Are we Christians or Saintpaulians?
Why Christianity became Saintpaulianity. More than 16 centuries ago many Christians became Saintpaulians. This is a rather idolatrous form of Christianity. Yes, because while it remains true to Jesus Christ, it takes away the authority of his word, and that of the Holy Spirit and his twelve Apostles, transferring such authority to Paul, going above the authority of Christ and God himself.
Sure enough, nowadays most Christians are Saintpaulians. If Christ says that the grass is green and the Saintpaulians misunderstand that Paul said it is red, they insist it is red, because “Paul said so”.
If the twelve apostles say the sky is blue and the believers think they understood Paul say it was yellow, the Saintpaulians will insist that the sky is yellow, “because Paul said so”.
They don't care what God says, what Jesus says, or what the Holy Spirit says; neither do they care what the twelve apostles say. The “new doctrine” is what the believers mistakenly think Paul has said.
Some believe that in I Corinthians 8:1-13, Paul, in his "sacred authority" changed the Christian doctrine, contradicting everything that had been legislated so far in regards to not eating what was sacrificed to the idols. Not just that, but according to these brothers, Paul, in his “divine authority”, as if he were the protestant pope, changed God's law, and decided that from then on, it would be acceptable to eat what was sacrificed to idols. They think like that regardless of what Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the twelve apostles said. They believe that Paul went over all of that, and all of them.
Nothing was farther from Paul's intentions. What Paul was doing in this passage was taking away the panic that apparently some felt, for having carelessly eaten from something previously offered to the idols. But in spite of that reality, many are the Christians who understand from this passage that indeed we can eat what has been sacrificed to idols, because “Paul authorized it”.
It is sensible to interpret very carefully what Paul seems to say. Peter was a man inspired by God, and he knew Paul personally. Thanks to Peter's witness, we know that our brother Paul, spoke and wrote in a style and form, that was open to be twisted. Of course, to be twisted by the unstable (of bad spiritual quality) and the unlearned (ignorant of the word and God's things). Peter had indisputable authority to say it about the no lesser or inspired brother Paul.
This doesn't mean that Paul's writings could not be read because of possible confusion. They had to be read carefully and sensibly so not to err. Above all, if what Paul seems to say is in contradiction with what other biblical authors affirm.
In no other place in the Bible there is a warning like this one, about any Bible author. Never has anything like this been said of anyone, especially by someone with such authority as the Apostle Peter. Let's remember that what the Bible authors wrote was inspired by the Holy Spirit, therefore, it would be sensible for us to take seriously such inspired counsel from Peter, and keep it in mind.
“15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction”. (II Pet 3:15-16)
We must understand that if the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write something, He also inspired Peter to write what we just read. Neither inspiration is less valuable than the other. If the Holy Spirit who inspired Paul to write, found it right to inspire Peter to give us this warning, it must be so that we would not err.
See that the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to give this warning about Paul, but He didn't inspire Paul to give this warning about Peter. Therefore, the least that a sensible Christian can do is to keep this warning in mind when he reads Paul's writings. Especially the problematic ones, the ones that go head to head to what Jesus said, what the twelve apostles said, and what the rest of the Bible writers and the old prophets said.
Let this serve as a warning to all; but especially to the Saintpaulians, those who like to make up doctrines out of Paul's obscure verses. Also to those who believe that Paul establishes doctrines that contradict those of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the rest of the apostles, or the rest of the Bible. We need to realize that we are Christians, not Saintpaulians.
Those who think they see in Paul's writings the abolition of God's laws for human behavior would not lose much reviewing those writings in the light of what the Holy Spirit reveals and warns them through Peter. After all, the sincere ones, the ones who want to find the truth wherever it is, will find it.
Let's see now an alleged statement of Paul, that seems to contradict what the Lord Jesus Christ said, what the Holy Spirit said, and what the twelve apostles ordained. Let's also see what the explanation is to that apparent contradiction or discordance of Paul and the others.
Paul seems to contradict Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the twelve apostles in regards to what was offered to the idols. There are brothers that more than Christians are Saintpaulians. They do with Paul something similar to what Catholics do with the Virgin Mary. Let me explain. Christ is the son of God, He thinks just like his Father. What was said by Paul has the same value to both of them, as what was said by Peter, Isaiah, Samuel, Jacob, Jude, Mathew, Jeremiah, Daniel, or any other servant. The Holy Spirit inspired them all. Yet there are Christians that believe that the Bible is St. Paul, and St. Paul is the Bible. If they understand that Paul says that the sand is green, and the rest of the apostles say it is white, they insist it is green. Paul said so!
Even if our Lord Jesus Christ himself said the sand is white, and they think they understand that Paul said it was green, they will affirm that the sand is green, because “Paul said so”. Do you think this is a bit of an exaggeration?
The fact that Paul has written little more than a quarter of the New Testament doesn't give him the authority to abolish the rest of the Bible, including the rest of the New Testament, something he did not try to do, but that many brothers in Christ attribute to him.
If indeed it is true that he wrote more than any other writer in the New Testament, we need to understand that the others wrote almost three quarters of it. In other words, that the others wrote almost three times as much as Paul. He was not the most fruitful of the sacred writers, Moses alone wrote more than twice of what Paul did.
I say this, not to take away the merit due the apostle to the Gentiles, because he has plenty of merit. But rather so that nobody, due to an appreciation error, enlarge him irresponsibly, something that he always tried to avoid, as we see in the verses below. And sadly, they would enlarge him to the point of thinking of him as the sole teacher of religion, or at least the greatest.
“For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth, but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me” (II Co 12:6)
“12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith: I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (I Co 1:12-13)
As we saw in these two passages, it wasn't in Paul's will to be so enthroned, like the Saintpaulian brothers have done.
To demonstrate how some brothers misunderstand