By Reno Omokri
Recently, I wrote about the difference between Christianity and Islam and the feedback from many Muslims exposed a lacuna in their understanding of Christianity, which is quite understandable, being that that vacuum also exists in Christendom.
Many Muslims think Christians worship Christ. No. The worship of Christ is something that exists only in Christendom.
So, what are the differences between Christianity and Christendom?
Christianity is Christ followership. It is the discipline that Christ came to Earth to establish. And is summarised in the following verse:
“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”-Matthew 4:19.
Even the word ‘Christian’ did not originate from Christ followers. It was given to them by non Christians in a town called Antakya (translated Antioch in English translations of the New Testament), in modern day Turkey.
The faith that Paul took to the then Roman world is Christianity. And it was rejected. Christians were persecuted and stripped of Roman citizenship, until the time of Emperor Constantine, who allegedly became a Christian. (Allegedly, because though professing Christianity, he continued to live his life as a pagan, and only sealed his conversion on his death bed).
However, the one big difference between genuine Christ followership and. the emperor’s Christianity, is that Emperor Constantine’s brand of Christianity went through changes in order for it to be accepted as the official Roman state religion.
The Romans were polytheistic and had a pantheon of Gods. And it was felt that they would more readily accept the new religion if aspects of their old religion were syncretised into the Emperor’s new religion.
So, in AD 325, Emperor Constantine convened a council of religious leaders of his new religion in a town called Nicaea, and they came up with the articles of faith for their new religion. That article of faith is known as the Nicene Creed.
The most important article they came up with was the transformation of Christ from the Son of God, to God the Son, a phrase that does not exist in original Christian Scripture. They then made their God the Son equal with the Only True God in a union known as Trinity.
Both the idea of God the Son and Trinity do not originate from Scripture. It originated from the Council of Nicea.
These new ideas led to a split in the Body of Christ, and thus, Christendom was founded. Simply put, Christendom is state control of the Church, to be used to further the political objectives of the Roman Emperor. Those Christians who refused to accept this new articles of faith were abandoned, and gradually their numbers began to reduce. There are still about 20, 000 of them in modern day Turkey and they live harmoniously with Muslims.
Christendom is different from Christ Followership.
Another major difference between Christianity and Christendom is in the Name of Christ.
Acts 4:12 teaches that “there is none other NAME under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Notice that the power is in the NAME.
Christendom came up with a name for their God the Son and this name is Jesus. It will shock many so called Christians to know that the Name of Christ is not Jesus, but actually Yeshua. It will also shock many Christians to note that the Islamic name Isa is actually the same name as Yeshua. Y’isa is how the Arabs pronounced the name. They did not change it. They just pronounce it differently from Hebrews because of tonal differences in their pronunciation of the letter H when it features in the middle of a word. To understand this, ask a true Arabic speaker to pronounce the word Ahmed for you. If they pronounce it, it will sound different from the Ahmed most non Arabs are used to hearing. They pronounce the H almost like a K when it does not start a word.
Some Christians would argue there is nothing wrong with transliterating the name Yeshua to Jesus. But, why must the name be transliterated. How hard is it to pronounce the name Yeshua? Why not leave it as it is?
So, why would Emperor Constantine’s Council come up with a new name and a new concept, when 2 Timothy 3:16 says:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
The answer is that Emperor Constantine wanted to adjust his new religion to fit Roman culture, rather than adjust Roman culture to fit his new religion. Some people feel that the name change was to make the name sound similar to the name of the head of the Pantheon of gods the Romans worshipped. What is his name? Zeus! I leave you to judge whether Jesus sounds like Yeshua or Zeus.
Some people say the name Jesus has been used to perform miracles. That does not prove anything. Even Christ Himself said:
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”-Matthew 7:22–23.
Notice that there is nothing like an anti-Jesus. But there is something called the anti-Christ.
There are many Christians who are prepared to fight and die for the Trinity. But the fact is that for the first 325 years of Christianity, the Trinity DID NOT exist. The word itself can’t be found in Scripture.
Christ never claimed He was equal to God, as the Trinity claimed. In fact, if Christians behaved like Muslims and read Scripture in its original language, they themselves will reject their Trinity.
Christ said “My Father is greater than I.”-John 14:28. When this was put to the Trinitarians as proof that their doctrine was false, they claimed that ‘Christ was only being modest.’
Christ also differentiated Himself from the Supreme God, to whom we pray to when He said:
“This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”-John 17:3.
Paul, who was the man that took Christ followership to Rome, also never claimed that Christ was equal to the Supreme God.
Paul wrote about this clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:27–28 as follows:
“For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”
There is no basis for the Trinity in Scripture. And for years, this plagued the Roman Empire until Pope Damasus I commissioned Jerome to translate Scripture into Latin, and then the Johannine Comma was INSERTED into the Latin Vulgate translation of Scripture to change 1 John 5:7 from its original reading to read as follows:
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
The verse above does not exist in original Scripture. It is a fact. It is not a debate. The Roman Catholic Church does NOT even hide this fact. Sadly, because it is not hidden, many Christians have not researched it.
If you open other translations, apart from the Latin Vulgate, and the King James Version of The Bible (which was translated not from original Scripture, but from the Latin Vulgate itself), that verse is not there.
Some people erroneously think John 1:1 confirms the Trinity. This is why I encourage people to learn Greek and read original Scripture.
In the translation, that verse reads:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
But when you read it in the original Greek, the word used for the first mention of God is Theon, while the word used for the second mention of God is Theos. However, the translators used God for both of them. But in reality, Theon is the Supreme God and Theos is the Son.
When Prophet Mohammed first had his encounter with the angel, he and his wife, Khadija, went to his wife’s cousin, a man called Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who was a Christian priest. It was this man, Waraqah, who encouraged Prophet Mohammed to carry on in the revelations he was receiving.
In his lifetime, Prophet Mohammed had no problems with Christians. When the Quraysh of Mecca wanted to kill the first Muslims, these people, then known as the aṣ-ṣaḥābah, fled to the Christian nation of Ethiopia, then known as Abyssinia. They lived harmoniously with Ethiopian Christians, and their religion was almost indistinguishable from Christianity, because at that time, Ethiopian Christians had not even heard of the Trinity. Their Christianity was the pure Christianity of Christ, brought back to Ethiopia by the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8:26–39.
The only major difference between Islam and true Christianity is that of the Sonship of Christ. Muslims follow the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15, which says:
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.”
Since that was the first direct prophecy of the Messiah, they insist on strict adherence to Moses’ use of the word “Prophet”. In fact, Muslims will tell you that if on the last day, God tells them they were wrong, they will accept it, but until then, they hold fast to what Moses said about the Messiah being a Prophet with a capital P, not a son. However, we know that Christ is the Son of God, because God told us so by Himself in Matthew 3:17.
That is why the Abyssinian Christian king, Negus, accepted them, gave them political asylum, and protected them from the Quraysh.
The issue that Muslims have is not actually with Christianity. They can cohabit harmoniously with Christianity. Their issue is with Christendom.
In Christianity, we worship God only, and we come to God only THROUGH Christ, whose real Name is Yeshua. There is no other Way to God except through His Son, as we learn from John 14:6. In Christendom, they worship the Trinity, which was invented by men at the Council of Nicae, of which Yeshua the Son of God became Jesus, God the Son.
Christianity and Christendom are different. Christianity is a faith. Christendom is a religion. It was used by Rome as a tool of colonisation. They first bring the religion to you, use it to weaken your institutions, and then they take over and become colonial masters.
After Rome broke up into smaller European states, these European powers used the same Modus Operandi to colonise nations and people around the world. They changed NOTHING.
The most important thing in my life is God and His Son Yeshua the Messiah, and I spent my time and money to visit Ethiopia 9 times, Turkey (where Nicea, now called Iznik is) 2 times, Rome and the Vatican, Israel, Egypt, Palestine and Jordan, in search of the truth.
I taught myself Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and read Scripture in its original language, and then I read an English translation of the Quran.
I did this because I wanted to know the truth, because as Christ said:
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”-John 8:32.
*Reno Omokri, 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.