originally posted by: chr0naut
originally posted by: zardust
a reply to: chr0naut
The solstice is the death of the sun. It stays in the ground for 3 days then is born again on the 25th. Sol invictus.
Strangely, Sol Invictus is post Christian - about 274 years later.
At the height of Rome's opposition to Christianity and despite the massive concurrent growth in the popularity of Christianity.
You go figure it out.
According to tradition, Jesus’ birth took place on December 25 and is celebrated on that date. “Christmas,” says the
Encyclopedia of Religion
, means “‘Christ’s Mass,’ that is, the mass celebrating the feast of Christ’s nativity,” or birth.
“The establishment of December 25 evolved not from biblical precedent,” says The Christmas Encyclopedia
, “but from
pagan Roman festivals held at year’s end,” about the time of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Those festivals included the
Saturnalia, in honor of Saturn, god of agriculture, “and the combined festivals of two sun gods, the Roman Sol and the Persian Mithra,” says the
same encyclopedia. Both birthdays were celebrated on December 25, the winter solstice according to the Julian calendar.
Those pagan festivals began to be “Christianized” in the year 350, when Pope Julius I declared December 25 to be Christ’s birthday. “The
Nativity gradually absorbed or supplanted all other solstice rites,” says the Encyclopedia of Religion
. “Solar imagery came increasingly
to be used to portray the risen Christ (who was also called Sol Invictus), and the old solar disk . . . became the halo of Christian saints.”
In 1994, African bishops at a synod expressed fears for the survival of Catholicism in Africa. “If we want the Church to continue to exist in my
country,” said Bonifatius Haushiku, a Namibian bishop, “we must give very serious consideration to the question of inculturation.”
Expressing similar sentiments, the Italian Catholic press agency Adista said: “To speak about ‘inculturation’ of the Gospel in Africa means
speaking about the very destiny of the Catholic Church in that continent, of its chances of surviving or not surviving.”
Just what do the bishops mean by “inculturation”?
John M. Waliggo explained that “adaptation
is the term that has been used for a long time to signify the same reality.” Put more simply,
“inculturation” means the assimilation of traditions and concepts of tribal religions into Catholic ceremonies and worship, giving a new name and
a new meaning to ancient rites, objects, gestures, and places.
Inculturation allows Africans to be Catholics in good standing and yet to hold on to practices, ceremonies, and beliefs of their tribal religions.
Should there be any objection to this? The Italian newspaper La Repubblica
, for example, asked: “Is it not true that in Europe Christmas was
anchored to the festival of the Solis Invicti
, which fell on December 25?”
Indeed, as Josef Cardinal Tomko, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, noted: “The missionary Church practiced the work of
inculturation long before the term began to be used.” The Christmas celebration illustrates the matter well, as La Repubblica
Originally it was a pagan celebration. “The date of December 25 does not correspond to Christ’s birth,” acknowledges the New Catholic
, “but to the feast of the Natalis Solis Invicti
, the Roman sun festival at the solstice.”
Christmas is only one of many church customs anchored in paganism. So are such beliefs as the Trinity, immortality of the soul, and eternal torment of
human souls after death. John Henry Cardinal Newman of the 19th century wrote that “the rulers of the Church from early times were prepared,
should the occasion arise, to adopt, or imitate, or sanction the existing rites and customs of the populace.” Listing many church practices and
holidays, he said they were “all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”
When Catholics enter non-Christian areas, such as parts of Africa, they often find that people already have religious practices and beliefs similar
to those of the church. This is because during previous centuries the church adopted practices and teachings from non-Christian peoples and
introduced them into Catholicism. Such practices and teachings, Cardinal Newman claimed, were “sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”
Indicating the non-Christian origin of many of apostate Christendom’s doctrines, ceremonies, and practices, 19th-century Roman Catholic cardinal
John Henry Newman wrote in his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine
: “The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints,
and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums;
holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the
East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison [the song “Lord, Have Mercy”], are all of pagan origin, and
sanctified by their adoption into the Church.”
Rather than sanctify such idolatry, “Jehovah the Almighty” admonishes Christians: “Get out from among them, and separate yourselves, . . . and
quit touching the unclean thing.”—2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
In his Essays and Sketches
, Cardinal Newman indicates the origin of many teachings of his Church, saying: “The phenomenon, admitted on all
hands, is this:—That great portion of what is generally received as Christian truth is, in its rudiments or in its separate parts, to be found in
heathen philosophies and religions. For instance, the doctrine of a Trinity is found both in the East and in the West; so is the ceremony of washing;
so is the rite of sacrifice. The doctrine of the Divine Word is Platonic; the doctrine of the Incarnation is Indian.” Then, replying to a critic who
argues, “These things are in heathenism, therefore they are not Christian,” the cardinal says: “We, on the contrary, prefer to say, ‘these
things are in Christianity, therefore they are not heathen.’” (hmmm, sounds somewhat familiar) But their source is the Babylonian and Greek
teachings that existed centuries before the birth of Roman Catholicism. Moreover, they are not to be found in God’s Word, the Bible.
That the great apostasy went back to pagan religion for its teachings and ceremonies is further confirmed by Cardinal Newman’s comments in his book
The Development of Christian Doctrine
, where he writes: “Constantine, in order to recommend the new [Roman Catholic] religion to the heathen,
transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own.” Then, after listing many of the practices of his church,
the cardinal admits that these “are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.” But can false teaching be
“sanctified,” or made holy?
The cardinal here refers to Constantine the Great, Roman emperor of the fourth century. What was Constantine’s interest in religion? Years
after his invasion of Rome in 312 C.E., Constantine made it known that, on the eve of his conquest, he saw the vision of a flaming cross, with the
motto “By This Conquer.” This he inscribed on his standard. He adopted the foundations for the Roman Catholic religion apparently to gain support
in furthering his own political ends, and he fused into the “Christian” religious system the pagan beliefs that were still nearest to his
The Encyclopædia Britannica says of Constantine: “Paganism must still have been an operative belief with the man who, down almost to
the close of his life, retained so many pagan superstitions. . . . Constantine was entitled to be called Great in virtue rather of what he did than
what he was. Tested by character, indeed, he stands among the lowest of all those to whom the epithet [“Great”] has in ancient or modern times
been applied.” This is demonstrated in that he stooped even to the murder of several of his own family members. His pagan title, “Pontifex
Maximus,” was later transferred to the popes of the Roman Catholic Church.
Down through the Dark and Middle Ages, the popes of Rome ruled much like kings on earth. They did not wait for Christ to set up his millennial
rule from the heavens. They wanted a “kingdom” then, for their own selfish advantage. The Encyclopædia Britannica describes it in these
words: “One of the earliest causes of the corruption of Christianity was the attempt to translate the Christian kingdom of God into a visible
monarchy in which the saints inherited the earth in a literal way.”