Tag Archives: paganism

Pagan Influences in Christian Theology

I recently read from a budding South African theologian of Ad Lucem Ministries that the New Testament’s concept of God is not based on Graeco-Roman philosophy. Yet this does not seem to be the case…(see attached photo), Acts 17:28 (NIV):

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It is quite peculiar that the New Testament uses the term “ειμι” (to exist) for God but never in the present participle form of “ὤν” (being). What’s interesting is that New Testament’s translators continue to replace in their translations “ειμι” for “ὤν” in English, almost as if the allegedly inspired texts in and of themselves use insufficient language…

We see further examples of a dependency on Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics in Philippians 2:6, where “μορφε” (form) is translated as “nature or essence”, a completely Platonic-Aristotelian pre-Christian concept in philosophy, referring to the “material whole”.

The Trivium Final

This is why in Christianity, God who is a “ουσια” (substance) can also be immanent, because it fits into the Aristotelian pre-Christian concept of an “accident” (a substance that exists in another substance), i.e. God (a being) in flesh (another substance). This can also be seen in the sense of passion, from the “Praedicamenta”/ 10 Categories of Being, where God (a being) uses a form and thus can experience pain in one sense and not in other because this Being can distinguish between itself (read as quantitatively, therefore “Persons” in the Godhead) and can have various forms (read as qualitatively) hence the hypostatic union.

The Trivium Final

While some Christian apologists deny these dependencies on Platonic-Aristotelian pre-Christian philosophies, by using these terms, they are implying an already understood meaning, which in this case would be the predominant Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics for their onto-theology of “God”.

It should be noted that this is the reasoning behind Justin Martyr’s statement of:

“And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound NOTHING DIFFERENT from WHAT YOU BELIEVE regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter.”

Source: Justin Martyr, The First Apology, Chapter 21.

Some apologists have argued that Justin was using “hyperbole”, this is an ignorant claim, without understanding of basic Graeco-Roman metaphysics.

and Allah knows best.

Missionary Mishap: Easter Violence

There are many nominal and cultural Christians that have adopted ancient Pagan practises into their faith. Many Christian groups in recent years have begun to expunge these Pagan practises from their faith, one website for Christians states:

The name “Easter” has its roots in ancient polytheistic religions (paganism). On this, all scholars agree. This name is never used in the original Scriptures, nor is it ever associated biblically with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For these reasons, we prefer to use the term “Resurrection Sunday” rather than “Easter” when referring to the annual Christian remembrance of Christ’s resurrection. – Christian Answers.

Some Christians however, see these adopted Pagan practises as sacrosanct, involiable, an essential part of the Christian tradition. This had unfortunately led to some violence in Tennessee where one outspoken group of Christian protesters were violently attacked.

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Their sign was also torn apart in the incident:

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This was the sign before it was torn, there was also an Easter Bunny on a crucifix:

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We applaud the efforts and risks that some Christians take when attempting to reform their faith and to remove its Pagan practises. We continue to pray that God guides these Christians to the truth, one step at a time, and that He protects them from harm and violence.

and God knows best.

Do Muslims Worship the Black Stone/ Kabaah?

Question:

Why do Muslims bow down to a rock and circulate it? Do Muslims worship a rock/ Kabaah?

Answer:

Muslims do not worship a rock or the building which houses the rock, the Ka’baah. This is a common misconception and is mostly due to the misunderstanding of the purpose of the Ka’baah, primarily by Christians. To give a similitude, the function of the Temple/ Wailing Wall in Jerusalem for Jews during prayer, is similar to the purpose and function of the Ka’baah in Islam.

The Qiblah (قِبَلَ) is the “direction of prayer“, as is illustrated in Qur’aan 2:142. In the same way that the Jewish, “direction of prayer/ way of the prayer“, is known as, Derek (דֶּ֤רֶךְ), as is illustrated in 1 Kings 8:48. Muslims and Jews both have a “Qiblah/ Derek”, which they face as a “direction in prayer“. Neither Muslims nor Jews worship the Qiblah/ Derek which would be the Ka’baah and the Temple respectively. These structures are merely a point of reference from which Muslims and Jews use as their basis for convening their prayers. It should be noted that there is no Qur’aanic verse or Hadeeth which commands Muslims to worship the Ka’baah, therefore the worshiping of the Ka’baah is not included in Islamic belief.

The notion that Muslims worship the Ka’baah stems from a polemical attack against Islam by early Christians. Therefore for all intents and purposes, the belief that Muslims worship a stone structure is derived from Christians and not from the Islamic faith! In the event that Christians find it odd that both Muslims and Jews have a “direction of prayer“, and insist that it is paganism, they should be introduced to the following verses of the Old Testament:

“And he set up an altar there and called it “God, the God of Israel.” – Genesis 33:20.

“Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.” – Exodus 17:15.

In these examples, a physical object is actually being referred to as a God. This is at complete odds with Islamic monotheism, which does not consider the Ka’baah to be a God, or to be referred to as a God. Therefore the belief of Christians that Muslims worship the Ka’baah or refer to the Ka’baah as God, is really an attempt to mask that belief which is found in their own Bible! The very charge they falsely accuse Islam of, is found in their own scriptures.

and Allaah knows best.