So, another large gap between posts… but, you know, life and stuff. Anyway – still been doing the overly long FB debates and have a good few arguments to develop into a solid rant or two. But this week I got blocked from a group (Christian). I am a little upset – do you know how many conversations I was in the middle of: 3 – which I admit isn’t too many but abuse of power is abuse of power (Pagan basically)! Now, I know what the two readers of this blog are thinking: “What were you up to to get kicked out?” Well, the group was an Apologetics forum and I was asking questions about a certain person who tends to go by the name of Paul. He wrote a lot of the New Testament and claimed to have somehow met Jesus after Jesus had been crucified and was dead. Paul is a fairly significant character in Christianity. But what defence can be made of his claim to have witnessed the resurrection of a dead man. Actually that wasn’t my question – which was was about what Paul claims in the first chapter of his letter to the Galatians. Paul says he received a gospel revealed to him by the Risen Christ. Paul says that he did not learn his gospel from human beings and it was not taught to him by human beings – quite clearly Paul’s gospel was not given him by humans. Yet, in the same chapter, Paul claims to have been already persecuting the Church (by which he means Jewish followers of Jesus). Paul was persecuting the Jewish followers of Jesus because of the gospel – Paul must have already known the gospel before his claim to have received it: so, how was the gospel he claims to have received (not from human beings) different from the one he already knew (from human beings). This is an interesting little question and, though I noticed it on my own accord (I think), it has been sort of tackled by the ‘serious’ scholars but they don’t follow the question through to Paul’s ruin – and I think (along with other biblical clues) Paul’s claim to be an apostle, appointed by Jesus, catastrophically falls apart. Obviously that is quite a disruptive theory for Christianity. But being silenced because my question was difficult – that isn’t apologetics: it is being a chicken shit.
I was given an answer, which was that there was no new gospel but that Paul had had an ‘insight’. “Well”, I replied, “given that Paul claims to have been made an Apostle in much the same manner, does this mean he understood himself as an apostle due to just an insight?” Which, given that we were discussing if Paul’s claim to be an apostle was legitimate, was the difficult question that caused the flummoxed admin to hit block!
Now, the particular FB group had a fair number of, what I shall (at least momentarily) call, ‘Christians of Hate’ – which, given the Christian understanding, that God is Love, this is surely tantamount to calling them anti-Christians (even Satanists) – and I had found myself engaging in the ‘Christian response to LGBT liberation’; a controversial subject I’d usually avoid. But I spent many hours trying to get one of these haters to justify their hate. They quickly spout scripture at me but my points were never defeated (by amateur ‘theologians’). But that is for another blog – hopefully sooner than last. And that’s my story for today!