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Old 21-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #1
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Exclamation The conspiracy of "Saint Paul"

Paul claimed to be an apostle in his letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1), but later on, in his second letter to Timothy, Paul declared that "all those in Asia have turned away from me" (2 Timothy 1:15). Ephesus was, at the time, the largest city in Asia, so this means that at some point after he wrote his epistle to them, the Ephesians, for some reason, ceased to regard him as a genuine apostle. Note that he does not say that the believers in Asia abandoned the Christian faith, and he does not say that they abandoned the original Apostles of Jesus. Paul says only that the believers in Asia abandoned him. For some reason, the Ephesians ceased to regard Paul as a genuine Christian leader.

The book of Revelation, allegedly written by the Apostle John, starts off with the resurrected Jesus instructing the author to send messages to seven churches within Asia (Revelation 1:11). The first Asian church to be given a message is the church at Ephesus. If Paul had been a genuine apostle, then surely the resurrected Jesus would have reprimanded the Asians for abandoning his genuine apostle. After all, it was the resurrected Jesus who allegedly appeared to Paul (then known as Saul) which led to his supposed conversion and eventual commission as an apostle. However, turn to Revelation 2:2 and read how the resurrected Jesus commended the Ephesians:
"I know...that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false."
So in essence, this is how the conversation went:

Paul to the Ephesians: "I am an apostle of Jesus."
The Ephesians to Paul: "No you're not."
Resurrected Jesus to the Ephesians: "Well done!"

I would be tempted to declare the case closed based on this evidence alone, but of course, there are a number of apparent objections that can be raised. I will address these objections as they are presented. For now, I would like to know what mainstream Christians and others on this forum have to say about the information that has been presented thus far.

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Old 21-01-2010, 09:58 PM   #2
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Paul claimed to be an apostle in his letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1), but later on, in his second letter to Timothy, Paul declared that "all those in Asia have turned away from me" (2 Timothy 1:15). Ephesus was, at the time, the largest city in Asia, so this means that at some point after he preached there, the Ephesians, for some reason, ceased to regard him as a genuine apostle.

The book of Revelation, allegedly written by one of the original twelve Apostles--the Apostle John--starts off with the resurrected Jesus instructing the author to send messages to seven churches within Asia (Revelation 1:11). The first Asian church to be given a message is the church at Ephesus. If Paul had been a genuine apostle, then surely the resurrected Jesus would have reprimanded the Asians for abandoning his genuine apostle. After all, it was the resurrected Jesus who allegedly appeared to Paul (then known as Saul) which led to his conversion and eventual commission as an apostle (Ephesians 1:1). However, turn to Revelation 2:2 and read how the resurrected Jesus commended the Ephesians:
"I know...that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false."
So in essence, this is how the conversation went:

Paul to the Ephesians: "I am an apostle of Jesus."
The Ephesians to Paul: "No you're not."
Resurrected Jesus to the Ephesians: "Well done!"

I would be tempted to declare the case closed based on this evidence alone, but of course, there are a number of objections that can be raised. I will address these objections as they are presented. For now, I would like to know what the mainstream Christians and others on this forum have to say about the information that has been presented thus far.

I tend to agree with you on this,though Iam not a Bible scholar nor a historian

Saul of Tarsus was a pharisee who never met Jesus apart from his claim to have seen him in a vision.

I can only say that i believe in Christ,as far as Saul is concerned im not prepared to accept him over and above James brother of Jesus,how come Saul prvailed while James sank into obscurity ?
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Old 21-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #3
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You'd expect that both Luke and Peter would know who's an apostle and who's not.
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Old 21-01-2010, 10:32 PM   #4
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who never met Jesus apart from his claim to have seen him in a vision.
likes millions of others over the past 2000 years

Paul/Saul is nothing special.

The guy put Jesus' bodyguard in the position of head of the church.
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Old 21-01-2010, 10:46 PM   #5
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Saul of Tarsus was a pharisee who never met Jesus apart from his claim to have seen him in a vision.

I can only say that i believe in Christ,as far as Saul is concerned im not prepared to accept him over and above James brother of Jesus,how come Saul prevailed while James sank into obscurity ?
Good point. With Paul, we are supposed to believe that a man who never knew Jesus and who started out persecuting his followers went on to write almost half of the New Testament while the original Apostles of Jesus faded into nearly complete obscurity! In my opinion, this seems completely counter-intuitive.

It may have been that Paul, while starting out persecuting the Church, eventually decided, "If you can't beat them, join them", so he faked conversion and asserted his leadership in the early Church, after which he inserted his own teachings--at least some of which were contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the original Apostles.

The book of Acts was obviously written in part to smooth over the rocky relationship that Paul had with the original Twelve. The book of Acts does mention that the Twelve were initially wary of Paul, admitting that they were uncertain of the genuineness of his conversion (Acts 9:26). But as the narrative progresses, Acts presents Paul as an apostle in good standing with the original Twelve. No mention is made in Acts of the schism between Paul and Peter that Paul described in chapter 2 of his epistle to the Galatians. In fact, Paul even went so far as to state:
"But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed" (Galatians 2:11).
Clearly, Peter was not on good terms with Paul, and yet we are supposed to believe that in his own epistles, Peter declared Paul's writings to be on a par with scripture! Here is the specific passage in question:
"[O]ur dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction" (II Peter 3:15-16).
Here we are supposed to believe that Peter referred to Paul as "our dear brother", and that Peter lauded the writings of Paul--even as Paul was bashing Peter in those very same writings! It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that most scholars today are of the opinion that the epistles attributed to Peter are works. Even Roman Catholic theologians and scholars who believe that Peter was their first pope accept that the epistles that are attributed to Peter in the New Testament were in fact written by someone else!

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Old 21-01-2010, 11:01 PM   #6
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You'd expect that both Luke and Peter would know who's an apostle and who's not.
And you would expect that Jesus would know even better than Luke or Peter who is a false apostle and who is not, wouldn't you?

Allow me to repeat this for you, since you apparently missed it the first time:

Paul says to the Asians: "I am an Apostle." (Ephesians 1:1)
The Asians reply to Paul: "No you're not!" (2 Timothy 1:15)
Jesus says to the Asians: "You got that right!" (Revelation 2:2)

I would add that there are very good reasons for suspecting that Peter did not write the epistles that are attributed to him. This article sums up the evidence quite well:
First epistle of Peter

Most critical scholars are skeptical that the apostle Simon Peter, the fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, actually wrote the epistle, because of the urbane cultured style of the Greek and the lack of any personal detail suggesting contact with the historical Jesus of Nazareth. The letter contains about thirty-five references to the , all of which, however, come from the translation, an unlikely source for historical Peter the apostle, but appropriate for a Hellenized audience; thus the use of the Septuagint helps define the audience. The Septuagint was a Greek translation that had been created at Alexandria for the use of those Jews who could not easily read the Hebrew and Aramaic of the and for proselytes.

Second epistle of Peter

The Second Epistle of Peter opens by identifying the author as “Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1) (spelling the name differently from 1 Peter or the rest of the New Testament).

Although 2 Peter internally purports to be a work of the apostle, most biblical scholars have concluded that Peter is not the author, and instead consider the epistle . Reasons for this include its linguistic differences from 1 Peter, its apparent use of , possible allusions to second-century gnosticism, encouragement in the wake of a delayed , and weak external support. In addition, specific passages offer further clues in support of pseudepigraphy, namely the author's assumption that his audience is familiar with multiple Pauline epistles (2 Peter 3:15-16), [and] his implication that the Apostolic generation has passed (2 Peter 3:4)...
Source:

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Old 21-01-2010, 11:59 PM   #7
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Well, in either case, you should be more concerned with that unbelievers will burn in the lake of fire. Or do you want to question the validity of Revelation?
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Old 22-01-2010, 01:28 AM   #8
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So we find out that Romeo and Juliet was not written by a man named Shakespeare, but instead by several other authors. Fiction is still fiction, get it?
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Old 22-01-2010, 02:03 AM   #9
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If Paul is false we can throw out half of the new testament. Then we can throw out the two books of Peter because he endorses Paul. Oh hang on, Luke talks about Paul so bye bye Acts and bye bye the gospel of Luke.
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Old 22-01-2010, 02:28 AM   #10
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Good topic Ksalt - Thanks for bringing it up.

I think St. PAUL is one of those Agents of Influence who `saw the light' and was sent to take control of the budding Christian religion and distort the Master's teaching. Do you notice Paul almost never quotes any of Jesus words or teachings??? Strange. No it's all about PAUL and Paulisms. For example, Paul puts women and slaves back in their place.

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Old 22-01-2010, 02:42 AM   #11
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Well, in either case, you should be more concerned with that unbelievers will burn in the lake of fire. Or do you want to question the validity of Revelation?
Why aren't you more concerned with the fact that the Bible, which is supposed to be the infallible word of God, directly contradicts itself hundreds if not thousands of times?
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Old 22-01-2010, 05:13 AM   #12
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If Paul is false we can throw out half of the new testament. Then we can throw out the two books of Peter because he endorses Paul. Oh hang on, Luke talks about Paul so bye bye Acts and bye bye the gospel of Luke.
I realize that you are probably being sarcastic, but even if I were to take you literally, it may be that you are still right. Christians should ask themselves, "Where did we get our New Testament canon? How did Christians come to decide which writings are inspired scripture and which aren't?" If you don't know, I'll be happy to tell you.

The earliest Christian writer to mention four gospels is , c. 160 AD (as stated in his Against Heresies 3.11.8), so by at least his time the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were well established and considered to be scripture on a par with the Old Testament.

The earliest point at which we come to an attempt to establish of a New Testament canon that begins to roughly approximate the list of books that we have in our New Testament today was put forward by in the 2nd century, AD. His list differed from ours in that he did not include the books of Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III John, and Revelation. Additionally, his list included as canonical a book called --a book of prophecy which many early Christians regarded as inspired instead of the book of Revelation.

It wasn't until the year 367 AD that a bishop of Alexandria in Egypt put forward a list of New Testament books that matches the list we have today. That bishop's name was .

In the year 382, promulgated a New Testament canon which contained a list of books that was identical to the list put forward by Athanasius. The North African , in 393, approved the 27-book New Testament canon.

Aside from helping to establish the canon of the New Testament, Athanasius is also remembered for his attendance at the First Council of Nicaea. Athanasius attended the Nicaean Council in part to argue against and his doctrine that Christ is of a distinct substance from the Father. (Athanasius died at age 80 in the year 373.) The First Council of Nicaea was convened by the Roman Emperor in A.D. 325, some 42 years before Athanasius drew up his list of the New Testament canon.

"What's Kasalt's point?" you may be asking yourself. My point is that the canon of the New Testament was established by a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church who was in communion with the bishop of Rome and the Roman Emperor Constantine! That ought to give the Christian fundamentalist anti-Catholic Pope-bashers some pause for thought!

Getting back to how this relates to the topic at hand, if St. Paul was a false apostle, then there goes nearly half of the New Testament which was written by Paul. And as Daro wrote, there goes the second epistle of Peter because it endorses Paul. Acts also endorses Paul, and Acts was written by Luke, so there goes Acts and the gospel of Luke.

Perhaps it would be for the better if Christians did reject those books. After all, that's the way it was among the first generation of Christians. Some of the very earliest believers in Jesus were called and . These believers rejected the teachings of Paul, whom they regarded as an apostate to the Law of Moses. Apparently, they accepted only some variation of the gospel of Matthew along with the Old Testament as their sacred canon.

Perhaps today's Christians should consider doing that as well. Going back to basics might not be a bad idea.

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Old 22-01-2010, 06:30 AM   #13
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Well, in either case, you should be more concerned with that unbelievers will burn in the lake of fire. Or do you want to question the validity of Revelation?
Oh, look more judgement, fear and hatred. Satanism at its finest. Enjoy your lake of fire, say hi to your overlord, the devil for me!

(Sorry for going off topic, guys)

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If Paul is false we can throw out half of the new testament. Then we can throw out the two books of Peter because he endorses Paul. Oh hang on, Luke talks about Paul so bye bye Acts and bye bye the gospel of Luke.
So you are denying the argument, because you are personally unable to question the king james NT, even if it has been largely corrupted by man?

Well at least your honest!

Its funny how half of the NT, is jesus preaching love, and the other half is secondary people preaching hellfire, sacrifices, slaves and damnation. Not hard to see the corruption really.

The devil really is an amazing trickster.
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Old 22-01-2010, 07:17 AM   #14
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Well, in either case, you should be more concerned with that unbelievers will burn in the lake of fire. Or do you want to question the validity of Revelation?
It would appear that either Paul's writings are false and the book of Revelation is true, or the book of Revelation is false and Paul's writings are true. Which do you think it is?

Of course, there is a third possibility: That both Paul's writings AND the book of Revelation are false.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to think. Judge for yourself; but judge based on the evidence, not on blind faith:

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Old 22-01-2010, 07:36 AM   #15
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It would appear that either Paul's writings are false and the book of Revelation is true, or the book of Revelation is false and Paul's writings are true. Which do you think it is?

Of course, there is a third possibility: That both Paul's writings AND the book of Revelation are false.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to think. Judge for yourself; but judge based on the evidence, not on blind faith:

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You haven't given evidence of anything. You've created a picture for yourself that isn't described in Scripture, but that's built purely on your own assumptions. You've assumed that the Ephesians deserted Paul because Paul was a false apostle. You've assumed that when Jesus commended the Ephesians for testing false apostles, then Jesus must have been talking about Paul. It's all assumption on your part, and you present it as though it's fact. Peter also talked about how some of Paul's teachings were very difficult. If you were looking at this with an honest mind, then that would present itself as another obvious possibility as to why so many people deserted Paul. But you seem personally invested, instead, in proving that Paul was a false apostle. And so you tweak and twist the Scriptures to promote your own desired point of view.

I don't know what your reasons are, but it's a very dangerous thing you're doing. Very dangerous.
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Old 22-01-2010, 08:32 AM   #16
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You haven't given evidence of anything. You've created a picture for yourself that isn't described in Scripture, but that's built purely on your own assumptions. You've assumed that the Ephesians deserted Paul because Paul was a false apostle. You've assumed that when Jesus commended the Ephesians for testing false apostles, then Jesus must have been talking about Paul. It's all assumption on your part, and you present it as though it's fact.
You could be correct. It is not my intention to tell you what to think, but I do feel like I have been unduly forceful on this issue. Like I said in my last post, judge for yourself based on the evidence.

So let's quickly review some of the evidence that I have put forward. Paul stated that "all those in Asia" turned away from him. After this turning away from Paul by the Asians, the author of the book of Revelation sends them a message, allegedly given to him by the resurrected Jesus, commending them for turning away from false apostles. Now, it would seem to me that if Paul were a genuine apostle, Jesus would have reprimanded them for turning away from a genuine apostle. Instead, he says nothing about that, and commends them for turning away from false ones. I can see how you would avoid making that connection because Paul's name is not specifically mentioned in Revelation, but in my opinion, the implication is obvious, intentional, and undeniable. I do think that the Asians would have been reprimanded by the author of Revelation if the author of Revelation considered Paul to be a genuine apostle.

I should add, in case you are not aware, that I am by no means the originator of this idea that Paul was a pseudo-apostle. I have already posted on this thread that a number of sects among the earliest Christians also considered this to be the case, as do their contemporary heirs. It is from these sources that I learned about this issue in the first place. It is actually a more common opinion than you might imagine.

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Peter also talked about how some of Paul's teachings were very difficult. If you were looking at this with an honest mind, then that would present itself as another obvious possibility as to why so many people deserted Paul. But you seem personally invested, instead, in proving that Paul was a false apostle. And so you tweak and twist the Scriptures to promote your own desired point of view.
Yes, and as I have already posted, there are substantial reasons to believe that the two epistles allegedly written by Peter were actually written by someone else who was obviously more favourably disposed to Paul. I will bring out more evidence in future posts to show that there was much more to the schism between Peter and Paul than Paul alluded to in Galatians 2.

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I don't know what your reasons are, but it's a very dangerous thing you're doing. Very dangerous.
Mate, opinions are like arseholes: everyone has one; and there's no reason for you to consider my opinion to be dangerous, any more than I should consider your opinion to be dangerous. Opinions are not dangerous. You are free to think and believe whatever you like, as am I, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Old 22-01-2010, 09:11 AM   #17
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You could be correct. It is not my intention to tell you what to think, but I do feel like I have been unduly forceful on this issue. Like I said in my last post, judge for yourself based on the evidence.

So let's quickly review some of the evidence that I have put forward. Paul stated that "all those in Asia" turned away from him. After this turning away from Paul by the Asians, the author of the book of Revelation sends them a message, allegedly given to him by the resurrected Jesus, commending them for turning away from false apostles. Now, it would seem to me that if Paul were a genuine apostle, Jesus would have reprimanded them for turning away from a genuine apostle. Instead, he says nothing about that, and commends them for turning away from false ones. I can see how you would avoid making that connection because Paul's name is not specifically mentioned in Revelation, but in my opinion, the implication is obvious, intentional, and undeniable. I do think that the Asians would have been reprimanded by the author of Revelation if the author of Revelation considered Paul to be a genuine apostle.

I should add, in case you are not aware, that I am by no means the originator of this idea that Paul was a pseudo-apostle. I have already posted on this thread that a number of sects among the earliest Christians also considered this to be the case, as do their contemporary heirs. It is from these sources that I learned about this issue in the first place. It is actually a more common opinion than you might imagine.



Yes, and as I have already posted, there are substantial reasons to believe that the two epistles allegedly written by Peter were actually written by someone else who was obviously more favourably disposed to Paul. I will bring out more evidence in future posts to show that there was much more to the schism between Peter and Paul than Paul alluded to in Galatians 2.



Mate, opinions are like arseholes: everyone has one; and there's no reason for you to consider my opinion to be dangerous, any more than I should consider your opinion to be dangerous. Opinions are not dangerous. You are free to think and believe whatever you like, as am I, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
When I say that what you're doing is dangerous, I'm talking about the particular method by which you've gone about forming this belief of yours (regarding Paul). The mind and knowledge of God are literally endless/fathomless. The truth can't be arrived at by simply trying to connect a few dots. And yes, if our means of trying to discern the truth is faulty, then the false opinions we form after that can be extremely dangerous.

Also, I know the argument is common, and I know it's old - about Paul being a false apostle. That doesn't serve as any sort of evidence that the accusation against him is either true, or not true. There are both truths and lies that are thousands of years old. There has also always been more people out there who are peddling lies, rather than the truth, so the fact that this accusation against Paul is so common holds no weight for me.

But about your means of trying to discern the truth .....

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're trying to prove this matter with a lot of he-said-she-said: Paul said this, Peter said that, etc. In the meantime, God has given His people a very real Armor that is intended to protect His people. If Paul were a false apostle, then even Paul could not stand up against God's Armor. Give me a list of those of Paul's teachings that you think are false and contradict the Word of God, and the Word of God will judge whether Paul was a false apostle. I'm very serious about wanting to see your list, since the accusation is such a serious one; and arriving at the wrong conclusion will have dire consequences. I'll keep an eye on the thread, waiting for your list.

In the meantime, there's one more thing I'd like to leave with you. Since it is Christ, Himself, Who commended the Ephesians for testing apostles to see whether they were false, then the Ephesians had to have tested people according to the Word of God - which is to test people by the Word of God. Meaning that you, yourself, are not testing Paul the way the Ephesians would have tested an apostle - and for which Christ commended them. This is what I mean when I say that your particular method of trying to judge this matter is extremely dangerous for you. You're giving in to the temptation to reason according to your own wisdom, not trusting that God's wisdom far surpasses our own. If you're not wearing and using the Armor that God's provided for you, trusting in your own armor instead, then it's guaranteed that you'll be deceived.

I'll check back for the list.
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Old 22-01-2010, 09:40 AM   #18
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kesalt, -- you're just propagating religious-paranoia. In other words, religious propaganda. You do this on all your threads. You come up with objections that are not really objections. I think you even have the audacity to say, "These are the facts." Everything you present is borrowed from other people, and their opinions about "the facts".

But all and all, it appears to be a non-issue.
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Old 22-01-2010, 09:58 AM   #19
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kesalt, -- you're just propagating religious-paranoia. In other words, religious propaganda. You do this on all your threads. You come up with objections that are not really objections. I think you even have the audacity to say, "These are the facts." Everything you present is borrowed from other people, and their opinions about "the facts".
Right, just like my thread on Elizabeth Clare Prophet was "propagating religious-paranoia", I suppose? Let the reader beware.

If you disagree with the substance of my arguments I would appreciate it if you would give me a substantive argument in return, rather than just baseless contradiction. If you can convince me that the substance of your argument outweighs the substance of mine, I will abandon my position. It's as simple as that.

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Old 22-01-2010, 12:13 PM   #20
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paul was a false prophet who thwarted jesus' real teachings in such a way as to create a religion. jesus never wanted to create a religion.

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http://www.xeeatwelve.net/articles/jesus_warrior.htm

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