Sadly, many Christians do not understand their religion. And this includes a lot of big time pastors. Much of our religious practices are built on dogma (doctrine of a church denomination), rather than on Scripture. And the organisational structures in many churches are such that when you begin to ask questions about these dogmas, you become ostracised, and pressured to go along to get along.
The Messiah operated such an open door policy, devoid of fear to the extent that “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.”-Matthew 16:22. Try to rebuke some of these men of God, and if you are blessed to survive the encounter, you will never make the same mistake again.
An African American pastor with one of the larger congregations in America (name withheld), once spoke to me for three hours and thirty six minutes in the dead of night.
We were talking about the Trinity. I explained to him that this was a doctrine that was smuggled into Christ following and has no basis in Scripture. He then cited 1 John 5:7 in the King James Version, and I was shocked.
I could not believe that here was a big time pastor, influencing millions, and yet he did not know that 1 John 5:7 in the KJV does not exist. It was literally inserted into Scripture by the translators of the King James Version.
Well, I was able to prove to him that this was the case, by drawing his attention to the fact that every other translation omits this big lie, and that even the New King James has a cautionary note on that verse.
Then this pastor began explaining to me how water can exist in three forms, liquid, vapour and ice, as proof of the Trinity.
Again, I was shocked. I told him that Scripture should be our only guide (2 Timothy 3:16) on doctrine, not philosophy or science.
Then he brought up John 1:1. I responded by reading it to him in original Greek from memory. Obviously, when read in Koine Greek, John 1:1 does not support or even reflect the modern English translations. I was foolish enough to assume he could read and understand Greek. Turns out he has never read the New Testament in Greek, and uses only a Concordance.
For those who are interested, please find below John 1:1 in both Greek and Latin.
Here is John 1:1 in the original Koine Greek:
Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
Here is John 1:1 in modern Greek:
En arkhêi ên ho lógos, kaì ho lógos ên pròs tòn theón, kaì theòs ên ho lógos.
Here is John 1:1 in the Latin Vulgate:
In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.
In the Greek Orthodox Church, they translate the word Theon as God, and the word Theos as Divine.
Theon and Theos are not the same.
Anyway, going back to the pastor, I was intrigued. I took him to task about how my visit to Jerusalem, Israel, and Corinth, Greece, and my readings of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Aramaic, and the New Testament in Greek, opened my eyes. And I asked him if he never had the same experience in Israel or Greece. There was silence on the other end.
After a while, this man of God told me he had never visited Israel or Greece. To say I was stunned is an understatement!
The next thing he did was to quote TD Jakes to me. I asked him what made him think that TD Jakes was more of an authority than Scripture.
He was not able to respond to that and began explaining to me about how these doctrines were developed by the so called Church Fathers.
To this, I responded that any so called Church Father who deviates from Scripture is taking the church farther from God.
It beats my imagination how a pastor of a large church would not know that some of those he calls Church Fathers, who helped develop these extra scriptural principles at the Council of Nicea in AD 325, and other Councils, were in fact men who were as fallible as you and I, and they had no right to tamper with Scriptural doctrines.
At this point, we had talked for three hours and thirty six minutes and I really had to go, as did he.
This man loves God, he is a genuine believer. He is not a fake pastor. However, like many of us, he has allowed himself to see White Europeans as an authority on a book that was written solely by Semitic Jewish people.
Notice I said Semitic Jewish people. By this I am referring to olive skinned Jews, who had little or no contact with the Western world when they were writing Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Almost every corruption of Scripture, if not every one, is of European origin.
And when you read the Quran and the Hadiths of the prophet, you begin to see quite clearly that even prophet Mohammed (SAW) knew about and admired pure Christianity devoid of these Western corruptions, and was so vexed by the dilution of Scripture.
Shorn of its man made doctrines, there is no faith as pure as following The Messiah. As such, I took it upon myself to highlight some words and doctrines which have been introduced into Christendom, but whose origins are not Scriptural.
Bible: The word Bible came into use many years after Scripture was written. If you had used it with Christ’s disciples, or the early church, they would not have known what you meant. The name for the word of God is Scripture or the Word of God. Bible refers to a set of books that were agreed on by certain Church Fathers. Scripture refers to the anointed word of God. There are things in The Bible (eg 1 John 5:7 in the King James Version), that are not in Scripture.
Church: This word does not exist in Scripture. The word used in Scripture is ἐκκλησίᾳ, Romanised as ekklēsia. While Europeans misinterpreted that word to mean church (a word that existed before Christianity), the word actually means a gathering of believers. When Christ said “where two or three gather in my name, I am there”-Matt 18:20, He was referring to an ekklēsia.
Trinity: The Trinity has not always existed. For the first 300 years of Christianity, there was nothing like the Trinity. The word does not exist in the Holy Scriptures. It was introduced after the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 AD. After the Council of Chalcedon decided to alter the nature of Christ and change Him from the Son of God to God the Son in AD 451, many churches broke away from Christendom and coalesced into what is now known loosely as Orthodox Churches, some of which reject the Trinitarian doctrine. Neither the word, nor the doctrine, exists in Scripture. According to the official creeds of the Catholic, Anglican and the World Evangelical Alliance, the Trinity is a doctrine that projects one God in three Divine Persons, in which the three Persons are co-equal and co-eternal and omniscient. Now, I am not going to give my opinion about the Trinity. Rather, I will let The Holy Scriptures speak. Is there co-equality between God, His Son and the Holy Spirit? In John 14:28 The Son said “My Father is greater than I.” Obviously, that verse contradicts the first leg of the Trinity. During my investigations, I confronted a member of the US Southern Baptist Convention about this and I will quote his response verbatim. He said “Jesus was just being modest”. Almighty God is omniscient. He knows all things. But is His Son omniscient? In Matthew 24:36, The Son said “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, NOR THE SON, but only the Father.” It is clear from the above Scripture that only The Father is omniscient.
Hell: European translations of Scripture
largely translate three words, Sheol (or Hades), Tartarus and Gehenna uniformly as Hell. The inconvenient truth, however, is that these three terms are different from the word hell, which in itself, does not feature in Scripture. Christ never used the word hell. Apostle Paul also never once mentions hell. He does mention heaven. He refers to paradise. But never mentions hell. Both Sheol (a Hebrew word), and Hades, actually mean the grave. Please research this yourself. If you read Luke 16:23 in the King James Version, it tells you the rich man went to hell. Now, read that same verse in every other translation. You will notice that the word used is either the grave, of the place of the dead, or just simply Hades. Another word translated into hell is the word Gehenna. Gehenna is a Hebrew word meaning Valley of Hinnon, and refers to a location where the ancient Israelites used to burn rubbish, and which their kings once used to perform human sacrifice. Gehenna is used in Matthew 10:28. It is translated into the word hell, because there is no exact translation of the word in English and Greek. The third word translated into hell is Tartarus, which is used in 2 Peter 2:4. This place is a dark place where fallen angels are kept. But the actual word, hell, was never used in Scripture.
Easter: I once told someone that Easter is a pagan holiday that was brought into Christendom (not Christianity), and he looked at me smugly and proceeded to open Acts 12:4 in the King James Version and pointed to the word Easter in the verse, which reads “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” (KJV). When he saw that I was calm, he accused me of being demonically possessed. At that point, I opened the same verse in the New Testament originally written in Koine Greek, where that verse was originally lifted from. In the original Gospel, the word translated Easter is πάσχα, Romanised as Pascha, which is the Greek word for Passover. The man was adamant that the evil spirits in me were confusing him. So I asked him to open that same verse (Acts 12:4) in every other translation (thankfully, I have access to about 12 other translations in my home). In every other translation (NIV, ESV, NASB, NLT, Good News Bible, etc), the word used is Passover. Do not take my word for it. Please, consult that verse in your own translation, other than the KJV.
Christmas: Obviously, this word or concept does not exist in Scripture. But the three wisemen celebrated the birthday of Christ, they will tell you. Please don’t take me at my word. Research it. Christmas was invented in 336 AD when the Roman Emperor, Constantine, was creating a Catholic (the word Catholic means universal or all embracing) religion that combined all the pagan religions of the Roman Empire and aspects of Christianity. Some Christians justify Christmas, since the Three Wisemen celebrated it. False. There were no three wisemen. Scripture says “wisemen from the East”-Matthew 2:1. It does not tell us how many wisemen there were. Also, the beginning of that verse says “AFTER Christ was born”. That means they did not come to see a newborn baby, as many have been misled to believe. They only started coming AFTER CHRIST WAS BORN. Luke 2:7 teaches us that Christ was born as a baby “in a manger.” Matthew 2:11 teaches us that by the time the Magi (wisemen) visited Christ, He lived in a “house” and he was a “child”, and no longer a baby. And finally, on this score, after King Herod ‘enquired diligently’, “he put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were TWO YEARS OLD and under, according to the time he had learned from the Magi”-Matthew 2:16. What Scripture asked us to celebrate is the death, burial, and resurrection of Yeshua.
I will stop here. Of course there are more. Much, much, more. But these are not easy truths to swallow. So, let me stop here, before I cause too much offence.
Do research everything I said rather than swallow it hook, line and sinker. Study to show yourself approved.
Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.