Tag Archives: Redefining Christianity

Jesus or Paul? It’s time to make a choice.

I wonder what those who choose to follow Paul would call themselves. Since apparently, they aren’t ‘Christians’ by definition. Maybe Paulines. LOL. The following article was lifted from 234next.com. I just couldn’t resist re-posting it here to see what my readers have to say about it. Let’s go!

Every Christian must decide whether s/he is a follower of Jesus or a follower of Paul. Don’t make the mistake of many in assuming the two are the same. For starters, take a look at the following discrepancies.

Inconsistencies

Jesus says children of God are born (Jn 3:3); but Paul says they are adopted (Rm 8:23).

Jesus says God must be the only father of believers (Mt 23:9); but Paul says he (Paul) is the father of some believers (Phile 1:10; 1 Cor 4:15).

Jesus says he is the only pastor and the only teacher (Jn 10:16; Mt 23:8); but Paul says there are many pastors and teachers (Eph 4:11; 1 Tim 2:7).

Jesus says we should pray in private (Mt 6:5-6); but Paul says we should pray everywhere (1 Tim 2:8).

Jesus says we should not eat food sacrificed to idols (Rev 2:14); but Paul says it does not matter if we do (Rm 14:14).

Jesus himself was circumcised (Lk 2:21); but Paul says if we are circumcised we would be estranged from Christ (Gal 5:2-4).

Jesus says we should not receive payment for preaching the gospel (Mt 10:8); but Paul says we should (1 Cor 9:11).

Jesus asks us to baptise as we preach the gospel (Mt 28:19); but Paul dismisses the importance of baptism (1 Cor 1:17).

Jesus says lying is of the devil (Jn 8:44); but Paul says God’s truth increased through the lies he told (Rm 3:7).

Jesus says the word of God is truth (Jn 7:17); but Paul says the gospel can be preached with falsehood (Php 1:18).

Jesus is against the use of deception (Jn 1:47); but Paul boasts of using deception (2 Cor 12:16).

Jesus says we should love one another (Jn 13:34); but Paul wished some people would be castrated (Gal 5:12).

Jesus says we should love our enemy in order to be like God (Mt 5:44-45); but Paul says we should love our enemy in order to pour coals of fire on his head (Rm 12:20).

Jesus says we should not swear or curse (Mt 5:34-37; Lk 6:28); but Paul swears and curses (2 Cor 1:23; Gal 1:9).

Jesus says God’s children don’t bear arms and don’t fight (Mt 26:52; Jn 18:36); but Paul says God’s ministers bear arms and use them (Rm 13:3-4).

Jesus says we should disregard public opinion (Lk 6:26; Jn 15:18-19); but Paul actively courts public opinion (1 Cor 10:33; 1 Cor 9:20-22).

Jesus says he who is acceptable to God will be hated by men (Jn 15:18-19; Lk 16:15); but Paul says he will be approved by men (Rm 14:18).

Jesus says we should seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Mt 6:33); but Paul says we should seek glory, honour and immortality (Rm 2:7).

Jesus says the kingdom of God has been taken away from Israel (Mt 21:43); but Paul says all Israel will be saved (Rm 11:26).

Jesus says only a few of those called will be chosen (Mt 22:14); but Paul says all those called will be chosen (Rm 11:29).

Jesus says salvation is by works (Mt 7:21; Mt 21:28-31); but Paul says it is by grace (Eph 2:8-9).

Jesus says he completed his God-given assignment (Jn 17:4; Jn 19:30); but Paul says he completed what Jesus failed to complete (Col 1:24).

Jesus says our trespasses will be forgiven if we forgive others (Mt 6:14-15); but Paul says they have already been forgiven (Eph 1:7).

Jesus says we will be justified by our own words (Mt 12:37); but Paul says we are justified by faith (Rm 3:28).

Jesus says eternal life is very costly (Mt 19:29; Lk 14:28-33); but Paul says it is a free gift (Rm 6:23).

Jesus says God is not the God of the dead (Lk 20:38); but Paul says he is (Rm 14:9).

Jesus says the commandments give life (Mt 19:17); but Paul says they bring death (Rm 7:10).

Jesus says all the commandments are summed up in two commandments (Mt 22:37-40); but Paul says they are summed up in one commandment (Rm 13:9; Gal 5:14).

Jesus says we should beware of anyone who says the day is at hand (Lk 21:8); but Paul says the day is at hand (Rm 13:12).

Jesus says Abel, Adam’s direct son, was righteous (Mt 23:35); but Paul says all Adam’s descendants are unrighteous (Rm 5:12/19; Rm 3:10).

Jesus says none of the Pharisees kept the law (Jn 7:19); but Paul says he kept all the laws of Moses as a Pharisee (Php 3:5-6).

Jesus says we should be like God (Mt 5:48); but Paul says we should be like him (Gal 4:12; Php 3:17).

Whose report do you believe?

I only believe the report of Jesus Christ.

OK, that ‘I’ up there is not mine. It’s Femi Aribisala’s. The original author of the article. I’m yet to pick a side. :)

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What would Jesus do?

The article you are about to read simply voices my opinion and not that of any existing religious group or movement (not even Deeperlife’s). Any similarities to existing groups is purely coincidental.

Last Wednesday, I did an introductory blog post on these series. The post generated a bit of controversy particularly about my reasons for not being a Christian. Initially, I wanted to go the Noktah Hitam route but I realised that would only help the already bad opinion stronger. While I’ll refrain from trying to justify my statements further, I hope this and further posts would help shed more light on my opinion.

When I was much younger, Mum got me a copy of Charles M. Sheldon’s ‘In His Steps: What would Jesus do’. The two-hundred-and-fifty-something-page book took me a while to read and turned out to be one of the most interesting stories I’ve ever read. It talked about a group of people who vowed to always ask themselves if what Jesus would do if he were in their position and not do otherwise. What these individuals did not realize early enough was that this was a life-altering decision with un-planned results awaiting them. The underlying message was clear though: Living in Christ’s steps.

Origin The idea behind ‘WWJD’ has always existed for centuries as a form of imitatio dei, the imitation of God. It got a much greater following after Sheldon’s book and inspired a youth group from some North American church to actually take vows to practice it. Subsequently, they wore cloth bracelets as a tangible reminder. As their popularity grew, the bracelets were mass-marketed, causing the retail revolution that we see today.

Importance When Jesus told his disciples in Luke 13:24 that many would seek to enter in the strait gate but would not be able to do so, he sure wasn’t kidding. It’s not easy to truly forsake worldly pleasures and stick to living in Christ’s steps.

Let’s take the “proposition 8” for example. Voters against gay marriages won by a measly 4%. Why? Where was everyone? If all the true believers in the US stood up for what God calls marriage, there would be no debate whatsoever. Funny enough, many ‘christians’ decided to stay out of the whole issue because they felt it was better to stick to the church and leave politics alone. But even Jesus didn’t refrain from voicing out on political matters during his time. In fact, many churches have now affirmed homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. Would Jesus do that?

According to allaboutfollowingjesus.org, the answer to the question ‘What would Jesus do’ depends on whether we truly know Jesus enough to determine what he would do if in our exact situation. Knowing Jesus begins with reading about His life and teachings in the Bible. However, reading the Bible as literature alone only helps us to learn about Jesus. To truly know Him requires a personal, spiritual relationship with Him. That isn’t tough either. It just takes opening up your heart to him. Rev 3:20.

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Redefining Christianity

Christian Bible, rosary, and crucifix.

Image via Wikipedia

The article you are about to read simply voices my opinion and not that of any existing religious group or movement. Any similarities to existing groups is purely coincidental.

I’m not a Christian. Not just because I don’t want to be a Christian, but because I feel Christianity as a whole has lost its meaning. And I definitely can’t be a part of a meaningless movement.

The word ‘Christians’ came into existence when it was used to describe Jesus’ disciples by folks at ancient Antioch. It meant ‘Christ-like’. Basically, these folks could clearly see the disciples walking in their saviour’s steps. What we have today is very much different.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing articles under the category – Redefining Christianity. I have some topics lined up to deal with various aspects of Christianity. Here are a few of them:

  • What Would Jesus Do: Origins and Importance
  • Denominations, hierarchy and divisions in the church
  • Christian holidays
  • etc.

I will appreciate topic suggestions on aspects of Christianity which you think could be discussed on this blog.

Update: The first paragraph is me trying to say I don’t conform to Christianity as practiced today. (For those who got it wrong).