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Thread: Origins of Easter

  1. #1 Origins of Easter 
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Origins of the name "Easter":
    The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similarly, the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." 1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime. Some were:

    Aphrodite from ancient Cyprus
    Ashtoreth from ancient Israel
    Astarté from ancient Greece
    Demeter from Mycenae
    Hathor from ancient Egypt
    Ishtar from Assyria
    Kali, from India
    Ostara a Norse Goddess of fertility.

    An alternative explanation has been suggested. The name given by the Frankish church to Jesus' resurrection festival included the Latin word "alba" which means "white." (This was a reference to the white robes that were worn during the festival.) "Alba" also has a second meaning: "sunrise." When the name of the festival was translated into German, the "sunrise" meaning was selected in error. This became "ostern" in German. Ostern has been proposed as the origin of the word "Easter". 2

    There are two popular beliefs about the origin of the English word "Sunday." It is derived from the name of the Scandinavian sun Goddess Sunna (a.k.a. Sunne, Frau Sonne). 5,6
    It is derived from "Sol," the Roman God of the Sun." Their phrase "Dies Solis" means "day of the Sun." The Christian saint Jerome (d. 420) commented "If it is called the day of the sun by the pagans, we willingly accept this name, for on this day the Light of the world arose, on this day the Sun of Justice shone forth."

    Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25. "About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection." 3

    Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians "used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation."

    Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. 4 Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.

    Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. Where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.


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    the simplest explanation for the origin of easter is that the early r.c.c. leaders wanted to make christianity more attractive to the sinners of the world thus they 'christianized' pagan festivals and holidays.

    this is why we have all saints day, easter, christmas and a couple of other holy days.

    Jesus never commanded that christians do such a thing nor did he reccommmend that such festivals be observed. christians are to follow God's word and be the light of the world, NOt change christianity to be like the pagan world.


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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    the simplest explanation for the origin of easter is that the early r.c.c. leaders wanted to make christianity more attractive to the sinners of the world thus they 'christianized' pagan festivals and holidays.
    Simple minded answers suit the purpose of bigots. But a closer examination reveals a gaping pit of irrationality and ignorance. The holiday (called Pascua in Spanish, Pasqua in Italian, Pâques in French and Pascha in Greek) was well established by the second century which is before the Nicean creed and Biblical canon. If we are to take the pagan origins of the name "Easter" as our measure then it is only English and German speaking Christians who are pagans and the idea that this has something to do with the Roman Catholic Church paganizing Christianity becomes rather absurd in the extreme. Furthermore, archaeologist's rejection of this holiday from the second century as a machination of the RCC would imply that he also rejects the Bible, the Nicean Creed and thus all agreements of the early church about what Christianity stood for.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    this is why we have all saints day, easter, christmas and a couple of other holy days.
    I am all for giving credit to our pagan ancestors for the contributions they have made to our culture. But I think that we can learn from the example above that archaeologist's anti-catholic propaganda and lunatic conspiracy theories are without any substance.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Jesus never commanded that christians do such a thing nor did he reccommmend that such festivals be observed.
    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL
    Jesus never commanded or reccommended people to participate in internet forums so archaeologist is a heretic or a hypocrite!
    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    christians are to follow God's word and be the light of the world, NOt change christianity to be like the pagan world.
    Since this "God's word" archaeologist talks about is apparently not the Bible canonized in 393 AD (and thus according to him created by what he calls r.c.c. leaders trying to paganize Christianity), maybe he has written his own? I am pretty sure that none of us want to follow the god which he has concocted for whatever nefarious purposes.
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    and you wonder why i rarely respond to MM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    and you wonder why i rarely respond to MM.
    But you should. Shouldn't you? Otherwise he will get away with it.

    Desirable? I think not. What do you think?
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    Maybe because he is right?

    Interesting Verzen, but I have a few questions?

    "Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection." 3"


    "Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity."

    I read a book a while guy here in the University library titled "Mystery Religions and Christianity in the Late Roman Empire." I got the book out after a comment by my Medieval history philosopher about how historians are now revising the idea that Christianity took almost all of its ideas from Pagan mystery religions and Greek Philosophy.

    The basic premise of the book (I think it was printed in 1994) was that after the Protestant Reformation Protestants began to look at history from their Catholic cousin, often interpreting the Catholic Church, its theology, and its interpretation of the Bible as a perversion of the original message of Jesus. Many, a famous person among them being Thomas Jefferson, pointed out the different Christian holidays that started on the same days as mystery religion holidays, the similarities between Christ and Adonis, Attis, Mithras, and Persephone, and the influences of Greek philosophy on early Christianity. However, the book began to point out inconsistency errors with this interpretation of history. For one, the Vegetable god theory that the movie Zeitgeist made so popular bears few actual resemblances to Christianity. Although figures like Osiris, Attis, Adonis, and others died and were resurrected, some after 3 days, some not, what marks the differences between these is that Christ died once, arose, and that is it to Christians. Christ died once and only once for Christians, and although it does bear resemblance, Christ is not a fertility god.

    Another point of the book is that the assumption that Christianity was changed into an almost unrecognizable form by contact with mystery religions and paganism dont take into account 1.) The period of time in Christian development where Jewish Philosophy influenced it 2.) the fact that mystery religions had their own history and view of the world that made them very different from Christianity. Cults like MIthras, Attis, and that of Osiris had histories going back hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. Too often the scholars who compared them to Christianity explain their influence as if they were merely small organizations that existed to change Christianity, instead of the large religions that competed with Christianity that they were. 3.) And the tradition of fundamentalism in Christianity.

    Third, comparisons have been made between Buddhism and Christianity. Both religions have a strong ascetic tradition, both have a messianic figure, and the Emperor Asoka had sent a large number of Buddhist missionaries out of India during his reign a couple hundred years before the birth of Jesus. However, how deep was Buddhism's influence on Christianity, if it even existed at all? Could an ascetic philosophy prevalent a thousand miles away from Judea have any effect a people who have fought to defend their faith and freedom for hundreds of years? I dont know, but its worth looking into.
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    but he is not right. easter wasn't established until the 4th century a.d.

    read a book a while guy here in the University library titled "Mystery Religions and Christianity in the Late Roman Empire." I got the book out after a comment by my Medieval history philosopher about how historians are now revising the idea that Christianity took almost all of its ideas from Pagan mystery religions and Greek Philosophy
    if christians did such a thing, then it would defeat the purpose of the Bible and the faith and no one would follow it except die hard fanatics. plus we would not have the changed lives from bnelieing in Jesus.

    suffice it to say that the secular world copied from God and Jesus all throughout history, this includes the gilgamesh epic andother stories people accuse the Biblical writers of plagerizing.

    what most people do not know or even realize is that basically all the ancient mss. we have for pagan religions, the earliest date to AFTER the time of Christ and the New Testament authorship.

    plus most are written centuries AFTER their supposed founder or leader died. even plato's works date to something like 800 years AFTER his life. so the best you can say is--the secular world copied form the biblical authors and Christ.
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    Archeologist, do you have any proof of what you say?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KomradRed
    Archeologist, do you have any proof of what you say?
    Of course not. But he is in a bit of a corner and has arranged the facts to overcome the contradictions of his position. So his fabrication is now that immediately following the councils that established the Nicean creed and Biblical canon, the roman church incorporated pagan practices to become something non-Christian. LOL Even if he were a Coptic Christian he would have to extend that to 431 AD for the first council of Ephesus. But the vast majority of Christianity, Catholic and Protestant accept the first 7 eccumenical councils, the last of which was at Nicea in 787, which overturned the iconoclast decision of Rome in 753 to destroy all images of Jesus, Mary and the saints as representing idols.

    Personally I see each of these councils after the first two (ending in 381) as lopping of various branches of Christianity, starting with the Assyrian church that accepts the dictates of only the first two councils and Oriential Orthodox that accepts only the first three. I would be sympathetic with both, not because I agree with them but because I think these councils have exceed my credulity on what they could actually know with any clarity. I think we should be able to find our own answers on such esoteric issues, which means that I would not invent conspiracies or in fact condemn any of the branches of Christianity. I even think that the pseudo-christian or non-trinitarian groups who accept none of the decisions of the eccumenical councils are more condemned by their own condemnation of the rest of Christianity than by the issues of their doctrinal disagreements.
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    Archeologist, do you have any proof of what you say?
    of course but since none of you are posting anything credible to back up your points i am not either.

    Of course not. But he is in a bit of a corner and has arranged the facts to overcome the contradictions of his position. So his fabrication is now that immediately following the councils that established the Nicean creed and Biblical canon, the roman church incorporated pagan practices to become something non-Christian. LOL Even if he were a Coptic Christian he would have to extend that to 431 AD for the first council of Ephesus. But the vast majority of Christianity, Catholic and Protestant accept the first 7 eccumenical councils, the last of which was at Nicea in 787, which overturned the iconoclast decision of Rome in 753 to destroy all images of Jesus, Mary and the saints as representing idols.
    this whole paragraph shows he does not know what he is talking about.

    constantine organized the 1st council at Nicea in the 4th century, the rest you can look up for yourselves.
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    The relationship between Easter and the many other religions that preceded who celebrated the spring equinox are obvious. The comparison between, the virgin birth story and the Cybele cult which was celebrated at the exact location which became the Vatican are very convincing that this Christian holiday is for the most part a pull from earlier religions.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/spequi2.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    constantine organized the 1st council at Nicea in the 4th century, the rest you can look up for yourselves.
    I did. He's right . You are wrong. What a surprise.
    The First Council of Ephesus was held in 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus, Asia Minor. The council was called due to the contentious teachings of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople. St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, appealed to Pope Celestine I, charging Nestorius with heresy. The Pope agreed and gave Cyril his authority to serve a notice to Nestorius to recant his views or else be excommunicated. Before the summons arrived, Nestorius convinced the Emperor Theodosius II to hold a General council, a platform to argue their opposing views. Approximately 250 bishops were present. The proceedings were conducted in a heated atmosphere of confrontation and recriminations. It is believed to be the Third Ecumenical Council by the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholics, the Old Catholics, and a number of other Western Christian groups.
    From - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Ephesus
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    constantine organized the 1st council at Nicea in the 4th century, the rest you can look up for yourselves.
    I did. He's right . You are wrong. What a surprise.
    The First Council of Ephesus was held in 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus, Asia Minor. The council was called due to the contentious teachings of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople. St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, appealed to Pope Celestine I, charging Nestorius with heresy. The Pope agreed and gave Cyril his authority to serve a notice to Nestorius to recant his views or else be excommunicated. Before the summons arrived, Nestorius convinced the Emperor Theodosius II to hold a General council, a platform to argue their opposing views. Approximately 250 bishops were present. The proceedings were conducted in a heated atmosphere of confrontation and recriminations. It is believed to be the Third Ecumenical Council by the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox, the Roman Catholics, the Old Catholics, and a number of other Western Christian groups.

    From - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Ephesus
    The fact that what I said is correct does not mean that what he said is completely wrong. The first of the eccumenical councils was the first council of Nicea in 325AD and it was indeed convened by the Emperor Constantine. But the real problem with archaeologist's response was the lack of relevance, argument and any declaration of his position. Is he rejecting the council of Nicea, which is the foundational agreement that made orthodox Christianity Trinitarian? Is he rejecting all but the council of Nicea?

    The point is that he made the claim that Easter was an distortion of Christianity by the RCC when the holiday was well established in the 2nd century before there was any agreement on the Trinity and what was the Bible. That is what did not make any sense unless he is also rejecting the Bible and Trinitarian theology. Hey maybe he is a Jehova Witness or a Mormon and that would make sense, but he should make this a little more clear for us.


    Thus your response would have made much more sense if you were responding to
    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    this whole paragraph shows he does not know what he is talking about.
    rather than what you have quoted.

    What his response suggests was that it is archaeologist that does not know what I am talking about, for if he did, the most natural response would have been a reply which at the very minimum stated which of these eccumenical councils he agreed with and which he did not. That is a little difficult for him, if he had never even heard of them and does not know what they were about.
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    I did. He's right . You are wrong. What a surprise
    OBVIOUSLY you did not look hard enough:

    http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/nicaea.htm

    The two councils of Nicaea were ecumenical councils of the Christian church held in 325 and 787, respectively. The First Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council held by the church, is best known for its formulation of the Nicene Creed, the earliest dogmatic statement of Christian orthodoxy. The council was convened in 325 by the Roman emperor Constantine I in an attempt to settle the controversy raised by Arianism over the nature of the Trinity. Nearly all those who attended came from the eastern Mediterranean region.
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    in one source they have it at the 8th century a.d.

    IV. Origin of Easter:

    A. Origin of word, "Easter": Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring: "Eostre"

    1. In her honor sacrifices were offered at the vernal equinox or spring

    2. By 8th century church leaders applied "Eostre" to Christ’s resurrection

    3. In Acts 12:4, "Passover" in mistranslated "Easter" is in some Bibles
    http://www.bible.ca/t-holy-days-orig...-halloween.htm

    some of the better sources donot have an exact date. i can do more research later but i will contest MM's dating and i see he still does not post any credible links to back his points.
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    okay i checked 3 credible sources, Gonzalez doesn't really say much, lattourette basically agrees with MM and Bainton agrees withthe 4th century.

    . so i will partially give this one to MM. i say partially because both latourette and bainton clearly state the words 'some christians' which means it was not universalkly accepted or practiced throughout the church like it is today. now i will also state that the definitionof the word 'christian' needs to be clearly established as latourette talks about gnostism, marconism and montanism as celebrating easter as well.

    sorry but these people were not christians and so i will dispute the 2nd century date for real followers of Christ. plus it is hard to say which century latourette is focusing on as he skips from the 2nd to the 3rd to the 4th and so on though i am betting he is leading up tot he nicea council of the 4th century.

    so i am going to stick with the 4th century based upon credible sources. now in reading further in bainton i see where a compromise came in and which opens the door for further seperation from what jesus said to do.

    Jesus did not say establish festivals with pagans, he did not command to observe an 'easter festival' His command was to do communion to remember Him and that is a big difference. by compromising and adding in fertility symbols the church made a big mis-step.

    in latourette we see the first steps of 'ex-communication' by rome when other churtches and bishops disagreed with the bishop of the roman church.
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    Well my position is that archaeologist's claim remains as absurd as the claims that Jesus never even existed. Of course I don't use books of archaeologist's cult which may be the only thing that he would accept as a "credible reference". LOL

    In the late second century there was a controversy over when the Pascha (Christianity weren't in England yet, so the name Easter is innapropriate) should be held, called the Quartodeciman controversy. So all we have to do is quote the people who participated in that controversy.

    Polycrates (c. 190): "As for us, then, we scrupulously observe the exact day, neither adding nor taking away. For in Asia great luminaries have gone to their rest who will rise again on the day of the coming of the Lord .... These all kept the 14th day of the month as the beginning of the Paschal feast, in accordance with the Gospel .... Seven of my relatives were bishops, and I am the eighth, and my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven."

    It would be rather peculiar for them to argue about the proper day for a holiday that did not exist. But maybe archaeologist is using the dodge that it wasn't what we call Easter until everyone agreed with him on what day it should be held. He would do a lot better with his conspiracy theory just to say that RCC twisted the Paschal holiday somehow at a later date to make Christianity more palatable to pagans.
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    Polycrates (c.
    not even close to credible

    http://www.cogwriter.com/polycrates.htm

    i am sure that MM is confusing easter with passover but i would have to do further study which will be another day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Polycrates (c.
    not even close to credible
    Yep sounds exactly like the argument that Jesus never existed, claiming that the Bible is "not even close to credible".

    He thinks that a challenge to the credibility of Polycrates' argument for the proper day for Easter can negate the occurence of the Quartodeciman controversy that took place. Is this not the level logic and argument that we have come to expect from this guy?


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i am sure that MM is confusing easter with passover but i would have to do further study which will be another day.
    I am sure that archaeologist is one of these morons that thinks that the first Bible was the King James version. Perhaps his delusion is that English is the only human language. Otherwise he might look up the name for Easter in French, Spanish, Italian and Greek and then he might face the fact that the origin of Easter is in the celebration of Passover which Jesus held with his disciples rather than in the pagan celebration of the spring equinox.
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    MM cracks me up.
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    The Church of God (COG) has existed since Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Acts and can trace its history from then until present (details of the background of Christianity are included in articles at this page and elsewhere). It is Christian, but is neither Protestant, Catholic (in the Roman sense), Jehovah's Witness, nor Eastern Orthodox. The Church of God believes that religious doctrine properly comes from the Bible and not from tradition or only a mere profession of Christ. The COG uses the same Old Testament as the Jews and the Protestants and the same New Testament as the Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox--the COG accepts no other writings as scripture. The writer of this page is a member of the Living Church of God (click here for a brief history of LCG).

    First paragraph fro www.cogwriter.com .
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    Quote Originally Posted by KomradRed
    The Church of God (COG) has existed since Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Acts and can trace its history from then until present (details of the background of Christianity are included in articles at this page and elsewhere). It is Christian, but is neither Protestant, Catholic (in the Roman sense), Jehovah's Witness, nor Eastern Orthodox. The Church of God believes that religious doctrine properly comes from the Bible and not from tradition or only a mere profession of Christ. The COG uses the same Old Testament as the Jews and the Protestants and the same New Testament as the Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox--the COG accepts no other writings as scripture. The writer of this page is a member of the Living Church of God (click here for a brief history of LCG).

    First paragraph fro www.cogwriter.com .
    Why are you posting this?
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    KomradRed wrote:
    The Church of God (COG) has existed since Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Acts and can trace its history from then until present (details of the background of Christianity are included in articles at this page and elsewhere). It is Christian, but is neither Protestant, Catholic (in the Roman sense), Jehovah's Witness, nor Eastern Orthodox. The Church of God believes that religious doctrine properly comes from the Bible and not from tradition or only a mere profession of Christ. The COG uses the same Old Testament as the Jews and the Protestants and the same New Testament as the Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox--the COG accepts no other writings as scripture. The writer of this page is a member of the Living Church of God (click here for a brief history of LCG).

    First paragraph fro www.cogwriter.com .


    Why are you posting this?
    my question as well and i hope he has credible links and references to back up this claim.

    a couple points: the COG does not use the same Bible as the catholics unless they include the apocrypha in theirs. If it is not r.c.c. then it is pritestant and komradred does not understand what 'protsetant' means. no church historian i have read has even alluded to the claim that the COG has been in existence since pentecost, so pony up with the proof please.
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    That paragraph I posted is from the intro page of www.cogwriter.com, the site Archeologist used to refute your post MM. I posted said paragraph for anyone who didn't peruse said site and also make it nice and open as to where www.cogwriter.com stands. I posted that so Archeologist's post would look biased and unintelligent.

    Archeologist, I am making no claim at all, that is merely the opening paragraph from www.cogwriter.com, the very sight you used just a few posts up to try and prove a point. I am not trying to make any suggestion that the Church of God has been in existence since pentecost, although the COG certainly does. Also Archeologist, I might not know what a pritestant or a "protsetant" is, but I am quite certain I know what a protestant is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    KomradRed wrote:
    The Church of God (COG) has existed since Pentecost as recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Acts and can trace its history from then until present (details of the background of Christianity are included in articles at this page and elsewhere). It is Christian, but is neither Protestant, Catholic (in the Roman sense), Jehovah's Witness, nor Eastern Orthodox. The Church of God believes that religious doctrine properly comes from the Bible and not from tradition or only a mere profession of Christ. The COG uses the same Old Testament as the Jews and the Protestants and the same New Testament as the Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox--the COG accepts no other writings as scripture. The writer of this page is a member of the Living Church of God (click here for a brief history of LCG).

    First paragraph fro www.cogwriter.com .

    Why are you posting this?
    my question as well and i hope he has credible links and references to back up this claim.

    a couple points: the COG does not use the same Bible as the catholics unless they include the apocrypha in theirs. If it is not r.c.c. then it is pritestant and komradred does not understand what 'protsetant' means. no church historian i have read has even alluded to the claim that the COG has been in existence since pentecost, so pony up with the proof please.
    I asked because it was not clear what this was related to, or how KomradRed was related to it. It sounded like something that archaeologist might be a part of and I thought maybe KomradRed was linking him to it. That got me searching his website for some reference to this. But clearly he does not approve of this sort of approach any more than I do. This is exactly the sort of things that the Mormon church claims and it is exactly the sort of rhetoric that a cult would put out to denounce historical Christianity in order to reinvent it. This does indeed seem the case with The Worldwide Church of God and the Herbert Armstrong, which appears to me to be a non-Trinitarian group like the Mormons, Jehova Witnesses and United Pentacostals.

    Unlike archaeologist I am not demanding proof of your claims as if such things were actually possible, but neither am I interested in this COG. I can say that at least you got a little more info out of archaeologist for I think he has obliquely accepted the category of Protestant just now and I am happily surprised to see a more reasonable approach to the issue of the historical church that what this thread was causing me to conclude.

    Ok, just to get everything in the open. I am in a Vineyard fellowship, but it is one of the more adventurous churches in the Vineyard group and I am one of its oddest members. The result is that I am hardly representative of the Vineyard in general, or visa versa. I like some of the ideals and goals of evangelical Christianity but not fundamentalism.

    I believe in a body of Christ that is gathered, led and administrated by God alone with the Father as its only "pope", Jesus as its only leader and the Holy Spirit as its only teacher (Matt 23:8-11). The only authority that human organizations (even if they are part of this body of Christ) have is human authority given to them by those that support them for the purpose of serving their interests, which no doubt includes worship and service of God. I would tend to believe that both Catholic and Protestant churches are part of that body serving the needs of diverse people with the diverse approaches they have.

    Diversity is part of the way that God works both in the natural world and in human society and so just as God stopped mankind from uniting in Genesis 11 and scattered us into different languages and culture, He also broke up Christianity in the Protestant reformation. This was a act of God for the salvation of Christianity as a whole. The immediate positive effect of this diversity is starkly apparent in the counter-reformation. This ties immediately to my scripture principle which is that God is like many human authors in that he intends His writing to be understood in different ways by different people, as any writing that is any good should. The Bible, which is the Word of God (not simply inspired by Him but written by Him using human authors, kings, nations and history as His writing instruments) is no different because it is God's intention that different people understand and respond to it differently (Matt 13:10-13).

    So what about all these non-Trinitarian groups? Although I do not think they are Christian (just a matter of word definition) they are nevertheless a part of this incredible diversity that God has created in the world. No they and all the other religions of the world are not many paths to God and no they are not all equal, any more than all the species of life on the planet are equal. But I utterly disagree and repudiate the JW idea that all religions different than my own are the inspired by the devil! But we do make different choices and based on those choices God speaks to us the best that we can hear and He helps us the best that we allow Him. I can say for sure that God has led me to where I am because this church is best for me. But as for everyone else that is the business of God, for He is the only Savior. So I will not tell others that my religion and church is the path to God, for there is no path to God. Nor will I tell them how the Bible must be understood for that is to replace the words of God with my own.

    Obviously that does not stop me from sharing my point of view. I will share the insight that I gain from the reading of scripture because perhaps there are those get something from my words that will shed some light on it for them, but knowing the way that God works I have little doubt that it will probably be in a way that has nothing to do with the point I am trying to make. In this way, without us ever actually speaking for God, God will use people to speak to others, and He will do it this way so that we will know that it is He and not human beings that can lead us into the truth. I believe this approach to the scripture follows in the footsteps of Jesus Himself, who is our example to follow in all things, for what He did was to breathe new life into the words of scripture and light them up with new understanding. Yes Jesus was God, but He assured us that all that He did we could do also for He did not do anything of His own power but called upon His father in prayer, and thus He teaches us by example as we should teach, showing by His own life how we also should live and do all things.

    Ah....! I am sure you think... what a dangerous approach, not to be bound by the chains of dogma that tell us what we can and cannot think so that we do not end up like those cults. LOL You are right. But on the other hand, I find myself quite suprised and even a little awed at how I have been led in this approach from a completely non-Christian background to as traditional a Trinitarian Christian as I am.
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    Well I am a very liberal Catholic. Please, I beg everyone, dont take my posts as some attempt to convert. I just posted that link to show where Archeologist was getting his "proof" from.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KomradRed
    I just posted that link to show where Archeologist was getting his "proof" from.
    Oh YEAH! I'm sorry. I see it now! (I was still writing my last post when you posted your explanation) Yes archeologist was quoting the COG website for his "evidence" that Polycrates was not a credible source. LOL Oooohhh! How embarassing for Him, assuming he has any shame.


    Quote Originally Posted by KomradRed
    Well I am a very liberal Catholic.
    And I know very well how big an umbrella that the Catholic church can be. At least I know of some pretty radical books written by persons who were trained in the Roman Catholic clergy. I read a little of D O'Murchu's "Quantum Theology" and was a little shocked! But of course I understand that such writers do not speak for the Roman Catholic Church as a whole. I have a copy of the Catechism so I can check up on what the RCC officially believes. Archaeologist should read it.

    In many areas of theology I have more in common with the Eastern orthodox rather than RCC or Protestant, but of course my views on the church and my preferences in regards to practice put me solidly in the Evangelical Christian camp.
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    While I am not that knowledgeable in Eastern Orthodoxy, despite being a huge fan of Byzantine history, I do love Orthodoxy's long tradition of Iconography.

    Christ Pantokrator from Wikipedia



    I someday wish to visit Istanbul to see the city that was once capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. The Church of the Holy Wisdom would be first on my list.
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    I posted that so Archeologist's post would look biased and unintelligent
    well i had many to choose from so i just arbitrarily picked a link.

    Also Archeologist, I might not know what a pritestant or a "protsetant" is, but I am quite certain I know what a protestant is
    i have never claimed to be a good typist or editor.

    of course my views on the church and my preferences in regards to practice put me solidly in the Evangelical Christian camp.
    you are no where near evangelicalism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    you are no where near evangelicalism.
    I think you have no idea what Evangelical Christianity is. But then you don't look things up. You just decide that words mean whatever you feel like.

    Do you think it is a denomination?

    Do you think it is defined by a doctrinal postion?

    Maybe you think it is defined by a political position. LOL

    I think you confuse fundamentalism with evangelicalism.

    No I am not a fundamentalist. No siree not at all.

    No I am not a fascist conservative. That I am not.

    No I am not a brain dead zombie or self-righteous cookie cutter pseudo-Christian.

    No I am not a Gnostic anti-science anti-catholic intolerant bigot.

    No I am not one of these so-proud-to-have-been-on-God's-side-of-a-black-and-white-world saying, "Lord lord, have I not prophesied in your name?"

    Yes I believe in the God of love and life and NOT the God of power and control.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    There was a split within the fundamentalist movement, as they disagreed among themselves about how a 'Christian' ought to respond to an unbelieving world. The evangelicals urged that Christians must engage the culture directly and constructively,[10] and they began to express reservations about being known to the world as fundamentalists. As Kenneth Kantzer put it at the time, the name fundamentalist had become "an embarrassment instead of a badge of honor."[11]

    The fundamentalists saw the evangelicals as often being too concerned about social acceptance and intellectual respectability, and being too accommodating to a perverse generation that needed correction. In addition, they saw the efforts of evangelist Billy Graham, who worked with non-evangelical denominations, such as the Roman Catholics (which they claimed to be heretical), as a mistake.[12]

    Evangelical Christianity is a spectrum of newer smaller churches that vary in the degrees to which they are fundamentalist or charismatic. And this spectrum goes all the way from the wacko embarassments to Christianity like you to those that understand that Catholics and scientists can be born again too with first having a lobotomy. What is particularly characteristic is the focus on growth, dynamism and trying new things rather than tradition, security and stability in order to more effectively bring the gospel to the next generation.
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    just as i expected, you want God to be after your image and you want christianity to allow you to do the things you want without Godly interference. if you were a christian or even evangelical, you would not be doing your insults, personal attacks, your mis-representations of others and so on. Jesus never did those things nor commanded that they be done.

    i do not give credibility to wikipedia. as much as i like billy graham his political spin has always put me off. i look at the scripture of 'be ye not unequally yoked' andthough his organization is basically allchristian his partnerships causes me concern.

    God still used him and he was a faithful servant, i just did not like the compromise and the hiding from the clear cut stand that God makes throughout the Bible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i do not give credibility to wikipedia. as much as i like billy graham his political spin has always put me off. i look at the scripture of 'be ye not unequally yoked' andthough his organization is basically allchristian his partnerships causes me concern.

    God still used him and he was a faithful servant, i just did not like the compromise and the hiding from the clear cut stand that God makes throughout the Bible.
    Fine! SOOO WHAT! If there is anything that the history of Christinaity PROVES is that we will have disagreements. But your disagreements doesn't change the nature of Evangelical Christianity. That is kind of the point of Evangelical Christianity. It is not some human organized church that is in control to dictate what men should believe. God and His word ALONE is the authority and so we are free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as best we are able without the manipulations of men to stand in our way. So each small evangelical church follows what the Holy Spirit has shown them to be true. This is why creative diversity is the pattern of the Evangelical churches.

    We can contrast that with the Catholic churches, which (despite the fact that there is one, the RCC, which is vastly larger than the others) really includes quite a variety of different groups (sometimes called communions) who feel that this individualistic approach of Protestantism (of which Evangelicalism is the epitomization), is a refusal to humble ourselves to God and let Him change us as He works through the church. Well I think that it is clear that God can work in that way and it is not for me to say He cannot, but it is God who is in charge to bring people either here or there to what only He can see is our true need. The fact is that a very large number of fundamentalist Evangelicals like you eventually decide that this kind of humbling oneself to the direction of God can only be found in Eastern Orthodox Church.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    just as i expected, you want God to be after your image and you want christianity to allow you to do the things you want without Godly interference.
    On the contrary, the evidence all proves that this is exactly what you are doing. You are the one reshaping Christianity into a door custom cut to your shape so that only you (and those who cut out whatever portion of their brain that cannot fit into your tiny little skull) can get through. You have remade God into this tiny little thing that you can keep in your pocket and under your control. I however believe in an infinite God who is beyond my comprehension in regards to power, knowledge and the nature of His being. There is only one way that we can know Him in that is in the love that He had for us so that in the person of the Father He gave His only son and in the person of the Son, He counted all the power and knowledge of God as nothing to become an ignorant and helpless infant so that he could grow up as a human being and show us how to live by faith, and even to die at our hands.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    If you were a christian or even evangelical, you would not be doing your insults, personal attacks, your mis-representations of others and so on. Jesus never did those things nor commanded that they be done.
    SEE! What a hypocrite you are. Condemning yourself with your own words. But I know from your other posts that this is just another excuse and nothing more. You paint yourself in a pretty picture fantasy. Get real. You do all of these things yourself. If being a Christian means anything it would be that you know this. And anyway I think you are just playing games because you yourself have made it clear that playing nicey nice and not confronting the truth about things is definitely NOT the way of an evangelical, is it? We must seek God's guidance on when we need to comfort and when we need to rebuke and some times we succeed in following His guidance and sometimes we do not.
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    up to you. i was just making a suggestion

    i would prefer to go back to the easter topic and include other holidays and festivals as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    up to you. i was just making a suggestion

    i would prefer to go back to the easter topic and include other holidays and festivals as well.
    moderator: Wish granted. The rest of the thread is now entitled: "The Proper Fear of God"


    In the teaching today at church, our pastor introduced the book "Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola. It wasn't until just now looking this up on the internet that I could see that this was actually three books with three different subtitles: "The origins of our modern church", "Exploring the Roots of our church Practices", and "Reimagining Church."

    Anyway perhaps we now need a follow up book entitled "Anti-pagan Christianity: The Origins of a Post-Modern Extremist Movement". Because I think we need to explore the motivational roots of this new movement that wants to twist and distort Christianity into something that is opposed to our pagan traditions and pagan cultural origins. I think we will find that it isn't pretty and it isn't very Christian at all - all about power, domination and control.
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    i think you are misguided in your thinking. christianity did not originate in anything pagan and it was men who did not believe God who 'christianized' the pagan festivals.

    that frank viola book soounds interesting
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    Easter doesn't even fall on the solstice, nor even quite close to it usually. And, doesn't Easter have something to do with lent?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    You would think so, lent ending on Easter Sunday.
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    lent ends on easter and is a r.c.c. docrtrine about giving up 1 thing for 40 days.
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    Thats not entirely it Archeologist. Lent is a 40 day long fasting period that is supposed to mirror Jesus's time in the desert. People are encouraged to give up something they enjoy or like for lent as a way of fasting. It doesn't have to be 1 thing, it can be multiple.
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    but it is tied in to Jesus life?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Is what tied into Jesus's life?
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    Thats not entirely it Archeologist. Lent is a 40 day long fasting period that is supposed to mirror Jesus's time in the desert. People are encouraged to give up something they enjoy or like for lent as a way of fasting. It doesn't have to be 1 thing, it can be multiple.
    i knew that but was totally sure so i left it out. i needed confirmation before i wrote about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i think you are misguided in your thinking. christianity did not originate in anything pagan and it was men who did not believe God who 'christianized' the pagan festivals.
    I never said that Christianity originated in anything pagan. But Christianity also did not originate in anything anti-pagan and it is men who do not believe in God who do try to christianize anti-pagan bigotry.

    The point is that you are a Judaizer, turning back the clock and Christianity into a legalistic religion, you make it about anihilating the culture of people, which Paul made it clear had nothing to do with what Christianity is about. Instead Paul recognized that God was at work in all cultures to prepare them for the gospel as in the case of the monument to an unknown God. This is why that Zeitgeist movie is so ridiculous, imagining that any Christian would see these parallels as anything but God's preparation of the world for the central event in human history is a pretty big blind spot.

    Thus the legalization of christianity in this anti-pagan nonsense is manifestation of a human habit of turning everything in his world into something he can manipulate and control and this is the flaw in the Pharisees as in all religious fanatics. In their effort to become masters of religion in order to lift themselves above other people they have twisted the word of God from His purpose into something quite different, and this is why Jesus was so angry with them.
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    you would be wrong.
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    he would be right
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    okay here are two christianized festivals we can discuss: all saints day and christmas.

    the former was the r.c.c. response to all hallow's eve and the latter was basically a christianizing of the many festivals at the winter solstice--parts of the german, roman and other countries have been thrown in to make a hodge podge festival for christians.

    let's hear your thoughts on them


    {MM would be wrong}
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    Ever read "Peace Child" by Don Richardson? It is a story about how a missionary in New Guinea made a breakthrough with tribes that practiced cannibalism there.
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    read the book, watched the movie and i believe i have even heard him speak, it has been so long ago i do not remember.

    don't know how that applies to christianizing pagan holidays as richardson did not christianize their belief,he used it but did not turn it into a christian practice.
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    The only people who would call Easter the christianization of a pagan practice are legalists, Judaizers, Pharisees and others who change the good news into a tool of manipulation for political power and monetary gain.
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    hahahahahahahahaha

    sorry but that is so funny.
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    eat another chocolate egg laying bunny and corned beef, then you'll be ready to spread the good word... who isn't a pharasee today? maybe the amish, are you amish sir? driving around in your padded throne on wheels living in your environmentally controlled suite, sleeping on your soft bed, relaxing on your cumfy couch, watching tv, preaching online, where everything is YOUR DOMAIN. right... legalize this

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%92ostre

    The Anglo-saxon pegan goddes Ēastre, the goddess of the dawn and the goddess of the month of April.

    Easter is in the middle of April.

    dawn is and always has been as far back as there has been symbolic meaning, a symbol for the reserection of the sun.

    Now for some basic cabala lessons

    "Shin", is how you pronounce the Hebrew letter for fire, a symbol of spirit, sun, serpent, dragon, judgment and temperance.

    Yahshua is how you pronounce Jesus in Hebrew. Joshua in newspeak.

    Note that Yashua is Yahweh with a Shh inserted.

    Jesus literally means the fire of Yahweh. The meaning of "fire" is however very debatable.

    Sun is a play on words with Son, and if you think our languages haven't evolved like this for a reason, put two and two twogether.

    In an idealized divine family, a man's son is his fire.

    In a spiritual sense your children are the manifestation of your will, IE, your judgment incarnate. It may not seem so, because our will is so often spread thin across many pursuits, and there is the whole sense of regret, expectations and ego battles that prevent parents and children from seeing each other for what they are(some call this love, but most will never know), but it all makes perfect sense in the end. God is Good.

    There is no need to reject past religions for new faith. They existed, they were believed in, God spoke to people through them. They do not conflict with your faith unless you make them by judging them, just like your kids, but know that those religions are more than anything you can every comprehend, just like EVERYTHING. Accept them for what they are, a simpler understanding of God's glory, one that has evolved, and one that may continue to evolve and bring those worthy closer to the Truth of our being.
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    sometimes marcus i just do not follow one thing you say in a post.
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    yeah I get that

    PM me with questions if you are truly interested, I'll explain it in more detail
    Dick, be Frank.

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