|The up-pointing five pointed star was the symbol of truth for the original Christian Church. Some scholars believe that this was the symbol used by the original apostles.
What is a Pauline Christian?
Pauline Christians are those who primarily follow the teachings of Paul, instead of those of the Christ. The term is an oxymoron that encompasses most 'Christians' of today. One cannot be both Pauline and Christian at the same time. Evangelical Christians are always Pauline. Paul (also known as Saul) was the most prolific writer in the New Testament of the Bible, and thus his writings have had pervasive influence throughout modern Christianity.
The modern church has embraced most of Paul's beliefs, even when they conflict with the teachings of the Christ and the disciples. While most people consider Paul to be an apostle himself, he was not actually one of the original twelve apostles. Paul referred to himself as an apostle 20 times, and his personal secretary, Luke (also not one of the chosen) referred to Paul as an apostle twice. Paul was never mentioned as an apostle by anyone else in the Bible.
The real apostles were listed three times, in Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 3:13-19, and Luke 6:12-16. Paul never actually met the Christ in the flesh, so he could not have been a disciple. The real disciples were Simon (also known as Peter), Simon's brother Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John (James' brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (Judas, son of James), Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot.
It is important to consider what Christianity would have become if Paul had been the only writer of the New Testament. We would know virtually nothing about the Christ, because Paul never quoted him. In fact, if we were reliant on Paul, we would not even know of the Sermon on the Mount. Paul never mentioned anything that Jesus the Christ did, because he was never there, nor was he welcome. We would have never known of the Christ's true teachings if we did not have texts from the legitimate disciples.
Paul's Dark History
Paul was originally Saul, a Pharisee who sought out Christ's followers, both men and women, and arrested them (Acts 8:3). He then tortured them until they spoke against the Lord, and killed entire families of those who would not:
"And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities."
-- Acts 26:11 (The Bible)
Saul actually admitted to murdering Christians in their churches, for praying in the Christ's name. He was on his way to Damascus to arrest more of Christ's followers, when Paul claimed to have had a holy vision. He claimed to be blinded by a light from heaven, and that he heard the voice of Jesus speaking to him. This experience allegedly reformed him, and he subsequently began preaching for Christ. This story is retold three times in the Bible, each with very conflicting details.
In the first account (Acts 9:1-19), he sees a light, and hears the Christ telling him to go to Damascus. The men that were with him heard a voice, but did not see anything. He was blind for 3 days, and during that time he did not eat or drink anything. In the second account (Acts 22:6-21), he saw a light that drove him to the ground. The men that were with him did not hear any voice, but saw a light. In Paul's third contradictory account (Acts 26:12-18), he and all of his men fell to the ground. The Christ supposedly gave specific instructions as to what Saul should do. These instructions were not present in his other two accounts. We can only speculate at the major discrepancies between all three accounts, and Saul's ever-exaggerating story of what would have surely been the most memorable experience of his life.
The Religion of Paul
One of the starkest differences between Paul's epistles and those of the true apostles is that Paul claimed that only faith is needed to be accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus, according to Paul, any person who believes in God and the Christ will be automatically forgiven for any evil acts that they commit in life. It is these passages from Paul that are responsible for the shameless hypocrisy that is so often associated with modern Christians, for they have been mislead into believing that they need not bear any personal responsibility for their actions. This modern and tainted version of Christianity preaches that faith is the only important factor, and that obedience to God's laws is actually optional. Moreover, according to Paul, being "saved" once is all that is necessary, because further sins are something that the Christ cannot punish, regardless of the degree of evil. In other words, it is the case of Paul tacitly encouraging us to sin.
In contrast, the Christ and his true disciples assert repeatedly that our actions are the most important factors.
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." -- Romans 3:28
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of [God's] law..." -- Galatians 3:13
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." -- Galatians 2:16
The apostles wrote:
"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." -- James 2:24-26
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." -- Matthew 7:21
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. -- Matthew 5:16
"For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." -- John 3:19-21
In addition to Paul's assertion that ignoring God's commandments is required for salvation, he also preached that the poor and unemployed should be left to starve:
"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." -- 2 Thessalonians 3:10
In contrast, the Christ spent a large portion of his time explaining that our final judgment would be based largely upon our willingness to help the poor and disadvantaged, as was thoroughly explained in Matthew 25:31-46.
Here, Paul proclaims that those who obey the teachings of God's prophets (Old Testament) have "fallen from grace", following the logic of the more sin that one commits, the better Christian he is. The first quote below was even a swipe against the Holy Spirit.
"Even if an angel from Heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be cursed." -- Gal 1: 8
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." -- Gal 3:4
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." -- Matthew 5:17
Pauline Christians, who are rampant in our modern society, use Paul's denouncing of the old laws as a justification to ignore Kosher food laws, which is why disease is so rampant today amongst Christians. Our creator gave us specific instructions on what to eat, and those who ignore the Bible's dietary instructions are plagued.
Paul is also one of the primary reasons why modern 'Christians' embrace evil government, because Paul contended that all authorities have been personally chosen by God, as a way to prostitute himself to the Roman authorities:
"Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment. For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil." -- Romans 13:1-3
According to Paul, there is no free will for man to make his own decisions. God makes decisions for us, and he apparently even votes in our elections. Those who defend the above passage, and also vote, are the ultimate hypocrites, because if Paul is indeed correct, then voting is an attempt to override God's selection.
Paul's messages glorifying slavery are what justified the existence of slavery throughout the Christian nations during the last 2,000 years. Despite all of his epistles, he never wrote against the idea of owning another human being like a piece of property. In fact, he actually encouraged it, by telling slaves to be obedient to their masters:
"Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." -- Titus 2:9-10
Paul's Rejection in Asia
"This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me [Paul]; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes." -- 2 Timothy 1:15
The Asia that is described in the New Testament is now an area of Turkey. Jesus had set up seven churches there, and had asked John to preach in Asia. The churches thrived. These official churches of Christ rejected Paul, according to Paul's own letter to Timothy.
"And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place." -- Acts 21:27-28
It was an Ephesian church that Paul was physically thrown out of. Alone, this is not a very significant passage, but later, in Revelations, a message is delivered to the Ephesian Church which congratulated them on casting out the false apostles.
"I know your works, your labor, and your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars." -- Rev. 2:2
Paul's Narcissistic Arrogance
Of the 22 times that Paul is mentioned as an apostle in the Bible, it is a self-proclamation in 20 of those instances. His personal secretary, Luke referred to him as an apostle in the other two instances. Whenever a person proclaims himself to be a saint, then we can be certain that he isn't.
In Paul's writing, he uses a massive amount of personal pronouns (I, my, me, mine). Paul did this so often that Biblical scholars used this to prove that Paul was not the author of the book of Hebrews, whereby authorship remains unknown. In the first half of the first chapter of Romans, Paul uses twice as many personal pronouns as the author of Hebrews uses in his entire book.
This excessive use of personal pronouns actually has psychological significance. It conveys Paul's narcissistic sense of self-importance. Those who excessively write in first person as Paul did, particularly professionally, lack humility. Of course, this is also obvious from his actual writings, such as how he commands people not to follow God's laws, and then states that those who do have "fallen from grace". In practice, it would mean that Paul's writings and work would take precedence over God's will, the teachings of the prophets, and the Christ's teachings.
Paul gave commands to various groups without any real authority. He did not include quotes from the Christ in his writings, and he did not write about any events involving the Christ. It would not be unfair to say that Paul was placing himself at the head of the pyramid in a new religion that he was creating. What Paul lectured was not at all Christianity, but a completely different religion; the Pauline religion.
Rendering Unto Caesar
|Christ's image from his burial shroud (Shroud of Turin), whereby an unknown source created this image without using any known paint or dye compounds.
There were many writers from the time of the Christ, yet most of their work never appears in the Bible. The reason is because the Romans decided which books made it into the Bible. What would later become the Roman Catholic Church understandably favored Paul's writings about submission to authority. It was this same group who decided which 73 chapters would comprise the Catholic canon, from which the 66 chapters of the Protestant Bible were later taken.
The Catholic Church's language is Latin - not Aramaic, the language of the Christ, nor Hebrew. This actually shows where their loyalties laid: with the Roman power structure. It gives new meaning to the phrase, "Render unto Caesar". The book of Romans is easily one of the most atrocious books that Paul wrote, and it would have been more aptly titled, "Submitting to the Romans", because this is the core message. It was about appeasing the Roman authorities. Sacrificing principles and faith for the sake of one's earthly prosperity are hardly Christian ideals. None of the Christ's true disciples wrote anything similar to Paul's shameless annals of appeasement and submission.
Throughout most of its history, the Catholic Church endeavored to restrict access to the Bible, and to keep it within the hands of an elite few. John Wycliffe (1329-1384) was a dissident Catholic, who produced hand-written translations of the Bible into English. The Vatican so hated him for it that 40 years after his death, the Pope ordered that his bones be dug up, burned, and scattered into a river, in an attempt to prevent him from having an afterlife. The Church was so evil, corrupt, and hell-bent on power that in 1517, seven people were ordered to be burned at the stake for teaching their children to say the Lord's Prayer in English rather than in Latin. The Roman Catholic Church feared that if the common people were given access to the holy scriptures, then they would realize that Catholic indulgences were anti-Christian, and that much of what the Church had been teaching about Christianity was simply fabricated.
William Tyndale (1494-1536) was a scholar at Cambridge University who spoke eight languages fluently. He decided that he wanted to translate the New Testament into English, but this was forbidden by the Church. So, he moved to Germany, and first translated the New Testament, and later the Old Testament. His translations were the first in English which had been directly translated from the Greek and Hebrew texts. Tyndale was then declared a heretic by the Catholic Church, strangled and burned at the stake. Similar events have taken place throughout history until the time of King James I, for whom the King James Bible was titled after.
The real question for people who are striving to follow the Christ is, "Was Paul one of the disciples?". It is clear that Paul was not. The evidence coming from both the Christ's inner circle, and Paul's own unchristian demands, indicate that he was never accepted or welcome amongst the fellowship. His purported discipleship is the world's largest historical fraud.
Each Christian must ultimately decide if he is going to follow the teachings of the Christ, or those of Paul; because the two are not always reconcilable. There are many Internet articles which attempt to merge the teachings of the Christ with those of Paul, and apologetically explain the differences between them as mere technicalities. The differences are much more than technicalities, and the Pauline demands that we disregard the Christ's teachings and the commandments of God are nothing less than open blasphemy.
There is no better source of information about how to become a Christian than the Christ's true disciples. To really learn about how to live a Christian life, study the words of the Christ, and the writings of his apostles. The best starting points are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which are found at the beginning of the New Testament. These books are the chronicles of the Christ's life and teachings from his hand-picked, inner circle; and they are the definitive source of what it really means to live as a Christian.