The death knell for the early Christian church came disguised as a blessing, it was the ‘conversion’ of the Roman Emperor Constantine. In A.D. 312 he and Maxentius were locked in mortal battle for the throne of Rome.
“Constantine alarmed that Maxentius was a master of magical arts, prayed to the ‘supreme god’ for help. To Constantine the supreme god was Mithras, the Persian sun god. In response to his prayer, he reportedly saw a vision of a flaming cross in the sky next to the sun, along with the words, ‘Conquer by this!’ He then confronted Maxentius and won the battle.
The result was that Constantine came to the throne with the announcement that he was now a follower of Jesus... The problem was that Constantine not only legalised Christianity, he tried to improve on it…
Constantine… divorced the church from Judaism, and married the church to paganism… while Constantine professed to follow Christ, he also continued to openly worship pagan deities… In his new city of Constantinople, he set up a statue of the sun god, bearing his own features…
He proclaimed SUNday (the venerable day of the Sun) as an official Roman holiday so Christians could worship freely... spent large sums of money building new church buildings (Christians did not meet in churches prior to this – they met in homes)...
By the fifth century it had become common practice for worshippers entering St Peter’s Basilica in Rome to turn at the door and bow down to worship the rising sun! (Ezekiel 8:6-16 specifically says this is a practice that will cause God’s Presence to depart from His people! – this passage is the one that also refers to the abomination of weeping for Tammuz)…
Before the time of Constantine, Christians never celebrated Christ’s birthday. But the pagan Romans had long celebrated December 25 as the birthday of Mithras… Also known as Saturnalia, Mithras’ birthday was one of the Roman’s favourite festivals, a time for good cheer and gift giving… Now that Jesus was viewed as a manifestation of the Sun god, Saturnalia was declared a Christian holiday… “Christmas,” the birthday of Jesus!”
Source: The Messianic Church Arising, by Dr Robert Heidler, Glory of Zion Ministries ISBN 0-9791678-2-5, pages 40-49. - Italics mine
“Janus, the two-headed god, “who had lived in two worlds,” was the Babylonian divinity as an incarnation of Noah. Dagon, the fish-god, also represented that deity as a manifestation of the same patriarch who had lived so long in the waters of the deluge. As the pope wears the key of Janus, so he wears the mitre of Dagon… The two-horned mitre, which the Pope wears, when he sits on the high altar at Rome and receives the adoration of the Cardinals, is the very mitre worn by Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines (Judges 16:23, 1 Sam 5:2, 1Chron 10:10) and the Babylonians… the open head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the man… Thus was it in the East, at least five hundred years before the Christian era.
Source: The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, second American edition, 1959, published in America by Loizeaux Brothers, page 215.
When Gregory the Great introduced Gregorian Chants into the church of Rome, he got them from the Chaldean mysteries which had long been established in Rome.
From these few examples we can see that Christianity has been paganised. The question arises, “Is it ok to redeem the culture and incorporate these pagan ceremonies into Christianity?” Whilst Christ does redeem people and cultures, the bible makes no room for redeeming pagan religions. In fact Moses and the prophets both teach very strongly against it. Deut 12:30-32
“When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”
This and the verses from Ezekiel 8 make it clear what God’s view is on pagan religious practices. In fact one of Luther’s complaints against the Catholic church when he set off the reformation was that Catholicism was just Babylonian paganism.
Now please be clear, I am not picking on the Catholic church, it just happens to appear in this article’s examples. Modern day Pentecostal churches still celebrate Eastre, complete with its pagan eggs and hot cross buns (Jer 7:18 & Hos 3:1 NKJ), and there are many “Christian” churches where the leaders wear mitres. The point of these articles is to show the origins of a lot of pagan religious abominations that have hijacked Christianity - and I’m barely scratching the surface of it here.
At its start, Christianity was a Jewish religion, with Jewish leaders and Jewish festivals, and the “Jews on the street” took to it in droves. It’s not surprising the Jews now reject Christianity, it’s full of paganism and has lost its Jewish (biblical) roots. And if there’s one thing Jews are programmed to avoid, it’s paganism. Deut 12:1-4
“These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things.”
With modern “Christianity” so full of paganism, and the Jews hard wired to resist it something has to change. It’s not necessarily the message of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) the Jews are struggling with. If Christianity was a little more Jew friendly (i.e. biblical) and a lot less pagan, maybe we’d be pleasing Father God at the same time?
For another angle on pagan practices in Christianity try the following video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNuIz63zBjM