Background Of My Christ-based Faith
Let me first share my faith journey so you’d have an unbiased conception of what this subject is about before reading through (or listening).
I was born and raised in a Christian family by Christian parents. However, while growing up, my curiosity about the Christian faith and religion generally was aroused. Especially when I observed that the life of the people (so-called Christians) does not align with the principles of the faith.
Trying not to be judgmental here but to state the glaring fact that the majority of people (including the leaders) who identify as followers of Christ probably do not understand the faith or have deliberately chosen to be the way they are – hypocrites.
First, I became drawn to the person and personality of Christ – generally called JESUS in our times. In the second year of my secondary school days, I learned so much about him. And, I consistently read about him from the ‘Gideon Bible‘ I had at that time.
It should be noted that the more my knowledge was growing about him and his principles, the deeper I embraced his personality and teachings. It resulted in my new birth – a new way of living, driven by Christ’s philosophies.
Eventually, I joined a student fellowship group in my school. It happened to fuel my passion for the gospel of Christ. Everything about my life became centered on Christ – nothing else mattered to me. “As long as there is an unbroken connection with my Christ, life would be worth living” – my beautiful and daring mindset.
Years later, after my secondary school days, I joined a corporate church system to continue my passion for the things of Christ. I was immensely involved in all their activities including attending meetings, giving donations, participating in ministerial assignments, planting churches, evangelism, charity/humanitarian missions, etc.
However, while being committed to the ministry, several issues about the church and other churches in the region started popping up. To my disappointment, churches were not what I’d thought. So I began to do research about churches in my country, generally. The more I was digging for information about churches, the more infuriating and devastating I was becoming.
To my disappointment, it is certainly not about Christ as I’d imagined! It’s about doctrines, money, fame, materialism, and control. In response to this unfortunate discovery, I further researched the history of Christianity, including how the Bible was written and published, who the first Christians were, how the gospel spread through several nations of the world, and how the formation of Christian doctrines is hugely influenced by the Western culture. Also, I surfed for information about colonialism, imperialism, missionaries’ journey, the purpose of religion, and several other interesting areas.
Consequently, this research helped me to uncover the truth including several facts that are being kept hidden from the general public, especially the faith community. It turned out that, the history of how Christianity evolved is deeply controlled and fabricated. Hence, I’ll be sharing my findings, summed up as “The Ten Facts About Christianity Your Religious Leaders Will Never Tell You“.
In this first part, however, we would examine the ‘First Three Hidden Facts About Christianity That You Should Know’.
Ten Hidden Facts About Christianity That You Should Know
- Why Christianity was legalized by Constantine
- Western Culture hugely influenced Christianity
- The Old Testament God or the New Testament Christ?
1. Why Christianity was legalized by Constantine
After the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, a formidable group known as the Early Christians emerged. This group was led by Christ’s disciples. They were strong, undivided, and passionate about spreading the gospel of Christ. And, this was due to their exceptional experiences with Christ. As far as they were concerned, they owe their lives to the gospel.
As a matter of fact, the group and its influences grew rapidly in such a way that they spread across different nations including Rome. The attention of the people in these nations shifted completely to this move of the gospel. They were totally devoted to Christianity.
However, the rulers of these nations, particularly Rome, became infuriated because they feared the people would no longer submit to their rule. As a result, persecution of the followers of the gospel began. But the more the church was being persecuted, the more it grew. The people didn’t give up and were willing to die for the move of the gospel which was primarily about salvation through Christ.
At this time in Rome, persecution of the church was terrible. Followers of the gospel suffered so much from the rulers and yet their mission in spreading the faith didn’t stop. During this period, Constantine assumed sole control over the Roman Empire in A.D. 324. He initiated a plan to legalize Christianity as the preferred religion. His reasons for this initiation have been a debate for centuries.
Fortunately, it stopped the gross persecution of Christianity so the people had the freedom to spread the gospel and follow the teachings of Christ. On the other hand, Christian worship and practices became infiltrated by the rulers of Rome. Apparently, Emperor Constantine had hidden agendas for legalizing Christianity. It was probably to win the allegiance of the people and of course, to profit from the move of the Christian group.
Furthermore, Constantine used Christian symbols and invoked Christian inspiration during the civil wars that expanded his power. Whether out of sincere belief or political expedience, he broadly supported the Christian Church and even intervened in its doctrinal disputes. This was most evident in 325 when he convened the Council of Nicea, which produced the Nicene Creed familiar to liturgical Christians to this day. The authenticity of Constantine’s faith is likewise a point of contention, with some sources viewing him as a Christian visionary and others holding him to have exploited Christians and others for his own purposes.
Nevertheless, one thing is certain and that is Christianity has been used as a means for exploitation and profit-making since the time of Constantine. Not to mention that he and his cohort of politically inclined groups meddled in the Christian doctrines and traditions which are still being practiced today. A Christian tradition that is political and materialistic.
2. Western Culture hugely Influenced Christianity
Western culture has a huge influence over Christianity and the reasons would surprise you. Besides, this influence was achieved through colonialism, or better put, imperialism. This is particularly by the British empire expansion which was conducted as a military operation.
First, let’s set our gaze on the rollout of the version of Christianity we uncovered on the previous point. Else, we may end up on an entirely different journey with this subject of British imperialism. Also, it’s important to note that Britain was colonized by the Roman empire. The invasion of Britain was led by Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC. The conquest and empire continued under the command of Gnaeus Julius Agricola (77-84). Following the conquest, Romano-British culture emerged as Roman citizens settled in Britain.
Roman presence dominated Britain until 471 AD, and afterward, Sub-Roman Britain was formed. As part of their impact, Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, and architecture in Britain. Undoubtedly, their religion – Christianity amongst others was also introduced.
Afterward, the British empire’s expansion began with a mission to conquer the world. Apparently, as the British empire spread across every corner of the world, they continued with what they learned from the Roman invasion. In order to retain control over territories, the British were obliged to establish systems of oppression on a global scale, ranging from the sophisticated to the brutal.
As well as enforcing imperial rule over the nations they conquered, they used Christianity (which they got from the Romans), particularly as a tool to indoctrinate the people of the nations, to drive master-slave relationships. Also, Christianity was used as a means to force submission, loyalty, and obedience. Apart from Christianity, colonialism enforced Westernization on a global scale.
Indeed, western culture has dominated several cultures. Even the historical component of early Christianity has almost lost its appearance. This was my first contention when I joined a Christian group years ago. The system tries to impose on you a western lifestyle that is never part of your culture. It got me really curious. That includes the way you dress, your language, identity, and mindset.
For instance, almost every pastor or leader in the church wears a suit. It is hilarious to see them dress this way under the scorching sun, all in the name of Christianity. Wearing a suit is synonymous with being a pastor, and vice versa. Is this a shred of evidence that the ‘slave masters’ left their blueprint for the way we think? Because this clearly expresses that Christianity is a White-man religion. Since we condition ourselves to look like them as a way to perform religious duties.
In the same manner, when we pray, we always imagine and visualize a white God, white angels, and a white Jesus. As a matter of fact, every piece of art depicting Christianity usually has white characters in them. Isn’t this questionable? Obviously, it is about White supremacy orchestrated through Christianity.
3. The Old Testament God or the New Testament Christ?
The characteristics of God in the Old Testament are quite controversial. We may probably be reading about a different ‘god’ in the Old Testament.
Firstly, in the Old Testament, he was all about law and judgment but in the New Testament, love and grace. Did he change? For some religious reasons, most Christians just overlook these discrepancies and controversies. How long will they continue to ignore problem passages and pretend they don’t matter?
Besides, some Christians would argue blindly about these issues to protect their belief. This often turns people away who honestly want to understand what kind of God they’re tuned to. It will be wise we approach these contentious issues with honesty rather than trying to cover things up.
Secondly, Christ consistently talked about representing a God, whom he describes as ‘Father’ that loves the world and cares about everyone. In addition, he says, whatever everyone sees him doing is exactly what his Father does. Now the question that’d follow is, what were the things Christ did? We need to outline what they are because Christ wanted us to identify who the true God is.
Most importantly, Christ particularly wants us to know that there’s been an entity pretending to be God since the beginning of time. We must take caution in identifying who that evil one is. This would help us identify who the Old Testament controversial god is.
Who is the Evil One?
In 2 Corinthians 4:4, he is described as “…Satan, who is the god of this world…”. Ephesians 2:2 pointed out that he is the “prince of the power of the air…”. Similarly, in Ephesian 6:2 Paul stated that there are “rulers…authorities…powers of this dark world…and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. Also in John 14:30, John 12:21, and John 16:11 Christ described him as “the ruler of this world…”.
In John 10:10, Christ described the attributes of the evil one called Satan as – someone who has come to steal, kill, and destroy. Also, the book of Luke 4:5-7 indicated that from the Old Testament time till the time of Christ, Satan had powers over the world – the world was under the control of Satan. Hebrews 2:14 noted, “…the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil”. John 8: 44 describes him as “…murderer from the beginning…a liar“.
Do not get it twisted! The above characteristics were consistent in what was referred to as ‘God’ throughout the Old Testament. Most Christians ignore the God of the Old Testament, either consciously or subconsciously.
In no particular order, let’s begin with some inexhaustible instances in the Bible.
Note: I would use OTG to refer to Old Testament God in the instances below.
a. OTG approved of outrageous wickedness and injustice
In 1 Samuel 15, He gave a command to the king through the prophet, to kill men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys in a city. How is the killing of innocent people including infants, justifiable?
In like manner, OTG incited David to take a census in 2 Samuel 24 and eventually killed 70, 000 men for that. Similarly, but this time, the real culprit was exposed – in 1 Chronicle 21, Satan incited David to take a census and the same outcome. These two different books shared the same story at this point, to get our attention on the one controlling from the dark. If this doesn’t open your eyes to who played God in the Old Testament, nothing else would.
Why would God kill innocent people?
b. OTG was blood-thirsty?
How and why would the blood of animals and humans appease the Creator? Is there any link between the sins of people to the blood of animals and humans?
We recognize that blood is a universally recognized fluid for life. And, as much as life is contained within the blood, our unique identity and the state of our health can also be determined using the blood. The potency of blood has been utilized through sacrifice for a number of purposes—e.g., earth fertility, purification, and expiation.
In some cultures, the blood of certain animals and even humans (especially babies) was used for sacrificial rituals. This practice has continued since ancient times, as the people of this culture bond to the belief and faith in giving bloody sacrifices to their deities.
For example, in Mexico, the belief that the sun needed human nourishment led to sacrifices in which as many as 20,000 victims perished annually in the Aztec and Nahua calendrical maize ritual in the 14th century CE. Bloodless human sacrifices also developed and assumed greatly different forms: e.g., a Celtic ritual involved the sacrifice of a woman by immersion, and among the Maya in Mexico young maidens were drowned in sacred wells; in Peru, women were strangled; in ancient China, the king’s retinue was commonly buried with him, and such internments continued intermittently until the 17th century.
Later, as society was getting more advanced, there were substitutes for the kind of sacrifices being offered. For instance, in India, with the advent of British rule, human sacrifices to the Dravidian village goddesses (grama-devis) were replaced by animal sacrifices. In Tibet, under the influence of Buddhism, which prohibits all blood sacrifice, human sacrifice to the pre-Buddhist Bon deities was replaced by the offering of dough images or reduced to pantomime. Moreover, in some cults both human and animal oblations could be “ransomed”—i.e., replaced by offerings or money or other inanimate valuables.
Offering sacrifices may have been part of human culture
As it seems, something must be offered as a way of worship or as a form of routine rituals. Both bloody and bloodless sacrifices have been practiced in so many cultures since time immemorial. However, I believe it’s been part of the human culture that eventually finds its way to a method of worshipping God.
In Psalm 51:16, Hosea 6:6, 1 Samuel 15:22, Isaiah 1:10-15, Jeremiah 7:22-24, and Psalm 40:6, it is clearly written here that God does not require sacrifices but obedience to his voice. Hebrews 10:1-18 explains further why the sacrifice of blood is not necessary before God.
Moreover, it is hard to trace where and when this culture started. From the perspective of the Bible, the story of the supposed first offering didn’t seem to be the first. In Genesis 4:3-7, Cain and Abel presenting offerings before the LORD suggest it wasn’t the first time and they were not the first to have done that. More importantly, they did it on their own initiatives. God didn’t request it in the first place.
Nonetheless, it is possible there is some sort of mystery in offering sacrifices. Perhaps it is a secret known to ancient cultures that became a routine. For example, offering a human sacrifice changed the course of a battle as seen in 2 Kings 3:26-27.
c. OTG endorsed slavery and violence
The Old Testament is full of stories about violence, oppression, and killings which often, were attributed to the OTG.
Deuteronomy 20:10-20 is remarkably one aspect of the Bible that really got to me. Here, Moses instructs the Israelites on what to do when they go to war. Now, it’s questionable if God approves of this as we understand that there were several instructions Moses gave that didn’t come directly from God. However, since God didn’t dismiss these instructions from Moses, we can assume that God approved them.
In this Bible passage, the Israelites were instructed to kill almost indiscriminately and make slaves from the city they conquered. Kill the men, plunder (or loot) the women, children, livestock, and everything else.
No doubt that this set a foundation for British imperialism and several other atrocities committed by man for religious reasons.
I would pause the development of this subject here. Part II would be shared shortly.
You can explore other posts below. And, I will be happy to read your comments and reply to them as best as I can. Thank you!