The holy days are upon us. With Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Day right around the bend, it is a great time to look at the significance of these holy days, now more commonly called holidays. The influence of Constantine the Great is still felt today around the world. He was known for his role in creating a “Christian” form of paganism. Or was it a pagan form of “Christianity”? Nevertheless, the impacts of his wedding together Christianity and paganism is still one of his most renowned legacies. He remained both a solar henotheist and a “Christian” until his death. So what do the pagans think of him? Do they still consider him to be a pagan adherent? What do the Christians think of him? Do they still consider him to be a Christian? Is it possible for him to be both? And what does the Bible have to say about syncretism? Within the Catholic Church, one may still find many pagan rituals intact, and though many of these pagan practices cannot even be found in the Christians’ holy book, the Holy Bible, the Vatican still celebrates them as they have for years since the days of Constantine. With modern archaeological discoveries and with the abundance of historical documentation on such matters, it has become increasingly obvious that many worship vehicles used by the Catholic Church, such as those listed below, were first pagan vehicles of worship which Constantine fitted with Christian names, thus ensuring unity within the Roman Empire.
- Mother of Heaven Worship
- The Mass
- The Wafer
- The Sovereign Pontiff
- Prayers for the Dead
- The Rosary
- The Confessional
- Clothing and Crowning of Images
- Monks and Nuns
- Relic Worship
- Worship of the Sacred Heart
- Extreme Unction
- The Sign of the Cross
Today, Protestants celebrate a lot of the same holy days as Catholics, but at one point in American history (before Catholic migration increased), it was not like this. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other Catholic holy days were not observed. As Iowa State University associate professor of history explains:
“Early on in U.S. history, because early on we’re a very Protestant country, there’s no celebration of Halloween,” Bailey said. “But there is a celebration of Guy Fawkes Day.” With the arrival of Catholic immigrants in the United States came the celebration of traditional Halloween. While resisted at first, Halloween eventually mixed in with the celebration of Guy Fawkes Day.”
Guy Fawkes Day was very Protestant indeed. It was a celebration of how the English authorities caught the Roman Catholic Jesuits trying to bomb and murder the royal family and all of the Protestant Parliament. Upon arrival in the New World, the Protestant colonies immediately banned Catholic “holy” days like Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, because of the syncretism that Rome practiced in almost every aspect of their belief system, including their holy days. Such holidays were not allowed until Catholics began to dominate the New World in the late 1800s. Popular songs like Jingle Bells and Sleigh Ride were actually Thanksgiving songs, not Christmas songs. Many of the other songs regarding Jesus’ birth were not used by the Puritans and Pilgrims for Christmas, but were later adopted into the celebration of Christmas in the United States due to the Catholic immigration changing the demographics of the United States and its culture.
“You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, …” - Deuteronomy 12:31a
Within many of the religious works from the era prior to the birth of Jesus, you can read of the pagan’s use of the cross, the wafer, purgatory, the rosary, prayers for the dead, the confessional booth for their Mystery Temple, monks, nuns, the worship of the sacred heart, as well as the adoration, clothing and crowning of images … to name a few. A great library of such ancient works can be found at www.sacred-texts.com. Here is a view of both the pagan names for some common holidays and their later Catholic titles (see image below).
It would seem that religion births religion. For example, Buddhism was a spin-off of Brahmanism; yet you do not think of Buddhism as being the same as Brahmanism, because essentially it was an entire system of beliefs that stood separate from Brahmanism, even if it used Brahmanism’s framework to build its code of beliefs. In a way, it is like “open source” code or music. People build off the thoughts and beliefs of others. Let me show you how that looks. Today, belief systems like those found among Wiccans, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Knights Templars, Sufis, Theosophists, and Spiritualists are all variations on the theme of paganism. Thus, “Paganism” is essentially an umbrella word for the myths of Egypt, Rome, Greece, and many other parts of the world. If you trace their history back far enough, you will arrive at Babylonian Bel (or Baal) worship, which is mentioned in the Bible and also in many other religious and ancient manuscripts. To these founders of ancient religious belief, their myths were their way of explaining the universe around them. For example, natural elements such as thunder and lightning were said to be somehow related to the activities of the gods. Today, with the arrival of empirical science, we can see that their myths were not true, and that is why even the term “myths” today is a word likened unto “fairy tales” rather than truth. Thus, religions have changed based upon the findings of empirical science and have built upon their predecessor religions to do so.
Well, most religions have done this. The only religion that has not changed over its known history, stretching back thousands of years, is the Bible. The New Testament is basically a fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament, and its roots stem from the Old Testament. It’s core belief system is found in the first Book of the Bible regarding the Seed (or Messiah) of the woman redeeming mankind from sin. This core message has never changed. In fact, all of the Bible has stayed immutable. As you know, women do not have “seed”, so this passage (Genesis 3:15) is perhaps the first mention of a virgin birth in history. While at the time of Jesus, the Jews were split upon who Jesus was (i.e. Messiah or not), they all still held to the core belief of Messianic redemption and the Old Testament teachings regarding this system of redemption. Those who believed the Messiah was still yet to come in the future are today known as the followers of Judaism, while those who believed that the Messiah of redemption was/is Jesus are known as Christians. This system of redemption was told to the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, by GOD right after they fell into sin. This takes place, as mentioned above, in the third chapter of the Book of Genesis, which is the book of origins and the first book of the Bible. If one accepts what the Bible says about itself, then this places the communication of the core belief system of the Bible from GOD to Adam and Eve right after the Creation of the World, an event which most Jews and Christians place about 6000 years ago. According to the New Testament, when the Judaic Jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah, they essentially rejected the GOD of the Bible from their lives. Thus, the belief system of the Bible didn’t change, but rather some of the followers changed. On the other hand, pagan myths have changed with the times and with scientific discoveries. Therefore, we have two main religious branches in the world today: the evolving Baal religion and the unchanging system of beliefs found in the Bible.
So what if one of those systems was taken from the other? Has this been considered in light of how religion often births religion? With its history of evolving and building upon earlier belief systems, is it possible that the Babylonian Baal beliefs were actually a variation on the Biblical belief system, but carved into a form that man desired (much like idolatry)? Did it not start with a man called Nimrod claiming “god status”, and was he not the alleged founder of Baal paganism? If so, this would explain some of the similarities between these two religions. However, since the Baal religion is very much opposed to the Biblical religion, Baal beliefs would not have been an evolution of Biblical religious beliefs, but rather an inversion, or better worded, a perversion of Biblical beliefs. After all, the Baal worshipers had their own versions (or perversions) of Biblical messages. The message of a messiah was found in Nimrod and his own version of a trinity which consisted of the three members of Nimrod’s family (Nimrod, Semi-Aramis, and Tammuz). Eventually, his belief system was replicated around the world when everyone was dispersed by some game-changing event. The Bible indicates that this event was the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel. For example, in Egypt, you find this trinity of Isis, Horus, and Osiris. The virgin and the Seed mentioned in the Bible was seemingly plagiarized as well in the religion of Bel. Throughout the known world and its history, references to the woman and the child, as well as statues and drawings of the same, were found in most ancient religions. Most of these religions contain Babylonian belief systems at their core. For example, reincarnation, which is popular among the Asian religions is straight from Babylon. Seances, psychics, mediums, and other teachings of the Occult are also straight from Babylon. Rosaries, confessionals, masses, monks, and nuns found in multiple religions are also straight from Babylon. The Babylonian Baal system was passed down through secret orders and pagan religions over the years, but was sometimes notated in ancient manuscripts also. However, the religious beliefs of Baal worshipers appear to have evolved with a starting point 4000 years ago according to some scholars’ calculations. If this is true, then it is possible that the Baal worshiping Babylonians took their belief system from another religion such as the religion of the Bible, but added their own variations to it – variations that included elements of black magic such as communicating with the “dead”, divining the future through demonic channeling, and casting spells through musical charming or enchanting.
How did they come into the knowledge of black magic? From what I have read, the fallen angels were their instructors. We can only read of such things and wonder, but ultimately it matters little if the entire Baal religion is a mere perversion of the Biblical religion. Because with this thesis, we see that of the two mother sources of religion, Biblical and Babylonian, one is a perversion of the other. This leaves only one religion as the most ancient … namely, the Biblical religion. However, Constantine managed to combine both of these systems into one system, uniting the Roman empire, and inadvertently creating the Roman Catholic Empire which outlived the Roman Empire. The new religious Pontiff or “Pope” took upon him the power of the previous secular Pontiffs in many respects, including the same powers that Constantine had usurped from Christ in the title of “Head of the Church”. The Curia found today in Vatican City is reminiscent of the Roman Senate. St. Peter’s Basilica is a replica of an ancient pagan temple. One can still see a statue of Jupiter in Vatican City that is now called “Peter”. This statue symbolizes the entire belief system of the Roman Catholic Empire and Constantine’s inventive work. Virtually, paganism evolved as it has always done and its implements, holy days, and practices were given to one of its new children, Catholicism, but with a “Christian” flavor. Thus, this new Roman religion owed its existence to Constantine the Great, the first true “Pope” or “Bishop of Rome”, an office he had wrested away from the true elders of Rome. Today, the Vatican apologists attempt to soothe their adherent’s consciences by using the history of the elders or bishops of Rome as a “cover story” for the history of the popes, but those who know their history are not easily convinced. An interesting verse in the Bible even implies that the Babylonian religion is the mother or source of all religions outside of Biblical thought.
“And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” - Revelation 17:5
The irony is that the Protestants, who claim to be opposed to Catholicism’s adoption of syncretic paganism, have now begun to participate in many of the same pagan holy days, and with much of the same fervor, joy, and zeal as their Roman Catholic counterparts. They will look to their pastors, instead of their Bible for approval of their celebrated holy days (snatched from paganism), just as the Catholics look to their priests and pope for the same.
2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
Many Protestants have moved beyond just the use of pagan holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween (a holy day connected with human sacrifice) in their practice of syncretism and are now absorbing a multitude of other pagan worship vehicles as well, such as the historical music of enchanters and charmers (i.e. rock music), occult books like Harry Potter, pagan dress that emphasizes nakedness and uni-sex, occult movies and television shows involving vampires, psychics, mentalists, incantations, ghosts, witches, seances, mythology, foretelling the future, supernatural “gifts”, supernatural evil, horror and other pagan elements.
James 3:11 “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?”
The irony is that the Bible, which both Catholics and Protestants claim to believe, has very direct warnings for those who engage in syncretism and gives historical examples of what GOD has done to those who engage in such practices. However, belief and practice do not always equate in the Christian church, as can be seen if you compare pagans and Christians using national statistics on adultery and other sins. Perhaps this is why Mahatma Ghandi said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Then again, perhaps we can provide some insight into why Ghandi found seeming discrepancies between Jesus the Christ and those who claimed the title of “Christian”. As we have seen in this article, not every religion that calls itself “Christian” (i.e. Catholicism) is truly Christian. Is it possible the same can be said of people too? And if so, perhaps the statistics regarding how much of the population is “Christian” may need some tweaking. What do you think?
Luke 5:36-38 “And he spake also a parable unto them; No man puts a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new makes a rent, and the piece that was [taken] out of the new agrees not with the old. And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.”