Christians must follow the old testament.
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10-03-2014, 11:48 PM
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
(10-03-2014 11:56 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(08-03-2014 08:42 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  I love the Old Testament.
Jesus did too.
You haven't read it, have you... Drinking Beverage

Betcha I know the OT better than you.

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(10-03-2014 11:26 AM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Which Chapter? Which Book?
...or are you just making a sweeping personal generalization?


Which Books? Are you asserting Solomon, David, Moses, Amoz, Samuel, etc. were unknown at the time?
Please don't presume that what is unknown to you was unknown to everyone/anyone.


Says you. That sounds like wishful thinking on YOUR part.


Your dislike of God is your vested interest. Of course you don't like what YOU don't like.
And, like most anti-bible polemics, yours blames everything 'bad' on God and ignores the 'bad' stuff which God Himself condemns.


Did primitive Stone Age people destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Is God to blame for the infanticide seen in abortion clinics every day? If atheists rule the Internet, which is "rife with immorality," who is to blame for child pornography all over the Internet?
You say the bible has superstitious beliefs but theists are entitled to call the no-God hypothesis which atheists believe, ...just another religion.


Since you reject the idea of God, you should read the bible from an atheistic anthropological POV and ask yourself why Darwinian evolution doesn't step in and stop humans from having wars.

The Old Testament says 'thou shalt not kill'. What does Darwinian evolution say about abortion, rape, killing your rival offspring, fighting over scarce resources, In group/Out group hostility...?

Is my perfectly natural aversion to homosexual behaviour objectively immoral? Why? Says who? Why do I have to do what some mere primate tells me I "ought" to do? Science can't dictate that to me either! Because you can't get an 'ought' from an 'is' and science wasn't discovered on Mt Sinai.


Yes there was plenty of revelation of previously unknown information in the OT.
Do you think Israelite hygiene laws kept people healthier? They weren't derived from modern science.


The Abrahamic religion has out-lasted the Greeks and the Romans.


Christianity was not responsible for the Dark Ages.


Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of Western morality and civilization. And the heavy lifting of the Enlightenment was done by Christians. In fact, all the really useful science was done by theists.


Consider the possibilities for even greater human misery when selfish people make themselves gods and live like atheists, as if there's no tomorrow.

Ironically, you are doing what YOU WANT and launching an attack on God by blaming Him for the actions of people who THEMSELVES use God as the justification for doing what THEY WANT.

You are using the bible selectively to justify your personal agenda - which is to attack people who selectively use the bible to further THEIR agenda.

Moreover, you are attacking with a straw argument against people who lived long ago. By your own admission, you are addressing folk who lived in the Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Greco-Roman empires and somehow trying to burden 21st Century Christians with responsibility for ancient events.

If I think Communism/Marxism was a pivotal cause of modern anti-theism, would it be fair for me to then accuse atheists here of supporting what State-sponsored Atheism did to millions of human beings in China, Russia, North Korea, Cambodia.....?


Blah blah blah.... Yeah, we get it already!
(Well, not entirely. You are making an argument against the Old Testament. How does the Old Testament benefit the anti-Jewish Nazis who wanted to exterminate Eternal Israel?)


Yeah, if there was no Old Testament people would really struggle to find anything to fight about. They would have to find some really nebulous excuse for war such as territorial imperatives, or xenophobia, or economic scarcity, or greed, or the desire to repress other people's religious freedom. Again, you are blaming the bible for wars which is not much different to humans using random bible verses as camouflage to justify their hatred.



Humans (homo sapiens) have 50,000+ years of ubiquitous theism - an innate moral fixation with the transcendent and the divine. Our concern for the God conclusion and our origins/destiny have kept the human spirit alive and thus kept us strong and aspirational. So far, without atheism we haven't collectively decayed into nihilism.

God, and thoughts of God, have been central to who we are as a species.


"Some peoples' attitudes" toward women are rooted in their selfishness DNA and you ought not judge them because they were born that way. "Some peoples' attitudes" towards science are morally vacuous and they think creating atom bombs is clever physics. "Some peoples' attitudes" to homosexuality include trying to get kids (like boy scouts) involved from an early age.


Look who is trying to their own assert moral facts while denying others the opportunity to do likewise.


You have sock puppet ventriloquism going on there with the sock on your right hand saying... yes we every-day Christians know none of the OT should be read as truth". Meanwhile the sock puppet on your left hand is the OT bogey man preaching Mark Fultons version of the bible.



No, they won't do it because, unlike your strawman, they aren't your puppets and believe it or not, they actually agree with and LIKE the ideas they hold. Your inability to get real living people to agree with atheism is not automatically because they are too dumb or inflexible.


You say that as if no scientist in the history of the world ever went to church, or a mosque, or a synagogue.


If science invites questioning, (which it should,) how come intelligent design theory can't be discussed in the science class at school? If science invites questioning, why aren't we allowed to question the ethics of stem cell research?


What does that tell you about science when mistakes are made and then later need to be corrected, whereas the bible still says the universe had a beginning, humans are 'higher' than animals, extra-terrestrial dimensions of space/time exist, Jesus rose from the dead...
Facts - scientific facts - shouldn't change. Empirical evidence shouldn't change. Science shouldn't need to change Pluto from a planet to a non-planet. If the 4000 year old bible states something as a fact, it doesn't get changed by opinion polls or scientific zeitgeist.

"Which Chapter? Which Book?
...or are you just making a sweeping personal generalisation?"

I know a really cool dude who has written a book called "Get over Christianity by Understanding It" He let me proof read it. Chapter 14 is about the content of the Old Testament.

RE
"Which Books? Are you asserting Solomon, David, Moses, Amoz, Samuel, etc. were unknown at the time? Please don't presume that what is unknown to you was unknown to everyone/anyone"

Moses is a fiction.

There's no evidence the others you mention, if they existed, wrote anything in the babble. Check your facts.

RE
"Says you. That sounds like wishful thinking on YOUR part."
Look up the "documentary hypothesis"

RE
"Of course you don't like what YOU don't like."
Thanks for this pearl of wisdom.

RE
"Is my perfectly natural aversion to homosexual behaviour objectively immoral?"

Yes.

RE
"You say that as if no scientist in the history of the world ever went to church, or a mosque, or a synagogue."

No scientist reads 2000 year old texts on science as if they're infallible.

RE
"how come intelligent design theory can't be discussed in the science class at school?"

It can be discussed, but not taught, because it's not science.

RE
"Look who is trying to their own assert moral facts while denying others the opportunity to do likewise."

I can't deny anyone the opportunity to express their opinion and don't want to.

RE
" why aren't we allowed to question the ethics of stem cell research? "

I don't know who your "we" is, and I've no idea what you're talking about. You can question whatever you want.

RE
""Some peoples' attitudes" toward women are rooted in their selfishness DNA and you ought not judge them because they were born that way. "Some peoples' attitudes" towards science are morally vacuous and they think creating atom bombs is clever physics. "Some peoples' attitudes" to homosexuality include trying to get kids (like boy scouts) involved from an early age."

You need to do better than this on the Internet. The reader can barely follow your trail of thought. Please respect your readers by expressing yourself better.

RE
"If the 4000 year old bible states something as a fact, it doesn't get changed by opinion polls or scientific zeitgeist."

The Bible is not 4000 years old. The oldest writings in the Bible were written at most 3000 years ago now. I don't have the same reverence for the Bible as you. I prefer to think for myself. Ancient ramblings about a fictional God are interesting only from the historical perspective. They cannot contain absolute truths. Science is far superior. I believe that for the same reasons you believe it about the Koran.
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11-03-2014, 12:18 AM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2014 12:28 AM by Lion IRC.)
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(10-03-2014 11:26 AM)Lion IRC Wrote:  "Which Chapter? Which Book?
...or are you just making a sweeping personal generalisation?"

I know a really cool dude who has written a book called "Get over Christianity by Understanding It" He let me proof read it. Chapter 14 is about the content of the Old Testament.

Thats what I thought. Sweeping generalisation.

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"Which Books? Are you asserting Solomon, David, Moses, Amoz, Samuel, etc. were unknown at the time? Please don't presume that what is unknown to you was unknown to everyone/anyone"

Moses is a fiction.

There's no evidence the others you mention, if they existed, wrote anything in the babble. Check your facts.

There is sustantial evidence pointing to the authorship of the OT books.

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"Says you. That sounds like wishful thinking on YOUR part."
Look up the "documentary hypothesis"

Sure, after you look up "wishful thinking"

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"Of course you don't like what YOU don't like."
Thanks for this pearl of wisdom.

It's your redundant statement not mine.

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"Is my perfectly natural aversion to homosexual behaviour objectively immoral?"

Yes.

Is not. What are you gonna do now?

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"You say that as if no scientist in the history of the world ever went to church, or a mosque, or a synagogue."

No scientist reads 2000 year old texts on science as if they're infallible.

They do if they think the bible is the Word of God

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"how come intelligent design theory can't be discussed in the science class at school?"

It can be discussed, but not taught, because it's not science.

Great. Thats progress. Letting teachers and students discuss ID. Thumbsup

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"Look who is trying to their own assert moral facts while denying others the opportunity to do likewise."

I can't deny anyone the opportunity to express their opinion and don't want to.

Great. Free speech in the public square. Thumbsup

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
" why aren't we allowed to question the ethics of stem cell research? "

I don't know who your "we" is, and I've no idea what you're talking about. You can question whatever you want.

You dont know who "we" are.
Society. Thats who.

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
""Some peoples' attitudes" toward women are rooted in their selfishness DNA and you ought not judge them because they were born that way. "Some peoples' attitudes" towards science are morally vacuous and they think creating atom bombs is clever physics. "Some peoples' attitudes" to homosexuality include trying to get kids (like boy scouts) involved from an early age."

You need to do better than this on the Internet. The reader can barely follow your trail of thought. Please respect your readers by expressing yourself better.

Says the dude who doesnt know who "we" are.
I hope you're settling in to a pattern of pretending....I dont know what you mean, as an avoidance measure.

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  RE
"If the 4000 year old bible states something as a fact, it doesn't get changed by opinion polls or scientific zeitgeist."

The Bible is not 4000 years old. The oldest writings in the Bible were written at most 3000 years ago now.

Job is circa 2000 - 1500 BC.

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I don't have the same reverence for the Bible as you. I prefer to think for myself.

I bet you rely on the thinking of others a LOT.
(09-03-2014 04:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Here's my conclusion at end of chapter on Old Testament (complete with the odd idea from Bucky...thankyou)...

(10-03-2014 10:44 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Ancient ramblings about a fictional God are interesting only from the historical perspective. They cannot contain absolute truths. Science is far superior. I believe that for the same reasons you believe it about the Koran.

Glad you used the word "historical". Thumbsup
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11-03-2014, 02:00 AM
Christians must follow the old testament.
(10-03-2014 03:53 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Lion, why would we evolve to stop war? Wouldn't the most effective at war be most likely to survive? I'm not sure you're getting this survival of the fittest thing.

Also, you ask what Darwin says about rape. Remember our conversation last week on what the Bible says on it? The answer is that it says nothing explicit unless talking about virgins. Even then, it can't stop itself from being extremely creepy.

Be careful when making comparisons on morality here. It's not like we are saying evolution is guided by an intelligent entity, either; yet, you think the Bible is, and it can't explicitly forbid rape without creepy qualifiers.

My guess is, that in typical theist fashion, he can't fathom taking ideas from individuals without turning them into an authority figure to be obeyed and followed blindly.

Somehow, if Chuck Darwin turned out to be a foot fetishist, or compulsive masturbator, in Lion's mind that would "weaken" the theory of evolution, as coming from an "untrustworthy" or "immoral" source.

However, when it comes to ideas from the hypothetical, most prolific murderer, rape apologist and baby killer of all time: He's all for those.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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11-03-2014, 03:01 AM
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
(10-03-2014 11:23 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(08-03-2014 06:57 PM)Miss Meng Wrote:  The Bible contains many wonderful passages, proverbs, psalms and hymns, if only you exercise your free will to look for them.

~ Miss Meng

Like...

Ezekiel 23:19-21
King James Version (KJV)
19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

21 Thus thou calledst to remembrance the lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.

I can fap to that!

Smile

Definitely the first one. It cheers me up no end to multiply as many whoredoms as possible.

"The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species." - Christopher Hitchens

"Remember kids, if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing. Have a great day!" - Ricky Gervais
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11-03-2014, 03:24 AM
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
The old Testament is the daddy of them all.

Jewish scripture was the tool by which ancient Jewish priests and kings controlled the people.

They indoctrinated the young and adults alike with scripture they claimed contained the words of a nasty, jealous, primitive god.

The formula was so successful at controlling the people Christianity (the Roman government) and later Islam (arab war lords) pulled the same trick... fill their heads with nonsense from an ancient book, sit back, claim authority, and cash in.

What a disaster for the human family.

Imagine the world today if it hadn't been for Jewish scripture. Firstly, we would probably now be 500 years more scientifically advanced. The Islamic– Christian– Jewish wars and terrorism that have plagued our world for the last 100 or so years, and are still going on, would never have happened. There would be far less misogyny and homophobia. People would turn to each other for help, not to God or to prayer. Priests and preachers would have real jobs and pay tax. Teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and the incidence of abortion would decrease. Life expectancy would increase.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the Macdonalds, KFC and Hungry Jacks of nutrition. Pure toxicity.

Secular humanism, science and empathy are like fresh fruit, vegetables and exercise for the human body.
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11-03-2014, 05:51 AM
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
(11-03-2014 12:18 AM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Job is circa 2000 - 1500 BC.

Nope. More like 4th - 7th century BCE, with the 6th century being most likely.
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11-03-2014, 06:38 AM
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
There are many wonderful passages in the OT.

~ Miss Meng
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11-03-2014, 09:17 AM
Christians must follow the old testament.
(11-03-2014 06:38 AM)Miss Meng Wrote:  There are many wonderful passages in the OT.

~ Miss Meng

Here's some favorites:

" "Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

" If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins. I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted. (Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT)

" Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children." (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

God is Love!*



*"Love" may not refer to traditional definition. Believers should ignore anything not convincing God is love. Offer does not apply to slaves, women, or any biblical combination thereof.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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11-03-2014, 03:18 PM
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
(08-03-2014 12:08 PM)ThePaleolithicFreethinker Wrote:  Christians today try to disconnect them selves from the old testament. The old testament is the first part of the bible, and contains laws that should be followed. I will explain 3 reasons Christians today don't want to follow the old testament and 3 reasons why they should.
Laughat
Ah, No. The OT Repersented another Religion. Christians are not Jews thus not bound by the tenaments of Judism.

Quote:There are three reasons Christians try to get rid of following the old testament laws are:

1. They are trying to make Christianity look like the most peaceful of all the religions.. The old testament contains laws that are extremely violent and stupid. For example here is a verse for an example Whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. Exodus 19:13.
LaughatLaughat Ahh, No Again.
Peace nor the appearence of peace is not the purpose of Christianity.

Quote:3. It is so that they can make christianity seem more logical. The laws like stoning people for working on the Sabbath would be reasonable to somebody who follows the law, but to no one else and because christians have to make more sense then the other religions that have to make sure they don't follow such a ridiculous law.
Laughat 1/2 right. In that Christians are free from the law as a mean to try and Earn our righteousness before God.

Quote:However Christians don't know that they should follow the old testament.

1. Jesus is said to have told people that the old testament should still be followed. For example this verse "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." Matthew 5:17. So this would mean that the old testament still applies.
Ahhh, No. "I have Not come to abolsih the law, BUT To Full Fill It." What does it mean to "Full Fill the Law?" Your whole arguement is made or broken on this term, and you read over it with out concern or notice.

Quote:2. The fact that those who don't follow the old testament will be called least in heaven. Sure you could see this as not bad but would you rather have a old car or a sports car? Well think of least in heaven as a old car and heaven for those who follow the old laws as a sports car?
"The Least in Heaven" Is not a bad thing. Matter of fact it is a place of Honor. Was Christ the Greatest Man who lived here? or was he considered to be least? Christ served man and served Humanity, we are to strive to walk in His foot steps..

Quote:3. The fact that many things from the old testament christians follow now. For example the ten commandments are found only in the old testament.
Outside the 7th day adventest I do not know of a Christian group who follows all 10 commandments.

Quote:Another thing Christians follow is masturbation is evil.
Lusting after women youre not married to is a sin. masturbation is not.

Quote:However christians will use old testament laws to justify this. So they them selves will use old testament laws they like in a attempt to justify their motives, but will ignore laws they don't like.
Which is out right. Why? Because Christ tells us whatever we bind ourselves with on Earth will be Bound in Heaven, and what we loose ourselves from here on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.

Christianity is Freedom from the Law as a means to Righteousness. When Christ full filled the Law (according to Paul in the Book of Romans) Our Righteousness, was given to us by the work of Christ on the cross. This means we have complete freedom to Love and worship anyway that all of our Hearts, Mind, Spirit and Strength will allow.

The Index: A/S/K Ask Seek Knock as outlined by Luke 11:5-13
Ot Old testament
Nt New testament
H/S Holy Spirit

If you want to ask me a question feel free to Pm me or E/M me. I will not speak of it to anyone.
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11-03-2014, 03:47 PM (This post was last modified: 11-03-2014 04:00 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Christians must follow the old testament.
(11-03-2014 03:18 PM)Drich Wrote:  
(08-03-2014 12:08 PM)ThePaleolithicFreethinker Wrote:  Christians today try to disconnect them selves from the old testament. The old testament is the first part of the bible, and contains laws that should be followed. I will explain 3 reasons Christians today don't want to follow the old testament and 3 reasons why they should.
Laughat
Ah, No. The OT Repersented another Religion. Christians are not Jews thus not bound by the tenaments of Judism.

Quote:There are three reasons Christians try to get rid of following the old testament laws are:

1. They are trying to make Christianity look like the most peaceful of all the religions.. The old testament contains laws that are extremely violent and stupid. For example here is a verse for an example Whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. Exodus 19:13.
LaughatLaughat Ahh, No Again.
Peace nor the appearence of peace is not the purpose of Christianity.

Quote:3. It is so that they can make christianity seem more logical. The laws like stoning people for working on the Sabbath would be reasonable to somebody who follows the law, but to no one else and because christians have to make more sense then the other religions that have to make sure they don't follow such a ridiculous law.
Laughat 1/2 right. In that Christians are free from the law as a mean to try and Earn our righteousness before God.

Quote:However Christians don't know that they should follow the old testament.

1. Jesus is said to have told people that the old testament should still be followed. For example this verse "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." Matthew 5:17. So this would mean that the old testament still applies.
Ahhh, No. "I have Not come to abolsih the law, BUT To Full Fill It." What does it mean to "Full Fill the Law?" Your whole arguement is made or broken on this term, and you read over it with out concern or notice.

Quote:2. The fact that those who don't follow the old testament will be called least in heaven. Sure you could see this as not bad but would you rather have a old car or a sports car? Well think of least in heaven as a old car and heaven for those who follow the old laws as a sports car?
"The Least in Heaven" Is not a bad thing. Matter of fact it is a place of Honor. Was Christ the Greatest Man who lived here? or was he considered to be least? Christ served man and served Humanity, we are to strive to walk in His foot steps..

Quote:3. The fact that many things from the old testament christians follow now. For example the ten commandments are found only in the old testament.
Outside the 7th day adventest I do not know of a Christian group who follows all 10 commandments.

Quote:Another thing Christians follow is masturbation is evil.
Lusting after women youre not married to is a sin. masturbation is not.

Quote:However christians will use old testament laws to justify this. So they them selves will use old testament laws they like in a attempt to justify their motives, but will ignore laws they don't like.
Which is out right. Why? Because Christ tells us whatever we bind ourselves with on Earth will be Bound in Heaven, and what we loose ourselves from here on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.

Christianity is Freedom from the Law as a means to Righteousness. When Christ full filled the Law (according to Paul in the Book of Romans) Our Righteousness, was given to us by the work of Christ on the cross. This means we have complete freedom to Love and worship anyway that all of our Hearts, Mind, Spirit and Strength will allow.

Drich...you don't have a good understanding of the history. I challenge you to stop firing bullets and digest the following. It may be a bit long for you, so you might accuse me of being verbose, but it's a topic that addresses the very legitimacy of your (Pauline) Christianity. (Well done with your spelling and grammar btw...I mean it....but "tenament" isn't a word...I think you meant "tenet")

Here’s the historical reality. Devout Jews (such as the family and followers of Jesus) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings. The idea that their mysterious, perfect, one and only God could be incarnated in a Christ was unthinkable to them. They couldn’t imagine that their God could die, or that a Christ’s death somehow addressed man’s sins. For them the kingdom of God promised in scripture never was in a hypothetical heaven, but was to be on earth in the here and now. Their messiah wasn’t some savior of souls, but a leader of the Jews who heralded in a glorious age in which Israel triumphed and pagans recognized the glory of their god, Yahweh. He was to build the temple, (Ezek. 37:26–28) gather all Jews back to Israel, (Isa. 43:5–6) and,
importantly, bring an end to Roman rule. He was supposed to end all exploitation, corruption, famine, disease, and war. Paul’s fictional Christ had done none of this!

Paul claimed:
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2;16, KJV) and “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13, KJV) and “Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that that time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptized in Christ, you have all clothed yourself in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:23–28, NJB.)

Jews didn’t buy this. They wouldn’t be Jewish if they did. They believed - and still do - that the way to find favor with God was to obey “the Law” - that is, the Torah, as allegedly taught by Moses. There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai. Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They knew there was no such thing as a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Imagine a hypothetical modern analogy; a fanatic from a small cult, such as the “branch davidians,” grabbing a microphone during a Catholic mass at the Vatican, and proclaiming that David Koresh was Jesus’ son, and Koresh’s teachings replaced the sermon on the mount. Paul was behaving like a deluded fanatic.

Paul had an ambivalent attitude to Jewish scripture, which varied with the audience he was writing to. At times he used it to justify his own ideas, such as when writing to “Hellenized” Jews in the diaspora. Yet when writing to Gentiles he claimed large parts of it were redundant.

Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and I think would have been perplexed and offended by the idea that his death could somehow give Gentiles a ticket to heaven. He hated the Romans, (they did nail him to a cross!) and never imagined that Yahweh, whom he never regarded as his temporal sire, would grant them a place in heaven!

Jesus said,
“Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish them but complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved” (Matt. 5:17–18 JB.) Paul and Jesus contradicted each other! So much for biblical infallibility! (http://www.essene.org/Yahowshua_or_Paul.htm).

Many people today insist that Jesus came to do away with the Jewish Law. They’re not considering Jesus’ words, but Paul’s (or Paul’s proponents like Luther or Calvin.)

Most Jews believed God dwelt in the temple, in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Paul made a cavalier dismissal of the importance of Israel by suggesting that all believers become a temple for God:
“And that is what we are—the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:15, NJB) and “Didn’t you realize that you were God’s Temple” (1 Cor. 3:16 JB.) He was trying to expand God’s seat of power out of Jerusalem and into the whole known world. Yet for most first century Jews this downplayed the importance of the temple, the geographical pivot of Judaism.

Jews thought they were Abraham’s descendants and God’s special people. Yet Paul claimed:
“Those therefore who rely on faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith.” (Gal. 3:9, NJB,) and “Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised” (Gal. 3:29, NJB.) He wanted believing Gentiles to consider themselves God’s chosen, so that they too were special, and weaken the patriotic fervor of Jews by downplaying their exclusivity.

Throughout Paul’s travels, he was initially welcome in synagogues because he masqueraded as a traditional Jew, but after Jews heard what he had to say, he was rejected, sometimes even beaten and pelted with rocks; a repetitive pattern portrayed in Acts. They liked to think they were a chosen race, superior in all ways, and in God’s eyes, to the pagan hordes. These Jews must have imagined Paul was upsetting their God, and the whole Jewish community would suffer as a consequence. Is it any wonder they physically attacked him? Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

In the decades Paul was preaching, the Nazarenes were expanding into a significant force under James’ leadership in Jerusalem. They also enjoyed a strong membership among Jews throughout the empire. They definitely didn’t preach the divinity of Christ, nor intend to start a new religion. Paul, when he wasn’t pretending to be one of them, considered them competitors. He got very upset when he encountered rival missionaries, who were probably Nazarene, and complained bitterly about them hijacking “his” converts. He cursed them, using the undeniable truth of his own gospel as justification:
“I am astonished at the promptness with which you have turned away from the one who called you and have decided to follow a differ- ent version of the Good News. Not that there can be more than one Good News; it is merely that some trouble makers among you want to change the Good News of Christ; and let me warn you that if anyone preaches a version of the Good News different from the one that we have already preached to you, whether it be ourselves or an angel from heaven, he is condemned” (Gal. 1:6–9, NJB.) He sounds like an upset child whose best friend has gone off to play with someone else. It’s ironic that he was accusing his adversaries of the very thing he was guilty of - preaching a fabrication! He clearly undermined Yeshua’s family and disciples behind their backs. He was surprised and angry to find himself competing with them for people’s allegiance. They were treading on what he considered his turf. How dare they preach old-fashioned Jewish theology and disrupt his mission to set up communities of believers! Those annoying war-mongering Jews promoted subversive fantasies about a messiah, but today’s God had revealed to him the real Christ, the up-to-date modern Christ! He, not them, was plugging the “good news.” He claimed he knew what the flexible, expansionist, less violent, less Judaic God expected in these modern, pro-Roman times. He thought of himself as an educated, savvy sophisticate who knew a stack more about selling religion than the old fashioned anti-Roman bumpkins from Jerusalem!

The two faced Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Paul knew he wasn’t a popular figure amongst traditional Jews. In his letter to the Romans he expressed his nervousness that the Nazarenes in Jerusalem might reject him, which, if the story in Acts is true, is precisely what happened. James summoned Paul to Jerusalem when it became apparent Paul was preaching against the Torah, and sent him to the temple to be purified and prove he was still a true Jew, (see Acts 21, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts 21&version=KJV) which led to Paul’s so called arrest and eventual transportation to Rome. James, Jesus’ brother, effectively terminated Paul’s missionary career!

When Paul was forced to admit that he was a Roman citizen, his cover was well and truly blown. Nazarenes were implacably opposed to Rome. According to Acts, Roman authorities had to dedicate considerable resources (500 soldiers) to protect him from angry Jews. They were looking after one of their own. That’s about the same number of soldiers who arrested Jesus.

Paul wasn’t deterred. He kept writing letters from Rome.

His modern-day reputation as an honest evangelist, and the implication he taught Yeshua’s message, have no foundation, yet they’ve become part of Christian tradition, largely because of Acts, written some time in the early second century. Paul’s legitimacy must have lacked credibility, so the author had Jesus’ ghost appear to Paul on the road to Damascus, which was obviously a fiction, as was the story of Paul becoming best friends with Jesus’ disciples. The author even tried to shore up Paul’s status by having him (and his handkerchief) perform a number of miracles. Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine modesty definitely wasn’t one of them.
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