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Christianity and Paganism share fundamental ideas


You're about to learn about Pagan religion, directly from the pens of the ancients.

This Pagan Ideas tab is POCM's most important section. You're going to learn about ancient Pagan religion by reading ancient Pagan texts. I'm going to ask you to pay attention not to the circumstantial facts in the stories, but to the underlying theological ideas. You'll learn that our Christianity shares essential ideas with other, earlier ancient Mediterranean religions.

If it's in a blue box, it was written by an ancient person. (They weren't ancient when they wrote, but they are now.)

Don't believe me, believe the ancients themselves.

You'll learn ancient Pagans owned slaves. Ok, you knew that. But did you know Jews kept slaves? God told them that was OK. Did you know the first Christians kept slaves, and the bible says God told them that was OK? They did. Those are facts.

By the way

The Pagan Ideas section works best if you start with the first row of menu choices: Slavery, then Dreams, then Demons, etc.

You'll learn ancient Pagans believed dreams were messages sent from God(s). So did Jews. So did Christians. Those are facts.

You'll learn ancient Pagans believed demons were real beings, with miraculous powers. So did Jews. So did Christians. Those are facts.

You'll learn ancient Pagans believed miracles happened through of divine power. So did Jews. So did Christians. Those are facts.

You'll learn ancient Pagans believed in God, and the eternal life of the human soul. So did (some) Jews. So did Christians. Those are facts.

Questions to think about as you read POCM > Pagan Ideas

POCM's basic question is, Where did Christianity get it's ideas? Lets start with slavery. Pagans believed in slavery first. The first Christians grew up knowing about Pagan slavery. Christians had slavery second. Will you agree with me that the first Christians did not reinvent slavery on their own? Of course you will. We agree Christians borrowed slavery from Pagans (and Judaism).

Have you spotted the trajectory here? I mean the trajectory of the facts, and POCM's reasoning. See how it progresses from something Christianity certainly borrowed, slavery, through strange (to us) stuff Christianity must also have borrowed—magic dreams, demons—to not-strange (to us) stuff at the core of our faith.

As you read POCM > Pagan Ideas the questions to ask yourself are,

What reasoning supports our conclusion that Christianity borrowed slavery?

And when we apply that same reasoning to dreams, demons, miracles, God and the eternal life of the human soul, don't we get the same answer: Christianity borrowed?

If not, why not?

We'll chat more about POCM's reasoning at POCM > Borrowing

Greggy's Guesses

At POCM > The End, I'll tell you what I think. For completeness. I know you don't care what I think. I don't want you to care what I think. I want you to learn the facts, think about the reasons, and decide for yourself.

and Child

and Child

Did the fellows who wrote our Christian New Testament sit down with the Revised Standard Version of the Gospel of Mithras open on their desk, so they could sneak in the best stuff, point by point? No they didn't. Don't be silly.

Christianity doesn't have Pagan origins in the sense that early Christians copied legends and myths. Christianity has Pagan origins in the sense that the religious ideas around which Christianity was built are exactly the religious ideas common at the time Christianity began. Core Christian theologies are core Pagan theologies; early Christians simply adopted the religious preconceptions of their culture. Did they rearrange some things, innovate even? Sure. Everyone who ever started a religion did. But Christianity's most basic ideas—God, the Son of God, miracles as a sign of divinity, salvation, baptism, eucharist, souls, morality, Heaven, Hell, and many many more—are all Pagan ideas.

Christianity is an ancient Pagan religion.


The next time you're in Church
ask yourself:"What about what I'm hearing was new and unique with Christianity, and what was already part of other religions in a culture where over and over again new religions were built with old parts?"

Next time you're in church...When they get to the part about Joseph learning of Jesus' birth in a magical God-sent dream, and the part about the divine man Jesus casting out demons, and doing miracles, and going up and down from heaven remember the ancient Pagan dreams and Pagan Godmen and ancient Pagan demons and Pagan heaven up in the sky you read about here at POCM.

You'll know you're hearing about stuff that predated Christianity by hundreds of years—in a culture where over and over people built new religions out of old parts.


What other people think about POCM

Interesting website and well done. I do however completely disagree with you. Thanks for the challenge.