Paul the apostle’s (ahem) mental problem

Another blogger (neuronotes) put forth the notion that learned members of the scientific health community have suggested that the apostle Paul suffered terrible trauma mentally. Citing various medical personnel, and I noticed a book mind you on the NY Times bestseller list, they lay out a case against the chief of sinners. These so-called accusations against Paul are simple decoys as an argument against a God in heaven.

YET the writings conclude: ‘The true state of the apostle Paul’s health cannot be known:

But The apostle is still charged with ‘temporal lobe disorder,‘ a condition affecting 1-2% of the population, including epileptic attacks and seizures, therefore casting aspersion on his person and sanity, which explained his hallucinations, therefore making him an incredible witness, and calling into doubt his ministry and tossing aside his epistles as rubbish, and the obvious ancillary connection, that Christianity is a fraudulent faith.

The implications of course from an atheistic viewpoint, would state that Paul was more or less a meshumed, which translates further that he was equally a liar and an imposter. Hmmm.

It appears some doctors have engaged in the wrong ‘hypocritic oath,’ for the attack on a very good man is easily provable by the lack of the argument itself. There is a huge difference between understanding and being compassionate for people who have legitimate mental health issues, with using the ‘false compassion’ to malign God and man.

Let’s look at the source fodder. The scriptures are used as reliable that (a) Saul of Tarsus lived, and (b) Paul suffered a mental disorder. Yet, the same scriptures are ignored that (a) prove the spiritual rottenness of Saul of Tarsus, and (b) prove the total allegiance of Paul the apostle to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

To use Paul’s blindness and his visions as cause for a mental defect, and as a springboard to discredit him entirely, the premise fails miserably, as Paul’s antagonists doubt the veracity of the Old Testament, calling it a myth, the New Testament as a fable, and the Lord Himself as a fraud. It takes a herculean bunch to accomplish all three.

But they left alone the mental condition of Peter, James, and John on the mountain when they beheld the raiment of the Lord white as snow, as they saw His face above the brightness of the sun, and as they were eyewitnesses of his dazzling majesty; no they conveniently left alone this narrative, and simply attacked Paul for seeing the same thing. Why?

Whoever has the cleverest imagination supposedly wins the day, but if the authors believed the text, they must instantly retract their mirages. They will not, for their agenda is much deeper than a problem with Saul of Tarsus. Surely not all Phd’s agree, but most are on board.

As with all disagreements, ultimately, their issue is with God himself, for they dare not challenge Saul’s mental condition when he stood idly by as he was in accord with the stoning of Stephen. No, this aloofness of his fit the template at the time. There was no need to find fault with him THERE, for he was no threat, as a matter of fact, as long as he was breathing out threatenings and slaughter, he was an asset.

All of a sudden Saul is blinded, and his character is reduced to ashes. Ah, but Paul said the light was not punitive. ‘I could not see for the glory of that light.’

And why pray tell would he not see for three days? Because his commission from the Lord was to ‘open the eyes of the Gentiles!’ Whoa Nellie. But Paul was Jewish! That’s right, and herein lies the root of his attackers hatred. This is why Paul was said to hi-jack the faith.

Paul was accused of INFECTING people with primitive and damaging teachings. Really? Please read his own words and use your God-given brain to see if this is a lie or if it is simply true.

Paul testifying after his conversion:

‘Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.

Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.’

In God’s good name, does this sound like the rantings of a lunatic? Which of you would trade an easy chair for this so-called delusion? Didn’t think so.

Now look at his enemies:

Forty men conspired against Paul to kill him; (They made an oath that they would not eat until he were dead. I’m thinking they didn’t starve to death.)

False accuser

Festus called Paul a madman because of Paul’s learning. (Festus was a few doughnuts short of a dozen)

More of Paul’s ‘temporal lobe disorder?

‘Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content’

‘Faith, hope, and love these three, and the greatest of these is love’

‘Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others’

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

‘For by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin’

Whatsoever is pure, and just, and holy and good, think on these things.

Summary

There has been an assault on Paul that began, oh let’s say, more than two thousand years ago, and the new alliances against him by way of books, videos, lectures, etc, have once more proved the word of God reliable, Paul honorable, and unbelieving man, as the miscreant that he is.

Paul suffered delusion from being blinded by the glory of God? Ah no. Let’s remember the man of God Moses who also witnessed the glory of God, and the scripture said at the age of 120, his eye was not dim, meaning he could see perfectly. Moses and Paul had no mental defect, and to say otherwise is to challenge the God of heaven Himself.

The atheist at heart needs an excuse to not be accountable to the Creator, but looking for loopholes at the feet of Paul the apostle is a poor place to look. Paul’s life was saturated and wrapped up in the grace of God, as given freely by his Lord. His epistles are living proof of what it means to have a sound mind.

 

(Addendum 11.16.14)

It is one thing to challenge Paul for his doctrine; it is quite another to malign his mind, and by so doing, assume that any person of ‘handicapped’ stature, should be tossed aside as useless.

The real insult is not whether Paul suffered trauma, but that he was simply hallucinating, and his entire life of a christian was  a joke.  I would turn this around and say if any person believes this, I pity you.

It would seem that Paul had an amanuensis to help him write, but so what, many people wear glasses; taking the next step and saying he ‘invented’ a religion hardly needs further comment.

(If Paul had brain damage, I want what he had)

 

 

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About ColorStorm

Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture.
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70 Responses to Paul the apostle’s (ahem) mental problem

  1. Good post. We’re living in these times where “mental health issues” are all the rage, but in the olden days and still to this day in many primitive cultures, mental issues were perceived more as being a gift received from having a close encounter with God. People didn’t fear the “rantings of lunatics,” they sought them out as Divine wisdom.

    Even back in biblical times people were torn about this, Christ Himself was accused of crazy talk and of having a demon, but ironically not by the people who were really hearing what He had to say, but rather by the powers that be that wanted Him silenced.

    This idea that “you’re crazy” therefore anything you say must be dismissed is really a bit nutty itself because from what science has taught us about the mental illness, most people who suffer from it are completely able to relate their experiences and reality to others with quite a bit of accuracy. “Crazy” doesn’t mean mentally ill or having a chemical imbalance, it flat out means I have the right to dismiss everything you say because I don’t like what you’re saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Colorstorm says:

    Arch-
    I ‘liked’ ya because u quoted me exactly-
    as to what follows, not so much.

    To quote your friend Dever: (Biblical archaeologist)

    ‘I am not reading the Bible as Scripture… I am in fact not even a theist. My view all along—and especially in the recent books—is first that the biblical narratives are indeed ‘stories,’ often fictional and almost always propagandistic, but that here and there they contain some valid historical information. That hardly makes me a ‘maximalist.’

    Seems he has a vested interest in promoting his unbelief. just sayin. 😉

    Like

  3. Tiribulus says:

    insanitybytes22 says: “Okay, I’ll do it for all the other crazy people in the world.”
    If it’s the definition that Violet’s crew keeps labeling with, please do count me among that number.

    Like

    • Colorstorm says:

      Well Tiribulus-

      If the maimed, the halt, the lame, the blind, and the everyday common sinner (if there is such a thing) will be at the banquet, then I suppose there will be a whole lot of crazy too.

      And not only be there, but will be accounted as special guests by the Lord of the feast.

      Like

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Remind me – what was that again your Yeshua was quoted as saying? Something about he who would be first, shall be last —

        Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          Yessir Arch-

          The law of perfect return. The blind and the lame were not last huh?
          Fortunately, God sees everything.

          God sees the motives. But tkx for the word of God, asit proves Him correct 100% of the time.

          Like

    • Colorstorm says:

      Hey Arch-

      Let’s say for the moment Paul the apostle had a brain injury. Kind of makes the scripture that much more credible wouldn’t ya think?

      That in his long list of hardships, (which I listed) how God could use a person of such lowly stature and disregard, to be the epicenter of the New Testament.

      A casual reading of his work is proof enough that Paul had a mind the likes of which this world has never seen. If Paul was brain damaged, then count me in. Then again, the Lord, (whose understanding is infinite) was accused of having a devil also.

      Insults have always been the seeds of hypocrisy, shallowness, and jealousy.

      Like

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Let’s say for the moment Paul the apostle had a brain injury. Kind of makes the scripture that much more credible wouldn’t ya think?

        You mean basing an entire career on falling down in the middle of the road, flopping around like a carp, and experiencing an hallucination that a dead man spoke to him? I’m not seeing how that would make anything else he had to say particularly credible.

        “Insanity is believing your hallucinations are real. Religion is believing that other peoples’ hallucinations are real.”
        — Dan Barker —

        Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          ArcH-

          I appreciate this post. Heres why. Your voice of protest or concern as to the truthfulness of a man, as well as the reliability of scripture, is shared by many who are hesitant to speak up, so you are doing them a favour.

          So my answer to you, is also an answer to them.

          -The idea of ‘flopping’ like a fish is a liberty that I would not have.

          -Hallucination? Yea, only if you don’t believe him

          -Dead man speaking? Again, you speak from the place of unbelief

          A man was blind from birth, given sight for the first time, and the religious fools wanted to question his parents, missing completely what was right in front of them: creation.

          (btw, his epistles are proof positive what it means to have a sound mind)

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          (btw, his epistles are proof positive what it means to have a sound mind)

          All of Neuronote’s links to neurological disorders (IF you even read them) went right over your head, didn’t they? A person can have an epilepsy-related religious experience and still have a sound mind. Try reading something besides the Buybull once in a while, you might accidentally learn something!

          Like

  4. Colorstorm says:

    SB-

    To be fair u should probably visit there for the entire context as many previous comments led up to the issue on the table. It is long and time consuming.

    It’s an ongoing discussion should be easy to find

    Like

    • Is it on Neuronotes’ blog, or is it a comment thread on a different site? I searched her blog and could not find it.

      Like

      • Colorstorm says:

        Comp. Comments-

        Good luck

        Like

        • Okay, so I’ve read both positions. It seems the article Neuronotes linked offers reasons to believe that Paul had epileptic seizures. This wouldn’t make Paul a liar; rather, it offers one explanation how he could have believed he’d seen miracles.

          I would like to note, though, that I am uncomfortable with any assertions relying on Biblical accuracy in order to be true. At that point, it’s a tad inconsistent to use evidence one can verify to support a position. What I mean is that I can’t very well say I don’t believe the Bible depicts an accurate portrayal of reality because it contains evidence I can’t verify, and then subsequently I go out and make this claim that Paul has a mental illness because he fainted on the road one day.

          Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          Sb-

          There are the medical opinions, and there are the opinions of many, maybe not you, who call into question his sanity, as if His Damascus conversion was a hoax or plain delusion.

          And why does there need to be a medical opinion at all? Scripture speaks for itself.

          If it didn’t happen, then Paul is a liar.

          The ramifications of this assessment are huge, as his work and worth are called into question, as well as his relationship with the living God.

          So while I appreciate your regard, I respectfully disagree with your observations,

          Paul is central to the New Testament, if his credibility lacks, so does scripture,

          Like

      • I actually read the article finally. Those comments were after I posted mine, which is why I was having trouble finding it.

        Thanks for the link!

        Like

  5. Nan says:

    “Paul is central to the New Testament, …” True enough, Colorstorm. In fact, Christianity is
    totally based on this self-proclaimed apostle’s version of who Jesus was.

    Whether or not Paul was epileptic, mentally deranged, or had a chemical imbalance has absolutely no bearing on his depiction of the man who walked the dusty roads of Palestine and ended up dying on a Roman cross. Rather, it was his “otherwordly vision” that started his fantasy about a “special calling” and led to a religion about Jesus, not of Jesus.

    (BTW, it’s important to note it was not the disembodied voice that directed Paul to the gentiles, but rather Ananias [who apparently also had a “visitation”] that gave him these instructions.)

    The only delusion Paul suffered from was his own self-importance. Referencing the scriptures you quoted in your initial posting, these are not testimonies of a dedicated and devoted follower, but rather ravings of a self-aggrandizing braggart.

    I do not claim Paul was a liar. Nor are my accusations against him “simple decoys” of an argument against a God in heaven. They are statements about a man who, over time, has led an entire group of people away from the teachings of Jesus in order to promote his own precepts, which were a “mosaic of Jewish and heathen beliefs, doctrines, practices, [and] traditions” (Benammi [pseud.], Aspects of Jewish Life and Thought (Letters of Benammi)/i>, NY, Bernard G. Richards Co., 1922).

    Like

    • Colorstorm says:

      Nan-

      Thank u for your attention- and glad to be on your radar. Many things to address, but here is one for your consideration.

      You may want to reconsider your assertion regarding Ananias sending Paul to the Gentiles. At the risk of appearing prolix, I copied your text so there is no ambiguity.

      You wrote:

      —-(BTW, it’s important to note it was not the disembodied voice that directed Paul to the gentiles, but rather Ananias [who apparently also had a “visitation”] that gave him these instructions.)

      Yet:

      Paul’s third account of his ‘conversion,’ and in his own words, attributed His commission TO THE GENTILES by the Lord Himself.

      I quote the text: (Acts 26)
      (He hears the voice from heaven)

      And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

      But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

      Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

      To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

      Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision…………….

      (He soon meets Ananias…….)

      Just a little housecleaning Nan 😉

      Like

      • Nan says:

        Perhaps you’re unaware, Colorstorm, but Paul’s special pleading to Agrippa occurred around 58 CE — nearly 20 years after he received his “heavenly calling.” The very reason he was in prison was because he had been spreading his message of “salvation by Jesus” (as Ananias had instructed him to do many years prior).

        There can be little doubt that by this time Paul had firmly ensconced in his mind the Damascus Road visitation was from none other than the dead Jew and his “god-given” mission was to convert the gentiles.

        Further, I find it interesting that this portion of scripture is the only place that spells out the message Paul was supposed to have received … and it was provided by the writer of Acts. Paul himself says very little about his mystical visit. In his letter to the Galatians (1:12), he reports he “received a revelation” from Jesus, and in 1 Corinthians 15:8, he mentions Jesus “appeared to him.” He offers no further description of the event. I find it strange he didn’t give more attention to such an amazing event.

        Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          Nan-
          It’s hard to go above Paul’s own word.

          He was commissioned on the way to Damascus.

          WHEN he testified before Agrippa is irrelevant to the truth WHERE and WHEN and from WHOM he received it.

          Ananias merely confirmed the word.

          (From the dead jew eh?)

          Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          So arch let’s see-

          You want an answer about a man who was a fraud, from a book that is a fable, about a city that didn’t exist,about a faith that is superstitious, concerning a God who doesn’t exist, and you are asking somebody who believes all of it.

          And you wonder why there is complete silence.

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          No, I don’t wonder at all, in fact, I already my explanation: “you’re reluctant to answer questions, the answers to which don’t fit your paradigm

          BTW – please show me where I said Damascus didn’t exist —

          Like

  6. archaeopteryx1 says:

    Another question, CS – you have repeatedly referenced the stoning of Stephen, both here and on Vi’s blog – how is it that the Jewish Sanhedrin, being forbidden by Roman law from executing ANYone, who had to take Yeshua before Pilot, in order to get him crucified, was able to take Stephen straightaway out and stone him to death?

    Like

    • Colorstorm says:

      You don’t get high fives for this ques. ArcH
      but I will give ya five sighs.

      Whose permission do the thugs ask for when they ransack a city and burn cars when their team wins the ‘big game?’

      In Stephen’s life, his testimony was so despised that it caused MOB rule- an immediate act of hatred which ended his life. Kinda like hyenas wouldn’t ya say…

      Truth has a strange effect on people.

      Like

      • Colorstorm says:

        Here it is again in case you missed it”

        ————In Stephen’s life, his testimony was so despised that it caused MOB rule- an immediate act of hatred which ended his life. Kinda like hyenas wouldn’t ya say…———-

        Now I wonder who Stephen was testifying to in Acts 7? Hmmmm, let me think……..

        Oh yea, religious hypocrites. Spiritual T H. U. G. S.

        THE RULING ON THE FIELD STANDS, Stephen was murdered by thugs, and ARCH is penalized for encroachment. Other referees would through him out of the game. 😉

        Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          Now I wonder who Stephen was testifying to in Acts 7? Hmmmm, let me think……..

          Apparently you’re trying to do that without your thinking cap on – I told you, the Sanhedrin, the same religious organization that had to take Yeshua to Pilot, because despite what they may have wanted, they didn’t have the authority from rome to put him to death – only Rome had that. Yet your learned doctor, pseudo-Luke, says that the Jewish Sanhedrin violated
          Roman law, which would have given Pilot the right to send Roman troops to have them all arrested. Bottom line, it didn’t happen.

          Paul, and later, pseudo-Luke, saw that the tide was turning – their Messiah hadn’t returned, and in pseudo-Luke’s time, the second temple had been destroyed by Rome – it was time to start kissing Rome’s ass. The Romans, however, had sent Yesshua to die on the cross – how to change public opinion about that? Simple, write a fictitious story about sweet, innocent Stephen, accusing the Jewish High religious authority, the Sanhedrin, of being responsible, not Rome, and in their anger and guilt, they took Stephen out and stoned him to death – YAY, Rome, BOO, Jews – mission accomplished!

          Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          You gave me a good laugh there fella;

          Stephen was one of the most knowledgeable men in scripture, as to custom, tradition, and law both moral and ceremonial.

          For you to sit in judgement of him, a man of God, and cast aspersion upon he, Luke and his testimony, is embarrassing to anybody with a spiritual iq higher than three.

          I will allow your comment to seethe so others can see your mockery of the word of God. Nice work.

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I don’t mock the word of your god – I have nothing but the words of superstitious, and in some instances, hallucinatory men, dead for thousands of years, that your god ever said ANYthing! If I’m mocking anything, it’s the gullibility of people who accept such words without ever looking at the stories behind the stories.

          Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          Arch-

          You may want to exhaust your energies in attacking ‘other’ books of faith, because you will wear yourself out trying to tamper with the word of God.

          People have been trying for millenia to dismantle God’s word. Guess what? They are dead, and God’s word stands.

          As an observation, it does appear your atheism is fueled by your hatred of christianity. If you did not have believers to assault, what would become of your atheism? Hmmm?

          Like

  7. Nan says:

    Colorstorm, as with most Christians, you see what you want to see … and when something is pointed out to you that doesn’t fit with your preconceived perspective, it’s wrong. I know because I’ve been there.

    Whether based on a blinding light and/or a godly message from Ananias, it cannot be denied that Paul hijacked the message Yeshua brought to the Jewish people and created a religion just for the gentiles. As history has shown, his efforts were quite successful in that he has swayed thousands (millions?) of people to his special brand of theology. As Barrie Wilson once wrote, he truly had a “winning marketing formula.”

    Sadly, you are correct. “It’s hard to go above Paul’s own word.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colorstorm says:

      Well Nan-
      You are at odds with the Creator who called Paul from his mothers womb. It is you ma’am who have been duly influenced outside of scripture.

      Who brought these doctrines?

      -the teaching of the Lord’s supper? Paul
      -justification through faith? Paul
      -justification through works? Paul and James
      -the judgment seat of Christ? Paul
      -the mystery of Israel being set aside? Paul
      -the fullness of the Gentiles? Paul
      -the translation? Paul
      -the first Adam? Paul
      -the last Adam? Paul
      -the mystery of Christ and his church? Paul
      -the Head of the body? Paul

      need I go on?

      All these doctrines taught and approved by the Lord Jesus Christ.
      and I will say as kindly as possible, your insinuation that Paul was bragging about his ‘weaknesses,’ is er, ah, a little off the mark.

      195 lashes, yea, he was boasting, sure he was. The context tells us he was foolish for even mentioning those things, and do you know why?

      Read the book of Romans, alone, there is no other apostle that had his spiritual acumen, plain and simple. You can thank the Lord, if you were so inclined to believe.

      I’m not sure what book you were reading Nan, but its hard to argue against scripture when its rightly divided.

      Like

      • Nan says:

        First, let me say I have read several books about Paul. As for arguing against scripture, let’s not go there as this is a topic fully covered on numerous blogs. Suffice it to say that, IMO, the inconsistencies and contradictions in the bible negate its origin as divine.

        I will not deny your list of doctrines brought by Paul. In fact, they prove my point when I say Paul created his own brand of belief. Did Yeshua address justification through faith and/or works? No. Did he say anything about the first or last Adam? No. Did he form a church? No. What did he (in real life) say about the gentiles? (As a reminder, he said to avoid them.) Each of these doctrines (and many others) all come from Paul alone.

        Paul was not a saint (regardless of what the Catholic Church says). He was just a man who believed he had been given a special mission by god (similar to Jim Jones, David Koresh, and many others across the span of time). Add to this his passion, power, commitment, and energy (as described by John Shelby Spong in Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism) and it’s easy to see how he was able to spread his personal brand of theology.

        What was his theology? That Yeshua was a dying-rising savior who sacrificed himself in order to give his followers eternal life — not unlike the many gods with which the gentiles were already familiar.

        It’s important to remember that to the gentiles, Yeshua was simply a Jewish spiritual leader. His death was a mere blip on their radar. Therefore, it was necessary for Paul to recreate Yeshua into a god they would accept. Since they believed salvation and immortality came through mystical connections formed with their gods, he went to extensive lengths to show them that this Christ (no longer mashiach since this was a Jewish title) was not unlike their gods — and he used his own Damascus Road experience to prove his point.

        I realize accepting this perspective is more than difficult because for hundreds and hundreds of years the Christian church has taught something very different. But if one can go beyond the scriptures (not discount them, but see them in a different light), the results may surprise and amaze.

        Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          Hi again-

          Thank you for your attention, really.

          I will address your post when I consider how to best encapsulate my obvious disagreements without boring you, making it too long, yet being true to the text.

          Think on this in the meantime: ‘This persuasion did not come from he who called you.’

          Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          Nan — I will give you bits here and there to not over weigh you 😉

          Strange how this ‘self made man’ rebuked Peter for being a hypocrite, and Peter receiving it in the spirit of grace. Of course he would. They were both men of God.

          The Lord said to the Gentile poor woman when she begged him: ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to dogs.’ and she uttered a deep spiritual truth that was indicative of Paul’s ministry: ‘Truth Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters table.’ Uh oh.

          Note, He did not tell her to ‘get lost’ as some would imagine, no, He then said :’I have not seen so great faith, in Israel.’ uh oh.

          And it was the Lord’s provision ‘to the Gentile world’ to raise up one man, to begin this ministry. You scoff at the idea of the Damascus call,’ yet Saul, was simply God’s man for the time.

          If you do not believe the Lord’s words to Paul, as I pointed out to you in Acts 26 regarding his call TO THE GENTILES,……………..then the word of God does not have its way over you.

          The Lord calling Paul was no different than Him calling Peter and John, saying ‘Follow me.’

          What is disturbing Nan, is the fact that it would have been impossible for you to make the connection with Paul the apostle and David Koresh UNLESS you were influenced by………… for the Spirit of God through the word of God could never suggest such a thing.

          There is nothing in common. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Nula. Zero. Don’t insult yourself by putting them in the same sentence.

          Paul’s epistles are God breathed, having the same authority as Genesis or Jude. Paul’s epistles in general, and Romans in particular, are the greatest truths of the entire word of God.

          Paul was a pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet, apostle, servant and saint. No other apostle was so gifted. None. Get a hold of this if you get nothing else.

          Your new persuasion did not come from He who called you Nan…………..

          (my five posts on Romans may help you)

          Like

  8. Nan says:

    CS,

    As with most believers, it’s apparent you accept nothing but the word of the bible. This is understandable since Christians consider it a “holy book” sent direct from a supernatural being that exists somewhere “out there.” Thus, when you look at Paul, you see him totally from the perspective of the “sacred scriptures.” In fact, I would venture to say you see him as the ultimate example of a model Christian (i.e., “Paul was a pastor, teacher, evangelist, prophet, apostle, servant and saint. No other apostle was so gifted. None.”).

    There is little doubt Paul’s teachings, writings, and doctrines make up the mainstay of the Christian church. In fact, as I’ve indicated in previous comments, were it not for Paul, there would be no Christian (gentile) church.

    The big difference between you and me (besides the fact I am no longer a believer) is that I looked more closely at Paul. I didn’t just read and accept that his epistles were “God breathed,” nor that they were “the greatest truth of the entire word of God.” No, I dug deeper and learned a great deal about this individual that people like you, who idolize Paul and see him as the most perfect human god ever created, fail/refuse to do.

    When you truly see Paul as who he is, you cannot help but recognize how he transformed Yeshua, God’s messenger to the Jews, into a deity figure recognizable only to the Gentiles. He taught doctrines and concepts that Jesus never mentioned and created a religion that Jesus would not have recognized.

    You indicated Paul’s calling was “no different than Him calling Peter and John, saying ‘Follow me.’” Wrong. Yeshua spoke directly to Peter and John in the flesh. Paul’s “calling” was from a blinding light and a phantom voice.

    I find it interesting that because I disagree Paul’s otherworldly experience was from Yeshua himself, you’ve made obscure accusations that my thinking/beliefs came from sources you seem fearful to even mention. This doesn’t surprise me. When I was “serving the Lord,” I too believed anything outside of scripture came direct from the Big Bad Guy. Thing is, there’s no more tangible evidence for his existence than there is for your god. Thus, your admonitions carry no impact. But I digress.

    To further this discussion on Paul, I’d like your input on the following:

    Bible scholars indicate Paul’s mystic experience took place approximately three years after Jesus had died and made his heavenly ascent (some Bible historians place it as late as six years). The question that comes to my mind is why did Jesus wait so long to pay Paul a visit? Surely if Paul was, as Ananias had indicated, “chosen by God to know his will” (Acts 22:14), wouldn’t it have been much more efficacious to put him to work right away instead of giving him time to create an uproar in the community?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Colorstorm says:

      Nan-
      (There is a perfect reason why the delay in your last paragraph, but this is more important I think. I will answer that next )

      Tkx- You have a lot going on here, to be fair, I’ll address it in bits. You said:

      “There is little doubt Paul’s teachings, writings, and doctrines make up the mainstay of the Christian church. In fact, as I’ve indicated in previous comments, were it not for Paul, there would be no Christian (gentile) church.”

      The first part is obvious, but the last part is blatantly untrue. Herein lies a foundational error in thinking Paul created a separate church.

      The church was a mystery, Jew and Gentile in one body. The rejected Head (Christ) with His body on earth, comprised of believing Jews and all others. ‘I will build my church ‘ said the Lord, and this building included everyone under the sun who was brought to God through faith in Christ.

      In the gospels, the word was ‘go NOT to the Gentiles,’ but oh how things changed when the favored nation said ‘Away with Him, we will not have this man to reign over us.’ I already pointed out the hinting of Gentile favor by the woman and ‘dogs.’ If you do not see this distinction, then nothing will make sense to you.

      When the Lord rose from the dead, he taught the scriptures to the apostles for 40 days regarding the kingdom of God. (Acts 1) Of course he taught them from the Old Testament, the only thing they would have understood, and they asked him a question: ‘Lord, is it at THIS time, that you are going to restore again the kingdom to Israel?’ A perfectly reasonable question. However:

      Note the response: ‘It is NOT for you to know the times and the seasons that the Father put in His own power.’ There was another purpose in view, and they had no understanding as yet what that purpose might be.

      -Pentecost- the church -3000 Jews believed (added to the church, not the kingdom of God to Israel)
      -Acts 4- 5000 Jews believed

      The church is 100 per cent Jewish still.

      The book of Acts is a chronology primarily NOT of the church, but of Israel’s final rejection of the Messiah. God’s wisdom and sovereignty is seen on every page.

      Acts 10 (Peter the Jew goes to the house of Cornelius the Gentile) and here begins the new direction of God’s ways. Peter used the keys to the Gentiles, and lo and behold, God commissions Paul. To the Gentiles!

      All directed by the same Lord in heaven. Peter argues with God about Gentiles, and Paul sees the same Lord and receives the same commission.

      Like

      • Nan says:

        I will await your additional responses. In the meantime, I foresee that little will be accomplished in my efforts to demonstrate to you that Paul is not what he seems. As I have already pointed out, and you have amply demonstrated, you refuse to look beyond the scriptures. This is unfortunate because there is so much more to your “good book” if only you allowed yourself to venture outside its “holy pages.”

        Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          Yes, Nan, God willing I will address your latest concern tomorrow.

          In the meantime think on this:
          (you said the following:)

          ——No, I dug deeper and learned a great deal about this individual that people like you, who idolize Paul and see him as the most perfect human god ever created, fail/refuse to do———–

          Idolize Paul? Are you serious?.How about thank God for turning a man like him around?For God’s sake he claimed ‘chief of sinners.’ Nan, your assessment of Him came from_____________no, I did not imply the devil; it came from outside sources, human agencies as it were, people who do not believe the scriptures are ‘all that is necessary to live peaceably and a godly life.

          It is spiritually impossible for you to come to any other conclusion that he was the apostle to the Gentiles. I will prove his doctrines all lines up with the Lord’s. But I have to ask, why would you even care?

          I know who I have believed, and am persuaded. That’s why I mentioned your persuasion. There are no defects in God’s word. Every objection has been met, can be met, and will always meet the most tragic of assaults. God’s word is FOREVER settled in heaven.

          Since He inspired it, it is equally easy for Him to preserve it. There are MANY voices in the air, all vying for peoples ears. Sadly, far too many of those ears itch.

          Like

        • Colorstorm says:

          ‘Why should anybody believe them?’ you ask.

          It’s all about what satisfies your conscience friend.

          And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. What do you call it?

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

          No, no, no, no – Some superstitious, mortal, Bronze Age men, ignorant of cosmoloogy, who wrote the Bible SAID, “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” -– why should anyone believe them, since obviously they weren’t there at the time to hear what your god called ANYthing?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Colorstorm says:

          Let me get this straight:

          You are attributing the masterful origin and concatenation of words, meaning, language, and understanding to superstitious and probably naked apes?

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          You are attributing the masterful origin and concatenation of words, meaning, language, and understanding to superstitious and probably naked apes?

          First, I would challenge “masterful origin” and certainly, “<em"concatenation of words, meaning, language, and understanding,” since the Torah was written by four separate groups, over a period of about 500 years, then pieced together like a patchwork quilt, complete with conflicting testimony, by a Redactor in 400 BCE, but no, they probably were not naked. Their religion made them ashamed of their bodies, which they believed were made in the image of their god – how much sense does THAT make?

          Like

        • ColorStorm says:

          AS A REMINDER, THIS POST AND THREAD CAME FROM ACCUSATIONS THAT PAUL SUFFERED FROM SEIZURES, EPILEPTIC FITS, HALLUCINATIONS, CALLING INTO QUESTION HIS CONVERSION, MINISTRY, AND RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TWELVE.

          Nan, you observed and asked:

          — The question that comes to my mind is why did Jesus wait so long to pay Paul a visit? Surely if Paul was, as Ananias had indicated, “chosen by God to know his will” (Acts 22:14), wouldn’t it have been much more efficacious to put him to work right away instead of giving him time to create an uproar in the community?—

          It’s actually a fair question. Try to think of this concern running like train tracks. On the one rail, you have the purpose of God through the apostles preaching TO THE JEWS, beginning at Jeusalem. Then there was the revelation to Peter to go to the Gentile Cornelius, and Peter’s response: “Whoa Lord, we have an issue here. We are Jews!’ His prejudice was called into account, and you know what happened next.

          On the other rail, you have God calling Paul to ‘widen’ His purpose, HIS purpose mind you to call out a people for His name; ie, the Gentiles. So Peter uses the ‘keys’ that ‘WHOSOEVER believeth in him shall receive remission of sins,’ (10.43) and thus begins the fulfillment of ‘going into all the world.’ Now enter Paul.

          Upon his conversion, STRAIGHTAWAY he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the son of God. WHY? Get this Nan, the first thing Paul did was go to the Jews, where he naturally went previously. His commission to go the Gentiles was far reaching, and for goodness sake, he believed in justification through faith, but he had to be TAUGHT by the Lord the completeness of this truth with God’s promises. Enter Arabia, and the epistles taught to him by the Lord Jesus Christ. His training took him to Adam, and the far reaching effects upon man via sin, and how nature even groans.

          Now I will state it here again in case you just missed it. Immediately Paul went into the synagogue and preached that the Messiah is the son of God. Do you know the ramifications of this? Are you aware that the Jews expect the Messiah, but they reject that He could be the son of God? Yes, this was the uniqueness of Paul. And this was a huge reason why he was flogged. David’s son was David’s Lord, who also was the son of God. How dare he assert such blasphemy.

          The Lord’s words when he walked on earth were: ‘I have MANY things to say to you, but you CANNOT bear them now……………..’ and some of the many other things were lo and behold the teachings of Paul.

          Acts details the plea of God TO THE JEWS, as there needed to be a complete denunciation of the gospel, (which there was) and the advancement of the church. Train tracks. At the end of Paul’s life he said as much to the Jews as he cites God’s word saying:

          Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand;
          and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

          Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and THAT THEY WILL HEAR IT among themselves.
          And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning

          According to scripture Nan, the Gentile commission was prophesied, obeyed, and fulfilled perfectly. It hinged on the Jews rejection. Of course God knew all along, that ‘s why His word is perfect. However, had Paul ‘gone to the Gentiles,’ without training, and the correct doctrine, the train would have derailed. This is why there was a delay.

          It was Paul who was taught the Lord’s supper. Paul was taught that there are none good no not any. The Lord said as much, (I did not come to call the righteous.) Every doctrine given Paul was initiated by the Lord. Many are called but few chosen. (election) I go away to prepare a place for you; The resurrection of the just. (The translation)

          Notice however, Paul going to the synagogue first, always. Did he not write in Romans that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew FIRST?

          As to your suggestion there needs to be more revelation about Paul so ‘more’ can be understood? You mean more doubt, subversion, and an attack on a good man sold out for the gospel. The Word of God is self contained. The proof is in the pages and in the hearts of men. Christ Himself would reject any work that does agree with scripture, after all, it is the word of God, which is forever settled in heaven, and has been magnified above the name of God, so yea, I would say it must be perfect.

          Some posts here to overlap your ancillary concerns.

          https://thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/the-kingdom-of-god-what-is-it/

          https://thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com/the-book-of-romans/rom-1-con/

          https://thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/paul-the-jew/

          Like

        • Nan says:

          CS, I appreciate your time and effort in responding to my question, even though you certainly took the long way around to do so.

          Before I offer additional comments, you wrote: “Upon his conversion, STRAIGHTAWAY he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the son of God.” And in another place, “Immediately Paul went into the synagogue and preached that the Messiah is the son of God.” Au contraire. Paul writes in Galatians 1:17 that after his mystical experience, he left Damascus and headed for Arabia (“… I went away at once into Arabia …”). He further states that he “did not confer with any human being” nor did he go to Jerusalem “to those who were already apostles before me” (more on this below).

          You also write that while in Arabia the “Lord Jesus Christ” taught him epistles, yet nowhere in Paul’s writings does he say this. In fact, he doesn’t provide any indication about how he arrived at a solution for winning over the gentiles.

          You ask, “Are you aware that the Jews expect the Messiah, but they reject that He could be the son of God?” I’m well aware the Jews were waiting for mashiach and I’m also aware they rejected Yeshua (and still do) because he didn’t fit the requirements spelled out in the Hebrew Bible. It had nothing to do with the fact that he could be the son of God. (You know, of course, that Yeshua never makes this claim, right?)

          Further, you wrote: “The Lord’s words when he walked on earth were: ‘I have MANY things to say to you, but you CANNOT bear them now……………..’ and some of the many other things were lo and behold the teachings of Paul.” And I must ask … who says they were the teachings of Paul? Oh wait! How could I miss it? Paul says so! According to him, he was “set apart” before he was born! Ah yes. How could I overlook that claim?

          Now to keep this conversation going … related to Paul’s assertion that he didn’t talk to anyone after his magical conversion (even the existing apostles). Why do you think that is? After becoming known for his persecutions against the early followers of Yeshua, one would think he would want to let them know he had changed. Instead, he waited approximately three years before making a trip to Jerusalem. Hmmmm.

          One last thing, I appreciate the links to your other posts, but seriously … why would I want to read them? You’ve made your position quite clear thus far. I really don’t think I need any additional persuasion.

          Liked by 1 person

      • ColorStorm says:

        Nan- tkx-

        No discrepancy in the least. Paul certainly went to Damascus straightaway, (for his vision remember, it wasn’t like he was blind for 3 years) went into the synagogue as the text clearly states, and DID NOT confer with men regarding his charge.

        He then went to Arabia, (the school of Moses) and as was pointed out above, came BACK to Damascus, then to Jerusalem to stay with Simon Peter 15 days. Yes, Peter.

        You can interpret the 14 years as you wish. I’d say he was rather busy.

        He said himself he was NOT taught the gospel by man, that he received it by the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the third of Ephesians sheds more light on this ‘mystery.’ Gentile salvation was no mystery, but ah, Jew and Gentile being one in Christ; this is a horse of a different color.

        A rejected Head in heaven with a united Body on earth. Yea, thank the Lord for teaching Paul. And what pray tell was Paul’s charge: ‘Follow me as I follow Christ.’

        I dare you to find a more relevant chapter to the christian life than the humility of Christ as described in Phillipians 2. It is God’s word, not Paul’s.

        As far ‘why should you read anything else I wrote?’ Maybe you shouldn’t, but I’m guessing there is plenty to connect the dots.

        May I suggest Nan a fresh reading of the New Testament, unencumbered by my or any other opinion. Btw, all your concerns have solid and true answers in the right context.

        Like

    • ColorStorm says:

      Nan said:
      —————and I’m also aware they rejected Yeshua (and still do) because he didn’t fit the requirements spelled out in the Hebrew Bible. It had nothing to do with the fact that he could be the son of God. (You know, of course, that Yeshua never makes this claim, right?)—————

      Well, it would be kind of insulting if I had to prove my paternal relationship to a neighbor, with my father standing next to me. . But the Lord has met every objection, and still occupies the right hand of God.

      ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies my footstool.’

      ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ (the implication was obvious).’

      ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.’

      ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ (Genesis)

      ‘Behold I am the first and the last, beside me there is no other’ (Isaiah)

      ‘I am the first and the last, was dead, but now alive.’ (Revelation)

      ”I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the last.’

      ‘His name is Wonderful’ (a noun, not an adjective)

      ‘My Lord and my God.’ (Thomas)

      ‘If David then called him lord, how is he the his Son?’ (after that no man dared ask him a question)

      ‘Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.’ (Peter of the Messiah)

      ‘This is my beloved son, hear ye him’ (God the Father on the mount of transfiguration

      These are a few references that speak to the uniqueness of this Son.

      Like

      • Nan says:

        Yes, CS, you are correct … to a point. In Acts 9:19, the writer (not Paul) states that Paul stayed in Damascus for several days and proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues. However, Paul himself said in Galatians 1:17 (NRSV): … I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. (emphasis mine)

        Based on the story in Acts, Paul does continue his journey to Damascus after his “blinding experience.” However, whether he stayed in Damascus to “preach” or continued straightaway to Arabia is up for debate. The writer of Acts says one thing, Paul himself says something else. (I tend to think Paul’s version is much closer to the actual events since he was writing his letters from about CE 55 to about CE 60, while Acts was not written until about 90 CE. Plus it was written by someone else.)

        In any case, based on Galatians 1:18, it was three years before he went to Jerusalem to visit the apostles … a rather long time to wait, don’t you think, since he had previously caused such an uproar in the community?

        “You can interpret the 14 years as you wish. I’d say he was rather busy.” As with most of the bible, the keyword here is “interpret.”

        I appreciate your suggestion regarding a “fresh reading” of the NT, but quite frankly, it would serve no purpose. I now view the bible from an entirely different perspective than I did as a believer. After extensive study and research into the history of Christianity, I can no longer be swayed by the teachings and traditional beliefs of the Christian church. In other words, I simply cannot take “God’s word” at face value. Thus, when you quote scriptures, as you did in your last comment, it carries no weight for me. I’m sure they validate your beliefs … and that is as it should be since you see Yeshua through the eyes of Paul.

        I’ve enjoyed our “conversation” and wish you well. Hopefully one day you will be able to see beyond the confines of Christianity and discover a vibrant and guilt-free existence.

        Like

        • ColorStorm says:

          Ok Nan-

          If I may politely say:

          In this short time we have traded, you appear to have a very good heart.

          I don’t say it to be condescending, but a person of your spiritual acumen just doesn’t walk away from the truth of scripture so easily.

          All ancillary (I’ve seen probably more than you) issues, or doubts outside of scripture cannot chisel anything of worth from God’s word.

          Every objection can be met perfectly. Your one example of am apparent discrepancy re. Paul is easily understood, but can shake others.

          If it is a ‘precious faith,’ it will be so tomorrow, next week, month, year, and will still be thus after you and I are long gone.

          Nice to meetcha, and I’d be happy to answer any question down the road. I’m hopeful for ya.

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          I’ve read “the Book” multiple times, and for years, I’ve studied not only the history of the Levant, but the entire history of the Middle East, as well as the history of those who wrote the Bible, and my conclusion is that it was written by mortal, superstitious, ignorant Bronze Age men.

          Like

        • ColorStorm says:

          Well arcH-

          You may want to ask yourself how these stone age heathen were given information of the technology of our day in regard to ‘buying and selling,’ and the ‘at your doorstep’ mark of the beast, which you will ignore today, but be happy tomorrow,

          For it wants to do away with God…just like you. Wow, apparently these men were geniuses huh.

          But then again, God is always light years ahead, and the true cavemen deny Him..

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          You may want to ask yourself how these stone age heathen were given information of the technology of our day in regard to ‘buying and selling,’ and the ‘at your doorstep’ mark of the beast

          Like

        • ColorStorm says:

          Well now ArcH-

          Your ears have perked.

          The trip sixes are a good place to finish, and shed much insight, but it is too obvious. Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to find it on your own. 😉

          It would serve no purpose to answer so your curiosity can be satiated. The word of God is not a textbook. It contains all that pertains to life and godliness.

          Hint: It’s not where you think. Can you at least try to use your mind (and heart, another clue) before you come crying for help.

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to find it on your own. 😉” – sorry, I decline to accept,

          Like

        • ColorStorm says:

          Why ArcH?

          So u can trample and rend the truth of God even further?
          Your latest cartoon tells me for now, at least,

          my suspicion is correct.

          Like

        • archaeopteryx1 says:

          Ya think?

          Like

        • Tiribulus says:

          archaeopteryx1 says:
          November 22, 2014 at 4:19 am

          I’ve read “the Book” multiple times, and for years, I’ve studied not only the history of the Levant, but the entire history of the Middle East, as well as the history of those who wrote the Bible, and my conclusion is that it was written by [sinful], mortal, ignorant, Bronze Age men [as they were moved by the Holy Spirit of almighty God.]
          I was jist fixin that for ya for when ya get saved. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • ColorStorm says:

          Now THAT is some top notch editing-

          Like

  9. ColorStorm says:

    I like bronze ArcH-

    Brass too-

    you know that verdigris patina-awesome- tested by time, enduring,

    some things never change, kinda like the Word of God. 😉

    Like

  10. So easy to analyze anyone from a distance, especially when that distance is 2000 years! Your last line sums it up beautifully, “If Paul had a mental disorder I want what he had”!
    Paul had an amazing grasp of language and understood the culture of his day. He had to have been incredibly intelligent and God gifted him with many powerful gifts.
    If I “covet” anything of Paul’s it is his unswerving and total dedication to His Lord and proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, every word conveys his passion.
    Really interesting post – Thanks!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • ColorStorm says:

      Tkx Bett for your attention and vg observations.

      Paul truly was a rare man, but he said of himself he was ‘nobody.’ Yet He said he could do all things through Christ.

      There is a strange phenomenon by certain people, who for whatever reasons, hate Paul. Where does the hate come from to despise such a good human being?

      I’ll tell ya where it comes from…………………..

      Like

      • Nan says:

        Re: your response to Betty — I don’t “hate” Paul. I just think he was wrong-wrong-wrong in what he did by transforming Yeshua into a dying-rising savior for the benefit of the gentiles.

        Obviously, anyone that’s part of “the church” today would vehemently disagree, else they might have to admit their “salvation” is defunct.

        Like

        • ColorStorm says:

          Hi Nan-

          You never crossed my mind just so you know, even in our disagreements; because I think you just do not know his ‘place’ in the plan of God.

          People do though hate him; remember the 40 men who swore with an oath that ‘they would not eat until Paul was dead?’ Yea, they hated him, and there are many. many today who share that same hatred.

          Happy Thanksgiving Nan!

          Like

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