Monday, June 18, 2012

Dennis On: "Oh Paul, You Nut"

"Oh Paul, You Nut"

Dennis Diehl - EzineArticles Expert AuthorI believe most readers understand that I personally have come to the "low view" of the Apostle Paul.  This Saul now Paul came out of nowhere to tell everyone the true meaning of his hallucinatory Christ.  Remember, Paul NEVER met any real Jesus of the Gospels , never quotes him and the Gospels never heard of him either.  You'd think the "Pharisee of the Pharisees" and  the one "above my fellows" would have shown up in the Gospel group of Pharisees tormenting Jesus.  Even though the Gospels were written well after Paul had lived, preached and died, he was not put into the stories about Jesus and his confrontations with the Jerusalem Pharisees.  It is simply because they never heard of him or , at best, hated him and didn't agree that he even was an Apostle.
Personally, I feel Paul was the false apostle that the Jesus of Revelation (not Gospel Jesus) praised the Ephesian Christians for getting rid of.  Paul even bitched that all in Asia, where the church of Ephesus was located,  had forsaken him but he prayed God would not hold it against him.  He seems never to have asked why they forsook him and won't share that with us in his writings.
He withstood that scoundrel Peter "to his face," but again, really fails to tell us why.  I wonder what Peter would have said about this event?
"I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false." Revelation 2:2 (NIV)

At best, Paul was and is a controversial figure in the NT.  It is Paul, not any Jesus, that is the author of modern day Christianity.  Paul the Pharisee's Gentile Christianity won out over the Jewish version.

Paul cursed those that did not preach the Gospel that he came up with.  Paul hated Peter, James and John of the Jerusalem Church, and they weren't all that crazy about him. 
Let's notice how Paul views himself and ask if this is a man that may have actually been outside the intent of Jesus teachings but who, nonetheless, won out and with whom we are stuck today. 
Paul took a salary from others for those of us who think ministers should not be paid.  However, he admits to stealing it.
 "I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service." II Cor 11:8
Paul was given to boasting to keep up with the boasting of others.  What this really means is that since others are presenting their actual credentials, he better think of something to present his own or lose out.  You'd think that he'd not do this to show he was not like them, but alas, he can't resist.
 "Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast." II Cor 11:18
Evidently, one only comes out of the world when that's all there is left to do. Otherwise, use it to your advantage.
Paul had no problem making stuff up that he knew any Jesus on earth did not say.  His opinion was just as good as everyone elses.  Usually when one says they aren't boasting or lying, they know they are so may as well try to say they aren't really.
 "That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting" II Cor 11:17
Paul was not against trickery to get his points.  After all, this is a man who can be all things to all men (duplistic) to save some.  Just what exactly does this kind of "all things to all men," really believe?

 "Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!"
II Cor 12:16  Nice!  You tricked me into the truth.
Paul points to his own example and not that of Jesus.  He says he is everyone's father in the faith.  I remember HWA saying that too.  Paul was not only a guardian of their faith, (do I need one?) but he is the father of it.
"Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus, I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me." I Cor 4:15/16

"Judge not that you be not judged," seems to have escaped Paul. Of course, he never heard of Gospel Jesus and those stories had not been written yet.  It's the reason when some asked him how to pray he said "don't worry about it. The Holy Spirit would moan and groan, utter and peep for us" and never heard of Gospel Jesus saying,  "When you pray say, 'Our Father who art in heaven....""

"And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just if I were present." I Cor 5:3

Paul had no problem handing someone over to his concept of Satan for destruction for the greater good.  It never seemed to occur to Paul to encourage, love and help the one who had slipped.
"hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord." I Cor 5:5

Paul was as falsely humble as they come.  He felt he was the ultimate way for others to be and his way of being was THE way of being.
"I wish that all men were as I am." I Cor 7:7

Paul felt his views were just as valid as those of his Cosmic Christ.  Even though Jesus didn't teach something, he did and he had the spirit of God.  This is a rather dangerous view and leaves him open to saying and demanding anything he wants thinking he and Christ are one and the same.
"To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord):" I Cor 7:12

The single, unmarriageable and probably troll like Paul tells everyone that his being single is the best way to be.  He never heard any Gospel Jesus say, "A man should leave his father and mother...."  Of course, this "stay unmarried as I am" which was a function of his view that "time is short," was bullshit in reality.
"Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am" I Cor 7:8

"Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife." I Cor 7:27

"What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;" I Cor 7:29
Paul rethinks the above and tells everyone to stay stuck in the situations they are in.
"Each one should remain in the situation he was in when God called him." I Cor 7:20
Paul's view of marriage is unreal and childish.  The unmarried or virgins are NOT all that concerned about the things of the Lord, as far I could ever tell.  The married woman was NOT always just concerned about the affairs of the world and I thought pleasing a husband was part of being in a relationship.  Paul knows nothing of love and marriage.  He was only fit to bring a watermelon to the church picnic as that is what the single men were good for.
"An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs:" I Cor 7:34

"But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world - how she can please her husband." I Cor 7:34

"In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is - and I think that I too have the spirit of God." I Cor 7:40
Paul totally expects to make a living off the preaching of the Gospel.  (This for those who think it is not Biblical)  Paul likes his stuff, just as everyone else does.
"In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel." I Cor 9:14

"If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?" I Cor 9:11

Paul likes his boasting.  It is part and parcel of what he needs to feel good.
"I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast." I Cor 9:15

Paul curses those that don't love the Lord.  Nice touch!  In one place Paul says, "when cursed we bless," however, he had his moments.

"If anyone does not love the lord - a curse be on him.
This reminds me of a sign on a barn south of Greenville, SC here.  "Love Jesus or burn forever in hell."  Nice!
Paul blames others for his having to make a fool of himself and feels they should have appreciated him more. He says he is nothing but thinks he really is something great.  He can't call Peter, James and John "fellow laborers chosing rather to be sarcastic and call them "super apostles."  This shows his immaturity and need to also be "super."
"I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the 'super-apostles', even though I am nothing." II Cor 12:11\

Paul admits that Satan got the best of him and blames some physical problem on Satan.  In other words, he sees Satan behind everything that thwarts him even though it probably is not so and he is just not getting what he wants.
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surprisingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me." II Cor 12:7
Paul was competitive and could not abide anyone being as smart or equal to himself.  He thinks everyone who disagrees with him is boasting and enjoys cutting them off at the knees. 
"And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about." II Cor 11:12
Paul was the kind of personality that would say he was not lying, when he knew he was.  Was not boasting when he knew he was.  And had to keep on boasting to keep up with what he thought others, who simply may have been speaking more truth than himself were doing.
"I must go on boasting." II Cor 12:1
Paul was prone to believing that his having the final say was his right in the lives of others.
"On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others," II Cor 13:2 B
Paul, in his twisted view, knew he was conceited and a boaster.

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surprisingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me." II Cor 12:7
Paul tells us the alone went to the Third Heaven , saw and heard things that no man can utter.  This sheer invention to make himself more special.  At best it is manipulation much like a Dave Pack who tells his congregants, "Great things are happening, but I can't share them with you at this time," and at worst, it is mental illness.  I dare any COG pastor to stand up this next week and tell the church that they were taken to the third heaven but can't report on what was seen or heard. 

When it comes down to it, it is Paul and not any Gospel Jesus that is the founder and author of Christianity.  This is a man who was not chosen as one of the 12 by Gospel Jesus.  This is man who brags in Galatians 1-2 that Peter, James and John were "so called pillars" and that who they are made no difference to him.  He says that they "added NOTHING to his Gospel."  He curses those that don't abide by his "Gospel" and that , contrary to the story in Acts, was called from the womb and NEVER had to bother conferring with the Jerusalem leadership. This is probably true because the Gospel of the Jewish Christians was vastly different from the view of Paul the Pretender.  

Paul was no team player.  He was a lone wolf and could not stand not to be in charge of it all.  He, like so many COG gurus simply will not and cannot work in cooperation with others in a common view.  His views were THE views and his Gospel was THE Gospel.
Paul always played the martyr role.  He was the both the worst and the best.  The least and the most.  The liar who told the truth.  The weakest yet the strongest.  The Pharisee of Pharisees and the Apostle.  The smartest pencil in the box, above his fellows and a fool. He was a man given to exaggeration and self promotion.  He admitted to being big of mouth and small in actual presence. 
In short, he was the perfect prototype of a COG called.

Dennis C. Diehl


Anonymous said...

Paul's flapping jowls were the prototype for Mr. Armstrong's flapping jowls.

Later, Satan used that prototype to design internal flapping carburetor parts for Harley Davidson motorcycles, making sure those motorcycles would break down on their way to run over gays, women's vaginas, Muslims, gun-control advocates, Abraham Lincoln, and atheists.

MT Gastanks

Anonymous said...

I may have misunderstood what Dennis says, but it appears to me we have a person that sees the whole bible as a fictitious story; has questions about the existence of Israel’s God; questions the existence of Jesus as “Christ” being a real person; and seems to reject much if not most of Christian Theology and its 2000 year history; ridiculing the writing of Paul.

I am not sure just what the next step will be, but it may be messianic Judaism. I recognize the trauma associated with the breakup of the “Cultic” association that formed his view of religion and Christianity, but I have a problem understanding why a person who has experienced such trauma wants to destroy the beliefs of people who find the bible and its teachings a source of spiritual comfort and hope.

I am not a theologian, but I have a enough understanding of theology to grasp its value and purpose in the development human characteristics that would be worthy of an eternal existence.
While eternal life may not be a reality the “bible story” does offer a chance to do a better job in relating to one another while we a living life today. Maybe we should see what it offers in that area.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anon (June 19, 2012 10:39 AM),

Are you guessing that Dennis's next step may be into messianic Judaism?

I don't quite get your flow of logic, but please expound on it since it would be edifying.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said”
“Are you guessing that Dennis's next step may be into messianic Judaism?
I don't quite get your flow of logic, but please expound on it since it would be edifying.”

This was a tongue in cheek comment that indicated people do strange things, but who knows what moves people will make when they have exhausted their frustrations. Some who lost all faith have turned back to the Jewish roots of Chriatianity.

Allen C. Dexter said...

"I am not a theologian, but I have a enough understanding of theology to grasp its value and purpose in the development human characteristics that would be worthy of an eternal existence.
While eternal life may not be a reality the “bible story” does offer a chance to do a better job in relating to one another while we a living life today. Maybe we should see what it offers in that area."

What dream world are you living in? Blind belief in that book is leading to the evisceration of science in many states and nations (like Korea where evolution is being expunged from textbooks), the continued demotion of women in society, and so many other evils that I couldn't begin to list them all.

Belief in the theology Paul instituted has been a curse on humanity from the fourth century on, and it's a curse that keeps right on cursing.

Urim & Thummim said...

Oh Dennis, You Dick!

What a dick you are to be pissing all over nutty Paul like that!

I'm a new lurker here so, I was not aware of your status; but, after reading your post I conclude you must definitely still be an avid Armstrong Minion.

Only one following loyally in the legacy of Herbie could blabber at such lenght about St. Paul and never hit on GRACE!

Yes, The End Time False Prophet taught you well! You've got his knack for context lifting and intent shifting.

Your AC education continues to pay compliments to the visionary Herbie via display of your keen insight; so much so that I'm surpised you are not the Apostle of your own twisted sister splinter.

However, I've always liked you Dennis, so I will do more than you do for poor Paul - and butter your butt with the ultimate compliment.

Now, I would not say this about all COGers but, you Dennis, are truly the Righteousness of Jesus!

If you're not disgusted by that comment perhaps you're rolling with laughter.

My rendering of your authentic self goes against all of the teachings of your Apostle Herbie but, Paul taught us (or at least some of us) about Grace, Irristable Grace, and Justification by the Righteousness of Jesus. Furthermore, those who can (not you) reason far beyond the constraints of Herbie-ism, see that Paul beautifully harmonizes his halucinatory Jesus with Crucified/Resurrected Jesus.

Too bad you're still stuck reading Paul through Herbie's old lenses but, with a new murk of your own.

Although you are indeed a dick, becasue of what Jesus has done, you are also perfectly righteous!

Apostle Paul, not Apostate Herbie, taught this. You can run, or think your stand tuff but, in the end Grace will get you!

Then, it'll be my turn to laugh - and I'm sure that nut Paul will join me.

Anonymous said...

Allen Dexter said:
“What dream world are you living in? Blind belief in that book is leading to the evisceration of science in many states and nations (like Korea where evolution is being expunged from textbooks), the continued demotion of women in society, and so many other evils that I couldn't begin to list them all.
Belief in the theology Paul instituted has been a curse on humanity from the fourth century on, and it's a curse that keeps right on cursing.”
My reply
It appears to me that some of those rejecting the historical records showing the development of the Christian religion are deluding themselves in to thinking the world would be better off without the “bible story”. It should be remembered that the bible was dealing with a different time in history and a whole different culture than that of today.
Yes, a blind belief in any informational source will lead to errors in understand how to apply the information, but this is also a problem in science. It should be remembered that religion is not a “science”. It is more related to psychological issues. It is presumed that religion is one of the differences between human life and animal life.
I do not believe it would be helpful to go into a long dissertation regarding theology here, but feel it should be pointed out that Paul’s letters were written to people who were dealing serious problems (at least serious to them) and were viewed as applying to the larger community when they were included in the creation of the New Testament. To say Paul was stupid, deceived, or whatever demeaning word one wants to shows ignorance and bigotry.
As I pointed out I am not a theologian, but I can recognize the logic, reason, and intelligence that has made the bible useful in almost every generation of human life.

Anonymous said...

Dear "Urim & Thummim",

Please return to lurker mode.
Your post was insane.


Anonymous said...

Dear Umim Whatever,

A Christian would rejoice at the salvation of a lost sheep -- captured by grace as you say.

A person who would laugh (sneer implied) would be, well, a DICK.

Thanks for letting us know which you are, pal.

DennisCDiehl said...

I am not filtering Paul through WCG. I have studied the contradictions and total misuse of the OT by Paul in his tale weaving, Grace or otherwise.

Many well learned theologians refer to "the problem of Paul," and have for years and years.

You might start with a good read of Paul the Mythmaker by Hyam Jacobby. Paul Friedrickson on "Putting away Childish Things, " is very insightful and one of the best is Freudmann on Christianity and the Rise of Anti-Semitism in the New Testament. The author knows the Old Testament as well as the New very well , "after all it is OUR book," and clearly shows Paul's misuse, misquoting and mistaken meanings he gets out of the OT which are not there. Or as noted, "For a Pharisee of the Pharisees" he seems not to know Hebrew and of course makes all his arguements from the Greek, including using the mistakes he seems not to know are mistakes.

At any rate. Thanks for the name calling. I guess is you are a real Christian, you'll just have to forgive me....

Add to these, Robert M. Price, John Spong and many others and the problem of Paul becomes more obvious.

DennisCDiehl said...

Here are some reviews of Maccoby's (sorry said Jaccoby) Paul the Mythmaker, for a start.

Again, my studies over the past two decades have not been filtered through the COG view. Anything but. And the fact that it is Paul who authors modern Christianity and not any one pristine Jameson church is not original to me. Nor is the fact that Paul never quotes Gospel Jesus because in fact, he never met or heard of that one.

Urim and Thummim said...

Dear Sensative, Grace-destined, Not-a-Dick Dennis,

I remember you as a humorous, good-natured, and compassionate man - totally unlike any other WCG pastor I've ever met. I often said, "Diehl is the real Deal!"

However, I fear that the post-WCG abuse truama you are suffering has skewed the finest features of your personality - and sadly, you are still demonstrably under the sway of the cult. It's kind of like Stockholm Syndrome.

Case in point: your mention of "thanks for the name calling". The Dennis I recall would laugh at a little monicker like "dick" - and understand that it was all in jest, realize it was a play off of your first name-calling Paul a "nut", and palyfully and skillfully return the "compliment".

However, the COG MO is to dish out the names but, not be able to take it in return.

Perhaps you and a few of your croonies haven't noticed that this fine site is, to a good and fun degree, about name calling!

I also thought it was a forum for freely expressing one's thoughts but, please forgive me for being so rebellious as to insult a member of the sacred caste. I think I've learned that I'd get along better here if I always honor the elite, pump only the party line, and never question the dogma of authority. Just like WCG!

I'm not saying your response definitively dictates that I must agree with you or get out -- however, I'm getting that vibe in general.

Perhaps that's my own trauma showing up or maybe that's just another display of how some still instinctively follow the the dictates of COG thought policing.

Given how you fell for all of Herbie's shtick - you can understand why I'm not impressed by your present field of authors and research.

You can find several somebodies that hawk any possible viewpoint under the sun - and you do know how to pick them! That track record plus your unswerving reliance on the deductive tactics of Herbie make your conclusions suspect.

In reality, to discount Paul's account of Grace, you first have to demonstrate you understand it. Otherwise, you're no more astute than Herbie - sicne he was always poo-pooing what he thought was the doctrines of others while actually leaving them veritably untouched, in his ignorance.

Grace is a theme threaded throughout the Bible - HWA never caught it in Paul's writings so naturally he never found Grace in the Old Testament. Additionally, like Herbie, if you caught Grace it would ruin your best laid schemes.

Paul, however, said that Jesus saved us by Grace before the foundation of the world.

I'll stand with Paul and beleive that is your predestined destiny too. And when Paul and I laugh together, it will be joyful, not scornfull. Like the good old Dennis, you'll no doubt join us.

For now though, it appears that when you have been screwed so deeply, the sticky-icky axiom sticks: you can take the Dennis out of the cult but, you can't take the cult out of the Dennis.

Anonymous said...

Dennis I am having a little problem discerning the difference between the critic and the hypercritic. It seems you are choosing books that suit your view of Paul (or the books that have contributed to your view) and focusing on scriptures that support the ideas you believe are the crux of Paul’s teachings.

I have read a number of commentaries on the Corinthian letters and an article in the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology that paint a different picture. I will say that it is no secrete that Christianity has been shaped by Paul and his theology, but you did not mention the things that stand out in the minds of many theologians.
One is his theology of the cross another is his opposition to social climbing and other problems in Corinth. There is a whole chapter on “Love” and a strong effort to build or rebuild unity in the churches he is writing to. I could name other things, but I know you are aware of everything there.

I know you are aware of the fact that these are presumed to be Paul’s converts who were mostly Gentiles in a culture similar to that of today and his letters were written to those churches not the whole community. He did not write them for the larger church community or us today. This was done by those who gathered up things to be included after the apostles were no longer alive.

I do not know your purpose in creating that article, but your personal commentaries seem to add to the confusion that already exists. Would you like people to start a church based your commentaries? When I see the rag tag groups that have formed I see it as a possibility.
I can see it now “Denny Diehl’s Church of Opposition to Paul”

Assistant Deacon said...

Um, I wouldn't exactly lose sleep over the sensible, reasoned debate going on here, Dennis.

You dick.

Anonymous said...

I heard Ehrman say Robert K. Price was an OT scholar, not a NT testament scholar. And I thought Sponge dated the gospels mid 2nd century, where Ehrman and E. P. Sanders date them late first century.

Where are you getting your Sun of God / Son of God astrotheological views: Sounds pretty hokey.