China's 4000 year old religion... The Border Sacrifice
Posted 18 February 2011 - 04:15 PM
Posted 19 July 2011 - 06:06 AM
I am a traditional Daoist Holyman, I am taught by the Immortals of the spirit world. Such a lot of nonsense is talked about religion and one religion saying its better than the others. There is many Gods and Godesses in the spirit world, they are controlled by the Jade Emperor. In the south, Quan Yin the Goddesses of great mercy lives with other Buddhists and Daoist, in the west the Buddhists reside. In the East the Daoist Immortals reside. In the north other gods of Hindu and Christians reside. The Christian God is a Daoist, but all of the gods/esses are now locked up in a lantern sitting on the Jade Emperors shelf. They wanted their religions to rule supremely on the earth, but the Jade Emperor wanted people to live naturally and follow the Dao. The christian, Muslim etc religion has been invented just to control people and they have nothing whats so ever to do with spirituality. They are a load of nonsense and should be eradicated from this earth. All people will then be left free and able to follow the natural way.
Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:42 AM
Read the Dao De Jhing by Lao Tzu!!! The teachings of Master Chuang, a Daoist Master; another read explaining Daoist practices.
Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:11 PM
?...I don't understand one bit from the above...what is daoism?
Daoism is like Hegel. Opposites and reactions and reversals through the flow of time. The guy above you is just telling it in a very cryptic way and requires you to use your brain and distill the meaning.
I have the fortune of living in the part of the world which has use for toilet paper, but not douches.
Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:53 PM
They are a load of nonsense and should be eradicated from this earth
Now this doesn't sound anymore comfortably dialectic at all...
Posted 19 July 2011 - 06:49 PM
Who believes in this...taught by the Immortals of the spirit world....all of the gods/esses are now locked up in a lantern sitting on the Jade Emperors shelf...The christian, Muslim etc religion has been invented just to control people..., seriously?
Now this doesn't sound anymore comfortably dialectic at all...
Because if you've any sense at all you'd be able to tell that he's being peculiar, foolhardy and not much interested in giving the utmost articulated account of the way certain things in world history have unfolded in following with the naturalist logic of Daoism. He's saying if there is a place of many gods then obviously there will be a place of a singular god and in considering the many gods and singular god there could be something in between where there isn't a necessary devotion to one or the other system. But in considering all this one sees the full scope of god(s) and the way such concepts have endured in both good and bad ways. They take many forms and yet their concept has continually been increasingly attached to religious worship and indoctrination as represented by all the religions that have taken shape over the thousands of years. Finally he conjures up his fairytale of locking up all the gods in metaphorically speaking of the transition that occurs when complexity owing to religions is cleared up by a gradual reversal towards the simplistic which is conveyed by the seemingly naturalistic authoritarianism of the fabled Jade Emperor. I suspect he's speaking of the natural progression that occurs whether we want it to happen or not.
I have the fortune of living in the part of the world which has use for toilet paper, but not douches.
Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:49 AM
Yes it may seem fantastic but what I said is true about the spirit world. It only seems fantastic because of my first line of this reply. As a shaman the spirit comes to you physically not in a mental way so that you can get screwed up in your head. They can throw you around like a rag doll, while the shaman is 'possessed' by the spirit, they will make Holy water and amulets to cure illnesses. I have done this and seen incredible things performed. So it may be a load of rubbish to others who have no experience of such things. Don't knock it until you have real understanding.
Posted 09 June 2012 - 06:47 AM
Ancient Chinese History in Light of the Book of Genesis
By Hieromonk Damascene
Offering sacrifice in any form including animal sacrifice has been a common practice throughout much of the world from the Hebrews to the Greeks, Romans, Hindus, Ancient Egyptians and not excluding the Chinese. In what way the Chinese “Border” Sacrifice similar to Judeo-Christian Sacrifice?
Comment on website: http://www.orthodox....ntcnhist_en.htm
1. The Chinese Border Sacrifice
“Shu Jing 書經 (Book of History of Book of Documents), the oldest Chinese historical source” is not the oldest Chinese historical source.
The records of Grand Historian, Shiji 史記 was written from 109 to 91 BC whereas Book of History of Book of Documents), Shujing 書經, was maybe written as early as 4 BC. The collection of ancient documents that became the classic of history for the Chinese was well known to Confucius, Mencius, and Xun-zi. The Shu Jing had been put together in the early Han dynasty after the burning of the books.
“This book records that in the year 2230 B.C., the Emperor Shun (舜) “sacrificed to Shangdi 上帝.” … Unquote.
Emperor Shun (舜) was the ninth ancient emperor and are Christians telling us that no emperor before Shun offered sacrifice to the gods before him? That is a distorted perception. In older text, Shiji 史記 states Emperor Huangdi (黃帝 - 4th ancient emperor) sacrificed to Shangdi (上帝) among other gods. You know what; Shangdi is not the Bible god as the article claimed. Shangdi was the ancestor gods of the Emperor and can only be worshipped by the Emperor and his families as described in Edward T.C. Werner in Chapter IV of Myths and Legend of China:
“Worship of Shang Ti
"… Shang Ti was worshipped by the emperor and his family as their ancestor, or the head of the hierarchy of their ancestors. The people could not worship Shang Ti, for to do so would imply a familiarity or a claim of relationship punishable with death. The emperor worshipped his ancestors, the officials theirs, the people theirs. But, in the same way and sense that the people worshipped the emperor on earth, as the ‘father’ of the nation, namely, by adoration and p. 95 obeisance, so also could they in this way and this sense worship Shang Ti. An Englishman may take off his hat as the king passes in the street to his coronation without taking any part in the official service in Westminster Abbey. So the ‘worship’ of Shang Ti by the people was not done officially or with any special ceremonial or on fixed State occasions, as in the case of the worship of Shang Ti by the emperor. This, subject to a qualification to be mentioned later, is really all that is meant (or should be meant) when it is said that the Chinese worship Shang Ti.
As regards sacrifices to Shang Ti, these could be offered officially only by the emperor, as High Priest on earth, who was attended or assisted in the ceremonies by members of his own family or clan or the proper State officials (often, even in comparatively modern times, members of the imperial family or clan). In these official sacrifices, which formed part of the State worship, the people could not take part; nor did they at first offer sacrifices to Shang Ti in their own homes or elsewhere”… Unquote
When Emperor Shun (舜) took over the reign from Emperor Yao (堯), according to this website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shun_%28Chinese_leader%29 , “he toured the eastern, the southern, the western, and the northern parts of the country; in each place he offered burnt-offering to Heaven at each of the four peaks (Mount Tai 泰山, Mount Huang 黃山, Mount Hua 華山 and Mount Heng 衡山), sacrificed to the hills and rivers, set in accord the seasons, months, and days, established uniform measurements of length and capacities, and reinforced ceremonial laws” and not just worshipping in the northern and southern borders as Hieromonk claimed.
Please show us the evidence that, “This ceremony came to be known as the “Border Sacrifice,” because at the summer solstice and Emperor took part in ceremonies to the earth on the northern border of the country, and at the winter solstice he offered a sacrifice to heaven on the southern border.” That is a lot of rubbish.
So, how do the sacrifices by Emperor Shun fit into the biblical sacrifices in term of methods and purposes? Was it because of animal or blood sacrifices for sin cleansing or other purposes? When was the first border sacrifice similar to the Chinese appeared in the bible? Can any Judeo-Christian blogger confirm the event?
The bible tells us that both Adam & Eve and the animals were vegetarians in Garden of Eden until after the biblical flood. When Adam & Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they included the animal were cast out of Garden of Eden.
In Genesis 3:21: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them”. God kills some animals and made some skin coats for Adam and Eve. Could we call it god’s first sacrifice offered to mankind? Did god break his own law not to kill any animal? Was it just the animal skins, made into clothes to cover them or was it the blood in the skin to cover their sins? What happened to the dead animal corpses? According to the bible, mankind and animals were not allowed to eat meat until after the Flood (Genesis 1:29; Genesis 9:3). So let dead animals rot, smell and pollute the environment?
The second sacrifice was in Genesis 4:3 & 4:4 when Cain & Abel made sacrifices to god. Genesis 4:3 "Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD" and Genesis 4:4 "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock [of sheep] and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering." Why god accepted Abel’s sacrifice, when god forbids mankind to eat meats at the time? Isn’t that a sin in itself? Refer Genesis 1:29 and 1:30.
In Genesis 8:20 & 8:21, Noah built an altar and killed all the clean beasts and clean fowls and burnt them as offering to god. “And the Lord smelled a sweet savor” as stated in Genesis 8:21. From then on, in Genesis 9:3 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you” on condition in Genesis 9:4 “But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat”.
If Noah’s sacrifice was true, it caused the extinction of all "clean" animals.
The best known sacrifice in the bible is in Genesis 22:2, “And he [god] said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac. Whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I [god] will tell thee of”. Jews believe Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac but Muslims believe Abraham sacrificed his firstborn son Ishmael. Even though Abraham didn't kill his son, whoever he was, it is still an incredibly cruel and evil thing to do. If Abraham did that today he would be in jail serving a long sentence. It amazes most people how religious followers consider this story as a sign of God's love. There is no love, just pure unadulterated evil.
There were too many other sacrifices in the bible to mention and can any Christian advise us, how Chinese “border” sacrifices are similar to the sacrifices as told in the bible?
The Temple of Heaven which the Chinese called Tiantan (天壇) was originally built by the Ming Emperors as their Ancestral Temple in Beijing and when the Manchu overthrew the Ming, the Manchu replaced Ming’s ancestral tablets with their central ancestral godly tablet, 祖仙神位 as皇天 上帝, or "Heavenly Sovereign Shang-di and eight other ancestral tablets of former Manchurian emperors from Nurhaci 努爾哈赤 to Daoguang Emperor 道光. The ritual sacrifices in Tiantan were in accordance to ancestral rites than that of the “border” sacrifice as claimed by Christians. Often one reads articles on Border Sacrifice moved from Taishan to the Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) in Beijing in the 15th Century AD is sheer nonsense.
2. The Book of Genesis and the Beginnings of China
There are too many assumptions and speculations to be true.
a) “God placed it into the minds of Adam’s sons Cain and Abel (and, we assume, Adam himself) to offer sacrifice. They would have done this near to the border of Eden”.
The bible did not say so.
“Adam lived to be 930 years old. According to the Hebrew genealogy, Adam lived at the same time as Noah’s father Lamech: Lamech was 56 years old when Noah died”… Unquote
There must be a typing error. If Lamech was Noah’s father and lived until 777years old, Noah’s ark story cannot be true because he died when his father was 56 years old.
c) “In fact, before the Flood Noah had brought on the Ark with him some animals which were specifically meant to be offered in sacrifice, in addition to all the other animals that were on the Ark”...Unquote
This was untrue, that wasn’t in the bible. In Genesis 7:8-9, all "clean" and “unclean” animals and fowls went in two and two onto the ark.
d) “Only 101 years after the Flood, evil abounded again; and therefore, as the Bible tells us, “the earth was divided.” This occurred at the Tower of Babel, when God confounded the languages, and people began to be scattered about the earth. The Tower of Babel incident occurred at about 2247 BC. And it is soon after this point that Chinese history begins”… Unquote
(i) Do anyone realize that Noah was alive when his grandson, Nimrod, ordered his other grand children to build the Tower of Babel and why he did not stopped Nimrod and his other grand children. BTW, Nimrod and Abraham’s father, Terah (who was an idolater and idol-maker), were disbelievers of bible god. Why then god rewarded Nimrod as leader or king of god’s chosen people?
(ii) What a distorted assumption that the Chinese history began in about 2247 BC. In his later chapter 3, Hieromonk Damascene mentioned “… according to Chinese history, there were the first righteous Chinese Emperors, Yao and Shun: the first emperors to offer the Border Sacrifices to Shangdi”. …Unquote
Didn’t he know that Yao (堯) was born in 2358 BC and died in 2258 BC? Yao passed over his kingdom to Shun (舜) when he was still alive, so they were the last two pre-Tower of Babel ancient Chinese emperors. Either Hieromonk Damascene contradicted himself without knowing or he did it on purpose by deception on saying the Chinese history began in about 2247 BC.
e) “Many Christians who have looked into this question have suggested that, in the Genesis “table of nations” chronicling the language groups migrating from Babel, the “Sinite people” (Genesis 10: 17) could refer to the group that became the Asian peoples”… Unquote
Refer to my reply (#149 posted on 01 October 2011) in http://www.chinahist...e/page__st__135 . Many non-Christian Chinese feel with disgust when reading the many of articles posted in the webs claiming Sin (or Seni) and Noah with sloppy misleading propaganda and conspiracy theories toward the Chinese?
f) “An interesting point to ponder is why the Chinese called their sacrifices “Border Sacrifices,” and why the Emperor traditionally performed them at the border of the Empire. We know that Adam would have performed his sacrifices outside the borders of Paradise, probably as close as possible to Paradise, outside the Gate that was guarded by the Cherubim. It is possible that the Chinese Border Sacrifice were based on the tradition of a “border sacrifice” from the time of Adam”… Unquote.
Who said the Chinese called their sacrifices “Border Sacrifices”, it was the Christians who named Chinese sacrifices as “border” sacrifices. It has nothing to do with Adam, Jesus Christ (the “Second Adam”) and Noah. Anyway, where can we find evidence in the bible that Adam would have performed his sacrifices outside the borders of Paradise?
3. Chinese Recorded History in Light of the Bible
“This book was written in about 1000 BC and was based on material from the Shang Dynasty, which began in 1700 BC” but where do he got the information. At least check with Wikipedia or Google whether it was true. Chinese history does not start from Yao (堯) or Shun (舜) but from Fu Hsi 伏羲 .
“There do exist legends about dynasties in China before the Xia dynasty, but these dynasties are of a different sort, with questionable details attributed to them and very long lives ascribed to their people”… Unquote.
This is sheer nonsense. Refer to my post147 posted 08 September 2011 in http://www.chinahist...e/page__st__135 , which show that the Chinese ancient emperors had much relatively shorter lives than that of the early biblical generations. If Christians consider China dynasties before Xia dynasty as legends, then how does one judge the Biblical Generations who had incredible longer longevity? In comparison between 10 Biblical Generations to the 10 Ancient Chinese Emperors, the age of the biblical Generations was between 777 to 969 years whereas the Emperors lived between 70 to 197 years.
4 Indications of Ancient Chinese Knowledge of the Creation and the Global Flood
“In the Huainan- tzu, written in the 2nd century B.C., we read the story of Nu- wa (also pronounced Nu- kua), whose name sounds a lot like “Noah.””... Unquote
This really amused me when I read story of Nu-wa as Noah. FYI, Nu-wa was a woman while Noah was a man. Please refer to, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu_Xi:
According to legend, the land was swept by a great flood and only Fu Xi [伏羲] and his sister Nüwa [女媧] survived. They retired to Kunlun Mountain, where they prayed for a sign from the Emperor of Heaven. The divine being approved their union and the siblings set about procreating the human race. In order to speed up the process, Fu Xi and Nüwa used clay to create human figures, and with the power divine entrusted to them made the clay figures come alive. Fu Xi then came to rule over his descendants, although reports of his long reign vary between sources, from 115 years (2852–2737 BCE) to 116 years (2952–2836 BCE)”… Unquote.
I cannot stop laughing when I read this Christian article claiming, “"One ancient Chinese classic called the "Hihking" tells the story of Fuhi [伏羲] , whom the Chinese consider to be the father of their civilization. This history records that Fuhi, his wife [Nuwa 女媧], three sons, and three daughters escaped the great flood. He and his family were the only people left alive on earth. After the great flood they repopulated the world. An ancient temple in China has a wall painting that shows Fuhi's boat in the raging waters. Dolphins are swimming around the boat and a dove with an olive branch in its beak is flying toward it." (Webpage: Evidence-the Great Flood) … Unquote.
5. About the Evolutionary Explanation of the Origin of the Chinese People
Why change of subject in the article? There is no comparison between god-created-world to Peking man. Our world or mankind according to the bible, is about 6,000 years old (refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ussher_chronology).
If we believe in evolution, all ancestors of mankind came out of Africa.
6. Chinese Dragons
They are too speculative and distorted than to have any truth.
The westerner’s dragons had wings to fly and they blew out fire while the Chinese dragons with no wings, yet be able to fly, and blew out water.
It is highly distorted history with false and speculated claims. The Chinese had been living and thriving in China before the biblical global flood and the fall of Tower of Babel.
The Chinese religious sacrificial offerings were and are different to Judeo-Christian offerings and do not match the sacrifices of the biblical world. Only clueless people still insist their history and sacrifices are similar to the Chinese.
Edited by Old Man, 09 June 2012 - 07:59 AM.
Posted 09 June 2012 - 07:26 AM
An Ancient Pictogram Script Points to the Bible by Ethel Nelson
Another AIG’s article full of speculations and misleading claims.
1. Basically, this article was debunked by Edward T Babinski’s Biblical Errancy : "Genesis and Chinese characters" in websites: http://etb-biblical-errancy.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/genesis-and-chinese-characters_20.html and http://etb-biblical-errancy.blogspot.com.au/search/label/genesis%20creation%20chinese
2. “Mystery concerns the 450-year-old Temple of Heaven complex in Beijing, China. Why did the emperors sacrifice a bull on the great white marble Altar of Heaven at an annual ceremony, the year’s most important and colourful celebration, the so-called ‘Border Sacrifice’? This rite ended in 1911 when the last emperor was deposed. However, the sacrifice did not begin a mere 450 years ago. The ceremony goes back 4,000 years. One of the earliest accounts of the Border Sacrifice is found in the Shu Jing (Book of History), compiled by Confucius, where it is recorded of Emperor Shun (who ruled from about 2256 BC to 2205 BC when the first recorded dynasty began) that ‘he sacrificed to ShangDi.’ 1”...Unquote
There is no mystery; the Ming Emperors built Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) as their new Ancestral Temple in Beijing. The bull and other animals including pig were sacrificed to their ancestors and other gods in accordance to ancient rites. The pig, of course, is an unclean animal in the Old Testament. All the animals were cleaned and cooked before sacrifice.
Even in Shu King [Shu Jing] — From the Sacred Books of the East Volume 3 by James Legge in http://www.aolib.com/reader_9394_32.htm states:
“3. Accordingly he appointed (our first) duke of Lo, And made him marquis in the east, Giving him the hills and rivers, The lands and fields, and the attached states . The (present) descendant of the duke of Kau, The son of duke Kwang, With dragon—emblazoned banner, attends the sacrifices, (Grasping) his six reins soft and pliant. In spring and autumn he is not remiss; His offerings are all without error. To the great and sovereign God[s], And to his great ancestor Hau—ki, He offers the victims, red and pure  They enjoy, they approve, And bestow blessings in large number. The duke of Kau, and (your other) great ancestors, Also bless you.
4. In autumn comes the sacrifice of the season, But the bulls for it have had their horns capped in summer ; They are the white bull and the red one . (There are) the bull—figured goblet in, its dignity ; Roast pig, minced meat [pork], and soups; The dishes of bamboo and wood, and the large stands , And the dancers all complete. The filial descendant will be blessed. (Your ancestors) will make you gloriously prosperous, They will make you long—lived and good, To preserve this eastern, region, Long possessing the state of Lu, Unwaning, unfallen, Unshaken, undisturbed! They will make your friendship with your three aged (ministers) Like the hills, like the mountains. shall make you long—lived and wealthy. The hoary hair and wrinkled back, Marking the aged men, shall always be in your service. They shall grant you old age, ever vigorous, For myriads and thousands of years, With the eyebrows of longevity, and ever unharmed.
6. The mountain of Thai [Taishan] is lofty, Looked up to by the state of Lu . We grandly possess also Kwei and Mang . And we shall extend to the limits of the east, Even the states along the sea. The tribes of the Hwai will seek our alliance; All will proffer their allegiance:–Such shall be the achievements of the marquis of Lu.
7. He shall maintain the possession of Hu and Yi , And extend his sway to the regions of Hsue , Even to the states along the sea. The tribes of the Hwai, the Man, and the Mo , And those tribes (still more) to the south, All will proffer their allegiance;–Not one will dare not to answer to his call, Thus showing their obedience to the marquis of Lu.”…
Note: [1. Mount Thai [Taishan] is well known, the eastern of the four great mountains of China in the time of Shun. It is in the department of Thai—an [Tai’an], Shan—tung [Shandong]” … Unquote.
In sacrifice to Shangdi, the ancestral gods, the horns of two bulls were capped, while roast pig, minced pork meat and soups were offered as sacrifice. As mentioned previously, pig is an unclean animal in the Old Testament.
3. “Who is ShangDi? This name literally means ‘the Heavenly Ruler.’ By reviewing recitations used at the Border Sacrifice, recorded in the Statutes of the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368), one may begin to understand the ancient Chinese reverence for ShangDi. Participating in this rite, the emperor first meditated at the Temple of Heaven (the Imperial Vault) … Unquote.
Clueless people only made statement like the above. The “Heavenly Ruler/s [皇天 上帝]” was the Qing emperors’ dead ancestors including all the former Qing emperors & families. Its tablet alongside eight former emperors (from Nurhaci 努爾哈赤 to Daoguang Emperor 道光) was stored in the Imperial Vault. Surely the bible god cannot be “Heavenly Ruler/s [皇天 上帝]” for bible god was not the keeper of Qing emperor ancestral tablets. FYI, the emperor did not first meditate in the Imperial Vault before participated in that rite. He stayed in the Vegetarian Palace 齋宮 (not as claimed as Fasting Palace by some) in the Temple of Heaven on a strict vegetarian diet to “clean” or purity himself while abstaining from such imperial delights as eating meat, drinking alcohol, having music and entertainment and of course from the distractions caused by women before the rite.
4. “For the Christian, the above recitation sounds strangely familiar. How closely it reads to the opening chapter of the biblical Genesis! Note the similarity with excerpts from the more detailed story as recorded in the Hebrew writings” … Unquote.
Of course it sounds familiar, because the AIG quoted hymns written by missionaries for the Chinese Christians. If AIG have evidence that the said-hymns were recited by the emperor, please present them. If the hymns were written by Ming scholars for the Emperor, it would be published in a book by itself and on sale in Chinese bookstores and if there were Chinese religious hymns, the Chinese religious organizations and/or devotees will print the hymns and distribute them to other devotees for free like the Goddess of Mercy and other religious hymns.
5. "ShangDi, the Creator-God of the Chinese, surely appears to be one and the same as the Creator-God of the Hebrews. In fact, on of the Hebrew names for God is El Shaddai, which is phonetically similar to ShangDi. Even more similar is the Early Shou pronunciation of ShangDi which is 'djanh-tigh' [Zhan-dai]." … Unquote
Edward T Babinski in Biblical Errancy commented, “This looks a bit garbled. Hebrew "el" means "God", and "shaddai" means Almighty". Therefore, "shaddai" is an epithet for God, not a name of God. On the other hand, "shangdi" is composed of two morphemes, "shang" meaning "top, up, over, above" and "di", meaning "ruler, emperor". "Shaddai" is a single morpheme. It cannot be broken into two morphemes to match the Chinese”... Unquote
6. “Another name for their God which the ancient Chinese used interchangeable with ShangDi was Heaven (Tian). Zheng Xuan, a scholar of the early Han dynasty said, “ShangDi is another name for Heaven (Tian)”.5 The great philosopher Motze (408-382 BC) also thought of Heaven (Tian) as the Creator-God …” Unquote.
Please refer to my posts in http://www.chinahist...ai/page__st__75 and http://www.chinahist...an/page__st__15.
As mentioned before, the emperor worshipped his ancestors, the officials theirs, the people theirs. If any official or the people worshipped emperor’s ancestors, Shangdi, they would face the death penalty. But, “Tian” is different because it is devoted to the worship of the heavenly gods for the emperor & families, officials and the common people. It means anyone can worship “Tian” without fear of persecution. Chinese Christians may not know this, every traditional Chinese still worship “Tian” or Tian Shen (The gods of Heaven) and the godly tablet representing “Tian” with Chinese characters inscribed on it, is 天官賜福 [Blessing from Gods of Heaven or Gods of Heaven grant Blessing [天 Heavenly 官 Gods/Officers 賜 Grant 福 Blessing/Prosperity] and are usually worshipped in front of their homes or in their open courtyard.
7. ‘Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD’ (Leviticus 9:2)—a practice which began in earliest times (Genesis 4:3,4; 8:20) ...” Unquote.
That do not proof that the Chinese sacrifices were similar to Christian sacrifices. Chinese sacrifices do not involve in sin offering neither as the burnt offering of animals. In all Chinese sacrifices, a pig or pork is always offered.
8. Here are some other quotations of interest from Edward T Babinski’s website: http://etb-biblical-errancy.blogspot.com.au/search/label/genesis%20creation%20chinese .
“AIG, "other people's" motives, The Tower of Babel, Chinese Characters and Genesis
Why Did AIG delete the URL below? It's always been there.
My fault, poor English, I meant that AIG had deleted the URL in that person's response to them, a URL that dealt with specific arguments employed by AIG but from the angle of asking obvious questions about them. There is no intellectual reasons for doing so. Even the Internet Infidels and the Talk Origins Archive feature links to specific creationist and Christian sites that critique their articles”…
“… Evangelical Christians who knew little about the origins and meaning of Chinese characters were drawing "faces in the clouds" with their various hypotheses concerning their origins” …
“Believers see what believers see. I am not going to argue with you that non-believers also see what they see. I am however, going to ask you to examine the evidence as I did in all of my posts on this subject so far. The Genesis/Chinese-character hypothesis is far from proven. It is highly disputed and clearly disputable.”… Unquote.
And in the concluding statement from the author:
“So far as the story of Babel goes I do not understand why building a great city and tower led to a visit from Yahweh who "came down" to see it, and then decided to "confuse man's langauge" because of it. If that was the case, then what about all the skyscrapers built since then, or the satellites and spacecraft sent up far higher than any tower, all done even WITH our languages being "confused."
I find it both intriguing and sad that so many Christians who claim to honour God's word end up taking the side of naturalists against it”… Unquote.
9. Conclusion: Nothing in this AIG’s article has any truth about the Chinese ancient history and religious belief. To a traditional Chinese, Christianity was and still is a foreigner’s religion.
Edited by Old Man, 09 June 2012 - 11:44 PM.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:57 AM
Rather than to make comment on the difference between the animal sacrifices of Judeo-Christians under Moses and the Chinese under Ming, I decided to cut and paste two quotations from below websites and let you decide on your own verdict whether the two types of religious sacrifices are similar. The quotations from the websites are self-explanatory and would be better than my attempt to summarize them.
As in the Judeo-Christian animal sacrifices, they were mainly performed as a means of atonement for sin whereas the Chinese (emperors) animal sacrifices were mostly comprising prayers for good harvests and ancestor worship. That does explain one of the differences between the two religions. Another is in Judeo-Christian religion, humans are born with the original sin committed by Adam but to Confucius’ belief, human are born without sin as he said: “Humans at the beginning, their nature/character are originally good (virtuous)/perfect/ benevolent -人之初, 性本善。[rén zhī chū , xìng běn shàn].
1. Judeo-Christian Animal Sacrifice (Blood Sacrifice under Moses)
… Animal sacrifices were performed as a means of atonement for sin.
Credit for the biggest animal bonfire goes to Noah. After he landed, he cremated every clean animal on the ark. Try to imagine the sight and the sounds of screaming animals as Noah throws them into the fire as if they were logs of wood. Now if he did in fact cremate every clean animal, every Jew since would have had to eat unclean food.
Noah took every clean animal and clean bird and burnt them on the altar. God was pleased by the odor and promised never to curse the ground because of man. Nor will he ever again destroy every living creature as he has done.
20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. (Gen. 8:20-21)
The most significant animal sacrifice was the Passover Lamb: Moses told the Israelites to take a one year old male lamb without blemish. On the night of Passover, they were to kill the lamb and spread its blood on their front door. The blood was a signal to spare them when the destroyer angel passed through.
5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats;
6and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs in the evening.
7Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them. (Ex. 12:5-7)
Another idea that found its way into Christianity is the "scapegoat." On the Day of Atonement the High Priest would prepare a goat and send it into the wilderness to take away the sins of the people.
20"And when he has made an end of atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat;
21and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.
22The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.
29"And it shall be a statute to you for ever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves, and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you;
30for on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before the LORD. (Lev. 16:20-22, 29-30)
Leviticus 4 prescribes the procedures for sin offerings …Leviticus is larded with it.
1And the LORD said to Moses,
2"Say to the people of Israel, If any one sins unwittingly in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and does any one of them, (Lev. 4: 1-2)
The anointed priest who sins shall find a bull without blemish and lay his hand on its head before killing it in front of the tent of meeting.
3if it is the anointed priest who sins, thus bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer for the sin which he has committed a young bull without blemish to the LORD for a sin offering.
4He shall bring the bull to the door of the tent of meeting before the LORD, and lay his hand on the head of the bull, and kill the bull before the LORD. (Lev. 4: 3-4)
The same priest shall bring the bull inside the tent. He shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times in front of the veil of the sanctuary.
5And the anointed priest shall take some of the blood of the bull and bring it to the tent of meeting;
6and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle part of the blood seven times before the LORD in front of the veil of the sanctuary. (Lev. 4: 5-6)
He shall put some of the blood on the horns of fragrant incense. The rest he will pour into the base of the altar of burnt offering.
7And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense before the LORD which is in the tent of meeting, and the rest of the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering which is at the door of the tent of meeting. (Lev. 4: 7)
He shall take the fat around and inside the entrails, the kidney with its fat, the liver and kidneys, and burn them upon the altar of burnt offering.
8And all the fat of the bull of the sin offering he shall take from it, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails,
9and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys
10(just as these are taken from the ox of the sacrifice of the peace offerings), and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of burnt offering. (Lev. 4: 8-10)
He shall carry the skin, head, legs, entrails, dung and all the rest outside the camp and burn them over a fire of wood.
11But the skin of the bull and all its flesh, with its head, its legs, its entrails, and its dung,
12the whole bull he shall carry forth outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and shall burn it on a fire of wood; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned. (Lev. 4: 11-12)” … Unquote
2. The Chinese (Ming) State Sacrificial Offering
And in “ State sacrifices and music in Ming China…” by Joseph Sui Ching Lam: http://books.google.com/books?id ... e&q&f=false , Joseph Lam gave a comprehensive detailed description of State sacrifices and music in Ming China.
From page 22, he wrote:
“State sacrifices in Ming Court
Among the fundamental state sacrifices offered to ancestors are:
- Individual sacrifice to each of the intimate imperial ancestors (texianag), which were performed during spring
- Seasonal sacrifices(summer, autumn, and winter) to all of the intimate imperial ancestors (xianli), which were performed in the first months of the seasons
- Year-end sacrifice to all imperial ancestors (daxia)
1. Installation of the spirit-tablet of a deceased emperor in the formal hall of imperial ancestors (shenfu).
2. Presentation of a deceased emperor’s posthumous title (jian shihao).
3. Removal of the spirit-tablet of a deceased emperor from the formal hall of imperial ancestors to the hall of remote imperial ancestors (fengtiao).
In addition to the aforementioned ceremonials that were periodic, the Ming court also offered many sporadic state sacrifices. For example, during coronations, wedding, military actions, the emperors’ departure for trips, and other important events of the empire, the court would perform informational ceremonials ( jigao) to Heaven, the deities of soil and grains, the imperial ancestors, and other deities appropriate to the occasion.
State sacrifices were traditionally ranked as great, middle, and small ceremonial according to three basic criteria: importance of the deities being worshipped; the court’s assessment of the ceremonials; and particular contextual considerations. As reported in Ming History, the Ming system included thirteen great state sacrifices, twenty-five middle ones and eight small ones. Such ranking of ceremonials was relatively consistent: great sacrifices were seldom demoted; ambiguities and fluctuations in ranking mostly involved the middle ceremonials and those performed irregularly. For example, ceremonials honoring Heaven were always great sacrifices, and the state sacrifice to Confucius was always middle ceremonial.
The three ranks of state sacrifices were general classifications. Ceremonials belonging to the same rank could be further differentiated by the use of various ritual and musical elements, such as the types of sacrificial jade, the colors of the sacrificial silk, and the sizes of the escort for the celebrants. For example, the state sacrifices offered to the progenitors of agriculture and sericulture were both classified as middle ceremonials. However, the former ceremonial involved the sacrificial victims of an ox, a pig and a goat, while the latter, only a pig, and a goat; the size of the altar proper for former was longer than that of the latter…
The ranking of Ming state sacrifices was purposeful because it provides a basis for the court citizens to compare the ceremonials and their numerous features, whether the identities of the companions and the celebrants, the numbers of sacrificial food, the types of sacrificial animals, the sizes of military escort for the emperor’s trips to the altars, the exact hours for the their departures and so forth. It was through the differences of the features that Ming state sacrifices became expressive not only of orthodox theories and practices but also of specific and messages.
The Ming State Sacrifice to Heaven
Ming state sacrifices were large-scale and presentational ceremonials, and their basic structure and principles of operation can be illustrated by the following sketch of the ritual-musical process of the state sacrifice to Heaven.
Fifty day prior to the performance of the sacrificial ceremony in the round-mound-altar compound (yuanqiu), located in the southern suburb of the capital, the emperor was asked to officiate at the pending event. Thirty days prior, the music director began rehearing the music of the ceremony. Six days prior, the emperor informed the ancestors that he would, on the following day, take a trip to the round-mound-altar compound to inspect the sacrificial animals. Four days prior, all participants in the sacrificial ceremony were reminded the three days of intense abstention would begin on the following day. Three days prior, the emperor went to the temple of imperial ancestors and invite the spirit of the founder to participate in the pending ceremony as Heaven’s companion. Two days prior, the emperor offered incense to individual ancestors in the hall of rest inside of the imperial ancestral temple compound, bidding farewell to his predecessor. One day prior, the emperor left for the abstention hall in the round-mound-altar compound. On the same day, ritual staffs arranged the spirits, musical instruments, and other ritual paraphernalia on the altar proper…
By midnight of the day of performance, the emperor was waiting in the great canopy. Donning full ritual regalia, the emperor proceeded to his obeisanpost on the second tier of the altar proper. Then when all participants took their ritual positions, the sacrificial ceremony formally began with intoner chanting the words”kindle the torches” and “welcome the deities”.
With the altar proper brilliantly illuminated, the first stage of ceremony began …Accompanied by musical sounds, the emperor approached the incense table (xiang’an) and offered three rounds of incense to the deity. He repeated the same series of gestures …to [all] the deities.
The second stage of sacrificial ceremony began with the intoner chanting the words “offer the jade & silk”... the emperor approached the spirit-throne of Heaven, kneeled, and offered the jade and silk to the deity …He repeated the same series of ceremonial gestures and offering to the companion…
The third stage of sacrificial ceremony began with the intoner chanting the words “deliver the sacrificial food” …
The forth stage of sacrificial ceremony began with the intoner chanting the words “present the first offer of wine” …
The fifth stage was the second offering of wine …
The sixth stage was the last offering of wine …
The seventh stage of the ceremony was the removal of the sacrificial food by the ritual staff …
The eighth stage began with the intoner chanting the words “farewell to the deities” …the emperor and all present performed the four obeisances. Then, the ritual staffs collected the ritual documents, silk, and food and delivered them to the furnace (taitan). The emperor moved to east of his obeisant post.
The ninth stage consisted of watching the burning of sacrificial articles …When about half of the wood and sacred articles in the furnace was burned, the intoner announced the completion of the sacrificial ceremony …the emperor retreated to the great canopy, where he removed his sacrificial regalia. Then he embarked on his trip back to the palace …” Unquote
It shall be noted that all the sacrificial animals were inspected by the emperor before the animals were slaughtered in the Slaughter Pavilion. They were then cooked or roasted before offered as sacrifices to the Heavenly Gods and ancestors by the emperor. Qing State Sacrifices were quite similar to the Ming’s.
During the Qing Dynasty, the tablets of 皇天上帝 Huangtian Shangdi (the emperor’s main ancestral tablet) and former eight emperors, and other Heavenly God tablets were carried to the Circular Mound Altar of the Hall of Prayers for Good Harvests. One of the highlights was during the presentation of the calf, the music began playing and the official pouring of boiling broth over the roasted calf in the container were offered to the Heavenly Gods and the emperor’s ancestors.
Edited by Old Man, 16 June 2012 - 06:20 AM.
Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:14 AM
Too often, we read certain religious group articles claiming the “Border Sacrifice” in Mount Tai was moved to the Temple of Heaven ( Tiantan 天壇) in Beijing in the 15th Century AD. I just wonder where they found their evidence to substantiate their stories and in what way Taishan’s sacrificial offerings were similar to Christian Border sacrifices.
In the history of China and among the Five Great/Sacred Mountains or Wu Yue (五嶽), Mount Tai (泰山) is considered to be No. 1. In Chinese legend, the parts of Pan Gu’s body were incarnated in everything on earth, and his head became Mount Tai, therefore that is where the heaven and earth meets at Mount Tai but it is lower than Mount Hua (華山) and Mount Heng (恆山) which makes it the third highest mountain among Wu Yue (五嶽). Then why Mount Tai is considered to be no. 1.
By comparison with other mountains, Mount Tai is not very high but due to its distinct location in the northern plain, it dwarfs any other mountains in Shandong province. It is higher than its counterparts by 1300 metres in the area resulting its height and size draw a sharp contrast with other plains and hills.
Confucius once said, “Ascend Mount Tai and dwarf the World”.
As early as remote antiquity time, people had the tradition of worshipping the mountains and rivers. In ancient times, emperors also had the tradition of worshiping the heaven and the mountains. So such land of worship, among the emperors and the people, evolves into Fengshan (封禪) sacrificial offerings. Seated in the east of China, Mount Tai was considered to be the starting point of universe. It means that the world begin in Mount Tai, thus became the holy land for the emperors to set up sacrificial altars for Fengshan (封禪) ceremonies.
Setting up sacrificial altars on Mount Tai was as common among all famous mountains in China which is typical of Chinese civilization.
After an emperor ascended the throne, he wanted to thank the heavenly gods and led his officials to set up an altar on Mount Tai and gave a sacrificial ceremony to show his gratitude to the heavenly gods and this is called the Feng (封) sacrificial ceremony.
Then, they would have another sacrificial altar set up on a small hill at the foot of the mountain so as to thank the earth. This is known as Shan (禪) sacrificial ceremony.
Although many ancient emperors before Qin Shi Huangdi may offer Feng (封) sacrifices but not necessary offered Shan (禪) in conjunction or vice versa. Qin Shi Huangdi was regarded to be the first emperor to give the official Fengshan (封禪) sacrifices. It was in his third year as an emperor in consolidating China in 219 BC, he led his crew of subjects to march toward Mount Tai to announce China as a united centralized nation.
According to the documentary “Chinese Scenery on Mount E Mei, Lijang River, Mount Wuyi and Taishan” by Guangzhou Beauty Culture Communication Co. Ltd (俏佳人集团网站), the official Chinese records reveal, there were only five other emperors after Qin Shi Huang to hold large-scale Fengshan (封禪) sacrifices on Mount Tai.
It was also claimed that after 11th century AD, as the emperors paid more attention to actual state affairs, they hardly went to Mount Tai to hold Feng (封) or Shan (禪) sacrifices and this tradition came to the end.
The peak of Taishan (泰山) mountain is called Jade Emperor Peak (玉皇顶/玉皇上帝顶) and the temple is named as the Jade Emperor Temple (玉皇廟) or Jade Emperor Shangdi Temple (玉皇上帝廟) on the mountain peak. There's no way to verify when the Jade Emperor Temple was first built, but it is certain that the temple was reconstructed during the Chenghua Period of the Ming Dynasty. In the horizontal board above the altar is inscribed "chaiwang yifeng (柴望遗风) (meaning "offering some firewood and praying to gods for protection of the country"), indicating that ancient emperors conducted sacrificial rituals here by burning some firewood as they prayed to gods of mountains and rivers for protection. There is also a rock in the northwest stands the stone inscription of "ancient ascending terrace", indicating it may be the place emperors of all dynasties set up altars for the gods of heaven worshipping when visiting Taishan’s Jade Emperor Peak (玉皇顶). Carving of an inscription on rock faces were also part of the sacrifices marked the attainment of the "great peace".
Does that mean Fengshan (封禪) sacrifices; burning of firewood and carving of inscriptions sacrifices at Taishan were Christian description of their Border Sacrifices in China?
And, when Ming emperor moved his capital from Nanjing to Beijing to build the Tiantan (天壇) or Temple of Heaven in 1420 AD, did he moved the so-called “Border Sacrifice” from Taishan to Beijing?
Didn’t the people, who wrote articles about “Border Sacrifice” moved from Taishan to Tiantan in Beijing, realized that there is another mountain in which the Chinese emperors practiced their worships of their ancestors and heavenly gods since Huangdi? The mountain is Mount Wangwu (王屋山) which is in the northwest of the city of Jiyuan (濟源) roughly halfway between Taishan and Xian.
It was claimed Huangdi (黃帝) built a temple and stone altar on the Heavenly/Tiantan Peak (天壇顶) and offered sacrifices to the gods after finally won the war against Chiyou (蚩尤) and after united all the other tribes, thus establishing the Han Chinese nationality.
After uniting the country successfully, the Yellow Emperor (黃帝) continued to offer sacrifices to the gods of heaven on the 15th day of the eighth month in lunar calendar.
This pioneered the sacrifices to gods of heaven at the Heavenly Peak (天壇顶) at Tiantan (天壇) of Wangwu Mountains by emperors of later dynasties. Even today, performances recreating the sacrificial ceremony are held daily as a tourist attraction.
Mount Wangwu (王屋山) is also known as the Heavenly Altar Mountain (Tiantan Shan 天壇山).
In Tiantan (天壇) (later known as Temple of Heaven to foreigners) in Beijing, built in 1420 by Ming Emperors, is said to be inspired by the Heavenly Peak (天壇顶).
In website: http://www.china.org.cn/english/7596.htm , “Jiyuan 濟源_Origin of Chinese Culture” states:
“Many may have heard of the Temple of Heaven, Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon in Beijing, but not knowing the Heavenly Peak (天壇顶), Sun Peak and Moon Peak in Jiyuan. Similarly, there is Beihai Park and Fragrance Hill in Beijing, and there's little Beihai and the red leaves of Wangwu Mountain (王屋山) in Jiyuan (濟源).
It is said that Chinese emperors used to offer sacrifices to the gods of Heaven at the Heavenly Peak (天壇顶) on Tiantan Mountain (天壇山) in Jiyuan (濟源). By the reign of Chengzu of the Ming Dynasty, however, Emperor Zhu Di built the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan, 天壇) in Beijing to avoid the inconvenient transportation and long distance involved in traveling to Jiyuan (濟源). So, many historians insist the Heavenly Peak (天壇顶) is the real sacred place for emperors to offer sacrifices to their ancestors” … Unquote.
The above confirms Beijing’s Tiantan (天壇) was built as Ming Emperors’ ancestral temple when Ming Emperor moved his capital from Nanjing to Beijing.
Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:31 AM
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