My response to Richards Rives Mithraism and the Cross

The following comes from another mass email message from Mr. Rives.

“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 Mitharists 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”. “

“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. “

Really?

I’m surprised by Mr. Rives… Has he so foolishly forgotten?

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

“For preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but unto us that are saved it is the power of God…”

And…

Galatians 1:7-9

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians%201&version=KJV

Does his claims of Mithraism = Christianity hold up to evidence? Lets look at these following examples online:

 

Did the figure of Mithras influence Christianity?

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/mithra.html

Was the cross a stolen pagan symbol?

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/copycat.html

Doesn’t the religion of Mithra prove that Christianity is false?

http://www.carm.org/christianity/bible/doesnt-religion-mithra-prove-christianity-false

Mr. Rives and his ilk are endangering their own souls and the souls of those whom he is teaching. His Anti Christian teaching is demonstrated through the following Scriptures.

Galatians 1:8-9

Colossians 2:8

1 Timothy 1:3-11

Be forwarned Mr. Rives God is your judge and if you continue to mislead his peoples you will pay a horrific price.

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