Jesus's Words

The Cult of Paul

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Paul: an Apostle of Delightful Irony Back to Top ↑

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do... My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples... [and] by this everyone will know that you are my disciples: when you show Love for one another... And in fact this is my commandment: that you Love one another just as I have Loved you. And no one has greater Love than this: to lay down one is life for [another]... In truth, if you understand these things, blessed are you while you enliven them." - Jesus Christ, John 14:14, 15:8, 13:35, 15:12-13, 13:15-17

I would offer that there is little that is more entertaining(or more important) than catching religious zealots in well-laid traps laid to expose their moral contradictions and/or their ethical hypocrisies.(See much of Matthew 12 and almost all of Matthew 23, where Jesus boldly revels in doing that.) Of course, there is little that is more amusing than watching those same zealots create their own snares and then fall awkwardly therein — and this, without needing any outside bait or coaxing. And such is often the case regarding the aggressive rantings found in the biblical epistles of Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle of Jesus Christ". As examples thereof, consider the obvious(if not also somewhat disturbing) irony encapsulated within the following passages, passages that reflect far more accurately the character of Paul himself than they did any of his listeners:

  • Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie — and worshiped the creature rather than the Creator.Romans 1:24—25
  • But if you call yourself a Jew and boast of your relation to God, and claim to know His will and to be able to determine what is best And if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, and a teacher of children You then, who teach others, will you not teach yourself?Romans 2:17-20
  • I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned. Avoid them, for such people do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.Romans 16:17-18
  • And what I do I will continue to do, in order to deny those who wish to be recognized as our equals For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. As such it is not strange when his minions also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness And yet their end will match their deeds.2 Corinthians 11:12-15
  • I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you and are instead turning to a different gospel. Not that there is another gospel, of course, and yet there are some who are confusing you and wishing to pervert the Gospel of Christ.Galatians 1:6-7
  • Am I seeking human approval or God's approval? Am I merely trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.Galatians 1:10
  • See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy or empty deceit — according to human tradition or the elemental spirits of the Universe, and not according to Christ.Colossians 2:8
  • There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment, because it was weak and ineffectual... There is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope through which we approach God... Accordingly, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant... He has obtained a more excellent ministry, and thus is the mediator of the better covenant... If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second... So in speaking of a new covenant, he has made thefirst one obsolete, and what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.Hebrews 7:18-22, 8:6-13
  • For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; and that foundation is Jesus Christ... So be imitators of me, [but only] as I am of Christ... For we do not proclaim ourselves, but proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as slaves for Jesus' sake.Paul of Tarsus, 1 Corinthians 3:11, 11:1, 2 Corinthians 4:5

"The primary purpose of the book of Acts was to minimize the undeniable conflict between Paul and the leaders of the Jerusalem Church; mostly James and Peter: The work was well done; with the author rescuing Christianity from the imputation of being the individual creation of Paul, and instead giving it the respectable pedigree of a doctrine that to this day still carries the authority of the Church; a doctrine disguised as one that is continuous in spirit with the original teachings of Jesus and the spiritual tenets of the earliest followers thereof. And yet, for all these ejforts, the truth of the matter is not hard to recover — if one but earnestly examines the New Testament with an eye to its blatant tell-tale inconsistencies and confusions, rather than with a determination to gloss over those difficulties in the interest of harmonizing them into a more comfortable(and indeed a more comforting) orthodox interpretation." - Hyam Maccoby

"Paul is the one in the Bible who theologized Christ almost completely out of Christianity... Watch out for him." - Robert Frost

"Whenever there is any conflict or even mild tension between something Jesus said in the Gospels and any sayings or ideals found elsewhere in the Bible, the tiebreaker always goes to Jesus." - Benjamin Corey

  • Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.2 John 1:9
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