I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
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26-09-2014, 07:31 AM
I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGPKlUI9o9Y


Mormons and Christians aren't so different
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26-09-2014, 05:11 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
Great video. Thanks for sharing. Yes, Christianity is a cult...


Paul the Cult Leader

A cult is a small group that has religious beliefs or practices regarded as strange or sinister. I think that was how traditional Jews regarded Paul’s communities.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings
“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27) a very apt description. His gospel elevated him to the status of the master teacher, as no one else in his immediate circle was an authority on it.

He arrogantly insisted this gospel of his was the only path to salvation:
“Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you - believing anything else will not lead to anything” (1 Cor. 15:1–3, NJB.) Sophisticated men are interested in others’ opinions, but the puerile Paul couldn’t cope with competing convictions. Magnanimous men aren’t overly dogmatic; they give people space to find their own paths, but he’d have none of that. Authentic teachers don’t need to threaten their students; he did. I’m surprised today’s Christians aren’t appalled and turned off by his narcissism.

He insisted his readers imitate him:
“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.) He thought he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

A few years later he wrote,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV.) By then God’s right hand man had become God himself. His shoddily disguised delusions of grandeur were pathetic.

Status and power weren’t all Paul pursued. He needed food and shelter, items that usually needed to be bought. Money was a niggling issue:
“That is why I have thought it necessary to ask these brothers to go on to you ahead of us, and make sure in advance that the gift you promised is all ready, and that it all comes as a gift out of your generosity and not by being extorted from you. Do not forget that thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:5–7, NJB.) Cult leaders trying to earn a quid love a cheerful giver too!

Paul tried to justify living off the communities he visited:
“Nobody ever paid money to stay in the army, and nobody ever planted a vineyard and refused to eat the fruit of it. Who has there ever been that kept a flock and did not feed on the milk from his flock?” (1 Cor. 9:7, JB.) He must have milked money from his fraternities. Anyone he clashed with was compromising not just his ego, but his income too.

He didn’t have an easy time selling his ideas, as he repeatedly wrote about his own credentials. If he’d impressed more people, he wouldn’t have needed to sell himself.
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26-09-2014, 06:06 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
As Matt Dillahunty and others have said, cult is what the big religions call the little religions.

All are cults.


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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26-09-2014, 06:18 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
(26-09-2014 06:06 PM)CiderThinker Wrote:  As Matt Dillahunty and others have said, cult is what the big religions call the little religions.

All are cults.

Nonononono. A cult is what that *other* religion is, not mine. Dodgy

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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26-09-2014, 06:53 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
(26-09-2014 05:11 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Great video. Thanks for sharing. Yes, Christianity is a cult...


Paul the Cult Leader

A cult is a small group that has religious beliefs or practices regarded as strange or sinister. I think that was how traditional Jews regarded Paul’s communities.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings
“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27) a very apt description. His gospel elevated him to the status of the master teacher, as no one else in his immediate circle was an authority on it.

He arrogantly insisted this gospel of his was the only path to salvation:
“Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you - believing anything else will not lead to anything” (1 Cor. 15:1–3, NJB.) Sophisticated men are interested in others’ opinions, but the puerile Paul couldn’t cope with competing convictions. Magnanimous men aren’t overly dogmatic; they give people space to find their own paths, but he’d have none of that. Authentic teachers don’t need to threaten their students; he did. I’m surprised today’s Christians aren’t appalled and turned off by his narcissism.

He insisted his readers imitate him:
“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.) He thought he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

A few years later he wrote,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV.) By then God’s right hand man had become God himself. His shoddily disguised delusions of grandeur were pathetic.

Status and power weren’t all Paul pursued. He needed food and shelter, items that usually needed to be bought. Money was a niggling issue:
“That is why I have thought it necessary to ask these brothers to go on to you ahead of us, and make sure in advance that the gift you promised is all ready, and that it all comes as a gift out of your generosity and not by being extorted from you. Do not forget that thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:5–7, NJB.) Cult leaders trying to earn a quid love a cheerful giver too!

Paul tried to justify living off the communities he visited:
“Nobody ever paid money to stay in the army, and nobody ever planted a vineyard and refused to eat the fruit of it. Who has there ever been that kept a flock and did not feed on the milk from his flock?” (1 Cor. 9:7, JB.) He must have milked money from his fraternities. Anyone he clashed with was compromising not just his ego, but his income too.

He didn’t have an easy time selling his ideas, as he repeatedly wrote about his own credentials. If he’d impressed more people, he wouldn’t have needed to sell himself.

I'm looking for real historical refreneces outside the NT for what Paul said he was up to, and trying to understand the political relationships. (Something is fishy I think). "Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished."

How come none of the Jerusalem scribes say anything about a student of Gamaliel "going bad" ? By whose authority, during the Roman occupation, was he going around throwing people into prisons ? The Jerusalem priests had no authority in Damascus. What "associates" is he talking about that would have that sort of power in another Roman occupied city ? If the members of the Way sect were being arrested and persecuted "to death" in the 40's and 50's (supposedly), why in the late 90's did the High Priest have to insist on the Expulsion Curses of the Minim, and why did John Crysostom have to tell them in 400 to stop going to the synagogue ?

Consider

Either someone cooked up this "Paul" dude for specific reasons, (and he was a total fake), or he (or someone/group) vastly exaggerated his activities, power, influence,
mandates.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-09-2014, 07:16 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
(26-09-2014 06:18 PM)Thinkerbelle Wrote:  
(26-09-2014 06:06 PM)CiderThinker Wrote:  As Matt Dillahunty and others have said, cult is what the big religions call the little religions.

All are cults.

Nonononono. A cult is what that *other* religion is, not mine. Dodgy

Oh gosh isn't this true!!
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26-09-2014, 07:56 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
(26-09-2014 06:53 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(26-09-2014 05:11 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Great video. Thanks for sharing. Yes, Christianity is a cult...


Paul the Cult Leader

A cult is a small group that has religious beliefs or practices regarded as strange or sinister. I think that was how traditional Jews regarded Paul’s communities.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings
“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27) a very apt description. His gospel elevated him to the status of the master teacher, as no one else in his immediate circle was an authority on it.

He arrogantly insisted this gospel of his was the only path to salvation:
“Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you - believing anything else will not lead to anything” (1 Cor. 15:1–3, NJB.) Sophisticated men are interested in others’ opinions, but the puerile Paul couldn’t cope with competing convictions. Magnanimous men aren’t overly dogmatic; they give people space to find their own paths, but he’d have none of that. Authentic teachers don’t need to threaten their students; he did. I’m surprised today’s Christians aren’t appalled and turned off by his narcissism.

He insisted his readers imitate him:
“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.) He thought he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

A few years later he wrote,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV.) By then God’s right hand man had become God himself. His shoddily disguised delusions of grandeur were pathetic.

Status and power weren’t all Paul pursued. He needed food and shelter, items that usually needed to be bought. Money was a niggling issue:
“That is why I have thought it necessary to ask these brothers to go on to you ahead of us, and make sure in advance that the gift you promised is all ready, and that it all comes as a gift out of your generosity and not by being extorted from you. Do not forget that thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:5–7, NJB.) Cult leaders trying to earn a quid love a cheerful giver too!

Paul tried to justify living off the communities he visited:
“Nobody ever paid money to stay in the army, and nobody ever planted a vineyard and refused to eat the fruit of it. Who has there ever been that kept a flock and did not feed on the milk from his flock?” (1 Cor. 9:7, JB.) He must have milked money from his fraternities. Anyone he clashed with was compromising not just his ego, but his income too.

He didn’t have an easy time selling his ideas, as he repeatedly wrote about his own credentials. If he’d impressed more people, he wouldn’t have needed to sell himself.

I'm looking for real historical refreneces outside the NT for what Paul said he was up to, and trying to understand the political relationships. (Something is fishy I think). "Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished."

How come none of the Jerusalem scribes say anything about a student of Gamaliel "going bad" ? By whose authority, during the Roman occupation, was he going around throwing people into prisons ? The Jerusalem priests had no authority in Damascus. What "associates" is he talking about that would have that sort of power in another Roman occupied city ? If the members of the Way sect were being arrested and persecuted "to death" in the 40's and 50's (supposedly), why in the late 90's did the High Priest have to insist on the Expulsion Curses of the Minim, and why did John Crysostom have to tell them in 400 to stop going to the synagogue ?

Consider

Either someone cooked up this "Paul" dude for specific reasons, (and he was a total fake), or he (or someone/group) vastly exaggerated his activities, power, influence,
mandates.

Re

"Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished."

Don't forget this was written by the author(s) of Acts, maybe 50 plus years after Paul passed on, and who he was we don't know, and he made up stuff throughout his book.

Paul himself said nothing about being a student of Gamaliel's, or about growing up in Jerusalem.

The bible’s first mention of Paul is in Acts, where he’s portrayed as a devout Pharisee. He’s said to be a bitter persecutor of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem. In my opinion this persecution was unlikely. Pharisees commonly argued with other Jews over the interpretation of scripture, yet they didn’t physically attack those with different opinions. There’s no historical record of overt antagonism between Pharisees and Nazarenes in the 50’s and 60’s. In Acts, the author even relates an incident in which Peter (a disciple of Jesus) was saved by a speech from Gamaliel, the leader of the Pharisees, from being sentenced to death by the Sadducees (Acts 5:37.) You don’t save someone from persecution if you’re persecuting him.

In reality, the disciples, family, and other followers of Yeshua lived reasonably harmoniously next to Pharisees in Jerusalem for decades. Both parties were firm upholders of the Jewish Law.

It was the Sadducees, or high priests, who occasionally physically persecuted the Nazarenes, (for example James was murdered under the order of the High Priest in 62 CE) as suggested by the above-mentioned scenario (in Acts 5:37.) If Paul did, in fact, attack Yeshua’s followers, I think he would have done so only under the direction of the Sadducees, who were allied to the Roman establishment.
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26-09-2014, 08:11 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
(26-09-2014 06:53 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(26-09-2014 05:11 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Great video. Thanks for sharing. Yes, Christianity is a cult...


Paul the Cult Leader

A cult is a small group that has religious beliefs or practices regarded as strange or sinister. I think that was how traditional Jews regarded Paul’s communities.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings
“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27) a very apt description. His gospel elevated him to the status of the master teacher, as no one else in his immediate circle was an authority on it.

He arrogantly insisted this gospel of his was the only path to salvation:
“Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you - believing anything else will not lead to anything” (1 Cor. 15:1–3, NJB.) Sophisticated men are interested in others’ opinions, but the puerile Paul couldn’t cope with competing convictions. Magnanimous men aren’t overly dogmatic; they give people space to find their own paths, but he’d have none of that. Authentic teachers don’t need to threaten their students; he did. I’m surprised today’s Christians aren’t appalled and turned off by his narcissism.

He insisted his readers imitate him:
“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.) He thought he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

A few years later he wrote,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV.) By then God’s right hand man had become God himself. His shoddily disguised delusions of grandeur were pathetic.

Status and power weren’t all Paul pursued. He needed food and shelter, items that usually needed to be bought. Money was a niggling issue:
“That is why I have thought it necessary to ask these brothers to go on to you ahead of us, and make sure in advance that the gift you promised is all ready, and that it all comes as a gift out of your generosity and not by being extorted from you. Do not forget that thin sowing means thin reaping; the more you sow, the more you reap. Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:5–7, NJB.) Cult leaders trying to earn a quid love a cheerful giver too!

Paul tried to justify living off the communities he visited:
“Nobody ever paid money to stay in the army, and nobody ever planted a vineyard and refused to eat the fruit of it. Who has there ever been that kept a flock and did not feed on the milk from his flock?” (1 Cor. 9:7, JB.) He must have milked money from his fraternities. Anyone he clashed with was compromising not just his ego, but his income too.

He didn’t have an easy time selling his ideas, as he repeatedly wrote about his own credentials. If he’d impressed more people, he wouldn’t have needed to sell himself.

I'm looking for real historical refreneces outside the NT for what Paul said he was up to, and trying to understand the political relationships. (Something is fishy I think). "Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished."

How come none of the Jerusalem scribes say anything about a student of Gamaliel "going bad" ? By whose authority, during the Roman occupation, was he going around throwing people into prisons ? The Jerusalem priests had no authority in Damascus. What "associates" is he talking about that would have that sort of power in another Roman occupied city ? If the members of the Way sect were being arrested and persecuted "to death" in the 40's and 50's (supposedly), why in the late 90's did the High Priest have to insist on the Expulsion Curses of the Minim, and why did John Crysostom have to tell them in 400 to stop going to the synagogue ?

Consider

Either someone cooked up this "Paul" dude for specific reasons, (and he was a total fake), or he (or someone/group) vastly exaggerated his activities, power, influence,
mandates.

"How come none of the Jerusalem scribes say anything about a student of Gamaliel "going bad" ?"

Good point! It's because Paul never was a student of Gamaliel's.

RE
" By whose authority, during the Roman occupation, was he going around throwing people into prisons ?"

Well....if he was doing this it could only have been under the Saducees' authority, and they were allied to Rome. Pharisees didn't have prisons.

RE
"If the members of the Way sect were being arrested and persecuted "to death" in the 40's and 50's (supposedly),"

i think they lived reasonably peacefully in Jerusalem in the 40's and 50's. That doesn't mean they weren't dreaming and scheming about a war....a war that started in 66 CE. Rome knew there were Jews plotting a war...so she employed Paul (and probably many "Pauls") to undermine them using propaganda i.e. proto Christianity

RE
"why in the late 90's did the High Priest have to insist on the Expulsion Curses of the Minim"

Mark's answer (an educated guess)...because they were too nationalistic and too anti Roman. Messing with Rome was dangerous.
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26-09-2014, 08:21 PM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2014 08:28 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
I can't resist the opportunity to post this again for any new readers. (If you've read it before, sorry...just ignore it)

Was Christianity a Product of the Roman Government?

There’s a fascinating angle to consider; that the Roman government was the driving force behind Paul’s pagan propaganda. Paul taught that the Jewish messiah was the Christ, and he’d already been and gone, I think because he didn’t want Jews rallying under a yet to arrive militaristic messiah who would challenge Roman rule. I strongly suspect the government employed Paul, because they wanted to mar the power of messianic Judaism, and particularly Nazarenism. They were trying to stop a war.

Rome knew a revolt was brewing in Palestine in the 50’s and 60’s. The government sent many different procurators to Palestine to control the unrest, yet many of them were corrupt, which only made matters worse. All Jews in the Diaspora felt a connection with Jerusalem and the temple; they even sent money as an annual gift to the priests in the temple. The government was aware that many Jews didn’t assimilate well in a political and social sense, and that made them suspicious of their Palestinian connections. Jewish extremists throughout the empire (such as Yeshua) promoted the subversive idea that their own Jewish king should govern the world on behalf of God and in place of Caesar. If the government couldn’t pacify these Jews, it would set a dangerous precedent for other races to revolt. They needed to keep control over the trade routes to Asia and Egypt. They were frustrated at having to repeatedly use force to suppress Jewish extremists, as it was disruptive, expensive, and taxing on morale. I suspect they thought that if they could undermine Jewish extremism using propaganda it would prevent a whole world of hassle.

There might have been many “Pauls” working as government agents. One of the reasons I suspect this is that he wrote to a community in Rome to introduce himself, and it’s obvious from his letter that this group already had some beliefs about a Christ. The government was worried that Judaism was attracting converts from Gentiles. Paul’s role was to stop the spread of the subversive religion. He tried to infiltrate the Nazarenes to undermine them and their messianic message. I suspect (but can’t prove) he passed information about them on to Roman authorities. His “conversion,” in which “God’s” new ideas were revealed only to him, and by which he became the founding member of his own Christ fan club, was his modus operandi. This explains why he wrote with such passion; he was desperate to sell his watered down, non-militaristic version of Judaism, one that downplayed the importance of the temple and all the Jewish ethnocentric antisocial practices. His aim was to counter Jewish messianic fervor, which was building in momentum and needed to be quelled. He failed, because Jews in Palestine revolted in the war of 66 -70 CE.

This theory fits with the fact Paul was a Roman citizen, and that he had little genuine respect for Pharisaic Judaism. It could be why he didn’t publically reveal he was Roman until he was about to be physically assaulted by Roman soldiers. It would explain how he managed to support himself financially. It might also be why he hoped a financial gift to the Nazarenes in Jerusalem would be accepted; he was trying to endear himself to the Nazarenes using bribery. It explains why he often insisted that the Torah was obsolete, and why he was like a dog gnawing at a bone promoting his own theology instead. It makes clear why he wrote this to a Roman community:

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1-7 KJV.)

A government agent wrote this, not a Jesus fan who had seen the light!

It explains the way he finished off his letter to the Philippians:
“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV.) This confirms that he had contact with the Emperor Nero’s family.

It fits with the fact the book of Acts states:
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul” (Acts 13:1, KJV.) So the earliest Christian community at Antioch boasted a member of Herod Antipas’ family, the pro-Roman Tetrarch who had murdered John the Baptist, and Paul (Saul) was associated with him.

It clarifies the real reason why, in the book of Acts, he was repetitively roughed up by traditional Jews nearly everywhere he went, yet was never attacked by Gentiles. It explains why once the local Roman authorities knew who he was and what he was up to, he was treated so well, despite the fact he so regularly disturbed the peace. Paul’s so called “arrest” by Roman troops in Jerusalem doesn’t mean he wasn’t in league with them. Things had got a little out of control and he ended up being a source of civil unrest. He’d become a diehard dogmatist causing trouble wherever he went. Instead of undermining Judaism, he incited Jews to the point of violence, something Rome didn’t want. The “arrest” was, in fact, for his own safety. Reading between the lines, he was never treated like a prisoner. Rather, there were remarkable Roman resources used to protect him. He had to be moved to Rome, as it was the best place his safety could be guaranteed.

We don’t hear from Paul after the early 60s. The anti-Jewish propaganda project hadn’t worked, and the time for talk was over; the military had to be bought in. He had become redundant. There is a Christian “tradition” he was executed in Rome, but no valid reason why that would have happened, and no good evidence to say it did. (http://archives.politicususa.com/2011/12...ink.html).

If this theory is true, Paul was a spy and a charlatan; a cog in the wheel of a cunning government plan. I’m not suggesting that he didn’t wholeheartedly believe in the value of what he was doing. If the project had been successful the first (66-70CE) and second (132-5 CE) Jewish wars would have been averted. I think he knew he was promoting manufactured dogma as a means to an end.

This means Rome, via Paul, created the Christ, a benign pacifist messiah.

Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah,” and come to a similar conclusion. They postulate that Paul was
“…supporting the imperial structure, benefiting from it, cooperating with it, often saved by it. The end product for Rome was exactly what it wanted - a loyal, other –worldly, spiritual movement that was completely divorced from Palestinian revolutionary movements, from Jewish nationalism and from any challenge to Roman imperial authority. Its followers were supposed to pay taxes and be loyal citizens of the emperor.”

I suspect Jewish and Gentile intellectuals working for the Roman government also, a little later, after the first Jewish war, wrote the Gospels. The fact that belief in the divinity of Jesus arose in many diverse areas of the empire a number of decades after Jesus’ death suggests to me that it came from a central (and Gentile) source, and it wasn’t the real Jesus’ Jewish friends in Jerusalem.

The spin-doctors knew ideas could be as effective as force. I think they tried to weaken Judaism by infiltrating and diluting it with Gentiles, just like Paul tried to do with his Christ story. They too told a tale that the Jewish messiah had already been and gone, and wasn’t a political activist, but a benign religious preacher who was a spiritual intermediary between God and man. If the idea caught on, there’d be no more messiahs and no more revolts.

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” “turn the other cheek,” “love your enemies” and “pay your taxes” meant you didn’t cause trouble and you obeyed your Roman superiors. To promote this patronizing prattle would have been a lot easier than having to use the army again. This would explain why the true identities of all four Gospel authors are unknown.

In those times it was easier to promote propaganda than it is today, because the public was less informed and less able to check out the facts. These publicists twisted the knife to wound Judaism by blaming Jesus’ death on the Jews and making Romans look like the innocent good guys. It was made out that Jesus’ own people had effectively killed their own messiah.

The government hoped the story of the new idol would convince people that true spirituality and the promise of eternal life were synonymous with getting along with them. It was the winners that wrote the history.

Ever since ancient times, people in power have always tried to control popular opinion, and haven’t hesitated to flagrantly manipulate the facts, and I think this was one such example. It’s ironic that the Gospels, said to be so truthful, became one of the most successful literary enterprises ever undertaken in the history of the world, yet were so manufactured. Yet the Gospel authors too never achieved their original intention, as they didn’t prevent the second major war with the Jews in 132-6 CE.

In modern times, this is called propaganda, disinformation or psychological warfare. It’s fascinating to imagine these subversive tactics as part of the first-century Roman Empire and jaw-dropping to realize the dogma has survived without being exposed for what it probably is, and is still coloring the way people, and in particular trusting Christians, look at the world. Today, most Christians misunderstand what the actual (Jewish) Messianic movement was. This misunderstanding was Rome’s doing.

The reader may be wondering why, if this is true, it’s often claimed the government persecuted Christians, particularly as there is a “tradition” that Domitian did just that, but the evidence for this is weak (http://bibleworld.com/domper.pdf). The fact is persecution of Christians wasn’t a policy of the state until over a century later, when it did occur in isolated areas, and only for relatively short periods. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecuti...62104527). Generally speaking, Rome was tolerant of all religions, including Christianity. In those days the ideas of one government (as controlled by one emperor) were often completely different to the next emperor. After the Flavian dynasty (the rule of Vespasian, Titus and then Domitian) ended with Domitian’s assassination in 96 CE, there was a brand new emperor. Persecution happened sporadically many years later, but usually only if Christians refused to worship the state’s gods. By this time the militaristic ambitions of peasant Jews had been finally and definitively crushed in the second Jewish war of 132-6 CE, and there were different agendas on the government’s mind. (see http://www.religionfacts.com/christianit...tion.htm). What’s more, some stories of persecutions of Christians by the Roman government are now recognized as exaggerations and fabrications.

I hope the reader understands the significance of this. If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind.

References:
Cresswell, Peter 2010 “Jesus the Terrorist” O books, Winchester, UK.
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah”
http://www.amazon.com/Between-Rome-Jerus...0275971406
http://www.angelfire.com/wi/famtree/romned.html
http://www.uhcg.org/HoI/James-Bro-of-Jesus.html
http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/j...t-warrior/
http://bhairavah.blogspot.com.au/2009/11...jesus.html
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/libr...d345414791
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLypbbijk2I
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26-09-2014, 09:34 PM
RE: I don't think Christians realize they're a cult
(26-09-2014 08:11 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Good point! It's because Paul never was a student of Gamaliel's.

Hadn't thought of that. It would be good PR for a zealous Jew who learned (supposedly) the details of his Judaic religion from Gamaliel to be able to be "turned".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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