<![CDATA[5th seal - Reason & Hip hop]]>Wed, 18 Nov 2015 03:10:19 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Jesus a Retelling of the Mithras Mythology?]]>Fri, 13 Nov 2015 10:27:12 GMThttp://www.5thseal.com/reason--hip-hop/jesus-a-retelling-of-the-mithras-mythologyThe Truth About Mithras Picture
There are two distinct and non-continuous traditions related to Mithras, one coming out of the areas of India and Iran, and another more recently developed (in Roman times). The earliest practices of Mithras worship in Rome are evidenced at mithraea (Mithras sanctuaries) dating from around the 2nd century. The latest evidence dates from the fourth century. Mithras mythology appears one hundred years AFTER the appearance of the New Testament, points to the fact that it is far more likely that the Mithras legend borrowed from Christianity rather than the other way around. Despite its great popularity, Mithraism was never a state cult, and no public spaces were built for Mithras, nor holidays connected with this god. 
Many experts have struggled to try to connect these as one continuous tradition, and in so doing, have distorted or misinterpreted the basic elements of the tradition and mythology. Much of what is known about Mithras comes from pictures and murals that have NO CAPTIONS, so the vast majority of scholarly work on this character is pure speculation. Let’s take a look at the claims and separate truth from fiction, and then try to understand the underlying hope of the people who invented the god called Mithras:


Claim:
"Mithras was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds"
Truth:
​Mithras was actually born out of solid rock, LEAVING a cave. He was NOT born of a virgin (unless you consider the rock mountain to have been a virgin). His birth WAS celebrated on December 25th, but the first Christians knew this was not the true date of Christ’s birth anyway, and both Mithras worshippers and the Roman Catholic Church borrowed this celebration from earlier winter solstice celebrations. Shepherds ARE part of the Mithras mythology, witnessing his birth and helping Mithras emerge from the rock, but interestingly, the shepherds exist in the birth chronology at a time when humans are not supposed to have been yet born. This, coupled with the fact that the earliest version of this part of the Mithras mythology appears one hundred years AFTER the appearance of the New Testament, points to the fact that it is far more likely that the Mithras legend borrowed from Christianity rather than the other way around.

Claim:
"Mithras was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again, and Mithras was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)"
Truth:
There’s no references in any Mithraic literature to Mithra dying at all, much less being resurrected. There are some external sources suggesting that Mithra died (though how he died is not made clear), but these date to the 4th century at the earliest occurring well after New Testament times. Christianity could not, therefore, have borrowed from Mithraic traditions, but the opposite could certainly be true that Mithraic traditions were inspired by Christianity, but since they don’t mention any burial in a tomb or resurrection, I’d say we couldn’t call it ‘inspired’ at all. 

Claim:
"Mithras had 12 companions or disciples"
Truth:
There is no evidence for any of this in the traditions of Iran or Rome. In the Persian version of the Mithra story, he has one disciple, Varuna. In the Roman version, he has two, Cautes and Cautopatres. The source for this claim seems to be an old carving of Mithra slaying a bull while 12 people watch on. That these 12 people are companions or disciples is not suggested, and besides, this carving dates to post-Christian times anyways, so if they WERE meant to be disciples of some sort, they were likely influenced by Christianity, not the other way around.

Claim:
"Mithras sacrificed himself for world peace"
Truth:
​There is no evidence this is true, although there is a story about Mithra slaying a bull. He was not a bull. He did not slay himself or sacrifice himself in any sense, and the slaying of the bull wasn’t for world peace. For that matter, Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t for world peace, either, but for salvation for those individuals who choose to follow Him.

Claim:
"Mithras promised his followers immortality"
Truth:
​While there is little evidence for this, it is certainly reasonable to think Mithras might have offered immortality, as this is not uncommon for any God of mythology.

Claim:
​"Mithras was called “the Good Shepherd”, and was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion"
Truth:
​There is 
no evidence that Mithras was ever called “the Good Shepherd” or identified with a lamb, but since Mithras was a sun-god, there was an association with Leo (the House of the Sun in Babylonian astrology), so one might say he was associated with a Lion. But once again, all of this evidence is actually post New Testament; Mithraic believers may once again have borrowed this attribute from Christianity.

Claim:
"Mithras was considered a great traveling teacher and master"
Truth:
​There is nothing in the Mithras tradition that indicates he was a teacher on ANY kind, but he was could have been considered a master of sorts. But why would we expect ANY deity to be anything less than a great teacher and master? Most deities and mythologies describe their gods in this way.

Claim:
"Mithras performed miracles"
Truth:
​Of course this is true, for what god does not perform miracles, whether true or false?

Claim:
Mithras was considered to be the “Way, the Truth and the Light,” and the “Logos,” “Redeemer,” “Savior” and “Messiah.”
Truth:
​Based on the researched and known historic record of the Mithraic traditions, none of these terms has ever been applied to Mithras with the exception of “mediator”. But this term was used in a very different from how Christians used the term. Mithras was not the mediator between God and man but the mediator between the good and evil gods of Zoroaster.

Claim:
Mithraic believers celebrated Sunday as Mithras’ sacred day (also known as the “Lord’s Day,”)
Truth:
​This tradition of celebrating Sunday is only true of Mithraic believers in Rome and it is a tradition that dates to 
post Christian times. Once again, it is more likely to have been borrowed from Christianity than the other way around.

Claim:
Mithraic believers celebrated a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper”
Truth:
​Followers of Mithras did 
not celebrate a Eucharist, but they did celebrate a fellowship meal regularly, just as did many other groups in the Roman world

From this quick examination of the Mithraic comparisons, it should be obvious Mithras isn’t much like Jesus after all. In the end, similarities between Jesus and mythological precursors fail to invalidate the historicity of Jesus. The historical veracity of Jesus is determined from the evidence supporting the reliability of the eyewitness accounts. Jesus is not simply a retelling of Mithraic mythology. While Mithras is no longer worshiped, Jesus Christ is. Skeptics sometimes portray Mithras as something he isn’t in order to keep us from believing in Jesus as something He is. But the reliable Biblical record establishes the Deity of Jesus in a way no other ancient mythological text could ever hope to achieve.
If you are wondering how skeptics could make such wild claims, that have no real historical evidence, they benefit from the Skeptic’s Fallacy: in short, when it comes to attacking the credibility of the Bible it is assumed that the skeptic is completely credible. So the skeptic know's most people will not research their attacks and just take it as factual.
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<![CDATA[Anger at God common, even among atheists]]>Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:43:09 GMThttp://www.5thseal.com/reason--hip-hop/anger-at-god-common-even-among-atheistsPicture
If you're angry at your doctor, your boss, your relative or your spouse, you can probably sit down and have a productive conversation about it. God, on the other hand, is probably not available to chat.

And yet people get angry at God all the time, especially about everyday disappointments, finds a new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

It's not just religious folks, either. People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image - that is, what they imagined God might be like - said lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University psychologist.

In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers. A separate study also found this pattern among bereaved individuals. 

It seems that more religious people are less likely to feel angry at God and more likely to see his intentions as well-meaning, Exline's research found.

And younger people tend to be angrier at God than older people, Exline said. She says some of the reasons she's seen people the angriest at God include rejection from preferred colleges and sports injuries preventing high schoolers from competing.

Anger at God can strongly resemble feelings you may have against another person, Exline found. God may seem treacherous or cruel when bad things happen, just like another individual might. Your anger may fester even more when there's no good reason for the negative event, such as a natural disaster or a disease, to occur. And strong, longstanding negative emotions of any kind can lead to physical ailments.

Moreover, distress at God is associated with mental health symptoms. Exline and colleagues found that among cancer survivors interviewed once and then again a year later, those who were angry at God at both points in time had the poorest mental and physical health. 

Just like with people in your life, you can respect and feel anger toward God at the same time. And you can move toward forgiveness by reframing the way you view the negative event: Perhaps God was not responsible for it or that he acted in that way for a reason.

"When people trust that God cares about them and has positive intentions toward them, even if they can’t understand what those intentions or meanings are, it tends to help to resolve anger," she said.

Granted, these studies aren't definitive; they are steps forward in this emerging field of inquiry.

But we see it in the real world, too. Jeff Crim listens to people's anger at God all the time - specifically, people who are dying. He's a chaplain and bereavement coordinator North Star Hospice in Calhoun, Georgia, and has found that it's important to find a way to express your anger at God in order to deal with it.

Expressing anger can be cathartic, and help you move on, but how you do it is deeply personal, Crim said. Crim himself will speak aloud to God, but others find solace in a trusted spiritual leader or other person to confide in about their anger at a higher power.

"What they need is a safe place to express their anger, to know that their anger has been heard and listened to," he said.

Read the full CNN article here



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<![CDATA[North Carolina judges quit after gay ‘marriage’ legalized]]>Sat, 01 Nov 2014 19:43:51 GMThttp://www.5thseal.com/reason--hip-hop/north-carolina-judges-quit-after-gay-marriage-legalizedSix North Carolina judges 
quit after gay ‘marriage’ legalized

In the wake of a federal court decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” in North Carolina, at least six judges in the state have resigned rather than be forced to officiate such unions.

All stepped down, since October 10, because they believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

They are: John Kallam Jr. (Rockingham County), Gilbert Breedlove (Swain County), Bill Stevenson (Gaston County), Tommy Holland (Graham County), Gayle Myrick (Union County) and Jeff Powell (Jackson County).

The decision wasn’t easy for Stevenson, whose family depends on his $50,000 per year salary as their primary income.

"I prayed about it; I asked for wisdom," Stevenson told the Christian Examiner. "I think our hearts have been led away by the cares of the world, our desires, and ultimately, our intense arrogance – our hubris – against the Lord.”

"We've rejected the prime authority of the scriptures, something our Nation's Founding Fathers, such as John Adams, knew better than to do. ... In both the Old and New Testaments, homosexuality is something the Lord does not approve of, and since He doesn't, I could not put the sanction of the state on a relationship that runs afoul of scripture," Stevenson said.

In a separate interview with the Christian Post, Stevenson said of the decision to give up his income without a backup plan, "I hate to wax it so biblical but it says 'what good is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul? So, that's the stakes I put on this."

Holland, who had served as a magistrate for 24 years, said he made the decision to quit after the state issued a memo stating that there would be no religious exemptions for judges who believe same-sex “marriage” is immoral.

"When the federal judges ruled that gay marriage was legal and North Carolina honors that, and part of a magistrate's job is to perform marriage ceremonies, I knew I couldn't honor that law," Holland told The Christian Examiner. "It's against my belief. It's against what the Bible says.”  As for his future prospects? “God has always taken care of me," Holland said.

“When you have convictions about something, you’ve drawn your line in the sand,” Myrick told the Winston-Salem Journal. “It [“marrying” gay couples] was not a consideration to me at any cost.”

“I believe marriage was ordained by God to be between a man and a woman," she told the Christian Examiner. "For me to do what the state said I had to do, under penalty of law, I would have to go against my convictions, and I was not willing to do that. I want to honor what the Word says."

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage. 

Breedlove said that while the financial impact of walking away from the bench will certainly sting, he simply could not turn his back on his morals just to keep a job, and trusts that God will provide for him.  “You either go for the finances or you go for the faith,” he told the Winston-Salem Journal. “I know the Lord has something for me to do.”

Four days after announcing his resignation, Kallam returned to the Rockingham Country courthouse for a rally alongside North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger and 500 fellow residents, all supporters of true marriage.  Berger vowed to fight for religious freedom protections for magistrates who oppose same-sex “marriage.”

“Here, in Rockingham County, forcing Magistrate Kallam to give up his religious liberties to save his job is just wrong,” Berger said at the rally. 

Berger and 27 other Republican legislators have asked the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts to protect state officials who refuse to participate in gay marriages because of religious beliefs.  He told the Winston-Salem Journal that plans to introduce a bill to allow state officials to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples or conducting gay “marriages” if doing so would violate their religious beliefs.


Author: Kirsten Andersen

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<![CDATA[Jesus Christ a Retelling of the Horus Mythology]]>Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:50:05 GMThttp://www.5thseal.com/reason--hip-hop/jesus-christ-a-retelling-of-the-horus-mythologyThe Origins of the Horus Jesus Myth  Picture
Gerald Masse was born in England,(1828-1907) was a self-taught Egyptologist who published a massive work entitled Ancient Egypt, The Light of the World shortly before his death in 1907. The man was strange and unusual whose work has never been taken seriously by scholars. His book is a weird mix of historical speculation, philology (meaning the study language), and theory about the precession of the zodiac, all presented as fact with minimal supporting evidence. Gerald Massey argues that the Judeo-Christian tradition borrowed heavily from Egyptian mythology and that the “Jesus-legend” in particular was based on Horus. He lists parallels between the two figures, to make his case.


Claim: 
"Horus was conceived  by a virgin mother named Meri, and had a stepfather named Seb (Joseph)"
Truth: 
Horus was NOT conceived of a virgin. In fact, mural and textual evidence from Egypt indicates Isis (there is no evidence that “Meri” was ever part of her name) hovered over the erect penis (she created) of Osiris to conceive Horus. Through sorcery, Isis, assembled the body of Osiris and was impregnated with his phallus. Clearly this was a sexual union and not a virgin birth. She utilized Osiris’ penis to conceive. She later had another son with Osiris as well. Seb was actually the “earth god”; He was not Horus’ earthly father. Seb is not the equivalent of Joseph and, in most cases, Seb is described as Osiris’ father. Check the  (Source and Source)

Claim: 
"Horus was born in a cave, his birth announced by an angel, heralded by a star and attended by shepherds. Three Wise Men Came to Adore the New Born Savior" 
Truth
There is no reference to a cave or manger in the Egyptian birth story of Horus. In fact, none of these details are present in the ancient Egyptian stories of Horus. Horus was born in a swamp. His birth was not heralded by an angel. There was no star. Additionally, the Bible does not say “three wise men” came to see Jesus. It never tells us the number of wise men. And they did not come at Jesus’ birth in a manger. They came to his family home when he was a toddler. 

Claim:
"Horus was born on December 25th"

Truth:
— According to Egyptian mythological history, Horus’s birthday is celebrated in the season of Khoiak, which runs in the months of October and November, not December 25th. Furthermore, the date of December 25th is never mentioned in the Bible as the date of Jesus’ birth and thus has no relevance to the account of Jesus’ life. So right away, the claims of “plagiarism” look completely baseless.

Claim:
"Horus had 12 Disciples"
Truth:
— Historian Glen Miller writes: “But again, my research in the academic literature does not surface this fact. I can find references to FOUR “disciples”–variously called the semi-divine HERU-SHEMSU (“Followers of Horus”) [GOE:1.491]. I can find references to SIXTEEN human followers. And I can find reference to an UNNUMBERED group of followers called mesniu/mesnitu (“blacksmiths”) who accompanied Horus in some of his battles [although these might be identified with the HERU-SHEMSU in GOE:1.84]. But I cannot find TWELVE anywhere…]”

Additionally, some of have said the 12 signs of the zodiac are the “disciples” of Horus. Even if this were the case, they are just stars and not actual people who followed Horus, preached about him or recorded his life. This is another empty and false claim.


Claim:
"Horus was crucified. Dead for three days. And Resurrected"
Truth:
— There is no historical record in any credible Egyptian mythology of Horus being crucified. Additionally, crucifixion was a method of execution invented by the Roman Empire thousands of years after the time of the Horus myth. Whereas the accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion exist in thousands of manuscripts from the century after his death. Additionally, as detailed in a article “Did Jesus Really Exist? Proving Jesus without The Bible” there are many secular historical sources that record His crucifixion as described in the Bible.

Claim: 
"Horus was baptized in a river at the age of 30, and his baptizer was later beheaded. "
Truth:
Horus was never baptized. While conspiracy theorists often point to “Anup the Baptizer” (claiming he was later beheaded), there is no such person in Horus’ story. 

Claim: 
Horus was called “Way”, “the Truth the Light”, “Messiah”, “God’s Anointed Son”, “Son of Man”, “Good Shepherd”, “Lamb of God”, “Word made flesh”, “Word of Truth”, “the KRST” or “Anointed One”.
Truth: 
None of these titles are in Egyptian history, but Horus is called by several names you might expect for any god in mythology: “Great God”, “Chief of the Powers”, “Master of Heaven”, and “Avenger of His Father”. Horus was not called “the Krst”. This word in Egyptian means “burial” (it wasn’t a title at all). 

Claim:
"Horus came to fulfill the Law, and was supposed to reign one thousand years.
Truth: 
There was no Egyptian “law” for Horus to fulfill, and there is no mention of a thousand year reign in Egyptian mythology.

If you are wondering how skeptics could make such wild claims, that have no real historical evidence, they benefit from the Skeptic’s Fallacy: in short, when it comes to attacking the credibility of the Bible it is assumed that the skeptic is completely credible. So the skeptic know's most people will not research their attacks and just take it as factual (just as Dan Brown did with the numerous inaccuracies of the DaVinci Code). Now if your wondering where and when this Horus Jesus myth was popularized, it was in Germany. Watch the short 4 minute video for more information on this.
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