Church buildings and Pagan temples

Paganism has a wider influence on our lives than we might care to think.

Church buildings and Pagan temples

Early Christians worshipped in whatever place was suitable and available: an existing temple, a hillside, river bank, or even somebody's home. The Early Church was dynamic and lively; the actual building design and architecture was unimportant. But like many other things in life, man's urge to enhance and improve things led to more elaborate, 'holy' structures.

Pearly gates of Heaven

Drawing on his knowledge and experience with Pagan worship, it would feel natural for a church building to have a sacred altar on which to place sacrifices.

And even though teaching and believing that 'God is all around us', from the early days it must have felt necessary and natural to have a central focal point to which everyone would turn and bow. For everyone to show reverence to this focal point would in itself, be a way for the congregation to pool and synergise their worship. The focal point would be either to the east even though west points to the same place on a globe; or elevated, believing that Heaven was up there, somewhere.

Church, with a pointed spire
The point is...

Isn't it strange that Church spires around the world point upwards? Is Heaven really up there?

And if so, where exactly?

The point is, a church spire in the northern hemisphere points in a different direction to a church spire in the southern hemisphere. And a church spire on the equator just whizzes 360 degrees at 1,670 kilometres per hour with the earth's rotation every day. 

The symbolism reflects the Pagan belief that Heaven is physically up there where it's light. Once again we find Christians following the ancients by looking up at the Sun god, even though they know that Heaven is in a completely different dimension.

The Early Church was not so wealthy, neither were Christians. The disciples were fishermen, artisans and peasants; not wealthy princes. Even if they wanted to build churches of their own design, there was no money for such a luxury. Therefore existing buildings were adapted.

When it was possible to build a new church, the design was usually in the form of an oblong, a cross or elliptical, like a ship or fish. It was hardly ever circular, since that was the shape favoured by heathen religions. Nevertheless, the need for a special place for worship was recognised and the design, with some differences, was the osmosis of Pagan structures.

Those same basic layouts, well-intentioned though spiritually baseless, remain today.

See other Pagan items adopted by Christianity.

Given that the circumference of the earth at the equator is 40,075 kilometres, and that earth rotates once per day, 40,075 kilometres divided by 24 hours gives the useless result that the surface of the earth at the equator rushes by at 1,670 kilometres per hour (1,038 miles per hour for the metrically challenged).

On Pagan items: 1 Cor. 10:19,27-31


search 🔍



privacy policy