the actual title of this page: [ 2 of 4 ]
http://WhatWouldJesusThink.info/AboutBadNewsPaul-2

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"Bad News Paul"
Part Two

In contrast to the gospels, which
feature the good news of Jesus
for all kinds of needy people,

PaulofTarsus Paul's epistles contain
a lot of bad news
for the weak
, i.e.
for slaves, the poor,
women, Jews, and gays;
but good news
for some in power.

See   Part One :   for St. Paul's
defense of slavery and his put-downs of women,
and see Part Three:
Conservative faith is "Paulianity", not Christianity
.

Conservatives have found in Paul,
some of their best material for putting down
and oppressing Homosexuals :

BibleOKwith

[Scholars don't all agree that all of the following passages really have to do with homosexuality as we understand it today. But I am quoting them all here because most conservatives use these passages for the purpose of condemning homosexuals.]

Conservatives have found in Paul, some of
their best material for promoting contempt for
and oppression of Jews :

In the view of many Jewish scholars, Paul of Tarsus is much more responsible than Jesus of Nazareth for the antagonism Jews have experienced from "Christians" over the centuries.
        I found the little book, "The Mythmaker" by the Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby to be thoroughly enlightening on this matter. He led me to the conclusion that because the "New Testament" was written by Jews, for Jews, it takes a Jew to really understand it.
        Maccoby calls Paul "The Mythmaker" because, much of what Paul wrote doesn't stand up to close and careful scrutiny. He made it clear, for example, that Jesus could hardly have had a hard time with the "Pharisees" of his time, because he himself was a typical Pharisee, i.e. a "free–thinking", liberal, biblical scholar. The type of religious people Jesus who would have naturally opposed what he represented would have been the rivals of such scholars i.e. the Jewish priesthood, who were charged – not with study or teaching – but with ceremonial tasks at the temple on the one hand and on the other with civic responsibilities within the Jewish community, including law– enforcement and judicial matters.
        Maccoby also shows how Paul and his friends used their connections to make the Jews and the Pharisees look bad not just in his own "Epistles", but in the Acts of the Apostles and even in the Gospels, but that in fact it was the priesthood that employed Paul to persecute Jesus' followers not the Pharisees. Far from Paul being the Pharisee that he claimed to be, this Rabbi Maccoby shows that Paul had more likely been a rival of the Pharisees.

Claiming to speak for Jesus
isn't proof that one does so :

If Jesus wanted to teach what Paul claims to be teaching "by his authority", he could have done so.  But time and time again, his teaching was very different, as this page shows. Take this instance recorded by Luke, Ch. 10: 39–42

        To see the truth on this matter, according to the Gospels, read WhatWouldJesusThink.info/WhoKilledChrist.html.

According to Luke 9: 49–50, Jesus also wasn't big on imposing religious discipline on others (another example of his liberalism) :
        When John told Jesus, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us."  Jesus replied, "Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you."

Paul has helped Conservatives
put down the unfortunate :

The passage below was cited above as evidence of Paul's contempt for women, but it also provides help for Conservatives who can't stand the idea of sharing their own prosperity with those less prosperous than themselves:

Paul of Tarsus promoted contempt for human reason :

In his 1st letter to the Corinthians, 1: 17 – 2:15, Paul claimed that God was anti–intellectual by putting his own words in God's mouth ( ) :

Some of Paul's writings have even enabled tyrants
to use "God's Word" to justify the use of their power
to control and oppress believers:

Christian Conservatives claim to believe that all of scripture is equally inspired by God.  That would apply especially to their favorite Bible author, Paul, who gave the following perfectly clear instructions, regarding unconditional obedience to one's political leaders, in his

"Letter to the Romans" 13:1–7

All of those who really believe that this passage is inspired and inerrant have no choice but to support "the divine right" of tyrants like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Min, Castro, Milosovich, Saddam Hussein and all the other monsters to stay in power for as long as God allows. And that includes King George III of England, to whose current successor, Queen Elizabeth, we American Christians should insist we be subject to. Far from allowing anyone to try to remove such rulers, this "Word of God" according to Paul compels "Christians" to respect and obey such rulers : "there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. . .  Therefore, whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed."  Paul doesn't allow for the slightest bit of "interpretation".  He drives home his point over and over again, that we should treat any and all rulers as God's very own appointees to whatever office they hold, be it governor, king, emperor, president, prime minister, secretary general, or Führer. No "if's", "and's" or "but's" !
        "The doctrine of the divine right of kings, came to dominate mediśval concepts of kingship, claiming biblical authority [ Epistle to the Romans, chapter 13 ]".   [ from http://www.answers.com/topic/ roman-catholicism-s-links-with-political-authorities ] .
        Rather than supporting their oppressed subjects, Christian churches have a long record of supporting the arbitrary and dictatorial rulers of those subjects, so long as they in turn were supported by those rulers.  The rare exception, as in the case of the Soviet Union, is when those dictators opposed the power of the church itself.
        In World War II, the Christian churches of Germany had no problem applying this teaching of Paul's to the Nazi dictators – who were clearly evil, but pretended at least to be on the side of Christianity –. Yet, because the Soviet Union made no pretenses about being Christian, the Church didn't entertain for a minute the idea that Romans 13 might apply to Communist dictators, even though Paul addressed his teaching to Christians living under the boot of a pagan emperor at the time.
        In June of 2018 I came across article [http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/2016/09/biblical-justice-civil-disobedience] where an Australian conservative scholar named Brad Hughes went to great lengths to promote "civil disobedience" against modern (liberal) government efforts to promote "Social justice" (because it) "is typically an instrument of the state and is a distortion of what the Bible teaches". He writes, " Biblical justice is based upon the deontological (objective or absolute) authority of God while social justice is based upon the utilitarian (subjective or relative) authority of man. . . . It is important to understand that the laws of a nation may oppose biblical precepts and the responsibility is incumbent upon the Christian to pursue civil disobedience in an effort to mediate wrong behavior. . . . Sadly, some biblical teachers assert that Romans 13:1 commands the Christian to obey the government leaders in all circumstances and that rebellion against authority is wrong."  proves to what lengths conservative pseudo-Christians will go to mis-lead their followers into shunning the teaching and example of Jesus in favor of that of Paul of Tarsus,


Paul instructed his disciples not to allow anyone's message to compete with his: "Even if an angel from Heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be cursed."[Gal 1: 8)
        What if it was the Son of God who preached a different message?


There are many wonderful, perhaps even "inspired", passages in Paul.  On balance, it may even be possible to defend Paul, by quoting other passages which he wrote.  But the fact remains that his writings contain many passages that have provided and continue to provide biblical justification for some of the worst of Conservative bigotries.  And bigots don't look for the total picture.  They take what suits their evil purposes wherever they can find it, even when the context shows that they are misinterpreting a quotation.  Knowing that, how can anyone imagine that God would allow his name to be attached to the treasure trove of bigotry found in the writings of Paul of Tarsus?
        Conservatives aspire to control as much as possible of the behavior of others, while pursuing as much freedom as possible for themselves.  Even when Conservatives don't have power over others themselves, they like others being controlled.  They like "law and order", which rarely means control of the powerful few for the benefit of the many, but rather control of the masses, for the benefit of the powerful few.  Paul provides Conservatives with ways to think of themselves as morally superior to everybody else, thereby giving them at least "spiritual" superiority (and some sort of authority) over others.  For many Conservatives, it doesn't seem enough for them to feel morally superior to others. Such people can really relate to Paul, because he enables them to feel proud rather than ashamed about being just like the Pharisee whom Jesus contrasted to the "Publican" or "tax–collector":

While Jesus warned his followers not to be like the Pharisee who thanked God that he was not a sinner like the miserable "publican", Paul has provided his followers over the centuries with plenty of examples and teaching to be expert Pharisees, such as:

Paul's salvation by faith in contrast
to Jesus' salvation by works:

The tremendous contrast that exists between the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth (and James) versus that of Paul of Tarsus regarding the crucial matter of Salvation "by Faith alone" or "Grace" vs. "by Faith shown in Works" that we devote several pages to this issue alone at Does Salvation depend on Works, or on Faith?


Paul is the typical Conservative.  While striving for as much freedom as they can get for themselves, they strive for as much control over others as they can get.  And even when they aren't the ones exercising that control themselves, they like others being controlled by traditions, rules, regulations and laws anyway, especially when those rules don't affect them.  e.g. the treatment of African Americans, women, children, gays, immigrants, those convicted of crimes, whether justly or not, and those even suspected of criminal behavior. They like "law and order"– which inevitably means control over the many who are weak, not over the few who are strong.


        Paul himself had reservations about his own teaching.  In I Corinthians, Ch. 7:24–27, he wrote:

If your parents were Christians, aren't you glad they didn't follow Paul's teaching on this score?  you wouldn't be here, if they had.  Doesn't it make you wonder how much else of Paul's teaching didn't come from the Lord?


Why Paul is so troublesome :

One of the reasons that Paul is so difficult to understand is that some of his teaching can't be reconciled with his own teaching, let alone that of James and Jesus.  It's hard to imagine that the angry, judgmental author of all of the passages which we quoted above is the very same man who penned the famous passages below:



As I was creating a web page addressing the contrast between Jesus' directions (to the original 12 apostles) to avoid all titles of honor, and the practice of the Catholic, Episcopal and Orthodox hierarchies of our day (www.JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/callnomanfather.html), it struck me how "St. Paul" was used to justify the setting aside of Jesus' clear teaching. 

For a very extensive and insightful study of the comparison of the teaching of Paul of Tarsus versus that of Jesus of Nazareth, in their own words, on the very important matter of faith and works relative to salvation, see http://WhatWouldJesusThink.info/AboutSalvation.

Most people assume that, because the Gospels about Jesus appear before the Epistles of Paul, they must have been published in that order. But fact is that – Paul's Epistles were published decades earlier. For many years after I learned that, it didn't make much difference to me. But now I wonder how Paul of Tarsus could have become "the leading man" of "Christianity" in those early years, and yet never be mentioned a single time in any of the four Gospels!
        And I wonder how did Paul's instructions to his disciples not to allow anyone's message to compete with his( "Even if an angel from Heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be cursed." Gal 1: 8) effect their view of the subsequent emergence, one by one, of the four Gospels?

So which of these versions of the story do you believe ?

Should we believe the Gospels, which say that Jesus hand-picked and then carefully trained 12 Apostles to lead his movement after his passing, and although Saul of Tarsus was alive and available for the job, Jesus didn't pick him.

Or should we believe Paul's Epistles and the Acts published by Paul and his allies which say that, no sooner had Jesus left the scene Jesus than appeared to him in a vision and hand-picked him to take over everything but the church in Jerusalem.

And after the year 66, when the original church was dispersed, along with what was left of the Jewish people and religion, virtually nothing was left of Jesus' work, but Paul's churches.

When the Gospels were written and published (after Paul's Epistles had been published, how could they not once mention the name of the one whom, according to Paul, Jesus had chosen to be his "Apostle to the Gentiles" (i.e. the whole world outside of Israel)?

And if Jesus chose Paul to be his top salesman, as laid out in Paul's Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles, how could Paul publish all of his letters before a single one of the four Gospels was published, without quoting any of Jesus' public teaching?

So which of these versions of the story do you believe ?

Acts 9:7 Those present at Paul's conversion heard the voice but saw no one. ? or Acts 22:9 They saw a light but did not hear a voice.
Acts 9:7 the one that claims that "Those present at Paul's conversion stood". Acts 26:14 or the one that says "They fell to the ground.
Acts 9:19-28 . the one that says that "Shortly after his conversion, Paul went to Damascus, then Jerusalem where he was introduced to the Apostles by Barnabas, and there spent some time with them (going in and out among them)" or the one that says that ". Gal. 1:15-20 He made the trip three years later, then saw only Peter and James."

    Pages :   1 ~  [2] ~   3 ~   4 ~  

Take it from Stephen;
there is much more
where this came from, at my
I told you so.info website.

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