What Is Christianity Really?

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Almost all persons associate the expression Christianity with the teachings of Christ.

When one thinks of a Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh Day Adventist and other denominations, Christianity is associated with them.

Yet, what is Christianity and is it something of Scripture?

During his ministry on earth, Jesus made the following statement at John 8:31-32 (NIV):

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Never do we read anywhere in Scripture of Jesus telling his disciples that they were to be known by the title of Christian. Instead, they would be his disciples. There is no doubt that Jesus would have told them so and we would see evidence of the usage of such an expression during the entire ministry of Christ Jesus. We don’t.

In fact, Jesus contemporary disciples never took upon themselves such a title. Never do we read of them doing so in Scripture.

It was after the Christ ascended into heaven that we see this expression surface. And, when it does, it was not a title that Christs followers gave themselves, it was what others called them.

Again, never do we read anywhere in Scripture of any of the Bible writers such as Matthew, Mark, John or Paul – for example – ever using the expression Christian themselves. It was persons outside the congregations that affixed that label to them.

The expression Christian appears twice in Scripture and the expression Christians appear only once. The expression Christianity does not appear in Scripture period. That in itself shows that it was not an expression in wide use among Christ followers themselves.

Let’s take a look at each use of the expressions Christian and Christians.

The Expression Christian

The expression Christian appears at Acts 26:28 and at 1 Peter 4:16.

At Acts 26:28 we have the incestuous King Herod Agrippa II giving the Apostle Paul a hearing concerning accusations by the Jews. When the Apostle Paul made his defense before the King, the King was so moved by Paul’s argument that he said, 

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?

So, it was Agrippa who affixed this title upon Paul. Obviously, it was an expression widely used by “outsiders” when addressing those who were Christ’s disciples. Yet, the point here is that it was not the Apostle Paul who used the expression, Christian.

At 1 Peter 4:16, the translation for the Greek word XPICTIANOC in almost all Bible is “Christian.” But it is not the same Greek word we see at Acts 26:28. The Greek word at Acts 26:28 is XPICTIANON, which is properly translated, Christian.

At 1 Peter 4:16, the meaning rendered should be not “suffering as a Christian” but “suffering because of Christ.” Translators tried as they may insert a bias and a title not given by Christ. If we read within the context of 1 Peter 4:14-16 we will see the expression “insulted because of the name of Christ” NOT “insulted because of being a Christian.” Thus, it was obvious that the Apostle Paul was speaking about being insulted and suffering because of Christ and holding to his teachings. No title such as Christian should be implied here.

The Expression Christians (Plural)

The expression Christians appears once in Scripture at Acts 11:26. Notice how it reads in the NIV:

And when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

Notice the expression “The disciples were called Christians.” This is not saying that this is what they called themselves. This implies what others “outsiders” called them.

For example, the Founder of what we know today as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society – Charles Taze Russell – called themselves initially Bible Students. However, what did “outsiders” call them? Russellites. The Bible Students back them did not adopt that name “Russellites” for themselves, they adopted the expression “Bible Students.”

Thus, one should be able to appreciate that it was not Christ’s disciples who called themselves by the expression Christian or Christians. It was outsiders who did.

Jesus Foretold It’s Coming

At Matthew 24:5, Jesus foretold the coming of an anomaly that would “come on the basis his name” and say that “he is the Christ.”

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

What many call Christianity today, has failed to understand what Jesus was saying here. They believe that Jesus is saying that there will be many individual persons would come in some leadership and an authoritative role and saying that they themselves are the Christ. Christianity loves to brush this off as their interpretation of the Antichrist: A singular, charismatic world-influencing individual. That is not what Jesus is saying at Matthew 24:5.

What Jesus is saying is that many in the sense of being gathered into a common belief-system will arise and acknowledge that “Jesus is the Christ.”

There is nothing wrong with the expression “Jesus is the Christ” as it is a true statement. But Jesus adds something. He says that they would deceive many.

So some anomaly would arise that would have an impressive show of numbers and make the “true” acknowledgment that Jesus is the Christ BUT would also deceive many. Who or what is this.

Who today having great numbers in its membership make the acknowledgment that “Jesus is the Christ or Messiah?” The system of religion called and given the name – by men – of Christianity.

What men call today Christianity – the belief system that says Jesus is the Christ – was foretold to come by Jesus as a great deceiver of men. Its establishment as a religious system came acknowledging that “Jesus is the Christ or Messiah.”

It has used that true statement as a springboard to give itself an air of legitimacy and to launch a barrage of false doctrine and teaching different from what Jesus taught.

It should be recalled that even Satan the Devil, the Tempter of our Lord, spoke truthful things and even quoted from ancient Scripture. (Matthew 4:1-10)

I Never Knew You

It is interesting what Jesus said he would say that many who would acknowledge that he is the Christ but would deceive many at Matthew 7:21-23:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

What a shock that will be! An entire system of religion called by men, Christianity, to hear those words spoken to it. Millions of men and women who thought they knew “The Lord” to be told by the Lord himself that he does not recognize them and never did. They are deceivers and evildoers who at the same time acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ.

What stands up today and calls itself Christianity is the foretold deceiver of many Jesus referred to at Matthew 24:5. It will be around for a very long time yet to come. In fact, it will around for a very long time and will be instrumental in misleading the entire world of mankind away from the teachings of Christ and the Good News of the Kingdom, yet to be revealed and preached to an entire world of mankind.

What men call Christianity is a counterfeit. It will wax worse as the years come and go. Already with the blood of many innocent people, it will become even more bloodthirsty; demolishing all who question, challenge, and who do not bend a knee to her; thinking it a good thing that they are doing.  Christianity will be the instigators of the persecution Christs true followers in future days in the Great Tribulation. (Matthew 28:9, 21)

They will be as the Jews who turned Jesus over to the Sanhedrin and later to the Roman government for execution.

Any who hold to Jesus’ teaching will find themselves polar opposites of what men call Christianity.

Christianity wants power and control over men. They seek membership and attachment of men into themselves. They want discipleship to themselves. Their hook is teaching as if they are for Christ; essentially saying Jesus is the Christ. Thus, they appear as if they are with Christ. However, in reality, they draw men into themselves in order to deceive them and mislead them away from the glorious Good News about the Christ. How so?

Well, Jesus says salvation does not come until a period of faithful endurance and at the end. (Matthew 10:22, Matthew 24:13) Christianity teaches anyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior are saved now. This something entirely different from what Christ says.

Jesus says that no one knows when he will return except for his Father in heaven. That even he nor the angels know this information. Christianity has time and time again predicted dates that have come and gone without event. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses have adopted a date of 1914 as being the date that Jesus was installed as King and has begun to rule and is currently conquering. They essentially say that Jesus’ return occurred invisibly in the heavens in that year. Yet, Jesus says that the knowledge of this information is in the jurisdiction of his Father in heaven only.

There are many many teachings in existence today that do not come from Christ. Teachings such as the Trinity; The Rapture; a Fiery Hell as an eternal place of torment; salvation as occurring at the moment one accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior; the establishment of 1914 as the date of the end of the Gentile Times and the enthronement of Jesus as King; the establishment of an earthly organization that God use as the channel through which truth is dispensed; that only those associated with a particular “organization” will have the prospect of everlasting life. All of these things are of men and all of these things are in opposition or anti to what Jesus taught.

One of the biggest lies spread by Christianity is that the Bible is the word of God. Why this aggressive push to get people accept that it is?

Nowhere in Scripture do we read that The Bible is the word of God. Yes, we do read at 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All Scripture is inspired of God” but why would someone assume that the Bible – which came many hundreds of years after the Apostle Paul spoke these words qualifies as that All Scripture Paul was referring to?

It was an Emperor – Emperor Constantine – a politician, who dictated into existence what we know today as The Bible. Constantine also dictated what and how the things written within it  was to be taught. The quarreling Bishops at the Council of Nicaea could not decide so this Emperor Politician decided for them. This is where the false teaching of the Trinity sprang.

While men arrogate themselves to call a book holy and inspired of God, we simply do not read of such a thing in Scripture. What we do read in Scripture that there is only one Word of God and his name is Christ Jesus at Revelation 19:18:

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

So here we have Christianity once again showing clear opposition to the truth. No book can share the lofty position that belongs only to Christ Jesus, The Word of God.

Notice over the many hundreds of years and up to now, that there has been an aggressive push to make a book that men gave the name Bible, the word of God, the inspired word of God, and holy. One must ask why? The reason is to confuse you and discredit Christs, who is The Word of God. The religious system called Christianity does not want you to see that the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, the Word of God, as different. They want you to view them as one and the same.

This is Satan’s doing. He has influenced men to stand up religious systems. In particular, he has misled an entire world into equating “The Bible” – a book unknown to Christ’s contemporaries and his Apostles –  with the one and only Word of God, Jesus Christ. This is blasphemous and it is idolatrous. A book that men gave a “The Bible” to has been elevated by men to a lofty position that can only belong to Christ Jesus.

When Moses went into Mount Horeb (Sinai) to receive the Law from the Most High God, what did the Jews do in his absence? They thought Moses was delaying so they constructed for themselves a substitute, a golden calf. They elevated that golden calf to a position so lofty that they worshiped it.

This is exactly what mankind has done in Jesus’ absence. It has placed alongside the Christ another and they call it, The Word of God too!

Is “The Bible” a bad book? Of course not. I encourage the study of it. It does contain information about God’s grand purpose and the teachings of Christ. The issue is: Should it be called The Word of God? No.

If one is conditioned to view the Bible as The Word of God, then persons begin to say, “Well, the Bible teaches this and the Bible teaches that” when they should be saying, “Christ teaches …”

I have seen so many people reach back into what is called the Old Testament to justify conduct and behaviors Christ did not teach. That is the real danger in viewing the Bible as The Word of God alongside Jesus. Jesus did not say those things written in what we call the Old Testament. In fact, Jesus showed at Matthew 5:21-48 showed that it is his teachings are what now we are to adhere to.

We must be ever so careful and conscious of making statements such as “The Bible teaches” or “the Bible says” when we should be saying “Christ teaches …” Again, the Bible is not the Word of God as it – as a whole – teaches something entirely something different from what Jesus taught; and that is why there appears to be contradictions and many persons are confused.

It is a mistake to equate a book called The Bible with the one and only Word of God, Christ Jesus.

The Bible itself has proven to be a reflection or image of Christianity. It is a book that many people today have given worshipful reverence to; thinking that it itself is the word of God.

In future days – and even now – millions upon millions will be conditioned to think and say “what does the Bible say or teach”  rather than “what does Jesus –  The True Word of God – teaches.

The mistake Christianity has made is that they have taken all of what is written in The Bible and they make it The Word of God. In other words, they make it of God or even of Jesus Christ.

We do not find Jesus teachings and words in Genesis to Malachi.  We only see them in Matthew, Luke, Mark, John, Acts, and Revelation. That’s it.

Thus, one must be careful not to ascribe to a book that men say is Holy and the word of God, what belongs to Jesus only. He is The Word of God, not a book.

Christianity has misled millions into this thinking that The Bible is holy, inspired of God, and is The Word of God itself. This cannot be according to Revelation 19:18.

What men call Christianity is the great foretold deceiver of many. It is the enemy of Christ’s teachings and is a wolf in sheep’s clothing who attract men to itself with its sheep-like appearance. Once men are drawn near to it, it devours them with a barrage of false and misleading teachings.

The best advice I can give you is recognizing that we (mankind) have one Head and Master over them: Christ Jesus. (1 Cor 11:3)

Humbly submit to that headship and listen to him (his teachings) and not what has been issuing out of the mouths of religious organization as none of them are to be head, lord or master over you. (Luke 9:35)

Recognize Jesus Christ as the only Word of God and not a book men call The Bible. The Bible today has become a “golden calf” in being presented as something holy from God.

This is not to say The Bible should not be read. This is to say that one should not view it in the same vein as Christ himself: as one from God approved. It is men who have “approved” or “authorized a book called The Bible.

Recognize that Jesus’ teachings appear in parts of the Bible. All written in it are not Jesus’ teachings. God tells us to listen to Jesus. (Luke 9:35)

Asking God in prayer through His Son, the only channel, is the only way in which we can receive wisdom and understanding.

If we believe that Jesus is alive, then talk to him and he will teach you. Why allow yourselves to be held in captivity to religious organization. Jesus says at John 8:31-32:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Do you believe him?

R. Jerome Harris

A Disciple of Christ in the strictest sense. I belong to no religious organization. I view Christ as my only Head, Master, Teacher, Owner, and Lord. (John 8:31-32, 1Cor 11:3) His God is my God and I champion his teachings above anything issuing out of ANY religious organization.

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