Dear Pastor Andy, when did Christianity first come around, or who made it up? Was it someone kind of like Joseph Smith?
Hi. First, no, Christianity was not started up by someone like Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was a self-proclaimed prophet of something that clearly has nothing to do with the One and True God, nor His Word (the Bible). He was just a man – fully human only.
Jesus, on the other hand was (is) God in the flesh – fully human, and also fully God. It’s a little difficult to understand, I know, but it was necessary in order for Jesus to take on the role of the perfect sacrifice for our sins, as well as be resurrected for our atonement.
Second, Christianity is recognized to have actually started when Jesus was resurrected, and then got its jump start on the morning of Pentecost. But if you want to really understand the origin of Christianity, then you must first recognize and understand Judaism – not completely in the sense of all the standards and laws needed to follow, but in the sense of understanding God’s connection with it, His promises, the Old Covenant, the way that God communicated with His people, and the story of Genesis. Actually, theologically-speaking, Christianity has always been around, since it’s the fulfillment of the Law, which was communicated to God’s people through Moses. But also, as Abraham believed in God through faith, so must we also. Then there’s Noah, who was before Abraham, then particular ancestors up to Adam and Eve, who all knew God, were known by God, communicated with God regularly, and followed Him.
See, Christianity and Judaism were never meant to be separate faiths. Jesus came first for the Jews, because He was technically their promised Messiah. The prophets of old, from the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a.: The Old Testament) spoke of Jesus’ arrival and rejoiced for that day. In a technological world, I suppose you could see Christianity as the upgraded version of Judaism, for it was meant (designed) to run on the original platform. So in this sense, I suppose you could see Jesus as the promised and long-awaited upgrade. Another modern comparison (and this is still way off in comparison) might be going from smoke signals to a smart phones and a worldwide version of WiFi. All who wish to jump on, may – they just have to find the signal and ask to log onto it. – Like I said, a real minimal comparison, but hopefully, you understand. – But in both cases, you have to have the equipment (Jesus Christ), and you have to ask to join (repentance, conversion), and the fire for the smoke signals is still being used, only instead of creating smoke, now it’s used to purify our hearts.
Many think the Bible is just a guidebook of sort to explain about God, creation, and suggested morals. But the Bible, the whole Bible, is actually about God’s relationship with His creation, His love for us, His desire for us to love and desire Him back, and the human lineage of His promised Messiah (Jesus Christ), who would (and has) come to redeem all of creation. We receive atonement when we acknowledge and receive Jesus Christ). So you see, “Christianity” is the fulfillment of Judaism, and therefore has been around since the beginning of human existence.