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Do 'mainstream' Christians Worship Paul?


bluebell

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As LDS, we are always getting flak for our views concerning Joseph Smith and some even believe we worship him over and above Christ.

I'm noticing though that mainstream Christians have their own issues with leaders in the early Church-mainly, Paul.

I've yet to have a conversation with a mainstream Christian about grace and works where my quotes of Christ's teachings on the subject were not countered with words and teachings from Paul-which makes it appear as if these people place more importance on Paul's writings than they do on the teachings of Christ Himself.

And romans is quoted to me far more often than any scriptures in the 4 gospels are, during these conversations.

Paul seems to get top billing over all the other writers in the bible as well.

Because some will suggest that this is because we have more of his writings than most others (which is true), let me clarify. I'm not saying that it appears he gets top billing because his writings are mentioned more frequently-i'm saying that it appears he gets top billing because his writings appear to be given more weight than the others' are.

This seems true again, because anytime i have gotten into a conversation about differing doctrine and have quoted from other books in the NT that paul did not write-i'm am countered with words from Paul, and they are almost always provided as if they are the final authority on the subject, no matter if another writer wrote something different.

Is Paul put on a pedestal by most 'mainstream' Christians? His he, rather than Christ, their final authority on many Gospel questions regarding doctrine?

In short-do they accuse LDS of too close a relationship with JS while they revere Paul in an even greater way?

Or is it all just misunderstanding?

:P

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As LDS, we are always getting flak for our views concerning Joseph Smith and some even believe we worship him over and above Christ.

I'm noticing though that mainstream Christians have their own issues with leaders in the early Church-mainly, Paul.

I've yet to have a conversation with a mainstream Christian about grace and works where my quotes of Christ's teachings on the subject were not countered with words and teachings from Paul-which makes it appear as if these people place more importance on Paul's writings than they do on the teachings of Christ Himself.

And romans is quoted to me far more often than any scriptures in the 4 gospels are, during these conversations.

Paul seems to get top billing over all the other writers in the bible as well.

Because some will suggest that this is because we have more of his writings than most others (which is true), let me clarify. I'm not saying that it appears he gets top billing because his writings are mentioned more frequently-i'm saying that it appears he gets top billing because his writings appear to be given more weight than the others' are.

This seems true again, because anytime i have gotten into a conversation about differing doctrine and have quoted from other books in the NT that paul did not write-i'm am countered with words from Paul, and they are almost always provided as if they are the final authority on the subject, no matter if another writer wrote something different.

Is Paul put on a pedestal by most 'mainstream' Christians? His he, rather than Christ, their final authority on many Gospel questions regarding doctrine?

In short-do they accuse LDS of too close a relationship with JS while they revere Paul in an even greater way?

Or is it all just misunderstanding?

:P

I had this experience with non-denominational Christians dozens of times on my mission, so apparently it isn't extremely isolated.

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I don't think that traditional Christians worship Paul.

However, I do get the impression that he is the center of many traditional Christian's theology. In a way, I think it would be more accurate to call some traditionals 'Paulists' rather than 'Christians.' They follow an interpretation of the Bible that is centered on the apostle...and not Jesus.

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I don't think that traditional Christians worship Paul.

However, I do get the impression that he is the center of many traditional Christian's theology. In a way, I think it would be more accurate to call some traditionals 'Paulists' rather than 'Christians.' They follow an interpretation of the Bible that is centered on the apostle...and not Jesus.

Yes, i agree-'paulist' is a better way to describe the people i am speaking of.

I don't believe they literally worship Paul either-but if 'they' feel like we truly worship JS despite our doctrine, our declarations, and even the name of our Church-then it seems fair to apply the same illogic to their own beliefs as well.

:P

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Ya know. I actually just last night took time to think on Paul. He didn't know Jesus in life and yet converted and found salvation. That is so hopeful for me. I guess. Maybe not?

Anyway. I suppose I'll go back to the drawin board and try to find something, somewhere where I don't worship someone, or relate to their suffering and redemption while I try to find my own.

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Ya know. I actually just last night took time to think on Paul. He didn't know Jesus in life and yet converted and found salvation. That is so hopeful for me. I guess. Maybe not?

Anyway. I suppose I'll go back to the drawin board and try to find something, somewhere where I don't worship someone, or relate to their suffering and redemption while I try to find my own.

I don't think that relating to the experiences of others is equal to worshipping them.

Paul's story is a great story. I think he gives hope to many of us who have fought against the will of God in our lives while thinking we are fighting for it.

And i think his writings are important and beneficial for us today.

My questions are not about the worth of his testimony, experiences, or teachings-

It's a question about a perceived double standard among many mainstream Christians regarding their relationship with Paul and their judgements on LDS relationship with Joseph Smith.

It's also a statement about the apparent authority placed on paul's teachings which seems to surpass ALL other teachings in teh bible-even those of Christ Himself and how many mainstream Christians relate to and feel about that.

:P

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And romans is quoted to me far more often than any scriptures in the 4 gospels are, during these conversations.

Well, there is the John 3:16 crowd. :P

Then there are the people who run around opposing capital punishment because the Bible says "Thou shalt not kill," when in fact the Bible itself prescribes capital punishment for everything from murder to disobedience to parents.

I don't think people worship Paul so much (though they may be Paulists) as they worship the Bible -- and a very narrow interpretation of the Bible at that. Paul himself would probably be outraged by the doctrines some of these people profess.

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It's a question about a perceived double standard among many mainstream Christians regarding their relationship with Paul and their judgements on LDS relationship with Joseph Smith.

:P

I can not comprehend why those that have blessings and love in their life spend any amount of time attacking others that have the same.

I was just a bit dismayed to see the topic this morning. But I understand your point.

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I can not comprehend why those that have blessings and love in their life spend any amount of time attacking others that have the same.

I agree. I don't really understand why people want to attack those that believe differently than they do.

I do however think it's beneficial to try to understand the beliefs of others-beliefs they have about themselves and beliefs they have about others-and also in helping others to see their beliefs and teachings from a different point of view so that they can clarify or rectify them if the need is there.

:P

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As LDS, we are always getting flak for our views concerning Joseph Smith and some even believe we worship him over and above Christ.

I'm noticing though that mainstream Christians have their own issues with leaders in the early Church-mainly, Paul.

I've yet to have a conversation with a mainstream Christian about grace and works where my quotes of Christ's teachings on the subject were not countered with words and teachings from Paul-which makes it appear as if these people place more importance on Paul's writings than they do on the teachings of Christ Himself..

A lot of EV's seem to start their apologetics w/ Paul IMO but avoid James in the NT and go from there, so I agree with your observation.

And romans is quoted to me far more often than any scriptures in the 4 gospels are, during these conversations.

When you say "the 4 gospels", are you referring to the LDS thought of NT, OT, Bom, PoGP, or are you referring to the rest of Christianity of "the 4 gospels" of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John?

In short-do they accuse LDS of too close a relationship with JS while they revere Paul in an even greater way?

Or is it all just misunderstanding?

IMO, LDS seem to quote the BoM first thus you "appear" to have a closer relationship to Joseph Smith than to Jesus Christ. Your second favorite book IMO to reference is the OT to defend the more contraversial issues like polygamy, and NT comes in third as a reference.

For myself, I like to start the defense with "the 4 gospels" of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John, and go from there.

To each their own.

Peace

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"There are few occultists who would deny the value of Christ's moral teachings; although not overtly, most have, at least partly, accepted those teachings as guidelines of conduct.
The magician's argument with Christianity begins with Paul, who diluted and distorted the original message in order to make the forming Church acceptable to the Establishment of Rome.
It was from this point that the most important and far-reaching tenets such as 'treat your neighbour as yourself' and 'do not kill' were glossed with additions which allowed those laws to be suspended for the benefit of the State which, after all, upheld the Church."

- Ray Sherwin,
The Book of Results

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When you say "the 4 gospels", are you referring to the LDS thought of NT, OT, Bom, PoGP, or are you referring to the rest of Christianity of "the 4 gospels" of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John?

You are forgetting the D&C, and the PoGP is actually composed of five separate works, not counting the fact that Moses and JS-Matthew are re-renderings of parts of the Bible, so by that logic it would be nine total, or seven if you don't count Moses or JS-Matt. When Mormons say "the 4 gospels", they mean Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, just like everybody else.

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When you say "the 4 gospels", are you referring to the LDS thought of NT, OT, Bom, PoGP, or are you referring to the rest of Christianity of "the 4 gospels" of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John?

I wouldn't expect a mainstream Christian to be quoting scripture out of anything but the bible so yes, i mean matt. mark, luke, and john by the term 'the four gospels'.

IMO, LDS seem to quote the BoM first thus you "appear" to have a closer relationship to Joseph Smith than to Jesus Christ. Your second favorite book IMO to reference is the OT to defend the more contraversial issues like polygamy, and NT comes in third as a reference.

The book of mormon does not have any of the words of JS though-so your comparision doesn't make any sense. Perhaps you could clarify.

:P

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blueadept:

Even for us LDS the four gospels refers to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. :P

Our four books of Scripture are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants.

Thanks for the clarification. My thought was the Bible, BoM, PoGP and D&C when I've heard it before. My opinion still stands though that favorite LDS references IMO start with 1st BoM, 2nd tie between OT and D&C, with the NT coming in third. Just my personal thought in talking with friends and family.

Peace

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Pauly theism has definitely taken over the EV, Baptist, well nearly all of the self proclaimed Christian churches.

Paul's writings are incredible and inspiring and Prophetical, they have been completely mis interpreted and the devil-doctrine that has come about regarding born againism, mass rapture, salvation through the magic prayer and other inventions are why the churches have honored with their mouths and lips, yet the hearts are far from Him.

88% of the youth will not go to church again, after their parents quit making them. There is more satisfaction in seeing if you can grind a handrail on a skateboard, do a backflip on a motorcycle, be a rock star, movie star, or any other empowering earthly vehicle, because to the youth, religion is a powerless, repetative, stupidity....and that is a shame......

The "I need do nothing", "Jesus did it all" crowd have completely adulturated the letters of Paul, into weakness, and failure. Rather than righteousness, overcoming sin and godliness. Now-- that is an Adventure a challenge, with rewards unspeakable.

But if the youth are told they can and need do nothing, and they've said the magic prayer, then why keep showing up to hear the same old sermons, about people that lived thousands of years ago, and the end result is your saved, now just put up with me talking and asking for money for the next 50 yrs of your life and you'll go to be with Jesus.

son

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Thanks for the clarification. My thought was the Bible, BoM, PoGP and D&C when I've heard it before. My opinion still stands though that favorite LDS references IMO start with 1st BoM, 2nd tie between OT and D&C, with the NT coming in third. Just my personal thought in talking with friends and family.

Peace

I would agree (except that in my experinece, the NT comes before the D&C with the LDS people i know) but that's a different point than what i'm talking about.

LDS have a reason we quote from the BOM more than the bible-we believe it is more free from error than the bible is and so clarifies the bible in a very necessary way.

Do mainstream Christians have that same belief for why they quote from paul moreso than the other books of the bible? Is he somehow more correct in his teachings than the other writers are and THAT'S why they quote from him more?

Also-the book of mormon contains the Words of Christ, spoken by Him personally, so quoting from certain passages in the BOM is equal to quoting from certain passages in the NT or OT, as far as authoritative teaching goes.

Can the same be said for the writings of Paul and the four gospels? Are paul's words and Christ's interchangable in terms of authority? Is quoting paul equal to quoting Christ? Is that how many mainstream Christians view it?

:P

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Do mainstream Christians have that same belief for why they quote from paul moreso than the other books of the bible? Is he somehow more correct in his teachings than the other writers are and THAT'S why they quote from him more?

Since I don't consider myself an EV, I don't believe my thoughts on this carry much weight. But in defending issues like OSAS and faith alone issues, all of Pauls letters help defend their positition the best (except James). I don't believe the thought is that his teachings are more correct, I believe it simply states their case the best IMO.

Also-the book of mormon contains the Words of Christ, spoken by Him personally, so quoting from certain passages in the BOM is equal to quoting from certain passages in the NT or OT, as far as authoritative teaching goes.

I know this works for the LDS but hopefully you can understand why non-members will take the reference with a grain of salt. :P

Can the same be said for the writings of Paul and the four gospels? Are paul's words and Christ's interchangable in terms of authority?

Both are "inspired" so I'm sure we are to listen to both. IMO, Paul was dealing with 'particular' issues in the audience he was addressing at the time and I believe it's harder to get correct meaning from his letters without appreciating the issues of his audience.

For myself, I'll give more weight to the 4 gospels over Pauls letters like I do in every Sunday Mass. We sit during the OT 1st reading and Paul's letters (2nd reading normally) versus standing for the Gospel reading for MMLJ (sort of like standing when saying the pledge of allegiance - it's not respectful to sit while you're saying it).

So I believe Catholics give MMLJ more weight than other parts of the bible because of this practice.

Is quoting paul equal to quoting Christ?

IMO, no

Is that how many mainstream Christians view it?

Not sure, I'll let an EV answer.

Peace

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Thanks for the clarification. My thought was the Bible, BoM, PoGP and D&C when I've heard it before. My opinion still stands though that favorite LDS references IMO start with 1st BoM, 2nd tie between OT and D&C, with the NT coming in third. Just my personal thought in talking with friends and family.

Peace

I'd say ranking the Standard Works could only rightfully be done if it was dependent upon what particular subject is being referenced.

Also, blue, don't forget what B.H. Roberts called the "Fifth Gospel": The Book of 3rd Nephi.

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Since I don't consider myself an EV, I don't believe my thoughts on this carry much weight. But in defending issues like OSAS and faith alone issues, all of Pauls letters help defend their positition the best (except James). I don't believe the thought is that his teachings are more correct, I believe it simply states their case the best IMO.

I agree-we all tend to do that when we are asked to defend our doctrine biblically.

I know this works for the LDS but hopefully you can understand why non-members will take the reference with a grain of salt. :P

Of course.

I would also hope that non-LDS understand why LDS take the 'it must be in the bible or it's not of God' arguement against our doctrines with a grain of salt.

<_<

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Bluebell:

I've yet to have a conversation with a mainstream Christian about grace and works where my quotes of Christ's teachings on the subject were not countered with words and teachings from Paul-which makes it appear as if these people place more importance on Paul's writings than they do on the teachings of Christ Himself.

Whenever they do that, I absolutely LOVE to thoroughly JOLT them with a response such as, "Why would I put a mere creatures finite understanding and teaching up against the VERY GOD who MADE EVEN PAUL? I will unhesitatingly take anything Jesus says anyday than all the other apostles combined, including Paul, the "one untimely born." It seems to get the point across that they are overzealous for the wrong person to emphasize. Besides I am a Christian, not a Paulian. That also gets them. And in fact, I am saved by Grace of Christ, not Paul. Etc., etc.

I also do not think they worship Paul, they just misplace their emphasis and its always a fun thing to show them that rather boldly.

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Bluebell:

Whenever they do that, I absolutely LOVE to thoroughly JOLT them with a response such as, "Why would I put a mere creatures finite understanding and teaching up against the VERY GOD who MADE EVEN PAUL? I will unhesitatingly take anything Jesus says anyday than all the other apostles combined, including Paul, the "one untimely born." It seems to get the point across that they are overzealous for the wrong person to emphasize. Besides I am a Christian, not a Paulian. That also gets them. And in fact, I am saved by Grace of Christ, not Paul. Etc., etc.

I also do not think they worship Paul, they just misplace their emphasis and its always a fun thing to show them that rather boldly.

I'm sure we all need such reminders sometimes when our zeal for being on God's side is overcome by our zeal of trying to prove that God is on our side.

I'll have to try your suggestions sometime and see how it goes.

:P

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In my experience, most protestants at least seem to like Paul better than Jesus in his teachings regarding salvation. Seems like 90% of the passages they use come from Paul. I can understand though as a Jesus teachings are not appealing to the "grace alone" viewpoint. He was very works oriented.

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