“… but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”
“… which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.”
(2 Peter 3:16 – 17)
Mr. Reno Omokri is one of the people I respect the most in the whole of my dear country Nigeria. He took an active part as a much younger man than he is now to ensure that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan assumed the office of acting president after the tragic demise of President Umaru Yar’Adua. He served as a special assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan. Within this time when he served as special assistant to the President we were lucky enough to have him speak to the teenagers of our church’s teens’ department at a retreat we held. As I was a teens’ worker I was also privileged to hear him speak in that retreat and spoke briefly with him after his message. I found his message at the time to be very doctrinally correct, and logically and intellectually sound. From that time on I began to follow him on Facebook and read his posts with delight. But of recent I’ve found him saying certain things that are so diametrically opposed to scriptures. And he backs these claims of his with strange, lopsided and mythical historical accounts of which I have no clue where he digs them out from.
I thought I’ll just ignore these posts, thinking no body would be silly enough to be fooled by his heresies, but he keeps posting more and more of this and I found it really disturbing. I knew I had to write on the matter and share with my little audience when a friend of mine shared one of this heretical posts on his Facebook timeline, which I assumed he was presenting it for people’s consideration having being himself on a path of being swayed by it. So I decided to write a formal denunciation of his heresies.
Let’s start with a summary. All he’s presenting is nothing new, it is not a product of an intellectual research, thorough study, or discovery, it is just a refurbished folly of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and supporting them by randomly pointing to wrongly presented historical events here and there, just for the sole purpose of making his argument sound intellectual and to make it poised to sway the gullible.
For the most of the time I knew him and followed him he never presented views that tends to be in favour of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. He simply posted things of common sense standing against abortion, same sex marriage and other wicked laws being passed in some parts of the world by godless men, supporting his arguments with scriptures, and by this drew a lot of people after him. Then boom, he started challenging everything about our faith, just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do. From the deity of Christ, to the doctrine of the Trinity, to the emblem of the cross, and almost everything else about the Christian faith did he challenge in his posts. All that is not an outcome of intellectual studies. It is born of mischief from which I hope he repents.
I won’t talk about everything he’s disputing in this article so it can be more brief and because I’m not well disposed to write a lengthy article or series of articles at the moment, but I’ll just point out why he’s not to be believed.
First, he tries to draw sympathy to himself saying he knows that Facebook is going to block his account because of what he’s saying. If it were not to draw sentiments of others to himself, there’s no point saying it. Or maybe he wants to sound like a hero that is taking the risk of opening people’s eyes. But what business has Facebook with that? I know Facebook does wield an unfair power over its users and exercises it brutally sometimes. But it’s absolutely weird to think that Facebook would suspend an account for a religious post. The interesting thing is Facebook did block his account but it was not for his post on the Christian faith. It was because a married woman alleged that he had asked her out despite being married. I don’t have any idea if he ever did that or if he were even capable of it. So saying he’d be blocked because of his post about the Christian faith is quite unfounded and is definitely meant only to draw people’s sentimental feelings towards him as a martyr of Facebook and a daring hero of truth. Of cause that can win the girlish affections of people so that he could have more sway over their opinions. How crafty.
It is a fact that when trying to reason you don’t introduce sentiments to it if indeed what you’re presenting is intellectually sound. The reason being that sentiments is often counter intellectual, and seeing that the emotions are often stronger than reason, introducing sentiments to an argument destroys the whole essence of intellectual reasoning altogether. This is a foul play like punching the ball into the net in a football match. When people appeal to the emotions, they are able to sway their audience despite not having any logically sound reason behind what they’re saying, and this tactics is only necessary because he knows he doesn’t have a rational base for what he’s saying. It is therefore a fraudulent and dubious way of engaging people in an argument. For this reason, whenever anyone tries to present his views, it is wise to follow him gently, trying to understand his perspective and what exactly he’s trying to present, but the moment he makes a beeline for your emotions, just know he’s up to no good and isn’t going to present anything intellectually sound. So the statement that Facebook is going to block him makes his mischievous motive to become glaring.
He presents photos of himself in Egypt saying something like, “I travelled to Egypt and Ethiopia and studied these things for myself and some ancient documents,” so you’d think he’s got some privileged knowledge about some deep secret that his traveling has afforded him which is the reason for his new doctrine that is strange to all ears. This is just the way ancient philosophers used to travel all over the place in search of knowledge and wisdom. So if you want to be on the same page with him, fly to Egypt and Ethiopia to see what he has seen for yourself. If you can’t, then just believe him because his knowledge is superior to yours which you can’t afford. But have we got enough money to buy enough cooking gas before we start talking about flying to Egypt and Ethiopia to see Reno’s little secrets?
So he tries to gain some advantage to fool the gullible by all these show of traveling around and presenting himself to have been exposed to an uncommon, thus superior, knowledge. Knowledge is not gotten by travelling about. It is gotten by the study of God’s word and by prayer. Those who travelled the world over in search of knowledge got nothing that has withstood the test of time and most of their arguments has been soundly proved wrong, just like the argument of Mr. Reno Omokri is already proved wrong even before he discovered the so called deep knowledge he’s presenting. But they who walked with God have a sound knowledge that has withstood the test of time.
He also seeks to garner support by standing behind Africanism. He presents the blessed missionaries who brought the wondrous gospel of Christ to us at the expense of their lives as villains. Men and women who don’t come far behind the very apostles in service, devotion, holiness, purity, selflessness, and effectiveness in service, the Holy Ghost granting them good success. But he presents them as men and women who only came to Africa to subvert African Christianity, if there be anything like that. Why? Simply because they’re whites. Simply because they’re Europeans. Something that would sweeten the bellies of the so called Africanists. But he’s seeking support from the wrongest ideology. Trying to win support by standing behind Africanism is like waving a flag of racism to which only ill-meaning people can be drawn. Of course no well meaning people would ever rally behind such hateful and despicable thing as racism, for Africanism is to Africa what racism is to race and what tribalism is to tribe. All these isms are characterised by hate. Only base, sentimental and racially prejudiced people would be glad to support him in that his call. Africanism is essentially a hateful movement. The cause of the great God who is himself love can’t be supported or advanced by hate. In this one characteristic of his argument he has shown whose side he’s on, and whose bidding he’s acting on.
As said, he’s not presenting anything new. It is just the beggarly, unscriptural, damnable and blasphemous heresy of Jehovah’s Witnesses he’s trying to advance and so needs no refuting, for the Jehovah’s witnesses have been refuted and ignored down the ages. There are people who don’t even open their doors to them once they discover that they’re Jehovah’s Witnesses. And we can see how many ways he’s shot himself in the foot already. Trying to stir sentiments to back his arguments, unnecessary display of photos of how he’s traveling the world to seem like he’s got superior knowledge from an uncommon exposure, and standing behind the hateful Africanism and making racially hateful statements. Let all his deceptions not deceive anyone.
I’ve written on matters that bother around some of these things in the past, so I won’t respond directly to his claims. Much of what he says challenges the veracity and inerrancy of scriptures. To refute this I recommend my book, THE WORD OF GOD. The full book is absolutely free. Certainly, seeing our faith is a mystery, it is hard to force it into the confines of human reasoning, therefore it is hard to be understood, giving room through which these gainsayers can confuse people. To understand why we must hold to our faith as a mystery (Mark 4:11, 1 Corinthians 2:7, etc.) and not as a mere theory, I recommend my article, “THE COMEDY OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM.”
The only thing I’ve seen him talk about that I haven’t spoken about more specifically is the shape of the cross upon which Christ was crucified which forms the symbol of our most holy faith. He argues that the cross is the most demonic symbol on earth from ancient Egypt. He posted one photo of an artefact showing some Egyptians holding something that is not in any way the cross and said that was from where Christianity derived its symbol of the cross.
First, he didn’t explain or prove how whatever the symbol they were holding were demonic except that he gives the name to be the ankh. He merely says it as if he were an authority who should be believed just because he said it. How does he know it were demonic if he were not himself a demon or acquainted with demons who leaked this secret to him? I’m not accusing him of being a demon, I’m saying his not, and on this ground that he’s not, he’s not an authority to tell us what is or what is not demonic and expect us to believe him for his own words, not to mention telling us which is highest in the hierarchy of demonic symbols. You surely have to be acquainted with demons to speak as an authority in their affairs.
What is called the ankh is actually just a symbol that stands for life in the alphabet of the ancient Egyptians. Just as we have the ABC being symbols of our English alphabet. It’s origin is not verifiably known, but who cares. Have we tried to know the origin of the ABC symbols we use to be bothering about the origin of the ankh? All that matters is its uses and applications to us in passing across information to others.
The ankh was probably just like the symbol T with a knot. In arts and statues today we would assume the loop is as solid as the concrete with which they were sculpted. But it likely was not. Just as we have statues wearing solid clothes of stone today, it doesn’t mean the clothes of those portrayed were carved of stones while they lived. So whatever the ankh came from was not a cross, but a symbol like T with a knot of probably a rope or clothe with which to hold the symbol. And it is likely that the symbol T was a key to open things, as the translation of the word ankh informs us. For it is translated as key of life. He doesn’t explain why all these could make the symbol demonic.
One may say the ankh was used to mean an assurance of life after death which is a doctrine of the Christian faith too, but the meaning of the cross does not stand for life after death, lest we say that too suggests that the cross must have been derived from the ankh since they mean the same thing. The cross symbolises sacrifice, death, mortification, etc. as these relates to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the example of suffering he has left us (1 Peter 2:21). It does not have the meaning of life in itself despite the fact that we believe in life after death for Christ did not resurrect on the cross. The song goes, “an empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives.” But we have no such symbol prominent in the Christian faith. The cross is prominent and most significant to us because it symbolises and reminds us of the death of Christ and his example, this life of sacrifice which it points us to and reminds us about is a reminder of our duty. The resurrection from the dead is not our duty. That is God’s work which he shall do in due time. We need no reminder for that which is God’s to do. So our cross and the ankh don’t have the same meaning. Rather they mean the opposite.
He said that the Christianity we have today is a Romanised version of Christianity. But to prove his point he presents Egyptian tradition and symbols and nothing that pertains to Roman traditions. Is it an Egyptian version of Christianity or is it a Roman version. We need to be clear, but his words isn’t making this clear. What is Roman about the Ankh and what is Egyptian about Roman Christianity? We do know that there is a Roman Christianity which is called Roman Catholicity, which has been proved to be unChristian for several centuries and resisted even to the shedding of the blood of the reformers. But even they have no business with the ankh. So what exactly is he talking about?
Whenever one presents an argument, it must be defended beyond all reasonable doubts. But he’s miles away from proving any of the things he’s presenting beyond even any casual doubt. He spoke as an authority in a field of which he’s no authority. Travelling to Egypt merely to see what everyone else is seeing over the Internet doesn’t make him an authority.
Rather than proving his arguments beyond reasonable doubts, what he’s saying has the potential of making the mind wonder into realms of fantasies and myths in which there’s nothing to guide the mind along any assured path of sound reasoning. A state a Christian must never allow his mind to wander into. Our minds must be carefully guided by scriptures in all our reasonings and wonderings.
He then went on to talk about how Christ did not die on a cross, taking his sly dance now to ancient Greek saying our Bible was not properly translated. His plot is to say the true object of which Christ died upon is not the cross as we know it, meaning our faith has been reengineered to take the form of a demonic system of belief. Why? If the Bible says Christ died on the cross then all his beating round the bush in which he found the ankh would be of no effect. So he needs to make the Bible unsay what it has said. He claims that Christ must have died on a pole or something else, not a cross. Meaning if we stick to the cross we are just sticking to a demonic symbol.
Upon the premise that the Bible (particularly the King James Bible) is true and inerrant, thus properly translated (for I won’t strain myself to prove against the argument of Reno Omokri that the word of God is inerrant and true) Christ was indeed crucified on a cross and not on a pole or any other object. The Jehova’s Witnesses claim he was not crucified on a cross because the Bible says at one point that he was crucified on a tree (1 Peter 2:24, Acts 13:29, Acts 10:39, Acts 5:30). But at a host of other times the Bible did say he was crucified on a cross. The word “cross” was used 29 times while “tree” was used in reference to the crucifixion only about 5 times. But they want to use the 5 to nullify the 29. At an elementary level that is a daft thing to do. It is easier to find fault with the 5 than with the 29. But because their aim is against our faith and not to pursue the truth, they chose the 5 over the 29. But the two words are not even contrary in the first place and are used to mean exactly the same thing contrary to the ridiculous arguments these enemies of the cross keep presenting against our faith. The foolishness of their argument is that they wish to present a tree to represent a pole, their dancing around the Greek language not being able to help them. What similarities does a tree have with a pole?
A good Bible student knows that in the study of the Bible, there can be no right conclusion on one verse that contradicts another. So how do we reconcile the word tree and the word cross? We must know that our use of words may vary from that of the old times from whence the Bible came. Not that the Bible should have been better written, but that we ought to have a better understanding of it. Anything that has a branch of any type or form could be rightly called a tree. For this reason we have a family tree, which is still called so despite being upside down, that is the tree spreads downwards. In today’s world we call the diagram depicting organisational hierarchy an organogram, which is only more technical but not as explanatory. If it were in the past it could have been called an organisational tree. Do these resemble a tree? Not really, but they have branches of some kind and for this reason are called tree. The cross too is not a pole but has three branches, one to the right, one to the left, and the last upwards, thus qualifying it to be called a tree. So whether it be called a tree or a cross, the image these words presents to a sound mind is yet the same, which is that the cross upon which Christ died is as we have it today.
Christians are not oblivious of the fact that the Bible does use the word tree to mean the cross and we use the two words simultaneously to mean exactly the same thing. An old church song goes:
“He loves me I cannot say why.
On Calvary’s tree, he suffered for me,
He loves me I cannot say why.”
In singing this song and others like it no one ever thought of a tree with leaves or any other object, but all held that it meant the same cross we all know Christ died on. The Jehovah’s witnesses and our friend in question always like presenting these things as if they’ve come by a new and sophisticated truth others were oblivious of, or that they are presenting verses of scriptures others did not take special cognisance of. But let them know that we’ve always known the Bible uses the word tree to refer to the cross of Christ, but we haven’t been dumb enough to think it means anything contrary to the cross. Neither silly enough to be seeking to draw a similarity between a cross and a pole where there is no similarity to be found, against an already existing and precise understanding that the word tree is rightly used to mean a cross.
It is easy to see the origin of our cross and how that it has no diabolical origin like Mr. Reno claims. It is holy and super meaningful. The best depiction of the very essence of our faith. On how it depicts the principal values of our faith, I recommend my book titled, THE CHRISTIAN LIFE OF SACRIFICE. The book is absolutely free.
He says Moses warned against the Trinitarian God of Thebes when he said, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Now Moses never mentioned the Trinitarian deity of any kind and of any place in his statement. We only know people’s thoughts and intended meaning by their words. How then did Mr. Reno know he referred to the trinity of Thebes in particular? Was he able to read Moses’ mind? To read the mind of the living is a great thing, but to read the mind of a man long dead is quite beyond thinkable. But some how he knows. Moses spoke of God’s oneness and didn’t warn against any Trinitarian diety of any kind or of any place. He spoke against the thought that God is not one, this means God is not two, nor three, nor four, five, and so on. But Mr. Reno lied on the man of God to mean he spoke specifically against the three gods of Thebes just to garner cheap points against our faith. And by the way, only someone who has no clue about our faith would claim that the doctrine of the holy Trinity is the doctrine of three gods. For this I recommend again my article titled, “THE COMEDY OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM.” The doctrine of the Holy Trinity refers to one God. It’s silly to think it means otherwise.
Apostle Peter wrote, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” (2 Peter 3:5). The ignorance about the Trinity displayed by Mr. Reno Omokri is a willing ignorance. It is an ignorance, not even of unbelief, but an ignorance of choice. This is one an the same as stubbornness which the Bible says is iniquity and idolatry (1 Samuel 15:23).
The stance he takes on matters of faith is completely his choice and he’s free to hold any view he wants to, but he mustn’t subvert the faith of others, especially the weak. His actions are not just actions of declaring his faith (which of course is not Christianity), but attacking the faith of others and to create strife out of nothing. What he’s presenting is in no way Christianity. The issues he brings up are not disputations on minor issues but are against the must fundamental aspects of our faith. The things that if one fails to hold he has completely denied the faith and therefore is damned. He makes a vain profession of faith that he believes in Christ, that he’s the only way to heaven, and all that. But his stance on the Trinity, his disbelief in the inerrancy of scriptures, his thought that our most holy faith is demonic on account of his erroneous arguments, and so on, all makes his stance damnable. His vain profession of faith not withstanding. For he makes a profession of faith and deny the base upon which such faith stands. So what is the use of such profession of faith it it were not only aimed at making his subterfuge more effective.
These actions of Mr. Reno Omokri are acts of complete godlessness. I encourage every Christian to denounce his claims and ignore his arguments. They are not words of a person willing to teach and edify (which we are to encourage), neither are they words of a misled zeal for truth (which we should tolerate and seek to correct), but words of a person seeking to subvert the faith of others and deceive (which we must reject and resist). For it is written, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” (2 Timothy 2:23). Such foolish and unlearned question he’s manufacturing are only aimed at creating strifes and not to edify and not to correct.
I pray that Mr. Reno Omokri would repent of this godless acts of his and stop troubling the church of Christ. It was the likes of Mr. Reno Omokri that Paul lamented about when he wrote to the Galatians saying, “I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.” (Galatians 5:10). He went on to say, “I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” (Galatians 5:12). The judgment of God against those who trouble his church is always severe. I pray that God will grant Mr. Reno Omokri a repentant heart to use his intellect for good and not to trouble the church.
It is also written, “As also in all his [apostle Paul] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” (2 Peter 3:16 – 17). The Bible does say that there are things that are hard to be understood in it, but also warns us against such heretics who wrest with our faith, bringing up these hard to be understood things, who can, by these actions, cause us to fall from our own steadfastness. The fact that it is hard to be understood doesn’t make it untrue. And don’t let the ramblings of such heretics make you doubt the faith you hold. Rather stick fast to it till the coming of our Lord.
On a final note, the Lord Jesus says, “But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.” (Revelation 2:25). Hold to your most holy faith in the simplicity with which it was revealed till the coming of our dear Lord and Saviour. Hold it fast and don’t let the likes of Mr. Reno Omokri make it slip out of your grip. And again, as a means of encouragement, it is written, “I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.” (1 Peter 5:12). This grace wherein we stand is the true grace of God, all we need to do is to follow it more truly in simplistic obedience to the injunctions of God. For I testify that there is much to be repented of, but it has nothing to do with the heresies of Mr. Reno Omokri. May the Lord God of Israel grant each of us an unwavering faith, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer: Dear Lord and Father, help us in this latter days in which many false prophets are risen to act as though they were for the truth only to subvert it and the faith of those who listen to them. Help us hold fast that which we have already and not let it slip. Help us make it to the very end in a right standing upon the common faith of Christ. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.