Did you know, during and after Jesus’ time, historically, there were religions, apart from Judaism, that could have been alternatives to Christianity due to their similarities?
They were mostly called ‘mystery religions’ because they were shrouded in secrecy and mysteries. To have an idea of how it offers salvation and route to better life, you must be an initiate. Only members/initiates have access to and know the worship ‘centres’ of these religions, mostly caves and remote lands..
They were believed to have used copies of the scriptures (on scrolls) as religious texts. In fact, few of the scrolls discovered in caves by archaeologists are believed to have been preserved as a result of the activities of these mystery religions.
One of the reasons why Christianity survived then, historically, was due to its accessibility and patronage to the lesser members of the society. It is noteworthy to mention here that due to the secrecy of these mystery religions, their membership was mostly elitist and aristocratic.
Christianity, however, appealed to everybody, but with a stronger ‘fanbase’ among the normal, everyday, poor people. No secrecy, no titled patronage, no expensive sacrificing and all.
Judaism, as it were, was an expensive religion – lots of sacrifices to be made which include buying and killing animals. Hence, temple worship was making a lot of money for the Sadducees. Remember the story of Jesus whipping the temple money market? Actually, I’m finding out it is still expensive – just a different kind of expenses.
Christianity, however, proved cost effective. Jesus has been made the one and all sacrifice, no need for buying and killing and all that. Above all, anybody, regardless of social status, wealth or even family name, can join the new religion, become a Christian, once you believe and accept the teachings of the lead man, Jesus Christ.
This differentiated Christianity from other religions, really aided its spread and goes to show how and why it has continued to be one of the most followed religions in history.
So, if you are Christian and one, you don’t talk about Christianity and Jesus, you are guilty of attempting to make Christianity a mystery religion and hence, serving an unknown God.
Two, you reserve your message of salvation only to people with means, who can, in turn, do you favours now or in the future, you are guilty of patenting a different kind of Christianity, maybe Judaism.
Christianity is not a mystery religion. Although it is a personal journey of salvation, justification, and sanctification between the Trinity and you, it requires a life that is lived, seen & emulated.
There is nothing like, “Inu ni’gbagbo wa” (faith is on the inside). If it truly is in the inu (inside), we will see in the ita (outside). That’s how Christianity is designed to work, even historically.
By the way, Mary Lawal talked about what it means to be a pastor’s wife. You might wanna check it out here.
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