The "Pagan" roots of the "Traditions" of Rome

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Jerry Shugart, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    The following words were written by John Henry Cardinal Newman,the "Father of the Second Vatican Council":

    "Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil, and to transmute the very instruments and appendages of demon-worship to an evangelical use, and feeling also that these usages had originally come from primitive revelations and from the instinct of nature, though they had been corrupted; and that they must invent what they needed, if they did not use what they found; and that they were moreover possessed of the very archetypes, of which paganism attempted the shadows; the rulers of the Church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, or imitate, or sanction the existing rites and customs of the populace, as well as the philosophy of the educated class"("Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine").

    As we can see,Newman admits that the rulers of the early church imitated the "existing rites and customs" of the pagans,and they also adopted the "philosophy" of the educated pagans!

    Newman wrote these words before he converted to the beliefs of Rome,but he never repudiated them.Here are his words in the "preface" of the 1878 edition:

    "THE following pages were not in the first instance written to prove the divinity of the Catholic Religion, though ultimately they furnish a positive argument in its behalf, but to explain certain difficulties in its history, felt before now by the author himself, and commonly insisted on by Protestants in controversy, as serving to blunt the force of its primâ facie and general claims on our recognition."

    The early rulers of Rome adopted the pagan things into their church,but the Christians in the earliest church burned the pagan things,as Scripture demonstrates:

    "And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed"(Acts19:18-20).

    Those in the earliest church burned the things which belonged to pagan superstition,but the leaders of the church at Rome adopted the pagan superstitions into their religion.

    In His grace,--Jerry
     
  2. MikeS

    MikeS
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    Jerry,

    What is the point of all your posts on Catholicism here? Be honest. We see the same "errors" of Catholicism pointed out again and again, and we have to point out again and again that there is no error at all.

    Meantime, if you want to rid Christian faith of all things "pagan", then:

    1) Stop praying
    2) Stop reading and venerating holy writings
    3) Stop making sacred music
    4) Stop making gestures of praise during worship

    The list, obviously, could go on and on.

    Pagans were simply responding to the (incomplete and distorted) knowledge of God written into every human heart. It's not surprising that their worship and Christian worship might have some things in common, since we're all humans made by God to know, love and serve Him, and that includes worshiping Him.

    It's pretty funny when outsiders try and tell the Universal Church founded by Christ how to worship God.
     
  3. CalvinG

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    MikeS,

    I must say that I was amused by your list of what is "pagan."

    No practice which was a practice of the Jews before Christ which continued after Jesus' Resurrection can be deemed necessarily "pagan." It is rather a continuation of the Jewish tradition. (Well...maybe I should say Jewish orthodox religious practice...can't use the "t" word.)

    "Stop Praying."

    Folks prayed in the OT. Jesus taught us how to pray. Jesus prayed. Prayer hardly seems "pagan."

    "Stop reading and venerating holy writings." Well...the Jews had the Old Testament and the Law. Jesus quoted Scripture on numerous occasions. This doesn't seem to derive from any non-Biblical practice to me. Maybe you can explain how it does, MikeS.

    "Stop making sacred music." Hmmm. Ever read the Psalms? A lot of them look like music to me. Are you saying that using music in worship...I shall not call it "sacred" music...was not a part of Jewish tradition or of Christian practice DURING THE TIME OF THE APOSTLES? And...those saved people in heaven in Revelation...are they singing? Doesn't look as if singing and making joyful noises unto the Lord in worship is a "pagan" practice to me. Perhaps you can explain where my reason fails me, MikeS.

    "Stop making gestures of praise during worship." Hmm...remember King David? Did he do anything ususual in the worship of God? Anything his wife might not have approved of? This doesn't seem pagan to me, so long as the gesture is made clearly to God and there is not even perceived ambiguity as to whether it even might be directed at an object or being other than God.

    Jerry makes some valid points. And while there may be some defense for the Catholic denomination on this issue (not saying there is, just leaving this open as a possibility), that defense isn't what MikeS suggests.

    Blessings,
    CalvinG
     
  4. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    MikeS,

    Why do you question my motive?

    Can I not speak about the things which I disagree with in regard to the church at Rome?

    I find that when people cannot answer the "message" they usually attack the "messenger".
    Even though you say that the pagans were "simply responding to the (incomplete and distorted) knowledge of God written into every human heart" does that mean that we should follow those "distorted" practices and philosophies?

    What can we gain from them,especially considering that the pagans had no understanding of the things of God:

    "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned"(1Cor.2:14).

    Is there any wonder the the Christians in the earliest church burned the things belonging to the pagans?
    It is pretty sad when those who follow Rome continue to practice their pagan beliefs even after they have been shown the roots of their practices.

    This is what the Lord God thinks of those pagan practices:

    "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger"(Jer.7:18).

    In His grace,--Jerry
     
  5. thessalonian

    thessalonian
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    "What can we gain from them,especially considering that the pagans had no understanding of the things of God:"

    You might want to check Romans 2:15 before making uneducated statements like this. Paul must have thought there was something to gain as he evidently had read some pagan literature and it influenced his writings as in Acts 17 he says:

    "In Him we live and move and have our being" is from De Oraculis, a work by the 7th century B.C.

    "It is hard for you to kick against the goads." The educated Agrippa would have recognized the allusion to the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus

    Paul even uses a pagan God to help in converting the people of Athens.

    Acts 17:23
    "For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

    What is the advantage. The things that are true in these peoples hearts has been used by the Church for thousands of years to successfully convert them. It is much easier to convert someone if their eye's aren't glazing over from concepts that they simply don't understand. Paul uses what they know to present the truth of Christ to them.


    Peter in one of his letters also uses a pagan name for hell I believe.
     
  6. MikeS

    MikeS
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    MikeS,

    Why do you question my motive?

    Can I not speak about the things which I disagree with in regard to the church at Rome?

    I find that when people cannot answer the "message" they usually attack the "messenger".
    </font>[/QUOTE]Nobody's attacking you, Jerry -- don't go all persecuted on us! [​IMG]

    I just see that you're a new member and most of the things you've posted are challenges to Catholicism. I find it a little odd that somebody would join the Baptist Board just to challenge Catholics, but if that's what makes you happy, so be it.

    You go ahead and keep showing us where we're wrong, despite the fact that the Church has responded in detail to these challenges for 500 years now. I personally know that we have turned some non-Catholic hearts on this board towards the Church, and maybe someday I'll be able to say the same about you. As for me, my Catholic faith has only been strengthened by the give-and-take here.
     
  7. MikeS

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    I assumed that what is pagan is what pagans do. [​IMG]
     
  8. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    thessalonian,

    The way to convert unbelievers is by preaching the "gospel" to them.All the pagan symbols in the world will not bring any "faith" to anyone.It is the "preaching of the Cross" which brings salvation and the understanding of spiritual things:

    "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent"
    (1Cor.1:18,19).

    And sure,Paul used some of the things belonging to the "wisdom of the world" when he attempted to convert the unbelievers,but he did not base his theology on the "wisdom of the world".And he would not tell the Christians to fill the churches with things that belong to "demon-worship".

    The "preaching of the Cross" is a sufficient means to bring unbelievrs to the knowledge of "the concepts that they simply do not understand".

    The Lord does not need to rely on the things of demon-worship to bring sinners to the knowledge of the truth of God.

    In His grace,--Jerry
     
  9. thessalonian

    thessalonian
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    "The way to convert unbelievers is by preaching the "gospel" to them.All the pagan symbols in the world will not bring any "faith" to anyone.It is the "preaching of the Cross" which brings salvation and the understanding of spiritual things:"

    Where have I said otherwise. Paul used what was in them to preach the gospel to them. By the way, do you think we are pagans damned to hell. If so I wonder why you didn't start out with the Gospel with me? History is hardly your strong suite.

    Blessings
     
  10. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    You are wrong.My first post is questioning the Baptist position that man is born in sin.

    It was not until I began reading all the postings of those who follow Rome that I decided to question the things that Rome teaches.

    So again you are in error when you characterize my motive for joining this forum is "just to challenge Catholics".

    Perhaps before you attempt to attribute false motives to others you should take the advice of Paul to walk "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"(Eph.4:2,3).

    In His grace,--Jerry
     
  11. MikeS

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    You are wrong.My first post is questioning the Baptist position that man is born in sin.

    It was not until I began reading all the postings of those who follow Rome that I decided to question the things that Rome teaches.

    So again you are in error when you characterize my motive for joining this forum is "just to challenge Catholics".

    Perhaps before you attempt to attribute false motives to others you should take the advice of Paul to walk "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"(Eph.4:2,3).

    In His grace,--Jerry
    </font>[/QUOTE]My goodness, I have been a bad boy! :eek:

    BTW, does Protestantism endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit?
     
  12. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    thessalonians,

    Earlier I said:

    "The way to convert unbelievers is by preaching the "gospel" to them.All the pagan symbols in the world will not bring any "faith" to anyone.It is the "preaching of the Cross" which brings salvation and the understanding of spiritual things."

    To which you replied:

    It is Rome who did otherwise.Here is what John Henry Cardinal Newman said in regard as to how the church at Rome "recommended" the church to the heathen:

    "We are told in various ways by Eusebius,that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own. It is not necessary to go into a subject which the diligence of Protestant writers has made familiar to most of us. The use of temples, and these dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with branches of trees; incense, lamps, and candles; votive offerings on recovery from illness; holy water; asylums; holydays and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields; sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, the ring in marriage, turning to the East, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant, and the Kyrie Eleison, are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church".

    Instead of relying on the "gospel" to recommend the Christian revelation to the heathen the church at Rome used the things of demon worship.

    And the churches of Rome are filled with those things even today.

    In His grace,--Jerry
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    I agree -- if we are going to charge the RCC with adopting paganism - the charge should be specific and something beside "music" which we can find in the OT.

     
  14. BobRyan

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    But is Catholic Digest the only source publishing the connection between Catholicism and Paganism from within the Catholic church?

    Nope.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Carson Weber

    Carson Weber
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    Hi Jerry,

    I thought I'd point out a little error in your previous post.

    You said that these are "all of pagan origin":

    The use of temples

    Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Addendum: naming churches after saints is not of pagan origin. Pagan temples were named after gods for whom the temples were used to sacrifice to those same gods. Catholicism forbids the offering of sacrifice (hence, worship as latria) to anyone other than God alone. Naming our buildings after saints is merely one of "remembrance" as we name towns after historic figures such as Washington, Baltimore, and Houston.

    incense

    It's in the Book of Revelation and was used in Israelite worship.

    lamps

    It's in the Book of Revelation and was used in Israelite worship.

    candles

    It's in the Book of Revelation and was used in Israelite worship.

    votive offerings on recovery from illness

    Ever read the Psalms?

    holy water

    Was used in Israelite worship. e.g. Numbers 5:7.

    holydays and seasons

    Was used in Israelite worship.

    processions

    Israelites had processions, esp. into the Temple. Read the Psalms.

    sacerdotal vestments

    Used in Israelite worship

    the tonsure

    St. Paul shaved his head after he took the Nazarite vow.

    Read Acts 18:18.

    the ring in marriage

    Yes, you actually named a custom with a pagan origin! (hey, one out of twenty isn't a bad shot, for some)

    So, Jerry, now that you've pointed this out, I'm sure you're going to go through your congregation and point this out to all of your brothers and sisters in Christ and make sure they depart from this pagan custom.

    turning to the East

    Praying to the East is adopted from seeing the sun as symbolic of Jesus Christ according to Malachi 4:2.

    images at a later date

    Israelites used images in their worship. Do a study on the Jerusalem Temple and the ornate imagery within the sanctuary, on the veil, and in the Holy of Holies.

    perhaps the ecclesiastical chant

    Israelites worshipped with chant. Read the Psalms.

    the Kyrie Eleison

    Which translates to Lord, have mercy and comes directly from New Testament Scripture in Matthew 17:15.

    Jerry, you're losing face really quick on this board. If you wish for us to take you seriously, at least do your research before you post standard ignorant Anti-Catholic hooplah. With this kind of garbage, you're only going to get shot down, and I'm starting to feel like a little kid at a pinata party. Do I get a prize?
     
  16. BobRyan

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    On Candles -- you are wrong Carson and Catholic Digest is correct.

    In the OT we have the seven golden candlesticks and we see them again in Rev 1 and 2. However they were not use in the Pagan way of praying for or two the dead. For that we needed the Catholic Church and Catholic Digest is correct - the use of Candles in THAT form was borrowed from Paganism.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. thessalonian

    thessalonian
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    Jerrys

    I think Carson has answered you well. The reason all of this is so foriegn to you is you do not understand Catholicism. You have only a veiled knowledge of scripture, and you don't know how to preach the Gospel. Most protestants I have run in to want to club a person over the head and if they don't say a sinners prayer by the end of the meeting it means no notch on the belt. By the way does your honey wear a wedding ring. If I was you I would be raising hell in your local Church about that sort of things. And marriage cerimonies with vows. Now where is that in the Bible. Probably pagan also.

    Blessings
     
  18. thessalonian

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    I think your forgetting about the candle kept lit outside of the tabernacle containing the holy bread in the OT Bob. I thought you used to be Catholic. But I am afraid you are wrong on your point also. Have you ever heard of the Kaddish. Seems candles were used in it. It is quite historical and dates back to before Christ where Jews prayed for there loved ones for 1 year after they had died.

    "After a person dies, the eyes are closed, the body is laid on the floor and covered, and candles are lit next to the body. "

    http://www.jewfaq.org/death.htm

    Blessings


    Blessings
     
  19. BobRyan

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    The 7 candle sticks are in the Holy Place next to the table of shewbread. They are not used for funerals or in any other pagan system.

    What you described above - is not in the Bible nor was it practiced by the ancient Hebrews of Moses' day or David's day or Solomon's day etc.

    But the Bible on the other - now THAT is a document you can "trust" in its "details" from Genesis on...

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. Jerry Shugart

    Jerry Shugart
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    Carson,

    Your argument is not with me,but instead it is with John Henry Cardinal Newman,the author of the words that I quoted.He is called the "Father of the Second Vatican Council".
    Again,the "standard Anti-Catholic hoopla" was written by John Henry Cardinal Newman.If you want to call his writings "garbage" then that is your business.

    It is you who is quickly loosing face on this forum,especially since you will not hesitate to make false charges against others.If you want us to take you seriously then an apology is in order.

    In His grace,--Jerry
     

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