St. Paul

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Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:06 pm
@Labyrinth,
Yeah, it was mostly the result of the six major preceding Popes (as I recall there were two others, but they died to early to have much influence). Not to say that there was no growing discontent whatsoever, but these six powerful Popes had ample opporunity to address the rising discontent - and instead of take action to address spiritual dilemmas, they used violence to silence voices.

Barbara Tuchman covers this period extensively in her book The March of Folly. If you are interested in the build up to the Reformation and the political mishandling of that buildup, her section on those Pope's is an invaluable overview. Besides, she's just a great historian.

You mention payment for spiritual gain, selling of absolution - this was an invention of these Popes, used to fund wars and parties. People knew this at the time, and the policy created quite a controversy. The thing was, these Popes were so insulated in their beyond-reproach world that they did not care. It wasn't until the French sack Rome, finally, that they begin to realize that the Holy See is not protected by appearance of divinity - and even then, the response is entirely political and military, rather than spiritual.

As for imposing the spiritual domain over the temporal, I am not sure this is necessarily dangerous. Though, there is no doubt it opens the door for abuse - but then again, any temporal power does this. It is interesting - about the same time you have secular Popes in Rome, you have secular Lamas in Lhasa. So, the real issue is how well those in the position of temporal/spiritual power understand the importance of their role; if they understand that their spiritual worth can be diminished by their handling of temporal matters, the leader is likely to be at least decent. So, I would suggest that it is not so much the coupling of these roles, but instead the extent to which people in these roles pay attention to the conditions of their subjects, both temporal and spiritual. A leader well connected to his people is more likely to rule wisely.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:43 pm
@vajrasattva,
Anything is open to abuse it doesn't mean to say that the practises are wrong, as long as they are not harming anyone.
 
Labyrinth
 
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 05:56 pm
@Caroline,
Thanks for the book recommendation.

We agree Paul is not to blame. :Glasses: Whew, I lost sight of the subject matter of the original post!
 
vajrasattva
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 11:09 am
@vajrasattva,
I dont feel that paul is to blame for the state of the religious world. But i feel that the fact that his texts take up more of the new testament then Christs is a little disconcerting and frankly blasphemous. I think that this is the cause of the problems that have arisen in the religous world all the way from the popes to the jahovas wittnesses (no offense). It is also the cause of gay bashing, the crusades, and all manner of clergical heresy.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 11:59 am
@vajrasattva,
Thank you V. that is a good example of intolerance, just shows what is written in the history books reflects the times of that era.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 01:12 pm
@Caroline,
I do agree that the elevation of Paul's commentary is unjustified. Because that's all his writings are - commentary. They should be read as such, not as gospel truth (heh). Frankly, there is better commentary to be found.

Though, I do not think we can blame gay bashing, crusades and clerical heresy on Paul or his work. The passage regarding homosexuality is not clearly about homosexuality - I would argue that it is not, but the popular interpretation runs otherwise. And that's the problem - interpretation. People like to superimpose their own biases upon texts to justify their hatred.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 01:26 pm
@vajrasattva,
Yes DT hearsay plays a great part in it.

---------- Post added 09-18-2009 at 02:27 PM ----------

Indded DT, people do interpret it into hate, especially if they feel hate and are being lead by someone who fuels that hate, a bit like Hitler I'd say, wouldn't you?
 
vajrasattva
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 01:30 pm
@vajrasattva,
I do feel that we can balme that on paul (or thoes who overvalue his teaching) Because if Christ is who he is said to be then listening to paul would lead to misunderstanding of the teaching of Christ. Regardless of how nice a guy Paul was. Misunderstanding Gods teaching would lead to all maner of heresy regarless of the sainthood of the teacher. A Saint is still a sinner.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 01:34 pm
@vajrasattva,
I'm not sure I follow you, Vajra - sure, people should hold Jesus' teaching above those of Paul, but how can we blame Paul for the mistakes of people who came years after his death? Paul never said to take his teachings first and Jesus' teachings second.

And reading Paul does not necessarily lead to misunderstanding any more than reading Aquinas or Augustine, or any other theologian. In fact, that is a great tradition in Christianity - the dialogue on faith and scripture.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 01:57 pm
@vajrasattva,
Dont we need to study the bible, take a closer look at this? Please
Thanks.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 02:10 pm
@Caroline,
Sure - what are we looking for?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 06:16 pm
@Caroline,
Caroline;91427 wrote:
Dont we need to study the bible, take a closer look at this? Please
Thanks.

I just bought a four volume Bible Encyclopaedia for two dollars...It goes into a lot of depth... Do you want me to look him up...There is a story about him in James the Brother of Jesus, I can't think of the author off hand ...Might be Isenstein..There is another good study of him I have around here...I would like to write a story about him as a tortured prophet, a pharosee, the Centurian at the feet of Jesus, Paying Judas, the potter, and then gutting him for the loot, Prosecuting Jesus, and persecuting his followers until, like a bolt in a epileptic fit, white became black and death became life, and he saw a great opportunty for money, and a name; and he saw something else in Jesus that no true Jew could ever see, the philosopher, and comic savant become not king, but God... And then he set about making his way, and his fortune, playing the Romans against the Jews, defrauding women as only the religous can, until attacked and harrassed as an interloper, and a charletan, he makes one attempt on the life of James, and then later, kills him...As a final conquest he wins over an old friend, Josephus, but both die as a result of rioting between the Jews and the Christians that sets off the fire that destroys Rome...
 
vajrasattva
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 01:19 pm
@vajrasattva,
St. Paul was not an apsotle of christ. He also (as has been stated here) changed christianity from a jewish sect into its own entity. This (as good a thing as it can be) Is potential the cause of the misinterpretations of christs teaching. I dont feel that St. paul is a "wicked" man but i do feel that he bears (in part) the problems that the christian world is now seeing. Not through direct intent but more through cause and effect.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 22 Sep, 2009 06:14 pm
@vajrasattva,
vajrasattva;92805 wrote:
St. Paul was not an apsotle of christ. He also (as has been stated here) changed christianity from a jewish sect into its own entity. This (as good a thing as it can be) Is potential the cause of the misinterpretations of christs teaching. I dont feel that St. paul is a "wicked" man but i do feel that he bears (in part) the problems that the christian world is now seeing. Not through direct intent but more through cause and effect.

I think he could be the antichrist... Honest to God, he has that flavor about him of a televangelist... What Jesus tore down saying he was destroying nothing, Paul built up... He was so Greek...He was the product of two cultures....He could see outside the box, and see death as life... There is no doubt he is the author of modern Christianity, and even though his teachings are the basis of Protestantism, protestantism did him one better, and turned closer to Judaism, that is, to an empty formalism just as he took Christianity away from the Jews...It is no surprise Neitzsche hated Paul..
 
Leonard
 
Reply Tue 6 Oct, 2009 02:25 pm
@vajrasattva,
St. Paul would seem like an extremist in the modern time, but in his time it was customary to think like this. He did have a narrow world view, and most modern readers find him a narrow-minded person.

Your Original Post was excellent, I have to say. He sounds as if he values himself over Christ, as some modern Christians value his work.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 05:55 am
@Leonard,
Leonard;95617 wrote:
St. Paul would seem like an extremist in the modern time, but in his time it was customary to think like this. He did have a narrow world view, and most modern readers find him a narrow-minded person.

Your Original Post was excellent, I have to say. He sounds as if he values himself over Christ, as some modern Christians value his work.

I think he would fit right in... He was one of the world's first true individualist... Does he ever talk of mom and dad??? Because of his multiculturalism he was cut off, and free to make up rules for himself as he went...In Romanizing Christianity he made it a world force able to stand up long after the people it was made for had become a welcome mat for the Romans...
There is a good reason why Paul is read at nearly every Catholic Church service... He built their church, and not Peter.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 07:14 am
@Fido,
Fido;92849 wrote:
I think he could be the antichrist... Honest to God, he has that flavor about him of a televangelist... What Jesus tore down saying he was destroying nothing, Paul built up... He was so Greek...He was the product of two cultures....He could see outside the box, and see death as life... There is no doubt he is the author of modern Christianity, and even though his teachings are the basis of Protestantism, protestantism did him one better, and turned closer to Judaism, that is, to an empty formalism just as he took Christianity away from the Jews...It is no surprise Neitzsche hated Paul..


AntiChrist oh come on be real. Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Nero, the Pope it goes on and on every day a new Antichrist. By the way Neitzcshe also hated Jesus as a weakling he said the only real person in the bible was Pilot.

The latest Antichrist no less that President Obama
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 7 Oct, 2009 06:08 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;95774 wrote:
AntiChrist oh come on be real. Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Nero, the Pope it goes on and on every day a new Antichrist. By the way Neitzcshe also hated Jesus as a weakling he said the only real person in the bible was Pilot.

The latest Antichrist no less that President Obama

Paul certainly stands opposite to Christ...He twisted the message of Christ just enough to make it palatable to the Romans and cut the nads off it.... There was nothing weak about Jesus... His strength of purpose equaled his strength of character... It is a rare genius who can see things as they are without a truckload of education... I guess, If you know the old testament you know all you need to know about humanity, and the Jews...
 
vajrasattva
 
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 11:53 am
@vajrasattva,
I feel that St. Pauls teaching stands in opposition to the individualistic approach to god that christ embraced. Jesus came to give mankind a path to god that was free of the middle man, (scribes and pharasies) free of legalistic judgements of the individual, and free of any monopoly on god. St. paul, antichrist or not, with his teaching and the way that he delivered it caused the early curch to revert back to the dogmatic way of being. Granted his dogmatic approach was mild compared to the semitic leagalisim of that day. It none the less was and is the cause of the leagalism in the curch of this day. Which in turn is the cause of the aversion to christianity so often felt in todays world.

Now granted the early curch was persecuted almost to the point of extinction, and St. pauls methodology allowed the curch to have unity in the face of tyrany. This may be what allowed the curch to survive the persecution that it faced. But none the less a saint of god is someone who has had direct experience and perception of god. They are sanctified and therefore are one with god. I doubt weather or not St. paul had this distinction. Due to the fact that his teaching has not withstood the test of time with regard to the modern worlds dilemas. Jesus, christ or not, was most certainly a saint. One who knows his teaching dose not run into friction with what is taught. Love thy neighbor as thyself embraces equaly the individual and the whole. Love thy god embraces the individuality of faith within the individual and the whole. His teaching runs into no friction with the average individual of todays society be the individual christian, hindu, muslim, or other. Hence jesus christs acceptance into the realm of muslim prophet, hindu avatar and buddhist bodhisattva. The lack of individual friction in teaching to me is the sign of sainthood. The saints teaching fosters the growth of the individual and the good of the whole. St. Paul was definitely an intelegent, dedicated, and compassionate man. But consdidering the social and individual problems faced today with respect to his teaching. I doubt weather or not St. paul was actualy one with god.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2009 01:13 pm
@vajrasattva,
Are we just having fun berating Paul, or do we want to sight reasons for these negative opinions of the man, like excerpts from his work and our interpretations thereof.

I'm noticing a great many historical inaccuracies, for example. Paul was not trying to make the Christian sect more palatable to Romans. He was bringing the message to Gentiles. This is happening after the Romans have destroyed the Jewish Temple, which was an important site for Christians up until it's destruction.

There is also a great deal of talk about how people today read Paul - but so what? How on Earth can modern misinterpretations be the fault of Paul? Modern misinterpretations are not uncommon for the rest of the New Testament, so if that is our criticism we might as well bemoan Matthew's efforts, Luke's efforts, ect. But this does not seem reasonable.
 
 

 
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