"Today Contemporary Christianity has not only allowed truth to fall, but it has thrown truth in the street as a gesture of religious tolerance and compromise. It has given the adversaries of scripture exactly what they need to substantiate their claims that what most present as Christianity is nothing more than redefined pagan mythology. Educated theologians know that; yet they continue to present a compromised gospel filled with pagan tradition that never had anything to do with Christ."
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Christian Apologist: "ZEITGEIST is Right"
In an article posted on March 25, 2009, conservative Christian website WorldNetDaily.com claims that the film "ZEITGEIST" is an "'Antichrist' movie tricking Christians." The article by Joe Kovacs goes on to cite the opinions of Christian apologist Richard Rives, who ironically runs a website called "ZEITGEISTisRight.com"
According to WND, Rives "has himself been educating the public about the impact heathen sun worship has had on traditional Christianity." Indeed, he has published a book called Too Long in the Sun, which highlights the usurpation of Pagan solar religious traditions by Christianity. As a fundamentalist Christian, however, Rives's purpose is to distinguish between true biblical teachings and supposedly later attachments to Christian tradition from heathenism.
In Rives's videos and on his "ZEITGEIST is Right" website, he specifically names me, D.M. Murdock aka Acharya S, as the "scholar who provided data for the movie ZEITGEIST." On his book website, Toolong.com, Rives has posted articles concerning the connection between "Traditional Christianity" and Pagan sun worship, such as regards the Persian sun god Mithra, the Roman sun god Sol Invictus and the solar holidays of "Christmas" and Easter. In effect, Rives is verifying that various important aspects of Christianity were taken from sun worship and that ZEITGEIST is correct in its identification thereof.
However, again, Rives delineates between the Christianity of tradition and that of the Bible, reiterating that Christ's winter-solstice birthday, for example, is not in the New Testament. Rives also claims that Christ's crucifixion and resurrection occurred not during Easter but during Passover, which was changed to coincide with Easter. In his analysis, Rives says:
While we wholeheartedly concur with Rives's assessment concerning "Traditional Christianity" adopting various Pagan holidays and doctrines, we disagree that the gospel story itself is devoid of such influences. Indeed, my work in dissecting the gospel story and demonstrating its "borrowing" from pre-Christian religions is extensive and covers much more than simply Christmas and Easter. As one glaring example, the Virgin Mother concept unquestionably existed in the Pagan world long before Christianity was created - yet, there it is in black and white in the New Testament. Furthermore, such biblical doctrines as having 12 followers, healing the sick, raising the dead, walking on water, transfiguring, resurrecting and ascending are all present in pre-Christian Pagan religion and mythology as well. This fact is demonstrated thoroughly in my book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, which draws from thousands of pre-Christian Egyptian texts and the works of highly credentialed scholars in relevant fields.
As concerns labeling me or ZEITGEIST's producer Peter Joseph "antichrists," the word "Christ" simply means "Anointed One." It is not the exclusive name of a Jewish son of God who allegedly lived 2,000 years ago. The term was also used long prior to the Christian era, in the Greek Old Testament or Septuagint, for example, as applied to anointed figures such as Saul, David, Solomon and various priests - all of these are deemed Christs. Moreover, the word "christ," or "christos" (χριστος) in the original Greek, was likewise utilized in non-biblical, pre-Christian literature as well. "Anti" means to be against; however, while I do make the case that many of these characters are mythological in nature, I am not "against" them. Hence, I am not "antichrist" at all.
I feel for the sincere Christian who has been taught what amounts to falsified history, and I truly appreciate that Christian apologist Richard Rives has the integrity to admit that Part 1 ZEITGEIST is right in its overall premise of Christianity taking over Pagan sun worship.