Poll: What do you think Christianity is primarily about?
This poll is closed.
Good News: Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins and raised for our justification 62.50% 5 62.50%
Good Advice: practical & moral guidance in order to live a good life here & now 37.50% 3 37.50%
Total 8 votes 100%
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Good News vs. Good Advice
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01-05-2012, 09:19 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2012 09:26 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Hey Bucky, your last 2 posts are awesome! Thanks! You are so right about how Jesus (if he ever existed) would never have thought of himself as a "saviour". That was a thoroughly non Jewish concept, and Jesus was definately a Jew. Thus the fundamental premise of Christianity is debunked.

I can't resist sharing my ideas on how Paul used the salvation/saviour/sacrifice concept for his Christ...



The Sacrificial Death of Christ

Paul invented the concept that Christ was crucified to save people from their sins. A lot of people have since accepted this unusual idea. Why?Having the son of God become human and relieve people from the guilt and consequences of their sins was an attractive story for a simple, credulous audience. It meant God was no longer such a distant entity, but was someone more like them, someone who they could identify with. This Christ then proved what a likeable character he was by personally shouldering the burden of their punishment. Christ became a great guy, everyone’s best friend, provided you believed in him. Do that, and Paul promised you had a free pass to salvation. Churches have since saturated people’s minds with these ideas; Christians today passively accept them. This why they harp on about believing in Jesus; so that their sins may be forgiven so they can get into heaven.These arguments are irrational. Why would the son of God need to sacrifice himself to appease his father for the sins of a world he and his father created in the first place? Is not sacrificing anyone a pointless, barbaric act that unfairly punishes a scapegoat? Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why should any thinking person accept Paul’s obsessive ideas about sin?

Sin

Most people today consider sin a deliberate action that results in harm, usually to another person, and it is, therefore, something immoral. Yet Paul claimed sin can be something one is born with, like a birth defect. A newly born baby cannot deliberately cause harm and, therefore, cannot sin. If for the sake of the argument we accept the rather odd assumption that sin offends God, surely God didn’t need the death of Jesus to forgive. He could just be benevolent and say “you are genuinely sorry, so I forgive you.”Paul did not imagine a benevolent god. He thought of God as a rigid character who demanded a sacrifice before he would grant forgiveness. That was, after all, how many of the ancient Jews imagined God to be.Today’s Christian might wonder whether people trying to buy some mileage out of Jesus’ death might in fact annoy their God?Paul thought of sin only as an act that offended God. Yet sin harms our fellow humans, or sometimes the perpetrators themselves. For sin to be forgiven, it should be the victim who does the forgiving, if possible, because that usually means the sinner comes to terms with why he or she behaved badly, maybe compensates the victim, and promises not to do it again. When sinners are forgiven by their fellow men, they learn from their mistakes, and society benefits. Paul claimed that sin could be forgiven by having faith in an unrelated third party, Christ—which leaves the consequences of sin unaddressed. The victim is uncompensated, the perpetrator may not be genuinely repentant, and there is still the danger of a repeat offense.

The concept of “original sin,” as further articulated by Tertullian of Carthage (AD 150-225) and Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE),is an insidiously nasty concept. People are told they are intrinsically bad - because they were born. In turning Christ’s death into a sacrifice that abolished the imaginary punishment for sin, Paul actually sacrificed common sense, all to promote his manufactured agenda. The consequence is that fundamentalist Christianity promotes a shame-based, fear-based belief. It makes people dislike themselves, which churches know is good for business.

Salvation

Paul promoted the idea that life on earth was just a prologue to the next, and, therefore, unimportant compared to the never-ending afterlife; so he taught people to focus on what he thought was necessary to achieve salvation. Yet it is far healthier to enjoy the best of what life has to offer on earth, and wish the same for our fellow humans, than to worry about what’s going to happen after death. If we assume for argument’s sake that God exists, surely he has no interest in passing judgment on us, because we are what we are for many reasons and he is aware of all those reasons, because he is all-knowing. Humans are said to be the products of this God’s creation. Since he allegedly created every atom of our being, and every atom in the universe, our so-called “free will” is obviously his creation too. So why would God pass judgment on his own creation? This obviously didn’t occur to Paul or to the Christians who believed him.

Paul could not prove God or heaven existed. He could only imagine they did. Yet, in common with Christian leaders, he found these concepts very useful to promote. They gave him license to control people’s behavior by promising a reward that he personally never had to deliver. Evangelical Christians are sometimes genuinely dismayed that their more down-to-earth friends have not accepted faith in Jesus and are not going to be saved. These Christians have failed to realize that Paul concocted this idea, and thinking people refuse to buy it.

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01-05-2012, 09:48 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2012 10:23 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(01-05-2012 09:19 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why should any thinking person accept Paul’s obsessive ideas about sin?

Why you ask ? I'll tell ya why. Because the truth, (John Shelby Spong), is that Paul was a raving homosexual, who hated women, and THAT was completely unacceptable to himself, his world view, and culture.

A number of theories have been advanced about this, seeing it is not made clear in the New Testament. A number of things point to a possible answer. We do know that Paul used others to write out his letters for him, although he undoubtedly could write well for himself. When he did write with his own hand he said in Galatians 6: 11 'see what large a letter I have written unto you with my own hand.' Together with his Damascus road experience which produced blindness, this would point to the possibility that God allowed only a partial healing when Ananias prayed for Paul in Acts 9.

Thus a form of vision impairment is suggested by this hypothesis, although others have been advanced such as epilepsy, and we cannot know for sure.
It is also possible that Paul's affliction was a recurring, habitual sin, ...lust. Just because he describes his ailment as "a thorn in the flesh", doesn't necessarily mean that it was physical. Fleshly desires like lust or the need for recognition (pride) can be just as painful and tormenting as a physical disability. In addition, if he were struggling with lust or envy, those are sins that tempt us first through the eyes, making Paul's references to his eyes and vision applicable. But perhaps the best explanation of Paul's ailment is that God did not want to reveal it because he wanted his suffering to be identifiable to everyone. If we were told specifically what Paul's issue was, it would dilute the power behind 2 Cor 12:9. But since we know God's power is made perfect in weaknesses of all kinds, then we are assured that we can bring everything to Him, knowing that He will strengthen us.


Or Epilepsy ? Paul fell down.
Visual and Audial Delusion: He saw and heard Jesus while those with him heard and saw nothing (depending on which narration of contradicting verses).

Paul's affliction was referred to by himself directly in the following verses as a 'thorn in the flesh', which is obviously a figurative statement for something which was either physically or mentally painful or both.


2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (King James Version)

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
The verses from Acts, which record his conversion, show how he was surprised by the suddenness and brightness of and then of course the contents of what was said to him. There is no suggestion of Epilepsy here, and it is interesting to note that those who were with him also heard a voice (verse 7).

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
[b]4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink[/b].


In relation to Paul suffering from delusions, then he would never have risen to any place of prominence in the church, nor have been called by and used of God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The delusion from which he suffered was forever changed on the Damascus road. It was the delusion which made him persecute the Christian believers.

Paul's writings also indicate the ability to use both his wide Biblical knowledge and to argue logically and clearly for the truth in which he believed. Mental or auditory delusions have never been suggested by scholars as a possible cause of his affliction ( except of course by some bitter opponents of the faith who would apply this label to all Christian believers).

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_a...z1tgF8MPzh

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01-05-2012, 09:53 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(01-05-2012 07:02 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(30-04-2012 03:12 PM)kim Wrote:  And I believe him.

He is the cat's pajamas! Yes
___________

Interesting; how about taking a break from your seminary studies Theo, and have a look-see at the splendid accounts from the many contemporary Roman, as well as Persian, Greek, and Zoroastrian sources, and numerous archeological finds, including meeting places, monuments, and artifacts, which have contributed to modern knowledge of the GOD we know today as Mithras!


Yes, Mithras - your one stop God, or son of God, as it were. Angel


I mean, since we're shopping at the WalMart of monotheism, here. In my opinion, monotheism is really where things began to go downhill -for religion, that is. That's what happens when you put one guy in charge of the co-op... the shit just splinters and eventually folds. Yes


After you check out Mithras you might want to think about how culture and societies worked - especially the Romans. When the Romans went into an area to concur, they absorbed the local tribal and social customs and beliefs, and let things run as usual, as long as the locals knew who was boss. In fact, they would get the majority of the locals to run the place for them. They were after seamless transition, and they got it. There was a combination of history being layered on and added to, all the time and they used everything that they knew that came before, including legends carried from other areas of conquest. In short; they knew what worked and what didn't in the control of people who didn't really want them around. To do all this cultural "blending" during the same time frame that monotheism was becoming the accepted norm, was quite precarious of the Romans. But there were so many things which contributed to the eventual dispersal of the Empire.

I'm sure you'll run across a lot of amazing historical tidbits in your studies. Try not to see history from our time frame's perspective or even through your own eyes, rather from the time frame and mindset of the actual time... it's far more rich than you may initially perceive. Always seek out numerous sources, no matter how peripheral or obscure... there lies the path to historical adventure!
I think it's good to see one's area of study from a different perspective, and we can always gain a great deal of insight when we do so.

Good luck in your studies Theo, and welcome to the forum. Smile



I have a short blog on Mithraism if anyone is interested ...http://www.markfulton.org/mithraism



Great point about the Romans. I believe they got into bed with the Saducees (associated with the High Priest) in Jesus' day. This may have been the main reason Jesus hated the Saducees' guts. It was why the Saducees worked with the Roman establishment to knock Jesus off.

I also believe it is highly likely Paul (the real founder of Christianity) was a Roman government agent.
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02-05-2012, 02:39 AM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(01-05-2012 09:48 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(01-05-2012 09:19 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Why would faith in this sacrifice be a ticket for entry into heaven? Why should any thinking person accept Paul’s obsessive ideas about sin?

Why you ask ? I'll tell ya why. Because the truth, (John Shelby Spong), is that Paul was a raving homosexual, who hated women, and THAT was completely unacceptable to himself, his world view, and culture.

A number of theories have been advanced about this, seeing it is not made clear in the New Testament. A number of things point to a possible answer. We do know that Paul used others to write out his letters for him, although he undoubtedly could write well for himself. When he did write with his own hand he said in Galatians 6: 11 'see what large a letter I have written unto you with my own hand.' Together with his Damascus road experience which produced blindness, this would point to the possibility that God allowed only a partial healing when Ananias prayed for Paul in Acts 9.

Thus a form of vision impairment is suggested by this hypothesis, although others have been advanced such as epilepsy, and we cannot know for sure.
It is also possible that Paul's affliction was a recurring, habitual sin, ...lust. Just because he describes his ailment as "a thorn in the flesh", doesn't necessarily mean that it was physical. Fleshly desires like lust or the need for recognition (pride) can be just as painful and tormenting as a physical disability. In addition, if he were struggling with lust or envy, those are sins that tempt us first through the eyes, making Paul's references to his eyes and vision applicable. But perhaps the best explanation of Paul's ailment is that God did not want to reveal it because he wanted his suffering to be identifiable to everyone. If we were told specifically what Paul's issue was, it would dilute the power behind 2 Cor 12:9. But since we know God's power is made perfect in weaknesses of all kinds, then we are assured that we can bring everything to Him, knowing that He will strengthen us.


Or Epilepsy ? Paul fell down.
Visual and Audial Delusion: He saw and heard Jesus while those with him heard and saw nothing (depending on which narration of contradicting verses).

Paul's affliction was referred to by himself directly in the following verses as a 'thorn in the flesh', which is obviously a figurative statement for something which was either physically or mentally painful or both.


2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (King James Version)

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
The verses from Acts, which record his conversion, show how he was surprised by the suddenness and brightness of and then of course the contents of what was said to him. There is no suggestion of Epilepsy here, and it is interesting to note that those who were with him also heard a voice (verse 7).

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
[b]4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink[/b].


In relation to Paul suffering from delusions, then he would never have risen to any place of prominence in the church, nor have been called by and used of God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. The delusion from which he suffered was forever changed on the Damascus road. It was the delusion which made him persecute the Christian believers.

Paul's writings also indicate the ability to use both his wide Biblical knowledge and to argue logically and clearly for the truth in which he believed. Mental or auditory delusions have never been suggested by scholars as a possible cause of his affliction ( except of course by some bitter opponents of the faith who would apply this label to all Christian believers).

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_a...z1tgF8MPzh
Great post Bucky. I'll add my 2c worth.

Yep, I reckon Paul was probably gay. It was highly unusual for any Jew to be celibate. He thought he had a "thorn in his side", which fits with guilt about his sexuality. Yep, love the theory about his habitual lust. Fits him to a tee. I can elaborate on this if anyone is interested.

Yep, he certainly regarded women as second class citizens. I don't think that was because he was gay, but because he was just a misogynist for other reasons. I can elaborate on this if anyone is interested.

I think it unlikely he was epileptic. We must remember the road to Damascus story is only in Acts, written about 100 years (maybe a little less) after Paul died. Paul himself never says anything about it in any of his letters (an impossible omission if it were true).

I think Paul was a cunning, manipulative, sneaky, lying, anxious little git. Yet I doubt he was psychotic in the sense that he suffered from full blown delusions or hallucinations. He was too functional for that, and his thoughts are too structured for him to have been psychotic. Anxious, obsessive compulsive and mildly narcissistic, but not schizophrenic.

Hey Theotalk, what do you reckon? You surely have an opinion, as we're discussing the primary creator of Christian theology here.
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02-05-2012, 05:10 AM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2012 02:04 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(02-05-2012 02:39 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  we're discussing the primary creator of Christian theology here.


Precisely. Exactly. The letters of Saul of Tarsus began to be written in the 50's CE. Mark, the earliest gospel, was assembled in 70's, from the Q source, and an already extant Book of Sayings, which has never been found.

Where is the PROOF that Paul cooked up the Atonement/Salvation thing, and insisted it be grafted onto the growing cult ? It's right in front of our faces, for all to see. MARK ... the earlist gospel, SAYS NOTHING ABOUT SALVATION. NOT ONE THING. It had not gained acceptance into the cult that early. In fact Mark actually contradicts the notion that what Jeebus is about, is "salvation". Where ?

Mark says " 1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
[15] and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel."


Say what ? After John the Dipper, (John the Baptist), was arrested, Jeebus took up his deal, and began preaching. What did he preach ? The "gospel" ? Excuse me ? He what ? The "gospel ? I thought the "gospel" was about Jeebus, you say ?! How could he "preach the gospel" if they weren't even written yet ? Or if he hadn't died, and performed the "sacrifice" yet ?

It's, (salvation) NOT the gospel, that early. The "gospel" originally was NOT "atonement", or "salvation". Mark says NOT ONE WORD about that. Jeebus' message was the usual apocalyptic fare, at that time ("repent, for the kingdom of god is at hand"). This has NOT ONE thing to do with himself being the atoner. NOT ONE. Paul made it all up later, and inserted it.


BTW this is why all the other elements of the developing cult are missing from Mark, (the virgin birth, the birth stories, etc, etc, even originally the resurrection was missing from the earliest Mark). They had not developed yet, as part of the new cult.

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Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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02-05-2012, 12:05 PM (This post was last modified: 02-05-2012 12:18 PM by houseofcantor.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Man, I thought Mark caught Comic Sans from Bucky there for a minute. Was gonna call the CDC...

My hypothesis is that the salvation paradigm of Paul evolved from the purification ritual needed to enter the Holy of Holies. And of course I'm a prophet, so I'm right and you're all wrong. Big Grin
(02-05-2012 02:39 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Yep, I reckon Paul was probably gay.

I'm thinking, not.

(02-05-2012 02:39 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It was highly unusual for any Jew to be celibate. He thought he had a "thorn in his side", which fits with guilt about his sexuality. Yep, love the theory about his habitual lust. Fits him to a tee. I can elaborate on this if anyone is interested.

Yep, he certainly regarded women as second class citizens. I don't think that was because he was gay, but because he was just a misogynist for other reasons. I can elaborate on this if anyone is interested.

I think it unlikely he was epileptic. We must remember the road to Damascus story is only in Acts, written about 100 years (maybe a little less) after Paul died. Paul himself never says anything about it in any of his letters (an impossible omission if it were true).

I think Paul was a cunning, manipulative, sneaky, lying, anxious little git. Yet I doubt he was psychotic in the sense that he suffered from full blown delusions or hallucinations. He was too functional for that, and his thoughts are too structured for him to have been psychotic. Anxious, obsessive compulsive and mildly narcissistic, but not schizophrenic.

Yes and no on that last bit. Gotta have some form of schizophrenia to be a prophet. It's a rule. Wink

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02-05-2012, 02:10 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(02-05-2012 12:05 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Man, I thought Mark caught Comic Sans from Bucky there for a minute. Was gonna call the CDC...


It's now a reportable disease. They already know. Merck will be working on a vaccine. Tongue


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Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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02-05-2012, 03:02 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(01-05-2012 09:53 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(01-05-2012 07:02 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I have a short blog on Mithraism if anyone is interested ...http://www.markfulton.org/mithraism



Great point about the Romans. I believe they got into bed with the Saducees (associated with the High Priest) in Jesus' day. This may have been the main reason Jesus hated the Saducees' guts. It was why the Saducees worked with the Roman establishment to knock Jesus off.

I also believe it is highly likely Paul (the real founder of Christianity) was a Roman government agent.
Great rundown on Mithras! Bowing He's dreamy. Angel

____________

I too, think Paul was a Roman agent. Acts says he was a Roman citizen and there are some pretty telling things that point to it - including his own denials. He may have been one of Rome's arbitrageurs, keeping profits risk free at zero cost; that, and keeping shit controlled and running smoothly, were what the Romans were all about wherever they set up shop.

Paul was a user, but I can't really speculate about his sexual predilections. However, I do think Paul was half Roman and half Jew... a lot of reason to hate yourself, at the time. And since I don't think a sociopath has guilt, I think his main frustrations came from having to work really hard to get what he wanted, all the while feeling he was entitled.

Paul was most certainly a slick, sociopathic businessman, bent on pretty much whatever would get him further along. Notice how he just kind of shows up just when things are moving along? Not like he was the first to get into the Jesus mystique, right? He starts out persecuting the shit out of them and suddenly, he's hanging with them? He hitched his wagon to the Jesus train and had a pretty good ride, considering the book deal and subsequent fame he got out of it.


Nothing good can come from a middle manager asshole using a leveraged buyout to fund his own side project. It makes for years of market manipulation, before it's absorbed and dispatched. Even then, the aftereffects linger.
Undecided

(02-05-2012 02:10 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(02-05-2012 12:05 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Man, I thought Mark caught Comic Sans from Bucky there for a minute. Was gonna call the CDC...


It's now a reportable disease. They already know. Merck will be working on a vaccine. Tongue

You do know... Comic Sans is a genetic mutant created by Microsoft, right? Shocking It can never be killed.

It's a fact.
Yes
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02-05-2012, 04:08 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(02-05-2012 03:02 PM)kim Wrote:  You do know... Comic Sans is a genetic mutant created by Microsoft, right? Shocking It can never be killed.

It's a fact.
Yes


It's obviously yet more evidence of intelligent design. Weeping

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02-05-2012, 04:09 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(02-05-2012 12:05 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Man, I thought Mark caught Comic Sans from Bucky there for a minute. Was gonna call the CDC...

My hypothesis is that the salvation paradigm of Paul evolved from the purification ritual needed to enter the Holy of Holies. And of course I'm a prophet, so I'm right and you're all wrong. Big Grin
(02-05-2012 02:39 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Yep, I reckon Paul was probably gay.

I'm thinking, not.

(02-05-2012 02:39 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  It was highly unusual for any Jew to be celibate. He thought he had a "thorn in his side", which fits with guilt about his sexuality. Yep, love the theory about his habitual lust. Fits him to a tee. I can elaborate on this if anyone is interested.

Yep, he certainly regarded women as second class citizens. I don't think that was because he was gay, but because he was just a misogynist for other reasons. I can elaborate on this if anyone is interested.

I think it unlikely he was epileptic. We must remember the road to Damascus story is only in Acts, written about 100 years (maybe a little less) after Paul died. Paul himself never says anything about it in any of his letters (an impossible omission if it were true).

I think Paul was a cunning, manipulative, sneaky, lying, anxious little git. Yet I doubt he was psychotic in the sense that he suffered from full blown delusions or hallucinations. He was too functional for that, and his thoughts are too structured for him to have been psychotic. Anxious, obsessive compulsive and mildly narcissistic, but not schizophrenic.

Yes and no on that last bit. Gotta have some form of schizophrenia to be a prophet. It's a rule. Wink
Re "My hypothesis is that the salvation paradigm of Paul evolved from the purification ritual needed to enter the Holy of Holies."


Hey, that's interesting. If you are serious, please tell me a bit more about this or provide a link. Thanks.
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