My replies to rives further attacks on the Christian Cross

Over the course of a year rives repeated a claim that the Christian cross comes from roman Mithraism. Here is the two mass emails that act as further evidence rives is a false teacher since he has attacked the Christian cross.

EXAMPLE 1:

“The Cross”

“Thursday, April 28, 2011 6:02 AM”

“Dear Friends and Fellow Servants,”

“Today many define Christianity by the writings of the so called “Church Fathers” – men who based what they wrote on the traditions of their day – traditions which by that time were far from the faith of those who walked and talked with Christ. Let’s take a look at what one of those men had to say in reference to the sun god Mithra.”

 

“Tertullian, a second century Christian writer, states that Mithraism had imitated Christianity and attempts to defend the sign of the cross – a known Mithraic symbol. The pagans of Tertullian’s day knew that the sign of the cross was an image that had been adopted from the worship of pagan gods. Having been challenged, Tertullian, in his work known as Apology, attempts to explain:”

“…If any of you think we render superstitious adoration to the cross, in that adoration he is a sharer with us……. We have shown before that your deities are derived from shapes modeled from the cross. But you also worship victories, for in your trophies the cross is the heart of the trophy. The camp religion of the Romans is all through a worship of the standards, a setting the standards above all gods. Well, those images decking out the standards are ornaments of crosses. All those hangings of your standards and banners are robes of crosses.”

“In another work entitled Prescription Against Heresy, Tertullian indicates that the Mithraists placed a symbol similar to that in use among Christians upon their foreheads.”

“The question will arise, By whom is to be interpreted the sense of the passages which make for heresies: By the devil, of course, to whom pertain those wiles which pervert the truth, and who, by the mystic rites of his idols, vies even with the essential portion of the sacraments of God. He, too, baptizes some that is, his own believers and faithful followers; he promises the putting away of sins by a laver (of his own); and if my memory still serves me, Mithra there, (in the kingdom of Satan) set his mark on the foreheads of his soldiers.”

“Even though the pagans of his day knew full well that the cross had been a pagan symbol in use for centuries before the time of Christ, Tertullian states that “…the devil imitates even the main parts of our divine mysteries,” and “has gone about to apply to the worship of idols those very things of which the administration of Christ’s sacraments consists.”

 

“The sign of the cross was not a Christian symbol among the first century believers that had walked and talked with Christ. It was a well known Mithraic symbol. Tertullian was right about one thing. The attempt to corrupt the truth can be traced directly to the “wiles of the devil.”

“Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints: I’m Richard Rives with Just the Facts.”

EXAMPLE 2:

“Mithraism and the Cross”

Thursday, July 15, 2010 9:48 AM

“Dear Friends and Fellow Servants,”

“The worship of the sun god Mithra found its way through the Persian, Grecian and Roman empires. Not only that, but aspects of that worship can be found in today’s contemporary Christianity. “

“The pagans of antiquity were well aware of that fact. They challenged those calling themselves Christians to defend themselves regarding the association of aspects of paganism with the worship of Christ. “

“In a futile attempt to do so, The first century Christian apologist Justin Martyr wrote that elements of Mithraism were actually derived from Christianity – that wicked devils had imitated Christianity. “

“Tertullian, a second century theologian, said basically the same thing. Both Justin and Tertullian attempt to defend elements of their faith which were similar and sometimes exactly the same as Mithraic rituals. The problem is that many of those Mithraic precepts predate Christianity – – – – by centuries. “

“Let’s take a look at one aspect of Mithraism that Tertullian attempts to defend: The use of the cross as a Christian symbol. “

“The pagans of Tertullian’s day knew that the sign of the cross was an image that had been adopted from the worship of pagan gods. Having been challenged, Tertullian, in his work known as Apology, attempts to explain: “

“…If any of you think we render superstitious adoration to the cross, in that adoration he is a sharer with us…….We have shown before that your deities are derived from shapes modeled from the cross. But you also worship victories, for in your trophies the cross is the heart of the trophy. The camp religion of the Romans is all through a worship of the standards, a setting the standards above all gods. Well, as those images decking out the standards are ornaments of crosses. All those hangings of your standards and banners are robes of crosses.”

“In another work entitled “Prescription against Heresy” Tertullian indicates that the Mithraists placed a symbol similar to that in use among Christians upon their foreheads: “

“The question will arise, By whom is to be interpreted the sense of the passages which make for heresies: By the devil, of course, to whom pertain those wiles which pervert the truth, and who, by the mystic rites of his idols, vies even with the essential portion of the sacraments of God. He, too, baptizes some – that is, his own believers and faithful followers; he promises the putting away of sins by a laver (of his own); and if my memory still serves me, Mithra there, (in thekingdomofSatan) set his mark on the foreheads of his soldiers.”

“Even though the pagans of His day knew full well that the cross had been a pagan symbol in use for centuries before the time of Christ , Tertullian states that: “…the devil “imitates even the main parts of our divine mysteries”, and “has gone about to apply to the worship of idols those very things of which the administration of Christ’s sacraments consists”. “

“Tertullian’s statement is extremely revealing. What he calls the “main points” of Christianity, which he calls “sacraments” were the same precepts that the pagans applied to idols. “

“Aspects of pagan sun worship never had anything to do with Jesus. Let us heed the admonition of the Book of 1 John. …we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. “

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. “

“Contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints: I’m Richard Rives with Just the Facts.”

Is rives correct?

Again no.

Allow me to explain. A brief internet search about ROMAN MITHRAISM demonstrates that rives and his Theonomist ilk are not as truthful as they want we Christians to think.

Here are some examples of Roman Mithraism symbols.

“OSTIA      MITHRAEA  “

 

“An introduction to the cult of Mithras and links to the Ostian shrines.”

http://www.ostia-antica.org/dict/topics/mithraea/mithraea.htm

IF True that the Christian cross is pagan a person like Richard rives claims he should be posting the exact references and authors to prove his claims… instead nothing.

Using the example I have found WHERE in mithra archeology is a cross in their symbology?

Rives should have been willing to give evidence through archeology to prove his point. But as usual he fails at doing so. It seems to me that as rives pushes forward with his Judaizing the less Christian he appears to be through his many teachings.

UPDATE:

According to his book “too long in the sun” Page 69 he uses the X symbol as a ‘celestial cross’ this symbol related to dead roman Mithraism is not the Christian cross but a occult symbol. So rives accusations are meaningless.


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