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Old 08-27-2007, 08:53 PM   #1
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Zeitgeist Movie

A few days ago, my sister e-mailed me this online movie - which is about various conspiracy theories. One of them is the origins of Christainity, and how the stories of Jesus have a lot in common with those of ancient pagan gods, like Horus and Dionysius. It also says Christianity is a parody of ancient paganism and astrology.

Now, I am not giving up my faith over one movie, but I have had a lot of questions after viewing this film. I am open minded, and I am just curious what others think about these theories. Is there any truth to them? Is there any logical explanation to them? I'm sure we could have a good - hopefully civil - discussion about them.

The theory about Christianity is from 9:44 - 35:55. (I know its long, but it does hold your attention) The rest are 9/11 and Federal Reserve conspiracies. If you want to discuss those, please start another thread and don't derail this one!



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Old 08-27-2007, 09:46 PM   #2
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i found it really interesting. i will try to find time to watch the whole thing.

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Old 08-27-2007, 09:55 PM   #3
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In short, yes, the connection to these mythologies and Christian mythology has a basis in fact. These connections have also been known for centuries, with tradition stating that Satan merely went back into the past and altered history to create the illusion of Jesus' divinity being fabricated. I tend to view this tradition as being preposterously naive.

You could also take the 20th century view of C.S. Lewis, who accepted both the validity of this pagan mythology and the validity of Jesus Christ:

Now as myth transcends thought, Incarnation transcends myth. The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. The old myth of the Dying God, without ceasing to be myth, comes down from the heaven of legend and imagination to the earth of history. It happens—at a particular date, in a particular place, followed by definable historical consequences. We pass from a Balder or an Osiris, dying nobody knows when or where, to a historical Person crucified (it is all in order) under Pontius Pilate. By becoming fact it does not cease to be myth: that is the miracle. I suspect that men have sometimes derived more spiritual sustenance from myths they did not believe than from the religion they professed. To be truly Christian we must both assent to the historical fact and also receive the myth (fact though it has become) with the same imaginative embrace which we accord to all myths. The one is hardly more necessary than the other.

A man who disbelieved the Christian story as fact but continually fed on it as myth would, perhaps, be more spiritually alive than one who assented and did not think much about it. The modernist—the extreme modernist, infidel in all but name—need not be called a fool or hypocrite because he obstinately retains, even in the midst of his intellectual atheism, the language, rites, sacraments, and story of the Christians. The poor man may be clinging (with a wisdom he himself by no means understands) to that which is his life…

Those who do not know that this great myth became Fact when the Virgin conceived are, indeed, to be pitied. But Christians also need to be reminded…that what became Fact was a Myth, that it carries with it into the world of Fact all the properties of a myth. God is more than a god, not less; Christ is more than Balder, not less. We must not be ashamed of the mythical radiance resting on our theology. We must not be nervous about ‘parallels’ and ‘Pagan Christs’: they ought to be there—it would be a stumbling block, if they weren’t. We must not, in false spirituality, withhold our imaginative welcome. If God chooses to be mythopoeic—and is not the sky itself a myth—shall we refuse to be mythopathic? For this is the marriage of heaven and earth: Perfect Myth and Perfect Fact: claiming not only our love and our obedience, but also our wonder and delight, addressed to the savage, the chilled, and the poet in each one of us no less than to the moralist, the scholar, and the philosopher.

--C.S. Lewis, "God in the Dock"
Here, you'll notice that Lewis takes a rather revolutionary position, affirming the validity of faith and reason, and the validity of myth and fact. Lewis would argue, as such, that God consciously chose to express Himself and His Son through our ancient mythology, rather than existing outside of it.

Of course, I'm fully aware that many do look at this as evidence of Christianity being a fraud based on unoriginal mythology. Occam's Razor, as we interpret it today, would also hold that position (although William of Ockham, being a Christian monk, said that it did not apply to matters of God, who existed outside the realm of reason). And I'm okay with that, frankly. However, as I have demonstrated, those with faith need not abandon it needlessly nor viciously condemn this mythology as being "a Satanic hoax." Both faith and reason can coexist here, from a theological point-of-view.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:56 PM   #4
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I've not seen that film, but in college I took some theology and early history classes where we studied the Enuma Elish creation story. Very interesting! I believe it is older than the Christian creation narrative. It's almost as if someone took the Enuma Elish/Epic of Gilgamesh, changed some details to their liking, and added their own moral code. Hmmm

I do believe that Jesus existed (I won't get into whether or not he was truly divine) b/c there are non-religious contemporary (to his time) sources corroborating his life, but I've always been a firm believer that pretty much ALL of the Old Testament is metanarrative and myth. I personally don't need factual evidence that everything in the Bible happened as it says in order for the stories to contain "truth". I won't ever use one narrative or creation story to discredit another. They all contain elements of truth relevant to the collective human experience.
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:41 AM   #5
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What if that "someone" was God Himself? (the Christian "Father") . He wanted to come to earth and present Himself in a manner people would understand, so he did it in a way that took from pagan ideolgies. He chose to speak their language. Thus Jesus came to Earth in a familar manner.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Teta040
What if that "someone" was God Himself? (the Christian "Father") . He wanted to come to earth and present Himself in a manner people would understand, so he did it in a way that took from pagan ideolgies. He chose to speak their language. Thus Jesus came to Earth in a familar manner.

if that were true, then people would suddenly feel awfully stupid about killing each other over religion.

and that's just crazy talk.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:27 PM   #7
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That was very interesting, thanks. I especially liked the first part - the second parts about 9/11 and the Banking conspiracy I've heard before, but the part about religion was great.

WTF was with the newscaster, Diane Sawyer?, calling that lunatic from Florida brave because she had a chip implanted into her baby? "After 9/11...." You thought having a chip implanted into your kid would save it from another 9/11? Jesus, people are insane. I don't want a chip, and if I have to go underground like Total Recall or the guy from Brave New World, fine.

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