The Apple Of God's Eye

June 21, 2009

The Cross: A Symbol Of Faith Or Rank Paganism?

chr4.tripod.com

The hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” portrays the cross as the identifying sign of everything for which Christianity stands and around which Christians should rally in their fight against the forces of evil.

Throughout the world, people universally regard the cross as THE symbol of Christianity. Churches have crosses atop their steeples, on their walls, windows and doors. Catholics and Protestants wear crosses on necklaces, bracelets, rings, pendants, keychains and items of clothing. People in some churches “cross” themselves by touching the forehead, breast, and then each shoulder to form a symbolic cross in carrying out certain religious rituals or in blessing themselves or others. Some think the sign of the cross to be effective in warding off evil spirits and for generally protecting believers from harm.

So is it okay to wear a cross as a symbol of our personal faith? Is it OK to assume that the early Christian Church revered the cross as part of its religious observance? Check any encyclopedia or historical reference work on this subject. It makes for an interesting study for those who are not afraid to face the truth.

The cross, in many shapes and forms, was used centuries before Christ by abject pagans! Notice a few of the many examples:

  • In the British Museum is a statue of the Assyrian king Samsi-Vul, son of Shalmaneser. Around his neck is an almost perfect Maltese cross. On an accompanying figure of Ashur-nasir-pal is a similar cross.
  • The ancient Greek goddess Diana is pictured with a crosses over her head, in much the same way that the “Virgin Mary” is represented by many medieval artists.
  • Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, is often pictured wearing a headdress adorned with crosses.
  • Different types of crosses were used in Mexico centuries before the Spaniards arrived.
  • The Egyptians used cross symbols in abundance, as did the Hindus.

The shape of the two-beamed cross had its origin in ancient Chaldea and was used to represent the god Tammuz. Tammuz is the deified Nimrod, the first man to lead the opposition against God after the great Flood. He founded the city of Babylon, and along with his mother/wife Semiramis, founded the pagan Babylon mystery religion—the origin of all false religion today. The Egyptians used crosses in abundance, as did the Hindus.

The surprising thing is that the Christian use of the cross did not begin until the time of Constantine, three centuries after Christ. Archaeologists have found no Christian uses of the symbol before that time. According to one writer, “By the middle of the third century A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had transvestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols” (W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, article “Cross“).

“In the papal system, as is well known, the sign of the cross and the image of the cross are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross is looked upon as the grand charm, as the great refuge in every season of danger, in every hour of temptation as the infallible preservative from all the powers of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due only to the Most High; and for anyone to call it, in the hearing of a genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term, “the accursed tree,” is a mortal offense. To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to a wooden or a metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”—that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified—is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretense. The magic virtues attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source.”

“The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in the Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by paganism to the same magic purposes, was honored with the same honors. That which is now called the Christian cross was originally no Christian emblem at all, but was the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians—the true original form of the letter T, the initial of the name of Tammuz—which, in Hebrew, radically the same as ancient Chaldee, as found on coins, was formed as in No. 1 of the accompanying woodcut (below), and in Etrurian and Coptic, as in No’s. 2 and 3. That mystic Tau was marked in baptism on the foreheads of those initiated in the Mysteries, and was used in every variety of way as a most sacred symbol. To identify Tammuz with the sun, it was joined sometimes to the circle of the sun, as in No. 4; sometimes it was inserted in the circle, as in No. 5.” (The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, page 197).

www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org/Rites%20..

There is an enormous body of evidence proving that the cross is not a Christian symbol but has its roots in rank paganism. Some will argue, however, that we may use the sign of the cross because it represents the manner in which Jesus Christ died, or that they are not using it today to worship a pagan deity. However, using it as a Christian symbol is a product of syncretism, (the blending of pagan traditions and methods of worship with the true worship of God), something God strongly condemns.

Before entering the land of Canaan, God told the Israelites,

. . . take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.” You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:30-31)

Does the cross even represent the manner in which Jesus Christ died? I have argued against this in another article on this blog. The Bible does not specifically state which method the Romans used in the crucifixion of Christ, and as far as I can tell, no one has yet conclusively proven on what shape of instrument of torture Christ was crucified. Does it even matter? We have to consider if it is even appropriate to use the very tool that was used to kill our Savior as an emblem of our faith. If Jesus Christ had been killed by hanging, would we use a gallows or a noose as a symbol of our faith? If He had been beheaded, would we use a guillotine? It makes no sense to parade the instrument of shame and death before the world and be proud of it.

Satan the devil knew long before Jesus was born that Christ would die by crucifixion (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14; Psalm 22:16). He has deceived the entire world (Rev. 12:9) into worshipping a false Christ by making the cross a popular symbol of worship.

Most importantly, God forbids the use of any item that takes the place of faith. He instructs His true followers to worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23), and forsake all of this world’s false religions, rituals and pagan symbols of worship. This includes the cross, which assists only to add to a dead, empty faith. As the apostle Paul exhorted, Christ’s true followers walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor. 5:7).

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April 16, 2009

President Obama Denies His Country’s Foundation

21“We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation,” President Obama said while in Turkey last week. “We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.” These comments were similar to those in his inaugural address, when Obama referred to the United States—the largest Judeo-Christian nation on Earth—as “a nation of Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus.”

But the fact that the U.S. president chose to make this point while in a Muslim nation was especially significant.

“I don’t know what ‘we’ consider ‘ourselves,’” David Limbaugh writes on Newsmax.com, “but I do think we ought to examine that statement and why Obama felt compelled to make it a part of his world apology tour. Can you imagine the Saudi king coming to America and bragging that his nation is not Muslim? I assure you that he’s not ashamed of the Islamic character of his nation, even though his nation is demonstrably less tolerant of other religions.”

Limbaugh continues:

So is (or was) America a Christian nation? … [I]f we are talking about the ideals that led to the very colonization of this land, our declaration of independence from Britain, and the formulation of our Constitution, then the answer is certainly “yes.”

In the words of Prof. John Eidsmoe, author of Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers, “If by the term Christian nation one means a nation that was founded on biblical values that were brought to the nation by mostly professing Christians, then in that sense the United States may truly be called a Christian nation.”

Why does this matter? Simply because our dominant secular culture delights in demonizing Christianity, distorting its character, conflating it with less tolerant faiths, and associating it with all our societal woes. History revisionists have convinced many that we mainly owe our liberties to secular humanist ideals and those borrowed from the Greeks, Romans and the French Enlightenment.

To the contrary, our freedom tradition can be traced to our predominantly Judeo-Christian roots. …

Our constitutional framework of government can be understood only in the context of the framers’ predominantly Christian worldview. Although they believed in man’s dignity, they also believed in his depravity and that it would be possible to establish a scheme of individual liberties only if they imposed limitations on government.

Much of our Bill of Rights is biblically based, as well, and the Ten Commandments and further laws set out in the book of Exodus form the basis of our Western law. Indeed, English legal giants Sir William Blackstone and Sir Edward Coke both believed the common law was based on Scripture. …

Our ruling class today is dominated by those who no longer believe that our rights are God-given or that our liberties depend on effective limitations on the state. They are so divorced from true history and American statecraft that they fail to see the irony in their dissociation with and apologies for our Judeo-Christian heritage, which is responsible for making this the freest and most prosperous nation on Earth for people of all races, ethnicities and religions.

Source: Trumpet.com

March 9, 2009

Killing In The Name Of God?

I happened across some information the other day gleaned from “Free Inquiry, 1993, which was also printed in Freethought Today, 1993 and eventually distributed by The New York Times syndicate. Let me state, it was an eye opener, to say the least. It related some headlines from various newspapers and wires over the years:

1. 2,oo0 DIE IN RIOTS AFTER HINDUS SMASH MUSLIM MOSQUE
2. ULSTER CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT SQUADS TRADE MURDERS
3. OHIO CULT LEADER ‘SACRIFICES’ FAMILY OF FIVE
4. ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SERBS RAPE MUSLIM WOMEN
5. SHIITES IN IRAN HANG BAHAIS WHO WON’T CONVERT
6. CHRISTIAN ARMENIANS, MUSLIM AZERBAIJANIS RESUME WAR
7. FUNDAMENTALIST PICKET KILLS CLINIC DOCTOR
8. BUDDHISTS AND HINDU TAMILS BATTLE IN SRI LANKA
9. EGYPTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS KILL PRESIDENT SADAT
10. SIKH MILITANTS ASSASSINATE INDIRA GANDHI
11. 900 TAKE CYANIDE AT JONESTOWN
12. CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM WAR IN SUDAN CAUSES FAMINE
13. WACO CULTISTS DIE IN SUICIDE PYRE

All headlines show religion in its worst form – in the hands of extremists. Shirley Maclaine was once quoted as saying:

“In the name of God, a ‘fatwa’ against Salman Rushdie. In the name of God, murder in the Balkans. In the name of God, the bombing of the World Trade Center. In the name of God, the siege at Waco, Texas…. In the name of God, Shiites and Sunnis are at each other’s throats in Iraq and Iran, as are Arabs and Jews in the Middle East…. In the name of God, what is going on?”

Yes, there are good aspects of religion, where kind and caring people serve others in the name of God.  But what can explain the opposite result, when evil is perpetrated in the name of God — holy wars between ethnic groups, terrorism, hatred between denominations, faiths and beliefs across cultural, political and economical grounds — all supposedly in the name of God?All because various parties pray to a different God?

Catholic against Protestant, Christian Crusaders against Islamic hordes, inquisitions resulting in the burning, torture and barbaric slaughter of millions, Puritans and Anglicans in mortal combat, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Taiping Rebellion in China, which killed an estimated 20 million, the Nazi’s slaughter of 6 million Jews, the Khmer Rouge killing 1.7 million of their fellow Cambodians, Rwandan Hutus killing 800,000 ethnic Tutsis, the Armenians of Turkey enduring mass slaughter at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, Sikhs gunning down Hindus and so on and so on. It never stops!

Aren’t we all the off-spring of Adam and Eve? Except for skin colour and speech, are we not the same mankind? Yes we are and generally we can behave pretty good -EXCEPT – when religion becomes the chief dividing element. It is the “beast behind the shadows of human conflict – of religious tribalism.

It is irrational, and few can explain it. God only knows, and he says that the human heart is rotten at its very core (Jer. 17:9). Without the true God guiding man (and He isn’t doing so during all this barbarianism, is He?), there is no hope of ever solving humanities woes. Religion without God (and driven by the human heart without the Holy Spirit), is nothing less than barbaric. But the imminent return of Christ is near – despite the naysayers, critics and anti-God pundits. Personally, I can’t wait!

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