Churches upon temples and conspiracy theories

Why did the Christians later build churches upon ancient pagan ruins of previous temples or tunred pagan ones into christians ones ?And how do we answer to the conspiracy theories wanting these temples to have a "mystical"meaning?

I suspect a simple answer to that may just be economic: preexisting foundations, preexisting buildings, materials and labor. Others may have historical knowledge that might suggest otherwise. I could suppose some pagan temples being torn down instead of being reused.
 

A timely question with no easy answer. Better education of children could maybe be preventive.

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It would also be to affirm the triumph of Christianity over paganism. As for the second question, there exist beliefs in “ancient wisdom”, the more ancient the better. The is the opposite of the idea of spiritual progress! There is a New Age element here.

It is interesting in that in some cultures and times, a pagan temple would be considered “defiled” and to build a church on the site would be thought unwise. I think our current time would hold that idea, which probably led to your post. What church would build over a site of a mass murder? However, in the time of the Constantine, I suspect that putting a church in an old pagan Temple was part of showing the "conquering " and displacement of the old gods.
The same thing was done rhetorically in Genesis 1, when God was portrayed as creating the sun and moon, replacing those pagan gods with his sources of light.

As @Peter_Bussey said maybe .But i was looking for a historical accurate answer.Is this something historians genrally agree with?As for the conspiracists many of them hold the idea that the places pagan temples were built upon had some"energy"

In 1 Cor 8 Paul discusses whether or not to eat meat from animals sacrificed to false gods. His answer was Yes, it was fine to eat this meat, because false gods do not exist and have no power to defile. Only abstain if this action might be misunderstood by highly sensitive Christians, who he called “weak,” but most likely they thought of themselves as “strong,” because they refused to “compromise” with pagan worship.

I think Paul’s theology applies to Christian Churches built on the sites of former pagan temples.

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I was not even aware that this was some kind of conspiracy theory. Could they have just simply been proving that God was stronger than them?

I’ve read various stories of missionaries purposely offending gods and cutting down sacred trees to prove their was no wrath in store of them.

I definitely see the economics of it as well.

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Some might recount the way Paul in the Bible tried to appeal to pagan ideas in favor of Christianity. I am reminded of other missionaries to employed similar tactics. In other words, it was a way for Christianity to be successful by absorbing the existing culture.

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Paul visited Athens and walked around on Mars Hill where the many idols to various gods were honored.
The people were so concerned to be inclusive of all gods, they had an altar that was labeled “to the unknown god”.
*> Acts 17:22ff *
> 22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
*> *
> 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

Paul used the thing with which people were already familiar and comfy to explain the things of God.

As has been already pointed out, Paul said nothing was ‘evil’ intrinsically, but if some people were ‘weak’ then he would adjust his behavior to be helpful to them.

RelatesRoger A. Sawtelle

In 1 Cor 8 Paul discusses whether or not to eat meat from animals sacrificed to false gods. His answer was Yes, it was fine to eat this meat, because false gods do not exist and have no power to defile. Only abstain if this action might be misunderstood by highly sensitive Christians, who he called “weak,” but most likely they thought of themselves as “strong,” because they refused to “compromise” with pagan worship.

The guidance Paul gives us is to use what we have to turn people to belief in God.

That may mean asking God for the wisdom to understand the ‘conspiracy theories’ from God’s vantage point, so the correct words can be used to turn hearts from conspiracy theories to the truth about God.

I differ from Paul, though, in the fact that I have encountered evil that lives on in spaces after the worshippers of evil have left.

I served on many ships in the Navy. As an officer, we surveyed various parts of the ship to ensure the planned maintenance had been conducted.

On several occasions, I would enter a space and the creepy crawlies would climb up my arms and neck. The space ‘felt’ off. Further investigation would reveal candles, pentagrams, hexagrams, etc. were stashed there. As an officer, the items would be gathered and removed. As a chaplain, I would pray over the space.
I was asked on a few occasions to pray over aircraft or equipment that were not working properly. The repair team would ask for me to come by and I would pray for them all–the aircraft and the people.

I had not grown up with those ideas, but I was not going to say “no” to someone asking for prayer. EVERYTIME. Literally, every time, the situation became better and resolved the issues that could not be explained.

I have felt the evil, so I can attest that something may ‘live on’ after evil has resided there.

But I also know the power of God over evil. I don’t have any hesitancy on turning a pagan site into a place of worship. God is always more powerful.

I pray daily that God will help us overcome conspiracy theories that are doing damage by replacing it with the truth. God is more powerful than theories.

God can sway the hearts of Kings

Proverbs 21:1

> King James Version
*> *
> 21 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Greater is the power in us.

What grieves me is how people make claims about God that are false.

Generally, if the person wants the glory for him/herself, then the claims are suspect.

When we seek only to give God the glory/credit, then there is no limit to the power of prayer. Any location can be sanctified via prayer to God.

Sorry this turned out longer than I planned.

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Interesting you ask, I just read a fascinating article on this subject:

Here is my favourite quote, from an early church dedication:

image

The Early Church did so as a polemic against the demons worshipped there before. This idea goes back to Matthew 16, when Jesus founded his church at the pagan site of Mt Hermon, that ‘the gates of hell would not prevail against it’

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