Not In Defense Of Saint Paul The Apostle
Paul's Deception and Compromise to Further The Gospel
In a January 7, 2011 blog post entitled Obedience is Better Than Sacrifice I wrote about how easy it is to get off track in our 'christian walk'. We are encouraged to study the 'scriptures' for ourselves but the more one studies the more questions arise. So, pastors and other church leaders are faced with a dilemma. How to safely answer questions without jeopardizing their positions of 'church authority'. I recently presented a question and attempted to get some feed back on a December 2010 Christianity Today article entitled Jesus vs. Paul by Scot Mcknight. This article was about the growing division in 'the church' between those that see a difference between the teachings of Jesus and Paul's sometimes philosophical musings. I was disappointed in the response I received. I was forwarded a scripture, 2 Timothy 3:161 and the response, '...and this settles it for me'.
Jesus stance against compromise in His Church is clear: there is none. That spirit of compromise entered Jesus Church through Paul when he said -Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. The problem with this approach is that Paul is not Jesus. Only Jesus can answer all our needs. Why would Paul make such a claim? Paul is credited with saying, "follow me as I follow Christ" but is being everything to everyone Christlike? Jesus never compromised in order to win souls. Yet Paul compromises boldly and daringly but most don't see anything wrong with this. Why can't you see. The Bible answers this. Paul is deceptive pure and simple; using the Gospel as his reason for deceiving people does not make it right . Deceiving people into salvation. Anytime you present yourself, your position, or doctrine clothed in compromising language you are deceiving people. John warned The Church of that spirit of anti-Christ that he said was already in the world. "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world." 1 John 4:2-3. Daniel 12:3-4 we are shown a Revelation of the Increased Knowledge at The End Times where there is no room for compromise. The Bible tells us that the enemy can appear as an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:14. If he can appear as an angel of light could he not confess Jesus since he is the father of lies? This is not the time for weak indecisive leadership. Pastors and other church leaders can no longer get by, by holding up the Bible and declaring"the Bible says it, I believe it and that settles it". Jesus never answered His distractors with banal anecdotes so why do believers accept such nonsense.Suppose you didn't believe the Bible does that change its authority? Of course not. Believers are constantly reminded how powerful words are by pastors and leaders and then are subjected to what amounts to; "since I am the authority here (insert pastor, leader or other title) either take my word or find yourself another church home,leave". This tactic of keeping congregations "in line" by bullying them into submission is also losing power. Pastors will have to study more to show themselves approved because the anointing that brings correction is already at work setting Gods House in order. This is no mere threat but a promise. And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15
From Christianity the Religion to the Kingdom of God
In recent years seeking the Kingdom of God has become very popular. Church leaders like the late Dr. Myles Munroe, Pastors Sunday Adelaja, Bruxy Cavey, Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., and others have been awakened to the discrepancies between claiming to be a Christian and what Jesus commissioned His Church to accomplish in His absence. My personal journey to discovering the Kingdom of God began more than seven years ago. Old journal entries trace my metamorphosis from Christian to follower of Jesus the Christ the Amen. Identifying Jesus as the Amen is another story but is relevant to my maturity as a follower of Jesus. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. author of The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering The True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted has given the body of Christ a timely tool to empower every seeker to find his or her place in the Kingdom. A lot of misunderstanding of Jesus true message can be traced to the Apostle Paul who "never met Jesus", and in many cases his inability to reconcile Jesus' Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven with his narrow view of sin, being saved by grace, and dying and going to heaven. Then there was the Emperor Constantine who used the symbol of the cross for his own selfish political gains, and eventually made Christianity the Roman state religion.
We read of no strife between Jesus disciples until Paul. In Acts we read of the brethren being of "one accord"; meaning they were in agreement or unified in purpose. Paul in trying to prove his Apostleship distanced himself from Jesus disciples for 14 years. In that time Paul had conflicts with Barnabas and his cousin John Mark. This conflict led to a split between Barnabas who took Mark and Paul who took Silas into separate mission fields. Later Paul confronted Peter, who, it is written he publicly "withstood to his face" in a showdown against all of Jesus hand picked disciples in order to prove that his reputation as an "apostle" was as good if not better than all of Jesus disciples put together. Paul and his disciples gave Jesus church a "New Testament". Jesus in a preempted move declared a "new covenant" based on Love of God and each other. Many unwittingly believe Jesus' new covenant is the same as Paul's New Testament, not understanding Matthew 5:17 - "“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Jesus never intended to establish a New Testament but to fulfill the Law with Love in reestablishing His Covenant of Love first of God in obedience and Love of each other. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
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