How Paul’s Personal Problem Became Corner Stone Of Christianity!

How Paul’s personal problem became Corner Stone of Christianity!

“when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, and I died.  And the commandment which was meant to bring life, in my case brought death.”  – Paul

 

Question Mark

Introduction

 

God revealed Laws of the Old Testament (OT) so that its followers could live a successful life in every respect! Over centuries, OT prophets and their followers held high esteem about the benefits of the Laws.

However, later, after the ascension of Jesus (peace be upon him), Paul promulgated entirely different concepts about Law. It now had little or no positive providence but a lot of negative implications.

Nevertheless, Paul by purporting so breached a lot of divinely revealed verses of the OT. The sad part does not end here – the violations (of OT Laws and verses) became corner stone of Christianity!

Thus, it is our intent to bring to light the breaches and request sincere Christians to reconsider whom and what they are following.

Pauline Theology: Laws engender Sins

 

If one visits the various “epistles” which Paul has written, he will observe that Paul had little or no consideration for the benefits of the Laws:

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Gal 3:21-22, King James Version, e-Sword)

 

In fact Paul unabashedly claims that sins are nourished because of the God-breathed-Laws so much so that without Laws sins are a dead thing (!):

“Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15: 56-57)

“For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom 4:14-15. King James Version, e-Sword)

If the Law not said, “Do not desire what belongs to someone else,” I wouldnot have known such a desire. But by means of that commandment sin found its chance to stir up all kinds of selfish desires in me. Apart from law, sin is a dead thing.” (Romans 7:7-8)

Furthermore, Paul goes out of the way to ironically and absurdly claim that the only reason why God revealed Laws so that “sins would increase” (!):

Law was introduced in order to increase wrongdoing; but where sin increased, God’s grace increased much more.” (Romans 5:20)

 

It is not hard to realize that Paul considered divine Laws to be the very cause of sins amongst humanity. In fact he attributes the functions of Satan upon God’s Laws by (i) claiming that sinful desires are incited by God’s divine Laws (ii) Humans are exposed to the knowledge and temptations of sins but because of Laws (otherwise humans would never have known sins). Consider the following Pauline verses:

“For when we lived according to our human nature, the sinful desires stirred up by the Law were at work in our bodies, and all we did ended in death.” (Romans 7:5)

“Shall we say, then, that the Law itself is sinful? Of course not! But it was the Law that made me know what sin is. If the Law had not said, “Do not desire what belongs to someone else,” I would not have known such a desire.” (Romans 7:7)

 

Psalmist: OT Laws give success and salvation!

However, contrary to Paul’s utter low opinion and incrimination of the OT Laws; OT prophets reasoned that humans can keep away from sins only by following the Laws:

How can a young man keep his life pure? By obeying your commands. With all my heart I try to serve you; keep me from disobeying your commandments. I keep your law in my heart, so that I will not sin against youI will repeat aloud all the Laws you have given. I delight in following your commands more than in having great wealth. I study your instructions; I examine your teachings. I take pleasure in your Laws; your commands I will not forget.” (Psalms 119:9-16)

 

Notice the rationales of the Psalmist. For him, human can keep their life sin-free only by obeying and practicing the Laws. This is in stark contradiction to the Pauline teaching wherein Paul taught that (A.) sinful desires are stirred up by Laws and (B.) humans knew sins but because of the God-Breathed-Laws!?

Furthermore, why would the Psalmist find “delight” in obeying the Laws if it werestirring up sins in him? Was he morally less or was Paul more God fearing (than the Psalmist)? Did not the Psalmist know that Laws stir up sinful desires and therefore, he should not find “delight” in obeying the Laws? Or, was Paul misunderstanding the attributes of Laws?

In fact the Psalmist wanted to save the Laws in his heart – the same place where sins were stirred in Paul:

Your teachings are wonderful; I obey them with all my heartThe explanation of your teachings gives light and brings wisdom to the ignorantIn my desire for your commands I pant with open mouth…Save me from those who oppress me, so that I may obey your commands. Bless me with your presence and teach me your laws. My tears pour down like a river, because people do not obey your law.” (Psalms 119:129-136)

 

Notice the longing which the Psalmist has for the Laws. He is panting with open mouth and crying to follow the Laws. If Laws were revealed to “increase wrongdoing” then why was this Psalmist panting and crying to follow such Laws? Moreover, why does he want to obey them with all his heart? Who is compelling him to follow that which stir up “evil desires” and where revealed only to “increase wrong doings”?

The answer to all such queries are simple, either of the one – Psalmist or Paul misunderstood the purpose and qualities of the Laws. And in such a situation it is better to bank on the Psalmist who was God’s personally chosen messenger! Moreover, his views are multiply attested by other God’s prophets like Ezekiel, Nehemiah etc. Whereas, on the other hand, we have contemporaries of Paul contravening him!

In fact a closer look at Paul’s reasoning clarify that he had personal problems with the OT Laws and not that Laws were “sin inciting” per se as he claimed:

I myself was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, and I died.  And the commandment which was meant to bring life, in my case brought death”. (Romans 7:9-10)

 

We saw the providential capacities of the Laws with OT prophets – it was life and salvation giving to them (c.f. Ezekiel 20:11, 33:14-15), however, in Paul’s personal case, “…in my case…”  Laws were working backwards.

Conclusion

 

With the foregoing factual qualification, is it justified to reject and sneer at God’s divinely revealed Laws, multiply attested by numerous OT prophets; for the personal problems of an individual mortal (Paul)?

Before discarding the Laws as a whole, sincere Christians need to rethink:

There are God’s divine Laws which were all providential to sincere and purportedly strictest monotheists and they testified towards it so much so that they wanted to follow it with panting mouth and tears in their eyes.

And all of a sudden we have a mortal (Paul) who declares that Laws worked otherwise in his personal case while his contemporaries who were no less than him, expressed their fealty for the OT Laws and even disputed with Paul over the same!

Yet millions of Christians have no qualms in rejecting what was revealed by God to be followed. Sadly, it has become a corner stone of their theology.

Notes:

  • All biblical texts, unless otherwise mentioned, are taken from Holy Bible, Good News Edition, Today’s English Version.
  • Emphasize wherever not matching with the original, is ours.
Advertisements


Categories: Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. Any missionary commenting, be warned if you cannot discuss your religion in a civil manner your comments will be deleted.

    So any comments which accuses the blessed Prophet Muhammed:

    “Antichrist”

    “profit”

    “satan”

    or ading an “am” at the end of the Prophet’s name, you will be barred.

    Or anything else will be deleted and you will be barred from commenting in any of my posts.

    This also goes for degrading commentators on here:

    For example,

    “Paully wally”

    “Flying Ibn…”

    “Yahyasli..”

    Your comments will be deleted.

    You better engage in a polite and respectful manner, otherwise you will not be allowed to comment.

    Same goes for Muslims.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. ‘Paul’s personal problem’ – that’s enough about my private life thank you very much

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting argument.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Then I suspect we won’t get any comments from the usual 😂

    Like

    • Well hopefully your comment gets deleted

      Like

    • Blaspheming against a prophet of God is one thing. Exposing liars and hypocrites is another. I know it must hurt you

      Like

    • “You better engage in a polite and respectful manner, otherwise you will not be allowed to comment.

      Same goes for Muslims.”

      Well, flying pir? Waiting…

      Like

    • There is nothing disrespectful about identifying someone who deliberately lies and is a hypocrite. Facts are not insults.

      Like

    • I wont comment any further as I would hate to give you an excuse to divert the attention away from the subject at hand. That much is apparent.

      Like

    • So calling people “idiots” is engaging in a “polite, and respectful manner”?

      Still waiting flying pir for you to act here…

      Like

    • Its an archaic word that means “a person of low intelligence.” If it makes you feel any better I can say that from now on. The funny thing is that I have not directed the word to any one person. You responded because you felt personally insulted despite the fact I did not call an individual and idiot. Why did you feel the need to get defensive? The truth hurts.

      Like

    • “Blaspheming against a prophet of God is one thing. Exposing liars and hypocrites is another.”

      But what if one believes that your prophet is a “liar and hypocrite” and wants to “expose” him? You can’t silence critics of Muhammad just because it upsets you

      Like

    • thirstforknowledge78

      Salaamu Alaikum, I agree with Paulus, the term you used is not appropriate. Please do not use that again, otherwise, comment(s) will be removed. Just trying to enforce a fair balanced approach where Muslims and Christians can engage about their religious beliefs in a respectable manner so we get good change.

      Your comment has been edited and the word has been removed. Let me know if anyone still can see it.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You forgot Romans 7:12

    “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.”

    and 1 Timothy 1:8-11

    8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
    9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
    10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
    11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

    Like

  6. Law is not the cause of sin, but it is the vehicle or channel or means by which the sin within us gets exposed, known, stirred up, increased, and judged. The rebellion and lust and selfishness and pride that is already within us, gets stirred into action when the commands come. Tell a child “don’t” and they will do it when the parent is not watching. The sin nature is proved. Nafs Amareh نقس اماره

    The point is that when you give a human being a command, it stirs up the sin nature already within them to do the sin in rebellion; it is not the cause, but the means by which sin is increased and exposed and then judged.

    Like

  7. You’re omitting Romans 3:31; the justice that comes from repentance & faith in Psalms 32:1-2, Luke 18:10. How do we justify ourselves – by fulfilling the laws or by God’s forgiveness? If it’s by the first one, then God has no remedy other than to let us in his kingdom if we fulfill all his commandments, therefore we justify ourselves. If we are justified by God’s forgiveness then laws justify other phenomena: sin. Christians know they’re justified by God’s mercy and grace because the signal of the new covenant was the death & resurrection of his Son. When he was justified in death the older justification died and brought with him the justification that comes through Him if you believe the triune signal: His divinity, his death and his resurrection. If we justify ourselves by fulfilling the laws, then how God gets glorified? We better glorify ourselves because for our own hand we’re safe. That’s why Paul says in Romans 4:4 our work isn’t grace, but debt. He has in mind Matthew 25:14-30, 18:23-35.

    Like

  8. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
    Romans 7:22

    You left that out also – the apostle Paul fully agrees with Psalm 119 that you quoted. He loves God’s law and wants to obey it.

    But he is honest that there is another principle within him that tempts and pulls toward selfishness and sin; and he hates that part.

    The selfish sensual self on the inside that pulls to sin = the sin nature or sin principle or flesh or self-centeredness – Nafs Amareh نفس اماره

    Like

  9. Your article needs a lot of nuance around what Paul means by the term, the Law

    “Part of the problem is that Paul uses the term ‘law’ in more than one sense. He clearly uses it to mean the legal system or legal material of the Pentateuch. But he also uses it to refer to the Torah, the first five books of the Bible (including the narrative passages).”

    “Paul does three things with the law and each one must be fully heard without prejudicing the others: (1) polemical repudiation; (2) radical replacements; and (3) whole-hearted reappropriation (in two ways). These respectively correspond to treating the law as legal code, theological motif and source for expounding the gospel and for doing ethics.”

    Perhaps you should spend some time studying Pauline scholars on his use of the law?

    Like

  10. Muslims, if you think you get justified by God’s mercy, then tell us what’s the signal that God made to humanity to understand his mercy. As far as I know there’s none. You just say He has the power to redeem in the Day of Judgement. Very vague argument. But if your God is the same as the OT, you should know every time He made a covenant blood was spilled. Whether Moses when he spilled it on Israelites, whether Jesus’ blood spilled on all of humanity. If you can’t bring any signal and you don’t accept the second covenant in Jesus, then we can assure that all of us are going to die irremediably. Salvation would be out of reach.

    Like

    • Joseph,
      So in your understanding, God demands blood and blood sacrifice in order to forgive and bestow salvation?

      The Jews themselves believe sacrifice is the lowest form of atonement, and that simple repentance is a higher form of atonement. It is easy to shed blood, but harder to humble oneself before God.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Btw, if Paul said that we’re justified by grace and not by the law he didn’t mean that kill, steal, fornicate, adultery, etc., was lawful for Christians. In fact, some of the early Christians thought this way and Paul had to rectify them.

    Like

  12. The guy that wrote this article sounds very Kantian, even though he believes he’s justified by grace (a very vague concept of grace), but put himself in the opposite position just to condemn Paul. Herman Cohen, one of the most brilliant Jewish philosopher said that Kantian ethic was very similar to how some of Jews see salvation – fulfilling laws is the duty and grace. That doesn’t mean the prophets, saints had to think how the rest of the population thought or actual Jews think they’re saved. Paul brought the example of Abraham, where his faith was count as justice. If faith wasn’t justification at all, Abraham could have just waited until God did the promise to give him a son & put him as a father of an entire nation without any faith & hope. Sounds like a very cold relationship between God and Abraham, doesn’t it? But he had faith because he wanted to see the fruits of his faith after death. Imagine a God doing promises to people and these doesn’t have faith in the fulfillment of those promises. God would fulfill them just for the sake of it, it’d be his duty, or simply wouldn’t promise anything at all. But we have faith because that declares God’s infallibility and fairness; that his promises are eternal and come to fruition no matter how much it takes. Having faith means we recognize him as the superior being, the perfect one.

    Like

    • Faith and Works are not diametrically opposed, they are two closely related mechanisms in salvation.

      Abraham was saved by his faith AND works, otherwise what is the whole point of the story in the first place. Paul’s reinterpretation of the story does not make sense, nor does it provide a good example. His doctrines of faith based redemption, and freedom from the law is lacking, because without putting faith into action through works and deeds, there is no test. Faith based redemption ultimately results in licentiousness and a lazy easy “salvation on demand.” When both faith and works are required there is motivation to do worship and obey God, improve the self, and do good in the world. The question is not either/or as Christians always seem to think and argue. God requires both faith and works in order to attain salvation. There is much more to this issue as well as it is very deep.

      And yes, Muslims have assurances of Salvation, as it is promised in the Qur’an….we just don’t boast and brag about it like some Christians.

      Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks

  1. How Paul’s Personal Problem Became Corner Stone Of Christianity! | kokicat

Please leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: