Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Catholicism and Paganism

I posted this last Sunday, and an anonymous visitor questioned my remarks about Catholicism drawing from pagan culture and practices, and had some good questions. Enough so that I thought I would post my answer here so as to get more reader comment and hopefully show clearly why I believe Catholicism in general teaches a false gospel of works rather than by faith. I am not bashing Catholics. I love many Catholic people and my mom, whom I loved dearly, was Catholic her entire life. However, the RCC itself teaches false doctrine, and the saved people within that church are saved in spite of the teachings, not because of them. A Catholic that believes they must partake of the sacraments in order to receive the grace to be saved is following a works salvation, which is unscriptural. If what I say offends anyone, I ask that you consider the evidence for what I said, and search for yourself to see whether it is true.

First you'll need to read the post I linked to in the first sentence of this post, then here are anonymous's questions and my response about the connection between Catholicism and paganism.

Anonymous asked: Hi.

Actually Lent is 40 days of fasting and prayer representing the time Jesus spent in the desert enduring temptation by Satan. Christians all over the world, including numerous Protestant denominations, recognize this period of devotion that leads to Easter. Many mark the time by giving up something so that they may focus more deliberately on their relationship with Jesus. (Btw, if you are condemning Christian observances that have ties to paganism, I presume you do not celebrate Christmas or Easter?) It is really not uncommon thruout Christian history to take the pagan holidays and observances and Christianize them...

--Btw, I have no idea who "Tamuz" is. Do tell! Thanks.


And this is my response:

In Ezekial 8:14 -17, it says “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here?”

This was a condemnation from God of the worship of Tammuz.

Here is the history of Tammuz:

At the tower of Babel, Nimrod built a tower to reach to the stars, not just physically but spiritually, to worship the heavens, the sun, the moon and the stars,. Nimrod was Noah’s grandson. He was married to a woman named Semerimus.

After Nimrod died, Semerimus, knowing the prophecy of the Savior to come (Genesis 3:15), claimed that she became pregnant by a sunbeam, and that her son, Tammuz, was the reincarnation of Nimrod. Tammuz came to be worshipped as the Sun God. Semerimus instituted a religion that made her and her son the objects of the worship, which was the beginning of the mother/son cult that spread throughout the world. For instance:

In Babylon, they were called Asteroth and Tammuz

In Egypt, they were called Isis and Osiris (or Horus or Re)

In Rome, they were called Venus and Cupid or Venis and Jupiter

In China, it was Shing Moo and her child.

When Constantine declared Christianity as the official religion of his empire, he went into the temples and declared that the mother/son statues of false gods were now to be worshipped as "Mary and Jesus".

Etc.

Semirimus was considered “the way” to God. She was called the “queen of heaven”(sound familiar? – Catholicism calls Mary the “queen of heaven”).

Semerimus alone could administer salvation, through various “sacraments” such as the “sprinkling of holy water”. (sound familiar? The RCC has a list of “sacraments” through which “grace” is received.)

The religion taught that Tammuz was slain, and that he was resurrected from the dead 40 days later. Every year after that, the temple virgins (sound familiar? As in “nuns”) would enter a forty – day fast in mourning over the death of Tammuz, and awaiting the resurrection. At the end of the 40-day fast, the feast of Ishtar was celebrated, where they exchanged colored eggs, eaten as a symbol of Tammuz’ resurrection, and an evergreen tree was displayed. Hot cakes with the letter “T” were baked and eaten. They believed that these hotcakes were literally transformed into the actual body of Tammuz. This is called transubstantiation. (Sound familiar? As in the “literal body and blood of Christ" of the RCC).

You make an interesting observation, in pointing out that other Christian practices seem to have their roots in pagan practices. I think the difference is that the RCC took totally pagan practices and claimed them as Christian, when there was no Scriptural basis for them, and in fact, they contradicted Scripture (mother/son worship, transubstantiation, prayer beads, virgins in places of service, sacraments as the means for receiving grace, etc.) However, there are some practices that, in using them, do not contradict Scripture, such as decorating a Christmas tree. For that matter, the calendar we use today has its roots in paganism. January is from “Janus”, the two-headed pagan god. Should we abandon our calendar? There is nothing unscriptural about our calendar.


I live in Louisiana, and “Mardi Gras” is a big thing here. It is totally rooted in the Tammuz religion. In fact, here locally, they celebrate the crewe of Janus, and actually display the god’s image as part of their celebration. I’m always amazed at the number of people who call themselves Christians who participate in this pagan ritual. I have to assume that they have no idea where it came from.

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10 Comments:

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying that Catholics are not 'saved'? Just curious. Some of the people I know are Catholics.
- V

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

I think many Catholics are saved. My mother came to the realization late in life that all the rules and regulations of the Catholic church that she'd been taught weren't all Scriptural. She understood that the reason she was going to heaven was because Jesus Christ died for her on the cross - not because she followed the rules (i.e.: partook of the sacraments, confessed her sins to a priest, etc.) She expressed disappointment to me that the church had lied to her. I have no doubt she is in heaven in spite of being a member of the Catholic Church all of her life. She told me many times, that as much as she loved me, there was Someone Who loved me even more - and that was God, Who sent His Son to die for me.

I know of a lot of Catholics that I believe are saved. However, they are saved in spite of what their church teaches - not because of it.

People aren't saved by what church they go to. They are saved by their faith in Christ, and in that alone. But there are too many churches teaching false doctrines and leading people to believe that they have to work their way to heaven. That's just not so.

The biggest lie on earth is the lie that says "good people go to heaven" and "bad people go to hell".

 
At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation. What do you think of the corporate welfare that is going on at Wall street? You think republicans are practicing double standards here?
- V

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

I'm not very thrilled with Republicans right now. They've strayed away from the values and ideals that once defined the party. There is greed and hypocrisy in their ranks.

The corporate welfare, as you call it has come about because of greed. Greed crosses lines - party lines, racial lines, even economic lines. I'm not enough of a financial expert to analyze all that is happening in these bailouts and why it came to this point. But what I've read is that no bailing out would have had greater repurcussions. Maybe you have some insight into this area?

 
At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I'm no expert on this either. :) But, the overall thing strikes me as a double standard from George Bush who got elected because of conservatives like me. I don't believe in any handouts. But, that's precisely what's going on. It will only encourage more of bad behaviour in the future.

The bail-out means $2300 per american. Imagine, George Bush shows up at door steps of a typical american family of four and asks for $10,000 for bailing out some greedy wallstreet guys who didn't want to follow the fundamentals, he would get his a** beaten up! :)

Just another thing dissappointing thing in today's society.
- V

 
At 11:03 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Let's not put this squarely on the shoulders of Bush. Congress carries great fault in this as well.

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six years out of last 8 years were republican majority congress and senate. I'm getting more and more dissappointed with my leaders. Don't know who to support anymore. We need a strong Christian-conservative who walks the talk, believes in conservative values. Am I day dreaming? lol
- V

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Maybe you are daydreaming, but there's a lot of us having that same dream with you.

Wish we could chunk 'em out on a regular basis. Oh for the Reagan days...

 
At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Kari Kounkel said...

I'm perplexed, as always, by people who spend so much time on this topic. I am a well-read Roman Catholic, and I don't believe I've been told by anyone other than Protestants that I believe I can only be saved by good works. No Catholic priest, mentor, or work has told me that.

I do believe I am called to make choices to do good rather than evil, but I make the choice for good because I love what Jesus did for me. When Jesus called His disciples, He said drop what you're doing and come, follow me. Those who made the choice to do as He instructed were blessed by Jesus throughout their lives. I want to live like Jesus did, and do as the disciples did. That's why I choose good and avoid evil. Not because it saves me, but because I'm saved.

Incidentally, neither Jesus nor any disciple ever had a "come to Jesus" moment or professed to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior to achieve salvation. Really, what they did was walk the Jesus walk and talk the Jesus talk. Then, in the last moments of Christ's life, they broke bread and shared the cup of wine with Jesus while He said, "Do this in memory of me."

And so I do.

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

" I want to live like Jesus did, and do as the disciples did. That's why I choose good and avoid evil. Not because it saves me, but because I'm saved.

I think that is a wonderful attitutude. But the Catholic church teaches that if you die with certain sins unconfessed, you will go to hell. That, my friend, is works salvation - depending on what you DO, not on GOd's grace.

THe Bible says that only one sin is enough to send us to hell. If we could earn and then keep our salvation through our works, then Christ died in vain (Galatians) The RCC teaches you must be baptized, must receive the sacraments, and must die with no "mortal" sins on your soul in order to go to heaven. These are all things you do, not grace from God.
"

I was raised Catholic, so I'm not a stranger to Catholic doctrine. Maybe you've been fortunate enough to be part of a more evangelical church, but the official teaching of the RCC is a works salvation.

The thief on the cross didn't walk the walk, but he was saved because he believed. The Philippian jailor had not walked the walk, but was told "believe and be saved".

John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9 say nothing about works, but about believing. Hebrews Chapter 11 says nothing about works, but about faith. Faith saves us because of God's grace. Works save no one - because they are "as filthy rags" to God.

I hope you read the part where I said I'm not bashing Catholics and that I know and love many people who are Catholic. I ask that you look at the official position of your church on these doctrinal issues and you'll find that what I'm saying is true.

 

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