Saul, Part Of The Problem?

Recently, (or perhaps not) I have heard some online radio show host state that Paul, (formerly Saul of Tarsus) and his written letters that make up quite a bit of the new testament should be disregarded. The accusation, (for that is what it is) that the Christ that he knew and taught of was not the Jesus Christ we know from the gospels but has more in common with the saviour god template from the mystery religions. Some have identified this type of Christ with the new age "christ principle", which is not really a personage "Christ", but more the transformative principle that in a human's character has much the same action as the philosophers stone in alchemy - turning base metals into gold.

Particularly in new age terms, the gold is in returning "humanity" to a universal golden age, aka bringing the whole world under the communist boot. Wrapped up in sparkly paper, the message is for the individual to become more divine, more innocent, more blameless and superior to itself than it had been at any previous time. This, is bullshit, and since these people do not believe in the rights of the individual they are in fact referring to the unit of humanity - the whole human race. Thus they believe in world government, global socialism, communism and strict control of everything, education taxation - even total control over the structure of the family. If you were to read George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty Four" you would have a fair idea of what they mean by "innocent", even "more divine".

The inability for men to personally change their character and be "reborn" is mirrored in the initiations of the mystery religions, in that they bring a person into a highly suggestible state and enforce a feeling of release and freedom for the person with kind words of "welcome" when the shock is over. The use of long secluded waits, fasting in abstinence in the dark, followed by deafening noise, flashing lights, wildly thrashing dancing, to provoke a sense of shock, adding hypnotic effects even, possibly including chemical libation and hallucinogenic compounds - to force an immediate feeling of dislocation and separation is as far from what we could imagine as Jesus Christ in action. Is the Christ principle merely the "ability to accept change" to keep the initiate's new found outlook? Is the ritual catalyst, and christ merely a defect in character that allows one to be lead unquestioningly onward?

It would seem that in light of the mysteries, which often accompanied philosophies of communal life (as practiced by Pythagoras who it is said was initiated in Egypt) the ability not to question the method and continuity of the suggestion - their "christ principle" was merely in view of the greater goal, just a method of control.

So, either way - we can assume that Paul was aware of this. However, if the allegation is true - he will have practiced it himself, and not decried it. Healthy competition between mystery cults is one thing, but can we assume Paul was attempting a non-Jewish Jewish mystery cult? Though Paul taught of the Christian life as the only life, as exclusive a gospel,.. was his exclusivity in agreement and accordance with the ministry and teaching of Christ? The fundamental allegation is that Paul has absolutely no work of the cross in his gospel - no crucified Christ. Paul teaches of "crucifying the lusts of the flesh" and suchlike, and in every sense is concerned with the Holy Spirit as catalyst, and the "Christ in us" as the evidence of righteousness.

So, since most Christians would consider these things as requirements, are they indeed in Jesus' teachings? This is a radical and completely jaw dropping proposal. If it can be ascertained that someone without any reference to Paul whilst living as a Christian would reach the same conclusions without reading from Paul's letters, (as done in the metaphysics section) it still would not guarantee that that individual had arrived at his position correctly. Also we couldn't discount the gospels to see the obverse. Certainly it is a desire to emulate the example of Christ and attempt to live a more holy life,.. but Jesus taught nothing of any 'spiritual alchemy'. Jesus taught on whether he would know us, not the other way around. One act of mercy to one of his little ones, and that would suffice. A life spent catalyzing others, exorcisms, miracles etc,.. Jesus taught that could be quite worthless.

So how does Paul add up one way or another? Jesus' teaching never attributes any of the righteous acts in his parables as of miraculous changes in personality brought on by mind numbing self deprecation. All of his most loved parables are full of love, because they are done by their characters automatically without a second thought. Has Paul a recipe to rewrite the whole man? He spoke as if Christ did, (which He could). Pauls "Faith Hope and Charity passage" would seem to reveal just that, but how do you teach how to purpose that love? Maybe that is what Paul indeed writes of. Catalyst aside, Was Paul writing of what to do with Christ's love or how to get to it? Either question is academic, as the writings of Paul superposed on the "christ principle" is enough to reduce one to the other.

Jesus Christ baptizes with fire and the Holy Spirit. Jesus referred to the "comforter" that he would send the apostles after his ascension. Every parable interpreted as concerning the Holy Spirit in the gospels works just as well with the word of God in the place of the Holy Spirit. In fact, it makes more sense - because the Holy Spirit is always inferred to act in a wishy-washy touchy-feely way that is never defined or definable - and totally impossible for the individual to separate His miracle from the believers experience of his own action. The definable action of the Holy Spirit is as educator, in revealing the meaning of scripture and bringing Jesus' disciples closer to the experience of being in the personal company of Jesus. Any other feelings of puppy-love "I've been good - Stroke me!" can not be of God. It would appear that either Paul is not clear enough, and people choose their own 'christs' unwisely - Or the truth is there for anyone with the wherewithal from Christ and the Holy Ghost to find Him.

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