Winter Bible Club – Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Winter Bible Week is fast approaching. Join us for a week of activity and book your place on Saturday 17th February as we watch the film, ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ with Fish n’ Chips.

Food needs to be ordered and paid for by Wednesday if you are planning to attend the film on the Saturday. Food at 6:30pm. Film showing at 7:00pm.


Has Christianity plagiarised from Mithraism?


You may have seen some pretty sensational claims on the internet regarding Christianity apparently stealing from Mithraism.

Claims such as, Christianity borrowed heavily from Mithraism which existed over 200 years earlier. Claims such as, Mithra died for the sins of humanity and had 12 apostles. That most of the tenets of Christianity were copied from Mithraism.

Such claims and videos on YouTube would be enough to shake a young Christian’s faith a little and perhaps even allow satan (or stan as I like to call him), the opportunity to pounce on these doubts.

But these claims are all based on heavily biased and quite frankly, disingenuous motives.

So here is why, Mithraism cannot be used as an objection to Christianity.

Mithraism developed in Persia approximately 500BC and then further evolved within Zoroaster’s movement around 200BC. Mithraism was at its height around 300AD which coincided with Christianity’s massive growth.

Many people think Christianity shares common features with Mithraism that were simply plagiarised by the church. If these features were indeed almost identical with Christianity then one could claim that Christianity was not as unique as its followers believe.

But there is a problem with the sensational claims that Mithraism’s beliefs came before Christianity.

Early references to Mithra come from ancient Hindu writings. However, the origin of the cult and its belief system that maintained strict secrecy about its teaching and practices which were only revealed to followers. In reality, the ancient form of Mithraism, looked nothing like Christianity, and the very little that is known about it make no mention of the later 2nd century additions. Hence, constructing the belief system and teachings is difficult because there is no early literary evidence about the beliefs of Mithraism. The small body of references that do refer to the cult come from the Church Fathers.

A Mithraism website stated the following, “It is not possible for the ancient Mithraic Mysteries to live again in their exact ancient form. Too much  information has been lost. Even if it were possible that somewhere, somehow, Mithraism had survived as an “underground” secret brotherhood, after so many centuries it would be vastly different from Mithraism as known by the Roman Empire from the 1st to 4th Centuries CE. ”

Mithraism, didn’t start to expand and evolve greatly until after Christianity and the Christian tenets were wildly circulated. Mithraism changed drastically from its Persian roots and became a Roman cult and in so doing, added similar features, indeed, plagiarising from Christianity. Mithraism’s teaching evolved and actually added a Christian familiarity to it in the 2nd century AD.

In the ‘Religions of Rome Volume I’. – Cambridge university Press. New York NY. 1998 p.279, Beard, North and Price state, “The form of the cult most familiar to us, the initiatory cult, does not seem to derive from Persia at all. It is found first in the west, has no significant resemblance to its supposed Persian ‘origins’, and seems largely to be a western construct.”

Because there is no evidence for the so called plagiarism, the claims of those who want to use this to attack the foundations of Christianity is ‘wishful thinking’ for the sincere and downright falsehood for the vindictive.

Ronald Nash believed that, “instead of Christianity borrowing form Mithraism, it was the other way around. Mithraism tried to make its pagan rituals look and feel more Christian.”

The clue to Mithraism is the pronunciation. Myth-raism.

Mithra was supposedly born when he emerged from a rock; he was carrying a knife and torch and wearing a phrygian cap. He battled first with the sun and then the primeval bull, which then became the ground of life for the human race.”

Mithraism was a cult developed from a myth that evolved over time and adopted into its system, the more popular Christian beliefs to give it appeal – to increase the ‘weekly offering’ – no doubt.


Tolu’s Baptism

On 24th November 2013, Horsell Evangelical held a Baptismal Service for Tolu Awojobi. The service was attended by family, friends and the Horsell church family. It was good to see so many young people who came to support Tolu and it proved to be a very special occasion.

Tolu’s mum Oye sang a heart-felt solo, ‘This is My Desire,’ which was accompanied by Tolu’s brother Roti on the piano. The service was also Pastor Andy’s first baptism and was assisted by a church deacon John Rokins.

Tolu gave his testimony in a very warm and lively style which made the service a real blessing.

Tolu getting wet!

Tolu getting wet!

Time to Serve

It has been quite a whirlwind of a start to my pastorate at Horsell. It doesn’t feel like I’ve had much time to catch my breath just yet, with all of the busyness and activity that is part of the modern pastoral ministry.

The work load even in the first 3 months, has been even more than I could have possibly imagined, but at the same time, has been very rewarding. Now that my dream of being able to work in full-time ministry has been realised, it still feels so very humbling and I am truly grateful for the Lord’s blessing.

A lot of prayer, hard work and commitment is vital if the church is to be involved in fulfilling, what has almost become the mission statement of the church, to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The need for workers to be involved is also of great importance as with anything in life, there needs to be people who are willing to sacrifice for the cause.

Indeed, the Lord himself tells us in (Luke 10:2), The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.”  This is probably a common complaint in many a church. That we hold together a good program of activities in the life of the church but it’s always the same people who volunteer to take up that work.

There is nothing wrong with this provided those people are not expected to run everything within the church. It must not be the case that the few ‘have to be involved’ in so many ministries, because others of the flock do not sense the need to get involved.

There may be good reasons why some of the flock can’t be involved in the life of the church greatly, but as Christians, we must be willing to serve God and not ourselves. So, it’s not a good place to be if we don’t do much within the life of the church and then spend the rest of the week in our own hobbies, enjoyments, or entertainments. After all, we were not saved to go to church on Sunday and then serve our own appetite for the rest of the week. We are saved first and foremost, to please our God, and to do so as part of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12)

It’s an exciting time at the church, and we should pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit in 2014, as we seek to put God first in our lives and the church. It is only when we have those priorities in place, will we then experience the true blessings of God and the true joy that comes from serving Him.

Let’s be ready to serve Him and His church in this new year and may He be pleased to pour His blessing down upon the church wherever it meets to glorify Christ.

Getting into a routine

While I am still just about finding my feet in the new role of Pastor, I am getting to grips with my schedule and for what is achievable in a given week.

I am starting to find out useful information that will help in a crisis such as, the location of those shortbread biscuits in the kitchen and which cupboard the coffee is hidden in.

Of course I could have read one of those labels on each cupboard, telling me exactly what is in each location but that would just be too easy wouldn’t it?


a lunchtime treat? Really?

But, all these things aside, I am starting to get into a routine that will no doubt, be tweaked going forward. The truth is there are days when things just don’t go to plan and to our timetable. Situations arise and the needs of others have to be addressed which at times can throw everything else out of its timetable.  The knock-on effects of losing precious time at the start of the week impacts greatly upon planned sermon preparation but at the same time it does prevent one from trusting in one’s preparation instead of the Lord.

And this should remind us all that we need to be flexible sometimes. That things don’t always go smoothly but we need to accept our plans will be disrupted from time to time so we must just trust that things will work out as God has intended them to do so.

Proverbs 16:9  “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

The reality of life is that God has a plan that doesn’t go awry. His plan is not susceptible to the unexpected events of each day, because He is Sovereign.  God’s sovereignty means that He is in control of all things and everything is completely under His rule.

Romans 11:33  “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

Next time you are feeling ‘out of control’ – just remember that there is one who is in total control of all things, and that even includes your life. Our obligation is to surrender all to Him. To trust His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and live for Him.


“Stevie” our Regular Visitor

Just days into my new job in the Pastorate at the church it has become evident that there is one regular visitor that I haven’t formerly introduced myself too as yet. I happened to notice the visitor while working at the church and after seeing him two or three times in the same week – decided to take a snap of him. Not sure if we’ll see him on Sundays but perhaps he’ll come along to Friday Bible Club.



As an update: 3 weeks into my role and I see Stevie almost everyday. He’s still a little wary of me but hopefully I can have a meaningful theological discussion on his Eschatological understanding very soon now.