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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:
"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."
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.


9 comments:

Jeffrey Mark said...

This is something that I have thought about a lot -- it really seems the most fundamentalist, purist Christians would agree with ideas such as those presented in Zeitgeist, because ultimately they would want their religion to be completely devoid of outside influences, while sticking to the original premises. And yet, when such research is done, people like you are instead called "Antichrists".

Anonymous said...

"Antichrist"

Good point J. Mark.

I was just thinking along those lines myself. Having been a former saved and baptized Evangelical Christian for 20 years (until I was saved by Acharya's work - LOL) I recognize "Antichrist" as a key word for HATE SPEECH. That's what it inspires among the Christians who hear it. When a respected Christian leader calls someone an "Antichrist" the followers are meant to agree and see that person as against all that they stand for and against God. Christians see them as working for Satan. Of course, it's all a lie. It's really just a desperate move when they really don't have any VALID argument.

Acharya's work teaches us to appreciate all religion for what it really is - mythology and astrotheology. A very fascinating subject that is growing in popularity worldwide. People are asking why this information has been kept from them. Soon it will be taught in colleges and universities, as it should be.

"We sorely need a new History of Religions School for the 21st century, to apply modern techniques to this important ancient material. Perhaps this book will help bring that about."

- Earl Doherty

Thanks specifically to Acharya's work, I can appreciate the similarities as well as the differences among religions.

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Anonymous said...

Earl;

Well said.

Marmalade said...

It seems like I'm beginning to see more fundamentalist Chtistians accepting the Pagan influences. They either argue for a return to some unfounded notion of true Christianity or they claim that the Pagan influences are only superficial additions.

The problem is that these Christians don't look at the reality very closely. A thorough study of the field strongly demonstrates the influences are more than superficial. If you were to take away all Pagan elements, there wouldn't be much left to be called a religion.

Anyways, these kind of reactive solutions to ward off the evil of Paganism are a good sign. It shows that the fundies are getting desperate and are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

It's interesting to observe the changing debate as fundies are forced to face the facts. These fundies are trying to defend Christianity because obviously other Christians are starting to ask questions. I think Zeitgeist really has had a major impact and the fundies are feeling it.

Allan Samaha said...

We all know the differences between right and wrong. It is something we are born into. No one is born evil. There is no original sin. Religion has far too long been used to justify some of the most horrible atrocities known to history. It is not necessary to hold a deity of any kind in front of you to do the will of goodness. However, if you want people to do what you say, you put that fear of the Lord behind it. This is especially true in influencing those who are not educated, who don't think for themselves. In the time of first century many people could not read. In fact, only those of the highest positions even knew what "reading" was. It was not until the Guttenburg press was invented in the 1600's that more people started thinking for themselves--this also marked the beginning of the age of enlightenment. So it is easy to see that when you put the story of a deity behind any moral, or behavioral instruction and tell it to those who are fearful because their knowledge is very limited you can gain a massive following. This is apparent even today. Most people would rather not think for themselves. It takes a lot of energy not to mention sacrifice to rebel against the massive institutions and establishments of today. Particularly the monetary system. It simply is not feasible to always do the right thing. That, above all, is what is truly crippling us. We are constantly held back because of our own blessed profit structure. Zeitgeist is not really an attack on the moral fiber of Christianity, it is simply an attack on the enslavement of humanity that was put in place by those who chose to use Christianity as a means to control society. The director of Zeitgeist in no way suggests that Christians are evil. Just that there are evil doers using the sacred texts to fulfill there own agendas--which is leading up to the New World Order.

Anonymous said...

My bad - this quote from Earl actually comes from his review of "Christ Conspiracy"

"We sorely need a new History of Religions School for the 21st century, to apply modern techniques to this important ancient material. Perhaps this book will help bring that about."

- Earl Doherty

I have great appreciation for Earl Doherty's work. And so do many others who also appreciate Achraya's works.

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Naiya said...

Interesting. I watched his video, and I am confused at his reasoning. He's doing that thing Christians do: picking and choosing.

As I watched, I noticed how he presents his ideas citing no one in particular as his source, i.e. 'Historians say...' 'Sources tell us'... and goes on to make assumptions based on these sources... which should be totally unacceptable. That's why I appreciate you Acharya... You work hard. You have proven yourself to be not only credible, but deeply committed to finding the truth. Kudos to you as always.

Mriana said...

Anti-Christ? *rolling eyes* They really have lost their minds.

Steve said...

If Mr. Rives concedes that the winter solstice birth date for Christ, as well as the Easter celebration, was borrowed, he's asking much from people to believe a good bit more wasn't borrowed as well.

Acharya, your shoulders are broad and I'm appreciative to you for your willingness to bear the brunt of these insults while shining the light.