Real Spiritual Warfare or Mere Satanic Hysteria?

Growing up in the 90s, we heard lurid tales about the Church of Satan. Many of these stories were passed on from person-to-person – usually from a pastor to his congregation to friends and family, then neighbours to classmates and on to another pastor and his congregation.

It was a self-perpetuating and self-authenticating circle of narration, with each narrator embellishing the tale with his/her imaginative details. Of course, this chain of transmission wasn’t limited to Nigeria. It spread across several countries in Africa.

We were told that the Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey in the US, mimics the Christian Church, but literally worships Satan and sacrifices humans to appease their horrific god along with involvement in cannibalism and vampirism.

Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Madonna Ciccone and other music stars or influential celebs were tagged as members, and many of us were warned to avoid being bewitched by their seductive charms.

In fact, I was told by a friend that Madonna had sex with Satan and has dedicated all her music albums to the prince of darkness. How he knew this with certainty boiled down to the authority of “someone who knew something.”

Just as we have people today who morbidly see the Illuminati or the New World Order behind every vice and world event, back then, Hollywood, degrading music, porn – even HIV – were all attributed to the bestial acts of the Church of Satan!

The current recrudescent panic about “satanic” vaccines, biochips, 666 mark or “invisible radiations being used to track people” which has filled the right-wing conspiracy lunatic fringe, is nothing new. Only the alleged culprits and minor details have switched over the years.

Those days, there were no Internet with which you could verify stories, you just had to take the word of “my pastor or my friend who knows someone abroad said…” as evidence.

To make it worse, some American Christian books which seemed to provide information on Satanism, circulating in Africa at the time, were by Rebecca Brown.

Her books contained sensational, hysteric and patently embellished tales which further accentuated the gross misinformation and urban legends being spread about Satanism in Nigeria.

Her books failed to rightly distinguish between the various orders of witchcraft (e.g. “white” witchcraft, Neopaganism and black witchcraft) and different satanic groups (e.g. the difference between traditional or theistic Satanism and LaVeyan Satanism) but dubiously lumped everything together, hence, many people ended up believing that the Church of Satan (CoS) fits the depictions conveyed in her paranoid-inducing books.

Again, many Christians were influenced by the world of make-believe (particularly Nollywood) which were ironically based on incorrect portrayals of the occult and spiritual warfare.

For instance, several scenes of satanists vanishing into thin air or turning into fish, snake or dog as a pastor holding a big Bible was confronting them, were a staple, even in Christian movies.

These were the “amunitions” that gave rise to certain scenarios in some Nigerian Christian books on spiritual warfare where you have agents of Satan running for the hills or instantly confessing to their evil deeds once the name of Jesus was mentioned by a pastor.

Many of these tales and thinking followed me into my adulthood until I began to research on the occult, and gain a biblical understanding of spiritual warfare. It was then I realized that much of these things do not always happen in such ways as depicted in those books – at least not physically.

Now, in the above tweets, you’ll notice a common pattern of approach by both Destined Charles and Femi-Fani Kayode: a hysteric, reactionary and “Nollywoody” back-and-forth Twitter war with a Satanist.

First of all, if they had known something about LaVeyan satanists, they would have known they are basically atheists. They don’t believe in the existence of God or Satan.

The CoS’s definition of Satan is of an archetypal force of balance existing in nature which they tap into and use it for their own selfish will. Of course, we know that’s just a philosophical euphemism to describe the powers of darkness, but it’s a more subtle system that requires wisdom and insight from the Christian.

Let me say it here that the LaVeyan satanism is an innocuous group which operates one of the lowest levels of demonic energy in Satanism. There are more powerful underground satanic covens where all kinds of debased, insidious and evil acts are being perpetrated, whilst the CoS is just an official, legal, self-identified organization. It doesn’t represent or speak for all of Satanism.

Spiritual warfare has to be fought with knowledge, not ignorance. Apostle Paul said, “I do not fight like a boxer beating the air” (1 Cor. 9:26).

That was from a man who preached in the core demonic cities of Europe in the first century. He wasn’t going from place to place binding and casting Greek or Roman gods like Jupiter, Hecate, Diana or Thor. Instead, he went forth to preach the gospel that liberates souls from their powers.

Yes, preaching the gospel is the rudimentary aspect of warfare. That is why our feet is to be shod with the equipment of the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15). This is what we use to crush the heads of spiritual serpents and scorpions.

That’s why the devil hates it when you preach the gospel because you are symbolically crushing his head. But misinformed Christians want to directly take on big battles with satanists on the Internet without first starting from the base level of spiritual warfare.

Another thing to note is, spiritual warfare is not and should not be motivated by flesh – a desire to show off one’s power, to impress the audience or garner attention to self. It is not a war against flesh and blood; it involves a believer using spiritual weapons under the direction of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 10:4).

Any “spiritual” warfare that emanates from a personal life of falsehood, or a fleshy reaction to “fix” an opponent or a desire to retaliate against perceived disrespect, will make one a laughing stock before the enemy.

In instances where Christians directly addressed demon spirits working through human vessels or pronounced spiritual judgement on a physical enemy in the New Testament, it was to defend the Gospel of Christ, not self – the very carnal nature that empowers the enemy.

For example, when Elymas the sorcerer, was trying to prevent the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus from accepting the gospel and becoming saved, Paul pronounced judgement on him. But take note of what happened before he spoke:

“Then Saul, who is also Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, with you cease perverting the straight way of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time…” (Acts 13:9-11).

You can see that he was filled with the Holy Spirit at that moment. Therefore, his words were not the product of his own fleshy reaction to opposition, but represented God’s sovereign judgement on the sorcerer, uttered by the Holy Spirit. This proved the supremacy of Jesus over Satan, without any hysteric back-and-forth.

When you truly have the power of the Holy Spirit, you don’t need to stage any show. And you can’t go into war with the enemy with a memorized method devised by men solely inspired by emotion. It has to be backed up by the Word of God and directed by the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, here is another inconvenient truth. Some things are meant to stay here on earth until the very end. For instance, no amount of prayer can kill demons or banish the devil from this earth. He will always have his loyal followers at each generation of mankind.

From the book of Revelation itself, you can see that even after the Second Advent of Christ, after the Millennial reign, Satan will still marshal his armies together from various nations to wage war against the Lord’s people, and that will ultimately seal his eternal doom.

But until then – when all the enemies of God are stripped of their powers and sent to eternal perdition – you cannot render Satan and all his vessels “useless and powerless in Jesus’ name.”

I believe that the Church in Nigeria truly needs to receive some balanced, biblical teachings and unlearn some legends and shameful errors about the occult and spiritual warfare. Then, our approach to those involved in the occult, would be more measured, mature, spirit-filled and Christ-honouring.

Ten Men who have claimed to be Jesus

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As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives and His disciples asked for the signs of His second coming, He gave several pointers and prophecies that will forecast the religious climate of the earth at the time of His return. One of them is:

For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many … and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. (Matthew 24:5, 11, 23-26)

Indeed, all through history, many people – whether overtly or covertly – have come in the name of God claiming to be the promised Messiah or the returned Jesus Christ. Many of them have established movements, gained followers and even worked signs and wonders to gain credibility.

The list of such self-acclaimed messiahs is almost endless and more will still come. But in this piece, I will give only recent examples – men who have made such claims in the last decade or so.

  1. Ariffin Mohammed

Born to a Muslim family in 1941, Ariffin alleged that in 1959 during a debilitating illness, he was visited by an angel and also in the 1970s when his spiritual career began.

Popularly called “Ayah Pin” (Ayah, being a common honorific meaning “father”), Ariffin was the founder of Kerajaan Langit (Sky Kingdom) in Malaysia. His movement had a commune based in Besut, Terengganu which was demolished by the Malaysian government in 2005.

Ariffin not only claimed to be Jesus, he also claimed to be a reincarnation of Buddha, Shiva, and Muhammad. He was said to have the powers of invisibility and telepathic killing.

His followers fondly believe that one day, Ayah Pin will return as the Imam Mahdi. Devotees of the Sky Kingdom cult considered Ariffin to have direct contact with the heavens, and that he is in fact, the king of the sky – the supreme object of devotion for all religions.

After surviving a wave of attacks, arrests and fatwa from the Muslim government against his movement, Ariffin fled, and finally resided in Thailand as an exile in 2009. By then, he had about 10,000 followers. In 2016, he died in the home of his third wife (he had 4 wives).

  1. Wayne Curtis Bent

Bent Waye (a.k.a Michael Travesser) who was born in 1941, was formerly a Seventh Day Adventist pastor but left the religious group with others of like mind in 1987. He claims that during an experience in his living room in June 2000, God told him, “You are the Messiah.”

Bent has since stated, “I am the embodiment of God. I am divinity and humanity combined.” With a group of about 80 adherents who migrated to Sandpoint, Idaho, Bent founded the Lord our Righteousness Church in Union County, New Mexico.

His cult became a target of media investigation in 2004 which Bent further heightened when he announced October 31, 2007 as the beginning of the Day of Judgement.

Bent allegedly told his congregation that “God told him that he was supposed to sleep with seven virgins,” including a member’s own daughters who were 14 and 15 at the time.

Bent freely admits having sexual intercourse multiple times with his son’s wife. Both he and his son state that “God forced Michael [Bent] to commit this act of consummation.”

Bent was eventually arrested by the New Mexico State Police on three counts of sexual contacts with a minor and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. After his verdict, Bent was quoted as saying, “Just as with Jesus, they’ve convicted an innocent man… They had to lie to get rid of Jesus, and they will have to do the same to me.”

Now a convicted sex offender, Bent was paroled from prison in 2016 after spending about 8 years behind bars. This self-proclaimed Messiah has since published The Little Book, based on Revelation chapter 10. Believe me, someone is already buying his lies as you read this.

  1. Sergey Torop

Known by his followers as Vissarion (“He who gives new life”), Sergey founded and leads a group called Church of the Last Testament with its head church in Siberia.

He has around 4,000 followers living in his sacred Mountain settlement and around 10,000 followers worldwide. He also has branches in Bulgaria and Germany.

Sergey claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus which he said was revealed to him when he was 29 (he’s now 57). He claims to be “reborn” as a returned Christ in 1990, thus making him the Word of God.

His religious system combines elements of Russian Orthodox Church with Buddhism, syncretism and earth-centred beliefs, hence his followers are vegetarians.

He has two wives, the second of which had been living with him since she was 7. Sergey also considers Mary the mother of Jesus to be his biological mother and has even modelled his look after the purported picture of Jesus Christ.

The YouTube documentaries of this “Siberian Jesus” show that he predicted the coming of a great flood and spiritual protection for all his followers, many of who abandon their homes to build settlements near the holy mountain where the great Messiah lives. They all use a modified calendar set by his arrival on earth.

  1. David Shayler

Shayler, a former British M15 whistle blower, became a part of the 9/11 Truth Movement which maintains as its primary tenet the belief that the attack of September 11, 2001 was largely fraudulent.

In 2007, Shayler made waves in a British magazine, Daily Mail, when he brazenly declared: “I am the messiah and hold the secret of eternal life.” He also declared himself to be a reincarnation of various historical figures and has pledged his commitment to destroy the “Zionist empire.”

He claimed that God came to him one day and declared him as Jesus:

Ten years ago when God came to me I realized that I was Jesus Christ. Most of the people think you are insane when you say that, but I would say the opposite is in the Bible,” he said in an interview.

What makes Shayler’s claim to divinity rather remarkable was his admission that he lives part of his life as a woman who squats in a 17th century farmhouse in Surrey; in plain terms, he’s a transvestite.

Someone please page Dr. Fix This.

  1. Inri Cristo

Brazilian educator and former waiter, Alvaro Theiss, was born in 1948 and has admitted to hearing a “powerful voice” in his head since childhood. Obedient to this voice, Theiss left home at 13 and eventually became an atheist, severing all ties with his Roman Catholic background until he allegedly received a revelation of his new identity.

At the age of 21, he began his public life as a self-professed prophet and astrologer, introducing himself as “Iuri de Nostradamus.” In 1979, while observing a fast in Chile, he claims a raspy voice said, “I am your Father” revealing to him that he was the same Christ crucified 2,000 years ago.

The voice also told him that the second letter of his name (“u” in “Iuri”) would now be turned upside down making his name Inri. But wasn’t it easy to deduce that this man simply took the initials INRI inscribed on the cross of Jesus Christ?

Since then, Inri dresses in white tunic and sandals, announcing that his mission will usher in an era of the New Age. The 69 year old “celibate” guru with his dozen disciples lives in a small compound behind an electrified fence. His devoted female disciples, who live with him, push him around on a fringed red satin platform on wheels.

Inri has toured about 27 countries to spread his message but he has been banned from three countries: the U.S., Venezuela and UK, though he has been welcomed by France. He has also been arrested by police more than 40 times.

  1. The “Jesus” of Kitwe

In 2013 a former taxi driver, Bupete Chibwe Chishimba, a resident of Mindolo Township in the Zambian copper mining city of Kitwe began to make his own proclamations:

I am Jesus Christ from the heavens who has come to save you from this world and I would put an end to the Political Government of this world and I will start ruling no one can stop me because I posses the divine power,” he said.

Chishimba claimed he fell off from heaven in 1999 with the sole purpose of initiating judgment for mankind and ending earthly political rule. His preaching has been known to attract many street traders as well as irate youths who assault him for his gross blasphemies.

Chishimba has however denounced church leaders and urged them to stop deceiving people by saying Jesus is coming when he was already there, because he came from the heavenly Kingdom. These days, the 43-year-old goes by the names of Parent Rock of the World, Mr. Faithful and Mr. Word of God.

He drives a taxi inscribed with the words “Lord of Lords” and walks around the local marketplace dressed in a robe, spreading the message of the returned Christ.

  1. José Luis de Jesus Miranda

Born in Puerto Rico, José became addicted to heroin at 14 and asserted that he was delivered by the power of God and later joined a Baptist church.

In 1973, José claimed he had a vision on which he was visited by a pair of angels as he later told ABC News:

The same spirit that was in Jesus of Nazareth, and the same spirit is in me. He came to me. He [integrated] with my person.”

From there, he began to preach his own peculiar doctrines and later assembled a number of followers forming the Creciendo en Gracia (Growing in Grace) church in Miami, Florida, in 1988. A decade later, José declared himself to be the reincarnation of Apostle Paul.

Perhaps not been satisfied with his own flights of fancies, in 2005, he announced himself to be the Man Jesus Christ, who has returned for the second time. “Anyone who doesn’t believe in me, is miserable,” he declared, to his audience’s applause.

In 2006, he openly claimed to be the Antichrist which he defined as one “no longer following Jesus of Nazareth as he lived in the days of his flesh.”

His followers showed their support by getting 666 tattoos on their bodies; some of them displayed these tattoos on YouTube.

José, known to be a charismatic preacher, taught his followers that 666 is not a sign of the devil, but of wisdom, implying “put your faith in the Jesus after the cross … and that’s me.”

In 2008 he was estimated to have two million followers in 30 countries, no thanks to his motivational-style preaching on radio and TV.

Miranda finally died from liver cirrhosis, a condition that is at odds with his expected immortality. After his death, his followers crowned him as Melchizedek – the king of justice and of peace.  His cult later divided into 4 factions, each with different doctrinal positions and agenda.

Men may rise to make bogus claims about themselves, but death usually comes around and deals them its blow and all their boasts end right there.

  1. Omowole Isaac Omogoroye

Mr. Omogoroye, a Nigerian, and a one-time Student Union President at the University of Lagos during an interview with Sahara TV made this rather astonishing disclosure in 2017:

Today, I’m appearing to the whole world as the one and only Son of God expected back to life and I come in the new name of God as documented in the only living book, the Bible … What I’m trying to say is that I’m the awaited Jesus Christ. My mission here is to let the world know that Jesus Christ is back.

No man born of a woman will come from the sky down. It was only a parable in the bible. I’m here to decode that parable in Revelations. I am the Jesus Christ the Bible is talking about.”

In the video which lasted 15 minutes and 32 seconds, Omogoroye further disclosed that he has been appearing in different countries of the world as the awaited Son of God expected to redeem the world, and has also been given the divine mandate to occupy Aso Rock, the seat of the nation’s power come 2019.

He added that as soon as he becomes the President of Nigeria, the government will change its name to the New Jerusalem of the Bible. We will be waiting, with baited breath.

  1. Apollo Quiboloy

Said to be born on a “prayer mountain” in Davao City, Philippines in 1950, Apollo Carreón Quiboloy was a member of the United Pentecostal Church till he founded the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church – the Name Above Every Name in 1985.

He also claims to be the Appointed Son of God which stirred much criticism. His followers refer to their community as a ‘Kingdom nation’ and it has been estimated that there are about 4 million “kingdom citizens” in the Philippines and about 2 million followers abroad.

Quiboloy oversees the operation of several radio stations, newspapers and a sprawling 8-hectare compound in Davao City where piped central music is played all over the place 24 hours a day. Who says the brainwashed too don’t need some music to luxuriate in the message?

They also hold Bible study sessions and prayers and their cult leader has been known to wield much political and religious power over many in that country.

In 2018, Quiboloy was investigated for human trafficking in Hawaii after the authorities found $350,000 in undeclared cash and rifle parts inside the aircraft belonging to the sect’s leader. He was later freed to fly again, no thanks to his wealth and influence.

  1. Moses Hlongwane

The South African “Lord of lords”, Moses Hlongwane, says that God identified him as the Messiah during a dream in 1992. At the time Moses was working as a jewelry salesman. Since then, he’s preached in Eshowe, Johannesburg, and other cities in the region.

He claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus and is known to wear a baseball cap embellished with yellow satin. He surrounds himself with dozens of disciples, many of whom have abandoned their families and whose welfare payments fund his Jesus compound in KwaZulu-Natal town.

Hlongwane said he, like Jesus, spent years in the wilderness and has been resurrected as the Son of God. “I was in this room from 1992 and have spent 22 years in a fight with the devil and have overcome him,” said Hlongwane.

As I speak to you I will never see death and I am now getting ready for the opening of the graves and healing of blind and lame,” he said during an interview with eNCA.

Notice a consistent cultic pattern in all these figures:

  1. A claim of supernatural revelation or visitation
  2. A codification of unorthodox beliefs or heretical doctrines
  3. Claims of self-divinity
  4. Authoritarian control over followers
  5. Isolating followers from the rest of the “ungodly” society.
  6. A searing of conscience and justification of crimes under the pretext of “We are God’s special people.”

Were these men insane loons infected with a messianic complex? Perhaps. But one thing is certain, they are all under the control of the spirit of Antichrist and their multiplicity is proof of the time we are in.

Is Jesus a copy of Ancient “Hero” Deities?

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A couple of days before Christmas in 2016, a headline ricocheted some media outlets: “5,000 Year old Nativity Scene found in Egypt.” It was a report of a reddish rock art found in 2005 by Marco Morelli, a geologist, in a small cave within the Sahara desert.

It showed a mother and father standing over a newborn, with two animals present and what looked like the sun (?) on the right side.

By terming this “a Nativity scene 3,000 before Christ,” the liberal media was baiting the prejudice of the season. In the painting, a lion was painted at its top and a monkey below. How does this tally with Christ’s birth recorded in the Bible?

Marco said, “When the baby is drawn above the parents, it usually resembles a birth or pregnancy in ancient Egyptian art.” Is this man an Egyptologist or why should he be taken as an authority?

You see, the conclusion fits a ready made narrative: to portray Christ as a copy of pre-Christian mythical gods like Horus, Baal and Attis.

That painting is more or less a coincidence; even if it was religious in nature, it fails to indicate ancient Egyptian religion was the prototype of Bible narratives.

A popular YouTube video Zeitgeist: The Movie, also attempts to parallel Jesus with ancient demi-gods worshipped prior to Jesus birth. Its narrator says:

“Broadly speaking, 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 has 12 disciples he travelled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water… After being betrayed by Tryphon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected.”

There’s nothing new about these claims. They are old, disproved theories drawn from late 19th century agnostic works like T. W. Doane’s Bible Myths, George Frazer’s The Golden Bough and Arthur Weigall’s The Paganism in Our Christianity, which no scholar in this century takes with any degree of seriousness. They are urban legends and propaganda mush.

Josh McDowell in his work, A Ready Defense, listed 4 major fallacies committed by critics who make the “Jesus is a copy of ancient gods” claim.

a) Combinationism: they roll all ancient pagan religions and their deities into one box and assume they were monolithic, coherent and unified belief systems from 1500 B.C.- 400 A.D.

b) Colouring the evidence: they lace ancient myths with Christian terms to make them seem like prototypes of Christian beliefs.

c) Oversimplification: they select a common theme (such as resurrection) and claim that Christianity borrowed it from an ancient pagan myth while ignoring the wide conceptual differences between both.

d) Who influenced whom: critics assume that if there is an element in an Eastern religion as well as Christianity, the Christians must have borrowed it from the Eastern religion, since the religion’s founder lived first. They fail to consider that the Eastern religion absorbed Biblical narratives into their own myths.

With these logical fallacies in mind, let’s answer the arguments made in the Zeitgeist movie.

1. Ancient Egyptian religion wasn’t a coherent belief system that could be copied wholesale. As it evolved, so did its stories. The Oxford Guide: Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology says different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists.

Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality, hence had different perceptions of the same multi-layered deity, and they attached various attributes to each deity. There were different versions of Horus and Isis in the Kemet.

2. The movie’s narration of the myth of Horus was peppered with Christian terms like “baptized,” “disciples” and “ministry” to further their agenda.

There is no way ancient Egyptians would use such terms to refer to their religious rites.

The name “Anup” or “Asup” doesn’t occur in any major ancient text. Only one reference to baptism is made in an Egytptian text and it refers to a ritual coronation for the pharaoh (and it varied in age, rarely 30).

No reference work speaks of Horus and his baptism. These contrivances were deliberately made up by anti-Christians to mislead their audience to assume similarities where there are none.

3. There’s no extant record that says Horus was born on December 25.

In Plutarch’s account, Horus was born “about the time of the winter solstice … imperfect and premature” (Isis and Osiris, Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 5, 1936). This leaves a gap of weeks before or after December.

In our modern calendar, the winter solstice is Dec. 21/22, not Dec. 25. This even assumes that ancient Egypt used our modern calendar, because ancient myths don’t specify any date at all for the birth of their deities.

Notably, Jesus’ birth date is not known and celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25 has nothing to do with the winter solstice.

4. In Plutarch’s account, Isis used her magic powers to raise Osiris from the dead and fashion a golden phallus to conceive her son. Thus, it wasn’t a virgin birth as that of Christ.

5. Horus was not visited by any 3 kings; he didn’t teach in any temple; he had no 12 disciples and he didn’t heal the sick.

Horus battled Set for 80 years and won, finally becoming a patron of Lower Egypt. Horus wasn’t crucified either. Egyptian texts spoke of Isis and “describes the death of Horus through the sting of a scorpion … Thoth now appeared to her and advised her to hide herself with her unborn child” (The History of Isis and Osiris, Summary: VIII, lxxiv).

This incident occurred long before Horus’ adulthood and Thoth purged the venom from his body.

You see, once you consult the source of the myth, a vastly different picture is seen. This is why one way to refute such arguments is to ask for the original source or documentation of the myths. The critic will either become silent or sing another tune.

6. Horus did not resurrect from the dead. Egyptian myths said Osiris came to life again in Horus, but this is even far off the bat from Christ’s resurrection.

The critics claiming otherwise are oversimplifying the word “resurrection” and trying to parallel it with that of ancient Egypt. This is at best, intellectual dishonesty.

Some other enemies of the gospel allege that Christianity borrowed some ideas from Buddhism because Buddha was born before the time of Christ.

Femi Aribisala, a self-acclaimed “scholar” who seems to be seeking relevance on social media, alleged that Philippians 2:12: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” was plagiarised from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta Buddhist scriptures. But here is the quote:

And now, brethren, I take my leave of you. All the constituents of being are transitory. Work out your salvation with diligence” (Digha Nikaya ii. 155-56 Mahaparinibbana Sutta).

Buddhists don’t believe in sin and their use of the term “salvation” is attaining nirvana or nothingness – a concept utterly remote from the Bible.

Comparing the dates of the written documents of Christianity and the religion from which the supposed plagiarism occurred quickly exposes the critic’s assertion.

Manuscript evidence shows that the New Testament was written between 50-90 A.D. On the other hand, the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) – though he lived about 5 centuries before Christ – were passed down orally.

These teachings became so fragmented and had variant interpretations that a council was held in the third century BC – hundreds of years after Buddha’s death – to purify his teachings:

“This council refuted the offending viewpoints and expelled those who held them. In the process, the compilation of the Buddhist scriptures (Tipitaka) was supposedly completed, with the addition of a body of subtle philosophy (abhidarhma) to the doctrine (dharma) and monastic discipline (vinaya) that had been recited at the first council” (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, “Buddhism”).

The earliest manuscript evidence of Buddhist teachings are fragments written on tree barks in 60 A.D. The Diamond manuscript, an early Buddhist text, is dated 868 A.D. – that is over one thousand years after Gautama lived.

During this time frame, however, the Bible had been completed and Christianity had spread extensively throughout the East and West, so if there was a borrowing or plagiarism, it must have been from Christianity to Buddhism.

Some critics have also claimed that Krishna, Attis and Baal were prototypes of Jesus, but when you compare the myths of these deities, you will be amazed to behold the critics’ feeble attempts to roll different idols of different ages, characteristics and natures into one and re-cast them in the mould of Jesus Christ.

A South African Muslim writer, A. S. K. Joomal, wrote that the Jesus of the Gospels was patterned after a Mexican idol, Quetzalcoatl who was also a saviour born of a virgin, tempted by Satan, fasted 40 days and was crucified and that the Mexicans looked forward to his second coming (The Bible: Word of God or Word of Man, p. 145).

Here, again, we see a cheap attempt to Christianize a pagan deity by employing loaded Christian words like “saviour,” “crucified” or “second coming.”

But here’s what the New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (Crescent Books, NY, 1987, p. 430) says about Quetzalcoatl:

Quetzalcoatl, the Snake-bird, god of wind, master of life, creator and civiliser, patron of every art and inventor of metallurgy, was originally a deity of Chololan, but was driven out by the intrigues of Tezcatlipoca and decided to return to the old land of Tlapallan after the fall of the Tulla. He burned his houses, built of silver and shells, buried his treasure, and set sail on the Eastern sea preceded by his attendants who had been changed into bright-hued birds, after promising his people he would return to them. Ever since then sentries were stationed on the East coast to watch for the god’s return.

Once again, the original myth conflicts with the agenda-driven narratives of the Bible hater. These false accusations and sensational theories actually tell a lot about the ethics and character of those disseminating them.