Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Answering 'Zeitgeist' The Movie

"The substance of Zeitgeist's claim is a re-run of an old attack on Christianity, saying that it is based on ancient myths, which are recycled with different people involved rather than historical events."


Romans 1:16-25
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Ed Note: Moriel Ministries and Be Alert! both have received numerous questions and concerns regarding 'Zeitgeist' the Movie that is viewable on the internet.

This commentary only addresses the first part of the movie, that which claims that Christianity and the Bible are frauds.

For and overview of the movie and the breakdown of it's other parts see this review at Wikipedia.

Scott Brisk

Answering 'Zeitgeist'

LIGHT FOR THE LAST DAYS - Commentary by Tony Pearce - February 2008

'Christianity along with all other theistic belief systems is the fraud of the age.'

So claims the popular film 'Zeitgeist' which is attracting over 2 million viewers a month on its Internet site, according to its publicity material. Zeitgeist means 'Spirit of the Age' in German.

The basic theme of the film is that there is no historical truth in the Bible and that Christianity is used by the people in authority to keep people submissive. The film shows this to be a destructive influence with pictures of war and human suffering linked to God and Christianity.

The substance of Zeitgeist's claim is a re-run of an old attack on Christianity, saying that it is based on ancient myths, which are recycled with different people involved rather than historical events. The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is just a myth made up a long time after the event in order to create a religion that would control people. In particular, it claims that myths about Horus, the Egyptian sun god, are parallel to the story of Jesus Christ.

According to the transcript of the film, the story of Horus is as follows: 'Horus was born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east, which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born saviour. At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.'

If true, this would certainly be unsettling to Christians. However, examining each point in detail is quite revealing. According to the Egyptian legend, Horus' father was Osiris and his mother was Isis (but there is nothing to connect this name with Mary / Meri). Osiris was killed by his brother Set who wanted his throne. Isis briefly brought Osiris back to life by use of a spell that she learned from her father. This spell gave her time to become pregnant by Osiris before he again died and she later gave birth to Horus. Horus then killed Set. The combination of Osiris and Horus became linked in Egyptian mythology with the idea of death and rebirth. As in all pagan religions, there was a connection with the seasons (winter = death, spring = rebirth) and with the sun setting and rising. In the Egyptian myth it became associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with the new harvest each year in the Nile valley.

According to this myth Isis was not a virgin, there is no link to the name Mary, however there is a death and rebirth story in line with the nature gods of paganism and fertility rituals. While this may be of interest in understanding the ancient religions of the world it has absolutely no bearing on the events recorded in the Bible. Horus was supposedly born during the month of Khoiak (Oct/Nov), and not on December 25th, a fact that does not make any difference to the claim that both Horus and Jesus were born at the same time since the Bible never says that Jesus was born on December 25th!

Ironically, the makers of the film do have a point when they connect Christmas with ancient sun worship rituals, but only in relation to Catholicism, but not to New Testament Christianity. The dating of the birth of Jesus at December 25th came in as a result of the Roman Catholic Church trying to entice Roman pagans to convert to Christianity without forsaking their midwinter festival which revolved around the 'rebirth' of the sun as the days began to lengthen. The earliest reference to the Christian celebration of Christmas is found in the Calendar of Filocalus, a manuscript compiled in Rome in AD 354. For information on this subject send for our CD / tape 'Was Jesus born on December 25th?'

The film states that a star in the East announced his birth and that three kings came to bring gifts to the "saviour." However, when stories detailing the birth of Horus are examined, there is no star or three kings who come to visit him. Trying to link this to Christianity fails in any event as the account of Christ's birth in Matthew has magi (wise men, not kings) coming to Jesus with their actual number not being stated.

The movie states that Horus was "baptised" by Anup and started a "ministry." The only accounts remotely related to Horus and water are the stories told of Osiris (his father who is sometimes combined in ancient accounts with Horus to form one individual) whose body was cut up into 14 pieces by his enemy, Set, and scattered throughout the earth. Isis supposedly found each part of the body and after having Osiris float in the Nile; he came back to life or became the lord of the underworld, depending on which account is read. In any event, stating that Horus was "baptised" is simply playing fast and loose with Christian terminology.

In addition, Horus had no "ministry." There is nothing in the myths about Horus becoming a teacher at age 12, nor in fact did Jesus. Luke 2.45-52 simply states that the teachers in Jerusalem were astonished at the answers given by the boy Jesus at the age of 12. Neither are there any statements to the effect that Horus had 12 "disciples." According to the accounts, he had four semi-gods that were followers and some indications of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. No accounts of Horus being betrayed are found in his portrayals and he certainly did not die by crucifixion in any account. There is an incident described in one story of Horus being torn to pieces, with Iris requesting that the crocodile god fish him out of the water he was placed into, but the movie does not mention this as it does not fit in with their agenda. The movie puts the account of Horus as originating in 3,000 B.C., which predates the invention and practice of crucifixion, so there is another historical problem that must be overcome.

The claims of Horus being buried for three days and resurrected are not to be found in any ancient Egyptian texts either. Some accounts have Osiris being brought back to life by Isis and going to be the lord of the underworld. But, there is no mention of a burial for three days and no mention of his physically coming out of a grave in the same physical body he went in with and never dying again. In addition, there is certainly no account of Horus dying for others as Jesus did.

In the end, the attempt to prove Horus was a picture/forerunner of Jesus simply fails from lack of any historical evidence. The movie continues in this same vein citing other mythological pagan deities that pre-dated Jesus (Attis, Krishna, etc.). It says that Hindu's Krishna was also crucified and resurrected. However, Hindu teachings state that Krishna was killed by an arrow shot from a hunter who accidentally hit him in his heel and after he died, he ascended to be with Brahman. None of the pagan deities, when accurately examined, mirror the Son of God recorded in the New Testament gospels.

The transcript of the film gives two major sources for its information - the work of Raymond Massey, a 19th century English writer, and Archarya S, the pen name of D Murdock, author of 'The Christ Conspiracy'. Massey was a spiritualist and an initiate into the order of Druids, who also studied Egyptology. Massey's work is widely discredited by serious Egyptologists.

Archarya S believes in UFOs and alien encounters and makes a huge number of untrue claims in her work. For example she writes, "In reality, it is no accident that there are 12 patriarchs, 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples, 12 being the number of the astrological signs." In fact, the division into the 12 zodiacal signs was the product of Babylonian astronomy in the fifth century BC, long after the events recorded in Genesis took place. She also claims the Israelites were moon worshippers based on Psalm 8, 104, Isaiah 47 and 66. Three of these passages speak about worshipping the Lord who is the creator of all things and Isaiah 47 speaks of judgment about to fall on the Babylonian, not Hebrew, astrologers! For further information go to 'A Refutation of Acharya S's book, The Christ Conspiracy by Mike Licona.'

The ancient myths referred to in this film are distorted in the attempt to make them fit in with Christianity. One could ask the question 'Which came first - the chicken or the egg?' and apply it to this film. Did the pagan myths come first and the Christians invent the Gospel story to fit in with them? Or, do the modern pagans take the Gospel story and try to make the pagan myths fit in with it? All the evidence points to the latter conclusion.

C.S. Lewis was a serious student of ancient mystery religions and a professor at Oxford University. When he became a Christian, he stated that the biblical concept of God in both Old and New Testaments is in no way compatible with the nature gods of the mysteries. He wrote: "Jahweh is clearly not a Nature- God. He does not die and come to life each year as a true corn-king should. He is not the soul of Nature nor any part of Nature. He inhabits eternity; he dwells in the high and holy place; heaven is his throne, not his vehicle; earth is his footstool, not his vesture. One day he will dismantle both and make a new heaven and earth. He is not to be identified with the "divine spark" in man. He is "God and not man." His thoughts are not our thoughts." C. S. Lewis, Miracles: A Preliminary Study (London: Collins/Fontana, 1970), p. 119.

In fact, Lewis had previously recorded that upon his first serious reading of the New Testament, he was "chilled and puzzled by the almost total absence of such ideas in the Christian documents." In other words, he was familiar with the theories suggesting resemblance between Christianity and the Mysteries, expected to find them, and was surprised to discover their absence.

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is unique in that it describes events that took place in space and time and were also the fulfillment of prophecies written centuries previously. They describe the once and for all sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and His bodily resurrection from the dead and ascension to heaven. To compare this with pagan myths about nature gods and the sun setting and rising as this film does is the height of folly. But sadly we live in a time when people will believe the most foolish things rather than accept the truth revealed in the Bible.

The Old Testament states that the gods of the nations were valueless: 'Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak, they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Be not afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good--- The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.' ( Jeremiah 10:5, 11). In particular the gods of Memphis (the main city of Egypt and hence representative of all Egypt) would be destroyed: 'Thus says the Lord God: I will destroy the idols, and put an end to the images, in Memphis'. ( Ezekiel 30:13). But "God Almighty" would be known in every generation: 'Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations.' ( Psalm 145:13). Given these predictions it would be inconsistent if the New Testament employed and rehashed myths based on worthless gods.

In fact Peter could write with confidence at the end of his life: 'For we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. --- And so we have the prophetic word confirmed which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts, knowing this that no prophecy came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.' 2 Peter 2:16-21.

In contrast to pagan myths the truths of the Bible were attested by the eye witness testimony of the Apostles. We also have the prophetic word written centuries beforehand and fulfilled in the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Peter goes on to warn of false prophets coming who will deny the Lord who bought them ( 2 Peter 2.1-3) and of 'scoffers' who will come in the last days 'walking according to their own lusts and saying 'Where is the promise of His coming?' ( 2 Peter 3:3-4).

That has certainly happened and the growing assault on the claims of Christianity by the makers of films like Zeitgeist is in itself a fulfilment of Bible prophecy. Interestingly although Zeitgeist claims to be wanting to liberate people from the controlling ideas of God and religion it has nothing to say about Islam, Hinduism or any other religion. The spirit of antichrist is only concerned to destroy faith in Jesus Christ, because Satan knows that only through repentance and faith in Jesus as Messiah and Lord can we be saved from eternal hell and have eternal life in the kingdom of God.

PS. The chicken came first. See Genesis 1.

    This article by Tony Pearce is posted with permission of Tony Pearce & 'Light For The Last Days', a sister ministry hyper-linked to Moriel through our 'Recommended Links' page.

Original Commentary Posted Online Here Light for the Last Days Homepage
Zeitgeist - The Movie, 2007 - Official Website


Nintendo Wii Fanatic said...

Well argued. There is more - Easter is a pagen festival condemned in the old testament. The 7th Sabbath is God's day - no "Sun"day - Jesus declared himself - Lord of the Sabbath. He did not link himself with the Sun God - in Fact he was totally opposed to such false worship.

First Plumbline Apologetics said...

You are exactly correct, I wrote a article about easter.

These are my reasons why we should celebrate Christ’s Passover this is not the rabbinical Jewish Passover, this was mainly to bring in another prospective, Easter Stated with the RCC and will finish with the RCC please do not be led into thinking that this is a rebuke.

I thought I would address my clear disagreement with Nick Sayers article on easter after reflecting and reviewing it, I know that Easter was a religious holiday that came out of the first council of nicea in Rome founded by Constantine and however it is my belief that Easter was not, as many would argue that the roots are founded in pagan religion, the issue is not around the death and resurrection of Christ as I am sure that on this issue both Catholics and Protestants agree part from the Catholic Mass and during the Easter holiday it self at, it should not be the only time to preach the gospel or reach people in different ways, the remembrance of the resurrection should always be celebrated and not just once a year, the issue is we should not pollute the Pure waters of Christ with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

According to the statements made by the Vatican any one who celebrates Easter is coming in unity with or Aligning them selves under the Authority of the Pope.

Nick argues in defence of Easter by saying that it is wrong to shun Easter simply because people state it came out of paganism, Nick shows how ignorant he is of the Traditions of Easter that came from the popes, the council of nicea was set up to ensure that the separated brethren came inline with Roman Catholicism within these religious holiday's the issue is again is not about whether you celebrate Easter or not people need to know the reasons why they do, and lets not dilute its historical meaning around Roman Catholicism, as the RCC was the reason why this holiday came into existence this was one of the main reasons why holidays like Easter was banned by the puritan Oliver Cromwell in England, it was his defiance of the RCC and its traditions and teachings.

According to the Book The Vatican Collection, Vatican Council II, Volume 1 The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents published by the Catholic Press, on page 449 subheading "Relations with the brethren of the separated churches", (25 An obligation established by the council regarding our separated eastern brethren and all Orders or whatever degree, weather of divine or ecclesiastical right) states "Nothing more should be demanded of separated eastern Christians who come to Catholic Unity under the influence of grace if the Holy Spirit then what the simple profession of the Catholic Faith requires. And since a valid priesthood has been preserved amongst them, Eastern clerics who came to Catholic Unity may exercise their own Orders, in accordance with the regulations laid down by the competent authority.

On page 451 under Conclusion

Paragraph two "In the meantime however, all Christians, Eastern and Western, are strongly urged to pray to God daily with fervor and constantly in order that, by the help of God's most holy Mother, all may be one,

On page 29 Sacred Liturgy “(106) By a tradition handed down from the apostles, which took its origin from the very day of Christ’s resurrection, the church celebrates the paschal mystery every eighth day, which day is appropriately called the Lords day or Sunday. For this day Christ’s faithful are bound to come together into one place. They should listen to the word of God and take park in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the passion, resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God.

On Page 448 Divine worship Easter statement.

First Plumbline Apologetics said...

(20 Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) Until all Christians agree, as it is hoped, on the day for the celebration of Easter by all, in the meantime as a means of fostering unity among Christians who live in the same area or country, it is left to the patriarchs or to the supreme ecclesiastical authorities of the place to consult all parties involved and so come to unanimous agreement to celebrate the feast of Easter on the same Sunday.

GENEVA (AP) - Christianity's largest ecumenical movement expressed hope Thursday that churches were moving closer to a common Easter for the world's Christians, despite a historical debate nearly as old as the religion.

Catholic and Protestant congregations will celebrate their belief in Jesus' resurrection on the same day as Orthodox churches in 2010 and 2011

The common holiday has happened three times this decade. But the World Council of Churches says consensus is emerging that these should not just be occasional occurrences.

At a recent meeting in Lviv , Ukraine , theologians representing nearly the breadth of Christianity agreed in principle on a strategy for all the faithful to continue observing their feast together.

"It's not a problem of principle, of dogma or of doctrine," said Juan Michel, spokesman for the council, whose 350 Protestant, Orthodox and other churches represent more than 560 million Christians. It cooperates with the Roman Catholic Church, which is not a member.

The History of Easter.

According to The Catholic Encyclopaedia the council of niecea was the First Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church, held in 325 on the occasion of the heresy of Arius (Arianism). As early as 320 or 321 St. Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, convoked a council at Alexandria at which more than one hundred bishops from Egypt and Libya anathematized Arius.

First Plumbline Apologetics said...

The text of the decree of the Council of Nicaea which settled, or at least indicated a final settlement of, the difficulty has not been preserved to us, but we have an important document inserted in Eusebius's "Life of Constantine" (III, xviii sq.). The emperor himself, writing to the Churches after the Council of Nicaea, exhorts them to adopt its conclusions and says among other things: "At this meeting the question concerning the most holy day of Easter was discussed, and it was resolved by the united judgment of all present that this feast ought to be kept by all and in every place on one and the same day. . . And first of all it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin. . . for we have received from our Saviour a different way. . . And I myself have undertaken that this decision should meet with the approval of your Sagacities in the hope that your Wisdoms will gladly admit that practice which is observed at once in the city of Rome and in Africa, throughout Italy and in Egypt. . . with entire unity of judgment." From this and other indications which cannot be specified here (see, e.g. Eusebius, "De Paschate" in Schmid, "Osterfestfrage", pp. 58-59) we learn that the dispute now lay between the Christians of Syria and Mesopotamia and the rest of the world. The important Church of Antioch was still dependent upon the Jewish calendar for its Easter. The Syrian Christians always held their Easter festival on the Sunday after the Jews kept their Pasch. On the other hand at Alexandria, and seemingly throughout the rest of the Roman Empire , the Christians calculated the time of Easter for themselves, paying no attention to the Jews. In this way the date of Easter as kept at Alexandria and Antioch did not always agree; for the Jews, upon whom Antioch depended, adopted very arbitrary methods of intercalating embolismic months (see CALENDAR, Bol. II, p. 158) before they celebrated Nisan, the first spring month, on the fourteenth day of which the paschal lamb was killed. In particular we learn that they had become neglectful (or at least the Christians of Rome and Alexandria declared they were neglectful) of the law that the fourteenth of Nisan must never precede the equinox (see Schwartz, Christliche und judische Ostertafeln, pp. 138 sqq.). ThusConstantine in the letter quoted above protests with horror that the Jews sometimes kept two Paschs in one year, meaning that two Paschs sometimes fell between one equinox and the next.

First Plumbline Apologetics said...

The Alexandrians, on the other hand, accepted it as a first principle that the Sunday to be kept as Easter Day must necessarily occur after the vernal equinox, then identified with 21 March of the Julian year. This was the main difficulty which was decided by the Council of Nicaea. Even among the Christians who calculated Easter for themselves there had been considerable variations (partly due to a divergent reckoning of the date of the equinox), and as recently as 314, in the Council of Arles, it had been laid down that in future Easter should be kept uno die et uno tempore per omnem orbem, and that to secure this uniformity the pope should send out letters to all the Churches. The Council of Nicaea seems to have extended further the principle here laid down. As already stated, we have not its exact words, but we may safely infer from scattered notices that thecouncil ruled:

* that Easter must be celebrated by all throughout the world on the same Sunday;
* that this Sunday must follow the fourteenth day of the paschal moon;
* that that moon was to be accounted the paschal moon whose fourteenth day followed the spring equinox;
* that some provision should be made, probably by the Church of Alexandria as best skilled in astronomical calculations, for determining the proper date of Easter and communicating it to the rest of the world (see St. Leo to the Emperor Marcian in Migne, P.L., LIV, 1055).

This ruling of the Council of Nicaea did not remove all difficulties nor at once win universal acceptance among the Syrians. But to judge from the strongly worded canon i of the Council of Antioch (A.D. 341; see Hefele-Leclereq, "Conciles", I, 714), as also from the language of the Apostolic Constitutions and Canons (see Schmid, Osterfestfrage, p. 63), the Syrian bishops loyally co-operated in carrying into effect the decision of the Council of Nicaea. In Rome and Alexandria the lunar cycles by which the occurrence of Easter was determined was not uniform. Rome, after the hundred-and-twelve year cycle of Hippolytus, adopted an eighty-four year cycle, but neither gave satisfactory results. Alexandria adhered to the more accurate nineteen-year cycle of Meton. But it seems to be clearly established by the most recent researches (see Schwartz, op. cit., pp. 28-29) that the lunar cycles were never understood to be more than aids towards ascertaining the correctdate of Easter, also that where the calculations of Rome and Alexandria led to divergent results, compromises were made upon both sides and that the final decision always lay with accepted ecclesiastical authority.

Considering that the RCC is full of Idolatry, the worship of Mary (Goddess of Rome) and various pagan, Gnostic and mystic teachings it is my belief that we need to separate our selves from Rome the mother harlot.

I leave you with these Scriptures.

In Christ

Miguel Hayworth

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

"Unto the pureall things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." (Titus 1:15 - 16)

First Plumbline Apologetics said...

This was my responce to a magazine.

man with desire said...

This article refutes and disproves claims of Zeitgeist movie, from the part of Christianity:

I suggest to read the article!