Church steeples can be traced back thousands of years to Egypt and pagan worship. Roman Emperor Constantine and his “Edict of Milan” in 313 C.E. made the Empire officially neutral with regards to religion. Paganism and Christianity could be practiced freely. The stage was set for the melding of ancient pagan architecture (which was widespread in Rome in the form of obelisks which they adopted from Egypt) and early Christian architecture. Augustus after defeating Antony and Cleopatra, conquered Egypt in 30 BC. He brought the obelisks dedicated to the Pharaohs Rameses II and Psammetichus II from Heliopolis to Rome.
The phallus played a role in the cult of Osiris in the ancient Egyptian religion. It is widely understood that the obelisk is a phallic symbol honoring and celebrating regeneration of the sun god Ra (Egypt’s greatest deity). The obelisk was the first point sun rays hit as it ascended, which the pagans believed symbolized re-birth between earth and heaven.
The Ancient Romans were strongly influenced by the obelisk. There are now more than twice as many obelisks standing in Rome as remain in Egypt. It takes little imagination to see the parallel between the obelisk and the common church steeple, which many historians have pointed out.
During the Middle Ages steeples evolved into more than ornamental expressions of pagan cultures gone by, they doubled as a place for church bells. By the 15th century most churches had steeples with bells, which were rung every hour and to proclaim religious ceremonies and holidays.
The mother of the modern church, the Roman Catholic Church, adopted an Egyptian pagan obelisk and placed a cross on its peak. This imagery should send chills down the spines of churchgoers everywhere, as this is where most of today’s churches stem from through the Protestant Reformation.
This red granite obelisk is a unique block 25.31m high, on a 8.25m base, weighing about 330 tons. It is the second highest obelisk in Rome and was brought from Egypt to Rome by Emperor Caligula in 37 CE. It originally stood in his circus on a spot to the south of the basilica, close to the present Sacristy. Pope Sixtus V had Domenico Fontana move it in 1586 to the center of St. Peter’s Square.
The obelisk is also a sun dial, its shadows marking noon over the signs of the zodiac in the white marble disks in the paving of the square. This gigantic monument sits in the center of St. Peter’s Square to this day and is a testimony to early Christianity’s pagan influence that we see in and on churches across every continent on earth.
It is interesting to note that the KJV Bible translates the Hebrew term Asherah as groves. Strongs Concordance defines it as: ‘asherah, ash-ay-raw’; or ‘asheyrah, ash-ay-raw’; Strongs 842, from Hebrew 833 (‘ashar); 1) to be straight, right, especially used of a strait way, hence also of what is upright, erect. The asherah is found in the scriptures 40 times, always referring to idol worship.
The Companion Bible, Appendix 42, defines asherah as the following: “It was an upright pillar connected with Baal-worship, and is associated with the goddess Ashtoreth, being the representation of the productive principal of life, and Baal being the representative of the generative principle. The image, which represents the Phoenician Ashtoreth of Paphos, as the sole object of worship in her temple, was an upright block of stone, anointed with oil, and covered with an embroidered cloth.
In 2Kings 10-25-26 the Amplified Version says: “As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and to the officers, Go in and slay them; let none escape. And they smote them with the sword; and the guards or runners [before the king] and the officers threw their bodies out and went into the inner dwelling of the house of Baal. They brought out the pillars or obelisks of the house of Baal and burned them.”
In Deuteronomy 16:22 we find this warning: “Neither shall you set thee up a pillar; which Yahweh your Elohim hates.” Yahweh is adamant that His people be separate and not partake of the pagan practices of the heathens, including erecting towers and pillars pointing to the sun in sexual rites of fertility.
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