Comments on Pagan Influences on Christianity (Author: Brice C. Smith)
(See Religious History – The Pagan Origins of Christianity)
Exchanges Between Friends
This excerpt just below is from the conclusion of the article further below. This is just a sample of much similar material available online on the varied ancient myths that influenced the Christian belief system, such as Mithraism, the Osiris myth of ancient Egypt, and much more. The author in this excerpt makes his main point, and it’s a good reminder re the Christian belief system- that it was very much influenced by surrounding belief systems and adopted many of those core mythical themes.
A striking thing about this mythology is how little it deals with the central themes of the historical Jesus re unconditional love or generosity. Our discussion of a new creation story the other day points to the opportunity to come up with new stories/myths that actually deal head on with this core theme of the historical Jesus.
“With all of these comparisons and similarities, I have not intended to imply that the Bible is merely plagiarized from these earlier sources. Nor have I intended to prove that the Bible is a work of fiction. What I have intended to show, and what is apparently clear, is that when the founders of the Christian faith set out to document the life and message of their founder, Jesus, they drew from the best sources of religious doctrine available…
“Just as any other writer, the writers of the Bible were influenced by their own cultural biases and view points as well as by the religious figures they met. And as time went on and Christianity was adopted and spread throughout the Roman Empire and the rest of the world, it is not surprising that it was infused with the religious doctrine, symbolism, and mysticism of the cultures it encountered.”
Part of the greatness of “Christianity” is the incredible malleability it has demonstrated. One of the best is its strange accommodation to free enterprise capitalism. Obviously, it is also a good source to found communism on. The wax nose that Bob noted years ago for EGW. But in retrospect, this is an extremely valuable characteristic, being useful to whatever society is the most successful! Notice that this wax-nose property disavows that the subject creates the success, rather it is utilitarian for a society that learns to succeed.
Exactly the point Herb. What people find most successful. Hence the continued historical movement away from pagan mythology toward something more in tune with reality as we now know it (and this may change once again tomorrow or the day after). This is not the ‘greatness of Christianity’ (that temple called Babylon by some, full of all that defiles- my paraphrase <:) but this is the greatness of human consciousness or the human spirit that constantly seeks something better. This is not “driven” by outside forces but comes from the human consciousness within all people. Watch it move on to ever better things, lifting all humanity and all life with it.