Posts Tagged ‘Heaven’


Next fall we’ll publish what might well be See Sharp Press’s final nonfiction book, 24 Reasons to Abandon Christianity. Here’s a a season-appropriate reason that will be greatly expanded in final publication.

24. Christianity borrowed its central myths and ceremonies from other ancient religions. The ancient world was rife with tales of virgin births, miracle-working saviors, tripartite gods, gods taking human form, gods arising from the dead, heavens and hells, and days of judgment. In addition to the myths, many of the ceremonies of ancient religions also match those of that syncretic latecomer, Christianity.

To cite but one example (there are many others), consider Mithraism, a Persian religion predating Christianity by centuries. Mithra, the savior of the Mithraic religion and a god who took human form, was born of a virgin; he belonged to the holy trinity, he was a link between heaven and Earth, and he ascended into heaven after his death. His followers believed in heaven and hell, looked forward to a day of judgment, and referred to Mithra as “the Light of the World.” They also practiced baptism and ritual cannibalism—the eating of bread and the drinking of wine to symbolize the eating and drinking of the god’s body and blood. Given all this, Mithra’s birthday should come as no surprise: December 25th; this event was, of course, celebrated by Mithra’s followers at midnight.

Mithraism is but the most striking example of the appearance of these myths and ceremonies prior to the advent of Christianity. They appear—in more scattered form—in many other pre-Christian religions.


Robert G. Ingersoll

Robert G. Ingersoll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“To compel man to desert the standard of reason, the church does not entirely rely on the threat of eternal pain to be endured in another world, but holds out the reward of eternal joy. To those who believe, it promises the endless ecstasies of heaven. If it cannot frighten, it will bribe.”

–Robert Ingersoll, quoted in The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations