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Friday, December 13, 2013

Does This Not Sound Familiar?




There once existed an ancient religion, and in that religion a God was worshiped. The God was Mithra, Sun God.  
With ties to Zoroastrianism, dating back to ancient Persia, one must wonder how much impact this religion had on Judaism and, in turn, Christianity and then Islam. It is important to note that this religion existed before the development of Christianity and while these two religions are different, today's Christian may be surprised to see the similarities that they  do have with one another. 
Similarities like the following:

December 25th is the birthday celebration of Mithra, the Sun God

Does that not sound familiar?


The babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds.

Does that not sound familiar?

He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.

Does that not sound familiar?

He had 12 companions or "disciples."

Does that not sound familiar?

-He performed miracles.

Does that not sound familiar?

As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.

Does that not sound familiar?


He ascended to heaven.

Does that not sound familiar?


Mithra was viewed as the Good Shepherd, the "Way, the Truth and the Light," the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah.

Does that not sound familiar?

Mithra is omniscient, as he "hears all, sees all, knows all: none can deceive him."

Does that not sound familiar?

He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb.

Does that not sound familiar?

His sacred day was Sunday, "the Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.

Does that not sound familiar?

His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper."

Does that not sound familiar?

Mithraism emphasized baptism.

Does that not sound familiar?


What do you think? Are you at all surprised to hear that a religion, existing before Christianity, already believed and practiced so many beliefs and rituals that the Christians of today feel originated and belong to their own faith?

6 comments:

Kmarie Jones said...

oooohhhh you are so lucky certain people have not found or do not read your blog...you could get us in so much trouble for this. What's new eh? Didn't you know...studying anything outside of the Christian faith like Sociology, Science and Humanities is wrong? ( sorry sarcasm)... For instance "even in school where they say they "advocate thinking" (ha ha) we were confronted with a shrink wrapped, fact based, topic based and test driven curriculum that no adult with the freedom to leave would tolerate in an instant...then in religion there tends to be a narrow education that demands obedience, allegiance and more thoughtlessness." (quote from Eric Maisel)...
..."in fact in most societies and families the thinking person is targeted...he is mocked and progressive views are hated. Tyrants hate intellectuals because they can articulate what they see...they know when freedom is being violated...or the intellectuals are disparaged as a fear mongers."(from Eric Maisel)
So even though I respect your intellectualism I fear for the big old target that seems to prevail over our heads...not just from christian religion either...share in safe places my love...


Anonymous said...

p.S funny enough...studying all this history and seeing these patterns in other religions and people groups has strengthened my faith in a BEing and redemption because it is so world wide and prevalent there has got to be something to it...perhaps?
I can't claim faith in every story of course nor history because there are flawed ones and perspective but I can claim my own unbelief and belief in the source or existence of Being. To me this makes faith more mysterious and religion less...
Kmarie

Carleton Pope said...

I'm not surprised! That's why I'm an agnostic.

I wouldn't say that these stories or the possibility of an afterlife or higher being(s) are impossible.

Having said that, there's no real fact or evidence behind the stories and dogma that dominate most religion/theology.

It's just believing something for the sake of believing it. And that, as your Nietzche quote alludes to, does not make a free human.

Miriam (Pete) Rashleigh said...

I agree that faith is more mysterious and deep than religion. I also realize that most people start with religion and move toward a deeper faith over time - can't fault that process either.
Wherever people are at, they need to be listened to and accepted, whether religious or not. And atheism/agnosticism can be just as much of a religion as any other.
My "devil's advocate" nature (in this case, the "devil" being "religion") has me pointing out that another take on the similarities found may mean that, just as the Old Testament points to the New Testament hundreds/thousands of years before things happened a certain way, these beliefs can be seen as pointing to a similar "religion" to come, which became known as "Christianity". It doesn't have to be viewed negatively, in other words, or with Christians being mocked or looked down on as simply being spoon-fed something more ancient than they knew. It also doesn't make all of them any less "thougthful" than people like you and me who think outside certain boxes. Some are truly followers who simply take what they're given, and I won't fault them. There's always another facet to any diamond. And most Christians, like me, are certainly diamonds in the rough along with our beliefs and practices. But diamonds we are, just like you :)
m.

CalledToQuestion said...

Kmarie:
Got to love that target. Is it just me or is the target getting closer?
Yes, Being is very important as in me Being and you Being. But, and I am sure you'd agree, a 'Being' is much harder to prove, none the less believe in, when it is hard enough to believe in our own Being.

Get it? Got it? Good!

Carleton:
You are absolutely right! There is no proof to support religion and/or theologies, then again, I suppose there is no proof for anything at all. I guess that's why they call it faith, an utterly irrational belief in something that is unprovable. That is what is wrong with conservatism, of any kind, they have no faith just the 'facts'.

Love that you referred to Nietzsche!

Miriam:
Glad you pointed that out. One could easily be afraid of this type of information and fear that it may somehow prove the invalidity of Christianity, however, as you shared, it could also be considered a confirmation of God. Rather than the God of Christianity it is the God of all, a saviour to all who has been pronounced in many different beliefs. How does that saying go...'every knee shall bow, every tongue confess".

Good thoughts.

My Little Warriors said...

Not surprised... :)