PART 5: TO DEBATE TO GET AT AND TO SHOW TRUTH IS CHRISTIAN: WHY I'M NOT A PAULINE CHRISTIAN

Recently, I was engaged in a discussion, debate, argument, call it what you will, with one Chris [deleted] of [deleted] blog. I'm adding this as part of the series of posts that have come out of that discussion. Unlike the other parts, this post could easily be a stand-alone. I'm not discouraging anyone from reading the series or the whole site though.

A Little Background

Chris wrote a post about salvation by grace through faith. He wanted to encourage people to come to the ordered conclusion that faith doesn't save. "Grace through faith" is an expression that comes verbatim from Paul. I understand what Paul was saying. I understood it before reading Chris's post on it. When I first read Paul, I was taken aback by many things I read. They struck me as being quite inconsistent with Jesus's words. "Grace through faith" when taken in conjunction with the rest of Paul struck me that way. If you want to know more about how I view that particular expression and why I hold as I do, then certainly read the whole series here and more of this site if not all.

In our discussion, Chris was offended by, among many other things, my statements concerning Paul. Here's something Chris wrote that will lead into one of the reasons I'm not a Pauline Christian:

Let's take a look at what Paul brought forth, both for your sake and mine!

"Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches." (2 Corinthians 11:23-28 NKJV)

What have you done for the sake of preaching the gospel that even comes close to this, Tom?

And before you answer this question, keep in mind that Paul lost his head for the sake of the Church!

In addition to putting this to me, Chris led it with this:

My advice to you, Tom, is to be humble. Your pride is keeping you from seeing the truth, which is why you place so little value on the ministry of Paul.

Okay, so what's here that gives me reason not to be Pauline? Let's look at 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. What's going on there? Paul is writing to a church he founded on his own foundation commanding them not to deviate from Paul. One of the devices he uses is boasting (his own term about himself). He does this by comparing what he went through relative to the others called the Apostles. He states quite directly that he did more than they did in pretty much every aspect concerning which he could think to detail. He knew that those others, the original disciples, did not agree completely with Paul's views. Most people who know this believe it was concerning Judaizing (circumcising) the Gentiles. It was concerning more than that though. It was concerning bringing forth for the sake of the poor. It was about works, deeds. They didn't see Paul putting enough emphasis upon works and deeds of that type, and I agree with them on that.

Now, Chris and others appeal to Aristotelian logic when they notice that it "works" for their purposes, but they don't employ it consistently, for Paul's device is illogical on Aristotelian grounds and quite frankly also on divine grounds (the only kind that signifies in the end), which I will discuss more fully below but not at length. Here is the Aristotelian logical fallacy Paul made.

It doesn't matter how much a person suffers as to whether or not he is right. Paul is appealing to the church to believe and to follow his commands over and above that of the others (James in particular, and John and then Peter, pretty much in that order) based upon that Paul had been through the things he delineated and enumerated in some detail. He actually remembered and recited every beating down to the number of strikes. He leaves things out of course. How hard were these whippings for instance, not that I think he should necessarily have gone into that aspect. He shouldn't have used the device in the way or for the reason he did. It was not for witnessing as to the saving power of God. That was not his impetus.

He didn't want them listening to James from Jerusalem saying anything contrary to where Paul placed Paul's emphasis. In doing that, he diminished the good that came from James about emphasizing giving and sharing all even if James was too ritualistic even by Jesus's standards.

I once read something many decades ago that stuck with me. I don't remember who it was who wrote it, but the man suggested that it is always better to let others build one up to yet others than it is to brag or boast, as Paul terms it. The man's point was that the humble will be lifted up in the end. So that's part of the point here. Isn't it ironic that Chris tells me to be humble for questioning Paul while Paul boasted so?

Now, I've been through this before, so I know what to anticipate. Paul couches all of his writing in how lowly he is and what a serpent he was persecuting others, etc. Here's what's going on though. Don't look at my boasting as boasting, because I denigrate and humble myself before you. In fact, I'm the best because not only do I have more to boast about in terms of having suffered, I can also boast of having been worse before then all the rest. I was a bigger sinner, the biggest sinner, and now I'm the best leader because I'm willing to be caught and beaten more, etc. Those are not reasons to follow anyone and shouldn't be put forth as such. They are deceptive reasons, and even Aristotelian logic suggests it. Divine logic doesn't hesitate to say it though.

You never hear Jesus saying anything like what Paul said. You don't hear him listing out his suffering or sins. In fact, you hear him saying things that trend in the opposite direction. If that weren't important, he wouldn't have done it that way.

While sin is relative, all sin, each sin, is terrible. What we've done is terrible no matter how slight or great by mundane standards. We are aiming for the perfection that is God. Call a sin slight without seeing it from the divine perspective, and the infinite gap between any sin and God's perfect state is missed.

There is a time and place for confession, but when does it turn into bragging for acceptance for mundane reasons (ego). Is this a contest where one holds up one's sins "overcome" as if the deeper one fell and is willing to brag about it the more that one ought to be the leader? Is there a time and place for letting others know that no matter how low they've gone they can turn around? Yes; however, when does personal witnessing for righteousness' sake cross the line to become bragging for ego's sake? This is no small matter.

Since Aristotle was Hellenistic (a mixed bag) to say the least and because Chris and Paul employ Aristotle for divine logic, let's continue looking at this from that place. As reported by Diogenes Laertius in his work, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, a man said to Antisthenes that many people praise Antisthenes. Antisthenes asked him, "Why, what evil have I done?" Antisthenes then showed the man the hole in his Antisthenes's coat. Socrates replied, "I see your vanity through the hole in your cloak." Diogenes Laertius is apparently the sole source for this, and some doubt his worth. Regardless, the point here is valid even if taken in the hypothetical. Now, I don't hold with everything Socratic, but the point attributed to Socrates here is applicable to Paul's long list of sufferings.

Socrates points to Antisthenes vanity. James says, "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:20 KJVR)

What does Jesus say?

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:12 KJVR)

What I see and hear and feel when I read Paul is someone who is torturing this concept. There is bragging under the cover of humbling and humbling that is bragging. It is done in the name of putting forth Christ who said to do neither. Is it a harmless mistake on Paul's part? Well, I say he didn't see it.

Look, followers of Christ are not obligated to be followers of Paul. The question is whether followers of Christ can be followers of Paul. More particularly, one might ask just how far if at all can Paul lead souls in the right direction or does he say other things in conjunction with itemizing his sufferings that just stop any movement on the narrow way?

I say that his sexism is completely inconsistent with Jesus. Jesus did have twelve male disciples, but he had female disciples as well. He did have to work within the culture to lead from it to the real Promised Land. Paul's attitudes about covering the head and the length of hair (aside from mere practicality) are also inconsistent with where Jesus placed emphasis and are but distractions with no bearing upon coming to righteousness.

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. (1 Corinthians 11:4-7 KJVR)

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? (1 Corinthians 11:14 KJVR)

Hair and head coverings have nothing to do with the law of God being written in the heart. In addition, nature doesn't teach what Paul claims. Men aren't born with hair cutters. Of course, hair and head coverings can be totally contrived and therefore have nothing to do with aiding one in becoming real. That's not Paul's point here though. Paul is being arbitrary and not voicing something given by the Holy Spirit. These pronouncements by Paul are not inspired words from God.

Also, his hierarchical structure is not based squarely upon Jesus's teachings concerning first and last and spiritual versus biological and immediate family. By Paul's standard, no one from a broken mundane home may lead. That's wrong. This issue of the structure of the church (who should lead and why) is huge.

His teaching about the temporal state being ordained of God and therefore to be followed is completely wrong. Jesus showed that that temporal state was not ordained of God in the sense Paul leads his followers to misconstrue but was allowed by God in the sense of the freewill choice to be wrong and wicked. Jesus went to the cross in proof of this.

This difference sets up a paradox that is reconcilable if and only if one learns the language of the revelation of Jesus Christ. To my mind, Paul was not completely fluent in that language.

Contrary to Chris's conclusions, saying these things does not constitute pride or wickedness on my part. Chris's position is a double standard. It's okay for Paul to say what he thought about the other Apostles but not okay for me to do the same concerning Paul. I don't hold with such hypocrisy.

Also, I did not set out for things to turn this way vis-a-vis Chris. I was looking for Chris to not get stuck where he has lodged himself.

To what has following Paul versus following Jesus led? Following Paul has led to oppressing women when the fact of the matter is that plenty of women are way ahead of their husbands in spiritual understanding and should be seen as such and given place everywhere in that regard — credit where credit is due.

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. (1 Corinthians 14:34 KJVR)

This is selective Judaizing. Judaizing is what Paul supposedly fought against. He also ignored here all the prophetesses of the Bible and also those women Paul himself built up in his own letters.

This is not to say that there is no complementing each other as wife and husband — one flesh. Following Paul has led to the "just war" scenario (a hugely unchristian position) and to following orders from the mundane/temporal state no matter how unchristian, including to kill the innocent via bombing and capital punishment, etc.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (Romans 13:3-4 KJVR)

Please, how many rulers do we all know full well are terrors to good works? How many people were right not to follow the orders of Hitler regardless of the fact that all people and Jews had sinned? Hitler was Satan, and the people were left unsaved by God. Whose fault is that though? Regardless, Hitler's wrath was not righteous. He went way beyond that into sheer evil. Paul's writing confuses this at best. Surely any honest, truth-loving person can see that.

Following Paul has led to professing and not doing. Paul has allowed and encouraged the confusion that is Aristotelianism being not only interjected but holding sway in what would otherwise be Christianity. This opening has allowed for all sorts of errors — one might say "unintended consequences."

What hasn't happened is the thing called Christianity in name bringing forth. That hasn't happened primarily due to all the emphasis placed upon the hereafter and the forgiveness of sins rather than the here and now and the hereafter and the forgiveness of sins and repentance and atonement. Atonement is all but dispensed with. This is all very convenient for those who torture righteousness so they may cling to their worldly possessions in the here and now rather then bringing forth the Christian Commons.

It is at this point that Chris [deleted] and so many others part with me. I haven't bothered to look, but in all the times I communicated the terms "Christian Commons" and "Commons" to Chris and asked him his view, I don't recall his ever using either term. The only things I was met with were a continually closing of his door with increasingly frequent and more emphatic statements concerning my wickedness until supposedly he closed the door completely and pronounced that he would never comment here again.

I don't say this with any spirit other than to edify for the sake of righteousness. I make no secret that I don't agree with Chris's position. I don't want people following him to where giving and sharing all in the here and now is not one of the things that real Christianity is all about. They won't join the Commons if they do. If I didn't think the Commons is necessary, I wouldn't have been moved to put any of this website on the Internet.

Contrast Paul and Jesus here, following Jesus and not Paul would lead to an end to the oppression of women, an end to all wars, and the bringing forth of the real Christian condition everywhere. That is an infinitely huge difference between stopping short under Paul and going all the way under Jesus.

Was Paul Satan? Yes and no, as understood by Jesus calling Peter Satan and yet warning Peter that Satan will sift Peter as wheat. One will not comprehend what's going on there without learning how to speak the language of the revelation, which is not based upon Aristotelianism and cannot be learned by sticking with it exclusively. Aristotelianism must be transcended to begin to understand Jesus.

Aristotle did not speak or teach the language. Many of the rudimentary aspects of learning the language threw Aristotle, and he wrote against them just as Thomas Jefferson and many others wrote against the language. Jefferson of course had the benefit of being able to read the Gospels and still couldn't comprehend.

Aristotle was not foundationally soft-hearted. That's a helpful bit of information in beginning to learn the language.

Lastly, I do not throw away souls. That's not my place. I'm not here to throw away souls. I'm here turning and doing my best to be through the strait gate and on the narrow way for the sake of all who will benefit by that. It's that simple. I don't relegate those of the past to the levels of Heaven and Hell or to the right or left of Jesus. I look at Jesus and say, he's right. Show me a better way. Until you do, I'm following Jesus. By the way, you never will show me a better way. You can't improve upon the perfect. That's not close-minded. That's being completely open to learning what God has to teach.

Donate


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

  • Subscribe


  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
    • Chris [deleted]

      Tom,

      Your divisive behavior has become a thorn in my flesh.

      Nevertheless, I feel a need to make one final attempt to correct you, as you are clearly in error on how you are speaking of Paul's writings.

      Even Peter acknowledged the authority of Paul's writings as he spoke of them in such a way as to compare them with the Scriptures (Old Testament writings):

      "and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures." (2 Peter 3:15-16 NKJV)

      You have been given the truth here, Tom. It is up to you at this point to receive it and repent as you have spoken evil of the writings of Paul which Peter obviously regarded as Holy Scripture, divinely inspired by God.

      If you can’t see this fact in Peter’s words, then it is only because you refuse to see it. For the expression, “the rest of the Scriptures”, makes it very clear what Peter thought about Paul’s writings.

      It is obvious to me at this point that you are merely trying to reject the authority of Paul’s writings because you don’t agree with some of the things that he taught. That is the wrong way to deal with things, Tom. And that is actually what Peter is encouraging people not to do here!

      As I had said before, you will be held accountable for every idle word that you speak. You will have no excuses to make when God holds you accountable for the things that you have said against Paul; nor will you escape the judgment that God will render if you cause people to stumble in their faith as a result of being divisive.

      Your only hope is Jesus Christ, Tom. Therefore, I urge you to repent now before it is too late!

      You have been warned!

      • You know Chris, you complain that you don't want to debate, you shut down debate on your blog, you delete whole discussions, and you say you aren't going to respond here again, but here you are being completely hypocritical. Look Chris, you have a problem with wanting the last word. That's the thorn in your flesh. Grow up.

        Peter was not Jesus. He was cowed by Paul. That's Peter. I'm not Peter.

        You used the term idle. It means baseless. I've given the clear reasons why my position isn't baseless. Go look in the mirror. There's nothing supporting you.

        Of course I don't agree with the authority of Paul in all that he wrote. He wasn't completely consistent with what Jesus said. It doesn't matter a tinker's damn whether or not I pray with a hat on or off. What matters is the law being written on my heart. If you don't like that, that's just too bad. Use your head. Paul wasn't infallible.

        Every word he wrote is not the inspired word of God. If you can't see that, again, that's just too bad for you. There's nothing I can say to cause you to know the truth when you see it or hear it.

        This whole approach of yours is all about avoiding the clear implications of the Christian Commons. You are exactly what's wrong with Pauline Christianity. You are not interested in having all things common with real Christians. If you were of that heart, you would have loved the idea and wouldn't have been able to wait to get started doing everything possible to help me to bring forth the Commons. That's not you though.

        You're hiding the rest of what you believe under the cover of your hurt feelings while you don't put the feelings of others first. What's your political ideology Chris?

        What political-economic system do you support? It's not Christian. It's not what Jesus teaches. Look Chris, you go your way worshipping Paul, you go ahead and consider him infallible, you go ahead doing that while ignoring the things he wrote that were flat wrong, and I'll go my way. Now, if you're done....

        If you come back here again just repeating the same old garbage, it will be ignored.

      • Chris [deleted],

        You don't know what's going on here. The truth is that it doesn't matter whether or not my head is covered when I pray. Paul said it does. He was wrong, and I'm right. That's only one of a number of things Paul said that were wrong. Now some person might come along and want to justify himself by laying out some situation where one would or wouldn't cover his head, such as in outer space where if one takes off his helmet, his head explodes. That's not my point. Besides, the spirit being over matter, there's a time and place and way where that doesn't have to happen. Paul though is talking about some other completely arbitrary thing where otherwise head coverings are irrelevant.

        You were offended at Kevin using the term heretic toward you in the way the Roman Catholics define and use the term. You said you weren't being heretical. Technically, you might be maintaining that the pope teaches Grace alone. Yet, you aren't a Roman Catholic. You don't hold with all the things the pope has stated as being required in matters of faith. You are a heretic in that regard in the pope's eyes. I raise this because you are divided from the pope by your religious position. Yet, you come here repeatedly emphasizing that I'm being divisive, as if that's necessarily a bad thing, which it is not. I'll address that more below.

        Also, the pope and his cardinals and bishops wear fish-head hats called miters. I know they are associated in public with the fish symbol to indicate peace and Jesus. Others say it's a holdover from astrological issues. Regardless, they wear them when they pray. Paul said don't. The RC's claim Paul's letters are Holy Scripture. You're worried about being labeled a heretic by the RC's: Hypocrites. You hold with Paul too but haven't revealed here whether or not you hold that a bare head is required of you when you pray. I believe you've prayed with your head covered after having read Paul's commandment. You have, haven't you?

        You're married. Does your wife ever pray without her head covered? Do you chastise her for it? Do you tell her to shut up in church? Paul said she's not allow to talk in church, not allowed to ask questions but save her questions for you later but that you're allowed to talk in church. Do you hold with that? If so, why were women allowed to ask questions of Jesus in front of the men? Paul is wrong, and it matters hugely.

        What is church in Paul's view? It isn't Jesus's view. The Church as Jesus means it is wherever two or more are gathered in his name. He said he'd be there. He's also in the individual's heart when the individual isn't gathered physically (mundanely understood) with anyone else. He also said that his Church would end up universal, everywhere, the whole Earth, with no one not believing.

        So how could Jesus call Peter Satan yet build his Church on the likes of Peter and against which Church the very gates of Hell shall not prevail? You don't fully understand it or you'd understand the other things I'm saying. Yet you give me a hard time just because I do understand it.

        I'm not throwing away Paul or Peter just because they made mistakes. The mistakes they made are mine too. What's going on here is mercy and forgiveness in the face of truth-telling. Truth be told, you, Chris, have said here that I will be in risk of damnation for pointing out that Paul made errors that are clear and plain to see. That's ridiculous. My saying that isn't mean either. It's just truth.

        What's going on here is the demonstration that we all require forgiveness for falling short while at the same time striving to know perfection. It isn't perfect to say what Paul said about head coverings. It isn't perfect of the popes and the rest to wear miters while reading Paul saying don't wear them and holding Paul up as authoritative on the subject. It isn't perfect of you to be worried about being a heretic in the eyes of people who do that. In addition, I not saying all of this by way of condemning any soul but rather just to enlighten.

        You're consumed by the Pauline. You wanted to look at the term "through" with a microscope worried about what are intrinsic versus extrinsic attributes of God while these huge and obvious warts sit here that you refuse to address. This is indicative of the Pauline.

        Are you antiwar, a total pacifist, anti-capitalism, and for sexual purity and restraint?

        You've had ample opportunity to make clear here (and on your blog before you deleted all the questions — the whole discussion). I even put direct questions to you that you repeatedly ignored while jumping with both feet into arguing the minutia of "through" from your perspective, which I don't share. You think God is fine with your ducking those questions?

        As for the issue of divisiveness, Jesus says, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:" (Luke 12:51 KJVR) What is your problem with that? There won't be peace until after the war makers and the violent have either turned away from anti-peace or been separated away. The truth divides. Whose side are you on?

        This makes clear so that more souls can turn to what's right: Separate and Conflate. That's all I've done here. That's the thing you're condemning. I haven't given one truth-lover a single thing over which to trip up. It trips you up. That's what you're mad about toward me.

        I've shown on this blog how the people are daily tripping up all over the place on account of not looking for the truth.

        Look at what the Israelis are doing to the Gazans as I write this. They've stolen land under the cover of misinterpreted scripture, most of them don't even believe anymore, and are beating the hell out of and even killing people, many of them little innocent children, all with many Pauline false-Christians cheering the Israeli military from the grandstands. You think God is on the side of those militarists and Pauline false-Christians? I tell them and you, God is not on their side and they will suffer the consequences of their wicked actions.

        You know, most atheist Jews turned from seeking God because the Jews were pushed down all over the place. Then, Hitler's Nazis really made lots of Jews give up. They did exactly the wrong thing. Rather than look at why things really went wrong, they blamed faith.

        Now, I'm saying to look at why things are really going wrong everywhere without blaming truth that is God or truth-seeking.

        Things are wrong in the US and with US foreign policy not because there is no God or because God is evil but rather because people have wrong ideas about what's right (the course of action). They have those wrong views for exactly the reason you gave when you wrote that the reason "through" matters so much in "grace through faith" and that's right ordering. Well, you come here telling me this and that, and I'm telling you that you have your priorities out of order.

        You give more weight to your view about "through" than you do about the evil some Jews are doing to the Gazans. By the way, the rocket fire was caused by Israeli instigations, not the other way around. I don't hold with the Gazans firing rockets, but theirs is the lesser sin there.

        Is "through" more important to you than the lies George W. Bush told to take the US into several wars for worldly empire? Does it matter to you that Bush claims Christianity? Do you speak truth to worldly power or do you seek your personal comfort because you don't like the feelings debate usually engenders in your view? What about the millions dead and many millions more who are refugees?

        Do you not divide the truth along matters of war versus peace? I do. Jesus didn't come to bring peace. He said so. Yet he came to bring peace. How can that be? It's a paradox. I know how it can be. Do you have a problem with that? Is it too divisive for you? It's the whole point of his message.

        You don't put truth in the right place in the order of priorities. Truth is first. Love is too. You can't have one without the other. You can't know the real meaning of grace or faith without knowing that Pauline headdresses are irrelevant to the efficacy of prayers and that in fact, the real issue there is contrivance where fish heads rise to that level. There's plenty going on with miters that are misdirecting no matter how much the RC's claim symbolic messages.

        What's your whole agenda?

        Now, I said that I didn't lock the door in your face. I also said that if you come back saying the same old stuff, I'd ignore you. Here's the deal. Answer my questions or don't talk to me.

        And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. (Matthew 21:24 KJVR)

        It's right and fair. You answer about the Christian Commons or don't comment here. Answer about whether head coverings are required and whether or not you've ever prayed with your head covered. Answer whether or not you let your wife speak in church (ask questions as you are allowed to ask questions and to discuss). Go back through the discussion thread you deleted from your blog that you also said you've saved. Look for my questions. Answer them. Otherwise, don't comment here again. That's fair. I don't want to hear about how I'm being evil and risking damnation by pointing out Paul's inconsistencies while you ignore all the points you ignored from the beginning of this whole discussion. Don't cherry pick questions either.

        This is not an unreasonable request. We pour over and over the scriptures for the exact same reason I'm requiring this of you. It's reached that point between the two of us. You're as a Pharisee to me.

        Tom

    • Totally agree about Paul. When it comes to accepting his words or those of Christ, there's no contest. They are often in disagreement, I'll go with Yeshua and understand Paul's in light of those.

      We can accept David's mistakes, we can accept Solomon's mistakes, why is no one allowed to consider Paul human and fallible? I asked my pastor once how his words were different than Paul's, why wouldn't his be scripture as well when YHWH speaks through him? He was thoroughly offended and horrified, why? I don't consider everything the pastor said as holy and directly from the mouth of YHWH, neither do I hold Paul to such a standard.

      • Hello TMinut,

        I was thinking about David in this exact regard earlier today. The timing is definitely spiritual.

        Your pastor ought not to have been offended. Anyone speaking truth is speaking the words of God and those words are on the level of Holy Scripture, by definition. You were right!

        The only thing is that Paul, with the exception that he "thinks" he has the Holy Spirit, held himself, Paul, up as having become infallible. You and I don't hold him up as infallible. Paul though deviated from Jesus and still held himself up as on a par with the "Super Apostles" as he termed them for effect.

        One is in a position to understand how Paul fell into this state of mind and to forgive it but not to promote it but rather steer others back to complete consistency with Jesus.

        Thank you for braving the discussion. Chime in here. Together, we shall rightly divide the word and lead to and go to the Promised Land.

        Tom

    • Thomas James

      I think that the teachings of Paul have been grossly misinterpreted by right wing fundementalist Christians. Fundementalist Christians who proclaim that the bible can only be interpreted literally are famous for quoting Paul which says in this paraphrase " I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man because God created Adam first and then Eve and Eve sinned first and then Adam." So this effectively tells woman that they should sit down and shut up and are never permited to speak or even sing in the church. Unfortunately this so called literal translation is a gross perversion of the true meaning of Pauls words because in the historical context what Paul was reffering to was that there was a false teaching that woman was the first human being in existence and that she was the author of man in that she created him out of the dust of the earth.

      So what Paul was really saying was that" I permit no teaching that woman was the author and creator of man because God created man first and then Eve and Eve sinned first and then Adam."

      In this context Paul could have been really telling the men to shut up in the church if they were the ones proclaiming this false teaching.

      • Hi Thomas,

        So, you're saying "I permit no woman to teach..." versus "I permit no teaching that woman...."

        But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (1 Timothy 2:12 KJVR)

        For Kevin: "docere autem mulieri non permitto neque dominari in virum sed esse in silentio" (1 Timothy 2:12 Vulgate)

        It's clear, Thomas, that you've read Paul with an eye to vindicate him. This does actually introduce the hypothesis that the anti-female verses were slipped in or "emendated" by anti-female scribes. I don't hold that to be the case. Paul's errors are too consistent throughout his letters, including those accepted by the most fervent of the Protestant Higher Criticism schools of thought.

        Thomas, you would have been a handful for Paul. He would have just appealed to his view that such level of argument is indicative of the unbalanced. It's easy to give the schizophrenic a pill and lock him up even when he's not schizophrenic.

        But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (Titus 3:9-11 KJVR)

        Well, but where Paul was in error and was inconsistent with Jesus, then the man asking questions is not necessarily a fool — not necessarily a heretic, subverted, sinning, condemned, or a heathen.

        Careful!

        Food for thought: CORNELIUS A LAPIDE, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram (Antwerp 1616), Paris 1868, vol. 18, pgs 353-354, 396.
        Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Timothy 2,12-14

        Blessings to all,

        Tom