14 June 2006

Because someone brought it up today

I believe Paul infiltrated the disciples ranks after Jesus' death and taught a doctrine that opposed Jesus on several fronts, replacing Jesus' selfless teaching of universal compassionate action with a selfish teaching of desire to gain a "free gift" of salvation based only on faith and completely devoid of any behavioral requirement, and distracting us from the selfless teachings of Jesus. Paul, prior to his "seeing the light" and as Saul of Tarsus, was responsible for the deaths of perhaps as many as 5000 followers of Jesus. It was, perhaps, a way for him to excuse his behaviors. Some will say that puny mortals can never perform enough good behavior to "earn" or "merit" salvation based on the value of their deeds -- that the attempts at human righteousness is as "filthy rags." Aside from the fact that this simply contradicts Jesus, the point is not whether or not our puny mortal attempts at righteousness have intrinsic value or not. Just as a child may offer his or her parents or grandparents an awkwardly-drawn piece of art, which likely holds little real artistic merit (perhaps in terms of art critics it might be looked at as "filthy rags"), still the parents sincerely and genuinely cherish such efforts. (Placing them on their refrigerators)... It may not "merit" winning an art contest and may be able to "earn" very little, but loving parents find it good enough to represent the qualities THEY deem of real and lasting value. Jesus taught a message of personal salvation and a compassionate life in the here and now. Paul taught a message of salvation only through 'Christ' and of a better world a comin' some day.

As the world burns

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