In the past two parts of this series, I’ve debunked the claims that Jesus is a copy of the Egyptian god Horus or the Greek god Dionysus. Now for the first of these claims I ever heard: Jesus copied the Mithras cult.
Mithras was a Persian god who supposedly was born of a virgin. Nope. Wrong. Most sources do not say virgin birth. There were three versions of Mithras, but since most of the claims are based on the Roman version of him, we’re sticking to that one. That virgin of Mithras came AFTER Jesus. If anything, they were the copycats, not the other way around.
Last time, I broke down why Jesus is not a copy of Horus. But the atheists don’t stop with him. They’ve also proposed Dionysus. So for part 2, let’s continue debunking the meme.
Dionysus was a lesser god in Greek mythology, not even one of the major ones like Zeus. The whole thing started because someone wrote a book called The Jesus Mysteries, featuring an amulet that had an image of Dionysus on a cross. So does this mean we copied crucifixion from the Greeks?
Some years ago, a so-called documentary called Zeitgeist circulated YouTube, supposedly exposing the myth of Jesus. It said that He was nothing more than a copy of various gods from ancient mythology: Horus, Osiris, Dionysus, Mithras, even Krishna. So-called comedian Bill Maher, host of the HBO series Real Time With Bill Maher used it as the basis of his satire, Religulous. But how true is this, really? We’ll start with the supposed connection to Osiris and Horus.
First of all, the date’s wrong. Horus was not born in December, he was born in October. And even if it was December, the Bible does not give an exact date for Jesus’s birth, because we don’t have one.
Second, Isis, Horus’s mother, was not a virgin she conceived him. She was impregnated as a bird flying over Osiris’s corpse. (Yeah, mythology is weird, but fascinating) The text of the myth implies a sexual union, not what we see with the virgin Mary.
Horus did not have 12 disciples. He had followers, yes, but followers are not the same as disciples. And they were more than 12.
Nor was Horus crucified. Crucifixion was not only practiced by the Romans, they also invented it. And their civilization comes AFTER Egyptian civilization, not before it.
Many times in autism groups on FB when I or someone else break the unwritten rule that the atheists there have specified–never mention Christianity in any way–the atheists there will use different tactics. There are some that I can just shrug off, but one tactic that is so misinformed really bothers me: the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church. So I’ve decided to talk about it. Originally, I wasn’t because I wasn’t quite sure how to address the issue. But I’ve recently learned some methods that I can use.
First of all, the media misrepresents the issue. The number of priests who are pedophiles is actually not as big as the media would like you to believe. The secular media has been against the Catholic Church for a very long time. I think it stems from the fact that the Catholic Church has always opposed many things that the secular media promotes, such as abortion. The media see Catholicism as an enemy, so they look for anything that happens within the church to use against us, whether it’s taking the pope out of context or the scandals. That’s not to say the scandals don’t exist at all; that just means it’s overblown. Also, there are steps being taken. Why isn’t that reported? Because why talk about a positive, when the negative is far more interesting and appears to be more damning.
A few weeks ago, a rather reclusive man who was sort of a celebrity among evangelicals, especially anti-Catholic ones, died–Jack Chick. What? you never heard of him? Count yourself lucky.
Jack Chick was a comic strip artist who used his comics as a means to evangelize, or so he’d have you believe. In reality, he was spreading some of the most insane lies you ever heard. He though rock n roll–including Christian rock–was evil. He thought people who played Dungeons and Dragons were conducting séances and if their characters died in the game, the other players killed them. I don’t know what he thought of Pokémon or Harry Potter, but I’m sure he made tracts about them too. These comics were distributed at Churches and Christian book stores for years. You can even purchase them on his website. (And no, I’m not going to provide a link.)
I am currently an administrator in a Facebook Group for Autistic Christians. I decided that as an administrator, I would do what I could to make sure that this was one Christian group that did not exclude Catholics. I made a rule that anyone who had anti-Catholic sentiments would be removed. One day, a new member saw a post I typed up about the Virgin Mary and accused Catholics of being idolaters. This is part of a myth that Catholics worship statues. On the surface, it may seem that way when you enter a Catholic church and see people kneeling in front of statues, especially if the statues are of saints rather than Jesus. It’s particularly glaring when the First Commandment forbids worshipping false idols. Wouldn’t these statues be an example of the idolatry forbidden by this commandment?
Not necessarily. In the Old Testament, David was instructed to construct the Ark of the Covenant. God told him to place statues of cherubim on it. (Exodus 25:22) So why is that allowed? Wouldn’t that be revering the cherubim?
When Pope Francis came to America for the first time, I followed the media’s reports. While I disliked how the media covered the Pope’s visit because they twisted his words to suit their agendas, what saddened me most was how Protestants reacted. I left several Christian groups on FB because there were several anti-Catholic comments. His arrival seemed to embolden the anti-Catholics in the group, and it wasn’t just the members, it was the admins–the people in charge of the groups! To these people, the Catholic Church was a cult, akin to Mormonism or Jehovah’s Witnesses. What’s most distressing is that in reality, the Catholic Church is the oldest denomination (in fact, it’s the FIRST). The Christian Church is like a giant tree. At the root of the tree is Jesus. The trunk of the tree is the Catholic Church, where all the teachings of the Fathers of the Church reside. The branches of the tree are the Protestant denominations. If the Protestant churches attempt to sever themselves from Catholicism, they will wither like branches cut from a tree. All Protestant churches owe their teachings to the Catholic Church, whether they realize it or not. Some Protestant churches have already started to drift away from Catholicism’s teachings. Believing that the Catholic Church is separate from Christianity is a path to disaster. When I started my Debunking Lies series, I was content to focus only on the lies atheists spread about Christianity. I did not wish to cover the lies spread within my own religion by those who refuse to learn the truth. And yet, here we are. I have decided to extend this series and instead of covering just atheist lies, I’m covering anti-Catholic lies as well. I’m starting with lies concerning the Biblical roots of the papacy.