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What is Pagan?

aymon de albatrus

"15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my motherís womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:" (Gal 1:15-16)


The general dictionary definitions for the word Pagan is:

HEATHEN

A follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)

One who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods: an irreligious or hedonistic person

One who worships false gods; an idolater; a heathen; one who is neither a Christian, a Jew, nor a Mohammedan.

{Pagan}, {Gentile}, {Heathen}. Gentile was applied to the other nations of the earth as distinguished from the Jews. Pagan was the name given to idolaters in the early Christian church, because the villagers, being most remote from the centres of instruction, remained for a long time unconverted. Heathen has the same origin. Pagan is now more properly applied to rude and uncivilized idolaters, while heathen embraces all who practice idolatry.

Idol worshiper, idolater, idoliser, idolizer, nonreligious person, paynim (a heathen especially a Muslim)

In leftist terms it is used for a person who does not acknowledge your God.

From ancient times to now the term "Pagan" has been used as a derogatory term to put down others that had different views on religion. For example in ancient Israel everyone that was not a Jew was a Gentile and a Heathen (Pagan). Similarly in ancient Rome a pagan (paganus) was referred to a countryman, rustic, peasant, villager, a barbarian most remote from the centres of instruction being rude and uncivilized and not practicing the religion of Rome.

Basically everyone thinks that his religion is the right one, and everyone else is a "pagan". But which religion is not Pagan?

In the Bible we find this exclusivist statement: "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name (Christ Jesus) under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."" (Act 4:12)

This statement is much maligned by all outside Christianity as arrogant and evil. Well we that believe are firmly convinced that the Bible is the inspired Word of God as confirmed by: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2Ti 3:16)

Having established that Scripture is by inspiration of God and taking note of the exclusivist statement claimed above we can logically declare that there is only one way to salvation, through Jesus Christ, and none other: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (Joh 14:6)

Now, Attention, we did not limit God in any way to save whom He wants, for He is Sovereign and can attribute the salvific works of Christ to whom He wills, from a savage in the deep Amazon forest to a hobo in any metropolis of the world, for He says: "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Dan 4:35)

God is TOTALLY FREE to do with His creation as He wills, and that is no business of ours as Jesus stated to Peter: "Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"" (Joh 21:22) and again: "Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?" (Mat 20:15)

But, as Christians, we shall preach Christ and Him crucify, stating clearly with a clear trumpet sound that the only way to salvation is through Christ Jesus and that there is no other name under Heaven by which we must be saved.

God is a spirit and must not be worshipped in a natural way but: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (Joh 4:24) By this is meant that God is without a body; that he is not material or composed of parts; that he is invisible, in every place, pure and holy. This is one of the first truths of religion, and one of the sublimest ever presented to the mind of man. Almost all nations have had some idea of God as gross or material, but the Bible declares that he is a pure spirit. As he is such a spirit, he dwells not in temples made with hands, (Act 7:48)neither is worshipped with menís hands as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, (Act 17:25). A pure, a holy, a spiritual worship, therefore, is such as He commands, the offering of the soul rather than the formal offering of the body, the homage of the heart rather than that of the lips or material things.

God is not a corporeal being, made up of blood, and flesh, and bones, having senses as bodies have, to be pleased with sensible things; but he is a spiritual Being, the Father of spirits, and requires a spiritual service proportioned to His Being; and therefore those that pay a religious homage to Him, must do it with their spirits, and according to the rule that He has prescribed, in truth and reality.

That the worship of God must be done without material aids is clearly stated by the second commandment: "4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments." (Exo 20:4-6)

Now the hallmark of a Pagan religion is characterised by material things such as carved images and icons such like the Hindus religions and many others. By definition all these religions are pagan for they worship through idols and images and pictures with dire consequences according to the 2nd commandment.

Another definition of pagan is one who is not a Christian, a Jew, nor a Mohammedan. This is derived by the fact that these religions are monotheist, i. e. worshipping one God. But this definition has pitfalls.

Concerning Islam we note that there is some sort of worship of the moon.

Moon worship has been practiced in Arabia since 2000 BC. In Mecca, there was a god named Hubal who was Lord of the Kabah. This Hubal was a moon god. One Muslim apologist confessed that the idol of moon god Hubal was placed upon the roof of the Kabah about 400 years before Muhammad. This may in fact be the origin of why the crescent moon is on top of every minaret at the Kabah today and the central symbol of Islam atop of every mosque throughout the world.

About four hundred years before the birth of Muhammad one Amr bin Lahyo ... a descendant of Qahtan and king of Hijaz, had put an idol called Hubal on the roof of the Kaba. This was one of the chief deities of the Quraish before Islam. (Muhammad The Holy Prophet, Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (Pakistan), p 18-19, Muslim)

The moon god was also referred to as "al-ilah". This is not a proper name of a single specific god, but a generic reference meaning "the god". Each local pagan Arab tribe would refer to their own local tribal pagan god as "al-ilah". "Al-ilah" was later shortened to Allah before Muhammad began promoting his new religion in 610 AD. There is evidence that Hubal was referred to as "Allah". When Muhammad came along, he dropped all references to the name "Hubal" but retained the generic "Allah". Muhammad retained almost all the pagan rituals of the Arabs at the Kabah and redefined them in monotheistic terms.

Regardless of the specifics of the facts, it is clear that Islam is derived from paganism that once worshiped a moon-god and although Islam is today a monotheist religion, its roots are in paganism.

Kaaba (Arabic, "a square building"), Islam's most sacred sanctuary and pilgrimage shrine, is located in the courtyard of the Great Mosque of Mecca. This is just a Black Stone being worshipped by Muslim when performing one of the 5 pillars of Islam consisting in the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah, an obligation once in a lifetime. Is this not a pagan practice? At that time they also practice the "stoning of the devil" throwing pebbles at three walls called jamarat in the city of Mina just east of Mecca. It is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in the Hajj, and routinely attracts vast crowds of over a million pilgrims. Is this not a pagan practice? Then we have seen Muslims flagellating themselves publicly to the point of shedding blood. Is this not a pagan practice? Truly, can Islam be not considered a Pagan religion?

What can we say about Islam?  Muslims do not worship the True God and their religion is seriously intermingled with many aspects of pure paganism.

But even under the great umbrella of Christianity not all fares well in worshipping the Lord in spirit and truth. We see many brands of "Christianity" adorning their churches with a constellation of statues, icons and religious pictures. They say that Roman Catholics do not worship these idols, they just pray through them. Well we can be easily fooled, but it is difficult to believe that one that kneels in front of these statues and icons for hours and also hangs on them expensive vows does not pray to that statue. If they do not need these idols, why they keep them? Why during the Inquisition many people were burnt to the stake for simply speaking against these statues/icons or even defacing them if they are just a channel? Gobbledegook methinks. Indeed the second commandment does not feature in the Roman Catholic Catechism; to make 10 commandments they divided the 10th into two, although they did not have the courage to remove the 2nd from their Bibles. Truly this religion is a syncretism between Pagan and Christian beliefs, theirs is Paganised Christianity.

Truly can Roman Catholicism be not considered a Pagan religion?

To note; that even the various Eastern form of Christianity are plagued by Icons and Idols.

What can we then say about Roman Catholicism and the Eastern versions?  These do worship the true God of the Bible, but their cult is deeply intertwined with idolatry. This syncretism undermines badly the worship of the true God.  In fact in many instances the cult of Mary equals and sometimes surpasses that of Christ.  The sentiments about Mary runs so deeply in them that if you query the cult of Mary you are very likely to get into un ugly argument with them.  Indeed, in time past, such discussion would have gained you the burning at the stake.

The Reformation had done away with this idolatry, but evidence shows that after about 500 years most of their good works is slowly vanishing and we are returning to manís natural desires and inclination as old Israel did.

The other Monotheistic religion is Judaism, the foundation of Christianity. Judaism is definitely not a Pagan religion for their symbolisms was God given and they do not worship through idols. Only they have rejected Christ and have not received, so far, His revelation as Paul attested about 2000 years ago with a heavy heart "2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises." (Rom 9:2-4)

What can we say about Judaism?  Well God has entrusted them with the Scriptures, these came through them.  Jesus and His Apostles were Jews and indeed Judaism worships the true God Yahweh. What is missing is the revelation of Jesus Christ, but can we say that Judaism is Pagan?  Methinks not.  Surely salvation is through Christ and God can apply this wonderful Grace to whom He wills, but so far Judaism does not acknowledges Christ and Him crucified.

So what is Pagan?

By definition, in a nutshell, anyone that does not worships Yahweh (ONE God manifested in 3 persons Father, Son and Holy Ghost) in Spirit and Truth through Christ Jesus is a pagan, for they do not worship the only true God as manifested in the Bible the ONLY Inspired, Inerrant Word of God.

We make this statement not because we live under the illusion that we are right and everyone else is wrong, but because the Bible is the only Scripture that clearly states that there is no other way:  "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Joh 14:6)