Article of Faith: The Man of Lawlessness, By Femi Aribisala

Femi Aribisala, Ph.D
Femi Aribisala

Paul is least in the kingdom of God.

Jesus says the false prophet will be a Christian. He will be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He will prophesy in the Lord’s name. He will cast out demons and do many signs and wonders in Jesus’ name. Nevertheless, the Lord will deny knowing him because he will practice lawlessness. (Matthew 7:15-23).

The man in the bible who diminishes the law and practices lawlessness is Paul. It is Paul who says: “to the lawless, I was lawless.” (1 Corinthians 9:21).

Diminishing the law

Paul says Christians have died to the law: “You also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.” (Romans 7:4). He claims Jesus abolished the law entirely: “(He) has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.” (Ephesians 2:14-15). According to Paul, Jesus abrogated the law: “having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14).

Christians need to ask where Paul gets his doctrine from. Nowhere in scripture does God say the law will be abrogated. The transition from the old to the new covenant does not imply a change of the law. Jeremiah says: “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33). It is a new covenant but the same old law.

The Messiah, does not abrogate the law. Ezekiel says he will actually cause Israel to obey the law. (Ezekiel 37:24). Isaiah says he will “magnify the law and make it honourable.” (Isaiah 42:21). Jesus himself says: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17).

But Paul declares: “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:4). He says furthermore: “If righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Galatians 2:21). However, he then contradicts himself as usual by saying: “It is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” (Romans 2:13).

Indeed, contrary to what Paul says, righteousness actually comes from obeying the law. Moses says: “It will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.” (Deuteronomy 6:25). So who are Christians going to believe concerning the Law of Moses: Moses, the law-giver himself; or Paul, the law-interpreter?

Paul makes a declaration of lawlessness: “All things are lawful unto me.” (1 Corinthians 6:12). He says furthermore: “We are not under law but under grace.” (Romans 6:15). However, when James confronted him with the accusation that he was promoting lawlessness, Paul promptly affirmed the continued validity of the law by making Nazarite sacrifices according to the law. (Acts 21:20-26).

When he was arrested, he proclaimed to the Sanhedrin total adherence to the law: “I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.” (Acts 24:14). But he was simply being deceitful as usual. He confesses elsewhere: “To those under the law I became as one under the law- though not being myself under the law.” (1 Corinthians 9:20).

Beggarly elemental principles

Paul says the law comprises “weak and beggarly principles” which keep men in bondage. (Galatians 4:9). He says it brings God’s wrath (Romans 4:15); cannot justify (Galatians 2:16), and cannot give life. (Galatians 3:21).

However, when a man asked what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to fulfil the law: “An expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’” (Luke 10:25-28).

Paul also belittles the Ten Commandments, referring to it as the ministry of death and condemnation: “Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!” (2 Corinthians 3:7-9).

However, the psalmist disagrees entirely with Paul. David says: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psalm 19:7-8). Joshua says adherence to the law brings “good success:” “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8).

Agent of Caesar

Paul says the law was given by angels who are “no gods.” (Galatians 3:19; 4:8). But Moses says God himself gave it to him directly (Exodus 25:21-22), and Jesus confirms this. (Mark 12:26). Therefore, Jude’s derision of “dreamers” who reject authority and slander celestial beings is applicable to Paul. (Jude 1:8-10). Paul curses angels from heaven who preach a gospel different from his. But Revelation says angels from heaven preach the true gospel: “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 14:6).

Paradoxically, while he says we should disregard the Law of Moses, Paul insists we must obey the laws of governments. While he ridicules angels from heaven, he commends government officials as “ministers of God.” Angels must be disobeyed for allegedly operating without God’s authority. But Caesar must be obeyed because his laws are “the ordinance of God.” (Romans 13:1-4).

How in heaven’s name can evil men like Nero or Hitler be described as God’s ministers who must be obeyed? God justified Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego for refusing to obey Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship idols. Paul’s injunction that Christians must obey all rulers raises questions about him being an agent of Rome. When he was arrested, he appealed to Caesar for deliverance and not to God. He was then taken to Rome under heavy military escort, where he was lavishly accommodated.

Jesus says anyone who teaches men to break the least of God’s commandments shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19). Paul’s antinomianism is proof-positive he is least in the kingdom of God.

Femi Aribisala is the fellowship coordinator of Healing Wings. Healing Wings is a pentecostal Christian fellowship which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He blogs at Femi Aribisala . E-mail: faribisala@yahoo.com


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: Revealed!!! The Only Way Left of Getting an Extra Large Manhood and also Last Up to 38Mins+. Get the Insider Secret Here


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • Tayo

    This man wrote this article packed with proofs, but then we will still see religious voltrons here now attacking him yet without leaving any proof.. Smh in advance

    • bitrus

      tayo, a million and one femi aribibisala and all the hoardes of hell, can not fault the scriptures as God’s infallible Word. if you are well read, you will understand that all the references and books liberally used by aribisala in his articles against the apostle paul and others were written by atheists and free thinkers. if only you took extra pain to just google the names quoted by aribisala, you would understand that he is only plagiarising the works of unbelievers and sworn enemies of God. i am full of pity for you for reading without understanding. accept my sympathy

      • Gfada

        Thank you brother, no genuine Christian an ever be deceived by the lies and heresies of this writer.

  • me

    Well siad mister femi, paul is a fake , this is just the truth, how can one man revolutionise the gospel more than jesus’s own apostles like peter ( who is d rock which the church is built) wat abt james, hmm wake up those who are argueing blindly with the facts presented by mister femi,

  • Gfada

    Responding to the “Jesus’ Words Only” View of the New Testament IV
    by Jason Dulle

    Conclusion

    It is entirely arbitrary to accept the Gospels as true reports of Christ’s teachings, and yet reject Paul’s writings as distortions and heresy. It is also arbitrary to accept the Gospel writers accounts of Christ’s words as accurate, and yet believe that the apostles strayed from Christ’s teachings themselves. One must make an a priori commitment to reject everything but Christ’s words, and/or an a priori commitment to believe that while the apostles may have been deceptive elsewhere, they were not deceptive in recording what Jesus said and did. Why should we believe this line of reasoning? With such arbitrary reasoning I could assert that only Paul taught truth, and all the other apostles were liars, so we must reject the Gospels as true accounts of Christ’s teachings. Anyone can make assertions like these, but it has to be backed up with sound reasoning and evidence. To date I have yet to see any sound reasoning or evidence to support the notion that the apostles deviated from the teachings of Christ, and therefore only Jesus’ words can be trusted. In light of the evidence, we have the rational obligation to accept both Jesus’ and the apostles’ teachings as congruent and harmonious.

  • Gfada

    Responding to the “Jesus’ Words Only” View of the New Testament III
    by Jason Dulle

    Rejecting Paul Alone

    Some, recognizing that the trustworthiness of Jesus’ words as recorded in the Gospels depends on the trustworthiness of those who recorded His words, will affirm that the Gospel writers held to Jesus’ teachings, but Paul deviated from the same. Such an assertion cannot be supported Biblically. The Scriptures indicate that the apostles accepted Paul’s teaching. If they accepted Paul’s teachings, and Paul’s teachings were in error, why should we trust the apostles’ doctrine? It would seem illogical that they would approve of, and associate with someone they considered a heretic.

    According to the church historian, Eusebius, Peter was responsible for assisting Mark in the composition of his Gospel because Mark was not an eyewitness of Christ. If it can be shown that Peter approved of Paul’s doctrine, it would bring Mark’s Gospel into suspect. Indeed, we do find that Peter approved of Paul’s doctrine. Peter went so far as to call Paul’s writings Scripture (II Peter 3:15-17). Peter did not believe Paul was heretical. According to the above referenced passage, Peter thought Paul was full of wisdom and that His writings were inspired. Furthermore, Peter recognized that some individuals twisted Paul’s words to make them mean something Paul did not mean to convey, resulting in the destruction of those individuals. The corollary is that if Paul’s words were interpreted correctly they would result in one’s salvation. Peter went on to tell his readers to be on guard so that they would not be led away by such men who twist Paul’s words into error, falling from the truth. Apparently Peter was convinced that what Paul taught was truth, not error and deception. If Peter was in cahoots with Paul, we have one of two options: We must accept Peter’s opinion of Paul and his writings, or we must reject Peter as a heretic along with Paul, and therefore reject all or portions of Mark’s Gospel.

    Luke, the author of Acts and the third Gospel bearing his name, accompanied Paul on his third missionary journey. Does Luke’s association with Paul make him suspect as well? Surely Paul would not allow a man to travel and minister with him who did not believe the same message as him. If Luke would not succumb to Paul’s deceptive teachings he would have been on the first donkey back to Jerusalem. It would be reasonable to conclude that Luke was deceived by Paul’s strange and foreign doctrines as well, causing Luke to misconstrue Jesus’ words and deeds in his Gospel. This makes the Gospel of Luke suspect along with the Gospel of Mark.

    If we do trust Luke, then what about Luke’s accounts of Paul’s visits to Jerusalem with the apostles (Acts 9:26-31; 11:29-30; 12:25; 21:17-26)? Never once do we read about a disagreement over Christ’s teachings. Instead we find the church giving the right hand of fellowship to Paul.

    If one will grant the reliability of Paul’s personal historical accounts, he himself noted that he went to Jerusalem and conferred with the apostles, telling them all that he taught about Christ in order to make sure that His message was not false (Galatians 2:1-10). According to Paul the apostles approved of his message, adding nothing to it. They recognized God’s calling on his life to minister to the Gentiles, and gave their blessing to him to preach Christ to the Gentiles. Looking at Luke and Paul’s accounts, then, we have no reason to believe there was a doctrinal conflict between Paul and the apostles. If Paul was in error, we would have to conclude that all of the apostles were in cahoots with Paul in his attempt to distort Christ’s teachings. If this is so, we cannot trust the words that any Gospel writer ascribed to Christ, and thus have no assurance as to Christ’s true teachings.

  • Gfada

    Responding to the “Jesus’ Words Only” View of the New Testament II
    by Jason Dulle

    The Logical Perspective

    Rejecting the Entire Apostolic Circle

    If we cannot trust that the apostles accurately taught the people what Jesus Himself taught while He was on earth, or what He taught them by divine revelation after His ascension, why should we trust what they wrote concerning Christ’s teachings and deeds in the Gospels? After all, Jesus did not write an autobiography. Jesus’ words and deeds have only been preserved for us by the apostles (and Mark) in the Gospels that bear their names. The trustworthiness of those records depends on the trustworthiness of those who recorded them. If the apostles were guilty of teaching doctrines in contradiction to Christ’s teachings why should we believe they quoted Christ accurately? Why should we believe that what the apostles recorded Christ as saying is truly an accurate report of Christ’s words if the apostles are not trustworthy enough to continue in Christ’s teachings themselves? Why would they want to accurately report what Jesus said and did if what Jesus said and did was in opposition to what they were teaching and doing? If their teachings truly differed from Jesus’ teachings it would be most reasonable to assume that they would attempt to alter His words so that they would match their own. Maybe they just made stuff up, or misquoted Jesus on purpose. That is what we would expect from people of such an immoral character as to deviate from Christ’s teachings in order to advance their own, and advance them in the name of Christ. Seeing that the NT is the only place in which we find Christ’s teachings discussed from those who purport to have been eyewitness, and seeing that we have no reason to believe that such liars and deceivers as the apostles would want to preserve His true words (because it would contradict their own), we would have every reason to doubt that the teachings ascribed to Jesus in the Gospels are really Jesus’ teachings, and thus we have no source to know what Jesus truly taught. Ultimately this leads us to believe that the whole NT is a lie, not just the epistles.

    It may be argued that while the apostles deviated from Christ’s teachings, the histories of Christ they penned are reliable. It must be recognized that the Gospels are not a mere history or biography of Christ, but a theological history. Even the casual observer will notice that the Gospels do not always record Jesus’ words the same way, nor His live-events in the same order. Each evangelist quoted Christ in different ways and in different contexts, rearranging the historical timeline of those events to convey his own unique theological purpose. The Gospel writers, then, were not acting as mere historians, but rather as theologians. If their theology was contradictory to Christ’s, why should we trust the theological history they penned involving Christ’s words? We would have every reason to believe they manipulated His words to say what they wanted them to say, not what Jesus actually said, or meant to say by those words.

    The real question here is: What basis do we have to believe that the words and deeds attributed to Christ in the Gospels are actually Christ’s words and deeds, and not just the apostles’ fabrication or manipulation of those words/deeds to fit their own deceptive teachings? One cannot critically deny the words of the apostles and at the same time accept uncritically the words those same deceivers attributed to Christ. If we have reason to doubt that the words of the apostles are truth, we should equally doubt that the words they attributed to Christ are truth. The belief that the apostles’ doctrine is not to be trusted, while their records of Christ’s teachings can be, then, is not justified.

  • Gfada

    Responding to the “Jesus’ Words Only” View of the New Testament I
    by Jason Dulle

    There are some in the “liberal camp of Christianity” who wish to accept the words of Christ as true and authoritative, but reject the words of one or more of Christ’s apostles as heretical deviations from Christ’s teachings. Those who reject the words of the apostles typically do so either in totality (all of the apostles), or of one individual in particular (usually Paul). It is commonly asserted that Paul’s teachings conflict with Jesus’ teachings, and that Paul was either deceived Himself, or was a deceiver of others. What I wish to do in the brief article is examine whether such a position can be supported Biblically and/or logically. I will demonstrate that it lacks support from both Scripture and reason, and therefore is not a tenable position.

    The Biblical Perspective

    The first thing we need to note is what Jesus said concerning the words of His apostles. He declared that if we believed on Him, we would listen to His apostles as well:

    Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also (John 15:20 NKJV)

    I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word (John 17:20 NKJV).

    If Jesus’ words are taken as authoritative, and Jesus told us to listen to what His apostles said, then it is a false dichotomy to pit Jesus against Paul, John, Peter, etc.

  • Lanre

    I believe the Scripture has been said to be written at various times of inspiration. It is important to bear this in mind when doing a critique or evaluating the scriptures.

  • Afroyinka

    Balancing the scriptures: discerning and resolving conflicts between the words of the ”God of Man” and the ”Men of God”
    Jesus Christ, taught how to pray. Part of this in Matt 6:13 says ”And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”
    James, man of God in James 1:13 said ”Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted, neither tempteth he any man”
    Jesus Christ, creator, man-God and Messiah knows the nature of GOD and and HIS words are all Spirit. Men of God remain just that: men ….and NOT ALL their words are of spirit or led by the spirit of God even though these words are retained in the scriptures.
    The scriptures records words -as facts- from various sources: God, Christ, Satan, angels, men, prophets, men of God…etc. Facts as not necessarily truths….for only Jesus Christ (and the God he represents) is the Truth….(and the way and Life)
    The instruction is that nature of God may not be boxed or constrained into words from men of God who are flesh and do not always speak by revelation. Only Christ the Son has ALL the final authority to speak to the nature/ways of God and guide mankind accordingly……..as HE did

  • Adrian Kapoor

    Femi writes nothing new except that he has simply shifted his platform from the moribund NEXT to Vanguard. His teachings are false and he may not understand that he is being used by dark unseen forces to draw away people from the Faith. His judgment will be greater than that of the naive people that he is deceiving. Every false work that Femi spreads is a rehash of some of the discarded works of neo-pagan writers whose writings were commonly dismissed in the early days of the church. For the information of all who care to know, all the writings of Paul are in sync with the words of Jesus and with the old testament scriptures. Jesus Himself said of Paul in Acts 9: 15 while sending Ananias to him “This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.” What greater authentication do we need? For example, Paul’s writing in Ephesians 2: 8 which says that we are saved by grace through faith was lifted from Habbakuk 2: 4. If the law given in Sinai was perfect and the blood of bulls and goats washed away sin and the ashes from the red heifer could purify and cleanse, then why did Jesus come? And if Jesus came, then why return to the law and hold on to it like Jesus’ sacrifice was in vain? If the handwriting of ordinances from Moses were nailed to the cross by the Lord Jesus, why return to them in blind followership? Calling Paul the man of lawlessness is twisted thinking – a doctrine that could only have come from demons; something that the Scriptures warned us of as one of the signs of the end of days. It is a doctrine from the pit of hell Femi. It is to your shame that you chose to be hell’s vessel.

  • Eugene Makai

    Aribisala’s penchant for Paul bashing is interesting both from a scholarship / theological point of view as well as from a religious / faith standpoint.

    His opening about Paul being a false prophet as shocking as it may sound to the faithful is not new. Paul had a challenge proving himself worthy amongst the original Apostles especially that his charisma and eloquence put Simon Peter to shame. His emergence after the death of Jesus as the single most important agent of “Christianity” especially to the so-called gentile world needs no qualification.

    The first question we should ask ourselves before we ascribe any motives is who was Paul? Paul (rightly Saul of Tarsus) was a Hebrew (Jew) born of a conservative Pharisee family and an inhabitant of Tarsus, capital city of the Roman province of Cilicia and therefore a Roman citizen. He zealously persecuted followers of Jesus of Nazareth rubbishing their teachings and bent on violently destroying their “church” and influence. Paul had an “encounter” with Jesus on the road to Damascus that dramatically changed him. After this conversion, Paul started preaching that Jesus was the Messiah and the son of God (Acts 22:1-30). Now both these views were HIGHLY blasphemous in Judaism especially for one of Pharisee stock and can only be explained by the encounter he claims to have had. He had everything to lose by taking such a stance especially in view of the highly conservative stance held by traditional Judaism that led to Jesus’
    death.

    This article shouldn’t be seen with offence but rebutted on the basis of Historical fact, Scripture (The Old Testament) and the reported teachings of Jesus (Matthew, and Mark in particular).

    The quotation of 1 Corinthians 9:21 is misplaced as an illustration that Paul was lawless. I suspect this not to be mischief on the part of the author but just lack of (thorough) scholarship. Firstly, we have to take into account the FULL context in which the words were uttered – rightfully rendered as follows:

    1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. – KJV

    1Co 9:21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. – ESV

    1Co 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. – ISV

    If you read 1Corinthians 9:1-27, you will be clear on what Paul was addressing – he was addressing the same question of his Apostleship. Just preceding the verse in question, Paul says in 1Corinthians 9:20 “And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to
    them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are
    under the law;”

    The writer has clearly grabbed on a verse and taken it out of context to justify a personally held
    view. If you read the full story, you discover that Paul was illustrating the extent to which he’d gone to secure the conversion of those born Jews (under the law) and those “without the law” (Gentiles).

    On the issue of Matthew 7:15-23, the writer fails to demonstrate how Paul fits Jesus description of a false prophet. If the fruits of Paul’s labour,namely the guarantee that gentiles (Aribisala included) come to the grace and teachings of Jesus are without merit, then I will be the first to agree with him. Paul endured a life of near poverty, stoning, imprisonment and ridicule (Acts
    18:5-7) all for the sake of someone he initially held to be a fraud!! He’d have to be a REAL psychopath to endure all this just to be a prophet of one he’d publicly despised before or somewhere closer to what he claimed to be – a skeptic who had an amazing and life changing encounter!

    This is not to say that genuine followers of Jesus have or had no weaknesses or flaws, Peter was abrasive, displayed cowardice and was a bigot who if destiny had depended on him, would not have delivered the gospel to the gentiles. So was Peter a false prophet because he initially refused to acknowledge the gentiles right to Jesus? In Acts 11:1-30 after Peter’s return to Jerusalem he is confronted by his supporters for entertaining the uncircumcised but he justifies it with a revelation of his vision regarding the same fully justifying the position Paul had held from the beginning.

    About Paul diminishing the Law, this is interesting because a lot of the faithful including the writer miss the whole controversy created by Jesus at his time with regard to the LAW. Firstly we see how Jesus in Matthew 9:10-22 contrary to the LAW made himself “unclean” by eating with “sinners”, was touched by a woman with an “issue of Blood” without him rededicating himself by ablution and offering as prescribed by Levitical law and finally allowing his disciples not to observe prescribed fasting rules. So by implication is the writer assuming that Jesus was a false
    prophet himself for not following the LAW? Mind you, all this whilst Jesus maintained he had not come to change the LAW or disregard the prophets.

    Going by Matthew 10:5-7, when Jesus first commissioned the disciples, the instruction was clear – Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. So Peter may have felt justified, though Jesus himself preached to and attended to the “sinners”. Is this inconsistency proof that Jesus was a
    false prophet?

    In Matthew 9:2-3 Jesus heals a man and forgives his sins. The Pharisees are incensed as they see this as an act of blasphemy. According to Mosaic Law, NO human being or any created being has the right or power to forgive sin except God himself. In Matthew 12:1 the disciples
    break the Sabbath Law but Jesus justifies it by the example of King David’s own breaking of the Sabbath Law. He further heals a man on the Sabbath and justifies it with a parable in Matthew 12:10-14. The casting out of demons was held to be suspect in Jewish Law and the list
    goes on…..

    Paul’s perspective was clearly spelt out – “If Jesus is the Messiah as I believe, and the price for our sins have been paid by his death and resurrection, the Law is subservient to the fact.”

    Jesus stopped the stoning of a woman (rightly so under the LAW) suspected of adultery this was not in conformity with the LAW. When he was quizzed about what it would take for one to enter heaven, he summarised the essence of the LAW – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul…….and Love your neighbour as you love yourself” this was the LAW as taught by Jesus – not an eye for an eye, stoning, religiosity and meaningless ritual.

    On the issue of Paul being a Roman Agent, I think the writer is being highly presumptuous. He should remember that the persecution of “Christians” didn’t end until Emperor Constantine’s decree. Paul like every Roman citizen valued his freedom to live as they willed and have a fair deal under the Roman legal system. The incident he alludes to in Acts 23 is yet again twisted. Anyone who is accused MUST have a fair hearing even under JEWISH LAW! Simply because Paul was rescued from being murdered on account of being a Roman citizen doesn’t make him an agent of Rome. He also defended himself according to the rules of a Jewish defence before Felix and Ananias.

    On Romans 13:-4 being proof that Paul was a government agent, I’ll take the writer and readers back to the issue where Jesus was asked about taxes to Rome. The background is that Jesus accusers were keen to prove his ties to the Zealot movement whom amongst other things advocated for defiance to paying taxes as a strategy of their insurrection against Roman rule. Jesus answer was very clear – “Give to Caesar what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God” was Jesus a Roman agent because he asked for the people to continue paying taxes? Even in this day and age, taxes are a LAW. I challenge the Writer to write an article inciting people not to pay their taxes and see where it gets him.

    In the book of Jeremiah 27:5-11 God reveals to Jeremiah that God chooses whom he uses! He identifies Nebuchadnezzar as his servant despite him not being a Jew. The argument over the issue of governments by Paul was amongst other things based on this precedent. Jeremiah makes this revelation contrary to what other prophets and seers of Israel were saying about the captivity of the Jews.

    Now I will not argue for Paul being a good example of humility, bit he is the BEST example of endurance, suffering and true leadership that Christians can hope to pull up from the history of their religion.

    The bottom line is very simple – Christianity is NOT Judaism (The LAW)! If it were, we would be
    stoning women to death for adultery, offering sacrifices at temples, and zealously following the prescriptions of Leviticus. Whilst there are clear instances where we see Jesus conforming to Jewish Law and tradition (The disciples had gathered in Jerusalem for the “FEAST OF WEEKS” or Shavuot, שבועות‎.When the PENTECOST happened) in the main he was a rebel and it cost him his life.

    The writer has two choices (1) Accept Paul with his flaws and apparent contradiction as a tool
    in God’s hands to further the purpose of Jesus or (2) Wholly embrace Traditional Judaism where he will not be at odds with the LAW. The teachings of Jesus were both exoteric as well as esoteric. I suspect Paul revealed much more to the original apostles and his own pastors that we cannot fully glean from his epistles.

    The fact remains this – CHRISTIANITY is PAUL – take it or leave it!

    • PAUL IS NOT MY FATHER

      Eugene: Thank you for your fulsome response to my article. Your last line sums up your proposition. You say: “the fact remains this- Christianity is Paul- take it or leave it.” I agree with you. Therefore, I leave it. I only accept the Christianity that is Jesus. Please don’t presume that Paul brought me to Jesus. (Who brought Paul to Jesus?) Jesus met me. My relationship with Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with Paul. Jesus says: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” (John 6:44). Paul is not the Father. Shalom.

      • Eugene Makai

        For a man of letters and keen biblical enquiry, its a pity you have not addressed my substantive arguments but picked on the easy way out by making it a choice between Jesus and Paul. As much as each believer is entitled to their own emotional connection to the word, I’m disappointed in you taking that route. I still salute your courage and the opportunity to stimulate genuine enquiry into what many blindly take for granted.

      • Guest

        .