On Paul

Most religious who read the bible only think so highly of Paul and look at the rest of us who question Paul’s motives as being blind or something. We have a 2nd century church father who writes vehemently against Paul. In what is referred to as the Clementine Homilies, we get for example from an epistle of Peter to James

“For some among the Gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching and accepted certain lawless and foolish teaching of the hostile man.

and we have it written of Peter as saying

who came before me to the Gentiles, and to which I belong who have come after him, and have followed him as light upon darkness, as knowledge upon ignorance, as health upon disease.”

He continues:

“If he had been known he would not have been believed, but now, not being known, he is wrongly believed; and though by his acts he is a hater, he has been loved; and although an enemy, he has been welcomed as a friend; and though he is death, he has been desired as a saviour; and though fire, esteemed as light; and though a deceiver, he is listened to as speaking the truth.

We have elsewhere Peter warning the church

He who hath sent us, our Lord and Prophet, declared to us that the evil one…. announced that he would send from amongst his followers apostles to deceive. Therefore, above all remember to avoid every apostle, or teacher, or prophet, who first does not accurately compare his teaching with that of James called the brother of my Lord, and to whom was confided the ordering of the Church of the Hebrews in Jerusalem,” &c., lest this evil one should send a false preacher to them, “as he has sent to us Simon preaching a counterfeit of truth in the name of our Lord and disseminating error

and continuing in the same spirit, writes

“If, therefore, our Jesus indeed was seen in a vision, was known by thee, and conversed with thee, it was only as one angry with an adversary…. But can any one through a vision be made wise to teach? And if thou sayest: ‘It is possible,’ then wherefore did the Teacher remain and discourse for a whole year to us who were awake? And how can we believe thy story that he was seen by thee? And how could he have been seen by thee when thy thoughts are contrary to his teaching?But if seen and taught by him for a single hour thou becamest an apostle preach his words, interpret his sayings, love his apostles, oppose me not who consorted with him. For thou hast directly withstood me who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church. If thou hadst not been an adversary thou wouldst not have calumniated me, thou wouldst not have reviled my teaching in order that, when declaring what I have myself heard from the Lord

I rest my case there.

 

an ongoing discussion

I have the permission of a fine gentleman to share a discussion we have been having on this blog here, here, here and here. The reason we agreed to do this is to consolidate the different arguments in one place. I must apologise in advance if this post ends up being long but I will endeavour to make it precise :).

The first question we dealt with regards the nature of god and whether it is knowable. I have tried to show that the nature of god is unknowable and also that the god of the bible is incoherent and impossible. My good friend thinks that we can know god from what we are told in the bible. I contend that what we are told about this god is contradictory. To show this I offered the following examples

1. that god is all loving and merciful yet he drowns everyone except 8
2. that god is evasive. when confronted by Job why he is suffering, he evades the question and only tries to awe Job with his clothes
3. we are told he is all-knowing but seems several times to forget. he forgets that Noah and co are in the boat and so on
4. he is malicious. he hardens pharaoh’s heart to get an opportunity to kill Egyptians
5. tribal:- he chooses people over others without reason
6. he is evil:- he says he is the author of good and evil and also the author of confusion. he does this to confound the people as they are building the staircase to heaven.

I must add there are places where god does good things maybe but I pointed out that what this further proves is the inconsistency of this god.

My good friend disagrees. He says that either am reading this out of context or that I have no right-as a mere mortal- to question the intentions of god which I find to be rather hilarious. He has also indicated that I could be reading the wrong outdated translation, and I asked for his help in choosing which of the 800+ translations as the correct one. We have also covered the matter of what part is metaphor, literal or allegorical and since I have a difficulty in choosing  which to take for what purpose I leave it to you, good friends, to help me. My friend has said also that I can’t talk about the wrath of god of the OT without looking at the NT. I agree fully. The only question is, why did god change from being a violent, misogynist, tribal god to a loving though still suicidal god? If he is to be unchanging, is it of its nature to be all things?

I have further shown that god is angry at us for no reason. I have attempted to show that if a god exists and that this god created man and the serpent, it his fault man failed. I say this because if his address about what fruit was to be eaten and which was not was intended for man, why did he/she/it make it in the vicinity of other more intelligent animals? I also ask, why if this god is omniscient,  did he create the serpent knowing it will tempt man?

We looked at the laws of god and I ask why would a god who is not bound the laws he is making ask us to follow them? Why would such a god who does not forgive his enemies ,who can’t hurt him, asks us to forgive our enemies and pray for them? My friend tells me, god makes those laws for our good!  Please be the judge of this: is stoning your brother for picking sticks on the sabbath for our good, is stoning a woman who has been raped for our good, is killing a disobedient child for our good, is tithing and alms giving for our good, how is  not infringing his copyright laws on altar perfume for our good? Please please tell me how all of this is for our good!

My friend argues that we are saved through Jesus. Am asking why has salvation to be conditional? Is it impossible for an impotent and benevolent god to save all without asking them to believe in a guy whose existence is doubtful? On still this same question of belief, I did ask what happens to my great grandpa who for no fault of his own died before the Spaniards, the Portuguese and the Brits came here with bible in one hand and gun in the other. My friend gave a very honest answer, I don’t know! But added that he knows god is just and will deal with them according to his justice. Which brings us to the problem we had at the beginning, is the mind of god-does he have one- knowable?

I also mentioned Paul, the person credited with developing christianity and said this man or group of men had nothing kind to say to women. He says

As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached?” (1 Cor. 14:33b-36 NIV). 

Elsewhere he has this to say

11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

I also said Paul is against many things beautiful

1 Corinthians 7:1  “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry

1 Corinthians 7:For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I

About fighting tyranny, this is what Paul tells us about governments

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor [Roman 13:1-7 NIV].

I will leave you to make your judgements on Paul.

In coming the end of this post, I did submit that the churches own nothing, the priests own nothing which is not people’s labour and any help they claim to give can’t be treated as charity. To be charitable, you need first to own. No church meets this requirement. They are in the business of collecting tithe and alms in exchange for a place in heaven. The priests make claims that they are the mediators between man and god, either follow me or be damned. They are selling false hope to a great majority that do not know better. They lie about the existence of god, about our universe and about everything else. Whatever they are against, their god is against, whatever they support their god supports! My good friend says that even the governments and hospitals should be abolished because they operate on taxes- people’s labour. This I think is fallacious, every tax payer has a right to a government service and besides the government shouldn’t discriminate on where to take resources. For one to benefit from a church, they more often than not ask you to join them or take the highway. I also told my friend building churches doesn’t add to the good of humanity. It enslaves the mind so I asked they build libraries and hospitals in place of churches.

I hope first with this post, I have captured the core arguments we have had in the different posts, that I have represented my brother correctly and without bias. I would love to hear your comments on the issues raised in this post. Thank you 🙂