Good Old Time Religion       Part One

 The connection between the church steeple and the Asherah pole 

How did Paganism creep into the Christian Church?    Go to Part Two

2000 years ago...most of the world worshipped the sun, not the Son.

How much ancient sun worship (Baal worship) has been absorbed by Christianity?  You might be shocked to know the details~  This article finally reveals how some religions have adopted "Gnosticism" (Paganism and Christianity" blended together.) The early church fought hard against progressive religion and perversion of the truth.  This article delves deep and shows the progression of how paganism and sun worship slipped into your church while no one was watching...  Could you be practicing aspects of ancient sun worship and not even know it?  Read on to find out for your own protection!  You'll never look at church the same way, after reading this!

This is a true story.
Mike was raised a Catholic...but had studied and adopted Paganism as a grown man. He happened to be visiting his parents for the weekend and went to church with them. As the priest performed the Holy Saturday service, held the night before Easter, Mike nearly gasped out loud and looked around to see if anyone else had recognized what he had just seen. The priest proceeded through the ritual blessing of the holy water, identical movement for movement to the Pagan blessing of the holy water. Mike later stated “after having studied Paganism and I saw that, it was like I was seeing it for the first time. And I looked to the right and to the left to see if anybody else, you know, realized what was going on. There was not one flicker of recognition, not one flutter of an eyelid! I could not believe it! And I knew there and then that obviously the Catholic Church had not picked this up from Jesus.”

How much of what we do in religion actually does come from Jesus or from the Bible at all for that matter? If you think about it, the Bible really doesn’t say a whole lot about holy water, egg hunts, bunny rabbits and kids dressing up like demons. There is nothing from front to back, commanding us to bring a tree into the house in the wintertime....so where do all these and other religious traditions come from? Surprisingly, none of the holidays kept by modern churchianity are anywhere “commanded” in the Bible at all!  Obviously, something has been changed, and not by God. Most people would be shocked to learn that many “Christian” customs were ritually performed by Pagans for thousands of years before the birth of Christ! Some of these most beloved traditions actually have sinister origins when examined historically.  There is documentation that one of the most beloved "Christian" holidays has it's roots in human sacrifice.  As we will cover.

To understand where religious traditions come from, and why people do what they do, we must go back to man’s early history and examine it with a fine toothcomb. Let’s start with the history of December 25th, and see what we can discover about this date, since it is perceived to be a Christian holiday yet it is also observed by Satan worshippers, Pagans, ancient Baal worshippers, by the Mayan and Incan Indians, the Pueblo, the Anasazi and other Indian tribes. Astoundingly all these groups and so many more revere December 25th.

Bible scholars may not agree on everything but they all agree that Christ was definitely not born on December 25th. Just one simple proof of this is that at the time of Christ’s birth, there were shepherds in the fields with their flocks...and historically, they brought the sheep in around the end of October. Hislop states, “There is great unanimity among commentators on this point...that December 25th could not be the right time of our Lord's nativity...Indeed, it is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties that the day of our Lord's birth cannot be determined, and that within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance.” “The choice of December 25 was made by the Pope Julius I in the fourth century AD because this coincided with the pagan rituals of Winter Solstice, or Return of the Sun.”

Connection Between December 25th...and the origin of Human Sacrifice

Astronomically, the winter solstice falls on or around December 21st, or 22nd, but the naked eye can’t discern the return of the sun until December 25th.... Thus, the 25th was considered the birthday of the sun to the ancients. Each year, as the sun seemingly halted in the sky, sun worshipers truly desired to entice the sun to come back. It “dismayed” them to see the sun “stall” in the sky. Human sacrifice began to be practiced with the belief that it “re-energized” the sun with life. One of the ancient European names of the December 25th holiday, we now call Christmas was Midvinterblot, meaning “midwinter blood” or “midwinter sacrifice”. In South America, “the Maya believed that the heavenly bodies needed human help, which was provided through rituals such as self-mutilation, torture, and human sacrifice. To the Maya, offering this help was simply the price to be paid for the continued survival of the universe.”

“When Cortez arrived in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, in 1519, the natives were practicing human sacrifice. He was shown the spot where victims had waited in a line two miles long to be sacrificed at the dedication of the Temple of the Sun, and there were four lines!” “The Aztecs believed that it was necessary to feed the gods with human hearts in order to ensure that the sun would rise every day.” (That puts a new slant on the phrase “give your heart to the Lord.”) Catholic sources state that in just one high day, over 10,000 Aztec children were sacrificed at the temple of the Sun at Tenochtitlan. “The Aztec Emperors made a point of inviting foreign dignitaries to witness the mass sacrifices, which occurred at certain festivals, most particularly the solar ones.(Ingham, 1984). Evidence is pretty clear that human sacrifice and the winter solstice go hand in hand. William Sansom, in "A Book of Christmas," states that human sacrifice actually originated during the winter solstice, which we now call Christmas. “The giving of presents, particularly candles and dolls, called Sigillaria also derives from the insistent origin of human sacrifice at this time of year.”

“Winter solstice” traditions included giving dolls to children. Scholars believe that the term doll is derived from the word idol and may specifically refer to the “dolls” or clay effigies that were placed under evergreen trees in the home, imitating the actual sacrifice of children made under a grove of evergreen trees. The winter solstice was celebrated with candles, which represented “energizing the sun with sacrificial fires.” So after all is said and done and every ritual examined closely... sun worship seems to be “the reason for the season”.

But what does the Bible say about the subject of human sacrifice and sun worship? Amazingly, a lot. Most people do not begin to realize the extent of the worship of sun gods...even by the children of God in the very nation of Israel! The sun god worshipped by Israel and Judah according to Nave’s Topical Bible went by the name “Baal” or the plural “Baalim”. These two words are mentioned in the Bible over 80 times!

THE GREEN TREE CONNECTION...
Sun Worship, Baal and the Evergreen Tree
 
What is the importance of evergreen trees to sun worship?  One of Baal’s many names, interestingly enough, was “Baal-bereth,” meaning “Lord of the Fir tree”. The evergreen tree is without doubt connected to the worship of Baal the sun god. In Jeremiah 2:20-23 it says, “For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot... A verse or two down it says, “How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim?”  They went after Baal and their descendants did too, and they forgot the true God and true religion.  You can look from front to back but you won’t find any requirement for evergreen trees in God’s religion. Literally millions of them are cut down every year and placed devotedly in homes, yet where is this particular practice commanded by God in the Bible?  Make a search my friend, but you won't find it.  Nor was all this harmless paganism. Thousands and thousands of firstborn children were sacrificed to Baal under evergreen trees.  They were the "gifts under the tree."  If you keep this holiday, you are bowing before a false god. 

WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT GIFTS UNDER TREES...

Christmas may not be mentioned by name in the Bible but the words “gifts” and “tree” are in the same context with the sacrifice of children and the worship of idols.  Read the following passage to see what God has to say about “gifts and trees.”

Ezekiel 20:26,28, 31 “I let them become defiled through their GIFTS---the sacrifice of every first-born...vs. 28 When I brought them into the land that I had sworn to give them and when they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices...” vs.31 When you offer your GIFTS -the sacrifice of your sons in the fire, you continue to defile yourselves with all of your idols to this day... In The New English Translation of the Bible , there is a notation about the phrase “every leafy tree”. They inform us that this expression refers to evergreens, “because they keep their leafy foliage throughout the year, providing apt symbolism for nature cults such as those practiced in Canaan.”

Anciently, the worship of Baal involved rites of human sacrifice of firstborn children up to the age of five by causing them to “pass through the fire to Molech.” “They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech...” Jeremiah 32:34-35  The word Molech simply means King. The idol Molech had the shape of a bull and in fact, the English word bull is a corruption of the Hebrew Bal or Baal. 

Read from the Mythology of all Religions, vol. 5. “Living infants and children were BURNED IN THE FIRE to the god Molech during this time. This was the time of the winter solstice (Dec. 25th) when those heathen were dismayed at the signs of heaven!”

Let’s examine Baal worship in detail, since according to the Bible, it was the very cause of the rejection of both Israel and Judah. “And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree....And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire....Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. II Kings 17:10, 16-20

Note that Baal’s places of worship were set up “in every high hill, and under every green tree” The two most important requirements for the alter of Baal were elevation and evergreen trees. If the land was flat, they would construct manmadehigh places” called stepped pyramids, Ziggurats or Sun Temples. And according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the “green tree” mentioned here wasn’t just any old tree. They state that it means “any kind of evergreen tree, in its native soil.”

LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN

Jeremiah 10 certainly does sound like a description of the modern Christmas tree! But rather than commanding us to put a tree in our house, it says, “Thus says the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; (the winter solstice of December 25th) for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain, for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. They deck it with silver and gold, they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it moves not....” Jeremiah 10:2-4  In fact, the whole book of Jeremiah mentions Baal or Baalim 13 times altogether and it is in connection with Baal worship that God is stating, “learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. (The signs of heaven that he alludes to is the December 25th winter solstice!) Sun worshippers were astronomers who clocked the movements of the sun, moon and stars as part of their religion. The winter solstice was fear provoking to them.....

Ever wonder why would people hang gold and silver balls on a tree? An article on Origins of Christmas Traditions gives an eye opening explanation! “Since the earliest of times, the pagans worshiped trees, especially evergreens. To them it represented life and freshness. Since it was EVERgreen, it always had life. The trees were worshipped as symbols of life, fertility, sexual potency, and reproduction. The evergreen tree represented a "PHALLIC" symbol (the man's sexual organ of reproduction) set in an upright position. Any wonder why people hang round balls on a tree?”

Jeremiah 2:23 "How can you say, 'I am not polluted, I have not gone after the Baals'? .... (27) Saying to a tree, 'You [are] my father,' And to a stone, You gave birth to me. It appears that the Christmas tree meant a whole lot more to them than we understand, vs. 27 infers that they felt this phallic symbol “was their father.... the author of their being, their god.” The Christmas tree must have represented Baal. Thus if the children were being sacrificed in honor of Baal, it makes sense that they would do it under the tree that represented him.  It makes no sense, but false religion obviously has a connection to evergreen trees and stone images.

The words “green tree” (evergreen tree) are used 10 different times in the Bible in connection with idolatrous worship and, in four cases, with child sacrifice. Baal worship required firstborn children to be burned alive by “passing through the fire to Molech” under a grove of evergreens. Can it be a coincidence that four different scriptures directly place child sacrifice and the evergreen tree in this same context?  People who want to say that, yes Christmas may have pagan origins, but we have "Christianized it," need to remember that it was a time of child sacrifice.  That can never be sanitized or made acceptable!

CHILD SACRIFICE AND EVERGREEN TREES

1. Isaiah 57:5 Enflaming yourselves with idols, under every green tree slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks...” The valley it is speaking of here is most likely The Valley of Ben Hinnom and according to Biblical Archaeology Review, this particular place of child sacrifice was near some overhanging cliffs. Molech was located there, which was a molten idol with a cow’s head at the top and a fire pit below. Outstretched arms held the victim. There was a pulley system that slowly raised the arms up to heaven and the child was dropped into the fire pit below! The sacrificial alter was located in a grove of evergreen trees. This scripture clearly depicts the act of child sacrifice. Most people would be appalled if they knew the origin of the tradition of “gifts” under evergreen trees. Then, even as now, this winter solstice holiday was perceived as a time of great “peace on earth”. Baal was supposedly satiated with these yearly sacrifices and all was well in the world.

2. II Kings 16:3,4 “he...made his son pass through the fire according to the abominations of the heathen.... and he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills and under every green tree.”

3. II Kings 17:10,16, 17 “and they set them up images and groves in every high hill and under every green tree.” “...and made them molten images, even two calves and made a grove (Asherah pole), and worshipped all the host of heaven and served Baal.” “and they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire...”

4. II Chronicles 28:3,4 “Moreover he burnt incense in the Valley of Hinnom and burnt his children in the fire....” “he sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.”

What sort of powerful religious coercion could have persuaded mothers and fathers to sacrifice their own children? One reason for this unnatural act was something modern people understand very well.... simple peer pressure, but fear was the primary factor influencing the ancient mindset. They were taught that human sacrifice was required or the sun god would avenge his anger upon them catastrophically and no sun----no crops----no life! This was used like a whip and it was true “fear religion”.

But for those sacrificing their children, the proverbial icing on the cake, which lured them to the alter, was that the belief that all who were sacrificed at the “gate” of the winter solstice bypassed the nether world and went straight to “heaven”. Imagine the poor reluctant parents standing before the alter of Baal. Can you see the priest of Baal striding before the alter, compelling the people to “come to the Lord”? Baal does means “lord” by the way. Can you see the priest soften his voice to remind parents of the immortal life their children would have, if they would just...come to the alter. Seeing the reluctant not coming forward, they gave a powerful hellfire and brimstone speech threatening how the children would have to go to the nether world for eternal torture, if they refused to bring them to the alter. This was surely the original alter call. Loud music or drums were played to hide the sounds of dying children from their mothers. The drums also drowned out the terror filled cries of parents who tried to change their minds at the last minute.

THE TRADITION OF BLACK CLERIC ROBES

The priests of Baal wore black robes, just as many clerics do to this day, according to Adam Clarke’s commentary. In II Kings 23:5, the priests of Baal are called “idolatrous priests” which is derived from the Hebrew word “kamar” meaning “to be black.” According to Adam Clarke’s Commentary, these priests were called “kemarim...meaning to be scorched...made dark, or black, because their business was constantly to attend sacrificial fires, and probably they were black garments; hence, the Jews in derision call Christian ministers kemarim, because of their black clothes and garments.” Clarke’s commentary continues to say, “Why we should imitate, in our sacerdotal dress, those priests of Baal, is strange to think and hard to tell.” Priests are still wearing black robes to this day!

The whole nation of Israel had indeed come to the alter of Baal to worship. The prophet Elijah actually thought he was the only person left in Israel who wasn’t worshipping Baal! God reminded him that he had “seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal.” That’s not very many out of all of Israel. The Hebrew word for “bowed” here is “Kara” meaning “to bend the knee...to sink...stoop down...etc. There are several other words for “bow” in the Bible
, but “Kara” means specifically to dip the knee down. It refers to “genuflection” or the drooping of the knee when approaching the alter of Baal, just as Catholics still traditionally bow the knee in deference.

Mike Nichols, an expert in Pagan practices opens our understanding when he explains, “the practice of "genuflection", of bowing on one knee, was originally a Pagan practice, as well as the practice of kissing ritual tools. If you were in a Catholic Church, did you ever see a priest pick up a Missal at Mass and kiss it, and put it on the altar? It’s the same way a Pagan priestess will sometimes kiss her athame (ritual knife) after she's used it for an invocation." Mike continues to say, "When you get right down to it, Christianity -- especially the way the Roman Catholic Church developed in the early years of Christianity -- borrowed most of its liturgical traditions from the Pagans."  He says, "I think many Pagans are aware of how Christians have borrowed from us in terms of calendar customs, and how they've borrowed our gods to use as their saints. But we've seldom examined how the Christian religion has borrowed our sacred rites. They have. The Catholic Church now recognizes seven official sacraments. And virtually all of them -- or at least six of them -- have Pagan origins.”  (Entire paragraph from Mike Nichols)

The Cross symbol too???

It is interesting that the cross was the ancient symbol of the sun god. Baal’s symbol was the cross. In Hatzor, in Northern Israel, archaeologists have discovered an incense alter to Baal with the symbol of a cross on it. The article describes "a basalt offering table, pillar-shaped, with a carved symbol of the storm god Baal on its side. That symbol was a circle with a cross in the center"

Just as Pagans always seem shocked that the Catholic Church practices so many of their customs...in the same vein, Catholics are always shocked to find Pagans “imitating” them. It is said that “Catholics were outraged to find that "their" cross was a sacred symbol to Native Americans.” “There is hardly a Pagan tribe where the cross has not been found.” In an article called Mesoamerican Symbology, we read But what really surprised the conquistadors, or those few among them with eyes to see, was nothing less than the symbol of the cross, present everywhere... In fact, the symbol of which we are speaking is certainly Pre-Christian.” At a Tophet at Carthage, where Baal was worshipped, 20,000 cinerary urns were discovered with children’s ashes in them, and they found puzzling “cross motifs” at the site. Before the time of Jesus, the cross represented the sun god. “Crosses with arms of equal length were used frequently since time immemorial in pre-Columbian America, the Euphrates-Tigris region, and other parts of the world. That cross seems to have been associated with the sun and the powers that controlled the weather.....Sometime during the first centuries of the Western calendar the Latin cross was adopted by the Christian ideology. Still being associated with heavenly, and almighty lords both and even more so the sun god's staff.”

Speaking of the cross, Bullinger in The Companion Bible says, “crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian sun-god...” “The evidence for its pagan origin is so convincing that The Catholic Encyclopedia even admits that "the sign of the cross, represented in its simplest form by a crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly antedates...the introduction of Christianity. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization.”.
 

I found some general information on the cross in several excerpts from the Companion Bible . The English word “cross” comes from the Latin word crux, which is not the word used in the Bible . The actual Greek words used in the Bible are “stauros or xulon”, which were incorrectly translated “cross” by Catholic translators. Bullinger states, “The Greek stauros no more means a crux than the word "stick" means a "crutch". Homer, a Greek writer, uses the word stauros of an ordinary pole or stake, or a single piece of timber. And this is the meaning and usage of the word throughout the Greek classics....It never means two pieces of timber placed across one another at any angle, but always of one piece alone. There is nothing in the Greek of the New Testament even to imply two pieces of timber.” “In the Greek New Testament two words are used for "the cross" on which the Lord was put to death.”

“1. The word stauros; which denotes an upright pole or stake, to which the criminals were nailed for execution.”

“2. The xulon, which generally denotes a piece of a dead log of wood, or timber, for fuel or for any other purpose...this latter word xulon is used for the former stauros, it shows us that the meaning of each is exactly the same. (The verb stauroő means to drive stakes...”)

"Christ" is never represented (in the catacombs at Rome) "hanging on a cross"...In the Egyptian churches the cross was a pagan symbol of life, borrowed by the Christians, and interpreted in the pagan manner... In his Letter from Rome, Dean Burgon says : "I question whether a cross occurs on any Christian monument of the first four centuries"....The evidence is thus complete, that the Lord was put to death upon an upright stake, and not on two piece of timber placed at any angle.

The Steeple and the Asherah Pole

The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible tells us that an Asherah pole was always erected at the altar of Baal. In fact, absolutely every single alter of Baal had an Asherah pole beside it, which was an upright, denuded tree! This type of phallic pole has always been associated with sun worship. (Interestingly, nearly twenty different tribes of American Indians performed the “Sundance” around a “sun pole.”)

There are many supposedly Christian traditions that have suspicious origins. Most people never consider where the tradition of having a steeple on top of a church comes from....Do churchgoers ever wonder why almost every church has a steeple on top of it? Read from The Customs of Mankind by Eichler, “There are still in existence today remarkable specimens of original phallic symbols... steeples on the churches ...and obelisks ...all show the influence of our phallus-worshipping ancestors.” Baal worship involved phallus worship, so it is no surprise that all of Baal’s churches would have a phallic steeple.. The stone obelisk was another phallic symbol. “The word 'obelisk' literally means 'Baal's shaft' or Baal's organ of reproduction'.” (Page 341 Masonic and occult symbols illustrated. Dr. Cathy Burns) “Baal was a very common name of the principal male god...Among the Babylonians, he was called Bel” The obelisk is associated with sun-worship. According to Babylon, Mystery Religion, The erect upright pointed column represents the phallus, the male sex organ, of Baal (Nimrod).

God specifically told Israel not to put a phallic pole next to his alter. Deut 16:21 “Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the LORD your God...” God didn’t want it because this upright “steeple” tells you that you’ve just located an alter of Baal.

Baal worshippers practiced many perverse sexual rites. 

Read more about it in PART TWO OF GOOD OLD TIME RELIGION...learn about the May Pole and the Church Steeple!

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