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Should pastors live in poverty?

Posted by truthtalklive on December 12, 2007

Is personal enrichment Biblical?

Today’s guest host is Allen Hunt (www.allenhuntshow.com)

Todays number if you want to call in is 1-877-70-ALLEN 1-877-702-5536

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111 Responses to “Should pastors live in poverty?”

  1. Tommy said

    No.

    In today’s society you must make a living to support your family. A pastor should be paid as any other employee or president of a small business if they founded the church.

    However – They should not start keeping profits or a extreme salary. Also – In some cases Pastors like some CEO’s have forgone a salary after they have become independently successful, i.e. books, seminars, etc.. By doing this the church then reaps the benefits of their success. It no longer has to pay a salary to the pastor and in most cases it has a larger congregation as more people come to hear the pastor. Until such time though it is unrealistic to believe anyone should have to live in poverty.

    Remember a pastor is working a full time job, their job does not only consist of standing on Sunday morning and giving a message and such they should be paid as if working a full time job.

  2. Dolla Bill said

    Is it Biblical to pay a church leader a salary anyway? Is it Biblical for them to be considered an “employee”?

    If we lift a man up as “king”, then he will rightfully want to be treated as king, including all the wealth, health and prosperity.

    But, what would the apostle Paul say or do? Tent maker accepting no financial gain from the church.

    Also, we need to look at the doctrine of Creflo, Eddie, Benny, Paula, etc. – “blessings of Abraham” and “name it and claim it”. That is the core of the problem.

    $Dolla Bill$

  3. Tommy said

    I’m sorry but I do not understand how paying a pastor a salary for a job is lifting them up as a king.

    It would be nice if we lived in a world where we could be self sustaining and not need to be paid a salary, but it is just not realistic.

    – Tommy

  4. Tommy said

    Maybe this could have been titled better, if we are talking about pastors that abuse their power to gain extravagant earthly possessions.

    There is a difference between a pastor being paid and making a good living and a pastor that exploits their people to obtain jets, multiple mountain homes, Bentleys, etc…

    – Tommy

  5. Dolla Bill said

    Just a thought. Not to offend. But do we as a local body of believers need a fulltime pastor? I just don’t see that in Scripture.

    Anyway, the love of money is th eroot of all kinds of evil – including over indulgence. Come on, paying thousands of dollars for a toilet seat?!

    Too far with the comedy…. 🙂

  6. chris brooks said

    If pastors really believed in God, and that God is the sole provider, and that we should give and depend on God, why are pastors depending on our tithes and offerings to sustain them. Jesus worked, who are they not to hold a regular job. It’s like they’re the true unbelievers. Pastors are depending on man and mammon.

  7. Jae Charles said

    As I grow in my walk with the Lord, I search my heart and see that being Christ like is my one true purpose for living. The one aspect that is evident is humility. Certainly pastors realize this? How they portray their self is surely to be seen by all. If one is not truly humble, then stumbling blocks can follow. Romans 14:13 states this. I know many good people seeking God who get decieved by worldly pastors that live an extravagant life and cause others to loose heart since they do not see the pastor as a humble servent of God. I should rather follow after the aspects of Christ in a pastor rather than a pastor with a lifestyle that is in far excess of what they truly need.

  8. Jennifer said

    Being a pastor is not only standing in the pulpit Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening. It’s going on visitation, helping the ones that are in need. That can take all day and everyday. The church should take care of their pastor,but not pay them millions of dollars for their own riches. The money for any church is God’s! You should use the money for what God wants it used for. (The Ministry-Teach to all the world!) My pastor is a full time pastor…he devotes all his time to God! His wife works a full time job. We do not pay him thousands and thousands of dollars. God meets his needs! Most churches that are huge are conforming to the world and letting everything and anything go on inside of churches. Also talking about First Timothy it does state that women should not hold any teaching positions…..so what is to say about Joyce Meyer? She shouldn’t be preaching according to 1 Timothy chapter 2.

  9. Dolla Bill said

    Post#6 – A m e n !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    $That what I say$!!!

    Where is the faith in a salaried pastor? Since when is a pastor better than a Sunday school teacher? I don’t see the deacons getting a salary? The Bible says “elders” who rule well…double honor – Not “pay yo pastor a salary.”

    Every pastor should be bi-vocational and live paycheck to paycheck like the majority of those in the body of Christ. We have elevated certain positions to a status that is not Biblical. It’s just “good business”.

    $Dolla Bill$ y’all! 😉

  10. Kevin Hicks said

    I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich… Rev 2:9a. This is to Smyrna, one of the only 2 churches that did not receive a negative remark from Christ. These people new what it was like to be givers and not receivers. I think that people as Christians should make enough to meet their needs, but give the excess to poor or needy families. Why thrive off of God’s money while someone else starves to death? That would not be Christ-like! Also we should lay up for ourselves Heavenly treasures, not earthly treasures.

  11. Rinji said

    The question to be asked is “Is a one man Pastor biblical in the first place?”. There are many who would retort by saying that all these churches have more than one pastor. But there is ONE MAIN PASTOR. The church is founded and alive only because of his presence. Is this biblical?
    Since when did the bible teach of A PASTOR FOUNDING A CHURCH? The church is the body of Christ and it is HE who is the leader.
    We are only asked to preach the word, teach, baptise and make disciples.
    These ONE MAN PASTOR Churches have today made CHRISTIANITY a BUSINESS.
    The LORD be the judge.

  12. Dolla Bill said

    Posts# 6 & 11 – Praise God for those of like precious faith 🙂 😉 🙂

    $Dolla Bill$

  13. Anonymous said

    Re: post #6

    Will someone please point me towards the Bible Verses that describe Jesus’ day job? I am having trouble remembering them.

    Pastors should live modestly and humbly amongst those they serve in my opinion. Perhaps some have have learned how to have rich lifestyles and yet remain humble? I guess it’s possible.

    Thanks,
    Fred

  14. jAsOn said

    1 Tim. 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

    If you read the context, it defines “double honor” as being a wage…the text even says that those who do not support “elders who labor in preaching & teaching” financially are “muzzling the ox” when it works, as though it would be disallowing the elder to benefit from the collection that is taken up because of his teaching.

    I think the entire book of Acts descibes a situation wheere those who lead and preached and taught did benefit from all that they had in common. What about the money that is collected…is it only used to aid in the benefit of those outside the church? I think not, it benefits first of all, the needs of the members, and if them, then why not those who are “worth of double honor” as Paul says.

  15. anonymous said

    Perhaps we could also use the OT precedent. The Levites, the tribe responsible for working in the tabernacle/temple, had no inheritance in land so the tithe and also some of meat given in the sacrificial offerings, went to provide for the Levites and Priests. Methinks that some of the folks who are so critical of pastors aren’t so much reading the scriptures as reading extreme egalitarianism into them. In other words, perhaps the problem is that some don’t like the idea of having someone in a position over them. Clearly the New Testament and Old Testament pattern is that certain people are set apart for leadership within the church. Jennifer makes a good point that a pastor really should be a full time calling. Really, we want the pastor to come see our dear Aunt Sally May in the hospital, to spend hours researching for sermons, to be an active presence in the community, to visit the shut-ins– and work 9-5! it ain’t happening.

    The above being said, ministers should be paid adequately to provide for their families. They should not be paid, nor should one ask for huge pay raises, or large salaries. Thinking in terms of “incarnational ministry” it doesn’t make sense for some guy in a $5,000 suit and $50.000 car to be living and working amongst a rural agricultural area or in some dying mill town. The stories of the gold fixtures are from gross misconduct (see Jim Bakker et al) I haven’t seen any gold plated faucets in the parsonage that our church provides its pastor.

  16. jAsOn said

    For the most part, I agree with anonymous. I admit that there are abuses, and I believe that a big part of that abuse that we see in American evangalicalism regarding pastoral saleries (the depravity of the human heart aside) can be attributed to less than biblical ecclesiology…if a church has an irregular polity, ie, one single pastor with whom the “buck stops” so to speak, there are probably going to be abuses, that may be one of the reasons that God ordained that the local church body should have a plurality of elders, though they may not all preach and teach.

    jAsOn

  17. Dee said

    Bless U Allen! The Truth will set you free; you are setting us free!
    As I watch these men/women of God(?) on TV and I see them show after show begging you to send them money so they can do this and that. Their TV stations need digital, etc. They make you think their ministry is costing them so much money, they don’t have enough money to buy food. Yet here I am almost at the poverty level sending them money thinking it is my God given duty to keep them going so others will learn about Jesus.
    My mother went home Aug. ’06. She only got $623 a month yet I was told on these programs if I gave to them God would take care of her. Praise God He did take care of her, but now I see how wrong I was to not do more for her to ease her pain. I didn’t know until she died the small amount she recd. I should have turned off these programs and talked to her to find out how much she needed help.
    Today I am grief stricken as I watch the news to see Kenneth Copeland lives in an 18,000 sq. ft. or more house on the lake with a huge boat plus 2 jet ski’s, a 20 million jet plus pleasure trip after pleasure trip. When he has his TV shows he has them in front of his log cabin in Arkansas that his Dad or somebody gave him he says. I don’t believe anything he says anymore. That is total deception. This is not pleasing to our Lord when how much food would that money buy for poor starving people or children. How can 2 people want/have so much?
    Just as The Reader’s Digest Contest had to be accountable so must these men/women of God even more so.
    When they confronted Kenneth Copeland on these expenses, he came back with why are they trying to tear down his ministry instead of looking at all the good it does? With all the money he is spending on himself/family he can’t be doing too much good anywhere else.
    Thank you for the update on Rick Warren. God Bless him for his Godly example. I believe he will receive “Well done good and faithful servant.”
    One person the other day said there will be no more Rock Star Preachers!
    Hallelujah! Now The Lord’s Work can be done in Jesus Holy Name……..
    He will cover the earth so He can return!

  18. $Dolla Bill$ said

    1 Tim 5:17-18 – to get the context, lets pay attention to “For the Scripture says,” and go back to see just where the Scriptures say these things and in what context.

    Deuteronomy 25:4 for “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain”

    And

    Matthew 10:10 for “a worker is worthy of his food/hire/wage.”

    Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 9:9 and expounds on Deut 25:4.

    This doesn’t even mention nor imply paying a pastor a stated salary. In context it is teaching about living the faith, walking in the blessed assurance, living out the gospel. It is a life of faith, the Lord will provide. I guess we could interpret it to mean at the end of every preaching service an offering would be collected and given to the one that just preached. That would be more Biblical than paying a salary. Of course, taking the preacher out to lunch or giving them a dozen fresh farm eggs would be just as Biblical.

    1 Tim 5:17-18 was brought up. So lets ask this question: Do all the elders get a salary and do the ones who “labor in the word and doctrine” get double the amount? If not, why not?

    There are many ways to “honor” even “double honor” the elders, yet it is not referring to a paid salary to a fulltime pastor. Paul was a fulltime apostle, yet he didn’t receive a set salary from the church at Jerusalem or any other church. Are our “pastors” of today more important than Paul? There are many “house” churches in China with no fulltime pastor and they represent the fastest growing group of believers in the world.

    Do you mean to say the church can function and grow without a fulltime salaried clergy? Yes, yes my good man. It can be done.

    $Dolla Bill$ y’all 🙂

  19. jAsOn said

    In 1 Tim 5, Paul makes it very clear that the reason he is quoting those 2 passages is to prove the point that the congregation should not let their elders live in poverty and in need. Yes, there certainly are multiple ways to “honor” our elders, but in the passage in 1 Tim, our exegesis demands that we restrict Pauls intentions to mean that we honor them with “wages”, and this can be done in a number of different ways, as Dolla mentioned above.

    I certainly agree that the charlatans previously mentioned have abused this privelage and probably so because there seem to be no authorities to whom they answer but themselves.

    Btw, the quote regarding wage is more commonly thought of as one from the Matt parallel, Luke 10:7 “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house”

  20. Tommy said

    So I have one question for all those saying a pastor should live paycheck to paycheck believing that God will provide.

    Do you have a job? Do you depend on your company to pay you so you can pay your bills, feed your family, etc…??? Why are you any better then a pastor trying to make a living preaching the word of God? One could argue that the money given to the church and paid to the pastor is sent by God the same way your paycheck or a bonus you receive is.

    I hear a lot of arguments saying that the pastors are lifting themselves up higher, but aren’t you all in fact lifting them up higher then you by saying “I should be taken care of, but they should not”?

    How do you define what is sent by God?

    I agree that some pastors live a little to high on the hog per say, and spend the money’s on themselves. That is wrong. But I read a lot of peoples postings that seemed to say a pastor should live not knowing where their next meal comes from. That is just wrong.

    If you are going to have that standard for your pastor, then you should keep that same standard for yourself as we are all children of God and should be treated equal. So please practice what you preach.

    BTW – I am not a pastor, but understand that they work a full time job and should make a decent living.

    Regards
    – Tommy

  21. $Dolla Bill$ said

    I stand behind my posts. All of us are “fulltime” Christians. If a man desires the office of a bishop, it is a good thing. Yet, he does not take a “job” whereby he lives off of a salary and is employed by the church. That is not Biblical.

    If we would follow New Testament pattern for the church, then all the high on the hog pastors would not exist for there are no examples of salaried clergy in the Bible.

    Like I said, it would be more Biblical for the church to take up an offering after the Elder preaches than to pay him a set salary. And I’d like someone to answer my last question in post# 18

    “1 Tim 5:17-18 was brought up. So lets ask this question: Do all the elders get a salary and do the ones who “labor in the word and doctrine” get double the amount? If not, why not?”

    $Dolla Bill$

  22. jAsOn said

    Dolla,

    It sounds like you are equivocating some terms or concepts:

    1. paying elders does not mean that those who do not receive payment are not “full-time” Christians.
    2. just because a man is paid to preach and teach does not mean that he or those who pay him have reduced the office to professionalism.

    I agree with you that the office of elder should not be viewed as a “profession” like other “jobs”, but it is a calling, and God ordains men to such service by the means of the Church, but we must build our theology (ecclesiology in this case) on scripture alone, not by rejecting practices exclusively because they have been abused, or our emotional takes, or our traditions, those things may be helpful in finding and addressing problems, but scripture alone must be the end of our theology and when our traditions, & emotional opinions contradict scripture, then we must submit them to criticism.

    Dolla, unless I misunderstand you, you insinuate that it is not biblical to allow an elder to live off of what a local body of believers can pay him…I must say that you are just wrong in your assessment of what the NT says about that matter. I don’t mean to suggest that an elder must only receive payment from a church and can never have another job, but to suggest that there is no NT pattern for having elders live off a salary paid by the congregation he serves goes against what Paul is teaching in the 1 Tim passage, and it just doesn’t take all the NT evidence into account…just read through the book of Acts again.

  23. jAsOn said

    To answer your question about 1 Tim 5, “Do all the elders get a salary and do the ones who “labor in the word and doctrine” get double the amount? If not, why not?”

    Let’s read the text once again, “17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.””

    The text says that the elders who rule well are worth of “double honor”, not just the ones who preach and teach, but “especially” those.

    I have a question for you, why does Paul speak of wages at all if what he meant by “double honor” does not include a wage? We cannot go back to the OT to see the quote in its original context and read that grammatical/historical meaning back into the NT use of it. So what is your exegesis of the passage?

    Scripture clearly sets the office of elder apart from layman, and even from deacon. The double honor is not contrasting the worth of different elders, but the distinction between those in the office and those who benefit from the service rendered by the elder.

  24. jAsOn said

    Here are John Gill’s comments on this passage:

    “counted worthy of double honour; which some understand of honour in this world, and in the world to come, and which they have; they are honoured now by Christ, though reproached by the world, by being called unto, qualified for, and succeeded in the work of the ministry; and when they have faithfully discharged it, they will be honoured by him hereafter…But rather this is to be understood both of that outward respect that is to be shown them by words and actions; and of a sufficient maintenance that is to be provided for them; in which sense the word “honour” is used in this chapter before; See Gill on “1Ti 5:3”, and some think that the comparison is between the widows before mentioned, and these elders; that if poor widows in the church are to be honoured and maintained, then much more the officers of it; these are worthy of more honour, even of double honour, or, a larger and a more honourable main tenant: and indeed this seems to be the meaning of the word “double” when used both in an ill and in a good sense; see Re 18:6 and is an allusion to the firstborn among the Jews, who was to have a double portion of his father’s goods, De 21:17 and so may here signify, that the ministers of the Gospel ought not to have a short and scanty, but a large and honourable maintenance.

    Gill on 1 Tim 5:3:

    “the apostle here and hereafter speaks of, might be preferred to the rest, and be set over them, and have the care of such, who were more infirm; but then this could only be the case of some, whereas the honour here spoken of is what is to be given to all that are really widows; and therefore rather regards some external honour and respect to be shown them, by words and actions; and especially it designs an honourable provision for them, and maintenance of them; in which sense the word is used in 1Ti 5:17. So, with the Jews, giving gifts to persons, and making presents to them, is called honour. When Manoah asked the angel’s name, that he might do him honour, when his saying came to pass, Jud 13:17 the sense, according to them, is “that I may inquire in what place I may find thee, when thy prophecy is fulfilled, and give thee Nwrwd, “a gift”; for there is no honour but what signifies a gift, as it is said, Nu 22:17, “honouring I will honour thee”.”
    So giving gifts to the poor, or providing for their maintenance, is doing them honour; and that this is the sense here, appears by what follows in the context.

  25. Dolla Bill said

    I don’t really care what Mr. Gill says about a passage.

    Clearly we will not agree on this one. You are associated with a denomination that ordains elders to fulltime preaching. I am associated with an assembly that has no paid staff, yet we have fulltime elders. See, the difference is the elders are not looked upon to do all the work of the ministry. The elders look to and equip all the men in the church to express their gifts in different ministry. And all the men with the gift of teaching are encouraged to use that gift – in other words we do not have one or even two people who do most of the teaching.

    Most commentators would say that Timothy was a “pastor” yet the Scriptures don’t teach this – he was an apostolic delegate sent out by Paul.

    And read different translations of 1 Timothy – some say “wage” some say “hire” so say “food”. In either case, it definately doesn’t mean a salary. Same concept as “don’t work, don’t eat”. If you are going to say it is Biblical to pay a pastor, then take up an offering after he finishes preaching.

    The issue is not whether we should or should not give mone to a pastor. The issue is should it be a set salary, should they be a fulltime professional pastor, and should they do all the preaching and teaching? I say no. In context to 1 Timothy and the other writings, you just can’t come up with a yes.

    You talk about traditions – clergy/laity is a tradition started by the Roman Catholic church. Yet, most mainstream denominations uphold this tradition.

    Well, that’s all I got to say about that one. If you’re satisfied with your interpretation, stick to it.

    $Dolla Bill$

  26. jAsOn said

    Curiously, what denomination are you a part of?

    Yes, it is biblical to pay a pastor, and whether it is done at the end of ever service or on a bi-weekly basis with a set amount is of little import. You still haven’t offered your own interpretation of the passage at hand, you have only made this statement, “And read different translations of 1 Timothy – some say “wage” some say “hire” so say “food”. In either case, it definitely doesn’t mean a salary. Same concept as “don’t work, don’t eat”. If you are going to say it is Biblical to pay a pastor, then take up an offering after he finishes preaching.”

    Which translations are those?

    Here is the definition from the Greek word translated, “wage”
    1. dues paid for work
    a. wages, hire
    2. reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours
    a. in both senses, rewards and punishments
    b. of the rewards which God bestows, or will bestow, upon good deeds and endeavours
    c. of punishments

    Just because an elder is paid for 40 hours of work a week does not mean that they are “looked upon to do all the ministry of the ministry”.

    You admit that you place your own reading of Timothy at odds with “most commentators”, but I wonder where you have discovered your own interpretation of it.

    I’m sorry that you think the RC church “came up” with “clergy”, but your opinion on that matter is wrong, the NT instructs us to have men set apart for the preaching and teaching of the Word, and we are even given qualifications for those men. I don’t mean to suggest that they are the only ones ever allowed to preach and teach, but the clear example of the NT shows us that certain men were set apart for that duty primarily, and 1 Tim 5 says that we should not deny them their wage.

    Titus 1:15 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—”
    1 Tim 3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”

    Deacons were instituted in order to give those committed to pray and the study of the Word more time to do so. I think you are having trouble allowing the scripture to inform your doctrine.

  27. Brad said

    Dolla Bill,

    You are, of course, welcome to your beliefs and interpretations. I happen to disagree with them. Do I believe pastors should be paid in accordance with it being their full-time job? Absolutely. I teach Sunday School and am a Deacon in my church, but I don’t get paid. Why? B/c they are not full-time jobs, and don’t require my time all week. Granted, there are times when it gets to be busy, preparing lessons, organizing activities, serving in the church, etc…, but it isn’t full time. There are times when I would like to be able to leave my full-time job and do church work full time, but that doesn’t support my family, which I am also called to do in Scripture.

    A pastor, however, is on call 24/7. He is expected to be at the hospitals, in his office, preaching (sometimes up to 4 separate times, depending on the number of services a church has), teaching, counseling, studying, praying…and this is all just for church members. He also has to have time to be a husband and father at home, take care of his house, etc… And all that isn’t free. We expect him to lead the church, to do a full-time job, and we need to pay him accordingly. Paying him accordingly frees him up to NOT have to worry about another job, so he CAN put all his efforts into leading the church after God’s will. I wouldn’t want to have a pastor who had the worries of another full-time job to deal with, b/c it would distract him from being able to give 100% to the church.

    Do I think we should make pastors rich? No. Nor does Scripture support that. Do I think we should keep them poor? No. Scripture doesn’t support that, either. It is not money, but the LOVE of money, that is the root of all evil, remember that. If a pastor’s heart truly is for God, then he won’t desire to become wealthy, he will desire to keep the church in line with what God’s will is for it, and will desire to keep himself in line with it at the same time. I am proud to say that I have a pastor who does just that. Being on our church’s Finance committee, I know, and have a say in, what our pastor’s salary/benefits are, and would not give my approval if I was not comfortable with it. But I am, so I do.

    Again, you may disagree. That’s your right. But you can’t make a blanket statement that says it isn’t right. If your church decides to handle it differently, then even though I would disagree, that is still the right of your church membership to do so. Just be careful to criticize other churches for handling it differently.

  28. Jeff said

    “I don’t really care what Mr. Gill says about a passage.” – Dolla Bill

    Boy, there’s a sound refutation if I’ve ever seen one! 🙂

    I wonder where all this animosity toward pastors being paid comes from? It is certainly not from Scripture!

    After reading this debate, I come down solidly on Jason’s side. Good job Jason. Thanks for standing up for the great majority of underpaid and underappreciated pastors out there.

  29. Dolla Bill said

    Please re-read my posts. I am not saying that an Elder shouldn’t receive funds. I am saying that an Elder shouldn’t receive a set salary. It has not been proven to be Scriptural. Our elders are not Levitical preists. They do not make intercession for our sins.

    It has been said “the pastor is expected to visit hospitals and be on call 24/7…etc, etc..” Yet, where is that in Scripture? Is not hospital visitation a physical labor that deacons should do? See, the issue is that we have set our pastors up on a level that we think “only the pastor can pray for me in the hospital”, “I can’t believe the pastor didn’t visit me at the hospital.”

    I’ve heard context so much. What was the setting when Paul penned Timothy and Titus? Was it a setting like in America or was it a setting more like that in China or Sudan? Does it matter? I believe so.

    Does the American church need professional salaried clergy? I dare say no.

    I have no problem with what you choose to do. I’m not angry at all. But from one who came out of a setting such as the mainstream are in, I can’t see where it is Biblical.

    By the way, I am not in a denomination.

    Don’t get so upset because I don’t hold to your interpretation of the scriptures. Just understand that I don’t look down at our elders, we have 3. I pray for them and thank God for their leadership and insight. I am also thankful that they are fulltime and yet decline a salary or pay of any kind. I believe it is a strong testimony to teh unbeliever – Just like Paul felt in 1 Cor. The elders made this decision on their own and they believe, as do I, that it is Biblical.

    $Dolla Bill$ rubbing da kat da rong way 🙂

  30. Justin said

    I just want to make a quick comment by saying that Creflo Dollar isn’t even on the payroll for World Changers Church International. His sole income now is from his books and teachings.

    I heard a lot of the show and with the way things were put by the host, yea that is definitely immoral. I don’t believe that everything spoken painted a clear picture of these pastors though.

    I for one, learned a whole lot from Creflo Dollar’s ministry in my baby years. I have been saved for 4 years now and if it weren’t for the ministry of many of these people who so many people love to attack, I would be as dead as a door nail spiritually.

    Benny Hinn holds crusades all over the world. He sometimes has over 1 million people attend in a single night. Do you know how many billions of dollars it has probably taken them to reach the people they have?

  31. Anonymous said

    My husband is a pastor and he works full time. We have 7 children. The congregation cannot afford to pay him it is a very small congregation. He makes about $24,000 a year at his regular job.

  32. jAsOn said

    Dolla,

    To support your position, you have to establish that having a pastor receive a set salary DOES NOT fall under the pervue of giving him “double honor” in order to call it unbiblical. Are you suggesting that if one of the Corinthian churchs had the means to insure him a set and periodic amount of money to maintain his livelihood and they decided to do so, that Paul would have repremanded them for it?

    Again, you have set up a false dilema, I do not believe that our pastors intercede for our sins because we appointed men as our overseers.

    You cannot take the grammatical/historical interpretation of the scriptures to the nth degree, or else you will never have liberty to apply any scriptural teaching to us because none of it was written DIRECTLY to us.

    “Does the American church need professional salaried clergy?” This is the wrong question to ask…what you should ask is this, Does the Bible permit or prohibit it?

    Justin,

    I’m sorry to say it, but it makes no difference how many persons attend those rallies or how many billions have been “reached” through them because those people aren’t being reached with the gospel, but with something else. I say this for your protection…though you may have heard the gospel through their ministry but I suggest that (even though you are saved) you haven’t grown through either of those ministries because their leaders are false teachers.

  33. ADB said

    I can’t say much in this without it being seen as a conflict being as I am one of those money grubbing folks who do nothing but show up to preach on Sunday with a hand out for $$$. The OT references are very valid I think by the way. I would also follow up on Jason’s comments. Personally, I have little regard for much of what I see on TV. That being said, the Holy Spirit can still use them to bring a sinner to faith and repentance. I strongly encourage Justin to find a local church- good ones come in all sizes and denominations as do bad ones. Find one where the folks really love each other, where they take Bible study and prayer seriously, and to use the classic definition “where the Word is purely preached and the sacraments are rightly administered.”

  34. While I wrote this 5 years ago, I thought, as I do now with the Health/Dental care crisis in America that we could do something greater than build that fancy super church and super sized parking lots to match… And especially pay Pastors outrageous salaries.

    I have worked with many pastor’s and I’ve never seen a larger collective of greedy, back stabbing scumbags, drug addicts and adulterers in my life.

    Not only that, but the only time I can find Jesus telling any one they are going to burn in everlasting torment, is in regard to not taking care of the less fortunate.

    For Christians to boast in their blessings while families go hungry and homeless around them and then do nothing… That is a terrible travesty and not to mention it is a SIN.

    Single handedly the Churches of America could pay for Health care cost in America but I guess Patriotism only goes so far… Out of our big mouths.

    I wrote this article for a comparison of what a church entity can monetarily produce verses the services they provide… This may or may not be appropriate to this forum but who knows…

    ***********************************************************

    I have spent years working in the ministry amongst the Christian Right or ‘Southern Religion’… I find it disgusting that while the pews are full of the top 2% wage earners they, if even they contribute to any food pantry for the homeless, only provide second hand or day old food.

    Do not misunderstand, I am thankful that I live in a very wealthy country at least appearing as such. We have weather controlled environments and what a luxury the ice box.

    With all the security and comfort it provides you would think homelessness would be beneath any civilized superior culture such as the USA… At least among Christians.

    What many people do not know is that maybe, just maybe people, as a whole aren’t very smart. There isn’t any glory in allowing people to live beneath an underpass.

    Laura Miller, the Mayor of Dallas, managed to pass a ‘No Panhandling’ Law… Give me a break. Does this mean she can’t have her 100(1,000?)$ plate luncheons to raise(pan-handle) money for her re-election..?

    But I bet, she doesn’t miss filling the tombs of the Dead, every Sunday morning in some North Dallas Church.

    The point, I wouldn’t serve this half rotted food(crap) to my dog. Christians of this ilk tend to ramble on about Sin, from ************ to drinking and the hardest case… Sexual preference. While among their highest ranking(famous) known circuit preachers there are plenty of liars, fornicators and adulterers. Molestation is a major problem but unlike the Catholic Church, Non denominational Churches (Southern religion)Molest ones Spirit…

    A Gay man cannot be a preacher but an Adulterer can.

    Event though, I cannot find in the entire bible any commandment given by God or Christ that would in any way resemble ‘Thou Shalt not lay men with men or women with women(or be Gay).’

    I once asked my Mentor, ‘What do I do with the homosexual or the lesbians, as a minister what do I say?’ He asked, ‘What did Jesus Do?’ I answered, ‘nothing.’ He said, ‘Thats what you say and do , nothing, period!’

    Praise is a big one for Charismatic and legalistic approaches alike. Hell, fire and brimstone to snake handling, I’ve seen it all! Casting out Demons was very eventful that would take novels to explain.

    The average Congregation is about 80 to 150 while upper rung churches range from 500 ([This church Disbanded]*Haven Fellowship Church in Hurst, Texas) to an astounding draw of 17,000 (Fellowship.Com Church in Grapevine, Texas) people showing up to a single church service.

    The most powerful financial entity in America is a Church. A Church the size of about *00 people can (And I stress ‘can’) produce an extra 2-3 not thousands but millions of dollars a year. By ‘extra’ I mean after all expenses charity, Salary and upkeep then you have the extra. What do they do with all that money? Thats obvious too, they live in multi million dollar estates, for example; Kenneth Copland owns three Jets 2 727 and a DC10 I believe on his own private little airport, I have even been invited to Ride Harley’s with him as he boasts of owning over 50 of them in his Harley hanger. In Irony during the late 80’s and early 90’s Kenneth’s eldest son was the second most prominent Cocaine dealers in North Texas (No matter what they say).

    Okay I admit this isn’t anything new but you would think fresh food would be the righteous choice. If your going to peddle your plastic feel good drug called Jesus then feed people what you would feed your own children.

    The fact that one of the finest Church pantry is at A Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, Texas. It is the cleanest and most efficient food distribution system (much like the postal service, if one could imagine) I have ever seen, taking some thirty people to run. When I interviewed the director they told me that a person must have annual wage of at least $20,000 US dollars to qualify for help. My jaw hit the floor but I still didn’t know why so, after a lot of time and little luck I discovered the purpose of this Qualification. They take and draw from your Social Security early as a loan but then they deposit it into their own accounts as a tax free offering to the the ‘Church Of Christ’. Whats the draw back? The recipient of Gods blessing receives money from their own retirement but it actually counts as loan that draws interest every year it goes unpaid. The worse part is a person doesn’t find out, until they are retired that they owe any of this money because it’s against there social security benefits in retirement.

    “Sorry Mr. Jones your monthly payment has been reduced from the normal monthly wage of $650 by a third to pay the ‘unpaid’ balance of $******”… Or whatever your loan and interest calculates up to.

    That should be criminal.

  35. DollaBill said

    Jason,

    My question was stated correctly. As for your question: I’ll answer it with a statement. I just don’t see it in the context of 1 Timothy or the rest of the NT scriptures. You can stand behind your interpretation as I will mine. I’ll continue to study the issue.

    Let me assure those who may think this: I have no emotional attachment to this issue. Simply seeking to be Biblical without denominational blinders on.

    I hold to a lot of views that would flow up river to mainstream denominations. Yet, in essentials we would agree.

    As for this topic: Paul answers Creflo, Benny, etc. in verse 8 of chapter 6 in 1st Timothy and even verse 9.

    One last point: Jason, don’t become prideful in your knowledge. You come across as one that is puffed up and “can’t be wrong”. Just be careful with that. You need to understand that not all denominationas are as yours and we all have our “baggage” to deal with. You’re not 100% right and what you learned from your denominational scholars can be in error. Even their interpretation of 1 Timothy. Be willing and able to step outside your box and look at all the angles.

    $Dolla Bill$ out dawg………

  36. jAsOn said

    Thomas,

    First things first, the primary purpose o f the church is to render worship to the Lord God omnipotent! We do this by: boasting in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Author & Finisher of our faith; the Life, the Truth and the way, admonishing one another in psalms and hymns, providing for widows and orphans.

    It sounds as though you might pit Paul against Jesus, because he spoke very clearly against homosexual sex and that if you are not “in Christ”, then you will receive the wrath of God instead of His mercy. Yes, sir, we are all sinners, and we all do terrible things, but that is the whole point, we cannot live up to the standard of God’s holiness, but Christ did in our place…those who are saved by the merciful grace of God, through faith.

    John 14:6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    2 Cor 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    There are two types of persons in this world Thomas, there are those who admit that they are hypocrites and there are liars…which one are you?

  37. jAsOn said

    Noted Dolla, we all have prideful tendancies. Just don’t mistake a “knowledgable” presentation on an issue as necessarily being prideful…remember that we are only communicating in one dimmension as we type, so tone and body language cannot be clear.

    I am actually “between” denominations as it were and I have revised my understanding on many doctrines in the past five years. Also note that non-denominationalism in itself can be “denominational”, having its own tenets. We all have a great deal to learn from historical theology, so let us not forsake it so quickly…independance and a neglect to put ones self under proper authorities can also puff one up.

    Thanks,

    jAsOn

  38. jAsOn said

    Just out of curiousity, how does your church deal with disciplinary issues; applying Matthew 18?

  39. ADB said

    Jason,

    You made an excellent point in #37. In their rush to say that they stand on nothing but the Bible, some folks are exhibiting the height of arrogance. There have been 2,000 years of faithful saints who have been trying to faithfully serve the Lord, who am I to think that I am smarter than all them. No commentator has a stranglehold on truth, but it’s silly to think that we don’t need to consider what Augustine, Athanasius, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Barth, and so many others have said.

  40. Hello Jason,

    How are you?

    I really didn’t post that message with the intent to challenge anyone.. Except maybe Kenneth… OR anybody else form the Oral Robert’s camp.

    And even then it’s not to be Self Righteous either.

    To answer your question, Yes, I am perfect and without sin…. Not.

    Although, I am not a Hypocrite nor am I a Liar concerning the Faith. And Leaders should be held accountable to their followers without question.

    The Ten Commandments were taken directly from the Egyptian book of the Dead as it had been a part of the Hebrew book of the Dead before the Exodus.

    The 42 Confessionals are what they are called and once a year the Priests, Kings, Queens or any person holding title or leadership positions had to confess these before their people. The idea is in the Ancient cultures that derived these laws thought it wise to first apply it to positions of Authority. Of which, the later Pauline ideals reversed this ideal by imposing a ‘Whitewashed’ version over converted Christian Gentiles.

    As the Law is applied to the Sinner… This mentality is maintained in the post modern church as we speak. Anytime a person, as I myself previously posted, stands up against Christian leadership, someone like steps in.

    Do not defend the Strong… They need not any defense, Christ is their defense that is if they serve the master or not.

    The importance within Biblical Authority of the Church is applied to the Head first not the Tail.

    Even the scripture states the Teacher’s of the Law are held to a stricter judgment.

    We have a duty to check our Authority on every level. I do not agree with Paul’s Idea of Authority but I most definitely agree with Jesus and Idea. “… The Gentiles lord it over one another but it will not be that with you… (Speaking to the Desposyni)”

    I am a Nazarene not a Christian in the modern context and definition… If I said Christianity is older than the oldest recorded civilization it would probably boggle many people as how…

    Desposyni literally means – ‘bloodline heirs to the Lord’

    The Poverty of the Desposyni

    And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mocking and scourging, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

    – Hebrews 11:35-38

    They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

    – John 16:2

    It has come as some surprise to people, upon learning about the Desposyni, to find that they live very ordinary lives and are often quite poor. Not meeting the mystique of their expectations, it reminds me of the curious who came to see what John the Baptist was all about. Jesus chided the sign-seekers of His day,

    But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.

    – Matthew 11:8

    “But aren’t the Desposyni princes in the kingdom of God?” Indeed, they are; they are God’s chosen leadership.

    “So why aren’t they leading?”

    They are not ruling the churches because the people of God are stiffnecked and rebellious. Every male member of the Desposyni known to history in the ancient world died a violent death. In recent years, there was a man – probably a charlatan – who claimed to be a descendant of King David. The government burned-down his church with the people trapped inside. The rest of our self-righteous countrymen cheered.

    Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, also claimed this sacred lineage. He, too, was murdered by a mob.

    The poverty of the Desposyni measures the spiritual poverty of the Church. When the Church becomes obedient to God’s order, it will be indicated by the enthronement of the Desposyni and a reversal of circumstances.

    Everyone loves success; no one loves a loser. The Desposyni have been the great losers of history. It must be so, until “the times of the Gentiles” be fulfilled. Then, like Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, those of the Desposyni who have been faithful to the Covenant will come into their glory.

    “Shall these bones live again?”, it was asked the prophet. He responded, “O LORD, thou knowest.”

    He was commanded to “speak to the wind” and command them to live. So, like the prophet, I speak to the wind and command life.

    “He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

    A servant and brother of Jesus,

    HRH King Thomas of Hierosolyma Kt. S.D. O.G.S.

  41. jAsOn said

    I would be interested in hearing how you think Paul contradicts Jesus’ idea of authority, because I don’t think he does. I haven’t investigated OT transmition as thoughroughly as NT transmission, but I have done a bit of research into it in the later, but I doubt there is any actual textual evidence to link the 10 commandments with the other text to which you refered.

    What do you think of Christ’s claims of exclusivity and His claim of deity?

  42. Jeff said

    “One last point: Jason, don’t become prideful in your knowledge. You come across as one that is puffed up and “can’t be wrong”. Just be careful with that. You need to understand that not all denominationas are as yours and we all have our “baggage” to deal with. You’re not 100% right and what you learned from your denominational scholars can be in error. Even their interpretation of 1 Timothy. Be willing and able to step outside your box and look at all the angles.” – Dolla Bill

    Dolla,

    I don’t think Jason has come across as arrogant at all. What he has done is present a biblical case for the claims that he is making. He has sought to prove his case by sound exegesis of the Scriptures. If you are to refute him, you need to interact with his treatment of Scripture, showing where he is wrong. It doesn’t help your case when you come back with bald assertions and accusations of arrogance. If you cannot refute his exegesis, then “be willing and able to step outside your box and look at all the angles.”

    “remember that we are only communicating in one dimmension as we type, so tone and body language cannot be clear.” – Jason

    Good point. I assure you – no malice, just a concern for the truth.

  43. Jason you ask a hard thing and this is deep but I will fight the good fight and I am serious when I say I am at war against the apostate church.

    (NOTE; You need to read the Egyptian Book of the Dead and find the section regard the 42 Confessionals the Ten Commandments can be found there in, translated almost word for word.)

    WARNING: This Material is not for the faint of spirit or weak of faith… It is not intended to offend but alas I know it will.

    I wish everyone to respect me as I go out on a limb as I do not want to lose my privilege to post comments on this website…

    With that in mind please be patient with me and open minded when reading this material

    PART ONE (Part Two will come later as I am tired and need sleep)

    Is Paul a lier?

    Paul and the Jerusalem Council

    In the book of Acts we have recorded by Luke, two separate trips Paul made to Jerusalem to discuss doctrinal matters with the head Messianic leaders, Peter, and James.

    The first incident is recorded in Acts 15. Here, as the story goes, there had been a disagreement as to whether the Gentiles believers needed to be circumcised.

    So Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem to find answers to the question. When they came to Jerusalem the elders received them and Paul told them of his ministry among the Gentiles. At this point a group of believing Pharisees stated that it was necessary for the Gentiles to be circumcised, and to keep the Law of Moses. This must have been the hot topic of the day because it was just what Paul and Barnabas had been sent there to discuss. And it says
    there was “much dispute”.

    Then Peter speaks and makes reference to an event where he had been sent to the Gentile Cornelius, and he goes on to say these
    words.

    “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers or we were able to bear?”

    Acts 15:8-10 NKJV

    Here Peter is referring to the Gentiles, and appears to be calling the Law of Moses an unbearable burden. Before going on to the subject of Paul, a couple of things need to be addressed in this quote first because there are those in the Jewish community who can’t believe Peter or James would ever call the Law a burden. Many would rather charge Luke with dishonest reporting.

    Again, I see no reason to accuse Luke of malice. The book of Acts was written to a personal friend of Luke’s named Theophilus. It’s hard to imagine why Luke would lie to him. I believe Luke accurately recorded what he saw and heard. Who he quotes
    may have been in doctrinal error, and his own commentaries may have been made in Pauline induced ignorance, but I personally have a hard time with the notion that Luke was part of a grand conspiracy to destroy the Law. I see Luke as a very typical everyday person, a Gentile with honorable intentions. When he is
    discredited as a reporter, nothing he says is reliable anymore. He records events which end up convicting Paul as well as support him.

    The key to understanding Peter’s quote which appeared to call the Law an unbearable burden is to remember who started the argument and who he is addressing… the Pharisees.

    (see previous three verses. Acts 15:5-7)

    Even Yeshua called their idea of the Law a burden. He said:

    “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do. But do not do according to their works; for they say and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their
    fingers.”

    Matt 23:2-4 NKJV

    I believe these words were echoing in Peter’s ears when he heard the Pharisees demand that the Gentiles keep the Law. He knew what their idea of the Law was… a burden!

    Yeshua had said:

    “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt.11:30 NKJV

    The apostle John also said:

    “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

    1John 5:3 NKJV

    The true unadulterated Law of Moses is not unbearable. But Peter and James did not want the Pharisees dictating to the Gentiles their idea of the Law with all its additions and amendments. This is what they were referring to when they called the Law an unbearable yoke.

    As the story continues, Paul and Barnabas tell of “the many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles”. Then James begins to speak, and after a short speech says:

    “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

    Acts 15:19-21 NKJV

    Here James is obviously endorsing dietary and sexual purity laws along with Moses in general. It is reasonable to assume that James intended for the four laws he outlined to be stop gap measures, to keep the new believers from doing damage to themselves before they could receive the rest of the Law through the reading of Moses in the synagogues every Sabbath.

    The continued hallowing of the Sabbath is evident in that James uses the present tense word “being”, and the attendance of the new Gentile believers to the synagogues on the Sabbath is quite obviously implied.

    The idea of troubling the Gentiles is his way of saying the pharisaic laws were too much of a burden. The issue of circumcision is left up in the air. Again, it appears that James intended the new believers to be convicted when they heard Moses read in the synagogues and as a result, follow through with the rest of the Law including circumcision. This was his way of
    trying to keep as many of the factions together without unduly insulting the believing Pharisees, and allowing for the Gentiles
    to receive a more unadulterated version of the Law.

    The Messianic leaders then decided to write a letter to the Gentile believers. This was to be the official position on the issue, and it was given to Paul, Barnabas, and other leading men of the congregation who went with them to confirm its authenticity and see that it was delivered properly.

    The part that needs to be born out is the list of four immediate requirements concerning dietary and sexual purity laws. They are listed a second time in the official letter itself:

    “…For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

    Acts 15:28,29 NKJV

    Twice, these four requirements are listed in Acts 15. Later in the book, Paul returns again to Jerusalem, only this time he was in trouble for what he had been teaching. More will be mentioned about this episode later.

    At the end of a lecture to Paul, James makes this statement:

    “But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.”

    Acts 21:25 NKJV

    There they are again. The same four requirements listed a third time.

    The Lie

    In Galatians 2, Paul makes mention of the same trip to Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15.

    It is obvious from the subject matter alone–and most scholars
    agree–that it is a reference to the same Jerusalem council meeting.

    First it is imperative that we understand the subject matter of Galatians.

    Christianity fondly refers to the book of Galatians as “the Magna Carta of spiritual emancipation”.

    One reference says, “…it remains as the abiding
    monument of the liberation of Christianity from the trammels of legalism.”

    It is evident to the reader of Galatians that Paul’s position against the Law is quite hostile. His intention is to convince the Galation believers not to give the time of day to the “Judaizers” like Peter who were teaching the Law of Moses including circumcision.

    In fact, he twice commands the Galatians to curse anyone
    who teaches anything other than his doctrine.

    Gal. 1:8,9

    Among his many anti-Torah/Law arguments are these quotes:

    “…for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” 2:16 *

    “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident…”3:11*

    “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law…” 3:13

    The law is not a curse, nor does it of itself bring one. Breaking the law brings a curse. Therefore it is man and not the Law that is the problem.

    “Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace. 5:2-4

    Here he even drops his own name before telling the Galatians a terrible falsehood.

    “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’”. 5:14 **

    * Deuteronomy 6:25 rebuffs these statements when Moses says: “Then 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.”

    ** This is only the second greatest commandment. Matt. 22:36-40 says; “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

    Yeshua said to him, “’You shall love
    the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and the great commandment. And the second is like it:

    ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    1 John 5:3 describes how we are to fulfill the first
    and greatest commandment to love God with all our heart:

    “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

    Paul even goes so far as to wish that those who preach circumcision would take the knife and cut their own penises off! (Gal. 5:12) He refers to circumcision as “the mutilation” in Phil. 3:2.

    His attitude toward the Law and those who teach it is obviously quite hostile.

    Keeping this in mind, now take a look at Paul’s version of his meeting with the Jerusalem council.

    “Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles… But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me.

    But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter… and when James, Cephas*, and John who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had
    been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I was also eager to do.”

    Gal. 2:1,2,6-7,9-10 NKJV *Peter

    This is Paul’s version of what happened. When he said that the church in Jerusalem desired “only” that he remember the poor, how could this be anything but an outright lie? Remember that Paul is attempting to persuade the Galatians not to be circumcised or follow the Law of Moses. This is the foundational theme
    of the entire book.

    Paul was in the middle of communicating to the Galatians
    that he had Jerusalem’s full support in spite of the fact that he didn’t believe he needed it. But he could not afford to tell the truth that the official edict from Jerusalem included four requirements from the Law of Moses, three of which
    were dietary.

    So he told them a lie when he said, “They desired only that we
    remember the poor”. The official letter read that the Gentiles were to “keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.” and nowhere in the letter is there any mention of the poor!

    The Greek word that Paul used and is translated “only” literally means “with nothing else”.

    It should also be pointed out that in the book of Galatians, Paul begins telling of his contacts with the Jerusalem Messianic leaders in verse 18 of chapter 1.

    He had just finished telling the Galatians that his doctrine was given to him by divine revelation alone. It didn’t even come from the original apostles who had spent three and a half years with Yeshua. When Paul tells of his meeting with the Jerusalem leaders, his attitude was that the original apostles were of no significance to him, but if it mattered to the Galatians, he indicated that he still had Peter, James, and John’s full support.

    After beginning to mention his contacts with Peter, James and John in verse 18 of chapter 1 he says these words in verse 20:

    “Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.” NKJV

    Paul actually had the gal to preface a lie with an oath of honesty! One has to ask the question why he felt compelled in the first place to assure the Galatians he was not lying.

    Yeshua had a few words to say concerning this type of oath:

    “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne’ nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’ be ‘No’. For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

    Mat. 5:33-37 NKJV

    Paul’s own words convict him again. He was a liar, along with being a false apostle just as Yeshua had commended the Ephesian church for exposing. He was a liar because he lied to the Galatians regardless of whether or not the Ephesian church was aware of this particular lie. But it is not at all unlikely that the Ephesian church was very familiar with both Paul’s letter to the Galatians and the official letter from the Jerusalem council. The Jerusalem council letter would have been circulated to all the Gentile churches, and there is strong evidence to suggest that Paul’s letters were being copied and circulated as well among the churches.

    Peter makes this apparent in 2 Peter 3:15,16 when he speaks
    of Paul and the content of “all his epistles”. Peter could not say this without being familiar with most if not all of them! One can also see from the passage that he assumes his readers are aware of them as well.

    2 Peter 3:15,16 is the passage in which Peter appears to call Paul’s letters Scripture and is the subject matter of another chapter.

    Paul’s lie to King Agrippa

    The fact that Paul lied to the Galatians is by itself enough to establish him as a liar, but once a person crosses that bridge he will likely continue the practice. His lie to the Galatians is by no means his only one.

    In the book of Acts, the story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus is recorded three different times. The first is in chapter 9:3-19 as documented by the author of the book of Acts… Luke. The highlights are;

    And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Yeshua, whom you are persecuting, It is hard for you to kick
    against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” And the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

    The second is in chapter 22:6-15 and here, Luke records Paul’s personal account of his experience as given before the angry Jews in Jerusalem. The points of interest here are;

    “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Yeshua of Nazareth, Whom you are
    persecuting.’ …So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’

    There is no real problem or conflict in these first two accounts. Even with the slight variations, the main points remain basically identical. Fact is, they are quite consistent and corroborate each other.

    The third record of Paul’s conversion experience is again given by Paul himself in his own defense before king Agrippa in chapter 26:12-19.

    Now here he says these words;

    “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and
    saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You , Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Yeshua, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet;
    for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes and to turn them from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an
    inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly
    vision…”

    Hey, wait just a minute Paul! According to yours and Luke’s previous testimonies, when you asked Yeshua what you were to do, He told you to do absolutely nothing other than to go to Damascus, and there you would be told “all things” you were to do! Now you want us to believe Yeshua told you all of this on the spot?

    This is not just a simple case of information having been left out of the first two accounts and making a weak argument from absence. Some arguments from absence are excellent arguments. If one can establish that something should appear, then one can make a good argument if it does not appear.

    The theory of evolution and the total lack of intermediate species (missing links) in the fossil record is a good example. In Paul’s case, if Yeshua had actually come out and said anything like, “Here is the reason why I have appeared to you…” what He said immediately following this would without question be focal point and highlight of any and every recollection of the encounter! But nothing of the sort is found in the first two accounts. And what’s more, when Paul asked, Yeshua clearly told him that he was to go to Damascus where he would be told “all things” he was to do.

    It should be apparent that Paul wanted to paint a picture for King Agrippa of what he believed to be his unavoidable destiny. He then went on to embellish his account of his vision with a lie. The part of his story above which is in bold print is a total fabrication… sounding far more like something Paul would say
    than something Yeshua would say. But the main point to be made here is that the purpose for Yeshua confronting Paul is obvious and found in His first words:

    “Why are you persecuting Me?” Yeshua’s purpose was to stop the persecution!

    The fact that Paul didn’t reject Yeshua but submitted to Him with the words, “What would You have me do?” is a secondary outgrowth of the event. Had Paul stubbornly tried to continue on his way to Damascus to arrest the messianic believers, it would have been the end of him on the spot. The scene is very reminiscent of Balaam being stopped by the Angel of Lord because he intended to
    curse Israel. See Numbers 22:22-34

    Also, from Paul’s fabricated story, it appears that he designed it to subtly impress upon King Agrippa’s mind the picture that it was his destiny to be delivered from the Jews as he had been. So next it would be King Agrippa himself and the Gentiles as well. Fact is, from that time on Paul never was delivered from the Gentiles!

    A little later in the story, after Festus and Agrippa had mocked Paul and come to the conclusion that Paul was little more than a harmless crackpot, Paul opts for making an appeal to Caesar for justice in the matter. Christianity has generally thought of Paul’s appeal to Caesar as a brilliant tactical move. But
    one fact is conveniently looked over. It is recorded that King Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

    Acts 26:32

    (To be Continued)

  44. jAsOn said

    Thomas,

    “Here Peter is referring to the Gentiles, and appears to be calling the Law of Moses an unbearable burden. Before going on to the subject of Paul, a couple of things need to be addressed in this quote first because there are those in the Jewish community who can’t believe Peter or James would ever call the Law a burden. Many would rather charge Luke with dishonest reporting.” – Thomas

    The reason that the Jewish community might feel that way is because they thought it was the way to God; that personal and cooperate obedience to the stipulations of the Mosaic Covenant obligated God’s favor for their eternal salvation…this is not true. The promises of that covenant were only for physical land and temporal promises, but those promises pointed (as a type) to the promises of the New Covenant which is in Christ’s blood, which promises provide eternal salvation from the just wrath of God against sin. So the burden is that persons were trying to work their way to God, rather than be counted righteous by faith as Abraham was.

    Hebrews 7:13 “For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” 18 On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.'” 22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. 23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.”

    “The true unadulterated Law of Moses is not unbearable. But Peter and James did not want the Pharisees dictating to the Gentiles their idea of the Law with all its additions and amendments. This is what they were referring to when they called the Law an unbearable yoke.” – Thomas

    Actually that is not at all what they meant by unbearable. The stipulation of circumcision and other ceremonial laws were not imposed exclusively by the Pharisees, but there are included in the Torah, which was the Law of Moses. Like the reformers, I understand a distinction between the “moral” law and the “ceremonial and civil” law, but all three made up the Law associated with the Old Covenant, but the moral law (10 commandments) remains as a measure today because it describes the character of God. The burden spoken of in Acts is that the Law in itself only had the power to point out imperfection; it never had the power to accomplish its demands in the hearts of men that is the gospel, that Christ fulfilled the law on our behalf because we never could.

    The issue of circumcision was never “left up in the air”, it is very clear that, throughout the NT the view back on circumcision is that Christ was cut off for us; He received the consequence of covenant disobedience for the people of God so they could be justified.

    The abstinence of eating things offered to idols was James’ attempt to protect the conscience of Jewish believers who would be offended by it. The saved gentiles would have come from idol worship and would not likely turn back to it, but there would have eaten meat sacrificed to them, which by the way is not prohibited, but offending a weaker brother is. Of course the sore of sexual purity laws remain intact in the New Covenant, lust and adultery have always been sins.

    The laws that the legalistic Jews had added were of course always an offence to God, and likewise were additional burden to all who attempted to keep them. Certainly the Sabbath as revealed in the NT is to be kept, but there again; the legalists had set up and tried to impose additional laws on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was created for man, man was not created for keeping it; the Sabbath is the picture of “rest” we have in Christ, rest we have in “The Land”.

    James’ last statement you quoted is not a prescription for keeping the Mosaic Law in its fullest expression, just a historical account of the faithfulness of God to preserve a remnant throughout the ages—even then, the preaching of the Mosaic Law was useful in pointing Jews to Christ who was the real Temple and the “Better Hope”. Again, the requirement was not to offend, not to restate the Law of Moses, because if it was their intention, then they would be doing the Gentiles no favors by only asking them to obey part of the Law of Moses, because only full obedience of the law at every point would obtain the promises of the Old Covenant. James even said, 2: 10 “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

    Peter was never called a Judaizer, Paul reprimanded Peter because he gave in to them, not because he was one. It is never said that Peter was demanding that persons be circumcised, just that he had give in to those who did, and did not eat with the “uncircumcision”.

    “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’”. 5:14”

    This is clearly the literary technique, hyperbole. And there is not indication in the text that Paul rejects the idea of the law being summed up in two great commandments.

    The theme of the letter to the Galatians is that they should not believe anyone who comes with another gospel, as though there were another one, which demanded that they be circumcised, that was the intent of the book, and Paul is obviously arguing against your position as well. Paul does not say that the “original” apostles mean nothing to him; he is referring again to the Jewish leaders with that pejorative comment, “those who seemed to be something”

    Peter himself commended Paul for his understanding of doctrine.

    2 Peter 3: 15 “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”

    More to come…

  45. jAsOn said

    Thomas,

    It doesn’t seem like you have seriously considered the historically accurate scholarship on this matter of the transmission and expiation of Paul’s words, because you are just repeating the same critizism that have long since been refuted.

  46. Jason the first problem with this discussion, I do feel that it is inappropriate to continue is this direction on this thread.

    Considering the original subject of this thread I think we may have lost sight so, without argument I will post some scripture verses the blatantly contradict each other.

    Although after you respond to this post, could we continue this discussion in another venue? I truly wish not to offend anyone and respect this website and ministry.

    I welcome anybody as well to join in the discussion.

    My personal e-mail: Sonsofthoth@yahoo.com

    Please understand that I have since found answers to a few of the scriptural comparisons below. I must confess that I know Jesus is descended from the line David, that he was married adhering to the strict code of Dynastic Wedlock and with out question and that he was the Melchi-Zedek of his day. And as petty as a few references are below, they are still worth inspection under the lens of healthy criticism, and introspection.

    I only wish to point out how dangerous it is to believe that bible is the inerrant and the ‘Canon’ being the only version of Gods truth. I not only believe, the bible is mankind’s futile attempt to control one another but, that it is copied from far more ancient texts. Chiseled on stone cylinders, the truth can be found throughout the fertile crescent especially, Iraq. The Sumerian’s were the first Christians in the World or, where do you think the Messianic people came from?

    Those who study the New Testament may well note the fact that popular ‘red-letter’ editions of the text, with Christ’s words thus highlighted, contain virtually no such rubrics throughout the Epistles of Paul. With the sole exception of the Eucharistic formula at I-Cor 11:24-25, he does not quote any sayings of the historical Yesu/Jesus. Indeed furthermore, he never even once alludes to the detailed biographical panorama, from the Nativity up to the Passion, which fills the pages of the canonical Gospels. This is, on the face of it, a most puzzling omission. (although, astonishingly, he does quote John the Baptist: Ac 13:24-25)

    Beyond this remarkable lack of historical concern, however, there is an even more enigmatic aspect of Paul’s record in the New Testament. For an objective, philosophical reading of the documents would seem to reveal a number of logical contradictions, both within his biography and also between his theology and that of the Evangelists. It must be emphasized that these anomalies are conceptual rather than empirical in nature. For although they of course occur in interwoven historical, theological and normative contexts within the NT, they nevertheless present themselves as a priori problems of analytical consistency between various texts regardless of the truth or falsity of any factual claims being made or presumed by those texts. Furthermore, these discrepancies must be similarly distinguished from logically posterior issues concerning the ancient composition, editing, redactions or dating of the New Testament writings, all of which are factual/historical topics.

    In sum, and stated more formally: the Pauline antinomies are logical contradictions and therefore cannot in principle be resolved by means of either historical investigation or textual criticism, both of which are empirical methodologies.

    Neither is this the place to provide a retrospective survey of the many past commentaries on these complex questions. I shall only append a series of quotations from a number of eminent figures starting with Thomas Aquinas (citing Jerome and Augustine), John Duns Scotus, Teresa of Avila, Blaise Pascal, and John Locke who are in general agreement that Paul’s doctrines appear to be seriously at odds with the Gospel message. These excerpts suffice to show that what might be called ‘the Paul paradox’ has been recognized by a remarkably wide spectrum of prominent individuals across the centuries.

    Here then is the matrix of antinomies, along with a brief statement of the apparent logical contradiction in each case (the original Greek should always be checked, at least via Adolph Knoch’s superlative interlinear Biblio.17, as modern translations often blur these very discrepancies):

    • 1. Ac 9:7 \\// Ac 22:9
    In the propositional calculus of modern logic, ‘p & not-q’ is the truth-functional negation of ‘q & not-p’. Thus ‘they heard but did not see’ directly contradicts ‘they saw but did not hear’. Yet this famous event on the Damascus road was the sole original justification for Paul’s supposed commission in independence of Peter/Kefa and the other Apostles.

    • 2. Ac 9:26-29 \\// Gal 1:17-2:1
    Did Paul then travel immediately- or seventeen years later!- from Damascus to Jerusalem in order to meet with the entire Apostolic circle?

    • 3. Mt 22:41-45 \\// Rom 1:3
    Paul asserts that Christ is descended from David, which the Gospels explicitly deny.

    • 4. Lk 2:49, 19:45-46 \\// Ac 17:24
    The Gospels endorse the OT designation of the Temple in Jerusalem as the very House of the LORD. Paul nevertheless proclaims to the Athenians that God inhabits no sanctuary made by human hands.

    • 5. Ac 1:15 \\// I-Cor 15:6
    How can Christ have appeared to over 500 Brothers at a time (prior to the ascension) when the entire Discipleship numbered only 120?

    • 6. Mt 10:2&40, 16:15-19 \\// Gal 2:11-13
    The explicit designation of Shimon Petros as the foremost Apostle, with all the delegated authority of the Lord himself, logically precludes any other Disciple or Apostle opposing him ‘to his face’ and calling him a hypocrite.

    • 7. Mt 28:16-20, Ac 10:1-11:18, 15:7-8 & 13-18 \\// Gal 2:6-9
    The Gospel doctrine is clearly that, after the resurrection, the remaining eleven Apostles were sent forth to proclaim the good news to the whole world. Paul nevertheless claims to be the one and only Apostle to the gentiles (‘the’ Apostle as he is often called), while Peter and the others according to this view were to be restricted to evangelizing among the Jews.

    • 8. Mt 5:48, Lk 1:6, Jn 1:14, 6:53-56 \\// Rom 8:8
    The incarnation of the Logos, and also the injunction to be perfect, entail that those who are in the flesh can indeed please God.

    • 9. Lk 24:36-43, Jn 11:43-44, 20:27, Ac 1:9-11, Ph 25 \\// I-Cor 15:50
    The evangelists proclaim an incarnate resurrection and parousia (second coming), whereas Paul on the contrary takes an anti-corporeal, gnostic position.

    • 10. Lk 4:5-8, Jn 18:36, 19:18, Ac 4:26 (Ps 2:2) \\// Rom 13:1-5
    The celestial kingdom is described in the Gospels as of another order from the entire realm of the nations, which are ruled by Satan and whereby Christ was crucified. On the other hand, the secular authorities with all their weaponry (including Mk 15:16 ff.??) are stated by Paul to be God’s own army.

    • 11. Mt 22:21 \\// Ac 25:11
    Christ cedes taxes to Caesar, Paul cedes his personal security to him (Nero, no less!).

    • 12. Dt 23:15-16, Mt 23:10-12, Jn 8:31-36 \\// Col 4:1, I-Tim 6:1-2, Philem 10-19
    The re-conceptualization in the Gospels promises to emancipate the believers from oppressive relationships, while Paul literally endorses slavery within the Discipleship.

    • 13. Mt 12:46-50, 23:8-9, Lk 14:25-26, Jn 1:12-13, 3:1-8, 11:52 \\// Col 3:18-21, I-Tim 5:8
    Christ teaches that family ties are to be renounced in favor of- that is, replaced by- the Father/Motherhood of God together with the Brother/Sisterhood of their incarnate Sons and Daughters, whereas Paul adamantly defends the traditional family structure.

    • 14. Mt 19:10-12, Lk 14:20-26, 18:28-30, 20:34-36 \\// I-Cor 7:2-16 & 9:5 (?!), Eph 5:22-24, I-Tim 3:1-4:3
    The Gospels stipulate that those worthy of salvation must transcend matrimony (note that Lk 18:28-30 occurs after Lk 4:38-39). Paul notwithstanding permits a continuation of marriage among the Disciples. Not forgetting the rules of Dynastic Wedlock, I personally, believe it is much akin to the Tibetan idea of Matrimony implying or rather stressing the ideal of worthiness in symbolic terms not necessarily literal terms. Although discipleship requires abstaining from sex while living in strict dietary and sanitary conditions for a season.

    • 15. Num 6:5, Lev 19:27, Mt 2:23 (Jud 13:5), Tr 21 \\// I-Cor 11:14
    The Hebrew tradition was that long hair on male or female is a sign of holiness and special devotion to God. Indeed the word at Mt 2:23 is NAZWRAIOS (the LXX or Septuagint term for Nazirite), not NAZARHNOS (i.e. someone from Nazareth). Were not John the Baptist and Christ both thus consecrated from birth?

    • 16. Mt 6:24-34, 10:8, Mk 10:13-31, Lk 14:28-33, Ac 4:32-36 \\// Ac 18:1-3, I-Cor 11:34, II-Thes 3:6-12
    Christ decrees a cessation of working for mammon, donating all private possessions to the poor, and living thereafter communally- childlike and without anxiety day-to-day like the birds and the flowers, with all shared possessions being distributed equitably among those who have need- thus lifting the curse of toil from mankind (Gen 3:17-19). Paul’s advice, on the contrary, is to ‘eat at home’ and avoid idlers, who must either work or go hungry. This many Pauline indoctrinated Christians have sold into the Capitalism(Mammon) while Jesus taught and ancient tribal custom of having all things in common, which is a form of Communism a medium of exchange (a Cashless Society).

    • 17. Mk 7:14-23, Lk 7:34 \\// Rom 14:21, I-Cor 8:13
    Either we ought, or we ought not, to maintain some particular diet for religious reasons. Yet Paul agrees with neither the OT’s dietary rules (kashrut) nor the Savior’s remarkable midrash (commentary) thereupon.

    • 18. Mt 12:19 (Isa 42:2), Lk 10:7 \\// Ac 17:16-34, 20:20
    Paul preaches house-to-house, as well as in the streets and squares- contrary to Christ’s paradigm.

    • 19. Mt 6:5-6 \\// I-Tim 2:8
    Paul demands the very same outspoken prayer which Christ condemns as exhibitionist; the Savior states that one should only pray in solitude and in secret, never openly.

    • 20. Mt 18:1-4, Mk 9:33-35, Lk 14:7-11 \\// II-Cor 11:5-12:13
    Paul’s recounting of his travels is insubordinately boastful and rivalrous- rather than humble, respectful and obedient- toward those who preceded him in the Discipleship.

    • 21. Mt 5:43-48, 7:1-5, 9:10-13, 18:21-35, Jn 8:2-11 \\// I-Cor 5, Gal 5:12, Tit 3:10-11
    The Gospel attitude toward wrongdoers is merciful, yet Paul’s is frankly inquisitional. Is ‘turning someone over to Satan for the extermination of the flesh’ intended to mean delivering him to the secular authorities for execution (as in Jn 19:17-18)? Are we to love our enemies or excoriate them?

    • 22. Mt 23:8-12 \\// Ac 20:28, I-Cor 4:15, I-Tim 3:1-13
    Paul introduces the terms ‘father’ and ‘deacon’ and ‘bishop’ to designate religious leaders- the very sort of title (along with ‘pastor’, ‘minister’, etc.) which Christ had explicitly prohibited. Indeed, the passage in Matthew would seem to preclude any kind of hierarchy in the Discipleship other than simple seniority (thus PRESBUTEROS, ‘elder’, in Ac 21:18, Jas 5:14, I-Pet 5:1, II-Jn 1- by which criterion Paul was obliged to submit to the original Apostles, quite contrary to II-Cor 11:5 & Gal 2:6).

    • 23. Gen 17:10, Lk 2:21 \\// Ac 16:3 (?!), Gal 5:2, Phlp 3:2, Tit 1:10-11
    Saying that it is necessary ‘to gag (EPISTOMIZEIN) circumcisionist dogs’ is conceptually inappropriate in an Apostolic context. In any event, even if Christ referred to that custom parabolically- as in Th 53- he certainly did not forbid its physical practice.

    • 24. Lk 11:27-28, Jn 4:1-30, 11:20-35, 20:11-18, Th 21 \\// I-Cor 14:34-35, I-Tim 2:11-15
    Various women speak up boldly to the Savior. Later, Mariam Magdalene as first witness (!) of the resurrection is sent by Christ to relate (AGGELLW: p66* À* A B) his rising to the Apostles themselves. This is not a teaching of mere female submissiveness or keeping quiet in the Convocation!

    • 25. Lk 7:36-8:3, 10:38-42, 23:55-24:11, Jn 12:1-3, Th 61b, 114, Ph 59 \\// I-Cor 7:1-2, Eph 5:22-24
    The Gospels represent women as an intimate part of Christ’s entourage- thus rescinding the punishment of husband-domination in Gen 3:16. Paul emphatically opposes any liberated role for females.

    • 26. Mt 5:17-19, 19:16-19, Lk 16:29-31, Ac 21:17-24(!!) \\// Rom 7:6, Gal 3:10, 5:18
    If the entire Torah- the decalogue in particular, but also the remaining mitzvot (moral rules) such as Lev 19:18 et passim- is in effect until the sky and earth pass away, then the Mosaic Law is not an obsolete curse from which believers are absolved. This was the very topic at issue when, after Paul had completed his three missionary journeys, ‘all of the Elders’ (!) in Jerusalem required him to take the Nazirite vow- to prove his continuing adherence to the Torah.

    • 27. Mt 7:21, 19:16-19, 25:31-46, Jn 13:34!, 14:21, 15:10, Jas 2:14-26 \\// Rom 3:28, 10:9, I-Cor 15:35-44
    Christ says that one’s calling him ‘Lord’ is not enough, but rather that the Disciple’s total obedience is demanded; both the OT and the Gospels require obedience to a plenitude of divine commandments, with resultant fruitful deeds. Paul on the other hand states that a simple confession of faith, along with a belief in Christ’s (merely spiritual, not corporeal) resurrection, suffices- a thoroughly antinomian doctrine. (This subject must be carefully distinguished from that of forgiveness- both among humans and between God and humankind- as a pre-eminently innovative tenet in the Gospels. For of course absolution logically presupposes a transgression of the rules, not their abrogation; compare e.g. Ezek 18 with Mt 6:14-15- forgiveness cancels karma!)

    • 28. Gen 49, Jud 2:16 ff., Mt 19:28, Ac 1:13-26, Rev/Ap 2:2, 21:14 \\// I-Cor 9:1-2, II-Cor 11:5-13
    Finally, we must observe the fact that the permanent tally of the Apostles was established by the Savior at exactly twelve (for obvious reasons of historical symbolism- note the symmetry at Rev/Ap 21:12-14), and moreover that Paul was never numbered in that circle.

    Although Paul indeed did compose some eloquently poetic passages (such as Col 1:15-20), they must, in light of the foregoing doctrinal conflicts, be considered no more than ornamentation in his writings. Those documents, in their entirety, proclaim a discipleship which is fundamentally incompatible with the message of Christ himself as recorded in the historical Gospels.
    The irony of course is that the Gospels themselves, of which tradition Paul was evidently ignorant, were ultimately only preserved by the Pauline Church, which also disseminated the very OT which Paul himself had disdained. My purpose here, however, has been merely to format a set of scriptural dichotomies, in order to exhibit the underlying logic of the ancient Messianic/Paulianity schism as essentially a conceptual (and of course personal) rather than a factual issue. This in turn may hopefully serve to stimulate a discussion both of the apostolic status of Saul of Tarsus and thus of his inclusion in the canon. For he seems never to have joined Christ’s Discipleship at all (which would have meant accepting Peter’s spiritual authority), much less to have become an Apostle.

    Indeed, Paul seems to have been personally in charge of the stoning of Stephen (Ac 7:58-8:1), since according to Dt 17:7 the ‘witnesses who laid their cloaks at his feet’- i.e. were under his direct authority- were obliged to cast the first stones. Might one therefore ask as to his whereabouts on the night Christ was arrested? Was he then also part of the Temple guard? This would certainly explain his subsequent obsession with unmerited forgiveness!

    These basic questions cannot be papered over, nor can they be settled by institutional fiat. For their illuminating implication is that traditional Christianity- as defined by the classical NT canon including both the Gospels and Paul’s Epistles- is logically self-contradictory and hence inherently unstable. Or, in a contemporary analogy, we might say that Paul’s writings are like a computer virus: a surreptitious theological reprogram which, downloaded with the Gospels, completely changes their message, rendering it not gibberish but rather transmuted into another doctrine altogether- historical Church Christianity instead of the original Messianic Brotherhood.

  47. Please forgive any typo’s in any previous post I made… I get hasty at times and it seems that I am having problems importing information from Word… Copy and Paste seems to have weird effects so, I will use word pad to format it from now on.

  48. Jason this may help, in reference to this discussion…

    ESSENE CHRISTIANITY VERSUS PAULIANITY

  49. jAsOn said

    Thomas,

    I do intend to review your last post and respond at the venue of your choosing, but I would like to quickly hear your short answers to the following questions:

    Do you accept Christ’s claims of deity and exclusivity?
    Do you place your faith alone, in Christ alone for your redemption?

    If the answer to either of these questions is no, then the topic of our conversation might head in a different direction.

  50. ANONYMOUS said

    Before anyone discusses anything with “King Thomas”, please visit the site he has given a link to.

    It is not even remotely Biblical Christianity.

  51. Joe said

    I am reading the article right now and I find it fascinating. I would like to know what some authorities on Scripture think of this. Is it really possible that we have all been deceived by Paul?

  52. jAsOn said

    No Anonymous, it isn’t, thus the last few questions I asked him. I hope to continue to give the gospel to him via email.

    Joe,

    Facinating is one thing, historically accurate is quite another. I am currently trying to put together some scholarship on textual critisism and Pauline authority…James White over at aomin.org may have some.

  53. Joe said

    My mind’s wide open, JAsOn. I’m fairly new in the faith and eager to find out more.

  54. Rinji said

    Jason, Jeff, Brad
    I am glad we are all digging deep into the WORD to seek the truth.
    As for 1 Tim 5:17-18 that has been quoted, the term used in the KJV is REWARD. If you do a cross reference on that term, it is rarely meant WAGES. But it means rewards…of many kinds.
    The Scripture never teaches a ONE MAN ministry. It teaches PLURALITY of ELDERS and DEACONS. When we lift up one person, we are opening ourselves to danger.
    Each of us as christains have been given the same task in the scripture. But unto some the LORD has given specific gifts. All of which are to be used for the edifying of the BODY.
    Everytime the hand lifts something and brings it to the mouth, does the other parts of the body PAY WAGES? No.
    Every member in the body of Christ is expected to dig into the word and grow stronger in the word. This is not done for any other purpose but for the edifying of the saints and to glorify the LORD.
    Each of us have a responsibility in visiting the sick , praying for the flock, encouraging one another and everything else that we expect a PASTOR to do.
    My father is an evengelist serving the LORD in a foreign land. He is not supported by any one church and neither does he have a fixed income. But we never lacked anything when we grew up. the LORD stayed true to HIS promise and provided.
    When we pay a fixed income to any man within the body of Christ, we are encouraging that man to depend on us and not the LORD.

  55. jAsOn said

    Rinji,

    I believe in a plurality of elders, and you, just as Dolla has done, ignore the context of the passage you interpret…elders specifically are to be given double honor for excersizing their spiritual gifts. Unless you import an existing methodoligy in to the text, that is what you should conclude. 1 Tim 5:17 “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” ”

    We are to give double honor to those elders who rule well, especially the ones who benefit the body by preaching and teaching; double honor is contextually defined by Paul as a wage, reward, dues…see greek terminology above. Because you and Dolla have taken the affirmative position in our discussion, that, elders should not receive a fixed salary, the burden of proof lies with you to show that the NT PROHIBITS it.

    The logical outworking of your final statement would suggest that no one ever seek or accept a fixed income because we would then be encouraged to trust those who pay us and not the Lord…that’s absurd.

  56. kandace said

    The pastor-teacher of the local assembly of belivers is the earthly undershepherd for the Chief Shepherd – the Lord Jesus Christ. In the 21st century, very few believers read in the original languages in which the Bible was written. Very few believers know the historical context in which God’s Word was transmitted.

    I have studied other languages enough to know that the English language has its weaknesses relative to the Greek language of the New Testament: 1) There are verb tenses in Greek, Spanish, and French that do not exist in English. 2) The Greek language contains several words for concepts in which the English language only contains a single word – i.e. love.

    The average layman does not have the time to do a thorough historical study of the Biblical context, even if he were a historian. The average layman doesn’t have time to discover for himself exactly what the Bible says about any particular issue as there are several translations with their particular strengths and weaknesses. Some of the early translations would require a dictionary alongside them in order to translated early usage of English words in the 21st century usage; i.e. the KJV usage of “prevent” in I Thess 4:15. The modern definition for “prevent” is quite different from the KJV word. The KJV “prevent” comes from the Latin word “prevenire” – to come before.

    Although I discovered this information on my own, it was a great help to hear my erudite pastors actually say the same thing so that I knew that I was on the right track. Although the Holy Spirit is my teacher, I rely upon those who know the original languages to confirm my study so that I would be able to travel down the life’s pathway without being deceived.

    I follow the pastor-teacher as He follows Christ. It takes considerable time in prayer and study to do the work he is called of God to do. The least I can do is to compensate him as a professional person so that he is free to devote his time to shepherd the flock of God.

    With regard to the financial extremes mentioned, most of the individuals mentioned are not within the confines of the local church but are para-church ministries. God commands us to support our local family of faith before giving one cent to these para-church groups.

    Concerning the “pastoral” role to visit the people in the hospitals, etc. the pastor is “to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.” In other words, we are to do whatever we can do to relieve the pastor-teacher of all time constraints so that he can devote himself “to prayer and the study of the Word”.

    Let God handle the wayward undershepherd! All we can do is to support financially, prayerfully, etc. the faithful pastor who has all that he can do to properly lead the flock of God according to I Timothy 3 and other relevant passages of Scripture.

  57. ADB said

    Several points,

    Kandace is exactly right regarding original languages. Good exegesis demands that we use multiple English translations, and at times using lectionaries or an interlinear Bible. She is also correct that the effective pastor will see that the flock is equipped to minister. I would differ a little regarding hospital visits, in that folks do expect the pastor to be there when they’re in the hospital.

    Also, stay away from King Thomas. I’ve reviewed a little of what he says. The article linked to is way off the reservation. He also demonstrates a very poor use of scripture. One case in point, is that if you actually study Paul, he does very much support a bodily resurrection. Thomas is not a fellow believer, but has been badly led astray I’m afraid. Let us pray that he finds his way.

    A Curmudgeonly Pastor 🙂

  58. jAsOn said

    Amen ADB

  59. ADB said

    A little more on King Thomas. The sect he seems to belong to bases much of its doctrine on non-canonical sources. Books that I have never even heard of, even in discussions of of the OT apocrypha, or NT apocrypha. In short, who knows the origins of this stuff, but it most assuredly is not the Bible. Leave his stuff alone unless you just want to study to see where he comes from.

    King Thomas, I do assume that you mean well and are sincere in your beliefs. But I warn you in the strongest way that you have been badly led astray by false teachings. Rest assured that God ernestly desires that you repent, come to the truth. He will forgive!

  60. kandace said

    To ADB
    Thank you for your encouragement. Please forgive me in that I forgot that most people have only one pastor in their church who is expected to do everything including preaching the Word. I attend a larger church which has a pastor devoted to hospital visitation, a pastor devoted to grief counseling, etc. so that the senior pastor (Dr. Mac Brunson) can devote himself to diligent study etc. so that he can lead the flock in the ways of God.

    I know this is slightly off topic, but Dr. Mac Brunson does something in his sermons that most pastors do not do: He uses his sermon time to demonstrate to us the way he does his Bible study so that we would know, from his example, exactly how to approach God’s Word as a learner while simultaneously assisting us in finding ways to implement God’s Word in daily living.

    Dr. Brunson has included his whole family in the active pastoral leadership of the church from the early years of his children until current. All of his children are now grown and actively involved in God’s ministry of their own volition. What I am saying here is that the Biblical model of the pastoral role is God first, then family, then the local assembly. Many churches place the family beneath the local church in the rank of priority thus pastoral burnout frequently occurs.

  61. kandace said

    To Dolla Bill

    I hear the hurt of your posts. Remember this: 1) God is the final judge. Pastors are held to a higher standard in all respects than are the rest of us because of their public role. 2) The choice of how much to pay a pastor is up to the local congregation, not to us. Let God handle His local bodies of assembly.
    3) The excesses referenced – the toilet seat, etc. are not found in local churches but in the spinoff groups – PTL, etc.
    4) Women’s “role” – Joyce Meyer – this is not a local assembly but a splinter group. Besides, Joyce is under the headship of her husband Dave who is a quiet person. The same can be said for the other ministry women – Taffi Dollar, The Copeland women, etc.

    Thus, you are mixing the excesses of the para-church groups with the many faithful men of God who do a yeoman’s service for the body of Christ.

    There is the issue of church growth. How large can a church become with only a bi-vocational pastor? What ministries are not being carried out because there are not enough
    people willing to get their hands dirty for the body of Christ?

    Instead of complaining about the well publicized abuses of the para-church ministry, concentrate upon building the local church so that some of these para-church ministries might fall by the wayside as the local bodies of Christ rise up to do the task of making disciples for our Lord Jesus Christ.

  62. kandace said

    To Dolla Bill:
    Please accept my apology for 4) in the preceding post that comment and all related reference to it should have been directed to Jennifer.

    To Jennifer: read 4)that I mistakenly addressed to Dolla Bill. Joyce Meyer is not an ordained individual. Whatever teaching she may do from any church’s pulpit should be under the control of the relevant undershepherd. She and the relevant undershepherds answer to God for their actions.
    Let’s focus upon the main task of discipling people for Jesus Christ.

  63. Nick said

    I Peter II: IX
    Attributed.
    “…You are a Chosen Generation, A Royal Priesthood, an Holy Nation, a Peculiar People…”

    The phrase Royal Priesthood will be familiar to scholars who have studied the concept of priest kingship. The word royal derives from the Latin Regalis meaning to rule. Originally this meant ‘to apply a rule&..39;, meaning to be able to measure, observe and thus divine and understand the hidden span or workings of matter.
    In this sense a ruler was one who was born with the ability to measure and hence understand the hidden workings of the Cosmos. Here we have a direct reference to derkesthai. Hence the regalis was the derkesthai and the derkesthai was the Dragon King. The condition of being royal in the accepted sense is derived from being born into a royal family, clan, race (species) or tribe.
    Contextually and originally this phrase could only have been used in connexion with the Davidic concept of royalty passed through the blood as the ‘holy spirit’ (genetic inheritance) of the gods: Mana, Maia or Maja (Maga or Magi, Magha, Maxa: greatness).
    The word priest is from the Old English preost related to the Latin presbyter, meaning an ‘Elder’ who, in classical terms, was a priest-king. Essentially then a king and a priest were the same thing and could only be such by birth, as was the tradition.
    Holy is from the Old English halig and the word means: morally perfect, pure in heart, set apart to a sacred use. Holy is related etymologically to Hal: sound (of mind, body and spirit), and is connected with hail, heal and whole.
    The linguistic connection should be noted between the Old Norse Heil and the Germanic Haegl, meaning hailstorm: related to the sacred rune derived from the Star of Anu which is the basic device from which the Christian Chi Rho cross is derived.
    In this we have a clear relation with the children of the Dragon; the sons and daughters of Anu who were the Eurasian sacral-royal Arya and the Sidhe or Scythian Nation of the Wise or holy; the “whole” or “complete” ones, the transcended god-kings and goddess-queens who obtained wisdom through holiness or wholeness: the Gnome or Gnostic royalty whose wisdom was derived from their inate completeness as whole beings at one with themselves and thus with the Cosmos.
    The word nation is derived from the Latin root natio meaning ‘to be born’. Here we enter in upon birth, gens and race; and hence blood and genetic inheritance. A Holy Nation means a race that is not ordained as being holy through ritual mumbo-jumbo but are automatically holy by birth, genetic inheritance and inate characteristic.
    The word Peculiar means: own (singular), of one’s own, appropriated, preserved, characteristic, special. The phrase “Peculiar People”, as well as the rest of the passage used by Peter to describe gentile converts would originally have been used solely to describe a race or tribe, such as the priestly heirs of the family of Jesus (and those like him), who was an Essene, a Druid or Magus by St. Columba’s definition and recognized as such by the Magi of Babylon, and a priest of the Draconian White Brotherhood – the Egyptian Therapeutate – whose wife was the ‘Ishtar’ or Ubaid/Scythian ‘Inanna Priestess’ Mary Magdalene.
    If he wrote the foregoing at all, then Peter, whose treason against Jesus is documented and whose schism with Jesus’ brother James is academically accepted, appears to have used the passage to convince outsiders in foreign lands that they too could be the elect of God by courtesy of what has become to the Church, the somewhat abstract and nebulous ‘Holy Spirit’: originally the very Mana or Maja which was the sole requisite or peculiarity of, and was only passed down through, the blood royal.
    Peter and Paul’s schismatic sect was struggling at the time and both men said anything that came to mind in order to gain as many converts as they could. If Peter actually wrote I Peter II: IX at all, then all one can say is that, having discovered a good money-making scheme, Peter and Paul were attempting to afford themselves some form of security in numbers in the face of growing Roman hostility, and ensure for themselves and their agents a free lunch and a warm bed, wherever those agents fancied taking a holiday break around the Mediterranean.
    This kind of scriptural and doctrinal manipulation later became endemic within the Roman Church who lied when they claimed to have the right to make kings from peasants through anointing and coronation in the same manner as Peter seems to suggest that priest kings can be created by splashing people with oil and sanctified water and feeding them nondescript groceries. What utter nonsense.
    This is why the Church is in such a mess today; it’s full of people who have swallowed the Church’s lies and have been baptized, anointed and given communion in the hollow sham mimicry of an equally hollow historical fraud.
    It is therefore very likely that along with the vast bulk of Christian scriptural history and doctrine, which was “canonized” – meaning doctored – by the Roman Church, the passage I Peter II: IX was attributed to Peter by the Churchmen who actually altered its emphasis post temps and ad hoc and further, deliberately took it out of context in order to make it apply to the masses they were targeting in order to obtain money and power.
    Here we have the birth of the modern, rabid PC preoccupation with equality as a moral right. The homogenous fantasy-nightmare in which we are all trapped today began with the Church’s desire to include the masses in order to sell them a lie and bleed them dry in vast numbers. Contemporary homogeny and equality are the children of this ancient, thoroughly dishonest pecuniary greed, and like the greed and fraud that inseminated it, the concept of human equality is as equally dishonest and fraudulent, and is championed today for exactly the same pecuniary reasons as it always was.
    A bit of bathwater, a dab of face cream and a light lunch may be refreshing, but they are not substitutes for, and nor will they confer, the Sang Rael; the ‘Blood Royal’. But poor, stupid, acquisitive people believe that this has made all the difference and in consequence their belief refuses to allow them to see what others see: that Christians are a bunch of blind, self deluding hypocrites and fools; whitened sepulchres whose all too manifest sin is compounded by a greed which is all the worse for believing nonsense, simply in order to obtain – prompted by irrational, deliberately inculcated fear – the non-existent salvation of their non-existent souls. They are no different post hocus pocus than they were before. People really are gullible.
    Even in Jewish sacred tradition, of which New Testament Christianity was a significant and legitimate part, the priesthood was a caste that one was born into, as was kingship. The idea that anyone, particularly gentiles, could become Levite priests or Davidic kings at the whim of a non-Davidic, non-Levite Galilean malcontent like Peter was unthinkable, especially as ‘Christianity’ at that time was a Jewish, genuinely royal, priestly sect.
    At his birth the sect’s leader, as a scion of the Royal House of David, posed a threat to the throne of Israel that was genuine enough to have Herod scouring the country seeking to kill him and thus secure Herod’s continuing position as a puppet king. If Jesus’ kingship had been merely symbolic, Herod would have considered him harmless.
    The original Church or Circle of Jesus was, by its very nature and existence, a royal court and a holy temple, not an open house for all comers.
    I Peter I: vs. II; Peter calls these peasants “The elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, (the elect) through sanctification of the (Holy) Spirit, (the elect) unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ”.
    This passage basically says that mere belief in, and obedience to, the sanctions and tenets of the schismatic, bloodless Church (of those who were thrown out by Jesus’ own family) will confer upon the new, non-royal convert, a special royal role and identity previously and exclusively set apart for Priest Kings whose magical ability to act as both priests and kings only derived from a genetic capacity passed down as the unique quality Of The Royal Blood.
    Supposedly, if one allowed the bloodless protagonist of a manipulated interpretation of Jesus’ message to wet one’s head with water made holy solely by that person&..39;s opinion; and one allowed one’s mouth to be stuffed with cheap bread and wine made sacred solely by wishful thinking, this gave one the right to think of one’s self as a member of the Davidic Royal House.
    If this is the case, then if I buy a load of Corny dogs, make offensive observations about the Chinese, wear a tacky Hannoverian interpretation of the equally tacky Stewart tartan, drink gin all day and attempt to seduce anything on two legs, I would legitimately become a member of the Royal House of Windsor, by opinion and wishful thinking alone, am I right?
    No, I didn’t think I was. So how come a coward like Peter, who wasn’t a relative of Jesus, who betrayed him in fact and split from Jesus brother James because he wanted to be top dog, how come He gets to decide who will and who will not be a member of the Royal House of David and a Priest of the Royal Eurasian Druidhe?
    In its original context the entire passage from I Peter II vs. IX would have been used to describe and could only have applied to those who – like Jesus and his Aryan-Scythian, elven ancestors – were of the blood royal and thus Dragon Kings.
    The entire battle between the Roman Catholic Church and the desposyni has been exactly about this point: who are the true spiritual descendants of Christ and hence his rightful and genuine royal, priestly successors? In any area of social convention past or present, blood always takes precedence.
    The “Royal priesthood” and the “Holy Nation” of the Christian Bible are not the Christians themselves as they have always prided themselves as being, but rather; their sworn enemies the Elven Anukim: The Annunagi or Shining Ones; the Dragons whose land of Idumea the Christian God set apart and made sacred to the Dragons alone.
    (Isaiah 34: 5-17 & 35: 1-10)
    Idumea, the land of the Repha’im, was a land of blessing and abundance, a second Eden, in which was found the Holy Way (Tao), the road of the wandering men (the Scythian kings; the sons of Cain the wanderer) whom Isaiah calls The Ransomed and Redeemed, and to whom in prophecy the Christian God promises Zion. This was fulfilled when Baldwin de Vere – a Son of Cain and a scion of kings – became King of Jerusalem.
    The Dragons – and in the King James Version of the Holy Bible – the Daughters of the Owl (Lilith), are therefore – according to Isaiah – the true children of God; “A Chosen Generation, a Royal Priesthood, an Holy Nation, a Peculiar People”.
    St John XVII: XIV “and the world hath hated them because they are not of the world”.
    St John XVII: XVI “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world”.
    (Attributed to Jesus)

  64. Joe said

    Nick has seen “Lord of the Rings” way too many times.

  65. Nick said

    Yes, yes be little what you do not know nor understand. It’s only because you lack the resources inside to actually think for yourself.

    Is that not what what christians have alway’s done?

    YOu should research the ALBEGENSIAN CRUSADE under Pope Innocent III slaughtered Albigens which is where the word ELF comes from.

    The worst crime that of being too lazy to research the matter as amny Christians are only spoonfed and do not know any better.

  66. Joe said

    Well, Nick. As much as I would love to do the research, I’m just too dad-blamed busy working at my church, trying to help the poor and spreading the Good News of the Gospel of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I see lives changed every day by His power. Go sell crazy somewhere else. We’re all stocked up here.

  67. Nick said

    Nothing against helping the poor if that’s what your really doing.

    And it’s not a personal issue with you… As it is with most Americans who remain ignorant by choice and lack a suitable education while wearing a tacky, white trash, hawaiian shirt, eat fast food and become obese.

    I wonder how many overweight people frequent this site and blog forum, posting judgemental statements while they cannot but help to stuff another twinkie in their mouth.

    Why is it, if Americans lack in their education, that any person can pick up Bible claiming to speak on behalf of God and not have the credentials to back themselves up… namely a degree or certificate of completion of anykind?

    What are your credentials?

  68. John said

    Uh oh,Nick.
    You’re opening a big can of worms there.
    But please continue.You and “King Thomas etc.etc.” are making things most interesting here[grin].

  69. Joe said

    I could stand to lose a few, but I don’t eat any fast food, if you really think that’s important here, Nick. The only credentials I need to spread the Word, which is what MY Jesus charged me to do, are my testimonial and my faith. To claim to know so much you sure do stoop low in order to make your point there, Nick. But that’s what most obvious left-wing liberals do anyway, so I’m not surprised. I’m very involved in ministries at our church that are actively engaged in helping the poor and the needy, but I really don’t have to prove anything to you. When was the last time you served dinner to 120 homeless people? How many people have you convinced recently that you’re right and evangelical Chrisitians are wrong? Four families joined our church this morning. How many have joined up with you recently, Nick? Show me proof. Show me proof that all these documents you’re referencing here are legitimate and proven through archaeology and scholarship. I’d like to see the proof. I’m not a theologian and I don’t have a history or a religion degree, so I need to understand the facts. I like Hawaiian shirts, but I don’t own any. They’re really not my style. However, I do like wearing lime green pants to the country club from time to time (snicker, snicker).

  70. Jeff said

    “I wonder how many overweight people frequent this site and blog forum, posting judgemental statements while they cannot but help to stuff another twinkie in their mouth.” – Nick

    I don’t know, but at least you are not judgmental! 🙂

  71. Ryan said

    This is an interesting string and I wanted to pose an observation from a paragraph in Nick’s prior post.

    He states: This is why the Church is in such a mess today; it’s full of people who have swallowed the Church’s lies and have been baptized, anointed and given communion in the hollow sham mimicry of an equally hollow historical fraud.
    It is therefore very likely that along with the vast bulk of Christian scriptural history and doctrine, which was “canonized” – meaning doctored – by the Roman Church, the passage I Peter II: IX was attributed to Peter by the Churchmen who actually altered its emphasis post temps and ad hoc and further, deliberately took it out of context in order to make it apply to the masses they were targeting in order to obtain money and power. <<<

    I can’t speak about the other points he goes on to make, but this comment seems to hold some legitimacy simply based on the council of nicea that “organized” the current day canon and their possible and likely political motivations.

    This does not debunk the authenticity of the scriptures but it does seem peculiar that Paul dominates the new testament but the writings of the original twelve do not. I used to believe that Matthew 13:24-30 speaks about the wheat and the weeds in terms of people within the church, but it makes more sense if it’s applies to the “word” itself.

    I would love some perspective.

  72. anonymous said

    I’m wonder what exactly King Thomas is “king” of? Last I checked we’re living in a democracy, not a monarchy.

  73. Jeff said

    “Modern Christians often have the impression that ancient councils held absolute sway, and when they made ‘the decision,’ the controversy ended. This is not true. Though Nicea is seen as one of the greatest of the councils, it had to fight hard for acceptance. The basis of its final victory was not the power of politics, nor the endorsement of established religion. There was one reason the Nicene definition prevailed: its fidelity to the testimony of the Scriptures.” – James White

    If you really want to look into the formation of the canon, here are some good sources:

    http://www.monergism.com/directory/search.php?action=search_links_simple&search_kind=and&phrase=Canon&B1=Go

    http://www.equip.org/site/c.muI1LaMNJrE/b.2627327/k.BBB8/DN206.htm

    http://westarinstitute.org/Periodicals/4R_Articles/Canon/canon.html

  74. Jeff said

    And by the way, Nicea had to do mainly with the Arian heresy (controversy over the deity of Christ), not the canon of Scripture.

  75. ADB said

    For clarification, the primary business of the Council of Nicea was Christological. It clarified the relationship between the Son and the Father in reaction the problem of Arianism. The doctrine settled upon at Nicea was that the Son was “homousion” of one substance with the Father as opposed to the Arian position that the Son was merely of similar substance with the Father. The Council of Nicea really did not, historically speaking, have that much of an impact on the canon of scripture. It did not toss out dozens of books like the DaVinci code nonsense says. The OT canon was largely set by the time of Christ. The NT canon gradually emerged over the first 3+ centuries. The gospels were accepted very early, by the mid 2nd century. Other books, like Hebrews and Revelation, were much later being accepted as authoritative. By the time of Nicea the NT was pretty much the same as what we have now. The canon of the NT has been considered closed by 367 AD when the great church father Athanasius listed a canon of scripture in his Festal Letter XXXIX. Regarding why we have so much from Paul, yet so little from the original twelve, this simply is a factor of the books that we have. The original twelve simply did not leave that much written material. Sure there are other “gospels” around- of Philip, Thomas, Peter, etc. but very early on these were regarded as being fraudulent, and were never considered canonical. A good analogy is this- in the OT there aren’t books written by Elijah, Elisha, and Nathan yet that in no way undermines the value of their prophetic ministry.

    A little point about Nick’s rather long entry. All the linguistic stuff about Latin sounds good but is meaningless since the NT was originally written in Greek and was not translated into Latin until 475 by Jerome.

    How did we get to the discussion of canon from pastor’s salaries?

  76. ADB said

    There was a mis-spelling in the above entry- it is “homoousion” instead of “homousion.”

  77. jAsOn said

    First of all, Nick doesn’t understand his history very well…it appears he has fallen prey to the historical inaccuracies and speculations of Dan Brown, which makes the stuff of great movies but of poor history lessons.

    There was never any real competition between those book canonized and those excluded, the ones that were not included were obviously “anti-Christ”; there were a few writings that the early church intentionally excluded during their circulation: The Shepherd of Hermes, The Gospel of Thomas (which by the way, was NEVER considered to have been written by the apostle), and the Didache. The one exception was The Shepherd of Hermes, which was finally excluded because of its support of the doctrine of penance, the Gospel of Thomas was excluded because of this statement (among others), “Simon Peter said to them: ‘Let Mary go away from us, for women are not worthy of life.’ Jesus said: ‘Lo, I shall lead her, so that I may make her a male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who makes herself a male will enter the kingdom of heaven.’” (par. 114)

    Guys like Dan Brown and perhaps Nick as well, would love for Christians to have their faith shaken because of the sinful motivations of those who came together and “canonized the books and letters that circulated at most, 70 years after Christ’s death; they would have you believe that there were literally hundreds of letters and writings that were in the running for the canon, but there is no historical truth in that assumption. They would also have you believe that Christians didn’t even have what we consider the “Bible” until 500 years after Christ’s death, but this is absurd when one considers the evidence for the dates of the NT writings and the fact that they were circulated among the churches in the first century. Also understand that the Roman Catholic Church didn’t “canonize” scripture, as a matter of fact, the Roman expression didn’t risible what we are familiar with until almost a thousand years later. They didn’t even canonize the Apocrypha until the 1500’s when Luther challenged the Roman view of justification on the basis of scripture alone.

    Two Simple Qualifications for Canonicity

    1. If God was clearly the ultimate author, the writing would have enjoyed wide spread acceptance as being the words of God through men.
    2. If under the authority of apostolic leadership, the early church preserved it as Scripture.

    “For a book to belong in the canon, it is absolutely necessary that the book have divine authorship. If the words of the book are God’s words (through human authors), and if the early church, under the direction of the apostles, preserved the book as part of Scripture, then the book belongs in the canon.” (Grudem 62)

    Remember that the Council of Nicea was about the Arian controversy, not the content of divine revelation.

    New Testament Books & Dates

    49 James
    50 1 Thessalonians
    51 2 Thessalonians
    53 Colossians
    55 1 & 2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    55-57 Romans
    60 Ephesians
    Philemon
    Mark
    60-68 1 Peter
    61 Philippians
    63 Luke
    Acts
    1 Timothy
    Titus
    Jude
    64-70 Matthew
    66 2 Timothy
    67 2 Peter
    80-100 1 & 2 John
    80’s 3 John
    90 John
    95 Hebrews
    Revelation

    If anyone is intertested in a copy in word.doc, I developed, from Wayne Grudem’s systematic theology, a Sunday School class format for the teaching of the topic of “God’s Word”

  78. Peter said

    My dad had a interesting experience a few years ago. He would car-pool to work with a man who lived in his neighborhood and attended a different church. The man was expressing concern that their small congregation was having trouble hiring a pastor, as they were so small and couldn’t afford salary that would have provided a liveable wage for anyone.

    My dad asked how long this had been going on. The answer was “about six months, ever since the previous pastor had left for a new (and higher paying) position.” Dad then asked what they were doing in the mean time. They had been taking turns giving the sunday sermon, they had starting assigning members of the congregation to do fellowshipping visits to members. They had a committee that met regularly to set policies, etc.

    The thing that was hard for my Dad to understand is why they couldn’t just continue that way, as we belong to a denomination that doesn’t use a paid clergy at the local level. Sunday sermons are given by the members, Adult women are assigned to go out 2 by 2 to visit the women of the church and report back to the leaders of the women’s auxiliary where their are needs (temporal and spiritual) that aren’t being met. The men of the church are also assigned to visit each family monthly for the same purposes.

    When my Dad asked why they couldn’t just continue like that, the man looked surprised and replied “Well, none of us are trained for the ministry.”

  79. Ryan said

    Thank you for the clarification, it was very informative. I have not seen or read the davinci code; however, i am very interested in the contents of the dead sea scrolls. do we have the original NT manuscripts or has anyone done any research on their origins? were any found with the OT dead scrolls?

    also, were changes made to the NT scriptures to align them with the homoousion interpretation? i would be interested in reading the originals as they existed before the nicea council.

    the prophecy of scripture is, to me, the most solid proof of their validity so i completely agree with your analogy about the authorship. i still have questions about the possibility of weeds being sown in the scriptures though … half-truths, etc.

    our pastor spoke recently about the possibility that a passage about Manasseh in the book of judges may originally have been Moses but a scribe changed names to protect Moses credibility. in other words, if this possibility exists, subtle changes could affect the interpretation of various (and probably currently contested) passages thus causing such division among believers (calvinists, differing denominations, etc.)

    Where are the original NT scrolls and how do they differ from what we have today, if at all?

    sorry for going off topic.

  80. jAsOn said

    Hi Peter,

    I think that it is one thing to consider oneself as having been “trained for the ministry” and another thing to be trained to understand God’s Word and preach the gospel and shepherd the members of a local congregation. I am not suggesting that one has to have graduated from seminary to be used of God in a pulpit ministry and to be qualified as an elder, but that is the point isn’t it, there are qualifications for elders (and even deacons) that set them both apart from the layperson.

    We must remember that we cannot develop our theology (ecclesiology in this discussion) from our experience or from the parameters of pragmatism, we must develop our theology “sola scriptura” from scripture alone.

  81. jAsOn said

    Ryan,

    I’m no expert, but I know there are no “original” NT manuscripts that remain, but when they existed, there were hundreds of copies made directly from the originals, not “copies of copies” as some might suggest. We have may of those copies, and they exist in what are called, “codecies” (codex is the singular).

    You should check out James White’s blog here, http://www.aomin.org/index.php?catid=19&blogid=1

    He has much helpful info on the topic of texts, textual varients, and transmition.

    As for your pastor, it appears that his view on scripture may be errant (pun)

  82. ADB said

    Ryan,

    There are no “original” NT manuscripts in that there we do not have the original copy of Romans that Paul wrote. There are many thousands of Greek NT manuscripts that date from within a century or two of writing (before Nicea by the way), but none that are the original manuscripts. The oldest surviving manuscript is a fragment of John’s Gospel that can be definitively dated to about 125 AD. The remarkable thing with textual criticism as its called is the the remarkable consistency of the manuscripts. There are some variants, but the vast majority are simply scribal error- misspellings and the like. Most English versions we have are based on a scholarly Greek edition that is done by Kurt Aland, Bruce Metzger and others. The King James, by the way, is based on a Greek compilation by the Renaissance scholar Erasmus called the “Textus Receptus.” The advantage in some cases of modern translations is simply that in the 500 years since Erasmus did his edition other older and probably better Greek mansucripts have been found so that the modern scolarly edition probably better reflects the original. The most famous of the textual variants are the ending of Mark’s gospel, and John chapter 8, but even in these cases there is nothing of doctrinal importance at issue. As far as reliability, no other ancient work is even nearly as well attested as the NT. You can be very, very certain that when we pick a New Testament that the manuscript evidence behind it is far, far better than the evidence that one might have for the writings of Caesar, Cicero, Josephus, or any other ancient writer.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls contain three types of literature. They contain 1) scrolls of every OT book except Esther, 2) apocryphal works particularly apocalypses related the cosmic struggle between good and evil, and 3) works that are original to the Essene community that collected the scrolls. These would be things like community rules and history, etc. The Dead Sea Scrolls are invaluable for OT study because the manuscripts are so much older than any others. Jewish scribes have a tremendous devotion to their scriptures and have traditionally destroyed manuscripts that have worn out, so that before the Dead Sea Scrolls there were no OT manuscripts that dated back before the middle ages I think. The manuscripts in the scrolls are very, very close to the Masoretic Text, the traditional Jewish collection of their scriptures, pointing out the faithfulness of the Hebrew scribes throgh the centuries.

    As far as canonicity, these are the standards the very early church used for determining if a book should be considered scripture. There were, according to Patzia “Making of the New Testament” published by InterVarsity Press several criteria for canonicity. 1) the words of Jesus himself 2) apostolicity, could the book be definitively attributed to an apostle, 3) was the document widely used and accepted throughout the church, 4) were the contents of the book orthodox and faithful to the teachings that they knew, 5) inspiration by the Holy Spirit. One interesting case here is that to defend canonicity of Hebrews, some in the church began ascribing authorship to Paul, even though earlier authorities had not done so in order to give more credibility to its place in the canon. Back to work for me!

    A curmudgeonly pastor 🙂

  83. Nick said

    Dan Brown… First, Dan stole his story from Umberto Eco’s,
    ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ of which none of my material is contrived.

    Canon has everything to do false profits in the church.

    As a result of a general disenchantment, many now suggest that royalty and nobility should be marginalised in favour of republican style government. Some determine that such changes replace privilege with a more acceptable form of merit advantage. However, this perception is equally untenable in practice.

    All that happens is that headstrong merchant class opportunists are replaced by polished lawyer class orators, thereby creating an unwarranted new elite, with the same destructive hold on society.

    Government of the majority by an exclusive clique, which uses intimidating tactics to manipulate a consumer based economy, has nothing whatever to do with the time honoured spirit of Grail kingship and the Dragon blood. Any shift from monarchy to republicanism is simply a matter of different packaging. In the event, we are still captive consumers enveloped within faiths of fear. Our legacy from all this is an inbred contempt for anything which does not conform to a system of venerated sale values. This leads to the loss of our relationship with the ecosphere upon which all species truly depend.

    Besides, In Revelation God say’s he will destroy all those who are destroying the Earth.

    And that means, if we Truly represent Messiah then we should stop condoning the use of combustion engines even with alterative fuels, using or producing toxic chemicals for what ever purpose and stop condoning the corporate elite to manipulate the masses simply for profits in their pocket book.

    We can argue semantics all day long, but the truth of the matter is summed up in one question, how can God grant us Heaven if we cannot even take care of planet Earth?

    At what point in the Salvation message does it erradicate accountabilty?

    Persinally, my experience Christians do not even care about their environment as one one the greatest proponets behind the advent of the industrial revolution was Paul himself.

    Or shall we be completely lawless?

  84. jAsOn said

    NIck,

    I don’t believe I have ever heard a fuller of expression of red herrings, equivocation and strawmen in my life.

    I believe we were discussing the forms of pastoral ministry until the conversation was greatly side tracked by Thomas. We have also been having a discussion of the transmition of the texts of scripture, and in that discussion it would be far more beneficial to rely on the facts of history than an appeal to emotion.

    you asked this, “We can argue semantics all day long, but the truth of the matter is summed up in one question, how can God grant us Heaven if we cannot even take care of planet Earth?”

    The answer is that God only grants heaven to those who are counted righteous is Christ; we are saved from the wrath of God by grace alone, through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone! It is the meek who shall inherit the earth, and those who are in Christ, though not perfect, are meek by definition, and will ultimately inherit the New Heavens and Earth because of what Christ did on the cross on their behalf.

  85. This thread is too interesting to try and steer it in any one particular direction. Let the conversations flow as they may. However, would you like to see a separate post where we could discuss the topics initiated by Thomas and Nick?

  86. jAsOn said

    I for one think that would be helpful…that is, if they are interested.

  87. ADB said

    A great idea I think.

  88. John and Company said

    [various toothy grins]

  89. I would be more than interested… Although, my main purpose is not to belittle anyone especially their faith.

    As my heart intent is more to living up to the Gospel teachings of Jesus rather than adhering to a second hand sources… (Apostle Paul).

    Paul say’s, “…Mimic me like I mimic Christ…” but I say, why not just mimic Jesus?

    Paul is not greater that I am and he is dfinitely not the mediator between me and Jesus… Unless he too is the Messiah and that can never be.

    No man stands between Jesus and I… No Man.

    For I too am called to be an Apostle.

    For instance take Matthew 25:31-46

    31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    41. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45. Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    The purpose of my website is to provide a forum for desperate people, people lacking the ability to afford medical and dental treatment in the USA.

    Single handedly the Chruch in America could solve the health care crisis and it is a Sin that it does not.

    The purpose of the tithe was to accumulate money and store produce from the community for the community as a whole. The Environment Jesus taught us to live under as, ‘Take no thought for the morrow’ and ‘Have all things in common’… Is one Americans chose to ignore because it’s just too socialized. But let me remind you, sin is sin regardless of our socio-political opinions and ideals.

    When the community or church has money it was and is to be stored for safe keeping so, when one person (any person) in the congregation (A formal memebr of a church body) has need such as lack of rent money, then the church should pay the rent for them without question. When a member lacks a car the church should replace it for them. When a memeber of the body of christ has an health issue they cannot afford, such as $300,000.00 for surgery, who’s resposility is it to provide that but the Church.

    Jesus does not prescribe a method of policing people who have need, he just says give it to them (The Poor).

    What should the church do with the Tithe money?

    Matthew 25:14-30

    14. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
    15. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
    16. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
    17. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
    18. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
    19. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
    20. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
    21. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
    22. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
    23. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
    24. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
    25. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
    26. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
    27. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
    28. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
    29. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
    30. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Invest the money…

    I have a method but I cannot share it on here as I am awaiting the legal matters to be ironed out on the method God taught me.

    What I can say, is that not one member of the church I found or sponser will ever have to worry about any type of Insurance again, neither worry about the scam credit system of the secular world… Not to mention provide every memebr a brand new vehicle and pay for their existing home or buy one and pay it off with in 2- 5 years of purchase.

    But it requires the entire body of Christ to unify.

    Unless, we are talking about killing Muslim ‘rag heads’… Again, I guess Patriotism only goes so far… Out of our big mouths… The Church is in terrible danger of missing the Heart of God.

    Mammon is capitalism and you cannot serve two master’s… It is so much easier for Christians to condemn (such as Homosexuals) than to step up and fulfill our Gospel duty.

    JAMES 2:14-20

    14: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
    15: If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
    16: And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
    17: Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    18: Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
    19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
    20: But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

    It is our resposibility to provide for the body of christ where the body lacks; The strong protect the weak; the Rich provide for the Poor; the healthy take care of the sick, etc…

    This is God’s Heart and why there is Gospel to share in the first place.

    What are the two commands that Jesus command on which hangs all the Law?

    Love God with all your Heart, Mind and Soul.

    And…

    Love your neighbor as your self.

    And if we do not do it… Accoerding to Jesus we are destined to be burned in the everlasting fire no matter whether we confess him as savior or not.

    The reason why the Church hasn’t stepped up to it’s original responsibilty is becasue we revel in apostasy.

    God have Mercy ‘We’ have no excuse.

  90. Joe said

    Thomas, with all due respect: http://medi-share.org/

  91. jAsOn said

    Thomas,

    Wow, I can’t imagine someone on this blog who claims Christ has talked about killing Muslims! Did I miss something?

    The “original” responsibility of the church is to worship God by doing what Christ commanded in Matt 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    Note that doctrine begins and is necessary in order for us to even say who Christ is, what baptism is and signifies, and the nature of discipleship is defined by Christ in verse 20, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” It is clear that this command does not exclude the consequent writtings of James, Paul, Peter, John, etc, because the apostles and the early church accepted their writtings as Scripture for all the reasons that have been mentioned in previous posts.

    I may be mistaken Thomas, but it appears that all you are doing is cutting and pasting portions of your previous writtings, and there wouldn’t be too much wrong with that if your words were pertinent to the discussion, instead of rifling the target topics and issues, you seem to more often take broad shotgun type blasts that rarely hit anything…just an observation.

    Not one of us loves God with all our heart and our neighbor as our selves perfectly, not even you Thomas, so in the system of salvation you seem to be promoting, who can be saved. Reminds me of the conversation the disciples had with Christ after He turned the rich young ruler away because He thought he had done all those things as a child, well who can be saved if perfect obedience is what God requires…what is imposible with men is posible with God. The point is, those who seek the rewards of Heaven on their our obedience to the Law are doomed to Hell, but those who have faith that Christ Jesus obeyed the law perfectly on their behalf…they are the children of God.

  92. Anonymous said

    If anyone is interested I did a quick Google search on King Thomas’ “Order of the Green Stagg.” His websites and myspace page came up right away. If you’d like to check them out I believe you will figure out quite quickly that the “king” is not someone an evangelical Christian should be paying any attention to on this forum. These sites look and sound more like fantasy sci-fi to me. Seems very cultish. Perhaps our Wiccan friends could analyze it for us. Looks to me like Davinci Code, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Golden Compass all rolled into one.

    Check it out and decide for yourself:
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=7798028
    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=7798028&blogID=337208954
    http://groups.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=groups.groupProfile&groupID=100168952&MyToken=da975f0d-17b7-4cf4-9cca-79b30b5415d4

  93. jAsOn said

    Thomas,

    No one disagrees with you that we are to help the poor and tend to the sick, etc, but the commands of Christ were to the poor and to the sick as well. If you will remember, it was the Phillipian Christians that gave to the poor in Jeresalem, out of their own poverty. Whether we are poor or rich, we are not redeemed by our giving.

  94. Moderator said

    Hello – Please note that post #92 contains links to web pages that contain profanity and inappropriate material. We’re going to let this serve as a warning and allow post #92 to stay on the blog because we feel it’s important to reveal the truth in this particular context and behind the person referenced. Normally we would delete such comments, but this does drive home an important point. Thank you – Moderator (not Stu)

  95. jAsOn said

    Moderator,

    What happened to that seperate thread?

  96. […] Posts Should pastors live in poverty? What does Mormonism really teach?Listen Live!Truth HeadlinesWill “The Golden Compass” lead your […]

  97. Moderator said

    We were waiting to get a more unanimous response to the idea of a new thread, but we agree that the topic needs one, so here you go: https://truthtalklive.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/was-saul-who-became-paul-actually-a-deceiver-of-the-early-church-and-apostles/

    Moderator (not Stu)

  98. Nick said

    “Hello – Please note that post #92 contains links to web pages that contain profanity and inappropriate material. We’re going to let this serve as a warning and allow post #92 to stay on the blog because we feel it’s important to reveal the truth in this particular context and behind the person referenced. Normally we would delete such comments, but this does drive home an important point. Thank you – Moderator (not Stu)”

    Thanks for the warning but…

    “Normally we would delete such comments, but this does drive home an important point.”

    What point would that be?

    That King Thomas isn’t perfect or minimal a human being?

    I wonder what skeletons we all might have..?

    Does it make you feel better about yourself Mr. Moderator (not Stu)?

    At least he has the guts to present material and stand behind it without fear of ridecule or judgement.

    Thats my bloody opinion anyway.

  99. Mike Sears said

    “At least he has the guts to present material and stand behind it without fear of ridecule or judgement.”

    So do many jihadists, so what’s your point? Are you implying that TTL is withholding material or not standing behind the material it presents?

    The point being driven home is “it’s heresy” by the way.

  100. Moderator said

    Yes, Nick. It does make us feel better. It is our desire to keep this forum clean of any profanity, obscenity and vulgarity and Thomas has posted links containing just that, in our opinion. We reserve the right to control this environment in such a manner. We all know that none of us are perfect, but for Thomas to portray himself as the authority of such things, while at the same time promoting websites containing content & images like this, it really seems to deflate his persona and our audience needs to know. We definitely encourage Thomas to continue the debate, but we will decide what to delete and what not to delete. Also, we have moved this discussion to another thread located here: https://truthtalklive.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/was-saul-who-became-paul-actually-a-deceiver-of-the-early-church-and-apostles/

  101. John said

    Our skeletons are sucked clean by F. L. A.,Nick.
    Anonymous,I think you were right.
    Still interesting, though[smile].

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