Sex Worship in the Ancient World

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A study of ancient religions shows that worship of the sex organs (both male and female) played a key role. All kinds of sexual acts were permitted at one point or the other, and in some cases said to be one of the routes to union with the divine.

Today, as ancient paganism is being revived, there is a growing erosion of sexual mores and the lines are becoming blurred.

Free sex and nudity have become selling points, whether in the field of entertainment or religion. But these trends are not new; we are only committing ancient sins in modern ways.

In Hinduism, one of the oldest pagan religions, Shiva’s phallus has a special place. The Hindu mythology says that when Shiva is killed, his wife, goddess Kali squats over his body, rips out and eats his organs, and then mounts his still erect phallus to complete the cycle of creation.

In many Hindu temples, images of Shiva’s phallus (“lingam”) are depicted without the rest of Shiva and worshipped by devotees.

The vagina (“yoni”) is also worshipped. Various objects are shown depicting both lingam and yoni in full penetration.

Most devotees would visit these temples, pour milk or water over the lingam and meditate. Smaller, pocket-sized lingams are also purchased and rubbed with the hands.

There are also Hindu temples with intensely erotic carvings depicting obscene and perverted sexual acts. Let’s not forget too, that the sex treatise called Kamasutra, emerged from Indian sexology.

In ancient Babylonian and Sumerian rituals, temple high priestesses engaged in intercourse with high priests or the kings of the city.

They also observed Myletta rites in which every female was required to sit in the temple of Ishtar  and accept coitus from the first male who threw a silver coin on her lap. They believed such acts of ritual prostitution would release “fertility energies” on the land (Encyclopedia Britannica 15:76)

The ancient Canaanites were also immersed in sex rites revolved around their father god El, the mother goddess Ashera and their son called Baal. They believed that sex acts would stimulate the passion of their father and mother deities to give them fertility.

These rites made Canaanite cults so appealing such that the Bible makes several references to the nation of Israel becoming ensnared in their worship (Numbers 22:41, Judges 2:13, 8:33, Jeremiah 5:7 etc).

In the 1960s, some archaeologists unearthed the temple of Baal-berith at Shechem and found in it the sacred pillar (the phallus), an emblem of Baal. According to Unger’s Bible Dictionary:

Baal was the son of El, the father of the gods and the head of the Canaanite pantheon … The inhabitants of Canaan were addicted to Baal worship which was conducted by priests in temples and in good weather outdoors in fields and particularly hilltops called ‘high places’. The cult included animal sacrifice, ritualistic meals and licentious dances. Near the rock altar was a sacred pillar or Massebah and close by the symbol of Asherah, both of which apparently symbolized human fertility” (Merril F. Unger, Chicago. article “Baal”, 413).

Most historians agree that fertility and phallus worship existed in prehistoric central and Eastern Asia which influenced the pre-Buddhist and pre-Shinto religions.

A relic of this can be seen in the yearly Hōnensai fertility festival in Komaki, Japan held on March 15.

During this festival, a 9 feet long phallus is carried and followed by a crowd until they reach a Shinto temple where it is spanned in a 360 degree fashion. The people are “blessed” by Shinto priests and they pray for a fruitful and prosperous year.

In ancient Egypt, Min, a fertility deity (often shown with an erect phallus) was extensively worshipped around 2050-1550 B.C. Coronation ceremonies of a new pharaoh involved sex rites.

In the Yoruba religion in West Africa, the staff of Oranmiyan is also an emblem of the phallus, though disguised with non-sexual legends.

The ancient Greeks were not far behind. Apostle Paul wrote that “it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret” (Eph. 5:12).

He was most probably making references to the Eleusinian and Bacchanalian mysteries which were performed in the dark at nights and were known to be so immoral that the Roman senate banished them from Italy. Plato wrote about seeing the entire population of Athens drunk at these festivals.

The myths of Greek deities also indicated the level of sexual depravity in Greek culture. For instance, Flora was a prostitute; Apollo was a seducer of women; Zeus had sex with many women and even a boy (Ganymede); Pan was into little girls and masturbation and Hades captured young Persephone for his sexual pleasure.

These pagan gods were simply a reflection of the people who worshipped them and made up their myths. Notably, the early church thrived in the midst of this perverse culture.

Thus, we can understand why the epistles emphasized Godly separation from such sexual depravity.

Ancient Roman deities were also worshipped with immoralities. A good example was Dionysus (symbolized by the bull and goat) whose rites were famous for sex orgies and revelries.

Obelisks (phallus emblems) were moved over to Rome from Egypt by the emperors. One of them is still in the Vatican square today – opening the door wide to the ancient stronghold of Baal worship.

Modern Neo-Pagan movements follow the same route of sexual permissiveness. Gavin and Yvonne Frost of the Church and School of Wicca wrote a book many years ago, Good Witch’s Bible, detailing sexual initiation of pubescent boys and girls by older coven members, using artificial “phalli” on girls and group sex magic.

The book attracted a howl of rage from many Wiccans back then. But the fact is, these authors were simply honest about what goes on in many pagan circles today. Many higher level initiations in the occult are sexual in nature.

History informs us that many of these ancient depraved civilizations rotted from within and died. Their despicable acts attracted divine judgement and their political power sank into the dust – giving us an example of what will eventually befall cultures that follow suit today. Sadly, these same perversions are still being promoted by modern entertainment.

Was Jesus Tortured in Hell?

Christians generally agree that Jonah’s three days and nights in the belly of the fish prefigured Jesus’ three days and nights in the belly of the earth (Matt. 12:40).

However, in the 20th century, some respected Christian preachers began to dogmatically teach what presumably transpired within the period of Christ’s death and resurrection – that Jesus paid the price for our sins not just by dying on the cross as the Bible says, but also by suffering in Hell and becoming “born again.”

Frederick Price wrote that:

“..the punishment [of Christ] was to go to hell itself and serve time in hell separated from God…Satan and all the demons of hell thought they had Him bound and they threw a net over Jesus and they dragged Him down to the very pit of Hell itself to serve our sentence” (Ever Increasing Faith Messenger, June 1980, p. 7)

First of all, before Jesus died, His last words were “Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit” (Lk. 23:46). How did He then end up in Satan’s hands?

God laid all our iniquities on Him (Is. 53:6) and as He died, He cried in one final triumph: “It is finished!” which is translated from a Greek word, tetelestai, which can be rendered “it is completely complete.”

That is, He paid the full penalty that sin demanded at the cross – to God – not to Satan.

Those who teach that Jesus atoned for sins in hell argue that they are unveiling what has been covered up and hidden in tradition for 2,000 years through “revelation knowledge.”

The logical conclusion is that if you reject this doctrine, then you are swallowed up in traditions.

In an edition of the Believer’s Voice of Victory, Kenneth Copeland insists he will keep teaching this gospel:

He, that is Christ, allowed the devil to drag him into the depths of hell as if he were the most wicked sinner who ever lived. Every demon in hell came down on him to annihilate him. They tortured him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceived.”

Yes, Jesus Christ descended into hell. “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither will thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 2:27).

“Now he that ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth” (Eph. 4:9).

But His descent into hell was not to become a tortured sinner and be reborn, but to conquer the power of hell and liberate captive souls from Satan.

Hebrews 2:14-15 says “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

He descended into the paradise compartment of hell to liberate all the saints who had died from Abel to His time, who were held in that compartment (Lk. 16:23). Therefore “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive” (Eph 4:8).

He took the saints to heaven. He descended into hell as a Victor – not as a victim – to conquer Satan, death and hell.

Copeland continued:

In a thunder of spiritual force the voice of God spoke to the death-whipped, broken, punished spirit of Jesus in the pit of destruction and charged the Spirit of Jesus with resurrection power. [Then] his twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He was literally reborn before the devil’s very eyes” (September 1991, pp. 4-6).

These ideas are not found in Scripture. The Bible is very clear that Jesus paid for our sins at the cross where He shed His blood and not hell.

“And having made peace through the blood of his cross…” (Col. 1:20)

“And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross…” (Eph. 2:16)

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…”(1Pet 2:24)

If Jesus paid for our sins at the cross, why would He then end up in hell, in Satan’s hands with the debt of sin still unpaid?

In Him “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7). He also spoiled principalities and powers and “made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [the cross]” (Col. 2:15).

It’s blasphemy to reduce God the Son to a lost sinner in the pit of Hell being tortured by Satan and demons.

If Satan had to torture Jesus in hell for Him to redeem us, that would also imply that Satan is a co-redeemer with Christ.

Gloria Copeland also wrote:

After Jesus was made sin, He had to be born again” (God’s Will for You, p. 5).

Now, why would Jesus need to be “born again” when He wasn’t a sinner? If He needed to be born again, then He is not a Saviour!

These are serious errors that must be rejected. And this usually happens when people go beyond Scripture and mix in strange ideas under the guise of “new revelations.”

Islamic Fiction About Jesus

Each time the murderous acts of Muhammad are exposed, the usual standby of Muslim polemics is an appeal to New Testament passages in a vain attempt to show that Jesus too did what their Muhammad did.

In Logic, this sort of argumentation is fatally flawed in two ways:

First, it is a fallacy of false analogy. An analogy proposes that two concepts (A and B) which are similar, have a common relationship to some property. A has property X, therefore B must also have property X.

Muslims blindly assume that both Jesus Christ and Muhammad are Messengers of Allah, that their Allah is God the Father whom Jesus revealed, and that Christianity and Islam share the same concepts of prophethood, sin, ethics, and social infrastructure of war or expansion.

Hence, they think whatever refutes their Muhammad must also refute our Jesus. But once they understand that we don’t share those concepts, their feeble attempts crumble like a pile of Pixie dust.

Second, the Muslim appeal to “violent” passages in the Bible reeks of the fallacy of hypocrisy or Tū quoque (the Latin word for “you also”). This fallacy intends to discredit the opponent’s argument by asserting the opponent’s failure to be consistent with his own standards.

For instance, let’s assume I wrote that:

“Big daddy Mustapha is a disgusting paedophile because he loves wobbling naked in bed with an underage girls,” and a devotee of guru Mustapha, enraged that I’m blaspheming his holy prophet – the man who was the sole reason God created the earth – now says in response:

“Shut up, you pork-eating infidel! Didn’t Moses and his men in the Bible take little girls from the Midianites as sex preys? Didn’t Isaac at 42 marry Rebecca at 3 years old? We all know pastors take underaged girls as sex mates too. So…?”

This is a thoroughly invalid argument. The devotee completely failed to disprove the fact that big daddy Musty is a filthy paedo and to distract his opponent, he throws up false examples of paedophilia and an instance of men – who apparently share the same faith as the critic – doing what his guru did.

He indirectly conceeds to the argument that his grand poobah is a sex pervert, but then says to the opponent, “you also” are guilty.

This is the same logically bankrupt approach that Muslims have regarding the issue of jihad. They implicitly agree that their prophet was indeed a terrorist and mass murderer, but attempt to tailor Jesus Christ along that line.

Here we will examine these arguments to see if they measure up to facts or qualify for riotous fiction:

1. Mark 6:11 “Any city that doesn’t receive the followers of Jesus will be destroyed in a manner even more savage than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

This paraphase is (unsurprisingly) gleaned from an atheist site. Quoting the text directly from the Bible, beginning from verse 7, we see a different scenario:

And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 

8 “He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 

9 “but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 

11 “And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” 

12 “So they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.” (NKJV).

I think this verse is self-explanatory to any unbiased reader.

Conversely, here is what Muhammad said to his followers:

“I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is his prophet” (Bukhari 1:2:24).

2. Matthew 10:34-36 “Jesus said he came with the sword to cause war.”

Reading from verses 16-39, it’s clear that Jesus was speaking of how “a sword” of His truth would divide those who follow Him from those who do not. He is not a prophet of the sword of violence, force or war.

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 

17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. 

19When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 

21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (RSV).

The context speaks of the serious consequences of following Jesus and a reference to the physical sword that will be used against Believers, not the one they will wield against other people like jihadists. Here is what Jesus taught:

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:5-10, NIV).

There is no way one can abide by the teachings of Christ and have any inclination to hate other people or murder them. Compare this with the offensive wars Muhammad taught his followers in spreading Islam: 

“From now onwards we [Muslims] will go to attack them (the infidels) and they will not come to attack us, but we will go to them” (Bukhari 5:59:436).

3. Luke 22:36 “Jesus said get a sword for jihad. Or what are swords used for? Cutting apples?”

Here, what Jesus said:

“But now, the person who has a wallet and a traveling bag should take them along. The person who doesn’t have a sword should sell his coat and buy one.”

What He was conveying to His disciples that from that point on there would be hardship and opposition. “The disciples said, “Lord, look! Here are two swords! Then Jesus said to them, “That’s enough.”

Peter, like the others, felt Jesus was referring to physical swords and he used one to cut off the ear of the soldiers that came to arrest Him. But Jesus promptly told him to hold back the sword and healed that ear (Lk 22:51).

The message was clear: He had come to lay down His life for mankind and not for mankind to kill for Him. His language there in Luke was symbolic since He didn’t permit them to physically defend Him from His enemies.

He said “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matt. 26:52). Indeed, Jesus wasn’t calling for jihad and come to think of it, there’s no way two swords would have defended Him from the armed fire-breathing Roman soldiers.

A Bible commentary notes:

“They [disciples] must now expect that their enemies would be more fierce than they had been, and they would need weapons. At the time the apostles understood Christ to mean real weapons, but he spake only of the weapons of spiritual warfare” (Matthew Henry Commentary, Authentic Media, 1995, p. 763).

While Jesus clearly stated that Believers need not physically fight because His kingdom wasn’t of this earth (Jn. 18:36), Ibn Sa’ad has this to say concerning Muhammad:

“The apostle of Allah sent Khalid ibn al-Walid with 400 muslims to Banul al-Harith … He ordered him to invite them to Islam three times before fighting … they accepted what he had called them to. He stayed among them to teach them Islam, its regulation and its precepts.” (Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir vol.1 p. 399)

4. Luke 19:27 “Jesus said to Christians, Bring all all my enemies before me and kill them’. That’s jihad!”

Here, Jesus was narrating a parable (verses 11-26) about a nobleman exacting a death penalty on those rejecting his rule.

12“A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’

15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.” (vv. 12-15 ESV).

The nobleman’s words are those in verse 27 which our Muslim friend run off with because it sounds closer to their frame of belief. Note that treason is punishable by death in many cultures, yet this parable is not to be taken literally as it relates to the return of Jesus Christ to reward His servants and judge the unbelieving:

“The second coming of Jesus Christ will be for the purpose of judging the world and perfecting the salvation of His people. Men and angels, the living and the dead, will appear before Him to be judged according to the record which was kept of them…” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, 1949, p. 354).

Both Christianity and Islam agree that unbelievers  be punished for their actions on the last day, so the “killing” of the rebels in this parable means eternal destruction of those who reject Christ. Because Muslims are borrowing their arguments from atheists, they throw out their own beliefs on this topic.

Most Muslims are aware that their guru was a bloodthirsty murderer but rather than reject him as a doomed vessel and follow the Prince of Peace, they stubbornly cleave to him by projecting his evil acts on Jesus. This is reprehensible.

Muslims are free to love and follow their Muhammad as they wish, but they should stop making up a mythical Jesus to fit his monstrous image.