InformAfrica – The bloody trail of Christianity, a foreign religion as seen in many bible scriptures; promoting slavery in all forms – be it mentally or physically, have claimed and still many lives till date. The writer emphasizes on the African people delusion of blind faith and the status quo of ‘supreme Jewish god’ idea practiced by many Africans.
Bloody Trail of Christianity is written by Godwin Otobor.
This is the season when we gather with friends and family to mark the events surrounding the period of the winter solstice according to the latter day Christians who dedicated this period to mark the birth of the Christ, from the original Mithraic pagan harvest of the period.
May I wish you all compliments of the season!
This season also affords us a time for reflection and some soul searching.
My idea was to lend to the debate on spirituality and talk what we have always talked about for years, to free man, especially African man, from the delusion of his blind faith and the ‘supreme Jewish god’ idea.
It occurred to me that we might be barking up the wrong tree in our effort. The fear of an imagined being of terrific character- cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust, omnipotent and omniscient is enough reason for many to doubt but continue to live in fear and denial and have their heads firmly buried in the sand. Enslavement of the mind cuts very deep. It takes a gallant effort to mend the wound to the mind!
Not long ago, I got this note from my brother, ‘ my bro, tell me the good news that u have received Christ as ur saviour’.
I thought long and hard about this and came to the conclusion that we may indeed be barking up the wrong tree in our effort to enlighten those we may think have got the wrong end of the stick. For it occurred to me that he felt equally as sure about wanting to save me as I him. What got me to think deeper was when he asked what I thought about Samson, in the bible (his calling and his fall!)
I was gob-smacked that adults can still immerse themselves in the allegories and metaphors of illiterate storytellers of over 2000 years ago and want to live their lives by the guidance in that book. After jokingly retorting that we might as well look deeply into the plot of the Harry Potter fiction or review some Chinese or Indian folklore to see how it affects our lives in Africa, I started to ponder on where the misconnect is between humans that allow a great gulf of misunderstanding to come between us, even in things we can easily check their veracity. One side is obviously mistaken, either deliberately or ignorantly.
Although, life’s lessons can be taken from any story, from any where, it is when you immerse yourself so much in it, to the extent that you think it happened for real and it applies to you, in your environment and in your time, like the Adam and Eve, or Flood tales, that it might be thought that you are deluded!
Well, my brother is a smart enough person, like the very many smart acquaintances and relatives I know, but when it comes to religion, the view from faith believers is from the eyes of a child, rather than an adult. This childishness has afflicted a great many people the world over and most especially guilty are our parents and uncles and aunts and minders who furnished us with these childish stories and keep us in it by coercion, fear and guilt, with each masturbating each others folly, putting on a show of godliness for the approval of your neighbour and pastor, whilst all the time walking with eyes wide shut!
I say all these with due respect but certainty, that most of our beloved ones have been walking around with eyes wide shut and they unwittingly contaminate us with this blindness or ostracize us if they fail. They want no dialogue but for you to take the leap of faith with them. You are possessed by the devil!
Here, I throw down the gauntlet, let us now dig into the historically attestable facts (not fiction) of your held religion. Let us walk the path your religion has taken since inception, and you be the judge in this unfettered inquiry.
The missing element is ‘history’. 99% of people do not know the history of their religion! They have little or no knowledge of the history of the religion they profess to. They just blindly follow! They are simply inducted sheep like the rest, brainwashed into a belief system that they know little or nothing about but thinking they know. Their only reference is the bible, and even that, they have not read 95% of it but have lived by the verses used to keep them in their indoctrination by the clergy. They have been spoon fed the necessary sections to keep them perpetually blind, just as the founding fathers mandated. “They don’t need to know much”!
The missing link in this grand deception is the lack of historical knowledge of the bloody trail the bible, Christianity and Christendom has left in its wake before it got to you, fully packaged and ready, to convert the gullible into a compliant sheep.
What do you know about Christianity? Apart from Jesus and Peter and Paul, who were the real key players in Christianity?
How did you get your bible in English? Most especially, who were John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Girolamo Savonarola, Jan Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin and a few more? What was their fate?
What was Emperor Constantine’s role in the Christianity you practice today? The Nicene Creed, The trinity and the Immortal soul?
What about the Inquisition and slavery?
If you do not and never had this knowledge at your finger tips but have been so sure of your belief all these years, it is time for a bit of lesson invested in checkable history that you can access yourself. It is not a mind thing we are talking about, it is how things have played out factually in religious history. Things we know happened, not imagined. I would be surprised if you do not want to know. Why not?
If you are not afraid of the truth, then let us now talk history of religion for a change.
I ask you all, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunties, uncles, friends and acquaintances to take a little journey with me into the world of the foundation of modern day Christianity. It is an urgent matter to free you from your mind enslavement by presenting the historical facts that you and I cannot deny, try as much as you like.
The issues involved are very vast and individually are whole lengthy topics on their own but my attempt would be to summarize them into a seamless story of the bloody trail of Christianity.
I read somewhere that if you want to hide something from a black man, the place to hide it is in a book. The thought is that the Blackman does not read to enlighten himself in the same manner that he mainly strives for his immediate subsistence, he goes to school only for the bare basics, just enough education to ply his trade and earn a living and a title. He relies most times on the ‘broad brush’ attitude for his arguments and impulsive in nature, diving headlong into most contentions without plan or preparedness. He latches lazily on the first hold in any discourse or will cause distraction and diversion so as not to be thought of as stupid or unintelligent.
We all know that is only a generalization, a stereotype, but it could define us if we exhibit inertia to inquisiveness and tire too quickly in our search for knowledge. You could say the devil opened our eyes to knowledge from day one; Your omnipotent benefactor would rather you remained blind to your nakedness. This is therefore the point where you may stop if you wish to remain in your Tomfoolery and foolhardiness. If you are curious, let’s go! Do not be the seed that fell by the way side. It will be a long road we cover together, resolve to stick with me till the end.
This might a bit lengthy but I will try to compress this lecture into a few chapters, so have yourself a large mug or two of coffee and your reading glasses and let’s start our journey:
In this project, my sources, excerpts and summaries will be from various books and the good old reliable Internet:
- The book your Church doesn’t want you to read– T C Leedon
- Mankind’s search for god-Watchtower Society
- 101 myths of the bible – Gary Greenberg
- The God delusion– Richard Dawkins
- Atheist spirituality– Andre Comte Sponville
- Forged– Bart Herman
- The dark side of Christian history– Helen Ellerbe
- The bible
To help us have a thorough understanding of Christianity, we need to start with a bit of understanding of the Jewish religion itself, on which it had its humble beginnings- Judaism.
Briefly, Judaism is the worship of the one God, as revealed to their patriarch, Moses. It is the religion of the world’s approximately 15 million people. It is one of the oldest religions and the first recognized in modern times to teach the belief in one God and the moral teachings of the Hebrew bible.
The sacred Hebrew writings began with the “Tanakh”, which is a combination of the three divisions of the Jewish bible in Hebrew: Torah (Law), Nevi’im ( prophets) and Kethuvim ( writings), by using the First letter of each section to form the word TaNaKh. These books were written in Hebrew and Aramaic from the 16th century to the 5th century B.C.E.
Jews believe that they were written under different and diminishing degrees of inspiration:
Torah – The assumed five books of Moses, or the Pentateuch ( Greek word for ‘five scrolls’). The law, consisting of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. However the term ‘Torah’ may also be used to refer to the Jewish Bible as a whole as well as to the oral law and the Talmud ( the written summary, with later commentaries and explanations, of the oral law, compiled by rabbis from the second century C.E into the middle ages).
Nevi’im – The prophets – covering from Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, including also the minor prophets from Hosea to Malachi.
Kethuvim – The writings -consisting of the poetic works, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, The song of Songs and Lamentations. Also embracing Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and the books of Chronicles.
Judaism is a religion of a people. Therefore, a convert becomes part of the Jewish people as well as the religion. It is a monotheistic religion in the strictest sense and holds that God intervenes in human history, especially in relation to the Jews. There are many factions of Jews with their different dogmas and creeds but all confess to one God as expressed in the SHEMA, a prayer based on Deuteronomy, 6:4, forms a central part of Synagogue and worship:
” HEAR, O ISRAEL: THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE”
This belief in one God was passed on to Christianity and Islam.
The Shema excludes the TRINITY of the Christian creed.
The thrust of this discuss is the bloody trail of Christianity in the common era.
The atrocities committed in Christendom are shared equally within Judaism and Islam, with great discord and persecutions among the many factions contained in these three monotheistic religions. If we debunk Christendom, by extension, we will be exposing that which is common to all of them- FABRICATION!
Let us stay with Judaism for a while longer. What does Judaism believe about Death, Soul and Resurrection?
One of the basic beliefs of modern Judaism is that man has an immortal soul that survives the death of his body. But does this originate from the bible?
Historians believe that it was under Greek influence that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul came to Judaism. However this created a doctrinal dilemma, as the same source states, ” Basically the two beliefs of resurrection and the soul’s immortality are contradictory. The one refers to a collective resurrection in the end days, while the other refers to the state of the soul after the death of the body”
How was the dilemma resolved in Jewish theology ? It was held that when the individual died, his soul still lived on in other realm. It was this very idea that gave rise to all the beliefs regarding heaven and hell.
Today, however, while the immortality of the soul is accepted by all factions, the resurrection of the dead is not. Having removed the word from the Reform Judaism prayer books, it recognizes only the belief in immortal soul. How much clearer is the bible idea as expressed in Genesis 2:7: ” The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” The combination of the body and the spirit, or life-force constitutes a living soul.” Conversely, when the human sinner dies, then the soul dies. (Ezekiel 18:4,20)
Thus, at death man ceases to have any conscious existence. His soul, life-force returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 3:19; 9:5, 12:7). The truly biblical hope for the dead is the resurrection, or the physical revival of the dead.
While this conclusion might surprise even many Jews, the resurrection has been the hope of worshipers of the God for thousands of years. About 3500 years ago, faithful, suffering Job spoke of a time when God would raise him from Sheol (grave) – Job 14:14,15. The prophet Daniel was also assured that he would be raised ‘at the end of days’.
The Jews based their belief initially on the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures from which Jews over 2000 years ago derived their messianic hope. Second Samuel 7:11-16 indicated that the messiah would be of the line of David. The first century expectations of the messiah were high. The messianic hope was vital in holding the Jewish people together throughout their many ordeals.
Judaism owes its survival, to a considerable extent, to its steadfast faith in the messianic promise and future.
After endless wait for this messiah that would not show up, many Jews ended their passive wait between the 18th and 19th centuries. The last straw was the Nazi – inspired holocaust, many lost their patience and hope. They began to view the messianic message as a liability and so reinterpreted it merely as a new age of prosperity and peace. Since that time, the majority of Jews ceased waiting for a messiah.
Moreover, the religions of Christendom put a final death knell to messianic expectation and rejection of Jesus by their non- biblical doctrine of the trinity, which is clearly unacceptable to any Jew who cherishes the pure teaching that ” THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE”.
Let us now fast- forward to the fourth century B.C.E, the time of the all- conquering Greek General, Alexander the Great.
By the fourth century B.C.E., the Jewish community was in a state of flux and was thus prey to the waves of a non- Jewish culture that was engulfing the Mediterranean world and beyond.
In 332 B.C.E. The Greek general Alexander the Great took the Middle East in lightning quick conquest and was welcomed by the Jews when he came to Jerusalem. Alexander’s successors continued his plan of Hellenization, imbuing all parts of the empire with Greek language, culture and philosophy. As a result the Greek and Jewish cultures went through a blending process that was to have surprising results.
Diaspora Jews began to speak Greek instead of Hebrew. So toward the beginning of the third century BC, the first translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, called the SEPTUAGINT was made into Greek and through it many Gentiles came to have respect for and familiarity with the Jewish religion, some even converting. Jews on the other hand, were becoming conversant with Greek thought and some even became philosophers. Jewish scholars now approached the Torah with new tools… They proceeded to add Greek reason to Jewish revelation.
The Judaism of the first century (under Roman rule) was poised between the ” mind of Greece and the sword of Rome”. Jewish expectations were high because of political oppression and interpretation of Messianic prophecies, especially those of Daniel. They were divided into factions. The Pharisees emphasized the oral law, the Sadducees stressed the importance of the temple and priesthood. There were also the Essenes, the Zealots and the Herodians. All were at odds religiously and philosophically.
Jewish leaders were called ‘ rabbis’ ( masters, teachers) who, because of their knowledge of the law, grew in prestige and became a new type of spiritual leader.
Internal and external divisions, however, continued in Judaism, especially in the land of Israel. Finally, outright rebellion broke out against Rome, the overlords of all these vast regions from the farthest extent of the West to deep East covering all the Mediterranean and Arabia and beyond. In 70 CE, Roman troops besieged Jerusalem, laid waste the city, burned its temple to the ground, and scattered its inhabitants. Jerusalem was decreed totally off-limit to Jews!
Without a temple, without a land, with its people dispersed throughout the Roman Empire, Judaism was in need of a new expression if it was to survive. With the destruction of the temples, the Sadducees disappeared, and the oral law that the Pharisees championed became the centerpiece of a new, Rabbinic Judaism.
More intense study, prayer and works of piety replaced temple sacrifices and pilgrimages. Thus Judaism could be practiced anywhere, at any time, in any cultural surrounding. The Rabbis put this oral law into writing that evolved into what became known as the Talmud.
The historian Max Dimont noted in his book that though the Pharisees carried the torch of Jewish ideology and religion, the torch itself had been ignited by the Greek philosophers. For example, Greek religious concepts, such as the immortal soul, were expressed in Jewish terms.
This period of Jewish bliss was not to last for very long. In the 12th century, there began a wave of expulsions of Jews from various countries. In any country… Which fell under the unilateral influence of the Catholic Church, the story is the same: Appalling degradation, torture, slaughter and expulsion. Finally in 1492, Spain, which had once again come under Catholic rule, followed suit and ordered all Jews from its territory. By the 15th century, Jews had been expelled from nearly all Western Europe, fleeing to Eastern Europe and Mediterranean regions.
Through the centuries of oppression and persecution, many self – proclaimed messiahs rose up among the Jews, all receiving acceptance to one degree or another, but ultimately ending in disillusionment. For survival the Jews had to adapt their belief to conform to Western culture. Renewed outbursts of violent anti- Semitism in the recent 19th century, especially in ‘ Christian’ Russia disillusioned the movement’s followers, and many then focused on finding a political refuge for the Jews. They rejected the idea of a personal messiah who would lead the Jews back to Israel and began to work on establishing a Jewish State by other means. This then became the concept of Zionism. The murder of some six million European Jews in the holocaust gave Zionism its final impetus and gained much sympathy for it worldwide and the final establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 in Palestine, where the cycle of mischief is playing out in this present day, where they are now the oppressors, backed by America!
We will stop there on Judaism and start in earnest on the core issue of today, ‘the bloody trail of Christianity’.
This is only the beginning and I did warn you it would be a long discuss. Don’t tire on me now or prove those people right that say that we never can persevere in literary matters. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and let us now dive deep into the harrowing world of Christendom.
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