Is Christianity Just a Copy of Other Religions?

flower-detonation asked a question:

I’m a Christian that’s been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I’m blessed to have found your blog. However, I’ve read a lot about how Christianity is actually based on ancient Egyptian religion and philosophy and pretty much white people took these ideas and made it into Christianity. So i guess my question is that I am fooling myself for believing in the “white man’s religion” cuz to me it doesnt make what’s said in the Bible any less true but is the Bible an allegorical text then?

Hey dear friend, thank you so very much for your kind words. Thank you also for the challenging question.

Let’s consider the following three things.

1) The other week, I was reading (once again) that Jesus wasn’t a real person but a concocted amalgamation of different legendary figures conflated into a mascot for a cult of Israelite rejects so they could regain power from the Roman Empire. Then they succeeded by having Constantine pronounce Christianity as the mainline religion of his reign. This is a theory that pops up every few years as a new theory, just like the one about finding Jesus’s grave, finding his wife and kids, and how “the Dark Ages was the fault of the Catholic church and caused a regression of the sciences.”

2) Christianity has a lot of similarities to other religions, which means that either a) Christianity is true and every other religion has a grasp of the truth, or that b) all religions are just a grab-bag pile of fairy-tales. I have a problem with the second option because almost every other religion self-describes as a fairy-tale or a way of life, while Christianity is about the underlying unbending reality of how things really are and self-describes as the zenith of all truth. So if we’re left with the first option, it would mean, for example, that the dozens of flood accounts in other religions shouldn’t be intimidating to Christianity since they’re probably witness accounts of the same event told by different cultures.

3) Christianity, which has made a jump from the Roman Empire to St. Augustine’s Africa to Westernized America and now to modern Asia, is increasing almost everywhere else except white Europe and white America. (I’m not using white as a derogatory term, I promise.) The idea that it was hijacked by “white man” is also anachronistic, since the concept of the “bad white man” is way too modern to creep into the early stirrings of Christianity. In fact, white Westerner sociologists will admit that religion is now deteriorating in mostly white Western societies, and it’s probably because the Gospel is so counter-intuitive to power-plays and personal gain. If anything, general religion (and admittedly non-religion) is increasing at rapid rates around the world.

I bring these up because

1) you’ll hear about a “new startling expose” on Christianity every now and then that’s already been answered by coherent historical academia,

2) you’ll hear that many religions are quite similar, which is no threat to Christianity, and

3) you’ll find that Christianity is the furthest thing from a “white religion,” and if it was, it would be a terrible one. Westerners prefer God to be a therapeutic, puppet-like, abstract, serve-me, uncle-figure, which is radically different than the God of the Bible. It’s actually more like the ancient Egyptian deities which are falsely touted as a cradle for Christianity.

The best I could say is to thoughtfully investigate all these things for yourself, by diving into the research of those who have followed the truth no matter where it took them. There will still be doubts, questions, stalemates and a constant mist of mystery, but I think that’s okay.

The important thing is to question everything, including our questions, and not to buy into something too fast. If we must discard something, I hope we do it deliberately, carefully, with full engagement down to the bottom. I still wrestle with a ton of unresolved tension about some of the ins-and-outs of the Christian faith, but I’m also learning there’s a lot more coherence and consistency than I give it credit for. In the end, I’ve found Jesus to be the most compelling centerpiece of all that Christianity offers, and I find it harder to believe that anyone could’ve made him up.

— J.S.

6 thoughts on “Is Christianity Just a Copy of Other Religions?

  1. I will not argue with any of your well-presented points. Question everything, even our questions… great advice. And I believe wrapping the discussion with a point back to Jesus is very effective. Look to Jesus.


  2. Awesome. To piggy back, if I were to make a religion out of thin air in order to gain control and political power of people; I would’ve never started it with a relatively poor Jewish carpenter with no political clout who operated on the fringes of society and died a lonely humiliating criminal’s death. Sure, cultural Christianity can be used as a power grab (as can any religion) but not without leaving its humble Shepherd behind.


    1. Hey Bryan! Good to see you around these parts again. Right on. It’s hard to imagine a bunch of dudes colluding, “We’re so going to be rich and powerful with this cross and humility thing. Reverse psychology, guys.”


  3. Christianity is not just a religion. But having a good and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, being Him as the center and foundation of our life. Christianity, from the root word Christ. Christ centeredness.


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