16th May, 2021
By Reno Omokri
People who call themselves Christians (a word that Christ Himself never used in His earthly life time) are some of the most argumentative people.
Scripture could say something very clearly and unambiguously, yet Christians would have a very nice and intellectual argument for why Scripture does not mean what it says.
For instance, I once told a fellow believer that the actual name for our faith is not Christianity, and that the term Christian was a word coined by people believed to be the townspeople of Antioch, to describe those who followed Christ.
And this person argued with me. But it is right there in Scripture in Acts 11:26. Clear, and unambiguous.
The faith that Christ came to Earth to teach us is actually a fulfilment of Judaism, because the end result of Judaism was the coming of the Messiah, prophesied by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15.
Judaism, which is a set of Mosaic laws, was to continue until the coming of the Messiah, and after that it was to collapse as a religion, into whatever the Messiah taught. And we see this in Galatians 3:24:
“So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.”
The actual name for the faith that Christ taught is ‘The Way’, and it is taken from John 14:6:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
And that was how the disciples and the first followers of Christ described themselves. We see this in several verse or Scripture, including Acts 9:2:
“And asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to THE WAY, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.”
And again in Acts 18:26:
“So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him THE WAY of God more accurately.”
And then again. In Acts 19:9:
“But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned THE WAY. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.”
And in Acts 22:4
“I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison.”
And also in 2 Peter 2:2:
“Many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom THE WAY of truth will be blasphemed.”
There are many more verses, but these should suffice.
And Christ Himself repeatedly used that to describe His teachings, as we see in Matthew 7:14:
“Narrow is the gate and difficult is THE WAY which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
The Way is the reason why Christ asked us to “Follow Me” in Matthew 4:19, and why Paul said “follow me as I follow Christ” in 1 Corinthians 11:1. In Africa, there is a popular vernacular saying, which goes, ‘follow who know road’.
So, if we follow Christ, why do we, as His body, gather to worship on Sunday? Where do we see that in Scripture?
In Exodus 20:8, God gave an everlasting command when He said “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
And in His earthly lifetime, Christ obeyed that law and made the Sabbath Day His day of formal worship. We see this in several verses of Scripture including Luke 4:16:
“As His custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day.”
Christ had a “custom”, or habit of going to the synagogue for organised and formal worship of God with other believers on only the Sabbath Day.
There is not one occasion of Christ going to the Synagogue on a Sunday. In fact, Synagogues are closed on Sundays.
So, if indeed we follow Christ, who is The Way, then how come we do not follow His customs?
I have seen many people quote Paul in Romans 14:5–6 as justification for Sunday worship, those verses say:
“In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honour him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. (NLT).
A careful reading of the above verse shows that Paul is not saying that we should have formal worship on any day. What he is saying is that “You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.”
Look at that word, “acceptable”. It is not a standalone word. Paul is saying that we should be sure that the day we choose for formal worship is “acceptable” to God. Not to ourselves.
And how do we know what is acceptable to God? Simple. 2 Timothy 3:16:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Scripture alone is what gives us direction on the acceptable ways of God.
Some use 1 Corinthians 16:2 to justify Sunday worship. That verse reads:
“On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”
However, that verse does not mean the Corinthians worshipped on Sunday. I have gone on pilgrimage to Corinth. I visited the house where Paul lived in in Corinth. The Corinthians did NOT worship on Sundays.
Paul only asked them to set aside money on Sunday, because many people then were wage earners, who were paid weekly wages on the evening of the last day of the week, which was a Saturday.
Among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, there is a practice called Esusu. It is a cooperative system, whereby each member of the cooperative pays money to the treasurer of the cooperative on either pay day, or the next day.
What Paul was instituting here, was a kind of Esusu, hence it was collected on the morning after wages were paid.
And to prove this, we know from Scripture, that just like Christ, Paul himself, who some Christians use in justifying Sunday worship, had a custom of worshiping on the Sabbath Day. We see this in Acts 17:2:
“As was HIS CUSTOM, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.”
Some people use also Acts 20:7 to justify Sunday worship. That verse reads:
“On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.”
Now that is deceptive, because they met, not on Sunday morning, but on Sunday night. We see this in the next verse:
“There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.”-Acts 20:8.
And the reason why they met on a Sunday night is because Paul was leaving Troas early the next morning, and so he gathered the believers there for a farewell briefing. It was not a regular formal gathering. And we see this in verse 11:
“After talking until daylight, he left.”
And moreover, the practice of breaking bread was a daily practice amongst the first believers. We see this in Acts 2:46:
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”
Some others say because Christ resurrected on the first day of the week, we should worship then. But that is not what Christ taught us. His own custom was to worship formally on the Sabbath Day, and the last thing He told us before His assumption into heaven was in Matthew 28:20:
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
We are to teach only what we were commanded by Christ. Not what we feel like, or what a church denomination tells us to do.
So beginning from Emperor Constantine the Great, Rome developed Christianity, and the Romans decided that Sunday, which is a day they had previously set apart to worship the Sun God, would now be the day they of formal ‘Christian’ worship services. And on March 7, in the year 321 AD, Emperor Constantine issued a decree declaring Sunday as the day of Christian worship.
So, how did Sunday become a day of Christian worship?
You see, Christ came to teach us The Way. But Christianity as a religion of Christendom originated in Rome, and was a syncretism of all the major Roman religions.
This is not some conspiracy. It is an actual fact. After persecuting the Way and seeing that it would not die, Rome came up with an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ philosophy.
So beginning from Emperor Constantine the Great, Rome developed Christianity, and the Romans decided that Sunday, which is a day they had previously set apart to worship the Sun God, would now be the day they of formal ‘Christian’ worship services.
And on March 7, in the year 321 AD, Emperor Constantine issued a decree declaring Sunday as the day of Christian worship. Below are the exact words of his decree, which is now stored at the Vatican, in Rome, which I visited in 2019, for research purposes:
“On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed.”
So, from the above, you can see that Emperor Constantine basically shifted the Sabbath from between Sunset of Friday (Friday Evening) and the appearance of the first stars on Saturday, to Sunday. The 24 hours between those two times is the Scriptural Sabbath Day, which Christians changed to Sunday, not because God ordered it, but because a man, Emperor Constantine, did.
Think about what I have written, and then research it, to make sure I have not lied to you. Then ponder on the words of Christ in Matthew 7:14:
“Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
*Reno Omokri first published this with the title, Should We Go To Church on Sunday?
*Omokri is a Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years.