Words of wisdom and miscellaneous facts by Dr. Wysong and others. This is an accumulation over several decades and the accuracy cannot be attested to.
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During college, I jettisoned the Christian religion of my youth and climbed on board the prevailing academic, evolutionist, materialistic, and atheistic train. Then, in my early medical years, I discovered the evidence and logic on origins presented in the previous section of this book. This was convincing of intelligent causation but gave no direction for where to go from there.
Curious about who this Creator was, various religions and holy books were examined. Critiques of non-Christian religions (written by Christians) and Bible proofs (used by Bible apologists) led me to believe that the Bible was the Creator's word. After all, the Creator, like a human father, would surely want to talk to its creation. I settled on a Bible-based religion that seemed most rational and faithful to the book.
This led to an immersion in Bible apologetics, hermeneutics, and critical evaluation of competing religions. After all, if this was the true religion, the others were false and had to be exposed so their followers could escape the Bible's imminent apocalypse.
Although reading contrary literature was strongly discouraged, it seemed that if this religion was the truth there should be no fear of any information. Such exploration resulted in discoveries and epiphanies that shook my beliefs.
I shared these with fellow believers. The headquarters of the religion was also contacted for rebuttals to Bible passages that seemed to disprove some of their doctrines. The result was a visit (trial of sorts) by a leader. Satisfactory answers weren't given and it became clear that compliance, not truth, was the real agenda of the organization. So, after about three years of this sidetrack in the quest for truth, I moved on.
The break was not nearly as clean and neat as that sounds. What I was doing was considered apostasy and heresy. Nor was it easy to leave behind so many friends, although several I spoke to about what I was discovering fell away along with me. The sense of belonging and comradery in this religion were powerful draws. Leaving behind a religion you commit to can be like having your world collapse in on you. But, truth was the goal. Living in a lie was not possible.
Looking back, the experience was an invaluable awakening to independent and open thinking and what it's like to be willingly brain-washed.
After leaving this religion, exploration widened to include information that challenged the very notion that the Bible was written (inspired) by the Creator of the universe.
In examining the earliest moorings of Judaism and Christianity, it was astonishing to learn that virtually everything in the Bible was known and practiced in cultures prior to the Bible. This included Minoan, Egyptian, Indus Valley, Etruscan, Greek, and Roman civilizations. The Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Hymn of Ra, the Gilgamesh Epic, Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Enuma Elish mythology, and many other religions/mythologies cross-pollinate the Bible and other holy books.
Features of gods, some dating back thousands of years before Christianity, include a heroic male demigod, often the son of a god and a mortal woman, miracles surrounding the birth, atonement, original sin, births announced by stars, birth at a December 25 solstice (Greco-Roman sun gods), tyrants trying to kill them in infancy, passion and violent death, bearing sins so humans could rise to heaven, rising from the dead, worshiped by "wise men," fasting for 40 days, baptism by water, twelve followers, miracles such as water walking and changing water into wine, the demigod being referred to as "king of kings," "lamb of god," "alpha and omega," "the truth," "the light," and likened to both a lion and a lamb, resurrection to eternal life, considered a savior and redeemer, and more.
Many gods before Christianity were worshipped as a trinity. For example, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva; Horus-Isis-Osiris; Astarte-Anat-Quedesht; Dionysus-Demeter-Poseidon; Attis-Maia-Zeus; Astarte- Eshmun-Melkarth. Other pre-Christian doctrines include holy water, confession, penance, salvation based upon belief, priestly garb and ritual, Sunday worship, Saturday worship, temples, sacrificial blood, wine as blood (Dionysus cult), Eucharist communion, idolatrous reverence for holy writings, the cross symbol, three crosses with thieves to the side, halos, tithing, the Christmas tree, Easter, an end-time apocalypse, eternal punishment, a devil, hellfire, and more.
Consider the mythological god Attis, 1250 BC:
Many Christian features trace back to ancient sun worship and the astrological zodiac. The sun made crops grow, brought warmth, gave light, and vanquished the terrifying predator-filled darkness. Little wonder it was worshiped as savior and light of the world. The sun was seen to pass through twelve major star constellations during a twelve-month year giving rise to the four-seasons in the cross of the zodiac. The sun was anthropomorphized as were the star constellations.
Notice the features of the Egyptian sun god Horus, 3000 BC, as compared to modern-day Christianity:
The symbols in the zodiac are not just an artistic tool to track the sun, stars, and seasons. The zodiac doubles as a pagan religious symbol. For example, the bright star in the East is Sirius, which on December 24th aligns with the three kings. These stars in Orion's Belt point to the sunrise on December 25th. Thus the three kings "follow" the bright star in the East to locate the sunrise, the birth of the sun (son). This mimics the events surrounding the Christmas story.
There are 12 parts of the astrological zodiac. Notice there are 12 disciples of Jesus, 12 tribes, kings, judges, and princes of Israel, 12 brothers of Joseph, and Jesus was at the temple at age 12.
Jesus is often shown superimposed on the sun in the middle of the astrological cross. (Incidentally, the Romans crucified people on stakes, not crosses, if for no other reason than the impracticality of building stable crosses.)
In the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam there are most especially common themes and doctrines. Christianity morphed out of Judaism and paganism, and Islam morphed out of both Judaism and Christianity. Judaism morphed out of the pagan religions preceding or concurrent with it, such as monotheistic Zoroastrianism.
Christianity thus appears as an amalgam of Jewish, Greek, and pagan beliefs. Since the early Christians lived among these cultures, it's little wonder that the people and the times would influence the Jesus story. There was also a practical aspect to this plagiarism. Christian states found it useful to adopt beliefs of the people they conquered to help assimilation and decrease the potential for rebellion.
Although this information was new to me, it was by no means new. For example, Higgins (1772-1833), in his Anacalypsis, concluded: "One thing is clear — the mythos of the Hindus, the mythos of the Jews and the mythos of the Greeks are all at bottom the same; and what is called their early histories are not histories of humankind, but are contrivances under the appearance of histories to perpetuate doctrines."
Most astonishing is the fact that a number of writers in the first four centuries, including Christians, knew of the plagiarism. For example, sainted Justin Martyr (100 CE), a pagan turned Christian, attempted to defend Christianity in the face of pagan claims that Christianity was nothing more than a rehash of their gods. Being well aware of pagan beliefs, Martyr didn't deny this but rather defended Christianity with his absurd "diabolical mimicry" argument: Satan read the Old Testament prophesies about the messiah and imitated Christ in the form of pagan gods prior to Jesus. In other words, any parallels to paganism are the devil's doing and should create no doubt that Jesus was god and did the things said of him. But pagan writers, such as Celsus, would have none of it. Pagans were used to syncretism (the amalgamation of different religions) among pagan religions and easily recognized Christian plagiarism.
Clearly, if Bible-based religions are truth and not human imaginings, they should stand alone, be unique, and historically first. So, it is shocking to learn that the mythological pagan gods anathematized and ridiculed by Christendom, were antecedents to all of Christendom's doctrines.
1. Rules for Finding Truth
2. Truth Is Real and Accessible
3. Origin Choices
4. The Laws of Thermodynamics
5. The Law of Information
6. The Law of Impossibility
7. The Law of Biogenesis
8. The Laws of Chemistry
9. The Law of Time
10. Fossil Problems
11. Have Humans Evolved?
12. Are We Selected Mutants?
13. Favorite Evolution Proofs
14. Why Materialism Is Believed
15. Free Will Proves Creation
17. Biological Machines
18. Nuts, Bolts, Gears, and Rotors Prove Intelligent Design
19. Humans Defy Evolution
20. The Anthropic Universe
21. Evolution’s Impact
22. Putting Religion on the Table
23. How Religion Begins and Develops
24. Religions Cross Pollinate
25. Gods Writing Books
26. Questionable Foundations of Christianity
27. How Best to Measure Holy Books
28. The Ultimate Holy Book Test
29. Religion Unleashed
30. End(s) of the World
31. Defending Holy Books
33. The Source of Goodness
34. Matter is an Illusion
35. Weird Things Disprove Materialism
36. Even Weirder Things
37. Creature Testimony
38. Personal Weirdness
39. Proving Weird Things
40. Skeptics and Debunkers
41. Free Will Proves We Are Other
42. Mind Outside Matter
43. Death is a Return
44. Life After Death
45. Why There is Suffering
46. What the Creator Is and Is Not
47. Thinking’s Destination
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