper". We as women are the sinners,,we are the evil ones. We are responible for your actions as men. Yeah right!!! Take some responiblity as men. We don't fill your head with sin just because you look upon our beauty. Thats on you.
Oh and I do know your book. Believe me ,it was spoon feed to me,I went to christain school,was never allowed a break from the male dominated baptist church that was forced on me. But I was a questioner. And it didn't take long for me to find out why thats exaclty what I aspire to be. The king james version is so cut to pieces I don't know how he even survived his own writing sessions without the wrath of God coming down on him. And don't even get me started on Tyndale.
As for our pagan symbols and holiday's that you took. We could care less,,because they work for us still and none but the pagan will ever be open-mined enough to embrace them or have the power to use them.
I guess it all comes down to this. Pagans don't recruit. You have to be special to take part in any real paganism. And we all know that when a group is choosy about who they take in,,there will always be those that have un-founded fear.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat

Originally posted by marg6043
Actually Josephat it just shows that Christianity per say is not an unique religion but a mix of believes that has been shared by other ancient civilizations through the centuries before it was born as Christianity.


This is the kind of reasoning that really irks me. That you can trace back symbols to pagen origins thus making Christianity nothingmore then a re-worked pagen ruitual based soely on the abstract symbols used, and disregarding the meaning behind those symbols which would SHOW they are completly diffierant and only by making a comparison would you come up with such false assumptions.

Also not to mention sometimes symbols, like the swastika metioned earlier, can have multiple and independant origins. (native americans, used it as a tribe symbol, also as a "whirling log" in Eurasia it was often a symbol of luck). So, to see a chicken egg used in a pagen fertility ritual, then see an egg used in Easter celebrations to signify rebirth and trying to make a connection smacks of arrogance. WHEN THEY HAVE TWO COMPLELTY DIFFERANT MEANINGS for the same object


Johosephat, I do understand that this may be difficult for you to accept, since it most likely goes against what you were taught. But scholars who have studied these things know that Christianity DID come from a mixture of religions; there were Egyptian elements, Jewish and Mithraism influences. I have studied this history in depth, and they all say pretty much the same thing, even rabbis Christian ministers who are scholars admit this is true. Paul was the architect of the modern Christian belief system.

I don't think you need to jump down Marg's throat, I don't think it was a spiteful comment, she was just telling the truth.

And yes, Christianity does use Pagan symbology, but they have attached different meanings to the symbols, which makes them Christian if they are being used by a CHristian. Pagans still can use the symbology as well and then it would be Pagan. Nobody owns a patent on symbols.

To the person who said that Judeo-Christian religion is 5,000 years old: Firstly, Christianity has only been around 2000 years. Even though the Jews go back a long time before that, it's still true that Nature worship was the very first religion, i.e. Paganism. It goes back at least 10,000 years ago to the Egyptians, which were a Pagan religion. I don't have time right now to provide sources but if you Google it, you will find lots of information about it.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 11:02 AM
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It matters (to some) because it shows that 'The Religion of God' has been 'tainted'. I suppose it can be considered a form of idolatry when you take something as complex as God, Christ, Covenants, etc, and reduce it into something involving two pieces of wood at right angles to each other (which have also been used previously to represent something that is contradictory to the whole idea of God, Christ, Covenants, etc). Basically, it calls into question the authenticity of the kind of Christianity practised in the world today.


PS: I love the swastika thing, though
. A friend of mine morally objected to the original Zelda game because one of it's level maps was in 'in the shape of a reversed swastika'


[edit on 27-6-2008 by babloyi]



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by valleymuse

Now,those first peoples and tribes saw the sun and moon moving across the sky of stars. The relaized the warmth of the sun and the fall of rain (which we also have proof exsisted before the dates given to the flood) made the plants grow and nourished the land. They noticed the moon waxed and waned and related it a mother figure becuase of its 28 day cycle. Because in reality women are the birth of this world. They praised the sun as a god because to them it was. Male cannot exsist without female. And I did not come from a man rib.

As for our pagan symbols and holiday's that you took. We could care less,,because they work for us still and none but the pagan will ever be open-mined enough to embrace them or have the power to use them.
I guess it all comes down to this. Pagans don't recruit. You have to be special to take part in any real paganism. And we all know that when a group is choosy about who they take in,,there will always be those that have un-founded fear.


I'm sorry, but these are two things that I couldn't drop.

In the first paragraph; please realize that paganism is a HUGE umbrella term, and that not all cultures saw the moon as female and the sun as male. In Norse mythology, for example, Sol(or sunna) is the goddess of the sun, and Mani the god of the moon. Also let's not forget Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi(Goddess of the sun, and god of the moon in the Shinto pantheon, respectively). So please don't try to fit every culture into that mold.

And in the second paragraph there.... pagans aren't special. There is no such thing as "false" paganism; if you're not in the JCI traditions, you're technically pagan, period. That's all it means. It defines what pagans are NOT, and not what they are. "Paganism"(if it's even fair to gather so many different groups into one...) is just another way of seeing the universe. Nothing more.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by Jehosephat
 


read over this page, then respond.

www.aloha.net...



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by Swingarm
 


Here's a good section on the cross in The Two Babylons.
It was written in 1853. WAY before zeitgeist! Here


To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to a wooden or a metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"--that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified--is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretence. The magic virtues attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source.




[edit on 27-6-2008 by Clearskies]



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