Pagan origins of the Cross
According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, the shape of the cross had its origin in ancient Babylonians of Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt centuries before Christianity was born.The cross was not widely used in mainstream Christianity until the time of the Roman emperor Constantine.The Vestal Virgins of pagan Rome wore the cross suspended from their necklaces, as the nuns of the Roman Catholic church do now. In 46 B.C., Roman coins show Jupiter holding a long scepter terminating in a cross.It was regarded as a protector and was placed upon tombs. The pre-Christian cross of one form or another was in use as a sacred symbol among the Chaldeans, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, and many other nations. The Spaniards in the 16th century found it also among the Indians of Mexico and Peru.
By the middle of the third century A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the churches…and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence, the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the cross of Christ, but its symbolic teaching was now different. Thus the pagan cross symbol was “Christianized” into mainstream Christianity.
The Bible clearly teaches that Christians must not practice or tolerate any pagan ways, customs, traditions or practices (Deuteronomy 7:1-6; Jeremiah 10:1-5; Revelation 18:1-4).
December 25, Paganism, Saint Paul and Plaigrism
Paul was supposedly born and raised in the city of Tarsus, a region in SE Asia-Minor (now called Turkey) where Mithras was well known. Biblical scholars are now saying that Paul, the alleged author of 13 out of the 27 (maybe more) books of the New Testament, may have been influenced in his writings by this strong religion of Mithraism. We can see a profound kinship between Mithraism and Christianity.
The ancients recognized that (from an earth-centric perspective) the sun makes an annual descent southward until December 21 or 22, the winter solstice, when it stops moving southerly for three days and then starts to move northward again.
During this time, the ancients declared that “God’s sun” had “died” for three days and was “born again” on December 25.Thus, these many different cultures celebrated the “sun of God’s” birthday on December 25th.