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Author Topic: The worship of the Christian martyrs  (Read 4315 times)

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Tu Es Petrus

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2009, 07:21:43 PM »


Beddy-bye time  ::baby::

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2009, 07:21:43 PM »

Offline ole Jake

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 08:16:33 PM »
Gibbon on the whole was a very competent hisorian. But when it came to religiuon he let his biases shine through. He had a bias against any kind of organized religion, esp. Roman Catholicism. Pointing out valid and legitimate criticisms is one thing, but slandering a religion out of preconcieved ideas and biases is another thing altogether, something no reputable historian should should allow himself to do.

"but slandering a religion out of preconcieved ideas and biases is another thing altogether..."

     And this is where the bone rubs, Lee.  If—I say if—the historian is writing about the facts of history, and those facts include the defects and evils of a particular religion, those of that religion will likely accuse him of preconceived ideas and biases. The charge may be valid, but on the other hand it may be invalid. So the bottom line, in most cases, is that it depends on the reader and his religious affiliation.

     Gibbon and many other historians may have been of the atheistic mindset.  Yet that does not negate the facts they present—assuming they are facts.

Presenting facts and interpreting (and in this case spinning) those facts are two different things.

Gibbon's biases against organized religion, esp. Catholicism, caused him to generalize, streotype and exaggerate all of the negatives or perceived negatives of Roman Catholicism. If he already believes that Catholicism is a bad thing, them finding "evidence" that supports his pre-conceived idea is fairly easy.

Buff, would you trust Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel or Molly Ivins to be fair and objective if they were writing a biography of Pres. Bush? I wouldn't! Would you trust Al Franken to be fair and balanced towards Rush Limbaugh? I wouldn't! So why would you trust an atheist with an obvious bias against all forms of organized Christianity to be fair and objective when he's describing Roman Catholicism? That's right. You can't! When Gibbon slams the Catholic Church he's not being fair or balanced. There's a big diference between objective analysis of the Catholic Church, say, of the type recently done by Episcopalian historian and theologian Dr. Philip Jenkins, of Penn State, and hatchet jobs like that done by Gibbon and some Protestant authors.

In this case Gibbon wasn't writing history he was writing propaganda.


Gibbons knew exactly what he ws doing and why: he was using his abilities to try to destroy Christianity, happy to allow all the rationalist moral parts to survive as a kind of secular code of behavior. In that, Gibbons was exactly like Voltaire, including in that each saw attacking Catholicism as attacking Christianity, because each saw Protestantism as something that by its very nature was on the side of the Enlightenment, even when its leaders and followers failed to grasp that.

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 08:16:33 PM »

Offline broach972

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2009, 07:44:52 AM »
::headscratch::  Some how, I lost the Catholicism board altogether.

 ::headscratch::  I don't even remember starting this thread. I guess when I get some time, I should respond, if I don't forget.  Maybe I'm getting spread a little to thin for my time table.

That's ok.  I understand.  I wouldn't claim the OP either.


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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 09:14:17 AM »
No, I'm proud to say I'm a fifth generation Stone-Campbell Protestant. But I recognize, certainly as a medievalist, Gibbon's biases against Christianity. He was not a fair and impartial witness. His work was banned in parts of Europe because of its anti-Christian bias.


Lee, the word Protestant, as is obvious, denotes a protest of some sort.  It denotes a protest against the Church of Rome.  Something I have never seen you do in any way shape or form.  In fact, all I have seen you do, is defend the Church of Rome.  Why not disgard a word,or title, which quite obviously does not apply to you?  You are a defender of the Church of Rome, not a protester of the same.

The fact that Gibbon's work was banned in parts of Europe, is a perfect example of Apostate Christianity over stepping it's bounds.  No doubt the books were on Romes banned books list, and no doubt the nations that banned it were predominantly Roman Catholic.  Nevertheless, I and countless others do not accept the right of government to dictate what I will, or will not read, or believe.  The manifestation of this mindset within supposed Christian nations, is nothing less than the spirit of Antichrist controlling the same.  Neither Christ, nor his apostles ever once resorted to force, or legislation to spread the truth, or counteract the spread of lies.  The power of the gospel, and therefore the power of the true Church, is the power of persuasion through the convicting influence of the Holy Spirit of God.  To go beyond this is to put oneself in the place of God, and do that which even He would not do through His Son Jesus Christ, and is therefore, Antichrist.

If in fact, Gibbons was the only one to point out the immense influence of paganism upon the early church, and thus the Church of Rome itself, I would look into defending his motives and honor.  This is not necessary though, as I will presently supply much concerning the same from others.  Whose motives and honor you will also no doubt attack.  What else can the defenders of the Church of Rome do?  If those who wrote such things are right, then confession must be the result.  I don't think I'll hold my breath in anticipation of the same, although I am sure many wish I would.

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 09:14:17 AM »


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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 09:18:37 AM »
Here are a few more quotes to chew on, regarding the amalgamation of apostate Christianity and paganism, which is the Church of Rome.

"There is scarcely anything which strikes the mind of the careful student of ancient ecclesiastical history with greater surprise than the comparatively early period at which many of the corruption's of Christianity, which are embodied in the Romish system, took their rise, yet it is not to be supposed that when the first originators of many of these unscriptural notions and practices planted those germs of corruption, they anticipated or even imagined they would ever grow into such a vast and hideous system of superstition and error as is that of popery. "-- John Dowling, History of Romanism, 13th ed., i 1, sec. 1, p. 65 [Dowling was a Protestant clergyman and historian of the early nineteenth century].

"The Church made a sacred day of Sunday . . . largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun;-- for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance." --Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity, 1928, p. 145 [Dr. A. E. Weigall (1880-1937) was a high-ranking British Egyptologist in the Egyptian Government].

"Cults of the sun, as we know from many sources, had attained great vogue during the second, third, and fourth centuries. Sun-worshipers indeed formed one of the big groups in that religious world in which Christianity was fighting for a place. Many of them became converts to Christianity . . . Worshipers in St. Peter's turned away from the altar and faced the door so that they could adore the rising sun."--Gordon J. Laing, Survivals of Roman Religion, p. 192. [Dr. Laing(1869-1945) was a Canadian-born university professor and later dean at the University of Chicago].

"The early Christians had at first adopted the Jewish seven-day week with its numbered week days, but by the close of the third century A.D. this began to give way to the planetary week; and in the fourth and fifth centuries the pagan designations became generally accepted in the western half of Christendom. The use of the planetary names by Christians attests the growing influence of astrological speculations introduced by converts from paganism . . . During these same centuries the spread of Oriental solar [sun] worships, especially that of Mithra [Persian sun worship], in the Roman world, had already led to the substitution by pagans of dies Solis for dies Saturni, as the first day of the planetary week. Thus gradually a pagan institution was engrafted on Christianity." --Hutton Webster, Rest Days, pp. 220-221. [Webster (1875-?), was an author, historian, and professor at the University of Nebraska].

Certain historians agree that it was the pagan sun-worshipers--and not Christians--who first gave the name 'Lord's day' to Sunday. "The first day of each week, Sunday, was consecrated to Mithra [the most widely known sun-god of the early Christian centuries] since times remote, as several authors affirm. Because the Sun was god, the Lord par excellence, Sunday came to be called the 'Lord's day,' as later was done by Christianity."--Agostinho de Almeida Paiva, 0 Mitraiomo, p. 3.

"The retention of the old pagan name, 'Dies Solis' [day of the Sun] or 'Sunday' for the weekly Christian festival, is, in great measure, owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment, with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, Pagan and Christian alike, as the venerable day of the sun' . . . It was his mode of harmonizing the discordant religions of the empire under one common institution." --Dean Stanley [Episcopalian leader], Lectures on the Eastern Church, Lecture 6, p. 184.

"Constantine labored at this time untiringly to unite the worshipers of the old [pagan] and the new [Christian] faith in one religion. All his laws and contrivances are aimed at promoting this amalgamation [combining] of religions. He would by all lawful and peaceable means melt together a purified heathen ism and a moderated [compromising] Christianity . . . Of all his blending and melting together of Christianity and heathenism none is more easy to see through than this making of his Sunday law. The Christians worshiped their Christ, the heathen their sun-god; according to the opinion of the Emperor, the objects for worship in both religions being the same [the worship of a divine person on a select day of the week]."--H. G. Heggtveit, Illustreret Kirkehistorie, 1895, p. 202. [Hallvard Heggtveit (1850-1924) was a Norwegian church historian and teacher].

It was the Roman Imperial plan on several occasions, to unite all religions of the Empire into one religion--sun-worship: "The Jewish, the Samaritan, even the Christian, were to be fused and recast into one great system, of which the sun was to be the central object of adoration."--Henry Hart Milman, The History of Christianity, bk. 2, chap. 8 (Vol. II, p. 175). [Dr. Milman (1791-1868) was an important historian of England and dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London].

When Christianity conquered Rome the ecclesiastical structure of the pagan church, the title and vestments of the pontifex maximus, the worship of the Great Mother and a multitude of comforting divinities, the sense of supersensible presences everywhere, the joy or solemnity of old festivals, and the pageantry of immemorial ceremony, passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and captive Rome captured her conqueror. The reins and skill of government were handed down by a dying empire to a virile papacy; the lost power of the broken sword was rewon by the magic of the consoling word; the armies of the state were replaced by the missionaries of the Church moving in all directions along the Roman roads; and the revolted provinces, accepting Christianity, again acknowledged the sovereignty of Rome.  Through the long struggles of the Age of Faith the authority of the ancient capital persisted and grew, until in the Renaissance the classic culture seemed to rise from the grave, and the immortal city became once more the center of summit of the world's life and wealth and art.  When, in 1936, Rome celebrated the 2689th anniversary of her foundation, she could look back upon the most impressive continuity of government and civilization in the history of mankind.  May she rise again.(CAESAR AND CHRIST, A history of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from their beginnings to A.D.325. By Will Durant-1944)

I will give you a little time to dicredit these, before I submit some more for your consideration.

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 09:18:37 AM »


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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2009, 06:44:31 PM »
A little more.

First, They have not omitted any cruelty, whereby they might find a
pretenee of running them down, as persons of most abominable lives.
They have put them to tortures in vast numbers, both men and women, to
force them to confess, that in their assemblies they committed filthiness
against nature. Hereof we have an illustrious example in Perrin, chapter 7
which is a pregnant proof that the spirit of Paganism is by transmigration
passed into the Church of Rome.

I should be obliged to transcribe his whole book against pictures and
images, if I should go about to extract all that it contains in opposition to
the opinions of the Church of Rome. It will be sufficient for us to observe,
that the Romish Index Expurgatorius hath forbid this book, as well as the
rest, till its errors be expunged: and indeed it did deserve no less; for it
maintains, according to the doctrine of St. Augustin, that we ought not to
adore any image of God, but only that which is God himself, even his
eternal Son; and that it is a piece of folly and sacrilege to vouchsafe any
worship to images, and to call them holy, as the second Council of Nice
had done. He refutes the excuse of the Council of Trent, which only
considers those as idolaters, that attribute something of divinity to the
image. He maintains it to be mere Paganism to have images for any other
use than that of a memorial; and at the same time asserts, that images are
of as little use and advantage as the picture of a mower, or of some hero in
armor, can advantage a mower or soldier, who looks upon those pictures.

In a word, he speaks exactly like a true iconoclast; for after he had said,
that it was impossible any longer to bear with the abuses against which he

In fact, two mighty tasks had been imposed on the reformers. Christian catholicism, born in the midst of Jewish pharisaism and Greek paganism, had gradually felt the influence of these two religions, which had transformed it into Roman-catholicism. The Reformation that was called to purify the Church, was destined to purge it alike from the Jewish and the pagan element. The Jewish element prevailed chiefly in that part of the christian doctrine which relates to man. Catholicism had received from Judaism the pharisaical ideas of self-righteousness, of salvation by human strength or
works. The pagan element prevailed especially in that part of the christian doctrine which relates to God. Paganism had corrupted in the catholic church the idea of an infinite Deity whose power, being perfectly allsufficient, is at work in all times and in all places. It had established in the Church the reign of symbols, images, and ceremonies; and the saints had become the demigods of popery. (THE HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION OF THE 16TH CENTURY by J. H. Merle D’ Aubigne Book IIchap. 4 pages 986&9897)

This Reform was necessary. When Christianity in the fourth century had
seen the favor of princes succeed to persecution, a crowd of heathens
rushing into the church had brought with them the images, pomps, statues,
and demi-gods of paganism,
and a likeness of the mysteries of Greece and
Asia, and above all of Egypt, had banished the Word of Jesus Christ from
the christian oratories. This Word returning in the sixteenth century, a
purification must necessarily take place; but it could not be done without
grievous rents. (Ibid., Book 15 chap. 2 page 1446)

And thus much concerning the principal contents of St. Paul’s
doctrine; wherein the church of the ancient Romans was first
grounded and planted, and so continued in the same, or at least did
not much alter, during the primitive state of the church. Likewise
the same form of doctrine the latter Romans also, that followed,
should have maintained, and not have fallen away for any man’s
preaching, but hold him accursed, yea if he were an apostle or angel
from heaven, teaching any other doctrine besides that institution
which they have received (Galatians 1:8); for so were they warned
before by the apostle St. Paul to do. And yet, notwithstanding all
this forewarning and diligent instruction of this blessed apostle of
the Gentiles, what a defection of faith is fallen among the Gentiles,
especially among the Romans, whereof the said apostle also
foretold them so long before, fore-prophesying: “that the day of
the Lord shall not come, except there come a defection before, and
that the man of sin should be revealed, the proud adversary of

Offline kensington

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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2009, 11:35:14 PM »
Okay... a show of hands... all who are going to read all of that..   ::destroyingcomputer::

Did you say "a little more"?    ::lookaround::


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Re: The worship of the Christian martyrs
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2009, 04:07:14 PM »