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Author Topic: Paganism and the Madonna and Child  (Read 2468 times) Average Rating: 0
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Myrrh23
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« on: February 09, 2008, 10:37:49 PM »

Hey Guys!  Grin


When I was still a New Age Pagan, one of the popular peeves we had was that Christianity stole our "Mother Goddess and Divine Child". One of the reasonings that was used included the fact(?) that Early Christians adopted the statues of the Goddess Isis feeding the baby Horus, to represent the Madonna and Child Jesus. What are the counter responses to this?

Myrrh23
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 10:50:11 PM »

IMHO I believe that all pre christ religions that strived for the good had many pre incarnations of he who would fulfill the law!
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 11:00:16 PM »

As far as I understand (and I am absolutely not a "pro"), in Christianity there has always been this struggle between the rigid Jewish-rooted patriarchal-misoginic attitude to women and a softer, more delicate and more inclusive attitude to women as also human and also important. That's why we still see extremes in the attitude to the Theotokos; on the one hand, a Protestant dismissal of her as not all that important, sort of a redundant figure obscuring the Son, and, on the other hand, the claims - largely from Roman Catholics, - that she is the Co-Redemptrix, Co-Mediatrix, etc. (almost "Co-Savior"). 
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 11:14:31 PM »

Hey Guys!  Grin


When I was still a New Age Pagan, one of the popular peeves we had was that Christianity stole our "Mother Goddess and Divine Child". One of the reasonings that was used included the fact(?) that Early Christians adopted the statues of the Goddess Isis feeding the baby Horus, to represent the Madonna and Child Jesus. What are the counter responses to this?

Myrrh23


Tell them to prove it. With actual evidence of early christians saying such a thing or doing such a thing.


The evidence isn't there. Before the 7th Council the Church was fighting over this issue, but it had nothing to do with Isis and the baby Horus. Nothing at all.




You can find this same thing in Hinduism.



We didn't get it from Hinduism and we didn't get it from Egyptian Paganism.


It's a common theme in many cultures.






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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 03:40:18 PM »

Hey Heorhij---


The Co-Redemptrix thing isn't an official dogma, but I think RCs still believe it. In fact, the RCC postulates that everyone is sorta a "co-redeemer" in that we can lead people to Christ. I don't buy it...it feels too much like mankind wants to play semantics to rub up on the glory that chiefly belongs to God. Mary did say "yes" to God, but seems she has more humility than some educated theologians. But then again.."full of grace"...self-explanatory.  Smiley
'Kay...done ranting. Lips Sealed Wink

Myrrh23
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 07:20:17 PM »

IMHO I believe that all pre christ religions that strived for the good had many pre incarnations of he who would fulfill the law!

Someone who shares my views - amazing! Heh.

Because those who lived in, say, Ireland, could not have known about Judaism and Christianity for thousands of years, God must have enlightened them in some regard to live decent lives. He wouldn't condemn the majority of the world to hell simply because of geography.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 08:31:28 PM by Simayan » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 08:20:33 PM »

Someone who shares my views - amazing! Heh.

Because those who lived in, say, Ireland could not have known about Judaism and Christianity for thousands of years, God must have enlightened them in some regard to live decent lives. He wouldn't condemn the majority of the world to hell simply because of geography.

There is no doubt that truth is found in paganism. C.S. Lewis positively delighted in this fact, his belief being that pagan myths (like fantasy literature, today) served to baptise the imagination in readiness for the Gospel message. And the Orthodox Church has always seen truth, wherever it is found, as inspired by God.

From Fr Thomas Hopko - http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=1

"At this point it must be mentioned that although God's self-revelation in history through the chosen people of Israel--the revelation which culminates in the coming of Christ the Messiah--is of primary importance, it is also the doctrine of the Christian Church that all genuine strivings of men after the truth are fulfilled in Christ. Every genuine insight into the meaning of life finds its perfection in the Christian Gospel. Thus, the holy fathers of the Church taught that the yearnings of pagan religions and the wisdom of many philosophers are also capable of serving to prepare men for the doctrines of Jesus and are indeed valid and genuine ways to the one Truth of God.

In this way Christians considered certain Greek philosophers to have been enlightened by God to serve the cause of Truth and to lead men to fullness of life in God since the Word and Wisdom of God is revealed to all men and is found in all men who in the purity of their minds and hearts have been inspired by the Divine Light which enlightens every man who comes into this world. This Divine Light is the word of God, Jesus of Nazareth in human flesh, the perfection and fullness of God's self-revelation to the world."




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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2008, 03:23:03 AM »

Hey Heorhij---


The Co-Redemptrix thing isn't an official dogma, but I think RCs still believe it. In fact, the RCC postulates that everyone is sorta a "co-redeemer" in that we can lead people to Christ. I don't buy it...it feels too much like mankind wants to play semantics to rub up on the glory that chiefly belongs to God. Mary did say "yes" to God, but seems she has more humility than some educated theologians. But then again.."full of grace"...self-explanatory.  Smiley
'Kay...done ranting. Lips Sealed Wink

Myrrh23

Ummmmm that is a rather huge and broad generalization.  This sounds like the little booklets the protestant "church" across the street from my house used to put into my mailbox when I lived at my last house.  I'm Orthodox but I am still offended highly at this little paragraph you wrote as it mis-represents Roman Catholicism.  I can give you my 89 year old Irish grandfather's phone number and you read him what you wrote and he'll give you the answer.

A statue of Mary holding Jesus is just that, a statue.  It wasn't "stolen" from some pagan thing.  Statues have been around, well, for a very long time.  I think any copyright law held by pagans on the issue of statues may have expired about 1700 years ago, so there isn't any chance of winning money on this one.
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2008, 05:51:07 PM »

Someone who shares my views - amazing! Heh.

Here's another one!   Smiley

God wouldn't condemn the majority of the world to hell simply because of geography.

Exactly.


It seems that many Christians try to avoid any discussion about Christ-like elements found in non-Christian religions.  I think this is a tremendous waste of the perfect opportunity to show how:
1) Christ was anticipated by the pagans (thus their mythical stories about heroic Christ-figures etc.)
2) Christ is the fulfillment of all these fictional, abstract, mythical stories by His true, tangible, historical Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection

I was raised Protestant, and the main final reason that caused me to totally break away from it was that I kept reading about non-Christian religions and kept seeing so much truth in them.  Most Protestants I approached with this information just quickly spouted out various bible verses that say Christ is the only Son of God.

However, after I left Protestantism, I eventually found a book called Christ the Eternal Tao, written by an Orthodox monk (Hieromonk Damascene) who lives at the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood monastery in California.

In this book (which I highly recommend) Father Damascene talks about not just ancient Chinese but many other pre-Christian cultures whose beliefs and spiritual practices contained nuggets of unclear and incomplete truth which find pristine clarity and wholeness in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Myrrh23, I think this book would really hit-the-spot for you.   Wink
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2008, 06:14:05 PM »

I'm reading it at the moment it's great! /<terry tiger imperssion >
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2008, 09:38:20 PM »

Quote
I'm Orthodox but I am still offended highly at this little paragraph you wrote as it mis-represents Roman Catholicism.  I can give you my 89 year old Irish grandfather's phone number and you read him what you wrote and he'll give you the answer.

LOL! Username, this is what has been taught to ME by my fellow Roman Catholics. I was raised Roman Catholic. I do know there is a lot of misinformation and things omitted entirely, but instead of being offended, as if I am some Protestant who's trying to take off my glove and slap the RC Church, perhaps you should understand that there is a lot of misinformation in many of our parishes. Roll Eyes I don't need your grandfather's number as I plan on leaving the RCC for OC. Btw, the idea of everyone being a sorta "co-redemptrix" came straight from the horse's mouth of a friend of mine who has an RCC theology degree.... Wink

_Seraphim_, thanks! I'm hungry for perspectives on all this stuff, which is partly the reason I've been bugging GIC so much!  Grin

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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2008, 10:52:38 PM »

I'm reading it at the moment it's great! /<terry tiger imperssion >

Wonderful  Smiley
Enjoy.
It is indeed a great read.
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2008, 10:53:29 PM »

_Seraphim_, thanks! I'm hungry for perspectives on all this stuff...

Glad I could be a help.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2008, 04:15:18 AM »

_Seraphim_, thanks! I'm hungry for perspectives on all this stuff, which is partly the reason I've been bugging GIC so much!  Grin

As i'm sure our beloved GIC himself would be the first to say that his views are not always considered the views of the Orthodox church, that being said thats not like every Orthodox poster will give infallible dogmatic views (Well maybe the RC can /RC bashing Cheesy) but the majority will try and make sure that their views are in line with the teachings of the church. With that being said we all love our GIC Cheesy.
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1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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