Another "Christianity stems from Paganism" thing


#1

I am very sorry, but could anyone please help me on how to answer this. This question just made me feel mad, so I think I need to take a breather.

According to the research I’ve done, that was the pragmatic reason for celibacy. I’ve read in several places that another reason the church priests became celibate after first being allowed to marry, was due to pagan Roman tradition. There were many pagan Roman priests/priestesses who venerated their gods, such a Vesta/Hestia (vestal virgins) by remaining chaste. They were put to death if they were found to have lost their virginity. Many widowed women also became Vestal priestesses, which influenced the tradition of Catholic widows becoming nuns if widowed. I believe some of the priests/esses of some male gods were chaste, as well. Rome took what it liked from pagan practices (and others) and applied them to their modern church structure.

What a great combo - retain the land and make people wrong for natural sexual urges, wrong for the desire to marry and procreate - the paring of the pragmatic with the traditional.

For my Catholic Friend, Bad News…

Christianity has Pagan Roots


#2

All I see is a reference to the writer’s “research”. Ask him for proof.


#3

[quote=Shinobu]I am very sorry, but could anyone please help me on how to answer this. This question just made me feel mad, so I think I need to take a breather.
[/quote]

First of all, the practice of Celibacy comes from St. Paul’s recommendations in 1 Corinthians 7, written long before celibacy was instituted and supposedly influenced by pagans. Secondly, celibacy is not universal in the Catholic Church.

Thirdly, and most importantly, this individual has ZERO credibility, for very good reasons. Here’s why. It is very easy to go leveling a bunch of accusations like that, especially without providing proof. You could respond to it with a bunch of facts just thrown together into a paragraph, and of course he would not accept it any more than you should his. The statement provides no SOURCES first of all, he may as well have simply made that up! He likely didn’t, but what he did likely do is take a bunch of disconnected facts and throw them together into one coherent statement. Just because he puts them together in one paragraph it doesn’t mean the statements are really connected. This leads to the next point, which is that he has a HUGE gap in his reasoning. The “best” anti-Christian folks won’t even touch this type of arguement, because it commits not only logical fallacies, but also is simply a terrible way to make an arguement because it doesn’t prove anything.

Let me explain. Take this statement: Fish are wet. Now take this statement: I am wet. Now put them together, and what do you get? “I am wet. Fish are wet. I am a fish.” :eek: See the problem? That’s, although a little bit more complex, the same thing he did in his arguement. He took two facts, A) Pagans practiced celibacy, and B) Catholics practice celibacy, and connects them and draws conclusions without showing the required DIRECT AND EXPLICIT connection between the two. Try another example. It’s true that both America and Iran practice voting, so one could conclude that they both are based on the same ideas. Obviously they’re not! There is a missing connection, as missing step to get from X to Y, which is never shown. The arguement about celibacy doesn’t show it either. Just because two systems have similar traits it doesn’t mean they are connected; that has to be shown.

Another problem here is one of chronology. A VERY common practice amongst anti-Christians (or the bad ones anyways, as I pointed out above) is to take a pagan belief of some sort, and profess that Christianity must have stolen its ideas from it. However, often times, Christianity, or moreso JUDAISM, came before the pagan belief! For example: the USA is a democracy, and so is the UK. The UK is older than the USA, so the USA copied democracy from the UK. WRONG! See the problem? Pagan cultures often existed before Christianity, so its argued that all of their beliefs came before Christianity and that Christianity copied them. Very, very often, a little honest research shows that these specific beliefs of the pagan cultures rose up AFTER the Christian ones did. I would venture to say that happened in this case, because before the time of Christ, it was not chaste gods, but FERTILITY gods that were very popular with pagans. People would go to temples to have sex to honor these gods! This was especially popular in Corinth.

For these reasons, the anti-Christians rarely list actual sources in their arguements. They just state their claims as if they are self-authenticating. They’re not. They also try to put Christians on the defensive, making them feel as if they have to defend their beliefs, and not that the anti-Christians have to defend theirs. Be offensive. Don’t let yourself be made defensive! Go into these things with the attitude that THEY have to prove their point, NOT you.

christian-thinktank.com/copycat.html
tektonics.org/copycat/copycathub.html

Those websites will provide more REAL facts and information than you will ever need to refute this kind of garbage.

And try especially this: tektonics.org/af/abemyth.html to show what you can prove using your opponents reasoning!


#4

[quote=Lazerlike42]They also try to put Christians on the defensive, making them feel as if they have to defend their beliefs, and not that the anti-Christians have to defend theirs. Be offensive. Don’t let yourself be made defensive! Go into these things with the attitude that THEY have to prove their point, NOT you.

[/quote]

Thank you very kindly! I try hard not to get defensive and so far I have been okay. They sure do like to toss out questions and info left and right!

The statment this person did upset me in that it felt like an attack, so I took a breather and came here. I have to agree with you whole heartedly because it seems this person has just mashed a bunch of gunk into one post.

Thank you very much


#5

Is this person a personal friend or just someone who sent you an email out of the blue or someone you just happened to meet? If he isn’t a personal friend, don’t bother to answer. He’s not looking to understand Catholic teaching and practice, he is only interested in getting you to doubt your Catholic faith. It’s an old tactic used by many an anti-Catholic because too many Catholics don’t know enough about their Church to be able to answer, and so they make easy targets for proselytization. If it were me, I’d blow him off.


#6

[quote=Shinobu]Thank you very kindly! I try hard not to get defensive and so far I have been okay. They sure do like to toss out questions and info left and right!

The statment this person did upset me in that it felt like an attack, so I took a breather and came here. I have to agree with you whole heartedly because it seems this person has just mashed a bunch of gunk into one post.

Thank you very much
[/quote]

Shinobu,

I don’t know if your attackers are anti-Christian in general or anti-Catholic in particular. If it’s the latter, you can ask them where they get the practice of exchanging rings at weddings from. The answer is that it is a pagan practice that the Church took over.

Not everything that the pagans did was wrong. Certainly a lot of it was wrong, but not everything. Just because pagans did something is not a reason for Christians not to do it.

  • Liberian

#7

[quote=Della]Is this person a personal friend or just someone who sent you an email out of the blue or someone you just happened to meet? If he isn’t a personal friend, don’t bother to answer. He’s not looking to understand Catholic teaching and practice, he is only interested in getting you to doubt your Catholic faith. It’s an old tactic used by many an anti-Catholic because too many Catholics don’t know enough about their Church to be able to answer, and so they make easy targets for proselytization. If it were me, I’d blow him off.
[/quote]

It is absolutely our call to help bring ALL people to the truth, personal friends AND random people only trying to cause us doubt.


#8

Before everyone goes off half-cocked trying to show that such and such practice originated in the Church (or in Judaism) before paganism got hold of it, let’s step back and look at the issue from a different perspective.

Let’s just say that celibacy was practiced before Christianity came around. And let’s say that when Christianity was being formed, Celibacy was widely practiced among some of the pagan religions, and maybe even specifically those which Rome promoted (and for good measure, we’ll throw in the Greeks, and the Egyptians).

So what?

Underneath all the heat is a presumption that if it was a pagan religion, that it was completely false, had no truth in it whatsoever, was completely and totally from the Devil himself, etc.

Where did we get that presumption? It certainly is not from the documents of Vatican 2, nor statements from John Paul 2.

Celibacy is a way of devoting oneself more completely to doing the work or perceived work of the deity; whether that deity is Mars, or Thor, or God.

The truth is that celibacy is a way of giving whole-hearted devotion. It is no less truthful if it is practiced in a pagan religion or in Catholicism; the truth of it is indpendent of the religious belief system.

So what does it prove? Very little; and that is the trap that people are getting sucked into. So what if Catholicism has taken either activities, or postures, or physical items that were used in some pagan religious cult, and “Christianized” them? What they tell us about Christ, and our relationship with Him, is no less truthful because some pagan religion, soemwhere at some time, used the same symbol, or act, or posture to mean something else. The understood symbolic meaning of that act, or posture, or item is not the same, and does not mean that Christianity “came” from the pagan religion. Anyone proposing that is not only abysmally ignorant of Christianity, but also of the pagan religion.

To put it another way: Somewhere, some pagan priest drank milk. Catholics drink milk. Therefore Catholicism came form a pagan religion???

NOT!


#9

I would recommend G.K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man. It does a very fine job of explaining the nature of paganism and its relationship to Christianity and monotheism. Might be a bit dated, but still a good resource.


#10

Your friend’s “reasoning” is actually a logical fallacy called post hoc ergo propter hoc.

A post hoc argument goes like this: Both X and Y exist. X came first. Therefore X caused Y.

Here’s an example. Bob took an umbrella to work. Later, it rained. Therefore, Bob caused it to rain.


#11

[quote=Shinobu]I am very sorry, but could anyone please help me on how to answer this. This question just made me feel mad, so I think I need to take a breather.
[/quote]

Simply put, similarities don’t mean a thing. Pagans ate meat and wore clothes. Are those things therefore pagan? The practice of wearing wedding rings originated as a pagan thing. So what? How about, Jesus said there would be some who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom (Matt. 19:12). And St. Paul said he wished people would be celibate like him (1 Cor. 7:7). BUT. He also upheld the sanctity of marriage. Why does it have to be either/or? And that leads me to my favorite part:

make people wrong for natural sexual urges, wrong for the desire to marry and procreate

Next week, he’ll tell you the Catholic Church hates women so much that they glorified sexual relations to the point that women would be forever procreating. After all, isn’t that why we’re against birth control? Isn’t that why we say procreation is the primary goal of marriage? Or that we have made poor single people feel left out by glorifying marriage to the point of making it a sacrament?

This is just another example of the truth that there is not stick too small to beat the Church with.


#12

So what’s he got against paganism? After all, we got the names of the days of the week from pagan gods. And Christianity borrowed a lot of it’s philosophy from Greek pagans such as Aristotle.


closed #13

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